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

For a real vacation, stay off Internet

(UPI) Being "on-call" via telephone and e-mail during a vacation detracts from one's ability to de-stress and recharge, a U.S. neuropsychologist says.
Dr. Munro Cullum … says even taking a short break can be rejuvenating, but significant de-stressing may take several days "just to get ourselves used to the idea of relaxing."…
"We hear so much negative news these days that we can get caught up in negative thought patterns, which may contribute to our own anxieties and concerns about the future," Cullum says. "If stress becomes too much it also can result in negative physiological reactions that can lead to illness, but exercise, a healthful diet and adequate sleep are important, but we also need some down time, to allow our brains to work 'offline.'"
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DailyData: The app that tells you when you're getting sick

(Digitaltrends.com) The idea of your smartphone monitoring your every move and communication might make you uncomfortable. But what if it used that information to tell you when you’re coming down with the flu, or even a bout of depression? With the DailyData app from start-up Ginger.io, it can do exactly that.
Developed by a group of MIT Media Lab students, DailyData runs in the background to constantly monitor a user’s location, as well as frequency of calls and text messages. That information is then automatically analyzed to determine whether the person is having health problems. If the app picks up on changes in a person’s behavior that indicate the onset of a sickness or mental health episode, it alerts the user…
“If you’re showing early signs of loneliness/depression, you might not report them to your doctor or family,” said Anmol Madan, who first developed the technology during his PhD thesis at MIT, in an interview with Mashable. “The app currently detects these changes and sends alerts to you, but in the future, these alerts could be sent to a caretaker with your explicit permission.”
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Lifestyle Changes Might Alter Breast Cancer Rates

(HealthDay News) Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, drinking less alcohol and getting more exercise could lead to a substantial reduction in breast cancer cases across an entire population, according to a new model that estimates the impact of these modifiable risk factors…
Benchmarks for some lifestyle factors included getting at least 2 hours of exercise a week (for women 30-39) and having a body mass index (BMI) under 25 (in women 50 and older).
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Cut Down on 'Carbs' to Reduce Body Fat, Study Authors Say

(Science Daily) A modest reduction in consumption of carbohydrate foods may promote loss of deep belly fat, even with little or no change in weight, a new study finds…
When paired with weight loss, consumption of a moderately reduced carbohydrate diet can help achieve a reduction of total body fat, according to principal author Barbara Gower, PhD, a professor of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
"These changes could help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, stroke and coronary artery disease," Gower said, noting that excess visceral, or intra-abdominal, fat raises the risk of these diseases…
The moderately carb-restricted diet contained foods that had a relatively low glycemic index, a measure of the extent to which the food raises blood glucose levels.
Community: So we don’t have to cut back on all carbs, only those with a high glycemic index. The University of Sydney has a handy glycemic index database.
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Extreme diet seen as diabetes treatment

(UPI) An extreme diet of just 600 calories a day has been shown to reverse the effects of Type 2 diabetes in as little as a week, British researchers say.
Professor Roy Taylor of Newcastle University says the diet causes fat levels in the pancreas to plummet, restoring normal function, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday…
Taylor acknowledged that the extreme nature of the diet made him a little pessimistic about how many people could stick with it.
"Maybe 5 per cent," he said. "However, if they did, it would save the [National Health Service] many millions of pounds."
Community: So maybe this study tells us why gastric bypass surgery reduces diabetes symptoms, since it involves drastic food restriction. But why not use this restrictive diet for a couple of weeks as a way to stop the diabetes damage, and then move toward a less calorie restrictive but less diabetes inducing diet?
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Mozzarella, Ham, and Basil Panini
A few special ingredients--like freshly baked ciabatta bread or imported Dijon mustard--make a quick, simple sandwich seem like a treat.
Grilled Rosemary-Scented Chicken
Grilling chicken breasts on a bed of rosemary sprigs is an effective and easy way to infuse them with flavor. Savory black olive paste, contrasted with a sweet confit of caramelized onion, provides a sophisticated finish.
Cooking Light:
Top Protein-Rich Foods
From eggs and beef to quinoa and soy, these nutrient-rich recipes provide the perfect amount of protein to support your workout and build healthy muscle.
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Surge in Number of Americans Treated for Prescription Painkiller Abuse

