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Yale Lab Discovers New Gene-Based Syndrome
TUESDAY, March 17 -- A new syndrome that features seizures, lack of coordination, developmental delay and hearing loss has been identified by Yale University researchers. The syndrome was identified during a genetic analysis of 600 people for causes of salt-handling defects in the kidney that lead to high or low blood pressure. Five people from four families in Afghanistan, Canada, Great Britain and Turkey were found to have a range of neurological problems, in addition to a salt-handling defect. Further analysis revealed that all five had mutations in the gene KCNJ10, a potassium channel expressed in the brain, inner ear and kidney. In the kidney, the mutation affects the maintenance of the kidney's sodium pump, the major driver of salt reabsorption. In the brain, the mutation interferes with the ability to clear neurotransmitters and potassium from synapses, resulting in seizures. In the inner ear, the mutation affects sound transduction. The researchers labeled the new synd [Read more]
Alzheimer's Drugs Also Treat Behavioral, Psych Problems
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17 -- Drugs used to treat Alzheimer's patients' cognitive symptoms are also a safe and effective therapy for behavioral and psychological symptoms such as aggression, wandering and paranoia, according to U.S. researchers. They reviewed nine studies that examined the effectiveness of three popular cholinesterase inhibitors in managing Alzheimer's patients' behavioral and psychological symptoms, and found the drugs were effective at the same dosage used to improve cognitive impairment. The study was published in the December issue of Clinical Interventions in Aging. About 90 percent of Alzheimer's patients have behavioral and psychological symptoms. Cholinesterase inhibitors boost levels of a brain chemical called acetylcholine, which assists memory, thought and judgment. "There is a need for safe alternatives to the antipsychotic drugs currently used to manage the behavioral and psychological symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. The results of the studies we anal [Read more]
For the Obese, Holiday Tables Serve Platefuls of Doubt
SATURDAY, Dec. 20 -- The holiday season can be especially difficult for overweight or obese people as they struggle to control their eating habits and cope with widely held misconceptions, according to a Duke University expert. "Social situations make people feel self-conscious about what they wear and what they eat to the point where they feel they're being judged for every morsel that touches their lips," Martin Binks, director of behavioral health at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center, said in a university news release. "Some of the popular misconceptions about obesity are that people bring it on themselves, and that they look forward to the holidays so they can eat more," he said. In fact, overweight and obese people are often nervous and anxious during the holiday season because they're worried they don't have the willpower to resist the many temptations. Some put a lot of effort into avoiding social gatherings or certain foods or eating triggers, and others say they can se [Read more]
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
FRIDAY, Dec. 19 -- Less TV and more exercise may help reduce incidence of type 2 diabetes, especially among black women, a new report shows. Researchers from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center made that conclusion based on a survey of black women, a high-risk group for the disease. The findings were published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The research linked vigorous activity with a reduced risk of diabetes. Those who walked briskly for at least five hours a week had less chance of developing diabetes than those who didn't walk. "Our results confirm that vigorous activity is protective against type 2 diabetes in African-American women," study author Julie Palmer, a professor of epidemiology at Boston University's School of Public Health and senior epidemiologist at the Slone Center, said in a university news release. "A key public health finding is that brisk walking reduced risk. That is important, because many women don't have the time or place t [Read more]
Eating Strategies for Healthier Holiday Parties
SUNDAY, Dec. 21 -- Rather than worry about gaining or losing weight during the holidays, focus on simply keeping steady on the scales by following some simple healthy eating strategies, one dietitian says. "Trying to diet during the holidays is setting yourself up for failure and personal torture," Jennifer Ventrelle, clinical nutritionist and registered dietitian at Rush University Medical Center, said in a news release issued by the Chicago facility. "Set an achievable goal: to maintain your weight through the holiday season." Since eating plays such a big role in the holiday fun, Ventrelle said to never go to a party hungry. Instead, eat a healthy snack -- such as yogurt or fruit, an apple and peanut butter, or a bowl of high-fiber cereal -- before the event to avoid gorging at the party. Eating small, lower-calorie meals during the day can also offset the calorie load of a dinner party. When at the party, eat slowly and use a small plate. "Take a small first helping. That [Read more]
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
TUESDAY, Jan. 6 -- Eat less, weigh less. While it may sound painfully obvious, nutrition experts have been divided over whether cutting calories leads to long-term weight loss, because the practice can sometimes boomerang, triggering binge eating and weight gain. But, new research suggests that eating less can pay big dividends, particularly as you age. Publishing in the current issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, researchers from Brigham Young University reported that the middle-aged women they studied had more than twice the risk of significant weight gain if they didn't cut back on food consumption. "Some suggest that restrained eating is not a good practice," BYU professor Larry Tucker, the study's lead author, said in a university news release. "Given the environmental forces in America's food industry, not practicing restraint is essentially a guarantee of failure." The researchers followed 192 middle-aged women for three years and compiled informati [Read more]
Common Flu Strain Resistant to Popular Antiviral Drug
THURSDAY, Jan. 8 -- The most common strain of flu this season is resistant to the popular antiviral drug Tamiflu, but government health officials said Thursday there is no reason to panic. The fact that the flu season so far has been slow, and that other drugs work well against this particular flu virus, has health officials adopting a watchful attitude for now. Click here to find out more! While the cause of the mutation that made the virus resistant to Tamiflu (oseltamivir) isn't known, experts suspect it was caused by the wide use of Tamiflu in other countries to treat upper respiratory infections. There were reports last year from Europe and other countries that a certain type of flu -- H1N1 -- was resistant to oseltamivir, according to Dr. Joseph Bresee, chief of flu prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This year, the CDC was on the lookout for flu resistance to Tamiflu in the United States and, sure enough, it showed up. Moreover, the pr [Read more]
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