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Frequent Social Media Checks May Affect Young Brains



By Cara Murez 

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 3, 2023 (HealthDay Information) — Social media’s affect on younger folks is a scorching subject, with most children and teenagers eager to do no matter their associates are doing and oldsters worrying about setting limits.

A brand new research examines whether or not frequent checking of social media websites (Fb, Instagram and Snapchat) is related to adjustments in practical mind growth in these early adolescents, about age 12.

Utilizing mind scans referred to as practical magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers at College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discovered that habitually refreshing and checking social media could also be related to adjustments in mind sensitivity to social rewards and punishments — these on-line likes and engagement from others.

“We all know that adolescence is likely one of the most vital intervals for mind growth — it is going by extra adjustments in reorganization second solely to that we see in early infancy,” mentioned research creator Eva Telzer, who’s an affiliate professor of psychology and neuroscience. “It’s a very dramatic interval of mind growth, specifically in these mind areas that reply to social rewards.”

Social rewards aren’t restricted to social media websites. They are often constructive face-to-face suggestions from friends and even receiving cash.

However these Fb likes are social rewards, too.

Different analysis has discovered that some adolescents are on their cellphones virtually continually, checking their social media at the very least hourly.

For the three-year research, Telzer’s staff recruited 169 sixth- and seventh-graders from three public center colleges in rural North Carolina. Members have been racially numerous and included each girls and boys.

The members reported how typically they checked the three social media platforms, various from lower than as soon as a day to greater than 20 instances. The researchers used this info to make a scale.

Then members underwent fMRI mind scans. Throughout these scans, they’d see a cue that social suggestions can be a reward, a punishment or impartial. They then needed to rapidly push a button when a goal appeared. The kids would then get a social reward or punishment.

“We will take photos of their mind and see which mind areas are activated after they see these social rewards and which mind areas are altering over these three years in response to anticipating that peer suggestions,” Telzer mentioned.

Members who at age 12 have been checking social media upwards of 15 instances a day confirmed “variations in the best way that their brains develop over the next three years,” Telzer mentioned. “And it is in particular mind areas which might be detecting the salience of the setting, responding to these social rewards.” Salience refers to which components persons are most drawn to and can focus their consideration on.

Telzer mentioned this means that teenagers who develop up continually checking their social media have gotten hypersensitive to look suggestions.

“Their brains are responding increasingly and extra over these years to that social reward suggestions that they’re anticipating,” Telzer mentioned.

What isn’t clear is what this implies for his or her future.

It might probably lead the mind to turn out to be increasingly delicate to social suggestions and this might proceed into maturity, Telzer mentioned.

However researchers haven’t tried to see if they’ll change this trajectory.

Whereas the mind adjustments may promote compulsive or addictive social media behaviors, they could additionally mirror an adaptation that helps teenagers navigate their more and more digital world.

“We do not know if that is good or dangerous — if the mind is adapting in a means that permits teenagers to navigate and reply to the world they reside in, it could possibly be an excellent factor,” Telzer mentioned. “Whether it is turning into compulsive and addictive and taking away from their capability to interact of their social world, it might probably be maladaptive.”

She mentioned dad and mom can assist their teenagers by fostering actions that carry pleasure with out going surfing — as an illustration, sports activities, artwork or volunteering.

“It is a thought-provoking associational research,” mentioned Dr. Kevin Staley, neurologist and chief of pediatric neurology service at Massachusetts Normal Hospital in Boston, who reviewed the findings. “We’re all frightened that compulsive use of social media goes to change growth in adolescence.”

Extra analysis can be required to know for certain that social media adjustments adolescent brains, he mentioned. For instance, researchers may see what occurs in the event that they take away youngsters’ telephones for six months to stop frequent social media checks.

Staley added that fMRI is an intriguing window into the mind, however nonetheless crude given the complexity of mind circuitry.

“There’s a variety of various things these circuits could possibly be doing, and we do not have a window into what they’re doing,” he mentioned.

But, dad and mom wish to know the affect that social media can have on their youngsters and whether or not they need to restrict it, Staley famous.

“This research is admittedly kind of an early stepping stone to the evidentiary path that might give us cause to behave by hook or by crook,” he mentioned, including that it’s too early to make a suggestion primarily based on these findings.

For now, dad and mom might want to use frequent sense about social media.

