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WELLNEWS: Study links cynicism and dementia

People who tend to be cynical and distrustful may also be more likely to develop dementia, according to a published study by Finnish scientists in the journal Neurology.

by: CREATOR'S SYNDICATE - Dr. Scott LaffeeCynical distrust, defined as believing others are mainly motivated by selfish concerns, has previously been associated with other health problems, such as heart disease. This was the first time it was linked to brain wellness.

The Finnish researchers tested 622 people, average age 71, multiple times over several years to assess levels of dementia and cynicism. In the latter, they were scored on questions like: "It is safer to trust no one."

Of the 164 respondents who tested high for cynicism, 14 developed dementia, compared to nine among the 212 who scored low in cynicism.

"These results add to the evidence that people's views on life and personality may have an impact on their health," says study author Anna-Maija Tolppanen.

Body of knowledge

A knee-jerk reflex takes about 30 milliseconds, or 30 one-thousandths of a second.

Life in Big Macs

One hour of jogging in place burns 544 calories (based on a 150-pound person), or the equivalent of 0.8 Big Macs, or two grande Caffe Lattes from Starbucks.

Stories for the waiting room

Or maybe the restroom just off the waiting room: The average person produces about six cups of urine a day, depending upon liquid intake, perspiration and other variables. Clydesdale horses, on the other hand, urinate more than 4.5 gallons per day and elephants more than 13 gallons, according to Susan Goodman, author of "Gee Whiz! It's All About Pee." Conversely, it takes a dozen mice an entire day to produce a single tablespoon of urine.

Phobia of the week

Clinophobia — fear of going to bed

Never say diet

The Major League Eating speed-eating record for glazed cream-filled doughnuts is 47 in five minutes, held by the glazed, cream-filled Patrick Bertoletti. Warning: Most of these records are held by professional eaters; the rest by people who really should find something better to do.

Hypochondriac's guide

Cotard's syndrome is a rare mental disorder in which patients hold the deluded belief that they are dead (figurative or literally). Variations include believing one doesn't exist, is actively decomposing or has lost internal organs. In some cases, patients contrarily show delusions of immortality.

Observation

"I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous. Everyone hasn't met me yet." — Comedian Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004)

Last words

"I wish I'd drunk more champagne." — British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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