A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Reading Remediation Seems to Rewire the Brain

(HealthDay News) Scientists studying the anatomy of children's brains during reading discovered something rather unexpected: Remedial training for poor readers results in a growth of white matter tracts in the brain, and the increase correlates with the level of improvement in sounding out words.

"This is the first evidence for an increase in white matter in response to a remedial behavioral intervention," said lead author Marcel Just, a psychology professor… "It provides evidence that repeated cognitive exercises can alter the cortical connectivity of the human brain."

The finding could have potential beyond enhancing reading ability. If a behavioral intervention can cause brain growth, benefits might be reflected in any number of brain conditions, including autism, stroke, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury, experts say.

Read more.

Community: The finding could have potential beyond all that, too. I think that alcoholics and drug addicts who recover are also making physical changes in their brains. And since I believe that overeating is a form of addiction, that means hope for us overeaters, too. I’m convinced that we can actually rewire our brains.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Physically fit students do better academically too: study

(Reuters Health) Getting students to exercise more might not just address obesity issues but also improve their grades with a U.S. study finding physically fit students tend to score higher in tests than their less fit peers.

Read more.

Community: This is more evidence that physical activity feeds the brain—in all of us, not just in students.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain

(HealthDay News) If you're trying to reduce your sensitivity to pain, Zen meditation may help by actually thickening your brain, new research suggests.

The authors of a new study … reached their conclusions after comparing brain thickness in 17 Zen meditators and a control group of 18 people who didn't meditate and hadn't practiced yoga or suffered from chronic pain, brain disease or mental illness.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Flower Power May Reduce Resistance to Breast Cancer Drug Tamoxifen

(Science Daily) Combining tamoxifen, the world's most prescribed breast cancer agent, with a compound found in the flowering plant feverfew may prevent initial or future resistance to the drug, say researchers…

"A solution to tamoxifen resistance is sorely needed, and if a strategy like this can work, it would make a difference in our clinical care of breast cancer," says the study's lead investigator, Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Enjoying Walnuts

(SouthBeachDiet.com) High in protein and "good" monounsaturated fat, walnuts add a satisfying crunch to many meals and snacks. Walnuts are not only rich in flavor, but they also offer valuable health benefits. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, walnuts — unlike other nuts — also contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

[Eating walnuts] can help lower total blood cholesterol and triglycerides, and they tackle that bad LDL cholesterol without affecting levels of good HDL cholesterol…

Walnuts are perishable and will spoil over time — particularly if they're exposed to heat, humidity, and light. To prevent nuts from spoiling, keep them in a cool, dry place. Walnuts left in their shells will stay fresh for about six months. Eat shelled nuts within four months. If you want to keep your nuts for a longer period of time, store them in the freezer for up to one year…

You may find walnuts in delicious whole-grain breads in your supermarket. Add some chopped walnuts to salads and dips, or enjoy them whole as a satisfying and tasty snack… [B]ut stick to a daily allotment of 15 — eating more may undermine weight-loss efforts.

Read more.

Community: Walnuts can also be used in pesto, but I much prefer pine nuts.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

MyRecipes.com

Easy Chicken and Rice Recipes:

Baked Chicken and Rice With Black Beans
Online reviewers give this recipe five stars for being an easy weeknight dish. Because it's brimming with veggies in addition to the rice, chicken, beans and cheese, it really is a one-dish meal.

Parmesan Chicken and Rice
This is a great choice for busy weeknights as you can cook the entire recipe in one skillet and because most of the ingredients are items that are easy to keep on hand in the pantry.

Spanish Chicken and Rice
Tomatoes, garlic, onion, peas and olives give this easy chicken dish its Spanish flair. If you prefer not to cook with wine, just substitute 1 cup of chicken broth.

Island Chicken and Rice
Bring the flavor of the islands to your table with this chicken dish featuring coconut milk, pineapple juice and toasted macadamia nuts.

