Review Category : Health

Shared Experiences Are More Intense than Going It Alone

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) — Shared experiences seem to be better or worse than those that one goes through alone, according to a Yale University study.

Leader researcher Erica Boothby had female participants eat chocolate by themselves and then with someone else, who turned out to be another researcher.

As it happened, the participants rated the chocolate as tastier whenever there was another person eating a piece as well.

In the second experiment, the participants were given bitter chocolate, which they rated as more unpleasant whenever someone else shared a piece.

Although she only conducted the small study with women, Boothby says that shared experiences appear to be more intense whether with people we know well or even total strangers.

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Shared Experiences Are More Intense than Going It Alone

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) — Shared experiences seem to be better or worse than those that one goes through alone, according to a Yale University study.

Leader researcher Erica Boothby had female participants eat chocolate by themselves and then with someone else, who turned out to be another researcher.

As it happened, the participants rated the chocolate as tastier whenever there was another person eating a piece as well.

In the second experiment, the participants were given bitter chocolate, which they rated as more unpleasant whenever someone else shared a piece.

Although she only conducted the small study with women, Boothby says that shared experiences appear to be more intense whether with people we know well or even total strangers.

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Here’s The Right Amount to Spend on an Engagement Ring

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Guys who don’t go overboard when it comes to spending money on an engagement ring may be doing their future wives a favor.

Economic professors at Emory University say that by keeping their budget for a ring between $500 and $2,000, men and women improve their chances for a stronger marriage.

Without getting too much into the reasons why, men who pay between $2,000 and $4,000 for an engagement ring increased their chances of a broken marriage by 1.3 times.

However, going super cheap is not helpful either. The risk of divorce also rose when the ring cost under $500.

As for the price of the wedding itself, couples spending more than $20,000 were 3.5 times more likely to head for divorce court than people who came in at between $5,000 and $10,000.

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Sugar Doesn’t Sweeten Memory Functions

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — How many more reasons do parents need to discourage their teens from drinking massive quantities of sugar-sweetened soda or energy drinks?

University of South California researchers have come up with another: sugar intake seems to damage the memory and other cognitive functions.

Rather than experiment on humans, Scott Kanoski and his team fed one group of rats a substantial amount of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup that added up to nearly 40 percent of their caloric intake. Then, all the rats ran through a maze.

What happened was that spatial memory of adolescent rats that consumed high amounts of sugar or HFCS was most affected as they did worse in the maze test than any other group.

Kanoski surmises that sugar and HFCS cause inflammation of the hippocampus, which controls memory formation. This damage to the hippocampus is also responsible for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in older adults.

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Sandwiches Are Usually Loaded with Sodium

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Making and consuming a sandwich is a quick, easy and delicious way to nourish one’s self. Of course, like everything that’s good these days, there always seem to be a bad side.

And in this case, it’s that sandwiches are almost always chock full of sodium, which health officials say contributes to hypertension and all the illnesses associated with it.

The Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service says that a single sandwich delivers 20 percent of one’s sodium intake per day. And since almost half of Americans consume a sandwich, which also includes hot dogs and hamburgers, people are likely getting more salt than what’s healthy.

What the study also revealed is that sandwich eaters also have a higher energy rate than other Americans.

Since that’s the case, ARS nutritionist Cecilia Wilkinson says that it’s important then to replace high-sodium ingredients with lower sodium foods.

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Hundreds of Thousands of Bees Found After Men Are Attacked

iStock/Thinkstock(DOUGLAS, Ariz.) — Hundreds of thousands of bees were discovered in a giant hive after some had attacked landscapers in Douglas, Arizona, Wednesday, killing one man and injuring another.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, the men were chased after turning on lawnmowers outside the home of a developmentally disabled adult.

Douglas police said as they were trying to fend off an onslaught of bees, the landscapers ran to a neighbor’s house who then called 9-1-1.

The unidentified dead man, who was 32, suffered a fatal heart attack after being stung repeatedly in the head and neck. Another man received 100 stings and was later released from the hospital.

Exterminators were also called in by firefighters to destroy a hive measuring four feet by six feet found in the attic of the home. They said upwards of 800,000 bees lived inside the hive.

Meanwhile, the 90-year-old man who owned the residence was not harmed.

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Researchers Testing Prosthetics That Could Restore Sense of Touch in Amputees

Vladislav Ociacia/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers at Case Western Reserve University say they have developed the next generation of prosthetics, which provide hand amputees the ability to feel “touch.”

The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, involved the implanting of electrodes into the upper arms of two amputees, which enabled them to generate unique impulses that allowed the amputees to sense fine touch, firm touch and pressure. That amputees were also better able to complete difficult routine tasks — such as plucking the stem from a cherry — when they could “feel.”

