BY SCOTT LAFEE
Gout is a common, but complex, form of arthritis. It occurs when urate crystals (derived from uric acid) accumulate in joints, causing inflammation and intense pain, often in the big toe. It’s not uncommon for an attack of gout to happen suddenly, waking you up in the middle of the night.
A new study suggests that obstructive sleep apnea — breathing disruptions that affect sleep — may raise the risk of gout. Individuals with sleep apnea and gout share some common health challenges such as hypertension and diabetes, and risk factors like obesity and alcohol use.
The researchers did not propose any specific remedies but said that dealing with sleep apnea problems promptly may prevent other, seemingly unrelated problems later. That’s an idea worth sleeping on.
A new study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry reports that Montmorency tart cherries may boost gut health. Researchers had nine adults drink 8 ounces of tart cherry juice from concentrate every day. After five days, the researchers reported they found more “good” bacteria in the participants’ guts, though the actual bacteria measured varied by individual.
The pit in the study: It was sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute, which says it wasn’t involved in the research but, as STAT notes, claims its mission is “to increase the demand for Montmorency tart cherries through promotion, market expansion, product development and research.”
Body of knowledge
Information travels at different speeds within the body depending upon the central nervous system cell involved. Some messages travel as “slow” as half a meter (1.6 feet) per second, while others cover 120 meters (393 feet) in the same amount of time. Given the actual distances involved, it’s all quite speedy.
Get me that, stat!
Apparently, Dr. Google is a psychiatrist, too. A new survey of 1,300 people, sponsored by Hopelab and Well Being Trust, found that 90 percent of 14- to 22-year-olds with moderate to severe symptoms of depression go online to research mental health issues. Seventy-five percent tap into blogs, podcasts and videos to explore other people’s experiences.
This week in 1953, at the Ochsner Foundation Hospital in Jefferson, Louisiana, Carolyn Anne and Catherine Anne Mouton were the first conjoined twins to be successfully separated through surgery. They were connected at the waist, the result of a single fertilized ovum that divided imperfectly.
To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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