(HealthDay News) Rehab admissions related to alcohol, opiates (including prescription painkillers) and marijuana increased in the United States between 1999 and 2009, according to a new national report…
One of the most staggering increases over the 10-year study period: opiate admissions, mostly due to use of prescription opioids, which include painkillers such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) or Vicodin (hydrocodone).
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Drug Use Tied to Fatal Car Crashes

(Science Daily) It's well known that drunk driving can have fatal consequences, but a new study suggests that alcohol is not the only drug that's a danger on the road…
[R]esearchers found that of U.S. drivers who died in a crash, about 25% tested positive for drugs. The most common drugs were marijuana and stimulants, including cocaine and amphetamines, which each accounted for almost one quarter of the positive tests.
It's not clear whether the drugs were to blame for the crashes, the researchers say. Some people who use illegal drugs may simply be reckless drivers in general, for instance.
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Early Talk Therapy May Help Stroke Patients Bounce Back

(HealthDay News) After suffering a stroke, patients who talk with a therapist about their hopes and fears about the future are less depressed and live longer than patients who don't, British researchers say.
In fact, 48 percent of the people who participated in these motivational interviews within the first month after a stroke were not depressed a year later, compared to 37.7 of the patients who were not involved in talk therapy.
In addition, only 6.5 percent of those involved in talk therapy died within the year, compared with 12.8 percent of patients who didn't receive the therapy, the investigators found.
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No sign that scans after testicle cancer cause new tumors

(Reuters Health) Follow-up scans after treatment for testicular cancer don't appear to put men at higher risk of new tumors, researchers have found.
Men usually get regular computerized tomography (CT) scans to check if their testicular cancer has returned following treatment, but some worry that the associated radiation could be dangerous.
But that did not seem to be the case in the new study.
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Compound May Provide Drug Therapy Approach for Huntington's Disease

(Science Daily) UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified compounds that appear to inhibit a signaling pathway in Huntington's disease, a finding that may eventually lead to a potential drug therapy to help slow the progression of degenerative nerve disorders…
Huntington's disease is a fatal genetic disorder in which certain brain cells waste away. More than 250,000 people in the U.S. have the disorder or are at risk for it. The most common form is adult-onset, with symptoms usually developing in patients in their mid-30s and 40s.
The disease results in uncontrolled movements, psychiatric disturbance, gradual dementia and eventually death. There is no therapy available currently to slow the progression of the disease.
Scientists at UT Southwestern found that quinazoline-derived compounds effectively block what is known as the store-operated calcium entry signaling pathway, which was never before implicated in Huntington nerve cells but that might be a therapeutic target in the disease.
Community: So there’s hope for Thirteen. But wait! She helped her brother kill himself, and now we find out there might have been a cure for him.
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Lithium Profoundly Prevents Brain Damage Associated With Parkinson's Disease, Mouse Study Suggests

(Science Daily) Lithium profoundly prevents the aggregation of toxic proteins and cell loss associated with Parkinson's disease (PD) in a mouse model of the condition. Preclinical research is now underway at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging to determine correct dosages for a drug that continues to be the gold standard for the treatment of bipolar disorder…
According to [lead author Julie] Andersen, lithium has recently been suggested to be neuroprotective in relation to several neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and has been touted for its anti-aging properties in simple animals. "We fed our mice levels of lithium that were at the low end of the therapeutic range," said Andersen. "The possibility that lithium could be effective in PD patients at subclinical levels is exciting, because it would avoid many side effects associated at the higher dose range." Overuse of lithium has been linked to hyperthyroidism and kidney toxicity.
PD is a progressive, incurable neurodegenerative disorder that affects 1 million Americans and results in tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's.
Community: Dietary sources of lithium are dairy, water, herbs, vegetables, and grains. We don’t know the dosage that might prevent brain damage, but it sounds as though eating the healthy diet we keep talking about might help reduce the risk of contracting one of these neurodegenerative diseases.
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Banning "light" from cigarette packs falls short

