Kris Jenner Shared Her Experience Having a Mammogram and Breast Ultrasound on Instagram

Getting a mammogram isn’t necessarily everyone’s favorite appointment, but Kris Jenner took hers as an opportunity to shed light on what the process is actually like. Jenner shared her experience getting a mammogram and breast ultrasound on Instagram and urged her fans to take some time to look out for their own health.

“I spent my morning at Cedars Sinai Medical Center with this little baby today…just reminding everyone to go get their Mammogram!!” she wrote.

“So important and can save lives. My Mom MJ is a breast cancer survivor and so are dozens of my friends,” she continued in the caption. “Do this in honor of your loved ones I know all of us have someone in our lives who have dealt with cancer. Love you guys!!! ❤️🙏❤️🙏”

In a second post, she followed up with some of the details of her procedure, which involved an ultrasound along with the mammogram. “Ok guys, thank you for all of your comments about my mammogram… so after i had the mammogram this morning I also got a breast Ultrasound with this machine, just to double triple check,” she wrote. “…this took about 15 minutes each side and gets under the arm, breast and nearer the chest in the middle … didn’t hurt at all just some pressure…and very thorough…some of you mentioned even more extensive testing so i thought i would share. #informationispower #bilateralbreastultrasound”

While mammograms are a fairly common and well-known test for most people with breasts, other testing isn’t as commonly talked about.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women with average risks for breast cancer get mammograms every other year starting at age 50. But for some patients, including those with dense breasts, additional testing may be necessary on top of a mammogram.

That could mean an MRI, 3-D mammogram, or ultrasound. “We know anecdotally that ultrasound occasionally finds cancer that was missed on a mammogram,” Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, previously told SELF. “But very frequently, ultrasound misses cancers that were found on a mammogram,” he noted, which is why it can be imperative for many women to get both.

Above all, chat with your doctor about your risks and your screening options.


Frequent sauna bathing has many health benefits

Sauna bathing is an activity used for the purposes of pleasure, wellness, and relaxation. Emerging evidence suggests that beyond its use for pleasure, sauna bathing may be linked to several health benefits. A new report published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that sauna bathing is associated with a reduction in the risk of vascular diseases, such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, neurocognitive diseases, nonvascular conditions, such as pulmonary diseases, mental health disorders, and mortality. Furthermore, sauna bathing alleviated conditions such as skin diseases, arthritis, headache, and flu. The evidence also suggests that regular sauna baths are associated with a better health-related quality of life.

The research team led by scientists from the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Eastern Finland, and the University of Bristol conducted a comprehensive literature review on the effects of Finnish sauna baths on health outcomes. Finnish sauna bathing is characterized by exposure to high environmental temperature (80 degrees C-100 degrees C) for a brief period.

Findings from this comprehensive literature review also suggest that the health benefits of sauna bathing are linked to the effects of sauna on circulatory, respiratory, cardiovascular, and immune functions. Regular sauna bathing stabilizes the autonomic nervous system, reduces blood pressure, inflammation, oxidative stress, circulation of bad cholesterol, arterial stiffness, and vascular resistance. Moreover, sauna bathing contributes to beneficial levels of circulating hormones and other cardiovascular markers. The physiological responses produced by an ordinary sauna bath correspond to those produced by moderate- or high-intensity physical activity such as walking.

The same research team has published several experimental studies demonstrating the beneficial effects of short-term sauna exposure on blood pressure, specific cardiovascular biomarkers, inflammation, arterial compliance, and cardiovascular function. The feelings of relaxation and promotion of mental health and well-being associated with sauna sessions may be linked to the increased production of circulating levels of hormones such as endorphins, the research team reported. The review also reports that sauna bathing produces beneficial changes that are equivalent to those produced by physical activity. Indeed, the research team has shown in their previous studies that a combination of sauna bathing and physical activity might have added health benefits compared with each activity alone.

This review emphasized that sauna bathing has a good safety profile and can even be used in patients with stable cardiovascular disease. Hot Finnish sauna baths have been shown to be hemodynamically well tolerated without the occurrence of complex ventricular arrhythmias in patients with heart diseases.

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Nine out of 10 people caring for a family member with dementia don’t get enough sleep

More than 90 percent of people caring for a family member with dementia experience poor sleep, according to new research by the University at Buffalo School of Nursing.

