Try a smile
Researchers found smiling can reduce stress levels
and lower the heart rate while performing difficult tasks.
Writing in Psychological Science, the authors tell how they studied the
effects of different types of smiling in difficult situations.
Tara Kraft, of the University of Kansas, said: "Age old adages, such as
'grin and bear it' suggest that smiling is an important nonverbal
indicator of happiness. Those who smiled after stressful tasks showed a
decline in heart rate and faster recovery from stress."
Using exercise to treat Parkinson's disease
There is increasing evidence that regular exercise is
important when it comes to maintaining health and independence in those
who have with Parkinson's.
A Mayo Clinic review of research shows that exercise can reduce the risk
of developing Parkinson's by 35 percent. For those who already have it,
the protective effect of exercise appears to improve cognitive and motor
skills, as well as increasing longevity.
Additionally, exercise reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's
disease, and it may improve cognition in people who already have
The Mayo Clinic experts advocate stretching, exercise and physical
fitness as key for Parkinson's management. Parkinson's develops slowly,
meaning that the patient could develop other diseases during its
progression, such as heart disease, diabetes and depression, all of
which are problems that regular exercise can prevent or treat.
For best results, exercise 30 minutes a day, five days per week.
Hep C screening advised for baby boomers
Only a minority of people born between 1945 and 1964
are thought to be affected by hepatitis C, but momentum is building to
have those 60 million people screened. It can be diagnosed with a blood
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 3.2 million people in
the United States are affected, but half of them don't realize it. There
are no symptoms until serious complications occur, such as cirrhosis of
the liver or cancer. These conditions can be avoided if hepatitis C is
The CDC says boomers are more likely to be infected because of
experimental drug use in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as lack of
oversight in the blood supply used for transfusions before 1992. Boomers
who are now in their 40s to late 60s may not realize they were exposed
to infected blood.
"Surprisingly enough, many people may not know if they had a blood
transfusion even if they know they had a car accident and went to the
hospital decades ago," said Dr. Michael LeFevre, professor of family
medicine at the University of Missouri. He is quoted in The Wall Street
Under the Affordable Care Act, most private health insurers will now pay
the cost of screening with no out-of-pocket cost to patients. The
initial hepatitis C testing ranges up to $200
Recently, New York became the first state to enact a law requiring that
boomers be offered the screening when they see a doctor or enter a
Don't be shocked or insulted if your doctor wants to test you for
Laser method may improve cataract surgery
A newly approved laser system will improve precision
and safety in cataract surgery, say doctors at Duke University.
About 3 million cataract procedures are done each year in the U.S.,
making it one of the most common surgeries.
"Laser-assisted surgery will introduce a level of consistency,
precision, and safety to cataract surgery we have never been able to
accomplish with our manual methods," says Robin Raul Vann, Assistant
Professor of Ophthalmology Service at Duke University.
Using computer technology, the new laser system uses a 3-D image of the
eye to create a precise surgical plan. It uses a high-energy pulse to
make bladeless incisions.
Moderate activity is called better than intense exercise
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen looked
for new ways to battle the obesity epidemic. They found that moderate
exercising is more motivating than hard training. The study was reported
in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health in September 2013
During a 13-week period, they discovered that 30 minutes of daily
exercise was just as beneficial as a full hour of hard fitness training.
The shorter period delivered more energy and more motivation to pursue a
The subjects who exercised 30 minutes a day lost an average of eight
pounds, while those who exercised for 60 minutes lost only six pounds.
The study authors concluded that the energy produced by a moderate
amount of exercise can significantly impact the subjects' daily