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Roundup: HealthNews RoundUp - 3rd Week of January, 2020


All-Nighters Extract A Stiff Price



The all-nighters you throw to complete that project or cram for that exam seem harmless, and you seem fine after a good subsequent sleep.  No so says a new Swedish study that shows sleep deprivation triggers deposits of the tau protein synonymous with Alzheimer’s disease.


The researchers studied 15 healthy Gen Z men who normally enjoyed a good night’s sleep of 7-9 hours.  The men had an 8.5 fold increase in cerebrospinal fluid tau protein after a all-nighter compared with restful sleep.


Tau protein increases also occur after the head trauma that we know leads to dementia.  This latest info suggests that sleepless nights may also be a form of brain abuse.


Christian Benedict, Kaj Blennow, Henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan Cedernaes. Effects of acute sleep loss on diurnal plasma dynamics of CNS health biomarkers in young men. Neurology, 2020; 10.1212/WNL.0000000000008866 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000008866


#allnighter #tau #alzheimers #dementia #CTE

allnighter, tau, alzheimers, dementia, CTE



Drink Tea To Live Long And Prosper



Regular tea drinkers live 26% longer than non-drinkers and have significantly lower risks of heart disease and stroke.  This from a Chinese study just published in the European Journal of Cardiology.


The investigation focuses on nearly 101,000 healthy middle-aged Chinese participants.  Regular tea drinkers have a 39% lower risk of any heart disease and stroke, a 56% lower risk of death from such diseases, and a 29% lower risk of death from any cause.


Polyphenol-rich green tea works the best as these antioxidants keep your lipids and blood pressure under control.  Buy and enjoy green tea regularly and you’ll toast others to a long life even longer.


Xinyan Wang, Fangchao Liu, Jianxin Li, Xueli Yang, Jichun Chen, Jie Cao, Xigui Wu, Xiangfeng Lu, Jianfeng Huang, Ying Li, Liancheng Zhao, Chong Shen, Dongsheng Hu, Ling Yu, Xiaoqing Liu, Xianping Wu, Shouling Wu, Dongfeng Gu. Tea consumption and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: The China-PAR project. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2020; 204748731989468 DOI: 10.1177/2047487319894685


#tea #greentea #heartdisease #stroke polyphenols #longevity

tea, greentea, heartdisease, stroke polyphenols, longevity



Sadness Triggers Smoking



Feeling down may be the root of your inability to stop smoking for good.  This the conclusion of Harvard researchers who reviewed a national survey of more nearly 11,000 persons but also conducted a detailed study of nearly 1300 locals and habitual smokers shown sad video clips.


Those in the national sample who rated themselves as sad tended to be smokers.  Those viewing the sad videos had greater tobacco cravings, more impatience to resume smoking, and inhaled more deeply than viewers of neutral videos.


To break the smoking habit, create happiness for yourself.  Do what you love.  Plan uplifting days. Be with positive people.  Love yourself .  Stop worrying.  Sing a happy yourself.



Charles A. Dorison, Ke Wang, Vaughan W. Rees, Ichiro Kawachi, Keith M. M. Ericson, Jennifer S. Lerner. Sadness, but not all negative emotions, heightens addictive substance use. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2019; 201909888 DOI: 10.1073/PNAS.1909888116


#smoking #tobacco #sadness #happiness

smoking, tobacco, sadness, happiness




Parents Can Brain-Sync With Babies



When adults enjoy play with infants, a bi-directional neural bond forms that creates an intensely rich interaction.  Neuroscientists at Princeton University explored this phenomenon by studying 18 children 9 to 15 months of age.


As the babies interacted with adults sharing toys, rhymes, and stories, their brain waves were recorded.   Child-adult brain linkage only occurred during face-to-face engagement, and the nature of coupling was surprising.  The babies’ pre-frontal executive zones were surprisingly active at a young age and led as well as followed the adult signals in dynamic ways.


To give your baby the proper start, put down your phone and focus on the interaction.  It’ll be good for you both.


