Friday, December 11, 2015
WITH ALL THE HYPE ABOUT VITAMIN D, I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR A BALANCED PRESENTATION. THIS ONE FROM WEBMD IS CLOSE AND WORTH THE READ. THE TRUTH ABOUT VITAMIN D
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
A friend sent me this, and it's good enough to pass on. Who, as they age, doesn't dread the possibility of developing a dementia. Facing that, I say let's play all the odds. Check this out: UCLA on Alzheimer's "The idea that Alzheimer's is entirely genetic and unpreventable is perhaps the greatest misconception about the disease," says Gary Small, M.D., director of the UCLA Center on Aging. Researchers now know that Alzheimer's, like heart disease and cancer develops over decades and can be influenced by lifestyle factors including cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity, depression, education, nutrition, sleep and mental, physical and social activity. The big news: Mountains of research reveals that simple things you do every day might cut your odds of losing your mind to Alzheimer's. In search of scientific ways to delay and outlive Alzheimer's and other dementias, Here are 10 strategies I found most surprising:- 1. Have coffee. In an amazing flip-flop, coffee is the new brain tonic. A large European study showed that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day in midlife cut Alzheimer's risk 65% in late life. University of South Florida researcher Gary Arendash credits caffeine: He says it reduces dementia-causing amyloid in animal brains. Others credit coffee's antioxidants. So drink up, Arendash advises, unless your doctor says you shouldn't. 2. Floss. Oddly, the health of your teeth and gums can help predict dementia. University of Southern California research found that having periodontal disease before age 35 quadrupled the odds of dementia years later. Older people with tooth and gum disease score lower on memory and cognition tests, other studies show. Experts speculate that inflammation in diseased mouths migrates to the brain. 3. Google. Doing an online search can stimulate your aging brain even more than reading a book, says UCLA's Gary Small, who used brain MRIs to prove it. The biggest surprise: Novice Internet surfers, ages 55 to 78, activated key memory and learning centers in the brain after only a week of Web surfing for an hour a day. 4. Grow new brain cells. Impossible, scientists used to say. Now it's believed that thousands of brain cells are born daily. The trick is to keep the new born alive. What works: aerobic exercise (such as a brisk 30-minute walk every day), strenuous mental activity, eating salmon and other fatty fish, and avoiding obesity, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, heavy drinking and vitamin B deficiency. 5. Drink apple juice. Apple juice can push production of the "memory chemical" acetylcholine; that's the way the popular Alzheimer's drug Aricept works, says Thomas Shea, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts. He was surprised that old mice given apple juice did better on learning and memory tests than mice that received water. A dose for humans: 16 ounces, or two to three apples a day. 6. Protect your head. Blows to the head, even mild ones early in life, increase odds of dementia years later. Pro football players have 19 times the typical rate of memory-related diseases. Alzheimer's is four times more common in elderly who suffer a head injury, Columbia University finds. Accidental falls doubled an older person's odds of dementia five years later in another study. Wear seat belts and helmets, fall-proof yourself, and don't take risks. 7. Meditate. Brain scans show that people who meditate regularly have less cognitive decline and brain shrinkage - a classic sign of Alzheimer's - as they age. Andrew Newberg of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine says yoga meditation of 12 minutes a day for two months improved blood flow and cognitive functioning in seniors with memory problems. 8. Take D. A "severe deficiency" of vitamin D boosts older Americans' risk of cognitive impairment 394%, an alarming study by England 's University of Exeter finds. And most Americans lack vitamin D. Experts recommend a daily dose of 800 IU to 2,000 IU of vitamin D3. 9. Fill your brain. It’s called "cognitive reserve." A rich accumulation of life experiences - education, marriage, socializing, a stimulating job, language skills, having a purpose in life, physical activity and mentally demanding leisure activities - makes your brain better able to tolerate plaques and tangles. You can even have significant Alzheimer's pathology and no symptoms of dementia if you have high cognitive reserve, says David Bennett, M.D., of Chicago 's Rush University Medical Center . 10. Avoid infection. Astonishing new evidence ties Alzheimer's to cold sores, gastric ulcers, Lyme disease, pneumonia and the flu. Ruth Itzhaki, Ph.D., of the University of Manchester in England estimates the cold-sore, herpes, simplex virus is incriminated in 60% of Alzheimer's cases. The theory: Infections trigger excessive beta amyloid "gunk" that kills brain cells. Proof is still lacking, but why not avoid common infections and take appropriate vaccines, antibiotics and antiviral agents? What to Drink for Good Memory A great way to keep your aging memory sharp and avoid Alzheimer's is to drink the right stuff. a. Tops: Juice. A glass of any fruit or vegetable juice three times a week slashed Alzheimer's odds 76% in Vanderbilt University research. Especially protective: blueberry, grape and apple juice, say other studies. b. Tea: Only a cup of black or