Nasal Spray with Insulin Equivalent Shows Promise as Treatment for Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s Dementia

Newswise — WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Jan. 8, 2015 – A man-made form of insulin delivered by nasal spray may improve working memory and other mental capabilities in adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease dementia, according to a pilot study led by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The study’s subjects were 60 adults diagnosed with amnesic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). Those who received nasally-administered 40 international unit (IU) doses of insulin detemir, a manufactured form of the hormone, for 21 days showed significant improvement in their short-term ability to retain and process verbal and visual information compared with those who received 20 IU does or a placebo.

Additionally, the recipients of 40 IU doses carrying the APOE-e4 gene – which is known to increase the risk for Alzheimer’s – recorded significantly higher memory scores than those who received the loser dosage or placebo, while non-carriers across all three groups posted significantly lower scores.

Previous trials had shown promising effects of nasally-administered insulin for adults with AD and MCI, but this study was the first to use insulin detemir, whose effects are longer-lasting than those of “regular” insulin.

“The study provides preliminary evidence that insulin detemir can provide effective treatment for people diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s-related dementia similar to our previous work with regular insulin,” said Suzanne Craft, Ph.D., professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study, which is published online in advance of the February issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. “We are also especially encouraged that we were able to improve memory for adults with MCI who have the APOE-e4 gene, as these patients are notoriously resistant to other therapies and interventions.”

The researchers also sought to determine if the insulin detemir doses would cause any negative side effects, and found only minor adverse reactions among the subjects.
The study’s overall results support further investigation of the therapeutic value of insulin detemir as a treatment for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, Craft said.

“Alzheimer’s is a devastating illness, for which even small therapeutic gains have the potential to improve quality of life and significantly reduce the overall burden for patients, families and society,” she said. “Future studies are warranted to examine the safety and efficacy of this promising treatment.”

The research was support by National Institute of Aging grants P50 AG05136 and T32 AG000258 and the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Co-authors are Laura Baker, Ph.D., Wake Forest Baptist; Amy Claxton, Ph.D., Angela Hanson, M.D., Emily H. Trittschuh, Ph.D., Amy Morgan, R.N., Maureen Callaghan, M.D., and Colin Behl, B.S., Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and University of Washington School of Medicine; Brenna Cholerton, Ph.D., University of Washington School of Medicine; and Matthew Arbuckle, Oregon Health Sciences University.

Posted in Alzheimer's, Cognitive Impairment, Dementia | Leave a comment

Alcohol Warnings From Parents Matter

Newswise — BUFFALO, N.Y. — Parenting practices and restrictions when it comes to alcohol use can make a difference with adolescent drinking, and there is considerable value to consistent and sustained parental attitudes about drinking, according to new research by a University at Buffalo psychologist.

This study, however, shows that those same parents who communicate the risks of alcohol use with their young children are often less likely to continue those discussions as their kids get older, a result suggesting that parents shouldn’t underestimate the impact of maintaining that messaging as their children move through adolescence, according to Craig Colder.

His study, “A latent growth curve analysis of alcohol-use specific parenting and adolescent alcohol use,” was published in the December issue of Addictive Behaviors.

Colder says a parent’s attitude affects a kid’s attitude, and subsequently drinking in general.

“What our data are suggesting is that you can’t control all of your kids’ decisions, but you can help them to make good choices in situations where alcohol is available,” said Colder. “You want kids to think about and reflect upon the pros and cons of drinking based on your previous discussions.”

A downloadable photo of Colder is available here:

Most of the literature on adolescent alcohol use has been driven by the kinds of attitudes that predict drinking, but little work has been done on how these attitudes form. That was the genesis for this project, according to Colder. “We wanted to understand how kids’ attitudes develop.”

Though evidence shows that restrictive household rules against alcohol use discourage children from drinking, parents tend to shift those rules over time, along with the attitudes they project to their kids about drinking. The rules slacken as children get older; the consequences of breaking those rules become less severe; and parents spend less time with their kids discussing alcohol use and its associated dangers.

“We found a correlation between the shifting of those three aspects of parenting and increases in alcohol use,” said Colder. “The more rapid those declines, the more rapid the increase in the onset of alcohol use.”

The study used three annual assessments of parents and the target adolescent. For the first assessment, subjects were 10- or 11-years-old, an age before most kids initiate drinking. Researchers asked questions about drinking and the family environment. One year later, the subjects were interviewed again, and then interviewed a third time after another year had passed.

“The research is correlational in nature, which has implications for how we can interpret causality. We’re not manipulating parenting in an experimental way. We’re looking at what’s happening in the naturalistic environment. It’s called a passive correlation design,” said Colder. “We’re just observing two things that happen over time and determining if they’re related to each other And these two things are related.”

The NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funded this study, is funding another round of research, already underway, that will allow Colder to follow the subjects for an additional three years. The successive studies will combine data obtained before the subjects started drinking and through their early phases of experimental drinking, with the data to be gathered in the follow-up study, where alcohol use can escalate to problem drinking in the late adolescent, young adult years.

Posted in Alcohol, Parenting, Pediatric Health: Teenagers | Leave a comment

Worsening Trends in Headache Management

Newswise — BOSTON – Each year more than 12 million Americans visit their doctors complaining of headaches, which result in lost productivity and costs of upward of $31 billion annually. A new study by researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) suggests some of that cost could be offset by physicians ordering fewer tests and an increased focus on counseling about lifestyle changes.A new study of more than 9,000 physician visits for headaches between 1999 and 2010 found that, rather than talking to patients about the causes and potential sources of relief from headache pain, clinicians are increasingly ordering advanced imaging and providing specialist referrals, both of which are considered to be of little value in the treatment of routine headaches. The findings of the study were published online by the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The assessment of headaches depends on identifying the relatively rare instances where serious underlying causes are suspected, says lead author John N. Mafi, MD, a fellow in the Division of General Medicine and Primary Care at BIDMC, who notes that evidence-based guidelines for routine headache, including those from the American Academy of Neurology, suggest conservative treatments such as counseling on stress reduction or avoiding dietary triggers.

“I was particularly alarmed about the overall trend of more imaging tests, medications, and referrals alongside less counseling,” says Mafi. “These findings seem to reflect a larger trend in the US healthcare system beyond just headache: over-hurried doctors seem to be spending less time connecting with their patients and more time ordering tests and treatments.

“To me, this study suggests that the current 20 minute visit-based model of healthcare is broken and that we need to move towards promoting and reimbursing innovative solutions such as doctors and patients electronically collaborating on their healthcare outside the office visit.”

The study, which analyzed an estimated 144 million patient visits, found a persistent overuse of low-value, high-cost services such as advanced imaging, as well as prescriptions of opioids and barbiturates. In contrast, the study found clinician counseling declined from 23.5 percent to 18.5 percent between 1999 and 2010.

The use of acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen for migraine remained stable at approximately 16 percent of the medications. Meanwhile, the use of anti-migraine medications such as triptans and ergot alkaloids rose from 9.8 percent to 15.4 percent. Encouragingly, guideline-recommended preventive therapies – including anti-convulsants, anti-depressants, beta blockers and calcium channel blockers – rose from 8.5 percent to 15.9 percent. Unlike with the treatment of back pain, researchers found no increase in the use of opioids or barbiturates, whose usage should be discouraged, although they were used in 18 percent of the cases reviewed.

Researchers also found a significant increase in advanced imaging such as CT scans and MRIs, from 6.7 percent of visits in 1999 to 13.9 percent in 2010. The use of imaging appeared to rise more rapidly among patients with acute symptoms, compared to those with chronic headache.

The data reflect a nationally representative sample of clinical visits for headaches from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and the National Hospital Medical Care Survey. The data excluded visits with “red flags” such as neurological deficit, cancer or trauma.

Mafi notes that “despite the publication of numerous practice guidelines, clinicians are increasingly ordering advanced imaging and referring to specialists while less frequently suggesting first-line lifestyle modifications to their patients. The management of headache represents an area of particular concern for our healthcare system and stands out as an important opportunity to improve the value of healthcare in the United States.”

The findings raise concerns on both a treatment and a cost basis, adds senior author Bruce Landon, MD, MBA, MSc, also of BIDMC. A 2010 report in the Journal of the American College of Radiology “found 62 percent of CT head/brain scans are inappropriate according to evidence-based guidelines, most frequently ordered inappropriately for chronic headache,” he says.

This overuse has significant consequences, because incidental findings provoke unnecessary patient anxiety, can lead to more invasive procedures and often require follow-up testing.”

In addition to Mafi and Landon, also of the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, authors include Roger B. Davis, ScD of BIDMC; Ellen P. McCarthy, PhD, MPH of BIDMC and the Office for Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School; Samuel T. Edwards, MD, section of General Internal Medicine, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System; and Nigel P. Pedersen, MB, BS, of the Department of Neurology of BIDMC and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Mafi was supported by a National Research Service Award training grant (T32HP12706) from the US Health Services and Research Administration. Davis was supported by the Harvard Catalyst (NIH Award #UL T001102-01). Pedersen was supported by an NIH NINDS R25-NS070682-04 Award. No other disclosures were reported.

Posted in Headaches, Headaches: Migraines, Health Care: Medical Errors, Pain | Leave a comment

Radon’s link to lung cancer

Newswise — Each year, radon kills more people than home fires, drowning, falls or drunk driving. It is the number one cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, taking some 21,000 lives annually.

Even though there are plenty of ways to decrease exposure to the radioactive element that results from the decay of uranium, many people aren’t aware of their risk or options.

