If you believe you can boost either your IQ or even your memory by buying one of those apps that promise to “train” your brain, you may want to hold on to your hard-earned dollars just a tad longer because you may not be getting your money’s worth when you purchase such a program.
At least not according to a recent study published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National (US) Academy of Sciences. Specifically what these researchers concluded by looking at a bunch of studies that measured brain performance after brain training is that although these apps and programs can improve memory or IQ a slight bit, that effect is mainly due to a placebo effect because simply knowing that you’re taking a brain training app is enough to have a small positive effect on your cognitive abilities, which fits what most “memory experts” have been saying for a long time, that is, that the science behind these memory training apps is very scant at best, and that you should be wary about their positive promises.
But if you want to maintain or even improve your brain function, don’t get too discouraged by this news because there is at least one well-established way to do that and that is to do some regular exercise, which has proven time and again to have a positive effect on brain function. Plus, it can be done for free.
Summertime and yes, the living is easy, but on that ever-present other hand, the living can also be hard, especially on your skin – something you all know, I’m sure – but here’s the one you may not know, summertime is also very hard on your eyes.
Why is sunlight bad for your eyes?
Because long-term excess sunlight exposure raises the risk of at least two very common eye disorders.
One is cataracts which are “hardenings” in the lens of the eye (usually in both lenses, of course) and which eventually very often result in the need to have surgery to remove one or both lens.
That risk has been known for a long time but the eye problem linked to sunlight that’s been discovered more recently is macular degeneration (that’s a more recent link), the most common cause of blindness in North American seniors.
So if you want to see well into your senior years, and trust me, you do, you really want to protect your eyes from too much sunlight.
To that end, buy a good pair of sunglasses, and try to wear those sunglasses as often as you can when outside (remember that you still get some UV exposure even on cloudy days), and remember, too, that some surfaces such as water magnify the effect of sunlight on your eyes.
But be especially careful to wear your sunglasses on sunny days even if you are planning on being outside just for a few minutes.
National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day is May 21st #RXDrop2016
National Prescription Drug Drop-off Day aims to promote the safe storage and disposal of prescription drugs and reduce the amount of drugs available in people’s homes for possible abuse and accidental poisonings.
Many prescription drugs that have a high potential for misuse come from the medicine cabinets of friends and families. In addition, improper disposal of unused drugs can have harmful environmental impacts if they end up in the garbage or sewer system. To reduce the potential harms of prescription and over-the-counter medications on individuals, families, communities and the environment, pharmacists recommend cleaning out your medicine cabinet at least once per year.
Five Tips for Cleaning Out Your Medicine Cabinet
- Check expiration dates and remove products that are expired.
Virtually every medication – from vitamins, to prescription medications, to over-the-counter products – have expiry dates. Keep in mind that some products can expire before the date on the label once opened. When in doubt, ask a pharmacist.
- Remove any medication not in its original container.
If you can’t remember what a medication is for or who it was for, get rid of it. As much as possible, keep your medication in its original packaging. Mixing different medications in the same container or storing them outside of their original packaging increases the likelihood of accidental overdose or poisonings.
- Place unwanted and expired drugs in a clear plastic bag.
Medications in blister packs and forms of liquid and cream medications can also be included in the plastic bag.
- Drop off your unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications at London Drugs. These medications will be safely incinerated, preventing them from being abused, entering landfills or the sewer system. London Drugs also recycles medication bottles, lids and medication vials. Please be sure to remove personal information by taking off the label or by using a marker to lack out personal information.
- You can bring your medications to the pharmacy year round.
Unwanted and expired drugs are accepted every day at any London Drugs location, not only on May 21st.
Visit londondrugs.com/medicationdisposal for more information.
Following a successful pilot and first ever oral cancer screening in pharmacy in 2015, London Drugs is committed to bringing the clinics to more locations and will be offering oral health screening clinics at 15 locations in Metro Vancouver between April 25 and May 18, 2016.
“What began as a three clinic trial with a dental professional in collaboration with our pharmacists in April 2015, quickly grew to 12 clinics in a matter of weeks, during our first ever attempt at this program,” explains John Tse, Vice President Pharmacy, London Drugs. “There is clearly demand for the oral screening and continued need for awareness of oral cancer and oral cancer prevention.”
Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world with approximately three people dying of oral cancer every day in Canada. Early detection is crucial. Most oral cancers are diagnosed late when the survival rate is poor.
Attend our Healthy Heart Clinic* and during a one-on-one consultation, our Patient Care Pharmacists will assess your likelihood of developing heart disease, discuss factors that put you at risk and advise how to minimize this risk.
Visit londondrugs.com/healthyheart for more information.
*A finger prick blood sample will be necessary. A small fee applies for this service, for which a tax deductible receipt will be issued.
Zika. You can’t turn on the TV or radio or pick up a newspaper without hearing about it. And phrases such as “global pandemic,” “major health threat,” and “birth defects” can come across as extremely concerning.
So just how scared should you be? For most Canadians, the answer is: not very. Let us help you sort out the facts from the hype.
During your 45-minute one-on-one consultation, your London Drugs Patient Care Pharmacist will begin with a review of your usual eating habits and lifestyle and any concerns you may have. They will then perform a complete body composition analysis that helps you see beyond your weight. Your session will conclude with tips and resources, as well as a personalized eating and physical activity plan towards a healthier lifestyle.
Visit www.londondrugs.com/nutritionclinics to learn more.