HEALTHLINE – Breast Density Defined

Almost half of all women who get mammograms are found to have dense breasts – many don’t know what it means.

Dense breasts have higher amounts of glandular and connective tissue and lower amounts of fatty tissue. Breast density matters because women with dense breasts have a higher risk for breast cancer than women with fatty breasts. However, it is important to know that dense breast tissue is normal.

Dense areas look white in a mammogram, the same color as cancer, making it tricky for doctors to read the images and find breast cancer. If you have dense breasts, speak with your doctor about your risk factors for breast cancer and whether you should have more screening tests, such as 3-D mammography, a breast ultrasound or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam.

HEALTHLINE – Whey Protein Best for Senior Populations

New research from McMaster University suggests one protein source in particular – whey
protein – is most effective for seniors struggling to rebuild muscle lost from inactivity associated with illness or long hospital stays.

The study, published online in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, compared the impact of different forms of protein supplements on older adults, a growing population challenged by the loss of muscle and strength, or sarcopenia, which in turn can affect balance, gait and the ability to perform the simple tasks of everyday life.

Researchers found that protein did not stop lean muscle loss caused by inactivity, however, whey supplements helped to rebuild muscle once the participants’ muscle-building activities resumed.

Whey is considered a high-quality or complete protein, meaning it is rich in all essential amino acids and is higher in leucine, one of the essential amino acids the body cannot make itself and therefore, must derive from food.

HEALTHLINE – New Therapy for Back Pain

People with treatment-resistant back pain may get significant and lasting relief with dorsal root  ganglion (DRG) stimulation therapy, an innovative treatment that short-circuits pain, suggests a study presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2018 annual meeting.

Chronic pain – pain that lasts three months or more – occurs when nerves continue to send signals to the brain after the original source of the pain is gone. An alternative to spinal cord stimulation, DRG stimulation disrupts pain signals by specifically targeting the nerves responsible for the pain. This helps to meet the need for non-drug pain treatments
in select patients.

People in our study who had DRG stimulation reported significant improvement in pain even after a year, which is notable,” said Robert J. McCarthy, Pharm.D., lead author of the study and professor of anesthesiology at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago. “They had tried numerous therapies, from drugs to spinal cord stimulation to surgery, but got little to no lasting pain relief. For most, DRG stimulation really improved their quality
of life.”

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