Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Take a Break: Exploring Magic-How It’s Done

If you love magic and don’t want to know “how it’s done,” go to the Take a Break Pinterest Board. and pick out something else.

As a lead up to the fall season and all of its “eeriness,” here are some very cool magic “how it’s done” videos. Who knows, watch them enough and you might have some special tricks for everyone at Halloween.

• Floating and Levitating Man: Very cool trick to do for street performers who want to sit all day.  Video Article 

Silver Floating Man: A variation on the levitating man but maybe easier to pull off on your own and it doesn’t require a cane. 

Some of Penn & Teller Tricks Revealed, plus how it’s possible to walk on water and other amazing feats

Friday, August 26, 2016

There is a Generic Option to EpiPen

In view of the incredible price increase of EpiPen, from $40 to $600, in just a few years, know that there is generic alternative that can sell for as low as $140 at Walmart or $205 at Rite Aid.

Because of EpiPen’s marketing campaign, many prescriptions are written for that medication and pharmacists can’t switch it to the generic.

Ask your medical provider to write a prescription for “epinephrine auto-injector” or “generic Adrenaclick.” Depending on your state pharmacists can fill an Epi Pen prescription with Adrenaclick without having to get a new prescription.

For more information on this topic, check out Consumer Reports article on this topic.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Take A Break: Celebrate the National Park Service

Aug. 25 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, which is responsible for overseeing national parks, monuments, reservations and historic sites. US. Their purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." The National Park System of the United States now comprises more than 400 areas covering more than 84 million acres in 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands. These areas are of such national significance as to justify special recognition and protection in accordance with various acts of Congress.

Some fun facts about National Parks
• The most visited park-Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee
• Least visited Gates of the Arctic in Alaska
• Hottest Location: Death Valley in California and Nevada
• Contains the highest mountain: Denali in Alaska 

• Largest tropical wilderness: Everglades in Florida
• Oldest Park: Hot Springs in Arkansas

Try one or more of the following:
Find a Park Experience You can search for both in person and virtual experiences.

• If time is no object, download the map of the shortest possible road trip through all 47 National Parks. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Journal Watch August 2016

New Guidelines Issued for Cancer Patients’ Post Treatment Pain: More people are surviving cancer, but many are left with persistent pain after treatment. New guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommend that doctors routinely screen for such pain. The guidelines also advise doctors to consider the use of non-traditional treatments for pain. These include hypnosis, meditation and medical marijuana where it's legal. ASCO also cautioned doctors to assess patients' risk for overuse of opioid painkillers. Journal of Clinical Oncology 

• Chronic Pain Linked to Partners of  People with Depression: Partners of people with depression are more likely to suffer from chronic pain, research has found. The study shows that the two conditions share common causes -- some of which are genetic whilst other causes originate from the environment that partners share. PLOS Medicine 

Genetic and Environmental Risk Factors for Chronic Pain: Both genetic factors and family environment contribute to risk for chronic pain, and contributions of many genes contribute to risk of both chronic pain and major depressive disorder (MDD), according to a new study. PLOS 

• Smoking Marijuana Provides More Pain Relief for Men Than Women: Men had greater pain relief than women after smoking marijuana, a new study has found. Despite differences in pain relief, men and women did not report differences in how intoxicated they felt or how much they liked the effect of the active cannabis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 

• Swimming is an Effective Part of the Treatment for Fibromyalgia: A study performed by researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) shows swimming is as effective as walking to relieve pain and improve quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

Brain Stimulation Technique Shown Effective in Phantom Limb Pain: A new study shows that transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) administered to the scalp can stimulate the brain and provide significant reductions in phantom limb pain. The Journal of Pain 

• Body Mind Meditation Can boost Attention and Health, Lower Stress: Meditation has long been promoted as a way to feel more at peace. But research shows it can significantly improve attention, working memory, creativity, immune function, emotional regulation, self-control, cognitive and school performance and healthy habits while reducing stress. Science Daily 

Active Music Therapy Beneficial in Parkinson’sDisease Patients: Active music therapy has beneficial effects on cognition in Parkinson's disease (PD). Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 

Music Demonstrated to Alleviate Cancer Patients’ Symptoms: A review looking at studies on the effect music interventions have on the treatment of cancer patients found treatment benefits for anxiety, pain, fatigue and overall quality of life. Chochrane Library 

• Acupuncture May Slow Pre-Dementia Memory Loss: A meta analysis of five students, including nearly 600 people has found that acupuncture may benefit people who have memory loss, but don't yet have dementia. Nothing has yet been proven to halt the progression to dementia in those who are destined to progress. But, acupuncture used alone or along with another treatment, such as the medication nimodipine, might help retain some memory function, the researchers said. Acupuncture in Medicine 