“I feel it reinforces what number of issues are altering throughout early adolescence,” Staley mentioned. “All of us are inclined to suppress all of the angst that we underwent throughout that interval, however there was a cause that it was onerous, as a result of your mind adjustments in radical methods getting ready for maturity. And this research exhibits that that is one thing that could possibly be bodily measured.”

The findings have been revealed on-line Jan. 3 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Extra info

Pew Analysis has extra on teenagers and social media.


SOURCES: Eva Telzer, PhD, affiliate professor, psychology and neuroscience, College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Kevin Staley, MD, neurologist and chief, pediatric neurology service, Massachusetts Normal Hospital, Boston; JAMA Pediatrics, Jan. 3, 2023, on-line


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How to Treat a Stuffy Nose in Babies and Toddlers




Your toddler is congested. What must you do?

In a baby age 3 or beneath, this could be a problem. For starters, it’s not all the time apparent what’s inflicting that stuffy nostril. Infants and toddlers usually catch colds as a result of they’re simply beginning to construct up their immunity to frequent viruses. However there are numerous different potential causes of congestion.

You’re additionally restricted by the remedies which might be OK to make use of in kids youthful than 4. You shouldn’t flip to chilly medicines for aid. They are often harmful for infants and toddlers.

Happily, there are many protected and efficient remedies which you can attempt.

Earlier than you or your pediatrician can resolve on a remedy plan, you’ll want to know what’s inflicting that stuffy nostril. And there are numerous potential causes.

Nasal congestion occurs when blood vessels and tissue within the nasal cavity refill with an excessive amount of fluid. It might probably make it onerous to sleep and result in issues like a sinus an infection (sinusitis). Your child can also have hassle feeding if they’re congested.

The colour of mucus would not reveal whether or not it is a viral or bacterial an infection

The reason for congestion might as an alternative be an allergy, which might require a physician go to and presumably an allergy check. Congestion may even occur if a chunk of meals or one other object will get lodged in your youngster’s nostril. This, too, wants a go to to the emergency room or your pediatrician. Don’t attempt to take away something however mucus out of your child’s nostril by yourself.

Typically, congestion could also be an indication of a extra significant issue. A stuffy nostril on account of a chilly can usually be handled with saline drops, time, and a few TLC. If there are different signs, particularly a fever and thick, yellow mucus, name your pediatrician as quickly as potential.

One of many most secure and handiest methods to assist clear a child’s congestion is with a saline (salt water) spray or nostril drops. These merchandise can be found with no prescription.

In the event you use drops, place two drops in every nostril to loosen the mucus inside. Then use a suction bulb instantly afterward to withdraw the saline and mucus. You possibly can place a rolled up towel beneath your child’s shoulders so you’ll be able to gently tilt the top again slightly to verify the drops stand up into the nostril.

Squeeze the bulb earlier than you place it within the nostril. That approach, while you launch the bulb, it should pull out mucus from inside. In the event you squeeze when the bulb is already inside a nostril, it should give off a puff of air that would push the mucus farther into the nasal cavity.

Squeeze out any mucus contained in the bulb onto a tissue.

Do that about quarter-hour or so earlier than you feed your youngster and earlier than bedtime. This can assist your child breathe extra simply once they nurse, take a bottle, or go all the way down to sleep.

Some saline options additionally comprise drugs. Keep away from these. Plain saline drops or sprays will work effective. Simply ensure to clean and dry the suction bulb after every use.

There are different methods to moisten the nasal passages.

A vaporizer or humidifier that releases a cool mist into the room is often protected, so long as you retain it out of your child’s attain. Place it shut sufficient in order that the mist reaches your child whereas they sleep, or when you’re within the room collectively snuggling or enjoying.

To keep away from mould and micro organism progress, change the water day-after-day, and clear and dry the vaporizer, in response to the machine’s directions.

You may additionally do that tried-and-true resolution: Take your child into the bathe. Let your bathe and loo get good and steamy when you maintain your child shut for a couple of minutes. This might help to clear your child’s head earlier than bedtime.

Don’t use sizzling water in a humidifier, since it might trigger burns.

