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Roundup: HealthNews RoundUp - 1st Week of January, 2020


Hands-Only CPR Can Save Lives-Reprise



Every year, more bystanders are saving lives by applying CPR.  The latest Swedish study emphasizes that pushing on the chest alone without also breathing for the patient using either mouth-to-mouth or a breathing tube can save just as many lives.


The Swedes reviewed more than 30,000 cardiac arrest patients and showed that those lucky 68% that received CPR of any type from bystanders were twice as likely to survive the first 30 days following the incident.  The statistics showed that chest compressions alone can be very effective.  There was no outstanding benefit for those who also received rescue breathing as well as chest compressions.


If you find someone on the ground without a pulse, call 911.  Then begin chest compressions at about two per second.  


Check to see if you can remove any obstructing material from the victim’s mouth.  If you are capable of adding rescue breaths, do so.  If not, keep up the chest compressions until the EMTs arrive.


Gabriel Riva, Mattias Ringh, Martin Jonsson, Leif Svensson, Johan Herlitz, Andreas Claesson, Therese Djärv, Per Nordberg, Sune Forsberg, Sten Rubertsson, Anette Nord, Mårten Rosenqvist, Jacob Hollenberg. Survival in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest After Standard Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or Chest Compressions Only Before Arrival of Emergency Medical Services: Nationwide Study During Three Guideline Periods. Circulation, 2019; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.038179


#cpr #chestcompression #rescuebreathing #mouthtomouth #cardiacarrest

cpr, chestcompression, rescuebreathing, mouthtomouth, cardiacarrest



Dirtiest Air During Evening Commute-Reprise



If you bicycle or walk home from work, go out of your way to use the side streets.  Urban scientists at England’s University of Surrey collaborated with colleagues in England, the Netherlands, and Brazil to measure air pollution during the morning and evening commutes.


The scientists studied black carbon levels in these 3 cities on both the most heavily trafficked routes and on alternative byways.  The data revealed twice has high pollution levels on the main routes in all three cities.  In London, the levels of toxic carbon were twice as high in the evening as they were in the morning.


If you don’t fancy sucking carbon monoxide and diesel dust during your commute, walk and cycle on the less-traveled routes.  Those streets are also safer for you overall.  If you do drive, keep your windows and sunroofs closed.


Veronika Sassen Brand, Prashant Kumar, Aline Santos Damascena, John P. Pritchard, Karst T. Geurs, Maria de Fatima Andrade. Impact of route choice and period of the day on cyclists' exposure to black carbon in London, Rotterdam and São Paulo. Journal of Transport Geography, 2019; 76: 153 DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2019.03.007


#pollution #commuting #london #rotterdam #sãopaulo #bicycling #walking

Pollution, commuting, london, rotterdam, sãopaulo, bicycling , walking



Heavy Drinking Stops Brain Growth-Reprise



Chugging those 6 packs and downing those jelly shots depresses the growth of the developing brain.  The skyrocketing alcohol consumption by teens and young adults may well be sapping the collective brainpower of our country.


Neuroscientists at the Oregon Health and Science University studied this phenomenon in 71 rhesus monkeys allowed to binge on alcoholic beverages and monitored for brain growth using MRI scans.  The study found that the equivalent of 4 beers per day on a consistent basis reduced brain growth and development by 0.25 milliliters per year.


This adverse effect of a young person’s brain development and likely their powers of thought and problem-solving can be added to the other dangers of alcohol abuse.  These are: liver rotting, stomach ulcers, and all those goes along with serious substance addiction.  


If you find that your teen is drinking more than occasionally, and you will have to actively look, intervene to get them the help they need.


Tatiana A. Shnitko, Zheng Liu, Xiaojie Wang, Kathleen A. Grant, Christopher D. Kroenke. Chronic alcohol drinking slows brain development in adolescent and young adult non-human primates. eneuro, 2019; ENEURO.0044-19.2019 DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0044-19.2019


#alcoholism #teens #dementia #ulcer #cirrhosis

alcoholism, teens, dementia, ulcer, cirrhosis



Flossing Helps Prevent Dementia-Reprise



Keeping your gums healthy may help you maintain a sharp mind as well as a full set of teeth throughout your life.  A study from the University of Louisville’s dental school shows that a bacterium that frequently causes gingivitis and periodontitis can travel to your brain and help to trigger your mental decline.


