A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Genes not destiny for heart disease

(UPI) Lifestyle may trump genetics when it comes to heart disease, a Canadian researcher suggests.

Dr. Robert Hegele of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada says for about 5 percent of heart patients, the effect of genetics is so strong there is little than can be done via lifestyle, but that 95 percent can override genes by following a healthy lifestyle…

"Simple actions -- basic things like smoking cessation, following a healthy diet and physical activity -- are the key to overturning genetic predisposition."

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Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart

(HealthDay News) Spanish researchers put 42 men and women on a diet that included 40 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder (about 1.4 ounces) mixed with skim milk daily, or plain skim milk. After one month, those who drank the cocoa-flavored milk had lower levels of inflammatory markers associated with heart disease than those drinking the milk alone…

The researchers also found that the cocoa powder group had an increase in HDL cholesterol, which can help reduce levels of LDL cholesterol and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties.

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Drinking Coffee Slows Progression Of Liver Disease In Chronic Hepatitis C Sufferers, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) Patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease who drink three or more cups of coffee per day have a 53% lower risk of liver disease progression than non-coffee drinkers according to a new study…

The study found that patients with hepatitis C-related bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis who did not respond to standard disease treatment benefited from increased coffee intake. An effect on liver disease was not observed in patients who drank black or green tea.

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Constant Light Linked to Symptoms of Depression

(HealthDay News) Exposure to too much light at night may cause depression, suggests a new study.

Ohio State University researchers found that mice kept in a lighted room 24 hours a day had more depressive symptoms than mice that had a normal day-night cycle. The study also found that mice that lived in a constantly lit room, but could take refuge in a dark tube when they desired, had fewer depressive symptoms than mice that couldn't get away from the 24-hour light…

"Constant light with no chance of escape increased depressive symptoms," [study co-author Randy] Nelson said in the news release. "The increasing rate of depressive disorders in humans corresponds with the increasing use of light at night in modern society. Many people are now exposed to unnatural light cycles, and that may have real consequences for our health," he added.

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Amino Acid May Help Reduce Cocaine Cravings

(Science Daily) A new study in rats has found that N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a commonly available and generally nontoxic amino acid derivative, reverses changes in the brain's circuitry associated with cocaine addiction. The reversal appears to lessen the cravings associated with cocaine, thus providing protection against relapse.

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Radiation Treatments Made Safer for Cancer Patients

(HealthDay News) U.S. researchers say they may have found a way to protect healthy tissue and also increase tumor death when cancer patients undergo radiation therapy…

The researchers also found that blocking this pathway delayed the regrowth of tumor cells after radiation exposure.

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Reprogramming Patient's Eye Cells May Herald New Treatments Against Degenerative Disease

(Science Daily) Scientists have overcome a key barrier to the clinical use of stem cells with a technique which transforms regular body cells into artificial stem cells without the need for introducing foreign genetic materials, which could be potentially harmful. The research … suggests that cells taken from a patient's eye can be "reprogrammed" to replace or restore cells lost to degenerative diseases.

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Chimps Show Signs of Culture

(HealthDay News) In a study…, researchers noted that chimps in the Kibale Forest use sticks to reach honey that's stuck in logs. In the neighboring Budongo Forest, they use what researchers call "leaf sponges" -- packets of chewed leaves that are absorbent and suck up the honey.

"The most reasonable explanation for this difference in tool use was that chimpanzees resorted to pre-existing cultural knowledge in trying to solve the novel task," study co-author Klaus Zuberbuhler [said]. "Culture, in other words, helped them in dealing with a novel problem."

The researchers define culture as behavior learned from others in a society, Zuberbuhler explained. It's not instinctual or something that animals or people pick up on their own without the help of others in their social group.

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Senate food bill good 1st step, needs work: FDA

(Reuters) A Senate bill that would expand U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversight and give it the power to recall food is a step forward but it needs to be stronger, the head of the agency told lawmakers on Thursday.

Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the FDA commissioner, said the legislation does not include several crucial measures, including giving FDA better access to company food records during routine inspections, flexibility to target inspections at areas of greatest risk and enough money to do the job.

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Myth Buster: How Do You Know Your Hamburger Is Safely Cooked?

(AARP Bulletin Today) Myth: A hamburger that has no pink inside has been cooked to a safe temperature.

Facts: Federal food-safety guidelines recommend cooking hamburgers, specifically, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that any potentially dangerous microbes get fried. Yet, the vast majority of consumers don’t use meat thermometers routinely, according to PFSE research…

But measuring meat’s temperature has a secondary benefit, too: It can help ensure great flavor.

