Health & Wellness


Avoid brain drain with memory-boosting foods - even coffee

Every cell in your body needs a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to stay alive and work properly, including brain cells. Because oxygen and nutrients are carried in the blood stream, anything that impedes blood flow will starve those all-important brain cells. The plain truth is that a healthy heart makes for a healthy brain. So keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check, exercise regularly, don't smoke and get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

Comment: Seems like the 'don't smoke' advice is added by default to any 'healthy living' article those days, even if there is more than enough evidence that smoking can be highly beneficial to ones health and quality of life.

Compelling research also indicates that certain foods and nutrients can help enhance your memory. Read the facts on fish, berries, leafy greens and coffee - and be sure you remember to incorporate them into your diet.

Early stem cell mutation linked to autism

A breakthrough study on mice has shown that mutations in neural stem cell development may be linked to autism.

Reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by experts at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the study showed that mice lacking the myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C) protein in neural stem cells had smaller brains, fewer nerve cells and showed behaviours similar to those seen in humans with a form of autism known as Rett Syndrome.

Autism and Lyme Disease are Connected, Lyme-Induced Autism Study Finds

Cases of Lyme disease and autism are skyrocketing in the United States. Is there a link between the two disorders? Research spurred by non-profit foundation says "Yes."

Purified stem cells restore muscle in mice with muscular dystrophy

Researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center have demonstrated for the first time that transplanted muscle stem cells can both improve muscle function in animals with a form of muscular dystrophy and replenish the stem cell population for use in the repair of future muscle injuries.

"I'm very excited about this," said lead author Amy J. Wagers, Ph.D., Principal Investigator in the Joslin Section on Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, principal faculty member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Assistant Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University. "This study indicates the presence of renewing muscle stem cells in adult skeletal muscle and demonstrates the potential benefit of stem cell therapy for the treatment of muscle degenerative diseases such as muscular dystrophy."

US: 11 treated for mysterious illness

FORT COLLINS, Colorado - Eleven residents of an assisted living home in Fort Collins were treated for flulike symptoms Saturday morning, officials say.

12 Babies die during vaccine trials in Argentina

At least 12 babies who were part of a clinical study to test the effectiveness of a vaccine against pneumonia have died over the past year in Argentina, the local press reported Thursday.

The study was sponsored by global drug giant GlaxoSmithKline and uses children from poor families, who are "pressured and forced into signing consent forms," the Argentine Federation of Health Professionals, or Fesprosa, said.

"This occurs without any type of state control" and "does not comply with minimum ethical requirements," Fesprosa said.

The vaccine trial is still ongoing despite the denunciations, and those in charge of the study were cited by the Critica newspaper as saying that the procedures are being carried out in a lawful manner.

Marijuana Has Anti-Inflammatory That Won't Get You High

A compound in marijuana may be a potent anti-inflammatory agent that won't get people high, scientists say.

The finding could be a boon to sufferers of arthritis, cirrhosis, and other diseases. Existing drugs can be less effective for some people and can carry side effects, from stomach ulcers to increased risk of heart attacks.

Introverts' Brains Are Wired To Make Them Shy Forever

Ever wonder why shy people get panicky in front of others and in case of tense situations, they can't seem to relax? Well, a team of researchers has got the answer: introvert individuals brains are wired in such a way that tends to keep them tense and anxious forever.

According to new research by the HealthEmotions Research Institute and Department of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), brains of those suffering from anxiety and severe shyness in social situations consistently respond more strongly to stress, and show signs of being anxious even in situations that others find safe.
Alarm Clock

Study finds arsenic threats in SE Asia

BANGKOK, Thailand - Myanmar's cyclone-devastated Irrawaddy delta and Indonesia's Sumatra island face high risks of arsenic contamination in groundwater that could cause cancer and other diseases in residents, according to a new study.

UK Claim: Doctors paid to talk up drugs

Prominent doctors are being paid by drug companies to act as "salespeople" to drive up prescription rates, a researcher and an industry insider say.

A report in the latest British Medical Journal is critical of so-called "key opinion leaders" paid by pharmaceutical companies to give lectures and advice, or be involved in medical trials.

Author Ray Moynihan of the University of Newcastle said the practice was widespread, with doctors getting up to $2600 to deliver a scientific speech to "educate" the profession and the public.