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Month: July 2018 (page 1 of 4)

Happy #NationalAvocadoDay

No reason to panic. It’s just National Avocado Day.

Did you know that avocados contain more potassium than bananas? Potassium is vital for a number of vital bodily functions – helping our muscles to contract and regulating our heart rhythm and blood pressure.

Avocados have also been linked, arguably, to other health benefits. It’s considered, by many, to be one of the super foods.

For the first time in 15 years, a new Alzheimer’s drug looks promising

Quartz:

Although amyloid proteins have always been suspected to play a significant role in Alzheimer’s disease, this study is only the second to find a concrete connection between reduced amyloid buildups and improved cognitive function. It suggests that targeting these proteins may be a good way to combat the disease in future trials.

Amyloid proteins were reduced by as much as 93% in some trial participants, making 81% of participants in the successful group what researchers call “amyloid negative.” Although this doesn’t mean these patients were cured, it’s a big deal. Additionally, the team compared the cognitive decline of this group to those who received the placebo using multiple metrics. They found that participants taking the highest dose of BAN2401 performed 30% better on a new cognition test called ADCOMS than those taking the placebo. ADCOMS is not the typical scale used to assess cognitive decline, but has been shown to be more sensitive (paywall) to changes in cognitive ability. When the group used a more common, longer-standing scale, participants in the highest dosage group performed 47% better than the placebo.

Another reason to get enough sleep: The brain may clean out Alzheimer’s plaques while you sleep

Lack of sleep may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease by robbing the brain of the time it requires to wash away sticky plaque-forming A-beta proteins.

Science News:

Bendlin’s studies are part of a modest but growing body of research suggesting that a sleep-deprived brain might be more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease.

Is your doctor listening to you?

Springer:

On average, patients get about 11 seconds to explain the reasons for their visit before they are interrupted by their doctors. Also, only one in three doctors provides their patients with adequate opportunity to describe their situation.

And

In just over one third of the time (36 per cent), patients were able to put their agendas first. But patients who did get the chance to list their ailments were still interrupted seven out of every ten times, on average within 11 seconds of them starting to speak. In this study, patients who were not interrupted completed their opening statements within about six seconds.

All-time heat records have been set all over the world

Washington Post (paywall):

Large areas of heat pressure or heat domes scattered around the hemisphere led to the sweltering temperatures. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports the heat is to blame for at least 54 deaths in southern Quebec, mostly in and near Montreal, which endured record high temperatures.

In Northern Siberia, along the coast of the Arctic Ocean – where weather observations are scarce – model analyses showed temperatures soaring 40 degrees above normal on July 5, to over 90 degrees. “It is absolutely incredible and really one of the most intense heat events I’ve ever seen for so far north,” wrote meteorologist Nick Humphrey, who offers more detail on this extraordinary high-latitude hot spell on his blog.

On Thursday, Africa likely witnessed its hottest temperature ever reliably measured. Ouargla, Algeria soared to 124.3 degrees (51.3 Celsius). If verified, it would surpass Africa’s previous highest reliable temperature measurement of 123.3 degrees (50.7 Celsius) set July 13, 1961, in Morocco.

Is your mobile phone giving you cancer?

The evidence is not clear. But understanding the health effects of radio-frequency radiation is important.

What this means for you: Until we have better answers, there’s no harm in minimizing your exposure to radiofrequency radiation. To do that, don’t bring your cellphone with you to bed, use hands-free technology, and don’t keep your cellphone in your pocket.

While we sleep, our mind goes on an amazing journey

Getting enough sleep is vital for our health and well being.

National Geographic:

The waking brain is optimized for collecting external stimuli, the sleeping brain for consolidating the information that’s been collected. At night, that is, we switch from recording to editing, a change that can be measured on the molecular scale. We’re not just rotely filing our thoughts—the sleeping brain actively curates which memories to keep and which to toss.

It doesn’t necessarily choose wisely. Sleep reinforces our memory so powerfully—not just in stage 2, where we spend about half our sleeping time, but throughout the looping voyage of the night—that it might be best, for example, if exhausted soldiers returning from harrowing missions did not go directly to bed. To forestall post-traumatic stress disorder, the soldiers should remain awake for six to eight hours, according to neuroscientist Gina Poe at the University of California, Los Angeles. Research by her and others suggests that sleeping soon after a major event, before some of the ordeal is mentally resolved, is more likely to turn the experience into long-term memories.

Continue reading

More Americans are drinking themselves to death

Americans are increasingly trying to relieve themselves of their emotional pain by self medicating with alcohol and drugs.

CBS:

Since 2009, a growing number of Americans have died from liver disease and liver cancer.

The increase among 25- to 34-year-olds is especially troubling because the deaths are due to cirrhosis, a disease caused by excessive drinking, the authors of a new study said. The researchers suspect the economic downturn in 2008 prompted people to comfort themselves with alcohol.

“These are deaths of despair,” said lead researcher Dr. Elliot Tapper, an assistant professor of gastroenterology at the University of Michigan.

Watch: Simone Giertz – Back from brain surgery

Simone had a brain surgery to remove a tumour. Then she made a video about it.

Work 4 days, get paid for 5: Perpetual Guardian four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’

The Guardian:

Work-life balance, which reflected how well respondents felt they could successfully manage their work and non-work roles, increased by 24 percentage points.

In November last year just over half (54%) of staff felt they could effectively balance their work and home commitments, while after the trial this number jumped to 78%.

Staff stress levels decreased by 7 percentage points across the board as a result of the trial, while stimulation, commitment and a sense of empowerment at work all improved significantly, with overall life satisfaction increasing by 5 percentage points.

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