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Try These 3 Kitchen Cures for Aging Hair

(RealAge.com) Who needs costly salon products when you can give your hair a little TLC with these food-based treatments?

  1. Eggs: To help strengthen and repair damage to hair follicles and give your hair a shine and body boost, mix a couple of eggs in a bowl like you're going to scramble them. Use the egg mixture as a conditioner after shampooing, allowing the mixture to soak in for a minute or two before rinsing…
  2. Bananas: The potassium in this fruit can help soothe blow-dryer and chemical-induced damage. Mash a ripe banana into a smooth puree, and massage it into your locks. Let it sit about 15 minutes before rinsing…
  3. Mayo: This sandwich staple can help soften coarse and bristly strands. Just apply a cup of the stuff to your hair when it's dry, and massage it into your scalp. Shampoo it out after about 15 minutes.

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Flu Shots Not To Be Sneezed At: Study Highlights Need To Educate High-risk Patients

(Science Daily) Two in five at-risk American adults who would benefit from vaccination against seasonal flu are missing out on the protective shots because they believe they do not need them and are not inclined to be vaccinated…

Despite strong evidence that seasonal influenza vaccines are effective and safe, uptake of the vaccine among adults in the US falls short of targets.

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Diabetes drug also helps weight loss for obese: study

(AFP) A hormone drug licensed for diabetes also helps obese people lose weight when used in combination with a low-fat diet and physical exercise, according to a trial…

In the fortnight before the trial, all the volunteers began a regime that combined daily exercise with a cut in calorie intake by 500 calories…

Seventy-six percent of the high-dosage liraglutide takers lost more than five percent of their weight, compared with 44 percent in the orlistat group and 30 percent in the placebo group.

There was also a big reduction in "prediabetes" conditions among the liraglutide group.

Liraglutide was "well-tolerated," according to the study.

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Manipulating Brain Inflammation May Help Clear Brain Of Amyloid Plaques, Researchers Say

(Science Daily) In a surprising reversal of long-standing scientific belief, researchers at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida have discovered that inflammation in the brain is not the trigger that leads to buildup of amyloid deposits and development of Alzheimer's disease.

In fact, inflammation helps clear the brain of these noxious amyloid plaques early in the disease development…

"This is the opposite of what most people who study Alzheimer's disease, including our research group, believed," says the study's lead investigator Pritam Das, Ph.D… "And it also suggests that we can take advantage of the brain's own immune cells by directing them to remove amyloid plaques from the brain, thus protecting the brain against their harmful effects."

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Even Low Alcohol Consumption Has A Negative Impact On Overall Health, Researchers Argue

(Science Daily) [Researchers] found that, with the exception of people more than 80 years old, men who consumed up to five units a day and women who consumed up to 2.5 units a day cost the health service more than those who do not drink. Their finding calls into question the previous assumption that low alcohol consumption is good for your health.

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Minimal Relationship Between Cannabis And Schizophrenia Or Psychosis, Suggested By New Study

(Science Daily) Last year the UK government reclassified cannabis from a class C to a class B drug, partly out of concerns that cannabis, especially the more potent varieties, may increase the risk of schizophrenia in young people. But the evidence for the relationship between cannabis and schizophrenia or psychosis remains controversial. A new study has determined that it may be necessary to stop thousands of cannabis users in order to prevent a single case of schizophrenia.

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Growing Cartilage From Stem Cells

(Science Daily) Damaged knee joints might one day be repaired with cartilage grown from stem cells in a laboratory, based on research by Professor Kyriacos Athanasiou … and his colleagues…

Cartilage is one of the very rare tissues that lacks the ability to heal itself. When damaged by injury or osteoarthritis, the effects can be long-lasting and devastating…

"This will be live, biological cartilage that will not only fill defects, but will potentially be able to resurface the entire surface of joints that have been destroyed by osteoarthritis," Athanasiou said. Currently, joint replacements using metal and plastic prosthetics are the only recourse for the one in five adults who will suffer major joint damage from osteoarthritis.

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The Confusion Over DCIS: What to Do About 'Stage Zero' Breast Cancer?

