Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have found a link between body movement and aggression. A small study, 29 people, were fitted with devices to track their movement while walking normally on a treadmill. They postulated that those who had the most exaggerated walk were more likely to be aggressive. Both men and women were fitted with the motion trackers.
Later they had the participants self-report on a personality test. Based on the answers, the researchers made judgements about how aggressive the participants were. They then correlated that information with the motion tracking and found a close fit.
While many of us knew intuitively that swagger and aggression or overconfidence go hand in hand, this was a first in attempting to scientifically find a link.
The 1977 movie, Saturday Night Fever, is a great illustration of this link where the young John Travolta playing the part of Tony Manero opens the film with Stayin’ Alive – “you can tell by the way I use my walk….”
This research is not frivolous. It may be the start of more detailed work to identify personality traits by observation. As the world’s cities become ever more surveilled, people might become suspects based on their gait.
There is a whole industry in book publishing and counsellors helping people understand and sometimes overcoming their and other’s unconscious body movements. For instance, gamblers may give away information with small unconscious movements called tells. Smiling, hand gestures, eye contact or lack of it all give another person non-verbal information.
Of course the flip side of reading unconscious body movements is the knowledge of how to overcome them and give a different impression to watchers.
University of Portsmouth
Journal of Non Verbal Behavior
Early research by scientists studying the Herpes virus have shown a link between the viral infection and troubles with the digestive system.
A team of researchers using a mouse model infected the animals with a virus much like the human virus that causes cold sores. The same virus herpes simplex(HSV-1) also causes genital herpes. When the mice were infected with the herpes virus, some of them became seriously ill.
The virus was found to have travelled to the nerve cells of the colon, eventually killing them. The mice were unable to evacuate their feces and developed mega colons. Some of the mice had their neurons that governed their bladders damaged as well.
Herpes in humans is a common sexually transmitted disease. According to the CDC, one in six people between the ages of 14 and 49 carry the virus. While for many the disease is mild and may infect without causing many problems, the infection stays for life. There is no cure and the possibility of passing on the infection remains for life, even if no open sores are present.
While herpes can be managed, it does make the sufferer more vulnerable to the HIV virus. For those who are pregnant, there is some danger to the baby if it is exposed to the HSV-1 or HSV-2. The mortality rate for an infected newborn is 85%. Caesarian delivery is recommended for infected moms.
The infection by HSV-2 is a worldwide problem with an estimated 417 million people infected.
The new findings regarding the herpes virus and its possible complications may help health care providers sleuth out the answers to why a person has chronic constipation or trouble emptying their bladder.
Cost to economies can be substantial. The US CDC estimates that the eight most common STDs which include herpes costs their economy about USD 16 billion annually.
Cell Host and Microbe
Merck Manual http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/infections-in-neonates/neonatal-herpes-simplex-virus-hsv-infection
Warfarin is a prescription medication that is used to slow or interfere with the ability of blood to clot. Normally we would want our blood to clot quickly as a serious cut can kill within a few minutes. For some people a reduction in the blood’s ability to clot outweighs the possibility of a “bleed out”.
Warfarin is often prescribed for those who have clot formation in their legs or lungs or brains. It is often used to prevent these clots in people who exhibit symptoms that might lead to clot formation. For instance, atrial fibrillation(afib) is an irregular heatbeat that may lead to a clot in the heart that might travel to the brain causing a stroke.
In the US an estimated 20 million people are taking Warfarin(aka Coumadin, Jantoven).
Dr. T. Jared Bunch recently presented at a medical conference. He brought forward some troubling findings about the long term use of Warfarin and vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Bunch was the lead researcher of a study at the Intermountain Medical Center in Utah. The research looked at data of 10 000 people some of whom were taking Warfarin. They then checked on those people seven years later. They found that for those that didn’t have atrial fibrillation 1.6% had developed cognitive difficulties. For those with atrial fibrillation and taking Warfarin or its clones 5.8% had developed dementia. If we take the figure of 20 million users in the US alone, this would mean that 1 160 000 people can expect to develop cognitive impairment in the next decade.