Observe a few of these different steps to assist clear up your child’s stuffy nostril:

  1. Place a pillow beneath the mattress so there’s a slight angle along with your youngster’s head increased than the ft. Which will assist drain mucus out of the sinuses. In case your youngster continues to be a child in a crib, don’t do that. You need to preserve pillows and different issues out of their sleeping space to decrease the chance of SIDS (sudden toddler loss of life syndrome). Most pediatricians advocate doing so till your youngster is 2 years outdated.
  2. Encourage your youngster to drink extra water. Fluids assist skinny mucus, however don’t pressure it. Even when your youngster simply sips some extra water all through the day, that may assist.
  3. In case your toddler is sufficiently old, train them to blow their nostril. To point out them how, exhale by your personal nostril. Place a tissue by your nostrils so your child can see the air transfer the tissue as you exhale. Ask them to blow right into a tissue the identical approach.

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Lower Your Cholesterol in 11 Easy Steps




When you’ve got excessive ldl cholesterol, you’re additionally at greater danger for coronary heart illness. However the excellent news is, it’s a danger you’ll be able to management. You may decrease your “unhealthy” LDL ldl cholesterol and lift your “good” HDL ldl cholesterol. You simply need to make some easy modifications.

“I inform sufferers that you must begin someplace and simply hold going,” says Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, an attending heart specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York Metropolis. “As you undertake way of life modifications, every little thing begins shifting, and the enhancements you see at 6 weeks typically improve by 3 months.”

Way of life is not every little thing — your genes matter, too. You continue to might have to take drugs to get your ldl cholesterol again on monitor. However your each day habits do assist. in case you make just some easy modifications, you would possibly be capable to decrease your remedy dose and probability of uncomfortable side effects.

Comply with these tricks to reduce your ldl cholesterol and enhance your well being.

“They increase your LDL, decrease your HDL, and improve your danger of creating coronary heart illness and stroke,” Steinbaum says. 

That’s why the FDA has taken steps to take away synthetic trans fats from the meals provide. However small quantities of trans fats may nonetheless be in some merchandise. So if you store for meals, verify the Diet Info labels and elements. Should you see “partially hydrogenated oil” on the bundle, that’s only a fancy title for trans fats.

You don’t need to lose loads of weight to decrease your ldl cholesterol. Should you’re obese, drop simply 10 kilos and also you’ll reduce your LDL by as much as 8%. However to essentially hold off the kilos, you’ll need to do it over time. An inexpensive and protected purpose is 1 to 2 kilos every week. The Nationwide Coronary heart, Lung and Blood Institute notes that whereas inactive, obese ladies often want 1,000 to 1,200 energy each day for weight reduction, energetic, obese ladies and girls weighing greater than 164 kilos often require 1,200 to 1,600 energy every day. Should you’re extraordinarily energetic throughout your weight-loss program, it’s possible you’ll require further energy to keep away from starvation.

“Exercising not less than 2 1/2 hours every week is sufficient to increase HDL and enhance LDL and triglycerides,” says Sarah Samaan, MD, a heart specialist in Plano, TX. Should you haven’t been energetic, begin slowly — even 10-minute blocks of exercise depend. Select an train you take pleasure in. And buddy up: An train companion might help hold you on monitor.

Meals like oatmeal, apples, prunes, and beans are excessive in soluble fiber, which retains your physique from absorbing ldl cholesterol. Analysis reveals that individuals who ate 5 to 10 extra grams of it every day noticed a drop of their LDL. Consuming extra fiber additionally makes you are feeling full, so that you gained’t crave snacks as a lot. However beware: An excessive amount of fiber at one time may cause stomach cramps or bloating. Enhance your consumption slowly.

Attempt to eat it two to 4 instances every week. “Not solely are the omega-3 fat in fish coronary heart-healthy, however changing purple meat with fish will decrease your ldl cholesterol by decreasing your publicity to saturated fat, that are considerable in purple meat,” Samaan says. The catch? Some varieties, like shark, swordfish, and king mackerel, are excessive in mercury. That may improve your danger for coronary heart illness. As a substitute, select wild salmon, sardines, and bluefin tuna. Omega 3 vs omega 6: What is the distinction?

“Substituting olive oil for butter might scale back LDL ldl cholesterol by as a lot as 15%, which has similarities to the impact of a low dose of remedy,” Samaan says. The “good” fat in olive oil profit your coronary heart. Select extra-virgin olive oil. It’s much less processed and comprises extra antioxidants, which assist stop illness.

