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Early Inflammation and Midlife Cognitive Decline

A new study finds that inflammation in young adulthood, is associated with reduced cognitive function in midlife. 

Researchers discovered that inflammation due to factors like obesity and smoking can impact memory and processing speed.

This link, previously noted in older adults, now extends to early adulthood, suggesting long-term brain health effects. 

Reducing inflammation through lifestyle changes may help prevent cognitive decline.

Preventive Measures: Physical activity and quitting smoking can reduce inflammation and potentially prevent cognitive decline.

Young adults who have higher levels of inflammation, which is associated with 

obesity, 

physical inactivity, 

chronic illness, 

stress and

smoking, 

may experience reduced cognitive function in midlife.

A link between inflammation and health risks 
Researchers previously linked higher inflammation in older adults to dementia, but this is one of the first studies to connect inflammation in early adulthood with lower cognitive abilities in midlife. 

The researchers also linked higher levels of inflammation with physical inactivity, higher BMI and current smoking. 

“We wanted to see if health and lifestyle habits in early adulthood may play a part in cognitive skills in midlife, which in turn may influence the likelihood of dementia in later life.” 
 
Researchers found that 

only 10% of those with low inflammation 

performed poorly on testing of processing speed and memory, compared to 

21% and 19%, respectively, of those with either moderate or higher levels of inflammation.  
 
When researchers adjusted for factors like age, physical activity and total cholesterol, disparities remained in processing speed; and the researchers also found differences in executive functioning, which includes working memory, problem solving and impulse control.  
 
The study followed 2,364 adults in the CARDIA study, which aims to identify the factors in young adulthood that lead to cardiovascular disease two-to-three decades later.  
Participants were 18 to 30 years old when they entered the study and were tested four times over an 18-year period for the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP). They took the cognitive tests five years after their last CRP measurement, by which time most participants were in their forties and fifties. About half the participants were female; a little under half were Black, and the rest were white. 

Some 45% had lower stable inflammation, while 16% had moderate or increasing inflammation; 39% had higher levels.  
 
The researchers also linked higher levels of inflammation with physical inactivity, higher BMI and current smoking.  
 
Researchers looked at the association in midlife between fragmented sleep and lower cognition and the effects of personalized health and lifestyle changes in preventing memory loss in higher-risk older adults.  
 
There are ways to reduce inflammation – such as by increasing physical activity and quitting smoking.

Becoming Champions 

1 Practice + 

2 Skill +                                  

3 Consistency + 

4 Resilience 

= 5 Champion 

This equation holds in pursuing excellence, whether in business, sports, or personal growth. 

A few key takeaways to keep in mind

1 Purposeful Practice

It’s not just about putting in the hours; it’s about practicing with intention. Focus on challenging areas, seek feedback to refine your techniques, and continually strive to improve.

Continuous Skill Development

Skills are the currency of mastery. Invest in learning, adapt to changes in your field, and embrace opportunities to broaden your expertise. Mastery is a journey, not a destination.

Relentless Consistency

Success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s about showing up consistently, even when motivation wanes or obstacles arise. Small, daily improvements compound into significant achievements over time.

Resilience and Adaptability

Champions adapt. Be prepared to pivot, learn from setbacks, and use challenges as stepping stones to greater heights. Resilience is the bedrock of enduring success.

🏆 We should apply these principles in our professional and personal lives. 

🏆🏆 Cultivating a mindset of continuous improvement, embracing challenges as opportunities for growth, maintaining unwavering dedication, and fostering resilience pave the way to becoming champions in our own right

Master Time Management with 3–2–1 Technique

The Essence of the 3–2–1 Rule

At its core, the 3–2–1 rule emphasizes prioritization and focus. 

It suggests allocating time to the most critical tasks and activities that align with your goals and values. 

By breaking your day into 

three key priorities, 

two secondary tasks, and 

one personal commitment, 

you can streamline your efforts, increase productivity, and make meaningful progress in all aspects of your life.

The Power of Prioritization and Focus

The 3–2–1 rule enables you to identify and concentrate on the tasks that have the highest impact on your desired outcomes. By setting clear priorities and eliminating distractions, you can direct your energy toward activities that truly matter. Embrace the power of focus to unlock your true potential and achieve extraordinary results.

Setting 3 Key Priorities

Identify the three most important tasks or goals that require your immediate attention. These should be the activities that align with your long-term objectives and have the potential to propel you forward. Prioritize these tasks at the beginning of each day and commit to completing them, regardless of any challenges that may arise.

Tackling 2 Secondary Tasks

In addition to your three key priorities, allocate time for two secondary tasks or activities that contribute to your overall progress. These tasks may be of lesser significance but still require attention. By addressing them promptly, you prevent them from becoming distractions or causing unnecessary stress.

