Category Archives: Health

More Than Two-Thirds Patients Have Opioid Time After Surgery

Most patients who are prescribed opioids after surgery don’t take all of the prescribed pills, leaving leftover opioids that could be used inappropriately, a new review of studies finds.

Between 67 percent and 92 percent of the patients included in the review reported that, after a surgical procedure, they had unused opioids left over from a prescription. In addition, more than 70 percent of the patients in the review said they stored the leftover drugs in an unlocked location, such as a medicine cabinet, according to the review, published today (Aug. 2) in the journal JAMA Surgery.

An estimated 3.8 million Americans use opioids improperly each month, according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey on drug use. And more than half of the people who misused the drugs said they got the pills from a friend or relative in at least one of the following ways: They were given the pills for free, they paid for them or they took them without asking, according to the review. [America’s Opioid-Use Epidemic: 5 Startling Facts]

Surgery is often the first time a person is given a prescription for opioids, the authors, led by Dr. Mark Bicket, an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, wrote.

Patients who are prescribed opioids for the first time after having surgery may “inadvertently transition” into chronic users of the drugs, which include OxyContin and Vicodin, the researchers wrote. But it’s also possible that patients do not use all of the opioids prescribed but do not get rid of the drugs. As a result, these pills could be taken improperly, the researchers said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends returning leftover opioids to the pharmacy or a drug take-back program, or flushing the medication down the sink or toilet.

In the review, the researchers looked at data from six studies that included, in total, more than 800 patients. The people in the studies wereprescribed opioids after having one of seven types of surgery, including cesarean sections and orthopedic surgeries, between January 2011 and December 2016.

The researchers found that a minority of patients (up to 21 percent) reported that they never filled their opioid prescription, and that another small group (7 to 14 percent of patients) reported filling the prescription but never taking the painkillers.

When patients did fill their prescription and used the opioids, many pills went unused, the researchers found: 42 to 71 percent of the pills dispensed were not taken. The main reasons people said they didn’t take all of the opioid painkillers were that they weren’t in pain or they were concerned about side effects. Only one of the studies in the review asked patients if they were concerned about becoming addicted to the drugs; 8 percent of the people in that study said yes.

The researchers also focused on how people stored and disposed of their opioids. Up to 77 percent, they found, kept the medicine in unlocked locations. A minority of patients (between 4 and 30 percent) planned to dispose of, or actually disposed of, the unused pills.

Safely storing opioids is important, the researchers wrote in the review. Making the drugs less accessible reduces the risk that other household members, such as adolescents, will misuse the painkillers, the researchers said.

However, the researchers noted that the review had several limitations. For example,the studies varied in how they gathered information on opioid use and not all of the studies asked the participants if they had used the drugs in the past. Including additional studies that focused on more types of surgery would strengthen the findings, they said.

Penis Enlarger Leads Human Death! Here’s his Explanation

A man in Sweden died just after penis enlargement surgery, according to a new report of the case.

As a part of the procedure, doctors injected fat into the healthy 30-year-old man’s penis, according to the report, written by pathologists who examined the man’s body after his death. Some of this fat entered the man’s veins, and then traveled through the blood to his lungs. When fat droplets enter the small blood vessels in the lungs, they can cause blockages, and the body can’t properly absorb oxygen, leading to death.

This type of blockage, called a fat embolism, is a known risk of moving fat from one part of the body to another, said Dr. Lee Zhao, a urologist at NYU Langone Health in New York City, who was not involved in the man’s case. Still, “it’s an extremely rare event,” Zhao added. [8 Wild Facts About the Penis]

But it’s not clear from the case report exactly where in the penis the fat was injected, Zhao told Live Science.

“The penis works by filling erectile tissue with blood,” Zhao said. “If the fat was injected into the erectile tissue, then the risk of fat embolism would be much higher.” Instead, fat should be injected just under the skin of the penis, rather than into this tissue. But it’s unclear whether the plastic surgeon involved in the man’s case “inadvertently” injected the fat into the erectile tissue, he said.

Zhao also noted that this type of “penile enhancement” surgery had limited benefits.

The type of procedure that the man had involves two steps, Zhao said. During the first step, surgeons cut a penis ligament called the suspensory ligament, which makes the penis appear longer in its flaccid state. In the second step, the surgeons inject fat to increase the bulk of the penis.

