Stress at Work May Shorten Men’s Lives!

by Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter

If you’re a man and you suffer from heart disease or diabetes, stress at work may shorten your life, a new study finds.

The researchers said a demanding job in which you have little or no control over your work environment is a formula that can increase the risk of dying early whether you suffer from heart disease or not. But that risk jumps 68 percent for men with heart disease or diabetes, the investigators found.

“These findings suggest that working very hard might not be a good idea for people with a serious cardiometabolic disease, such as those with diabetes, coronary heart disease or a history of stroke,” said lead researcher Mika Kivimaki, chair of social epidemiology at University College London.

Physiological stress response is a normal reaction to a challenge in work and private life, but can involve a number of changes that might affect heart function, clotting and plaque in blood vessels, he explained.

“These changes, in turn, can trigger a fatal heart attack or stroke,” Kivimaki added. And work-related stress may be particularly harmful for men with diabetes or a history of heart attack or stroke, he said.

“We found the stress-mortality link in men but not in women, which is consistent with the fact that atherosclerosis [hardening of the arteries] is more common in working-aged men than women,” Kivimaki noted.

Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said the mind has a direct link to the heart. “There is a mind-heart loop, which can affect your heart,” he said.

Bhusri believes that reducing work stress can reduce the risk to the heart. But reducing work stress might mean quitting a stressful job, he noted.

“I’ve had patients who have retired or quit their job,” Bhusri said. “What you have to realize is that your job is a slice of the whole pie of your life. And without a life, there are no slices,” he said.

To reduce stress, Bhusri promotes mediation, yoga and exercise. “More importantly, if it’s the job that’s toxic, get rid of the job,” he advised.

For the study, Kivimaki and his colleagues collected data on more than 100,000 men and women from Finland, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom, including more than 3,400 who had heart disease and diabetes. At the start of the study (between 1985 and 2002), participants completed a questionnaire on their lifestyle and health.
Over an average of nearly 14 years, the researchers tracked participants’ medical records. During that time, more than 3,800 individuals died.

The investigators looked at two types of work stress: job strain — having high work demands and little control over them; and effort-reward imbalance — putting in lots of effort, but getting little reward.

After Kivimaki’s team took into account socioeconomic status and some lifestyle factors — including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and high alcohol consumption — it found that men with heart disease or diabetes who had job strain had a 68 percent greater risk of premature death than men who had no job strain.

This increased risk was seen in men who were being treated and had achieved their blood pressure and cholesterol targets. The risk was also seen in men with a healthy lifestyle, including being of normal weight, being physically active, not smoking and not drinking heavily.

No association was seen, however, between a risk for premature death and effort-reward imbalance in men with heart disease or diabetes. The study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between the two.

Neither type of work stress was linked with an increased risk of dying among healthy or unhealthy women, the findings showed.

Stress may affect the body in several ways, including changing natural responses to stress through higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases glucose production and limits the effect of insulin, thereby worsening diabetes, the study authors said.

In addition, stress can increase inflammation that can raise blood pressure and affect clotting, thus increasing the risk of heart problems in people who already have hardening of the arteries.

Because the researchers measured stress only at the start of the study, they could not take into account changes in the severity of diseases over time. They also did not take into account blood pressure or cholesterol levels in all the participants, which might lead to an overestimation of the effect of job strain.

In addition, people with more severe disease tended to work fewer hours, which might explain why no association between effort-reward imbalance and risk of premature death in men with heart disease or diabetes was seen, the researchers said.
The report was published online June 5 in the journal The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Another moving response from Jill…

A response to a person new to caregiving, trying to figure out what to do while at the same time, grieving what has been lost.

 

I have been the caregiver to my husband for 10 years.In those early years, I regularly reminded myself who he had been before the stroke–vibrant, sharp, fun, funny, successful–all things that the stroke took away from him.It was important for me to remember those things and treat him like that person, not as a victim or an invalid.Even though he was terribly disabled, our interaction was always about working toward a new normal that valued a good man.

One thing that really helped us was setting goals together.Setting goals allowed us to look forward and move forward.Yes, I took care of his needs, but working together on recovery and a useful life was essential. We got excited each day to see what he could do.We did not focus on what we lost.We focused on the new life we were creating.It wasn’t easy.We also had kids at home who needed mom and dad.I like to think one day they will reflect on those years and know what love and commitment really look like.

My husband deserved the best I had to give.In return, he gives his best.I hope you, the team, and your friend can rally and help him create a meaningful life.It isn’t easy but it is worth doing.Good luck.

Can an Opioid Overdose Drug HELP Stroke Patients Recover??

The same medication used to save lives by reversing opioid overdoses may also benefit nonopioid users. In a new study done in rats, the medicine, called naloxone, was shown to help the brain to recover from a stroke.

