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FOX28 Hot Health Headlines

Dr. James O'Brien of OhioHealth Breaks Down Medical Studies


Each week on FOX28 Columbus, an OhioHealth medical expert takes on the hot health headlines from around the United States. This week Dr. James O'Brien, Vice President of Quality & Patient Safety with OhioHealth breaks down 3 topics with FOX28's Shawn Ireland.

CDC E-Cigarettes survey on users who are also using traditional forms of tobacco; 2000 people surveyed

Dr. O'Brien: About 3 percent of Americans are using E-cigarettes and in addition, according to the study, some of those same people are also smoking cigarettes. Other studies show that young people who try E-Cigarettes, are more likely to go on and smoke cigarettes. E-Cigarettes are something that we don't know exactly what is in them. Just recently has the FDA started regulating those, but they haven't gotten to the point of knowing exactly what is in them. So we don't know if these are safe, as opposed to smoking. Really the best advice would be to avoid E-Cigarettes, and cigarettes entirely.

American Medical Association's JAMA Pediatrics Journal of Medicine study shows strong consistent connection between media use around bedtime for young people, and poor sleep.

Dr. O'Brien: It is a real struggle, this was a study that summarized the findings of 17 other studies involving 125,000 kids. What it found is that kids who used smart phones or tablets prior to going to bed, or had them in their sleep area had poor quality sleep, less quantity of sleep, and more likely to be sleepy during the day. This is one of struggles most parents have; how do you keep your kids away from the screens.  American Sleep Academy recommends you have a 30 minute period prior to sleep.

Small study focuses on brain protein in seniors with Alzheimer's and looks at how that protein in elevated levels might also lead to feelings of loneliness.

Dr. O'Brien: This is a study from Boston of only about 70 people. The study focuses on those operating normally, and the people detected on a PET scan higher rate of deposits of this protein called Amyloid also were more likely to be lonely. There is other data out there that suggests one of the ways we can keep our brains from deteriorating from getting dementia is by staying both mentally and physically active. One of the questions that comes up; is loneliness a potential part of that picture. What we don't know is if loneliness is an early symptom of developing Alzheimer's or actually could that be causing the Alzheimer's, and we just don't know that.