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

Commitment to Change Is Best for Long-Term Weight Loss Success

(HealthDay News) A new study found that obese women who started out losing 1.5 pounds a week or more on average and kept it up lost more weight over time than women who lost more slowly. They also maintained the loss longer and were no more likely to put it back on than the slowest losers, the researchers added.

The results shouldn't be interpreted to mean that crash diets work, said study author Lisa Nackers…

Rather, she said, the quicker weight loss of the fast-losing group reflected their commitment to the program, Nackers said. "The fast group attended more sessions [to talk about weight loss], completed more food records and ate fewer calories than the slow group."

Fast loss is relative. For her study, Nackers said, "fast losers are those who lost at least a pound and a half a week."

The faster loss resulted from their active participation in the program, she said. "Those who make the behavior changes early do better in terms of weight loss and long term [in keeping it off]."

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Community: I changed the title of this article from “Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success” to the above because the times that I’ve tried quick weight loss, I’ve starved myself and ended up gaining it all back. Commitment to change is what works for the long term. The study author makes that point, too. It isn’t the quick weight loss that results in the long-term success.

Oh, and by the way, in my experience commitment is best for long-term success in any endeavor.

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Does eating too much lead to urinary incontinence?

(Reuters Health) Women who consume a lot of calories or favor saturated fat over "good" fats may have an increased risk of urinary incontinence, regardless of their body weight, a new study suggests…

Excess weight, particularly in the abdomen, is one risk factor for urinary incontinence, and shedding those extra pounds can help prevent the problem or reduce symptoms. But it's also possible that the healthy lifestyle changes that spur weight loss -- improved diet and increased exercise -- help explain the benefit.

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Biofeedback helps women do pelvic muscle exercises

(UPI) For the one in three U.S. women who suffer the symptoms of weak pelvic muscles, a machine may make doing Kegel exercises easier, a women's foundation says…

"The problem is that many women are not correctly doing Kegel exercises."

A self-directed home biofeedback system -- The Myself Trainer -- is designed for women with symptoms of urgency and incontinence. It helps women identify their pelvic muscles, measures the strength of pelvic muscles and provided feedback on how effective a woman's Kegel exercises are.

Read more.

Community: I didn’t need a device. I just figured it out on my own. The Mayo Clinic has the instructions.

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Diet soda for preventing kidney stones?

(Reuters Health) Certain diet sodas may have the potential to prevent the most common type of kidney stone, if new lab research is correct.

In the study, researchers found that the diet versions of several popular citrus-flavored sodas -- like 7Up, Sunkist and Sprite -- contained relatively high amounts of a compound called citrate. Citrate, in turn, is known to inhibit the formation of calcium oxalate stones, the most common form of kidney stone.

The findings … suggest that diet sodas could stand as an extra weapon for some people prone to forming kidney stones.

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Special cheese may fight disease

(UPI) A Finnish researcher suggests adding cheese with probiotic bacteria to the diets of elderly people to help them fight infection and disease…

"We have demonstrated that the regular intake of probiotic cheese can help to boost the immune system and that including it in a regular diet may help to improve an elderly person's immune response to external challenges," [lead author Dr. Fandi] Ibrahim says in a statement.

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MyRecipes.com

Snapper with Grilled Mango Salsa
Keep the kitchen cool and grill your entire main dish tonight. Grilling the mango brings out the sweetness, which perfectly balance the flavor of the fish. Serve with orange-scented couscous.

5 to Try: Sandwiches from Around the World

Perfect Potato Salad

Dinner on a Dime

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Tea filters help smokers to quit

(UPI) Chinese researchers have developed a tea filter that may help people to quit smoking -- while smoking…

When a smoker smokes using the tea filter, the inhibitors of the nicotine receptor in the tea filter are absorbed through the respiratory system and travel to the brain where it produces cessation effects, the researchers say. The smokers get progressively less dependent on nicotine with each smoking cycle and eventually quit, the study says.

