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Showing posts from February, 2013

Researcher urges same focus from government on mental health as physical health

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Professor Barbara Sahakian says it’s time to put the same focus on mental health as we do on physical health. Sahakian who is an expert on cognitive enhancers says mental health is just as important as physical health. We all know the importance of exercise and diet, but there isn't the same emphasis on staying mentally fit. 
Brain issues are a leading cause of disability, but Sahakian says mental health is something we take for granted.
"Just as joggers check their pulse rate, we should encourage individuals to regularly keep an eye on the state of their mental health. Often people wait too long to seek help, making their condition more difficult to treat.”
To help improve mental health she recommends innovation and technology. “Innovation which promotes enjoyable cognitive training for example through the use of games on iPads and mobile phone apps will be of great benefit to healthy people and those with mental health problems alike”
She also says it’s essential for technolog…

New rabies cure uses genetically modified tobacco

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Tobacco has a new role for curing rabies. Researchers have discovered genetically  modified plants produce antibodies that are safe for humans and can stop the virus from attacking the brain. 
Left untreated, rabies is 100 percent fatal.
The treatment was developed by scientists from the Hotung Molecular Immunology Unit at St. George's, University of London, in the United Kingdom.
The goal is to manufacture an inexpensive vaccine for low-income and developing countries.
Leonard Both, M.Sc., a researcher involved in the work from the Hotung Molecular Immunology Unit at St. George's, engineered a human form of the antibody.
Both has been working to find ways to treat diseases such as rabies with passive immunization that he explained in a 2012 Lancet study could replace "the less efficient and unsafe nerve-tissue-derived rabies vaccines."
Next they used genetically modified tobacco plants as a platform for production; purifying the antibodies from the leaves.
The rabies antib…

Low testosterone and long-acting pain medications linked in first study

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Men who take long -acting or extended release pain medications are five times more likely to have low testosterone levels compared to short acting opioids, find a new Kaiser Permanente study.

Researchers know pain medications can lead to low levels of the hormone, but the study is the first to show long-acting medications for pain lower testosterone to a greater degree.

The finding is important because low testosterone can lead to loss of muscle mass, osteoporosis, low sex drive and decreased quality of life.

Physicians often prescribe long-acting opioids because there is less chance of abusing the drugs. But study author Andrea Rubinstein, MD of Kaiser Permanente's Santa Rosa Medical Center says studies don't support that the long-acting drugs are safer.

Rubinstein, who specializes in chronic pain management and Anesthesiology, adds there also are no studies supporting better pain control from long-acting opioids.

Oxycontin and Vicodin are used by millions of Americans daily…