Medical Notes 18-19

 

Medical Notes this week…

Osteoarthritis, sometimes called “wear and tear arthritis,”  is the biggest cause of disability in the United States. Now a new study suggests that wear and tear may not be the cause. It might be a bad balance of bacteria in the intestines. The study in the journal JCI Insight shows that mice fed a high fat diet developed bacteria in the gut that were dominated by pro-inflammatory types. The mice developed inflammation all over their bodies and rapid deterioration of joints. But when they were given a prebiotic to balance the intestinal bacteria, it reversed the symptoms.

Some experts have suggested drinking coffee to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. But a new study shows that once Alzheimer’s has taken hold…coffee or other caffeinated drinks only make the symptoms worse. The animal study in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology shows that caffeine increases anxiety and fear of new things two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s that are considered strong sources of distress for patients. It took the equivalent of about three cups of coffee per day to produce the effects.

And finally, if you work the night shift, or if your work changes hours often, watch out for that cheeseburger on the way home. a study in the FASEBJ Journal shows that constantly changing schedules make it tough for the body to process fats without producing much higher than normal levels of inflammation.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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Medical Notes 17-51

 

Medical Notes this week…

This flu season is the second in a row where the federal government is recommending against use of the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine because of a drop in its effectiveness. But now scientists say in a study in the journal “Vaccine” that they’ve found a mutation in the flu-mist vaccine that might be exploited to boost its punch. Researchers have already tweaked the mutation experimentally and hope they can ramp it up to commercial scale.  

Scientists all over the world are looking for an effective treatment of Alzheimer’s disease but a new study suggests that if they find such a treatment, the US health system is ill prepared to roll it out. The study finds that there are too few medical specialists to diagnose patients with early signs of Alzheimer’s and too few infusion centers to deliver treatments. Researchers estimate that as many as two million patients could be left waiting for therapy.

Fecal transplants have proven extremely useful in combating potentially fatal c-difficile infections. however, many patients are put off by the “ick factor” of getting a fecal infusion via colonoscopy. Now a study in the journal of the American Medical Association shows that pills containing frozen stool are just as effective at restoring healthy bacteria levels. Pills are also quicker and cheaper and leave patients much happier.

And finally, people have long reported sightings of the abominable snowman, and the “yeti” legend is important in the mythology of countries like Nepal and Tibet.  Now a study in the “Proceedings of the Royal Society B” has analyzed dna from purported snowman samples and determined it may be a myth after all. Of eight samples of hair, bone, teeth, and skin that were analyzed seven were from bears, and one was from a dog.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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17-48 Segment 1: Alzheimer’s, Spouses, and “Close Friends”

 

Spouses of Alzheimer’s disease patients often struggle with depression while caregiving and are desperate for support. Some have started new relationships while their loved one is still alive but no longer recognizes them. Acceptance of such infidelity is highly individual. Experts and a woman involved in such a relationship discuss how it can benefit even the incapacitated spouse, as long as families find it acceptable.

Guest:

  • Dr. William Uffner, board certified geriatric psychiatrist, Friends Hospital, Philadelphia and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Drexel University
  • Sharon B. Shaw, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Group Psychotherapist, New York
  • Tammi Reeves, author, Bleeding Hearts: A True Story of Alzheimer’s, Family, and the Other Woman

Links for more information:

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Coming Up On Radio Health Journal Show 17-48

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Alzheimer’s, Spouses, and “Close Friends”

Spouses of Alzheimer’s disease patients often struggle with depression while caregiving and are desperate for support. Some have started new relationships while their loved one is still alive but no longer recognizes them. Acceptance of such infidelity is highly individual. Experts and a woman involved in such a relationship discuss how it can benefit even the incapacitated spouse, as long as families find it acceptable.

Childhood Trauma, Later Disease

Researchers have found that severe emotional trauma in childhood triggers physical disease later in life, and has a cumulative effect. An award-winning science writer who has researched the topic discusses findings.