October 19, 2010

Improves Brain Imaging

1 New "Hairbrush” Measures Brain Activity

A standard for measuring brain activity, known as functional near infrared spectroscopy, is a noninvasive technique that measures oxygen levels in the brain. However, the procedure, which relies on contact between the scalp and the measuring device, is often hampered when the patient’s hair blocks the signal. Now, a team of researchers at the U of Texas have invented a “brush optrode” designed to slide through hair follicles for better scalp contact. Tests indicate that not only is the signal improved as much as five-fold, patients report that the brush optrode is much more comfortable than the conventional method. Brain imaging is useful for patients with cerebral palsy, to determine changes in the brain due to Alzheimer’s disease, and to test brain activity after a stroke.

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 7 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Walking Boosts Brain Function

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, Brain Function, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, University of Texas, Brain Activity, Brain Imaging, Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy, Brush Optrode

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

Rover to the Rescue

2 Dogs May Help Autistic Kids with Stress

Trained service dogs may be useful for helping autistic kids adapt, say researchers. Sonia Lupien, senior researcher and a professor at the Université de Montréal, says that study findings reveal that the pooches have a "clear impact" on stress hormone levels in children with Autism Syndrome Disorders (ASDs). "I have not seen such a dramatic effect before," comments Lupien. To determine stress levels, Lupien and her colleagues measured the stress hormone cortisol present in saliva of autistic children in the study. Researchers believe that the trained service dogs may help lessen anxiety and improve socialization of autistic children. Findings are published in Psychoneuroendocrinology.

More at EureakAlert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Cortisol, Cortisol Levels, Autism Syndrome Disorders, ASDs, Sonia Lupien, Universite De Montreal, Helping Autistic Kids Adapt, Helping Autistic Kids with Stress, Dog Therapy for Autism, Psychoneuroendocrinology, Improve Socialization of Autistic Children

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

Rare Attack Kills Hiker

3 Defending Yourself Against a Mountain Goat

Though mountain goat attacks are rare, a hiker died in such an attack on Saturday at Olympic National Park. Slate says that "unprovoked fatal gores" by mountain goats are almost unheard of, and the goats normally only attack when feeling trapped. But what should you do in the rare event you find yourself faced with an angry or fearful mountain goat? Slate advises you to run! They explain that while you'd probably not be able to outrun a mountain goat, the goat probably wouldn't pursue you very far either. Other tactics that may help you survive a mountain goat attack include having an aggressive posture and pelting the creature with rocks. Slate points out that throwing rocks at the goats is against National Park Service rules, but they suppose "expulsion from the park beats being gored."

More at Slate | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Goat Milk Feta

Tags: Olympic National Park, Mountain Goat Attack, Surviving Goat Attack, Defending Yourself Against Goat Attack, Rare Hiker Death, Hiker Killed by Goat, Aggressive Posture, National Park Service Rules

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

Check the Medicine Cabinet Again

4 Another Tylenol Recall: 8-Hour Caplets

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, makers of Tylenol, have announced yet another recall of Tylenol. Many consumers have been flocking to store brands amid safety concerns over the 150 million units of drugs recalled by the company in the last year. Previous recalls have included Motrin, Benadryl and Zyrtec. This latest recall involves one lot (BCM155) of Tylenol 8-Hour Caplets, 50 count bottles with UPC code 3 0045-0297-51 8. The recall was prompted by consumer complaints about a musty or moldy odor, potentially caused by trace amounts of 2,4,6-tribromoanisole. The drug maker believes that risk to consumers is small, but customers should nevertheless stop taking the recalled medication. McNeil Consumer Healthcare may be reached at 1-888-222-6036.

More at McNeil / Johson and Johnson | Hat tip to New York Times | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Children's Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl Recalled

Tags: Tylenol 8 Hour Caplets, Tylenol Recalls, Another Tylenol Recall, Latest Tylenol Recalls, UPC of Tylenol Recalls, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Tribromoanisole, Motrin Recall, Benadryl Recall

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Low Levels in Elderly Are Common

5 High Vitamin B12 Intake May Lower Risk of Dementia

Low levels of vitamin B12 are common in the elderly. A new study indicates that increasing the amount of B12 consumed in the daily diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. The study followed 271 Finnish individuals between the ages of 65 and 79, none of whom had dementia symptoms at the start of the study. Blood samples were taken, and the participants were followed over a period of seven years. The researchers found that for every 1 micromole per liter of holotranscobalamin (the active part of B12) consumed, the risk of Alzheimer’s dropped by 2%. Good sources of vitamin B12 include animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. Vegetarian soy products may be fortified with B12.

More at Medical News Today | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Vitamin B May Halt Brain Shrinkage

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia, Nutrition, Vitamin B12

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

No Need for Supplements

6 Fish Oil Cannot Reduce Postpartum Depression Risk

In the past few years, supplements of docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, found in fish oil have been though to reduce the risk of postpartum depression in mothers, however the latest research finds no benefit. Neither do the supplements appear to boost cognitive development skills in the infants, according to the research presented in the Journal of the American Medical Association. For the study, the researchers evaluated 2,320 women randomly assigned from the 21st week of pregnancy to either take three 500 mg fish oil capsules or a placebo made of vegetable oil. Depression was tested twice after delivery and women taking the supplements only had a 1 percent lower incidence of postpartum depression. Experts generally recommend 200 mg of DHA a day during pregnancy.

More at WebMD | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Fish Oil Supplements Support Muscle Recovery

Tags: Depression, DHA, Fish Oil, Postpartum Depression, Pregnancy, Docosahexaenoic Acid

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Costs More but Doesn't Have To

7 Spending More on Food Linked to Better Health

A higher grocery bill is associated with a healthier diet, say researchers of a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, although it is possible to improve your diet without increased spending. Of the over 78 thousand participants in the Nurses’ Health Study, those who spent about 24 percent more on their food bill had higher intakes of fruit and fruit juice, vegetables, poultry and fish, nuts, soy and beans, and whole grains. These women also had lower rates of angina, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. While fresh fruits and vegetables were found to be the costliest, the authors say one can still have a healthful diet by cutting out red and processed meat, high-fat dairy products, and snacks and sweets.

More at Food Navigator | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Does Money Buy Happiness?

Tags: Food Costs, High Blood Pressure, Money, Type 2 Diabetes, Healthy Diet, Grocery

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (51%) / No! (49%)

October-November Babies at Risk

8 Season of First Trimester Tied to Allergy Risk

The season of a woman’s first trimester of pregnancy may be linked to the chances the child will develop allergies. Researchers examined the records of 5,920 children born between 2001 and 2006 in a Finnish province, 961 of whom had skin tests for allergies. Ten percent of kids born in October and November tested positive while 5 percent born in June and July did. Researchers hypothesize that during the 11th week of pregnancy fetuses are exposed to high levels of certain pollens during April and May when pollen levels peak. It may be that the immune system may be altered by being exposed to high levels of allergens. Previous studies have demonstrated that kids born in the northern hemisphere during autumn or winter are more likely to have eczema and an asthma-like wheeze.

More at Yahoo! AFP | Posted 7 years ago by Kristie Hayes

Previously: Flu Shots Safe for Kids with Allergies

Tags: Allergies, First Trimester of Pregnancy, Allergies in Kids, Timing of Pregnancy

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (50%) / No! (50%)

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