The study found that most participants got less than six hours of sleep each night, accompanied by frequent awakenings as often as four times per hour.

These disruptions can lead to chronic sleep deprivation and place caregivers at risk for depression, weight gain, heart disease and premature death, says lead author Yu-Ping Chang, PhD, Patricia H. and Richard E. Garman Endowed Professor in the UB School of Nursing.

“Though memory loss is the best-known symptom of dementia, more than 80 percent of people with dementia will also experience sleep disturbances, anxiety and wandering” says Chang, also the associate dean for research and scholarship in the School of Nursing.

“These disruptions have negative effects on caregivers’ health, which in turn will diminish their ability to provide optimal care.”

Nearly 6 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease. However, the effects are felt by the more than 16 million people, often family members, providing unpaid care, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Past research has found that between 50 and 70 percent of caregivers have sleep complaints, but the data used in those studies was self-reported. Few researchers have taken objective measurements to gain a more accurate picture of caregiver sleep quality, says Chang.

The study, published in July in Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, analyzed the sleep of 43 people serving as the primary caregiver for a family member with dementia. All participants were over the age of 50 and lived in the Western New York region.

Participants were given an actigraphy watch (a sensor worn on the wrist) to measure sleep time, efficiency, and awakenings in their home over seven days.

Caregivers were also required to complete a sleep diary for themselves and their care recipients, and self-assessments on depression, burden of care, sleep quality and sleep hygiene — behaviors that may interfere with sleep such as daytime naps, exercise and watching television before bed.

The researchers found that nearly 92 percent of participants experienced poor sleep quality, awoke frequently and slept less than six hours per night — below the recommended total of seven or eight hours per night.

Poor sleep hygiene was found to increase sleep latency, or the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Although caregivers self-reported taking an average of 30 minutes to fall asleep, data collected from the actigraphy watches showed a longer sleep latency of 40 minutes.

The results, says Chang, highlight the gap between caregivers’ subjective perception and objective measurements of their sleep quality.

“Understanding how well caregivers are sleeping and the variables that affect them is an important first step toward the development of tailored and effective treatment,” says Chang. “This would help the millions of caregivers receive the optimum sleep needed to protect their health and continue to provide quality care.”

Additional investigators include Rebecca Lorenz, PhD, associate professor in the UB School of Nursing; and Hsi-Ling Peng, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Nursing at Cardinal Tien College of Healthcare and Management in Taiwan.

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Materials provided by University at Buffalo. Original written by Marcene Robinson. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Makeup of an individual’s gut bacteria may play role in weight loss

A preliminary study published in the August issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggests that, for some people, specific activities of gut bacteria may be responsible for their inability to lose weight, despite adherence to strict diet and exercise regimens.

“We know that some people don’t lose weight as effectively as others, despite reducing caloric consumption and increasing physical activity,” says Purna Kashyap, M.B.B.S., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and co-senior author of the study. Dr. Kashyap and his colleagues wondered if there may be other factors at work that prevented these patients from responding to traditional weight-loss strategies.

“Gut bacteria have the capacity to break down complex food particles, which provides us with additional energy. And this is normally is good for us,” says Vandana Nehra, M.D, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and co-senior author of the study. “However, for some individuals trying to lose weight, this process may become a hindrance.” Drs. Kashyap, Nehra and their colleagues decided to test if certain functions performed by gut bacteria that provide people with more energy may be responsible for the inability of some individuals to lose weight.

The Mayo Clinic research team collected and analyzed gut bacteria samples from a group of 26 participants enrolled in the Mayo Clinic Obesity Treatment Research Program between August and September 2013. They found that gut bacteria among individuals who did not lose weight were different from gut bacteria in patients who lost weight. Specifically, the bacteria Phascolarctobacterium was associated with weight loss success, while the bacteria Dialister was associated with failure to lose weight. More importantly, the increased ability to use certain carbohydrates was associated with failure to lose as much weight. “This suggested to us that gut bacteria may possibly be an important determinant of weight loss in response to diet and lifestyle changes,” Dr. Kashyap says.

Dr. Kashyap emphasizes that this is a preliminary finding in a small study, and more research is needed to confirm the role of gut bacteria in weight loss. “While we need to replicate these findings in a bigger study, we now have an important direction to pursue in terms of potentially providing more individualized strategies for people who struggle with obesity,” Dr. Kashyap says.