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Concerns Over Radiation Exposure May Overshadow Life-Saving Benefits of Cardiac Imaging Tests

(Science Daily) When patients present with chest pain or other high-risk symptoms of heart problems, doctors increasingly rely on nuclear imaging and computed tomography (CT) tests to find out whether there is evidence of heart disease, blockages in the coronary arteries or reduced blood flow to the heart. Results of these procedures can help guide life-saving prevention and treatment options.

However, despite their widespread use and efforts by the cardiac imaging community to reduce exposure to ionizing radiation, concerns over the potential cancer-causing effects of these diagnostic tests continue to dominate discussions and may lead to imbalanced decision-making and heighten consumers' fear of these tests, according to experts…

Clinicians should educate patients about these tests and encourage them to be informed participants in decision making by asking themselves: "Am I going to gain more information by having this test, and am I willing to accept a small dose [of radiation] to find out?"

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New Concerns About Radiation and Breast Cancer Raised in Study

(Science Daily) It is well established that exposure to ionizing radiation can result in mutations or other genetic damage that cause cells to turn cancerous. Now a new study … has revealed another way in which radiation can promote cancer development…

"The work we did was performed with non-lethal but fairly substantial doses of radiation, unlike what a woman would be exposed to during a routine mammogram," says [Paul] Yaswen… "However, the levels of radiation involved in other procedures, such as CT scans or radiotherapy, do start to approach the levels used in our experiments and could represent sources of concern."

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Hormone therapies linked to metastasis

(UPI) U.S. researchers say animal models indicate hormone therapies may increase the chance of breast cancer metastasis.

Researchers at the University of Missouri in Columbia said metastasis -- the spreading of cancer beyond the lymph nodes -- was more likely when taking the hormone progestin. Progestin is a hormone used to counteract the potentially negative effects of estrogen therapy.

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Prostate cancer therapies all affect quality of life

(Reuters Health) The various forms of prostate cancer treatment -- from surgery to radiation to hormones -- can all have long-term effects on men's quality of life when it comes to sexual function and urinary problems, a new study finds.

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Mentally ill people are sent to jail more often than hospital

(USA Today) On average, a seriously mentally ill person in the USA is three times more likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized, a report concludes…

"These people should be getting treatment, not jail time," [co-author James Pavle, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center,] says.

As a result of the deinstitutionalization movement that began in the 1960s, though, "it is now extremely difficult to find a bed for a seriously mentally ill person who needs to be hospitalized," Pavle and his co-authors write. In 1955, they write, there was one psychiatric bed for every 300 Americans. In 2005, there was one for every 3,000 Americans. "There are forms of treatment that don't necessitate hospitalization," Pavle adds.

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An Easy Way to Solve Tough Problems

(RealAge.com) Whether you’re rearranging the living room furniture, planning a party, or doing complicated math calculations, research shows that problems get simpler when you talk them out.

In a recent study, researchers found that college-level mathematicians who talked themselves through a problem got faster, more accurate answers than the number-crunchers who kept their mouths shut. Sketching and scribbling while they worked seemed to give students the problem-solving edge as well.

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Treating gum disease may lower blood sugar

(UPI) A review of studies by researchers in Scotland, Britain and Canada finds treating gum disease may lower sugar levels in people with diabetes…

The findings … suggested treatment of gum disease can reduce blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes but there wasn't enough evidence to support the same benefit for those with type 1 diabetes.

"It would be wise to advise patients of the relationship between treating periodontal disease and the possibility of lowering their blood sugar levels," lead author Terry Simpson of the Edinburgh Dental Institute said in a statement.

"Additionally, an oral health assessment should be recommended as part of their routine diabetes management."

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Sniff of Local Anesthetic in the Dentist's Chair Could Replace the Needle

(Science Daily) Modern dentistry has eliminated much of the "ouch!" from getting a shot of local anesthetic. Now a new discovery may replace the needle used to give local anesthetic in the dentist's chair for many procedures. Scientists are reporting evidence that a common local anesthetic, when administered to the nose as nose drops or a nasal spray, travels through the main nerve in the face and collects in high concentrations in the teeth, jaw, and structures of the mouth.

The discovery could lead to a new generation of intranasal drugs for noninvasive treatment for dental pain, migraine, and other conditions, the scientists suggest.

