Study strengthens evidence that cognitive activity can reduce dementia risk

first_imgAre there any ways of preventing or delaying the development of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of age-associated dementia? While several previously published studies have suggested a protective effect for cognitive activities such as reading, playing games, or attending cultural events, questions have been raised about whether these studies reveal a real cause-and-effect relationship or if the associations could result from unmeasured factors. To address this question, a Boston-based research team conducted a formal bias analysis and concluded that, while potentially confounding factors might have affected previous studies’ results, it is doubtful that such factors totally account for observed associations between cognitive activities and a reduced risk of dementia.“Our paper lends support to a potential role for late-in-life cognitive activity in prevention of Alzheimer’s disease,” says Deborah Blacker M.D., Sc.D., professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, director of the Gerontology Research Unit in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry, and senior author of the report in the September 2016 issue of the journal Epidemiology. “While it is possible that socioeconomic factors such as educational level might contribute to the association between cognitive activity and reduced risk, any bias introduced by such factors is probably not strong enough to fully account for the observed association.”Blacker and her colleagues from Harvard Chan School maintain a database cataloging evidence from observational studies and some clinical trials about known and proposed risk and protective factors for the devastating neurologic disorder. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Young, athletically gifted, and Black — at Harvard

first_imgThey all had to deal with navigating a kind of hybrid identity while at Harvard: of being Black, being a student, and being an athlete. Some were on teams where they were the only African American; others had Black teammates or coaches, which made some things easier and others different, sometimes richer.But all felt their experiences helped shaped their views of race in America and in sport, and the members of an all-star panel of former University athletes came together in a Black Varsity Association Zoom event on Friday to discuss the impact of race on the college and professional sports worlds.The panelists included Koma Gandy Fischbein ’95, who played varsity women’s soccer at Harvard and rugby at Radcliffe, rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, and now works in educational technology. James Blake ’00 was an All-American tennis player during his two years at Harvard who went on to become a top-ranked player on the ATP circuit. Chris Egi ’18 played men’s basketball at Harvard and is now an investor at Goldman Sachs, working with the firm’s $500 million program to invest in women and minorities. Gabby Thomas ’19 is a professional track and field athlete, who broke the NCAA indoor 200-meter record while at Harvard. Moderating the panel was LZ Granderson, Los Angeles Times sports columnist and ESPN radio host.Before getting into sports and Harvard, Granderson broached the larger topic of how attitudes have changed since the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor last year, and what sort of cultural shifts the panelists have witnessed.Egi found cause for optimism, citing work with his own anti-racist nonprofit No More Names organization. “I would say the willingness to have a dialogue has emerged,” he said. “In the aftermath of the events of the summer, where we lost many beautiful Black souls, I thought we saw some positive momentum. It’s almost like peoples’ eyes were opened for the first time, when we’ve been shouting this for years upon years. … What I don’t think has happened yet is a permanent shift. We had a summer where everyone was making statements, and I hope we the people can continue to do the work even when it’s not the top headline.”,Blake referred to an encounter of his own, when he was thrown to the ground and handcuffed by New York police in a case of mistaken identity in 2015. “I was shouting about it for years, and Colin Kaepernick was kneeling about it,” he said. “The difference when this happened to George Floyd was that it was so graphic, so brutal to be watching this murder take place in such a nonchalant manner. My incident awakened the people who were in my circle, but I feel that [Floyd’s killing] opened the eyes of America, especially white America. Now it isn’t just the Black community screaming about this issue. But I agree that it’s losing steam, and I don’t know if everyone is committed to doing the work of holding police accountable.”Fischbein suggested that the tougher conversations are more likely to happen at Harvard now than when she was an undergraduate. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been on campus,” she said. “But having remained involved with the Harvard athletic community has facilitated conversations that I’ve never had, where we’re actually talking about what it’s like to be part of a community of color on a campus, what it’s like to be an athlete of color, and what that means for the overall health and well-being of that athlete and their contributions to their team. Those topics that might have been discussed on the back of the bus on the way to a game, or perhaps at an alumni event, are now part of the conversation about what it means to be an athlete at Harvard.”Granderson asked whether the panelists had felt pressure to be what he called the “super negro.”,“The job of the super negro is to come into a predominantly white environment and make them less racist, give them shelter from being racist, and whenever they fall short, particularly when it comes to athletics, to be the savior.“Did you feel any added burden to be some sort of cover or whisperer for race relations?” he asked.“I haven’t heard it put that way before, but you do feel there’s extra pressure,” Blake said. There were times when he was around others “who hadn’t been around Black people very often, who lived a country club sort of lifestyle, around white people their whole lives, and so they’re asking questions that should’ve been asked 10 years earlier,” he said.“So you do feel like you have to give them a sense of their privilege and what they’ve lived and that it may not be normal for other communities.”Egi said that his was a slightly different experience because the basketball team was predominantly Black, as is head coach Tommy Amaker, who “did a really great job of cultivating a culture where we really didn’t feel the burden to start those conversations because he took it upon himself to start those conversations.” As an example, he said that they might find articles in their lockers about Colin Kaepernick when he first took a knee. “And we sat down after practice,” he said, “and we discussed the article.” Being in a situation where he could discuss issues as they arose, with a coach who viewed it as an imperative, “was one of the most important parts of my Harvard experience.”Thomas said that for herself, having peer support made a world of difference; and she particularly credited her sprints coach, Kebba Tolbert.“One of the reasons I ended up choosing to run at Harvard was because of the Black student athlete community that I had found when visiting,” she said. “When I joined the track team, my coach was pretty new to Harvard, and he was a Black man. He had turned the sprints program around; he recruited me and a group of really accomplished, dedicated Black women. These women were amazing role models, and I felt so comfortable going to practice every day, knowing that I didn’t have anything to prove. I didn’t have to teach them anything about being a Black student athlete and having to navigate this hybrid identity of being a student and an athlete. We were all sharing that same experience and I got to look to them for guidance.”In the end, Blake said that while he did feel extra pressure, “I always enjoyed it when I got through … and I’ll give credit to [tennis great and longtime gender-equality advocate] Billie Jean King, who said the pressure is a privilege. You have the pressure of doing this but then when you get through it, when you feel like you did something you succeeded in, be it in athletics or in educating, you feel like you accomplished something.” The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Heat Tough on Weekend Gardeners

