Weekly Health Update
~ George Bernard Shaw
Mental Attitude: PTSD May Affect Boys and Girls Differently.
Researchers have discovered that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects the brains of girls and boys in different ways. Using MRI scans, researchers examined the brains of 59 children and found that among those with PTSD, girls and boys showed differences in a part of the brain involved in the experience of emotion and empathy. Compared with healthy controls, the research team observed this area of the brain appeared larger in boys with PTSD but was smaller in girls with the condition. Senior author Dr. Victor Carrion writes, “The difference we saw between the brains of boys and girls who have experienced psychological trauma is important because it may help explain differences in trauma symptoms between sexes.”
Depression and Anxiety, November 2016
Health Alert: Vitamin D May Have Role in Breast Cancer Survival.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 220,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and around 40,000 will die from the disease. In a new study, researchers found that women with higher vitamin D levels at the time of breast cancer diagnosis had better overall survival odds. The research team concludes, “Our findings provide compelling observational evidence for inverse associations between vitamin D levels and risk of breast cancer progression and death.”
JAMA Oncology, November 2016
Diet: Sugary, Caffeinated Drinks Compromise Sleep.
Individuals who don’t get much sleep are likely drinking more sugar-sweetened and caffeinated beverages than those who tend to get adequate slumber each night. An analysis of data on nearly 19,000 American adults showed that those who regularly slept five or fewer hours a night drank 21% more sugar-sweetened, caffeinated beverages than those who slept seven to eight hours each night. Furthermore, individuals who regularly slept six hours a night consumed 11% more of the drinks than those who got more sleep. The researchers believe there may be a positive feedback loop where sugary drinks and sleep loss reinforce one another, making it more difficult for people to shake their unhealthy sugar habit.
Sleep Health, November 2016
Exercise: Exercising at a Safe Speed in Smog.
Researchers have identified the ideal speeds for cyclists and pedestrians to move in order to limit their inhalation of air pollution. Study author Dr. Alex Bigazzi notes, “The faster you move, the harder you breathe and the more pollution you could potentially inhale, but you also are exposed to traffic for a shorter period of time. This analysis shows where the sweet spot is.” The research team concludes that cyclists should ride between 7.5 to 12.4 miles per hour (12.07 to 19.95 km/h) on city roads and pedestrians should walk between 1.2 and 3.7 miles per hour (1.93 to 5.95 km/h).
International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, October 2016
Chiropractic: Whiplash and Vision Complaints.
Individuals who suffer a whiplash associated disorder (WAD) often report problems with their vision. A recent study set out to gain a better understanding of WAD-related vision impairments and found the majority of studies in the research review revealed changes in both compensatory eye movements and smooth pursuit movements among participants with WAD, which may indicate impaired coordination between the head and eyes. The research team hopes their finding may help improve diagnostics as well as treatment strategies in the management of such WAD-related vision issues.
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, October 2016
Wellness/Prevention: What to Do if Your Sleep Is Interrupted.
Parents often find their sleep interrupted by infants and young children who wake several times during the night. To improve sleep quality, the National Sleep Foundation advises the following for tired parents: split child care into shifts to allow longer periods of sleep; keep the lights turned down during middle-of-the-night diaper changes, making it easier for parents and baby to fall back to sleep; don’t have any TV or computers in your bedroom; exercise during the day to help improve sleep; and create a relaxing bedtime routine for both you and baby.
National Sleep Foundation, November 2016
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