Honoring 1 Personal Commitment

To maintain a healthy work-life balance and foster personal well-being, make a conscious commitment to engage in one activity that brings you joy or nurtures your personal growth. Whether it’s spending time with loved ones, pursuing a hobby, or practicing self-care, this commitment allows you to recharge and enhance your overall productivity.

Embracing a Positive Mindset

Develop a positive mindset that fuels motivation, resilience, and a belief in your ability to achieve your goals. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. Replace self-doubt with self-confidence, and view setbacks as valuable lessons on your path to success.

Practicing Effective Time Management Techniques

Incorporate proven time management techniques into your daily routine. This may include utilizing productivity tools, such as time-blocking, setting deadlines, and breaking tasks into manageable chunks. Find a system that works best for you and empowers you to optimize your time and accomplish more.

Reflecting and Adjusting for Continuous Improvement

Regularly assess your progress and reflect on the effectiveness of your time management strategies. Identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments. Continuously seek new ways to enhance your productivity and optimize your workflow.

Conclusion:

With the 3–2–1 rule as your compass, you hold the key to unlocking your productivity potential and leading a more fulfilling life. By understanding the principles of the 3–2–1 rule and implementing actionable strategies, you can prioritize effectively, focus your energy on high-impact tasks, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Remember, time is a precious resource, and how you manage it determines your level of success and fulfillment. Embrace the power of prioritization, eliminate distractions, and make a personal commitment to your well-being. Cultivate a positive mindset, practice effective time management techniques, and continuously reflect and adjust your approach.

As you incorporate the 3–2–1 rule into your daily life, you’ll witness a transformation in your productivity, efficiency, and overall satisfaction. Take charge of your time, unleash your productivity potential, and create the life you envision. Embrace the 3–2–1 rule as a guiding principle, and watch as you accomplish more, experience greater fulfillment, and reach new heights of success. It’s time to seize the day and make every moment count.

Influenza 2024

Following is a list of all the health and age factors that are known to increase a person’s risk of getting serious flu complications:

  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Children younger than 2 years old1
  • Asthma
  • Neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions
  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
  • Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
  • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
  • Kidney diseases
  • Liver disorders
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • People with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 kg/m2 or higher
  • People younger than 19 years old on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
  • People with a weakened immune system due to disease (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or some cancers such as leukemia) or medications (such as those receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, or persons with chronic conditions requiring chronic corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress the immune system)
  • People who have had a stroke

Other people at higher risk from flu:

  • Pregnant people and people up to 2 weeks after the end of pregnancy
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People from certain racial and ethnic minority groups are at increased risk for hospitalization with flu, including non-Hispanic Black persons, Hispanic or Latino persons, and American Indian or Alaska Native persons
  • 1 Although all children younger than 5 years old are considered at higher risk of serious flu complications, the highest risk is for those younger than 2 years old, with the highest hospitalization and death rates among infants younger than 6 months old.

Heart Health

“1 Incorporating wheatgrass into your diet, along with 

2 regular exercise,

3 heart-healthy diet, 

4 quitting smoking, and 

5 stress management, 

can be powerful tools for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and promoting overall heart health.”

Remember, your heart health is within your control. 

By making informed choices and taking proactive steps, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and enjoy a healthier life.

Cancer vaccines

What are the 4 types of cancer vaccines?

Vaccine types considered include autologous patient-derived immune cell vaccines, 

1tumor antigen-expressing recombinant virus vaccines,

2peptide vaccines, 

3DNA vaccines, and

4heterologous whole-cell vaccines derived from established human tumor cell lines.

Top 10 superfoods

In our pursuit of a healthier and longer life, what we eat plays a critical role. 

Amidst the vast array of dietary choices, ‘superfoods’ stand out for their exceptional nutrient richness and profound health benefits. 

The top 10 superfoods you can incorporate into your diet to enhance your health and longevity:

  1. Blueberries: Nature’s Antioxidant
    Powerhouse
  2. Salmon: Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  3. Spinach: The Leafy Green Superstar
  4. Nuts: Healthy Fats and Proteins
  5. Avocados: More Than Just Healthy Fat
  6. Sweet Potatoes: A Vitamin-Rich Staple
  7. Garlic: Flavorful and Beneficial
  8. Turmeric: The Anti-Inflammatory Wonder
  9. Green Tea: More Than Just a Refreshing
    Beverage
  10. Dark Chocolate

Covid-19 variant JN.1

Cases of the latest JN.1 Covid-19 variant are continuing to rise, with new infections increasing by 52% during the 28 days leading up to the end of the year, says the World Health Organisation (WHO), describing it as a “variant of concern” (VOC).

In the United States, JN.1 accounts for more than 60% of Covid cases, reports Health Policy Watch, with experts saying the pandemic “is far from over”.