More

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

How to Make French Fries With Less Acrylamide

(Science Daily) Researchers … developed a technique to … reduce acrylamide in French fries on an industrial scale. Acrylamide is a product that may cause cancer and was discovered in various foods.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

A Primer on Migraine Headaches

(Science Daily) Migraine headache affects many people and a number of different preventative strategies should be considered, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The article, a primer for physicians, outlines various treatments and approaches for migraine headaches.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Current Blood Thinners Face Tough Competition

(HealthDay News) New studies provide more proof that the mainstays of anti-clotting therapy, namely warfarin and aspirin, are facing some severe competition from newcomers.

Researchers presenting their findings during a Friday news conference … show that one new drug, dabigatran (Pradaxa), which is not yet approved in the United States, equaled warfarin for treating stroke patients, while cilostazol (Pletal), which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), outperformed aspirin in preventing recurrent strokes.

Other researchers presented evidence that high-intensity movement exercise assisted by a robot or a human can improve functioning and quality of life in stroke survivors years after the event. It has long been thought that improvements could only be garnered in the early days following a stroke.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Advisers alter aspirin recommendations

(UPI) U.S. health advisers have altered their advice on using low-dose aspirin to reduce cardiovascular risk, officials said…

The federal advisers said the more risk factors people have, the more likely they are to benefit from aspirin, but the potential benefits have to outweigh the potential harm of aspirin…

Specifically, an aspirin is recommended for men ages 45-79 with increased heart-attack risk and for women ages 55-79 at risk of having a stroke caused by blood clot.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Stress Raises Risk of Mental Decline in Older Diabetics, Study Shows

(Science Daily) Scientists evaluated mental abilities with a range of tests, including memory function and how quickly participants processed information.

They compared this with general intelligence levels, using vocabulary tests, to work out whether brain function in participants had diminished over time.

They found that brain function slowed in participants with higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Scientists Unravel Mysteries of Intelligence

(HealthDay News) It's not a particular brain region that makes someone smart or not smart.

Nor is it the strength and speed of the connections throughout the brain or such features as total brain volume.

Instead, new research shows, it's the connections between very specific areas of the brain that determine intelligence and often, by extension, how well someone does in life.

"General intelligence actually relies on a specific network inside the brain, and this is the connections between the gray matter, or cell bodies, and the white matter, or connecting fibers between neurons," said Jan Glascher, lead author of a [recent] paper… "General intelligence relies on the connection between the frontal and the parietal [situated behind the frontal] parts of the brain."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Others May Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves, Study Finds

(Science Daily) Since at least the days of Socrates, humans have been advised to "know thyself." And through all the years, many, including many personality and social psychologists, have believed the individual is the best judge of his or her own personality.

Now a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis has shown that we are not the know-it-alls that we think we are.

Simine Vazire, Ph.D., Washington University assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences, has found that the individual is more accurate in assessing one's own internal, or neurotic traits, such as anxiety, while friends are better barometers of intellect-related traits, such as intelligence and creativity, and even strangers are equally adept as our friends and ourselves at spotting the extrovert in us all, a psychology domain known as "extroversion."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

The Most Frequent Error in Medicine

(Science Daily) The most frequent error in medicine seems to occur nearly one out of three times a patient is referred to a specialist. A new study found that nearly a third of patients age 65 and older referred to a specialist are not scheduled for appointments and therefore do not receive the treatment their primary care doctor intended…

Furthermore, only 70 percent of those with an appointment actually went to the specialist's office…

"Patients fail to complete referrals with specialists for a variety of reasons, including those that the health care system can correct, such as failure of the primary care doctor's office to make the appointment; failure of the specialist's office to receive the request for a consultation -- which can be caused by something as simple as a fax machine without paper -- or a failure to confirm availability with the patient," said Michael Weiner M.D., M.P.H., first author of the study.

Read more.

Community: My primary care doctor expects me to be the one to schedule appointments with specialists he recommends I see. It’s entirely up to me.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

How to slog safely through ice and snow

(UPI) New York City physicians offer suggestions for slogging through the ice, snow and slush of the late season wintry blast in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Dr. Ronald Grelsamer, a hip and knee specialist in Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says no technique is 100 percent effective for getting around safely in cold, wintry conditions but there are ways to help prevent injuries. He suggests to:

-- Move your feet ever so slightly apart as you walk. This will give you better balance. If the street is very slippery, bend your knees a little bit.