(Reuters Health) More and more countries are banning the words "light" and "mild" from cigarette packs, but a new study suggests that may not be enough to dispel smokers' misbeliefs that the products are safer.
Researchers found that after the UK, Australia and Canada banned the terms as deceptive, there was a dip in the number of people who mistakenly believed that cigarettes marketed as "light" or "mild" carried fewer health risks.
However, the decline was temporary, the investigators report in the journal Addiction…
"The findings from this study confirm our earlier work showing that merely removing the terms 'light' and 'mild' from cigarette packs is insufficient to change people's beliefs that those products are safer," lead researcher Dr. Hua-Hie Yong said in an email.
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Dutch may label some cannabis as a hard drug

(Reuters) The Netherlands, famous for its liberal soft drugs policies, said on Friday it may label some highly concentrated forms of cannabis as a hard drug on a par with cocaine or heroin, because of the risk of addiction…
[A] Dutch commission has found that hashish and marijuana on sale in the Netherlands contain around 18 percent of THC, the main psychoactive substance, and advised the health minister that anything above 15 percent put drugs on a par with heroin or cocaine.
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Heart bypass battles shrinking market

(UPI) The number of coronary artery bypass surgeries has been decreasing since the late 1990s but about 300 new U.S. bypass programs have opened, researchers say…
"Despite potential benefits for some patients, particularly those living in rural areas, we found substantial evidence of duplication of services in highly competitive markets, as well as the proliferation of specialty cardiac hospitals, without improvements in geographic access for the vast majority of patients," the study authors say in a statement. "Flawed though it may be, the certificate-of-need process is one way to avoid spending money to needlessly duplicate a service that already exists, in some cases within the same ZIP code."
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Judge stops Indiana from ending Planned Parenthood funding

(Reuters) A judge on Friday granted a preliminary injunction preventing the state of Indiana from enforcing a law that eliminated funding to Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions.
The Republican-led Indiana legislature had voted to strip the women's health group of funding, including money from the federal Medicaid program for the poor, and Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed the legislation into law.
But the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker grants a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of the ban on Planned Parenthood offices in Indiana receiving reimbursement for Medicaid claims.
"This decision means that Planned Parenthood of Indiana can once again be reimbursed for the preventive health care it provides its 9,300 Medicaid patients," Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN) said in a statement.
Indiana is one of three states that cut funds for Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions. The others are Kansas and North Carolina but they cut only state funding and not federal Medicaid funds.
Community: Neither the state nor the federal funding for Planned Parenthood includes payment for abortions.
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Ferns best for removal of indoor chemicals

(UPI) Five classes of plants were tested on removing formaldehyde inside buildings and ferns were found the most effective, U.S. and South Korean researchers say…
The study … found the Japanese royal fern, Spikemoss, Hare's-foot fern, Polypodium formosanum, Guava, Sweet Lavender, Pteris dispar, Spider fern, and Geranium were the most effective species tested.
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Smoke From Wildfires in Southwest May Be Health Hazard

(HealthDay News) With record-breaking wildfires scorching the American Southwest, experts are worried not just about the environmental and property damage, but also about health risks both to nearby residents and to those living farther away…
"We've definitely seen patients in the emergency room who have come in with a worsening of their chronic lung disease like asthma or COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] that they've attributed to the smoke," said Dr. Mike Richards…
As of Wednesday afternoon, large wildfires were raging uncontained in southeast Arizona and along the state's border with Mexico; along the eastern edge of New Mexico; in multiple locations throughout Texas and along the Texas-Louisiana border, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
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Weight loss surgery may cure diabetes in many cases

