A new feature of Healing Whole is the third Saturday of the month Journal Watch, which reports on the latest research pertaining to living with chronic conditions.
Cultivating Happiness Often Misunderstood: The concept of maximizing happiness has been explored by researchers, who have found that pursuing concrete 'giving' goals rather than abstract ones leads to greater satisfaction. One path to happiness is through concrete, specific goals of benevolence -- like making someone smile or increasing recycling -- instead of following similar but more abstract goals -- like making someone happy or saving the environment. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2014.04.002
Vitamin D Deficiency, Cognition Appear to be Linked in Older Adults: A study that looks at Vitamin D deficiency and cognition relationship in older adults adds to the existing literature on the subject. "This study provides increasing evidence that suggests there is an association between low vitamin D levels and cognitive decline over time," said the lead author. "Although this study cannot establish a direct cause and effect relationship, it would have a huge public health implication if vitamin D supplementation could be shown to improve cognitive performance over time because deficiency is so common in the population."
Regular aerobic exercise boosts memory are of brain in older women: Regular aerobic exercise seems to boost the size of the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning among women whose intellectual capacity has been affected by age, indicates a small study. The researchers tested the impact of different types of exercise on the hippocampal volume of 86 women who said they had mild memory problems, known as mild cognitive impairment -- and a common risk factor for dementia. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2014; DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-093184
A Doctor’s People Skills Affects Patients Health: The doctor-patient relationship can have an impact on people's health. A review of 13 clinical trials, found that when doctors were given training to hone their people skills, patients typically fared better in their efforts to lose weight, lower their blood pressure or manage pain. April 9, 2014 PLOS One, online
Certain Prescription Painkillers Tied to Higher Risk of Irregular Heartbeat: A long-term study suggests that older people who use common prescription painkillers, including prescription-strength ibuprofen, may be increasing their risk for developing a type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation. April 8, 2014, BMJ Open, online
Exercise May Curtail COPD Complications: Exercise might help reduce the risk of hospital readmission in people with a progressive lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a new study finds."Our findings suggest that regular physical activity could buffer the stresses of hospitalization." Kaiser Permanente, news release, April 9, 2014
Free Drug Samples Tied to More Expensive Prescriptions: Free drug samples drive the prescribing practices of physicians away from less expensive generic medications, according to a study published online April 16 in JAMA Dermatology
FDA Approves Ragwitek for Adults with Ragweed Allergy: Ragwitek has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat allergy to short ragweed among adults aged 18 to 65. The once-daily tablet contains an extract from short ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) pollen, the agency said in a news release. Treatment should begin 12 weeks before the start of ragweed season -- which in the United States includes late summer and early fall -- and continue through the season.
One in 20 Adults a Victim of Diagnostic Errors: A meta analysis shows that diagnostic errors affect at least one in 20 U.S. adults, according to research published online April 17 in BMJ Quality & Safety. It is estimated, based upon previous work, that about half of these errors could potentially be harmful.
Informed Patients Questions Unnecessary Prescriptions: Well-informed patients might make better choices about what prescriptions they take, according to the evaluation of an educational intervention aimed at encouraging seniors to discontinue sleeping pill use published online April 14 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Lack of Clear Evidence for Health Benefits of Vitamin D: Evidence is lacking for the associations between vitamin D and health outcomes, according to one review published April 1 in BMJ; however, lower levels of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D correlate with increased mortality, according to another review also published April 1 in BMJ.
New Study Suggests Better Way to deal with bad memories: Researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois studied the behavioral and neural mechanisms of focusing away from emotion during recollection of personal emotional memories, and found that thinking about the contextual elements of the memories significantly reduced their emotional impact.
Internet Use Can Help Ward Off Depression Among Elderly: It’s estimated that as many as 10 million older Americans suffer from depression, often brought on by feelings of loneliness and isolation. A project that followed the lives of thousands of retired older Americans for six years – found that Internet use among the elderly can reduce the chances of depression by more than 30 percent.