Ten minutes of physical exercise daily can reduce brain decline

Ryan Morrison For Mailonline  


a man standing in a kitchen: MailOnline logo© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Getting ten minutes of physical exercise a day while in middle age can help to protect your brain from decline as you get older, a new study shows. 

Regular physical activity – such as walking briskly, running or cycling – in middle age into later life is associated with less brain damage 25 years later, say scientists.

Colombia University Irving Medical Center researchers studied 1,600 people with an average age of 53 who had attended five physical examinations over 25 years. Their findings suggest greater amounts of ‘moderate-to-vigorous intensity’ physical activity in middle age have a ‘protective’ effect on the brain as you get older.

The participants involved in the study rated their weekly activity levels once at the start and again at two additional times over the 25 year period. Each person reported the amount of time they engaged in moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity, which researchers classified as none, low, middle or high.

The researchers then used brain scans to measure participants’ grey and white brain matter and lesions, or areas of injury or disease in the brain, at the end of the study. Study author Priya Palta said the findings suggest physical activity – particularly during mid-life – is closely linked to brain health.

‘Getting at least an hour and 15 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity a week may be important throughout your lifetime for promoting brain health and preserving the actual structure of your brain,’ Palta said. ‘In particular, engaging in more than two-and-a-half hours of physical activity per week in middle age was associated with fewer signs of brain disease.’

Dr Palta said the results show being active in mid-life has real brain benefits, particularly ‘consistently high levels of mid-life moderate-to-vigour physical activity’. 

Other research has shown that brain lesions may be caused by inflammation or other damage to the small blood vessels in the brain.

Dr Palta added: ‘Our research suggests that physical activity may impact cognition in part through its effects on small vessels in the brain.

‘This study adds to the body of evidence showing that exercise with moderate-to-vigorous intensity is important for maintaining thinking skills throughout your lifetime.’

The study has been published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. 

Source: Ten minutes of physical exercise daily can reduce brain decline, study (msn.com)

Actress Tanya Roberts Died of a UTI—How Can That Happen?

Tanya Roberts, Tanya Roberts are posing for a picture: Getty Images
© Provided by Health.com Getty Images

Actress Tanya Roberts, who starred in the TV sitcom That ’70s Show and the 1985 James Bond movie A View to Kill, has died at age 65 from a urinary tract infection (UTI) that spread to other parts of her body.

Benjamin Brucker, MD, director of the Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Program at NYU Langone Health, tells Health:

“UTI, also known as cystitis when it’s limited to the bladder, is the second most common type of infection in the US, according to the Urology Care Foundation. About 10 in 25 women and 3 in 25 men will have symptoms of a UTI during their lifetime. And while you can get a UTI at any age, they’re more common in older people.

In most cases, when we talk about a UTI we are talking about an infection of the bladder or a condition called acute bacterial cystitis. This is what classically causes burning with urination (dysuria), frequency, and urgency of urination.”

When caught early, a UTI is normally very easy to treat (with antibiotics if it’s a bacterial infection, or antifungal meds if it’s a fungal infection). If a doctor suspects that the infection has spread, they may send the patient for additional tests, such as blood tests, kidney scans, or an ultrasound.

In some cases, the immune system can have a very strong reaction to an infection. This is known as sepsis, and it usually manifests with fever, shaking chills, and very low blood pressure, Dr. Brucker says.

“If the infection that causes sepsis starts in the urinary tract, we often call this uro-sepsis,” he explains. “This means what might have started in the urinary tract is now having an effect all over the body. When the bacteria spreads to other parts of the body during uro-sepsis, the bacteria growing in the urinary tract can be found in the bloodstream. As this bacteria travels through the blood and body, the body’s inflammatory response, as well as the toxins that the bacteria can release, leads to dysfunction of our vital organs. When these organs start to fail, this is what ultimately can lead to a patient’s demise.”

