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We provide the same Preventive Executive Physical Program as received by the President of the United States.


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Sleep’s Link To Learning And Memory Traced To Brain Chemistry

sleepAlmost a century after the discovery that sleep helps us remember things, scientists are beginning to understand why.

During sleep, the brain produces chemicals that are important to memory and relives events we want to remember, scientists reported this week at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C.

“One of the most profound effects of a night of sleep is the improvement in our ability to remember things,” says Ravi Allada, a sleep researcher at Northwestern University. Yet this connection hasn’t been well-understood, he says.sleep 2

That’s changing, thanks to recent research from scientists including Jennifer Choi Tudor from the University of Pennsylvania. At the meeting, Tudor presented a study involving a brain chemical (known as 4EBP2) that is produced during sleep and is thought to play a role in remembering new information.

Previous experiments have shown that sleep-deprived mice have memory problems and lower levels of this chemical. So the team tried injecting the chemical into the brains of mice, then deprived them of sleep. “With the injection, their memory is normal,” Tudor says.

sleep 4Sleep is also a time when old memories can be modified and new memories can be formed, says Karim Benchenane from the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris. Benchenane was part of a team that studied the brains of rats while the rats were awake, as well as during sleep.

When the animals were awake and traveling around their cages, the scientists identified brain cells that became active only when the rats were in a specific location. During sleep, these same cells became active in the same order, indicating that the rats were reliving their travels and presumably strengthening their memories of places they’d been.

Source: NPR


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Obesity Is Tied to Pollutants

smokingExposure to secondhand smoke and roadway traffic may be tied to increased body mass index in children and adolescents, a new study suggests.

Researchers studied 3,318 children in 12 Southern California communities beginning at an average age of 10, and then followed them through age 18. They used parental questionnaires to establish exposure to smoking, and data on traffic volume and levels of nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particulates to track pollution.

The study, in Environmental Health Perspectives, controlled for many other factors: sex, initial B.M.I., asthma, physical activity, insurance status, parental education and income, acres of parks and open space nearby, percentage of people living in poverty in each community.

obesityBut even after accounting for these issues and more, they found that compared with children exposed to no secondhand smoke or near-roadway air pollution, B.M.I. was 0.80 higher in children exposed to pollution alone, 0.85 higher in those exposed to secondhand smoke alone, and 2.15 higher in those exposed to both.

A normal B.M.I. for adults is 18.5 to 24.9. Higher than 25 is considered overweight, and above 30 obese.

“It would be interesting to know more about the mechanism,” said the lead author, Dr. Rob McConnell, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California. “But the finding challenges the view that obesity is due solely to increased caloric intake and reduced physical activity. That’s not the whole story.”

Source: New York Times


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Holiday Eating

The winter season is chock full of delicious dishes and treats, but no one likes the extra calories and added pounds that can come with the seasonal food. Use these smart tips on substitutions and choices to enjoy your favorite winter beverages and foods.

EggnogEggnog

  • Mix it up. Fill your glass with half- to three-quarter-parts of low-fat or skim milk and one part eggnog. You’ll still get the flavor without all the calories.
  • Act like a kid. Take out the alcohol. This simple step will reduce the caloric content.
  • Cut the fluff. Pass on that big dollop of whipped cream to avoid the extra sugar and saturated fat.

Hot Chocolate

  • Skip the heavy stuff. If you order hot chocolate at a restaurant or coffee shop, ask that it be made withhot chocolate low-fat or skim milk, and without the whipped cream.
  • Do some research. To make instant hot chocolate at home, look for product packets marked “low-fat/fat-free” or “low-sugar/sugar-free.” Be sure to add the mix to low-fat milk, skim milk or hot water.
  • Go easy on the toppings. Use five to eight mini-marshmallows instead of large ones. If using whipped cream, look for low-fat versions and stick to less than one tablespoon. If you have hot chocolate regularly, try to limit the toppings to “once in a while treats” since they can pack a lot of calories and added sugars.

Apple Ciderapple cider

  • Read the labels. When buying cider at the store, check its added sugar content. Many products contain added sugars, which can increase your calorie intake and cause weight gain. Choose low-sugar and sugar-free options.
  • Do it yourself. When making cider at home, use low-sugar apple juice and a variety of spices (like cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg and whole cranberries). You’ll keep the flavor while cutting calories.

Cocktails and Other Alcoholic Beveragescocktail

  • Enjoy cocktails. Serve non-alcoholic versions of your favorite cocktails to lower the calories. Be sure to check the nutrition label, because sometimes products that are alcohol-free have more added sugar.
  • Break it up. To reduce the amount of calorie-laden drinks you consume during a holiday gathering, drink a glass of water or sparkling water between each beverage. This will help fill your stomach, leaving less room to overindulge.

Sodium

  • Limit your sodium. Did you know that many of your favorite holiday dishes may be packed with sodium? Breads and rolls, poultry, and canned soups are three common foods that can add sodium to low sodiumyour diet. When shopping for ingredients to prepare your holiday meal, compare the labels to find lower sodium varieties.
  • Savor the flavor. Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of salt or butter.
  • Go fresh. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables to use in your dishes. If using canned products, rinse with water in a colander before cooking and serving.

Turkey

  • Outsmart the bird. Reach for the lighter pieces of meat; they have fewer calories and less fat than the Turkeydarker ones. Another way to cut calories is to take off the skin.
  • Keep portions in check. A serving size of meat is 3 oz., about the size of a deck of cards. So, be conscious of how much you put on your plate, and pass on that second helping. If you’re also having another meat, like ham or lamb, take smaller portions of each.
  • Watch out for the gravy train. Turkey usually comes with gravy, which can add excess fat, calories and sodium. Limit gravy to a tablespoon, and keep it off other items, like the dressing.

Dressing

  • Call it what it is. Dressing is intended to be a complement to your meal, not an entrée. To keep calories gravyand excess fat in check, aim for ¼ cup (or about half a scoop with a serving spoon).
  • Judge it by its cover. If the dressing is filled with fatty meats like sausage and pork, looks greasy or buttery, and is made with white bread or sweet rolls, it may be best to pass. Better options would be dressings that have whole grain or cornbread, lean meat (or no meat), nuts (like almonds or walnuts), and lots of veggies and fruits.

Desserts

  • Treat yourself right. The best way to enjoy an occasional sweet without losing control is by sampling a pecan pieselection or two, rather than having full servings. For example, have one bite of pie, half a cookie or one small square of fudge. Find a friend or family member who will stick to the sampling rule with you.

Source: American Heart Association


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World Pneumonia Day

The sixth annual World Pneumonia Day was pneumonia 2observed this week to raise awareness about pneumonia’s toll and to promote interventions to protect against, treat, and prevent the disease globally. The United States has made great strides in protecting children from the serious, and sometimes deadly, effects of pneumonia through recent vaccination efforts. Tennessee, for example, is experiencing historically low rates of pneumonia hospitalizations in children aged <2 years since pneumococcal conjugate vaccines were introduced in 2000. Data suggest that this progress also is being seen across the country. In spite of this success, however, pneumonia still kills approximately 50,000 people in the United States each year, 85% of whom are adults aged ≥65 years. In response, this year CDC recommended pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for adults aged ≥65 years.

Globally, pneumonia kills nearly 1 million children aged <5 years each year. In addition to bacterial pathogens, many viruses such as pneumonia 1respiratory syncytial virus, influenza, and measles also are major causes of pneumonia globally. Many deaths and illnesses from pneumonia can be prevented with the use of 1) pneumococcal, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), influenza, and measles vaccines; 2) appropriate antimicrobial therapy; and 3) supportive health care, among other strategies.

Communities around the world face a range of respiratory disease threats, including reemerging or newly identified pathogens. In late summer, infection with the uncommon enterovirus EV-D68 led to the hospitalization of hundreds of children in multiple states. In and around the Arabian Peninsula, a recently recognized coronavirus (Middle East respiratory syndrome Prevnar 13       1coronavirus) has been fatal in about one third of reported cases. Vaccines are not available to provide protection against these or many of the other pathogens that commonly cause pneumonia, including respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, highlighting the importance of research into vaccine development as well as effective treatment and diagnostics for viral and bacterial pneumonia. Additional information regarding World Pneumonia Day is available at http://worldpneumoniaday.org.

