What Is Glioblastoma? A Closer Look at This Aggressive Form of Brain Cancer

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, brain tumor,

Yesterday Senator John McCain’s office announced that he has been diagnosed with a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma. The release went on to say that all portions of the tumor visible on imaging have been removed and that the senator and his family were reviewing the next steps. So what exactly is glioblastoma and what are the possible next steps?


In the News: Best Time of Day to Exercise Revealed, Forest Bathing on the Rise, Speech May Show Signs of Mental Decline

Best time of day to exercise revealed. The age-old debate about optimal workout times has always been met with confusion. While many people swear that early morning workouts are the key to success, others cannot fathom waking up earlier than necessary to do any form of exercise. According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, research shows that working out in the evening (HIIT in particular) may be the most beneficial. Scientists have found that strength and flexibility peak in the second half of the day, and that perceived exertion is at its lowest, allowing you to work harder and feel it less. In trying to find an explanation, experts point to the circadian rhythm, since it plays a role in these factors. Find out more about the best time of day to work out here. (CNN)

Forest bathing on the rise.  We’ve all heard about the importance of spending time in nature and breathing in the fresh air but it turns out this activity my have a deeper purpose. Known as “forest bathing”, retreating into nature has been found to not just boost mood but also improve immunity and overall wellbeing. While it may sound like water is involved, forest bathing translates to soaking in your surroundings, no bathing suit required. Unlike hiking or camping, this experience requires simply walking through forests, smelling, touching, listening, and watching the beauty around you. Also known as nature therapy, this practice can greatly reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and serve as a form of medicine. Ready to get outside? Make sure to follow these summer safety tips first. (NPR)

Speech may reveal signs of mental decline. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that the way we speak may reveal insights into our mental health. This speech analysis study, which was the largest of its kind, also showed that certain aspects of language may be affected earlier than other parts of the body, allowing physicians to uncover mental deterioration before it becomes too late. With around 47 million people suffering from dementia worldwide, the prospect of an earlier diagnosis is very promising. Another study found that hearing loss may indicate mental decline as well, which can also play a role in catching conditions like Alzheimer’s at the very onset of the illness. (ABC)

In the News: Snortable Chocolate on the Rise, Coffee May Increase Longevity, FDA Approves New Cancer Treatment

Snortable chocolate on the rise. A product called Coco Loko is making waves among the party crowd in Europe in recent years. This snortable chocolate powder claims to reduce stress and act as a stimulant, giving users a sense of euphoria and calm focus. While this product isn’t dangerous when consumed orally, inhaling it may create issues. According to Dr. Ryan Stanton, an emergency physician, this powder may get stuck in the lungs if it doesn’t stay in the nose and that can create respiratory issues. People with asthma, pulmonary issues, or lung diseases are urged to avoid snorting Coco Loko for the sake of their safety. Want to enjoy chocolate the healthy way? Try these guilt-free recipes. (CNN)

Coffee may increase longevity. Coffee lovers have one more reason to celebrate: several studies have found that consistent coffee consumption lowers death rates from a wide variety of causes. While many may assume only a certain amount is beneficial, it turns out that the more cups you drink, the greater the result. In an American study that took place over 16 years, participants who claimed to drink four or more coffee drinks daily, were linked to an 18 percent lowered chance of death than the others. In a European study, researchers studied 520,000 people in 10 different counties over 16 years and they found similar results. In the U.S. study, researchers found that decaffeinated coffee provided the same benefits as the caffeinated kind, which means the longevity potion doesn’t necessarily lie in the caffeine. Learn more about the pros and cons of drinking coffee here. (ABC)

FDA approves new cancer treatment. A new cancer treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight their cancer has been approved by the FDA. Known as a “living drug”, this treatment, takes cells from the patient’s body, changes the genes, and then fuses those changed cells back into the body, essentially using its own immune system to fight the disease. While concerns about safety and cost are a factor, this revolutionary treatment is a huge advancement in the field of cancer research. Are you snacking on these six cancer-fighting foods? Add them to your diet today. (NPR)

In the News: Forgetfulness May Make You Smarter, Mindfulness May Reduce Blood Sugar, Lectin-Free Diet Is the Latest Diet Fad

Forgetfulness may make you smarter. As it turns out, having a perfect memory may not be as brag-worthy as it seems. A report out of the journal Neuron, indicates that forgetting everyday things may increase intelligence. Researchers at the University of Toronto posit that the point of memory is to improve decision-making by only retaining the most important things and releasing the rest. When studying memory and brain activity in mice, researchers found that old memories were regularly swapped with new ones, which lead to more informed decision-making and increased activity in the hippocampus. (CNN)

