Medical Headlines

Caffeine: how does it really affect our health?

When we wake up in the morning, many of us reach for a coffee to kick-start our day. According to the International Coffee Organization, approximately 1.6 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day.

Cancer survivors who exercise live longer

Earlier diagnosis and medical improvements means many cancer survivors are living longer. Now, a new study of over 1,000 male cancer survivors suggests being physically active may add even more years to their lives.

Does your spouse have type 2 diabetes? You could also be at risk

Although we learn to share many things when living with a partner, type 2 diabetes is not usually on the list. But new research from McGill University Health Centre in Canada suggests that if a person has type 2 diabetes, their partner is more likely to have or develop it.This is according to a study published in the journal BMC Medicine.

Study questions health benefits of vitamin D supplementation

Various studies have suggested vitamin D supplementation yields certain health benefits. But new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology suggests that evidence to back up these claims is lacking and that future studies are unlikely to change this outlook.Vitamin D is important for regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in our bones.

How does the brain link different memories?

Neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe they have discovered two neural circuits that coordinate how time-linked memories are formed and stored in the brain.Scientists already know that memories of events (called "episodic memories") are created in the hippocampus area of the brain.

Heart attack survival 'significantly lower' in UK than Sweden

A new study published in The Lancet has questioned the care of heart attack patients in the UK - stating that the chance of surviving a heart attack in the country is significantly lower than in Sweden. Researchers say if the UK had adopted the same health care strategies as Sweden, more than 11,000 heart attack deaths may have been prevented.The research team, including Prof.

Hearing loss in older adults linked to faster brain shrinkage

Scientists have long known that as we age, our brain becomes smaller. But new research from the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland suggests that older adults who suffer from hearing loss are more likely to experience a higher level of brain shrinkage at a faster rate.

Folic acid linked to breast cancer growth in animal study

Folic acid is a well-known supplement to many women, particularly those who are or plan to be pregnant. But a new study suggests that taking large amounts of folate - a B vitamin - and its synthetic form, folic acid, might actually increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

Inherited gene mutations found in 20% of women with ovarian cancer

Genetic studies of inherited predisposition to ovarian cancer have tended to focus on women with a known family history of the disease. Now, a new study of ovarian cancer patients with no known family history of the disease found one fifth of them had inherited alterations in genes known to be linked to ovarian and breast cancer.

Researchers find genetic mutations that may cause schizophrenia

According to the World Health Organization, schizophrenia affects around 24 million people globally. It is unknown as to exactly what causes the condition, but an international team of researchers, led by Cardiff University in the UK, has discovered new genetic mutations that may provide further insight into the disorder.

New diagnostic criteria lower previous estimates of ASD

A study examining changes to the American Psychiatric Association's diagnosis guidelines predicts that estimates of the number of people with autism spectrum disorder are now likely to be lowered.The fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - commonly known within the medical profession as DSM-5 - was published in 2013.

Alzheimer's defense: omega-3s linked to larger brain volume

Among the myriad changes that accompany aging, shrinking brain volume can be a worrying one. A normal part of growing older, it can also be a sign of Alzheimer's disease. But the good news is that a recent study suggests people with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids have larger brain volumes in old age.

High oxytocin levels 'trigger oversensitivity to emotions of others'

Oxytocin is commonly referred to as the "love hormone." It plays a significant role in social bonding, and recent studies have shown that the hormone can help people with autism and schizophrenia to better interact with others. But new research suggests that, for healthy young adults, too much oxytocin can result in oversensitivity to the emotions of others.

Move more, sit less to reduce heart failure risk, say researchers

A lower risk of heart failure is linked not only to doing more exercise, but also independently to spending less time sitting, concluded US researchers after analyzing 8 years of health data on 84,000 men.Reporting their findings in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure, Dr.

Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of peripheral artery disease

Past studies have suggested that following a Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Now, a new analysis of previous research suggests that the diet, supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts, may reduce the risk of peripheral artery disease. This is according to a research letter published in the journal JAMA.

Scientists create synthetic self-propelled swimming bio-bots

Engineers at the University of Illinois have created a new "species" of swimming micro-organisms. They hope these could one day develop into "smart structures" that could help with delivering drugs or targeting cancer.These wonders of modern engineering are a miniature mix of biological and engineered components.

Portable magnetic stimulation device 'effective' against migraines

According to The Migraine Trust, there are approximately 190,000 migraine attacks in the UK every day. Now, a new device that sends magnetic impulses to the brain could help combat the condition, and has been recommended as a treatment by the UK's National Institute for Health Care and Excellence.

Cocaine users 'do not enjoy social interaction and lack empathy'

New research from the University of Zurich in Switzerland suggests that people who regularly use cocaine struggle to feel empathy for others and are less likely to enjoy social interactions, compared with individuals who do not use the drug.