25.11.2022
Dr Mosley shares reading could be ‘key’ to longer life but how much you read matters

From a beach romance under the Italian sun to a space station fixed in the orbit of a mysterious planet, you can experience countless realities through the pages of books. While stories can make you feel like you’ve lived a hundred different lives, they can also boost your own lifespan, according to Dr Michael Mosley.

Getting lost in a good book offers more than a good story and a conversation topic.

Dr Mosley explained this popular hobby is not only good for your brain but it is also a longevity booster.

“I love reading — and have from a young age. I was often spotted walking down the street, reading while trying to avoid fellow pedestrians and lamp posts,” the doctor penned for Daily Mail.

“Get this, reading not only helps keep you mentally fit as you age, it could even be the key to a longer life,” he added.

Don’t take just Dr Mosley’s word for it as research from Yale University found that those who read for 3.5 hours or more a week lived for 23 months longer than non-readers.

This means that just 30 minutes spent with your nose in a book daily could add almost two years to your lifespan.

The research team arrived at this conclusion by looking at the reading patterns of 3,635 people who were 50 or older.

Avni Bavishi, researcher on the study said: “We found that reading books provided a greater benefit than reading newspapers or magazines.

“We uncovered that this effect is likely because books engage the reader’s mind more – providing more cognitive benefit, and therefore increasing the lifespan.”

Although the participants didn’t specify the genre of the books they were reading, the research shared that it is likely that most of the people they surveyed were reading fiction.

Dr Mosley interviewed Dr Raymond Mar, a professor of Psychology at York University, to dive into the science behind being a bookworm.

Dr Mar said: “This benefit observed for reading books was actually not observed to the same degree for other kinds of sedentary activities.

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“We don’t really know why it’s the case and there are definitely puzzling parts about it.

“This reduced mortality isn’t really observed to the same degree when people are reading newspapers or magazines.”

However, Dr Mosley proposed one theory which might explain why fiction is the key to a longer life.

Research suggests that people who are socially engaged tend to have longer lives and the expert thinks that people might develop relationships with characters through book pages which could explain how reading boosts longevity.

However, if you want to enjoy these effects, you need to stick to some simple rules.

Dr Mar advised that you should make reading a regular habit – even if that means you only read “small bite-sized chunks” daily.

While you have to stick to fiction, it doesn’t matter what genre you choose as long as you enjoy yourself, according to Dr Mosley.

If you’re struggling to find time to flip through the pages of your chosen book, the doctor suggested reading 30 minutes before your bedtime to create a habit.

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  • 1 час, 58 минут назад 02.12.2022Health Care
    44-year-old who kept waking up to ‘bizarre smells’ at night told she has 18 months to live

    Brain tumours occur when an abnormal mass starts growing on the organ’s tissue. Regardless of whether the growth is malignant or not, its mere presence is a serious medical emergency. Unfortunately, brain tumours seldom produce symptoms in the initial stages, when they grow slowly. Once they’re advanced, however, patients can expect nagging headaches, blurred vision, and more rarely, olfactory hallucinations.

    According to the NHS, the classic brain tumour symptoms are:

    Sometimes cancer spreads to the nerves that control the sense of smell, causing olfactory neuroblastoma.

    This means a patient may experience distortions to their sense of smell, or simply smell things that are not there.

    These cancers often happen on the roof of the nasal cavity and lead to a wide range of olfactory hallucinations.

    This olfactory complex is only likely to come into full effect once the tumour has become relatively big, however.

    In one woman’s case, her tumour was already the size of a golf ball when it was discovered by doctors.

    In the weeks leading up to her diagnosis, Mel Mirza, 44, had complained of unusual smells waking her up in the middle of the night.

    Speaking exclusively to Mirror Online in 2018, Mel said: “I was experiencing severe, painful headaches that were 24 hours a day.

    “I used to wake up at 4am with these bizarre smells. It’s a smell I have never smelt before. It was like a feral smell that was very unusual.”

    The medical term for such olfactory hallucinations is phantosmia, which is when someone detects smells that aren’t there.

    “The odours you notice in phantosmia are different from person to person and may be foul or pleasant,” notes Mayo Clinic.

    Although brain tumours can cause a wide range of olfactory odours, these complications are extremely rare symptoms of the disease.

    Mel continued: “I had these attacks that got worse and worse. I would have to sit down to get out of them. An oncologist eventually said the attacks were a form of seizure. I was worried it was an aneurysm.”

    Upon discovering the tumour, doctors told the mum-of-four she that had just 12 to 18 months to live.

