Mental Attitude: Is Empathy in Your DNA?
Researchers claim that our ability to “feel” the emotions of others stems partly from our genetic makeup. A study of nearly 47,000 adults found that genes seem to explain 10% of the variance in empathy from one individual to another and that these genes are also associated with the risk of autism, schizophrenia, and anorexia. Researcher Dr. Varun Warrier writes, “We’ve known for a few decades now that differences in empathy have been observed in various psychiatric conditions… Understanding how genes contribute to differences in empathy may provide us with insights into the genetic basis for some of these psychiatric conditions.”
Translational Psychiatry, March 2018
Health Alert: ER Visits for Opioid Overdoses Continue to Increase.
According to a new government report, emergency room visits for opioid overdoses in the United States increased about 30% between July 2016 and September 2017. Acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Anne Schuchat writes, “This fast-moving epidemic does not distinguish age, sex, or state or county lines, and it’s still increasing in every region of the United States.”
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, March 2018
Diet: Duration of Obesity Linked to Heart Disease Risk.
An analysis of health data regarding over 9,000 adults found that the longer an individual was overweight or obese, the more likely they were to test positive for a protein called troponin that is released when heart muscle has been damaged, such as occurs with a heart attack. Study lead author Dr. Chiadi Ndumele adds, “What our findings suggest is that even in the absence of such heart disease risk factors as high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease, the number of years spent obese or overweight contributes to the higher likelihood of heart damage.”
Clinical Chemistry, January 2018
Exercise: Ball Exercises May Benefit Women During Childbirth.
New research suggests that taking warm showers, performing perineal exercises with a gymball, or both while in labor can reduce stress, pain, and anxiety.
International Journal of Nursing Practice, March 2018
Chiropractic: Coordination Problems More Common Among Those with Back Pain.
In a new study, researchers examined the differences in synchronous movement between the trunk and lower limbs and found that when lifting, high-disability chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients demonstrated decreased lumbar-hip movement coordination and stiffer hip-knee movement than both low-disability CLBP patients and healthy controls. The findings may help clinicians develop improved treatment approaches for patients with CLBP.
Journal of Biomechanics, February 2018
Wellness/Prevention: Preventing Those Pesky Plantar Warts.
Warm moist environments, such a bathrooms or locker rooms, are the most likely places for contracting the virus that causes plantar warts. To help reduce your risk, the American Podiatric Medical Association suggests the following: avoid walking barefoot, especially high-risk places; change shoes and socks daily; keep your feet clean and dry; avoid contact with warts on other people; and don’t ignore skin growth or changes.
American Podiatric Medical Association, March 2018