Read more.

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Healthy Food News: Cancer Busting with a Side of Bioactive

(EcoSalon) It seems like every day we’re bombarded with marketing for some exotic “superfood” with seemingly magical qualities that supposedly justify an outrageous price tag. But while the benefits of some hysterically hyped foods are still unconfirmed, other fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and beverages sitting in your fridge right now get little fanfare despite the fact that they’re truly super. Red wine, oats, broccoli, soybeans, carrots, yogurt and walnuts are just a few examples of ‘bioactive’ foods, which go beyond mere calories and nutrients, to actually interact with our bodies in beneficial ways.

These seven bioactive foods can help you lose weight, reduce blood pressure, eliminate potential carcinogens from the body and even actively fight cancer cells.

Red Wine

Broccoli

Soybeans

Carrots

Walnuts

Oats

Yogurt

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Folic acid doesn't cut risk of stroke: study

(Reuters Health) Studies have linked low blood levels of a chemical lowered by folic acid to lower rates of stroke. However, folic acid supplements don't seem to prevent strokes, according to a review of clinical trials involving more than 39,000 participants.

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The Best Diet? That Depends on You

(HealthDay News) You know you need to lose weight. And you know you're ready, which is more than half the battle. But you still have to pick from a seemingly endless array of weight-loss plans…

[W]hatever plan you choose, focus on making small changes to your eating and activity habits, [Judy Rodriguez, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Florida and author of The Diet Selector,] said. Look at what you currently eat and then figure out how you could make small healthy changes.

Just substitute low-fat crackers for the doughnut you usually eat, she said.

"Do this for one to two weeks, then go back and make another small change," Farrell said. "Keep doing this. Continuing self-improvement is a great thing."

Then do the same for physical activity, she said. Try tracking the steps you take in a day with a pedometer, and then increase them.

The bottom line? The experts agreed that if your diet plan is suited to you, chances are you'll follow it longer, take the weight off at a slow but steady pace and maintain the loss.

Read more.

Community: I have to choose my own foods, not depending on any plan, and I’m finding that long-term change is only possible when I take my time and make small changes.

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MyRecipes.com

Chicken Milanese with Spring Greens
Create a healthy kid-friendly meal by slicing the chicken into "fingers" and serving over a colorful salad.

Sizzling Grilled Steaks

Awesome Avocados

Flank Steak with Cucumber-Pepperoncini Relish
Pepperoncini peppers are yellow, wrinkled, and slightly spicy; we use both the chopped pickled pepper and pickling liquid to flavor the crunchy relish.

Superfood: Soy

25 Chicken Dinners for the Busy Cook

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Treating Dieting Discomforts

(SouthBeachDiet.com) As you adopt [a healthier] lifestyle, you will definitely start to feel healthier and stronger, not just in body, but in spirit as well. In fact, in just weeks you’ll begin to feel more energized, less stressed, and even happier!... [Y]ou may also experience some common physical discomforts, such as headaches or constipation. The good news is that these discomforts are easy to prevent — and treat, if necessary. Often it’s just a matter of being patient and giving your body time to transition to this new, healthy lifestyle. Here are some solutions that might help you remedy a few common problems associated with a new diet:

Problem: Muscle Cramps… Studies show that low blood levels of calcium or magnesium can increase muscle excitability, causing cramps. Eating foods rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, such as dark leafy greens, beans, legumes, and low-fat dairy can help replenish the minerals your body needs. It’s important to stretch your muscles throughout the day; doing this can improve your blood circulation, strengthen your muscles, and help prevent injuries. Also, make sure you’re properly hydrated before and after exercise and always drink water when you’re thirsty.

Problem: Constipation… [M]ake sure to eat plenty of raw and cooked high-fiber vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, as well as beans and other legumes. Also, drink plenty of liquids throughout the day, especially if you are exercising (which in itself can help constipation).

Problem: Headaches… To prevent headaches due to swings in blood sugar, make sure you eat three regular meals, a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack… Some healthy snacks include a reduced-fat mozzarella cheese stick, a handful of nuts, plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt, and crudités with hummus…[B]e sure to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day.