(Reuters Health) Most obese people with diabetes will be cured of the blood sugar disease after undergoing weight loss surgery, a new review of earlier studies suggests.
In a report published in the Archives of Surgery, researchers say eight out of ten patients could stop taking their diabetes medications following a gastric bypass operation.
"Surgery ought to be considered front line therapy for diabetes among obese people," said Dr. Jon Gould, who heads the weight loss surgery program at the University of Wisconsin and was not involved in the review.
Community: Sorry, I still don’t buy it. Surgery is such a drastic measure, and can have so many complications.
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Poor 'Fat-Tasters' May Tend to Be Heavier

(HealthDay News) The creaminess of fat-rich foods such as ice cream and salad dressing appeal to many, but new evidence indicates that some people can actually "taste" the fat lurking in rich foods and that those who can't may end up eating more of those foods…
"Those more sensitive to the fat content were better at controlling their weight," said Kathleen L. Keller, a research associate… "We think these people were protected from obesity because of their ability to detect small changes [in fat content]."
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Dieters' Brain Chemistry Works Against Their Weight-Loss Efforts

(Science Daily) If you've been trying to lose weight and suspect your body's working against you, you may be right, according to a University of Illinois study…
"When obese persons reduce their food intake too drastically, their bodies appear to resist their weight loss efforts. They may have to work harder and go slower in order to outsmart their brain chemistry," said Gregory G. Freund…
He particularly cautions against beginning a diet with a fast or cleansing day, which appears to trigger significant alterations in the immune system that work against weight loss. "Take smaller steps to start your weight loss and keep it going," he said.
Community: You don’t have to be obese to have your body fight weight loss. I’m an excellent example.
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Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto
Use the vegetables you have on-hand with chunks of protein-rich chicken for a 20-minute family-friendly meal.
Creamy Scallop & Pea Fettuccine
This rich pasta dish is full of sweet seared scallops and plump peas. Low-fat milk and flour thicken the sauce, giving it creamy texture without the extra calories and fat found in traditional cream sauces. Serve with a small Caesar salad on the side.
Cooking Light:
20 Top-Rated Grill Recipes
These grilled go-to recipes earned perfect marks from our readers.
Superfast Bombay Shrimp Curry
Allison Fishman demonstrates how to make a superfast shrimp curry complete with coconut rice in just 20 minutes.
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Corn Syrup vs. Sugar

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) You've likely seen the advertisements promoting the idea that corn syrup is the same as sugar. There is a difference - high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has a slightly higher quantity of fructose than do traditional cane or beet sugars. But the big downside of HFCS isn't that it is much less healthy than regular refined sugar (sucrose) - the truth is the body processes them in a similar way.
The real downside is that since HFCS is so cheap, it is widely used: it's a primary ingredient in soft drinks and often hidden in processed foods including salad dressings and ketchup, jams, jellies, ice cream, bread and crackers. In short, it is one of the biggest sources of calories in the American diet, and serves as a "marker" for identifying cheap, processed, unhealthy foods of all kinds.
Regular consumption of HFCS, in fact the regular consumption of any sugar, may contribute to obesity, which in turn is a risk factor for several types of cancer and diabetes. In my opinion, HCFS is definitely bad for you and should be avoided - read food labels carefully and minimize your consumption of items that list HFCS as an ingredient. Also be aware that the Corn Refiners Association wants to rename HFCS as "corn sugar" - if this is approved, you will need to look out for that term on food labels as well. 
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Women can get Pap test every two years

(UPI) Women used to schedule a Pap smear annually but U.S. gynecologists now say a test every two years for women in their 20s, every three years after age 30, is OK.
Dr. Claudia Werner … says Pap tests and pelvic exams provide a screening for cervical cancer and can help detect abnormalities in the reproductive system.
Although the Pap test interval can be safely extended, an annual well-woman exam addresses other issues and still is recommended, Werner says.
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Topical tamoxifen may reduce side effects

(UPI) U.S. researchers are conducting a clinical trial to see if a gel containing an active form of tamoxifen, which reduces breast cancer risk, is effective.
Principal investigator Dr. Seema Khan … says women with ductal carcinoma in situ are usually advised to take oral tamoxifen for five years. However, some women refuse tamoxifen because it has an increased risk of blood clots, uterine cancer and hot flashes…
Khan says the trial is similar to delivery of estrogen via skin patch to avoid the risk of blood clots, and because the circulating levels of the topical drug are very low, the gel should be unlikely to cause other side effects such as hot flashes and the increased risk of uterine cancer.
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Bristol/Pfizer clot drug tops warferin in key study