Mindfulness may reduce blood sugar. Penn State University researchers studied 86 overweight and obese participants to determine how stress impacted their health. They randomly assigned mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) courses to some women and assigned general health courses to the other women. After tracking the results for eight weeks, they determined that the MBSR group was significantly less stressed than the group in the general health courses. While both groups did improve in terms of mood, sleep, and psychological issues, only the MBSR group had lowered blood sugar levels. While more research is required, these findings show that practicing mindfulness may provide significant physical benefits. Feeling stressed? Here’s how to go from manic to mindful in just five minutes. (TIME)

Lectin-free diet is the latest diet fad. Just as going gluten-free was a huge diet trend just a few years ago, it appears that going lectin-free is the new big thing. Lectins are specific proteins found in grains and beans. While research has shown that lectins may have positive and negative effects, a lot of online gurus are writing them off entirely, suggesting that lectins can cause irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, and inflammation. However, nutritionists point out that the the type of lectin you choose, and the preparation, can play a role in terms of health benefits. If you are indeed suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, try this plan to find relief. (WP)

In the News: Eating Vegetable Protein May Prevent Early Menopause, Eating Certain Foods Before Bed May Improve Sleep, Long-Term Breastfeeding Linked to Cavities

Eating more vegetable protein may prevent early menopause. A study at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, scientists have found that consuming foods like whole grains, tofu, and soy may prolong reproductive function and keep early menopause at bay. They also found that eating enriched pasta, certain types of bread, and cold cereal could also push off the start of menopause and that eating animal protein didn’t produce the same effect. For a woman on a 2,000 calorie diet, experts recommend eating three to four servings of these veggie protein foods, with the servings fluctuating based on BMI, age, and lifestyle habits. The next stage of research will have to look at the impact of soy-based protein versus non-soy vegetable protein to determine how it effects the ovaries. Wondering if you’re at risk for early menopause? Take this quiz. (SD)

Snacking on certain foods before bed may improve sleep quality. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over a third of adults are not sleeping enough. As it turns out, diet can play a role in how effectively you snooze. Researchers suggest eating foods high in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that your body converts into melatonin and serotonin, both of which help you relax and feel drowsy. Snacks rich in this ingredient include granola, unsweetened cereal, whole grain crackers, milk, and turkey. You can also snack on oranges, bananas, and pineapples to increase melatonin. Looking to sleep better? Find out your sleep chronotype first. (CNN)

Long-term breastfeeding linked to more pediatric cavities. According to Pediatrics journal, breastfeeding children for two years and up can increase the likelihood of cavities. When studying 1,129 children in Brazil, researchers found that 23.9 percent had severe cavities and 48 percent had at least one cavity. Children who were breastfeed for over two years had more than double the risk of having serious dental issues, whereas kids who were only breastfed for a year or less had a much smaller risk. When looking at the reasons, experts explain that a lot of these breastfeeding sessions take place at night and more frequently over all, which makes it difficult to keep the teeth adequately clean during these hours. Another explanation links prolonged breastfeeding with a higher consumption of sweets and a lower income background, which can explain why there are dental health issues. (CNN)

In the News: New Human Carcinogens Revealed, Food Poisoning Myths Debunked, Bacteria Found in Chain Coffee Drinks

Seven more substances officially labeled carcinogenic. In the 14th Report on Carcinogens, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 248 carcinogens were listed, included seven new additions. Five viruses, including Epstein-Barr virus, Human immunodeficiency virus type 1, and Merkel cell polyomavirus were included on this year’s list since they have been linked to over 20 types of cancer, including skin cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, eye cancer, and others. This report highlights the importance of prevention strategies, since these infections can often be fatal.  (CNN)

Nine food poisoning myths debunked. With al fresco dining in full swing this season, it’s important to separate fact from fiction in terms of food poisoning. While many people assume food poisoning can’t happen to them, it actually impacts 48 million people annually so it’s important to take precautionary measures. Another assumption is that food poisoning attacks cause sickness quickly. In reality, some bacteria take 12 to 48 hours to make themselves known, while others can take one to eight days to strike. Another myth is that if food is hot or cold enough it’s not in the danger zone. The only way to know for sure if your food is in the danger zone (between 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit) is to use a thermometer to be sure. Keep this checklist handy the next time you’re feeling ill to determine if you have food poisoning.  (TODAY)

