January 21, 2011

Be Mindful for Change

1 Mindfulness Meditation Can Change Brain

Mindfulness meditation can change the structure of the brain in areas associated with sense of self, empathy, stress, and memory, say researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital. Study participants took part in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program with MR images taken two weeks before and two weeks after the program. Findings, published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, support the idea that people don't feel better after mediation just because they're relaxed. The study is the first to document changes produced in the brain by meditation over time. First author Britta Hölzel says that it's "fascinating to see the brain's plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life."

More at Eurekalert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Mindfulness Therapy Eases Anxiety, Improves Mood

Tags: Mindfulness Therapy, Ease Anxiety, Improve Mood, Mindfulness Meditation Program, University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness, Benefits of Meditation, Britta Holzel, Increase Our Well-Being

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (41%) / No! (59%)

Approval of PET Likely

2 Committee Recommends Brain Scan for Alzheimer's

An FDA advisory committee has voted unanimously to approve PET scans of the brain for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease in living people, reports New York Times. The approval is contingent on radiologists agreeing on how to interpret the scans, as well as doctors being trained on reading them. If approved, the scan will be the first test that can reveal plaques in the brain indicating Alzheimer's disease. PET scans have been in use for years, but the new approval for Alzheimer's disease would also involve a dye that makes the plaque visible on scans. Currently, the only definitive way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease is with an autopsy after death. According to New York Times, Alzheimer’s experts anticipate that PET scans will be approved by the FDA for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease.

More at New York Times | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Enzyme Decreases Toxic Protein in Alzheimer's

Tags: Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease, Approve a Brain Scan, PET Scan, Reasons to Get a PET Scan, Brain Scans

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Friends Reduce Death Risk

3 Social Network Key for Breast Cancer Survival

Breast cancer patients with a strong social support system in the first year after diagnosis are less likely to die or have a cancer recurrence, find researchers. The study, published in Journal of Clinical Oncology, showed that women with the highest scores on a social well-being quality of life scale experienced a 48 percent reduction in their risk of having a cancer recurrence, plus a 38 percent reduction in risk of death in comparison with women with the lowest scores. Patients in the study were part of the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survivor Study in China. Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Shanghai Institute of Preventive Medicine started the research in 2002.

More at Eurekalert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Breast Cancer Survival, Importance of Social Network, Shanghai Institute of Preventive Medicine, How to Survive Breast Cancer, Becoming a Breast Cancer Survivor

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (40%) / No! (60%)

Watch Your Fingers

4 Jogging Strollers Recalled

Sport v2 and classic v1 model single-seat jogging strollers from phil&teds of Fort Collins, Colo., have been recalled after reports of injuries, including a fingertip amputation and fingertip lacerations. Injuries may occur when a finger becomes caught in the hinge mechanism as users fold or unfold the strollers. On Friday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada announced the recall along with phil&teds. Around 22,000 of the jogging strollers were sold in the U.S. from May 2008 through July 2010. Another 7,200 strollers were sold in Canada. The strollers were manufactured in China. To receive a free hinge-cover kit and repair instructions, consumers should contact phil&ted at (877) 432-1642 or visit the website at www.philandteds.com/support.

More at CPSC | Hat tip to MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Mylanta Recall over Alcohol Content

Tags: Recalled Jogging Strollers, Recalled Stroller, Fingertip Injuries, Phil&teds, Sport V2 Stroller, Classic V1 Model Jogging Stroller, Recalled Products

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (45%) / No! (55%)

Ads May Encourage Junk Food

5 WHO Says to Restrict Ads to Curb Childhood Obesity

The World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that governments try to work with industry to restrict advertising for unhealthy food targeted toward kids. The reasoning for the suggestion is that ads for foods high in salt, sugar and fat may be helping to fuel the childhood obesity epidemic if they influence kids to make poor food choices. Several companies, including Coca-Cola, Kraft, Mars, Nestle, McDonald's, Pepsico, General Mills and Kellogg, agreed to create a code of conduct for advertising to children. They've also agreed not to market junk food to kids under 12 years old.

More at MSNBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Obesity Epidemic, Fighting Childhood Obesity, WHO Suggests Ways to Fight Obesity, Food Ads to Blame for Obesity, Ads for Unhealthy Food, code of conduct for advertising to children

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (43%) / No! (57%)

Neck Artery Damage Caused Stroke

6 Hickey Temporarily Paralyzes NZ Woman

A 44-year-old New Zealand woman was temporarily paralyzed last year after suffering a mild stroke that caused loss of movement in her left arm. Doctors, puzzled at first as to the cause of the stroke, later concluded that a hickey found on the woman’s neck near a major artery caused physical trauma that led to a bruising inside the vessel. A blood clot inside the artery dislodged and traveled to the woman’s heart. She later recovered movement after being treated with an anti-coagulant. Teddy Wu, one of her doctors at the Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, said “We looked around the medical literature and that example of having a love bite causing something like that hasn’t been described before.” They presented an overview of the woman’s case in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

More at Fox News | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Many Americans Too Tired for Sex

Tags: Paralysis, Sex, Stroke, Blood Clot

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

Especially at Night

7 Tired Drivers As Unsafe As Drunk Drivers

If you are driving a long distance late at night, being tired makes you just as impaired as a drunk driver, a new study from the Netherlands concludes. Fourteen volunteers, all healthy males between the ages of 21 to 25, were asked to drive along a motorway at a constant speed and remain in the center of their traffic lane at all times. Continuous driving for three hours at night caused driver errors that are equivalent to those of a driver with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol level – the maximum allowed in many states. Driving for four and a half hours matched the performance of a driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.10. The researchers conclude that up to 20 percent of traffic accidents in industrialized countries can be attributed to sleepiness while driving.

More at PhysOrg.Com | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Technology Stops Drunk Drivers Cars from Starting

Tags: Drunk Driving, Safe Driving, Safe Roads, Sleepiness

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

Ensure Your Botox Is Safe

8 Medical Procedure Promotions Do Not Ensure Safety

Groupon.com is an excellent place to get great deals on many health-related items, including fitness memberships and spa packages. But when it comes to medical procedures, warns Dr. Felmont Eaves, President of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, “(Cost) should never be the deciding factor in cosmetic surgery. Safety and quality are always the key issues.” Patients must do their homework when choosing where to have any medical procedure, including microdermabraison, Botox injections, chemical peels and laser hair removal. Questions you should ask include the credentials of the personnel handing your care, the effectiveness of the product used, if the product has been approved by the FDA for safety and what the side effects or risks might be.

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

Previously: Cosmetic Procedures Down in the US

Tags: Botox, Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Microdermabraison

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

Can You Hear Me Now?

9 Zoo Crocodile Swallows Cell Phone

A crocodile at an aquarium in the Ukraine has swallowed a dropped cell phone and is now refusing food and appears to be depressed and in pain. A female visitor was attempting to take a picture of the croc when she dropped her Nokia phone into the water. Aquarium employees believe Gena, a 14-year-old and leader of a group of four crocodiles at the exhibit, went after the phone to protect his mates. Doctors are trying to feed him live quail laced with vitamins and a laxative to expel the phone, but the crocodile will not eat the food offered and has not had a bowel movement in four weeks. Surgical removal of the phone will be done as a last resort, but the procedure is dangerous and incisions and stitches take a very long time to heal in reptiles.

More at WBTV | Posted 7 years ago by Denise Reynolds

Previously: Black Bear Drives a Toyota

Tags: Dangerous Zoo Animals, Zoo Animals, Crocodile, Cell Phones

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (40%) / No! (60%)

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