Health Tip: Planning a Stress-Reducing Vacation

Health Tip: Planning a Stress-Reducing Vacation

(HealthDay News) — Not all vacations are created equally. Studies show that the happiness gleaned from a vacation is dependent on how stressful it is, says Harvard Business Review.

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It found that 94 percent of people have as much or more energy after a positive trip.

To create a positive vacation, HBR recommends:

  • Ask for help when figuring out details, such as transportation.
  • Plan more than one month in advance.
  • Travel far from home. “Staycations” tend to be less meaningful.
  • Meet someone knowledgeable at the destination.

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How Giant Dinosaurs Evolved to Stay Cool

How Giant Dinosaurs Evolved to Stay Cool

News Picture: How Giant Dinosaurs Evolved to Stay Cool

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Giant dinosaurs, such as long-necked sauropods, evolved special cooling systems to prevent overheating and brain damage, according to a new study.

“Small dinosaurs could have just run into the shade to cool off, but for those giant dinosaurs, the potential for overheating was literally inescapable,” said study co-author Lawrence Witmer, a professor of anatomy at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. “They must have had special mechanisms to control brain temperature, but what were they?”

The answer was found in everyday experience: Air-conditioners use evaporation, and it’s the evaporative cooling of sweat that keeps people comfortable in summer. So, not surprisingly, when researchers examined modern-day relatives of dinosaurs — birds and reptiles — they found that evaporation of moisture in the nose, mouth and eyes cooled blood on its way to the brain.

The investigators used 3D imaging of fossils to reveal multiple heat exchangers in dinosaur heads.

Lead author Ruger Porter, an assistant professor of anatomical instruction, said, “The handy thing about blood vessels is that they basically write their presence into the bones. The bony canals and grooves that we see in modern-day birds and reptiles are our link to the dinosaur fossils. We can use this bony evidence to restore the patterns of blood flow in extinct dinosaurs and hopefully get a glimpse into their thermal physiology and how they dealt with heat.”

The study was published Oct. 16 in the journal Anatomical Record.

Sharon Swartz of the National Science Foundation, which funded the research, said the findings show how the physical constraints imposed by specific environmental conditions shaped dinosaurs’ evolution.

“Using a combination of technological innovation and biological expertise, these researchers were able to take a direct reading from the fossil record that provides new clues about how dinosaur skeletal form and function evolved,” she said.

— Robert Preidt

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QUESTION


The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as:
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References


SOURCE: Ohio University, news release, Oct. 16, 2019

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What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients?

What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients?

News Picture: What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients?By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Dealing with the agitation, anxiety and aggression that often come with dementia is one of the most challenging aspects of caring for someone with this brain disorder. But new research suggests that massage and other non-drug treatments may be more effective than medications.

Even just taking people with dementia outdoors can help, said study author Dr. Jennifer Watt, a geriatrician and clinical scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital-Unity Health in Toronto.

“The bottom line from our study is that non-medication based therapy and multidimensional care seem to be better than medications for treating the symptoms of aggression and agitation in persons with dementia,” she said.

Dementia, a progressive loss of thinking and memory skills, affects 50 million people worldwide. Up to three-quarters have behavioral and psychological symptoms. People with such symptoms often need institutionalized care sooner.

Health care professionals rely on several medications to lessen symptoms of agitation and aggression, but these medications carry significant risks. One, ironically, is worsening memory and thinking, the researchers said.

Some medications — such as anti-psychotics — may do little to control symptoms, according to the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation. Plus, they carry the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s most serious warning, because they increase the risk of stroke and death in people with dementia.

Given the challenges of using medications, researchers wanted to know more about alternatives, Watt said.

They included 163 studies in their analysis, with a total of more than 23,000 people. Studies included drug and non-drug interventions.

In most of the studies, the patients’ average age was 75 or older. There were a variety of dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, in stages from mild to severe.

Medications studied included antidepressants, antipsychotics, dementia-specific medications, cannabinoids and a combination medication, dextromethorphan-quinidine (Nuedexta), to treat uncontrollable laughing or crying.

Non-drug interventions included changes in environment, outdoor activities, recreational therapy, exercise, massage, music therapy and cognitive stimulation as well as caregiver education and support.

Researchers found that outdoor activities were the most effective for reducing agitation and aggression. Outdoor activities, massage and touch therapy ranked highest for treating verbal aggression. Exercise and modifying daily activities seemed best for dealing physical aggression, the study reported.

Nuedexta and medications from cannabis were more effective than a placebo in reducing agitation and aggression. But Watt said these drugs aren’t prescribed much, and there may be side effects.

“It’s important to prioritize the use of non-medication based treatment as much as possible,” she said.

Watt acknowledged that it’s not possible to implement all or even some of these non-drug treatments.

Caregiving is hard,” Watt said. “People are doing the best they can with the time and resources they have. We need to raise awareness and advocate for more financial resources to support these types of interventions.”

That said, she noted that some interventions can be simple. A music player with headphones can soothe, and just getting outdoors can help. If someone is in a nursing home, Watt suggested decorating their room with photos and other objects that bring back pleasant memories.

Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association, reviewed the analysis and called it an informative look at an important problem.

“Aggression, agitation and other non-cognitive symptoms of dementia are often overlooked, but the reality is, for most people with dementia, the non-cognitive symptoms can be more problematic,” he said. “These behaviors are very disruptive to daily life and family harmony, and the need for effective treatments is great.”

As this study found, Fargo noted, medications are not always the best option.

“Some of this has to do with paying attention to people,” he said. “When people have moderate to severe dementia, they have difficulty communicating. They may be feeling discomfort and can’t communicate that they don’t like a certain chair or that they’re too hot. Then they may act out. So, sometimes, it’s a matter of small things in the environment that can be changed.”



