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RoundUp - 1st Week of June 2024 






Binge-eating Disorders Can Last Years 



Nearly two-thirds of binge eaters continued to suffer from this dangerous disorder 2.5 years after the initial diagnosis and about half of them still have it 5 years later.  Harvard psychologists at the McLean Hospital followed 137 adults in the community suffering from this disorder over a 5 year period.


Previous retrospective studies, most of young women, had shown that those with this most prevalent American eating disorder either recovered from it much faster or had it linger much longer.  In this prospective study, subjects of both gender with ages from 19 to 74 were seen at 2.5 and 5 years.  It demonstrates that 61 percent of them had uncontrollable eating habits at the first visit and that an additional 23 percent had abnormal eating patterns that failed to meet the strict criteria for binging.  At 5 years those numbers were 45 percent an additional 33 percent.  Most discouraging was the observation that 35 percent of those in remission at 2.5 years had relapsed by 5 years.


Big problem.  From 3.4 to 10 million Americans are suffering from a binge eating disorder as we speak.


#binge #eatingdisorder #harvard #psychology

binge, eatingdisorder, harvard, psychology



Junk Food Keeps You Up At Night



That junk food you wolf down during the day increases your chances of a wakeful night by up to 9%.  Doesn’t sound like much, but it can be the difference between a good night of uninterrupted sleep and lots of tossing and turning.


French investigators at the Sorbonne surveyed 38,570 subjects with an average age of 50 years about their sleep and eating habits.  Almost one in every five suffered from insomnia and 16% of the group’s dietary intake consisted of ultra-processed food (UPF).


The data showed that even a 10% increase in dietary junk food led to a 9% greater risk of insomnia for the males snd a 5% greater risk for females.  Both increases were statistically significant.


What are the junk foods we’re talking about?  Sugary breakfast cereals, flavored potato chips, fried chicken, frozen blended coffee drinks, energy drinks, artificially flavored cheese crackers, sugary granola bars, and sodas.  A diet of these will not only interrupt your nightly sleep but will also help guarantee that you will get to that eternal sleep that much sooner.


In another study, sHarvard researchers, studying 114,000 subjects, found that ultra-processed breakfast cereals increase your risk of dying by as much as 7% while sugar-sweetened drinks increase your risk of early death as much as 12%.


#junkfood #ultraprocesseddfood #insomnia #mortality

junkfood, ultraprocesseddfood, insomnia, mortality



Should a Resident Help Do Your Kid’s Tonsil Surgery?



 While many parents of children entering a university teaching hospital for a tonsillectomy will say, “ I don’t want a student involved in my child’s surgery,” they would be making the wrong choice since the answer is YES.  A University of Buffalo study now shows that children having their tonsils removed are 40% more less likely to require an urgent post-op ER visit if a resident takes part in the surgery.


The researchers reviewed the cases of 2,051 children having tonsillectomies.  Those kids who had a resident take part in their operations were 42% less likely to require an emergency visit later on.  Even more interesting: the rate of post-op bleeding, the most dreaded tonsillectomy complication, was the same whether or not a resident took part.  Only age was a factor in such bleeding with older patients experiencing more.


If your child’s surgeon plans to include a trainee, the best bet is to welcome that young doctor to the team.  Remember that residents are in training to learn techniques from their attending.  When I and most of my colleagues operate with residents, we instruct the trainee to perform the procedure exactly as we would.  If they stray from our roadmap, we take over.


#tonsillectomy #resident #bleeding #ERvisit 

tonsillectomy, resident, bleeding, ERvisit 



A Ketogenic Diet Helps Psychiatric Illnesses



The high fat dietary therapy that has successfully controlled difficult-to-manage childhood epilepsy improves the symptoms of those with schizophrenia and bipolar disease.   Psychiatric researchers at Stanford University conducted a pilot study of the diet in 23 subjects, 5 of whom suffered from schizophrenia and 16 of whom suffered from a bipolar disorder.  All were already receiving appropriate medicinal management.


Overall, 79% of the entire group on the ketogenic diet showed marked symptomatic improvement.  Those most adherent to the diet enjoyed a 92% improvement while those semi-adherent enjoyed a 50% improvement demonstrating a type of dose-response phenomenon.  For those with bipolar disease, 88% achieved marked improvement if diet-adherent while 60% improved if semi-adherent.  For those with schizophrenia, the diet triggered only a 32% improvement.


This pilot study suggests that adding a ketogenic diet to standard psychiatric pharmacotherapy improves disease control and symptom relief.


#psychiatry #ketogenicdiet #schizophrenia #bipolar #pharmacotherapy

psychiatry, ketogenicdiet, schizophrenia, bipolar, pharmacotherapy



Preeclampsia A Risk For Later Dementia


Preeclampsia is marked by escalating and dangerous levels of high blood pressure with kidney, liver, and brain toxicity.  Women experiencing it at the completion of their pregnancies are 2.6 times more likely to develop dementia over the following decade.  French researchers report this startling association following their study of nearly 2 million pregnant women over the age of 30.


The risk of early-onset dementia was the highest for those women with previous hypertension, 4.8 fold higher, and for those developing preeclampsia before 34 weeks of gestation.


We already know that elevated blood pressures lead to brain damage in the form of strokes, but this study suggests that, even short of catastrophic paralysis and loss of higher brain function, high pressures drive more subtle cerebral dysfunction that relatively quickly manifests itself as dementia.


All prregnant women should monitor their own blood pressures at home to insure that the blood feeding their brains is arriving at acceptable and safe pressure levels.