Neither part of the surgery improves a man’s erectile function; instead, the procedure alters only the appearance of the penis when it is flaccid, Zhao said. In addition, the procedure may in fact have a negative impact on sexual function, because doctors need to cut the suspensory ligament. This “ligament acts to allow the penis to aim forward, and cutting [it] can cause the penis [to] hang downwards,” Zhao said.

It’s not clear how many patients undergo this type of surgery in the U.S., Zhao said. Because the procedure is generally not covered by insurance, many patients opt to have the operation in other countries, where it may be cheaper, he said.

“I specialize in treating the complications of this procedure, and I find that many of my patients had surgery in Mexico,” Zhao added.

Scientists Have Removed Heart Disease Defects on Human Embryos

A group of scientists in Oregon has successfully modified the genes of embryos using CRISPR, a cut-and-paste gene-editing tool, in order to correct a genetic mutation known to cause a type of heart defect.

The experiments, which were described today (Aug. 2) in the journal Nature, were conducted by biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov and colleagues at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Mitalipov conducted the experiments on dozens of single-celled embryos, which were discarded before they could progress very far in development, MIT Technology Review reported last week when the results were initially leaked. This is the first time that scientists in the United States have used this approach to edit the genes of embryos.

The CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system is a simple “cut and replace” method for editing precise spots on the genome. CRISPRS are long stretches of DNA that are recognized by molecular “scissors” called Cas9; by inserting CRISPR DNA near target DNA, scientists can theoretically tell Cas9 to cut anywhere in the genome. Scientists can then swap a replacement gene sequence in the place of the snipped sequence. The replacement sequence then gets automatically incorporated into the genome by natural DNA repair mechanisms.

In 2015, a group in China used CRISPR to edit several human embryos that had severe defects, though none were allowed to gestate very long before being discarded. The Chinese technique led to genetic changes in some, but not all of the cells in the embryos, and CRISPR sometimes snipped out the wrong place in the DNA.

The new results are a major advance compared with earlier efforts. In the new experiments, scientists eliminated the off-target effects of CRISPR/cas9.

The team used dozens of embryos that were created for in vitro fertilization (IVF), using the sperm of men who had a severe genetic defect. The sperm contained a single copy of the gene MYBPC3, which confers a risk of sudden death and heart failure due to thickening of the heart muscle known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

In the new experiment, the team used Crispr/Cas9 to snip DNA at the location of the defective MYBPC3 gene in the fertilized eggs. Most of the embryos naturally repaired the break in the DNA by substituting the normal version of the gene, which originated in the egg. About two-thirds of the embryos did not contain the mutated version of the gene; and the team also eliminated the risk that some, but not all, of the cells in the embryos contained the edited genes.

In general, editing the germ line — meaning sperm, eggs or embryos — has been controversial, because it means permanently changing the DNA that is passed on from one generation to the next. Some scientists have called for a ban on germ-line editing, saying the approach is incredibly risky and ethically dubious.

However, a National Academy of Sciences report published earlier this year suggested that embryo editing could be ethical in the case of severe genetic diseases, assuming the risks could be mitigated.

Swipe left for sadness: Reminder users report more grief

Swiping through Tinder may be taking a toll on your mental health and self-esteem: A new study finds that Tinder users had lower levels of self-esteem and more body dissatisfaction than people who didn’t use the dating app.

The reason may have to do with the fact that a person’s looks play a major role in Tinder. People accept or reject potential matches based primarily on photos, and sometimes, a short description. And this type of judgment can take a toll, the study found.

Both male and female Tinder users in the study experienced low self-esteem, body shame and negative moods, said lead study author Jessica Strubel, an assistant professor of textiles, merchandising and design at the University of Rhode Island, whose research includes looking at the effects of body image on decision-making. [13 Scientifically Proven Signs You’re in Love]

Strubel has studied the links between Tinder and self-esteem before. In astudy published online earlier this year, she found that male Tinder users had lower self-esteem than men who weren’t on the app.

In the new study, which was presented here today (Aug. 3) at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting, Strubel and her team again looked at college-age Tinder users — more than 700 female and 120 male students.

Ultimately, they found the same thing as the previous study, with one difference, Strubel told Live Science: Both men and women had similar negative responses, she said. The new study also looked at more factors, including whether Tinder use was associated with a person’s mood and eating habits.

In addition to providing information about their Tinder use, the people in the study also answered questions about their mood, level of body satisfaction, self-esteem, perceived societal pressures to look a certain way and body shame.