While it is possible for a UTI to result in sepsis and become fatal, it’s not common. “Death is not the normal outcome from something like cystitis or an uncomplicated bladder infection,” Dr. Brucker says. In rare cases, bacteria that gets into the urinary tract or urinary bladder will spread to the kidney or the bloodstream.

“This may relate to patient factors, such as genetics and other medical conditions, as well as the type and strain of bacteria,” Dr. Brucker says. Some patients, like the elderly or those with urinary system blockages like kidney stones, are more likely to develop sepsis.

By Claire Gillespie  for Health©

Source: Actress Tanya Roberts Died of a UTI—How Can That Happen? (msn.com)

Dr. Dre survived a brain aneurysm. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Dr. Dre wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Mike Coppola / Getty Images
© Provided by INSIDER Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Music mogul and hip hop legend Dr. Dre was treated for a brain aneurysm on Tuesday, later posting he was “doing great” on Instagram. Doctors said they have yet to determine what caused his aneurysm but he is stable for now, TMZ reported.

“I’m doing great and getting excellent care from my medical team,” he wrote. “I will be out of the hospital and back home soon.”

Here is everything you need to know about the condition. 

What is a brain aneurysm? 

A cerebral aneurysm (better known as a brain aneurysm) is a condition in which a blood vessel in the brain expands, causing a balloon of blood to develop. The balloon can rupture or leak, which can be life-threatening for 40% of cases. 

While an estimated 50% to 80% of aneurysms never rupture, those that do can have devastating consequences. 

When an aneurysm bursts, people may experience symptoms like sudden head pain, vomiting, a stiff neck, double vision, and confusion, according to the Mayo Clinic. These types of ruptures can lead to permanent brain damage and death. 

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the total number of people in the US living with the condition is unclear because “they don’t always cause symptoms.” Approximately 30,000 Americans suffer brain aneurysm ruptures each year.

There aren’t always tell-tale signs that someone will experience a brain aneurysm. Instead, there are risk categories to look out for. 

Genetics and family history oftentimes play a large role in determining whether or not you will experience aneurysms in your lifetime, so experts recommend knowing your family’s history with the condition and consulting your doctor accordingly. 

Pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol could also be warning signs, as both are associated with weakening arterial walls, which can lead to blood vessels ballooning. 

Smoking, heavy drinking, and drug use can also weaken your arteries and make you more vulnerable to aneurysms. 

Other risk factors include age and sex, as brain aneurysms usually rupture between the ages of 30 to 60 and are more commonly experienced by women. 

Source: insider@insider.com (Canela López) 

Dr. Dre survived a brain aneurysm. Here’s what you need to know about the life-threatening condition. (msn.com)

What Does Hypoallergenic Really Mean?

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By Michael Blaiss, M.D.  for U.S. News©

Have you ever seen the word “hypoallergenic” in front of a product or animal, and wondered what it really meant? For example: Does the label mean it’s safe to put on your skin, come in contact with or be able to pet?

Let’s take a deeper dive and find out what this word means and why it’s important to your health.

If we break down the word, we first get the prefix “hypo,” which means under, beneath or less than normal. The word “allergenic” means “other, different, strange.” This word was coined by the Austrian pediatrician Clemens Von Pirquet to describe what we now know as an immunologic reaction that can include hives, swelling of the skin, sneezing, asthma and life-threatening anaphylaxis. Putting the prefix “hypo” with “allergenic” implies a less-than-normal (or below average) allergic reaction.

Does this imply that objects labeled “hypoallergenic” are safe and less likely to trigger a reaction? One of the most common products for which we see the term “hypoallergenic” on the label is cosmetics. The implication is that these beauty aids will produce fewer allergic reactions in people with hypersensitive or even normal skin. The label makes it sound like these are “gentler” for your skin. Is this absolutely true? In one word, no.

