Tag Archives | Health

Cause of regression in individuals with Down syndrome identified

Ellen van Deelen (CC BY 2.0)

Ellen van Deelen (CC BY 2.0)

University of Missouri-Columbia via EurekAlert:

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Down syndrome, the most common chromosomal disorder in America, can be complicated by significant deterioration in movement, speech and functioning in some adolescents and young adults. Physicians previously attributed this regression to depression or early-onset Alzheimer’s, and it has not responded to treatments. Now, a researcher at the University of Missouri has found that Catatonia, a treatable disorder, may cause regression in patients with Down syndrome. Individuals with regressive Down syndrome who were treated for Catatonia showed improvement, the researcher found.

“Our findings are important for young people with Down syndrome, autism and probably other neurodevelopmental disorders,” said Judith Miles, professor emerita in the MU School of Medicine and researcher with the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. “Until recently, Catatonia was felt to be just a complication of schizophrenia; however, it now is known that Catatonia is a common neuropsychiatric disorder that complicates many types of brain disorders.

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Music As Medicine

“Biometric trackers are helping scientists tap into the body’s response to songs and sound,” suggesting there is a way to measure whether or not music can function as medicine, reports the Atlantic:

“Because you listened to Drake, how about Future next?”

Sinnliche Töne [Explored]

Photo: Tekke (CC)

 

Pandora, Spotify, and other music-streaming services try to predict what users might like to listen to, based on their tastes and what’s popular with people near them. People make playlists for certain moods and activities—going to the gym, going to bed. But imagine if those apps could predict exactly which song would be best to help you focus, or to slow your heart rate after a run. (“You seem stressed. How about Sigur Ros?”) And if technology could predict how music affects the body, could it suggest music to treat symptoms of a disease?

That idea is the basis of The Sync Project, a new company based in Boston.

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The Cult Of Healthy Eating Is More Religion Than Science

Horace Fletcher 1.jpg

Horace Fletcher, the “Great Masticator”

I confess, I’m kind of paranoid about processed foods, GMOs, red meat and all the other current bogeymen of the food world. I should probably relax a bit: Alan LevinovitzAssistant professor of philosophy and religion, James Madison University, claims at ​​Quartz that the whole cult of healthy eating is more religion than science:

…Time and time again, scientifically “proven” diets have proved false and foolish. At the turn of the 20th century, health guru Horace Fletcher popularized his theory of mastication, which argued that good health depended on a low-protein diet, chewed hundreds of times before swallowing. Obese at age forty, “the Great Masticator” told a compelling story of his own dramatic weight loss by means of mastication.

In addition to slimming down, he also became incredibly fit. To prove it, Fletcher submitted himself to tests of strength at Yale University, in which the 50-year-old supposedly bested college athletes.

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How Americans’ Views of McDonald’s Changed Over the Years

Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Francie Diep explores the ever-evolving public perception of McDonald’s at The Pacific Standard.

via The Pacific Standard:

One morning, you wake up, turn to your partner, and it’s like you don’t even know how they feel about you anymore.

After decades of enormous growth, McDonald’s has been on the decline recently, with same-store sales falling over the past five years, as the New York Times reported recently. America’s tastes have changed, a fact pointed out by many retail journalists. People are more concerned about wholesome, quality ingredients, and are therefore more likely to visit healthier-seeming chains, such as Chipotle.

As a look at the academic literature shows, this change has been a long time coming. Researchers have been bringing up worries about the influence of McDonald’s on business, culture, and health for at least 20 years. But it wasn’t until the last decade or so that the critiques really began to hit home, paving the way for Americans’ rejection of the Golden Arches.

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Nam’s Mission

137

Monday

4:15am:
I awake groggy from the weekend. And I want to call in sick. (ZzZzzzzzZZzzz.)

4:20am:
Ugh! I should work! (ZzzZZZzzz.)

4:25am:
Besides, the road might be a good distraction from my mental state. (ZZzzZZzzz.)

4:30am:
Okay! Okay! I’ll get up!

5:05am:
It’s a (now) rare foggy day in ‘ol San Francisco. I’m slogging up through the Citizen’s Cab lot and headed towards the office.

