Showing posts from 2010

Alcoholism and Obesity Share Same Risk Factors

Addiction researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis say alcoholism puts people at risk for obesity, also noting the association between the two has become more pronounced in recent years.

The report that appears in the Archives of General Psychiatry was conducted by Richard A. Grucza, MD and colleagues who say individuals with a family history of alcoholism have an elevated obesity risk. In addition, that risk seems to be growing. The association is especially strong for women.

Food and Alcohol Addiction Occur in Same Area of the Brain
Grucza says it might be that food and alcohol addiction occur in the same area of the brain stimulated by foods that weren’t always available.

He explains “Much of what we eat nowadays contains more calories than the food we ate in the 1970s and 1980s, but it also contains the sorts of calories — particularly a combination of sugar, salt and fat — that appeal to what are commonly called the reward centers in the brain.”

Data f…

Drunk and Drugged Drivers tops 20 Percent in some States

New data shows, in the last year, the number of drunk or drugged drivers topped 20 percent in some states. The findings, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), revealed 4.3 percent of individuals over age 16 drove under the influence of non-prescribed drugs in the past year and 13.2 percent drove under the influence of alcohol.

Number of Impaired Drivers Varies by State
Some states  fared worse than others when it came to the number of impaired drivers on the road. Wisconsin and North Dakota had the highest number of drunk drivers - 23.7 and 22.4 percent respectively. The highest number of drugged drivers were found in Rhode Island (7.8%) and Vermont (6.6%).

Utah and Mississippi had the fewest number of drunk drivers and Iowa and New Jersey had lower numbers of drivers under the influence of illicit drugs.

The 16 to 25 age group were most inclined to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Started at age 26 the rates were much lower.

Even though…

Liberal Political Views Linked to Specific Gene Variant

New research shows a specific gene variant may play a role in liberal political views. Scientists from University of California, San Diego, and Harvard University say it is a combination of social interaction during adolescence and a specific gene variant that influences liberal thinking and political views.

The findings are the first to find a relationship between genes and political thinking. The scientists examined 2000 subjects from The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. They looked at social networks and matched genetic information, finding a variant of the DRD4 gene leads to novelty seeking behavior and liberalism.

Liberal Thinkers Have more Active Social Life during Adolescence
The DRD4 gene is a dopamine receptor - a chemical that controls movement, emotional response, and the ability to experience pleasure and pain. Dopamine has previously been linked to more liberal personality traits.

James H. Fowler, professor of political science and medical genetics at UC S…

Dementia Becoming Harder to Detect

Swedish researchers say 70 year olds are smarter than they used to be, making it more difficult to detect dementia. Scientists who have been studying 70 year olds for years say it's becoming harder to determine who will develop dementia in later years using current screening methods.

Even though the incidence of dementia has remained unchanged, the scientists say  tests that measure memory, speed, language, logic and spatial awareness..."worked well for the group of 70-year-olds born in 1901-02, the same tests didn't offer any clues about who will develop dementia in the later generation of 70-year-olds born in 1930."

The researchers had been following a large population of 70 year olds as part of the H70 study. When they compared test results of 70 year olds born in 1930; examined in 2000, the researchers found they performed better in the intelligence tests than study participants examined in 1971 and born in 1901 and 1902.

Health Care, Advanced Technology Makes 70…

Muscle could Improve Survival for Kidney Disease Patients

New research suggests dialysis patients with muscle mass live longer. The findings suggest using weights to build muscle, or taking medications to improve lean muscle mass might improve survival for patients with kidney failure.

Researchers looked at the effect of lean muscle mass versus higher body mass index (BMI) among 792 dialysis patients. Past studies have shown that patients with increased BMI live longer, but did not differentiate between muscle and fat mass.

The study, conducted by Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh MD, PhD (Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center) and his colleagues, measured patients' mid-arm muscle circumference (a measure of lean mass) and triceps skinfold (a measure of fat mass) over a 5-year period.

Dialysis Patients with Muscle Mass 37 Percent Less Likely to DieDuring the study, dialysis patients with high mid-arm muscle mass were 37 percent less likely to die. Not only did they live longer, but they also scored better on mental …

Yoga Combats Serious Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

New research shows practicing yoga can combat pain and other serious symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. In a study, the effects of yoga were compared to a group given an eight week program of gentle poses, meditation, breathing exercises and group discussions to a group of fibromyalgia patients undergoing standard therapy with medication.

