Antibiotics destroy immune cells and worsen infection – Study

 

New research shows that the body’s own microbes are effective in maintaining immune cells and killing certain oral infections.

A team of Case Western Reserve University researchers found that antibiotics actually kill the  “good” bacteria keeping infection and inflammation at bay.

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Scientists have long known that overuse of antibiotics can do more harm than good. For example, overuse can cause antibiotic resistance. But research into this phenomenon in oral health was uncharted territory. Continue reading

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Righteous show in Las Vegas

My girlfriend and I just saw the Righteous Brothers perform at Harrah’s Casino Showroom in Las Vegas. I am guessing that, depending on your age, there are two possible reactions to that statement. First, really, I didn’t know they were still alive. How was the show? Second, who are the Righteous Brothers? The latter was the reaction of my girlfriend’s Millennial hairdresser.

IMG_5569 2.jpgGranted, they do go back a way. They were big between 1962 and 1971. Their hits include You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, Ebb Tide and Time of my life. If you weren’t around in the 1960’s you might have run across a couple of those songs in the films Dirty Dancing and Top Gun.

The duo were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

I have included videos from two of the films with their songs.

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Weekend funnies …

Sometimes it seems to me that times flies even when I’m not having fun. Anyway, it’s almost the weekend. Hope you have fun with these….

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Tony

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Even mild physical activity immediately improves memory function, study finds

As a senior, I consider this to be very good news.

People who include a little yoga or tai chi in their day may be more likely to remember where they put their keys. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and Japan’s University of Tsukuba found that even very light workouts can increase the connectivity between parts of the brain responsible for memory formation and storage.

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In a study of 36 healthy young adults, the researchers discovered that a single 10-minute period of mild exertion can yield considerable cognitive benefits. Using high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging, the team examined subjects’ brains shortly after exercise sessions and saw better connectivity between the hippocampal dentate gyrus and cortical areas linked to detailed memory processing.

Their results were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Continue reading

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Study finds 500 more genes that affect blood pressure

Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushed against the the wall of the arteries …

Over 500 new gene regions that influence people’s blood pressure have been discovered in the largest global genetic study of blood pressure to date, led by Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College London.

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Involving more than one million participants, the results more than triple the number of blood pressure gene regions to over 1,000 and means that almost a third of the estimated heritability for blood pressure is now explained.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease and was responsible for an estimated 7.8 million deaths worldwide in 2015. While lifestyle risk factors are relatively well-known and include obesity, smoking, alcohol and high salt-intake, high blood pressure is also highly heritable through genetics. Prior to this study however, the genetic architecture of blood pressure had not been well understood. Continue reading

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Neurotransmitters – Infographic

Just like Mark Twain said about the weather, “Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it.” That’s pretty much the case with neurotransmitters. I keep running across these various hard to remember names, but really can’t feel like I know them or can do anything about them. So, I thought you might find this infographic useful.

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Air pollution may be related to heightened dementia risk – Study

British researchers found that people exposed to increased levels of air pollution had 40 percent higher chances of developing dementia.

Air pollution is an established risk factor for heart disease/stroke and respiratory disease, but its potential role in neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia, isn’t as clear.

The researchers used carefully calculated estimates of air and noise pollution across Greater London to assess potential links with new dementia diagnoses.

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They looked at patient data on 131,000 Londoners aged 50 to 79, and based on their residential postcodes, the researchers estimated their yearly exposure to air pollutants. These were specifically nitrogen dioxide, fine particulate matter and ozone, as well as proximity to heavy traffic and road noise, using modelling methods validated with recorded measurements. Continue reading

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Cycling for the elderly – Video

I stumbled across this and thought it might interest you. As regular readers know I am a 78-year-old guy who lives in Chicago and rides his bike daily. I am most grateful for the ability to do just that. There are many seniors, perhaps someone in your family, who have lost some mobility. In the course of writing this blog I have become aware of just how damaging a sedentary lifestyle can be. I thought there were some interesting ideas expressed in the video (less than 3 minutes) which was produced by the BBC in Britain.

