February 4, 2010

A Claustrophobic's Nightmare

1 Another Coma Man Found to be Conscious

A man who has lain in a vegetative coma for five years following an automobile accident may actually be conscious and able to understand spoken communication, according to British and Belgian researchers. In response to yes or no questions different parts of the man's brain "lit up" during an MRI, which the researchers interpreted as either yes or no responses. This MRI technique is described as "100 percent accurate," unlike another recent case in Belgium where a vegetative patient was declared to be conscious by his therapist based on finger twitches that she interpreted. The technique used by the therapist is not unlike using a ouiji board to communicate, and is discredited by most mainstream medical authorities.

More at MSNBC | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

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Lunches, WIC to Share $10 B

2 School Lunches Get Loose Change in Budget

The Obama administration has proposed giving an extra billion dollars a year for the next 10 years to the school breakfast and lunch programs and the Women, Infants and Children program that gives food aid to pregnant women, moms and their young children. The money is supposed to help improve nutritional quality of school lunches and reduce hunger among program participants, but a little bit of quick math shows that the amount of money schools will get per lunch is paltry -- about 20 cents per meal. Healthy school lunch advocate Ann Cooper notes that 20 cents is about what an apple costs, and is certainly not enough to make a big difference in the sorts of meals kids are getting at school. Her foundation and others are set to urge a budget increase of $1 per meal (or about $5.4 billion).

More at New York Times Diner's Journal Blog | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

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A New Way to Blame Your Genes

3 Some Obese People Missing Genetic Material

A study in the journal Nature says that a small percentage of morbidly obese people may have missing genetic information that's leading to their weight problem. Researchers at Imperial College London found dozens of morbidly obese people who were all missing the same about 30 genes that were found in people of normal weight. Researchers first found the deletion when studying teens and adults with learning difficulties, who tend to be more likely to be overweight. After finding the gene deletion in 31 obese people, they looked further and found 19 more morbidly obese people with the missing genes. The report says about one in 1,000 obese people might have the problem, but identifying it could be helpful to get those people appropriate treatments (like weight loss surgery).

More at BBC | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Fat Still Bad for Cholesterol

4 Studies Don't Link Sat Fat, Heart Disease

A review of studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows no definitive link between diets high in saturated fat and increased levels of cardiovascular disease. The report looked at 21 studies involving diet and disease risk and found no clear evidence that people who ate more saturated fat had more heart attacks or strokes. Dr. Robert H. Eckel, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, says the study doesn't mean it's time to start snarfing steak and butter -- the stuff still raises cholesterol levels, which can in turn cause more health problems. Eckel says the study illustrates a trend of turning away from basing a healthy diet on single nutrients and toward looking more at the health of the diet as a whole.

More at Reuters | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

Exercise as Brain Food

5 Exercise Aids Brains of Schizophrenia Patients

Exercise appears to increase the volume of a specific area of the brain for potentially beneficial effects in patients with schizophrenia, according to a new study published in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. Schizophrenia is associated with reduced volume of the hippocampus, an area of the brain which helps regulate memory and emotion. The study included participants with the illness as well as healthy control subjects. Hippocampal tissue, measured before and after exercise, showed an increase in volume in both groups of participants. Additional studies are needed to determine whether exercise should be included in treatment planning and lifestyle choice of patients with schizophrenia.

More at Medindia.com | Posted 8 years ago by Melody Lesser

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (42%) / No! (58%)

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