The study, conducted at Oregon Health & Science University, enrolled 53 women diagnosed with fibromyalgia in an effort to determine if yoga "should be considered as a prescribed treatment and the extent to which it can be successful."

James Carson, PhD., a clinical health psychologist and an assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine says, "Previous research suggests that the most successful treatment for fibromyalgia involves a combination of medications, physical exercise and development of coping skills." The current study focused specifically on yoga.

The group ass…

Survey Finds Marijuana not a Gateway for Teen Drug use

Researchers find that that pot smoking among teens is not a gateway that leads to harder drug use. Instead, policy makers should focus on other factors found in a survey that influence teen drug use, that include race, ethnicity, stress and unemployment

The biggest predictor of illicit drug use among teens was found to be race and ethnicity, according to research from University of New Hampshire. Pot smoking and use of illicit drugs among teens fades with lower stress levels, found from a survey of 1,286 young adults.

Gateway to Harder Drugs from Marijuana Short-Lived

By age 21, the risk of marijuana's gateway effect to harder drugs subsides. The researchers say, “While marijuana use may serve as a gateway to other illicit drug use in adolescence, our results indicate that the effect may be short-lived, subsiding by age 21.

Interestingly, age emerges as a protective status above and beyond the other life statuses and conditions considered here. We find that respondents ‘age out’ o…

Vitamin B3 antifungal properties discovered by scientists

Vitamin B3 limits fungus growth, could save lives

Vitamin B3 has been found to limit fungal infections that include candida, a type of yeast infection and Aspergillus fumigata. Fungal infections can lead to death, for patients with HIV, cancer, and other diseases that compromise immunity. Researchers have discovered vitamin B3 has potent antifungal properties. Read the entire story at

Online weight loss program from AARP open to participants

AARP has launched an online weight loss challenge called fat2fit, led by fitness expert and author Carole Carson, who lost more than 60 pounds at age 60. Joining a community of like minded individuals seeking better health through weight loss makes sense - and there are prizes. Read the rest at

Women get more sexually active between age 27 and 45

Researchers studied three groups of women to find that between age 27 and 45 sexually activity and libido accelerate. The scientists say the reason is because fertility decline…

Promising New Drug Shrinks Some Lung Cancer Tumors

Researchers say a new drug called crizotinib shows promise for treating specific types of lung cancer. In clinical trials,crizotinib reduced the size of lung cancer tumorsdramatically. Within 8 weeks of starting treatment ,lung cancer was stabilized in 87 percent of patient enrolled in Phase I/II clinical trials.

Lyudmila Bazhenova, MD, assistant clinical professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine and a member of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center says the first two trials are "encouraging", but the Phase III trials will determine if crizotinib will go to market. If so, approximately four percent of patients with a specific type of lung cancer would benefit from the drug.

Crizotinib works by inhibiting a specific enzyme present in approximately four percent of patients with NSCLC or non small cell lung carcinoma that results in the fusion of two genes - ALK and EML4 - that in turn produces an enzyme that promotes lung cancer tumor growth.

Lung cancer patients who were former l…

Chronic Insominia Boosts Risk of Dying

Researchers say chronic insomnia increases the chances of dying three fold compared to people who sleep well. The risk of dying remained the same regardless of the type of insomnia, a finding researchers say are important for successful insomnia treatments.

Regardless of whether study participants awakened early, had disrupted sleep and difficulty falling back asleep, trouble falling asleep or awakened frequently the chances of death were found to be 2 to 3 times higher with chronic insomnia compared to people who get enough sleep and quality sleep.

Lead author Laurel Finn, a biostatistician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison says "The most surprising result was the increased high risk for mortality among individuals with chronic insomnia versus those without insomnia. The other important finding was the non-differentiation between subtypes of insomnia with respect to mortality risk."

