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Frivolous Friday …
Daily 11 minute brisk walk enough to reduce risk of early death – Cambridge
One in ten early deaths could be prevented if everyone managed at least half the recommended level of physical activity, say a team led by researchers at the University of Cambridge.
In a study published today in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the researchers say that 11 minutes a day (75 minutes a week) of moderate-intensity physical activity – such as a brisk walk – would be sufficient to lower the risk of diseases such as heart disease, stroke and a number of cancers.
Cardiovascular diseases – such as heart disease and stroke – are the leading cause of death globally, responsible for 17.9 million deaths per year in 2019, while cancers were responsible for 9.6 million deaths in 2017. Physical activity – particularly when it is moderate-intensity – is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and the NHS recommends that adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week.
To explore the amount of physical activity necessary to have a beneficial impact on several chronic diseases and premature death, researchers from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis, pooling and analyzing cohort data from all of the published evidence. This approach allowed them to bring together studies that on their own did not provide sufficient evidence and sometimes disagreed with each other to provide more robust conclusions.
In total, they looked at results reported in 196 peer-reviewed articles, covering more than 30 million participants from 94 large study cohorts, to produce the largest analysis to date of the association between physical activity levels and risk of heart disease, cancer, and early death.
Non-surgical treatment significantly reduces knee pain for adults
Genicular nerve radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment for knee pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee, and can significantly reduce pain, especially for adults who are 50 and older, according to new research to be presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology Annual Scientific Meeting in Phoenix. This is the first time a study has examined patient demographics, prior surgical history and other clinical characteristics that may predict the level of pain reduction after treatment.
“We know this treatment has clear benefits in reducing pain and improving the ability to do everyday activities for patients,” said Kaitlin Carrato, M.D., chief resident in interventional radiology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “But now that we know it’s particularly helpful for those over 50 years old, it may mean that those with chronic pain conditions, like arthritis, would benefit more from this treatment than patients suffering acute pain, such as an injury.”
Interventional radiologists perform genicular nerve radiofrequency ablation by image guidance to place probe needles next to the nerves of the knee that can send pain signals to the brain. The probes generate radio waves, creating a ball of heat to dull or destroy the pain nerve endings. These nerves do not control muscles or affect balance, making the procedure safe. Furthermore, patients leave with Band-Aids, not stitches. The treatment in other studies has been shown to last for approximately six months to up to two years.
Happy Pi Day!
Hope it isn’t too late to join in the Pi Day fun with this infographic. Since this is a special day seems a shame not to cerebrate.
I hope you enjoy a Byte or two.
To promote exercise, planners must look beyond cities
To encourage more active lifestyles, public health agencies recommend mixed-use neighborhoods and “complete” streets that are friendlier to walkers and bikers, but new Cornell University research finds that while those strategies increase physical activity, an urban bias limits their applicability in many parts of the country.
Planners in suburban and rural communities should focus more on promoting recreational programs, expanding transportation options and creating safer environments to help an aging population get more exercise, according to the researchers’ analysis of more than 1,300 U.S. counties and cities.
“These are things we can think about doing in any community,” said Mildred Warner, professor of global development and of city and regional planning. “If your community is investing in recreation and social activity, they’re more likely to address obesity and other problems linked to physical inactivity.”
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Study of green tea and other molecules uncovers new therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer’s
Researchers have discovered how a molecule found in green tea breaks apart tangles of the protein tau, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Based on this finding, the team identified other molecules that can also untangle tau and may be better drug candidates than the green tea molecule. Results from the NIA-funded study, published in Nature Communications, suggest that this approach may one day provide an effective strategy for treating Alzheimer’s.
In Alzheimer’s, tau abnormally sticks together in fibrous tangles that spread between brain cells, leading to cell death. The molecule epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) — the one found in green tea — is known to untangle these tau fibers. However, EGCG is not on its own an effective Alzheimer’s treatment because it cannot easily penetrate the brain and binds to many proteins other than tau, weakening its effect. Therefore, researchers wanted to find molecules that replicate the effects of EGCG but have better drug properties for treating Alzheimer’s.
Time to Spring Forward
At 2:00 o’clock this morning you needed to set your clock one hour ahead – spring forward – to participate in Daylight Savings Time. Some explanations for this practice include to help the harvest for farmers by providing more daylight working hours.
But, what does it mean to the rest of us non-agrarian folks?
