Health News

High cholesterol level may up cancer risk

 High cholesterol level may up cancer riskWashington, September 14 : University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have verified cholesterol-cancer link with new genetic evidence, raising the possibility that cholesterol medications could be useful in the future for cancer prevention or to augment existing cancer treatment.

The data support several recent population-based studies that suggest individuals who take cholesterol-lowering drugs may have a reduced risk of cancer, and, conversely that individuals with the highest levels of cholesterol seem to have an elevated risk of cancer.

How reducing appetite to combat obesity may increase stress

 How reducing appetite to combat obesity may increase stressWashington, September 14 :Ghrelin is a hormone released by the lining of the stomach that promotes feeding behaviour.

Decreasing ghrelin levels could potentially help combat obesity -- in fact, a vaccine that lowers ghrelin levels in order to reduce appetite is being studied as a treatment for obesity.

However, many people eat as a way to relieve stress. If low ghrelin levels increase stress, its effectiveness as a treatment for obesity may be reduced.

NY Board of Health votes in favor of ‘parental consent’ for ‘child circumcision ritual’ by rabbis

 NY Board of Health votes in favor of ‘parental consent’ for ‘child circumcision ritual’ by rabbis	Washington, Sep 14 : The New York Board of Health has voted unanimously in favor of parental or guardian consent before any male baby undergoes a ritual circumcision performed by a rabbi or mohel that involves oral suction.

The move came after at least 11 infants in New York are believed to have contracted herpes from the practice, two of whom have died and two of whom have had irreversible brain damage.

During the ritual, called Metzitzah b'Peh, a Mohel removes the foreskin from the baby's penis and uses his mouth to stop the bleeding.

Face genes identified

Face genes identifiedWashington, September 14 : In a new study, researchers have found five face genes that determine human facial shapes.

Monozygotic twins have almost identical faces and siblings usually have more similar faces than unrelated people, implying that genes play a major role in the appearance of the human face.

However, almost nothing is known about the genes responsible for facial morphology in humans.

This new study, carried out on behalf of the International Visible Trait Genetics (VisiGen) Consortium, used head magnetic resonance images together with portrait photographs to map facial landmarks, from which facial distances were estimated.

`Deep sleep` turns on puberty

`Deep sleep` turns on puberty	Washington, September 14 : Slow-wave sleep or `deep sleep' is intimately involved in the complex control of the onset of puberty, a new study has suggested.

The many changes that occur in boys and girls during puberty are triggered by changes in the brain.

Previous studies have shown that the parts of the brain that control puberty first become active during sleep, but the present study shows that it is deep sleep, rather than sleep in general, that is associated with this activity.

New stem cell gel holds promise for cure of spinal cord injuries

 New stem cell gel holds promise for cure of spinal cord injuries	Washington, September 14 : Using a new stem cell gel, researchers at the University of California, San Diego and VA San Diego Healthcare were able to regenerate "an astonishing degree" of axonal growth at the site of severe spinal cord injury in rats.

Their research revealed that early stage neurons have the ability to survive and extend axons to form new, functional neuronal relays across an injury site in the adult central nervous system (CNS).

Read food labels and stay slim

Read food labels and stay slimWashington, September 14 : People, especially women, who read labels on food products are thinner, according to a study.

The study by an international team of scientists found that female consumers who consult food labels weigh nearly 4 kilograms less.

Along with the Universities of Tennessee, Arkansas (USA) and the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural Finance Research, the University of Santiago de Compostela has participated in the study on the relationship between reading the food label and obesity.

Sleeping pills and anxiety drugs ` may impair ability to drive`

Sleeping pills and anxiety drugs ` may impair ability to drive`Washington, September 13 : Drugs prescribed for treating anxiety, depression and insomnia may increase patients' risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents, a new study has claimed.

Based on the findings of the new study, the researchers suggested doctors should consider advising patients not to drive while taking these drugs.

Psychotropic drugs affect the way the brain functions and can impair a driver's ability to control their vehicle. Research on the links between psychotropic medication and driving accidents has focused on benzodiazepines, which have been used to treat anxiety and insomnia.

Benefits of breast cancer screening outweigh harms

Benefits of breast cancer screening outweigh harms	Washington, September 13 : A major review of breast cancer screening services in Europe, jointly led by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, has found that the benefits of screening in terms of lives saved outweigh the harms caused by over-diagnosis.

The results showed that for every 1,000 women screened every two years from the age of 50 to the age of about 68-69, between seven and nine lives would be saved, and four cases would be over-diagnosed.

New genetic test can predict risk for autism

New genetic test can predict risk for autism	Washington, September 13 : Australian researchers have come out with a genetic test that can predict the risk of developing Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD.

Lead researcher Professor Stan Skafidas, Director of the Centre for Neural Engineering at the University of Melbourne said the test could be used to assess the risk for developing the disorder.

"This test could assist in the early detection of the condition in babies and children and help in the early management of those who become diagnosed," he said.

"It would be particularly relevant for families who have a history of Autism or related conditions such as Asperger's Syndrome," he noted.

Popeye’s fav Vitamin C-rich spinach `may help protect against dementia`

Popeye’s fav Vitamin C-rich spinach `may help protect against dementia`Washington, September 12 : In a new study, researchers have discovered that the serum-concentration of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene are significantly lower in patients with mild dementia than in control persons.

Their findings suggest that antioxidant rich fruit and vegetables like spinach, carrots and apricots could help fight the disease's devastating symptoms.

It might thus be possible to influence the pathogenesis of Alzheimer; s Disease (AD) by a person's diet or dietary antioxidants. 74 AD-patients and 158 healthy controls were examined for the study.

Exercise may actually reduce motivation for food

Exercise may actually reduce motivation for foodWashington, September 13 : A new study from Brigham Young University has challenged the common assumption that you can "work up an appetite" with a vigorous workout.

It found that 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the morning actually reduces a person's motivation for food.

Professors James LeCheminant and Michael Larson measured the neural activity of 35 women while they viewed food images, both following a morning of exercise and a morning without exercise. They found their attentional response to the food pictures decreased after the brisk workout.

Risk-glorifying video games likelier to lead teens to drive recklessly

Risk-glorifying video games likelier to lead teens to drive recklesslyWashington, September 12 : Teenagers who play mature-rated, risk-glorifying video games may be more likely than those who don't to become reckless drivers who experience increases in automobile accidents, police stops and willingness to drink and drive, a new study has claimed.

"Most parents would probably be disturbed to learn that we observed that this type of game play was more strongly associated with teen drivers being pulled over by the police than their parenting practices," Jay G. Hull, lead author of the study from Dartmouth College, said.

Fish oil `doesn’t cut heart disease risk`

Fish oil `doesn’t cut heart disease risk`Washington, September 12 : Researchers have found that supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is not associated with a lower risk of all-cause death, cardiac death, sudden death, heart attack or stroke.

Evangelos C. Rizos and colleagues from the University Hospital of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece, performed a large-scale synthesis of the available randomized evidence on 70,000 patients by conducting a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the association between omega-3 PUFAs and major cardiovascular outcomes.

Anti-dengue initiative welcomes latest progress in vaccine development

Anti-dengue initiative welcomes latest progress in vaccine developmentWashington, September 12 : The Dengue Vaccine Initiative (DVI) welcomed new clinical trial results that reveal progress in developing the first-ever dengue vaccine on Tuesday.

Pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur reported results from the first study conducted to evaluate the efficacy of any dengue vaccine candidate against clinical dengue disease in a population naturally exposed to dengue.

Dengue vaccine development efforts have been difficult because dengue is caused by four different related viruses, known as DENV 1, 2, 3 and 4.

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