A study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology shows that people with conditions such as eczema, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis are often made miserable by itching. Those with itch were more than twice as likely to be depressed and nearly twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts as controls without those conditions. 

MEDICAL NOTES 19-47


Medical notes this week…

A lot of people try to save up to retire early. But a new study shows that early retirement can speed up cognitive decline. The study from Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY), found the same thing in both the United States and China among people over age 45. Early retirement led to a decline in cognitive performance, especially in delayed recall, and especially in women. Researchers say the results appear to bear out the old adage about the brain—use it or lose it. 

If your skin is chronically itchy, you’re much more likely to be depressed and even suicidal. A study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology shows that people with conditions such as eczema, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis are often made miserable by itching. Those with itch were more than twice as likely to be depressed and nearly twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts as controls without those conditions. 

Researchers have surveyed fungus contamination of city apartments and compared them to huts in the Peruvian jungle. And have found that jungle huts are much more healthy. The study in the journal Nature Microbiology shows that fungi are much more diverse and more numerous in urban homes and on the bodies of urban dwellers than in the jungle, even though city apartment dwellers clean and disinfect much more often. Researchers say it could be that all those fungi have become resistant to cleaning products and grow more easily where there’s less fresh air and sunlight

If you’re a fast walker in middle age, it may indicate you’re not aging as quickly as others. A study in the journal JAMA Network Open shows that the walking speed of people at age 45 is a good indicator of how quickly aging is taking place in the brain and body. Doctors have long known this about people in their 70’s and 80’s, but it’s the first time the aging of much younger people has been accurately predicted simply by how fast they walk.

And finally, they say that failure is a great teacher, but it turns out that success is an even better one. In a series of lab experiments, people consistently learned less from failing a task than succeeding at it. Researchers say it’s a matter of self-esteem. People tune out because failure doesn’t feel good. 


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