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Alzheimer’s disease: The five household chores helping to reduce your risk says study

Alzheimer’s disease: The five household chores helping to reduce your risk says study

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, around 850,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia – more than half of those with Alzheimer’s. The combination of ageing populations and lack of disease-halting therapies has fuelled the search for preventative measures. To date, lifestyle has been recognised as the most modifiable risk factor for the condition with a new study pointing to the power of certain household chores which could help to reduce your risk.

A new study has found that even mundane, low-key tasks like gardening, cooking and washing dishes can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s if they’re performed often enough.

The study, which was published in the journal Neurology, included 716 dementia-free men and women in their 70s and 80s.

Compared with the most active people, those with the lowest levels of overall physical activity had more than double the risk of going on to develop Alzheimer’s.

Greater physical activity was also associated with a slower rate of ageing-related memory and cognitive decline.

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“This suggests that people in their 80s who can’t participate in formal exercise still get a benefit by leading a more active lifestyle,” said lead author Dr Aron S. Buchman, associate professor of neurological sciences at Rush University Medical Center.

He added: “You don’t have to get a membership in the local gym.

If you simply walk up some more steps, stand up and do the dishes more, you stand to benefit because it’s incremental and adds up over the course of a full day.”

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Another Canadian study found older adults who spent more time on household chores showed greater brain size – a strong predictor of cognitive health.

The researchers found that certain household chores are capable of giving the human brain a workout to help prevent the condition.

Highlighting the benefits of household chores may motivate older adults to be more active by “providing a more realistic, low risk form of physical activity”, noted the researchers.

“Scientists already know that exercise has a positive impact on the brain, but our study is the first to show that the same may be true for household chores,” said study author Noah Koblinsky at Rotman Research Institute (RRI) at Baycrest in Toronto, Canada. 

“Understanding how different forms of physical activity contribute to brain health is crucial for developing strategies to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults.”

The researchers found that older adults who spent more time engaging in certain household chores had greater brain volume, regardless of how much they engaged in the more strenuous forms of physical exercise including running. 

Published at Sun, 19 Sep 2021 03:01:00 +0000

This story originally posted here

Men ‘more likely’ to face severe outcomes following double-vaccination, warns new study

Men 'more likely' to face severe outcomes following double-vaccination, warns new study

Around 30 million people will be eligible for the booster shots, which will aim to protect against waning immunity among those who have received two shots.

Individuals living in care home and frontline health and social care workers will also be eligible for the third dose.

In addition, people aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health conditions with put them at risk of severe infection will also be able to claim the jab.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, Chair of COVID-19 Immunisation for the JCVI, said: “The JCVI is advising that a booster dose be offered to the more vulnerable to maximise individual protection ahead of an unpredictable winter.

Published at Sat, 18 Sep 2021 07:50:00 +0000

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FDA advisers just limited authorisation of Pfizer booster jab to over-65s and vulnerable

FDA advisers just limited authorisation of Pfizer booster jab to over-65s and vulnerable

A committee of independent advisers for the Food and Drugs Administration has voted in favour of authorising a booster dose of Pfizer/BioNTech after rejecting Pfizer’s applications to distribute booster shots to the wider population. The panel has unanimously embraced the alternate plan to offer booster shots to older Americans and other vulnerable people at risk of severe illness, at least six month after completion of the primary two doses.

The panel’s recommendation comes as President Joe Biden’s administration has said it wants to begin offering booster shots to the general public as early as next week. 

The administration cited three CDC studies that showed the protection of the vaccine waned over several months.

Health officials said they were concerned that hospitalisation and death rates would increase as a result of diminished protection. 

The administration said it was particularly concerned about individuals at higher risk of infection, or those inoculated during the earlier phases of the vaccine rollout. 

READ MORE: Covid deaths spike as pending changes to international travel loom: ‘Unexpected challenge’

Doctor Ofer Levy, a vaccine and infectious disease specialist at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, said: “It’s likely beneficial in my opinion for the elderly, and may eventually be indicated for the general population. 

“I just don’t think we’re there yet in terms of the data.”

Although the FDA is not bound by the recommendation, it is unlikely to reject the panel’s advise. 

