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Tue, 07 Apr 2020
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Health

Negative emotions lead to memory loss, dementia study finds

ST. PAUL, MN- People who are easily distressed and have more negative emotions are more likely to develop memory problems than more easygoing people, according to a study published in the June 12, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Light Sabers

US: Chinese Manufacturer Used Lead Paint on 1.5 Million Toys, as Nation's Recall Rate Troubles Safety Experts

One of the most-beloved toys in the world has joined the growing list of Chinese-made products to be pulled from store shelves for safety reasons.

RC2 Corp., which sells Thomas the Tank Engine toys, warned parents Wednesday to stop their children from using 1.5 million Thomas & Friends wooden railway vehicles and set components because their surface paint contains lead, a toxin that's dangerous if swallowed.

Heart

"Obesity paradox" seen in range of heart ills

Among men with symptoms of heart disease, those who are obese tend to live longer than their normal-weight counterparts, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among nearly 6,900 male veterans assessed for symptoms of heart disease, those who were obese were less likely to die over the next 7.5 years compared with normal-weight men.

Past research has linked obesity to longer survival among people with heart failure, a chronic condition in which the heart muscle is too weak to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Some studies also suggest that obese patients fare better following heart bypass surgery.

Now the new findings, published in The American Journal of Medicine, suggest that this so-called "obesity paradox" extends to other heart disease patients as well.

Magic Wand

Kellogg to Raise Nutrition of Kids'"Junk" Food

WASHINGTON - Kellogg Co., the world's largest cereal maker, has agreed to raise the nutritional value of cereals and snacks it markets to children. The Battle Creek, Mich., company avoided a lawsuit threatened by parents and nutrition advocacy groups worried about increasing child obesity. Kellogg intends to formally announce its decision Thursday.

Comment: Still junk!


Attention

Vatican urges end to Amnesty International aid for 'promoting abortion'

The Vatican has urged all Catholics to stop donating money to Amnesty International, accusing the human rights group of promoting abortion.

The Vatican also said it was suspending all financial aid to Amnesty over what it said was the group's recent change of policy on the issue.

Light Sabers

Sleep-related breathing disorder common among aggressive, bullying schoolchildren

Aggressive behavior and bullying, common among schoolchildren, are likely to have multiple causes, one of which may be an undiagnosed sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD), according to a research abstract that will be presented Wednesday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, conducted by Louise M. O'Brien, PhD, of the University of Michigan, focused on children in the second through fifth grades who attended school in an urban public school district. Parents completed two well-validated instruments: the Conner's Parent Rating Scale (CPRS) the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire SDB Scale. Teachers completed the Conner's Teacher Rating Scale (CTRS). The numbers of discipline referrals in the previous 12 months were obtained from the six elementary schools.

A total of 345 CPRS's and 245 corresponding CTRS's were completed. It was discovered, through both methods, that schoolchildren who bully may be more likely to have an SRBD than their peers.

Question

Study: Discriminating fact from fiction in recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse

A decade or so ago, a spate of high profile legal cases arose in which people were accused, and often convicted, on the basis of "recovered memories." These memories, usually recollections of childhood abuse, arose years after the incident occurred and often during intensive psychotherapy.

So how accurate are recovered memories" The answer is not so clear. In fact, this question has lead to one of the most contentious issues in the fields of psychology and psychiatry.

Elke Geraerts, a postdoc of psychology at Harvard University and Maastricht University, the Netherlands, hoped to settle some of the controversy by enacting a large-scale research study examining the validity of such memories.

Recovered memories are inherently tricky to validate for several reasons, most notably because the people who hold them are thoroughly convinced of their authenticity. Therefore, to maneuver around this obstacle Geraerts and her colleagues attempted to corroborate the memories through outside sources.

The researchers recruited a sample of people who reported being sexually abused as children and divided them based on how they remembered the event. The memories were categorized as either "spontaneously recovered" (the participant had forgotten and then spontaneously recalled the abuse outside of therapy, without any prompting), "recovered in therapy" (the participant had recovered the abuse during therapy, prompted by suggestion) or "continuous" (the participant had always been able to recall the abuse).

Health

Labelling call over additives in top-selling soft drinks

Food and drinks containing additives linked to behavioural problems in children should carry health warnings similar to those found on medicines, according to experts.

A number of preservatives and colourings, some of which can irritate the skin or cause breathing difficulties, are used in popular brands such as Irn-Bru, Diet Coke, Ribena and Robinsons Orange Squash.

Question

CDC Investigating Sick Passengers

Health authorities responded Tuesday to reports that 11 people were ill on a flight from Mexico to Miami International Airport.

The Aeromexico flight from Merida, Mexico, landed at the airport and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was meeting with authorities in Miami to assess the situation, said Von Roebuck, a CDC spokesman. He had no further details.

Bulb

Bird Song Study Gives Clues to Human Stuttering

Researchers at the Methodist Neurological Institute (NI) in Houston and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City used functional MRI to determine that songbirds have a pronounced right-brain response to the sound of songs, establishing a foundational study for future research on songbird models of speech disorders such as stuttering, as reported today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A.

This is the first functional MRI study to determine how vocal sounds are represented within the brain of an awake zebra finch, a well-studied animal model of vocal learning. Because of many similarities between birdsong and human speech, this research could lead to a better understanding of the cause of stuttering and other speech problems.

By using specifically-tailored high-resolution fMRI in awake, mildly sedated zebra finches, scientists were able to look at the activity in the entire avian brain during song stimulation.

"While we found that both sides of the brain were activated by sounds in the songbirds, our research showed that the right side of their brains discriminated sounds better," said Santosh A. Helekar, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the paper. Helekar is associate research professor of neuroscience at the Methodist NI and Weill Cornell. "If we can link what we find in birds to what we already know about human brains, then we could better understand the causes of speech disorders and, in the long-run, be able to provide treatments to patients."