The nasty bug in question is Porphyromonas gingivalis.  The researchers demonstrated the genetic fingerprints of the bacterium and its characteristic toxin in the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients.  In a parallel mouse experiment, they showed that migration of this bacterium from gum to brain can be halted with agents that block the bacterium’s toxins.   When this blockage is successful, the rodents fail to develop mental deterioration.


The investigators start that studies are now underway to test such blocking drugs in Alzheimer’s patients to see if their disease progression may be stopped or slowed.  Even before such a drug is available, you can help yourself now by eliminating the P. Gingivalis bacteria from your gums.  


That task is as simple as brushing, flossing, or water flossing regularly and by having professional dental cleanings once or twice a year.


Experimental Biology. "Gum bacteria implicated in Alzheimer's and other diseases: Scientists trace path of bacterial toxins from the mouth to the brain and other tissues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2019.


#gingivitis #periodontitis #dementia #alzheimers

gingivitis, periodontitis, dementia, alzheimers



Medical Applications For Marijuana-Reprise



Medical marijuana now legal  in 33 states and the District of Columbia, and many of you probably have questions about its uses.  I came cross this excellent article published this week in the British Medical Journal, and I want to pass it on.   


The article reviews the available types of medicinal but also non-medicinal cannabis products and by-products, both natural and synthetic.  It reviews how these products may be helpful or harmful to you and for which illnesses they may be effective.


Just to give you a taste of the information, one table lists detailed information about the prescription medicinal products including the natural derivatives Sativex, Epidiolex, Bedrocan, Tilray, the synthetics Dronabinol, Nabilone, and the non-medicinals CBD oil, White Widow, and Spice.  Another table reviews the evidence for effectiveness of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting.


If you have an interest in the medical uses for weed, do check this reference.


Freeman Tom P, Hindocha Chandni, Green Sebastian F, Bloomfield Michael A P. Medicinal use of cannabis based products and cannabinoids BMJ 2019; 365 :l1141. doi:


#cannabis #medicalmarijuana #sativex #epidiolex #bedrocan #tilray #dronabinol #nabilone #cbdoil #whitewidow #spice #pain #epilepsy #cancer #ms


cannabis, medicalmarijuana, sativex, epidiolex, bedrocan, tilray, dronabinol, nabilone, cbdoil, whitewidow, spice, pain, epilepsy, cancer, ms



Teen Screen Time May Not Be Harmful-Reprise



The debate continues!  The latest multi-country study of nearly 18,000 kids in England, Ireland, and the US analyzed the effect of screen time on adolescent well-being.  When the data were tabulated, no negative effects could be found.


The University of Oxford investigators looked at the duration of screen time and its proximity to bedtime.  They scrutinized the impact of time with digital devices on adolescent overall well-being, self-esteem, psychosocial functioning, mood, and frank depressive symptoms.


Using best practice methodological and statistical techniques, the conclusion is that screen time is not harmful to teens.  Even this conclusion does not invalidate the universal advice that moderation is always the best policy.  Overwhelming numbers of screen time hours rob children of other opportunities in the real world, and they limit vital time for physical activity.


 Amy Orben, Andrew K. Przybylski. Screens, Teens, and Psychological Well-Being: Evidence From Three Time-Use-Diary Studies. Psychological Science, 2019; 095679761983032 DOI: 10.1177/0956797619830329


#screentime #adolescence #teens #bedtime #activity

screentime, adolescence, teens, bedtime, activity



Gluten-Free Restaurant Danger-Reprise



So you have celiac disease, the most severe form of gluten sensitivity, and exposure to the wheat protein can make you terribly sick.  You avoid any wheat products at home, and you carefully choose restaurants that certify their food to be gluten-free.  Just how good is their certification.


