Health & Wellness


So just how healthy are you? It's all written in your hands

Dry skin and chipped fingernails are not the only reason to pay attention to your hands. For new research shows they contain vital details about our health, including clues to hidden diseases such as cancer.

The palm of a woman's hand could be an early warning sign of an ovarian tumour, according to a report in the latest Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

A 74-year-old woman who was otherwise healthy sought medical help for hard lumps that developed on her palms. These had gradually spread and joined together, giving the palm a 'wooden' feeling, making movement difficult and painful.

Doctors couldn't find anything obviously wrong, but she was tested for - and diagnosed with - ovarian cancer after they read medical literature and found that the lumps (called palmar fasciitis) were a rare sign of the disease.

The girl who bleeds without being cut baffles doctors

Bleeding Girl

Twinkle Dwivedi, 13, bleeds spontaneously from any part of her body
A girl who spontaneously bleeds from her pores has baffled doctors. Twinkle Dwivedi, 13, has a disorder which means she loses blood through her skin without being cut or scratched. The teenager has had to undergo transfusions after pints of it seeped through her eyes, nose, hairline, neck and the soles of her feet.

Sometimes her condition is so bad she wakes up with her entire body covered in dried blood. Her frantic family have sought help from numerous doctors as well as preachers without success.

'I am desperate to help my daughter,' said her mum Nandani Diwedi, 42. 'We are not superstitious people but we became so desperate. We've been to temples, mosques, churches and sufi saints, but nothing has cured her.'

Video gamers are surprisingly fit, says study

'EverQuest II' players reported exercising more than the average American

Drop those stereotypes about people who play online role-playing games - chances are they're more physically fit than the average American.

UK: More hit by bug as virus takes hold

More patients at hospitals across Worcestershire have been struck down by the Norovirus sickness bug which is sweeping the county, it was confirmed today.

Bosses said the number of patients in hospitals who had contracted the virus had risen to 135.

When the outbreak was confirmed earlier this week at Worcester and Redditch hospitals there were about 100 cases.

The outbreak has led to operations at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital being cancelled to help prevent the spread of the infection, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea.

US: Researchers identify gene that could attack AIDS virus

A promising new breakthrough in the fight against AIDS.

It's important because scientists have developed a new way to possibly get the body to fight off the aids virus as soon as it invades.

At the Gladstone Institute in San Francisco, scientists have identified a genetic link that may neutralize HIV.

Researchers focused on the very early stages of the infection process.

"So we're looking at ways to beef up the first line of defense against infection," said Mario Santiago of the Gladstone Institute.

Scientists identified a gene in mice that may influence the production of antibodies that can attack the aids virus.

Scientists Report Advance in Stem Cell Alternative

Scientists reported yesterday that they have overcome a major obstacle to using a promising alternative to embryonic stem cells, bolstering prospects for bypassing the political and ethical tempest that has embroiled hopes for a new generation of medical treatments.

The researchers said they found a safe way to coax adult cells to regress into an embryonic state, alleviating what had been the most worrisome uncertainty about developing the cells into potential cures.
Magic Wand

Occupational therapy gets people with osteoarthritis moving

Physical activity is the cornerstone of any healthy lifestyle - and especially for people with osteoarthritis as exercise helps maintain good joint health, manage their symptoms, and prevent functional decline. Osteoarthritis, however, often makes physical activity, such as exercise, and even performing daily activities, a challenge.

But an occupational therapist-led approach - called activity strategy training - could provide patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis the opportunity to lead more active lives and even improve their overall health, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System.

British drinking water 'may be tainted with prescription drugs'

Britain's drinking water supplies will be tested for safety amid fears that rivers are contaminated with prescription drugs.

Cancer drugs are of particular concern because they dissolve easily in water.

The "cytotoxic" drugs, which are used in chemotherapy, are potentially dangerous because they are hard to break down through traditional water purification methods and remain potent in low concentrations.

Deadly Rugby Virus Spreads In Sumo Wrestlers

Rugby players may get more than just the ball out of a scrum - herpes virus can cause a skin disease called "scrumpox" and it spreads through physical contact. Researchers have studied the spread of the disease among sumo wrestlers in Japan and have discovered that a new strain of the virus could be even more pathogenic, according to a new article.

"Scrumpox", or herpes gladiatorum, is a skin infection caused by the herpes virus, which can cause coldsores. It is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact so it is common among rugby players and wrestlers. Symptoms can start with a sore throat and swollen glands and the telltale blisters appear on the face, neck, arms or legs. The disease is highly infectious, so players who are infected are often taken out of competition to stop the virus from spreading.

"Scientists in Japan believe that a strain of herpes virus called BgKL has replaced the strain BgOL as one of the most common and pathogenic, causing a skin disease in sumo wrestlers," said Dr Kazuo Yanagi from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, Japan. "We wanted to see if this is the case, so we studied the spread of the disease in sumo wrestlers in Tokyo."

Getting Lost: A Newly Discovered Developmental Brain Disorder

Feeling lost every time you leave your home? You may not be as alone as you think.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute recently documented the first case of a patient who, without apparent brain damage or cognitive impairment, is unable to orient within any environment. Researchers also believe that there are many others in the general population who may be affected by this developmental topographical disorder.

The study, published in the journal Neuropsychologia, and led by Giuseppe Iaria, a UBC Faculty of Medicine and VCH postdoctoral fellow, used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) together with behavioural studies to assess and characterize the navigational deficiencies of the patient, who is completely unable to orient within the environment, getting lost even within the neighborhood where the patient lived for many years.