Worried About Brain Impact Of Tech? So Are Some Early Facebook, Google Employees Who Are Teaming Up
Concerned technologists are creating a coalition to address the potential health issues that social media and smartphones may cause. In other public health news: Alzheimer's, migraines, learning disabilities, the latest research on dietary benefits, medical pot, sleep in women and a bionic hand.
The New York Times:
Early Facebook And Google Employees Form Coalition To Fight What They Built
A group of Silicon Valley technologists who were early employees at Facebook and Google, alarmed over the ill effects of social networks and smartphones, are banding together to challenge the companies they helped build. The cohort is creating a union of concerned experts called the Center for Humane Technology. Along with the nonprofit media watchdog group Common Sense Media, it also plans an anti-tech addiction lobbying effort and an ad campaign at 55,000 public schools in the United States. (Bowles, 2/4)
Is Amyloid, The Leading Hypothesis For Treating Alzheimer’s, Played Out? Not So Fast
In an editorial last week in the New England Journal of Medicine, Alzheimer’s researcher M. Paul Murphy of the University of Kentucky declared the impending death of this so-called amyloid hypothesis. ... But others in the field disagree that the amyloid hypothesis has been fully played out. There is still room for optimism, they said this week, that getting rid of amyloid can be the right treatment -- if given to the right patients at the right time. (Weintraub, 2/2)
Migraine Relief May Be On The Way With New Therapies In Development
Humans have suffered from migraines for millennia. Yet, despite decades of research, there isn't a drug on the market today that prevents them by targeting the underlying cause. All of that could change in a few months when the FDA is expected to announce its decision about new therapies that have the potential to turn migraine treatment on its head. (Gravitz, 2/3)
The Washington Post:
A Large Analysis Shows Coffee Is Mostly Good For You, Though Maybe Not If You're Pregnant
“It’s impossible that we still struggle to decide if coffee is healthy or unhealthy,” says Giuseppe Grosso, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Catania in Italy: Good for hypertension one week. Bad for hypertension the next. To address this vexing situation, Grosso and his colleagues collected all studies on the health effects of coffee, systematically reviewed the evidence, then offered up their bottom line in the Annual Review of Nutrition. (Powell, 2/4)
How Much Would You Pay To Cure Your Kid’s Learning Disability?
[Robert] Melillo is the founder and guru behind the steadily expanding chain Brain Balance Achievement Centers, which allows him to share his ideas far beyond his Manhattan office. Through the centers, peppered across the country, he promises to help children who have recognized conditions such as ADHD and autism spectrum disorder, as well as harder-to-pin-down varieties of academic and social struggles, with a series of exercises he’s developed. A 12-week program of 36 hourlong sessions costs between $5,544 and $6,444, depending on the center, or from $154 to $179 per session. (Lawrence, 2/5)
Diet Rich In Greens Linked To Less Age-Related Memory Loss
To age well, we must eat well — there's been a lot of evidence that heart-healthy diets help protect the brain. The latest good news: A study recently published in Neurology finds that healthy seniors who had daily helpings of leafy green vegetables — such as spinach, kale and collard greens — had a slower rate of cognitive decline, compared to those who tended to eat little or no greens. (Aubrey, 2/5)
The Washington Post:
Which Dietary Supplements Work, And Which Don't. Some Research-Based Answers
Plenty of dietary supplements claim to help you get in shape or lose weight, but do they really work? Several new resources from the National Institutes of Health summarize what is known about the safety and effectiveness of popular supplement ingredients. For example, NIH has put together a fact sheet on ingredients in exercise supplements, which manufacturers often claim can improve users’ strength or endurance, or help them achieve their performance goals faster. (Rettner, 2/3)
Herbal Remedies Mixed With Medications Cause Major Complications
If you're currently taking medications for depression, HIV, heart disease, cancer or epilepsy, you should avoid combining herbal remedies with your treatment, a new scientific review suggests. The research, published last month in the "British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology", warns of major complications when common herbal supplements are taken in conjunction with cancer treatments, antidepressants, statins and other medications. (Lemon, 2/2)
The Washington Post:
Many Doctors Are Wary Of Medical Marijuana. And Jeff Sessions Hasn’t Helped.
Gene Ransom’s day was ruined within minutes of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s announcement that he was giving federal prosecutors more freedom to go after marijuana transactions in states that have legalized medical cannabis. “Our phones just blew up,” said Ransom, the chief executive of the Maryland State Medical Society. “We must have had 400 physicians calling to ask us what this was going to mean.” (Hendrix, 2/2)
Tampa Bay Times:
Sleep Proves Elusive For Many Women, But Why?
Of course, both men and women can have trouble sleeping, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says women are more likely to have problems than men. And a 2013 Duke University study found that poor sleep may be more harmful to women both physically and psychologically. (Frankie and Folstad, 2/2)
Georgia Health News:
Bionic Hand: From A Galaxy Far, Far Away To Georgia Tech Lab
The director of Georgia Tech’s Center for Music Technology has developed an ultrasonic sensor that allows amputees to individually move the fingers of their prosthetic hands. It’s a movement that even the most state-of-the-art, commercially available prosthetic devices do not offer. (Ridderbusch, 2/2)