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Changing Thoughts Key to Battling Even Severe Depression

(Science Daily) Moderate to severely depressed clients showed greater improvement in cognitive therapy when therapists emphasized changing how they think rather than how they behave, new research has found.

The results suggest cognitive therapists should concentrate, at least during the first few sessions, on using cognitive techniques to help those with more severe depression to break out of negative thought patterns and to see events in their lives more realistically.

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Treating Common Irregular Heartbeat Might Also Ward Off Alzheimer's

(HealthDay News) By treating the common irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation in a certain way, doctors might also help prevent Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, new research finds.

In atrial fibrillation, the upper chambers of the heart beat chaotically, causing blood to pool and increasing the potential of clots, stroke, heart failure and death.

Recent research has shown that atrial fibrillation more than doubles the risk of Alzheimer's, especially in relatively younger patients, noted Dr. John D. Day, lead author of two new studies.

Read more.

Community: I had what I call heart flutters for years, but when I started taking a potassium supplement, they stopped.

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New way found to boost good cholesterol in mice

(Reuters) Two research teams have found a new way to increase levels of so-called "good" cholesterol in mice, they said on Thursday in a finding that could lead to better ways to prevent heart disease in humans.

The researchers discovered that a small scrap of genetic material called a microRNA appears to regulate the production of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the "good" cholesterol that transports bad cholesterol to the liver to be removed from the body.

And using a type of genetic therapy to block this process can raise HDL levels in mice…

Current drugs that raise natural levels of HDL, such as niacin, cause unpleasant side effects such as flushing. And while many companies are working to develop better HDL-raising drugs, few have succeeded.

Low HDL levels can increase the risk that "bad" low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, will accumulate in artery walls, raising the risk of a heart attack.

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Effort to Cure Some Types of Hearing Loss Gets Big Boost

(HealthDay News) Researchers have made a big leap in deafness research by creating mouse cells in the laboratory that are similar to inner-ear cells which play a crucial role in the ability to hear.

The cells in the inner ear have hair-like projections, called stereocilia. When sound vibrations reach the stereocilia, the vibrations are converted into a signal that can be interpreted in the brain as sound. But when these hair cells are lost or damaged, they cannot regenerate, and hearing loss occurs.

The scientists hope to generate hair cells in the millions, which could lead to significant advances on the road to curing deafness for many in the future.

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Building Organs Block by Block: Tissue Engineers Create a New Way to Assemble Artificial Tissues, Using 'Biological Legos'

(Science Daily) Tissue engineering has long held promise for building new organs to replace damaged livers, blood vessels and other body parts. However, one major obstacle is getting cells grown in a lab dish to form 3-D shapes instead of flat layers.

Researchers at the MIT-Harvard Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) have come up with a new way to overcome that challenge, by encapsulating living cells in cubes and arranging them into 3-D structures, just as a child would construct buildings out of blocks.

The new technique, dubbed "micromasonry," employs a gel-like material that acts like concrete, binding the cell "bricks" together as it hardens.

Read more.

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New Fingermark Analysis Technique Can Give Extra Suspect Details

(Science Daily) A new technique to analyse fingermarks from crime scenes has the potential to give crucial additional details about a suspect such their medications, diet and the time at which they accidentally left the fingermark.

The technique … allows investigators to identify key details about suspects and can even be used to detect any substances they might have touched, such as traces of cocaine.

These extra details can be important background information in a criminal investigation, especially if the suspect's fingerprint is not on the police database. It is hoped the technique will compliment current fingermark detection techniques and assist in criminal investigations.

Read more.

Community: So, couldn’t the same techniques be used for less invasive diagnostic tests for the rest of us?

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Detroit man pleads guilty to fraud

(UPI) A U.S. man pleaded guilty for his role in a $14 million Medicare home healthcare scheme that billed the government for services not rendered, officials say.

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Safer Alternative to Laser Eye Surgery?

