Archive for December, 2020

Do pro-inflammatory diets harm our health? And can anti-inflammatory diets help?

Researchers found that people who ate larger quantities of pro-inflammatory foods had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Understanding the link between diet and inflammation may help identify specific dietary patterns and foods than can diminish chronic inflammation and improve health.

The health effects of too much gaming

While playing video games can be a fun pastime, and there are some potential benefits, there are health risks associated with too much gaming. They include repetitive stress injuries, vision problems, sleep deprivation, depression, and possibly addiction to playing.

Making the most of physical activity apps

Most people know exercise is good for their health, but only about half of Americans meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. Making exercising more fun helps keep people interested, and research has demonstrated that there is a relationship between using activity apps and increased engagement in exercise.

Good news: Deaths due to HIV are way down

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

A new study cites a remarkable decline in deaths due to HIV infection, and dramatically fewer new cases of HIV infection in the US over the past decade. But there is still a long way to go before declaring victory over HIV/AIDS.

New high-resolution imaging scans approved for use in prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

Imagine trying to find a single match from a book of matches in a large room. Not an easy task, right? But if the lights were dimmed and the match was lit, then its location would be immediately apparent. This is the basic idea behind PSMA imaging, a newly approved method for detecting prostate cancer […]

Choosing joy during difficult times

As this year’s challenges and stressors have piled up, many people have found it increasingly difficult to find any joy in their lives. A good portion of our happiness is related to our own attitudes and actions, and the actions of others can show us how to find contentment, happiness — even joy— in the most difficult of times.

Executive function in children: Why it matters and how to help

Although executive function skills begin to develop in the first year of life, the time at which children reach these milestones varies. Some children experience challenges or delays related to their executive function skills, but these skills can be improved through evidence-based interventions.

Holiday jangle: Tricky conversations around COVID safety with family and friends

Justin Neiman

Contributor

Many of us are facing new and challenging conversations with family and friends about travel, gatherings, and COVID safety precautions over the holidays and beyond. Here’s how to successfully communicate your own needs while still showing loved ones that you care about them.

Shingles: What triggers this painful, burning rash?

If you have chickenpox as a child, the virus stays in your body, and can emerge later in life as a painful, burning rash called shingles. It’s not fully understood what triggers a resurgence of the virus, but factors that weaken the immune system increase the risk of developing shingles, and it is more common in people over age 60.

Magnets, sound, and batteries: Choosing safe toys

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

When choosing gifts for the children in your life this year, there are toy you should consider — creativity, imagination, and movement should be encouraged — and toys you should try to avoid due to safety concerns or for other reasons.