• Mindfulness Combats Depression: Eight weeks of mindfulness training helped alleviate depressive symptoms and reduce stress in African-American women with lower socio-economic status, providing an effective alternative to more conventional treatment, report scientists. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice

• Approved first intraocular lens with extended range of vision for cataract patients
• Approved Xiidra for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease
• Approved Adlyxin, a new injectable type 2 Diabetes medication that lowers blood sugar levels and doesn’t boost risk of heart problems.
• Strengthens Safety Warnings for Fluoroquinolones (Cipro, Levaquin)
• Banned E-Cigarette Sales to Minors
• Warned Anti Aging, skin lightening products may contain mercury. If "mercurous chloride," "calomel," "mercuric," "mercurio" or "mercury" is listed on the label, stop using the product immediately. Do not use products if ingredients are not listed, the agency says.

• An Hour of Moderate Exercise a Day Counters Health Risk from Prolonged Sitting: The health risks associated with sitting for eight or more hours a day -- whether at work, home or commuting -- can be eliminated with an hour or more of physical activity a day, according to a new study. The Lancet 

Fitness Almost as Important as Not Smoking for Longevity: Poor physical fitness ranks right behind smoking as leading risk factors for early mortality. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 

• Health Diet, Exercise May Help Keep Alzheimer’s at Bay: Researchers studied 44 patients between the ages of 40 and 85 who had mild memory problems. The investigators found that the brains of those who followed a Mediterranean diet and were physically active had fewer plaques and tangles, a hallmark of Alzheimer's, than those whose diet was less healthy and who were less active. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 

Regular Exercise Antidote for Deadly Diseases: Researchers analyzed 174 studies published between 1980 and 2016, and found that people with high levels of weekly physical activity had a lower risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The study findings showed the biggest benefit at 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week. A person could get 3,000 MET minutes by weaving activity into their daily routine -- for example, 10 minutes of climbing stairs; 15 minutes of vacuuming; 20 minutes of gardening; 20 minutes of running; and 25 minutes of walking or cycling. BMJ 

Exercise Can Tackle Symptoms of Schizophrenia: Aerobic exercise, such as treadmills and exercise bikes, in combination with their medication, can significantly help people coping with the long-term mental health condition schizophrenia, according to a new study. Schizophrenia Bulletin 

Does Flossing Help or Not? Flossing has quietly lost its place among recommendations for daily health, as least as prescribed in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are issued every five years by the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture. That could be because there's scant evidence that flossing does much to keep teeth and gums healthy. NPR 

• Working, Volunteering Could Reduce Disablement in Seniors: A study found people ages 50 to 64 who worked full-time or part-time or volunteered up to 100 hours per year experienced a reduction in the extent to which chronic conditions were associated with subsequent functional limitations, such as the ability to walk a block or climb a flight of stairs. The findings are published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.

  Influenza Nasal Spray Provides Similar Protection as Influenza Shot: The only blinded randomized controlled trial to compare the direct and indirect effect of the live flu vaccine versus the inactivated vaccine has found that, contrary to recent reports, influenza nasal sprays provide similar protection against influenza as standard influenza shots. The study shows that the nose spray had a similar effect to the standard influenza shot. Previous recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) had previously called for nasal sprays, or live attenuated influenza vaccine, not be used during the 2016-2017 influenza season. Annals of Internal Medicine 

 High Animal Protein Intake Associated with Increase Mortality: The largest study to examine the effects of different sources of dietary protein found that a high intake of proteins from animal sources -- particularly processed and unprocessed red meats, which include both beef and pork products, and not to protein from fish or poultry. -- was associated with a higher mortality rate, while a high intake of protein from plant sources- breads, cereals, pasta, beans, nuts and legumes- was associated with a lower risk of death. More careful analysis revealed that the association of animal protein intake with an elevated mortality risk only applied to participants with at least one factor associated with an unhealthy lifestyle -- being either obese or underweight, heavy alcohol consumption, a history of smoking, or physical inactivity. In fact, the association disappeared in participants with a healthy lifestyle. JAMA Internal Medicine 

• High Doses of Fish Oil Might Help Healing After Heart Attack: Heart attack patients who took high doses of fish oil supplements for six months showed improved heart function and less scarring, researchers report. Circulation 

• Vitamin D Levels May Fall When Women Stop Taking Birth Control: Vitamin D levels may drop after women stop using birth control pills or other contraceptives with estrogen, researchers report. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 