(U.S. News & World Report) Imagine that you go in for a regular mammogram and are told, happily, that you do not have breast cancer. But, your doctor says, you do have a significant risk factor for invasive cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), sometimes also called "stage zero" cancer. That means abnormal cells are lodged in one or more of the breast ducts—the "highways" connecting the milk-producing lobes to the nipples—but they haven't yet escaped to invade the other tissues in the breast. Will they ever do so? Maybe, maybe not…

Not all DCIS is alike; there's a spectrum. The less closely the cells resemble their normal parent cells, the greater the potential danger seems to be, particularly in the presence of necrosis (dead cells) and in younger women (among other risk factors). All those factors suggest a potentially more-aggressive form of DCIS that may recur or become invasive cancer…

Still, experts say, too little is known about the disease to be sure about which cases of DCIS will progress to invasive breast cancer and which will not. So with a few exceptions—such as small, low-grade tumors in elderly women with other health issues—standard practice is to treat the disease rather than monitor it over time to see if it progresses, says Lori Goldstein… "If you could select which patients wouldn't progress, you could spare them treatment," she says. "We are probably overtreating some patients, but we don't have the tools" to identify them, she says. In that sense, DCIS has parallels to prostate cancer, which is also certainly overtreated—but in which patients, we don't know.

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Delivery Of Cancer-fighting Molecules Improved

(Science Daily) Small interfering RNA (siRNA), a type of genetic material, can block potentially harmful activity in cells, such as tumor cell growth. But delivering siRNA successfully to specific cells without adversely affecting other cells has been challenging.

University of Iowa researchers have modified siRNA so that it can be injected into the bloodstream and impact targeted cells while producing fewer side effects. The findings, which were based on animal models of prostate cancer, also could make it easier to create large amounts of targeted therapeutic siRNAs for treating cancer and other diseases.

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Sensor Biochips Could Aid In Cancer Diagnosis And Treatment

(Science Daily) Researchers … have developed a new test process for cancer drugs. With the help of microchips, they can establish in the laboratory whether a patient's tumor cells will react to a given drug. This chip could help in future with the rapid identification of the most effective medication for the individual patient.

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Nanomagnets Guide Stem Cells To Damaged Tissue

(Science Daily) Microscopic magnetic particles have been used to bring stem cells to sites of cardiovascular injury in a new method designed to increase the capacity of cells to repair damaged tissue, UCL scientists have announced.

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American Cancer Society Stands By Cancer Screening Guidelines

(HealthDay News) The American Cancer Society says it is not currently rethinking its stance on cancer screening, as was widely reported Wednesday.

"We are not redoing or rethinking our guidelines at this time, nor are we going to restate our guidelines to emphasize the inadequacies of screening," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

The society continually revises its screening recommendations and issues new guidelines every year, usually in January. Moreover, current guidelines do not minimize any problems with screening, Lichtenfeld stated.

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Production of swine flu vaccine is way behind

(AP) The federal government originally promised 120 million doses of swine flu vaccine by now. Only 13 million have come through.

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Health care bills would end gender differences, keep age discrepancies

(McClatchy Newspapers) The older you are, the more you usually pay for health coverage, and that's a difference likely to persist under the sweeping health care legislation that Congress is now considering.

The House of Representatives would permit insurers to charge older Americans twice what younger people pay. The bill that passed the Senate Finance Committee would allow premiums four times as high.

Yet the major House and Senate measures would end what many consider another longstanding, discriminatory practice -- basing rates on gender, which is now allowed in most states.

Some wonder, are middle-aged and older consumers victims of age discrimination?

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Older Workers Are The Healthy 'Survivors' Of The Workplace

(Science Daily) Experts at The University of Nottingham say our stress levels at work peak when we reach about 50 to 55 years of age and decrease as we head towards retirement.

In the first comprehensive report into age related stress and health at work to be carried out in Britain researchers from the Institute of Work, Health and Organisations also found that the effects of stress in our working lives can stay with us well into retirement.

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Community: They’re not survivors if they’ve been fired to make way for younger, lower paid workers.

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Lifestyle Changes Remain Important In Fighting Peripheral Arterial Disease

(Science Daily) Modifying the risk of peripheral arterial disease (or PAD) -- with healthy lifestyle changes -- remains vital to one's health, note researchers… And while PAD can progress and worsen over time, there is not enough evidence yet to advocate minimally invasive treatment in patients who have had a narrowing or blockage of a leg artery but showing no signs or symptoms of the disease, say Irish researchers in a retrospective study of more than 900 individuals.

"In the early stages of PAD, many patients will have no symptoms at all and often will go undiagnosed," noted Aoife Keeling, an interventional radiologist… "Prevention of PAD progression is vital and can be achieved with risk factor modification, for example, if individuals stop smoking, watch their diets, lower their cholesterol and have their blood pressure monitored," she noted.

