Review Category : Health

You Won’t Sit Around by Signing an Agreement to Stay Active

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s usually a pretty good idea to put an agreement in writing even if it’s one that involves promising to keep active.

As it happens, signing a contract with your employer that you’ll try to be less sedentary both at work and outside the office has been proven to be more effective than making the same pledge without benefit of a written document.

Finnish researchers discovered this by observing office workers who took part in a two-year program to reduce the amount of sitting they did from 2011 to 2013.

According to the study, workers who signed a contract beforehand cut muscle inactivity by 33 minutes a day and boosted light muscle activity by 21 minutes daily. Their results were substantially better than the control group that never made a written commitment to staying fit.

What’s more, those who signed a pledge were also far less stationary at home during leisure time with family, which included activities like walking or bicycling to the store.

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Julianne Hough Spills Surprising Beauty Secret

Shape Magazine(NEW YORK) — As a dancer, actress and singer, Julianne Hough has to be on, but the way she powers up every morning may surprise you.

“I was raised in a religious family. I’ve done my own thing for the past few years, but recently I started praying again,” the Dancing With the Stars judge, who was raised Mormon in her native Utah, told Shape magazine for its December issue.

“I do it every day. I sit quietly — or actually get on my knees — and then say the things that I’m grateful for out loud. Today I’m grateful for this beautiful morning, for being healthy, and for having my dogs with me,” she continued.

Part of her daily routine is making sure that she starts her day with eight hours of sleep.

“Recently I’ve started forcing myself to go to bed earlier, because if I don’t get enough sleep, I’m miserable. I get cloudy, my eyes hurt, and I have to take a nap,” the 26-year-old said. “But when I’m well-rested, I am rockin’! My favorite way to wake up in the morning is to cuddle with my dogs, Lexi and Haley, for 10 minutes.”

Next up, maintaining her killer body.

“Morning is my favorite time to exercise,” Hough told Shape. “I’ll either see my trainer Astrid [Swan McGuire] or hit a class at Tracy Anderson. I like to shock my body by doing different things. When I was on tour, even though I was dancing two hours a night, I felt I needed more, so I started doing dance moves with ankle or wrist weights on.”

Breakfast is non-negotiable in her morning routine.

“I love making my own breakfast. My favorite dish is an egg-white omelet or a scramble with veggies like asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, and kale. Protein helps me begin my day in a healthy way. It carries me all the way through.”

Before she heads out the door, Hough said she always tries to look her best.

“I’m actually a closeted hair and makeup artist and really enjoy doing it all myself,” she revealed. “If I’m reading for a part, I’ll transform myself into the character. I love the whole process and always tell my agents: ‘Put me in the room — I’ll audition for anything.’ That’s my motto.”

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Julianne Hough Spills Surprising Beauty Secret

Shape Magazine(NEW YORK) — As a dancer, actress and singer, Julianne Hough has to be on, but the way she powers up every morning may surprise you.

“I was raised in a religious family. I’ve done my own thing for the past few years, but recently I started praying again,” the Dancing With the Stars judge, who was raised Mormon in her native Utah, told Shape magazine for its December issue.

“I do it every day. I sit quietly — or actually get on my knees — and then say the things that I’m grateful for out loud. Today I’m grateful for this beautiful morning, for being healthy, and for having my dogs with me,” she continued.

Part of her daily routine is making sure that she starts her day with eight hours of sleep.

“Recently I’ve started forcing myself to go to bed earlier, because if I don’t get enough sleep, I’m miserable. I get cloudy, my eyes hurt, and I have to take a nap,” the 26-year-old said. “But when I’m well-rested, I am rockin’! My favorite way to wake up in the morning is to cuddle with my dogs, Lexi and Haley, for 10 minutes.”

Next up, maintaining her killer body.

“Morning is my favorite time to exercise,” Hough told Shape. “I’ll either see my trainer Astrid [Swan McGuire] or hit a class at Tracy Anderson. I like to shock my body by doing different things. When I was on tour, even though I was dancing two hours a night, I felt I needed more, so I started doing dance moves with ankle or wrist weights on.”

Breakfast is non-negotiable in her morning routine.

“I love making my own breakfast. My favorite dish is an egg-white omelet or a scramble with veggies like asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, and kale. Protein helps me begin my day in a healthy way. It carries me all the way through.”

Before she heads out the door, Hough said she always tries to look her best.

“I’m actually a closeted hair and makeup artist and really enjoy doing it all myself,” she revealed. “If I’m reading for a part, I’ll transform myself into the character. I love the whole process and always tell my agents: ‘Put me in the room — I’ll audition for anything.’ That’s my motto.”

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Facebook Plea Gets Liver Transplant for 3-Year-Old

Donya McCoy(ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa.) — Michael Thompson and Donya McCoy weren’t particularly good friends in high school, but when Thompson saw McCoy’s Facebook plea for a liver donor to save her ailing 3-year-old, it didn’t matter.