To read further on the effects of a sedentary lifestyle check out the following posts:

Combat that sedentary lifestyle with more movement – Harvard

Fitness over 50 – Overcoming a sedentary lifestyle – Harvard

A physiologic link between heart disease and a sedentary lifestyle

Exercise may help counter health risks of a sedentary lifestyle

Physical activity cuts heart disease risks for seniors – AHA

Tony

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I love my new MINI Cooper …

I was one of the thousands of folks who got a car crush on the MINI Cooper back in 2003 after The Italian Job movie came out and blew so many of us away. The car’s popularity was so great at the time that there was a six month wait for delivery if you ordered one new.

This is from the 2003 release of The Italian Job starring Charlize Theron and Mark Wahlberg

As I wrote in The MINI Kayaker, I didn’t own a car from 1977 to 2004. I live in downtown Chicago and can walk most places. There is also serviceable public transportation. I could ride my bike sometimes, take cabs or rent a car. One of the reasons I was able to retire at 60 is that I had not spent all that money on cars for so many years.

The movie poster was so much fun that PlayStation2 used it for their Italian Job game.

Getting back to my car crush, the first one I bought was a used 2003 Cooper. It was dark blue, like one of the Italian Job cars.

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Here is the first car I owned in over 20 years. My first MINI.

Over the next seven years, I would own one of each, a red and a white also, the other colors in the film. I bought the turbo-charged MINI Countryman SUV model in 2012. Continue reading

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Weekend funnies …

Happy Friday, everybody! I hope you have plans for a fun and healthy weekend. Here are some items I found that I hope will put you in a weekend mood.

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Tony

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About that aging brain …

They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but new research shows you can teach an old rat new sounds, even if the lesson doesn’t stick very long.

For the record I wrote a post on that damaging cliche about teaching old dogs new tricks. You can read it here – Of cats and dogs and cliches ….

Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) of McGill University examined the effects of aging on neuroplasticity in the primary auditory cortex, the part of the brain that processes auditory information. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to modify its connections and function in response to environmental demands, an important process in learning.

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Plasticity in the young brain is very strong as we learn to map our surroundings using the senses. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.

Plasticity in the young brain is very strong as we learn to map our surroundings using the senses. As we grow older, plasticity decreases to stabilize what we have already learned. This stabilization is partly controlled by a neurotransmitter called gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), which inhibits neuronal activity. This role of GABA was discovered by K.A.C. Elliot and Ernst Florey at The Neuro in 1956. Continue reading

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Talk like a Pirate Day

I hope this isn’t too late to wish you a Happy Talk like a Pirate Day.

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I couldn’t resist this one.

Tony

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The problem of obesity

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported

  – Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
– In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.
– 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.
– Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
– 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2016.
– Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.
– Obesity is preventable.

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What are obesity and overweight

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Continue reading

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Small molecule plays big role in weaker bones as we age

With age, expression of a small molecule that can silence others goes way up while a key signaling molecule that helps stem cells make healthy bone goes down, scientists report.

They have the first evidence in both mouse and human mesenchymal stem cells that this unhealthy shift happens, and that correcting it can result in healthier bone formation.

The small molecule is microRNA-141-3p and the signaling molecule is stromal-cell derived factor, or SDF-1, they report in the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences.

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“If you are 20 years old and making great bone, you would still have microRNA-141-3p in your mesenchymal stem cells. But when you are 81 and making weaker bone, you have a lot more of it,” says Dr. Sadanand Fulzele, bone biologist in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Restoring a more youthful balance could be a novel strategy for reducing age-associated problems likes osteoporosis and the impaired ability to heal bone breaks, says Fulzele, a corresponding author on the study. Continue reading

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Blueberries could help fight Alzheimer’s – ACS

The living longer phrase in my Diet, Exercise and Living Longer title assumes that one has his mental faculties intact. Having seen first hand the scourge of dementia, I don’t want any part of that if I can help it. Exercise is super for combating cognitive problems. Check out my Page – Important facts about your brain – (and exercise benefits) to learn more.

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The blueberry, already labeled a ‘super fruit’ for its power to potentially lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, also could be another weapon in the war against Alzheimer’s disease. New research being presented today further bolsters this idea, which is being tested by many teams. The fruit is loaded with healthful antioxidants, and these substances could help prevent the devastating effects of this increasingly common form of dementia, scientists report.

The researchers presented their work at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS. It featured more than 12,500 presentations on a wide range of science topics. Continue reading

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Weekend Funnies

Herewith the latest results of my web wanderings. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did finding them.

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This bird makes me laugh every time I watch it …

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Have a great weekend!

Tony

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