Monday, September 06, 2010

Sleep-deprived teenagers 'triple chances of mental illness' by spending nights online

This is just the usual epidemiological crap. They found a correlation between reduced sleep and mental problems and just ASSUME that they know the causes behind the correlation. Blaming computer games is SO predictable from a do-gooder outfit like the George Institute.

That people with problems might find it hard to sleep does not seem to have occurred to them

Young people who rob themselves of sleep by spending all night surfing the internet and playing computer games are tripling their chances of developing a mental illness, according to research.

People who sleep less than five hours a night are up to three times more likely to become mentally ill than those sleeping eight or nine hours, the report said. A 17-24 year old sleeps on average eight to nine hours per night, but this figure has been decreasing due to the amount of time young people spend on electronic gadgets in their bedrooms.

Researchers from George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, analysed the sleeping habits of almost 20,000 people aged between 17 and 24. They found over half of those who got fewer than six hours sleep had high levels of psychological distress, compared with one quarter of those who slept eight to nine hours a night.

Professor Nick Glozier, who led the study, said: "Over the past few decades young adults have been sleeping fewer and fewer hours, whereas the rest of us have generally been sleeping more hours. "There's a whole load of gadgets that kids and young adults now have in their bedrooms that they never used to have. "Yet of course they have to get up and go to school or college or go to university at exactly the same time. So there's a group of them who are becoming more and more sleep-deprived."

A lack of sleep could have potentially serious effects, he said. "What we are seeing is young adults who start off with anxiety and body clock problems, moving on to problems like bipolar or major depression. "In young adults already experiencing distress, the fewer hours they sleep the worse the outcome."

Psychological distress was assessed using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10), that evaluates a person's mental health problems. The results appear in the journal Sleep.


Why not brushing your teeth can kill you

But only if you have bleeding gums. The assumption seems to be that toothpaste is bacteriocidal or that brushing hardens your gums. I am not sure that either is true. Brushing tends to make my gums bleed, which is why I gave it up long ago. I have had no gum bleeding ever since -- and no decay either. I would think that the findings below were an argument AGAINST brushing. A couple of glasses of gin and water before bedtime is my recipe for oral health.

I have corrected some deplorable spelling below. It must be a sign of modern education that writers and copy editors at a prestigious British newspaper think that "bacteria" is singular

A link between poor oral hygiene and increased risk of heart attack has long been suspected. But until now nobody has been able to figure out exactly why not brushing regularly might bring one on. Now a Bristol University dental scientist has discovered that a common bacterium responsible for tooth decay and gum disease can break out into the bloodstream and help blood clots to form. In turn these can cause heart attacks and strokes, which together cause more than 200,000 deaths in Britain every year.

Most of them time Streptococcus bacteria are confined to the mouth, but when someone has bleeding gums they can get into the blood. There the bacteria use a protein on their surface, called PadA, to force blood platelets to bind together to give themselves a protective shield.

Howard Jenkinson, professor of oral microbiology, said: "What we have done is whittled down to a single protein molecule on the surface of bacteria that can activate platelet formation. "It is the first time that a mechanism from a single bacterium has been shown to activate platelets and make them spread."

Describing the mechanism, he said: "When the platelets clump together they completely encase the bacterium. This provides a protective cover not only from the immune system, but also from antibiotics that might be used to treat infection.

"Unfortunately, as well as helping out the bacteria, platelet clumping can cause small blood clots, growths on the heart valves or inflammation of blood vessels that can block the blood supply to the heart and brain."

The study provides evidence for yet one more reason to brush one's teeth and - ideally - floss. "People need to be aware that as well keeping a check on their diet, blood pressure, cholesterol and fitness levels, they also need to maintain good dental hygiene to minimise their risk of heart problems," said the scientist.

But the research should also speed up the development of drugs which could prevent potentially deadly blood clots from forming in the first place.

Prof Jenkinson described the discovery of the key protein as a "new tool" on which to test drugs which might stop it from clotting blood. He is working with Dr Steve Kerrigan of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to see how the protein's platelet-causing function can be blocked. "This could eventually lead to new treatments for cardiovascular disease which is the biggest killer in the developed world," said Prof Jenkinson.

He is presenting the research today (MON) at the Society for General Microbiology’s autumn conference.



Anonymous said...

"Brushing tends to make my gums bleed, which is why I gave it up long ago. I have had no gum bleeding ever since -- and no decay either. I would think that the findings below were an argument AGAINST brushing. A couple of glasses of gin and water before bedtime is my recipe for oral health."

John, you continue to inspire me as a simple, straight forward, authentic example of an HONEST person without the usual litany of immediate-moment ego insecurity. What drives you still somewhat eludes me, in a good sense.

In a Jungian sense your are akin to the archetype of a wizard.

My passion about the debased nature of the science of climatology has waned, post Climategate, though the question of how on earth science itself could be so bastardized in the first place remains.

I am incredibly happy that your son has made you proud, that your wives were babes, and that you continue to chop away at charlatanism worldwide.

Alas, what is to become of us human beings? I think you know, better than I. Thanks for being a wonderful teacher, over a thousand miles away.

Scientific rigor is divine.


jonjayray said...

Thank you for those kind words