-- When going down an incline, consider turning sideways.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Obesity, Lack of Exercise Heighten Arthritis Risk for Women

(HealthDay News) Higher levels of obesity and inactivity, especially among women, explain why arthritis is more common in the United States than in Canada, according to a new study…

"Public health initiatives that promote healthy weight and physical activity may benefit from including arthritis concerns to its message, and could potentially reduce the incidence of arthritis and AAL [ arthritis-attributable activity limitations]," [lead author Elizabeth Badley] concluded.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Lose Fat Just by Standing?

(RealAge.com) Your body might be able to break down fat better if you do this one simple thing: stand more.

A small study suggests that when people sit around too much, enzymes that help break down fat are practically turned off. Bad news not just for your waist but also for your heart and artery health. The solution? Fidget, pace, get up, get down. Do whatever you have to do to move those legs of yours. Often…

In a small animal study, cutting back on time spent puttering about had a big impact on lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that helps break down fat in the body. The enzyme's activity was slashed 94 percent by less than one day of inactivity. And researchers speculate that this dramatic drop means more fat retention for the body…

Unfortunately, daily low-intensity activity -- everyday stuff like walking to the bus stop, pinning the laundry on the line, or pushing the lawn mower -- is going the way of poodle skirts and fuzzy dice, thanks to desk jobs, the Internet, and 500-channel TVs. But your body needs not only a formal workout routine but a high percentage of everyday movement, too. So try our tips for making your days more active:

Read more.

Community: I keep from feeling guilty about watching my favorite TV programs by doing isometrics while watching. At first, the movements kept me distracted from the program, but that soon went away.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Study: Food 'sin taxes' effective

(UPI) Taxing unhealthy foods reduces overall calories purchased, while cutting the proportion of fat and carbohydrates and increasing protein, U.S. researchers say…

[The researchers] simulated a grocery store "stocked" with images of everything from bananas to nachos and had a group of volunteer mothers given laboratory "money" to shop for a week's groceries for the family. Each food item was priced the same as groceries at a real grocery nearby, and each food came with basic nutritional information.

First the mothers shopped using regular prices. Then the researchers raised the prices of unhealthy foods by 12.5 percent, and then by 25 percent, or they discounted the price of healthy foods comparably.

The study showed taxes were more effective in reducing calories purchased over subsides, the researchers said.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Red wine may help impede cancer

(UPI) Derivatives of resveratrol -- found in red wine grapes -- may impede cancer cell development, U.S. researchers said.

Dr. Bryan C. Donohue … says early-stage clinical trials now under way are examining resveratrol's effectiveness among patients with heart disease, cancer, dementia and a host of other modern illnesses.

In the meanwhile, some people simply looking for greater energy, enhanced clarity of thought and advanced overall well being are already benefiting from resveratrol supplementation, Donohue said.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

MyRecipes.com

Chicken Tacos with Mango-Avocado Salsa
Your family will thank you when these tacos hit the table. We left the seeds in the jalapeño for a spicy kick; omit them if you prefer a mild salsa.

How to Make Super Soups

All About Casseroles
Learn every variation on these crowd-pleasing, one-dish wonders.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Sharpen Your Memory with This 6-Calorie Snack

(RealAge.com) Celery is a top source of a high-powered flavonoid known as luteolin, and these compounds may help cool off destructive inflammation in the brain's memory center (otherwise known as the hippocampus). Not a bad trade for 6 calories…

You can eat celery stalks as a snack, blend celery into smoothies, or sprinkle chopped celery onto salads for extra crunch. No celery lurking about in the back of your fridge? No problem. Respectable levels of luteolin can also be found in green peppers, chili peppers, spinach, lettuce, chamomile tea, and thyme. Put these four other brain-building habits into play as well:

Read more.

Community: When possible, I like to kill multiple birds with one stone. So I eat a stalk of celery every day, with Israeli style hummus on top. The hummus helps keep my cholesterol down. Besides, surprisingly, celery is an aphrodisiac.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Coffee Drinking May Lower Stroke Risk

(HealthDay News) Regular coffee drinking appears to reduce the risk of stroke, a new study indicates…

Overall, people who reported any intake of coffee had a 27 percent lower risk of stroke than those who said they never drank java, the researchers reported. Drinking more coffee was not associated with a greater reduction in stroke risk.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke

(HealthDay News) Based on the results of preliminary research in rats, researchers say that doses of vitamin B3 -- also known as niacin -- could help people recover brain function after a stroke…

"If this proves to also work well in our human trials, we'll then have the benefit of a low-cost, easily tolerable treatment for one of the most neurologically devastating conditions," Michael Chopp … said in the news release.