Fecal bacteria found in chain coffee drinks. The BBC’s consumer-affairs Watchdog program has found fecal bacteria in ice at Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and Caffe Nero in the United Kingdom. While they found trace amounts, when measured the levels were found to be alarming, causing companies to have to rethink their ice handling tactics. What’s worse, the bacteria found in these cafes was considered to have human disease potential, making it not just unsanitary but potentially dangerous to consumers. These findings underscore how important hygiene practices are for all kinds of eating and drinking establishments. (CNBC)

In the News: Older Fathers May Have ‘Geekier’ Sons, Airplane Coffee and Tea May Be Full of Bacteria, Centenarians Share Secrets to Longevity

Older fathers may have ‘geekier’ sons. According to a “Geek Index”, created by King’s College London, men who wait longer to start a family may have “geekier” sons. A team of scientists analyzed test results from 15,000 twins, noting their non-verbal IQ, ability to focus on a subject, and social aloofness.  They found that the boys who scored high were brighter, more focused, and less worried about fitting in. Interestingly, they discovered that the age of the mother played no role in these results, and that daughters of older fathers were immune to these traits. When looking for an answer, researchers point out that new sperm mutations may be in play, as well as the fact that older men may simply encourage geeky traits thanks to their lifestyles.  (BBC)

Airplane coffee and tea may be full of bacteria. Do you find yourself ordering a cup of coffee or tea on a flight? You may want to rethink this beverage choice.  When asked which beverages they never go for on planes, stewardesses admitted they refuse to drink coffee, tea, or hot water. As it turns out, they may have the right idea. The water used for these warm beverages comes from the tap as opposed to a bottle, and that tap water may be full of horrible germs. One study found that in 158 airplanes, 13 percent were found to have coliform and two airplanes were even found to have E.coli in their tap water. An astounding one in every eight planes does not even pass the standards of water safety. To avoid ingesting potentially dangerous strains of bacteria, simply opt for bottled water or bring your own and save your caffeine fix for after you land. Here are eight more tricks to stay healthy while traveling. (T+L)

Centenarians share their secrets to longevity. As more and more people are reaching 100 years of age and up, scientists are looking into the secret behind their longevity. When asked how they maintain their youthful energy at the ages of 104 and 102, John and Charlotte Henderson point to a few key factors: eating well, sleeping enough, not drinking too much, having a loving partner, not overeating, and making time to exercise consistently. Another factor that plays a role is genetics. When Mac Miller, 102 years old, was asked how he’s stayed alive and healthy this long, he explained “my grandparents were in their 80s, my mother was 89, and my father was 93.” So it looks like a blend of behavioral factors, genetics, and today’s improved healthcare have led to an increase in the number of centenarians in the U.S. Want to stay on top of your longevity regimen? Check out this handy checklist. (USAT)

In the News: Fish May Reduce Arthritis Symptoms, Trouble Concentrating Linked to Excessive Drinking, Tick Bites May Cause Meat Allergy

Eating fish may reduce arthritis symptoms. A study of 176 participants had found that eating fish may cut down in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms such as painful joint inflammation. Researchers divided members into two groups based on their diets: ranging from those who eat fish less than once a month, and those who eat fish more than twice a week. After factoring in lifestyle habits, fish oil supplement consumption, sex, BMI, and race, they discovered that the disease symptoms lessened in those who ate fish most frequently. As it turns out certain types of fish can actually benefit your mental and physical health in more ways than one. Check out why eating fish once a week can also give you a brain boost. (NYT)

Trouble concentrating may be linked to excessive drinking. Do you notice it’s hard to concentrate and you often lose your train of thought? Research suggests that these struggles may be linked to excessive alcohol and drug use. This study is the first of its kind to analyze the link between attention issues and binge drinking, as well as opioid, cocaine, marijuana, tranquilizer, and stimulant use in those are who are 18 and up. Researchers at Columbia University also point out that these concentration problems are not solely specific to drug and alcohol users but reflect a larger issue present in today’s population. Want to cut back on your drinking? Here is how to start. (SD)

Tick bites may cause meat allergy. With tick bites becoming more prevalent throughout the summer months, there is now an increased chance of developing an allergic reaction to meat of all things. Alpha-Gal, which stands for galactose-alpha-1, 3-galactose, is a sugar molecule that spreads in the body from a Lone Star tick bite. This tick is dubbed Lone Star thanks to the resemblance of the state of Texas on its back. If you are bitten by this type of tick and it has mammal blood in its system, it can completely change your immune system, causing an allergic reaction to meat that you’ve never had before. Unfortunately, many people are not aware they have this new allergy until they eat meat or take medication that has animal gelatin in it. Another more well-known side-effect of tick bites is Lyme disease, which carries its own set of risks and dangers. Here are the facts you need to know. (NATGEO)