(Reuters) A closely-watched experimental blood thinner developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Pfizer Inc proved superior to warfarin in preventing strokes in patients with dangerously irregular heart rhythms, according to data from a pivotal late stage trial.
The drug apixaban, which will be sold under the brand name Eliquis if approved, needed to show only non-inferiority to warfarin in stroke prevention to meet the primary goal of the Phase III trial.
But it showed superior efficacy to warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation, according to initial data from the study released on Wednesday by the companies. This should help the drug compete with a pair of rivals in the highly lucrative market for millions of patients with the heart disorder.
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Common drug effect ups elderly death risk: study

(Reuters) A side effect of many commonly used drugs, including antihistamines and antidepressants, appears to increase the risk of reduced brain function and early death in older people, according to a study published on Friday.
Scientists from Britain's University of East Anglia who led the work said the findings showed it was vital for doctors to regularly review drugs taken by elderly patients to ensure the cumulative risks of side-effects did not outweigh the benefits.
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Fixing Diabetic Nerve Damage

(Science Daily) Blood vessels and supporting cells appear to be pivotal partners in repairing nerves ravaged by diabetic neuropathy, and nurturing their partnership with nerve cells might make the difference between success and failure in experimental efforts to regrow damaged nerves, Johns Hopkins researchers report in a new study…
[Study leader Michael Polydefkis, M.D., M.H.S.] says the findings provide potential new targets for treating neuropathy and vascular problems. By promoting blood vessel and Schwann cell growth, researchers might be able to speed up axon regeneration and successfully repair damaged nerves and blood vessels, potentially combating diabetic neuropathy and vascular complications simultaneously.
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Resident doctors still work too long: report

(Reuters) First-year residents may soon get a reprieve from grueling hospital shifts that last more than 24 hours, but that is not enough to prevent an alarming number of medical errors, according to a report released on Friday.
Starting July 1, new rules will require first-year residents to work shifts no longer than 16 straight hours. But that will not spare more experienced residents from working as long as 28 hours at a stretch…
"What started as a good system has evolved into a system where the residents are extremely sleep deprived, caring for some of the sickest patients in the country, and that's a set-up for disaster," Dr. Christopher Landrigan, one of the report's authors, said in an interview.
Community: Depriving medical residents of sleep was never a good system.
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AMA Pushes End to Photoshopped Body Images in Ads

(Ad Age) The American Medical Association voted at its annual meeting yesterday to support ad-industry policies discouraging altered, unrealistic body images in advertising.
"Advertisers commonly alter photographs to enhance the appearance of models' bodies, and such alterations can contribute to unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image -- especially among impressionable children and adolescents," the association said. "A large body of literature links exposure to media-propagated images of unrealistic body image to eating disorders and other child and adolescent health problems."
The AMA's policy encourages ad associations to work with public and private health groups to develop guidelines deterring ads Photoshopped beyond reality.
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CDC: 20 percent with HIV don't know it

(UPI) A program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention screened 2.8 million Americans for HIV and diagnosed about 18,000 with the virus, officials said…
CDC officials estimate 20 percent of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the United States don't know they are infected, so expanding testing is critical to helping people receive life-extending treatment and protecting the health of their partners, the report said.
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FDA needs better recall monitoring, says GAO

(Reuters) Congressional auditors have faulted U.S. health regulators for failing to track unsafe medical devices after they are recalled, opening the door to further risks to patients.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found 21 high-risk recalls between 2005 and 2009 where companies were unable to correct or remove faulty devices. Its report, dated June 14, was released to the public on Wednesday.
"The FDA can't tell if recalls of high-risk devices were carried out successfully because it lacks criteria for assessing device recalls and doesn't routinely review recall data," said Senator Charles Grassley in a statement, referring to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
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Supreme Court strikes down state drug data-mining law

