Good Stuff To Know – April 2016

* * * Highlights * * * 

Drugs that treat osteoporosis also can cause small risk of thigh bone fractures ***

Can social support be a bad thing for older adults? ***

Latin dancing may have health benefits for older adults ***

Does a ‘Western diet’ increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease? ***

Estrogen in birth control pills has a negative impact on fish ***

What 20 years of research on cannabis use has taught us ***

Trust your aha! moments: Experiments show they’re probably right ***

Link between gum disease and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s ***

Virility drug may boost skin cancer growth ***

Tooth loss increases the risk of diminished cognitive function ***

People with rage disorder twice as likely to have latent toxoplasmosis parasite infection ***
Heavy, persistent pot use linked to economic, social problems at midlife 


good stuff to know this monthStudy points to cannabis’ effect on emotion processing

According to researchers, cannabis significantly affects users’ ability to recognize, process and empathize with human emotions like happiness, sadness and anger.

‘Informed consent’ states often give women considering abortions inaccurate information

Women considering abortions are getting medically inaccurate information nearly a third of the time in states that require doctors to provide informed consent materials to their patients, according to a Rutgers study.

Drinking more water associated with numerous dietary benefits, study finds

A new study has examined the dietary habits of more than 18,300 US adults, and found the majority of people who increased their consumption of plain water by 1 percent reduced their total daily calorie intake as well as their consumption of saturated fat, sugar, sodium and cholesterol.

Link between sleep and social participation may be key to healthy aging

Sleep may be one of the most important factors for well-being; yet, according to the CDC, one in three adults does not get enough. Lack of sleep can lead to potential cognitive declines, chronic diseases and death. Now, research from the University of Missouri finds that older adults who have trouble sleeping, could benefit from participating in social activities, in particular attending religious events.

More than 200,000 in Massachusetts still without health insurance

The cost of health insurance, limits in eligibility and difficulties with the application process are among the major reasons more than 200,000 individuals across Massachusetts are still uninsured, according to a report co-authored by UMass Medical School and commissioned by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) Foundation. The authors of the report conclude that the experiences of the remaining uninsured can inform future strategies for improving access to health insurance.

Drugs that treat osteoporosis also can cause small risk of thigh bone fractures

Osteoporosis drugs have significantly reduced the risk of bone fractures for millions of people, but also have been linked to unusual fractures of the femur (thigh bone).

Scientists identify grey hair gene for first time

Scientists at University College London have identified the gene for greying hair for the first time, as well as the genes influencing hair shape and density and this could have a big impact on products to delay the ageing process.

Pycnogenol® Contributes to Skin Hydration and Reduces Pigmentation

A newly published review in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology on Pycnogenol®, French maritime pine bark extract, reveals supplementation was found to inhibit UVA induced upregulation of pigmentation markers by a 50-75% decrease, supporting its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation. The extract also contributes to improvement in skin barrier function which sustains skin hydration.

Can social support be a bad thing for older adults?

Social support from family and friends does not have an entirely positive effect on mental health but is instead a ‘mixed blessing,’ say researchers. This is the first study that demonstrates the simultaneous negative and positive effects of social support among Singaporean older adults and has implications for policy makers.

Scientists develop very early stage human embryonic stem cell lines for first time

Scientists have, for the first time, shown that it is possible to derive from a human embryo so-called ‘naïve’ pluripotent stem cells — one of the most flexible types of stem cell, which can develop into all human tissue other than the placenta.

Latin dancing may have health benefits for older adults

A four-month dance program helped older Latino adults walk faster and improved their physical fitness, which may reduce their risk for heart disease, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions.

Does a ‘Western diet’ increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease?

Recent research has established associations between certain environmental factors, including eating a western diet and being sedentary, with an increased susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, it is estimated that a combination of diet and inactivity contributes to as many as 25% of Alzheimer’s cases. Nonetheless, little is known about the exact disease mechanisms and how or why this increasingly common middle-age lifestyle can play such a big role in subsequent cognitive function.

Cells collected from preterm infants’ urine may advance regenerative kidney repair

Cells collected noninvasively from the urine of preterm infants may lead to breakthroughs in regenerative kidney repair for patients with kidney disease and injury, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

‘Relationship television’ affects the sexual expectations of emerging adults differently

What young men and women expect from their sexual relationships is influenced in different ways by the television programmes they watch, according to a new study in Communication Monographs.

Estrogen in birth control pills has a negative impact on fish

A new doctoral thesis from Lund University in Sweden shows that hormones found in birth control pills alter the genes in fish, which can cause changes in their behaviour. The thesis also shows that nurse midwives, who are the main prescribers in Sweden, lack information about the environmental impact of hormonal birth control methods, which may affect the advice they provide.

Cannabis use in psychotic patients linked to 50 percent higher hospital admission risk

Cannabis use among people experiencing a first episode of psychotic illness is linked to a 50 per cent heightened risk of hospital admission–including compulsory detention (sectioning)–as well as longer inpatient stay, reveals the largest study of its kind, published in the online journal BMJ Open.