To find the link between chronic insomnia and increased risk of death researchers sent 2…

Ecopsychology of the Gulf Oil Spill and other Health News

Ecopsychologist says Gulf Oil Spill Result of Disturbed Thinking
Dr. Michael J Cohen, an Ecopsychologist and program director of the Institute of Global Education suggests the gulf oil spill is the result of money addiction and exploitation of our natural resources brought about by disturbed thinking. Rather than cooperating with nature Dr. Cohen says we have become addicted to money and exploitation of our living planet. He suggests the gulf oil spill can be seen as a “terrorist sabotage-suicide act”, brought about by disturbed thinking that leads us to believe it is okay to destroy our natural environment.

Hormone Patch Safer than Pill
Scientists say the way women taking hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal symptoms could be related to risk for cerebrovascular events such as stroke. Low dose hormone replacement therapy or HRT patches with estrogen that deliver hormones through the skin may carry a lower risk of stroke, found in a newer study. The researchers sa…

Lose Belly Fat to Avoid Dementia

Belly fat is consistently linked to a variety of health problems. Now researchers say too much fat in the mid-section increases our risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Research published in the Annals of Neurology warns there is a strong connection between belly fat and dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Sudha Seshadri, M.D. from the Boston University School of Medicine in the US …”our data suggests a stronger connection between central obesity, particularly the visceral fat component of abdominal obesity, and risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease."

A 2005 report from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 24.3 million people have some form of dementia. Understanding the link between belly fat and dementia could be important for finding ways to prevent 4.6 million cases that the WHO also estimates occur annually.

For the study, researchers analyzed brain MRI results among 733 participants from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort. Ave…

Sleep Quality Linked to Longer Life

Researchers say sleep quality may be linked to a longer life. A new study shows that 65 percent of 2,800 people who were 100 years of age and older reported good or very good sleep quality.

The study also found that health problems seemed to be associated with poor sleep quality. “Age and health conditions are the two most important factors associated with self-reported sleep quality and duration,” said principal investigator and lead author of the study Danan Gu, PhD, faculty of the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University in Oregon.

The oldest adults studied, age 100 or over, were 70 percent more likely to report good sleep quality compared to younger adults, age 65 to 79. Forty six percent of study participants who reported not sleeping well also rated their health as poor.

For older adults who sleep well, the average duration was 7.5 hours a night. The study comes from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. China has the largest e…

HPV test more sensitive than PAP smear for detecting cervical cancer lesions

Findings from researchers, published in the British Medical Journal, reveal that HPV (human papillomavirus) testing is more sensitive for detecting precancerous lesions that can lead cervical cancer, compared to PAP smear. Dr Ahti Anttila at the Finnish Cancer Registry who led research says the findings that HPV testing is more sensitive than PAP smear are important for cervical cancer prevention.

In a trial of 58,282 women aged 30-60, HPV testing detected more precancerous cells than routine cytology exam performed with a traditional PAP smear.

Women were studied between 2003 and 2008 in Finland and randomly assigned to a routine PAP smear or an HPV test. For women with positive HPV testing, further screening was conducted. Traditional cancer screening using a PAP smear was inferior for detecting cervical lesions that could lead to cancer compared to HPV testing.

Over a period of five years the women were tracked. The number of pre cancerous cells (cervical intraepithelial neoplasi…

Overdiagnosis of cancer focus of review

An analysis of cancer diagnosis in the past 30 years related to mortality and screening for the disease shows that overdiagnosis of cancer should become a focus of the medical community. Researchers H. Gilbert Welch, M.D. and William Black, M.D., of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, White River Junction, Vt. and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center conducted a review, finding that many cancers are diagnosed that would never require treatment.

Following a systematic review, the researchers learned that though cancer diagnosis has increased, there has been no association with mortality to account for the rising numbers. Overdiagnosis of cancer occurs from sophisticated screening tools that the researchers say could cause harm to some individuals.

The study authors write, "Whereas early detection may well help some, it undoubtedly hurts others. Often the decision about whether or not to pursue early cancer detection involves a delicate balance between benefits and harms……

Women Fail to Recognize Osteoporosis Risk Shown in Study

A study shows that women questioned in 10 countries failed to recognize risk for fracture from osteoporosis. Results of the Global Longitudinal Study of Osteoporosis in Women (GLOW) show that among 60,000 postmenopausal women studied, only 43 percent perceived themselves at risk for fracture from osteoporosis compared to women not diagnosed with disease.