On Tuesday, he donated 25 percent of his liver to McCoy’s daughter.

“One of the greatest things I will probably do in my life, give more life to another human,” Thompson wrote on his Facebook page in October. “Thank you, Donya McCoy, for letting me. And thanks to Kiersten Thompson for supporting me and being by my side.”

McCoy said it wasn’t until her daughter Kennedy was 8 months old that her medical mystery began. That was when the little girl had her first and only seizure, prompting doctors near where McCoy lives in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, to do an MRI.

“He came out to talk to us and told us the white matter in her brain looked like nothing he’d ever seen before,” McCoy said.

Doctors soon learned that one of Kennedy’s amino acid levels was off the charts, but they didn’t know why. McCoy said she took Kennedy to several doctors, but no one could figure out how to cure her. Turning the case down, a doctor told McCoy only one person could help Kennedy: a retired 86-year-old metabolic specialist named Dr. S. Harvey Mudd.

Mudd, who used to work at the National Institutes of Health, came out of retirement for Kennedy and diagnosed her three weeks later with a rare metabolic disorder called S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency. It’s so rare that only eight people have ever been diagnosed with it, and only six of them are still alive today, McCoy said.

The enzyme deficiency prevents Kennedy from processing protein normally, leading to a buildup of other toxic substances in her system and causing degenerative neurological effects over time, said Dr. George Mazariegos, chief of pediatric transplantation at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where Kennedy’s transplant occurred Tuesday.

Mudd changed her diet, McCoy said, but she’d need more treatment to keep her condition from worsening.

Mudd died 11 months later. At his memorial, McCoy asked Dr. Kevin Strauss, medical director of the Clinic for Special Children, to take over as Kennedy’s doctor. He agreed.

“He made her a priority and within a month, he figured out that a liver transplant was her best shot at survival,” McCoy said. “So she’s the first in the world to have a liver transplant for her disease.”

Although Kennedy was placed on the transplant waiting list for a deceased donor, Mazariegos said the liver allocation algorithm would keep her from getting placed high on the list because the algorithm wasn’t designed with her rare deficiency in mind. Even though the deficiency is concentrated in Kennedy’s liver tissue, the liver would be considered healthy by the waiting list standards, he said.

They would need a living donor — and one who wasn’t related to them because the condition appears to be inherited. Even carrying one recessive gene for the condition could be a problem.

McCoy realized that her best chance at finding a liver donor was to reach out through Facebook, so she typed out a message and hoped for the best.

“A guy I went to high school with messaged me and said, ‘I have O positive blood,'” she said. It was Thompson, and he was a match.

The transplant surgery took place at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and lasted 8 hours with four surgeons, two anesthesiologists and two nurses.

Kennedy will spend a few months in the hospital, but she’s “tough,” McCoy said. Afterward, the hope is that Kennedy can resume a normal diet.

And Kennedy’s 4-year-old sister Mia is excited for her to get well, too.

“She is so proud to be Kennedy’s big sister,” McCoy said. “She tells people, ‘They’re gonna fix my sister and then I’m gonna give her peanut butter cups.”

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Bret Michaels Had Kidney Surgery; Hospitalized 6 Times in 2 Weeks

Andrew Toth/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) — Bret Michaels’ health has taken an unfortunate turn.

The singer recently had kidney surgery and has been hospitalized six times in two weeks, his longtime guitarist and friend Pete Evick revealed on Facebook and Michaels’ website.

“Over the last two weeks Bret was in and out of 6 hospitals throughout the Midwest. Including the incredible Mercy Hospital of Northwest Arkansas. The staff and doctors were unbelievable and took incredible care of Bret,” Evick wrote. “Bret continues to be steadfast in his dedication to bring the music to the people. He truly has to be held down to not perform.”

Michaels, 51, had two stents put in his body in the past week, Evick explained. Shortly after the procedure, in spite of his team and doctors’ requests, he insisted on performing. After the show, he was hospitalized briefly again, and then made his way to his next performance.

“This time it went real bad. During the show he gave 100 percent, but he hurt himself. Jumping around with two stents was a bad idea. I can’t explain the amount of blood or where it came from, but it was horrifying on his bus after the show,” Evick wrote.

“Bret was again taken to a hospital and this time given medication that would keep him down. The doctors basically refused to release him. Causing us to postpone the charity event once again. Bret was truly devastated. It’s actually honorable to me that he always brings up the concern for the fans first before addressing his condition.”

This is not the first time Michaels has had health issues. The rocker, who has Type 1 diabetes, had an emergency appendectomy in 2010, shortly after which he suffered a suffered a hemorrhage at the base of his brain stem. In spite of those setbacks, he has always tried to get on stage for his fans as quickly as possible, and this time is no different.

