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

Fountain of Youth from the Tap?

(Science Daily) A regular uptake of the trace element lithium can considerably promote longevity…
[Researchers] have demonstrated by two independent approaches that even a low concentration of lithium leads to an increased life expectancy in humans as well as in a model organism, the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans…
Lithium is one of many nutritional trace elements and is ingested mainly through vegetables and drinking water…
"From previous studies we know already that a higher uptake of lithium through drinking water is associated with an improvement of psychological well-being and with decreased suicide rates," Professor [Michael] Ristow explains.
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Mobile Phone Use Not Related to Increased Brain Cancer Risk, UK Study Suggests

(Science Daily) Radio frequency exposure from mobile phone use does not appear to increase the risk of developing brain cancers by any significant amount, a study by University of Manchester scientists suggests…
The study … reported no statistically significant change in the incidence of brain cancers in men or women during the nine-year time period under observation.
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Separate Bikes-Only Lanes in Cities Cut Injury Rate: Study

(HealthDay News) Cyclists using special bike-only tracks that are physically separated from street traffic have fewer accidents compared to bikers pedalling alongside motor vehicles, a new study finds.
"We found that there is a 28 percent lower injury rate when bicycling on cycle tracks, compared with bicycling in parallel and comparable roads," noted study lead author Anne Lusk…
"Of course, intersections do have to be well-designed, ideally with red and green bicycle signals," Lusk added. "And even then, we're not suggesting that cycle tracks have zero risk. But rigorous research does show that the difference in the accident rate is real."
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Pre-Run Stretching Doesn't Prevent Injuries, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) Runners who stretched before running were no less likely to get injured than runners who didn't bother to stretch, new research finds.
To investigate the effect of stretching on running injuries, researchers divided more than 2,000 runners into two groups. One group stretched the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles for three to five minutes before starting their run; the other group didn't stretch. About 1,400 of the runners completed the study and were included in the final results.
"Over a period of three months, it did not make any difference if you stretched or didn't stretch before a run," said lead study author Dr. Daniel Pereles.
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Many stick with fast food after heart attack

(Reuters Health) You might think that people who've had a heart attack might cut back on fast food, which usually has unhealthy amounts of fat and salt.
And in fact, some heart attack patients who are frequent fast food eaters do cut back, researchers found in a new study. But 6 months later, more than half of them can still be found at their favorite fast food places at least once a week.
The researchers who published these findings … say the reduction in visits to fast food restaurants is not enough and patients need better dietary education.
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Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash
Take your basic beef stew to the next level by making this simple, fragrant tagine featuring butternut squash.
Ultimate Beef Chili
Offer garnishes, such as reduced-fat sour cream and grated Cheddar cheese (about 1 tablespoon each per person), chopped scallions and chopped fresh tomatoes. Serve with warmed corn tortillas and a green salad topped with orange slices.
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Leg Discomfort Might Signal Heart Trouble

(HealthDay News) About 9 million Americans over the age of 50 have peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which puts them at increased risk for heart attack, according to the Vascular Disease Foundation and its PAD Coalition. But many people don't know they have the condition, the foundation says…
"Often, people think leg discomfort or slow-healing sores are just a part of aging, yet they can be signs of a serious disease," Dr. Joseph Caporusso, chair of the PAD Coalition, said in a Vascular Disease Foundation news release. The coalition includes more than 80 North American health care organizations, professional societies, government agencies and corporations.
"Through early detection and proper treatment, we can reduce the devastating consequences of PAD and improve the nation's cardiovascular health," Caporusso said.
People over 50 are at risk for PAD, and the risk increases if you are a current or former smoker, black, or have diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, or a history of coronary heart disease or stroke.
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Personalized medicine comes within reach

(UPI) It may not be long before a small finger-prick of blood may provide a reliable diagnosis for several types of cancers, Swiss researchers say…
[T]he diagnosis method for prostate cancer, developed after five years of research[,] is highly precise, the researchers say.
The biomarker contains information about the type of tumor, which helps ascertain the best possible therapy to be adopted -- making personalized medicine within reach, the researchers say.
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Identification of Glaucoma Gene Brightens View for Future Therapies

