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Tue, 03 Oct 2023
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Health & Wellness


Underestimation: A Third Of Gulf War Veterans Have Mental Health Difficulties

A new US study has found that nearly a third of Gulf war veterans treated by Veterans Affairs (VA) between 2001 and 2005 returned from Iraq or Afghanistan with mental health difficulties.

The study is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center reviewed data collected on 103,788 veterans, half of whom were National Guard or Reserves.

Just over half of the veterans were under the age of 30, with females numbering 13 per cent and minorities around 33 per cent.

Dr Karen H. Seal and colleagues assessed the types of of mental health and psychosocial problems reported in the vets using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-9) clinical modification system designed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Magic Wand

Poll: Most U.S. women not sleeping enough

A typical night for Deborah Wischow means waking up three hours after an early bedtime and waiting to see if sleep will return.

"You're not asleep, but you're not really awake," said Wischow, a Minneapolis resident who has struggled to maintain sound sleep for the past few years.

Wischow, 49, is one of many American women who are stressed out and sleep-deprived due to poor time management, according to a study released recently by the National Sleep Foundation.

Sixty percent of all women surveyed reported getting a good night's sleep only a couple of times a week, and 46 percent said they had a problem sleeping most nights.

This sleepless existence has gripped women of all ages and walks of life. The women also reported falling asleep at work and relying on caffeinated beverages during the day to stay awake. The survey results contain a 3.1 percent margin of error and were collected from 1003 people between ages 18-64 who where surveyed over the phone.

Light Saber

Study shows why exercise boosts brainpower

Exercise boosts brainpower by building new brain cells in a brain region linked with memory and memory loss, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

Tests on mice showed they grew new brain cells in a brain region called the dentate gyrus, a part of the hippocampus that is known to be affected in the age-related memory decline that begins around age 30 for most humans.

The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging scans to help document the process in mice -- and then used MRIs to look at the brains of people before and after exercise.

They found the same patterns, which suggests that people also grow new brain cells when they exercise.


Russian scientists considering animal-to-human transplants

Russian specialists are studying the possibility of animal-to-human transplants, organ cloning and the creation of hybrid organs, a leading researcher said Monday.

"We are currently working on the possibility of xenotransplantation - i.e., transplantation of organs from animals to humans. We are also studying the possibility of cloning organs and creating hybrid organs. But until we have some definitive results, we cannot disclose any details," said Valery Shumakov, director of the Russian Scientific Research Institute of Transplantation and Artificial Organs.

Black Cat

Subliminal Advertising Leaves Its Mark On The Brain

University College London researchers have found the first physiological evidence that invisible subliminal images do attract the brain's attention on a subconscious level. The wider implication for the study, published in Current Biology, is that techniques such as subliminal advertising, now banned in the UK but still legal in the USA, certainly do leave their mark on the brain.

Using fMRI, the study looked at whether an image you aren't aware of -- but one that reaches the retina -- has an impact on brain activity in the primary visual cortex, part of the occipital lobe. Subjects' brains did respond to the object even when they were not conscious of having seen it.


Diabetes: a growing problem in newly-rich Asia

Hong Kong - A cheese burger one day, lasagna the next and chicken nuggets instead of a bowl of noodles.

Across the continent, a newly-affluent Asian middle class is splurging after centuries of deprivation, shaking off a diet traditionally high in vegetables and rice and low in meat and opting instead for food loaded with saturated fat.

But the new variety of foods available to affluent Asians, coupled with a less active lifestyle, has a price -- diabetes.

Health experts say Asians are especially at risk for diabetes -- caused by excess weight, fatty foods and lack of exercise -- as the Asian metabolism has over the centuries adapted to a frugal diet and a hard-working lifestyle.

Cow Skull

WA state veterinarian investigating reported cow deaths at dairy

Spokane -- Preliminary results of an investigation into cow deaths at a Stevens County dairy found no evidence of foreign animal disease infection or mad cow disease, a Washington State Department of Agriculture spokesman said.

State Veterinarian Dr. Leonard Eldridge and agriculture investigators visited the farm, where 50-60 animals have died over the past several months, spokesman Jason Kelly said Thursday.

Mad cow disease - bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE - is a brain wasting disease in cattle that is thought to spread to humans through eating infected meat products.


Banned food additives found in baby medicine

UK: Everyday children's medicines found in cupboards up and down the country contain a "cocktail of additives" banned from foods and drinks for youngsters of the same age, a food watchdog has claimed.

Brands widely used by parents such as Calpol, Benylin, Sudafed, and Tixylix have all fallen foul of a survey of medicines for infants under three, amid concerns manufacturers are using synthetic ingredients unnecessarily.


Hormone paradox may help explain teen moodiness

Washington - This might help explain why teenagers act like, well, teenagers.

Researchers reported on Sunday that a hormone produced by the body in response to stress that normally serves to calm adults and younger children instead increases anxiety in adolescents.

They conducted experiments with female mice focusing on the hormone THP that demonstrated this paradoxical effect, and described the brain mechanism that explains it.

If, as the scientists suspect, the same thing happens in people, the phenomenon may help account for the mood swings and anxiety exhibited by many adolescents, they said.


Consumer Warning:Toxic Chemical BPA Leaching Into Canned Foods

An alarming new study from the Environmental Working Group analyzed samples of canned fruit, vegetables, soda, and baby formula on sale in the nation's supermarkets and found that more than 50% were tainted with a chemical linked to birth defects, ADHD and cancer. The chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), is an ingredient in plastics that lines food cans.