Researchers found that when male rats were treated for one week with naloxone after having an ischemic stroke, they had an improved recovery, compared with rats who did not receive naloxone. (An ischemic strokeoccurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, usually because of a blood clot, which deprives the brain of oxygen and damages nerve cells in the area.) [Strange Stroke Stories: Ebola, Hickeys and Other Weird Causes]

Because the study was done in rats, more research is needed to confirm the findings in people. However, naloxone might play a role in stroke recovery because the drug has anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the activity of the microglia, which are the primary immune cells of the brain, according to the study findings, published today (April 16) in the journal eNeuro

Previous research has shown that naloxone affects the microglia, which are very active contributors to the inflammation that occurs in the brain following a stroke, said study co-author Brandon Harvey, a researcher at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore. So, in this study, the researchers wanted to see whether giving naloxone after a stroke could decrease the activity of the brain’s immune cells and reduce the associated inflammation, leading to improved recovery from the stroke, he said.

In the new study, the researchers gave 65 male rats naloxone twice a day through the nose at a dose considered to be safe in humans. (Naloxone is often given as a nasal spray to reverse an overdose, according to the study.) The study showed that the drug was most effective when treatment was started within 16 to 36 hours after a stroke and lasted for seven days.

The findings showed that when naloxone was given after a stroke, during a period when immune-cell activity in the brain was peaking, it had beneficial effects on recovery, said study co-author Mikko Airavaara, principal investigator at the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki in Finland. (Immune cells in the rats’ brains were active as early as two days after a stroke and reached their peak activity seven days after a stroke, according to the findings.)

Airavaara said that naloxone works reducing inflammation in the brainand reducing the loss of nerve cells, which can improve the brain’s ability to recover after a stroke.

These findings are important because there is no drug treatment now that helps the brain recover after a stroke, Airavaara told Live Science. So, developing a drug therapy that could promote recovery for the 10 million people worldwide who have strokes each year would be groundbreaking, he said.

Indeed, because naloxone has been used to treat opioid overdoses for nearly 50 years, the idea of repurposing the drug for stroke is intriguing, Harvey said.

Still, more research is needed in animals before naloxone is studied in people who have had a stroke. [7 Things That May Raise Your Risk of Stroke]

It would be important to establish that the drug’s beneficial effects would work not only in male rats but in female rats as well, Harvey told Live Science.

The current study was able to establish an effective delivery method for the drug — through the nose, which is one of the methods already used to reverse opioid overdose — and a suggested dosing pattern (when to give the drug) to possibly translate these findings into clinical practice in the future, Harvey said.

Daniel Lackland, a professor of epidemiology in the neurology department at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, who was not involved in the new research, said that there is a need to identify other treatments for stroke recovery. Currently, rehabilitation includes physical-, occupational- and speech-therapy programs; however, treatments that target physiological changes in the brain are lacking, he said.

In addition, recovering from a stroke has not had the same success rates as recovering from heart disease, said Lackland, who is a spokesperson for the American Stroke Association.

This study explored the possibility that a new drug may contribute to stroke recovery, and this drug appears to have some benefits in animals, Lackland told Live Science. Though the findings need to be replicated in additional animal studies, these results give hope for the future of possible trials in humans, he said.

Originally published on Live Science.


Are you anxiously awaiting our commercial? You don’t have to wait any longer!


If you get a magnifying glass…and look closely… you will see Jill and I in 30 second TriMet commercial shot by the American Heart & Stroke Association.  Click on the following to watch.

Don’t worry; I am signing autographs at the event.  You know what?  This is our SECOND commercial!!!  Perhaps we shot get Jill some head shots?

BTW: Not many people know this, but Jill is the one zipping up her sweat shirt!!!


“I appreciate Jill telling you to stay in your chair”

Did you ever think that you would meet someone who has to go by to different rules? That is the way I am…and anybody who has comeback after a life changing event.

I received an email from someone I met while my wife was speaking to a small group at ClubSport.  The person who wrote this note, was just a ClubSport member who came to listen to my wife speak about all that SHE has been through as a result from my stroke.  Who knew that this person would go thru a similar situation as me!  When I received the email, I was impressed with what she wrote:

Congratulations on throwing a frisbee and releasing it.  I heard your presentation several years ago at Club Sport. I have an autographed copy of your book and I have received your blog. In November of 2016.  I had a massive brain bleed and my left side was paralyzed.  I spent time at  a nursing home experienced c-diff, blood clots, then made it to Rio, finally when I got home my balance wasn’t good and fell and broke the neck of my femur.  I appreciate Jill telling you to stay in your chair😊.   Through it all your fighting spirit has been an encouragement.  Where would we be without our friends and family of faith?!

I have come along way on this road and rereading your book last month I could understand and be even more impressed by your journey.

