Smoking isn’t good for you. But e-cigarettes, with their sleek, USB bodies and mango-flavored cartridges, promised a sweeter, safer future. No tar, no combustion, no problem. But that picture is getting more complicated. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced it is opening an investigation into the health effects of smoking e-cigarettes after nearly 100 teenagers in 14 states reported lung illnesses related to vaping. The cases, which were primarily reported among teenagers and young adults, were so severe that some patients were hospitalized and put on ventilators. So a study out today in the journal Radiology comes not a moment too soon. In it, researchers show that inhaling e-cigarette vapor—just the vapor, without any nicotine or flavorings—has an immediate, negative impact on the vascular system. E-cigarettes first appeared on the market in 2007 and in the years since, vaping among teens has skyrocketed. The CDC estimates that one in five high … [Read more...] about Vaping May Harm Your Blood Flow—Even Without Nicotine
Difference between acute and chronic inflammation
Anyone can feel lonely, even when surrounded by friends, and loneliness is on the up. How can we curb its devastating effect on people's mental and physical health? Health 19 July 2017 By Moya SarnerIMAGINE you are a zookeeper and it’s your job to design an enclosure for humans. What single feature would best ensure the health and well-being of the animals in your care? Appropriate access to food and water? Shelter? The thought experiment has only one answer, according to social neuroscientist John Cacioppo who proposed it. The enclosure, above all else, must take into account our need for connection with other humans. Advertisement We are an “obligatorily gregarious species”, in Cacioppo’s words. Yet if so, this is not how many of us live today. We are often far from our families, in homes where we are the sole occupant, socialising, working and shopping online. This can have a serious downside: a gnawing feeling of loneliness to which most of … [Read more...] about Feeling lonely? You’re not on your own
Growing evidence shows that the brain's dopamine system, which drives motivation, is directly affected by chronic, low-grade inflammation. A new paper proposes that this connection between dopamine, effort and the inflammatory response is an adaptive mechanism to help the body conserve energy. Trends in Cognitive Sciences published the theoretical framework developed by scientists at Emory University. The authors also provided a computational method to experimentally test their theory. "When your body is fighting an infection or healing a wound, your brain needs a mechanism to recalibrate your motivation to do other things so you don't use up too much of your energy," says corresponding author Michael Treadway, an associate professor in Emory's Department of Psychology, who studies the relationship between motivation and mental illness. "We now have strong evidence suggesting that the immune system disrupts the dopamine system to help the brain perform this recalibration." The … [Read more...] about How Chronic Inflammation may Drive Down Dopamine and Motivation
The fast-paced world we live in is a perfect driver of stress. The racing heart, knots in the stomach and vague sense of agitation are an unavoidable part of the human condition. But chronic stress can, over time, harm the body, causing everything from inflammation to cardiometabolic disease. In some cases, stress may play a role in cancer. But just how tightly are these two conditions linked? Studies suggest several ways that stress may influence cancer development, said Shelley Tworoger, an associate professor of population science at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Tworoger spoke about these links during a talk earlier this month at the annual American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Atlanta. [7 Cancers You Can Ward Off With Exercise] In those who already have certain types of cancer, stress can accelerate progression and worsen outcomes, increasing evidence suggests. But "there's more question" about whether or not chronic stress can cause cancer in the … [Read more...] about Can Chronic Stress Cause or Worsen Cancer? Here’s What the Evidence Shows.