For Monday, Oct. 30, WGN’s Dina Bair has new medical information, including:

Football & Brain Injury Study

Doctors used pet scans on former NFL players. The brain image showed a clear elevation of a protein associated with brain injury and repair.

The research in the Journal of the American Medical Association closely examined 54 athletes. 

The positron emission tomography imaging revealed levels of (Translocator protein) TSPO in former NFL players were significantly higher than in other elite athletes involved in non-collision sports.  

The high protein levels persisted even after players left the game. 

The NFL players also had lower performance in learning and memory tests. 

Extreme heat projected to increase heart-related deaths

Even though the weather is getting colder now, doctors are still concerned about heat. 

Extreme heat, which is more common now, wreaks havoc on the heart. 

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) issued a warning about the projected rise in cardiovascular-related deaths. 

Researchers say adults ages 65 and older and black adults will be most affected. 

The biggest concern is the expected increase in summer days to 90 degrees or greater. 

All students can benefit from therapy dogs

If you want to feel better, physically or emotionally, spend time cuddling a pup. 

Canine therapy helps people feel better and more optimistic. 

Prior studies have focused on females, but this latest research from the University of British Columbia shows the doggie effect is as powerful for female, male and gender-diverse people. 

Snuggling a dog improves the sense of social and emotional well-being which in turn enhances physical health. 

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