In the U.S., there is no standard from the Food and Drug Administration that requires a cosmetic to prove it’s hypoallergenic. It’s up to the manufacturer to use the term if they want to, but they don’t have to perform any clinical studies to validate their claim. In the 1970s, there was a court case initiated by manufacturers to reverse an FDA regulation mandating companies that make cosmetics to prove their claim of “hypoallergenic” on the label. The FDA lost the case in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia. The ruling, which still stands today, allows manufacturers to continue to advertise their cosmetics as being hypoallergenic. But we as consumers have no way of knowing if that’s true. If you purchase one of these products, you need to carefully read the label to make sure there’s no ingredient to which you’re allergic before buying.

This isn’t just an issue with cosmetics. You may see “hypoallergenic” applied to other items such as toys, baby products and clothing. Just like cosmetics, there is no federal government standard for the term when applied to these items. Buyer beware!

So what about pets? You might have heard someone say, “I’m allergic to dogs, but I got a hypoallergenic one, so I won’t have a reaction.” You see advertisements boasting that a particular breed of cat or dog is hypoallergenic. You may have heard that if a dog doesn’t shed, it’s hypoallergenic.

However, the bottom line is that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat or dog. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the proteins from pets that cause people to develop allergies are found not only on the hair, but also in the animal’s saliva and urine. Even though you may think an Egyptian hairless cat can’t trigger allergies, that’s not true.

Depending on the seriousness of the person’s allergy to an animal, they could suffer a life-threatening reaction around a “hypoallergenic” pet. It’s very important to know this if you have cat or dog allergy, as there is no truly safe cat or dog. An allergist can test you to find out what your level of allergy is, and offer advice on what you should do to avoid symptoms.

Of course, there are many wonderful products that have the label “hypoallergenic.” But it doesn’t mean that they’ve met rigorous scientific studies to prove their claim. Remember the famous quote from the movie “The Princess Bride.”

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Copyright 2021 U.S. News & World Report

What Is Soda Bread, and Do the Irish Actually Eat It?

By Ellen Morrissey  for Martha Stewart©

If you were born and raised in Ireland, soda bread is likely what you grew up eating at nearly every meal. It’s served first thing in the morning as part of a full Irish breakfast, with tea in the afternoon, and alongside beef or lamb stew or any number of other Irish specialties at dinner. Traditional soda bread has just four ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. Brown bread, made from stone-ground whole-wheat flour, is the most common loaf found on Irish tables. White soda bread is made with all-purpose white flour.a plate of food with a slice of cake on a table: Johnny Miller© Provided by Martha Stewart Living Johnny Miller

According to Darina Allen, the grande dame of Irish cooking and author of multiple books on the subject, “From earliest times, breadmaking was an integral part of daily life in almost every home…even in the poorest country cabin, fresh soda bread would have been mixed on a wooden baking board and baked on the griddle, or…over the ember of the turf fire.” Those loaves featured Irish wheat and buttermilk—either the by-product of butter making, or in the days before refrigeration, sour milk that needed to be used up. The lactic acid in the buttermilk reacts with the alkali baking soda to create carbon dioxide, which in turn causes the bread to rise. Baking soda was introduced to Ireland (where it’s known as bread soda) in the 1830s. Since then, it’s been a staple in Irish home (and restaurant) kitchens. Incidentally, historians trace the development of baking soda to Native Americans, who first used pearl ash as a way to leaven bread.

One this side of the Atlantic, what we call “Irish soda bread” is more rich and sweet, usually studded with raisins and caraway seeds. These cakey, scone-like loaves often include eggs and butter for tenderness and more flavor. It’s nearly impossible to find an accurate date when it became known as the definitive soda bread in the United States. Nevertheless, it’s been on the menu in Irish restaurants and bars on St. Patrick’s Day and sold in bakeries throughout Irish-American strongholds all year long for as long as anyone can remember. Though its overall shape and structure derive from those early Irish loaves, it bears more of a resemblance to a cake known as Spotted Dog (or Spotted Dick, not to be mistaken for the British steamed pudding of the same name). To further confuse matters, Spotted Dog is known as Railway Cake when it’s baked in a loaf pan. Good luck keeping all those names straight!

