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Posted at: Feb 2, 2019, 12:50 AM; last updated: Feb 2, 2019, 12:50 AM (IST)HEALTH CAPSULES

Anti-depressants raise risk of intestinal bleeding

Anti-depressants raise risk of intestinal bleeding

Those who are on anti-depressant pills to treat anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, could be at a risk of intestinal bleeding, ranging from mild to severe, which can be fatal. Gastrointestinal bleeding or haemorrhage is all forms of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the rectum. Patients taking anti-depressant drugs classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are 40 per cent more likely to develop severe gastrointestinal bleeding, according to a study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. The SSRIs are most frequently prescribed as they are relatively low-cost, effective and safe, but they carry risks for gastrointestinal and intracranial bleeding — particularly when patients also use common over-the-counter pain relievers. The most common and concerning interactions occur with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen and naproxen, anti-coagulants like warfarin or anti-platelet drugs such as aspirin and clopidogrel, the study said. An expert  recommended doctors to ask about all medications their patients take, including over-the-counter NSAIDs. The expert recommended doctors to monitor patients closely for symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding during the first 30 days of SSRI therapy, especially if patients are taking concurrent medications that may increase bleeding risk. 

Aerobics can delay age-related cognitive decline

While most studies on exercise and cognition have focused on the elderly, a new study suggests that aerobics can even prevent or slow the appearance of at least some age-related cognitive changes in young and middle-aged adults. It also found that aerobics training increases executive function — cognitive processes important for reasoning, planning and problem-solving — in adults as young as 20, although the effect was stronger with increasing age. Aerobic exercise is any type of cardiovascular conditioning which can include activities like brisk walking, swimming, running or cycling. “Executive function usually peaks around age 30 and aerobic exercise is good at rescuing lost function, as opposed to increasing performance in those without a decline,” said an expert. For the study, researchers tested 132 adults aged between 20 and 67  for executive function, processing speed, language, attention and episodic memory prior to being assigned to groups and at 12 and 24 weeks. The findings, published in the journal Neurology, showed that after 24 weeks, there was a significant improvement in executive function in the aerobics group for participants of all ages and the greater the participant's age, the greater the improvement in executive function. 

Blood cancer accelerates ageing

Blood cancer can accelerate ageing in healthy bone marrow cells, says a study. It is well known that ageing promotes cancer development. However, this is the first time that the reverse has been shown to be true. The study, published in the journal Blood, shows that healthy bone marrow cells were prematurely aged by cancer cells around them. The aged bone marrow cells accelerated the growth and development of the leukaemia, creating a vicious cycle that fuels the disease. The study identified the mechanism by which this process of premature ageing occurs in the bone marrow of leukaemia patients. It provided evidence that cancer causes ageing and the cancer cell itself drives the ageing process in the neighbouring non-cancer cells. The research revealed that leukaemia used this biological phenomenon to its advantage to accelerate the disease. — Agencies

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