Elise A. Piazza, Liat Hasenfratz, Uri Hasson, Casey Lew-Williams. Infant and Adult Brains Are Coupled to the Dynamics of Natural Communication. Psychological Science, 2019; 095679761987869 DOI: 10.1177/0956797619878698


#babies #parenting #communication

babies, parenting, communication



Virtual Reality Creates Real Injuries



Virtual gaming can provoke damaging shoulder fatigue, neck inflammation, and eye strain.  Oregon State University industrial engineers studied 20 male and female GenZ and millennial gamers for repetitive-type injuries as they pointed and painted in VR.


The gamers extended hands led to shoulder discomfort after only 3 minutes as well as later eye strain.  The Oculus Rift headset’s weight sparked annoying cervical spine distress..


The engineers recommend manipulating virtual objects close to your body and keeping visuals at eye level to the extent possible.  Lighter headsets will eventually help.


VR is expanding into healthcare, military, and training environments of all sorts.  Heed these pointers to protect yourself from weird ergonomic injuries.


Sai Akhil Penumudi, Veera Aneesh Kuppam, Jeong Ho Kim, Jaejin Hwang. The effects of target location on musculoskeletal load, task performance, and subjective discomfort during virtual reality interactions. Applied Ergonomics, 2020; 84: 103010 DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2019.103010


#vr #virtualreality #repetitiveinjury #shoulderfatigue #eyestrain #cervicalarthritis

vr, virtualreality, repetitiveinjury, shoulderfatigue, eyestrain, cervicalarthritis




A Meat-Eating Majority Favors  Plant-Based Food But…..



A British survey of some 1000 millennial men and women shows that most like the concept of reducing meat consumption but find it inconvenient. 


Seventy-three percent think eating plant-based food is more ethical, 70% rate it more environmentally-beneficial, and 50% consider it healthier.  However, up to 80% feel it takes too much effort and 60% rate it unenjoyable.


Every year the push to boost plant-based diets around the world begins in “Veganuary.”  It should be more successful year after year since the 4 season availability of fruits and vegetables is now joined by plant-based meat substitutes like Impossible beef, pork, and fish.  Get aboard!


Christopher J. Bryant. We Can’t Keep Meating Like This: Attitudes towards Vegetarian and Vegan Diets in the United Kingdom. Sustainability, 2019; 11 (23): 6844 DOI: 10.3390/su11236844


#plantbasedfood #vegan #veganuary #greendiet

plantbasedfood, vegan, veganuary, greendiet




Air Pollution May Be Driving Us Crazy



Those with increased exposures to urban air pollution in the form of nitrogen dioxide are a greater risk for developing schizophrenia.  This conclusion comes from a Danish study of more than 23,000 men and women just published in JAMA Network Open.


Those children exposed to higher levels of air pollution from birth to 10 years of age were significantly more likely to develop develop schizophrenia later in life.  Their predisposition was only mildly impacted by a genetic history.


Cancer, suffocating lung disease, and nasty infections already top the list of adverse consequences we face when we disrespect Mother Earth.  Now we should add mental illness to that list and vigorously protect our environment.


Horsdal HT, Agerbo E, McGrath JJ, et al. Association of Childhood Exposure to Nitrogen Dioxide and Polygenic Risk Score for Schizophrenia With the Risk of Developing Schizophrenia. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(11):e1914401. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.14401


#schizophrenia #airpollution #genetics

schizophrenia, airpollution, genetics



How To Battle Loneliness



Loneliness is one of the big three that will kill you.  The other two are smoking and obesity.  A newly published study from UC-San Diego outlines the causes and cures for loneliness.


The researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 30 older adults, and pinpointed 2 causes of loneliness and one effective remedy.  Loss is the primary trigger for loneliness.  Loss of family, friends, a job all take a toll.  Then, the loneliness is exacerbated by a lack of purpose in life.


The chief cure is perspective and the wisdom to focus on new friends and pursuits.  Bond with new allies and begin activities to help others, and you’ll never be lonely at any age. 