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Women seeing baby animals have a reduced appetite for meat

Images of baby animals reduces people’s appetite for meat say researchers, who found that the effect is much stronger for women than for men.

Animal rights groups often use images of lambs and calves but there has been little evidence for their effectiveness in their campaigns.

Psychologists Dr Jared Piazza and Dr Neil McLatchie of Lancaster University in the UK with Cecilie Olesen of University College London exposed men and women to images of calves, baby “joey” kangaroos, piglets and lambs and tested whether this affected their desire for meat.

“We found that both men and women find baby farmed animals to be cute and vulnerable, and experience feelings of tenderness and warmth towards them.”

But these positive feelings affect men and women differently, with men experiencing much less reduction in their appetite for meat as a result.

“Feeling tenderness towards a baby animal appears to be an oppositional force on appetite for meat for many people, especially women.”

Dr Piazza said this could be because women still often assume the role of caregivers — even today and even in contemporary western society.

“Our findings may reflect women’s greater emotional attunement towards babies and, by extension, their tendency to empathise more with baby animals. Also, meat is associated with masculinity and images of tough men who consume meat for muscle building protein, along with prehistoric ideas of the male as hunter. Women have a much more ambivalent attitude towards meat and their identity is not bound up with it in the same way.”

He said the study implied that animal advocacy groups would be wise to focus on images of cute baby animals in their publicity, particularly when focused on young women.

The researchers first presented participants to an image of a cooked meat dish paired with an image from either a familiar animal (calf or bull) or exotic animal (baby or adult kangaroo). The participants were told the meat came from the animal depicted.

“We found that men and women differed in how appetising they considered the meat dishes when the meat was paired with a baby animal image, with women’s appetite for meat much lower than men’s appetite, regardless of whether the meat was from a familiar or exotic source.”

A follow up study asked people to rate their appetite for meat when presented with an image of either a calf, cow or no animal.

The meat dish became less appetising after people had looked at images of the calf while there was little difference in terms of whether they had previously looked at images of the cow or no animal at all.

Overall, the effect of looking at an image of a baby animal was stronger for women compared to men.

The researchers say this is in line with previous research showing the women are more responsive to cute babies, and more ambivalent about meat-eating than men.

“Our results highlight a tension within some omnivores between caring for baby animals and appetite for meat.”

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Distrust of power influences choice of medical procedures

First World countries have well-developed healthcare systems that employ medical regimens that have been empirically demonstrated to be effective. Despite this, many individuals, also in Germany, prefer to resort to the techniques used in complementary and alternative medicine, even though they may have been expressly warned against these. According to recent research, this may be associated with a potent underlying predisposition to believe in conspiracy theories, a trait known as a conspiracy mentality. “We have identified a significant correlation,” said Pia Lamberty of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). “The more pronounced the conspiracy mentality of a person, the more that individual will tend to display a positive attitude towards alternative concepts and reject the use of conventional medical treatments such as vaccination and antibiotic therapy.” This factor is something that needs to be taken into account in preventive healthcare and medical intervention programs.

Psychologists consider a so-called conspiracy mentality to be a stable personality characteristic. Individuals with a strong proclivity to believe in conspiracy theories suspect that the world is actually controlled by hidden elites. This is presumably because these individuals themselves have the feeling that they have little or no control over what happens around them. Interestingly, there are numerous conspiracy theories that relate to the world of medicine, the distrust of vaccines being just one example. It is not a new phenomenon but has been apparent for some time. In the case of vaccination, the two groups of those who repudiate it and those who sanction it are completely at loggerheads.

Medical approaches outside the mainstream are also finding favor in other contexts. Data collected recently shows that almost 26 percent of Europeans employed complementary or alternative medical remedies at least once in a particular 12-month period, whereby the most popular were homeopathic and naturopathic medications. This popularity is all the more puzzling as science has to date not verified that homeopathy, as a case in point, has any detectable therapeutic benefits apart from the placebo effect.