What 20 years of research on cannabis use has taught us

In the past 20 years recreational cannabis use has grown tremendously, becoming almost as common as tobacco use among adolescents and young adults, and so has the research evidence. A major new review in the scientific journal Addiction sets out the latest information on the effects of cannabis use on mental and physical health.

Trust your aha! moments: Experiments show they’re probably right

A series of experiments showed that sudden insight may yield more correct solutions than using gradual, methodical thinking. In other words, say the researchers, it’s absolutely worth listening to your “aha!” moments.

Don’t let youth trip you; more than 50 percent of young adults fall, trip

Young adults fall more frequently than expected, and most falls occur during everyday activities such walking and talking, according to new research. ‘The most commonly cited statistic is that one in three older adults falls each year due to age-related changes in balance, and in this four-month study, more than half of the college students fell during daily activities,’ said a professor of health and kinesiology.

Link between gum disease and cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s

A new study has found a link between gum disease and greater rates of cognitive decline in people with early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.Periodontitis or gum disease is common in older people and may become more common in Alzheimer’s disease because of a reduced ability to take care of oral hygiene as the disease progresses. Higher levels of antibodies to periodontal bacteria are associated with an increase in levels of inflammatory molecules elsewhere in the body, which in turn has been linked to greater rates of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease in previous studies. The latest study set out to determine whether periodontitis or gum disease is associated with increased dementia severity and subsequent greater progression of cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Virility drug may boost skin cancer growth

A signaling pathway in melanoma cells is affected by erectile dysfunction drug Sildenafil, (Viagra) biochemists have discovered. Sildenafil is used to treat erectile dysfunction and is the active ingredient in a number of drugs which have been on the market since the late 1990s. Sildenafil is now also contained in a number of generic products for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Wealth doesn’t protect US blacks from greater chance of incarceration

The chances of incarceration in America are always higher for blacks than for whites or Hispanics, regardless of their level of wealth, according to a new study. In addition, blacks and Hispanics who had previously served jail time were significantly poorer than their white counterparts.

Practicing tai chi reduces risk of falling in older adults

Researchers have compared the effects of tai chi to leg strengthening exercises (a physical therapy called ‘lower extremity training,’ or LET) in reducing falls. After six months of training, people in the tai chi group were significantly less likely to experience an injury-causing fall than were people in the LET group.

Playing dumb and giving the cold shoulder: How stereotypes pervade the workplace

People in the workplace may adjust their behavior to break stereotypes about themselves or match the stereotypes of others — even if it means playing dumb or giving the cold shoulder, a Princeton University study finds.

Common painkillers are more dangerous than we think

Many patients are prescribed NSAIDs for the treatment of painful conditions, fever and inflammation. But the treatment also comes with side effects, including the risk of ulcers and increased blood pressure. A major new study now gathers all research in the area. This shows that arthritis medicine is particularly dangerous for heart patients, and also that older types of arthritis medicine, which have not previously been in focus, also appear to be dangerous for the heart.

Fertilizer applied to fields today will pollute water for decades

Dangerous nitrate levels in drinking water could persist for decades, increasing the risk for blue baby syndrome and other serious health concerns, according to a new study.

Football training reduces the risk of disease in elderly men

Long-term recreational football training produces a number of marked improvements in health profile for 63-75 year old untrained men — including a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes — research shows.

Tooth loss increases the risk of diminished cognitive function

A team of researchers systematically assessed the association between oral health and cognitive function in adult populations, and found that there is an association between tooth loss and reduced cognitive function.

People with rage disorder twice as likely to have latent toxoplasmosis parasite infection

New study identifies link between Intermittent Explosive Disorder and exposure to the common toxoplasma gondii parasite typically found in undercooked meat, cat feces

Individuals with a psychiatric disorder involving recurrent bouts of extreme, impulsive anger — road rage, for example — are more than twice as likely to have been exposed to a common parasite than healthy individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis. In a study involving 358 adult subjects, researchers found that toxoplasmosis, a relatively harmless parasitic infection carried by an estimated 30 percent of all humans, is associated with intermittent explosive disorder and increased aggression.

Treating withdrawal symptoms could help cannabis users quit, study finds

Heavy users of cannabis who experience withdrawal symptoms such as nervousness and cravings when they quit are likely to use again sooner than their peers, a new study finds.

Personality traits can be revealed by how you move

A pioneering new study has revealed how an individual’s movement can give a unique insight into their inherent personality traits

Heavy, persistent pot use linked to economic, social problems at midlife

People who smoked cannabis four or more days of the week over many years ended up in a lower social class than their parents, with lower-paying, less skilled and less prestigious jobs than those who were not regular cannabis smokers, shows a research study that followed children from birth up to age 38. These regular and persistent users also experienced more financial, work-related and relationship difficulties, which worsened as the number of years of regular cannabis use progressed.

Increased vitamin C in the diet could help protect against cataracts

Higher dietary intake of vitamin C has been found to have a potentially preventative effect on cataract progression in the first twin study of cataracts to examine to what degree genetic and environmental factors influence their progression with age.

















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