Whatever it’s called, soda bread is among the easiest, most forgiving home-baked goods, and it’s one of the quickest breads to go from mixing bowl to table. Since there’s no yeast involved, it’s nearly impossible to mess it up. In fact, the less you handle the dough, the better. As Allen explains, when it came to traditional soda bread, “it was a compliment of the highest order to be described as having ‘a light hand.'” If you’re new to bread making, you might want to start with soda bread. Martha’s take on the authentic Irish loaf—with a combination of graham and all-purpose flours filling in for the Irish whole grain, and butter added for richness—and this rye version are both heavenly served with smoked trout, strong cheeses like Cashel blue, warm bowls of hearty soup, or simply slathered with salted Irish butter. From there, you can try one of the sweeter, cakier versions.

The last step in making any loaf of soda bread is to cut a cross in the top of the dome of dough. According to Irish legend, this is to “let the devil out,” but the technique actually serves a practical purpose. The deep slash allows the dough to cook evenly from crust to inner crumb, creating the inimitable texture that American culinary icon James Beard described as “velvety.”

As for the name, the easiest way to clear up the confusion may be to simply refer to the raisin- and caraway-studded version as Irish American Soda Bread, as it’s called in the Joy of Cooking. In that most American of American cookbooks, the bread is aptly described as “richer, sweeter and more cake-like than authentic Irish soda bread, which we are assured never made the acquaintance of a raisin or caraway seed either.” Perhaps adding the “American” qualifier between “Irish” and “soda” makes saying it too much of a mouthful.

The one caveat about making soda bread from scratch is that it is best eaten on the day that it’s baked. It doesn’t keep nearly as well as yeast-risen breads. As long as you have enough good-quality butter, some nice fruit jam, and some Irish smoked salmon, however, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Source: What Is Soda Bread, and Do the Irish Actually Eat It? (msn.com)

Why We all need human touch

Slide 6 of 30: Touch has a wide range of functions for us, including conveying emotion. Hugs and kisses, anyone?

 © Shutterstock

Why we touch

Touch has a wide range of functions for us, including conveying emotion. Hugs and kisses, anyone?

Slide 3 of 30: The skin is the biggest organ in the human body. In an adult, it covers an average of 22 square feet (2 square meters)!

© Shutterstock

It’s all over us

The skin is the biggest organ in the human body. In an adult, it covers an average of 22 square feet (2 square meters)!

Slide 1 of 30: “I just want someone to talk to, and a little of that human touch. Just a little of that human touch.” It looks like Bruce Springsteen was onto something. We really do need human touch, and not just a little–we actually need it a lot. We've needed it since the day we are born and throughout our lives.A world without touch is hard to imagine, but as we live more isolated lives and interact less, this can indeed become a problem. Browse through the following gallery and learn why human touch is so important and why we all need it.

 © Getty Images

Why we all need human touch

“I just want someone to talk to, and a little of that human touch. Just a little of that human touch.” It looks like Bruce Springsteen was onto something. We really do need human touch, and not just a little–we actually need it a lot. We’ve needed it since the day we are born and throughout our lives.

A world without touch is hard to imagine, but as we live more isolated lives and interact less, this can indeed become a problem. Browse through the following gallery and learn why human touch is so important and why we all need it.

Slide 2 of 30: Touch is the first sense we use to send information to our brains before we’re born.

 © Shutterstock

Before we see or hear

Touch is the first sense we use to send information to our brains before we’re born.

Slide 7 of 30: Touch can help us calm down from stress arousal, for instance. It can have a pacifying effect that words can’t match.

 © Shutterstock

Why we touch

Touch can help us calm down from stress arousal, for instance. It can have a pacifying effect that words can’t match.

Slide 8 of 30: In fact, touch is so powerful that it can actually reduce blood pressure and decrease your heart rate.

 © Shutterstock

It calms us down

In fact, touch is so powerful that it can actually reduce blood pressure and decrease your heart rate.

Slide 9 of 30: Research shows that hugs can boost our immune system and decrease disease.

 © Shutterstock

Touch boosts the immune system

Research shows that hugs can boost our immune system and decrease disease.