The meeting was held days after a group of leading researchers suggested vaccine protection against severe Covid persists despite protection against mild disease waning over time. 

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The result were expected after two senior FDA officials involved in the meeting said they weren’t convinced every American who received the Pfizer vaccine needed a third dose of the jab. 

Members of the panel cited a lack of safety data on extra doses for individuals in that age group. 

Other advisors highlighted the risk of myocarditis in younger people, arguing that further research was needed.

Other members argued that the third dose should be limited to individuals over the age of 60 who are at risk of severe disease. 

The Center on the Disease Control and Prevention has called for a meeting to further discuss plans the third shots in the US next week.

Infectious diseases expert Doctor Anthony Fauci, said he wasn’t surprised the panel voted against vaccination for people 16 and older.

He explained: “I don’t want to get ahead of the advisory committee at the time that they’re deliberating.” 

The committee was asked to listen to listen to several presentations on data supporting the wide distribution of booster shots before casting a vote. 

A recent study made public by the FDA on Wednesday showed that a third dose of the vaccine could restore protection from infection to 95 percent.

The Israeli study drew on data collected between July 1 and August 30, when rates of the delta variant skyrocketed. 

In a presentation, Doctor Sharon Elroy-Preiss, of Israel’s Health Ministry, said the nation began administering booster at the end of July in a bid to appease pressure on the nation’s hospitals.

She said: “We were able to dampen that effect and our severe cases are roughly 700 or less and have stayed stable, even though we still have days at 10,000 confirmed cases.”

Published at Sat, 18 Sep 2021 10:39:00 +0000

This story originally posted here

Fatty liver disease: Signs when you go to the toilet that need ‘urgent medical attention’

Fatty liver disease: Signs when you go to the toilet that need 'urgent medical attention'

If you develop severe cirrhosis, stage four fatty liver disease, and your liver stops working properly, you may need to be put on the waiting list for a liver transplant.

For adults, the average waiting time for a liver transplant is 135 days for transplants.

NAFLD is not caused by alcohol, but drinking may make it worse. Therefore, you may need to cut it out of your diet, or reduce your intake.

If your NAFLD is linked to diet your doctor is likely to treat it by giving you advice on living more healthily

Published at Sat, 18 Sep 2021 09:57:00 +0000

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Stroke: The signs in the eyes that could foreshadow an acute incident

Stroke: The signs in the eyes that could foreshadow an acute incident

Scientists have warned that the fleeting symptoms of a mini-stroke could be a harbinger for a more serious stroke. It is estimated about one in three people who have a transient ischaemic attack – or mini stroke – will eventually have an acute incident. The effect of a transient attack on the brain, however, can be just as damaging as a severe stroke. What’s more, transient ischaemic attacks often go undetected in brain scans. Doctor Clare O’Donnell, Optometrist and Head of Research at specialist eye hospital Optegra Eye Health Care, warns that four signs around the eyes that could be symptoms of a mini-stroke.

Sudden changes in vision, including blurriness or dark areas, could be caused by a blockage in the blood vessel leading to the eye.

In fact, it is possible that some transient ischaemic attacks could only affect the eyes, causing temporary loss of vision.

Doctor O’Donnell explained: “A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly disrupted. It is an emergency and loss of vision is one of a number of symptoms.

“Before a full stroke occurs, people often experience so-called ‘mini stroke’ or transient ischaemic attack where symptoms come and disappear or fade within minutes.

READ MORE: Stroke: The modifiable lifestyle factor raising your risk by 90% – new study

“Symptoms of a mini-stroke can include temporary disturbances, so sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes should always prompt urgent investigation for treatment as the risk of a full stroke is increased substantially, particularly in the hours and days following a transient ischaemic attack.”

Deterioration in cognitive skills following stroke can severely alter an individual’s ability to carry out daily tasks.

It is common for people to experience some degree of vision loss after an acute stroke, with acute events often affecting the way the brain processes information it receives from the eyes.

Doctor O’Donnell noted: “Additionally, after a stroke up to 60 percent of survivors may have vision problems such as those listed below and the optometrist has a key role to play in recognising the way the eye can be affected.

