Medical myths unraveled


Sophomore Jalen Murray shares a medical myth.

Medicine and myth are often jumbled together to create old wives tales that are well-known and passed down from generation to generation. To prevent the student body from being misinformed of the difference between fact and fiction, here are a few of the most common and far-fetched myths.

  1. Humans only use 10% of their brains.

People use their brains constantly, even while resting. According to Scientific American, every part of the brain, from the cerebellum to the frontal lobe, is used continuously for everyday activities such as homework or even strolling down the hallway. With millions of neurons acting at all times, it is quite laughable to say humans only use 10% of their brains.  

“I think that’s a myth because if we only use 10% of our brains, what do we do with the other 90%. Is it just nothing?” said senior Wilson Vega.

  1. Going outside in the cold with wet hair causes a cold.

The chilled temperatures will not lead to the annoying symptoms of a cold, but a virus will.

“Rhinovirus actually survives better from late spring through early fall, when humidity is high,” said Jack Gwaltney, a professor at UVA.

  1. The flu vaccination gives recipients the flu.

It is a common misconception that being injected with a flu shot will give the patient influenza. As reported by the Center for Disease Control, anybody who is given the shot is actually being injected with an inactive or dead string of the virus. However, a patient may be confronted with side effects such as headaches, low-grade fevers, soreness of the area where the shot was injected, and sore muscles.

  1.   Fingernails and hair grow after death.

After death the oxygen supply to the brain is depleted. According to dermatologist Doris Day, without that oxygen flow, glucose does not flow to the brain. Therefore, nerve cells and other cells die too quickly. Without the ongoing supply of glucose, new cells cannot be made. As a result, the fingernails and hair of a person who has passed away do not continue to grow.

Overall most medical myths hold no validity and should not be taken literally.