Mental Attitude: Living Near Major Roads May Boost Dementia Risk.
Living near a major roadway may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Researchers followed 6.6 million Canadians for a decade and found those living within 160 feet of a major highway had a 7% greater risk for developing dementia. Study author Dr. Hong Chen adds, “Our study suggests that busy roads could be a source of environmental stressors that could give rise to the onset of dementia.”
The Lancet, January 2017
Health Alert: Immune System Reboots During a Good Night’s Rest.
T-cells are a type of lymphocyte (a subtype of white blood cell) that play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. In this study, researchers took blood samples from fourteen healthy men and found the levels of all types of T-cells fell when they had a full night’s sleep. However, their T-cell levels stayed high when they stayed awake all night. Study author Dr. Luciana Besedovsky notes the rapid fall in T-cell levels during sleep shows “that even one night without sleep affects the adaptive immune system… This might be one reason why regular sleep is so important for general health.”
American Journal of Physiology, January 2017
Diet: Mediterranean Diet May Give Your Boost Brain a Boost.
The Mediterranean diet may preserve brain health among older adults. Investigators collected dietary information and performed brain scans on almost 1,000 people around the age of 70. They found that those who followed the dietary habits common in Mediterranean countries—such as eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and beans—retained more brain volume into old age than those who did not. The researchers suspect that the combination of foods may protect against factors such as inflammation and vascular disease, which can cause brain shrinkage. Study leader Dr. Michelle Luciano notes, “Research is accumulating to show protective effects of the Mediterranean diet on normal cognitive [mental] decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”
Neurology, January 2017
Exercise: Cycling While in Bed Good for ICU Patients.
In this study that included 33 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, researchers found patients who used special in-bed cycling equipment for 30 minutes a day had better physical function at discharge, which they believe may promote a faster recovery.
PLOS ONE, January 2017
Chiropractic: Myofascial Pain Syndrome Common Among Neck Pain Sufferers.
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a regional pain syndrome described as myofascial trigger points in skeletal muscle that can refer pain to nearby regions. A recent study discovered the presence of MPS in a group 224 patients with chronic non-specific neck pain. The investigators found the most common location for myofascial trigger points among participants was in the trapezius muscles, followed by the levator scapulae, multifidii, and splenius cervicis muscles in the neck region. Based on the findings, MPS should be considered a common source of pain among individuals presenting chronic non-specific neck pain. Chiropractic care includes myofascial release techniques of many varieties in addition to spinal manipulation and other modalities that reduce the pain and disability associated with MPS.
Pain Medicine, December 2016
Wellness/Prevention: In-Car Breathalyzers Prevent Drunk-Driving Deaths.
After examining trends in alcohol-related fatal car accidents from 1982 to 2013, researchers estimate ignition interlock laws have prevented about 1,250 deaths. Study leader Dr. Emma McGinty notes, “Our study suggests that [ignition interlocks] are effective, and it’s encouraging to see more and more states moving towards this evidence-based policy change.”
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, January 2017