Thank you for sharing.  All the best to both of you!

It is emails like this one that keeps me going.  In times of despair, or moments that I don’t see myself as getting any better, a note like this one comes along and it makes me feel I am doing the right thing. Nothing happens unless you try!

And you know what? She was a delight to deal with!  She still had some struggles, but she was determined to get better. Meeting someone like that is so invigorating to me.


Hyperbaric therapy providing hope for stroke survivor

 

Doctors in the Philadelphia area are studying it and our Joyce Evans spoke to the first patient in the new clinical trials.  To see video, press Here

49-year-old Mike Dooley suffered a stroke during heart surgery a little more than a year ago. He was placed into an induced coma for weeks.

“It is a shocking thing to wake up and be paralyzed,” Mike explained, “I lost 100 pounds of weight and was very sick – near death.”

The athletic 8th grade science teacher, football and wrestling coach kept fighting. His family, friends, and neighbors continued to cheer him on.

Like so many others, Mike needed rehabilitation beyond what his health insurance covered. He maxed out on physical therapy and his homecare and transportation to and from doctors and sessions were out of pocket.

His sister Noreen set up a GoFundMe page and found an unusual study about to startup nearby, at the Wound Healing Center of Abington Jefferson Health.

Mike became patient number one in trials that combined hyperbaric therapy with physical rehab.

“Oh I would do anything, I would light my head on fire if I thought it would help me get better,” Mike said.

Mike underwent 30 90-minute treatments in six weeks inside a pressurized chamber filled with 100% oxygen at twice our atmospheric pressure.

“And it sits at the tissue delivering almost 1,000 times more oxygen for up to 18 hours after the treatment,” said Dr. Rob Jubelirer, “We do see improvement — for weeks and months after the treatment.”

Dr. Jubelirer says it’s still a slow process but the hope is to one day make hyperbaric therapy standard treatment along with physical rehab to heal damage caused by a stroke faster and maybe even better.

“I’m looking down a tunnel and there’s light there now at the end of it,” Mike said.


10 Years?

Holy cow; it has been 10 years since I had my stroke.

Thinking back, my future looked bright:

I was finally earning good money, starting to save for college, saving for retirement, putting savings into my HSA. Things were starting to click. Then BAM…the stroke hit me.  My goals…gone. My life…changed. My future…unknown. I really didn’t think of the effect the stroke would have.

In the beginning, I lost my ability to use my right side.  My wife was able to stay home with me and work on my recovery.  My thinking was that I would be working is 6 months.  How wrong I was!

With help from my wife, we worked through a few different options.

First, I wanted to get back into my business of consulting telemarketing reps.  This was tough for me because I couldn’t talk.  We both realized this in a few months.  I still can’t believe Jill stayed with me though the terrible six months when I was feeling that I could talk; I couldn’t get out more than a sentence.  Not good for a sales consultant!

Then I decided to work with Scott Olsen. Scott was a trainer and we both had similar clients.  I would help him build his pipeline and offering the telesales training as a supplement to his training.  We got off to a great start.  Soon, I realized, that they were actually buying Jill…not me.  I still couldn’t talk!

In the meantime, Jill prepared a speech for me that I wanted to deliver to my friends who got me thought these tough years.  After 6 months of writing (for Jill) …and another 8 months of daily practice (for me), I was able to deliver my speech…1 time…to my audience.

You know how that turned out; you can look at my video clops over the past few years to look at the progress I have made:   https://mybrainllc.com/check-out-this-5-minute-video-clip/

Not being able to talk was my biggest challenge.  Even now, after feeling confident that I had a great conversation,  I cringe with how terrible I sound when I play back the recording.  How could I sound so great…in my head…and turn into sounding so bad.

It is what it is. Thank god for my disability income. I don’t know where I be without the little steam of money coming in each month.

There is ONE thing that DOES bother me:  the loss of my car and the ability to drive:

Image result for 2005 bmw 323i

That BMW was a fantastic car.

Now…I understand the problems I had!

New treatment offers hope for better stroke recovery. Spatial neglect often occurs after damage to the right side of the brain, making it difficult for stroke survivors to see things on their left.

Eating food from only the right side of the plate, shaving or applying make-up to only one side of the face, and running into objects on the left are common traits post stroke and for some survivors current therapies aren’t working.

University of Queensland researchers are leading a world-first project that might help overcome disability that can affect many everyday activities for stroke survivors.

UQ School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences researcher Associate Professor Timothy Carroll said the research would investigate a new therapy in which robots would guide the hand to retrain the stroke survivor’s brain.

“The neuropsychological condition – called spatial neglect – often occurs after damage to the right hemisphere of the brain, making it difficult for stroke survivors to pay attention to the left side of space,” Associate Professor Carroll said.