(Science Daily) Glaucoma -- a leading cause of vision loss and blindness worldwide -- runs in families. A team of investigators … has identified a new candidate gene for the most common form of the eye disorder, primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).
The findings … offer novel insights into glaucoma pathology and could lead to targeted treatment strategies…
[Rachel Kuchtey said,] "If this gene truly plays a role in aqueous outflow regulation, we can begin to look at it -- or its molecular partners -- as targets for treatments."
Gene therapy to rescue a defect might also be a possibility. Gene therapy for an inherited form of childhood blindness was first validated in dogs and is now in trial in humans.
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Diabetes Social Networking Web Sites Vary in Quality

(HealthDay News) The quality of social networking sites for people with diabetes varies greatly, researchers say, with some providing useful medical information and emotional support, while others may simply be thinly veiled advertising sites.
Only half of the sites researchers from Children's Hospital Boston reviewed contained content that was in line with current diabetes science and clinical practice, the study found.
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Peer Support Beats Usual Care for Depression, Analysis Finds

(HealthDay News) A new analysis of existing research finds that peer support may do a better job of treating depression than standard care…
Dr. Paul Pfeiffer … and colleagues found that support groups were "superior" to regular care but didn't do significantly better or worse than cognitive behavioral therapy, which trains people to develop new patterns of thought and behavior.
Why might support groups be so helpful? Pfeiffer's team suggested that it may have something to do with their ability to lessen isolation, provide a buffer against stressful events, help patients share health information and offer role models. "Peer support programs may also empower patients to play a more active role in their own self-care," they wrote.
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House votes to block fund for healthcare law

(Reuters) The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives voted on Friday to block funding of President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul law, but the Democratic-led Senate seems certain to reject it.
The vote was part of a sweeping bill to cut federal spending by $61 billion this fiscal year.
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Repealing healthcare law would cost $210 bln: CBO

(Reuters) Repealing the U.S. healthcare law enacted last year would add $210 billion to the nation's deficit over the next decade, congressional auditors said on Friday.
The Congressional Budget Office said enactment of a House of Representatives measure last month to scrap the healthcare overhaul would eliminate a number of provisions aimed at reducing federal healthcare costs as well as strip out new revenue-creating taxes and fees.
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Link Between Obesity, High-Fat Meals and Heart Disease Reinforced by New Study

(Science Daily) The effect of a high-fat meal on blood vessel walls can vary among individuals depending on factors such as their waist size and triglyceride levels, suggests new research at UC Davis.
The new research reinforces the link between belly fat, inflammation and thickening of the arterial linings that can lead to heart disease and strokes.
Triglycerides are types of fat molecules, commonly associated with "bad cholesterol," known to increase risk of inflammation of the endothelium, the layer of cells that lines arteries.
"The new study shows that eating a common fast food meal can affect inflammatory responses in the blood vessels," said Anthony Passerini, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at UC Davis, who led the project.
Community: High bad fat meals, that is. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “The ‘bad’ fats—saturated and trans fats—increase the risk for certain diseases. The ‘good’ fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—lower disease risk. The key to a healthy diet is to substitute good fats for bad fats—and to avoid trans fats.”
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Food tax could trim some people's calorie intake

(Reuters Health) People are generally more likely to pass on high-calorie food when there is a tax on it -- though it might not matter to everyone, a small study suggests…
Junk food taxes and greater openness with calorie information have both been advocated as ways to help consumers limit their calories -- and, the hope is, keep their weight in the healthy range.
In the U.S., proponents of taxes on soda and junk food argue that it would not only discourage people from buying them, but could also help offset the estimated $147 billion cost of treating obesity-related ills.
Supporters also point to research suggesting that cigarette taxes have helped curb tobacco use.
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Eat These Foods for a Healthy Winter "Tan"

