Daydreaming brain network used in autopilot

  The part of the brain associated with daydreaming also allows us to perform tasks on autopilot, a study has found. A collection of brain regions known as the “default mode network” (DMN) is active when we are daydreaming or thinking about the past or future. Cambridge University researchers found it also allows us to switch to autopilot once we are familiar with a task, such as driving a familiar route. There is even hope the findings can help people with mental illness. Previous research has found the DMN is more active during states of rest, and that it can behave abnormally in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But researchers have remained unclear about its...

Patients need rest, not antibiotics, say health officials

  More patients should be told to go home and rest rather than be given antibiotics, according to health officials. Public Health England (PHE) says up to a fifth of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary as many illnesses get better on their own. Overusing the drugs is making infections harder to treat by creating drug-resistant superbugs. PHE says patients have “a part to play” in stopping the rise of infections. It is estimated: 5,000 people die in England each year as a result of drug-resistant infections Four in 10 cases of bloodstream E. coli infections now cannot be treated with first-choice antibiotics By 2050, drug-resistant infections around the world are expected to kill more people than currently die from cancer Antibiotics are...

Seeking “to be visible” More Americans 65 and Older are Getting Plastic Surgery

    Jean Stark, 83, left, a retiree in Lakewood, CO, with her surgeon Dr. Zamora, had work done on her eyelids a decade ago and is planning further procedures, including to her neck and jaw.   Maria Vargas was fed up with looking like an old woman. That was how the 68-year-old felt when she walked down the street. “I’d lost the looks of men,” said Vargas, who is divorced. “I’d walk by men and men would probably go, “Yeah, there’s a cute grandma.’” So in February, after months of wrestling with the decision, she got a neck lift.  “I got so excited about the difference that it made that I was like, ‘Oh my god, I want more,” said Vargas, a Sacramento, CA resident who had never had elective plastic surgery before. Now,...

Anti-inflammatory drug cuts heart attack risk

  Anti-inflammatory drugs could cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes, a study of 10,000 patients suggests. A trial of the drug canakinumab could represent the biggest breakthrough in treatment since the advent of statins to lower cholesterol, its authors say. The study reported a 15% reduction in the risk of a repeat heart attack among patients – but others questioned the drug’s efficacy, side-effects and cost. Recipients of the drug had an increased risk of potentially fatal infections. However, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) said the “exciting and long-awaited trial” could still help save lives.  Arthritis drug Heart attack patients are routinely given cholesterol-lowering statins and blood-thinning drugs to help...

First Cancer “Living Drug” Gets Go -Ahead

  The US has approved the first treatment to redesign a patient’s own immune system so it attacks cancer.  The regulator – the US Food and Drug Administration – said its decision was a “historic” moment and medicine was now “entering a new frontier”. The company Novartis is charging $475,000 (£367,000) for the “living drug” therapy, which leaves 83% of people free of a type of blood cancer.  Doctors in the UK said the announcement was an exciting step forward. The living drug is tailor-made to each patient, unlike conventional therapies such as surgery or chemotherapy. It is called CAR-T and is made by extracting white blood cells from the patient’s blood.  The cells are then...

6 Benefits of Getting Older You Probably Never Expected

  As the world continues to feed off of youth while tossing away the elderly, fear of age spares no one. There are various answers to the question, “What is your biggest fear of growing older?” And the most common answers to this include: taking seriously ill, loneliness once our significant other has passed, taking care of elderly relatives, a sense of declining attractiveness, lack of retirement finances, and fears around menopausal changes for women and loss of virility in men. While all of these are very valid reasons, there are also many advantages to growing older. Below I will share six of them. 1. We Have Much Clearer Priorities As we age and experience new things, we come to a realization of what matters — and what doesn’t. Throughout our...