Islamabad - Patients suffering from common flu this season should avoid self-medication and unnecessary use of antibiotic medicines and rely on medical advice.

Talking to APP, a doctor at the government-run Polyclinic Hospital advised patients that only a qualified health practitioner should be approached after getting infected with the flu virus. Nowadays, cases of common flu are on the rise in the federal capital and hundreds of patients visit hospitals to get treatment.

Common flu is a contagious respiratory illness and it spreads from person-to-person and can cause mild to severe illness. Primary symptoms of viral flu are sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever and headache.

Health experts say people with weak immune system generally become the victim of common flu as weather changes. A majority of patients are children and older people, who are more vulnerable to get caught by the seasonal outbreak.

The present flu outbreak in the capital city is a yearly phenomenon and usually occurs between fall and early spring. Precautionary measures should be taken to protect oneself from flu.

Patients should not shake hands with other persons and do not let others share their towels or items like cell phones. The affected persons should eat healthy diet, drink fluids and take proper rest.

Overweight, obesity linked to poorer memory for young adults

It is well established that being overweight can raise the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

But according to a new study, it may also have consequences for cognitive health; researchers found that young adults who were overweight or obese had poorer episodic memory than their healthy-weight peers.

Young adults who are overweight or obese may have poorer episodic memory, new research suggests. Dr Lucy Cheke of the department of psychology at the University of Cambridge, UK, is the study co-author. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 69% of American adults aged 20 and older are overweight or obese, putting them at greater risk for numerous health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

Increasingly, researchers have found that excess weight may also impact brain health. Last September, for example, Medical News Today reported on a study that linked overweight and obesity in midlife to earlier onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

“While the physical health impacts of obesity are increasingly well understood, recent research indicates that there may be a significant psychological element to the obese syndrome,” the authors note, “with proposals that cognitive deficits may occur both as a result of obesity and potentially as a causal factor in its emergence.” Higher BMI linked to poorer performance on memory test

To further investigate this link, Dr. Cheke and colleagues enrolled 50 young adults aged 18-35 to their study, which investigated how body mass index (BMI) may influence episodic memory - the ability to recall past events.

All participants had a BMI of 18-51; a BMI of 18-25 was deemed healthy, 25-30 was considered overweight and 30 or over was classified as obese.

Subjects were required to complete a memory test called the “Treasure-Hunt Task,” which involved hiding a number of objects around complex scenery - such as a desert with palm trees - on a computer screen over a 2-day period.

Participants were then asked to recall which objects they had hidden and when and where they hid them. Compared with participants who had a healthy BMI, the team found that those whose BMI fell into the categories of overweight or obese had a poorer performance on the memory task, with performance worsening as BMI increased.

The researchers say their findings indicate that a higher BMI may lead to structural and functional changes in the brain that reduce the ability to form and recall episodic memories. What is more, the team says reduced episodic memory as a result of higher BMI may also have a negative impact on a person’s ability to adhere to a healthy diet.