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“Also, as the eye is the only body part where we can look directly at the blog vessels and follow any changes, optometrists are able to spot signs of high blood pressure, which is a known risk factor for stroke.

“In fact, the signs at the back of the eye can reflect or mimic the changes taking place in the brain.

“After stroke there may be loss of a part of the visual field – the entire central and peripheral area we can see – because the areas of the brain responsible for vision have been damaged.

“Another type of field loss may affect central vision in one eye, usually presenting as sudden loss of sight in the affected eye. This can be due to a type of stroke affecting the retina at the back of the eye.”

Studies have highlighted that the transient nature of the symptoms by no means lessens the impact of the condition.

Evidence shows that blocking a single arteriole can cause cell death in all directions for hundreds of micrometers after a blockage.

Further blockages could potentially known out entire brain regions, as the damage travels to areas fed by in vessels still in tact.

If the sudden symptoms appear, urgent treatment could reduce the risk of a subsequent stroke.

A 2016 study found that quickly taking an aspiring after a mini stroke could quickly avert the risk of death and disability.

Doctor O’Donnell added: “Sudden loss of vision should prompt a visit to your local A&E straight away. If the nerve controlling the eye’s muscles has been affected, this can cause blurred of double vision, or difficulty focussing on objects because the eyes are not always able to keep still.

“Some people after stroke have difficulty in processing information coming from the eyes. This can result in difficulty recognising colours, once family faces or objects.

“Shadows and hallucinations can even occur where people ‘see’ moving shadows, shapes or objects appears in the affected area of the visual field.”

Published at Sat, 18 Sep 2021 05:31:00 +0000

This story originally posted here

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: Three problematic signs of ‘severe’ low B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: Three problematic signs of 'severe' low B12

While anaemia due to a vitamin B12 deficiency develops gradually, the body will somewhat adapt to the lower-quality red blood cells. Thus, symptoms of anaemia might appear mild when anaemia is in fact well developed. Global healthcare leader, MSD, listed the symptoms of anaemia, which include: paleness, weakness and fatigue. However, if anaemia is “severe”, three problematic signs of the condition include dizziness, shortness of breath, and a rapid heart rate.

Nerve damage can ensue, which can be felt as tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.

Down the line, such symptoms can affect mobility, reducing a person’s ability to walk properly.

When neurological damage takes place, some people may become confused, irritable, and mildly depressed.

Impaired mental function could occur, and dementia might take hold – stressing the importance of an early diagnosis of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

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A routine blood test, arranged by your doctor, can help detect abnormally shaped red blood cells – an indicator of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Once the deficiency is addressed by taking high doses of vitamin B12 supplementation, then the signs of anaemia can dissipate.

However, should nerve and cognitive damage have occurred due to the deficiency, such symptoms might be permanent.

Furthermore, extended low reserves of vitamin B12 might need to be remedied by life-long vitamin B12 injections, administered by medical staff.

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What causes a vitamin B12 deficiency?

The most common cause of a vitamin B12 deficiency is inadequate absorption, which can be caused by a variety of reasons.

For instance, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines could be one underlying factor.

Another could be a lack of intrinsic factor – a protein – in the stomach, caused by a condition caused pernicious anaemia.

Pernicious anaemia is an acquired autoimmune condition whereby the body attacks the stomach cells, which are responsible for making intrinsic factor.

Intrinsic factor is needed to attach itself to vitamin B12 in the stomach.

That way, when the nutrient is moving along the intestines, vitamin B12 – if attached by intrinsic factor – can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

If no intrinsic factor is present, however, then the nutrient is lost when you excrete it from the body.

Another possible cause of a vitamin B12 deficiency can include inflammatory bowel disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease

The NHS explained this term is mainly used to describe ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include:

  • Pain, cramps or swelling in the tummy
  • Recurring or bloody diarrhoea
  • Weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness.

Additional symptoms might include a high temperature, vomiting, and anaemia.

Other health conditions tend to be linked to inflammatory bowel disease, such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Jaundice.

