Health & WellnessS


Brain's 'addiction centre' found

The discovery of individuals with brain damage who give up smoking with ease could point the way to a surgical 'cure' for smoking, US scientists say.

The particular brain area damaged - called the insula - appears to be central to the urge to smoke, a team told the journal Science.

One man had smoked 40 cigarettes a day but quit immediately after his insula was damaged by a stroke.

Surgery on that part of the brain may help beat addictions, they suggest.

Comment: Is it really a surgical "cure" they are trying to find, or rather new methods of enhancing addictions under the mask of cientific research "for the sake of the population"?


Global warming possibly linked to an enhanced risk of suicide: Data from Italy, 1974 - 2003

The global increase in surface temperature (known as global warming) was found to impact on mortality through ill health, particularly among the elderly and in summer. This study sets out to explore the impact of global warming on suicide mortality, using data from Italy.


Fashion chiefs agree to discuss ultra-thin models

The powerful fashion federations of France, Italy, the United States and Britain have decided to address the controversy over ultra-thin models, the French body said Thursday.

The fashion industry has been widely attacked for promoting the kind of stick-thin images which critics say contribute to eating disorders in young women and some countries have taken cautious measures to bring more weight onto the catwalks.

Spain barred models below a certain body mass from Madrid fashion shows in September and organizers of New York's fashion shows this month issued guidelines to tackle the problem, although stopping short of banning them.


Sharp sums in the head aim to blunt impact of TV

A daily dose of mental arithmetic has been placed on the curriculum for primary and even nursery schools in France, under a government scheme to sharpen young minds dulled by television.

Gilles de Robien, the Education Minister, has ordered children to carry out between 15 and 20 minutes of calcul mental every day from the age of 5, when they are in the final year of nursery school, as part of a back-to-basics programme.

He also wants five-year-olds to resume the study of multiplication and division, as well as addition and subtraction, for the first time since the 1970s.


Scientists restore gene to shrink tumors in mice

Reactivating a gene that normally suppresses the growth of tumors may be an effective way to treat cancers, scientists said on Wednesday.

The gene called p53 is a leading tumor suppressor which stops damaged cells from dividing. In the majority of human cancers the gene does not work properly.

But teams of scientists in the United States have shown that reactivating, or restoring the function of the gene, can make certain types of tumors in mice shrink or disappear.


'Altruistic' brain region found

Scientists say they have found the part of the brain that predicts whether a person will be selfish or an altruist.

Altruism - the tendency to help others without obvious benefit to oneself - appears to be linked to an area called the posterior superior temporal sulcus.

Using brain scans, the US investigators found this region related to a person's real-life unselfish behaviour.


Medicare for All: The Only Sound Solution to Our Healthcare Crisis

Contrary to popular conceptions, the average medical bankrupt was a 41-year old woman with children, some college education; over half owned homes and over 80 percent were in the middle or working classes.
Our $2 trillion healthcare industry is not only unhealthy, it is unsustainable. Why universal Medicare is the way to get universal healthcare without collapsing the system.


Study Indicates Antidepressants Double Risk Of Bone Fracture

A Canadian study suggests that people over 50 on a certain type of antidepressant are twice as likely to suffer bone fractures.


HDL Is The New Frontier For Beating Heart Disease

Most people fixate on the wrong number in the cholesterol equation for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It actually may be more important to know if your good HDL cholesterol is too low (<40 for men, <50 for women) than if your bad LDL cholesterol is too high. This is the current opinion from the field of lipidology, and corroborated by the Framingham coronary prediction algorithm.

The reason LDL has attracted so much attention is because there are more effective drug options for lowering LDL than for raising HDL. Statins are usually the drugs of choice for reducing LDL levels, but are generally not effective in raising HDL more than 6 percent, or higher with some statins, but only in very high doses. And they may create unwanted side effects -- like muscle and joint pains, and depleting CoQ10 from the body, which can actually increase the risk of CVD. Perfectly low LDL levels do not guarantee immunity from strokes and heart attacks.


Chlorinated water exposure may boost cancer risk

Drinking, bathing or swimming in chlorinated water may increase the risk of bladder cancer, a new study shows.

The findings are the first to suggest that these chemicals can be harmful when they are inhaled or absorbed through the skin, as well as when they are ingested, Dr. Cristina M. Villanueva of the Municipal Institute of Medical Research in Barcelona, and colleagues note.