Because radon is naturally present in soil, rock and water, everyone is exposed to at least low levels of it in the air we breathe. Some areas have soil with higher concentrations than others. When radon is released into enclosed structures – such as modern homes with higher energy efficiency and less ventilation – the levels can become dangerous.

“The degree of radioactivity causes DNA damage and cancer,” says Dr. Jennifer Toth, director of interventional pulmonology at Penn State Hershey. “It is a colorless, odorless, intangible thing that creates a cumulative effect.”

When inhaled at high levels or for extended periods of time, the radioactive particles can damage the cells that line the lungs. Decades typically pass between exposure and when health problems surface.

“If you are living in a basement where the radon level is 20 for five years, you have the same risk as someone who has lived in a home with a radon level of 10 for twice as long,” Toth says. “Children also tend to have higher exposure to it because of their lung structure and their higher respiratory rate.”

Dr. Michael Reed, chief of the division of thoracic surgery at Penn State Hershey, says the general public tends to underestimate the risk – or believe that only smokers need worry about it. “Everyone should have their home checked,” he says. “If the levels are high, move forward with some sort of abatement process.”

Although smokers who are exposed to radon have 10 to 20 times the risk of nonsmokers of developing lung cancer, anyone can suffer the effects of high radon levels.

Many homes are tested for radon before they are bought and sold, but if you don’t know the radon level where you live, you can purchase a test kit or hire a certified professional to assess the risk and offer suggestions to decrease the levels.

“Current technology can easily decrease the concentration of radon in the air and lower the risk,” Reed says. “It’s easy, but it’s merely awareness.”

During the month of January, which is radon awareness month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urges everyone to learn more about the problem and available solutions through a Citizen’s Guide to Radon that it has put together. You can find it at

The National Cancer Institute also has more information on the health risks at

Learn more on Radon: The Silent Killer at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8 on WHTM-TV (abc27).

The Medical Minute is a weekly health news feature brought to you by Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Articles feature the expertise of Penn State Hershey faculty physicians and staff, and are designed to offer timely, relevant health information of interest to a broad audience.

Posted in Cancer: Lung, Environmental Health: Radon | Leave a comment

Blueberries could reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness

Newswise — TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Thinking about topping your morning cereal with a cup of blueberries?

Do it.

Just one cup of blueberries per day could be the key to reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness, both of which are associated with cardiovascular disease.

“Our findings suggest that regular consumption of blueberries could potentially delay the progression of prehypertension to hypertension, therefore reducing cardiovascular disease risk,” said Sarah A. Johnson, assistant director of the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging (CAENRA) and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at Florida State University.

Johnson and a team of FSU nutrition and exercise scientists are the authors of a new paper, “Daily blueberry consumption improves blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension.” Their work is found in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Johnson said she is interested in looking at how functional foods — foods that have a positive impact on health beyond basic nutrition — can prevent and reverse negative health outcomes, particularly for postmenopausal women.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States,” she said. “Once women go through menopause, this puts them at an even greater risk for it. Our findings suggest that the addition of a single food, blueberries, to the diet may mitigate the negative cardiovascular effects that often occur as a result of menopause.”

Over an eight-week period, 48 postmenopausal women with pre- and stage-1 hypertension were randomly assigned to receive either 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder — the equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries — or 22 grams of a placebo powder. Participants, meanwhile, continued their normal diet and exercise routines.

At the beginning of the study, the team took participants’ blood pressure and measured their arterial stiffness and select blood biomarkers.

At the end of the eight weeks, participants receiving the blueberry powder on average had a 7 mmHg (5.1 percent) decrease in systolic blood pressure, which is the top number in the blood pressure reading that measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. They also saw a 5 mmHg (6.3 percent) reduction in diastolic blood pressure, or the bottom number measuring the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.

Additionally, participants in the blueberry-treated group had an average reduction of 97 cm/second (6.5 percent) in arterial stiffness.

They also found that nitric oxide, a blood biomarker known to be involved in the widening of blood vessels, increased by 68.5 percent. That is important, Johnson said, because arterial stiffness and the narrowing of blood vessels are both a part of hypertension. This rise in nitric oxide helps explain the reductions in blood pressure.

Previous studies on blueberries have shown positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure, but they all included large amounts of blueberry powder consumption, anywhere from 50 grams to 250 grams. In the case of 250 grams, that would translate to more than 11 cups of fresh blueberries, which may not be realistic for people to consume on a regular basis.

Johnson said that future studies will consider other dosages of blueberries, longer intervention periods and other sample populations.

