Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Does exercise help memory of people over 50?



According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine the answer is, yes. 
The researchers conducted a systematic review with multilevel meta-analysis, which is fancy speak for looking at many studies and redoing the math to see if the combined data showed what the individual studies showed. 
The subject group was just under 13,000 adults, 50-years of age and older. A total of 39 studies were evaluated. 
  • 18 studies looked at aerobic exercise (walking, running, or swimming).
  • 13 studies looked at resistance training in the form of weightlifting.
  • 10 studies focused on a combination of exercise programs.
  • The rest of the studies analyzed tai chi and yoga.

Exercise helped but the type mattered
The analysis showed that aerobic exercise and tai chi helped overall brain function, while resistance training increased the participants’ memory.
In conclusion:
This is another study that shows that as we age it is important to keep moving. As I have said many times before, the best exercise for you is the one that you will keep doing, day after day. 
I think I will go for a walk now …


Northey JM, Cherbuin N, Pumpa KL, et al Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis Br J Sports Med Published Online First: 24 April 2017. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096587

Monday, May 8, 2017

Suicide often harms surviving spouse mentally and physically


A report was published online in JAMA Psychiatry. It looked at the effects of suicide on the surviving spouse.
The researches combed a national register that included almost 7 million people in Denmark from 1980 to 2014. The registry looked at nearly 5,000 men and 11,000 women whose spouses committed suicide.
The study found male spouses of partners who died by suicide had a 70 percent higher risk of developing mental health problems than partners of those who succumbed to other causes of death, such as illness or accident. For women, the risk of developing a mental health disorder was 50 percent higher.
The researchers noted that surviving spouses are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Surviving spouses were themselves at an increased risk of suicide.
Additionally, physical ailments, including cirrhosis of the liver, sleeping disorders, cancer, and back pain developed at a higher rate in surviving spouses than the population at large.



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Smokers have harder time staying of drugs after rehab




Researchers at the department of epidemiology at Columbia University's School of Public Health looked at just under 35,000 adults enrolled in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.
The data showed the following relapse rates:

  • 11% Smokers at the start of treatment, and continued to smoke during treatment.
  • 8% Individual that quit smoking during treatment
  • 6.5% Non smokers
The study authors point to the importance of adding tobacco treatment along side illicit drug treatment. 
"Quitting smoking will improve anyone's health," says lead author Andrea Weinberger, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "But our study shows that giving up cigarettes may be even more important for adults in recovery from illicit substance use disorders since it may help them stay sober.”

Monday, March 13, 2017

What is Acupuncture, by Harriet Hall, MD

Philip Copitch, Ph.D. – 


According to Dr. Hall, none of the following are true about acupuncture:
  • It’s an ancient Chinese treatment method.
  • Involves sticking needles in acupoints
  • It’s widely used in China.
  • Works to relieve pain and nausea.
  • Works for other conditions like infertility.
  • Can be used for surgical anesthesia.
  • Is harmless – no side effects.
  • Has been validated by scientific research
What you think you know about acupuncture is most likely incorrect.


The James Randi Educational Foundation, and Dr. Harriet Hall, have developed 10 free video courses looking at critical thinking and medical claims called Science-Based Medicine. The lectures are:

1. Science-Based Medicine vs. Evidence-Based Medicine
2. What Is CAM?
3. Chiropractic
4. Acupuncture
5. Homeopathy
6. Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine
7. Energy Medicine
8. Miscellaneous “Alternatives”
9. Pitfalls in Research
10.Science-Based Medicine in the Media and Politics

There is also a free course guide.

Lecture 4: Acupuncture, by Harriet Hall, MD (32 minute)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What is Chiropractic: Free courses by Dr. Hall

Philip Copitch, Ph.D. – 

In this lecture, Dr. Hall looks at the history and science behind chiropractic care. 
Dr. Hall starts her lecture with some interesting facts:
  • Chiropractic is NOT a science.
  • Chiropractic is NOT based on neurology, anatomy and physiology.
  • Chiropractors are NOT doctors of the nervous system.
  • Chiropractic DOES NOT improve health and quality of life.
The James Randi Educational Foundation, and Dr. Harriet Hall, have developed 10 free video courses looking at critical thinking and medical claims called Science-Based Medicine. The lectures are:

1. Science-Based Medicine vs. Evidence-Based Medicine
2. What Is CAM?
3. Chiropractic
4. Acupuncture
5. Homeopathy
6. Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine
7. Energy Medicine
8. Miscellaneous “Alternatives”
9. Pitfalls in Research
10.Science-Based Medicine in the Media and Politics

There is also a free course guide.

Lecture 3: Chiropractic, by Harriet Hall, MD (36 MINUTES)


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What is Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)? Free courses by Dr. Harriet Hall

Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) used to be called "stuff that was not taught in Medical School". But now it covers any procedure that anyone would like to tell you is a fix for a particulate or all medical ailments. It can be wild quackery for curing cancer or seemingly a reasonable but unproven way to to remove warts. It may be very dangerous or relatively safe. The problem is, without scientific scrutiny, how is the public to know if the "treatment" is safe or helpful.  
CAM is really a marketing term. In this lecture Dr. Hall does a nice job of giving you historical information concerning CAM. She also explains what to watch out for when it comes to CAM treatments.
The James Randi Educational Foundation, and Dr. Harriet Hall, have developed 10 free video courses looking at critical thinking and medical claims called Science-Based Medicine. The lectures are:

1. Science-Based Medicine vs. Evidence-Based Medicine
2. What Is CAM?
3. Chiropractic
4. Acupuncture
5. Homeopathy
6. Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine
7. Energy Medicine
8. Miscellaneous “Alternatives”
9. Pitfalls in Research
10.Science-Based Medicine in the Media and Politics

There is also a free course guide.

Lecture 2: What is CAM, by Harriet Hall, MD (36 minutes)