About 17 percent of the people in the study used Tinder. Compared with those who didn’t use the app, Tinder users were more likely to report negative feelings. For example, relative to nonusers, Tinder users were more likely to compare themselves to others, feel pressures to look a certain way and experience negative moods.

The researchers also looked at whether Tinder users were more likely to change their eating habits, or “dietary intent.” Here, however, they found no difference between users and nonusers. Dietary intent is related to a person’s body satisfaction, Strubel said. If a person isn’t happy with their body, what will the subsequent behaviors be? she said. But in this case, the findings showed that just because a person is dissatisfied doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to change their eating habits.

Still, Strubel stressed that she’s not telling people to stop using Tinder. “I understand … this is the dating world now,” she said. “But we can’t deny what the science says: There are some psychological ramifications to this.”

To limit the possible negative effects of using Tinder, Strubel recommended keeping things in perspective when using the app. For example, keep in mind that the photos you see of others don’t always represent reality; instead, they show a person at their very best.

After Terrorist Attacks, Too Much TV Can Be Dangerous

During a terrorist attack, it may be best to avoid wall-to-wall news coverage, a new study suggests.

Watching television news coverage during terrorist events was associated with higher levels of post-traumatic stress and feelings ofdepression as well as decreased feelings of safety, the researchers found.

In the study, which was presented here today (Aug. 3) at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, the researchers focused on a terrorist event that captured news coverage in 2002: a series of sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C., area that killed 10 people and left three others wounded. Local media covered the events extensively as they unfolded. [7 Ways Depression Differs in Men and Women]

“We understand that [the] media plays a critical role in people’s feelings of safety or feelings of threat in the environment,” said lead study author Holly Mash, a research assistant professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.

Mash and her colleagues had more than 1,200 people complete online questionnaires about their moods and feelings during the sniper attacks. In addition, the researchers collected data on how much sniper-related TV the people watched each day. The surveys were conducted three weeks after the initial attack but before the two perpetrators were caught.

About 40 percent of the people who completed the surveys reported that they watched at least 2 hours of sniper-related TV each day during the course of the attacks, which lasted for about three weeks, the researchers found.

And the more television a person watched, the more likely the individual was to report symptoms of post-traumatic stress and depression, Mash said. Post-traumatic stress symptoms include negative thoughts,nightmares and avoidance behavior. Depressions symptoms include depressed mood, trouble concentrating, difficultly sleeping and lack of interest in things the person typically enjoys.

The researchers thought that the post-traumatic stress and depression symptoms could stem from feeling less safe, Mash told Live Science. In other words, the less safe a person feels, the more likely he or she is to report symptoms of post-traumatic stress or depression.

And watching more sniper-related TV coverage was also associated with decreased feelings of safety, the researchers found.

Though the study focused on an event that took place in 2002, Mash noted that constant media coverage of terrorist attacks has become a bigger issue since that time. In addition to television coverage, there’s constant internet coverage, which can include unfiltered and sometimes incorrect information, she said.

The findings have implications for media exposure, Mash said, adding that she recommends limiting exposure to only pertinent information about an attack. Still, “that’s tough,” she added.

Friends with Ex Check Your First Motive, Science Says

Can you really stay friends with an ex? It depends on why you want to continue the relationship, a new study finds.

Staying friends with an ex is a “very pervasive phenomenon,” said lead study author Rebecca Griffith, a master’s student in psychology at the University of Kansas. Indeed, previous research suggests that about 60 percent of people maintain a friendship after a breakup, Griffith said.

But these friendships aren’t always successful.

In the study, the researchers developed a way to examine the reasons why a person might stay in a friendship after ending a romantic relationship. In one experiment, which included more than 170 women and more than 110 men, the researchers tried out this new measurement technique, which consisted of several questionnaires. In a second experiment, with nearly 300 women and nearly 250 men, the researchers confirmed that the questionnaires worked. [The Science of Breakups: 7 Facts About Splitsville]

The researchers found that are four main reasons that someone stays friends with an ex after a breakup, said Griffith, who presented the study here on Aug. 4 at the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting.

The first reason is security, Griffith told Live Science. This could mean that a person stays friends with an ex because he or she doesn’t want to lose the ex’s emotional support, advice or trust.

The second reason is that it’s practical to maintain a friendship: Perhaps there are financial reasons to stay friends, or children may be involved, Griffith said.

Third, there’s civility. A person may want to be polite and not hurt the other persons’ feelings, Griffith said.

Finally, some people may still have romantic feelings for an ex.

