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Health Headlines - June 21

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:24pm
U.S. doctors weigh in on morning-after pill denials

The largest U.S. physicians group on Monday objected to some pharmacists' conscience-driven refusal to sell the morning-after pill, and suggested doctors may fill the void by dispensing medications themselves.

Heavier heart-bypass patients fare somewhat better

From a statistical viewpoint, a person's weight does not affect his or her risk of dying in the hospital after undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. However, overweight patients and those with high-normal weights do fare slightly better in...

MRI shows up brain differences in bipolar disorder

Efforts to define the abnormally activated areas in the brains of people with bipolar disorder could lead to new drug treatments and better coping strategies, investigators reported at the International Conference on Bipolar Disorder in Pittsburgh.

Earache-prone kids tend to carry more bacteria

Children who suffer frequent ear infections -- otitis media -- often harbor high numbers of the bacteria that cause the infections, and a low number of organisms that inhibit growth of the disease-causing bugs, a small study indicates.

U.S. clears two generic AIDS drugs for global plan

U.S. regulators gave tentative approval on Monday to two generic versions of Boehringer Ingelheim's HIV drug nevirapine, which allows the medicines to be used as part of President Bush's plan to fight AIDS around the world.

Antibodies, drug, exercise provide Alzheimers hope

A "passive" vaccine against Alzheimer's, a drug designed to filter out brain-clogging proteins and inhaled insulin may all offer ways to treat Alzheimer's disease in the future, researchers said on Monday.

Warning: Your job may give you asthma

Work-related asthma is fast becoming one of the most commonly diagnosed occupational respiratory diseases in this country, and people who work in certain industries may run a higher risk than others, new study findings show.

Conception tourism spreads as infertility soars

Couples wanting babies are criss-crossing the globe in search of treatment as infertility in the developed world looks set to double within a decade, scientists say.

Doctors' group says antidepressants safe for teens

A new report from the American Medical Association's Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA) suggests that antidepressants -- including so-called SSRIs such as Prozac -- are appropriate therapies for the treatment of depression in adolescents.

Alzheimer's workshop stresses mind-body workouts

Can you remember a new telephone number 10 seconds after hearing it? Do you walk 10,000 steps a day and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables?

Study: Extra Folic Acid May Help Memory

Taking large amounts of folic acid improved the memory of older adults, Dutch scientists reported Monday in the first study to show a vitamin pill might slow the mental decline of aging.

Brain Areas Shut Off During Female Orgasm

New research indicates parts of the brain that govern fear and anxiety are switched off when a woman is having an orgasm but remain active if she is faking.

Team Working on Birth Control for Men

Four decades after the birth control pill became available to women, researchers at the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas Medical Center are working to develop a similar contraceptive for men.

Scientists Find Early Signs of Alzheimer's

A subtle change in a memory-making brain region seems to predict who will get Alzheimer's disease nine years before symptoms appear, scientists reported Sunday.

Doctor Uses Animal Scanner on Infants

A scanning device designed for use on small animals undergoing tests in research labs is helping a Detroit neurologist detect brain disease in human infants.

Brain Exercise Is Key to Healthy Mind

Exercise your brain. Nourish it well. And the earlier you start, the better. That's the best advice doctors can yet offer to ward off Alzheimer's disease.

Therapies May Help Alzheimer's Substance

Two experimental therapies show promise at preventing a sticky gunk from clogging up the brains of Alzheimer's patients, a buildup called amyloid that is the newest focus in the fight against the disease.

AMA Fights Refusals to Fill Prescriptions

The American Medical Association on Monday agreed to use its clout to try to ensure that pharmacists' moral objections don't block patients' access to needed medicine, including emergency contraceptives.

Anthrax Inhibitor Helps Save Infected Mice

A small molecule helps block the deadliest part of the toxin produced by anthrax, somewhat increasing the survival of infected mice, researchers report.

Little Distress From Alzheimer's Gene Test

Conventional wisdom suggests the adult children of Alzheimer's patients might react negatively to gene tests aimed at calculating their own risk for the brain-robbing disorder.

Have Stockings, Will Travel

Garments called "graduated compression stockings" greatly decrease the risk of dangerous blood clots called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) for passengers on long-haul flights, a new study finds.

