Good Stuff To Know March 2015

mar12Common Drugs Linked to Increased Dementia Risk *** Older adults: Double your protein to build more muscle *** Birth Control Pills Affect Women’s Taste in Men *** Significant link between cannabis use and onset of mania symptoms *** Smoking thins vital part of brain *** Effectiveness of device to improve bowel control in women confirmed *** Sitting for long periods increases risk of disease and early death, regardless of exercise *** Caution concerning the possible health benefits of alcohol: Beneficial only for women over 65? *** Women active a few times weekly have lower risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots *** Marital ‘long-timers’ have a ‘modest rebound’ in sexual frequency after 50 years *** Science behind commonly used anti-depressants appears to be backwards, researchers say

Common Drugs Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

A recent report published in JAMA Internal Medicine confirmed a link between dementia risk and commonly used anticholinergic agents, some of which are taken regularly by older adults.   “Older adults should be aware that many medications—including some available without a prescription, such as OTC sleep aids—have strong anticholinergic effects,” said first study author Shelly Gray, PharmD, MS, in a press release. “And they should tell their health care providers about all their OTC use.”   The report authors estimated that patients receiving at least 10 mg/day of the tricyclic antidepressant doxepin (Sinequan), 4 mg/day of the first-generation antihistamine chlorpheniramine, (Chlor Trimeton)  5 mg/day of the antimuscarinic oxybutynin (Ditropan) for more than 3 years had a higher risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers also suggested that the increased dementia risk associated with those anticholinergic medications could persist even years after patients stop receiving the drugs.

Older adults: Double your protein to build more muscle

Older adults may need to double up on the recommended daily allowance of protein to efficiently maintain and build muscle. Current US recommendations for daily dietary protein intake are 0.8 grams/kilogram of body weight (roughly 62 g of protein per day for a 170-pound person).

You can be a coward or a fighter — just pick one and stick with it, says study

When the chips are down, having a strong personality may be the difference between thriving and failing, according to new research that studied how aphids reacted when faced with predatory ladybirds. The study suggests that committing to a consistent behavioural type in times of crisis results in the best overall outcome in terms of fitness and reproductive success.

Birth Control Pills Affect Women’s Taste in Men

This year (2008) 2.25 million Americans will get married—and a million will get divorced. Could birth control be to blame for some of these breakups? Recent research suggests that the contraceptive pill—which prevents women from ovulating by fooling their body into believing it is pregnant—could affect which types of men women desire. Going on or off the pill during a relationship, therefore, may tempt a woman away from her man.

Significant link between cannabis use and onset of mania symptoms

Researchers have found evidence to suggest a significant relationship between cannabis use and the onset and exacerbation of mania symptoms.

Smoking thins vital part of brain

A major study shows new evidence that long-term smoking could cause thinning of the brain’s cortex. The cortex is the outer layer of the brain in which critical cognitive functions such as memory, language and perception take place. Interestingly, the findings also suggest that stopping smoking helps to restore at least part of the cortex’s thickness.

Effectiveness of device to improve bowel control in women confirmed

Research led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery shows a vaginal bowel-control system designed by Pelvalon is the first device to successfully control fecal incontinence, also known as accidental bowel leakage, via a vaginal insert. The results of the research, known as the LIFE study, are available now online and will be published in the March 2015 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Sitting for long periods increases risk of disease and early death, regardless of exercise

The amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and death, regardless of regular exercise, according to a review study.

Caution concerning the possible health benefits of alcohol: Beneficial only for women over 65?

Any health benefits from alcohol may be limited to women aged 65 and over — and even then may have been exaggerated by existing studies. High alcohol consumption has been associated with more than 200 acute and chronic conditions. Globally, more than three million deaths each year are attributed to alcohol.

Women active a few times weekly have lower risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots

Middle-aged women physically active a few times per week have lower risks of heart disease, stroke and blood clots than inactive women. More frequent physical activity does not appear to lower the risks further, research shows.

Marital ‘long-timers’ have a ‘modest rebound’ in sexual frequency after 50 years

While people in the early years of marriage have sex more frequently, and their sexual activity tapers off over time, a slight rebound occurs for those whose marriages endure longer than half a century, according to new research.

Science behind commonly used anti-depressants appears to be backwards, researchers say

The science behind many anti-depressant medications appears to be backwards, say the authors of a paper that challenges the prevailing ideas about the nature of depression and some of the world’s most commonly prescribed medications.

“Those serotonin-boosting medications actually make it harder for patients to recover, especially in the short term, says lead author Paul Andrews, an assistant professor of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster. “It’s time we rethink what we are doing,” Andrews says. “We are taking people who are suffering from the most common forms of depression, and instead of helping them, it appears we are putting an obstacle in their path to recovery.”

Resveratrol Decreases Brain Micro-Hemorrhages Despite High Blood Pressure & Improves “Sixth Vital Sign” (Walking Speed)

Small hemorrhages in the brain are now believed to be the cause of age-related mental decline, not the widely reported beta amyloid brain plaque or excessive acetycholinesterase enzyme that literally erases the brain chemical acetycholine, known as a memory molecule. [Nature Reviews Neurology May 2006; MedScape June 17, 2011] Acetycholinesterase inhibitors (Aricept, Exelon, Cognex, Razadyne) have been a flop for Alzheimer’s disease memory loss. [European Journal Clinical Pharmacology July 2005]

People with multiple sclerosis may have lower levels of key nutrients

Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) may have lower levels of important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as folate from food and vitamin E, than healthy people, according to a new study.

Flame retardants found to cause metabolic, liver problems, animal study shows

Chemicals used as synthetic flame retardants that are found in common household items such as couches, carpet padding, and electronics have been found to cause metabolic and liver problems that can lead to insulin resistance, which is a major cause of obesity, according to new research.

More women now using compounded hormones without understanding the risks

From 28 percent to 68 percent of women using hormones at menopause take compounded, so-called ‘bioidentical’ hormones, but women don’t understand the risks of these unapproved, untested treatments, shows an analysis of two large surveys.

Barbara Morris comment on above: I guess that means physicians prescribing compounded hormone prescriptions are incompetent or worse. The question should also be asked: How many patients  fully understand the often horrendous side effects of FDA approved drugs?

Safety, life-saving efficacy of statins have been exaggerated, says scientist

Statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs prescribed to prevent heart attacks, are not as effective nor as safe as we have been led to believe, researchers say. Statins produce a dramatic reduction in cholesterol levels, but have failed to substantially improve cardiovascular outcomes, they add, stating that ‘statistical deception’ has been used to inflate claims about their effectiveness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I swear, if I read one more “study linking marajuana to…” (name your problem, disease, or disability), I’ll spit. I’ve been smoking pot since the 60’s. The key factor for me used to be social, but now it’s pain relief. I don’t smoke as much as I used to because the pot is stronger, and also because it makes me eat like a horse. But pot is anything but dangerous. I can name countless friends who would benefit by smoking, to take the edge off their lives and relax a little. Enough, already! It’s here, and it’s not leaving. A good thing, too. If you’ve been ingesting pot as long as I have, all these studies would just be good for a laugh. Unfortunately, it keeps many people who could benefit from trying it.

    • Anonymous says

      Thank you, Elaine, for expressing your point of view.

      My concern is teenagers and pot. I think it negatively affects motivation, as many parents/grandparents can attest to. I am also concerned about drivers of any age who are impaired by any substance that can result in harm not just to self but to others.

      Barbara Morris

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