The researchers noted that niacin is already known as an effective treatment to boost levels of "good" cholesterol, which appear to be very low in people immediately after a stroke.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Wii-Gaming Could Aid Stroke Rehab

(HealthDay News) Recovering stroke patients whose physical therapy regimen is built around Wii video games appear to improve better than patients treated with standard therapies, a new Canadian study reveals.

The finding suggests that the enormously popular virtual reality programs could move beyond fun and games into the serious business of physical rehabilitation.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Video Games May Help Combat Depression in Older Adults

(Science Daily) Research … suggests a novel route to improving the symptoms of subsyndromal depression (SSD) in seniors through the regular use of "exergames" -- entertaining video games that combine game play with exercise. In a pilot study, the researchers found that use of exergames significantly improved mood and mental health-related quality of life in older adults with SSD.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Chronic Back Pain Soothed by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

(HealthDay News) People suffering from chronic lower back pain may find relief through cognitive behavioral therapy, a short-term treatment aimed at challenging and reframing negative beliefs…

"Back pain is a physical health problem, not a psychological problem," said study co-author Zara Hansen… "The intervention uses a psychological model to understand how we can manage back pain better, but it is not psychotherapy,"

In the study, cognitive behavioral therapy helped people change their thinking about their back pain and how they managed it, Hansen said.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Virtually Everyone Should Get a Flu Shot: CDC

(HealthDay News) All Americans 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot each year, a panel of U.S. advisers is recommending.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Wednesday to expand the current recommendations on who should get a flu shot to include almost everyone.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

New inhaled drug protects from flu in single dose

(Reuters) A single dose of an experimental influenza drug saves more mice from H5N1 avian influenza than the preferred drug Tamiflu, researchers reported on Thursday, and can also protect against infection.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Women's mid-life crisis -- no health ins.

(UPI) Men may buy a convertible for their mid-life crises but unmarried middle-age women have a mid-life crisis as well, no health insurance, U.S. researcher say.

Older women who are divorced, separated or widowed or who have never married, have twice the uninsured rate of their married peers, a policy brief by the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Health Policy Research, says.

Women between the ages of 50 and 64 are more prone than younger women to a wide range of health conditions, including asthma, diabetes and heart disease, the researchers said. Nearly four in 10 women in this age group will be diagnosed with high blood pressure, while nearly six in 10 are either obese or overweight.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Medicare: Not seeing doctor costs more

(UPI) Medicare beneficiaries with chronic diseases, who do not visit the doctor much cost more money because of emergency room visits, U.S. researchers found…

"If we can identify these patients, who are under-managing their chronic condition putting them at high-risk for disease complications, we can intervene to help these individuals manage their disease more effectively, and, ultimately, reduce overall health care costs," Gary Puckrein, president of the National Minority Quality Forum, said in a statement.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

U.S. examining possible effects of bisphenol A

(Reuters) The federal agency that investigates health risks is concerned that the chemical bisphenol A may harm people and is spending $20 million to study the substance, widely used in food containers, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Genetic Link Between Misery and Death Discovered

(Science Daily) In ongoing work to identify how genes interact with social environments to impact human health, UCLA researchers have discovered what they describe as a biochemical link between misery and death. In addition, they found a specific genetic variation in some individuals that seems to disconnect that link, rendering them more biologically resilient in the face of adversity…

"This opens a new era in which we can begin to understand the influence of adversity on physical health by modeling the basic biology that allows the world outside us to influence the molecular processes going on inside our cells."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Strokes Up Among the Young, Down Among the Old

(HealthDay News) The incidence of stroke seems to be falling among the old. That's the good news.

The bad news, though, is that strokes appear to be occurring more often among the young, a group that has not been considered at high risk for the debilitating and deadly condition, caused by a blood clot or bleeding in the brain…

Among younger people, experts believe, the reason for the rise in strokes is probably a higher incidence of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

Read more.