“While the last few weeks have been tragic, Bret continues to be an inspiration in his ability to push on. He’s still not 100 percent, but there are no plans to postpone or reschedule any more shows this year,” Evick wrote. “While he was in dire pain, he still played an amazing show to an enormous crowd in Vegas a few days ago. We will see you guys this weekend in Florida.”

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Meet the ‘Egg Whisperer’ Hosting Freezing Parties in Silicon Valley

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) — Women curious about freezing their eggs no longer have to visit a doctor’s office to learn more about the procedure. Now, they can get that information over cocktails.

Dr. Aimee Eyvazzadeh, a California doctor nicknamed the “Egg Whisperer,” is hosting parties for women who are considering postponing parenthood while they pursue careers in Silicon Valley.

She hosted her first “egg-freezing party” Monday in San Francisco, about a month after tech giants Facebook and Apple announced they would pay female employees to undergo the procedure while they continue to work.

“I thought, ‘Oh, my God, the culture is changing,'” Eyvazzadeh said of the news. “People might really want to hear what I have to say.”

She had just launched a website to promote her egg-freezing parties, so the timing was perfect.

Eyvazzadeh threw the first bash at a Spanish restaurant, and while she spoke about fertility and the egg-freezing procedure, about 15 guests indulged in appetizers and cocktails.

“I think about where I would want to go with my friends on a Monday or Tuesday night. We want to catch up, hang out,” she said. “The other option is to do it in a clinical setting, but that just feels so cold.”

Her idea for the parties happened naturally.

“Over years, I’ve been invited to parties and everyone just wants to talk about what I do for work. It’s really fun for me, I love what I do. So I had this idea to turn it into a girl’s night out,” Eyvazzadeh said.

Her second party is Tuesday night at a restaurant in Walnut Creek, California.

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‘Vacation Breasts’ May Be Next Big Thing in Plastic Surgery

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Think of it as test driving plastic surgery: You wouldn’t buy a car without driving it or seeing how it feels when you sit in the seat. So why should breasts be any different?

The New York plastic surgeon who developed the “insta breast,” a saline injection into the breast that gives the impression of implants for 24 hours, is now working on a method that would last two to three weeks.

“Twenty-four hours is great,” said Dr. Norman Rowe, a board certified plastic surgeon who practices in Manhattan, “but it’s still just 24 hours.”

Two of his insta breast patients have come back for the 24-hour augmentation twice, he said, still unable to decide if surgery is right for them.

Rowe said the two-to-three-week breast “implants” are perfect for a special occasion — such as a wedding or vacation — but also give women a better opportunity to see what living with larger breasts is really like.

“You can use 3-D imaging and put implants in bras,” he said, “but it’s another thing to see what the weight will actually feel like and what it will be like to live with the new breasts.”

While Rowe won’t disclose the chemical makeup of the solution that will allow the saline-plus-additive to not only last but to stay in the right place, he said it’s something that’s already widely used in the medical community for other purposes.

“With any procedure, it’s important to weigh the benefits versus the risks versus the alternatives,” said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ senior medical contributor. “With this procedure, there is the risk of hitting a blood vessel with the injection (forming a hematoma) as well as a risk of infection, and the long-term risks, while they appear low, are unknown at this time. There are also cost issues.”

The cost, Rowe said, will depend largely on how popular the procedure becomes. The more in demand it turns out to be, the lower the price. But he anticipated it will cost less than the insta breast procedure, which cost $2,500.

Rowe said he is in talks with the Food and Drug Administration on new technology, and anticipated the “vacation breasts” will be available in about two years. As with the insta breast, he anticipates there will be no recovery downtime.

“It [the solution] could be used for more than breasts,” Rowe said. “Men might want to use it for pec[toral] or calf implants.”

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‘Vacation Breasts’ May Be Next Big Thing in Plastic Surgery

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Think of it as test driving plastic surgery: You wouldn’t buy a car without driving it or seeing how it feels when you sit in the seat. So why should breasts be any different?

The New York plastic surgeon who developed the “insta breast,” a saline injection into the breast that gives the impression of implants for 24 hours, is now working on a method that would last two to three weeks.

“Twenty-four hours is great,” said Dr. Norman Rowe, a board certified plastic surgeon who practices in Manhattan, “but it’s still just 24 hours.”

Two of his insta breast patients have come back for the 24-hour augmentation twice, he said, still unable to decide if surgery is right for them.

Rowe said the two-to-three-week breast “implants” are perfect for a special occasion — such as a wedding or vacation — but also give women a better opportunity to see what living with larger breasts is really like.

“You can use 3-D imaging and put implants in bras,” he said, “but it’s another thing to see what the weight will actually feel like and what it will be like to live with the new breasts.”