“Up to 85 per cent of right hemisphere stroke survivors have reduced ability to attend to the left side of space, which can affect many activities.

“A person might fail to eat the food on the left half of their plate, and they might only shave or apply make-up to the left side of their face.

“They may collide with objects or structures such as door frames on their left.

“At present there is no satisfactory treatment for people with spatial neglect.”

One current treatment involves reaching towards visual targets while wearing spectacles containing prisms that shift the entire field of view towards the right.

To reach accurately while wearing the prism spectacles, people with spatial neglect must learn to reach targets on their neglected side.

Dr Carroll said the treatment’s effectiveness varied dramatically for different patients; ranging from long-lasting functional improvement after a single session to no benefit at all.

“We are testing a new approach, in which we use a robot to physically push the person’s hand to one side while they are reaching, instead of using prisms to distort vision,” he said.

“We hope to show that learning to move straight when the robot pushes the hand to one side will help people with neglect to better orient attention to the left side of space.

“This will help us to better understand the links between attention and movement after stroke, and may lead to new rehabilitation approaches for stroke survivors with attention deficits in the future.”

Stroke Foundation figures show that more than 475,000 Australians were living with the effects of stroke in 2017, with this number predicted to rise to one million by 2050.

The UQ researchers are looking for stroke survivors with damage to the right hemisphere to participate in a single two-hour testing session at UQ’s St Lucia campus in Brisbane.

Volunteers must be able to sit in a stable position for an hour, have no significant vision impairments (normal spectacles are fine), and be able to effectively reach to objects with their right arm.

Those interested in participating should email Dr Carroll on timothy.carroll@uq.edu.au, or call UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences on +61 7 3365 6240.

Media: Associate Professor Timothy Carroll, timothy.carroll@uq.edu.au, 0431 530 339, Kirsten O’Leary, UQ Communications, k.oleary@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 7436.

20-Something Stroke Survivor On Recovery

 

Nina Mitchell was 26 years old when she suffered a massive stroke that robbed her of her speech and mobility. After surgery, months in the hospital and a grueling, yearslong regimen of physical and speech therapy, Mitchell — now 41 — is a successful writer, blogger, wife and mother.

Mitchell (@mindpop) joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to tell her story.

Interview Highlights

On having a stroke at 26 years old

“There are various kinds of stroke. There’s the older people stroke, which tends to err on people who have high blood pressure and various other things. But then there’s another kind, and that tends to skew younger. It’s called hemorrhagic stroke. People with the more common kind of stroke have a clot in their brain. People with my kind of stroke have a bleed in the brain. So it’s just blood that leaks out into the gray matter itself.”

On having a smaller stroke prior to the massive one

“I had one that was about golf ball-size, which is not tiny, but that was being monitored. And then at this friend’s wedding, I just felt very strange. So I went home and then I called my parents, which was probably a good sign that something was very odd. My parents lived in Los Angeles, and they suggested that I go to a friend’s house for the night, given my history. And all my friends were at this wedding. So the only person who was home was my ex-boyfriend. And the next morning, I was just not making sense.”

“Your mind is so important to you, and it disappeared in my case for a while. And when it came back, it wasn’t the same as it had been.”

Nina Mitchell

On symptoms she noticed prior to the stroke

“I had had problems typing, and I went to see a hand doctor, and she looked at me and said, ‘Oh, you don’t have carpal tunnel. But I’ll refer you to a neurologist, maybe you had a nerve injury.’ A few days later I went to see the neurologist, and he looked at me and said, ‘Go get an MRI immediately,’ because he noticed all kinds of things that I had just not picked up on. He noticed that it was hard for me to balance on my right leg, on my heels. Things like that where, I hadn’t noticed that. I had asked the neurologist, ‘What are we talking about,’ and he said, ‘Well, [multiple sclerosis], a brain tumor or a stroke, and stroke is the best possible option.'”

On talking with her son about how the stroke affected her

“I don’t really talk to him directly about it. But there’s plenty of things that he picks up on, just as a little kid. And I’m sure at times in the future, he’s going to notice. Right now there are little things like, you know, mom has trouble opening those really annoying pouches, like the baby pouches. Daddy does it better and faster if you’re hungry.”

On the phrase “mindpop,” also the name of her blog

“Your mind is so important to you, and it disappeared in my case for a while. And when it came back, it wasn’t the same as it had been. I just think of that as a good catchall for all the things that have changed.”

On experiencing grief over having a stroke at a young age

“Especially early on, when my lot of my friends were on the make: they were off to grad school and starting companies and writing books. That was very hard to watch that happen, because I had to stop and do rehab for years, while my other friends were, you know, discovering planets. But I think I sort of see my life as having ups and downs. I’m definitely in an up period. I have a lovely son, I have a lovely husband, I work. So it’s all very exciting.”