Source: CDC
The Presidential Healthcare Center offers Prevnar-13 as a special order vaccination.


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Colon Cancer Rates Rising in Young Adults

Colon CancerIncidences of colorectal cancer have been decreasing by about 1 percent a year since the mid 1980s, but incidences among people under 50 — the recommended screening age — has been increasing sharply, and these younger patients are more likely to present with advanced disease.

The study, published in JAMA Surgery, used a national database of 400,000 patients with colon or rectal cancer. Incidences decreased by about 1 percent a year over all but rose among people 20 to 34, with the largest increase — 1.8 percent a year — in disease that had already progressed to other organs.

Incidence rates today, per 100,000 people, are 3 for ages 20 to 34; 17 for ages 35 to 49; and 300 for people over 50. But by 2030, the researchers estimate, one in 10 colon cancers and one in four rectal cancers will be in people under 50, and rates among those over 50 will be 175 per 100,000.

The study draws no conclusions about whether screening should begin at a younger age. “There are always risks and colon cancer 4unintended consequences of screening tests,” said the senior author, Dr. George J. Chang, an associate professor of surgery and health services research at the University of Texas.

For now, he said, “We have to pay attention to symptoms with which our patients present, and work them up by including colorectal cancer as a part of the differential diagnosis.”

Source: New York Times

The Presidential Healthcare Center’s Executive Physicals include cancer screening and tumor marker tracking.


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Caffeine and Erectile Dysfunction

EDDrinking caffeinated beverages may be associated with a lower likelihood of erectile dysfunction (ED), according to study findings presented at the American Urological Association 2014 annual meeting. Lopez, et al., University of Texas Medical School, Houston, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,724 men aged 20 years and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2001-2004), a cross-sectional survey of the general U.S. population. The researchers looked at 24-hour dietary recall to estimate intake of caffeine and caffeinated beverages. Overall, men in the 3rd quintile of total caffeine intake (85-170 mg/day) and the 4th quintile (171-303 mg/day) were less likely to report ED compared with men in the first (reference) quintile (0-7 mg/day).

Among overweight and obese men and those with hypertension, the researchers found a ED 3significantly decreased likelihood of reported ED among men in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th quintiles compared with the reference quartile, after adjusting for multiple variables. The authors concluded that total caffeine intake equivalent to about 2-3 cups of coffee (250-375 mg/day) is associated with a significantly lower likelihood to report ED. The team noted that their study is strengthened by the use of a large representative sample of men in the U.S. and validated dietary recall methodology from NHANES. As NHANES is a cross-sectional study, they cannot infer causality or suggest a clinical practice change, the researchers pointed out.

Source: Renal And Urology News


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FDA Warning: Phony Ebola Treatments Being Sold Online

Ebola Pills 2The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers that fraudulent treatments for Ebola virus disease are being marketed online.

Although some experimental therapies and vaccines are in early phases of development, no products for treating Ebola infection have been approved by the FDA.  So far, only limited data are available about the safety and effectiveness of the products being tested, and only small supplies are available, according to the agency.  Experimental therapies were used to treat 2 US health care workers who were moved to Atlanta after they became infected by Ebola virus while caring for patients in West Africa, where there is an ongoing outbreak.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention says there is little threat of Ebola spreading in the United States.  But some onlineEbola Pills 1 marketers have seized on global concern about the illness to sell fraudulent products, according to the FDA.  It is illegal for companies to market unapproved products claiming to cure or prevent disease.  The FDA is asking the public to report suspect claims about Ebola-related products (http://1.usa.gov/1mS3T3P).

(JAMA)
Read more here.

The Presidential Healthcare Center’s preventative programs include emergency preparedness advice to keep you safe and healthy no matter where you travel.

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