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Fargo agreed with Watt that “person-centered care” can be demanding.

“Caregiver burden is a real problem, and some people may be overwhelmed. But you don’t have to do it all. A first-line approach should be trying to understand what may be happening in that person’s world,” he said.

The study was published Oct. 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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SOURCES: Jennifer Watt, M.D., Ph.D., geriatrician and clinical scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital-Unity Health, Toronto, Canada; Keith Fargo, Ph.D., director, scientific programs and outreach, Alzheimer’s Association; Annals of Internal Medicine, Oct. 14, 2019


References


SOURCES: Jennifer Watt, M.D., Ph.D., geriatrician and clinical scientist, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital-Unity Health, Toronto, Canada; Keith Fargo, Ph.D., director, scientific programs and outreach, Alzheimer’s Association; Annals of Internal Medicine, Oct. 14, 2019

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Meat Study Authors Have Financial Ties to Beef Industry

Meat Study Authors Have Financial Ties to Beef Industry

TUESDAY, Oct. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The authors of a recent study downplaying the health risks of red meat have financial ties with meat producers.

Latest Nutrition, Food & Recipes News

The international group of researchers has received funding from a university program partially backed by the beef industry, the Washington Post reported Monday.

The study, recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, claimed that the health threat from red and processed meat has been overstated, and that warnings connecting meat consumption to heart disease and cancer are not backed by good scientific evidence.

The group of about 20 researchers, which goes by the name NutriRECS, said meat eaters should continue their current levels of consumption.

But the study did not disclose that NutriRECS has formed a partnership with an arm of Texas A&M University called Agriculture and Life Sciences (AgriLife), which is partially funded by the beef industry, the Post reported.

One of the study authors was Patrick Stover, vice chancellor and dean of AgriLife.

He said the meat study was completed before the new funding came from the beef industry and that beef accounts for just a tiny fraction of research at AgriLife, the Post reported.

One nutrition expert took issue with that response.

“Of course that institution [AgriLife] is tightly tied with the cattle industry,” said Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and a critic of the NutriRECS meat study.

“It is inconceivable that Stover’s involvement in this project was by chance or because Stover had expertise in this area. … There were clearly huge conflicts of interest that readers should have known about,” Willett told the Post.

The Annals of Internal Medicine says it requires authors to “disclose all active and inactive financial and intellectual interests related to health care.”

However, Editor-in-Chief Christine Laine would not say whether the NutriRECS ties with AgriLife should have been disclosed, the Post reported.

If there was a funding source for this study that was not disclosed, the journal would have to publish a correction, but would not retract the paper, Laine said.

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Mosquito-Borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Hits Late Season

Mosquito-Borne Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Hits Late Season

By Adam Townsend on 10/14/2019 3:34 PM

Latest Infectious Disease News

Source: MedicineNet Health News

In most of the U.S., mosquito nets and repellents go back into the closet around this time of year. But you might want to keep them out until the first frost; a deadly mosquito-borne tropical disease is on the rise and expected to continue late into mosquito season.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as EEE, EEEV, and Triple E, has had outbreaks reported in six states according to CNN: Connecticut, Michigan, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and North Carolina.

As of Oct. 3, at least 11 people had died and more than 30 cases had been confirmed. These seemingly low numbers may not seem serious, but this is a big jump in the number of cases. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show a total of 30 deaths from the disease from the entire decade of 2009-2018.

Public health officials are also tracking the disease in animals like horses, goats, and other domestic creatures. Two endangered Mexican gray wolf pups at the Binder Park Zoo in Michigan succumbed to the disease this month, according to a statement from the zoo.

The good news, according to the CDC, is that you only have about a 5% chance of getting sick, even if a mosquito gives you the virus. But if you do get sick, you have a tough road ahead.

“Severe cases of EEE begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting,” according to the CDC. “The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, and coma. Approximately a third of patients who develop EEE die, and many of those who survive have mild to severe brain damage.”

But ideally, you can avoid the virus altogether with a little mosquito prevention. There are many steps you can take to keep the bloodsuckers at bay, according to Sandra Gonzalez Gompf, MD, FACP, of MedicineNet. Here are her tips:

  • Stay indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Apply EPA-registered insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin and clothing according to manufacturer’s instructions. An effective repellent contains 20%-30% DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). DEET in concentrations up to 30% are considered safe to use in pregnancy. Avoid products containing more than 30% DEET, which may cause side effects, particularly in infants and children.
  • Picaridin is a newer repellent that is effective and about as long-lasting against mosquitoes as DEET at the same concentrations. It has been used in Europe and has been available in the U.S. since 2005. Unlike DEET, picaridin has no odor, does not damage synthetic fabrics and plastics, and is non-greasy.
  • There are some repellents with essential oils like geranium oil that may be an option for some people, but there is much less data on duration of protection or reliability of protections against mosquitoes.
  • B vitamins are not effective repellents against mosquitoes.
  • Repellents may irritate eyes and the mouth, so avoid applying repellent to the hands of children. Insect repellents should not be applied to very young children (under 3 years of age) or babies.
  • Spray clothing with repellents containing picaridin or DEET since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. There are permethrin products that can be applied to clothing that will remain effective through a few washes. For those who work outdoors or need extended protection, permethrin-impregnated clothing is also available.
  • Whenever using an insecticide or insect repellent, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for use, as printed on the product.
  • Take preventive measures in and around your home. Repair or install door and window screens, use air conditioning, and reduce breeding sites (eliminate standing water).
  • Note: Vitamin B and “ultrasonic” devices are not effective in preventing mosquito bites.



QUESTION


Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day.
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