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Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - This Week -

TUNE IN: Mu­sic may be the food of love but it could also be good for the brain. Ac­cord­ing to Dutch re­searchers, mu­sic could im­prove chil­dren’s cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties, lead­ing to im­proved aca­demic per­for­mance at school. A study re­cently pub­lished in the jour­nal Fron­tiers in Neu­ro­science fol­lowed 150 chil­dren from dif­fer­ent schools over a pe­riod of two and a half years. As well as the reg­u­lar pri­mary cur­ricu­lum, some un­der­went mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion while oth­ers had vis­ual arts classes. At the end of the pe­riod, it was found that those who did vis­ual arts saw some ben­e­fits such as an im­proved vis­ual short-term mem­ory. How­ever, those who took mu­sic lessons recorded sig­nif­i­cant cog­ni­tive im­prove­ments com­pared to the oth­ers. These im­prove­ments were in ar­eas such as short-term mem­ory, plan­ning and lan­guage-based rea­son­ing. DI­A­BETES RE­MIS­SION: A study has proven that it is pos­si­ble for some peo­ple with type 2 di­a­betes to go into re­mis­sion us­ing a low-calo­rie, diet-based man­age­ment pro­gramme that is over­seen by their GP. The re­sults of the first year of the Di­a­betes Re­mis­sion Clin­i­cal Trial were pub­li­cised at a ma­jor di­a­betes con­fer­ence in the UK last month. Its most im­por­tant find­ings con­cerned the link be­tween weight loss and re­mis­sion. 86% of those who lost more than 15kg went into re­mis­sion af­ter one year. So did 57% of those who lost be­tween 10kg and 15kg, and 34% of those who lost be­tween 5kg and 10kg. In a con­trol group, where peo­ple did not fol­low a weight­man­age­ment plan but had the best di­a­betes care avail­able, just 4% went into re­mis­sion. GIFT OF LIFE: This week is Or­gan Donor Aware­ness Week. Or­gan­is­ers are en­cour­aged by the news that last year was a record year for or­gan trans­plan­ta­tion in Ire­land. In 2017, 327 or­gans were trans­planted into 321 pa­tients, 23 of whom were chil­dren. At the end of 2017, 524 peo­ple were ac­tively wait­ing for trans­plants. This week, peo­ple are en­cour­aged to ap­ply for or­gan donor cards and dis­cuss do­na­tion with their fam­i­lies. The cards can be ob­tained by phon­ing the Ir­ish Kid­ney As­so­ci­a­tion on 01-6205306, or by free tex­ting the word DONOR to 50050.

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