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What We're Reading: Dialysis After Harvey; Inflammation Research; Youth Exercise Benefits Adult Brain


Meeting Dialysis Needs After Hurricane Harvey

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Houston has struggled to keep up with the number of patients needing dialysis. According to NPR, people are waiting their turn to get treatment and some are facing life-threatening delays. Patients needing dialysis usually undergo the procedure every other day, but some in Houston haven’t had dialysis in as much as 4 days. A delay in dialysis could impair muscle function, including the heart.

Inflammation’s Role in Disease

Scientists are working to understand how inflammation plays a broad role in disease development. New trial results found that the use of anti-inflammation drugs to reduce risk of heart attacks or strokes also cut the risk of lung cancer, reported STAT. However, anti-inflammation drugs can have dangerous side effects, such as an increased susceptibility to skin infection, sepsis, and tuberculosis. So far researchers know a few diseases where inflammation plays a key role: HIV, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, depression, and heart disease.

An Active Youth Produces Benefits in the Brain Later

Exercise in childhood may provide a buffer against mental acuity declines later in life. The New York Times reported that a study in rats found that those who ran early in life, even after becoming sedentary midlife, were better able to remember and interpret experiences. The data suggests that exercising in youth can “build cognitive reserve.” However, it is unclear if the results will replicate in adults or if the benefits only occur in those who exercise in childhood.

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