Good Stuff To Know June 2015

Cocaine changes brain, makes relapse more common in addicts *** Replacing one serving of sugary drink per day by water or unsweetened tea or coffee cuts risk of type 2 diabetes, study shows  *** Majority of older adults willing to be screened by telephone for dementia  *** The dark side of cannabis: Panic attacks, nausea  *** Treating gum disease reduces prostate symptoms, researchers find  *** Diet soda linked to increases in belly fat in older adults *** Strong statin-diabetes link seen in large study  *** Half hour of physical activity 6 days a week linked to 40 percent lower risk of early death *** Smoking marijuana may cause early puberty and stunts growth in boys 

 

Cocaine changes brain, makes relapse more common in addicts

Cocaine use causes ‘profound changes’ in the brain that lead to an increased risk of relapse due to stress, according to new research that identifies a molecular mechanism in the reward centre of the brain that influences how recovering cocaine addicts might relapse after stressful events. Importantly, the study identifies a potential mechanism for protecting against such relapses with treatment.

Replacing one serving of sugary drink per day by water or unsweetened tea or coffee cuts risk of type 2 diabetes, study shows

Replacing the daily consumption of one serving of a sugary drink with either water or unsweetened tea or coffee can lower the risk of developing diabetes by between 14 percent and 25 percent, concludes new research.

Majority of older adults willing to be screened by telephone for dementia

Nearly two-thirds of older adults were willing to undergo telephone screening for dementia, according to a new study from the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute. Willingness to be screened by phone did not differ by sex, age or race.

The dark side of cannabis: Panic attacks, nausea

Although the use of cannabis as a medical drug is currently booming, we should not forget that leisure time consumption — for example, smoking weed — can cause acute and chronic harms. These include panic attacks, impaired coordination of movement, and nausea, as researchers show. The symptoms depend on a patient’s age, the amount of the drug consumed, and the frequency of drug use.

Treating gum disease reduces prostate symptoms, researchers find

Treating gum disease reduced symptoms of prostate inflammation, called prostatitis, report researchers. Previous studies have found a link between gum disease and prostatitis, a disease that inflames the gland that produces semen. Inflammation can make urination difficult.

Diet soda linked to increases in belly fat in older adults

A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows that increasing diet soda intake is directly linked to greater abdominal obesity in adults 65 years of age and older. Findings raise concerns about the safety of chronic diet soda consumption, which may increase belly fat and contribute to greater risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases.

Scripps Research, Mayo Clinic scientists find class of drugs that boosts healthy lifespan 

A research team from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), Mayo Clinic and other institutions has identified a new class of drugs that in animal models dramatically slows the aging process–alleviating symptoms of frailty, improving cardiac function and extending a healthy lifespan.

Strong statin-diabetes link seen in large study

In a study of nearly 26,000 beneficiaries of Tricare, the military health system, those taking statin drugs to control their cholesterol were 87 percent more likely to develop diabetes. The research confirms past findings on the link between the widely prescribed drugs and diabetes risk. But it is among the first to show the connection in a relatively healthy group of people. The study included only people who at baseline were free of heart disease, diabetes, and other severe chronic disease.

Exercise, however modest, found progressively beneficial to the elderly

Even exercise of short duration and low intensity has life expectancy benefits for the elderly. Such conclusions have been well examined in the general population, where a recommended exercise program of 30 minutes at least five days a week (or 150 minutes per week) has been shown to reduce the average risk of death by 30%. However, such a correlation between the level of physical activity and risk of death has not been so clearly determined in the elderly. Indeed, most physical activity guidelines are the same for the middle-aged adults as for the elderly, even though it is estimated that over 60% of the elderly are unable to achieve this same level of exercise.

Strong evidence still lacking on medical marijuana for pain

With increasing numbers of chronic pain patients experimenting with marijuana to get relief, physicians need to learn more about the plant and its constituents to counsel patients appropriately about its safety and possible analgesic benefits, according to a leading medical marijuana researcher.

Half hour of physical activity 6 days a week linked to 40 percent lower risk of early death

Thirty minutes of physical activity — irrespective of its intensity — six days a week is linked to a 40 percent lower risk of death from any cause among elderly men, finds new research. Boosting physical activity levels in this age group seems to be as good for health as giving up smoking, the findings suggest.

Medical Marijuana Disappoints Dementia

When is medical marijuana appropriate? Not in dementia, according to a new study. It suggests medical marijuana pills may not help treat behavioral symptoms of dementia, such as aggression, pacing and wandering.

Aging baby boomers, childless and unmarried, at risk of becoming ‘elder orphans’

With an aging baby boomer population and increasing numbers of childless and unmarried seniors, nearly one-quarter of Americans over age 65 are currently or at risk to become ‘elder orphans,’ a vulnerable group requiring greater awareness and advocacy efforts, according to new research.

Smoking marijuana may cause early puberty and stunts growth in boys

Boys who smoke marijuana go through puberty earlier but grow more slowly than those who have never smoked the drug according to a study presented today at the European Congress of Endocrinology in Dublin, Ireland. The findings will lead to a better understanding of the dangers of drug abuse on growth and development of children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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