Thirty three percent of women already diagnosed with osteoporosis also failed to recognize their risk factors for fracture - a finding that researchers say is a public health concern.

"We've found that many women aren't making the connection between their risk factors and the serious consequences of fractures," said the lead author of the paper, Ethel Siris, MD, GLOW investigator and Director of the Toni Stabile Osteoporosis Center of the Columbia University Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "Without a clear understanding of their risks, women cannot begin to protect themselves from fracture."


Blackcurrants suppress allergy induced asthma

A new study shows that blackcurrants can suppress inflammation in the lungs from allergy induced asthma. Blackcurrants were shown in a study to act as a natural defense against allergens to keep lung inflammation at bay.

Dr Roger Hurst who led the study says, "To find natural compounds that potentially reduce lung inflammation and complement the body's own immune response is an exciting breakthrough. Should we discover more about how this works we may eventually develop foods containing these compounds that could provide more natural alternatives to assist conventional drug treatments for asthma and even other allergic reactions." Blackcurrants contain a compound that works in conjunction with other natural immune defenses to suppress allergy induced asthma.

The study, conducted on cells from lung tissue showed that epigallocatechin in blackcurrants that differs from the antioxidant effect of anthocycanins, also found in the fruit that is also extremely high in vitamin C,…

FDA Continues to Investigate Zocor and Reports of Muscle Damage

The FDA is issuing caution about taking the prescription statin Zocor (simvastatin) at higher doses, finding so far that the cholesterol lowering medication is more likely to cause muscle damage at doses of 80 mg. The FDA is continuing to investigate Zocor and reports of muscle damage that seem to occur at higher doses.

Prescribers, as well as consumers, need to be aware of the potential fo myopathy (muscle damage) associated with statin drug use. Zocor 80 mg, used in conjunction with other medications can lead to kidney failure from rhabdomyolysis that could be fatal.

A communication from the FDA regarding muscle damage associated with Zocor use states, "the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing the public about an increased risk of muscle injury in patients taking the highest approved dose of the cholesterol-lowering medication, Zocor (simvastatin) 80 mg, compared to patients taking lower doses of simvastatin and possibly other drugs in the "statin" clas…

Noscapine Cough Syrup Ingredient Studied Further for Prostate Cancer Treatment

Noscapine, an ingredient found in over the counter cough syrups, is again being studied as a treatment for prostate cancer. Researchers injected mice with prostate cancer cells. A group that was pretreated with noscapine were found to have smaller prostate cancer tumors, making the drug a promising treatment for preventing prostate cancer recurrence.

The study authors write, "Pre-treatment with noscapine confers a significant benefit compared with control in both primary tumor growth and primary tumor growth- inhibition rate and exhibits an extremely favorable tolerability profile." Dr. Barken, Founder and Medical Director of the Prostate Cancer Research and Education Foundation (PCREF) in San Diego, California, said: "PCREF is now seeking sponsorship for clinical data collection in post-surgery patients who are at high-risk of recurrence for their prostate cancer."

Prostate cancer kills 28000 men each year. Noscapine, conclude the authors, could offer a safe and eff…

Increased Numbers of Extremely Obese Children is Public Health Concern

Findings from Kaiser Permanente researchers show that extreme obesity in children and adolescents is becoming prevalent, raising public health concerns about future risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other obesity related diseases that can occur in adulthood. The analysis also shows that children are becoming extremely obese at a younger age.

More than 45,000 extremely obese children were found among 710,949 children ages two to 19, enrolled in the Southern California integrated health plan in 2007 and 2008.

Corinna Koebnick, PhD, a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California's Department of Research and Evaluation in Pasadena, California says, "Children who are extremely obese may continue to be extremely obese as adults, and all the health problems associated with obesity are in these children's futures. Without major lifestyle changes, these kids face a 10 to 20 years shorter life span and will develop health problems in their twenties that…

Calcium and vitamin D combined can keep bones strong

Calcium is important to prevent osteoporosis, but new research sheds light on the need for both calcium and vitamin D for strong bones. Recommended calcium intake is not currently associated with vitamin D, but the new findings suggest the importance of focusing more on the interplay between calcium and vitamin D for preventing osteoporosis.

