Some people who look obese but appear to be “fit and fat” may be that way due to a lack of inflammation, according to a new study out of University College Cork in Ireland.
Obesity typically worsens inflammation in the body, and is thought to lead to other conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Researchers looked at 2,040 people, half of whom were obese, and measured their inflammatory markers through blood tests.
The results showed that people with lower levels of inflammation, regardless of their weight, were less likely to have other health issues.
“It could be genetics, but I would say that diet plays a larger role,” said Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietician with the Cleveland Clinic. “What you eat can cause inflammation. If your diet consists of lots of vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foods, you’re going to have less inflammation than if you ate a lot of sugar.”
Researchers noted that this information could help identify obese people who are more at risk for conditions like diabetes.
New Test Could Help Diagnose and Treat Parkinson’s
A new study in JAMA Neurology found that testing protein taken from spinal fluid could improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the debilitating Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine collected spinal fluid from 63 people with early, untreated Parkinson’s and 39 healthy patients. They found the spinal fluid in Parkinson’s patients had a different chemical makeup than the healthy patients.
“In the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, there are changes in the way the brain handles certain proteins. You get these clumps of protein buildup in the brain from spinal fluid,” said Todd Sherer, PhD, neuroscientist and CEO of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The study is part of the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, headed by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. The ongoing study is seeking to uncover a biomarker for Parkinson’s, a progressive disorder that causes tremors, stiff muscles, difficulty speaking and more.
New Defibrillator Doesn’t Touch the Heart
A new type of implantable defibrillator that does not touch the heart like most used now was shown to be both safe and effective in a new study in the journal Circulation.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the device, which is implanted completely under the skin, a year ago. Out of 330 patients studied, 95 percent of them had the defibrillator successfully implanted with just a 1 percent risk of a serious complication after six months of follow-up care.
With standard implanted defibrillators, there can be complications such as a heart infection, blood clots, and scar tissue buildup. Defibrillators are used for those with irregular heart rhythms who are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest.