Showing posts from November 11, 2018

Could the Appendix Be Key to Parkinson's Disease?

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

Long belittled as inconsequential, the appendix is hardly the rock star of body organs. But its reputation may get a boost from new research that suggests that removing it may lower the risk for Parkinson's disease.

The finding follows an analysis that examined how appendix removal surgery (appendectomy) affected Parkinson's risk among 1.6 million Swedish residents.

The study couldn't prove cause and effect, but it found that appendectomy lowered Parkinson's risk by roughly 20 percent.

"This is a tissue that most people consider to be a useless organ. It's attached to the large intestine, and it's removed as a very common surgical practice," said study author Viviane Labrie. She's a neuroscientist with the Center for Neurodegenerative Science at the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The new findings suggest, "that the appendix may be a tissue site that plays a role in the initiation of Parkinson…

Do You Know What These Words Mean?

Shorter May Be BetterWith so many tongue-twisting words and terms, it’s no wonder doctors use shortened versions -- acronyms -- to get through the day. Here are some common and not-so-common ones you might hear at your doctor’s office or a hospital. Swipe to advance 2/14 FASTThis is an easy way to remember signs of a stroke, which can come on quickly. F is for face drooping: Does one side droop, or is it numb? Is your smile uneven? A is for arm weakness. When raised, does one arm drift down? S is for speech difficulty: Is it slurred or difficult to understand? Is it hard to speak? T is for “Time to call 911.” If you or someone else has any of these symptoms, make the call right away. Swipe to advance 3/14 RICERemember this one when you strain a muscle or sprain your ankle. R for rest -- but not too much. You should move around as soon as you feel up to it. I for ice as soon as possible after your injury. C for compress -- pressure -- with an elastic wrap or bandage. And E for elevate the bo…

How to Protect Yourself at Home

Not Enough Smoke DetectorsYou might not be alerted to a fire if you have too few of them or they're too far away. They should be on every level of the house, inside every bedroom, and just outside any bedroom areas as well. And it's best if you connect them so that when one alarm goes off, they all go off. Test them once a month to make sure they still work, change the batteries every 6 months, and replace each device every 10 years. Swipe to advance 2/15 BatteriesSmall kids might swallow tiny "button" batteries used in electronics. Get to a hospital if that happens. Nine-volt batteries, when out of the package, are a fire hazard because the connection points are close together. If they touch metal like paper clips or steel wool, the battery can heat up and catch fire. To stay safe, cover the connection points with electrical or duct tape. Swipe to advance 3/15 Lint in Your Clothes DryerDryers cause 3,000 fires every year. The leading culprit? Lint. Remove it from the filt…

The Man on a Mission to End Loneliness

Mike Niles had a high paying job in London, but felt that something was missing from his life. He gave up his lucrative position to start a charity, b:Friend, to help to eliminate loneliness among isolated elders. In Niles' home town of Doncaster, a quarter of its elderly population is classified as "chronically lonely" by Age UK. An idea that took root after he visited an elderly neighbor who was lonely has led to what he calls the best job he has ever had. The companionship among the befrienders and their older neighbors show the true meaning of community.

Why Physical Touch Matters for Your Well-Being

Physical contact seems to be declining in modern life. But what happens when we lack human touch?

By Jonathan Jones

Earlier this year, Tiffany Field, head of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, traveled to different airports in Florida to watch people interacting.

A researcher who has studied touch for more than four decades, Field made a shocking discovery: Nobody was touching each other. Everyone was on their phone.

“I think social media has been really detrimental to touch,” Field told me. “Being on your phone is distancing people physically from each other. It used to be in airports, you’d see people hugging and napping on each other. Now they’re just not touching.”