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Community: No mention of exercise, but surely it must also help.

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Phytochemicals In Plant-based Foods Could Help Battle Obesity, Disease

(Science Daily) The cheeseburger and French fries might look tempting, but eating a serving of broccoli or leafy greens first could help people battle metabolic processes that lead to obesity and heart disease, a new University of Florida study shows…

To get enough of these protective phytochemicals, researchers suggest eating plant-based foods such as leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes at the start of a meal.

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A Few Cookies a Day to Keep the Pounds Away?

(New York Times) The popularity of cookie diets is hardly surprising in this culture of quick fixes, but cookie critics say the weight-loss plans are neither effective nor healthy.

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Blood Test Shows Promise For Early Diagnosis Of Alzheimer's Disease

(Science Daily) Elderly people exhibiting memory disturbances that do not affect their normal, daily life suffer from a condition called "mild cognitive impairment" (MCI). Some MCI patients go on to develop Alzheimer's disease within a few years, whereas other cases remain stable, exhibiting only benign senile forgetfulness. It is crucial to develop simple, blood-based tests enabling early identification of these patients that will progress in order to begin therapy as soon as possible, potentially delaying the onset of dementia.

A group of investigators … ha[s] data that sheds light on this issue…

The investigators report that the concentration in blood of amyloid beta "42," the toxic molecule that is believed to be the main cause of Alzheimer's disease, is, on average, higher in MCI cases that went on to develop Alzheimer's disease approximately three years later.

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Healthy lifestyle benefits everyone

(Reuters Health) - Research presented Tuesday at the 20th World Diabetes Congress in Montreal provides further evidence that healthy behaviors reduce mortality in people with and without diabetes…

A greater number of healthy behaviors was linked to a 15 percent reduced risk of dying from any cause in diabetics and a 17 percent reduced risk in non-diabetics, after adjusting for various factors that might influence the results…

Five self-reported healthy behaviors were assessed at the start of the study: physical activity, not smoking, higher healthy eating index, moderate alcohol intake (1-2 drinks per week), and maintaining weight or trying to lose weight in the past 12 months.

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Tip of the Week: When Things Get Complicated, Keep Your Eating Simple

(Shrink Yourself) When things get complicated, life gets busy or things get stressful you can continue to succeed at losing weight by keeping things simple. It's too hard to make good choices when there's chaos. In those moments, plan ahead. Design a simple menu for yourself, and then, eat it everyday…

Doing something like this has two benefits. One is that it keeps you fit and grounded while getting things accomplished. Two, it gives you one less thing to worry about when you're under pressure.

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Budget-Friendly Shopping Tips

(SouthBeachDiet.com) Eating healthfully can be expensive. The good news, however, is that with some careful planning, you can easily … enjoy the foods you love without breaking your budget. Here are five ways to cut down on spending at the grocery store:

  1. Make a list… Become familiar with your grocery store circular to see what’s on sale, and make a list of foods you'll need. Also, take advantage of coupons…
  2. Buy in bulk..
  3. Go for beans
  4. Shop at your local farmers market… Tip: Wait until the afternoon to do your shopping — this is when you are likely to get better bargains since vendors do not want to have to cart back their produce.
  5. Opt for simple meals.

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F.D.A. to Clarify Standards for the Front of Food Labels

(New York Times) The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it would seek to clear up the confusion caused by a surge of upbeat nutritional claims — for everything from Froot Loops to mayonnaise — that manufacturers have begun to make on packaged food labels.

By early next year, officials said, the agency will issue proposed standards that companies must follow in creating nutrition labels that go on the front of food packaging.

That could force manufacturers to deliver the bad news with the good, putting an end to a common practice in which manufacturers boast on package fronts about some components, such as vitamins or fiber, while ignoring less appealing ingredients, like added sugar or unhealthy fats.

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Alzheimer's Researchers Find High Protein Diet Shrinks Brain

(Science Daily) One of the many reasons to pick a low-calorie, low-fat diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and fish is that a host of epidemiological studies have suggested that such a diet may delay the onset or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Now a study … tests the effects of several diets, head-to-head, for their effects on AD pathology in a mouse model of the disease. Although the researchers were focused on triggers for brain plaque formation, they also found that, unexpectedly, a high protein diet apparently led to a smaller brain.

