Health & WellnessS


Researchers find brain's 'ordering centre'

Researchers at McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) have pinpointed the previously unknown part of the human brain responsible for perceiving and storing ordered visual information. This capacity is fundamental to high-level planning and is unique to humans and other primates like monkeys and chimpanzees, said study co-author Dr. Michael Petrides, director of the MNI's Neuropsychology/Cognitive Neuroscience Unit.

"Our capacity to plan and manipulate information in the mind is dependent on our ability to take in the precise order of things." continued Petrides. "Dogs and cats and rats and squirrels have a lot of memory capacity, but their brains probably do not have the ability to capture the precise order of sequences of items. Approximate order is perceived based on salient features such as the stronger impression of the most recently seen item."

Magic Wand

Toddlers are capable of introspection

Preschoolers are more introspective than we give them credit for, according to new research by Simona Ghetti, assistant professor of psychology at UC Davis.

Ghetti and her co-investigator, Kristen Lyons, a graduate student in psychology at UC Davis, will present their findings Friday morning, Aug. 17, at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco.

Scientists have demonstrated that dolphins, monkeys and even rats can engage in some form of "metacognition," or an awareness of their own thought processes. But developmental psychologists have assumed that human children do not develop this capability before about age 5.


New review suggests caution on drugs to raise 'good' cholesterol

With 40 percent of all heart attacks and related cardiovascular problems occurring in people who have low levels of so-called "good" cholesterol, researchers have long sought medications to increase the amount of this type of cholesterol in the body's circulation.

But a new review of 31 randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that so far, only modest evidence supports the use of most medications to raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) - good cholesterol. Some are even harmful.

The authors concluded that while efforts to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad cholesterol") "have consistently reduced cardiovascular disease risk, HDL-based approaches are much more complex and sometimes disappointing." As a result, "the primary focus should be on LDL," said review co-author Mehdi Shishehbor, D.O., of the Cleveland Clinic.


Why we are unable to distinguish faces of other races (and sometimes our own)

There's a troubling psychological phenomenon that just about everyone has experienced but few will admit to; having difficulty distinguishing between people of different racial groups.

This isn't merely a nod to the denigrating expression "they all look the same." Indeed, the "cross-race effect" is one of the most well replicated findings in psychological research and can lead to embarrassment, social castigation, or the disturbingly common occurrence of eye-witness misidentifications.

Although a potentially charged experience, the causes of the cross-race effect are unclear. In one camp, psychologists argue that in a society where de facto segregation is the norm, people often don't have much practice with individuals of other racial groups and are thus less capable of recognizing distinguishing features.


About 110 people get infected with AIDS in Russia daily

About 110 people get infected with AIDS in Russia daily. At present, only 362,000 AIDS-infected people are officially registered, and according to forecasts of specialists, at least 400,000 people will be infected with AIDS by the yearend.

Director of the Russian Healthcare Foundation Dmitry Golayev cited at a press conference this statistics of the Ministry of Health and Social Development on Wednesday. Meanwhile, he noted that the official statistics lags behind the real figures about 2.5 times, so that about one million people will be infected with AIDS by the yearend. Golayev noted the importance of implementing the national project for AIDS prevention and treatment. Under the project in 2007 about 30,000 infected people will get necessary medicines, and some of them are prisoners. About 20 million people take AIDS tests every year. "The earlier the treatment will begin, the higher chances are to live a full life," Golayev pointed out.


Heart Attack Triggers You Should Know

According to this somewhat light-hearted article, just getting out of bed in the morning may be the worst thing you can do if you're trying to avoid a heart attack.

Magic Wand

Echinacea Really Works

A review of more than 700 previous studies concluded that echinacea does have a substantial effect in preventing colds and limiting their duration.

The analysis found that echinacea reduced the risk of catching a cold by 58 percent, and that the duration of a cold was significantly reduced.


Vitamins are food, not drugs

American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) is pleased to announce that a critical decision was made by the European Commission and all because of our international affiliate, Alliance for Natural Health (ANH).

In 400 BC, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine told his students:

"Let thy flood be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food. Each one of the substances of a person's diet acts upon his body and changes it in some way, and upon these changes his whole life depends. "

Red Flag

Diabetes Drugs to Include New Warnings

WASHINGTON - The diabetes drugs Avandia and Actos will be labeled with severe warnings about a risk of heart failure to some patients, health officials said Tuesday.


Peddling Poison - Bitter battle in sweeteners

NutraSweet is one of the most recognized names in the artificial sweetener world, but for years the Chicago-based company hasn't actually marketed a product under that name. That's changing, and in a big way.

NutraSweet Co., known primarily for imbuing diet pop with sugariness, this month launched its first offensive into another big sugar-substitute market: tabletop sweeteners -- the little packets that coffee and tea drinkers dump into their beverages.