first_imgWeekend gardeners who work in air-conditioned offices or homes all week may get hithard by summer heat. They just aren’t used to it.”Gardeners need to be in good shape for the heat, just like athletes,” saidWayne McLaurin, a horticulturist with the University of Georgia Extension Service.The human body needs time to adapt to working in the heat, whether you’re running amarathon or weeding petunias. And you can’t rush the process.”The body needs to adapt to levels of work and heat,” McLaurin said. “Asit adapts, it improves the stability of the circulatory system and the balance of salt inthe body. Don’t assume if you’re physically fit, you can work in the heat easily. But youshould adapt more quickly than those who are out-of-shape.”When you’re used to the heat, your body temperature and heart rate rise less and yousweat more. You may not necessarily work better at higher temperatures and humidities whenyou’re used to it. But you’ll be able to work in heat you would otherwise findintolerable, McLaurin said.”When the body becomes overheated, less blood goes to the active muscles, thebrain and internal organs,” McLaurin said. “You get weaker, become tired sooner,you’re less alert and your judgment may become impaired.”As strain from heat grows more severe, your body temperature and heart rate can risefast. Workers may not realize the problem because they feel no pain. But a 2-degree risein body temperature can affect mental abilities. A 5-degree increase can cause seriousillness.”Tailor your acclimatizing period to suit the type of work, the clothing, theworker and the climate,” McLaurin said. “A gardener can start working in theheat for around two hours with a break after the first hour. Moderate to heavy work willrequire a shorter work period.”Use common sense when you’re working in the heat. Some things to remember:* Make sure you drink enough water to replace body fluid lost through sweating. Yourbody can become overheated long before you feel thirsty. Water or fruit juices replacefluids quickly.* Gradually adjust to working in the heat.* Take breaks in a shaded or air-conditioned place whenever you can.* Check the temperature and humidity at least hourly and monitor your response to theheat.* The danger of heat stress increases with higher temperature and humidity and withdirect sunlight.* Design your work so you can do one task in the sun and the next in a shady place ifyou can.* Younger, well-rested and physically fit workers are less likely to suffer heatillness than other workers. But even workers in good shape can become seriously ill fromheat. * Many drugs, including alcohol and cold and allergy medications containingantihistamines, increase the risk of heat illness. Check the label for sun exposureinformation.”When the temperature climbs to 95 degrees, restrict your gardening to 40 minuteswith a break of 20 minutes,” McLaurin said. “And take advantage of a gardenbench. Many people work so hard growing things but they forget to sit down and enjoy thebeauty.”last_img read more

