Having one chronic condition can boost the risk for others

Many chronic conditions seem to be related. Examples include obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease; hearing loss and dementia; obstructive sleep apnea and high blood pressure; various autoimmune diseases; and obesity and joint problems. People with chronic conditions should ask their doctors about the risk for associated diseases. In some cases, they should have certain health screenings to check for them. In other cases, additional screening isn’t automatic. (Locked) More »

Can we restore memories we’ve lost?

Memories are stored in pieces in various regions of the brain. The different pieces contain information such as the sight, sound, and emotional reactions that occurred during an experience. The pieces are then linked into a coherent combination called a memory engram. Some research in mice suggests that if the brain is temporarily impaired, access to a memory may be temporarily lost, but it’s still there and has the potential to be retrieved later. It’s not clear yet if lost memories can be restored in humans. (Locked) More »

Tips to retrieve old memories

To reactivate an old memory, one must think about the perceptions that were engaged as the memory was being recorded. These perceptions include images, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, thoughts, or feelings of an experience. To trigger such recorded perceptions, one can look at old photographs, read a familiar poem, hold an old article of clothing, read an old letter, listen to a favorite old song, cook a family recipe, or watch an old movie or TV show. More »

Imaging overload: How many tests are too many?

The concern about radiation exposure is an increased risk for developing cancer later in life. Ionizing radiation from tests such as x-rays or CT scans have the potential to damage tissue in the body, including cell DNA. Getting a diagnostic test once in a while is likely to provide crucial information to guide treatment, and it isn’t believed to pose much of a cancer risk. But frequent diagnostic testing may slightly increase cancer risk and should be weighed carefully. (Locked) More »

Big advances for dental implants

Advances in dentistry are enabling more people with low jawbone volume to consider dental implants. Advances include smaller "mini" implants that are about half the width of regular dental implants and technology that gives dentists the ability to place implants with greater precision. The improved technology has several additional benefits, including faster, safer procedures and less invasive surgery. Mini implants are also used to anchor fixed dentures. A mini implant ranges in cost from $2,000 to $6,000 per implant. (Locked) More »

The best core exercises for older adults

The best exercises for core muscles are the ones that strengthen several core muscle groups at the same time. Examples of these exercises are bridges and planks. Sit-ups and crunches have fallen out of favor because they strengthen only a few muscles and because they pose risks for older adults from pulling on the neck. Experts recommend that people first beginning a core-strengthening routine start out slowly, focusing on the quality of the exercise and gradually increasing the number of repetitions in subsequent workouts. More »

How much will fried foods harm your heart?

A study published online Jan. 18, 2021, by the journal Heart found that people who ate the most fried foods each week were 28% more likely to have heart problems, compared with people who ate the least. More »