As I near, Sammy – the new office guy who’s taken over Kojak’s morning shift, passes me. He’s leaving the office with some new West African driver. They’re heading out to the lot … with a jump starter.

Note: Kojak has been moved to the afternoon office shift for some unknown reason. (Unknown to me, anyway.) This is how the cab biz works. Drivers, office workers; one day ya see ‘em. And the next, they’re gone.

Anyway, hmm.

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Hubble Space Telescope: 25 Years Exploring the Cosmos

Hubble captured this mountain of dust and gas rising in the Carina Nebula. The top of a three-light-year tall pillar of cool hydrogen is being worn away by the radiation of nearby stars, while stars within the pillar unleash jets of gas that stream from the peaks. Photo by NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Hubble captured this mountain of dust and gas rising in the Carina Nebula. The top of a three-light-year tall pillar of cool hydrogen is being worn away by the radiation of nearby stars, while stars within the pillar unleash jets of gas that stream from the peaks. Photo by NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Jasmine Wright and Margaret Myers Via PBS.org:

Hubble’s contributions to space exploration are countless. Its images, explains Hubble Space Telescope Senior Project Scientist Jennifer Wiseman, have shown the first definitive detection of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. They also have provided measurement of the expansion rate of the universe, and detection (along with ground-based telescopes) of acceleration in that expansion, caused by mysterious “dark energy” that appears to be pushing the universe apart.

“Hubble will go down in history as having changed the textbooks by totally revolutionizing humanity’s view of the universe, and our place in it,” Wiseman says.

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Exercise Can Outweigh Harmful Effects of Air Pollution

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0)

Via ScienceDaily:

New research from the University of Copenhagen has found that the beneficial effects of exercise are more important for our health than the negative effects of air pollution, in relation to the risk of premature mortality. In other words, benefits of exercise outweigh the harmful effects of air pollution.

The study shows that despite the adverse effects of air pollution on health, air pollution should be not perceived as a barrier to exercise in urban areas. “Even for those living in the most polluted areas of Copenhagen, it is healthier to go for a run, a walk or to cycle to work than it is to stay inactive,” says Associate Professor Zorana Jovanovic Andersen from the Centre for Epidemiology and Screening at the University of Copenhagen.

The research results have been published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Air pollution a barrier to exercise?

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A dark night is good for your health

Joe Goldberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Joe Goldberg (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Richard Stevens, University of Connecticut

Today most people do not get enough sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called insufficient sleep an epidemic. While we are finally paying attention to the importance of sleep, the need for dark is still mostly ignored.

That’s right. Dark. Your body needs it too.

Being exposed to regular patterns of light and dark regulates our circadian rhythm. Disruption of this rhythm may increase the risk of developing some health conditions including obesity, diabetes and breast cancer

Light regulates our sleep and wake patterns

The physiological processes that control the daily cycle of sleep and wake, hunger, activity levels, body temperature, melatonin level in the blood, and many other physiological traits are called the endogenous circadian rhythm.

On its own, the endogenous circadian rhythm is nearly, but not exactly, 24 hours. Our bodies rely on the Sun to reset this cycle and keep it at precisely 24 hours, the length of our days.… Read the rest

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The War Over Vaping’s Health Risks Is Getting Dirty

Why people think vaping could be good (or at least benign) for your health I’m not sure, but in any event there’s money involved, hence the dirty war described by Wired:

For nicotine enthusiasts, 2015 will be remembered as part of a golden era. Less than 10 years after they were introduced in the United States, e-cigarettes have gone relatively unregulated by health agencies, with companies and users making their own rules in a nicotine-laced Wild West. E-cigarette companies have been advertising their products to adults and children alike, claiming to help smokers quit while simultaneously promoting lollipop-flavored liquids. But now health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and even city-based public health departments are starting to fight back—not in the form of regulations, but with their own media campaigns.

510N e-cigarette and e-liquids

It’s a tough fight to pick. Nationwide, more than 20 million people—about one in 10 adults—have tried e-cigarettes, and plenty of those people have become vaping devotees.

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