IN Medical News

In the young:

Kids who wet the bed had a higher risk for psychiatric disorders — especially ADHD and intelligence disability. (Clinical Epidemiology)

Antisocial tendencies, such as lack of empathy, were linked to unique brain structural patterns in an MRI analysis involving more than 1,000 participants. (The Lancet Psychiatry)News

An increase in U.S. youth suicide rates has surprised many after a decline from 1999 to 2007.  Sadly a steady – a doubling of emergency departments (EDs) for suicide attempts (SA) or suicide ideation (SI)increases is currently present in ages 5-18. (JAMA Pediatrics)

In the rest of us:

In related news, taller-than-average men — above 5’10” or so — saw a lower risk for dementia later in life than shorter men. (eLife)

Your odds of losing brain memory is less after recent research found those who speak at least two languages might help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s. (ScienceDaily)

 

 

 

Always Amazed By Our Bodies

Always learning and sharing:

The human body has incredible regenerative powers. For example, your entire brain replaces itself every 2 months; your liver, every 6 weeks; and your epidermis, every 35 days. Even your stomach lining replaces itself every 3 to 4 days. If your body didn’t do this, the strong acids used by your stomach to digest food would also digest your stomach! And speaking of your stomach, did you know that your stomach acids are so strong that they can dissolve razor blades?

That smell is the strongest memory retainer. Our noses can remember 50,000 different scents. Impressive, even more, is that memories can be recalled in detail from way back in our pasts.So if you recall as a child smelling your mother’s perfume your brain waves will respond including neural networks with synchronized brain waves of 20-40 Hz. Brain waves connect smell through memories and smell is the strongest retainer.

Coronavirus Outbreak -More Information

Please note: Only a fraction of respiratory viruses is transmissible via aerosol. N95 respirators have been assumed to provide more complete protection against respiratory viruses in healthcare settings. Person-to-person spread is thought to come via respiratory droplets from an infected person. A cough or sneeze, as in influenza spread will transmit the virus. This novel coronavirus (just named yesterday) does not require more than the basic face mask and 6 feet of space to protect. Furthermore, it is believed to be contagious prior to an infected person developing a fever and signs of viral illness. The measles virus most infectious can live for hours on surfaces and if you have not had the vaccine beware! Recall viruses need to be in a living organism to do damage.

At this posting, it is unknown how long and if the COVID-19 aka 2019-nCoV can spread by hand touching a surface that an infected sneeze reached.’CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for a virus, ‘D’ for disease.

The Hopkins team synthesizes data from WHO and four additional sources: CDC, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, China’s National Health Commission, and ncov.dxy.cn, an independent data source maintained by Chinese physicians.

Go to one of these sites: mobile version or see it full size to keep current with information of COVID-19.

Outbreak!

I do not want you to think my head is in the sand – yes I am following the CDC and new’s headlines chockfull of frightful words on this new virus that ‘jumped’ from animals to humans. However, you might have seen the number of deaths from the flu during this season is much more than from the novel coronavirus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of influenza-related deaths for the 2019-2020 season is on the rise. At the end of Week 51 (ending Dec. 21), the CDC reported 2,100 deaths in the US. Perspective is crucial.

Basic common hygiene practices (regretfully not taught in schools) can prevent almost all contagious diseases. Knowing that a sneeze and cough can travel 6 feet, also that different virus can live on surfaces for prolonged periods of time. A 2011 study, found that after nine hours, viable viruses were no longer found on most non-porous metal and plastic surfaces, such as aluminum and computer keyboards. On porous items, like soft toys, clothes and wooden surfaces, viable viruses disappeared after four hours. Remember a virus is not alive unless it is in a living organism, it is ‘code’ that is activated once in living cells.

Stay informed as the specific infectiousness of this new virus is determined – it has not been at this posting. An excellent source is the CDC website.

CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

 

 

 

Life Expectancy Down – Blame Healthcare?

It is counterintuitive that we – the USA – spend largest percent of GPP (16%) on healthcare yet have a lower life expectancy than other countries.

Let me get specific,  taking countries ‘industrial’ not ‘underdeveloped-third world’ and using 21 possible models to determine age-specific mortality in 2030 for both men and women, in the USA one has a life expectancy of 78 years!

The National Resource Council report states one reason is our underperforming healthcare system 

Even though we have lower life expectancy than other developed countries, we do more screening for cancer, have a higher 5-year survival from cancer, stroke, and heart attack. Notice we excel at responding to disease, versus prevention. Yes everyone who has high cholesterol and hypertension is on medication however preventing these conditions is our system’s priority.

Our healthcare culture of intervention versus prevention is paid at a high price  and more importantly a lower life expectancy. 

 

Dirty Phones

Which has more bacteria a public toilet or your cellphone? If you guessed cellphone you are correct – it has 10-18 times more bacteria. You do not have to be a germaphobe to take a step back!

Among all the contaminates lurks bacteria, bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant. We all know that antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be lethal. How is it spread, as the most common breeding ground is the hospital setting? Is it through healthcare professionals? We need to prevent transmission to patients, especially immunocompromised patients.

A small study, from Brazil,  ID’ed nursing student’s phones as a serious culprit.

Samples for bacterial culture were taken from students in biomedical, nursing, dentistry and nutritional program. The worst offenders were nursing students with their cellphones (2/3) contaminated with resistant strains of bacteria. Other students to a lesser degree had infested cellphones.

These bacteria mostly had the ability to form ‘biofilm’ and adhere to surfaces like cellphones. The perfect solution for cleaning has not yet met consensus nor widespread use. 

Placing a cellphone in a UV-C light for 30 seconds is starting to be implemented for visitors to intensive neonatal nurseries in many hospitals. Studies have been completed and products are available for purchase to decontaminate cellphones and other commonly handled devices. 

I personally own a PhoneSoap 3.0, do your own reading and please find your cleaning solution. 

Check Your Heart

Devices today can monitor your blood pressure, pulse and other ‘vital signs’ and always new apps are popping up. One device that I personally have used since release records the electrical flow of my heart. An earlier version of Alive Cor traced one view however with a new device that requires your right and left side of your upper body contacting with left knee you can view 6 views simultaneously. Your first tracing is reviewed by a cardiologist for free within 24 hours and analysis gets back to you via email. The App AI interprets instantaneously after each recording. However, if you want a human person, a board-certified cardiologist or a trained cardiac technician to do  a clinical review of your tracing, again no problem, within minutes you receive an analysis report in your app. cost is $19 for cardiologist and report is within 24 hours. At a cost of $9 a cardiac technician will analysis and report within 1 hour.

ECGs (aka EKGs) are a ‘tracing ‘ from 12 aspects (leads)of the heart.  Historically one lead can diagnosis what ‘step’ your heart is in – that is the rhythm beat.

Dawn Phenomenon

Everyone experiences a hormone surge called the “dawn phenomenon” each morning several hours before they wake up. For people with diabetes, however, this hormone surge results in higher-than-normal blood sugar levels because they don’t have a normal insulin response to adjust for it.

The dawn phenomenon happens because during the night the body produces less insulin while at the same time the liver produces more glucose. The lack of insulin results in a blood sugar rise in the morning.

If your fasting blood glucose is higher or lower than ideal most mornings, it may help to eat dinner earlier and avoid carbohydrates late at night. Exercising in the evening also may help keep your morning blood sugar within range.