Published at Fri, 17 Sep 2021 22:13:49 +0000

Vitamin B12 deficiency: Two signs in your toes of having low levels for a ‘long time’

Vitamin B12 deficiency: Two signs in your toes of having low levels for a 'long time'

Vitamin B12 performs a multitude of roles in the body, such as helping the formation of DNA and supporting the nervous system. In regards to the latter, untreated low B12 levels can give rise to nerve damage. “If the level of vitamin B12 stays low for a long time, it can damage your nerve cells,” explains the University of Michigan Health.

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Pernicious anaemia is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in the UK.

It is an autoimmune condition, which causes your immune system to attack the cells in your stomach that produce a protein that helps the body to absorb vitamin B12.

Some people can develop a vitamin B12 deficiency as a result of not getting enough vitamin B12 from their diet.

A diet that includes meat, fish and dairy products usually provides enough vitamin B12, but people who do not regularly eat these foods can become deficient.

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“People who eat a vegan diet and do not take vitamin B12 supplements or eat foods fortified with vitamin B12, are also at risk,” warns the NHS.

How to treat B12 deficiency

The treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency depends on what’s causing the condition.

Most people can be easily treated with injections or tablets to replace the missing vitamins.

“Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia is usually treated with injections of vitamin B12,” explains the NHS.

Anaemia is a deficiency in the number or quality of red blood cells in your body.

There are two types of vitamin B12 injections:

  • Hydroxocobalamin
  • Cyanocobalamin.

The most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in the UK is pernicious anaemia, which is not related to your diet.

According to the NHS, people who find it difficult to get enough vitamin B12 in their diets, such as those following a vegan diet, may need vitamin B12 tablets for life.

Published at Fri, 17 Sep 2021 06:13:00 +0000

Cancer symptoms: The sound of your voice could predict lung cancer diagnosis

Cancer symptoms: The sound of your voice could predict lung cancer diagnosis

Stage 2 lung cancer

While the cancer can be different sizes at this stage, it may have spread to:

  • Other parts of the lung
  • Areas just outside of the lung
  • Nearby lymph nodes.

Stage 3 lung cancer

This is when the cancer has usually spread to the lymph nodes, and might be growing in the airways, areas surrounding the lung, or other parts of the lung.

Stage 4 lung cancer

Again, the cancer can be any size at stage 4 lung cancer, but it’s possible it could have spread to the lung on the other side.

Moreover, in stage 4 lung cancer, there might be cancer cells in fluid in the pleura, or around the heart.

Published at Fri, 17 Sep 2021 04:34:00 +0000

Signs of bowel cancer: A rare but very painful sign that your stomach is full could indicate cancer.


These are the main signs of bowel cancer.


  • Blood in your urine and/or bleeding from your bottom

  • An undiagnosed and persistent change in your bowel habits

  • Unexplained Weight Loss

  • Extreme tiredness without apparent reason

  • Tummy pain

  • Don’t worry if you experience these symptoms.

Bowel Cancer UK stated that the majority of people who have symptoms like these don’t have cancer. They could also have an underlying condition such as IBS or Crohn’s.

Publited Fri, 17 Sep 2021 at 08:48:00 +0000

Parkinson’s symptoms: This is the sign you should not ignore

Parkinson’s disease can be diagnosed if you are constantly told you appear depressed, angry, or serious when it is not.

This symptom is a common symptom in Parkinson’s disease. Some patients have shared their experiences with the Parkinson’s Foundation forum, saying that it was the one they first noticed.

We think about muscles affected by stiffness or slowness. This is why we often look at our legs, arms and abdominals.

The Parkinson’s Foundation warns that stiffness and slowness can also impact walking, and other activities. However, the Foundation notes that subtler effects can be experienced such as decreased facial expression or hypomimia (or facial masking).

According to the Foundation, the site states: When the muscles in the face become stiffer or more difficult to move it is possible to smile, lift your eyebrows, or express yourself using the facial expressions. This is an essential part of communicating with others.

Facial masking, when combined with Parkinson’s speech issues, like low volume voice, can make it difficult for others to understand your feelings and intentions.

People might think you’re depressed or upset all the time. This can lead to frustration if they ask you, “What’s the problem?” when you feel fine.

It’s worthwhile to mention that depression and mood swings are common in Parkinson’s Disease. Therefore, it is important to talk about what you feel and seek help.

Publited Fri, 17 September 2021 at 07:35:00 +0000