Weekly Health Update
~ Victor Borge
Mental Attitude: Brain Scans May Predict Autism.
A special type of imaging known as functional connectivity MRI (FcMRI) may help doctors predict which high-risk babies may develop autism as toddlers. In this study, researchers used FcMRI to scan different regions of the brain of 59 babies believed to be at high risk for autism spectrum disorder and with this data, they accurately predicted nine out of the eleven babies who later developed the behavioral signs of autism. Dr. Thomas Frazier, the chief science officer of Autism Speaks adds, “Autism has been thought to be a disorder of connections in the brain, and the fact that the function connectivity MRI is a good predictor of autism helps confirm those suspicions.”
Science Translational Medicine, June 2017
Health Alert: Almost 15% of Americans Have Kidney Disease.
Chronic kidney disease develops when the kidneys can no longer properly filter fluid and waste products from the blood. Kevin Longino, the CEO of the National Kidney Foundation, notes that about 96% of individuals with early kidney disease don’t know they have it and nearly 50% of those who have severely reduced kidney function and aren’t on dialysis are unaware of they have kidney disease.
National Kidney Foundation, June 2017
Diet: Low-Fat Dairy Intake Linked to Parkinson’s Risk.
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that can cause tremors, problems with movement, impaired balance and coordination, and muscle rigidity. An analysis of decades of data concerning more than 120,000 men and women revealed that the risk of Parkinson’s disease was higher among those who consumed at least three servings of low-fat dairy products per day, compared with the participants who consumed only one daily serving.
Neurology, June 2017
Exercise: Man’s Best Friend May Help Seniors Get Fit.
In a new small study, researchers monitored the activity levels of 86 people age 65 and older, half of which were dog owners, for three weeks. They found that the dog owners in the study walked an average of 22 minutes more and took 2,760 more steps per day than the non-dog owners. Lead author Dr. Philippa Dall adds, “Over the course of a week this additional time spent walking may in itself be sufficient to meet [World Health Organization] recommendations of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity.”
BMC Public Health, June 2017
Chiropractic: Different Back Pain Risk Factors Among Men and Women.
Brazilian researchers analyzed data from a 2013 National Health Survey and found that 18.5% of the Brazilian population suffers from chronic back pain. Among men, risk factors for chronic back pain include: 65 years or older; low education level; living in rural area; history of smoking, high salt intake, heavy physical activity at work or home; being overweight or obese; hypertension; high cholesterol; and worse overall health. Among women, the researchers found the following risk factors for chronic back pain: 55-64 years of age; low education level; history of smoking, regular candy consumption, high salt intake, heavy physical activity at work or at home; overweight or obese; hypertension, high cholesterol; and worse health assessment.
Public Health Magazine (Brazil), June 2017
Wellness/Prevention: Keep Sleep Apnea in Check.
Sleep apnea is a common and serious sleep disorder that causes sufferers to stop breathing during sleep. If you suffer from this condition, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends the following: visit your doctor regularly to make sure your treatment is working, avoid gaining weight as a healthy weight reduces your risk of complications from sleep apnea, understand the dangers of driving or using heavy machinery if you’re tired from sleep apnea, and see your dentist regularly if you use a mouthpiece for sleep apnea.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, June 2017
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