Wednesday, February 07, 2007
The media could also get a hold of this study and set off a new national fad diet involving induced leucine deficiencies. That's what I hope happens, because the results would be hilarious*.
As if being fat wasn't enough to be afraid of, it appears that loneliness may be a risk factor for developing Alzheimer's. In a fairly large cohort (823 patients over four years), Rush University scientists found that higher scores on a loneliness scale predicted lower levels of cognitive functioning. This is not a terribly surprising finding, but it emphasizes the importance of strong social networks and social participation as we age.
Speaking of people who may need more social interaction, we have gamerz. You know, that guy who spends 15 hours a day playing Grand Theft Auto only pausing to grab another bag of Cheetos and a Diet Coke? Yeah, Rochester's Daphne Bavelier wants to be his hero. Her research may or may not suggest that playing those action video games is actually good for your visual ability. The thing is, her study seems to have a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem: avid gamerz had better vision than controls, but she does not appear to have addressed whether this is what makes them good players, or if it is a result of their playing.
* By 'hilarious' I of course mean "a disaster for the health of the people duped into following such a diet, but really they probably deserve it, because stupidity should be painful.