Painful Muscle Memory

By Scott LaFee

October 30, 2019 5 min read

Aricept, a drug commonly prescribed to manage cognitive decline in Alzheimer's patients, may be associated with a higher risk of hospitalization. A Canadian study looked at more than 220,000 patients prescribed drugs for managing dementia (about 152,000 took Aricept) and found that while the overall hospitalization rate was low, more people who took Aricept were treated for a type of muscle injury — a known side effect — than those who took other drugs, such as Exelon and Razadyne.

Milky Way

Four leading health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association, have weighed in on what children under the age of 5 should drink. It's the first time there has been a public consensus recommendation. The approved beverages are breast milk, infant formula, water and plain milk.

The groups advocated against any beverage that included added sugars, such as flavored milks and low-calorie or caffeinated drinks. They also noted that plant- and nut-based milks do not offer any unique nutritional benefit over regular milk.

The groups said that children as young as 9 months can develop preferences for flavors, which may last a lifetime, which makes it important to establish healthy taste early in life.

Body of Knowledge

Humans are the only animals who produce tears as a means of expressing emotion, such as grief or joy. Other animals can be tearful, but only to lubricate their eyes.

Get Me That, Stat!

The National Safety Council reports that 51 children in the U.S. have died from heatstroke so far this year after being left or trapped in cars. Last year, 53 children died of heatstroke — a record. Most deaths occur during the warmer summer months, but deaths have been reported as late as September and October.


20: Percentage of bicyclists who say they were injured while wearing a helmet (on the flip side, that means 4 in 5 weren't injured)

28: Percentage of women cyclists who reported wearing a helmet

20: Percentage of male cyclists

Source: Brain Injury

Stories for the Waiting Room

A survey of 6,200 Americans found that men are less knowledgeable about the human papilloma virus and cancers caused by it than women. About half of men surveyed didn't know the HPV vaccine protects against various cancers, while 70% of women knew (with an even higher percentage among women under 45).

Doc Talk

Giant congenital nevus: A dark-colored, often hairy, patch of skin present at birth that grows proportionately with the child. It's the result of localized genetic changes in the fetus that lead to excessive growth of melanocytes on one part of the body. Melanocytes are the cells in skin responsible for its color.

Phobia of the Week

Tetraphobia: Fear of the number 4

Best Medicine

A man walks into the doctor's office.

The doctor says, "I've not seen you for a while."

"Yes," replies the man. "I've been ill."


"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four, unless there are three other people." — Actor and director Orson Welles (1915-1985), whose weight ballooned with age, reportedly exceeding 400 pounds on his 6-foot frame

Ig Nobel Apprised

The Ig Nobel Prizes celebrate achievements that make people laugh and then think — a look at real science that's hard to take seriously and even harder to ignore.

The 2019 Ig Nobel Prize in medicine went to an Italian team of scientists who investigated whether eating pizza could protect against illness and death. Their work, published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, found that pizza did confer some protective effects — if it was made in Italy.


Q: Your thumb is as long as your:

A) Big toe

B) Nose

C) Kneecap

A: B) Nose

Curtain Calls

Francois Vatel, majordomo of Prince Louis II de Bourbon-Conde, was responsible for a banquet of 2,000 people hosted in honor of King Louis XIV at the Chateau de Chantilly. Vatel reportedly became so distraught about the lateness of the seafood delivery and other mishaps that he committed suicide. His body was discovered when someone came to tell him the fish had arrived.

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

Photo credit: RyanMcGuire at Pixabay

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