Saturday Health (21 – 27 Nov 2020)

Health News related to Oxford’s Vaccine, Concussion Risk in Stunt Performers, Predicting COVID-19 Patient Outcomes, Hearing Aid of The Future, Cocoa Flavanols Boosting Brain and Cognition, Switching Off Hunger, Anxiety Associated with Alzheimer’s, Lung Damage from Cooking Wood, Health Effects of Long-Duration Space Flight, Health Harms of Prolonged Sitting, Early Birth and Hospital Visits, Obesity and Individual’s Responsibility.

Note: I do not write/own any of the health news bits (and cover picture) given here. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. The content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Oxford University and AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial Shows Up To 90 Percent Effectiveness

Source: The Verge

23 Nov 2020

A COVID-19 vaccine developed by the UK’s Oxford University and AstraZeneca has an average efficacy of 70.4 percent, according to interim analysis announced today. In trials, the vaccine’s effectiveness varied depending on the dose amounts given. When two full doses were given a month apart the effectiveness stood at 62 percent, but this rose to 90 percent when the vaccine was given first as a half dose, and then as a full dose.

Original written by: Jon Porter

2. Concussion Risk in Stunt Performers

Source: Ohio University

23 Nov 2020

Research is shining a light on a segment of concussion patients who often go unnoticed in comparison to athletes: performing artists. The study highlights the risk of concussion for dance, circus, theater and film and television stunt performers, along with guidelines for treatment. It is the first-time concussion risk for film and television stunt performers that is being highlighted in scientific literature.

3. Algorithm to Accurately Predict COVID-19 Patient Outcomes

Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

23 Nov 2020

A team of engineers demonstrated how a new algorithm they developed was able to successfully predict whether or not a COVID-19 patient would need ICU intervention. This artificial intelligence-based approach could be a valuable tool in determining a proper course of treatment for individual patients.

Original written by: Torie Wells

4. Hearing Aid of The Future Listens to Brainwaves

Source: KU Leuven 24 Nov 2020
In a noisy room with many speakers, hearing aids can suppress background noise, but they have difficulties isolating one voice – that of the person you’re talking to at a party, for instance. Researchers have now addressed that issue with a technique that uses brainwaves to determine within one second whom you’re listening to.

5. Cocoa Flavanols Boost Brain Oxygenation, Cognition in Healthy Adults

Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau

24 Nov 2020

The brains of healthy adults recovered faster from a mild vascular challenge and performed better on complex tests if the participants consumed cocoa flavanols beforehand, researchers report. In the study, 14 of 18 participants saw these improvements after ingesting the flavanols.

Original written by: Diana Yates

6. Hormone Found to Switch Off Hunger Could Help Tackle Obesity

Source: eLife

24 Nov 2020

A hormone that can suppress food intake and increase the feeling of fullness in mice has shown similar results in humans and non-human primates, says a new study. The hormone, called Lipocalin-2 (LCN2), could be used as a potential treatment in people with obesity whose natural signals for feeling full no longer work.

7. Anxiety Associated with Faster Alzheimer’s Disease Onset

Source: Radiological Society of North America

24 Nov 2020

New research shows that anxiety is associated with an increased rate of progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. The study group included 339 patients, average age of 72 years. Patients with anxiety symptoms developed Alzheimer’s disease faster than those without anxiety, independently of whether they had brain volume loss or a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

8. Cooking with Wood May Cause Lung Damage

Source: Radiological Society of North America

25 Nov 2020

People who cook with biomass fuels like wood are at risk of suffering damage to their lungs. The study found that people who cooked with wood biomass were exposed to greater concentrations of pollutants and bacterial endotoxins. The findings have implications for people exposed to biomass smoke from wildfires.

9. Health Effects of Long-Duration Space Flight

Source: Colorado State University

25 Nov 2020

The historic NASA Twins Study investigated identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly and provided new information on the health effects of spending time in space. The research team found that chronic oxidative stress during spaceflight contributed to the telomere elongation they observed. They also found that astronauts in general had shorter telomeres after spaceflight than they did before.

Original written: by Mary Guiden

10. Physical Activity to Offset Health Harms of Prolonged Sitting

Source: BMJ

25 Nov 2020

The health harms associated with prolonged sitting can be offset by exceeding weekly recommended physical activity levels, says the WHO in new global guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. It’s the first time that a recommendation of this kind has been made. It reflects a large and growing body of evidence linking extensive sedentary time to serious ill health and a heightened risk of early death.

11. Early Birth Linked to Greater Risk of Hospital Visits During Childhood

Source: BMJ

25 Nov 2020

Being born early (before 37 weeks’ gestation) is associated with a higher risk of hospital admission throughout childhood than being born at full term (40 weeks’ gestation), finds a study. Although the risk declined as the children grew up, particularly after age 2, an excess risk remained up to age 10, even for children born at 38 and 39 weeks’ gestation, representing many potentially vulnerable children, say the researchers.

12. Obesity Is Not Only the Individual’s Responsibility

Source: Kobe University

26 Nov 2020

Analysis of 5425 responses to a questionnaire survey given to 20,000 Kobe citizens revealed that in women, obesity was related to the individual’s social and economic background (for example, factors such as marital status, economic circumstances, educational background, and childhood experiences of abuse by a parent). The same connection was not found in results from male participants.

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