According to a new animal study, binge drinking during the adolescent years has lasting effects on brain function. In rat subjects, researchers found that binge drinking reduced myelin in the region of the brain crucial for decision-making and regulating emotions. The findings suggest that alcohol may negatively affect brain development in humans and have long-term consequences in parts of the brain that are important for controlling impulses and making decisions.
The Journal of Neuroscience, October 2014
Young American motorcyclists who live in states that have mandatory universal helmet laws are 2.5 times less likely to experience a traumatic brain injury in the event of a crash than those living in states with less-strict or no helmet laws.
American College of Surgeons, October 2014
Individuals who eat a Mediterranean-style diet may have up to a 50% lower risk for chronic kidney disease. The Mediterranean diet is characterized by the high-consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, and whole grains, eating fish and poultry at least twice a week, reducing red meat consumption, and replacing butter with healthy fats.
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, October 2014
Resveratrol, an antioxidant compound found in red grapes and known for many health benefits, appears to negate the effects of exercise, according to the results of a recent double-blind study. Researchers found that after a four-week exercise trial, men who received resveratrol supplementation failed to see improvement in their fitness levels. Meanwhile, those who received a placebo, experienced the benefits typically associated with an exercise program. Research leader Dr. Brendon Gurd comments, “The results we saw suggest that concurrent exercise training and resveratrol supplementation may alter the body’s normal training response induced by low-volume high-intensity interval training. The data set we recorded during this study clearly demonstrates that resveratrol supplementation doesn’t augment training, but may impair the effect it has on the body.”
Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. November 2014
A new survey involving roughly 35,000 households in the United States reveals that nearly 20% of Americans suffer with chronic pain. Among individuals with chronic pain, more than two-thirds have constant pain, while more than 50% say their pain can be unbearable and excruciating at times. Medications only relieve about a third or less of the chronic pain and can be completely ineffective in treating some types of chronic pain. The author suggests a variety of potential interventions, including physical and occupational therapy, exercise, dietary changes, weight loss, massage and psychotherapy, acupuncture, yoga, and chiropractic services to help patients manage chronic pain.
Journal of Pain, October 2014
Researchers are working on a simple saliva test that could be capable of the early detection of diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and neurological disorders. In a comprehensive analysis of RNA molecules in human saliva, researchers found that saliva contains many of the disease-revealing molecules that are found in the blood. The overriding conclusion is that saliva has tremendous medical and scientific value, and in the future, saliva samples could indicate the presence of a variety of diseases.
UCLA, October 2014