(Reuters) The Supreme Court struck down a law that prohibits the use of prescription drug records for marketing, ruling for free-speech rights over a state government's medical privacy concerns.
The high court handed a victory to data-mining companies IMS Health, Verispan and Source Healthcare Analytics, a unit of Dutch publisher Wolters Kluwer, which had challenged the law. The companies collect and sell such information.
Community: No Corporation Left Behind is the motto of this Supreme Court.
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Supreme Court rejects generic drug labeling suits

(Reuters) The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that generic drug companies cannot be sued under state law over allegations that they failed to provide adequate label warnings about potential side effects.
By a 5-4 vote, the justices gave a victory to Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Mylan Inc's UDL Laboratories and Iceland-based Actavis Inc by overturning U.S. appeals court rulings that allowed such lawsuits.
The companies argued that federal law barred such lawsuits because the drug had been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Federal law requires generic drugs to have the same labels as their brand name equivalents.
Justice Clarence Thomas in the court's majority opinion agreed. He said federal drug regulations applicable to generic drug manufacturers directly conflicted with and thus pre-empted state lawsuits.
Community: I wonder if Justice Thomas has received any money from Teva.
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Experts warn U.S. to boost Alzheimer's funding

(Reuters) Alzheimer's experts urged U.S. lawmakers on Thursday to increase funding for research of the debilitating disease and to push international policymakers to pay more attention to its global impact.
They said the United States had fallen behind in efforts to meet the growing burden of Alzheimer's, and called on U.S. lawmakers to start pushing for more funding and taking greater leadership in the global Alzheimer's fight.
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Why I Love my Daily Walk

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Stress in the City

(Science Daily) Being born and raised in a major urban area is associated with greater lifetime risk for anxiety and mood disorders… A new international study … is the first to show that two distinct brain regions that regulate emotion and stress are affected by city living. These findings … may lead to strategies that improve the quality of life for city dwellers…
[Co-author Jens] Pruessner, with his colleagues…, looked at the brain activity of healthy volunteers from urban and rural areas. In a series of functional magnetic resonance experiments involving [the] previously developed 'Montreal Imaging Stress Task',(MIST) protocol, they showed that city living was associated with greater stress responses in the amygdala, an area of the brain involved with emotional regulation and mood. In contrast, urban upbringing was found to be associated with activity in the cingulate cortex, a region involved in regulation of negative affect and stress.
 "These findings contribute to our understanding of urban environmental risk for mental disorders and health in general."
Community: So it’s especially important for city dwellers to find ways to reduce stress. Stress reducers are social interaction and supportcommitted romancearguing “a little”, laughterlistening to musicdeep breathingmeditation, especially transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation, eating saffron and foods containing omega-3 fatty acidsexercising (especially outdoors), and that’s just looking back a few months through the Many Years Young archives.
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Daily sexism often goes unnoticed

(UPI) Daily acts of sexism go unnoticed by both men and women, researchers in the United States and Germany say.
[The researchers] say nearly everyone can recognize the stereotypical scene of construction workers catcalling women as sexist, but people tend to overlook the more subtle daily acts of sexism such as calling women "girls" but not calling men "boys."…
For women it is important to "see the unseen" acts of sexism, whereas, for men, it is additionally important to be encouraged to feel empathy for others, the researchers said.
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Daily Apple for Heart Health

