Publisher’s Words Jan – Apr 2022

It has been four months since our last DBM issue. The world has changed a lot since then, yet it is still very much the same. Omicron cases peaked in early January in British Columbia and then steadily decreased. As a result, the mask mandate (in most settings) was lifted in late March and the vaccine passport requirement ended on April 8th

As expected, COVID-19 did not disappear and continues to mutate as all viruses do. Now, there are talks of a 6th wave and governments are approving the 2nd booster dose (the 4th shot) for the vulnerable. Whether more booster shots are truly necessary and if they will truly provide further protection beyond the 2nd shot are topics hotly debated among the scholars. Regardless, I suspect that COVID-19 boosters will eventually become an annual pre-winter recommended vaccination by most governments, and may even be combined or co-administered with flu shots.

Enough about COVID-19. We should get back to talking about other interesting medical research again or other issues that may impact clinicians and patients. 

Have you heard tales that people’s hair turned grey overnight after a stressful or traumatic event?  Overnight  greying of hair is highly unlikely however, researchers have found the mechanism by which stress can turn hair grey1.It is definitely possible for prolonged stress to accelerate the greying process.  Is this process reversible? Possibly. It appears that stress-induced hair greying is potentially reversible if the stressor is removed or resolved2. This begs the question: is aging partially due to life stress?  And is it reversible (partially)?

Martin Kwok, ND. DrTCM

  1. Zhang, B., Ma, S., Rachmin, I. et al. Hyperactivation of sympathetic nerves drives depletion of melanocyte stem cells. Nature 577, 676–681 (2020).
  2. Rosenberg AM, Rausser S, Ren J, Mosharov EV, Sturm G, Ogden RT, Patel P, Kumar Soni R, Lacefield C, Tobin DJ, Paus R, Picard M. Quantitative mapping of human hair greying and reversal in relation to life stress. Elife. 2021 Jun 22;10:e67437. doi: 10.7554/eLife.67437.