(Science Daily) A new type of procedure for correcting short-sightedness could be safer than laser eye surgery, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review. The study also shows that patients prefer the new procedure, despite there being little difference between the two in terms of improving vision…

In recent years, the preferred corrective procedure for people wanting to avoid wearing glasses or contact lenses has been excimer laser refractive surgery, but a new alternative is the insertion of phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs). Both procedures work by changing the path of the light entering the eye and bringing images into focus in the right place. Laser surgery does this by removing parts of the cornea, whereas the new procedure uses a synthetic lens inserted in front of the natural lens.

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'Safe' Cigarettes Are as Hazardous as Tobacco, Researchers Demonstrate

(Science Daily) Using the same technique they developed to document the harmful effects of tobacco products, a team of researchers found that cigarettes made without tobacco or nicotine may be more carcinogenic because they actually induce more extensive DNA damage than tobacco products.

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Heartburn Drugs Pose Risks: Some Natural Symptom Relievers

(U.S. News & World Report) Have frequent heartburn? Take Nexium. An advertising blitz for that little purple pill helped it become the No. 2 best-selling prescription drug in the U.S., with sales of $6.3 billion last year—and let's not forget the billions spent on its over-the-counter cousin, Prilosec. Now, though, researchers are warning that this category of heartburn drugs, called proton pump inhibitors, may do more harm than good, at least for people with garden-variety heartburn…

"About 60 to 70 percent of people taking these drugs have mild heartburn and shouldn't be on them," says Mitchell Katz, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health…

[The research] findings were considered to be modest increases in risk—but still enough, says Katz, to encourage folks with mild heartburn to forgo the drugs and double their efforts to make symptom-relieving lifestyle changes such as these:

1. Avoid heartburn-triggering foods…

2. Stay upright for a few hours after you eat…

3. But abstain from exercise right after eating…

4. Eat smaller meals…

5. Go easy on caffeine and alcohol—and avoid cigarettes…

6. Don't eat too quickly…

7. Wear looser-fitting clothes…

8. Find ways to relax…

9. Aim to lose a few extra pounds.

Read more.

Community: Baking soda works for me, on the rare occasions that I have an upset stomach any more.

Indian restaurants have seeds for you to eat after a meal. Mr. Many Years Young and I have only been able identify two of them, coriander and anise. The seeds calm the digestive tract all the way down, making you feel is if you never ate all that hot curry.

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Health Claims on Foods May Not Be Well-Grounded

(HealthDay News) U.S. consumers are being misled by the health claims made on the packaging of foods and supplements, according to a new report by the Institute of Medicine, because those claims do not undergo the same scientific rigor required for such claims on medications.

A box of cereal that proclaims the breakfast food will lower your cholesterol, for instance, has not had to pass the same government standards as the claims on the packaging of a cholesterol-lowering drug.

"There is evidence that things get on the market because the standard is lower," said Dr. John Ball, executive vice president of the American Society for Clinical Pathology and chairman of the committee that wrote the report, which was released Wednesday.

"Consumers probably assume that if the FDA said it's OK, it's OK," Ball said. "But in fact, the OK for drugs is a much higher OK than the OK for food supplements."

Faced with a barrage of health claims for foods, the FDA asked the committee to develop a way in which those claims could be better evaluated, Ball said.

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Cooking Light

The 7 Best Foods for Women
The first step in any healthy diet is eating a balanced variety of foods, so everyone should start there. But for women, science is showing that there are some foods that can help ward off osteoporosis, heart disease, breast cancer, and even tone down a hot flash or two. Find seven “wonder women” foods and recipes to get them cooking in your kitchen.

Tomatoes

Flaxseed

Kale

Salmon

Cranberry Juice

Greek Yogurt

Walnuts

Refreshing Homemade Sorbets
From fruity
Pineapple Sorbet to decadent Bittersweet Chocolate Sorbet, find the perfect recipe to satisfy your craving for a creamy, frozen treat.

Superfast Chicken
Quicken your chicken with these 20 dishes that require only about 20 minutes to prepare.

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Green Light Exposure Can Reset Body Clock

(HealthDay News) Exposure to green light can reset the body's internal clock and alter sleep-related hormonal responses, new research suggests.