New Imaging Tool a Boon to Research

A new imaging tool that combines three different technologies in one instrument was unveiled Monday at the Society of Nuclear Medicine annual meeting in Toronto.

Restless Legs Syndrome Often Undiagnosed

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a common and underdiagnosed condition, according to a international study in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Healthy Lifestyles May Help Prevent Alzheimer's

A stream of studies suggests that simple lifestyle activities such as being socially engaged and watching how you eat, drink and exercise may have an effect on risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

New Technologies Spot Alzheimer's Beginnings

Two high-tech brain scans and a new blood test can identify Alzheimer's-linked neurological changes years before actual symptoms arise, researchers reported Sunday.

'Frozen in Fear' May Have Ancient Roots

Like a deer in the headlights of a car, humans tend to freeze when they encounter a threat, and this reaction may harken back to a time when standing still meant going unnoticed by a predator.

Novel Therapies Fight Alzheimer's on Multiple Fronts

Future treatments for Alzheimer's disease may run the gamut from calisthenics combined with singing, Chinese herbs, immune-boosting therapies and insulin delivered to the brain via the nose.

British government ignites debate with public smoking ban plans

The British government outlined a plan to ban smoking in most enclosed public places, including bus shelters and workplaces, but stopped short of calling for the complete ban that health campaigners have called for.

FAO seeks clarification from China on use of human flu drug on birds

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said it is seeking clarification from China of a report that the country has been using a human anti-flu drug on poultry, possibly rendering it useless.

Vietnam bird flu outbreak infects 6,000 chickens

About 6,000 chickens were infected with the deadly bird flu virus in southern Vietnam in the country's first such outbreak in two months, a top animal health official said Monday.

Russians prefer an industrial-strength tipple

Russians are swigging less vodka and gulping down more champagne, beer... and industrial spirits.

Indonesia plans new anti-polio drive as cases reach 50

Indonesia said it will begin a new wave of mass vaccinations against polio to try to halt the spread of the crippling virus as four new cases brought the number of infections to 50.

Shaky mental health rules fuel abuse of patients' rights: WHO

Inadequate mental health legislation in countries around the world is fuelling human rights abuses against people who need psychiatric care, the World Health Organisation said.

New method predicts Alzheimer's years before symptoms

Scientists may soon be able to scan for Alzheimer's disease years before the onset of symptoms using a computer program that measures metabolic activity in the brain.

FAO warns food shortages threaten millions in west Africa

Millions of farmers and herders in west Africa still face severe food shortages as a result of last year's drought and locust invasion, the Food and Agriculture Organisation said in a fresh appeal for funds.

China fears grain shortfall could hit at least 20 million tonnes this year

China fears stagnant grain production will lead to a shortfall in supply of at least 20 million tonnes this year.

Viral meningitis epidemic spreads in Bosnian town

Another nine cases, including eight children, of the potentially deadly viral meningitis have been reported in Bosnia's northern town of Banja Luka since Friday when authorities proclaimed an epidemic.

Food Fact:
Be skeptical of "superjuices."

So-called "enhanced" drinks may have less than meets the eye. The amount of ginseng in your water, ginkgo in your iced tea or echinacea in your juice is far below the recommended levels claimed to affect energy, memory, immunity or anything else. The problem for drinkmakers: Often, adding enough would affect taste.

Fitness Tip of the day:
Asphalt-y logic?

Choosing the right running surface goes a long way toward protecting your knees. Find a grass, dirt, all-weather track or some other soft surface if you want to pick up the pace of your workout and run. Avoid asphalt it increases the impact on your joints -- and your chance of injuries, sore knees and shin splints.

FAQ of the day:
Do children need whole milk?

Children only need whole milk until age 2. Up to that age, infants and toddlers need more fat, from a variety of sources, than the rest of us. One reason is that their brains are rapidly developing, and brains are made up mostly from fat. Let your infants and toddlers enjoy their whole milk, whole yogurt and other high-fat dairy foods, as well as plenty of other "good" fats in tofu, fish, nuts and seeds, for example, up to age 2. After that, gradually switch to dairy foods that reduce saturated fat.
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