The researchers found that the reason people choose to remain friends is associated with how long the friendship will last and how positive it will be.

People who stayed friends for practical and civility reasons fared the best, the study found. These friendships lasted long and were considered to be positive, Griffith said. (A positive relationship meant that the friendship made a person feel secure and happy, and a negative relationship meant the person had negative feelings including depression, jealously or a broken heart.)

When people remained friends for reasons related to security, the resulting friendships tended to be positive, the study found. However, security reasons weren’t associated with whether the friendship lasted for a long or short period of time.

As for unresolved romantic desires, this reason was associated with more negative feelings, but “paradoxically,” longer friendships, Griffith said. In other words, “even though you’re not reaping any benefits from the friendship, you tend to stay in [it] longer,” she said.

Broadly speaking, two of the reasons that a person may stay friends with an ex are related to emotional needs (security and unresolved romantic desires) and two of the reasons are not (practical reasons and civility), Griffith said. It’s the non-emotional reasons that are ultimately linked to a more successful friendship, she said.

Will talcum powder Could cause ovarian cancer?

Some people may sprinkle on powder after showering and never think much of it. But recent court cases have shined a spotlight on the possible link between women’s regular use of talcum powder on their genitals and an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Yesterday (Aug. 21), a jury in Los Angeles ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a woman who claims that the company’s baby powder led to her ovarian cancer. The woman, Eva Echeverria, said in the lawsuit that she developed ovarian cancer as a “proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder,” according to the Associated Press. (Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is made from talcum powder or talc, which is a mineral made up of magnesium, silicon and oxygen.)

In a case that was settled in February, a jury determined that the family of a 62-year-old Alabama woman, who died from ovarian cancer in 2015 after decades of using talcum powder for feminine hygiene, was entitled to $72 million in damages from Johnson & Johnson. The company did not inform customers of the potential dangers of its powders despite being aware of the possible health risks, the jury ruled, according to The Washington Post.

In an earlier case against the same manufacturer, a jury in 2013 found Johnson & Johnson guilty of negligence for not warning women of the risk of ovarian cancer linked to the daily use of the company’s talc-based powders. However, the jury in this case did not award the woman who developed the cancer any monetary damages.

Although these lawsuits have resulted in more publicity about a potential connection between women’s use of talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product, the suggestion of a possible association has been raised in scientific circles for more than 30 years. (Such use means applying powders directly on women’s’ genitals, or on sanitary napkins, tampons, underwear or diaphragms.)

It’s a controversial topic because manufacturers claim there is no causal connection between talc use and ovarian cancer, and researchhas demonstrated conflicting results. [5 Things Women Should Know About Ovarian Cancer]

The American Cancer Society has weighed in on the available science, and said that the “findings have been mixed.” Some studies report a slightly increased risk of ovarian cancer among women who have regularly used talcum powder in their genital areas, while other studies have found no increased risk, the society said.

Based on limited evidence, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, has designated women’s use of talc on their genitals as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Some, but not all powders, such as baby powders and body powders, contain talc, a mineral that may help prevent odor, moisture and chafing when applied to the skin. Before the 1970s, talc products may have contained asbestos, now a known carcinogen, but since then, talcum powders are required by law to be asbestos-free.

Cornstarch-based powders, which have no talc in them, are considered safe for women to use on the genital area and have no known link withany female cancers. And there’s no evidence that sprinkling talc-based powders on other parts of a woman’s body, such as on her feet or her back, influences ovarian cancer risk.

Arguing for strong evidence

Dr. Daniel Cramer, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School and director of the OB/GYN Epidemiology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, conducted one of the earliest studies to suggest a link between genital talc use in women and cancer of the ovaries. That research was published in 1982.

Since then, Cramer’s studies have been among those finding a link between women’s regular use of talc and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

In his opinion, there is strong evidence from about two-dozen epidemiological studies for a significant association between genital talc use and ovarian cancer, Cramer told Live Science. These studies have found that regular talc use may increase a woman’s overall risk of ovarian cancer by about 30 percent, Cramer said.

It has been only in more recent studies that a dose-response effect has been observed in premenopausal women, especially nonsmokers and women who are heavier, and in postmenopausal women who used hormone therapy, Cramer said. A dose-response means that a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer appeared to increase the longer she used talc on her genitals or the more applications she had used over time, he explained.