Most varieties can decrease LDL. The rationale: They include sterols, which, like fiber, hold the physique from absorbing ldl cholesterol, Steinbaum says. Simply don’t go overboard: Nuts are excessive in energy (an oz of almonds packs 164!).

Do you know that if you’re careworn, your ldl cholesterol can undergo the roof? Calm down. Get misplaced in e-book, meet a good friend for espresso, or take to your yoga mat. It’ll assist hold your ldl cholesterol in verify.

Should you don’t already mud your cappuccino with cinnamon or shake pepper in your pasta, hear up: Spices like garlic, curcumin, ginger, black pepper, coriander, and cinnamon do greater than taste your meals, they will additionally enhance ldl cholesterol. Analysis reveals that consuming a half to at least one clove of garlic every day may decrease ldl cholesterol as much as 9%. Bonus: Including further seasoning to your meals additionally reduces your urge for food, so it’s simpler to drop extra kilos, Steinbaum says.

“Smoking can increase LDL and decrease HDL, and quitting typically improves these numbers,” Samaan says. In a single examine, individuals who stopped smoking noticed their “good” ldl cholesterol rise 5% in a single 12 months. However in case you’re often round people who smoke, take heed: Respiration secondhand smoke every single day may increase ranges of unhealthy ldl cholesterol.

Laughter is like drugs: It will increase HDL, Steinbaum says. Want so as to add some comedian aid to your life? Try foolish pet movies on-line, join a joke-a-day e-mail, or watch humorous motion pictures.

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You May Be Increasing Your Skin Cancer Risk Without Knowing It




Nov. 28, 2023 — The “sunscreen paradox” has confounded docs of late: As increasingly more folks use sunscreen, charges of melanoma and different pores and skin cancers are going up. 

The statistics on all forms of pores and skin most cancers are sobering:

  • Invasive melanoma circumstances recognized yearly elevated 27% over the previous 10 years. 
  • The speed of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) has risen in all age teams within the nation at a fee of almost 10% every year, in accordance with the Nationwide Library of Medication.
  • Yale Medication reviews that squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) has risen to just about 1 million recognized circumstances within the U.S. per yr. 
  • Even circumstances of Merkel cell carcinoma, the uncommon, aggressive pores and skin most cancers that trigger the current dying of singer Jimmy Buffet, is projected to leap to over 3,200 circumstances per yr over the subsequent 2 years. 

Why is that this occurring? A brand new research from McGill College in Montreal might need solved a number of the thriller: Many individuals might imagine sunscreen provides them free rein to tan or keep out within the solar so long as they wish to. 

“Sufferers have advised me that they suppose it’s secure to tan if they’re sporting sunscreen,” stated James Ralston, MD,  president of the Dermatology Middle of McKinney in McKinney, TX.  “The fact is that there is no such thing as a secure technique to tan. Each time you tan, you injury your pores and skin. As this injury builds, you velocity up the ageing of your pores and skin and improve your danger for all sorts of pores and skin most cancers.”

What’s extra, you could unknowingly improve your pores and skin most cancers danger by doing different issues. The fact is that data can stop many circumstances of the illness. “Skin most cancers is likely one of the most typical and likewise one of the vital preventable cancers in the USA,” stated Shanthi Sivendran MD,  senior vice chairman of most cancers care assist on the American Cancer Society. 

What Are the Signs of Skin Cancer? 

In keeping with MD Anderson Cancer Middle, indicators of the illness embody: 

  • A spot that newly seems in your pores and skin 
  • A preexisting spot that modifications coloration, form, or measurement
  • An itchy or painful spot
  • A sore that doesn’t heal or will get crusty
  • A shiny bump that appears purple or is the colour of your pores and skin
  • A tough, scaly part of pores and skin 
  • A lesion that has a raised border, is crusty within the heart, or bleeds
  • A development that appears like a wart 
  • A development that appears like a scar and has an undefined border 

Who Is at Risk for Skin Cancer?

“Melanoma can strike anybody,” Ralston stated. 

An individual with greater than 50 moles, giant moles, or atypical moles has an elevated danger, he stated. Additionally, you’re at larger danger if in case you have a blood relative who has had melanoma, generally tend to sunburn simply, have purple or blond hair, or blue or inexperienced eyes, or have a historical past of extreme solar publicity or indoor tanning. You’re additionally at larger danger if in case you have a earlier pores and skin most cancers prognosis or a historical past of different cancers equivalent to breast or thyroid most cancers, Ralston stated.