With this in view, Pia Lamberty and Professor Roland Imhoff of JGU’s Institute of Psychology have undertaken several studies with the aim of analyzing the connection between belief in conspiracy theories and the preference for alternative forms of medicine. They asked 392 study participants in Germany and 204 in the USA about their attitudes to a total of 37 different forms of treatment, from aromatherapy, Bach flower remedies, hypnosis, and yoga through to the use of antibiotics and blood transfusion. Among other things, the subjects were required to specify how often they used the treatment in question and how effective they considered it to be. “In Germany, we found there was a clear-cut, remarkably close interdependence between a conspiracy mindset and the tendency to prefer alternative medical treatments,” Lamberty pointed out. A similar correlation was identified in the USA, but there it was less well-defined.

Conspiracy mentality influences important decisions relating to health

In two further studies, this result was confirmed. Here it was also demonstrated that the psychological link between a conspiracy mentality seen in terms of a political outlook and a preference for non-conventional medicine was based on a distrust of power structures. “Anything considered to have power and influence, such as the pharmaceutical industry, is treated as being highly dubious by conspiracy theorists,” explained Lamberty. In one of the studies, the participants should decide about the approval of a fictitious herbal drug against anxiety, gastritis, and mild depression. Subjects with a strong conspiracy mentality rated the fictitious drug HTP 530 as more positive and effective if it was developed by a group of patients considered powerless than by a pharmaceutical consortium.

For Pia Lamberty and Roland Imhoff the ramification of this with regard to healthcare is that this generalized distrust of power structures can influence the way that people make decisions regarding their own medical treatments. “An individual’s understanding of his or her illness and choice of treatment may thus depend on ideology-related personality traits much more than on rational considerations,” the two authors wrote in their article published in Social Psychology. A conspiracy mentality can thus actually determine what patients believe to be the real cause of their disorder, what they consider to be its initial symptoms and physiological effects, and whom or what they select for their treatment.

However, the two Mainz-based psychologists stress that their results should not be interpreted to mean that, by implication, it is also the case that everyone who uses alternative therapies also believes in conspiracy theories.

After completing her research into the relevance of conspiracy theories to medicine, Pia Lamberty is now writing her dissertation on the subject of the role played by conspiracy theories in radicalization processes. For this purpose, she will be spending a year at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where she will be financed by a Minerva Fellowship.

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What Are Dragon Flags? Kate Upton’s Trainer Shares One of His Favorite Core Exercises

If you’ve never heard of dragon flags, you’re not alone. Me from yesterday raises hand. Though the term may sound like a medieval mascot, it’s actually a super challenging—and effective—total-body move that celebrity trainer Ben Bruno ranks as one of his favorite core exercises.

Bruno, whose clients include Kate Upton, Chelsea Handler, and Victoria’s Secret model Barbara Fialho, among others, uploaded an Instagram video yesterday of him demo’ing the move, which you can check out, via @benbrunotraining, here:

“It’s a very old-school move,” Mark DiSalvo, NYC-based certified strength and conditioning specialist, tells SELF, describing its ties to martial arts. (It’s said to be one of Bruce Lee’s signature moves). “It probably fell out of favor because it’s so challenging.”

This seriously tough move is great for total-body strengthening, particularly in the core, back, and shoulders.

The powerhouses in this move are the muscles in the anterior core (the front of the core), says DiSalvo, including the rectus abdominis (what you think of when you think “abs”), as well as the obliques (muscles on the sides of your stomach). It also works your transverse abdominis (the deepest ab muscle that wraps around your sides and spine) and hip flexors, Mike Clancy, certified strength and conditioning specialist, tells SELF. “This is by and large an ab-isolation exercise,” he says.

That said, it’s not all core. Maintaining the proper upper-body positioning also requires serious shoulder, upper-back, lower-back, and grip strength, DiSalvo adds.

As DiSalvo mentioned and as Bruno states in the caption, this move is super challenging (“I hope nothing funny happens in the next few days because my abs are too sore to laugh,” Bruno writes), primarily because it requires supreme tension from nearly every part of your body, explains DiSalvo.

A full dragon flag involves maintaining said tension throughout your entire body as you move it both down (eccentrically) and then back up (concentrically). As Bruno writes on Instagram, this OG version is “simply too hard for most people and even those who are strong enough to do them tend to feel it in the lower back.” That’s why he typically sticks with the eccentric-only version (what he demos in the video), “which gives very similar benefits with much less risk.”