Low levels of vitamin D found in large portions of the population may explain why boosting calcium intake is not always successful for maintaining bone density. Current recommendations for calcium intake is 1200 mg daily for adults aged 50 and older in the US, but the suggested amount varies between countries.

Researchers looked at 10,000 men and women aged 20 and older from a national survey, finding that a large number of younger and older adults have lower than recommended levels of vitamin D, of at least 75 nanomoles-per-liter (nmol/L). The low vitamin D levels found means that calcium alone is insufficient to prevent osteoporosis.

The study auth…

Hormone replacement therapy links to higher lung cancer risk

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) used by post menopausal women is now linked to increased risk for lung cancer. Women age 50 to 76 who take estrogen plus progestin for 10 years or more were found to have a 50 percent greater chance of developing lung cancer compared to women not using hormone replacement therapy.

Even though the risk of lung cancer is small compared to smoking, Chris Slatore, M.D., who led the study says, "Although HRT use has declined and is not recommended except for short-term treatment of menopausal symptoms, our results indicate millions of women may remain at risk of developing lung cancer."

The link between hormone replacement and lung cancer was found in a review of data from the Vitamins and Lifestyle Study in Washington State from 2000 to 2002.

Researchers followed 36,588 perimenopausal and postmenopausal participants aged 50 to 76 for six years. At the end of the observation period 344 of the participants had developed lung cancer. The results lin…

Stop smoking with regular exercise

Smoking cessation can lead to better health, but finding ways to kick the habit can be difficult. Regular exercise can reverse some of the harmful effects of nicotine and also make it easier to stop smoking.

A study published February 22 from University of Georgia researchers and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, revealed that exercise can reduce anxiety by twenty percent. Exercise is a natural way to reduce anxiety associated with smoking cesssation.

Smokers who exercise were also found to find cigarettes less appealing, found in a study from researchers at University of Exeter and published in the journal Addiction.

Past studies have shown that brisk walking can reduce cravings for cigarettes, as well as reducing the urge to light up from smoking cues.

University of Exeter PhD student Kate Janse Van Rensburg said: "We know that smoking-related images can be powerful triggers for smokers who are abstaining. While we are no longer faced with advertisements for cigarette…

Senate report cites previously known Avandia heart risks

Avandia dangers to the heart cited in Senate report
The FDA has recently issued strong warnings about the risk of heart attack from taking drugs used to treat diabetes, including Avandia. Those warnings have existed for several years. Diabetics are already at higher risk for heart attack and heart disease because diabetes causes a lack of typical warning signs of heart attack. A Senate report cites the heart dangers of Avandia that include heart attack and heart failure. Read more

Enzyme found that keeps heart healthy
The enzyme calcineurin has been identified by researchers as a critical player in keeping the heart healthy as well as for normal heart development. In mouse studies, the enzyme was found to play a critical role in maintaining strength of heart contractions and normal heart rhythm. Read more

Marijuana for pain treatment found in first clinical trials in two decades
Researchers from California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) today presented findings to th…

Study review shows Vitamin D curbs risk of heart and metabolic disorders in older adults

A new review from Wartick University researchers shows that higher levels of vitamin D starting in mid-life can substantially reduce the risk cardiometabolic disorders in older individuals. The researchers found that compared to people with lower levels of vitamin D, heart disease and Type II diabetes risk drops when higher levels of vitamin D are present in the body.

Foods that are fortified with vitamin D or with high levels that include salmon, tuna and mackerel can raise vitamin D levels, potentially fending off type II diabetes and heart disease. Taking supplements of vitamin D3 can also boost vitamin D levels.

The researchers analyzed 28 studies that included 99,745 participants to find that higher levels of vitamin D yielded a 33 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease, and a 55 percent lower risk of developing Type II diabetes among men and women from various ethnicities.

The chances of developing metabolic syndrome declined by 51 percent for older adults with higher leve…

Anti-aging dietary cocktail explored by scientists

Scientists at McMaster University have discovered a mix of ingredients found in the grocery store that they say might help keep us young. A cocktail of ingredients made from common dietary supplements available from a local supermarket were found to stop signs of aging in mice, and could lead to the development of anti-aging supplements.