Well, this morning if you are on a schedule, like catching an airplane or something, you lost an hour of sleep, so you may be somewhat sleep-deprived the rest of the day. This being Sunday, maybe you just slept in. If that is the case, you will start your day an hour later, but otherwise, no harm, no foul.
Later, however, we all will experience the magic of moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the afternoon – Daylight Savings. If you want to enjoy the outdoors, you now have an extra hour of daylight to do so.
As a health-oriented person, I welcome this daylight saving because I can now ride my bike later without having to deal with the dangers of darkness and street lights and reduced visibility.
If you are on the fence about what Daylight Savings Time means to you, let me suggest that you can now get out and enjoy a walk in the neighborhood or to the park and drink in some of nature’s wonders.
In January I posted an infographic listing six benefits of exercising in nature, they included: Fresh air has more oxygen; Greenscapes raise serotonin levels; Triggers primal regions of our brain and psyche; More sensory stimulation; Increases feelings of well-being and lowers depression and, finally, Sun exposure increases Vitamin D levels and helps optimize hormones.
Lastly, Gretchen Reynolds, writing in the NewYork Times said, “In a number of recent studies, volunteers have been asked to go for two walks for the same time or distance — one inside, usually on a treadmill or around a track, the other outdoors. In virtually all of the studies, the volunteers reported enjoying the outside activity more and, on subsequent psychological tests, scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked outside.”
So smile, things are looking up. You will have a brighter day today. I guarantee it (an extra hour of sunlight). At the very least, get out and go for a walk.
Head injuries could be a risk factor for developing brain cancer – UCL
Researchers from the University College London (UCL) Cancer Institute have provided important molecular understanding of how injury may contribute to the development of a relatively rare but often aggressive form of brain tumour called a glioma.
Previous studies have suggested a possible link between head injury and increased rates of brain tumors, but the evidence is inconclusive. The UCL team have now identified a possible mechanism to explain this link, implicating genetic mutations acting in concert with brain tissue inflammation to change the behavior of cells, making them more likely to become cancerous. Although this study was largely carried out in mice, it suggests that it would be important to explore the relevance of these findings to human gliomas.
The study was led by Professor Simona Parrinello (UCL Cancer Institute), Head of the Samantha Dickson Brain Cancer Unit and co-lead of the Cancer Research UK Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence. She said: “Our research suggests that a brain trauma may contribute to an increased risk of developing brain cancer in later life.”
Gliomas are brain tumors that often arise in neural stem cells. More mature types of brain cells, such as astrocytes, have been considered less likely to give rise to tumors. However, recent findings have demonstrated that after injury astrocytes can exhibit stem cell behavior again.
Time Marches on …
Lack of sleep will catch up to you in more ways than one – Harvard Gazette
“There’s no evidence that you can oversleep,” said the Medical School’s Elizabeth Klerman. “Unlike chocolate cake you can eat when you’re not hungry, there’s no evidence you can sleep when you’re not tired.”
Experts from Harvard, Columbia University, the University of Miami, and the University of Massachusetts detailed the health implications of sleep in a conversation with CNN health reporter Jacqueline Howard on Thursday at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“Sleep in many ways is associated with mortality — cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health, brain health, immune function, respiratory conditions, and cognitive function and performance,” said Azizi Seixas, an associate professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
He and other panelists explored the health risks of long-term sleep deprivation and the fundamental role sleep plays in memory. According to Rebecca Spencer, a professor of psychology and brain science at UMass, “When you sleep, you’re taking this movie of your day and you’re putting it on replay, and it’s this great mnemonic device. It’s a way to really solidify the memories that we formed during our day.”
Those memories might include noise and other disruptions, introducing a wider challenge: While getting enough rest is important for everyone, the world can get in the way. Panelists zeroed in on noise pollution, racial disparities in sleep, and how policy decisions can leave us tired and vulnerable.
“We know, for example, that marginalized communities and racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in neighborhoods with socioeconomic disadvantage,” said Carmela Alcántara, an associate professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work. “That can include neighborhoods that might have higher policing, neighborhoods that then have greater exposure to noise pollution, greater exposure to light pollution, and all these factors which we know impact short-term sleep and then can have these cascading long-term effects on sleep.”
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Exercising at least once a month linked to better brain function in later life – UCL
Exercising at least once a month at any time in adulthood is linked to better cognitive functioning in later life, a new study led by University College London (UCL) researchers has found.