    When a brain tumour is labelled terminal, this means the tumour cannot be adequately treated, but patients can still receive treatment to help relieve symptoms.

    Like for other forms of cancer, catching brain tumours early is always favourable as they grow slowly in the beginning and rarely invade surrounding tissue.

    In the second stage of brain cancer, the tumours still grow slowly but they might start spreading to neighbouring tissue.

    Brain tumour metastasis occurs in the advanced stage when the tumour spreads to another location in the body.

    In Mel’s case, her doctors sadly found a new tumour growing in a different part of the brain, shortly after discovering the first one.

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  • 1 час, 58 минут назад 02.12.2022Health Care
    Infectious coronavirus can stay on some groceries for up to a week – ‘Highly noteworthy’

    Regardless of symptoms, Covid spreads mainly through close contact with people who have the virus. Whether you breathe, speak, cough or sneeze, you can release small droplets containing the virus into the air. Surfaces can then catch these droplets and possibly infect anyone who touches them next. However, food might also become contaminated with traces of the virus this way, according to a new study.

    From croissants to peppers and bottled drinks to cheese, researchers from The University of Southampton purposely infected packaging and food products with Covid.

    The research team chose items that people might put in their mouth without cooking or washing.

    The report revealed that Covid can reside on some ready-to-eat groceries for days but the risk to consumers remains very low, according to the scientists.

    While most food products tested saw a “significant drop” in virus levels after the first 24 hours, some traces survived for about a week.

    The research for Food Standards Agency included a variety of foods including grocery, deli and bakery counters.

    Furthermore, the team also infected packaged items like drink bottles, cartons and cans with the virus.

    The amount of virus they applied to these foods and surfaces was designed to simulate how much might land on food if someone who was infected coughed or sneezed near it.

    However, the report stressed that “foods and packaging considered as part of this study were artificially inoculated with Sars-Cov-2 and therefore are not a reflection of contamination levels found on these foods at retail, and lower levels of contamination will require less time to decline to undetectable levels”.

    The University of Southampton team penned: “For a highly infectious agent such as Sars-Cov-2, which can be transmitted through touching contaminated surfaces and then the face, these findings are highly noteworthy.

    “The public may be interested in the finding that the virus may persist in an infectious state, on foods and food packaging surfaces, for several days under certain common conditions.”

    Fortunately, the scientists think there’s no need for shoppers to take extra precautions when handling food.

    However, they stress you should stick to rules like washing your hands before preparing and eating food, as well as rinsing fresh produce to help remove any contamination on the surface.

    While surfaces can contain traces of the pesky virus, breathing in infected droplets remains the main way people catch Covid.

    The report suggests that coronavirus appears to last longer on produce with uneven surfaces – think broccoli and raspberries – compared to smooth-skinned foods such as apples.

    Chilled fresh peppers had detectable traces of the virus a week later, while apples were found to contain natural chemicals in their skin that may start to break down the virus within minutes or hours.

    Fortunately, pastries such as pain au chocolat appeared to have little virus after a few hours.

    See the latest Covid vaccine stats below and visit InYourArea for all the Covid vaccine latest

    The researchers speculated that this might be owed to the egg wash coating that is applied during baking. Eggs contain arachidonic acid which might have an antiviral effect.

    Cheese and cold meat items appear to allow the virus to survive for days or even a week.

    Plastic surfaces seem to offer good conditions, allowing the virus to survive for up to a week.

    But cartons seem to only contain the virus for several days and aluminium cans only for hours, according to the researchers.

    Anthony Wilson, microbiological risk assessment team leader at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) added: “This research gives us additional insight into the stability of coronavirus on the surfaces of a variety of foods and confirms that assumptions we made in the early stages of the pandemic were appropriate, and that the probability that you can catch Covid via food is very low.”

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  • 5 часов, 58 минут назад 02.12.2022Health Care
    Family’s anger as gran with dementia left with bleeding head wound after hospital fall

    The family of a dementia-stricken grandmother who suffered a bloody head wound after a hospital fall has raised concerns over her care.

    Beatrice McNarey had been rushed to the hospital for surgery after breaking her hip at her home in September.

    The 91-year-old Glasgow resident spent the night at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital before having surgery the next day.

    She was then sent to Gartnavel General Hospital to continue her rehabilitation.

    However, her family was shocked to discover her with a bleeding cut on her head following an “unwitnessed” fall on November 13, reports The Daily Record.

    Daughter Susan McNarey, 58, and her partner Thomas Bagan, 67, have raised questions about her care and want to know why she was not fitted with a movement alarm despite being deemed a high fall risk.

