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Tue, 07 Apr 2020
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Health

African twig brushes offer all-day dental care

DAKAR - Brush your teeth every day, dentists say. In Africa, that can mean keeping your toothbrush in your mouth all day long.

Health

Can motion sensors predict dementia?

Tiny motion sensors are attached to the walls, doorways and even the refrigerator of Elaine Bloomquist's home, tracking the seemingly healthy 86-year-old's daily activity.

It's like spying in the name of science - with her permission - to see if round-the-clock tracking of elderly people's movements can provide early clues of impending
Alzheimer's disease.

Comment: Yes, the business of selling gadgets and treating the symptoms is huge.

Another article from last year showed a study that found that a different diet could be the solution.


Question

Jab could beat all types of flu for rest of your life

British scientists are developing a vaccine to give lifelong protection against all strains of flu.

It would deal with everything from a winter virus to a bird flu outbreak.

Current flu jabs are out of date within a year because the virus mutates so often.

The new FLU-v vaccine is also easier to make than traditional jabs, so it could be stockpiled against a global pandemic.

Magic Wand

Gene Responsible For Common Hearing Loss Identified For First Time

A gene responsible for the single most common cause of hearing loss among white adults, otosclerosis, has been identified for the first time, a scientist told the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics in Nice, France. Ms Melissa Thys, from the Department of Medical Genetics, University of Antwerp, Belgium, said that this finding may be a step towards new treatments for otosclerosis, which affects approximately 1 in 250 people.

Otosclerosis is a multifactorial disease, caused by an interaction of genetic and environmental factors. The outcome is a progressive hearing loss as the growing bone in the middle ear interrupts the sound waves passing to the inner ear. While the causative factors remain unknown, now one of the genetic components has been identified, Ms Thys told the conference.

"The gene in which the variant is located points to a pathway that contributes to the disease. This may be a lead for better forms of treatment in the future; currently the best option is an operation. However, there is often an additional component of hearing loss which can't be restored by surgery. As the gene involved is a growth factor, and the disease manifests itself by the abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear, it may have a large potential for therapy", she said. Improved understanding may also lead to prevention strategies.

Arrow Down

Male twins 'can reduce fertility'

A twin brother can reduce his female twin's chances of having children, say scientists at Sheffield University.

Women were 25% less likely to have children if their twin was male, the study, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concluded.

Although other factors could play a part - the women were less likely to marry - the team blamed exposure in the womb to the male hormone testosterone.

Experts have agreed testosterone might potentially damage female fertility.

They said animal work supported this.

But they said more work was needed to look at human mechanisms.

Ambulance

Rate of food allergies an 'epidemic'

HOSPITAL admissions for anaphylaxis have trebled in five years at the [Melbourne] Royal Children's Hospital - and no one knows why.

Unpublished data shows that 71 children were admitted to the hospital in 2005-06 after suffering an anaphylactic reaction, mainly to food. Five years earlier there were 23 admissions.

Health

The Age of Autism: Gluten clue from Case 2

Finding a treasure trove of documents about the family of one of the earliest cases of autism has led this column to offer two observations: Mercury may be associated with the disorder from the beginning, and cutting-edge research near the nation's capital may help explain why it was first discovered at Johns Hopkins University in nearby Baltimore.

Attention

Imported Food (wheat gluten) Rarely Suspected

WASHINGTON - Just 1.3 percent of imported fish, vegetables, fruit and other foods are inspected yet those government inspections regularly reveal food unfit for human consumption.

Health

Food Cravings, Obesity and Gluten Consumption

Increased consumption of gluten, according to Dr. Michael Marsh, raises the risk of celiac disease symptoms1. Although these symptoms may not indicate celiac disease, they reflect some biological realities. Grain-based foods simply do not offer the nutrients necessary to human health and they damage the human body. USDA and Canada Food Guides notwithstanding, if people eat grain-laden diets, they may develop symptoms of celiac disease (but in most cases, without the diagnostic intestinal lesion).

Magnify

Sensitivity To Gluten May Result In Neurological Dysfunction; Independent Of Symptoms

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St. Paul, Minnesota - You may have gluten sensitivity and not even know it, according to a study published in the April 23 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Loss of coordination (ataxia) may result from gluten sensitivity. This disease is known as gluten ataxia. The study found that some patients might never experience the gastrointestinal symptoms that prompt them to seek treatment for the disorder.

"Gluten ataxia is a common neurological manifestation of gluten sensitivity," according to M. Hadjivassiliou, M.D., of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK. "It remains unclear why some patients with gluten sensitivity present solely with neurological dysfunction when others present with gastrointentestinal symptoms (gluten sensitive enteropathy) or an itchy skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)."

Although the cerebellum (the part of the brain responsible for coordination) and in particular the Purkinje cells (output neurons of the cerebellum) appear to be most susceptible to damage in patients with gluten ataxia, other areas of the brain are not spared. "We were interested to determine the mechanism by which Purkinje cells are damaged in gluten ataxia," commented Hadjivassiliou. Study results show that patients with gluten ataxia have antibodies against Purkinje cells and also that antibodies against gluten (antigliadin antibodies) cross-react with Purkinje cells.