One factor that has been hard for researchers to quantify is how much talc each woman uses in each application, and how much of it gets into the vagina, Cramer told Live Science. [5 Myths About Women’s Bodies]

Talc is a potent inflammatory agent, and chronic inflammation may predispose a person to cancer, said Cramer, who served as an expert witness in one of the recent court cases and provided written testimony in another. He said that pathologists who have examined tissue from the ovaries of cancer patients under a microscope have found that there is talc in the tissue. The mineral has also been found in women who don’t have ovarian cancer; talc can be found in tissue from lymph nodes in women who have used talcum powder on their genitals.

The exact mechanism by which talc may promote the development of ovarian cancer in women is not known. But Cramer said he suspects that when talc is applied to the genitals, the mineral’s particles can get into the vagina and eventually make their way into the upper genital tract, where the ovaries are located. Once there, talc can induce a potent inflammatory response and probably disrupt the immune system, he said.

Hormones, such as estrogen, may also play a role in the development of ovarian cancer in some women who use talc, but more studies are needed to tease out this effect, Cramer said.

Focus on other risks.

The scientific evidence for a link between women’s use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer is not that strong, said Dr. Sarah Temkin, an associate professor of gynecological oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Two newer prospective studies have failed to show any difference in ovarian cancer risk between women who used talc on their genitals and those who never did so, she said.

The older studies that suggested an increased risk tended to be case-control studies, which are open to more bias because they involve asking women to recall their use of powder after they have been diagnosed with cancer, Temkin said.

She said she does not think the evidence is strong enough to warrant forcing manufacturers to place a warning label on talcum powder to alert women to a possible health risk from using the product.

Ovarian cancer is a rare disease, and two well-established risk factors for it are a family history of ovarian cancer and a family history of breast cancer, Temkin told Live Science. Scientists have known about these two links for decades, and even so, health providers may miss the opportunity to inform women who have these risk factors about opportunities for genetic counseling, she said.

It’s also known that women who have used birth control pills for at least five years may reduce their risk for developing ovarian cancer by about 50 percent compared with women who have never used such oral contraceptives, Temkin added. [7 Surprising Facts About the Pill]

She typically does not ask her ovarian cancer patients about their talc use when taking a medical history, Temkin said, and women don’t usually ask her many questions about it. However, with news stories about recent court verdicts making headlines, two or three women have inquired about the use of talc, she said.

How Stress in Your Brain Can Influence Your Body

The patterns in your brain may predict how your body physically reacts to stressful situations, a new study finds.

That’s important, because some people have stronger physical reactions to stress than others: Their hearts beat faster, and their blood pressure rises more, than you’d see in less “reactive” individuals, according to the study. And this “exaggerated” stress response can have negative consequences in the long run. [10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Brain]

People whose blood pressure shoots up in stressful situations are more likely to develop high blood pressure in the future, and they may also have an increased risk of death from heart disease, according to the study, published today (Aug. 23) in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“It’s the people who show the largest stress-related cardiovascular response who are at the greatest risk for poor cardiovascular health, and understanding the brain mechanisms for this may help to reduce their risk,” senior study author Peter Gianaros, a professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, said in a statement.

To study this “brain-body” relationship, the researchers performed brain scans on more than 300 adults while also monitoring their physical responses, such as blood pressure and heart rate. During the scans, the participants were asked complete mental tests that were designed to create a stressful experience. For example, the people in the study had to answer questions under strict time constraints.

Next, the researchers used artificial intelligence analyze the results. They found that the people who reacted more strongly to stress physically — in other words, the people whose blood pressure and heart rates rose higher — showed specific patterns of activity in their brains. Indeed, the A.I. reliably predicted how a person’s blood pressure and heart rate would change based on the person’s brain activity during the stress test, the researchers said.

In addition, activity in certain areas of the brain was linked to greaterstress responses in the body, the researchers found. For example, heightened activity in areas of the brain that determine whether information from the world around you is threatening was linked to a greater physical response.

The study had several limitations, the researchers said. For example, the people included in the study were healthy, middle-age adults who were at low risk for heart disease, so the findings may not apply to less-healthy individuals.

In addition, the study didn’t prove that increased activity in certain parts of the brain in response to stress causes physical changes in the body; rather, the research found an association between the two.

Gianaros noted that more research is needed to explore the connections between brain activity and stress responses in the body.

“This kind of work is proof-of-concept, but it does suggest that, in the future, brain imaging might be a useful tool to identify people who are at risk for heart disease or who might be more or less suited for different kinds of interventions, specifically those that might be aimed at reducing levels of stress,” Gianaros said.

