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Friday, December 9, 2016

Quick & Healthy: You Might Get Uncomfortably Numb

Quick & Healthy: You Might Get Uncomfortably Numb

“Quick & Healthy” offers some highlights from the world of health and wellness that you may have missed this week:

  • A breath test has shown promise for detecting the early signs of stomach cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, of the 24,590 U.S. patients who will be diagnosed with stomach cancer this year,10,720 will die. Since there is currently no non-invasive way to screen for stomach cancer, the new technology would fill a vital need.
  • Tylenol might do more than dull your pain; it might dull your capacity for joy as well. According to a recent study, researchers observed that among patients who had taken acetaminophen (Tylenol’s active ingredient), there was a “general blunting effect” on their ability to process either positive or negative emotions.
  • It’s possible vaccines will one day be a whole lot more painless. The ImmunoMatrix — one of the winners of Popular Science‘s 2015 Invention Awards — can deliver vaccine molecules via a patch on your skin. But this is about more than sparing people from their fear of needles. In situations where access to refrigeration, clean syringes, and proper biomedical waste disposal is scant, this simple patch could save a lot of lives.
  • The health risks of being overweight are well known and legion. It’s less often we hear about the risks of being underweight. But according to a new study, middle-aged people who are obese are actually less likely to develop dementia than those who are underweight. Being underweight is linked to higher dementia risk. Keep in mind that this directly contradicts several other studies, and also the typical caveats about correlation and causation. But it still gives you something to chew on.

Photo: Jerry Bowley via Flickr

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