Monthly Archives: September, 2014

Childbirth vs Getting Kicked in the Balls

This video is awesome! Great explanation of the reason we experience pain, as well as the associated symptoms of childbirth and taking a shot to the groin. I’m by no means promoting that one is worse than the other. In fact, I gladly would give women the upper hand and say childbirth wins based on the duration alone. Regardless of your opinion, this is a pretty great video!

 

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Poor Sleep Means More Than Feeling Tired – Association with Brain Atrophy

A new study published on September 3 in Neurology and reported on Medscape shows that poor sleep quality may actually lead to brain atrophy. Using 147 people ranging from 20 to 84 years in age, researchers submitted participants to MRI scanning over several years. Sleep quality was measured by a self-administered exam. Additional testing parameters included physical activity, BMI and blood pressure. The results were as follows:

  • 35% of participants met the criteria for “poor sleep”.
  • Poor sleep quality correlated to decreased brain volume in an area located within the right superior frontal cortex
    • Correlated to shorter sleep duration, lower efficiency, and increased latency
  • Poor sleep was associated with atrophy of the frontal, temporal and parietalcortices.
    • Such traits are linked with reduced memory and cognitive functioning
  • More significant in older adults, but association present in participants under 60 years of age as well
  • Differences in physical activity, BMI and blood pressure could not account for any of the changes

Further research will need to determine whether poor sleep is the cause of brain atrophy or a result of brain atrophy. However, such research could also shed light onto various diseases of cognitive decline.

Double Mastectomy Doesn’t Boost Survival For Most

According a a recent AP article by Lindsey Tanner, a double mastectomy (removal of both breasts) as treatment for breast cancer does not increase chances of survival. Many women are choosing to undergo double mastectomies as opposed to a lumpectomy + radiation therapy. Some key points of the study include:

  • A double mastectomy is an increasingly frequent treatment that is both expensive and risky
  • 10-year survival rates of lumpectomies + radiation compared to double mastectomies were almost identical (~82%).
  • Other studies have shown that patients with strong genetic inheritance factors may still have improved survival outcomes with double mastectomy treatment.

With the rising frequency of women undergoing double mastectomies, this is definitely a topic that needs further investigation. It actually reminds my of a book I read that discussed the widespread use of radical mastectomies before it was realized that a radical mastectomy was an unnecessarily extensive treatment that yielded no improvement in outcome. I suggest others take a look into the history of breast cancer treatment after reading this interesting article.

Quote of the Day: The Truth About Autism

“The conclusion is that both emotional poverty and an aversion to company are not symptoms of autism but consequences of autism.” – David Mitchell from the Introduction to The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida, translated by KA Yoshida & David Mitchell

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