To understand the intensity of dragon flags—whether you’re doing the full version or Bruno’s eccentric-only version—you can think of the move as a plank, but with only two points of contact with the ground, instead of four, explains DiSalvo, which makes it much more difficult. The move is also exponentially tougher than a plank because it involves slow, controlled movements (as explained above), as opposed to just holding a static position, he adds.

To do this full move while keeping your legs straight the entire time, you need strength and flexibility in both your spine and hip flexors, as well as strength in your core, explains Clancy. If you don’t have that expert-level combo—which most of us probably don’t—you’ll likely need to bend your knees to some degree and/or limit your range of motion. (More on those regressions below.)

The dragon flag has direct applications in several sports.

Compared to other core moves, like crunches and sit-ups, dragon flags are “more integrative and relevant to a variety of sports,” says DiSalvo, like martial arts, yoga, and boxing. (Hence Bruno’s shoutout to Lee and Rocky in the caption). With dragon flags, “you’ll get a good deal of understanding of how you move within your sport,” DiSalvo explains.

By slowly and steadily lowering yourself down, you are teaching yourself how to indirectly brace yourself against impact by developing and maintaining tension around your core, which translates especially well to sports like martial arts and boxing, explains Clancy, where you need a rigid core to withstand kicks and punches.

The move also teaches you how to move your spine in small increments and not just “as a block,” Clancy adds. This improves your back’s capacity for movement and overall functioning. What’s more, the move is also a great test of your proprioception, or your body’s ability to know where it is in space, says DiSalvo.

Here’s how do to Bruno’s version of the move, plus tips for making it more beginner-friendly.

  • Start by lying on your back on the floor, with your head next to a fixed anchor, like the weighted pole in Bruno’s video. You can also lie on an exercise bench, though only attempt this if you have good balance, as you don’t want to topple over.
  • Firmly grab onto the anchor or the back of the bench with both hands and bend your knees and bring them into your chest. Keeping your legs still, engage your upper body and rock back to lift your hip toward the ceiling. Your butt and lower back should rise off the ground.
  • From this position (you should be in what looks like a yoga shoulder stand), try straightening your legs. If you can’t (don’t feel bad—most people won’t be able to, says Clancy), keep your knees bent. If you feel any tension in your lower back, bend your knees more until the tension dissipates. You’ll still get benefits even if your knees are bent all the way into your chest, says Clancy.
  • Once you’ve found the appropriate positioning with your legs, slowly begin lowering yourself down, segment by segment, from your shoulder blades all the way down to the top of your butt.
  • As each segment lowers, think about pressing it completely flat against the floor so that there is no space between the floor and your body.
  • When the top of your butt hits the floor, you are done. Relax for 10 to 15 seconds, and then try the move again.

As you attempt this move, “go as slow as you can,” says DiSalvo. He also recommends attempting it no more than three to five times with ample rest in between each rep. Although you can tack it onto pretty much any workout, “I wouldn’t do this at the end of a back-intensive day,” caveats DiSalvo. “Save it for a day you are [feeling] pretty fresh.”

It’s also important to stick to a range of motion you can control, writes Bruno. For most people, that means only lowering to the halfway point, where you can no longer control the descent. If that’s you, “don’t force it, as you don’t want to hurt your lower back,” he explains. “Just do what you can and work toward controlling the full range of motion over time.”

If you struggle to get up onto your shoulders for the starting position of the move, DiSalvo recommends practicing yoga shoulder stands as a way to get used to putting weight on your upper back and shoulders and also train your core to stay vertically erect. You can also build up relevant core and back strength by doing hanging leg raises, he adds.

On the other hand, if you are able to do the full-on dragon flag with ease (go, you!), you can make it even harder by adding in a flutter kick at the top of the movement, says Clancy. You can also attempt the concentric portion of the move by slowly raising your body back up to the starting position, segment by segment, though keep in mind that this will be very difficult for most people and includes increased risk for back injury, writes Bruno.

The bottom line: “Even with bent knees and a partial range of motion this is still a great exercise that can be easily modified to different levels,” writes Bruno. And with that, you can move dragon flags from the “never heard of” category to “absolutely trying.”

