Exercising May Help Protect Your Brain
Being physically fit may slow brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.
According to preliminary findings published today in Neurology, people with early-stage Alzheimer's who were more physically fit had larger brains than those in the study who were less fit. Staying fit therefore may slow brain atrophy related to Alzheimer's disease, but researchers warn the results are preliminary. Fifty-seven people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease and 64 without dementia—all age 60 and older—had MRI brain scans and fitness tests.
In March, after a study found that belly fat is linked to dementia risk, U.S. News provided tips for reducing a bulging waistline.
Experimental Drug Could Cut Fracture Risk in Prostate Cancer Patients
An experimental medication called denosumab cut the risk of fracture and osteoporosis in men being treated for prostate cancer, the Wall Street Journal reports. The injectable medication was compared with a placebo during a three-year study of more than 1,400 prostate cancer patients. The men were undergoing a hormone-blocking therapy for prostate cancer that is known to weaken bones and increase the risk of fractures. Denosumab's maker, Amgen, is also awaiting research results that will determine whether the drug can help all osteoporosis patients.
Sex Ed for Parents--at the Office
A workplace-based program called Talking Parents, Healthy Teens, which is designed to help parents learn how to talk about sexual health with their children, may ease communication about sexual topics between parents and teens, according to a study published last week in BMJ (formerly British Medical Journal). The program included eight weekly one-hour sessions at the workplaces of parents of adolescents ages 11 to 16. Researchers evaluated parent-child communication about topics including whether the parent taught the adolescent how to use condoms, as well as the ability to talk about sex and the openness of communication about sex.
U.S. News's Nancy Shute talked to Mark Schuster, chief of general pediatrics at Children's Hospital Boston and the brains behind Talking Parents, Healthy Teens, about how the program helps teens and parents communicate.
New Website Forecasts Air Quality for Asthmatics
A new website, Azma.com, provides a four-day air quality forecast that it claims can tell asthmatics when spending too much time outside might be bothersome. Surveillance Data, a medical data company whose clients include pharmaceutical companies, operates the site and also runs Pollen.com, which provides four-day pollen predictions by ZIP code. The format of Azma.com, which launched June 30, is similar to the pollen site: Users enter their ZIP codes and get a four-day forecast of air quality levels in their areas, based on a proprietary formula that looks at five major air pollutants: ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
—January W. Payne