JN.1 is a derivative of the BA.2.86 Omicron subvariant, but with more than 30 mutations. Israeli variant trackers first discovered it in August, and the WHO first spoke about JN.1 in October, when it called it a variant “to keep a close eye on”.

Last month, it had named JN.1 a “variant of interest” (VOI) before now renaming it the more serious VOC.

Although many people are carrying the virus and US Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) data show that Covid hospital admissions in America have continued to increase over the past two months, it has not caused the same surge as seen with Omicron.

This is also the case in other countries, including Israel where it was first discovered. Israel was seeing 10 to 20 cases of severe Covid in hospitals on any given day, compared with 1 400 two years ago. At the same time, studies are starting to show that the updated Covid vaccines developed by PfizerModerna and others are eliciting antibodies against JN.1 – at least in vitro.

Evaluating JN.1, and what to ask

With a new variant,

Is it more transmissible?

JN.1 is more transmissible “because it is rising to the top of the charts very quickly”. At the beginning of November, JN.1 accounted for between 5% and 8% of all US cases. Today it is the most common variant.

Can it evade vaccines?

Studies show that the vaccine works as long as people are newly inoculated. Recommendation: jabs for immuno-compromised people with pre-existing medical conditions and over 75s.

Does it cause more severe disease?

No evidence JN.1 has caused more severe diseases so far, and no evidence it will. This is true in the countries currently experiencing a rise in the variant, and also from data in Singapore and other countries where JN.1 has been the predominant variant for longer.

Antiviral drugs like Paxlovid and Remdesivir continue to work to curtail the severity of the virus.

Covid-19: ‘a new era’

Best Diets for 2024

The Mediterranean Diet was found to be nutritionally sound, focusing on a wide range of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, olive oil, herbs and spices. Additionally, the experts deemed it to be safe and easy to follow for all people, including older adults and children.  

Diets that rounded out the top spots for best overall included the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet (#2), the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) Diet (#3), the Mayo Clinic Diet (#4), and the Flexitarian Diet (a mostly vegetarian diet; #5).

As for diabetes prevention and management, the Mediterranean Diet was given the top spot, followed by the DASH Diet (#2), and the Flexitarian Diet (#3).

The best heart-healthy diets included the Mediterranean Diet (#1), the DASH Diet (#2), and the Ornish Diet (#3). 

The Mediterranean Diet was also top-rated for promoting bone and joint health, followed by the DASH Diet (#2), and the Flexitarian Diet (#3).

For those looking for a quick way to drop the extra holiday pounds, the experts chose the Keto Diet (#1), the Atkins Diet (#2) and the HMR Program (#3; Health Maintenance Resources, a delivered meal replacement plan). 

For sustained weight loss, the Weight Watchers Diet (#1), the Mediterranean (#2), and the Volumetrics Diet (#3) were chosen as safe and effective methods.

The Mediterranean diet is one of the most balanced and nutritious diets you can follow. The diet focuses on plenty of fibrous fruits and vegetables, legumes, healthy fats, and grains such as whole-wheat pasta, whole grain bread, brown rice, etc. 

When focusing on whole foods, there is less room for highly processed food – reducing the amount of added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. 

The diet doesn’t contain refined carbs and processed red meats, which tend to be higher in calories and lower in nutrients.

All of the healthy fiber and fats you’ll consume on the Mediterranean diet make you feel fuller for longer, which reduces the cravings for sugary and unbalanced foods – helping with weight loss. 

Shift your meal portions to fill up on veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds, rather than nutrient-poor and energy-dense food.

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus, RSV

Respiratory Syncytial Virus, RSV, is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious. Infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV and need hospitalization. 

What is the best medicine to treat RSV? include the Ribavirin, antiviral drug which can be used in severe high-risk cases, and Bronchodilators.  Your provider may try a breathing treatment with Albuterol, to assess whether the medication helps your child breathe better. This involves using a nebulizer to get the albuterol into the lungs. Usually, RSV will get better on its own without antibiotics.

Vaccination for RSV: CDC recommends adults > 60 years of age and older have the option to receive a single dose of RSV vaccine, based on discussions between the patient and their health care provider.

These are the 2 RSV vaccines that will be available: 

Arexvy, by Glaxo Smith Kline. 

Abrysvo™, made by Pfizer and advised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for prevention of RSV-associated lower respiratory tract illness, in infants, from birth up to six months of age, by active immunization of pregnant women.

How long does RSV vaccine last? So far, RSV vaccines appear to provide some protection for at least two RSV seasons. Additional evaluation is planned to assess how long the protection lasts and whether additional doses will be needed.

Who should not get RSV vaccine? People younger than age < 60, including people with cancer, are not eligible for the vaccine. 

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