green tea a week cut rates of cognitive decline in older people by 37%, reports the Alzheimer's Association. Only brewed tea works. Skip bottled tea, which is devoid of antioxidants. c. Caffeine beverages. Surprisingly, caffeine fights memory loss and Alzheimer's, suggest dozens of studies. Best sources: coffee (one Alzheimer's researcher drinks five cups a day), tea and chocolate. Beware caffeine if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, insomnia or anxiety. d. Red wine: If you drink alcohol, a little red wine is most apt to benefit your aging brain. It's high in antioxidants. Limit it to one daily glass for women, two for men. Excessive alcohol, notably binge drinking, brings on Alzheimer's. e. Two to avoid: Sugary soft drinks, especially those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. They make lab animals dumb. Water with high copper content also can up your odds of Alzheimer's. Use a water filter that removes excess minerals. 5 Ways to Save Your Kids from Alzheimer's Now Alzheimer's isn't just a disease that starts in old age. What happens to your child's brain seems to have a dramatic impact on his or her likelihood of Alzheimer's many decades later. Here are five things you can do now to help save your child from Alzheimer's and memory loss later in life, according to the latest research. 1. Prevent head blows: Insist your child wear a helmet during biking, skating, skiing, baseball, football, hockey, and all contact sports. A major blow as well as tiny repetitive unnoticed concussions can cause damage, leading to memory loss and Alzheimer's years later. 2 Encourage language skills: A teenage girl who is a superior writer is eight times more likely to escape Alzheimer's in late life than a teen with poor linguistic skills. Teaching young children to be fluent in two or more languages makes them less vulnerable to Alzheimer's. 3. Insist your child go to college: Education is a powerful Alzheimer's deterrent. The more years of formal schooling, the lower the odds. Most Alzheimer's prone: teenage drop outs. For each year of education, your risk of dementia drops 11%, says a recent University of Cambridge study. 4. Provide stimulation: Keep your child's brain busy with physical, mental and social activities and novel experiences. All these contribute to a bigger, better functioning brain with more so-called 'cognitive reserve.' High cognitive reserve protects against memory decline and Alzheimer's. 5. Spare the junk food: Lab animals raised on berries, spinach and high omega-3 fish have great memories in old age. Those overfed sugar, especially high fructose in soft drinks, saturated fat and trans fats become overweight and diabetic, with smaller brains and impaired memories as they age, a prelude to Alzheimer's.
Monday, November 9, 2015
With wider use of these antibiotics comes increasingly serious problems: s FDA Panel Says Fluoroquinolones Need Stronger Warnings Before you get turned off by the the technical names, think of antibiotics that end in “-floxacin such as: ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin(Avelox), ofloxacin(Floxin), and gemifloxacin(Factive). The FDA's Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee (ADMAC) and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee met jointly to discuss the use of this group of antibiotics drugs for treatment of bacterial infections. Labeling currently has warnings about the risks for tendon inflammation or rupture, brain effects, nerve damage, paralysis, heart rhythm problems, and sensitivity to light. Panel members called for stronger wording, with some suggesting the risks be called out with a black box warning.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
I've been passing on to followers many slide shows from WebMD. Most are good, but the most recent one: Be Careful What You Touch, is a paranoid rant about "germs" If you read it, and believe it, you'll never leave your sterilized house again. I won't provide a link to this slide show, but if you must, you can find it on WebMD. Instead I refer you to: Dirt, Germs, and other Friends. GERMS If you believe in conspiracies, germ phobia might be construed as a plot by the makers of disinfectants etc. Larry
Friday, September 25, 2015
I'M FINDING SMALL THINGS OF INTEREST, SO I'M PASSING THEM ALONG. "Fidgeting" helps minimize adverse effects of sitting too long APASep 25, 2015 Individuals who sit long but fidget have a similar mortality risk to those who are physically more active. People who fidget when sitting may be considered somewhat impolite, but they are behaving in a way that's beneficial for their health: A British study published in the "American Journal of Preventive Medicine" suggests that the movements involved in fidgeting may counteract the adverse health impacts of sitting for long periods. Researchers at the University of Leeds analyzed data of 14,000 women aged 35 to 69; the surveyed data included questions on health behaviors, chronic disease, physical activity levels and fidgeting. The data showed that an increased risk of mortality from sitting for long periods was only found in those women who consider themselves very occasional fidgeters. No increased risk of mortality, on the other hand, was found from longer sitting times, compared to more active women, in those who considered themselves moderately or very fidgety. "While further research is needed, the findings raise questions about whether the negative associations with fidgeting, such as rudeness or lack of concentration, should persist if such simple movements are beneficial for our health," said study co-lead author Professor Janet Cade.
