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Friday Roundup: FAST Stroke Signs, Depression and Alzheimer’s, and More

admin - May 10, 2013

Stroke Symptoms - Act FAST

Here at Life Line Screening, we firmly believe that the power of prevention can change lives for the better. Being knowledgeable about your health is a great way to keep it strong. Below, read some of the latest headlines concerning healthy living, nutrition, and disease prevention.


Back to Basics: FAST Stroke Signs

May is National Stroke Awareness month, and even though many of us have probably heard of the most common stroke risk factors and warning signs, it’s important to be reminded. Catching a stroke early can drastically improve a person’s chances of recovering without life-altering, catastrophic consequences.

When the brain experiences a lack of blood supply because of a blocked artery, a stroke may occur. By following the FAST tool, you can help detect the symptoms and responsiveness of someone suffering a stroke.

F = Face: Ask the person to smile. Is the smile uneven? Does one part of the smile droop?
A = Arms: Can the person raise both of their arms? See if one arm is weaker than the other.
S = Speech: Do the person’s words slur together? Can you understand what they are saying?
T = Time = If you notice any of the above stroke signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Read more about stroke warning signs and risk factors here:


Depression and Alzheimer’s Development

One new study found a link between depression and later development of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is a condition caused by reduced or blocked blood flow to the brain. This can deprive the brain of essential nutrients and oxygen, killing brain cells.

Published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, the analysis combines 23 prior students of 50,000 older adults over five years. Results showed that the participants who suffered from depression were 65 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and more than twice as likely to develop vascular dementia.

“We think depression is toxic to the brain, and if you’re walking around with some mild brain damage, it will add to the degenerative process,” said co-author of the study, Meryl Butters, Ph.D., in a Psych Central article. Read the full article here.


Sugar-Free and Fat-Free: Is it Really Better?

Eating healthier means avoiding foods loaded with sugar and fat, right? Not necessarily. A new article from U.S. News reveals that even if you eat foods labeled with “sugar-free” or “fat-free” claims, their substitutes may not be all that better for you.

Sugar-free foods usually replace the refined sugar with artificial sweeteners. Although artificial sweeteners don’t have any calories, they’re actually sweeter than regular sugar. This can confuse your body, which thinks because it’s sweet, it should have calories. Because of this, your body can go looking for calories later, making it easier to binge.

Fat-free foods aren’t necessarily better for you, either. Fat-free foods, such as fat-free salad dressings, replace the fat with sugar. When you eat sugar, it eventually gets stored in your body as fat, so technically you’re still eating fat. However, keep in mind that not all fats are bad for you – monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that your body needs.

Read more from the article here.


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