Monday, January 16, 2017

Hypnosis: Brain Activity and Connectivity Changes Identified

  Stanford researchers using functional MRI have discovered changes in those highly hynotizable while undergoing hypnosis. First, a decrease in brain activity was seen in brain's salience network (dorsal anterior cingulate). Second, an increase in brain connections that help the brain process and control activity in our bodies (connections between dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula). Lastly, reduced connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the default mode network (medial prefrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex).
  This study offers evidence that hypnosis is more than a swinging pocket watch it is a powerful means of changing the way we use our minds to control our body and our perceptions. One example: pain control.
Cereb Cortex. 2016 Jul 28

Pregnant Moms Take Your Ditamin D to Protect Your Baby Against MS

  According to a Danish registry study higher levels of vitamin D in newborns was associated with less risk of developing multiple sclerosis decades later.
Neurology 2016 Nov 30;[e-pub]
  Comparable findings were reported in a Finnish registry measuring the mother's serum vitamin D level.
NEJM JW Neurol May 2016
JAMA Neurol 2016;73:515

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Disrupted Sleep Increases Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

   Researchers at UCSF after examining three sources of data have concluded that disruptions in sleep may increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation later in life.
  People with frequent nighttime awakening had a 26% increase risk of developing atrial fibrillation. People with insomnia had a 29% increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation. 
  Why disturbed sleep is associated with the development of atrial fibrillation is unknown. It may be hypothesized that disturbed sleep negatively impacts the autonomic nervous system.
  Poor sleep is associated with other risk factors for heart disease including stroke, high blood pressure and obesity.
  Improved sleep hygiene may help prevent atrial fibrillation and its associated risk of stroke.
American Heart Association Meeting Presentation: 733 Session: AR.RFO.52 and 218-AR.AOS.780

High Blood Pressure ? Blame it on Your Childhood

  Children with a history of  childhood mistreatment, poverty or family dysfunction may have poor blood pressure regulation. Blood pressure variability has been linked to numerous problems in adults including increased risk of stroke, poor post-stroke recovery and decreased brain function in the elderly.
AHA Meeting Report  Presentation: 307 Session : EP.AOS.760
  Previous research has found an association between adverse childhood experiences and a more rapid increase of blood pressure in adulthood. Further, early-onset hypertension and prehypertension have been linked to preclinical heart disease such as increased arterial stiffness and left ventricular hypertrophy.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

THROW OUT YOUR "PURPLE PILLS" : Proton Pump Inhibitors Possibly Increase Stroke Risk

  PPI's (omeprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole, esomeprazole) have been found to be associated with vascular dysfunction including kidney disease, heart attacks and dementia. A recent American Heart Association presentation indicates that a review of records of 244,679 Danish patients with nearly a six year follow up revealed a 21% overall increased risk of ischemic stroke in those taking PPI's. The greatest risk was found with pantoprazole (94%).
  A similar risk was not found in those that took H2 blockers (famotidine, ranitidine).
AHA Meeting Report Presentation: 391-Session: EP.AOS.765

Hope for Alzheimer's Patients and Their Families ?

  As reported by Researchers Against Alzheimer's (RA2) there are 57 drugs in mid-stage testing (phase II) and 23 drugs in late-stage testing (phase III). These drugs could prevent or delay the symptoms of dementia. Phase II/III treatments include AC-1204, an oral drug for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's whose mechanism of action is to improve mitochondrial metabolism through chronic ketosis. Also, a combination of albumin and immunoglobulin administered IV with possible anti-amyloid antibodies and albumin binding capacity is in mid/late stage development to treat mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.
Cummings J Alzheimers Res Ther. 2016;8;39

Kids Drowsy During the Day ? Don't Allow the Use of a Media Device at Bedtime !

  School-age children between the ages of six and nineteen that used a portable screen-based media device at night were more likely to have inadequate sleep quantity, poor sleep quality and excessive daytime drowsiness.
JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(12):1202-1208

Short Sleepers Drink More Sugary-Caffeinated Drinks

  People that slept five hours or less have been found to consume 21% more sugar-caffeinated beverages. Long sleepers drank less coffee and water.
Sleep Health Nov 9 2016

Run With Virtual Reality

  Risk of falls in adults 60-90 is decreased in those that use a treadmill in combination with virtual reality than without virtual reality.
Lancet Sept 17 2016

Factors Identified as Increased Risk of ALS at an Earlier Age

  People with a BMI (body mass index) above the highest 1/3 percentile (greater than or equal to 25) have a higher risk of developing ALS at a younger agePeople with an IQ above the highest 1/3 percentile have a significantly higher risk of developing ALS at an age of 56 and older. People with physical fitness above the highest 1/3 percentile have a higher risk of developing ALS before age 45.
European Journal of Neurology October 2016

Treat Hypertension Mid-life to Preserve Late-life Brain Function

  According to a review of the literature by a panel of experts, treatment of hypertension in mid-life preserves late-life cognitive function.
  Hypertension disrupts the function and structure of cerebral blood vessels which leads to ischemic damage (as a result of decreased blood flow to brain cell's) of white matter regions critical for cognitive function and may promote Alzheimer pathology.
Hypertension Oct 10 2016
  As previously reported, treatment of elevated blood pressure in the oldest of the old should be more conservative than treatment of younger patients.