Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Why Jigsaw Puzzles Are So Soothing And Addicting Right Now

From the May 27, 2020 Huffington Post article

Short answer..
““While COVID-19 is associated with a lack of control and an unknown end, puzzles offer the opposite,” said Michael Vilensky, a psychologist at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “With a puzzle, with enough time and effort, we can control the outcome, know it will end, and experience a sense of relief and accomplishment when it’s finished.””

Read the entire article at https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jigsaw-puzzles-soothing-coronavirus_l_5ecc7d43c5b6d6fc7b7f41b4?ncid=newsltushpmgnews

July 24, 2020 Posted by | Psychology | , , , | Leave a comment

Getting to the bottom of goosebumps

Harvard scientists find that the same cell types that cause goosebumps are responsible for controlling hair growth

From the July 20, 2020 article at the Harvard Gazette


“If you’ve ever wondered why we get goosebumps, you’re in good company — so did Charles Darwin, who mused about them in his writings on evolution. Goosebumps might protect animals with thick fur from the cold, but we humans don’t seem to benefit from the reaction much — so why has it been preserved during evolution all this time?

In a new study, Harvard University scientists have discovered the reason: the cell types that cause goosebumps are also important for regulating the stem cells that regenerate the hair follicle and hair. Underneath the skin, the muscle that contracts to create goosebumps is necessary to bridge the sympathetic nerve’s connection to hair follicle stem cells. The sympathetic nerve reacts to cold by contracting the muscle and causing goosebumps in the short term, and by driving hair follicle stem cell activation and new hair growth over the long term.”

Read the whole summary here

July 24, 2020 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | Leave a comment

Some ‘Inert’ Drug Ingredients May Be Biologically Active

Comprehensive Laboratory Study Flags Drug Components in Need of More Rigorous Review

The active ingredients in a drug are an extremely small part of the pill, liquid, or injectable, However the inert ingredients in drugs are not just “fillers” so that a pill is easy to handle. They” can be composed of ingredients including preservatives, dyes, antimicrobials and other compounds known as excipients**. These ingredients play critical roles in making sure a drug’s active ingredient is delivered safely and effectively, as well as conferring important qualities like shelf stability and the ability to quickly distinguish pills by color.”

The excipients have been generally been classified by scientists as nontoxic and biologically inactive. Some patients have described side effects from these excipients. A USCF team decided to study if indeed certain excipients are not as biologically inactive as thought. These studies will go a long way in deducing if a person is having side effects from the drug or added ingredients.

So far the team “the researchers have now systematically screened 3,296 excipients contained in the inactive ingredient database, and identified 38 excipient molecules that interact with 134 important human enzymes and receptors.”

Future research will expand on these hypothetical findings and test using animal models.

**Excipients are crucial to drug delivery within the body. Generally, an excipient has no medicinal properties. Its standard purpose is to streamline the manufacture of the drug product and ultimately facilitate physiological absorption of the drug. Excipients might aid in lubricity, flowability, disintegration, taste and may confer some form of antimicrobial function. Selecting the appropriate excipient to support the design of your pharmaceutical formulation is an important step in the drug manufacturing process. From Pharmaceutical Excipients

Read the entire summary here.

July 24, 2020 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Health News Items | , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: