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Showing posts from October, 2010

Liberal Political Views Linked to Specific Gene Variant

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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

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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

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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

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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…