The science of touch came of age in the mid-1990s, when two scientists traveled to Romania to examine the sensory deprivation of children in understaffed orphanages. The touch-deprived children, they found, had strikingly lower cortisol and growth development levels for their…

New Approaches to Healing Collective Conflict and Trauma

The challenge facing seven billion plus people now living on the planet is how to recreate the Third Side for today's conflicts ranging from those with our neighbors to nuclear conflicts. William Ury is one of the world's leading experts on negotiation, co-founder of Harvard's Program on Negotiation, co-author of Getting to Yes, author of multiple award-winning books, and founder of the Abraham Path Initiative, which shines a light on the ancient path of Abraham who is celebrated for his kindness and hospitality. In this interview with Thomas Hbl, he discusses how to heal collective conflict and trauma. Ury's belief is that the secret of peace is us, the community coming together. This Kosmos interview explores his ideas on how to bring us together.

Are You Bathing in Germs?

A new study suggests that showerheads may dump bacteria on you that cause lung infections.

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

You no doubt think that stepping into your shower will wash away dirt and germs, but a new study shows your showerhead might instead dump nasty bacteria on you that may cause lung infections.

Most people know to keep their bathrooms clean, especially the toilet and sink. But researchers discovered that places in the United States and Europe where germs called mycobacteria are found in abundance in showerheads are the same places where bacterial lung infections are most common. In America, that includes parts of Southern California, Florida and New York.

"We live in a world covered in bacteria, and the bacteria in our showerheads follow some interesting geographic trends, and can be altered by our water source and water chemistry," said study lead author Matthew Gebert.

"We're exposed to microbes constantly in our day-to-day lives, some beneficia…

5 Bits of Nutrition Advice You Should Stop Following

You hear nutrition tips seemingly everywhere these days -- and a lot of them may be wrong.

By Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD

Have you noticed that nearly everyone seems to be doling out nutrition advice: your sister-in-law, the trainer at the gym, the woman behind you in line at the grocery store, and every person on the internet? I can tell you that as a dietitian, I cringe at approximately 95 percent of this advice. Here are some of the top offenders:

“Only Shop the Perimeter”
Let’s get this one out of the way first: This advice may be as old as time, but it’s terrible! If I only shopped the perimeter, I would never again buy nuts, dry beans, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, canned tomatoes, and olive oil. I agree with the general spirit of this advice (buy lots of fresh foods) but there’s no denying that the middle aisles are full of good-for-you, affordable choices—and that stocking up on these shelf-stable items is a smart strategy for healthy eating.

“Switch to Sea Salt to Cut Back on Sodium”

These Words Cause Happiness

Did you know that you have the power to spark happiness in someone else's brain with just a few simple words? College student Eva Dickerson shares how she spread happiness across her campus, equipped with just her iPhone and some compliments.

K9s for Warriors: Together We Stand

Sometimes it's not the human who rescues the dog, but the dog who rescues the human. K9s for Warriors, a program based out of Ponte Verda, Florida, was established in 2011 to help soldiers experiencing PTSD and other war trauma disabilities. The dogs are trained to be service dogs and address symptoms in their owners such as anxiety, isolation, depression, and nightmares, often serving in conjunction with traditional treatments like medication and psychotherapy. To date, the program has rescued more than 850 dogs and 440 military service members, with an astounding 99% program success rate. "Service dogs are prescriptions on four legs," says owner Shari Duvall. Read on to learn more about the inspiring stories behind the soldiers and their canine warriors.

W. Kamau Bell’s United Thanks of America

In a Q&A, the comedian and host of United Shades of America explores the place of gratitude in a divided country.

By Jeremy Adam Smith

Thanksgiving is approaching, but according to one new study, we’ve been spending less time with each other over turkey and mashed potatoes. The reason why might shock you: Americans are avoiding Thanksgiving with family because of political differences.

W. Kamau Bell doesn’t think that’s a good thing, which might be why he’s carved out an unusual niche for himself on today’s polarized social and political landscape. He’s a comedian with real moral seriousness, a black man who reveals the lives of people who hate him, and a social commentator who tries to tries to tear down barriers rather than build them up. Through his autobiographical stand-up specials like Private School Negro and best-selling book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell, he’s explored how social forces have shaped his personality and life. Through his CNN series United Shades of Am…