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Health news: Sitting for this many hours a day could increase the risk of dementia

It’s time to get up and get moving, because if you don’t, you’re at risk of a dementia diagnosis.

If you spend hours of your life chained to a desk or chilling out on the couch, you have a greater chance of developing dementia, scientists say.

American researchers studied 49,841 adults over the age of 60 from across the United Kingdom over a six-year period, 24 hours a day for one day each week – each hooked up to an ankle accelerometer, or monitoring device, to track their physical movement.

What the researchers found was that the participants who lived sedentary lifestyles – particularly for more than 10 hours a day – were more likely to be diagnosed with the degenerative disease later in life. Out of all the study’s participants, 414 had developed dementia at their six-year check-in.

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„We were surprised to find that the risk of dementia begins to rapidly increase after 10 hours spent sedentary each day, regardless of how the sedentary time was accumulated,“  said Professor Gene Alexander, from the University of Arizona’s Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, and author of the study.

Anything less than the 10 hours was not associated with a dementia diagnosis, Alexander confirmed.

What we can also take away from the study is that sedentary activities don’t discriminate. Whether you spend the workday sitting at your desk, rotting away in bed, or sitting and fiddling with your phone for hours on end. You might even have a job that requires you to drive a vehicle for long periods. Whatever your poison – sedentary means all of the above. 

„We wanted to see if those types of patterns are associated with dementia risk,“ and they did.

„Many of us are familiar with the common advice to break up long periods of sitting by getting up every 30 minutes or so to stand or walk around,” David Raichlen, a USC professor of biological sciences and anthropology, and study author said.

For us office dwellers, the study is a big wake up call. Take that lunch break outdoors, stretch your legs, and get off your device. Every bit counts, even if it’s a stroll to the coffee shop for your afternoon caffeine hit, or a gossip session by the photocopier – just make sure you don’t pull up a chair.

„This should provide some reassurance to those of us with office jobs that involve prolonged periods of sitting, as long [as] we limit our total daily time spent sedentary,“ Raichlen added.

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Breast cancer recurrence could be triggered by damage from chemotherapy, new study finds

A new study published this week dissects the behaviour of chemotherapy in cancer patients, revealing the drug’s potential to induce adverse effects of metastasis and recurrence in non-cancerous cells.  

Due to the complex and unpredictable nature of cancer in the human body, scientists are still grappling to better understand how best to treat each individual diagnosis. And while treatments and therapies have come a long way in the last century, we are nowhere near eradicating the disease’s devastating impact

As brutal as chemotherapy rounds can be for patients receiving them, the treatment has been responsible for saving the lives of cancer patients across the globe for decades. 

Now, a new study has revealed an additional complexity when it comes to the behaviour of chemotherapy that may revolutionise the clinical use of the treatment across the board.

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Published in PLOS Biology by Ramya Ganesan and his research team at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, the detailed study dives into the possible adverse effects of chemotherapy on non-cancerous, or dormant, cells.

“Despite tremendous progress made in treatments for cancer over the last two decades, cancer dormancy awakening followed by systemic recurrence continues to be a significant clinical issue,” writes Ganesan. 

The major conclusion from the research is an important finding for the overall study of cancer behaviour, especially the resurgence of cancerous cells in a body.

How exactly does chemotherapy work?

To understand the implications of the study’s finding, we must first understand how the popular treatment works to eradicate cancer cells so effectively. Essentially acting as a poison, drugs used in chemotherapy infiltrate cells through the body, especially targeting fast-splitting cancerous ones as they undergo metastasis.

While the treatment yields great success in attacking and killing cancerous cells in the body, any standard chemotherapy drug used has also been found to subsequently damages surrounding non-cancer cells.  

While the drugs are designed to kill all cancer cells indefinitely, some enter a state of dormancy and halt their division, rendering them unresponsive to chemotherapy agents. 

Recurrence of active cancer cells occurs when dormant ones re-awaken and resume the metastasis process. As the current rate stand, 23 percent of breast cancer patients experience a recurrence of cancer at some point within the first five years of remission.

Details of the study:

Examining both a cell model (containing cancer, non-cancer stromal, and connective tissue cells foun din the breast), and a mouse model of breast cancer, the team of researchers administered popular chemotherapy drug docetaxel. 

By studying the effects of the drugs on each group of cells, they found even at very low doses, non-cancerous cells were damaged, while cancer cells appeared unharmed. Furthermore, the observed the treatment inducing cell-cycle reentry in cancer cells.

“Using a model of breast cancer dormancy, we showed for the first time that chemotherapy awakens dormant cancer cells by means of stromal injury response without affecting cancer cells directly,” the author concludes. 

Not only do the study’s findings emphasise the important role of surrounding cells in determining the outcome of chemotherapy in cancer-infected patients, but they also provide evidence that high serum levels of IL-6 are associated can be linked to instances of early recurrence in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. 

The revolutionary research will no doubt play a key role in reexamining our understanding of cancer recurrence, as well as how we utilise chemotherapy treatments in breast cancer patients.

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Health warning: The gross reason you should never wear socks to bed

Wearing socks to bed is one of the grossest things you can do, according to researchers. But be prepared, this is some dark news.

We have some alarming news for all sock-sleepers out there. If you make up the 18 per cent of people who wear socks to bed, you’re likely bringing faecal matter and a tonne of bacteria with you. 

Yep, extensive research from MattressNextDay found that your socks are filthier than your TV remote, and your toilet, too. In fact, your socks are 20 times dirtier than a toilet seat. Grim.

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“We swabbed different pairs of socks to discover what bacteria could grow on the material after being worn from 7am until 11pm. Each person wore the same socks while wearing shoes, working out and going about their daily business,” the researchers explained, adding that just 30 per cent of sock-sleepers put on a fresh pair before getting between the sheets.

“The socks contained the same bacteria that can be found on cockroaches and in their faecal droppings.” 

Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can be commonly found on cockroaches and in their faecal droppings, researchers said, and urged those who are immunocompromised to think twice about their sock habits because this particular bacteria can cause infections that affect airways and urinary tract.

Athlete’s foot is also an issue for people who wear the same sweaty socks they’ve trudged around in all day, to bed.

“Our feet have around 250,000 sweat glands – so on an average day, our feet are likely to sweat. Even more so during the spring and summer months.

“If you wear your socks from waking up to the next day – and work out and do a lot of walking in between – that moisture can build up and the bacteria that causes athlete’s foot can start to develop.”

Gross. So, so gross.

Funnily enough, sock-sleepers who opt for a clean pair do reap a lot of benefits – but we’re talking ones that have just been pulled out of your sock drawer.

Apparently, sock-sleepers get more rest each night, are less likely to snore, and even reach orgasms more easily. 

S0 if you want to unlock the benefits without bringing germs into your bed, we suggest reading up on these tips from the experts:

  • Always wear fresh, clean socks to bed that haven’t made contact with surfaces.
  • Always make sure you wash your socks, and any underwear for that matter, at 60 degrees. “This temperature will help to kill any bacteria, viruses and even get rid of tough stains,” researchers explained.
  • Wash your bedding at this temperature due to the amount we sweat at night.
  • With the cost of energy at an all-time high, researchers suggest drying your bedding outside. “Drying outside will also help your bedding last longer.”

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