Campanella With Oscar In Hand: “It Feels Like A Kind Of Daze”

first_imgBy Dialogo March 09, 2010 “It feels like a kind of daze,” said Argentine director Juan José Campanella, director of El secreto de sus ojos [The Secret in Their Eyes], while he held the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film awarded Sunday at the eighty-second Academy Awards. “When I get up in the morning, maybe to get a drink of water, and it comes back to me while I’m standing there, I think that’s when it’s going to hit me,” Campanella said in a press conference at the Mondrian Hotel in Hollywood. The filmmaker was received by the reporters from his country like a soccer champion or a rock star, shortly after midnight in Los Angeles and in the morning in Argentina and Spain. Campanella, accompanied by actor Guillermo Francella and a number of the Argentine and Spanish producers of this co-production, confessed that they were very nervous when they went up on stage, and since they were one of the largest delegations, there was only time for the director of the movie, which starred Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil, to speak. “Undoubtedly, this opens enormous possibilities for the film, above all when it’s going to open in the United States on 16 April,” Spanish producer Gerardo Herrero said. “This is the confirmation that the strength between two regions, the strength of a co-production, can lead to these marvelous results for cinema,” another of the movie’s producers, Argentine Mariela Besuievsky, told AFP. “Let’s go, Argentina, and a hug for our Chilean brothers” (who suffered a powerful earthquake on 27 February), Campanella shouted as he held up the Oscar, for which the Peruvian La teta asustada [The Milk of Sorrow], by Claudia Llosa, was also nominated. Predictions in the United States had listed as favorites the French Un prophète [A Prophet] and the German The White Ribbon – winner of the Golden Palm in Cannes and of the Golden Globe – in a competition that also included Ajami, from Israel. “I’m not just saying that they’re five films that are radically different from one another. It shows an openness of mind in the Academy that’s very powerful,” Campanella, Oscar in hand, told reporters. He maintained that his movie’s triumph also demonstrated that the Academy “is not concerned about the film’s history, about how many prizes it won somewhere, or political reasons, anything like that.” The voters “just vote for the movie they like, and they showed that,” he affirmed. “I think that there are a lot of preconceptions about this awards process,” he added. “It was really miraculous, because the films it was competing with were excellent,” the movie’s protagonist, Ricardo Darín, said in Buenos Aires. According to Darín, the film won “because it told a difficult story without losing a sense of humor and daily life, while the films with which it was competing are dramas where it’s very difficult to introduce humor, and I think this made them seem very similar.” This Oscar is the second for Argentina, following La historia oficial [The Official Story] by Luis Puenzo in 1986. Both movies allude to the Argentine dictatorship (1976-83) in order to reflect on the crimes committed by those in power. Campanella had already been nominated in 2002 for the successful El hijo de la novia [Son of the Bride]. Although based on the conventions of film noir, El secreto de sus ojos combines genres to tell a story about the human need to slake the thirst for justice, to the point of obtaining it with one’s own hands. The film’s leading actor is Ricardo Darín, the best-known actor in Argentine cinema in recent years, who was also the protagonist of El hijo de la novia. El secreto de sus ojos won two Goya Awards in Madrid, one as the best Spanish American film and another for Villamil as best new actress. It also won five prizes at the Latin American Film Festival in Havana. Together with Darín and Villamil, the third key member of the cast is actor Guillermo Francella, who up to now has had success in Argentina as a comedian. Campanella, trained in Argentina and in New York, has often filmed in the United States, where he has made episodes of the famous series Law and Order and House.last_img read more