Johnson is joined on the paper by Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences professors Bahram H. Arjmandi and Arturo Figueroa; Campus Recreation Wellness Coordinator Lauren T. Ormsbee; Oklahoma State University Department of Statistics Department Head and Professor Mark E. Payton; and San Diego State University School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences Professor Shirin Hooshmand. Florida State University graduate students Negin Navaei, Alexei Wong, Roy Kalfon, Rafaela G. Feresin and Marcus L. Elam also contributed.

The research was funded by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (USHBC).

Posted in Hypertension, Nutrition is Medicine, Nutrition: Food: Blueberries | Leave a comment

How Quality of Sleep Impacts Academic Performance in Children

Newswise — Making sure school-aged kids get to sleep at a regular hour is often a struggle for parents. But a study by researchers at McGill University and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal suggests it’s well worth the effort: the researchers found that a good night’s sleep is linked to better performance in math and languages – subjects that are powerful predictors of later learning and academic success.

In findings published recently in the journal Sleep Medicine, the researchers reported that “sleep efficiency” is associated with higher academic performance in those key subjects. Sleep efficiency is a gauge of sleep quality that compares the amount of actual sleep time with the total time spent in bed.

While other studies have pointed to links between sleep and general academic performance, the Montreal scientists examined the impact of sleep quality on report-card grades in specific subjects. The upshot: with greater sleep efficiency, the children did better in math and languages – but grades in science and art weren’t affected.

“We believe that executive functions (the mental skills involved in planning, paying attention, and multitasking, for example) underlie the impact of sleep on academic performance, and these skills are more critical in math and languages than in other subjects,” says Reut Gruber, a clinical child psychologist who led the study.
Low academic achievement in children is a common and serious problem that affects 10-20 % of the population. “Short or poor sleep is a significant risk factor for poor academic performance that is frequently ignored,” says Gruber, who is a researcher at the Douglas Institute and professor in McGill’s Department of Psychiatry.

Gruber’s research team, in collaboration with the Riverside School Board in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, studied 75 healthy children between 7 and 11 years of age. The children’s nighttime sleep was monitored by actigraphy, which uses a wristwatch-like device to evaluate sleep by measuring movements. “We averaged the data over five nights to build the children’s habitual sleep patterns and correlated the data with their report-card grades,” Gruber says.

The takeaway for parents

The findings underscore the importance of identifying sleep issues that may otherwise go unnoticed, Gruber says. That doesn’t mean parents need to rush out and have their kids tested at sleep clinics — but it does point to a need for pediatricians to incorporate questions about sleep into routine checkups, she adds.

“I think many kids might have some sleep issues that nobody is aware of,” she says. “And if the pediatrician doesn’t ask about it, we don’t know that it’s there. Regular screening for possible sleep issues is particularly important for students who exhibit difficulties in math, languages or reading.”

The research was supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Sleep efficiency (but not sleep duration) of healthy school-age children is associated with grades in math and languages, by Reut Gruber, Gail Somerville, Paul Enros, Soukaina Paquin, Myra Kestler, Elizabeth Gillies-Poitras is published in the journal Sleep Medicine:

More information on children’s sleep:

Posted in Early Childhood Education, Education, Human Behavior: Learning, Pediatric Health: Sleep, Sleep | Leave a comment

Wearable Tracking Devices Alone Won’t Drive Health Behavior Change, According to Penn Researchers

Newswise — PHILADELPHIA – New Year’s weight loss resolutions are in full swing, but despite all the hype about the latest wearable tracking devices, there’s little evidence that this technology alone can change behavior and improve health for those that need it most, according to a new online-first viewpoint piece in JAMA. The paper, written by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine, the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, and the LDI Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, points out that even though several large technology companies are entering this expanding market, there may be a disconnect between the assumed benefits and actual outcomes.

“The notion is that by recording and reporting information about behaviors such as physical activity or sleep patterns, these devices can educate and motivate individuals toward better habits and better health,” wrote authors Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, MS, David A. Asch, MD, MBA, and Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD, all of whom are faculty at Penn and attending physicians at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. “The gap between recording information and changing behavior is substantial, however, and while these devices are increasing in popularity, little evidence suggests that they are bridging the gap.”

Instead, the authors suggest that applying behavioral economics concepts—such as lotteries or telling individuals what they would have won had they achieved a goal—could help achieve behavioral change. “Building new habits may be best facilitated by presenting frequent feedback… and by using a trigger that captures the individual’s attention at those moments when he or she is most likely to take action.”

The authors believe that there are four challenges that need to be addressed for wearable devices—available as bracelets, watches and even necklaces from high-end designers—to effectively promote health behavior change. First, a person must be motivated enough to want a device and be able to afford it. Second, once a device is acquired, a person must remember to wear it and occasionally recharge it. Third, the device must be able to accurately track its targeted behavior. And fourth, the information must be presented back to the user (using a feedback loop) in a way that can be understood, that motivates action, and that sustains the motivation towards improved health.

