Mental Attitude: Concussions May Accelerate Alzheimer’s.
A new study suggests concussions may speed up mental decline among individuals already at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. In this study, researchers examined 160 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and found that concussions seemed to accelerate Alzheimer’s disease-related brain deterioration and mental decline in the veterans at genetic risk for the disease. Dr. Jasmeet Hayes, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine writes, “Our results suggest that when combined with genetic factors, concussions may be associated with accelerated cortical thickness and memory decline in Alzheimer’s disease-relevant areas.”
Brain, January 2017
Health Alert: Rural Americans at Higher Risk of Preventable Causes of Death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that in 2014, Americans living in more rural areas had a greater risk of death from mostly preventable causes such as heart disease, cancer, accidental injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, and stroke. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden notes, “This new study shows there is a striking gap in health between rural and urban Americans. To close this gap, we are working to better understand and address the health threats that put rural Americans at increased risk of early death.”
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, January 2017
Diet: The DASH Diet Wins Again.
The US News & World Report has named the DASH diet as the best overall diet choice for the seventh year in a row, followed by the Mediterranean and MIND diets. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, but experts say the benefits go beyond preventing high blood pressure as it is also effective for weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and managing or preventing diabetes. The diet focuses on eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, low- or no-fat dairy, lean meats, poultry, and fish.
US News & World Report, January 2017
Exercise: Routine Checkup Should Include Fitness Tests.
A medical checkup usually includes height, weight, blood pressure, and a cholesterol screen, but one expert says healthcare providers should also collect data on cardiorespiratory fitness—a measure of how much work your body can do during exercise. Dr. Benjamin Levine from UT Southwestern Medical Center explains, “This measurement is so important because it shows how the heart, lungs, and muscles all work together, and it should be an element of assessment of heart disease risk along with factors like smoking history, diabetes, and [high blood pressure].”
UT Southwestern Medical Center, December 2016
Chiropractic: Stabilization Exercises Help Reduce Pain.
Core stabilization has long been recommended to aid in the management of low back pain. A recent study set out to examine the effects of lumbopelvic stabilization training on pain threshold and pain intensity in comparison to passive automated cycling and a control intervention among a sample of 25 patients suffering from chronic nonspecific low back pain. The findings revealed that the patients reported significant improvements in their pain threshold and pain intensity following stabilization training that they did not experience with the other interventions.
Pain Practice, January 2017
Wellness/Prevention: Staying Trim Can Help Grades.
Researchers followed 281 university students for two academic years and found a correlation between maintaining a healthy body weight and better academic performance.
Preventive Medicine Reports, December 2016