“Our study results are the first to show that there are significant cognitive risk factors for patients treated with Warfarin over a long period of time regardless of the indication for anticoagulation." T.Jared Bunch, MD
The Mayo Clinic site is a reliable and useful place to get medical information. They warn about serious bleeding, including brain bleeds, skin necropsy and advise that persons taking the medication consider wearing a medical bracelet. They warn that it is advisable to alert health care providers that Warfarin is being used before procedures, even something as minor as a vaccination.
It is difficult to get a firm figure on world-wide use of this medication, but 1% of the world population has been given in more than one source.
Warfarin was first sold to the public in 1952 as a rat poison. In 1954 it was marketed for humans.
Like any effective medication, unwanted reactions may occur. Before embarking on a new prescription drug be sure to quiz your health care provider closely about possible side effects.
Medical News Today
More evidence is accumulating for the health benefits of drinking red wine. Red wine contains the substance resveratrol which may help support a healthy vascular system by reducing the accumulation of cholesterol and calcium deposits in the blood vessels.
Research done by Dr. Man-tian Mi in Chongquing, China using mice found that reservatrol could change the balance of bacteria in the gut. The overall make up of bacteria in the gut is complex and varied by individuals. It is referred to as the microbiome of the gut. Many of you have seen the TV ads for bioactive yogourt which purport to rebalance the bacteria in your digestive system. The Chinese researcher found that resveratrol fed to mice would encourage some bacteria’s growth while inhibiting other varieties.
The varieties inhibited were important in producing the chemicals that allow plaque to form in the blood vessels. The plaque is made up of a combination of cholesterol and calcium. An accumulation of it can block blood vessels which can lead to heart attack, stroke, dementia and organ failure.
The study of the bacteria present in the digestive system is an emerging science. A good balance of microorganisms is important in maintaining good health. It has long been known that some gut bacteria produce Vitamin K which is important in ensuring blood clotting. Now it has been established that what you eat can rapidly affect the balance of those tiny creatures living inside you.
Scientists are now engaged in identifying all the bacteria normally found in the human gut. It is known as the Human Gut Biome Project. When that is complete, the researchers plan to chart all the bacteria normally found on the body’s surfaces.
The Human Food Project is a joint project with American and British researchers. They are crowd sourcing “samples” from a wide range of people.
The research results are in early days. There is some indication that resveratrol may be effective in fighting some cancers, but don’t get your hopes up too soon. And some evidence that it does not protect against plaque formation. Too much alcohol has been implicated in causing some cancers.
There are other good sources of resveratrol than red wine. You can find it in the skin of red grapes, peanuts, and some berries. But isn’t it nice to think of the old saying – A little wine for thy stomach’s sake? Maybe the old timers had it right.
Medical News Today
The Human Food Project
Linus Pauling Institute Oregon State University
Canada’s two western provinces are experiencing a revival but not a good one. The Alberta health authorities are concerned that STDs increased by 80% between 2014 and 2015. The two main diseases being spread are gonorrhea and syphilis. Both these diseases are reportable so fairly good statistics can be kept.
Cases of gonorrhea are mainly being spread in the heterosexual community. Syphilis is being spread mainly within the male homosexual community with 300 cases reported in 2015.
British Columbia hasn’t fared much better. The rate of STDs in this province has the Vancouver Coastal Health people concerned. In particular the concern is with the increase in infective syphilis cases. VCH had nearly 500 cases last year. The largest increase in incidence is in the male, 20 to 24 year old age group. By far the preponderance of cases is in the gay, bisexual or those who have sexual contact with other men. VCH is urging men who fall into those categories to get tested every six months.
This disease is spiking in the US as well, mainly among the male, gay communities. Las Vegas recently declared an outbreak in their community.
While Syphilis is mainly thought of as a sexually transmitted disease, it can affect the unborn, with serious consequences. WHO estimates that currently, worldwide, about a million pregnant women are infected and they are embarking on a programme to try to eliminate congenital syphilis.
The disease is curable with antibiotics. Leaving the infection untreated will result in serious health problems and an early death. It is caused by an organism known as a spirochaete which is corkscrew shaped.
Spirochaetes can cause other diseases as well. Bejel, Pinta and Yaws are all spread by contact and attack first the skin and then lead to more serious damages. Other serious infections caused by this class of organism are: leptospirosis, Lyme disease, rat-bite fever and relapsing fever.
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