“Although wearable devices have the potential to facilitate health behavior change, this change may not be driven by these devices alone,” wrote the authors. “Ultimately, it’s the engagement strategies—the combinations of individual encouragement, social competition and collaboration, and effective feedback loops—that connect with human behavior.”

Posted in Commercial Fitness Industry, Exercise: Benefits, Human Behavior: Habits, Nutrition is Medicine | Leave a comment

Hobby Lobby candle recall

Recall Summary

Name of product: DD brand candles


The candle’s high flame can ignite the surface of the wax, posing a fire hazard.


View Details

Consumer Contact: CoScentrix toll-free at (888) 298-2722 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at and click on “Product Recall Info” at the bottom of the page.

Report an Incident Involving this Product

Recall Details


About 168,000 (About 256,000 candles sold in jars and tins were recalled in November 2014 and about 126,000 candles sold in tins were recalled in April 2014)


This recall involves four types of DD branded single-wick candles: Mason jars in 5- and 12- ounce sizes, decorative jars in 10- and 20-ounce sizes, 13-ounce coffee tins and 13-ounce jars with a holiday theme. The candles were sold in a variety of fragrances and colors.


The 5-ounce Mason jars are 2.25 inches wide by 3.75 inches high. The 12-ounce Mason jars are 3 inches wide by 5 inches high. The jars have gray metal lids. The DD logo and the word Handcrafted are in raised letters on the front of the jars. The candle fragrance and size are printed on a hang tang attached to the mouth of the jars.


The 10-ounce decorative jars are 4 inches wide by 3 inches high. The 20-ounce decorative jars are 5 inches wide by 4 inches high and hold a candle. The jars have gray metal lids with the DD logo in raised letters on the top. The candle fragrance and size are printed on a rectangular label on the front of the jar.


The 13-ounce coffee tins are 3.5 inches wide by 4 inches high and have a silver metal lid. The candle size and fragrance are printed on a label that wraps around the outside of the tin.


The 13-ounce holiday candle jars are 3.75 inches wide by 4 inches high and have silver metal lids with the DD logo in raised letters on the top.  The DD logo inside a floral wreath, the fragrance and size are printed directly onto the front of the jar in silver.


The SKU number is on a label on the underside of each container. Candles with the following scents and SKU numbers are being recalled:


Scent SKU#
5-ounce Mason jar
Green Tea Leaf 746123
Pineapple Lavender 759258
Tomato Tart 721704
12-ounce Mason jar
Apple Spiced Cider 956797
Apricot Cranberry Jam 5441431*
Cherry Lime Spritzer 956862
Crushed Basil Leaves 910919
Ginger Vanilla 956755
Meyer Lemon and Juniper 909168
Night Potion 5441357*
Peach Cobbler 956359
Pineapple Lavender 957068
Rasberry Whip 956706
10-ounce decorative jar
Autumn Moonlight 957142
Beach Getaway 957712
Clementine and Mango 957506
Fern Leaf 957159
French Berries 957308
Sea Spa 957167
Southern Magnolia 957738
Spring Bouquet 957746
Tuscan Harvest 958009
Vanilla Orchid 958025
Vintage Luxe 958033
20-ounce decorative jar
Autumn Moonlight 841130
Beach Getaway 881920
Clementine and Mango 878900
Fern Leaf 854968
French Berries 886392
Sea Spa 859652
Southern Magnolia 883264
Spring Bouquet 889527
Tuscan Harvest 891242
Vanilla Orchid 892216
Vintage Luxe 905919
13-ounce coffee tin
Rooibos Tea 578476
13-ounce Holiday candle
Holiday Wreath 507186
Pomegranate 516997
Sleigh Ride 512061
Snowfall 500777


*Candles with seven-digit SKUs are seasonal.


CoScentrix has received one additional report of a candle’s surface igniting and no additional reports of injury or property damage. In the two previous recalls CoScentrix received a total of 31 reports of the candle’s surface igniting, one report of injury and 10 reports of property damage.



Consumers should immediately stop using the candles and return them to the nearest Hobby Lobby. Consumers with a receipt will receive a full refund. Consumers without a receipt will be issued a store credit. Online purchasers should contact CoScentrix for instructions on returning the product.

Sold at

Hobby Lobby stores nationwide and online at from June 2014 through October 2014 for between $6 and $20.


CoScentrix, of Carson, Calif.

Manufactured in

United States

Posted in Recalls | Leave a comment

Withdrawal or expecting your lover to mind-read hurts relationships, but in different ways

When you have a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you withdraw like a turtle into its shell? Or perhaps you expect your partner to be a mind reader about what ticks you off?

Those are two of the most common types of disengagement in relationships, and both can be harmful, but in different ways and for different reasons, says researcher Keith Sanford, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences.

“Withdrawal is the most problematic for relationships,” Sanford said. “It’s a defensive tactic that people use when they feel they are being attacked, and there’s a direct association between withdrawal and lower satisfaction overall with the relationship.”