(RealAge.com) No need to feel pasty faced in February. You can get your summer blush back -- even midwinter -- just by making a few special picks in the produce aisle.
Turns out the antioxidant compounds in red, orange, and yellow produce can give your face a healthy glow -- if you eat proper amounts of them…
The special compounds that make skin look bright and healthy? Carotenoids. And research shows that -- when eaten in high amounts -- carotenoid-containing fruits and vegetables can give complexions a warm hue similar to the golden glow of a light summer tan. In fact, a "produce glow" may look even better than a tan…
The extra-good news is that, unlike a tan, a carotenoid glow doesn't just look healthy. It actually is healthy. Mounds of research show that carotenoids help enhance both immune-system function and reproductive health. So a healthy-looking, produce-induced glow on the outside may be a clear indicator of good things happening on the inside as well.
Community: According to the NIH, foods highest in beta-carotene are carrots, kale, spinach, cantaloupe. apricots, papaya, mango, peas, tomatoes, peaches, and red peppers.
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A Tiny Legume with a Big Mood-Boosting Benefit

(RealAge.com) Lentils are rich in folate. And according to Roberta Lee, nutrition expert and author of The SuperStress Solution, this mood-boosting B vitamin can help balance brain chemicals in a way that keeps depression at arm's length.
Although more research is needed to confirm exactly how folate chases away blue moods, Lee notes that the vitamin has a reputation for supporting nerve function and helps the body metabolize several feel-happy brain chemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline. In fact, folate's mood-enhancing benefit was recently borne out in a Harvard study that revealed a significant percentage of depressed folks may be deficient in this critical B vitamin…
Cooked lentils provide about 180 micrograms of folate per half cup. But if you're not a lentil lover, a folic acid supplement can also help you get the proper amount. For maximum RealAge Benefit, you want about 700 micrograms per day from food and supplements combined. For good-mood measure, be sure to get your fill of other B vitamins as well, like B6 and B12. Magnesium, zinc, and vitamin C are important to emotional health and well-being, too.
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Green Chile-Chicken Casserole
Just about every New Mexican home has a favorite version of this chicken casserole recipe. This one features the convenience of canned cream of chicken soup, and you can make it a day ahead.
Scallop Piccata on Angel Hair
Superfine angel hair and delicate scallops are coated with a light lemon, white wine and caper sauce.
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Study Says 2 Therapies Help Fight Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

(HealthDay News) Patients struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome may be helped the most when standard treatment is coupled with cognitive behavior therapy or exercise therapy, new British research suggests.
The apparent promise of cognitive behavior therapy and "graded exercise therapy" offers considerable hope to patients combating the complex condition characterized by profound tiredness, impaired concentration, diminished memory, sleep difficulties and muscle and joint pain, the study authors said…
"Patients who received either graded exercise therapy or cognitive behavior therapy reported less fatigue and better function than those who received either adaptive pacing therapy or specialist medical care alone," said study author Dr. Peter D. White, a professor of psychological medicine.
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Promising Treatment for Heroin Dependency

(Science Daily) A new treatment using naltrexone implants could lead to a significant reduction in heroin dependency…
The new treatment is targeted towards people who wish to overcome their heroin addiction without using other addictive substances. The researchers have been using naltrexone, a substance that works by completely blocking the effect of heroin and other morphine substances. This reduces the likelihood of overdose, physical dependency and other drug cravings.
"This blockage effect induces a feeling of calm and allows the patients to escape from their heroin addiction and stressful, drug-dependent lives. They are able to concentrate on getting a new start," explains Nikolaj Kun√łe.
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Benefits of Electrical Stimulation Therapy Found With People Paralyzed by Spinal Cord Injury

(Science Daily) A new treatment approach which uses tiny bursts of electricity to reawaken paralyzed muscles "significantly" reduced disability and improved grasping ability in people with incomplete spinal cord injuries, according to [recently published] results…
 Toronto researchers report that functional electrical stimulation (FEFirst-of-its-kind study shows benefits of electrical stimulation therapy for people paralyzed by spinal cord injuryS) therapy worked considerably better than conventional occupational therapy alone to increase patients' ability to pick up and hold objects.
FES therapy uses low-intensity electrical pulses generated by a pocket-sized electric stimulator. 
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Knee Replacements Still Work 20 Years Later