People Who Lack of Sleep may Risk Higher Dementia

Consider it another strike against not getting enough sleep: A new study finds that getting too little REM sleep may be linked to a higher risk of dementia later in life.

REM, or “rapid eye movement,” sleep is one of four sleep stages, which also include two stages of light sleep and a stage of deeper sleep called slow-wave sleep. REM sleep is characterized by vivid dreams and high levels of brain activity, similar to the brain’s state when its awake. Humans typically cycle through several periods of REM sleep between the other stages of sleep each night.

In the new study, published today (Aug. 23) in the journal Neurology, researchers found that the people who developed dementia had gotten significantly less REM sleep when examined overnight years earlier compared with the people who didn’t develop cognitive problems. [Get Better Sleep in 2017]

The study does not prove that low levels of REM sleep cause dementia; rather, it shows an association between the two, said lead study author Matthew Pase, a senior research fellow at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.

Pase offered several ideas for how REM sleep and dementia might be linked.

“On one hand, REM may help protect connections within the brain that are vulnerable to damage with aging and Alzheimer’s disease,” Pase told Live Science. “On the other hand, perhaps lower REM is caused by other potential dementia risk factors, such as heightened anxiety and stress. This requires further study.”

Doctors have long known that poor sleep can result in mental and emotional health problems. But details about which types of sleep are associated with dementia and long-term cognitive decline have been lacking. More than 10 percent of Americans over age 65 have some form of dementia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the new study, the researchers looked at more than 320 people in the U.S. whose average age was 67. These people were already part of an ongoing, larger study on heart health. The researchers collected sleep data approximately half way through the as they followed the participants for an average of 12 years. During that time, 32 people (about 10 percent) were diagnosed with some form of dementia; among those 32 people, 24 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

The people who developed dementia spent an average of 17 percent of their sleep time in REM sleep, compared with 20 percent for those who did not develop dementia. The researchers found that for every 1-percent reduction in REM sleep, there was a 9-percent increase in the risk of dementia. The results held up even after the researchers adjusted for other factors that could affect dementia risk or poor sleep, such as heart disease, depression and medication use.

Also, the time that the people spent in stages of non-REM sleep was not associated with dementia risk, the study found. [5 Surprising Sleep Discoveries]

“The study is valuable, since it has identified inadequate REM sleep as correlating with dementia risk,” said Dr. Pinky Agarwal, a neurologist at EvergreenHealth in Washington and a professor of neurology at the University of Washington. Agarwal was not part of the study.

“The current [scientific] literature is mixed and mostly identifies inadequate ‘slow wave sleep’ [a type of deep, non-REM sleep] as a risk, but these have been much shorter-duration studies,” Agarwal told Live Science. Because REM sleep is thought to be related to how the brain processes and retains memories, the new findings make sense, she said; dementia is, in part, marked by memory problems. The research points to the need for closer follow-up to recognize signs of dementia in patients with decreased REM sleep, she added.

Indeed, Pase noted that his research group would like to understand why a lower amount of REM sleep is tied to an increased risk of dementia. He hopes to tap into a larger sample of data to examine the relationship between sleep and signs of accelerated brain aging, such as poor thinking, memory problems and loss of brain volume.

This further research might provide more information about how getting less REM sleep, or even poor sleep in general, could lead to the development of dementia, Pase said.

Mata Saya Merasa Lucu cari di Google untuk Gejala Spike Setelah Eclipse

A total solar eclipse wowed viewers across the United States on Monday (Aug. 21), but for many, this amazement was followed by worry about whether the eclipse had damaged their eyes or caused other symptoms.

Shortly after the celestial event, Google searches for terms such as “solar eclipse headache,” “eyes hurt” and “seeing spots” all increased, according to Mashable.

Fortunately, experts say that if your eyes felt a little strange after the eclipse, it’s not necessarily a reason to worry. It could be that you havedry eyes from keeping your eyes open too long, according to Dr. Vincent Jerome Giovinazzo, director of ophthalmology at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City. Giovinazzo told Live Science that he has already seen several patients who said their eyes felt funny after watching Monday’s eclipse, and they all had dry eyes.

If you did damage your eyes from looking at the eclipse, it would not be something you would feel. Rather, it would be something you would see. Symptoms of “solar retinopathy” — or damage to the eye’s retina that can occur from looking at the sun — are visual. (The retinas have no nerve fibers, so you cannot feel damage in this area.) These symptoms include blurriness or blind spots in your vision, or a dark or dim spot in your central vision.