Brain's "garbage truck" may be key to treating Alzheimer's
Scientists have a discovered a new system in which our brain removes waste, and that could shed light on neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, according to an article published in the journal Science. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center believe that when the brain does not flush out waste properly, it may actually lead to these disorders, since nearly all neurodegenerative diseases are associated with cellular waste. Scientists hope that understanding and then modulating this brain process could lead to new ways to treat these diseases.
Over the years, scientists have learned more about the brain’s process of waste removal, but until now certain things haven’t been clear. The system, which is called the glymphatic system, cannot be detected in samples of brain tissue. Instead, scientists used new imaging technology to peer deep within the living brains of mice, which are very similar to human brains. The glymphatic system runs parallel to pathways that bring blood into the brain, but it carries cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) instead. Researchers say it appears to be a pipe within a pipe, with one pipe carrying CSF and the other carrying blood. The CSF is flushed through the brain at a high speed, which sweeps excess proteins and waste out of the brain and down the spine, where it is transferred to the lymphatic system and broken down in the liver.
Scientists believe that being able to flush out beta amyloid proteins in the brain, which are a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease, could lead to new treatments.
NEXT: Spending time at the beach is good for your health
Sourced from: Science Daily, Brain’s ‘Garbage Truck’ May Hold Key to Treating Alzheimer’s and Other Disorders
Spending time at beach is good for health
Being near the ocean can improve your overall health and well-being, according to research presented at the science policy conference of the American Geophysical Union. Though researchers acknowledge that the notion that being near the beach can improve health is not new, scientists are now looking more closely at what specific qualities of a day at the beach can be helpful. Researchers at the University of Exeter in England have begun a project called “Blue Gym,” which looks at how natural water environments can improve health and well-being.
One experiment looked at how much people are willing to pay for a hotel room with an ocean view. Participants were given photographs of an ocean view, green fields or cities, and asked how much they would pay for a room with a view of each. Not surprisingly, people were willing to pay more for the room with an ocean view. Researchers also looked at census data to see how living near a coast affects people’s health. They found that those living near the sea reported better health. They also found that moving to the ocean significantly improved health and well-being, about a tenth as much as finding an new job.
Researchers suggest that being near the ocean could reduce stress and encourage physical activity. The next step is to see if ocean exposure could be used as a form of therapy.
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Sourced from: LiveScience, Beach Benefits: Oceanside Living Is Good for Health
If people took their meds, we'd save billions
If people took their medication exactly as recommended, and doctors prescribed only generic drugs, when possible, the U.S. would save billions of dollars every year, according to a report from CVS Caremark. The report analyzes potential cost savings per state by looking at drug adherence rates and potential for generic drugs prescriptions for four physical and mental health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and clinical depression. Researchers estimate that U.S. states could save between $19 million (Wyoming) and $2.1 billion (Texas).
If doctors switched from brand name drugs to generics, according to the report, the U.S. would save $13.4 billion, and if 80 percent of patients went to pick up their prescription themselves, the U.S. would save another 6.5 billion a year.
Texas stands to save the biggest amount if drug adherence improved and doctors switched to generics, with $686 million and $1.4 billion saved, respectively. California came in second with $652 million and 1.2 billion in prospective savings.
Researchers from the Institute for Healthcare Informatics reported earlier this month that the US health care system overspends by $200 billion because of medication misuse.
NEXT: Brain’s “garbage truck” may be key to treating Alzheimer’s
Sourced from: Medical News Today, If Only People Took Their Medicines, We’d Save Billions