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Hormone Mix Could Cut Breast Cancer Risk And Treat Symptoms Of Menopause

(Science Daily) The right combination of estrogen and a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), which blocks the effects of estrogen in breast tissue, could relieve menopause symptoms and cut breast cancer risk, Yale researchers report.

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Aggressive Microdermabrasion Induces Wound-healing Response In Aging Skin

(Science Daily) Microdermabrasion using a coarse diamond-studded instrument appears to induce molecular changes in the skin of older adults that mimic the way skin is remodeled during the wound healing process, according to a report…

"We demonstrate that aggressive nonablative microdermabrasion is an effective procedure to stimulate collagen production in human skin in vivo," [researchers] write. "The beneficial molecular responses, with minimal downtime, suggest that aggressive microdermabrasion may be a useful procedure to stimulate remodeling and to improve the appearance of aged human skin."

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The Claim: Garlic Can Be Helpful in Warding Off a Cold

(New York Times) THE FACTS In one double-blind study, published in 2001, British scientists followed 146 healthy adults over 12 weeks from November to February. Those who had been randomly selected to receive a daily garlic supplement came down with 24 colds during the study period, compared with 65 colds in the placebo group. The garlic group experienced 111 days of sickness, versus 366 for those given a placebo. They also recovered faster.

Besides the odor, studies have found minimal side effects, like nausea and rash.

One possible explanation for such benefits is that a compound called allicin, the main biologically active component of garlic, blocks enzymes that play a role in bacterial and viral infections. Or perhaps people who consume enough garlic simply repel others, and thus steer clear of their germs.

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Glucosamine Fails Osteoarthritis Test

(HealthDay News) Glucosamine takes a hit in a new study that finds it doesn't prevent cartilage loss in people with osteoarthritis of the knee, University of Pittsburgh researchers report.

Many arthritis sufferers take glucosamine supplements in an attempt to reduce pain or to slow the disease's progression, but previous studies have questioned its effectiveness.

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Community: All I can tell you is that I had gotten to where I could barely stand, because of the pain in my feet. After a few weeks of taking glucosamine, the pain was gone. I’ve taken it for years, and only get a bit of soreness in my feet from time to time. Never that awful pain.

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Heart Disease: B-vitamin Pills Have No Effect, Review Finds

(Science Daily) B-vitamin supplements should not be recommended for prevention of heart disease, say scientists. A Cochrane Systematic Review has shown these supplements do not reduce the risk of developing or dying from the disease.

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Genes May Link Hip Fractures and Heart Disease

(HealthDay News) People with cardiovascular conditions such as heart failure and stroke -- and probably their close relatives as well -- may have an increased risk for hip fractures, a new study has found.

Genetic factors might explain the relationship, including "specific genes involved in cellular mechanisms shared by the vasculature [blood vessels] and bone," said Dr. Karl Michaelsson, … an author of a report on the finding…

The finding means that anyone with a close relative, such as a brother or sister, with cardiovascular disease should be aware of a probable increased risk for hip fractures, Michaelsson said.

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Stroke Treatment Window May Allow a Bit More Time

(HealthDay News) Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) treatment benefits stroke patients when used up to 4.5 hours after a stroke, according to German researchers who said their findings provide further evidence to increase the tPA treatment window from the current three hours to 4.5 hours.

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Heart Failure Treatment Underused

(HealthDay News) A recommended treatment for heart failure is underused in U.S. hospitals, a new study finds.

The use of aldosterone antagonist therapy in patients with heart failure is designated as "useful and recommended" in chronic heart failure guidelines established by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA), but this study found that less than one-third of patients hospitalized for heart failure receive the treatment.

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Women's health problems doctors still miss

(Health.com) Women who know something's wrong but can't get the help they need often have an autoimmune disorder, which occurs when the immune system attacks itself. One in five Americans has one, and three-quarters of them (about 22 million) are women. Some women live with unbearable symptoms for 10 or 15 years before finally getting the right diagnosis and treatment.

"More than 40 percent of women eventually diagnosed with a serious autoimmune disease have basically been told by a doctor that they're just too concerned with their health or they're a hypochondriac," says Virginia Ladd, founder and executive director of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.

What's the best way to … get help fast? Ladd and other health experts say you must educate and empower yourself by learning the names, risk factors, symptoms, and treatments for the seven most commonly misdiagnosed women's illnesses described here[*]. Then push your physician to take you seriously.

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In Shift, Cancer Society Has Concerns on Screenings

(New York Times) The American Cancer Society, which has long been a staunch defender of most cancer screening, is now saying that the benefits of detecting many cancers, especially breast and prostate, have been overstated.