Community: One of my sisters had a stroke when she was in her mid 50s. She wasn’t, and isn’t, obese, so there may be some other factors at work.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Happy Marriage Cuts Men's Risk for Stroke

(HealthDay News) Single or unhappily married men seem to run a greater risk of dying from a stroke than those with good marriages, a new Israeli study indicates…

A good marriage means "having the support that makes you more compliant with therapy," [study author Uri Goldbourt] said. "Also, you are more likely to go see a physician if you are not feeling well."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Total Fat, Trans Fat Linked to Higher Incidence of Ischemic Stroke

(Science Daily) Post-menopausal women who reported consuming the most daily dietary fat had a 40 percent higher incidence of clot-caused strokes compared to women who ate the least amount, according to research…

The incidence of ischemic stroke also increased by 30 percent in the quartile of women consuming the highest daily amount of trans fat (average intake 7 grams per day) compared to those who consumed the least (average 1 gram/day)…

Trans fats can be found in many foods -- especially in fried foods like french fries and doughnuts, and baked goods including pastries, pie crusts, biscuits, pizza dough, cookies, crackers and stick margarines and shortenings.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Soy unlikely to trim body fat after menopause

(Reuters Health) Estrogen-like compounds found in soy won't help limit body fat in post-menopausal women, new research shows.

Animal studies and small studies in humans have offered some evidence that these compounds, known as isoflavones, could help build muscle mass and reduce fat mass…

For now, though, the researchers say that they "cannot recommend" that healthy women take soy isoflavones to reduce body fat.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Magnesium may be vital to memory

(UPI) An Israeli researcher says sufficient magnesium is key to memory function, but relying on supplements may not be of much help.

Dr. Inna Slutsky … says magnesium must penetrate the blood-brain barrier to help stave off age-related memory loss…

"[T]oday's over-the-counter magnesium supplements don't really work. They do not get into the brain."

Before synthetic magnesium becomes available, Slutsky recommends getting more magnesium the old-fashioned way -- by eating lots of greens, broccoli, almonds, cashews and fruit.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Recipes

Sweet-Spicy Glazed Salmon
(MyRecipes.com) Sweet, spicy, salty, sour—just four ingredients hit all the flavor notes in the sauce for this top-rated dish. Chinese-style hot mustard has a sharp bite similar to that of wasabi. If you don't have it on hand, use Dijon mustard or 1 teaspoon of a dry mustard such as Coleman's.

Healthy Office Snacks
(Cooking Light) Don't get caught in front of the vending machine again. Pack these eight healthy snacks (each less than 200 calories) to keep you feeling full and satisfied throughout the work day.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Think You're Lactose Intolerant? Maybe Not

(HealthDay News) Many people who think they're lactose intolerant may not be.

This suggestion, released Wednesday in a U.S. National Institutes of Health draft consensus statement, could pave the way for more people to eat more dairy products, thus helping to ensure they get adequate nutrition in their diet…

Right now, when lactose intolerance is suspected, "the reflex response oftentimes is to tell the patient to stop taking dairy products completely," [Dr. Frederick J.] Suchy said. "There may be some patients where that has to be done and whatever nutritional deficiencies could be made up with supplements."

But for others, alternative strategies like taking small amounts of milk throughout the day or with meals or including yogurt and hard cheeses, especially low-fat hard cheeses, in the diet might be tolerable.

[N]oted Dr. Marshall A. Wolf … "[Y]ou can build up your tolerance for milk."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Heart Stem Cells Move Closer to Human Treatments

(HealthDay News) Researchers are moving ahead -- although sometimes ploddingly -- toward the goal of using stem cell therapies to rescue people with cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of men and women in the United States…

In one study, out of Germany, 35 patients who received bone-marrow stem cell transplantation during coronary artery bypass surgery achieved "excellent long-term safety and survival."

Ten patients who received similar transplantations after repair of mitral valves also fared well, with improvements in the heart's pumping capacity.

Slovenian investigators had similar success, with improvements seen in patients with advanced heart failure who received bone-marrow derived stem cells.

