Week of: Monday, January 8th, 2016Courtesy of:
A single concussion may cause young children to suffer minor, but lingering, brain damage. In a recent study, researchers used MRI scans to compare the brains of 15 children with a previous concussion to 15 similar kids who hadn't suffered a concussion. They found that the brains of the concussion sufferers showed signs of subtle disruptions while utilizing attention- and thinking-related skills. The authors recommend longer-term and larger studies to determine if concussion-related alterations in brain function are associated with problems during adulthood.
Neurology, December 2015
Nearly half of American teens who have never used tobacco are exposed to harmful secondhand smoke despite widespread laws banning smoking in public places. An analysis of data from over 18,000 middle school and high school students reveals that 48% reported being exposed to secondhand smoke in 2013. Investigators also found that secondhand smoke exposure was nine times higher among never-smoking teens with no smoke-free rules in their home and car than teens with 100% smoke-free homes and vehicles.
Pediatrics, February 2016
If individuals at risk for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) consume more omega-3 fatty acids, they may be able to decrease their chance of developing the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that usually affects the small joints in the hands and feet. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity. Investigators analyzed self-reported data about omega-3 consumption from 30 people who had autoantibodies for rheumatoid arthritis and 47 control patients who did not. They found only 6.7% of patients who had the autoantibodies for RA were taking omega-3 supplements, compared with 34.4% in the control group. Furthermore, they found blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids to be lower in those at risk for RA. Based on the findings, researchers recommend a healthy diet that includes fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as one to three grams of fish oil a day, for those who may be at risk for RA and perhaps other inflammatory diseases.
Bipolar Disorders, November 2015
Any exercise you can do on a regular basis is the best kind of physical activity. Walking is considered one of the optimal choices because it's easy, safe, and inexpensive. It also doesn't require training or special equipment, except for a pair of good walking shoes. Brisk walking can burn as many calories as running and is less likely to cause injuries than running or jogging. Additionally, walking is an aerobic and weight-bearing exercise, so it is great for your heart and helps prevent the weakening of the bones known as osteoporosis.
Rheumatology, September 2015
A recent study investigated the relationship between sleep problems and chronic pain, as well as other conditions. The study involved data on 1,753 participants and found an association between sleep problems and an increased risk for chronic pain and headaches, as well as an increase in the severity of both abdominal pain and musculoskeletal pain. The results suggest patients with musculoskeletal complaints should also be screened for sleep problems.
Pain, December 2016
After reviewing data from 21 published studies, a team of researchers from Imperial College in London reports that individuals who are obese during later adulthood are 1.41 times more likely to develop dementia than those who maintain a healthy weight. Future research will assess how weight loss prior to mid-life influences dementia risk.
Age and Aging, January 2016
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