World of Medicine

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In­ter­rupted Sleep May In­crease Risk for Alzheimer’s

If you keep wak­ing up in the mid­dle of the night, your brain may be in trou­ble. Three re­cent stud­ies have shown that breath­ing dis­or­ders that in­ter­rupt sleep are linked to higher lev­els of the beta-amy­loid pro­tein, which is as­so­ci­ated with Alzheimer’s. This was true both for peo­ple who have been di­ag­nosed with mild cog­ni­tive im­pair­ment and for those with no symp­toms. It’s not clear yet if sleep dis­rup­tions ac­tu­ally cause de­men­tia, but ad­dress­ing them will help your brain work bet­ter in any case. If you’re tired all the time, get tested by a sleep spe­cial­ist.

Mod­er­ate Drink­ing May Re­duce Di­a­betes Risk

While al­co­hol may raise your blood sugar lev­els, a new study of more than 70,000 healthy adults found that men who knocked back an av­er­age of 14 drinks per week re­duced their risk of de­vel­op­ing di­a­betes by 43 per­cent; women who en­joyed an av­er­age of 9 drinks per week, by 58 per­cent. What they drank also mat­tered. Choos­ing wine sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced risk for both men and women. Beer also proved help­ful for men. But women who drank spir­its in­creased their di­a­betes risk by 83 per­cent.

Just One Work­out Boosts Women’s Body Im­age

Need a pick-me-up? In a new study, women who com­pleted a 30-minute work­out felt stronger and thin­ner, and the feel-good buzz lasted for at least 20 min­utes.

Yes, par­tic­i­pants in the study were all reg­u­lar gym go­ers. But what’s sur­pris­ing is that they got this men­tal boost af­ter just one short, dis­crete pe­riod of ex­er­cis­ing. The study’s au­thor be­lieves that the quick psy­cho­log­i­cal pay­off could help women feel bet­ter about their bod­ies and em­brace the power of ex­er­cise even in small amounts.

Mildly Obese More Likely to Sur­vive Heart At­tack Raw Dairy a Ma­jor Cause of Food Poi­son­ing

Raw milk is all the rage, with some nu­tri­tion­ists claim­ing that it’s eas­ier to di­gest than the pas­teur­ized va­ri­ety. But the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion ac­tu­ally pro­hibits the in­ter­state sale of raw milk for hu­man con­sump­tion, and here’s one good rea­son: Ac­cord­ing to a new study that an­a­lyzed out­breaks of food poi­son­ing from 2009 to 2014, un­pas­teur­ized milk—along with cheese made from it—was re­spon­si­ble for 96 per­cent of all dairycaused food­borne ill­nesses. That was 840 times the num­ber of out­breaks caused by pas­teur­ized prod­ucts. New re­search pub­lished in the Euro­pean Heart Jour­nal: Qual­ity of Care & Clin­i­cal Out­comes has found that in the three years fol­low­ing a heart at­tack, mildly obese pa­tients— those with a body mass in­dex (BMI) of 30 to 34.9—were 30 per­cent more likely to spend less time in the hos­pi­tal and sur­vive than pa­tients at a nor­mal weight (with a BMI be­tween 18.5 and 24.9). What’s more, pa­tients of nor­mal weight fared as poorly as those who were ex­tremely obese (with a BMI of 40 or higher). But don’t jump to the wrong con­clu­sion. The study’s au­thor sus­pects that the nor­mal-weight pa­tients were older and more likely to smoke than the heav­ier ones. “This does not sug­gest,” the study cau­tions, “that heart at­tack pa­tients should try to gain weight if they are of nor­mal weight.”

Cows and HIV Pro­tec­tion

A study pub­lished in Na­ture showed that the im­mune sys­tems of cows were able to adapt and com­bat HIV at an un­prece­dented rate. Cows neu­tral­ize 20 per­cent of the virus strains at 42 days and 96 per­cent at 381 days. “In hu­mans,” one of the study au­thors noted, “it takes more than five years to de­velop the an­ti­bod­ies we’re talk­ing about.” Cow an­ti­bod­ies are nat­u­rally long and loopy in struc­ture, which turns out to be sim­i­lar to an­ti­bod­ies that can block in­fec­tion. Re­searchers hope this is the first step to­ward de­vel­op­ing an ef­fec­tive vaccine for HIV in­fec­tion and/or AIDS.

PHO­TO­GRAPH BY LEVI BROWN

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