Meanwhile, “passive immobility” — expecting your partner to be a mind-reader — is a tactic people use when they feel anxious in a relationship, and it makes it especially difficult for couples to make progress toward resolving conflicts. But it may not be as harmful down the line as withdrawal, he said.

The study by Sanford and other Baylor researchers — “Two Types of Disengagement During Couples’ Conflicts: Withdrawal and Passive Immobility” — appears in Psychological Assessment, the journal of the American Psychological Association.

Withdrawal does not necessarily influence whether a couple can resolve a conflict, said Sanford, who has done several previous studies on couples’ conflicts. But expecting or hoping the other person will be a mind reader has a direct influence on the couple’s ability to settle the issue.

The research consisted of three studies:

In the first, 2,588 married or cohabitating participants completed an anonymous questionnaire. They described a single, specific conflict; rated how much they used withdrawal or passive immobility; and completed a relationship satisfaction index.

In the second, 223 adults in committed romantic relationships completed scales measuring withdrawal, expectations of mind reading, attachment, concerns, emotion, relationship satisfaction and communication.

In the third, 135 undergraduate students in committed romantic relationships wrote about a conflict, then responded to questions about disengagement, communication and emotion during the conflict.

Withdrawing when a partner criticizes or complains is a way of avoiding a perceived threat and is “more characteristic of unhappiness. Just about everyone does that from time to time, but you see more of that in distressed relationships,” Sanford said.

The research showed that individuals were more likely to report withdrawal if they were bored or apathetic. “There’s a desire to maintain autonomy, control and distance,” Sanford said.

Meanwhile, those who expected a partner to know what is wrong without being told are anxious, feeling neglected rather than threatened.

“You’re worried about how much your partner loves you, and that’s associated with neglect. You feel sad, hurt and vulnerable,” Sanford said.

Conflicts in which one partner expects the other to mind-read were more likely to lead to negative communication and anger — and that can lead to a Catch-22.

“Often, you have one person who withdraws and the other demands. The more the one demands and complains, the more the other withdraws, and so on,” Sanford said.

“It’s an issue both of being aware of when these behaviors are occurring and of finding an alternative — a more constructive, polite approach to resolve conflict,” he said. “And at times, that’s easier said than done.” Source

Posted in Human Behavior: Intuition, Human Behavior: Perception, Human Behavior: Relationships | Leave a comment

Emotions are felt in specific locations in the body, regardless of culture, ethnicity

Emotions adjust our mental and also bodily states to cope with the challenges detected in the environment. These sensations arising from the bodily changes are an important feature of our emotional experiences. For example, anxiety may be experienced as pain in the chest, whereas falling in love may trigger warm, pleasurable sensations all over the body. Research from Aalto University reveals, how emotions are literally experienced through the body.

The researchers found that the most common emotions trigger strong bodily sensations, and the bodily maps of these sensations were topographically different for different emotions. The sensation patterns were, however, consistent across different West European and East Asian cultures, highlighting that emotions and their corresponding bodily sensation patterns have a biological basis.

- Emotions adjust not only our mental, but also our bodily states. This way the prepare us to react swiftly to the dangers, but also to the opportunities such as pleasurable social interactions present in the environment. Awareness of the corresponding bodily changes may subsequently trigger the conscious emotional sensations, such as the feeling of happiness, tells assistant professor Lauri Nummenmaa from Aalto University.

- The findings have major implications for our understanding of the functions of emotions and their bodily basis. On the other hand, the results help us to understand different emotional disorders and provide novel tools for their diagnosis.

The research was carried out on line, and over 700 individuals from Finland, Sweden and Taiwan took part in the study. The researchers induced different emotional states in their Finnish and Taiwanese participants. Subsequently the participants were shown with pictures of human bodies on a computer, and asked to colour the bodily regions whose activity they felt increasing or decreasing.

The research was funded by European Research Council (ERC), The Academy of Finland and the Aalto University (aivoAALTO project)

The results were published on 31 December 2013 (U.S. Eastern time) in the scientific journal  Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America (PNAS).

Original publication:

Posted in Human Behavior: Anxiety, Human Behavior: Happiness, Human Behavior: Love | Leave a comment

Early blood glucose control lengthens life in people with type 1 diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes who intensively control their blood glucose (blood sugar) early in their disease are likely to live longer than those who do not, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings are the latest results of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and its follow-up, the Epidemiology of Diabetes Control and Complications (EDIC) study. Results were published online Jan. 6 in the Journal of the American Medical Association External Web Site Policy.

“The outlook for people with type 1 diabetes continues to improve,” said
Catherine Cowie, Ph.D., of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the primary funder of the study. “These results show that by tightly controlling their blood glucose, people with type 1 diabetes can live longer.”

