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Boston Researchers May Have Found A Method To Diagnose CTE In Living Patients

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Boston Researchers May Have Found A Method To Diagnose CTE In Living Patients

 

If you’re a parent, you’d most likely do anything to make sure your kids are safe and healthy, including keeping them away from substances that could affect their brain development.

It goes without saying that responsible moms and dads do everything in their power to stop their underage children from drinking, smoking, or partaking in illegal drugs. However, many let their kids participate in something considered much more acceptable that could do similar damage to their brains — namely contact sports, especially football.

Football and concussions go hand in hand, but even without symptoms or documentation of head injuries, children and adults can accumulate irreversible brain damage at the cellular level of brain functioning, a neurodegenerative disease otherwise known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Playing over a number of seasons can put players at risk of developing symptoms like major depression, memory loss, suicidal thought and actions, loss of intelligence, and dementia later in life. The disease has also been linked to drug and alcohol abuse when affected children reach their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

Back in July a medical study revealed that CTE was found in nearly 99 percent of deceased NFL players’ brains that were donated to scientific research. The disease could previously only be diagnosed in deceased patients, but on September 26, Boston University researchers announced they’ve found a method that could potentially diagnose the disease in living patients.

While the researchers stress that their findings are still in the early stages, the method, if successful, could reveal who knows how many previously undetected cases of CTE in professional players, teens, and even children.

(via The New York Times and The Ringer)

If adults still want to play football while knowing the risks, that’s their choice. But when it comes to children who haven’t reached the age of consent, the risk of permanent brain damage is exactly why many believe they shouldn’t be allowed to play until they reach adulthood.

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Science

Study Finds Exposure To Air Pollution During Pregnancy May Shorten Babies’ Lives

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Study Finds Exposure To Air Pollution During Pregnancy May Shorten Babies’ Lives

 

It’s no secret that living in a polluted area can have negative consequences on our health, but did you know it could potentially affect babies before they’re even born?

According to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics on October 16, our lifespans may be affected by pollution as early as when we’re in the womb. Researchers looked at 641 pairs of mothers and their newborns who were delivered at or after 37 weeks, focusing on levels of particulate matter — also known as particle pollution — where the mother lives and comparing that to the length of the infant’s telomeres, or biological aging markers.

Using DNA from each baby’s cord blood and placental tissue, the researchers found that infants whose mothers had higher exposure to air pollution had significantly shorter telomeres, which couldn’t be explained by other factors such as the mother’s ethnicity, body mass index, or whether she smoked.

“Telomere length at birth has been related to life expectancy,” the study authors wrote, meaning babies born with shorter telomeres may not live as long as those with longer telomeres. However, it’s important to note that the study did not establish a direct cause and effect relationship between pollution and telomeres.

“Telomere length can be influenced by many parameters, among them stress,” said Jan Karlseder, director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at the Salk Institute. “Just to make up a possible scenario, it could be that mothers that live in more polluted areas are subjected to higher stress, which then leads to slightly shorter telomeres.”

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Animals

Cockroach Milk Is A Thing — And It’s Surprisingly Good For You

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Cockroach Milk Is A Thing — And It’s Surprisingly Good For You

 

eady for some exciting bug-related news? It was recently discovered that one of your favorite insects can produce “milk”, and it’s surprisingly nutritious.

So just which bug is overflowing with the white, nutrient-rich liquid?

Cockroaches.

That’s right. Someone actually realized that you can milk cockroaches. If you’re not currently eating something, keep scrolling to hear more about the scientific breakthrough.

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Culture

Women Need More Sleep Than Men Because Their Brains Work Harder, According To Science

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Women Need More Sleep Than Men Because Their Brains Work Harder, According To Science

 

The brain of a man is different that the brain of a woman – the complexities of a woman’s brain has scientists saying that women need more sleep than men. Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University in England said that poor sleep for women is linked to high levels of psychological distress and increased feelings of anger, hostility, and depression.

women need more sleep

He added that those feelings were not linked to the same degree to the sleep disruption in men. Professor Horne learned that women’s brains are wired differently and that women may need more sleep.

women need more sleep

The recommended eight hours per night isn’t what everyone needs – some people may only need seven hours each night. Why are women’s brains different? Women do more multitasking during the day and use their brains are used more strenuously. This means that a woman will need more time to recover and getting more sleep is the best way to do that.

women need more sleep

 

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