Mental Attitude: Repeat Head Injuries Affect Brain Structure.
A young adult who has previously experienced two or more mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) may have structural changes in his or her brain that could signal a greater risk for dementia later in life. Compared to healthy controls without a history of head injuries, MRI scans of young adults who suffered two or more mTBIs indicate reduced cortical thickness in the areas of the brain associated with visual memories, language comprehension, emotion association, motor control, self-awareness, cognitive functioning, interpersonal experience, contemplating distance, recognition of known faces, and accessing word meaning while reading. Previous research has associated cortical thinning with increased dementia risk.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, May 2015
Health Alert: Smartphones May Interfere with Pacemakers.
Though the risk is small, experts in association with the European Society of Cardiology advise patients with pacemakers and other cardiac devices to avoid storing their smartphones in pockets directly over their chest and to hold their phones over their right ear when making a call.
European Society of Cardiology, June 2015
Diet: Western Diet May Be Deadly for Prostate Cancer Patients.
A diet high in red meats, processed meats, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products (often referred to as the Western diet) may increase the risk of early death for people with prostate cancer. During a 14-year study, researchers found that those who ate a predominantly Western diet were 67% more likely to die from any cause than those who ate a more heart-healthy diet. Senior author Dr. Jorge Chavarro adds, “There is currently very little evidence to counsel men living with prostate cancer on how they can modify their lifestyle to improve survival. Our results suggest that a heart-healthy diet may benefit these men by specifically reducing their chances of dying of prostate cancer.”
Cancer Prevention Research, June 2015
Exercise: Music Strategy Encourages Patients to Exercise More.
Cardiac rehabilitation patients who listened to a music device equipped with tempo-pace synchronization exercised over 100 minutes more per week than fellow patients who did not have the benefit of such technology. Tempo-pace synchronization helps cue individuals to take their next step and thus helps regulate, maintain, and reinforce the prescribed exercise speed or pace. Senior scientist Dr. David Alter writes, “If this average increase of exercise was sustained for an average 65-year-old male patient, it would correlate with a projected life-expectancy increase of two and a half years.”
Sports Medicine, May 2015
Chiropractic: Manual Therapies Help TMD Patients.
An analysis of eight published studies concludes that manual therapies are an effective treatment for patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD). In particular, the report notes the efficacy of myofascial release and massage on the masticatory muscles as well as spinal manipulative therapy and mobilization applied to the upper cervical spine. Such treatments are commonly performed by doctors of chiropractic.
Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, June 2015
Wellness/Prevention: Tough Alcohol Laws Reduce Teen Drinking.
Teen drinking rates drop when state alcohol laws get tougher. Researchers developed a scoring system to assess strong alcohol-related policies and found that for every ten additional percentage points earned for strong alcohol-related state laws, teens in that state had an 8% lower risk of drinking and 7% lower risk of binge drinking. Co-author Dr. Timothy Naimi adds, “A large proportion of the adverse effects of alcohol do not occur only to the person consuming alcohol but to other people in society. Part of the duty of society is to regulate dangerous products, not just adverse effects for kids but also for adults who don’t drink alcohol.”
Pediatrics, July 2015