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Too Much, Too Little Fish Increases Irregular Heartbeat Risk

ATHENS, Greece (UPI) — Eating too little or too much fish may increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, Danish researchers say.

Dr. Thomas Rix and colleagues from Aalborg University Hospital in Denmark found a U-shaped association between consumption of marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids — n-3 PUFA — and the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat, with people who have both low and high intakes found to suffer more from atrial fibrillation than those with median intakes.

However, the study, presented at the European Heart Rhythm Association EUROPACE Congress in Athens, found the lowest risk of atrial fibrillation was found in those who consumed about two servings of fatty fish per week.

“Since atrial fibrillation is present in more than 6 million people in Europe and associated with considerable morbidity, mortality and economic costs, preventing atrial fibrillation by achievable dietary changes would be of major public interest,” Rix said in a statement.Robotic pet increased pleasure of dementia patientsMonday, June 24, 2013 11:52 PMBRISBANE, Australia, June 25 (UPI) –  A robotic harp seal increased quality of life, increased levels of pleasure and reduced anxiety of dementia patients, Australian researchers say.

Professor Wendy Moyle from Griffith University in Australia, Professor Glenda Cook of Northumbria University and researchers from institutions in Germany investigated the effect of interacting with PARO, a robotic harp seal, compared with participation in a reading group.

PARO is fitted with artificial intelligence software and tactile sensors that allow it to respond to touch and sound. It can show emotions such as surprise, happiness and anger, can learn its own name and learns to respond to words its owner uses frequently, Moyle said.

Eighteen participants living in a residential aged care facility in Queensland, Australia, took part in activities with PARO for five weeks and also participated in a control reading group activity for the same period.

Following both trial periods the impact was assessed, using recognized clinical dementia measurements, for how the activities had influenced the participants’ quality of life, tendency to wander, level of apathy, levels of depression and anxiety ratings.

Research has already shown interaction with animals can have a beneficial effect on older adults, but they can place residents at risk of infection or injury and create additional duties for nursing staff.

This latest study suggests PARO companions elicit a similar response and could potentially be used in residential settings to help reduce some of the symptoms of dementia such as agitation, aggression, isolation and loneliness.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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