(HealthDay News) Patients with artificial knees were still going strong after 20 years, even jogging or playing tennis, researchers report.
According to the study, most people who had knee replacements between 1975 and 1989 at an Indiana hospital and lived for another 20 years maintained an active lifestyle. All reported at least "moderate" activity.
"The whole point of having a total joint replacement is to maintain a functional knee that allows patients to maintain a good deal of activity for a long time," said study author Dr. John B. Meding. "This shows it lasts 20 years or more after the [operation]."
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Chemical Guided Missile Could Be the Answer to Wiping out Cancer

(Science Daily) Deakin University medical scientists have created the world's first cancer stem cell-targeting chemical missile, placing them a step closer to creating a medical 'smart bomb' that would seek out and eradicate the root of cancer cells.
The Deakin researchers have worked with scientists in India and Australia to create the world's first RNA aptamer, a chemical antibody that acts like a guided missile to seek out and bind only to cancer stem cells. The aptamer has the potential to deliver drugs directly to the stem cells (the root of cancer cells) and also to be used to develop a more effective cancer imaging system for early detection of the disease.
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Group of Enzymes Could Have a Positive Impact on Health, from Cholesterol to Osteoporosis

(Science Daily) Recent studies … on a group of PCSK enzymes could have a positive impact on health, from cholesterol to osteoporosis…
PCSK enzymes belong to the proprotein convertase family, responsible for the conversion of an inactive protein into its active state. The latest projects … focused on five of the nine PCSK enzymes, which are implicated in diseases such as cardiovascular and neuroendocrine disorders, cancer, and viral infections.
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U.S. charges 111 in largest Medicare fraud crackdown

(Reuters) The U.S. government on Thursday charged 111 doctors, nurses and other defendants with Medicare crime schemes that exceeded $225 million in false billings, the largest health care fraud crackdown so far…
The defendants were charged various crimes, including conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program, false claims, kickbacks and money laundering, administration officials said.
They said the alleged schemes involved various medical treatments, tests and services, such as home health care, physical and occupational therapy and medical equipment.
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4 Secrets to a Long Life

(Reader's Digest) The Longevity Project, by psychologists Howard S. Friedman, PhD, and Leslie R. Martin, PhD, distills life-extending advice from a study that began in 1921 and followed 1,500 boys and girls for as long as eight decades. “The best way to see why some people thrive in old age while others die early is to follow individuals for their whole lives,” Friedman says. The results poked holes in many long-held beliefs. Here, Friedman shares the study’s biggest surprises—and most useful advice.
Flash doesn’t last. “The key personality predictor of a long life was one that we never expected: conscientiousness. It wasn’t always the cheerful kids who went on to have the longest lives—it was the ones who did their homework, whose parents would say, ‘She has a good head on her shoulders.’ They developed healthy patterns and maintained them. People who weren’t dependable as kids but became more responsible as adults did well, too.”
Happiness is a result, not a cause. “It’s well-established that happy people are healthier. People assume that happiness leads them to be healthier, but we didn’t find that. Having a job you feel engaged in; a good education; a good, stable relationship; being involved with other people—those things cause health and happiness.”
Stress isn’t so bad… “It’s not good if you’re overwhelmed by stress, but the people who thrived were the ones who didn’t try to relax or retire early but who took on challenges and were persistent.”
Run with the right crowd… “One of the secrets of longevity is to join social groups and choose hobbies or jobs that lead you naturally to healthier patterns and activities. That’s a gradual but effective way to change yourself.”
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"America's Health a Mixed Bag: Report"