There were also advances in gene therapy reported, with Singaporean researchers using nanotechnology to deliver genetically modified cells to help heal heart attack damage in rabbits.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Evidence on Benefits of High Blood Pressure Drugs in Diabetic Eye Disease

(Science Daily) Scientists in Massachusetts are reporting new evidence that certain high blood pressure drugs may be useful in preventing and treating diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss in people with diabetes. The study, the largest to date on proteins in the retina, could lead to new ways to prevent or treat the sight-threatening disease, they say.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Dementia in Extreme Elderly Population Expected to Become Epidemic

(Science Daily) University of California researchers found that the incidence rate for all causes of dementia in people age 90 and older is 18.2% annually and significantly increases with age in both men and women…

Prior reports estimate there were 2 million Americans aged 90 and older in 2007 and the number is expected to reach 8.7 million by 2050, making the oldest-old the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. "In contrast to other studies, we found that the incidence of dementia increases exponentially with age in both men and women past age 90," said [Maria Corrada, Sc.D.]. "Given the population projections for this age group along with our findings, dementia in the oldest-old threatens to become an epidemic with enormous public health impact."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Rapamycin Rescues Learning, Memory in Alzheimer's Mouse Model

(Science Daily) Rapamycin, a drug that keeps the immune system from attacking transplanted organs, may have another exciting use: fighting Alzheimer's disease.

Rapamycin rescued learning and memory deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's, a team from The University of Texas … reported.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Damaged Protein Identified as Early Diagnostic Biomarker for Alzheimer's Disease in Healthy Adults

(Science Daily) Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have found that elevated cerebrospinal fluid levels of phosphorylated tau231 (P-tau231), a damaged tau protein found in patients with Alzheimer's disease, may be an early diagnostic biomarker for Alzheimer's disease in healthy adults…

"Indentifying people at risk for Alzheimer's disease is the necessary first step in developing preventive therapies," said co-author Mony de Leon, EdD… "This study shows that Alzheimer's disease pathology may be recognized in the normal stages of cognition. This observation may be of value in future studies investigating mechanisms that cause or accelerate dementia."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Modified Adult Stem Cells May Be Helpful in Spinal Cord Injury

(Science Daily) Researchers at UTHealth have demonstrated in rats that transplanting genetically modified adult stem cells into an injured spinal cord can help restore the electrical pathways associated with movement…

The new cells helped restore electrical pathways of the spinal cord and therefore, function, in a process called remyelination…

The clinical significance is two-fold, [principal investigator Qilin Cao, M.D.] said: "First it confirms what has been suggested by these and other authors that stem cell grafting in attempts to remyelinate an injured spinal cord is a viable therapeutic strategy. Secondly, it strongly cautions that optimal recovery using such an approach will require more than simply grafting naïve precursor cells."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Roche's Avastin helps in ovarian cancer

(Reuters) Roche's Avastin helps women with advanced ovarian cancer live longer without their disease getting worse, a late-stage study showed, boosting its prospects after a recent setback in stomach cancer.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Drug Delivery Breakthrough: Vehicle That Can Carry Drugs to a Specific Organelle Inside the Cell

(Science Daily) A team of scientists led by Dr Simon Richardson at the University of Greenwich has got a step closer to one of the holy grails of drug delivery.

The goal -- to find a vehicle that can carry drugs not just to a specific cell but a specific organ (organelle) inside the cell, and accurately measure how it behaves when it gets there -- has proved elusive despite two decades of research…

[Now] Richardson and colleagues provide direct evidence, for the first time, that nanomedicines can be delivered to select organelles and manipulated to carry beneficial agents like genes.

Dr Richardson says: "Drug delivery is important for everyone because it has the potential to deliver new treatments for diseases which are currently incurable; and to deliver existing drugs more effectively."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Overweight Middle-Aged Adults at Greater Risk for Cognitive Decline in Later Life

(Science Daily) The adverse affects of being overweight are not limited to physical function but also extend to neurological function, according to research…

A study headed by Anna Dahl, MS, of Sweden's Jönköping University, found that individuals with higher midlife body mass index (BMI) scores had significantly lower general cognitive ability and significantly steeper decline than their thinner counterparts over time…

Other studies reported in the journal show that obesity appears particularly threatening in the presence of other health problems, such as poor muscle strength and depression.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

When life is a grind, teeth suffer

(UPI) A U.S. survey indicates 65 percent of dentists report an increase in patients' jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Exercise Can Quiet Anxiety

(HealthDay News) -- People suffering from anxiety can find some relief through regular exercise, University of Georgia researchers report.

