Health News

Fainting may be `hereditary`

 Fainting may be `hereditary` Washington, August 7 : Fainting has a strong genetic predisposition, a new study has revealed.

Fainting, also called vasovagal syncope, is a brief loss of consciousness when your body reacts to certain triggers, such as emotional distress or the sight of blood.

"The question of whether fainting is caused by genetic factors, environmental factors or a mixture of both has been the subject of debate," said study author Samuel F. Berkovic, MD, FRS, with the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.


Weight training may help reduce diabetes risk

Weight training may help reduce diabetes risk Washington, August 7 : Researchers say men who do weight training regularly-for example, for 30 minutes per day, five days per week-may be able to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 34 percent.

And if they combine weight training and aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking or running, they may be able to reduce their risk even further-up to 59 percent.

The study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and University of Southern Denmark researchers is the first to examine the role of weight training in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.


Eating meat and fish may benefit women with major depressive disorder

Eating meat and fish may benefit women with major depressive disorder Washington, August 7 : Taking muscle-building dietary supplement creatine may help improve recovery in women battling stubborn major depression.

Creatine is an amino acid made in the human liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is also found in meat and fish.

Researchers from three South Korean universities and the University of Utah have found that women with major depressive disorder (MDD) who augmented their daily antidepressant with 5 grams of creatine responded twice as fast and experienced remission of the illness at twice the rate of women who took the antidepressant alone.


Computerized brain fitness program boosts memory of older adults

Computerized brain fitness program boosts memory of older adultsWashington, August 4 : Researchers have discovered that older adults who regularly used a brain fitness program played on a computer demonstrated significantly improved memory and language skills.

The team studied 59 participants with an average age of 84, recruited from local retirement communities in Southern California.

The volunteers were split into two groups: the first group used a brain fitness program for an average of 73.5 (20 minute) sessions across a six-month period while a second group played it less than 45 times during the same period.


Playfulness may help adults attract mates

Playfulness may help adults attract mates  Washington, August 4 : Playfulness may serve an evolutionary role in human mating preferences by signalling positive qualities to potential long-term mates, a new study has revealed.

"Humans and other animals exhibit a variety of signals as to their value as mates," said Garry Chick, professor and head of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management.


Pupils with strong hearts and lungs `score better grades`

Pupils with strong hearts and lungs `score better grades`  Washington, August 4 : Having a healthy heart and lungs may be one of the most important factors for middle school students to make good grades in math and reading, a new study has revealed.

"Cardiorespiratory fitness was the only factor that we consistently found to have an impact on both boys' and girls' grades on reading and math tests," said study co-author Trent A. Petrie, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Sport Psychology at the University of North Texas.


Strawberry extract helps protect skin from damaging UVA rays

Strawberry extract helps protect skin from damaging UVA rays  Washington, August 4 : Strawberry extract added to skin cell cultures acts as a protector against ultraviolet radiation as well as increasing its viability and reducing damage to DNA, a new study has shown.

Developed by a team of Italian and Spanish researchers, the study opens the door to the creation of photoprotective cream made from strawberries.

"We have verified the protecting effect of strawberry extract against damage to skins cells caused by UVA rays," Maurizio Battino, researcher at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Italy and lead author of the jointly Spanish and Italian study, told SINC.


Potent first-strike influenza drug target identified

Potent first-strike influenza drug target identified  Washington, August 4 : In a new study, researchers have shown how compounds blocking an enzyme universal to all influenza viruses may allow development of new antiviral drugs that also avoid the problem of drug resistance.

Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have reported details of how certain drugs can precisely target and inhibit an enzyme essential for the influenza virus' replication.

Since all strains of the virus require the same functioning enzyme, researchers believe their findings will yield drugs that can effectively treat new strains of the virus, which may be resistant to current antiviral treatments.


People with allergies `less likely to have brain tumours`

People with allergies `less likely to have brain tumours`  Washington, August 4 : New research has added to the growing body of evidence suggesting that there's a link between allergies and reduced risk of a serious type of cancer that starts in the brain.

A new study has suggested that the reduced risk is stronger among women than men, although men with certain allergy profiles also have a lower tumour risk.

The study also strengthens scientists' belief that something about having allergies or a related factor lowers the risk for this cancer.


Indian-American surgeon to bring low-cost heart therapy to India

Indian-American surgeon to bring low-cost heart therapy to IndiaWashington, Aug 4 - Dr Mukesh Hariawala, an award winning Indian-American artificial heart surgeon, is set to introduce a unique low-cost "triple heart therapy" in India to help patients with diabetes who cannot afford expensive bypass operations.

Harvard trained Boston based Hariawala will receive "India's Most Admired Surgeon 2012" award for pioneering work on angiogenesis or growth of new blood vessels to aid healing, at the Pharmaceutical Leadership Summit, organised by healthcare magazine Pharmaleaders, in Mumbai on Sep 21.


Multi-linguilism shapes children's emotional development

Multi-linguilism shapes children's emotional developmentWashington, Aug 3 : In television classic "I Love Lucy", Ricky Ricardo switched into rapid-fire Spanish whenever he was upset, despite the fact that Lucy had no idea what her Cuban husband was saying.

This kind of code-switching, or switching back and forth between different languages, happens all the time in multi-lingual environments, and often in emotive situations.

Psychological scientists Stephen Chen and Qing Zhou of the University of California, Berkeley, and Morgan Kennedy of Bard College, have sought to demystify this linguistic phenomenon, the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science reports.


Why women live longer than men

Why women live longer than men  Washington, Aug 3 : Scientists are beginning to understand one of life's enduring mysteries - why women live, on average, longer than men.

The study led by Monash University, describes how mutations to the DNA of the mitochondria can account for differences in the life expectancy of males and females. Mitochondria, which exist in almost all animal cells, are vital for life because they convert our food into the energy that powers the body.


How to mend a broken heart

How to mend a broken heart  Washington, August 3 : Researchers have discovered a molecule that converts stem cells into heart cells, which could be used to replace diseased or damaged tissue in patients suffering from heart disease.

Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham), the Human BioMolecular Research Institute, and ChemRegen, Inc. have been searching for molecules that convert stem cells to heart cells for about eight years-and now they've found one.


Artificial butter flavouring ingredient `behind key Alzheimer’s process`

Artificial butter flavouring ingredient `behind key Alzheimer’s process` Washington, August 2 : 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.


Slower and longer sperm most likely to meet eggs

Slower and longer sperm most likely to meet eggs Washington, August 2 : A new study has turned down a conventional wisdom, which holds that the fastest swimming sperm are most likely to succeed in their quest to fertilize eggs.

The study of sperm competition in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) found that slower and/or longer sperm outcompete their faster rivals in sexual reproduction.

A team of scientists led by corresponding author Stefan Lupold, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences used fruit flies that were genetically altered so that the heads of their sperm glow fluorescent green or red under the microscope.


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