Type 1 diabetes typically occurs in younger people and was formerly called juvenile-onset diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin, and people with type 1 need to take daily insulin to live.

Beginning in 1983, the DCCT/EDIC study enrolled 1,441 people between ages 13 and 39 with recent-onset type 1 diabetes. In the DCCT, half were assigned at random to intensive blood glucose control designed to keep blood glucose as close to normal as safely possible, and half to the conventional treatment at the time. Both groups were similar in age. The DCCT ended in 1993 when the intensive control group was found to have substantially less eye, nerve and kidney disease.  All participants were taught intensive blood glucose control and followed during the ongoing EDIC. Blood glucose control has been similar in both groups since DCCT ended.

Researchers found 107 deaths among DCCT/EDIC participants, who were followed an average of 27 years from enrollment. There were 64 deaths in the group that had initially received standard treatment and 43 deaths in the intensive treatment group, a 33 percent reduction in deaths. The most common causes of death – not all necessarily related to diabetes – were cardiovascular diseases (22 percent), cancer (20 percent), acute diabetes complications – where blood glucose became dangerously high or low (18 percent) – and accidents/suicide (17 percent).

More people in the conventional treatment group than the intervention group died from diabetic kidney disease (six vs. one). The study also found that higher average glucose levels and increased protein in the urine – a marker of diabetic kidney disease –were the major risk factors for death.

“These results build on earlier studies, which suggested that increased protein in the urine largely accounts for shorter lifespans for people with type 1 diabetes,” said the study’s lead author, Trevor Orchard, M.D., a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. “These results further emphasize the importance of good early glucose control, as this reduces the risk for increased protein in the urine in general, as well as diabetic kidney disease.”

Since the 1993 publication of the findings, the DCCT intensive treatment has become standard practice for type 1 diabetes. The new findings show that reductions in diabetes complications resulting from tight glucose control translate into longer lifespans.

“Thanks to the findings over the years from the landmark DCCT/EDIC study, millions of people with diabetes may prevent or delay debilitating and often fatal complications from the disease,” said NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D. “NIH’s mission is to help improve lives through biomedical research. These kinds of results provide hard evidence that what we do helps people live longer, healthier lives.”

Diabetes affects more than 29 million Americans, most of whom have type 2 diabetes, often associated with overweight or obesity. Another NIH study found that in older adults with longstanding type 2 diabetes and high cardiovascular disease risk, very intensive glucose control to near normal levels actually increased mortality. In contrast, the DCCT/EDIC studied intensive glucose control in younger people with type 1 diabetes earlier in the course of their disease and found intensive control had a prolonged benefit in reducing mortality. Find more information on diabetes at

The NIH has supported the DCCT/EDIC over the past 31 years, currently under grants U01DK094176 and U01DK094157. The DCCT is registered as NCT00360815 and EDIC is registered as NCT00360893 in

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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Low magnesium ups diabetes risk

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Magnesium is an important nutrient, in part because it appears to help regulate insulin secretion and/or action. Sure enough, studies over the last decade have shown that low intake of the mineral is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. But everyone is different, so doctors need to know much more before they can accurately tailor nutritional therapy for patients. A new study in the Journal of Nutrition found several deep, specific interactions of diet, genetics, and ethnicity in determining magnesium-mediated diabetes risk in postmenopausal women.

It’s not informative enough to examine disease risk in terms of just genes, or just magnesium intake, said study senior author Dr. Simin Liu, professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health at Brown University and professor of medicine at the Alpert Medical School. best online casino nz

“The ultimate effect of a genetic mutation on a disease outcome is indeed dependent on environmental exposures,” Liu said. “It is an interaction.”

To better understand those interactions in the relatively understudied populations of black and Hispanic women, Liu’s team looked into the rich dataset of the Women’s Health Initiative, a massive study funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. With this resource they were able to analyze the magnesium intake, type 2 diabetes status, and genes of 7,287 black women and 3,285 Hispanic women between the ages of 50 and 79.

The study aimed to account for all genes known to regulate how the body handles magnesium. In all, the team looked at 17 genes and in particular at 583 common one-letter differences in their genetic code (e.g., what would normally be an A is instead a G). These differences are called single-nucleotide polymorphisms — SNPs.

For example, lead author by Kei Hang Katie Chan and her co-authors found that among Hispanic American women with high magnesium intake, those with the SNP “rs8028189” on the gene “NIPA2” had a 35-percent lower type 2 diabetes risk than women overall, an uncommonly high advantage. Black women, meanwhile, showed a 16-percent lower risk for each copy of the gene “CNNM1” they carried with the SNP “rs6584273.” Here, however, there was no clear dependence on how much magnesium they consumed.

The study provides clues into underlying physiological connections that link magnesium to diabetes. “Nutrient metabolism is genetically regulated and each gene typically has some specific functions,” Liu said, “and our study suggests each one’s relative contribution to diabetes risk in different women. But more study is needed to understand these links well enough to craft interventions.”