Anxiety frequently accompanies chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, and the constant strain can interfere with treatment for those conditions, the researchers say…

[R]egular exercise was shown to reduce anxiety symptoms by 20 percent.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Belief in a Caring God Improves Response to Medical Treatment for Depression, Study Finds

(Science Daily) Research suggests that religious belief can help protect against symptoms of depression, but a study at Rush University Medical Center goes one step further.

In patients diagnosed with clinical depression, belief in a concerned God can improve response to medical treatment, according to a paper.

Read more.

Community: We’ve talked before about the placebo effect. It’s a very powerful force that we just don’t know enough about.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Changes During Menopause Increases Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke

(Science Daily) Studies show a woman's risk of heart disease intensifies drastically around the time of natural menopause, which for most women is around the age of 50. This news may come as a surprise, but experts explain that understanding risk factors is an important first step, and reassure women that there are ways to lower your risk…

"If you are a smoker, quit immediately and avoid second hand smoke. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and exercise at least three times per week to maintain a healthy body weight," says [Vera Rigolin,MD].

Rigolin also recommends visiting your health care provider at least once per year to have your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels checked.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer

(HealthDay News) A popular nutritional supplement -- extract of bitter melon -- may help protect women from breast cancer, researchers say…

"When we used the extract from that melon, we saw that it kills the breast cancer cells," said lead researcher Ratna Ray, a professor of pathology at Saint Louis University. But their work was done in a laboratory, not in humans, she noted.

The bitter melon extract killed only the cancer cells, not the healthy breast cells. "We didn't see any death in the normal cells," she said…

Current recommendations to prevent breast cancer include maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol, exercising and eating a healthful diet.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Access to Mammograms Drops After Guidelines Change

(HealthDay News) In some states, access to mammograms for women ages 40 to 49 has decreased since new breast cancer screening guidelines were released in November by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, according to a new survey…

"We are concerned that some women may simply accept the new recommended guidelines as standard -- not taking into consideration their own health history and other breast cancer risk factors," Marc Hurlbert, director of the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, said in a news release from the foundation.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Mammogram Plus MRI Cost-Effective in High-Risk Women

(HealthDay News) -- Annual screening with both mammography and MRI appears to be a cost-effective way to improve life expectancy in women at high risk for breast cancer, U.S. researchers say…

The study also found that annual combined screening was best at detecting early-stage breast cancers and at reducing breast cancer deaths. The cost-effectiveness of combined screening improved as breast cancer risk increased.

"For women at the highest risk of breast cancer, using both breast MRI and mammography together for screening will likely reduce their chances of dying from breast cancer and help them live longer, healthier lives," [Dr. Janie] Lee said in the news release.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

More Expensive Hospital Care May Not Mean Better

(HealthDay News) Hospitals that spend more to treat patients don't necessarily have the best quality of care, researchers say…

[Dr. Lena M. Chen and colleagues wrote that the] "findings suggest that initial lower hospital cost of care may not have a deleterious effect on long-term inpatient use."

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Hospital Stays May Spur Brain Decline in Seniors

(HealthDay News) Elderly people who have been hospitalized have an increased risk of cognitive decline…

Among those hospitalized for one or more non-critical illnesses, there were 228 cases of dementia, and among those hospitalized with one or more critical illnesses, there were five cases of dementia. There were 146 cases of dementia reported among the participants who weren't hospitalized during the study period, the authors noted.

After adjusting for various factors, the researchers concluded that patients hospitalized for a non-critical illness were 40 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who weren't hospitalized.

Read more.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]

Canadian life expectancy up to 80.7 years

(UPI) Life expectancy in Canada rose to 80.7 years from 80.5 years from 2005 to 2007, Statistics Canada reported from Ottawa Tuesday.

Read more.

Community: I guess socialized medicine isn’t so bad after all. Life expectancy in the U.S., by contrast, is 77.7 years, per the CDC.

[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]