Health journalist Judy Foreman talks about her new book Exercise Is Medicine: How Physical Activity Boosts Health and Slows Aging
This is Scientific American’s Science Talk, posted on April 24th, 2020. I’m Steve Mirsky. And under our current, often locked-down situation, it’s still really important to try to get some exercise. Judy Foreman is the author of the new book Exercise is Medicine: How Physical Activity Boosts Health and Slows Aging. She’s a former nationally syndicated health columnist for the Boston Globe, LA times, Baltimore Sun and other places, and an author for the Oxford University Press.
Judy Foreman is the author of “A Nation in Pain” (2014), “The Global Pain Crisis” (2017), and “Exercise is Medicine,” (2020), all published by Oxford University Press, and was a staff writer at The Boston Globe for 22 years and the health columnist for many of these years. Her column was syndicated in national and international outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, Baltimore Sun and others.
She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College and has a Master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was a Lecturer on Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School and a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She spent six months as a guest reporter for The Times of London. She was also a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. She was also host of a live, weekly call-in radio show on Healthtalk.com.
Judy has won more than 50 journalism awards, including a 1998 George Foster Peabody award for co-writing a video documentary about a young woman dying of breast cancer and the 2015 Science in Society award from the National Association of Science Writers.
Conclusion: The study was inconclusive with respect to potential differences in progression of individual radiographic features after surgical and non-surgical treatment for degenerative meniscal tear. Further, we found no strong evidence in support of differences in development of incident radiographic knee osteoarthritis or patient-reported outcomes between exercise therapy and arthroscopic partial meniscectomy.
Objective: To evaluate progression of individual radiographic features 5 years following exercise therapy or arthroscopic partial meniscectomy as treatment for degenerative meniscal tear.
Design: Randomized controlled trial including 140 adults, aged 35-60 years, with a magnetic resonance image verified degenerative meniscal tear, and 96% without definite radiographic knee osteoarthritis. Participants were randomized to either 12-weeks of supervised exercise therapy or arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. The primary outcome was between-group difference in progression of tibiofemoral joint space narrowing and marginal osteophytes at 5 years, assessed semi-quantitatively by the OARSI atlas. Secondary outcomes included incidence of radiographic knee osteoarthritis and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, medial tibiofemoral fixed joint space width (quantitatively assessed), and patient-reported outcome measures. Statistical analyses were performed using a full analysis set. Per protocol and as treated analysis were also performed.
Results: The risk ratios (95% CI) for progression of semi-quantitatively assessed joint space narrowing and medial and lateral osteophytes for the surgery group were 0.89 (0.55-1.44), 1.15 (0.79-1.68) and 0.77 (0.42-1.42), respectively, compared to the exercise therapy group. In secondary outcomes (full-set analysis) no statistically significant between-group differences were found.
Exercise physiologists are healthcare professionals that work with patients who are deconditioned or have a variety of different health complications. They work with pulmonary and cardiac patients, as well as competitive athletes with a wide range of fitness issues.
Penn Medicine’s Christopher J. Kusmiesz, MS describes his role as “assessing a patient’s fitness level and providing recommendations and guidance so they can improve and reach their health and fitness goals.”
Exercise physiologists at Penn uses patient test results, recommendations from their cardiologist and the patient’s own goals to create an exercise program that is unique to each patient.
On the Mayo Clinic Radio program, Dr. Todd Miller, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, explains how exercise affects the heart. This interview originally aired Feb. 22, 2020. Learn more about exercise and the heart: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-li…
This presentation by Julia Browne, PhD, a clinical and research fellow in the Center of Excellence for Psychosocial and Systemic Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School was part of Schizophrenia Education Day 2019.
Researchers have also documented clear links between aerobic exercise and benefits to other parts of the brain, including expansion of the prefrontal cortex, which sits just behind the forehead. Such augmentation of this region has been tied to sharper executive cognitive functions, which involve aspects of planning, decision-making and multitasking—abilities that, like memory, tend to decline with healthy aging and are further degraded in the presence of Alzheimer’s. Scientists suspect that increased connections between existing neurons, rather than the birth of new neurons, are responsible for the beneficial effects of exercise on the prefrontal cortex and other brain regions outside the hippocampus.
The investigators discovered that patients with a higher genetic risk for depression were more likely to be diagnosed with depression over the next 2 years. However, more physically active patients at baseline were less likely to depression, even after they accounted for genetic risks.
Increasing physical activity could pay dividends for people with a high risk of developing depression.
A team from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) recently discovered that several hours of weekly exercise result in a decreased chance to be diagnosed with a new episode of depression, even in patients with a higher genetic risk of developing Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
The team examined the genomic and electronic health record (EHR) data of approximately 8000 patients in the Partners Healthcare Biobank, which represents the first study to show how physical activity influences depression despite genetic risk.
“People with heart failure cannot do everything that a healthy individual can, so the question becomes how much exercise can they handle and what type of impact will it have on their health,” Emter said. “We found that regardless of intensity level, some type of physical activity was good for heart health compared to no exercise at all.”
Now, research from the University of Missouri has found exercise can improve the health of blood vessels in the heart for people with heart failure. The finding is based on a study looking at swine, which have very similar blood vessels and heart muscles — both structurally and functionally — as humans.
“Living a healthy lifestyle may help offset a person’s genetic risk of dementia, according to new research.
The study was led by the University of Exeter – simultaneously published today in JAMA and presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2019 in Los Angeles. The research found that the risk of dementia was 32 per cent lower in people with a high genetic risk if they had followed a healthy lifestyle, compared to those who had an unhealthy lifestyle.
Participants with high genetic risk and an unfavourable lifestyle were almost three times more likely to develop dementia compared to those with a low genetic risk and favourable lifestyle.”