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Sun, 12 Jul 2020
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Hallucinations in schizophrenia linked to brain area that processes voices

For the first time, researchers using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have found both structural and functional abnormalities in specific brain regions of schizophrenic patients who experience chronic auditory hallucinations, according to a study published in the August issue of Radiology.

"The results showed abnormalities in specific areas of the brain associated with the capacity to process human voices," said lead author, Luis Martí-Bonmatí, M.D., Ph.D., chief of magnetic resonance in the Department of Radiology at Dr. Peset University Hospital in Valencia, Spain.

Magic Wand

Subliminal Priming: Reading a face is tricky business

Reading the face of a person who is trying to conceal fear or other emotions is tricky business, according to a new Northwestern University study of electrical activity in the brain.

Though such "microexpressions" as a brief flash of fear are unlikely to be consciously noticed, they still get picked up by the brain and make their way through the visual system. The effect can alter perception and the way other people are treated or judged, the study concludes.

"Even though our study subjects were not aware that they were viewing subliminal emotional expressions, their brain activity was altered within 200 milliseconds," said Ken Paller, co-investigator of the study and professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern. "As a result, the ratings of facial expressions they did see were biased."

Attention

Child abuse, neglect rise dramatically when Army parents deploy to combat

Confirmed incidents of child abuse and neglect among Army families increase significantly when a parent is deployed to a combat zone, according to a new study by researchers at RTI International and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health.

The study, which appears in the Aug. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA),compares the rates of child abuse and neglect among nearly 2,000 Army families with confirmed incidents of child abuse or neglect. Researchers compared rates while enlisted soldiers were at home and while they were deployed for combat operations between late 2001 and the end of 2004.

The study, funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, shows that the overall rate of child abuse and neglect was more than 40 percent higher while a soldier-parent was deployed for a combat tour than when he or she was at home.

Health

Anorexia nervosa -- more common and transient than previously thought

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder with a grim reputation. Even experts say that anorexia is often devastatingly chronic and carries high mortality rates. However, these views are highly biased. A study recently conducted in Finland among young women uncovers a completely different side to anorexia.

In the first nationwide outcome study anorexia of conducted to date, anorexia is a common, often severe, but highly transient illness. Its outcome is generally good: up to 70% of women with anorexia recover before age 30 according to collaborating scientist at Columbia University and University of Helsinki, Finland.

Attention

Death toll from legionnaires disease reaches four in Urals town

A man diagnosed with a severe form of pneumonia known as legionnaires' disease died in Russia's Urals town Wednesday, bringing the death toll to four since the outbreak was reported July 19, local health officials said.

"One more patient died of legionellosis in the town of Verkhnyaya Pyshma," the Health Ministry in the Sverdlovsk Region said. "The number of victims of the infection has reached four."

A total of 150 people from 18 to 81 years of age have been hospitalized with the suspected disease since mid-July. Four people are in intensive care, the ministry said.

But health officials said the disease was subsiding as people with a suspected light form of the pneumonia have been brought to the hospital in the last few days. "Their hospitalization has been a kind of excessive precaution," officials said.

Health

Printer emissions can risk health

Workers face a potential health threat from office laser printers that emit large amounts of tiny particles into the air, an Australian research team has found.

Potential effects range from respiratory irritation to effects on the cardiovascular system and cancer, says author Professor Lidia Morawska from the Queensland University of Technology.

The researchers do not know the chemical makeup of the particles and how they are released. But they recommend good office ventilation to minimise the chances of particles entering the airways.

Arrow Down

Food manufacturers target children on internet after regulator's TV advertising clampdown

Some of the world's leading food manufacturers have begun marketing to children on social networking websites and internet chat programs.

Evil Rays

Mammograms, X-rays may boost breast cancer risk by 250%

An International Agency for Research on Cancer study showed that chest X-rays may increase women's chances of developing breast cancer. The study involved 1,600 women with high-risk BRCA1 and 2 gene mutations.

Magic Wand

Evidence of a common genetic background for ankylosing spondylitis and inflammatory bowel disease

Study of the population of Iceland shows significant increased risk of developing both conditions among relatives through 3 generations

Researchers and clinicians have widely noted an intriguing link between some intestinal diseases and some forms of arthritis. In particular, chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) frequently afflicts patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), marked by chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joints. Separately, both IBD and AS have been shown to run in families. Yet, the specific genetic susceptibility, and whether it is the same for both diseases, remains a mystery.

For studying the genetic links between IBD and AS, the citizens of Iceland are an ideal population. In contrast to not just Americans but most other Europeans, Icelanders are strikingly homogeneous with respect to environmental, cultural, and genetic factors. What's more, Iceland boasts an extensive genealogic database, collected by deCODE Genetics, containing records on every family in the country, plus registries of all patients diagnosed with IBD and AS spanning 50-year periods, along with a highly accessible health care system. Leveraging these resources, researchers at Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, assessed the occurrence of IBD and AS among relatives and the risk of inheriting either and both disorders. Their results, featured in the August 2007 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/arthritis), provide compelling evidence of a common genetic component for IBD and AS.

Question

Free Heroin; "Prescribing heroin has almost eradicated Switzerland's drug problem"

A former top adviser to Margaret Thatcher who was convicted of faking prescriptions to feed his secret heroin addiction last night urged the Government to dish out the deadly substance freely on the NHS.Dr Clive Froggatt claims Britain will lose the war on drugs unless heroin is made legal.