Reports on the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s "Health, United States, 2010," released yesterday:
(HealthDay News) U.S. officials on Wednesday released the annual state-of-the-nation's health report and the news is mixed, with life expectancy rates on the rise but obesity levels still climbing…
"It's encouraging that life expectancy continues to increase, although at a very small pace, but as we're living longer we're living longer with disease," said Dr. Patrick Remington, associate dean for public health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. "Years added to your life expectancy are years with disease." [Emphasis added.]
(HealthDay News) Americans living in parts of Appalachia and the South are least likely to be physically active in their free time, according to federal government estimates released Wednesday…
People on the West Coast and those in Colorado, Minnesota and parts of the Northeast are most likely to be active in their free time. The county-level estimates are posted on the CDC's Web site.
Physical activity helps control weight, strengthens bones and muscles, improves mental health and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, according to the agency.
(UPI) The number of U.S. adults ages 18-64 who say they delayed medical care due to cost rose from 11 percent to 15 percent from 1997 to 2008, officials say.
[The report] says the percentage not receiving needed prescription drugs due to cost rose from 6 percent to 11 percent, and the percentage who say they did not receive needed dental care due to cost grew from 11 percent to 17 percent.
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Flu-Fighting Foods

Food alone can't protect against the common cold or flu, and the science isn't yet clear on which nutrients may bolster immunity to reduce your risk of getting sick. But experts agree that a diet rich in a variety of produce, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products―along with adequate sleep, moderate exercise, and minimal stress―contributes to a well-functioning immune system and may promote a faster recovery if you do come down with a cold or flu. Here are some key nutrients and tips that will help increase the likelihood that you'll fly through the winter months in good health.
“An overall healthful diet rich in vitamins and minerals is your best bet for the cold weather months,” says Julia Zumpano, RD, of the Cleveland Clinic Department of Preventive Cardiology. “You’ll also benefit from other nutrients not typically found in supplements when you eat a whole food.” Zumpano encourages plenty of fruits and vegetables (for vitamins C and E); whole grains, lean meats, and poultry (for zinc); and low-fat dairy products (for vitamin A). For example, in addition to vitamin E, a whole grain like quinoa or rye bread offers fiber, B vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, which support overall good health.
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Group calls for FDA ban of soda 'caramel'

(Reuters) Some chemically enhanced caramel food colorings used in widely consumed cola drinks could cause cancer and should be banned, a U.S. consumer advocacy group urged the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday.
Pure caramel is made from melted sugar; but two other versions approved to color food products include the chemical ammonia and produce compounds shown to cause various cancers in studies of animals, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) said in a statement.
The group is petitioning the FDA to ban the ammonia-containing caramels, which are also used in other dark-colored soft drinks.
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Cooking Light:
Lighter Chicken Potpie
Watch how we lighten this classic dish while keeping its delicious, rich flavor intact.
100-Calorie Oatmeal Toppings
Get bold at breakfast with these super stir-ins.
Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nuts
This chicken recipe is filled with Mediterranean flavors and pairs well with couscous. Use mozzarella or provolone for a milder kid's dish.
Warm Red Cabbage Salad
In this quick German-inspired side dish, red cabbage is cooked until just tender and combined with sweet apples, caraway and a tangy vinaigrette. Serve with roasted pork loin or turkey kielbasa.
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Stress-blocking drug restores hair in bald mice

(Reuters) U.S. researchers studying the effects of stress on the gut may have stumbled on a chemical compound that stimulates hair growth.
By blocking a stress-related hormone linked with hair loss, mutant mice that made too much of the hormone were able to regrow hair they had lost, the team reported on Wednesday…
"Almost 100 percent of the mice responded. The hair grows back fully. It is a very dramatic effect," Million Mulugeta of the University of California at Los Angeles, who worked on the study, said in a telephone interview.
Moulage said the findings could open new areas of research on hair loss in humans, especially in people whose hair loss is caused by stress and aging.
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Treatment for Manic-Depressive Illness Restores Brain Volume Deficits