Need more reasons to touch? Check them here:

Source: Why we all need human touch (msn.com)

Stylists reveal the 11 fashion trends we’ll be seeing everywhere in 2021

By insider@insider.com (Sophia Mitrokostas)  for Insider©

Stylists reveal the 11 fashion trends we’ll be seeing everywhere in 2021

  • Insider asked three stylists for their 2021 fashion-trend predictions. 
  • High-waisted pants are on the rise in men’s fashion. 
  • Ribbed or knit two-piece sets will likely be big for the colder months, and bra tops could be a major warm-weather style.
  • Stylists think both pinks and earthy tones will be trendy colors in 2021. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

With 2020 out, it’s time to get ready for a fresh crop of fashion trends. 

Insider spoke with three professional stylists to find out their 2021 style predictions.  Here are a few:

Slide 3 of 12: Personal and fashion stylist Lana Blanc told Insider that statement sleeves are about to have their moment. "We're expecting to see big-shouldered, 1980s-style sleeves and sleeves adorned with oversized ruffles," she said. Styles on the rise include bell and balloon sleeves, which can add visual interest to a top without sacrificing warmth.

© Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Statement sleeves will likely gain popularity.

Personal and fashion stylist Lana Blanc told Insider that statement sleeves are about to have their moment. 

“We’re expecting to see big-shouldered, 1980s-style sleeves and sleeves adorned with oversized ruffles,” she said. 

Styles on the rise include bell and balloon sleeves, which can add visual interest to a top without sacrificing warmth.

Slide 6 of 12: Earth tones may become the new neutrals in the coming decade. "Warm, earthy colors are working their way into fashion at a very fast pace," Kenger told Insider. "They're replacing the sleek blacks and grays we've been seeing for a long time."The colors on the rise will likely include rust reds, mustard yellows, and deep browns.

 © Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Earthy colors are on the rise.

Earth tones may become the new neutrals in the coming decade. 

“Warm, earthy colors are working their way into fashion at a very fast pace,” Kenger told Insider. “They’re replacing the sleek blacks and grays we’ve been seeing for a long time.”

The colors on the rise will likely include rust reds, mustard yellows, and deep browns.

Slide 7 of 12: Bra tops fall somewhere between a crop top and a bra, and Blanc thinks this midriff-baring style will emerge as a warm-weather trend in 2021.  "This trend may not thrill everyone, but you can get creative with it," she said. "Pair a bra top with a sheer blouse or layer one over a crisp white button-down."Some bra tops are more sporty, but others are made from luxe materials like velvet or silk.

 © Mauricio Santana/Getty Images

Bra tops will likely be everywhere in spring and summer 2021.

Bra tops fall somewhere between a crop top and a bra, and Blanc thinks this midriff-baring style will emerge as a warm-weather trend in 2021.  

“This trend may not thrill everyone, but you can get creative with it,” she said. “Pair a bra top with a sheer blouse or layer one over a crisp white button-down.”

Some bra tops are more sporty, but others are made from luxe materials like velvet or silk.

Finally,

Slide 8 of 12: The new year may bring a wave of pink pieces to wardrobes and runways. "I predict that pink will be a really popular color in 2021," Blanc told Insider. "The spring 2021 runways were full of pink silk, pink pants, pink accessories, and even pink details in tweed." Hues like bubblegum and pastel pink may be easier to incorporate into everyday wear, but more saturated and neon shades are gaining popularity, too. 

 © Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Pink may be the color of the new year.

The new year may bring a wave of pink pieces to wardrobes and runways. 

“I predict that pink will be a really popular color in 2021,” Blanc told Insider. “The spring 2021 runways were full of pink silk, pink pants, pink accessories, and even pink details in tweed.” 

Hues like bubblegum and pastel pink may be easier to incorporate into everyday wear, but more saturated and neon shades are gaining popularity, too. 

For more fashion insight, click below.

Source: Stylists reveal the 11 fashion trends we’ll be seeing everywhere in 2021 (msn.com)