Lošinj is a proud holder of the Superbrands Croatia label

first_imgLošinj, the island of vitality is once again recognized as a brand of top quality and overall content. Based on the high marks of excellence obtained in the Tourism category, this year is also the proud holder of the SUPERBRANDS CROATIA 2017/2018 label.The selected list of market-exposed brands on the Croatian market was again evaluated by the Superbrands 2017/2018 Expert Council, formed by a narrow circle of recognized experts from the world of media, marketing, public relations and the business world, assessing factors that differentiate brands and their strength in the open market-communication field: quality, diversity, reliability and emotional impact.  “With this label, Lošinj once again confirmed its place among world-renowned destinations. Thanks to the synergy of visitors and the population, the effort that the destination invests in its sustainability has once again been rewarded. Based on this, the island of vitality is considered a long-term destination that connects the natural beauty and preservation of the landscape with the quality of life on the island. With quality destination management, as well as the tradition of health tourism, Lošinj has developed a brand of health and vitality, so active vacation, wellness and health, as well as the possibility of year-round business, are the leading trump cards of the tourist offer of the island of vitality” said the President of the Tourist Board of the City of Mali Lošinj Ana Kučić.The Superbrands label of excellence has been recognized and used in ninety countries around the world for more than twenty years and is also a significant communication factor in the value of the brand.last_img read more

Guest Column: Privacy – Where does it begin … or end?

first_imgHowever, if the item pertains to a public employee, the courts have repeatedly found that public employees have less privacy than others because they are supposed to be more accountable than others.If an item about a public employee relates to that person’s duties, usually the information is public because disclosure would result in a permissible (not an unwarranted) invasion of privacy.That’s the basis for your right to records indicating the salary, overtime payments, attendance, findings of misconduct, and similar items concerning public employees.I’m a public employee…and if you are not, I have less privacy than you!The point is that you have the right to know various details about me and others, those who are supposed to be your public servants.Robert J. Freeman is executive director of the New York State Committee on Open Government. We used to have a joke in the house. If the phone rang after 9:00 p.m., it was either my mother-in-law, or a reporter who’d gotten kicked out of a meeting, seeking an opinion or a comment regarding a board’s compliance with law.My name, home address and home phone number (still a land line) are in the phone book and available online.  Anyone can find me.  My wife, on the other hand, uses a different name for good reason.First, she doesn’t want to be associated with me (completely understandable), and second, she’s a psychotherapist and doesn’t want clients to know where she lives, or her home phone number.She has perfectly valid reasons for saying, “No, never!”  I have equally good reasons for saying, “I don’t care”, and never the twain shall meet. So what do we do about privacy?The courts have given us guidance. When records relate to a private individual, the state’s highest court has offered a standard: the reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities. What would a “reasonable person” feel about disclosure of a particular item?If that person believes that it’s one of those items that is nobody’s business, intimate or highly personal, it’s likely that the item can be withheld. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Everyone says, emphatically, “No!”  Well then, why do we see them today?Very simply, the sensibilities of society have changed and are constantly changing.  What had been so intimate, highly personal, risqué or off color seems to be more acceptable today.Next, I ask whether anyone has kids, and whether they’re users of social media.Parents grimace, and I suggest that our kids share information about themselves with their peers that their parents would never share.There are generational differences in views about privacy.Young people, their parents and senior citizens have different notions about what is private and what isn’t.And this is my favorite: two equally reasonable people can look at the same items and disagree. I use my own life as an example. Categories: Editorial, OpinionMany know that the New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) generally gives the public rights of access to records of state and local government agencies, with certain exceptions. My favorite exception states that an agency may withhold records to the extent that disclosure would result in “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” That standard also appears in the federal FOI Act and numerous access laws in other states.When I offer a presentation, I often ask the crowd: “Unwarranted invasion of personal privacy….anyone know what that means?”  Nobody raises a hand, and I say, “That’s OK.  Nobody knows what it means, and nobody will ever know what it means.There isn’t a judge alive who can define that phrase any better than the average reasonable person.”     Then I ask whether anyone has seen the Victoria’s Secret ads on TV, and a few people giggle, some sheepishly, but everyone admits to having seen the ads.Would those ads have run on network TV 25 years ago?last_img read more