#pregnancy #preeclampsia #dementia

pregnancy, preeclampsia, dementia







Infrared Light Therapy Boosts Traumatized Brains’ Connectivity


Exposure to near infrared light from a helmet just after a moderate traumatic brain injury increases the connectivity between brain regions.  This the conclusion of a small, pilot study at Harvard’s Mass General Hospital.  A total of 17 patients received three 20 minute treatments over 36 hours with a Photomedex helmet emitting low-level 810 nm near-infrared light.  Twenty one control patients received sham treatments wearing helmets with lights turned off.  Near-infrared light capably penetrates the scalp and skull bones to reach brain matter.  


The data revealed that light therapy increased brain connectivity as measured by functional MRI during the acute to early-subacute phases of recovery.  However, this effect waned as time wore on.  Furthermore, this limited light light treatment did not impact functional outcome. 


Larger studies with repeated light therapy sessions are planned.  Hopefully, these light helmets will hasten the recovery of traumatic brain injury patients…. Sometime soon.


#tbi #nearinfrared #photomedex #connectivity #braintrauma

tbi, nearinfrared, photomedex, connectivity, braintrauma



Bowel Germs Might Help Cure HIV



E. coli, the same family of bacteria that lives in all of our large bowels and sometimes leads to serious infections, can be genetically transformed to create a vaccine against the dreaded HIV virus that causes AIDS.  Swedish microbiologists have successfully utilized the CRISPR-cas9 editing technique to add an HIV genetic sequence to the genome of a benign E. coli species that creates HIV antigens on that bacteria’s surface.  


This HIV-E. coli bacterium was shown to be antigenic by reacting it with known human anti-HIV antibodies.  Most importantly, these would be vaccine bacteria could be grown in large quantities and still retain their antigenicity. 


Once these these HIV-bacteria are shown to induce anti-HIV antibodies in experimental animals and then in humans, they will become the basis for a pill-form HIV vaccine lives in the bowels and continuously triggers the production of HIV-killing antibodies.  Let’s hope that happens….. someday soon.


#ecoli #HIV #vaccine #antibodies #geneediting #crisprcas9

ecoli, HIV, vaccine, antibodies, geneediting, crisprcas9








Those Without Heart Disease Should NOT Take Fish Oil



Fish oil supplements have been recommended for patients with known heart disease. As a result, 1 in every 5 Americans over age 60, even those without a history of cardiac problems, are regularly consuming fish oil in various forms.  Problem is that these supplements turn out to be harmful to those without known heart disease.


Chinese epidemiologists collaborating with British and Swedish cardiologists found that those without known heart disease taking fish oil had a greater risk of developing atrial fibrillation and stroke.  The risk for AF is 13% to as high as 17% and the risk for stroke is 5% to as high as 11%.


If you’ve been taking fish oil and DON’T have heart disease, speak with your medical team about stopping this supplement.


#fishoil #cardiac #atrialfibrillation #stroke

fishoil, cardiac, atrialfibrillation, stroke



Late Night Eating May Trigger Bowel Cancer



Eating within 3 hours of bedtime makes you 46% more likely to develop colon adenomatous polyps that can be pre-cancerous lesions in 5-10% of cases.  This from Chicago’s Rush University Medical College investigators who surveyed 664 colonoscopy patients.


The data showed that late eaters were 5.5 fold more likely than those avoiding any but early evening meals to have 3 or more of these pre-cancerous polyps.


The take home point: don’t be regularly wolfing down your evening meal 3 or fewer hours before hitting the sack.  Not only will your bowels thank you, but so too will your esophagus.  You will be less likely to suffer from reflux-associated heartburn if your stomach has plenty of time to empty..


#latenighteating #colon #polyps #colorectalcancer #gerd

latenighteating, colon, polyps, colorectalcancer, gerd










MR Imaging Is Coming To The Bedside



Magnetic resonance scanners are typically huge, heavy, and expensive machines.  The typical commercial units occupy an entire room, weigh 6 to 13 tons, and cost north of $1 million.  Now the Hyperfine company has received FDA clearance to further develop its Swoop scanner, a portable so-called low power unit that can be brought to a patient’s room or the operating room to image the head and brain.  It could cost as little as $50-100,000 and weigh about 3,000 lbs, or one-quarter to one-eighth of a standard MR scanner.


These little, portable scanners have lower powered magnets in the 0.05 Tesla range compared with the current 3 Tesla machines.  The lower power yields a lower resolution image, but the power of artificial intelligence can beef up the image to yield clinically-valuable information in a timely fashion.


#MR #magneticresonance #lowpower #bedside

MR, magneticresonance, lowpower, bedsideMR



A Computer Simulation of Your Body



This technology has at least 3 applications. Drug manufacturers wanting to pre-estimate clinical effectiveness and side effects of new medications.  Medical device manufacturers wishing to see how a new cardiac valve or hip prosthesis might fare in the body.  Contract research organizations looking for guidance as they design and implement clinical trials for another company.  These are all potential clients for Spain’s ELEM Biotech.  ELEM uses high-powered computers to create mathematical models of the human body and its organs.  ELEM technology can predict drug distribution using a novel delivery system and blood flow patterns through a cardiac valve prothesis.  This information is invaluable to companies developing products and can spare patients predictable risks and disastrous outcomes that could occur during a clinical trial.  


Another example of a riff on DuPont’s classic slogan: better living through computing.


#ELEM #computer #mathematicalmodels #simulation #pharma #prosthetics #clinicaltrials

ELEM, computer, mathematicalmodels, simulation, pharma, prosthetics, clinicaltrials


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