(Science Daily) Lithium, introduced in the late 1940's, was the first "wonder drug" in psychiatry. It was the first medication treatment for the manic and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder and it remains among one of the most effective treatments for this disorder…
In a massive research effort…, eleven international research groups collaborated to pool brain imaging data from adults with bipolar disorder. This allowed them to perform a mega-analysis to evaluate the differences in brain structure between individuals with bipolar disorder and healthy comparison subjects.
They found that individuals with bipolar disorder had increased right lateral ventricular, left temporal lobe, and right putamen volumes. Individuals with bipolar disorder who were not taking lithium had a reduction in cerebral and hippocampal volumes compared with healthy comparison subjects. Importantly, however, bipolar patients taking lithium displayed significantly increased hippocampal and amygdala volume compared with patients not treated with lithium and healthy comparison subjects. Cerebral volume reduction was also significantly associated with illness duration in bipolar individuals.
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'Talk Therapy' Can Alter Brain Activity, Research Shows

(HealthDay News) Psychotherapy triggers changes in the brains of people with social anxiety disorder, finds a new study.
Medication and psychotherapy are used to treat people with social anxiety, a common disorder in which people experience overwhelming fear of interacting with others and of being harshly judged. But there's been far less research on the neurological effects of psychotherapy (talk therapy) than on medication-induced brain changes…
"Laypeople tend to think that talk therapy is not 'real,' while they associate medications with hard science and physiologic change," lead author Vladimir Miskovic, a McMaster University doctoral candidate, said in a news release from the Association for Psychological Science. "But at the end of the day, the effectiveness of any program must be mediated by the brain and the nervous system. If the brain does not change, there won't be a change in behavior or emotion."
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Increasing Brain Enzyme May Slow Alzheimer's Disease Progression

(Science Daily) Increasing puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase, the most abundant brain peptidase in mammals, slowed the damaging accumulation of tau proteins that are toxic to nerve cells and eventually lead to the neurofibrillary tangles, a major pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, according to a study…
Researchers found they could safely increase the puromycin-sensitive aminopeptidase, PSA/NPEPPS, by two to three times the usual amount in animal models, and it removed the tau proteins in the neurons. Removing the tau proteins restored neuronal density and slowed down disease progression…
[Said Stanislav L. Karsten, PhD, the corresponding author for the study,] "These findings suggest that increasing this naturally occurring brain peptidase, PSA/NPEPPS, may be a feasible therapeutic approach to eliminate the accumulation of unwanted toxic proteins, such as tau, that cause the neural degeneration associated with the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia."
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Brain Insulin Plays Critical Role in the Development of Diabetes

(Science Daily) Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have discovered a novel function of brain insulin, indicating that impaired brain insulin action may be the cause of the unrestrained lipolysis that initiates and worsens type 2 diabetes in humans…
[Said Christoph Buettner, MD,]  "When brain insulin function is impaired, the release of fatty acids is increased. This induces inflammation, which can further worsen insulin resistance, the core defect in type 2 diabetes. Therefore, impaired brain insulin signaling can start a vicious cycle since inflammation can impair brain insulin signaling." This cycle is perpetuated and can lead to type 2 diabetes. Our research raises the possibility that enhancing brain insulin signaling could have therapeutic benefits with less danger of the major complication of insulin therapy, which is hypoglycemia."
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Customized Knee Replacement Depends on Surgeon's Skill, Not Implant Design, Study Finds

(Science Daily) While the choices of knee implants are plentiful, the success of total knee replacement surgery still is dependent on the surgeon's skill, Henry Ford Hospital researchers say.
Researchers found that utilizing a series of common but nuanced surgical techniques is far more important to customizing the fit of a patient's implant than the implant's design.
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New Factor May Spot Heart Risks in Healthy People: Study

(HealthDay News) A possible new risk factor for death from heart disease in seniors has been identified by researchers.
The study of almost 1,300 people aged 65 and older focused on heart rate turbulence, which refers to how smoothly the heart rate returns to normal after a premature contraction, a fairly common event…
"These findings suggest that apparently healthy people might be at increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and heart rate turbulence may help us identify them," Dr. Susan B. Shurin, acting director of the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), said in an institute news release.
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Placebo Effect May Work in Reverse

