Category Archives: Neurology

Low vitamin D ‘boosts dementia risk’

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A 6 year research lead by Dr. David Llewellyn and his team at the University of Exeter Medical School, concluded that low levels of vitamin D in older people are linked to the risk of developing dementia. Vitamin D can be found in foods, such as oily fish, supplements, or exposure to sunlight, however elderly people have less efficient skin and must be supplement in other ways. The team found that in 1,169 subjects with sufficient levels of vitamin D, there is a 1 in 10 chance of developing dementia. In 70 subjects with deficiency, there was a 1 in 5 risk of getting dementia. They cannot say that low vitamin D causes dementia but it is worthwhile to continue studying the connection. What are your thoughts on the association of dementia risk with low vitamin D?

 For additional information, please see BBC News.

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Western moms lead the U.S. in breastfeeding, southeast lags

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Some states such as California, Oregon and Vermont have the highest rates of breastfeeding, but some southern states are still lagging behind. It is possible that the attitude toward breastfeeding and support is different based on the region of the country. Breastfeeding can help to fight against infections, diabetes, and leukemia in babies and is also be beneficial to mothers. How often do you educate pregnant patients and new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding?

 

For additional information, please see the Washington Post.

 

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Running may help reduce the symptoms of autism in children with the diagnosis

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In 2012, Achilles International, a non-profit organization that provides physical development opportunities for people with disabilities, had developed a training program for children with autism. The program involved helping the children train for a mainstream five mile race, and it has produced some anecdotal evidence that points to a link between running and the symptoms of autism. Achilles found that children with autism who run exhibit a decrease in descriptiveness and aggression, while exhibiting an improvement with social interactions. They say that running gives these children a way to refocus and to decrease stress. A grant provided by the Cigna Foundation will allow Achilles to research this link further. Achilles hopes to find how running effects the symptoms of autism in order to improve the quality of life for these children. How do you keep yourself focused and stress-free?

Find more information at The Washington Post

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Are games and puzzles helping older adults fight off dementia?

we-are-a-happy-couple-100266342A recent study looked at the connection between mental acuity and playing puzzles and games for adults in their 50’s and 60’s. It was found that adults who played games on a regular basis also had a greater amount of brain tissue. Researchers are not able to determine from these results if it is because older adults who play games have more brain tissue, or if older adults with more brain tissue like to play games. For right now, the research suggests that games be incorporated into a healthy life style, including eating a healthy diet, getting physical exercise, and managing their cardiovascular risk. What methods do you use to keep your mind sharp? What do you suggest to your patients?

Find more information at WebMD

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Cognitive benefits from laughter

HorseHow often do you laugh? Studies have shown laughter is beneficial in increasing blood flow to areas of the brain reducing stress and anxiety, but a new study presented at the recent Experimental Biology meeting found that humor showed beneficial effects in memory loss as well. The results of the EEG in seniors were tested for visual recognition, learning ability and recall memory tests showed improvements as well as reduced cortisol in their brains, believed to help avoid memory brain cell death. What are some strategies to help increase laughter in your life and for your patients?

For additional information, please visit Medical Daily

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Highly educated brains recover better from injury

BrainCan a higher education do more than get you a better salary? Results of a new study published in Neurology suggests that a higher education may help provide some cognitive protection from traumatic brain injury. The study found people with a college education were four times more likely to recover and return to work or school with no disability compared to those who did not finish high school. Although the exact mechanism is unknown, a few theories suggest that the brain can develop better coping strategies when knowledge expands with higher education. What are some of your favorite strategies in exercising your brain?

For additional information, please visit NBC

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