    In medical records, the gran-of-six also had two additional falls in the days prior but was helped safely to the ground by staff.

    Thomas said: “When we saw her after the fall, we honestly thought we were going to lose her.

    “The staff at Gartnavel are so understaffed and under so much pressure that they can’t get to everyone immediately. We know they’re doing their best.

    “But Beatrice has attempted to get up and has fallen over, bursting her head off the sink in her room.

    “She didn’t have a movement alarm put on her to let the staff know that she was trying to get up.

    “She was classed as a high risk of falls in her medical records but was left unattended.

    “After that, we then sat in an ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for hours before she could be seen.

    “By this time, she’s really frail and in a bad way.

    “They couldn’t put her under so they had to freeze the area of her head for the doctor to remove the haematoma.

    “The next day, she was taken back to Gartnavel to recover.”

    He added: “These doctors and nurses are run off their feet. They’re completely understaffed. There’s just not enough of them. But I wouldn’t let a dog be treated the way Beatrice was.

    “After the fall, she just started babbling and not making any sense.

    “After the operation to close the wound, she started talking normally again which was a big relief.

    “When your loved one is in hospital, you expect them to be safe. We just feel disgusted that it’s happened.

    “Thankfully she doesn’t really understand what’s gone on. She just kept asking where she was and why she was in the hospital.

    “But no one should ever have to see their mother like that. Falls in someone her age can be deadly.”

    Daughter Susan added: “When I found out what had happened to mum, I was devastated.

    “I’m still shocked by the lack of care which could have been avoided if she had been monitored properly.”

    Beatrice has since been discharged from hospital into the care of a relative and is recovering well.

    A statement from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “While we cannot discuss any individual patient, we would like to apologise if Ms McNarey’s family are not happy with any aspects of the care she received.

    “We are in regular contact with Ms McNarey’s next of kin and she is now receiving regular care at home.”

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  • 7 часов, 58 минут назад 02.12.2022Health Care
    Hundreds of heart attack survivors admit eating the same meal hours before an attack

    The concept of moderation often goes out the window around Christmas time – especially when it comes to your dinner. But experts have warned people to think twice before overindulging on food. Heavy meals, they suggest, are “taxing on the heart” and can increase your risk of a heart attack.

    The number of heart attacks tends to bump up around Christmas time, past research has found.

    The reason for this is likely partly down to the cold weather, a drop in exercising, and emotional stress – all of which are known to increase heart attack risk.

    But experts also explain that overeating is likely to be a factor as well. One past study found that people who eat unusually heavy meals are four times more likely to have a heart attack within two hours of eating.

    As part of the study, doctors in New Orleans asked 1,986 myocardial infarction sufferers about the meals they ate before their ordeals.

    She also explained that a bloated stomach can cause you to have a faster and irregular heart rhythm. Known as an arrhythmia, this change in heart rhythm can also create a heart attack or heart failure.

    Another doctor explained that when you eat, your body diverts blood from your heart to your digestive system.

    UCI Health cardiologist Dr. Shaista Malik said: “In people who already have blockage in heart arteries, any shunting of blood away from the heart can result in angina, or chest pain.”

    There are other factors at Christmas that you need to be considerate of, including excessive alcohol consumption.

    Doctor Malik said: “Alcohol can be toxic to the heart — it can weaken the heart muscle. And it, too, can predispose a person to arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation.”

    The signs that you’re being struck by a heart attack include discomfort in your chest that “happens suddenly” and “doesn’t go away”, explains the British Heart Foundation.

    They also include experiencing pain that spreads down your arms, or to your neck, jaw, back or stomach.

    The charity explains that it could feel like heaviness or a burning pain like indigestion.

    You may also feel sick, get sweaty and become light-hearted or short of breath.

    If you think you or someone else is having a heart attack, call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

    The NHS warns that a lack of blood to the heart can seriously damage the heart muscle and be life-threatening.

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  • 7 часов, 58 минут назад 02.12.2022Health Care
    Student killed by spider bite which left ‘gaping wound’ in his back

    A university student has died days after being bitten by a spider which left a “gaping wound the size of a £1 coin” on his back.

    Harry Bolton, 19, was found dead at his shared house. An inquest heard that just four days earlier, the second-year University of Hull student had started to feel unwell after a spider bite.

    Others in the student accommodation complex had also previously reported a spider infestation, HullLive reports.

    The hearing heard that on October 7, 2021, Harry’s housemate realised he had not received a response to his text message to him. After he returned home from work that night, he and another housemate knocked on Harry’s door. When they had no response, site security were called and his room door was broken down.