The cocktail developed by the researches had powerful results that helped with common symptoms of aging including mobility, declines in cognitive function, and mortality.

The dietary cocktail that could prevent signs of aging included vitamins B1, C, D, E, acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), beta carotene, folic acid, garlic, ginger root, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, green tea extract, magnesium, melatonin, potassium, cod liver oil, and flax seed oil. The combination of ingredients that might be useful in humans was chosen because of their individual effect on five mechanisms involved in the aging process.

The researchers point out that free radical damage corr…

Weird but real allergies worth exploring and more

20 Weird Allergies That Actually Exist
Plants, animals, and food all involve corresponding allergies with which the general populace is familiar. However, due to their very nature, it is entirely possible for humans to develop negative reactions to almost anything on the planet. Allergies are established when the immune system fires itself up over a generally harmless – if not outright helpful – stimulus, such as the aforementioned plants, animals, and food. Thinking the foreign object means to endanger the body, it launches an assault of histamines as a protective measure, resulting in numerous physical upsets ranging from itchy skin to complete anaphylactic shock. The following list compiles a few unexpected, somewhat obscure allergies and analyzes the research behind a few of the sketchier claims, leaving the reader to decide what he or she ultimately makes of it. Read more

Lead exposure strongly linked to ADHD
ADHD is suspected to be the result of genes in 70 percent of cases, and t…

Obese children risk future heart disease and stroke shown in new study

A new study confirms the potential for future heart attack and stroke for children who are obese. Researchers say the consequences of childhood obesity and risk for future heart attack start early for children.

Scientists measured inflammatory markers in the bloodstream of obese children who were otherwise healthy, comparing to lean children. They found increased levels of C-reactive protein and that were elevated ten fold compared to children who were not obese. They also found higher than normal levels of fibrinogen - substances that lead to blood clots that also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Children may not show typical signs of metabolic syndrome that boosts risk of heart disease in adults, but the scientists say there are still indications that childhood obesity increases the risk of future heart attack and stroke from the findings of increased inflammation and abnormal fibrinogen levels found in the obese children studied.

"This new study demonstrates that the…

Antioxidants in blueberry juice found to boost memory in older adults and other news

Blueberry juice could provide alternative therapy for memory loss
A new study shows that drinking blueberry juice improved memory in older adults, and might be an alternative treatment for cognitive decline associated with aging, shown in a preliminary study. Seniors in their 70’s drank blueberry juice for two months and were compared to a group who drank a berry placebo beverage. The results showed that antioxidants in blueberries might improve memory by boosting neuronal signaling. Read more

Consumers over age 50 should curb iron and copper intake
Copper and iron are essential nutrients, but scientists writing in the ACS Journal warn that steps should be taken to limit intake of both for consumers over age 50. Copper and iron that builds up in the body as we get older could contribute to a variety of age related diseases. Read more

Most athletes misunderstand and misuse protein supplements
University of Montreal researchers say protein supplements used by athletes are inefficient, proba…

Commonly used heart drugs could protect from Parkinson’s disease

Calcium channel blockers are a class of drugs commonly used by heart patients to lower blood pressure, control heart arrhythmias and to help with healing after a heart attack. A new study shows that heart medications, specifically calcium channel blockers that cross the blood-brain barrier, can also protect from the development of Parkinson’s disease.

Calcium channel blockers known as dihydropyridines are the subclass of heart medications found to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 26 to 30 percent. Researchers analyzed a database that included 1,931 Parkinson's patients and 9,651 unaffected subjects, evaluating the effect of blood pressure drugs. The researchers found that only calcium channel blockers of the dihydropyridine subclass that crossed the blood-brain barrier provided protection from Parkinson’s disease.

"The key was to consider the mode of action of these drugs and whether or not they cross the blood-brain barrier," Ritz said. "Some do and some don…

Treadmill training can improve gait for Parkinson's disease patients

Cochrane researchers have found that walking on a treadmill can help patients with Parkinson's disease move better. Treadmill walking can improve gait and is considered a safe intervention to improve slowness of movement that accompanies Parkinson's disease.

