A review of 17 previous studies has found that gardening tasks — such as watering plants or sitting or strolling in a garden — can help sooth anxiety in some dementia patients. Experts say the findings are encouraging, and ongoing research into the potential calming power of outdoor space continues…
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, July 2014
The American Heart Association has found that heart attack patients who present to a hospital at night, during the weekend, or on a holiday have a 13% increased risk of dying compared with heart attack patients who are admitted during regular hours. The authors found that, on average, it takes 56 minutes for patients arriving at the ER during regular work hours to receive the angioplasty procedure necessary to open their blocked blood vessel compared with an average of 72 minutes during evenings, weekends, or holidays.
Circulation, July 2014
Consuming fruits and vegetables is important to reduce the risk of mortality from illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, but past studies have failed to come to a consensus on the ideal amount that should be consumed. A new study indicates that five portions of fruits and vegetables a day is optimum for reducing the risk of death from all causes. Investigators found a 5% average reduction in the risk of death from all causes and a 4% reduction in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease for each additional portion of fruit and vegetables consumed per day up to a threshold of five portions per day.
British Medical Journal, July 2014
Researchers have demonstrated that a single bout of acute cardiovascular exercise can improve an individual’s ability to learn new motor skills up to a week after performing the activity.
Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, August 2014
Does consulting with a Doctor of Chiropractic have any effect on birth outcomes? An analysis of data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health indicates that the answer may be yes. Researchers found that pregnant women who sought chiropractic services were less likely to deliver prematurely than women who did not receive treatment. Of course, more research is needed to determine if the relationship is causative.
Midwifery, March 2014
Hereditary diseases can be difficult to detect, as they can present an array of symptoms similar to other illnesses. Researchers have created a smartphone app called “Phenomizer” that can help simplify diagnosis for these types of conditions. Doctors begin by entering the symptoms of their patient into the app. Then, the system scans a large database that stores over 10,000 disease characteristics and links them to 7,500 diseases. Researcher leader Dr. Marcel Schulz writes, “The doctors no longer have to research in databases or books for several hours. The list supports them in detecting the disease more quickly. Moreover, doctors can ask patients about their symptoms in greater detail. This makes it easier to assess which aspects they need to pay attention to.”
American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting, April 2014