In the News: Fried Potatoes Linked to Mortality, EpiPen Rival Gets FDA Approval, Marijuana May Treat Period Pain

Fried potatoes may increase risk of death. French fry lovers may have cause for concern: a recent study has found that eating fried potatoes two or more times weekly can double the likelihood of early death, compared with people who don’t consume fried potatoes on a regular basis. On the other hand, potatoes that are not fried during preparation seem to have no bearing on early mortality. With fried potato consumption increasing annually, scientists have been looking for the cause of this alarming link. It appears that trans fats are to blame, as this type of fat raises the bad type of cholesterol, also known as “LDL” in the blood. When LDL levels get too high, it can lead to heart disease, which explains the increased risk of death. Other factors in play include being obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and consuming too much sodium. Need to lower your cholesterol? Add these foods to your shopping cart. (CNN)

Epipen’s cheaper rival gets FDA approval. Mylan, the company responsible for EpiPens, the emergency medication for allergy sufferers, recently came under fire for charging outlandish amounts of money for this life-saving product. While this medication was once $94 back in 2007, after Mylan acquired it, the price shot up to $608 dollars in 2016. These syringes require annual replacement, which only lends itself to more financial burdens. Luckily, a San Diego company called Adamis has come up with a competing product that is more affordable, easier to use, and more convenient to carry around. While they are still looking for distributors which will determine the price, it is expected to be more affordable which is an exciting development for allergy-sufferers across the country. Could you have an allergy without knowing it? Watch this clip to find out. (ABC)

Marijuana may treat period pain. According to recent reports, New York legislators are set to approve marijuana for the treatment of menstrual pain. Period cramps, which are caused by prostaglandins that cause muscle cramps can be treated by oral contraceptives and anti-inflammatory medication, but more and more people are beginning to look for natural alternatives to treat their suffering. In Colorado and California, marijuana tampons have been found to be potentially effective in reducing pain, by blocking the nerves that alert your brain to pain. While it’s not fully clear yet if marijuana will be an effective treatment for cramps, it’s an exciting development nonetheless. Suffering from cramps? Find out what your period reveals about your health. (GUARDIAN)

In the News: Interesting Vegetable Names Make Them More Appealing, One in Ten People Obese Worldwide, Drug Can Create a Tan Without the Sun

Interesting vegetable names make them more appealing. It turns out that the key to getting people to eat their vegetables has more to do with the marketing than the vegetable itself. Stanford University researchers discovered that students were consuming more vegetables in the cafeteria when the names were given an upgrade. The experiment, which lasted throughout the fall semester, involved tracking how many of the 600 diners chose a given vegetable dish. The vegetables were given four different labels: Basic (simply naming the vegetable), Healthy Restrictive (vegetable with sugar-free dressing), Healthy Positive (vitamin C packed vegetable), and Indulgent (citrus-glazed twisted vegetable). As it turns out, 25% more students chose the vegetable with the indulgent name versus the basic one, 41% more people chose the healthy restrictive ones, and 35% more people chose the healthy positive labels. Want to add more vegetables to your diet? Start with these. (BBC)

One in ten people on Earth is obese.  According to a report out of the New England Journal of Medicine, one in 10 people across the globe were labeled obese in 2015, which amounts to 604 million adults and 108 million children. The country with the highest rate of child obesity was the United States coming in at 12.7%, while the country with the highest rate of obese adults was in Egypt at 35.3%. When analyzing these numbers, many point to a change in employment as an explanation. Many countries have switched from physical labor to more sedentary office jobs. Obesity accounted for four million deaths around the world, 70% of which were linked to heart disease. Even scarier, 39% of deaths were from individuals who were overweight, not obese. Want to lose weight? Try the 21-Day Weight Loss Breakthrough diet. (CBS)

Drug that creates a tan may prevent cancer. Love having a sun-kissed look but hate exposing yourself to dangerous rays? It looks like science is now on your side. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital  have found that a drug can fool the skin into producing melanin, even working on redheads, who typically only get sunburnt. When the drug is rubbed on the skin it causes the skin to darken, the way it would normally when exposed to the sun. When examined up close, scientists found that the melanin production was genuine, which is an exciting development in the world of sunless tanning. While many rely on spray tans, airbrush tans, and tan towels to achieve a summer glow, these services have also come into question, thanks to the potentially harmful ingredients inside them. While further research will be required to determine that there are no harmful side-effects, so far this drug is showing a lot of promise. Want to learn how to make your skin look its best? Try this seven second skin care routine. (BBC)