Alzheimer’s Tied To Body Mass; Migraines On Rise

Science: Body weight has an astounding impact on brain function and ultimately Alzheimer’s disease according to a new brain imaging study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. All regions of brain activity lose activity and blood flow with a higher BMI. Scientists analyzed 35,000 functional neuroimaging scans to measure blood flow and brain activity. The temporal and parietal lobes, hippocampus, posterior cingulate gyrus and precuneus areas of the brain are vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease and were found to have reduced blood flow among the spectrum of weight classification from normal to overweight, obese and morbidly obese. This is a distressing statistic considering that 72% of Americans are overweight and 42% are obese.

Sports: 1 in 4 U.S. parents whose children in high school play sports hope their child will become a professional athlete one day, a study showed, but among families with household incomes of less than $50,000 annually, the number is higher, like 4 in 10. “It’s good to hope and have a goal, but it has to be realistic and sometimes hope to a 15 year old feels more pressure,” says Andy Lohr, a retired swim and track coach from New Hamphire.

Policy: Health insurers are beginning to pay more for mental health counseling and reduce burdens on clinicians. In Washington state, insurer Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield has just stopped requiring pre-approval for autism treatment known as applied behavioral analysis while in Massachusetts the insurer is increasing what it pays to child psychiatrists by 50%.

Perspective: Migraines are a growing problem since March, says Paola Sandroni, a Mayo Clinic neurologist. “We have been seeing an uptick in functional disorders like this due to worsening anxiety, feeling limited in ability to do what we all enjoy that typically works as a great venting mechanism.” A chronic migraine patient experiences pain for over 1 year while kids of migraine-sufferers are 90% likely to be affected.

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