While Rowe won’t disclose the chemical makeup of the solution that will allow the saline-plus-additive to not only last but to stay in the right place, he said it’s something that’s already widely used in the medical community for other purposes.

“With any procedure, it’s important to weigh the benefits versus the risks versus the alternatives,” said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ senior medical contributor. “With this procedure, there is the risk of hitting a blood vessel with the injection (forming a hematoma) as well as a risk of infection, and the long-term risks, while they appear low, are unknown at this time. There are also cost issues.”

The cost, Rowe said, will depend largely on how popular the procedure becomes. The more in demand it turns out to be, the lower the price. But he anticipated it will cost less than the insta breast procedure, which cost $2,500.

Rowe said he is in talks with the Food and Drug Administration on new technology, and anticipated the “vacation breasts” will be available in about two years. As with the insta breast, he anticipates there will be no recovery downtime.

“It [the solution] could be used for more than breasts,” Rowe said. “Men might want to use it for pec[toral] or calf implants.”

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New ‘Stupidity Virus’ Discovered, Scientists Say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The next time you lose your keys or bomb a test, try blaming it on a virus. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Nebraska have discovered a virus that makes you just a little bit dumber.

The scientists stumbled upon the previously unknown “stupidity virus” in the throat cultures of healthy subjects during a completely unrelated experiment. The 44 percent of people who tested positive for the virus performed seven to nine points lower on IQ tests that measured attention span and how fast and accurately people process visual information.

When the Nebraska researchers injected the virus into the digestive systems of mice, same thing. The rodents blundered around mazes, appeared flummoxed by new toys and seemed oblivious to new entry ways in and out of their cages. In short, they acted a tiny bit stupider than the average mouse.

“This is a striking example showing that the ‘innocuous’ microorganisms we carry can affect behavior and cognition,” said lead investigator Dr. Robert Yolken, a virologist and pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore who led the study.

Yolken said this unintended study provides a good example of how behavior and psychology come down to more than the genes you inherit from your parents. Some of these traits may be shaped and influenced by the trillions of viruses, bacteria and fungi that colonize our bodies, he said.

Viruses are infectious agents that invade cells and replicate themselves within those cells, said Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, a spokesman for the Infectious Disease Society of America. Once they enter a host, they range from completely benign or, as is the case of the Ebola virus, deadly.

Glatt said while he is skeptical of a virus can actually affect intelligence, he is keeping an open mind.

“We don’t completely understand the full implications of viruses yet but they, obviously, can impact the functioning of cells and entire organism with a myriad of outcomes,” he said.

Yolken said this particular virus may work by changing the way genes are expressed in an area of the brain responsible for memory and other higher brain functions. He also said he has suspected for some time that viruses have ways of messing with human intelligence.

In previous studies, for example, his team found small but definite decreases in cognitive function after exposure to the common herpes simplex virus.

The new research appears in the latest issue of the online journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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New ‘Stupidity Virus’ Discovered, Scientists Say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The next time you lose your keys or bomb a test, try blaming it on a virus. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Nebraska have discovered a virus that makes you just a little bit dumber.

The scientists stumbled upon the previously unknown “stupidity virus” in the throat cultures of healthy subjects during a completely unrelated experiment. The 44 percent of people who tested positive for the virus performed seven to nine points lower on IQ tests that measured attention span and how fast and accurately people process visual information.

When the Nebraska researchers injected the virus into the digestive systems of mice, same thing. The rodents blundered around mazes, appeared flummoxed by new toys and seemed oblivious to new entry ways in and out of their cages. In short, they acted a tiny bit stupider than the average mouse.

“This is a striking example showing that the ‘innocuous’ microorganisms we carry can affect behavior and cognition,” said lead investigator Dr. Robert Yolken, a virologist and pediatric infectious disease specialist at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore who led the study.

Yolken said this unintended study provides a good example of how behavior and psychology come down to more than the genes you inherit from your parents. Some of these traits may be shaped and influenced by the trillions of viruses, bacteria and fungi that colonize our bodies, he said.

Viruses are infectious agents that invade cells and replicate themselves within those cells, said Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, a spokesman for the Infectious Disease Society of America. Once they enter a host, they range from completely benign or, as is the case of the Ebola virus, deadly.

Glatt said while he is skeptical of a virus can actually affect intelligence, he is keeping an open mind.

“We don’t completely understand the full implications of viruses yet but they, obviously, can impact the functioning of cells and entire organism with a myriad of outcomes,” he said.

Yolken said this particular virus may work by changing the way genes are expressed in an area of the brain responsible for memory and other higher brain functions. He also said he has suspected for some time that viruses have ways of messing with human intelligence.

In previous studies, for example, his team found small but definite decreases in cognitive function after exposure to the common herpes simplex virus.

The new research appears in the latest issue of the online journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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