Washington, August 11 : Scientists have discovered how a defective gene causes brain changes that lead to the atypical social behaviour characteristic of autism.
The research offers a potential target for drugs to treat the condition.
Earlier research already has shown that the gene is defective in children with autism, but its effect on neurons in the brain was not known. The new studies in mice show that abnormal action of just this one gene disrupted energy use in neurons.
The harmful changes were coupled with antisocial and prolonged repetitive behaviour -- traits found in autism.
Washington, August 11 : Researchers may have found a promising stem cell therapy for preventing osteoarthritis after a joint injury.
Injuring a joint greatly raises the odds of getting a form of osteoarthritis called post-traumatic arthritis, or PTA. There are no therapies yet that modify or slow the progression of arthritis after injury.
Researchers at Duke University Health System have found a very promising therapeutic approach to PTA using a type of stem cell, called mesenchymal stem cells
(MSCs), in mice with fractures that typically would lead to them developing arthritis.
Washington, August 11 : A new observational study has found more evidence of an association between daily aspirin use and modestly lower cancer mortality, but suggests any reduction may be smaller than that observed in a recent analysis.
The study provides additional support for a potential benefit of daily aspirin use for cancer mortality, but the authors say important questions remain about the size of the potential benefit.
Washington, August 10 : Living in the moment is impossible for a healthy person, according to neuroscientists who have identified a brain area responsible for using past decisions and outcomes to guide future behaviour.
The study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh is the first of its kind to analyze signals associated with metacognition-a person's ability to monitor and control cognition
(a term cleverly described by researchers as "thinking about thinking.")
Washington, Aug 10 - A blood test is in the offing to detect Alzheimer's disease, researchers at Emory University say.
"Reliability and failure to replicate initial results have been the biggest challenge in this field. We demonstrate here that it is possible to show consistent findings," says William Hu, assistant professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, who led the study.
Hu and collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University, St. Louis, measured the levels of 190 proteins in the blood of 600 study participants at those institutions, the journal Neurology reports.
Washington, August 9 : Violations of the alcohol industry’s advertising standards are most common in magazines with sizable youth readerships, according to a new study from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth
(CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The study is the first to measure the relationship of problematic content to youth exposure, and the first to examine risky behaviours depicted in alcohol advertising in the past decade.
Washington, August 9 : Results of a new study has indicated a relatively high prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms in new mothers.
Prof. Rael Strous of Tel Aviv University has found that approximately one third of all post-partum women exhibit some symptoms of PTSD, and a smaller percentage develop full-blown PTSD following the ordeal of labor.
Natural birth is a major cause of post-traumatic stress, according to the study.
Washington, Aug 9 - The formation in the air of sulphuric acid, which smells like rotten eggs, is significantly impacting our climate and health, says a study.
The study led by Roy "Lee" Mauldin III, research associate at the University of Colorado-Boulder's atmospheric and oceanic sciences department, charts a previously unknown chemical pathway for the formation of sulphuric acid, which can trigger both increased acid rain and cloud formation as well as harmful respiratory effects on humans.
Washington, August 9 : Manipulating a group of hormone-producing cells in the brain can control blood sugar levels in the body, a new study has revealed.
This has dramatic potential for research into weight-loss drugs and diabetes treatment.
The new study examines how fruit flies (Drosophila) react when confronted with a decreased diet.
Washington, August 9 : MIT researchers have found that a protein that slows ageing in mice and other animals also protects against the ravages of a high-fat diet, including diabetes.
More than a decade ago, MIT biology professor Leonard Guarente discovered SIRT1's longevity-boosting properties and has since explored its role in many different body tissues.
In his latest study, he looked at what happens when the SIRT1 protein is missing from adipose cells, which make up body fat.
Washington, August 9 : Mindfulness yoga may help reduce depression in pregnant women, according to a University of Michigan Health System pilot feasibility study.
It is known that pregnancy hormones can dampen moods, but for some mothers-to-be, it's much worse: 1 in 5 experience major depression.
In the study, pregnant women who were identified as psychiatrically high risk and who participated in a 10-week mindfulness yoga intervention saw significant reductions in depressive symptoms.
Mothers-to-be also reported stronger attachment to their babies in the womb.
Washington, August 8 : Plain packaging of cigarettes -standard packages without attractive designs and imagery - may help to draw the attention of some adolescent smokers to the health warnings on the package, which may in turn deter them from continuing to smoke, according to a new study.
Researchers asked eighty-seven teenage secondary school (high school) students from the city of Bristol, UK, to look at twenty images of cigarette packs on a computer screen for ten seconds each while a device tracked their eye movements.
Washington, August 8 : Adults of a normal weight with new-onset diabetes die at a higher rate than overweight/obese adults with the same disease, according to a new US study.
The study found that normal-weight participants experienced both significantly higher total and non-cardiovascular mortality than overweight/obese participants.
Normal-weight adults with type 2 diabetes have been understudied because those who typically develop the disease are overweight or obese. In this study about 10 percent of those with new-onset diabetes were at a normal weight at the time of ascertainment.
Washington, August 8 : Eating habits of children in early age can affect their IQ.
According to new research from the University of Adelaide, children fed healthy diets in early age may have a slightly higher IQ, while those on heavier junk food diets may have a slightly reduced IQ.
The study - led by University of Adelaide Public Health researcher Dr Lisa Smithers - looked at the link between the eating habits of children at six months, 15 months and two years, and their IQ at eight years of age.
Washington, August 8 : A new study including Indian-origin researchers have raised concern about chronic exposure of workers in industry to a food flavouring ingredient used to produce the distinctive buttery flavour and aroma of microwave popcorn, margarines, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods and other products.
They found evidence that the ingredient, diacetyl (DA), intensifies the damaging effects of an abnormal brain protein linked to Alzheimer's disease.
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