Alejandra Morlett Paredes, Ellen E. Lee, Lisa Chik, Saumya Gupta, Barton W. Palmer, Lawrence A. Palinkas, Ho-Cheol Kim, Dilip V. Jeste. Qualitative study of loneliness in a senior housing community: the importance of wisdom and other coping strategies. Aging & Mental Health, 2020; 1 DOI: 10.1080/13607863.2019.1699022


#loneliness #longevity #friends #purpose #charity 

loneliness, longevity, friends, purpose, charity



Processed Food Sparks The Obesity Epidemic



Look no further than the corner convenience store for the cause of an obesity wave now sweeping our nation killing boomers and millennials.  A George Washington University review article now reports the causes.


Highly processed meats, snacks, and desserts contain emulsifiers that harm gut bacteria, raise blood sugar, and cause overeating.  Real food including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables support normal metabolism.  As a result, those consuming Mediterranean-style diets live longer.


Improve your chances for a healthy life by consuming fresh produce with an emphasis on that which is plant-based.  Skip convenience stores and shop the supermarket periphery rather than the processed food-laden aisles.


Janese Laster, Leigh A. Frame. Beyond the Calories—Is the Problem in the Processing? Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology, 2019; 17 (4): 577 DOI: 10.1007/s11938-019-00246-1


#processedfood #obesity #conveniencestore #emulsifiers

processedfood, obesity, conveniencestore, emulsifiers




Mindfulness Neutralizes Fear



Mindfulness training with a smartphone app can effectively suppress a conditioned fear reaction.  A Scandinavian collaborative study of 26 predominately female subjects 35 yrs of age on average employed the Headspace meditation app to deliver mindfulness exercises.


The experimental fear trigger was a mild electric shock in association with an associated image.  Fear was measured by induced sweat.


Those participants finishing the mindfulness training effectively extinguished their fears.  The controls did not.


Fear is a leading cause of human immobilization.  Many fail to achieve because they are afraid to try.  The Headspace mindfulness app is readily available on the Apple and Android app stores.  This study suggests it can suppress your fears and unlock your potential.


Björkstrand, J., Schiller, D., Li, J. et al. The effect of mindfulness training on extinction retention. Sci Rep 9, 19896 (2019)


#fear #mindfulness #success

fear, mindfulness, success



Proton Beam Bests Conventional Radiotherapy



Focused protons kill cancers with fewer side effects and unplanned hospitalizations to treat complications.  A new study from the University of Pennsylvania reviewed data on nearly 1500 cancer patients with a variety of tumors undergoing simultaneous radiation and chemotherapy.


Those receiving proton beam suffered 42% fewer side effects and two-thirds less severe toxicity than those given external beam radiation.  Of most importance, both groups experienced similar disease-free and overall survivals.


If you’re a cancer patient facing radiotherapy, don’t be afraid to ask your doctors whether proton beam would be an appropriate alternative to conventional external beam radiation.  If your local facility doesn’t offer it, try to find another close by that does. 


#Protonbeam #externalbeam #radiationtherapy

Protonbeam, externalbeam, radiationtherapy




Chili Peppers May Extend Your Life



Regularly eating hot peppers reduces deaths due to cardiovascular disease by over 40% and deaths from strokes by over 60%.  An Italian study just published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology followed nearly 23,000 men and women tabulating their eating habits and serious disease over more than an 8 year follow up.


Chili pepper eaters had 61% fewer stroke deaths, 44% fewer heart attack deaths, and 33% fewer deaths from any cause.  Despite these very positive findings, the researchers dissuade us from wolfing down hot chili peppers or pouring tabasco sauce on all our food.


Instead, they urge us to adopt the predominately plant-based low-fat Mediterranean diet.


Marialaura Bonaccio, Augusto Di Castelnuovo, Simona Costanzo, Emilia Ruggiero, Amalia De Curtis, Mariarosaria Persichillo, Claudio Tabolacci, Francesco Facchiano, Chiara Cerletti, Maria Benedetta Donati, Giovanni de Gaetano, Licia Iacoviello, on behalf of the Moli-sani Study Investigators

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019 Dec, 74 (25) 3139-3149.DOI:


#Chilipeppers #hotsauce #heartdisease #stroke #mediterraneandiet

Chilipeppers, hotsauce, heartdisease, stroke, mediterraneandiet 




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