• Diet Designed to Lower Blood Pressure Also Reduces Risk of Kidney Disease: People who ate a diet high in nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and low in red and processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages and sodium were at a significantly lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease over the course of more than two decades, new research suggests. American Journal of Kidney Diseases 

• Eating a Mediterranean Diet Can Slow Down Cognitive Decline: By sticking to the Mediterranean diet the study showed that people had slowed rates of cognitive decline, reduced conversion to Alzheimer's, and improved cognitive function. The main foods in the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) include plant foods, such as leafy greens, fresh fruit and vegetables, cereals, beans, seeds, nuts, and legumes. The MedDiet is also low in dairy, has minimal red meat, and uses olive oil as its major source of fat. Frontiers in Nutrition 

 Calcium Supplements Linked to Dementia Risk in Women WithCertain Conditions: Calcium supplements may be associated with an increased risk of dementia in older women who have had a stroke or other signs of cerebrovascular disease. Neurology. 

• Fatty Fish May Curb Eye Risks for Diabetics: Two servings of fish a week may be enough to lower the heightened risk for blindness that those with diabetes face-diabetic retinopathy- a new Spanish study suggests. JAMA Opthalmology On-line

• Generic Biologic Drugs Seem as Effective as Originals: Generic biologic drugs are similarly effective to brand-name counterparts in treating rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis, a new study says. Annals of Internal Medicine 

 Treating Psoriasis May Reduce Risk for Other Ills: "People with psoriasis, particularly those with more severe disease, have an increased risk for a variety of other health problems, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke and heart attack. Psoriasis patients, even those with mild disease, need to be aware of how this condition affects their overall health.” Treating skin inflammation in psoriasis patients may also lower inflammation in other areas of the body and reduce heart disease risk. American Academy of Dermatology 

 Treating at the Earliest Sign of MS: Starting medication for multiple sclerosis (MS) in people who show the beginning signs of the disease is associated with prolonging the time before the disease is definitively diagnosed, according to a long-term study. Neurology 

• Asthma Pill Could Reduce Symptoms in Severe Suffers The first new asthma pill for nearly 20 years has the power to significantly reduce the severity of the condition, a new study has found. Fevipiprant (QAW039) significantly decreased the symptoms of asthma, improved lung function, reduced inflammation and repaired the lining of airways. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 

New Treatment Option for Alzheimer’s Disease Possible: A research project has shown that an experimental model of Alzheimer's disease can be successfully treated with a commonly used  non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Nature Communications 

• Arhalofenate Beats Allopurinol for Gout Flares: Arhalofenate (800 mg) is safe and significantly decreases gout flares compared to allopurinol (300 mg). Arthritis & Rheumatology 

 Abaloparatide Reduces Risk of Fracture Among Women with Osteoporosis: Among postmenopausal women with osteoporosis at risk of fracture, daily injection of the drug abaloparatide for 18 months significantly reduced the risk of new vertebral and nonvertebral fractures compared with placebo. JAMA 

• Online Support Helps Women Newly Diagnosed with Breast Cancer:Researchers surveyed thousands of women not long after they learned they had breast cancer. Those who turned to online resources -- whether to share the news or gain information or support -- felt more satisfied with their treatment, the study found. JAMA Oncology 

• Depression Can Stalk Families Through Generations: People whose parents and grandparents suffered from depression are at much higher risk of developing the illness, a new study suggests. The research found that if a person's grandparent and parent each had depression, their own odds for the disorder tripled. JAMA Psychiatry 

• Most sick, Aging Americans Live Far From In-Home Care: Most older Americans struggling with chronic illnesses live too far from "in-home" medical care providers to get the help they need to stay in their homes, a new study finds. Health Affairs 

 Long-Lived Parents Could Mean a Healthier Heart Into Your 70s: The longer our parents lived, the longer we are likely to live ourselves, and the more likely we are to stay healthy in our 60s and 70s, experts say. Having longer-lived parents means we have with much lower rates of a range of heart conditions and some cancers. The major study, funded by the Medical Research Council and involving almost 190,000 participants in the UK Biobank, is the largest of its kind. It found that our chances of survival increased by 17 per cent for each decade that at least one parent lives beyond the age of 70. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 

 Time of Day Influences Our Susceptibility to Infections: We are more susceptible to infection at certain times of the day as our body clock affects the ability of viruses to replicate and spread between cells, suggests new research. The findings may help explain why shift workers, whose body clocks are routinely disrupted, are more prone to health problems, including infections and chronic disease. PNAS 

Physical Function Tied to Neurological Disease: Physical function is associated with clinical and subclinical brain disease. Slow walking and weak handgrip linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alcheimer’s Disease