The finding … builds on prior research about how the eye handles light exposure in ways that are unrelated to vision.

So-called "non-visual responses" had previously been linked to blue light exposure, the study authors noted…

The research team found that blue light appeared to most readily stimulate changes in melatonin levels and circadian clock rhythms. However, green light was also found to be capable of provoking non-visual responses to light exposure, although the responses were not always as long-lasting.

Read more.

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The 'Reality' of Sex Addiction Stirs Debate

(HealthDay News) Mental health professionals agree that some people indulge in uncontrollable and harmful sexual behavior and that they truly cannot help themselves.

They disagree, however, about whether this behavior constitutes a true addiction or is better characterized as some other sort of mental disorder…

"The high libido person wants an emotional connection," [psychologist Douglas Weiss] said. "The sex addict just wants a fix. It's not about intimacy. It's about getting the fix. Sex addicts are disconnected during the act itself."

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Research Suggests Potential Target for Drugs to Combat Alcohol Addiction

(Science Daily) In findings that should finally put to rest a decade of controversy in the field of neurobiology, a team at The Scripps Research Institute has found decisive evidence that a specific neurotransmitter system -- the endocannabinoid system -- is active in a brain region known to play a key role in the processing of memory, emotional reactions, and addiction formation. The new study also shows that this system can dampen the effects of alcohol, suggesting an avenue for the development of drugs to combat alcohol addiction.

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Brain Cell Study Explains 'Eureka' Moment

(HealthDay News) Learning a new way of doing something may take a while, but with an abrupt flash of understanding, nerve cells in the brain allow sudden insight, a new study suggests…

The researchers found that even though it took the rats many different trials to figure out a new way of looking at things, the neurons in the rats changed their activity in an abrupt way -- one that corresponded directly to the change in rodent behavior.

"In the present problem-solving context where the animal had to infer a new rule by accumulating evidence through trial-and-error, such sudden neural and behavioral transitions may correspond to moments of 'sudden insight,'" study collaborator Dr. Daniel Durstewitz … said.

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A woman's touch may spur taking more risks

(UPI) People who were touched felt more secure and took bigger risks than those who weren't, but only by a woman, U.S. and Canadian researchers said…

The researchers speculated that the comfort from the touch of a woman may hark back to mothers who patted their children to comfort them.

The findings suggested a woman's touch can make people feel more secure and more willing to take risks, the study said.

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Prevention Program Spares Seniors More Falls

(HealthDay News) Elderly individuals who had fallen and then taken part in an intensive program to prevent falls were much less likely to fall again, a new study shows.

But proving something works is often a far cry from actually seeing it implemented, one expert noted…

"It would be wonderful if we could implement this, but I'm afraid in the U.S. we spend a lot of money on things so if someone falls and calls an ambulance, the person goes to the emergency room, [and] the emergency room charges the government for the fee," said Dr. Bernard Roos, director of geriatric research at the University of Miami… "Nobody in the emergency room sends a person to evaluate the risk of falling so the patient keeps coming back. This is a wonderful model for what we should be doing."

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High-Dose Vitamin D Linked With Increased Risk of Falls, Fractures Among Older Women

(Science Daily) Women age 70 years or older who received a single annual high dose of vitamin D had a higher rate of falls and fractures compared to women who received placebo, according to a study…

"[T]he effect of dose size, route (intramuscular vs. oral), and dosing interval on aspects of vitamin D metabolism … should be investigated. It may also be necessary to reevaluate the risks and benefits of the current clinical practice of providing high loading doses of cholecalciferol to patients who are vitamin D deficient."

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Low vitamin D tied to depression in older people

(Reuters Health) Older men and women with lower levels of vitamin D in their blood are more prone to become depressed over time, new research shows.

Many studies have been published recently on the potential health benefits of vitamin D, and the potential risks of deficiency. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and more severe asthma.

In older people, insufficient vitamin D is quite common, and has been linked to fractures, worse physical function, greater frailty, and a wide variety of chronic illness.

Read more.

Community: So it’s important to take in enough vitamin D, just take it a little at a time.