With regards to different forms of pores and skin most cancers, “individuals who have been recognized with both basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma have an elevated danger of creating future pores and skin cancers, together with melanoma,” he stated. 

Let’s study 5 different methods you could be rising your pores and skin most cancers danger with out realizing it – and methods to take the precise steps to forestall it. 

You’re Not Utilizing Sufficient Sunscreen 

“Individuals hardly ever use as a lot sunscreen as they need to,”  says Vivian Bucay, MD, a dermatologist working towards in San Antonio, TX, and a spokesperson for the Skin Cancer Basis. “To realize the SPF worth, it is best to apply 2 tablespoons — equal to a couple of shot glass full — of sunscreen to your whole physique, and a nickel-sized dollop to your face,” she stated. 

Cowl often-missed spots like your eye space, the tops of and behind your ears, your fingers, and the again of your neck. Don’t overlook about your lips, both. 
“I inform sufferers to hold a lip product with SPF to allow them to reapply after consuming,” Bucay stated. “Reapply each 2 hours, or instantly after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.”

You’re Not Utilizing Sunscreen Yr-Spherical 

Many individuals solely put on sunscreen throughout heat climate.  “I’ve heard sufferers say they didn’t placed on sunscreen as a result of it was a cloudy or snowy day,” says Ralston. “Some ultraviolet gentle passes by way of clouds, and clouds scale back heat. Without that warning sensation of heat, persons are at elevated danger of overexposure to UV gentle, particularly UVA, which is comparatively unaffected by cloud cowl.” 

When you get pleasure from winter sports activities, you’re additionally in danger. “Snow displays 80% of the solar’s rays, so it makes it straightforward to get a sunburn,” Ralston explains.

You Don’t Put on Sunscreen Indoors 

“There are sudden methods through which one could get solar publicity with out realizing it,” Sivendran stated. “For instance, the solar’s rays penetrate by way of home windows, so sitting close to a window for a chronic interval can improve pores and skin most cancers danger.  It is essential to put on sunscreen indoors to scale back this.” 

When you’re inside a automobile or touring in a window seat by aircraft, bus, or prepare, this rule additionally applies.

“Commonplace window glass blocks the transmission of UVB however not UVA,” Ralston stated.  “Automobile home windows block some UVA, particularly if the home windows are tinted. Nonetheless, even brief journeys within the automobile add up over years and trigger important solar injury.”

You’re a Man 

A second new McGill College research discovered that males usually tend to doubt the usefulness of sunscreen and fewer more likely to have new moles checked than girls. 

Males are additionally extra more likely to be uncovered to UV rays by way of outside recreation and work. Out of doors employment is a big issue: New analysis from the World Well being Group discovered that individuals who work within the solar represented 1 in 3 deaths from nonmelanoma pores and skin cancers. The underside line is males have to be simply as diligent with regards to solar safety each day.

You Do not Know Your Household Historical past

It’s essential to ask about your kinfolk’ medical historical past of pores and skin most cancers, as this data might help shield you and different members of your loved ones. The Nationwide Cancer Institute reviews that 5% to 10% of all melanomas happen in households with a number of members who’ve had a pores and skin most cancers prognosis.  This implies a melanoma danger may be inherited, and the the Melanoma Analysis Alliance has recognized particular inherited gene mutations that may improve your danger. 

The American Academy of Dermatology says you could profit from genetic testing for melanoma if: 

  • You’ve had three or extra melanomas that unfold or grew deep into your pores and skin, particularly earlier than you turned 45.  
  • If three or extra blood kinfolk on one aspect of your loved ones have had melanoma or most cancers of the pancreas. 
  • When you’ve had two or extra atypical moles referred to as Spitz nevi
  • When you’ve had a number of Spitz nevi and one in all your shut blood kinfolk has had mesothelioma, meningioma, or a watch melanoma.

How Can You Best Stop Skin Cancer Each Day? 

“Avoiding the solar’s dangerous rays at peak power hours – between 10 a.m. and a pair of p.m. – and in search of shade can scale back your danger,” Sivendran stated. “Use a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at the very least 30. There’s additionally trendy, light-weight, sun-protective clothes you possibly can put on year-round.”  

Make these strikes a behavior, and you may simply keep sun-safe.

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