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‘It’s discouraging’: Nurses lambast COVID-19 spokesperson for calling them ‘room boys’

first_img“This is business. Welcome to Indonesia,” Yurianto, who was also appointed by the government as COVID-19 spokesperson, said as he smiled as if he was joking. He later argued that was the reason he did not disclose the names of the hospitals where the patients were being treated, except the official referral hospitals, such as Jakarta’s Persahabatan Hospital and Sulianti Saroso Hospital.“Hospitals are no longer carrying their social functions. Hospitals are just businesses now. A hotel with nurses as their room boys,” Yuri said.The government has set up a protocol for hospitals that only those designated as referral hospitals could treat COVID-19 patients. If a non-referral hospital or clinic finds that a patient is a COVID-19 suspect, the administrator must send the patient to a referral hospital appointed by the government using an ambulance, accompanied by medical personnel with protective gear.The news comes as nurses and medical workers across the nation struggle to serve patients, putting their own health at risk over the past few weeks.“So far we have received a report that one nurse has died after she had contact with COVID-19 patients,” Harif of PPNI said.  Topics : Read also: Two Sanglah hospital nurses placed in isolation after developing fever, cough“I think right now, what we need to do is focus on serving others and not use degrading words. Please appreciate us. Even the President appreciates us, why does a spokesperson talk like that?” he added.Amid the COVID-19 surge in the nation, Yurianto turned to mentalist cum YouTube personality Deddy Corbuzier to speak his mind about the pandemic.In the video podcast, published and having gone viral on Monday, Yurianto criticized private hospitals for rejecting COVID-19 patients because they did not want other patients to know they were treating people with the  infectious disease.center_img The Indonesian Nurses Association (PPNI) has expressed its disappointment over a statement made by the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, who called them  “room boys” in a popular podcast.“This really affected our spirit. I don’t think it was necessary for him to say that. We have been very focused on serving patients, thus hearing his statement is discouraging,” Harif Fadhillah told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.Harif said nurses across country had been giving their best for the past few weeks to work hand in hand with other medical workers to treat patients, especially those infected with the novel coronavirus. Two nurses in Sanglah had even been placed in isolation.last_img read more

