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Sleep apnea might cause dementia

health and fitness Updated: Aug 13, 2011 23:23 IST

Hindustan Times
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Sleep apnea might cause dementia

Sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterised by snoring, pauses in breathing and interrupted sleep, causes mental decline and dementia, reports a study in The Journal of The American Medical Association.

The sleep disorder has already been associated with high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur five to 30 times or more an hour. Since sleep plays a role in the consolidation of long-term memory, scientists at first suspected that the frequent interruptions of sleep, and getting less sleep, could be affecting brain function.

But they found that what was causing mental impairment was hypoxia — reduced oxygen to the brain — due to breathing disruptions.

Have Vitamin D to avoid health risks

Low vitamin D in young girls may lead to early menstruation, which is a risk factor for a host of health problems later in life.

Girls who were low in vitamin D were about 11.8 years old when they started menstruating, compared to 12.6 years olds. Though 10 months may not seem like a long time, it is substantial in terms of health as there’s a lot happening rapidly to a young girl’s body.

Depression ups risk of stroke in women

A new study has linked depression with increased risk of stroke in women. In six years of follow-up of women in the Nurses’ Health Study, a history of depression was associated with a 29% increased risk of total stroke — even after considering other stroke risk factors.

Women who used anti-depressant medication — particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors— had a 39% increased risk of stroke. Though anti-depressant medication was an indicator of depression severity, the medications were not the risk.

Curcumin: The cure to tendinitis and arthritis

Curcumin, which gives turmeric its bright yellow colour, helps in treating painful inflammatory conditions, such as tendinitis and arthritis, according to researchers at the University of Nottingham in the UK and Ludwig-Maxmillians University in Munich, Germany.

Turmeric has been used for centuries in ayurvedic medicine as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Its antioxidant properties has now led researchers in several countries to investigare its use to treat a variety of diseases.

Pumping iron helps smokers’ kick the habit

Weightlifting can do more than just build muscle — it can also help smokers kick the habit, say researchers. Women are twice as likely to quit smoking if they do regular resistance training, reports a US study. It builds on previous studies that found aerobic exercise can reduce cigarette cravings as well as control weight gain after kicking the addiction.

One in three adults in India use tobacco in some form or the other, reported the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, 2010. Tobacco use kills 10 million people in India each year.