This is Liberty. Liberty is a puppy who is training to be a guide dog for the blind. One of our awesome patients, Karen B., is training and socializing Liberty for a year. If you’re coming to our office in the afternoon, you may encounter this super-cute dog. Since she’s working, it’s best for Liberty if you admire her from afar please refrain from approaching her. By doing so, you’ll be contributing a little tiny bit to Liberty’s training.
This Week’s 1-Page Health News:
Mental Attitude: Misfiring in Brain Linked to OCD.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have found that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may be caused by a misfiring of the brain’s control system. Individuals with OCD have frequent upsetting thoughts that they try to control by repeating certain rituals or behaviors. The study involved scanning the brains of 37 individuals with OCD and the brains of 33 individuals who did not have the disorder as they all performed a specific activity to avoid a mild electric shock. The researchers found that OCD participants were unable to stop the specific activity, which revealed overactive brain activity in the caudate (an area of the brain that controls habits) and suggests OCD compulsions may be caused by the habit system in the brain.
American Journal of Psychiatry, December 2014
Diet: Cherry Juice Accelerates Recovery After Cycling.
Montmorency cherry juice appears to help cyclists recover after a hard cycling workout. Researchers found that Montmorency tart cherry juice helped to speed up recovery, maintain muscle function, and reduce markers of inflammation in cyclists who participated in a simulated race.
Cherry Marketing Institute, December 2014
Exercise: Ability to Balance May Reflect Brain Health.
According to new research, the inability to balance on one leg for 20 seconds or longer may signal brain damage in otherwise healthy individuals. In a recent study, participants were asked to balance on one leg up to 60 seconds, received an MRI of the brain, and completed a test to measure cognitive impairment. Those who were unable to balance on one leg for more than 20 seconds showed evidence of cerebral small vessel disease as well as lower cognitive function scores. The researchers add that long-term studies are needed to verify these findings and fully assess the significance of postural instability.
Stroke, December 2014
Chiropractic: Neck, Shoulder, and Back Pain Among High School Students.
Chinese researchers evaluated questionnaires completed by 3,600 high school students and found that 41.1% had experienced neck/shoulder pain and 32.8% had experienced back pain during the previous year. The researchers identified physical inactivity (increased sedentary behavior / low levels of physical exercise), heavy backpacks, mental stress, and insufficient sleep as risk factors for neck, shoulder, and back pain in the high school student population.
Journal of the Chinese Medical Association, October 2014
Wellness/Prevention: Young Children Need Eye Screening.
Experts from the United States National Center for Children’s Vision Health say that all children should have their eyesight evaluated yearly between the ages of three and six. Children in this age group require screening to detect vision issues such as amblyopia (“lazy eye”) and strabismus (a disorder of eye alignment), which can require glasses. Dr. Anthony Adams, the editor-in-chief of the journal Optometry and Vision Science, adds, “Unfortunately, many children receive neither appropriate screening to help identify those who need immediate eye attention, nor a comprehensive examination by an eye care professional, prior to beginning school.” The goal of the new guidelines is to ensure that pre-school children with vision problems are identified and receive appropriate eye examinations and follow-up care to help ensure their development and readiness for elementary school.
Optometry and Vision Science, December 2014