Marriage protects the brain and lowers blood sugar
A new study suggests that getting married may be the best thing you can do for your health. Spending midlife with a spouse has the lowest risk of developing dementia, according to researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. On the other hand, being divorced or remaining single in middle age resulted in the highest incidence of the disease.
The research team analyzed whether marital status was associated with people being diagnosed with dementia or mild cognitive impairment by age 70. It turns out that “for the kids” is good for parents’ brains. For example, parents have to deal with the outside world and participate in various social activities, which stimulate the brain and make it work better. This way you build a cognitive reserve (referring to a person’s ability to recover from brain injury and cognitive decline over time).
Coincidentally, researchers from the Department of Psychology of Carleton University in Canada also published a new study on marriage and health in the “British Medical Journal Diabetes Research and Nursing”, concluding that a long-lasting married life may help control diabetes. Blood sugar levels in the elderly.
The researchers analyzed that having a partner helps to share the pressure of housing, food, insurance and so on. If one party has good living habits, it will also play a leading role in the other party. These factors may lead to lower blood sugar levels. However, this data observation study did not prove that there is an inevitable link between marital status and blood sugar.
Wearable robot restores patient arm function
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that damages cells in the brain and spinal cord that are essential for movement. A research team at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital has developed a soft robotic wearable device that can greatly help ALS patients with upper arm and shoulder movements.
The newly developed device is based on a sensor system that detects the residual limb motion of the arm and calibrates the pressurization of the airbag actuator to move the person’s arm smoothly and naturally.
The device, which consists of cloth and an inflated balloon, is inherently safe, the researchers said. The soft wearable is light and soft to wear like a shirt and is powered wirelessly by batteries. There are some inflatable balloon-like actuators in the underarm area. Pressurized balloons help the wearer move their upper arms and shoulders against gravity. Unlike traditional rigid robots, when the soft robot fails, meaning the balloon is no longer inflated, the wearer is not at risk of being injured by the robot.
The researchers recruited 10 ALS patients to assess the extent to which the device might improve exercise time or restore quality of life. It was found that the device improved the participants’ range of motion, reduced muscle fatigue, and improved their ability to perform activities such as holding or reaching for objects.
It took participants less than 15 minutes to learn how to use the device. The research team hopes that the device could have rehabilitation applications for stroke patients and help people with spinal cord injuries or muscular dystrophies.
The current prototype of the device being developed for ALS will only work on study participants who still have some residual motion in their shoulders. However, ALS typically progresses rapidly over 2 to 5 years, leaving patients immobile and eventually unable to speak or swallow.