Homepage Round-Up: Obesity Linked to Abnormal Bowel Habits, Weekly Exercise May Slow the Effects of Alzheimer’s Disease, and More.

Here are the top stories covered by DocWire News this week in the Homepage section. In this week’s edition of the round-up: obesity is associated with abnormal bowel diets, independent of diet and lifestyle; weekly exercise may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease; many adults do not place a high importance on diabetes treatment guidelines; and there exists a link between childhood behavioral problems and adulthood insomnia.

A new study suggests a link between obesity and abnormal bowel habits independent of diet, lifestyle, medical conditions and psychological factors. Researchers extracted data from the 2009‐2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They included survey responses only if respondents completed the bowel health questionnaire (BHQ), were at least 20 years of age, and did not report history of IBD, celiac disease or colon cancer. Researchers used logistic regression risk ratios to control for such confounding factors as diet, lifestyle, psychological and medical factors. Subsequently, the results of the study found that respondents who were obese or severely obese were 60% more likely to have experienced chronic diarrhea compared to those with normal bowel habits or constipation.

Weekly exercise may slow brain deterioration in people at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a team of researchers from UT Southwestern who published their findings in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. To conduct this study, researchers assessed cognitive function and brain volume in 70 participants (aged 55 and older) with sedentary lifestyles and memory issues. The participants were placed in two groups – one group performed aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes per day four to five times per week, while the second group performed flexibility training. The results showed that while both groups exhibited similar cognitive capabilities during the trial’s duration in areas such as problem solving and memory, subsequent brain imaging showed that people who had amyloid buildup – a chief indicator of Alzheimer’s – experienced less brain volume reduction in their hippocampus, the brain region most affected by dementia.

Many older adults fail to place a high importance on factors recommended by guidelines to individualize diabetes treatment, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. In this cross-sectional national survey study that included 818 participants (mean age, 74, 53.7% male, 67.7% white) participants place into one of two vignettes: one about adding and the other about removing diabetes medications from treatment plans. According to the results of the study, as the authors wrote: “When considering treatment aggressiveness, many older adults weighted several factors in the opposite direction than suggested by the guidelines. Individualizing diabetes care in older adults will require effective communication regarding the benefits and consequences of making changes to treatment plans.”

Researchers have found a link between childhood behavioral problems and having insomnia as an adult. Their findings were published in JAMA Network Open. In this cohort study, researchers utilized data they acquired from the United Kingdom 1970 Birth Control Study. All participants were followed-up from a baseline of either five-years-old (n=8,050), 10-years-old (n=9,090) or 16-years-old (n=7,653) until age 42 using the Rutter Behavioral Scale (RBS). These findings underline the importance of addressing insomnia from a life-course perspective and considering the benefits of early behavioral intervention to sleep health,” the authors wrote in their conclusion.