Sunscreen chemicals in water may harm fish embryos

For most people, a trip to the beach involves slathering on a thick layer of sunscreen to protect against sunburn and skin cancer. However, savvy beachgoers know to reapply sunscreen every few hours because it eventually washes off. Now researchers, reporting in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology, have detected high levels of sunscreen chemicals in the waters of Shenzhen, China, and they also show that the products can affect zebrafish embryo development.

A painful sunburn can ruin a vacation, and too much sun can also lead to more serious problems like premature skin aging and melanoma. Therefore, manufacturers have added ultraviolet (UV) filters to many personal care products, including sunscreens, moisturizers and makeup. Scientists have detected these substances in the environment, but most studies have concluded that individual sunscreen chemicals are not present at high-enough levels to harm people or animals. Kelvin Sze-Yin Leung wondered if combinations of UV filters may be more harmful than individual compounds, and whether these chemicals could have long-term effects that previous studies hadn’t considered.

Leung and his team began by analyzing the levels of nine common UV filters in surface waters of Shenzhen, China — a rapidly growing city with more than 20 popular recreational beaches. They found seven of the nine chemicals in Shenzhen waters, including public beaches, a harbor and, surprisingly, a reservoir and tap water. Next, the researchers moved to the lab where they fed zebrafish, a common model organism, brine shrimp that had been exposed to three of the most prevalent chemicals, alone or in mixtures. Although the adult fish had no visible problems, their offspring showed abnormalities. These outcomes were mostly observed for longer-term exposures (47 days) and elevated levels of the chemicals (higher than what is likely to occur in the environment.) The effects of different UV filters and mixtures of these substances varied in often-unpredictable ways, suggesting that further studies are needed to determine how these chemicals impact living systems.

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Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Tech takes on cigarette smoking

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University are using wearable sensor technology to develop an automatic alert system to help people quit smoking.

The smart-phone app, initially limited to android-based operating systems, automatically texts 20- to 120-second video messages to smokers when sensors detect specific arm and body motions associated with smoking.

There is no shortage of products or programs — from nicotine gum to hypnosis — to help people stop smoking. More recently, wearable technology has gained popularity in the fight against addiction.

But the mobile alert system Case Western Reserve researchers are testing may be the first that combines:

  • an existing online platform with mindfulness training and a personalized plan for quitting; * two armband sensors to detect smoking motions, a technology that demonstrated more than 98-percent accuracy in differentiating “lighting up” from other similar motions. (That compares to 72-percent accuracy in systems using a single armband);
  • and a personalized text-messaging service that reminds the user of either their own plan to quit, or sends video messages that stress the health and financial benefits of quitting.

Collaborative effort

The system was conceived, developed and tested over the course of the last year by a team of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science researchers at the Case School of Engineering and a high school intern in collaboration with a clinical psychologist at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

A paper detailing the system and reporting early findings on a group of 10 users was published in a July edition of Smart Health. The researchers said most previous studies have relied on smokers self-reporting how often they smoked, while the Case Western Reserve system more accurately tracked smoking activity based on the sensors.

“We’ve been able to differentiate between a single motion, which could be confused with eating or drinking, and a sequence of motions more clearly linked to the act of smoking a cigarette,” said Ming-Chun Huang, an assistant electrical engineering and computer science professor who led the technical aspect of the study.

The collaboration to develop a technology-enhanced, and personalized mobile-smoking cessation system started after a conversation last summer between Huang, who was looking for a new project for his students, and Monica Webb Hooper of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, who was seeking new ways to help her clients break the habit.

“The field of tobacco control has really adopted mobile technologies because many people won’t come in for therapy,” said Webb Hooper, who has been working on interventions for nearly two decades.

“We were interested in translating one of our programs into a video-based mobile application, but the motion sensors made this even more amazing,” said Webb Hooper, who has extended the study to another 120 smokers — half using the program and a control group using a standard text messaging program without sensors or video messaging.

The addiction problem

Tobacco smoking is responsible for one of every five deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other research has shown there are more than 7,000 chemicals in cigarettes, including carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides in cigarette smoke.

Further, the National Cancer Institute reports that there are 69 known cancer-causing agents in tobacco smoke.

“Tobacco is the toughest of all addictions to overcome and cigarettes are one of the easiest drugs to become addicted to — all it takes is three (cigarettes) for some people,” Webb Hooper said. “And, neurologically, it’s harder to quit because we have more nicotine receptors in the brain. That’s why I’m so excited about this intervention.”