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Eating an apple each day may help to keep the cardiologist away. Daily apple consumption appears to help lower cholesterol, according to a small study at Florida State University. Researchers randomly assigned 160 women between the ages of 45 and 65 to eat 2.7 ounces of dried apples or dried plums (prunes) prunes every day for a year. Afterward, the investigators found that the women who ate the dried apples had reduced their total cholesterol by 14 percent and their LDL ("bad") cholesterol by 23 percent. They also saw a four percent increase in HDL ("good") cholesterol.
Even though the dried apples added 240 calories to the women's daily diets, they lost an average of 3.3 pounds over the year - possibly because the apples and their fiber content provided a sense of fullness.
Another benefit: a drop in levels of C-reactive protein, a substance in blood that is a marker for inflammation…
My take? Apples really are good for you - as long as they're fresh and organically grown. In addition to the encouraging results of the Florida State study, other research has shown that eating apples may reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, liver, prostate and lung (thanks to the flavonoids they contain). In addition, studies have shown that eating apples may reduce chronic cough and other respiratory symptoms…
[F]or every 10 grams of fiber consumed daily, you may be able to lower your risk of developing heart disease by 14 percent and your risk of dying from heart disease by 27 percent. A single apple gives you five grams of fiber. Learn more about my own heart health measures.
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Chips, Fries, Soda Most to Blame for Long-Term Weight Gain

(HealthDay News) The edict to eat less and exercise more is far from far-reaching, as a new analysis points to the increased consumption of potato chips, French fries, sugary sodas and red meat as a major cause of weight gain in people across the United States…
"This is the obesity epidemic before our eyes," said study author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an associate professor in the department of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health and the division of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "It's not a small segment of the population gaining an enormous amount of weight quickly; it's everyone gaining weight slowly."
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Cooking Light:
Ultimate Guide to Summer Produce
Take advantage of summer's abundance with our guide to the top seasonal foods.
Mediterranean Potato Salad with Shrimp and Feta
Combine potatoes with shrimp, feta, olives, and handfuls of crunchy veggies for this satisfying spin on an old favorite. "Baking" the potatoes in the microwave instead of the oven cuts cooking time in half.
Tuna Melt
In this updated version of the tuna melt, we go light on the mayo and top it with fresh tomato slices and shredded sharp Cheddar, which allows us to use considerably less cheese while ensuring that there's great cheese flavor in each gooey bite.
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German E. Coli Strain Especially Lethal, Studies Find

(HealthDay News) The strain of E. coli bacteria that this month killed dozens of people in Europe and sickened thousands more may be more deadly because of the way it has evolved, a new study suggests.
Scientists say this strain of E. coli produces a particularly noxious toxin and also has a tenacious ability to hold on to cells within the intestine. This, alongside the fact that it is also resistant to many antibiotics, has made the so-called O104:H4 strain both deadlier and easier to transmit, German researchers report…
Another study … concludes that, as of June 18, more than 3,200 people have fallen ill in Germany due to the outbreak, including 39 deaths.
In fact, the German strain -- traced to sprouts raised at a German organic farm -- "was responsible for the deadliest E. coli outbreak in history," [emeritus professor of bacteriology Hugh] Pennington said.
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Chronic constipation tied to women's heart risks

(Reuters Health) Older women bothered by constipation may have a higher risk of heart disease than those who are more "regular," a large study of U.S. women suggests.
Researchers say the findings do not mean that constipation, per se, explains the extra risk.
Instead, women with chronic constipation may tend to have more risk factors for heart disease -- like a low-fiber diet, too little exercise and higher rates of high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
In fact, when the researchers accounted for those and other factors, the link between constipation and heart disease largely disappeared.
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Blood Pressure Changes Are Age and Lifestyle-Related, Study Finds

(Science Daily) The main causes of increases in blood pressure over a lifetime are modifiable and could be targeted to help prevent cardiovascular disease: although high blood pressure sometimes has no obvious symptoms, this condition, which affects about a third of the adult UK and US populations, can lead to life-threatening heart attacks and stroke, so reducing blood pressure is very important for health…
Compared to the general population, [an] occupational group had lower average blood pressure, and midlife blood pressure acceleration appeared to begin later. Wider evidence suggests that this might in part reflect modifiable blood pressure-related factors such as diet and lifestyle that can vary with differences in social and economic circumstances.
Furthermore, although at the beginning of adulthood women had lower blood pressure than men, an increased midlife acceleration (perhaps due to menopause-related effects on salt sensitivity) meant that later in life, men and women had similar average blood pressures. The findings also support the wide body of evidence that show a strong link between body mass index and blood pressure throughout life.
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