(HealthDay News) In [a] study, people's pain levels fluctuated greatly with their belief that they either were or were not receiving a powerful painkiller, remifentanil -- even though the dose of the drug did not change throughout the experiment.
Pain levels shot up, in fact, soon after participants were told that the drug had been discontinued, something experts call the "nocebo" effect.
The findings suggest that doctors may need to deal with their patients' beliefs about a treatment, whether positive or negative, experts say.
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New Heart Disease Guidelines for Women

(HealthDay News) To reduce the risk of heart disease, women should keep their total cholesterol level at 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less; blood pressure at 120/80 mm Hg; and have a fasting blood glucose under 100 mg/dL.
Women should maintain a body mass index of less than 25, avoid smoking, cut down on salt, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, according to the guidelines.
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Obesity Alone Raises Risk of Fatal Heart Attack, Study Finds

(HealthDay News) Obese men face a dramatically higher risk of dying from a heart attack, regardless of whether or not they have other known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, a new study reveals.
The finding stems from an analysis involving roughly 6,000 middle-aged men, and it suggests that there is something about carrying around excess weight that contributes to heart disease independent of risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and arterial disease.
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Obesity, Bum Knees Robbing Seniors of Good Years: Study

(HealthDay News) Obesity and osteoarthritis of the knee are robbing millions of older Americans of an average of 3.5 years of life in which they might otherwise be feeling healthy and free of chronic pain, new research finds…
Even reducing obesity levels to where they were about 10 years ago would help hundreds of thousands of people aged 50 to 84 avoid osteoarthritis of the knee and eventual knee replacement surgery, according to the study.
And the knees wouldn't be the only body part feeling better. Rolling back obesity even slightly (say, a reduction of 3.74 pounds in a person about 5 feet, 7 inches tall) would also avert 178,000 cases of coronary heart disease and 890,000 cases of diabetes, the researchers reported.
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Sedentary Job? Try Pedaling at Your Desk

(WebMD Health News)  Portable bicycle-like devices that allow people to pedal at their desks or workstations could counter some of the negative effects of sedentary behavior on the job, a new study says.
Researchers reached that conclusion after giving 18 full-time workers a portable pedaling exercise machine specifically designed to be used while seated at a desk or workstation, and let the volunteers keep the devices for four weeks…
The participants used the pedal machines on average 12 out of a possible 20 working days, for an average of 23 minutes a day, according to information downloaded from computers that were wired to the portable exercise bicycles…
The authors say just 23 minutes of pedaling a day could improve the health of people in similar desk-bound jobs.
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Probe: Mall food trays dirty as toilets

(UPI) Plastic trays used at shopping mall food courts are as dirty as a gas station toilet seat, an investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. found.
The CBC took swab samples from trays in three Vancouver-area malls and had them analyzed by the University of British Columbia.
"We saw as many bacteria on some food trays as we saw on a (gas station) toilet," university microbiologist Bob Hancock told the broadcaster.
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Good Diets Fight Bad Alzheimer's Genes

(Science Daily) Scientists today agree that there are five molecules that are known to affect or cause Alzheimer's disease, which plagues an estimated five million Americans. The potency of these molecules is linked to environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle…
In preliminary results, the researchers … find that a diet high in Omega 3 oils and low in cholesterol appears to significantly reduce the negative effects of the APOE4 gene in mouse models…
"The main take-away message here is that good diets can alleviate the effects of bad genes. Of course nutritionists have had this general idea for a while, but it's nice to be able to show that this approach can be applied to specifically counteract the negative effects of Alzheimer's disease-related genes," says Prof. [Daniel] Michaelson.
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Shrimp Pad Thai
Make a surprisingly simple restaurant favorite at home. Save time by purchasing peeled and deveined shrimp, and head to the Asian foods section of your supermarket to find bottled fish sauce.
Almond-&-Lemon-Crusted Fish with Spinach
Coating fish with nuts and baking it is an easy, foolproof way to cook it elegantly. And it is especially nice with a mild white fish like cod or halibut. The spinach turns a little yellowy because it’s cooked with the acidic lemon juice, but what you lose in green color is more than made up for in great flavor.
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