The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry looked at data from 1,417 people who filled in surveys about their leisure-time physical activity (sports and exercise) over three decades and took cognitive tests at the age of 69.
The research team found that people who reported being physically active at least one to four times a month in five separate surveys, at the ages of 36, 43, 53, 60-64, and 69, had the biggest cognitive effect. This effect was greater than for those who reported exercising frequently (more than five times a month) during at least one survey period, but who did not necessarily keep this up across multiple surveys.
Lead author Dr Sarah-Naomi James (MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Aging at UCL) said: “Our study suggests that engaging in any leisure-time physical activity, at any point in adult life, has a positive effect on cognition. This seems to be the case even at light levels of activity, between once to four times a month. What’s more, people who have never been active before, and then start to be active in their 60s, also appear to have better cognitive function than those who were never active.
“The greatest cognitive effect was seen for those who stayed physically active throughout their life. The effect is accumulative, so the longer an individual is active, the more likely they are to have higher later-life cognitive function.”
Let’s Talk About Eating Disorders – Johns Hopkins
- 8 million Americans experience an eating disorder at some point in their lives.
- Eating disorders have the second highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders, surpassed only by opioid use disorder.
Source: National Eating Disorders Association
Eating disorders are behavioral conditions in which normal eating habits become disrupted and rewarded in an unhealthy way. They can affect a person’s physical and mental health, and often happen in combination with other psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety or substance use disorder.
Anyone can struggle with an eating disorder. It can occur in any age group, gender, ethnicity or racial group. Eating disorders appear to be caused by both genetic and environmental factors.
Alcohol Consumption May be Linked to Acceleration of Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60% to 80% of dementia cases, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. While current research suggests alcohol use disorder is a risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease, the impact alcohol use disorder has on Alzheimer’s disease pathology is an area of continued research.
In a new preclinical study, scientists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine showed that even modest amounts of alcohol can accelerate brain atrophy, which is the loss of brain cells, and increase the number of amyloid plaques, which are the accumulation of toxic proteins in Alzheimer’s disease.
The study appears in the February issue of Neurobiology of Disease.
Does drinking alcohol affect your dementia risk? – NPR
If you’re worried that drinking alcohol could raise the risk of dementia as you get older, a large new study from South Korea can provide some insights. That starts with the idea that in general, cutting down on alcohol is a good idea.
“Maintaining mild to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a decreased risk of dementia, whereas heavier drinking increases the risk of dementia,” the study’s first author, Dr. Keun Hye Jeon, told NPR.
One part of the study’s conclusions seems to have surprised many people: It found that while dropping from heavy to moderate alcohol consumption lowered the risk of dementia, so did the “initiation of mild drinking.”
Study sees a complex interaction of alcohol and health
“Those who drink alcohol within the recommended guidelines are not advised to stop on the grounds of reducing the risk of dementia,” Jeon said, “although cutting back on alcohol consumption may bring other health benefits.”
Compared to people who didn’t change their alcohol habits, Jeon and her colleagues found that two groups showed a heightened risk of dementia: drinkers who increased their consumption, and people who quit altogether.
“Quitters from any level of alcohol consumption showed higher risk of all-cause dementia compared with those who sustained the same level of drinking,” according to the research paper.
Much has been made of that aspect of the findings, as people try to parse whether it might represent a true cause and effect — and a possible new data point in their own decisions about drinking. But the researchers warn that the higher dementia risks of people who quit drinking in their study “are suspected to be primarily attributed to the sick quitter effect, which is defined as a person quitting (or reducing) a certain hazardous activity because of health issues.”
In other words, they may have quit drinking because their health worsened, rather than their health worsening because they quit drinking.
So, what can drinkers do to limit their risk of dementia?
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US neighborhood walkability influences physical activity, BMI levels – BU
A new study led by Boston University School of Public Health found that people in highly walkable neighborhoods were more likely to engage in adequate physical activity.
For the first time, a study examined perceived neighborhood walkability, physical activity, and obesity indicators on a national level, finding that people who lived in walkable neighborhoods were more likely to be physically active and have lower BMIs—but this association differed among Black, Hispanic, and Asian populations.
Three out of four adults do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity, which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. As obesity and related chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, and diabetes continue to rise in the US, a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher is examining how neighborhood walkability may influence physical activity and obesity rates.
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Frivolous Friday …
Welcome to March! Are you having fun yet? Hope these help….
Seeing is believing!
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