Monday, June 6, 2011

Keeping a Straight Face Isn't the Answer

There's a song that goes, "You can tell by the lines in my smile that I have been around for awhile." Apparently laugh lines can now tell us far more than how long someone has been hanging around the planet. A study presented today at the Endocrine Society meeting in Boston found an association between the depth of wrinkles on the face and neck of postmenopausal women and bone density: women with worse wrinkles had lower bone density than women with smoother faces. 

But don't worry--researchers are not recommending keeping a straight face to avoid low bone density. The healing and mood-elevating power of laughter is well known, as shown in a study reported last year by Psychiatric News. Patients with treatment-resistant obsessive-compulsive disorder were being implanted with a deep brain stimulation device when it was noticed that they began to smile or laugh. Researchers found that the more patients had laughed upon stimulation, the fewer symptoms they had two years later. For more information, see


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