    The light was turned on and they found Harry laying in his bed, on his back with his eyes and mouth open. He was cold to the touch and his housemates and the security team member noticed his chest was not moving. They called the police and paramedics. While checking on him, paramedics noticed a £1 large gaping wound on Harry’s back that appeared to be infected, they confirmed he was not breathing and there was no heartbeat and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Harry went to Hull Royal Infirmary at 9.40pm that night with a high temperature and a high heart rate. A blood sample was taken and nothing of high risk was detected. A CRP Blood test revealed a level of 54, which indicated there was inflammation.

    He told a hospital staff member that he would be returning home to bed and would take himself to a walk-in centre the next day. Hospital staff had no reason to believe Harry did not have the capacity to discharge himself and he went back to his student house.

    The following morning was the last time Harry was seen by his housemates. Another housemate, Kacper-Krysztof Zydron, gave evidence in court about a similar bite he had received on his neck in August 2021. Kacper said it initially started off “hurting a bit”, but over a few days it was so bad that he could not move his neck.

    His parents helped him remove pus from the infection and Kacper said that helped relieve the pain. He called his GP and asked for antibiotics to heal the wound which cleared his infection.

    He sent an email to Ashcourt Student Housing about a problem with spiders. Attached in the email was an image of a spider Kacper had taken the following day, it showed a common house spider. But the inquest heard an inspection by the maintenance team found no infestation.

    A clause in the tenancy agreement also stated that low-level pest intrusions were the responsibility of tenants. After Harry’s death, pest control was called for the peace of mind of the tenants and a survey was carried out.

    Sticky traps were laid out. It revealed that there was a normal number of insects in the house given the time of the year.

    Coroner Paul Marks determined that Harry Bolton’s death was caused by sepsis, due to an acute chest infection, as a result of an infected wound on his back.

    He said: “Had he not been bitten by an invertebrate, possibly a spider, he would not have died at that time. It is an incredibly unfortunate case. He had a promising future ahead of him.”

    After his death, a JustGiving fundraising site raised more than £1,600 in Harry’s memory for Eczema Research.

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  • 7 часов, 58 минут назад 02.12.2022Health Care
    Healthy woman, 58, rapidly declines from dementia after three subtle symptoms appear

    The patient was referred to a specialty memory clinic at the age of 58 with a two-year history of repetitiveness, memory loss, and executive function loss.

    She underwent an MRI scan which revealed mild generalised cortical atrophy, which refer to a loss of brain cells or a loss in the number of connections between brain cells.

    She had no history of smoking, alcohol, or other drug misuse.

    Ten years prior she retired from her job as a manager in a telecommunications company in part because of cognitive challenges with work.

    Progressive cognitive decline was evident by the report of deficits in instrumental activities of daily living performance over the past nine months before her initial consultation in the memory clinic.

    Word finding and literacy skills were noted to have deteriorated in the preceding six months according to her spouse.

    Examples of functional losses were being slower in processing and carrying out instructions, not knowing how to turn off the stove, and becoming unable to assist in boat docking which was the couple’s pastime.

    She stopped driving a motor vehicle about six months before her memory clinic consultation.

    Her past medical history was relevant for high cholesterol and vitamin D deficiency.

    But there was no first-degree family history of dementia. A neurocognitive assessment at the first clinic visit revealed a poor cognitive score, poor verbal fluency as well as poor visuospatial and executive skills.

    Her speech was fluent with obvious word finding difficulties and her general physical examination was unremarkable.

    She had normal hearing. There was no evidence of depression or psychotic symptoms.

    Her family believes that there is possible German and Danish descent on her father’s side.

    “Because of her young age and clinical presentation with no personality changes, language or motor change, nor fluctuations, early-onset autosomal dominant Alzheimer disease (EOAD) was the most likely clinical diagnosis,” the case report authors wrote.

    EOAD presents the same phenotype as sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD) but has an early age of onset, usually before 60 years old.

    In the subsequent four years after her diagnosis, she continued to decline in cognition and function such that admission to a care facility was required with associated total dependence for basic activities of daily living.

    She was transferred to a long-term care facility due to episodic possible hallucinations.

    During this time, she developed muscle rigidity, movement difficulties, worsening perceptual, and language skills and became dependent on all activities of daily living.

    After one year in the care home, she was admitted to the acute care hospital in respiratory distress. The woman died at 63 of pneumonia.

    An autopsy was performed confirming the cause of death and her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, revealing numerous plaques and tangles.

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Health Care Dr Mosley shares reading could be 'key' to longer life but how much you read matters