Almost half of older adults (ages 50 to 80) think they'll develop dementia sometime in their life, according to a new National Poll on Healthy Aging from the University of Michigan. But nearly two-thirds said they were engaging in some kind of activity to either help prevent or minimize dementia, such as playing brain games or taking nutritional supplements.
Somewhat contrarily, just 5% of those polled said they had spoken to their doctor about proven ways to prevent dementia, such as maintaining ideal blood pressure and glucose levels, avoiding harmful alcohol intake and getting regular exercise.
On the other hand, 60% said they were willing to provide a DNA sample to help study the disease, and 44% expressed interest in participating in a clinical trial testing new treatments and prevention strategies.
Grumpy People, Rejoice!
There's a widely held belief that smiling, whether you want to or not, can make you feel happier. It's known as the facial feedback hypothesis. As every budding scientist knows, a hypothesis is really just an educated guess requiring proof. Well, the proof is in, and it's not looking good for smiling. A new study in Psychological Bulletin reviewed 300 experiments and 50 years of data and concluded that "smiling equals happy" isn't much of an effect at all. The researchers estimated that for every 100 smilers, only 7 could expect to feel happier than if they hadn't smiled at all.
Body of Knowledge
A person will die more quickly from total lack of sleep than from hunger. Death would occur after 10 days without any sleep; starving to death takes several weeks.
Get Me That, Stat!
There are more than 734 million people in the world considered obese and another 1.6 billion deemed overweight. At the other end of the scale, more than 838 million people are undernourished, and more than 9 million will die from hunger this year, according to the State of Food Insecurity in the World report, the World Health Organization and United Nations World Food Program.
Stories for the Waiting Room