Information to Help Live and Feel Better February 2014

 ** Secret Checklist for Pain Meds **High Blood Pressure Potentially More Dangerous for Women Than Men **Vitamin E May Delay Decline in Mild-To-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease **Sleep to Protect Your Brain  **Fears for the elderly under new NHS drugs policy **Take a stand and be active to reduce chronic disease, make aging easier, research finds  **Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Pain in Fibromyalgia Sufferers **Diet Beverages Not the Solution for Weight Loss  **Using Progesterone for Hot Flashes Shown Safe for Women’s Cardiovascular Health  **Theory Behind Popular Blood-Type Diet Debunked

 

High Blood Pressure Potentially More Dangerous for Women Than Men 

Doctors may need to treat high blood pressure in women earlier and more aggressively than they do in men, according to scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. 

Vitamin E May Delay Decline in Mild-To-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease 

Difficulty with activities of daily living often affect Alzheimer’s patients, which is estimated to affect as many as 5.1 million Americans. These issues are among the most taxing burdens of the disease for caregivers, which total about 5.4 million family members and friends. New research from the faculty of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai working with Veterans Administration Medical Centers suggests that alpha tocepherol, fat-soluble Vitamin E and antioxidant, may slow functional decline (problems with daily activities such as shopping, preparing meals, planning, and traveling) in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease and decrease caregiver burden. There was no added benefit for memory and cognitive testing with the vitamin. 

Sleep to Protect Your Brain 

A new study from Uppsala University, Sweden, shows that one night of sleep deprivation increases morning blood concentrations of NSE and S-100B in healthy young men. These molecules are typically found in the brain. Thus, their rise in blood after sleep loss may indicate that a lack of snoozing might be conducive to a loss of brain tissue. The findings are published in the journal Sleep. 

Several Forms of Vitamin E Protect Against Memory Disorders, Study Says 

Elderly people with high serum vitamin E levels are less likely to suffer from memory disorders than their peers with lower levels, according to a study published recently in Experimental Gerontology. According to the researchers, various forms of vitamin E seem to play a role in memory processes. The study was carried out in cooperation between the University of Eastern Finland, the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, Karolinska Institutet, and the University of Perugia. 

Fears for the elderly under new NHS drugs policy 

Charities urge rethink on plan which would only see new drugs licensed for NHS if judged to be a benefit to wider society amid fear elderly could lose out. New drugs would only be licensed for the NHS if they help those judged to be a benefit to wider society under proposals from the health watchdog. Pharmaceutical firms  warned that the move could lead to new medicines being denied to the elderly. 

Take a stand and be active to reduce chronic disease, make aging easier, research finds 

People who decrease sitting time and increase physical activity have a lower risk of chronic disease, according to Kansas State University research. Even standing throughout the day — instead of sitting for hours at a time — can improve health and quality of life while reducing the risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and colon cancer, among others. 

Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Pain in Fibromyalgia Sufferers 

Patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) typically have widespread chronic pain and fatigue. For those with low vitamin D levels, vitamin D supplements can reduce pain and may be a cost-effective alternative or adjunct to other treatment, say researchers in the current issue of PAIN®. 

Diet Beverages Not the Solution for Weight Loss 

Heavy adults who believe drinking diet soda will help them lose or keep weight off should think again. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who examined national patterns in adult diet beverage consumption and calorie intake found that overweight and obese adults who drink diet beverages consume more calories from food than obese or overweight adults who drink regular soda or other sugary beverages. The results are featured in the January 16 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. 

Using Progesterone for Hot Flashes Shown Safe for Women’s Cardiovascular Health 

Treatment with progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone that has been shown to alleviate severe hot flashes and night sweats in post-menopausal women, poses little or no cardiovascular risk, according to a new study by the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health. 

Heavy Drinking in Middle Age May Speed Memory Loss by Up to Six Years in Men 

Middle-aged men who drink more than 36 grams of alcohol, or two and a half US drinks per day, may speed their memory loss by up to six years later on, according to a study published in the January 15, 2014, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. On the other hand, the study found no differences in memory and executive function in men who do not drink, former drinkers and light or moderate drinkers. Executive function deals with attention and reasoning skills in achieving a goal. 

Theory Behind Popular Blood-Type Diet Debunked 

Researchers from the University of Toronto (U of T) have found that the theory behind the popular blood type diet–which claims an individual’s nutritional needs vary by blood type–is not valid. The findings are published this week in PLoS One. 

Fast Food Not the Major Cause of Rising Childhood Obesity Rates, Study Finds 

For several years, many have been quick to attribute rising fast-food consumption as the major factor causing rapid increases in childhood obesity. However a new study found that fast-food consumption is simply a byproduct of a much bigger problem: poor all-day-long dietary habits that originate in children’s homes. 

Take a Stand, Be Active to Reduce Chronic Disease, Make Aging Easier, Research Finds 

People who decrease sitting time and increase physical activity have a lower risk of chronic disease, according to Kansas State University research. 

Don’t Just Sit There! Prolonged Sitting Linked to Early Mortality in Women 

A woman’s body at rest will remain at rest — and that means health woes for older women.Led by Cornell University nutritional scientist Rebecca Seguin, a new study of 93,000 postmenopausal American women found those with the highest amounts of sedentary time — defined as sitting and resting, excluding sleeping — died earlier than their most active peers. The association remained even when controlling for physical mobility and function, chronic disease status, demographic factors and overall fitness — meaning that even habitual exercisers are at risk if they have high amounts of idle time. 

Vision and Multitasking: Brain Can Perform More Than One Function Without Sacrificing Time or Accuracy 

Many studies suggest that pushing your brain to multitask — writing emails, for instance, while watching the day’s latest news and eating breakfast — leads to poorer performance and lower productivity. But for at least one everyday task — visual sampling (the act of picking up bits of visual information through short glances) — multitasking is not a problem for the brain. A collaboration between researchers at the UC Santa Barbara and the University of Bristol in the UK has shown that during visual sampling, the brain can handle various visual functions simultaneously.

Walgreens’ ‘Secret Checklist’ for Pain Meds

An investigation by an Indianapolis television station has uncovered new details about a “secret checklist” used by Walgreens’ pharmacists to screen prescriptions for opioid pain medicines. The mandatory checklist has been in place for several months and has led to many delays or outright denials in getting prescriptions for painkillers filled.

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