…when you go to the doctors office, you expect it to be relatively germ-free. But if you fill out paperwork when you arrive, you’re using something with 46,000 times more germs than the average toilet seat—a shared pen.

MEDICAL NOTES 20-10


Medical Notes this week…


The chemical BPA is known to have a lot of negative health effects, so many companies have switched away from making water bottles with BPA. However, the chemical that’s replaced it, known as BPS, may be just as harmful, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Scientists say BPS passed through the placenta of pregnant rats and hindered brain development in their offspring. 

About 500,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease each year, about 90 percent of them over age 50. But for those under age 50 who develop the disease, the seeds may have been planted in the womb. A study in the journal Nature Medicine finds that people who develop early Parkinson’s may have disordered brain cells at birth. The researchers were able to develop stem cells from patients with early-onset Parkinson’s to, in effect, take the brains of those patients back in time.

Men who use marijuana may have a higher risk of fathering children with brain abnormalities. A study on rats in The Journal of Toxicological Sciences finds that pot-smoking dads have altered sperm, which causes distinct abnormalities in offsprings’ brains in areas governing learning, memory, reward, and mood. Researchers say the brain changes closely resemble those in humans who’ve been exposed to neurotoxins such as pesticides and tobacco smoke.

And finally, when you go to the doctors office, you expect it to be relatively germ-free. But if you fill out paperwork when you arrive, you’re using something with 46,000 times more germs than the average toilet seat—a shared pen. In fact, shared pens are one of the germiest things we can use on a daily basis. But now an inventor at Orlando Health has created a pen holder called the CleanBlock that sanitizes pens between each use. Orlando Health hopes to have it in every office there by the end of the year. 

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