It is quietly working on a message, to put on its Web site early next year, to emphasize that screening for breast and prostate cancer and certain other cancers can come with a real risk of overtreating many small cancers while missing cancers that are deadly.

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Web Surf to Save Your Aging Brain

(HealthDay News) Surfing the Internet just might be a way to preserve your mental skills as you age.

Researchers found that older adults who started browsing the Web experienced improved brain function after only a few days.

"You can teach an old brain new technology tricks," said Dr. Gary Small, … author of iBrain. With people who had little Internet experience, "we found that after just a week of practice, there was a much greater extent of activity particularly in the areas of the brain that make decisions, the thinking brain -- which makes sense because, when you're searching online, you're making a lot of decisions," he said. "It's interactive."

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Seniors Wii bowl for world record and health

(CNN) A world record was set recently in Houston, Texas. It wasn't the world's fastest quarter-mile run, the world's largest pumpkin or even the world's heaviest man. It was, however, as stunning to witness: the world's largest senior citizen Wii bowling tournament, as confirmed by Guinness World Records…

Aside from a seniors-gone-wild moment, this event served a very important purpose: to encourage seniors to get stronger and fitter, possibly saving them from life-altering injuries…

A fall -- or, worse, a broken bone that limits a senior's mobility -- can be the start of a downward spiral that ends up taking a life, says Dr. Sheldon Zinberg.

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Walking with shelter dogs better than friends for seniors

(USA Today) Seniors benefit more from regular walking sessions with shelter dogs than from scheduled walks with friends or a spouse…

In 12 weeks, the dog-walking seniors, ages 74 to 87, showed significant increases in walking speed, balance and confidence, important markers for older adults to avoid the "downward spiral" that occurs when they walk less, lose lower-body strength and isolate themselves socially, says the study's author…

The group assigned to walk with another person five days a week, the same frequency as the dog walkers, did not do as well. The reasons the dog walkers fared better, [the author] says: People in their 70s and 80s are devoted to volunteering, and the notion that "there was a dog that needed them" prompted them to arrive unfailingly for the walks. But those who walked with others engaged in "discouragement of each other," she says. If the weather wasn't good or one person wasn't feeling well, they would decide to shorten the walk or not walk at all. Seniors could benefit greatly if shelters organized dog-walking programs for senior, she says.

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Study Shows How Substance In Grapes May Squeeze Out Diabetes

(Science Daily) A naturally produced molecule called resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes, has been shown to lower insulin levels in mice when injected directly into the brain, even when the animals ate a high-fat diet.

The findings … suggest that when acting directly on certain proteins in the brain, resveratrol may offer some protection against diabetes. Prior research has shown that the compound exerts anti-diabetic actions when given orally to animals with type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus), but it has been unclear which tissues in the body mediated these effects.

"Our study shows that the brain plays an important role in mediating resveratrol's anti-diabetic actions, and it does so independent of changes in food intake and body weight," said Dr. Roberto Coppari.

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Community: In studies with mice, resveratrol has reduced obesity, helped them live longer, and increased muscle endurance.

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Women With Diabetes At Increased Risk For Irregular Heart Rhythm

(Science Daily) Diabetes increases by 26 percent the likelihood that women will develop atrial fibrillation (AF), a potentially dangerous irregular heart rhythm that can lead to stroke, heart failure, and chronic fatigue.

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Flaxseed may lower cholesterol

(UPI) Researchers in China, who conducted a review of research studies, say a diet that includes flaxseed may help lower cholesterol levels…

Study leader Dr. Xu Lin … says one tablespoon daily of whole flaxseed or flaxseed oil is usually associated with reductions in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the "bad" cholesterol -- particularly post-menopausal women, more than men, and in people with higher cholesterol concentrations at the outset.

However, the whole flaxseed did not appear to significantly alter trigylceride levels or affect the amount of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the "good" cholesterol.

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Community: Flaxseed oil also appears to have anti-cancer properties.

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Protein May Predict Heart Attack And Early Death, Not Stroke

(Science Daily) People with high levels of a protein called C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation in the blood, may be at higher risk for heart attack and death but not stroke, according to a study…

CRP protein levels are associated with such medical and lifestyle risk factors as diabetes, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity. "It appears that by living a healthy lifestyle, one may be able to lower these protein levels, thus lowering the risk of cardiac events and possibly early death," said [study author Mitchell Elkind, MD, MS].

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