Health & Wellness


Blood Thinning Drug Linked To Increased Bleeding In Brain

A new study shows that people who take the commonly used blood thinning drug warfarin may have larger amounts of bleeding in the brain and increased risk of death if they suffer a hemorrhagic stroke.

The study is published in the September 30, 2008, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Warfarin is commonly prescribed to prevent blood clotting. Studies have shown it helps prevent ischemic stroke for patients with an abnormal heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation. However, if the drug makes the blood too thin, it can increase the risk of brain hemorrhage, a type of stroke caused by bleeding in the brain.

The study involved 258 people who had brain hemorrhage, 51 of whom were taking warfarin. Participants were 69 years old on average and lived in or near Cincinnati. The group underwent brain scans to confirm the type of stroke. The brain scans were used to measure the size of the blood clots.

The study found that people who took warfarin and suffered a brain hemorrhage while their international normalized ratio (INR) was above three had about twice as much initial bleeding as those not taking warfarin. However, this effect was not seen in people whose blood was less likely to clot as determined by an INR of less than three. An INR test measures the blood's ability to clot.
Magic Wand

Why faith in God really can relieve pain

For centuries, religious believers have endured suffering with impressive fortitude. Now scientists claim to have discovered that faith in God really can relieve pain. New research at Oxford University has found that the Christian martyrs may well have been able to draw on their religion to reduce the agony of, for example, being burnt at the stake.

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.