Researchers analyzed data from 203 patients for the review. They compared the effect of treadmill training on walking speed, stride length, number of steps per minute,and walking distance to patients who did not walk on a treadmill. Individuals with Parkinson's disease who engaged in treadmill walking improved in all areas of function except steps per minute.

"Treadmill training appears to be a safe and effective way of improving gait in patients with Parkinson's disease," said lead researcher Jan Mehrholz, of the Wissenschaftliches Institut in Kreischa, Germany. "Crucially, we saw very few adverse effects or drop outs in patients given this type of rehabilitation therapy."

The findings are based …

Soda fountain drinks mixed with antibiotic resistant bacteria

New research shows that forty eight percent of soda fountain drinks studied contained bacteria mixed in with the drinks. Most of the bacteria found in self serve soda fontain drinks were antibiotic resistant, making the findings especially disconcerting.

Researchers from Hollins University tested 90 beverages from 30 fast food soda fountains, finding coliforms (also found in feces), Chryseobacterium, Klebsiella, Staphylococcus, Stenotrophomonas, Candida, and Serratia. Most of the bacteria that came from soda fountains were resistant to 11 antibiotics tested.

The scientists are not sure how bacteria wound up growing in self serve soda fountains. One theory is that contamination was spread from dirty hands. Another possibility is that bacteria are growing in the water line that gets into the beverages.

Forty eight percent were fecal bacteria – eleven percent of the bacteria were E.coli. According to Dr. Allana Levine from Hollins University, the biggest source of bacteria in soda fountai…

Mozart sonata helps premature babies rest and grow

Researchers at Tel Aviv University find that premature babies exposed to a Mozart sonata become restful and grow. Premature infants in neonatal intensive care units struggle with weight gain from underdeveloped systems. The music of Mozart was found in the new study to help premature infants become more restful, reducing metabolism, and leading to weight gain.

The pre term infants studied were exposed for thirty minutes of Mozart's music in one session. The infants, compared to those who did not hear Mozart, needed fewer calories to gain weight.

According to Dr. Dror Mandel who collaborated with Dr. Ronit Lubetzky of the Tel Aviv Medical Center, "It's not exactly clear how the music is affecting them, but it makes them calmer and less likely to be agitated."

Dr. Mandel and Dr. Lubetzky and colleagues measured the physiological effects of music by Mozart played to pre-term newborns for 30 minutes. Afterwards, measurements were taken of energy expenditure again after t…

Vitamin E supplements reviewed,could cause harm and other news

Vitamin E study shows antioxidant could harm some people
A study conducted by researchers at Tel Aviv University, and published December 30, 2009, shows that vitamin E supplements could harm some people, and may be a waste of money. Because antioxidants in vitamins have been touted to help prevent disease, scientists reviewed available studies to see if the antioxidant could help curb heart disease. Vitamin E has been touted for preventing heart disease, but the findings show that taking vitamin E supplements might shorten quality of life by four months. Read more

Disinfectants used in hospitals creating superbugs
A new study, published from researchers at the National University of Ireland in Galway found that small amounts of disinfectants used in hospitals lead to antibiotic resistance. Scientists cultured Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the lab, exposing the bacteria to disinfectant. They found that doing so also made the bacteria resistant to the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin. Read more


Jennifer Lopez and her New Year's Eve Outfit oozes sensuality and more

Jennifer Lopez New Year’s outfit shows women over forty about sexy
Jennifer Lopez wore a New Year’s outfit that clearly shows women over forty are sexy. The singer wowed the audience at Times Square with her skin tight body suit that revealed a healthy, fit and sexy physique. Jennifer Lopez and her New Year’s outfit are an inspiration for staying in shape in the New Year. Read more

Restless leg syndrome and erection problems now linked in older men
New study results published in the journal Sleep, January 1, 2010, finds a link between restless leg syndrome (RLS) and erectile dysfunction in older men. The findings were obtained from an analysis of 23,119 men who participated in the Health Professional Follow-up Study. Information about erectile dysfunction and RLS was obtained via questionnaire, finding that episodes of restless leg syndrome per month is somehow linked to higher percentages of erection problems in men who are older. Read more

Bubbly champagne has benefits for heart health