Friday, July 31, 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
I HESITATED BEFORE PASSING THIS ON BECAUSE THE POSSIBILITIES ARE SO POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT. WHEN I WAS IN PRACTICE, I HAD ON ONGOING BET WITH MY PATIENTS THAT ANY SYMPTOM THEY HAD COULD BE FOUND AMONG THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THEIR MEDICATION. I ALMOST ALWAYS WON THAT BET. ONE THING THE PHYSICIANS DESK REFERENCE DID WAS GIVE AN INDICATION OF THE FREQUENCY OF THE SIDE EFFECT, BUT OFTEN NOT THE SEVERITY. SO IT IS WITH THIS PRESENTATION AS WE DON'T GET EITHER PIECE OF INFORMATION. DEMENTIA IS SUCH A DEVASTATING CONDITION THAT WE ALWAYS NEED TO CONSIDER THE EFFECTS OF MEDICATION FIRST, OR AL LEAST EXCLUDE THEM IN OUR EVALUATION OF COGNITIVE OR MEMORY IMPAIRMENT. ALZHEIMER'S OR SOMETHING ELSE?
Monday, June 8, 2015
IT'S MOSTLY OBESITY, BUT I WONDER IF IT'S SOMETHING ELSE AS WELL. THE ECONOMIC COST IS AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE ASTOUNDING. Study: Global diabetes rate has risen by 45% over past two decades. The New York Times (6/8, A3, Tavernise, Subscription Publication) reports that a study published online today in The Lancet finds that “the global diabetes rate has risen by nearly half over the past two decades...as obesity and the health problems it spawns have taken hold across the developing world.” Specifically, the study “reported a 45 percent rise in the prevalence of diabetes worldwide from 1990 to 2013,” with “nearly all the rise...in type 2 [diabetes], which is usually related to obesity.” According to the Times, the study, which received its funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “is the largest analysis of global disability data to date, drawing on more than 35,000 data sources in 188 countries.”
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
This is from the CDC via the AMA. Readers of my work will recognize my interest in malignant melanoma. My novel, A Simple Cure is about attempts to treat this deadly disease. The link for this novel is: http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Cure-Lawrence-Gold-ebook/dp/B00ELWQ4IA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid= The audiobook version of this novel is finished and will be available within days. Larry CDC: Incidence of melanoma has doubled in the US in the last 30 years. The Los Angeles Times (6/3, Kaplan) “Science Now” blog reports that “the incidence of melanoma...has doubled in the U.S. in the last 30 years and is on track to remain high unless Americans take more precautions to protect themselves from ultraviolet radiation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said” yesterday. The “Vital Signs study” was “published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.” The blog adds that while “Melanomas account for only 2% of skin cancers...they are the deadliest kind, according to the National Cancer Institute.” On its website, CBS News (6/3, Cohen) reports that in a statement, Dr. Lisa Richardson, the director of the CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said, “If we take action now, we can prevent hundreds of thousands of new cases of skin cancers, including melanoma, and save billions of dollars in medical costs.” Melanoma rates up among US children, young adults. Health Day (6/3, Dallas) reports that research indicates that “melanoma...has increased by 250 percent among U.S. children and young adults since the 1970s.” The findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Environmental hazards juice the internet, but what to do when we're overwhelmed with threats to our lives? A little reality check, even a controversial one, goes a long way. THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT, OR NOT!
