Category Archives: Health and Medicine

Science of Resilience: How to Thrive in Life

8232How do you thrive in life no matter where you are in life?

If you’re lucky to live long enough, you know that life has many pieces to it. It has the wonderful bits: falling in love, having a career, traveling, following your passion. And it often contains difficult times: illness, divorce, and loss. How you navigate through these different experiences determines how well you thrive in your life.

In this program from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging, Dr. Darlene Mininni shares how resilience, emotional intelligence and mindfulness can affect physical health. The motto that most inspires her comes from Job Kabat-Zinn: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” In other words, good and bad events can occur in life. You might not be able to change the circumstances, but you can learn how to “surf” through them.

Dr. Mininni offers practical advice to bring more well-being into your life. Watch Science of Resilience: How to Thrive in Life.

Browse more programs from the Stein Institute for Research on Aging Series.

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You’ve been invaded – by your Microbiome!

8232“If you like science fiction, I’m going to open with this,” begins David Granet. “You have been invaded. And the invaders are 10 times more than the number of cells in your body. They affect your health, they affect much about what your life does, and about who you are, and what you look like. What are these? It’s your microbiome.”

Microbiome researcher, Rob Knight, Phd joins host David Granet, MD for a fascinating discussion about our massive microbiome.

These tiny organisms have been with us since birth and we continue to acquire them and lose them based on our environment, our diet, and our age. Indeed, various parts of our bodies have different microbiobes which can include bacteria, fungi, and other single-celled organisms.

But don’t panic just yet! According to Knight, we don’t want to wage war on our microbiobes. Instead, he says, “You want to think of them more as a landscape you want to nurture rather than as a battlefield where you want to eliminate everything that is not you.”

So, how might our microbiome affect our health?

Here’s the story of two mice: one skinny and one fat. Each mouse has exactly the same genetics, eats the same foods, and exercises the same amount. Researchers insert the microbiome of one mouse into the other. The skinny mouse becomes fat. The fat mouse becomes skinny.

And it’s not just mice. Our human microbiome has also been shown to impact our health. Rob Knight works with the America Gut project which has collected the microbiome of thousands of people and continues to learn more about how it relates to our health and even our behavior.

“If we can start putting together that map of people who have different medical conditions and the kinds of micriobes that lead them to different places on that microbial map,” says Knight, “then we can tell you a lot more about what’s likely to happen to you, what’s happened already, and potentially what you should do about it.”

“It’s really incredible how they run us,” says Dr. Granet.

Learn more about our incredible microbiome and how it helps to define who we are.

Watch Our Micriobiome – Health Matters.

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The Mind and Methods of V.S. Ramachandran

8232“A lot of the time when you think the patient is crazy, it means you’re not smart enough to figure it out.” – V.S. Ramachandran

Seeing numbers as colors. Feeling the pain from a phantom limb. Sensing shadowy figures around your bed. V.S. Ramachandran, PhD studies these seeming anomalies of the mind to discover the bigger questions about how our brains function. Dive in to a fascinating conversation as he joins William Mobley, MD, PhD to discuss his fascinating career and his scientific process.

Watch The Mind and Methods of V.S. Ramachandran on The Brain Channel.

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Prevention is the Essence of Wellness and Good Health

8232Certainly it is better, easier and cheaper to prevent disease than treat it.

Although preventive medicine has focused traditionally on children and younger adults, current medical thinking is that adults — and especially older adults — also need specific attention to preventive medicine to minimize the chance of acute and chronic illnesses.

This series with UCSF experts on preventive medicine, integrative medicine, and internal medicine reviews current evidence on:

Cancer Prevention and Screening

Cholesterol

High Blood Pressure

Diseases of Aging

Nutrition, Exercise, and Healthy Lifestyle Practices

Vaccines for Adults

Find out what you can do to prevent disease rather than treat it.

Watch New Guidelines for Preventive Medicine in Adults: An Integrative Approach to Prevent Cancer, Stroke, Heart Disease, Infections and Other Diseases of Aging

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Silicone Breast Implants and the Politics of Risk

8232Silicone, not to be confused with Silicon, a chemical element that exists in nature, was first polymerized in the late 19th century. Not much was done with it until the 1930s when a chemist at Dow Corning refined it for use as a lubricant in submarines and planes. The first known medical use of silicone was during World War II as a lubricant for glass syringes.

Since then, silicone has regularly been used in electronics, cookware, the automotive industry, and especially in the medical field due to its biocompatibility. Silicone is used in liquid form as a lubricant, and in gel form as bandages, dressings, breast implants, contact lenses and more. Because silicone is extremely biocompatible, studies have shown no marked harmful effects on humans or the environment.

Despite the science, in the 1980’s several diseases were directly attributed to breast implants. Fear and panic spread as the media spun stories of breast implants causing various maladies even though existing research did not corroborate the reports.

Surgeon and historian Jack C. Fisher, author of Silicone on Trial: Breast Implants and the Politics of Risk, sits down with Dr. David Granet to discuss the controversial history of silicone medical devices – including breast implants. Though the fear surrounding their usage was unwarranted and not based in scientific fact, battles waged about their safety and government regulation followed suit. Dr. Fisher argues that regulatory policy should rely on valid science and not on the fear of risk.

Watch Silicone Breast Implants and the Politics of Risk, and browse more programs on Health Matters.

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