Medical Notes this week…
Inflammation can be a good thing when the body has to heal a wound, but too much chronic inflammation plays a role in a whole variety of diseases from heart disease to Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. But now scientists may have found a way to turn inflammation off. A study in the journal Cell Metabolism shows that a molecular switch governing chronic inflammation can be turned off, potentially slowing down many conditions including diabetes and aging.
For a lot of people, getting outside is a welcome antidote to stress. But a new survey done for the Outdoor Foundation shows that few of us are taking advantage of the great outdoors. In fact, just under half the U.S. population doesn’t participate in outdoor recreation at all. The survey finds that outings including activities like hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and biking have declined, and parents take kids on outings 15 percent less often than they did just eight years ago.
And finally, doctors are reporting a strange, rare side effect of the active ingredient in Viagra—intensely blue-tinted vision. A report in the journal Frontiers In Neurology says that 17 men in Turkey visited a hospital with red-green color blindness and intense blue tinted vision after taking the drug. Researchers say vision changes are possible within three to five hours of taking the medication. However, these men had visual changes for up to three weeks before they dissipated.