Not very good say studies just published by gastroenterologists at Columbia med school and the NY Presbyterian Hospital.  Their data comes from users of the Nima Gluten Sensor that diners can use to self-test food labeled as gluten free.  In a review of more than 5600 tests by some 800 users over 18 months, gluten was detected in 53% of gluten-free pizza, 51% of gluten-free. pasta, 27% of breakfasts, 29% of lunches, and 34% of dinners.


Here’s the catch: the device is extremely sensitive detecting gluten levels as low as 5 to 10 parts per million (ppm).  In the US, food certified as gluten-free can contain up to 20 ppm, and less than that may not be clinically significant.


Still, the data is sobering, and the byword is buyer beware.  If you have celiac disease and dine out, be certain that your server and also the manager know you must have gluten-free food, check that the restaurant has separate fryers for gluten-free foods, and keep your order simple trying to avoid foods that may be contaminated with gluten.


Benjamin A. Lerner, Lynn T. Phan Vo, Shireen Yates, Andrew G. Rundle, Peter H.R. Green, Benjamin Lebwohl. Detection of Gluten in Gluten-Free Labeled Restaurant Food. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000000202


#celiac #gluten #glutenfree #wheat #restaurant

celiac, gluten, glutenfree, wheat, restaurant



E-Cigs May Cause Seizures-Reprise



The FDA has just issued a special warning that some e-cigarette users have developed seizures.  Nicotine toxicity can lower a persons seizure threshold.


Seizures have previously only been reported in cases of accidental e-cigarette liquid ingestion.  Now case reports are coming in where seizures are occurring in those vaping for the first time but also in more experienced users.  Convulsions may occur after only a few puffs but may also be delayed up to one day.


If you or someone you know has experienced a seizure in association with e-cigarette use, report the details immediately to both your doctor and to the FDA through their safety reporting portal:


#vaping #ecigarettes #seizure #nicotine

vaping, ecigarettes, seizure, nicotine



Sugar Rush Is A Myth-Reprise



Does sugar really turbocharge you and improve your mood?  A study by British and German psychologists just published in Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews says absolutely not.


The researchers performed a meta-analysis of 31 studies covering nearly 1300 adults.  The investigations looked at how the quantity and type of sugar ingested affected alertness, fatigue, mood, anger, and depression.


When the numbers were crunched, the conclusions reached were:

Sugar does not elevate your mood.

Sugar makes most people less alert.

Sugar makes you more tired and fatigued.


So if you are looking for a way to energize yourself in order to complete that project, thesis, term paper, or your review for that exam, forget about sugaring up.  Instead, you might try that cocoa-caffeine cocktail I described awhile back.


Konstantinos Mantantzis, Friederike Schlaghecken, Sandra I. Sünram-Lea, Elizabeth A. Maylor. Sugar Rush or Sugar Crash? A Meta-Analysis of Carbohydrate Effects on Mood. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.03.016


#sugar #mood #energy #fatigue #alertness

sugar, mood, energy, fatigue, alertness



Improve Your Mood In 12 Short Minutes-Reprise



Since we just learned that sugar will not sweeten your mood, we look to psychologists from the Iowa State University to provide an alternative to a Hershey bar or a glass of sangria.  They just published a study in the Journal of Happiness Studies that suggests a very good alternative.


The researchers had groups of college students test 3 potentially mood-elevating techniques as they walked around campus eyeballing passersby for 12 minute sessions.  A loving-kindness group made wishes to themselves that the people they saw would be happy.  A second interconnectedness group looked at others and tried to imaging how they might be interconnected in some way.  The third group made downward social comparisons thinking how much better off they were than those they saw.  A control group merely looked at the passersby objectively noting what they were wearing.


Twelve minutes of thinking kind thoughts about people had a therapeutic effect, even on those with narcissistic tendencies.   Expressing concerns for others, even only internally, increases happiness, reduces anxiety, and generates feels of positive social connections.


Douglas A. Gentile, Dawn M. Sweet, Lanmiao He. Caring for Others Cares for the Self: An Experimental Test of Brief Downward Social Comparison, Loving-Kindness, and Interconnectedness Contemplations. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2019 DOI: 10.1007/s10902-019-00100-2


#mood #happiness #lovingkindness #psychology #anxiety

mood, happiness, lovingkindness, psychology, anxiety

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