Monday, September 17, 2012

Spinach could help fight off dementia (?)

There were absolutely NO findings about spinach in the research below,  just stupid old antioxidant speculation

Spinach could help beat help beat dementia, according to a study.   Researchers have discovered a link between low vitamin C, beta-carotene levels and dementia.

So antioxidant rich fruit and vegetables - such as spinach, carrots and apricots - could help fight the disease’s devastating symptoms, their findings suggest.

German scientists from the University of Ulm looked at the differences between 74 people with mild Alzheimer’s disease and 158 healthy subjects.

The participants, aged between 65 and 90, underwent neuropsychological testing, answered questions about their lifestyle and had their blood examined and their body mass index calculated.

The team, led by epidemiologist Professor Gabriele Nagel and neurologist Professor Christine von Arnim, found the serum-concentration of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene were significantly lower in patients with mild dementia than in control group.

There was no such difference between the groups in levels of other antioxidants including vitamin E, lycopene, coenzyme Q10.

Dr Nagel said although more studies were needed to confirm the results, the findings suggested fruits and vegetables could play a role in fighting the disease.

'Longitudinal studies with more participants are necessary to confirm the result that vitamin C and beta-carotene might prevent the onset and development of Alzheimer’s disease,' he said.

'Vitamin C can for example be found in citrus fruits; beta-carotene in carrots, spinach or apricots.'


Diabetics with sympathetic doctors are more likely to have a better outcome and fewer complications

This is just old "correlation is causation" rubbish.  Maybe middle class people had nicer doctors and had better health anyway

Patients with more sympathetic, understanding doctors have better outcomes and fewer complications, new research suggests.  By measuring a doctor's understanding of a patient's concerns, pain, suffering and an intention to help, researchers found a link between diabetic patients' outcomes and their physicians.

A large study done by a team from Thomas Jefferson University along with Italian researchers evaluated the relationships among 20,961 diabetic patients and 242 primary care physicians they were enrolled to in Parma, Italy.

Mohammadreza Hojat, Ph.D., research professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and director of Jefferson Longitudinal Study of Medical Education in the Center for Research in Medical Education and Health Care at Jefferson Medical College said: 'This new, large-scale research study has confirmed that empathic physician-patient relationships is an important factor in positive outcomes.

'It takes our hypothesis one step further.  'Compared to our initial study, it has a much larger number of patients and physicians, a different tangible clinical outcome, hospital admission for acute metabolic complications, and a cross-cultural feature that will allow for generalisation of the findings in different cultures, and different health care systems.'

Researchers used the Jefferson Scale of Empathy (JSE) which measures the level of empathy in the context of patient care.

Researchers used the results of two medical tests, the haemoglobin A1c (blood) test and cholesterol levels measurements, and found a direct association between a physian's JSE and a better control of their patient's medical results.

Dr Hojat said: 'Results of this study confirmed our hypothesis that a validated measure of physician empathy is significantly associated with the incidence of acute metabolic complications in diabetic patients, and provide the much needed, additional empirical support for the beneficial effects of empathy in patient care.

'These findings also support the recommendations of such professional organisations as the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Board of Internal Medicine of the importance of assessing and enhancing empathic skills in undergraduate and graduate medical education.'

Italian patients and doctors were evaluated because there is universal health care coverage in Italy and there is no confounding effect of difference in insurance, lack of insurance or financial barriers to access care.

'What's more, this second study was conducted in a health care system in which all residents enrol with a primary care physician resulting in a better defined relationship between the patients and their primary care physicians than what exists in the United States,' said co-author Daniel Z. Louis, Managing Director for the Center for Research in Medical Education and Health Care and research associate professor of family and community medicine at JMC.

Co-author author Vittorio Maio, PharmD, M.S., MSPH, associate professor at the Jefferson School of Population Health said: 'Italy has a lower rate of switching doctors, facilitating long-lasting physician patient relationships.'


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