Monday, April 27, 2015
I'm finally getting back into the swing of things after open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve and repair my mitral valve. All in all it was an unpleasant (euphemism) but I'm recovering and anticipate getting back to normal life soon. I came across this slide show in WebMD and although I do not agree with all its conclusions, it's worthwhile. The trick for a physician is to determine whether a particular patient is "salt sensitive". If so, the conclusions presented are right on. If you're not salt sensitive, the restriction of sodium is a waste of great tasting food. A TRUTH ABOUT SALT
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
At first, I wasn't going to pass on this excellent slideshow from WebMD, but then I recalled how little some of us know about our vital organs. It's a good presentation that makes important points quickly. YOUR LIVER
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Long sleepers may have a higher risk of stroke People who sleep particularly long may have an increased likelihood of developing a stroke. This is the outcome of a British study published in "Neurology". According to the study, the risk increases by almost 50 per cent when sleeping more than eight hours a night. In their study, researchers from the University of Cambridge included 9,692 people with an average age of 62 that had never had a stroke. The participants were asked about their sleeping habits at the beginning of the study and again four years later. During the 9.5-year follow-up period, 346 study subjects had a stroke. When associating the sleeping habits with the stroke, it showed that those who slept more than eight hours a night had a 46 per cent higher risk of stroke than those who slept the average amount of six to eight hours. And the relationship stayed the same after adjusting for various factors, such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Those study subjects who changed their daily sleeping habits from less than 6 hours to more than eight hours were even four times as likely to have a stroke. Whether or not sleep is the cause of the elevated risk, or if it is an early marker or a consequence of ill health, still needs to be researched, said the authors. In any case, a meta-analysis of previous studies had confirmed the association of sleep duration and an increased risk of stroke. INTERESTING STUDY, BUT I CAN'T REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I SLEPT EIGHT HOURS. LARRY
Friday, February 27, 2015
THIS IS INTERESTING STUFF, BUT IF SWEATING IS THE CRUCIAL ELEMENT, I CAN THINK OF OTHER WAYS TO WORK UP A SWEAT!!! Taking frequent saunas prolong life According to a Finnish study, the likelihood of heart attacks, heart diseases and cardiovascular diseases is lower when sweating several times a week. Frequent saunas may be beneficial to health and may also prolong life. This is the outcome of a Finnish study published in "JAMA Internal Medicine". According to the study, frequent visits to the sauna are particularly beneficial to the heart and circulatory system. Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland (Kuopio) analysed data from 2,315 men aged between 42 and 60 from eastern Finland, where taking a sauna is particularly popular. The likelihood of dying from a heart attack was 22 per cent lower among those who used a sauna two to three times a week compared to study subjects who took saunas only once a week; and those who used a sauna four to seven times per week even had a 63 per cent lower risk. The results were similar with respect to mortality caused by diseases of coronary vessels or cardiovascular diseases. Two to three sauna visits per week reduced the likelihood of dying from a coronary heart disease by 23 per cent, and those who went to a sauna four to seven times weekly even demonstrated a 48 per cent lower risk. Mortality caused by cardiovascular diseases decreased by 27 per cent in those who used a sauna two to three times per week, and the risk was halved in those who used a sauna four to seven times weekly. Furthermore, overall mortality was also lower among frequent sauna users. Two to three saunas per week, as opposed to one, decreased mortality by 24 per cent, four to seven visits by 40 per cent. Furthermore, it showed that longer sauna sessions - more than 19 minutes - were better for a person's health than shorter sessions (less than eleven minutes). Further studies are needed to research the reasons underlying this association, the authors said.
Monday, February 16, 2015
This is a particularly good slide show on stroke. Take a few minutes to go through it. Pay attention to slides 3 and 4. Prompt attention to a stroke can be a life changer. UNDERSTANDING A COMMON BUT POORLY UNDERSTOOD DIAGNOSIS
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
For my readers who know of my interest in malignant melanoma ( see A Simple Cure http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Cure-Lawrence-Gold-ebook/dp/B00ELWQ4IA/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=) here's some news: the National Cancer Institute is “saying four or more cups a day reduces the risk of malignant melanoma by 20 percent.” That's a win-win situation, you get to do a lot of work and protect yourself against a malignancy that kills one American each hour. Larry
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
This report is worth a few minutes of your time. Questions about medical ethics are not abstract as they are likely to affect you or your loved ones. This report give patients and families insight into the thinking of physicians about life and death issues in 2014. ETHICS REPORT
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Happiness is not a bad way to start a new year. I was surprised to see the number of mistakes I made in the quiz. I'm getting ready to publish my thirteenth novel, State of Mind that raised important questions about scientific advancement. It should be out in a few weeks. I have 4 audiobooks in production, Hybrid, Never Too Late with Joe Hempel and No Cure for Murder and Tortured Memory with Audrey Lusk, an incredibly talented actress. All four should be done in 3 to four months. I've just started another Brier Hospital Series novel entitled The Doctor's Room. Happy New Year to all, and best wishes. Larry HAPPINESS QUIZ