Anniversary protests as Hong Kong democracy movement faces triple threat

first_imgSeveral thousand demonstrators marched in Hong Kong on Tuesday evening — defying authorities a year after huge pro-democracy protests erupted — as the movement struggles in the face of arrests, coronavirus bans on crowds and a looming national security law.Seven months of massive and often violent rallies kicked off on June 9 last year when as many as a million people took to the streets to oppose a bill allowing extraditions to mainland China.As city leaders dug in, battles between police and protesters became routine, leaving the financial hub’s reputation for stability in tatters and swathes of the population in open revolt against Beijing’s rule. Topics : A year later, protesters are on the back foot with Beijing planning to impose a sweeping law banning subversion, secession, terrorism and foreign interference.Anti-virus measures also forbid more than eight people gathering in public. Small rallies still flare up, however. Defiant crowds a few thousand strong gathered on Tuesday evening in the city’s upmarket Central district to march and chant slogans. ‘Forced loyalty’ Under a deal signed with Britain ahead of the 1997 handover, China agreed to let Hong Kong keep certain freedoms and autonomy for 50 years.But protests over the last decade have been fuelled by fears those freedoms are being prematurely curtailed, something Beijing denies.Analysts say the space for dissent has rapidly diminished in the last year. “I don’t think the passion has subsided much, but the problem is that many actions are now not allowed,” Leung Kai-chi, an analyst at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), told AFP.Beyond a withdrawal of the extradition bill, the informal and largely leaderless protest movement’s core demands — such as universal suffrage and an inquiry into police tactics — have been rejected.China’s planned national security law — which will bypass the city’s legislature once written — has pushed anxieties further. Opponents fear the law will bring mainland-style political oppression to the business hub given similar anti-subversion laws are routinely used to stamp out dissent over the border.”First [Beijing] loses the hearts and minds of Hong Kong’s people and then it seeks to force them to be loyal,” said Kong Tsung-gan, an activist who has published three books on the protest movement.Beijing says the law will only target “a small minority” and will restore business confidence. Over the last year, around 9,000 people have been arrested and more than 500 people have been charged with rioting — facing up to 10 years in jail if convicted.The protest movement was already on the back foot before emergency coronavirus laws banned gatherings of more than eight people.Still, demonstrations have resurfaced since the security law plans were announced — including tens of thousands defying a ban on a June 4 gathering to mark the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. Riot police were quick to charge and fire pepper spray to disperse the crowds in a series of small cat and mouse confrontations, with at least 25 arrests made throughout the evening.  “We have been through a lot,” a 23-year-old protester who gave his first name as Michael, told AFP.”But I still have to show my position, come out and tell the regime that we haven’t forgotten.”Earlier Tuesday, organizers of last year’s huge rallies called on the government to lift legitimate protest restrictions on a city now largely free of coronavirus infections.”This movement has not finished,” said Jimmy Sham of the Civil Human Rights group, which espouses non-violence. But city leader Carrie Lam, an unpopular pro-Beijing appointee, said the protests must end. “Hong Kong cannot afford such chaos,” she said, adding residents needed to prove Hong Kong people “are reasonable and sensible citizens of the People’s Republic of China” if they want their freedoms and autonomy to continue.last_img read more

Enviable lifestyle comes with canal-front retreat

first_imgThe home at 41 The Promontory, Banksia Beach.THE buyers of 41 The Promontory, Banksia Beach, acquired both a home and an enviable lifestyle when they purchased the property for $1.479 million on July 24.The two-year old, four-bedroom, three-bathroom house is positioned on a 1094 sqm cul-de-sac block with a staggering 44m canal frontage.L J Hooker senior sales agent, Martin Howard-Smith, said the market responded well to a home that took full advantage of its site and position.“It was built by the owner to an exclusive design … it really was exquisite,” he said.“It was a house that brought the outside in and the inside out.” There was a games room, with its own bar area and glass-front drinks fridges, that led to the outdoor entertaining space.More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019The home at 41 The Promontory, Banksia Beach.“And then you had a magnificent open-plan lounge/dining and kitchen,” he said.Mr Howard-Smith said other features — such as a butler’s pantry, fireplace, swimming pool and spa — all added to the appeal.“It had a pontoon and easy access to the Pumicestone Passage,” he said.“The market in the last 18 months really has picked up again and properties are now selling well on Bribie Island — there’s a strong demand for canal homes.“We’re getting quite a lot of people still from the Brisbane area who are looking to come into Bribie. “It’s a popular location because it doesn’t matter where you are on the island, you’re only minutes away from the waterfront.”last_img read more