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Saturday, June 25, 2016

TO YOUR HEALTH: Some Surprising Bits of New Medical Information

Why do plaques pockmark the brain of Alzheimer's patients?  When a virus, fungus or bacterium invades your brain--and the older you are these microbes can more easily sneak through the protective membrane--our defense mechanism is to stop the invader with a sticky cage of proteins, which does the job, but what is left behind is plaque, which inflames the brain.  This innate immune system has been confirmed for yeasts, roundworms, fruit flies and mice.  With age, the leakiest  part of the membrane tries to protect the hippocampus, the site of learning and memory.  Perhaps someday a way will be found to keep your brain membrane functional for longer periods.

Sixteen years ago the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that there have been 850 different studies, all indicating that the mental health of people improved with religion.  An additional 350 studies found that religious people are physically healthier.  Who funds these studies, anyway?  That's more than a thousand projects looking into this field, and that was before the year 2000.

Recently a Harvard study on the health and lifestyles of 75,534 middle-age female nurses over 16 years through 2012 showed that church attendance:
  • more than once/week provided a 33% lower risk of death,
  • once a week gave a 26% lower risk and
  • less than once/week improves your longevity by 13%.
The above comparison was made to those  female nurses who did not go to church.  These were mostly Protestant and Catholic in the U.S.  The sense was that men, too, would benefit.  It was stated that doctors should not necessarily urge their patients to attend church to live longer.  But heck, why not?  Click on this for an article on bioethics and the medical profession.

The person who wrote that first article above on plaques, Gina Kolata of The New York Times, also penned this third bit of medical news, on a cosmetic discovery--siloxane gel followed by a platinum catalyst--which appears to be safe, and could well provide a second skin for people, especially the aged. One application would be to reduce eyebags:


The left bag (as you are looking at the above photo) uses this biotech product.  The skin on my outer arms are prone to abrasions.  Soon, Olivo Laboratories' cross linked polymer layer (XPL) should be able to minimize this condition.

Tomorrow my blog will focus on dining out:  15 Craigside will go to Sorabol, plus, my night out with a remarkable family (left).  There will be a Part 2 about latest medical developments, for on Monday (or Tuesday) the title will be:  SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT OBESITY?  The answer is not what you'd expect, and while obesity is not particularly fabulous, the latest medical evidence, and overwhelmingly so, is that those overweight  apparently have a higher life expectancy than normal beings.

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