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Level of Frailty Predicts Surgical Outcomes in Older Patients, Researchers Find

(Science Daily) A simple, 10-minute "frailty" test administered to older patients before they undergo surgery can predict with great certainty their risk for complications, how long they will stay in the hospital and -- most strikingly -- whether they are likely to end up in a nursing home afterward, new research from Johns Hopkins suggests.

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Music Aids Alzheimer's Patients in Remembering New Information

(Science Daily) Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have shown that patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) are better able to remember new verbal information when it is provided in the context of music even when compared to healthy, older adults. The findings … offer possible applications in treating and caring for patients with AD.

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New Implanted Defibrillator May Be Simpler, Safer

(HealthDay News) A new, wireless defibrillator that is easier to implant and maintain could make life better for people who rely on them to prevent sudden cardiac death, researchers report.

A defibrillator delivers an electric shock to restart a heart that has stopped beating. About 100,000 of them are implanted in Americans each year. Current models require careful surgery to run wires from the device through a vein into the heart -- a procedure that can damage the heart, a lung or a blood vessel, even when done by the most skilled practitioner.

The new device, developed by Cameron Health, a small California company, does away with those wires and has worked as well as the more complicated existing implanted defibrillators in several studies, according to a report.

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Walgreen gene tests on hold after FDA challenge

(Reuters) Walgreen, the nation's biggest pharmacy chain, says it will delay plans to sell genetic testing kits after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demanded proof the kits have regulatory clearance or some reason why they should be sold without the agency's blessing.

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With Long-Term Exercise, Being 80 Is Just a Number

(HealthDay News) Along with a healthy diet, staying mentally active and socially engaged, exercise is emerging as one of the key ways of staving off chronic diseases and, in general, staying healthier in old age, experts say…

"The most important organ in an older person's body is their legs," said Dr. Walter Bortz, a professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. "If your legs stay good, everything else takes care of itself. You don't fall down and break your hip. Your heart stays good. You don't get frail. Your sex stays good, your brain stays good and you cost less money."

Bortz, who is 80 and has written several books on aging and exercise, finished the Boston Marathon on April 19 in about 7 hours 30 minutes -- his 40th marathon in as many years.

It's never too late for seniors to start exercising, he said.

"Even people in their 70s still have a tremendous capacity to improve their strength, flexibility and aerobic capacity," Bortz said.

Read more.

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Prevention Gets Credit for Fewer Heart Deaths

(HealthDay News) Improved treatment, coupled with more effective preventive measures, may be having a positive impact on the death rate from coronary heart disease.

Death rate data from the United States and Canada both indicate a drop in cardiovascular deaths…

But there is a cloud on the horizon that darkens the generally cheery report, [study author Dr. Harindra C.] Wijeysundera noted.

"Diabetes and obesity are on the increase," he said. "It doesn't take much of a negative trend in diabetes and obesity to eliminate the good trends." A 1 percent increase in diabetes correlates to a 6 percent increase in mortality, he said…

"From patients' perspective, the news is that there are multiple and very good medical and surgical therapies available for people with diabetes and coronary heart disease," he said. "Also, that exercising, watching the diet, avoiding diabetes and taking other preventive measures continues to be important. That is the take-home message of our study."

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Working overtime may harm the heart, study says

(Health.com) -- If you've been saying for years that long hours at work are killing you, forward this article to your boss--it might literally be true. According to a new study, people who work more than 10 hours a day are about 60 percent more likely to develop heart disease or have a heart attack than people who clock just seven hours a day.

It's not clear why this is, but the researchers suggest that all that time on the job means less free time to unwind and take care of yourself. Stress may also play a role--but not as much as you might think. Working long hours appears to hurt your heart even if you don't feel particularly stressed out, the study found.

"Balance between work and leisure time is important," says the lead author of the study, Dr. Marianna Virtanen, M.D., an epidemiologist at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University College London. "If you work long hours, the fact is that you may be exposed to higher stress levels and you do not have enough time to take care of your health."

Doctors "should include long working hours on their list of potential risk factors" for heart disease, she adds.

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