Research in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that a fraction of suicides could be blamed on traumatic brain injuries. Researchers in Denmark found that about 10 percent of those who died by suicide also suffered a medically documented traumatic brain injury. “Individuals with mild TBI, with concussion, had an elevated suicide risk by 81 percent,” said Trine Madsen of the Danish Research Institute of Suicide Prevention. “But individuals with severe TBI had a higher suicide risk that was more than double” the risk of someone with no TBI.

 

Quitting smoking trumps weight gain

If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may seem like you’re trading one set of health problems for another. But compared with smokers, even the quitters who gained the most weight had at least a 50 percent lower risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and other causes, a Harvard-led study found. Dr. Qi Sun, one the study’s authors, said, “Regardless of the amount of weight gain, quitters always have a lower risk of dying.”

 

Sitting for hours affects blood flow to brain

Sitting for hours can slow the flow of blood to our brains, said a finding that could have implications for long-term brain health. But getting up and strolling for just two minutes every half-hour seems to stave off this decline. Scientists found that brain blood flow dropped when people sat for four continuous hours. It was equally apparent when people broke up their sitting after two hours, although blood flow rose during the walking break. But brain blood flow rose slightly when the four hours included frequent, two-minute walking breaks, the scientists found.

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