Gaming Disorder, Alzheimer’s Breakthrough (Abstract Science: June 18 - 22)
Addressing a public concern over technology abuse, another reason why the obese should work out, and a new breakthrough discovery to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
(Wired, 6/19/2018, Robbie Gonzalez)
Chances are you have heard of Fortnite. Ranging from kids to professional athletes, Fornite is hands down the most popular video game on the planet right now. It’s also addictive, says the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA estimates that 160 million American adults play video games. That is a lot of screen time! After much discussion, the World Health Organization this week finally included "gaming disorder" as a new mental health condition in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases. But University of Connecticut psychologist Nancy Petry, who is leading the first US National Institutes of Health-funded study on gaming addiction, believes the evidence is still insufficient.
(Laboratory Equipment, 6/20/2018, The Physiological Society)
Obesity is a global health challenge, with approximately one-third of adults affected. Obesity increases the risk of health problems, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Exercise can reduce inflammation in obese people by changing the characteristics of their blood, according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology. Many of the health problems linked to obesity are a result of chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a natural process in the body in response to harm, but in obese people it can become long term and this can lead to damage of healthy tissue. Certain blood cells are more likely to cause inflammation, and if these cells are made in the body in greater numbers than normal, they can spread to organs in the body and cause them to malfunction. The blood cells responsible for causing inflammation are formed from stem cells within the body. This new research is the first to show that exercise alters the characteristics of these blood forming stem cells, and therefore reduces the number of blood cells likely to cause inflammation. These findings provide a new explanation of how exercise may improve health in adults with obesity.
(News Medical Life Science, 6/21/18)
Alzheimer's disease could be better treated, thanks to a breakthrough discovery of the properties of the metals in the brain involved in the progression of the neurodegenerative condition. An international research collaboration led by Dr. Joanna Collingwood from the University of Warwick's School of Engineering, characterized iron species associated with the formation of amyloid protein plaques, which are abnormal clusters of proteins in the brain. The formation of these plaques is associated with toxicity, which causes cell and tissue death and leads to mental deterioration in Alzheimer's patients. The researchers found that in brains affected by Alzheimer's, several chemically-reduced iron species including a proliferation of a magnetic iron oxide called magnetite, which is not commonly found in the human brain, occurs in the amyloid protein plaques.
—Compiled by Social Media Specialist Jillian Scola