One of the main concerns about the mutation of viruses has been confirmed as a reality. Researchers from the University of Texas have documented the presence of airborne antibiotic resistance. This is the first time that airborne antibiotic resistance has been documented outside of a clinical setting, and as an airborne gene transmission, not an exposure factor. This stands to lead to important discoveries about the nature of how to develop vaccines that can keep up with the protective mutation cycles of viruses to insure better protection for the human and animal population.
The discovery around cows
The team of researchers took multiple air samples in the open air feeding areas for cows at their research ranch. They were able to detect airborne gene markers for antibiotic resistance that implied that gene introduction could come through contact with the mucous membranes of an animal. Over 95% of all the antibiotics used in the US or Canada by Winnipeg dentists are used with animals designated for food supply. The development of antibiotic resistance in the herds could drastically impact the cost and availability of food in the US. It also has broad reaching implications for the safety of the human population as well.
What we thought resistance was has changed
Prior to these findings, airborne antibiotic resistance was thought to be passed via contact of the mucous membranes with airborne particles directly from the infected animal. The findings show that the exhalations of resistant animals can contain the gene that has mutated to become resistant that can then become inhaled or ingested by other animals – thus creating resistance within them. While this can pose a threat to the safety and security of the food supply, it is also essential for finding ways to control the spread of airborne antibiotic resistance more effectively.
What it could lead to
This discovery could lead to new ways of controlling the spread of resistance among farm animals, but it could also change the infection protocols for humans as well. Knowing that the gene can be airborne, hospitals may alter how they interact with those who have resistance built up. The researchers are currently working to determine the lifespan of the airborne resistance factor.
Forget what you thought you knew about exercise for teens and young adults, a new study has confirmed that moderate exercise can significantly boost brain power in that age group. Researchers at the University of Otago recently completed an analysis of a large test group that looked at the impact of exercise on the young, and were shocked by the findings. There was a radical improvement in their focus and concentration abilities that had been previously detected.
Why would exercise help?
The new study looked at several different markers that took into account functioning, processing, reaction time while relating them to physiological markers in the brain. What they found is that 30 minutes of exercise done 5 days a week was enough to boost the oxygen levels in the brain while also increasing the amount of endorphins and other hormones released in the body. It had been previously thought that this oxygen effect didn’t have an impact on the young because their brains were still developing. Instead, they found that it has an almost stronger effect on the developing brain that that of the matured brain.
What can more oxygen do for your brain?
The level of oxygen present in the brain has been determined to affect some very important function and cognition abilities. It can help maintain multi-task focus (such as is needed with driving a car), but it also improves the ability to control impulses and perform cause and effect thinking. These functions are performed by very specific parts of the brain that are not fully developed until your mid-twenties. The increase of consistent oxygen levels can speed the ability of these areas to perform better while still growing.
The recommendations apply to all
The findings of this study are changing the recommendations that are given for daily exercise. The exercise level needed to see the greatest results was only moderate. Breathing patterns were identified as the most significant part of the exercise. You need to get to a cardio rate that promotes heavy breathing 5 days a week for 30 minutes. This type of cardio rate can be achieved with moderate exercise such as walking.
A new study is raising concern about a connection between over the counter sleep medications and dementia. Researchers at the University of Washington analyze data from the histories of patient’s with dementia and identified a strong correlation between the use of certain medications and the development of dementia. They also identified a similar acting set of prescription drugs that may be a contributing risk factor.
Which drugs are they concerned about?
OTC sleep aidsThe main type of drug that was connected with a higher risk for dementia were drugs that had anticholinergic effects. There are some tricyclic antidepressants used that have this effect, but the greatest concern was found with the fact that one of the most common sleep aids and bronchilators carried the risk too. Diphenhydramine is a drug used in OTC sleep aids and antihistamines. There was a similar effect found with the first generation antihistamines and antimuscarinics as well.
The length of time is important
Professor Shelly Gray, the research team leader, cautioned people not to abandon their medication because of the report findings. Gray emphasized that while there is a correlation with dementia, there was also another determining factor which was the dose and duration of the use of each of the substances. For most of the anticholinergics, a daily dose of 25mg taken every day for 3 to 5 years would lead to the increased risk for dementia. For most people who only use the medications for temporary relief, there shouldn’t be any worries about their dementia risk increasing.
Why this news isn’t surprising
While these findings may come as a shock and surprise to the general public, it isn’t that surprising to the medical community. Anticholinergics have long been used to treat severe psychosis because in large doses they can effectively erase memory, specially after Metro bus crash accidents. It is the knowledge that low doses on a daily basis may also build up to have this effect that was not known before. While you should continue taking your medication as prescribed, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about other possibilities for treatment so you do not raise your risk for dementia.
Researchers at Brigham’s & Woman’s Hospital Sleep Institute have completed a cohort study of the habits and effects of shift work on people. While it was expected that the result findings would show that there was a broad disruption to normal sleep cycles, what was striking were the new findings on how working the second shift can impact your health. It has been directly connected to raising your risk of diabetes and obesity. Researchers are no working to determine the best way to counteract this effect by looking at everything from sleep patterns to lifestyle habits that can be modified. Remember that Houston injury lawyer case?
10 pounds a year
The study showed that the disruption in the natural circadian rhythms of the body would lead to an average weight gain of 10 pounds per year. Diet and exercise may not always be helpful because the interruption to the body cycles by working the second shift means a hormonal disruption. This hormonal disruption can then change all of the metabolic cycles in the body involved with digestion, nutrition and immune safety.
Diabetes and Obesity risk for all
The biggest cause for concern is that working on the night shift raises your risk for developing diabetes and obesity. The normal recommendations for good sleep hygiene, diet and exercise haven’t been studied for how they should be modified for shift workers. New work is looking at the best recommendations to make for swing shift workers to control their risk for these diseases. The increased risk also carries with it a tremendous impact, as both diabetes and obesity come with a path of increasing complications that are expensive for the person, and the workforce.
Most problematic for one group
The biggest concern of the research findings was the identification of one group that is most at risk. African-American women who work the night shift are most likely to develop diabetes faster than workers of any other race. This will inform the coming recommendations about ways to handle shift work while reducing your risk of having an ill effect from just going out to earn your living.
The University at Texas in Galveston recently completed a study review of data to try and help identify factors that influence clinical outcomes for those with asthma. What they discovered is that most people who have asthma are not using their inhalers or epinephrine injector pens correctly. At times, their method of using the devices results in their not receiving any medication and this results in a medical crisis. The mistakes that were most commonly made were highlighted by the study and it is helping to shape an education imitative to improve how people with asthma can manage their symptoms.
Age doesn’t matter
One thing that was a vital discovery for the study was that the mistakes made were common across all groups of people. There was no difference when allowances were made for age, education level, or any other distinguishing factor. Overall, 66% of all persons who use an inhaler or injector are not doing it correctly. Most missed two to three steps in the use process of each that then led to crises, or to their symptoms not being adequately managed. It is hoped that with this information, doctors and pharmacists can target re-educating people on proper use procedures.
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The two most common mistakes
The first most common mistakes made with asthma inhalers is that after each inhale from the device, the person failed to exhale completely. In order for the medication to work, it has to be drawn into the lungs and then air from the lungs has to be completely expelled so the medication can reach all of the tissue. The second problem is that people did not shake the device between inhales. Most did remember to shake it before the first inhale, but few remembered to shake it again before the second – meaning they were getting half doses of the medication only.
Similar issues with use of EpiPen
Epinephrine injector use showed similar problems. The two most common mistakes were not holding the pen in place for 10 seconds and then injecting; and also to not push the plunger forcefully enough to activate the injection.