Ulcerative colitis: Does drinking alcohol make it worse?

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause the lining of the large intestine and rectum to become inflamed. There may be a connection between the condition and alcohol, which also affects the gut.

Some studies have appeared to show both harmful and beneficial effects of alcoholic drinks in someone who has ulcerative colitis (UC). However, newer studies mainly illustrate the detrimental effects of alcohol.

The recommendation is to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, as a general rule. Alcohol irritates the digestive tract in similar ways to UC, and combining the two may make symptoms worse.

While some people with UC may be able to consume alcohol, others should avoid it altogether.

Full story at Medical News Today

Legal marijuana reduces chronic pain, but increases injuries and car accidents

The legalization of recreational marijuana is associated with an increase in its abuse, injury due to overdoses, and car accidents, but does not significantly change health care use overall, according to a study by researchers at UC San Francisco.

In a review of more than 28 million hospital records from the two years before and after cannabis was legalized in Colorado, UCSF researchers found that Colorado hospital admissions for cannabis abuse increased after legalization, in comparison to other states. But taking the totality of all hospital admissions and time spent in hospitals into account, there was not an appreciable increase after recreational cannabis was legalized.

The study, appearing online May 15, 2019, in BMJ Open, also found fewer diagnoses of chronic pain after legalization, consistent with a 2017 National Academy of Sciences report that concluded substantial evidence exists that cannabis can reduce chronic pain.

Full story at Science Daily

How sleep and mood impact working memory

Two new studies assess how working memory — the memory we use on a day-to-day basis in decision-making processes — is affected by age, mood, and sleep quality and whether these factors impact memory together or on their own.

Working memory is the short-term memory that a person uses on a daily basis while navigating the world, assessing situations, using language, and making decisions.

As a person advances in age, this faculty tends to decline, but there are also other factors — particularly depressed mood and low sleep quality — that can affect it, both in the short and long terms.

Full story at Medical News Today

Why might smoking and drinking alcohol raise the risk of osteoporosis?

Recent research has uncovered a cell mechanism that could help explain why smoking, alcohol, and other modifiable factors could raise the risk of developing the bone disease osteoporosis.

The mechanism spurs a cell type in the immune system to turn into osteoclasts, which are a type of cell that resorbs, or dissolves, bone.

It appears that mitochondria, the tiny enclosures that produce energy in cells, send out a signal that triggers this process when under stress.

When this happens in the mitochondria of macrophages, the cells turn into osteoclasts. Macrophages are prolific immune cells that remove cell waste and foreign objects by swallowing and digesting them.

Full story at Medical News Today

What to know about cluster A personality disorders

People define personality disorders in many different ways. According to one definition, a personality disorder is a mental health condition that affects how a person thinks and feels and how they relate to other people. Cluster A disorders usually involve awkwardness in social situations, distorted thinking, and distance from society and relationships.

There are 10 personality disorders in total, which healthcare professionals usually group in three categories: A, B, and C. The disorders within each category share some traits and symptoms. Group A comprises three specific disorders, which are called paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal disorder.

However, a person may have multiple personality disorders from different clusters or display traits that overlap between different types of personality disorder. As a result, diagnosing a personality disorder can be challenging.

Full story at Medical News Today