Researchers also said that the amputees claimed the implant eliminated the feeling of a “phantom hand,” or pain caused by the brain’s interpretation that the hand is still there.

A separate study in Sweden involving the implantation of electrodes directly into a patient’s bone gave him the ability to manipulate the prostheses via feedback from his brain.

Researchers in each study have eliminated the use of surface electrodes, previously the only way to allow for independent control of the prostheses. Further testing will likely be required before the technology is made widely available.

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Deputy Who Delivered Ebola Quarantine Order in Hospital ER

Will Montgomery(DALLAS) — A sheriff’s deputy who helped serve a quarantine order on the apartment where Texas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan had been staying is being examined at a Dallas hospital for “possible exposure to the Ebola virus.”

The deputy was admitted to the emergency room of Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas on Wednesday.

“Right now, there are more questions than answers about this case,” the hospital said in a statement.

The deputy, who was not identified, did not have contact with Duncan, who was hospitalized at the time the quarantine order was issued, and is not considered a high risk person, a Dallas County official told ABC News.

“Our professional staff of nurses and doctors is prepared to examine the patient, discuss any findings with appropriate agencies and officials. We are on alert with precautions and systems in place,” the hospital said.

Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was asked about the patient.

“There is someone who does not have either definite contact or definite symptoms of Ebola, who is being assessed,” Frieden said.

“We are tracing the other 48 people” who were exposed to Duncan, he said. “None of them as of today have had fever or symptoms of Ebola.”

“We’re at peak incidence period of symptoms which is eight to 10 days after exposure,” Frieden said.

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Family of Dallas Ebola Patient Who Died Upset over ‘Unfair’ Treatment

iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — The family of the first person to die of Ebola in the U.S. is upset with the patient’s medical care, and called his treatment “unfair.”

Thomas Eric Duncan, who is from Liberia, died Wednesday after being infected with the Ebola virus. He had been in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, since his diagnosis on Sept. 28.

Duncan’s nephew Joe Weeks told ABC News he felt Duncan had “unfair” medical treatment. Weeks suggested that Duncan did not get the same treatment being given to Ebola patient Ashoka Mukpo in a Nebraska hospital, although he did not detail that alleged difference.

He said the family questioned why Duncan was not moved to Emory University Hospital, where two American health workers were successfully treated after becoming infected with Ebola in Liberia.

“No one has died of Ebola in the U.S. before. This is the first time,” Weeks told ABC News. “We need all the help we can get.”

Weeks said hospital officials told the family they had all the experience needed to treat Duncan.

Weeks also said the family was frustrated that Duncan was not given donated blood from Ebola survivors. Weeks said hospital officials told the family “that the blood wasn’t a match.”

Two other Ebola patients being treated in the U.S. were given donated blood from Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, in the hopes that Ebola antibodies can be passed on from the donor to the patient.

There is no confirmed treatment for Ebola and blood donation from Ebola survivors is one approach recommended by the World Health Organization.

Although Weeks told ABC News he was unhappy with medical treatment, other relatives thanked the local community for their support.

Louise Troh, the mother of Duncan’s teenage son and the woman referred to as his wife by family members, released a statement thanking Dallas and local community leaders for their help during this ordeal.

“Without their help, I can’t imagine how we could have endured,” wrote Troh.

But Troh also said she trusts that “a thorough examination will take place” into Duncan’s care.

Troh’s son with Duncan, Karsiah Duncan, 19, had been hoping to see his father, but was unable to see him in the isolation ward before he died.

Calls and emails to the hospital were not immediately answered.

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Texas Ebola Death Highlights Burial Warnings by CDC

iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Now that Thomas Eric Duncan is the first person to die of Ebola in the U.S., the delicate question arises of how to safely dispose of his remains.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Centers did not immediately have comment for ABC News on the situation. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued specific guidelines for safe handling of human remains of Ebola patients in U.S. hospitals and mortuaries.

According to CDC documents, only people trained in handling infected human remains and wearing proper safety gear should touch or move any Ebola-infected remains. Handling and transportation should be kept to a minimum and an autopsy should be avoided unless absolutely essential.

The body should not be washed or cleaned in any way and should be wrapped in plastic to prevent contamination. Following the removal of the body, the hospital room should be thoroughly disinfected. So long as the body is safely shrouded in plastic, any transport drivers do not need to wear protective gear.

Once the body arrives at the mortuary, the agency does not recommend embalming. The shrouded body should be placed directly into a hermetically sealed casket by trained mortuary personnel wearing head-to-toe protective gear. The remains should then be immediately buried or cremated.

If Duncan’s body is to be transported back to West Africa, the family will need to comply with the regulations of the country of destination, and will have to be coordinated in advance with U.S. health authorities.

“Surely the disposal of Mr. Duncan’s body will be done with the utmost respect and also with all consideration for public safety,” said Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease expert and chairman of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University.

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