Liu’s team recently became one of the first to win a grant under the American Heart Association’s Cardiovascular Genome-Phenome initiative. He will use that support to pursue further studies into the links among diet, genetics, ethnicity, and the risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Ultimately, he hopes to make findings that enable highly personalized prevention and medical care of the conditions, informed by an understanding of the complex interplay between lifestyle and biology in each patient.

“That’s the general framework of ‘4P’ medicine — predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory,” he said. “We are not ready for prime time yet, but that’s ultimately the goal.”

In addition to Liu and Chan, other authors on the paper are Sarah Chacko, Yiqing Song, Michele Cho, Dr. Charles Eaton, and Wen-Chih Wu of Brown.

Support for the research came from sources including the National Institutes of Health and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. Source

Posted in Diabetes, Nutrition: Magnesium | 1 Comment

Mind-Body Connection Not a One-Way Street

Newswise — We usually think our mind is in control and telling our body what to do. But there is a lot of scientific evidence that shows the chatter between mind and body goes two ways, and the body is an integral part of how we think. In the new book How the Body Knows Its Mind: The Surprising Power of the Physical Environment to Influence How You Think and Feel, Prof. Sian Beilock provides the latest scientific evidence about the body’s influence on our psyche, drawing on work from her own laboratory and from colleagues around the world. cassino online brasil

Beilock, a leading expert on the brain science behind human performance, believes the body-mind connection starts early.

“Movement matters with everyone, but it is especially important for babies and young children,” said Beilock. “Mobile kids hit cognitive milestones faster.” She said that simple steps like allowing babies to run around naked—when appropriate—can help them explore their worlds. Beilock said wearing diapers and using baby walkers can limit a baby’s ability to interact with the world and hinder the process of learning how to walk. The more quickly children learn how to walk and explore, the faster their cognitive development.

Incorporating physical activity into more subjects can help kids learn in school, according to Beilock.

“We can’t just keep students confined to their chairs—we have to get them up, out and moving,” Beilock said. “When the subjects are math or physics, getting students to actually physically experience some of the concepts they’re learning about changes how their brains process the information and can lead to better performance on a test.”
Movement also helps explain the connection between music and math. Why do kids tend to excel in both? It’s because the brain areas controlling finger dexterity and number largely overlap. Beilock unpacks the latest research showing that when kids exercise their fingers through regular piano play, their grasp of numbers improves.

Exercise can aid mental health as well as academic achievement, according to Beilock. “The research shows that getting kids moving is important not only for their physical well-being, but for their mental well-being, too.” She said schools need to emphasize “the “4 Rs”—reading, (w)riting, (a)rithmetic and recess. Boys’ academic achievement may especially benefit from recess, she added. Slot Spiele

Exercise is equally important for older adults, as it can promote healthy aging mentally and physically. “There are clear differences in brain health in fit, older adults compared with their more sedentary counterparts,” said Beilock. “And these differences carry consequences for thinking and reasoning as well as for memory.” Beilock stressed that aerobic exercise, which can alter the structure and functioning of the brain, is key for improving mental health. Activities like swimming, running, cycling, walking briskly or even doing household chores at a vigorous pace can benefit the brain, in addition to keeping the body fit.

How the Body Knows Its Mind provides many tips on how to use one’s body, actions or surroundings to stimulate the mind and to influence those around you. She offered a few suggestions to improve the body-mind connection:

• Take active breaks from work or vexing problems to give your brain a chance to regroup and reboot. Physically walking away from the problem for a few minutes may help you solve it.
• Your body’s posture and expressions are not just reflections of your mind—they can influence your mood. Stand tall to help give yourself confidence and to send a signal to those around you that you have brought your “A” game to the table. And be mindful of your facial expressions. Your brain uses your expressions as cues to feel emotions. Smiling can actually make you feel happier.
• Practice in the real conditions under which you will have to perform—whether it’s public speaking, a test or an important match. It’s also good to practice in front of others so when all eyes are on you, it’s nothing new.
• Write it out. Journaling can help you deal with the stress of a test or your worries in daily life. Physically downloading worries from your mind (by putting pen to paper) has positive performance outcomes and reducing that stress affects your health in good ways, too.
• Spend time in nature as often as you can, and find time to meditate. New science shows that a walk in the woods rejuvenates our minds and improves our ability to pay attention and focus. Meditation for even a few minutes a day can help alleviate anxiety and chronic pain. It also can help with self-control that may be helpful for working to break bad habits, like smoking.

“Little things we do can have a big effect,” said Beilock. “The idea of the book is that if we can understand the science behind how the body affects the brain, we will be in a great position to ensure that we’re always putting our best foot forward when it matters the most.”

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