Medical Headlines

Antidepressant use linked to infant pulmonary hypertension

New research suggests that infants of mothers who are in the late stages of pregnancy and who take a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be at increased rick of developing high blood pressure in the lungs - known as persistent pulmonary hypertension.

How a fiber-rich diet protects against obesity and diabetes

Researchers have long known that a diet rich in fiber can help protect against diabetes and obesity, but they have been unclear as to how. Now, investigators from France and Sweden say they have unveiled this mechanism. This is according to a study recently published in the journal Cell.

Google Glass 'could transform the way surgery is performed'

Google Glass - a wearable computer that resembles a pair of glasses - may be set to transform the medical world, after the device has been used once again during two surgical procedures.Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Selene Parekh recently used the technology as he conducted foot and ankle surgery during the Indo-US conference in Jaipur, India.

Humans' slow metabolisms explain long life span, study says

Though some individuals may not appreciate their slow metabolisms, a new study suggests that humans and other primates - who burn 50% fewer calories each day than other mammals - have such long lives because of their curiously slow metabolisms.

Scientists discover how sodium controls opioid receptor signaling

Researchers have spent 40 years trying to find out how the chemical element sodium controls the signaling of opioid receptors in the brain - a class of receptors that play an important role in pain disorders and addictions. Now, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and the University of North Carolina say they have finally uncovered the mechanism.The research team, led by Dr.

Ocean bacteria deliver food parcels to marine organisms

New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reveals that marine cyanobacteria, whose body mass forms the base of the ocean food chain, also feed marine organisms in another way - they deliver "food parcels" packed with carbon and other nutrients.

Non-coding DNA may affect type 2 diabetes risk

Once thought of as "junk" DNA because it does not contain genes that encode proteins, scientists are starting to discover non-coding DNA can nevertheless influence the effect of coding DNA, such as switching genes on and off.

Anti-cancer properties of diabetes drug 'should be re-evaluated'

Many clinical trials have looked to the use of metformin - a drug already used to treat diabetes - as a way of suppressing tumor growth in cancer by activating a molecule called AMP-activated protein kinase. But new research suggests that activation of this molecule may actually encourage tumor growth.

Exposure to food commercialism in schools 'still high for students'

Food commercialism in schools is characterized by exclusive beverage or food contracts with certain companies, along with incentives, profits and advertising. Although beverage vending in schools has decreased over the past 5 years, a new study reveals that students are still highly exposed to the marketing of certain food products - most of which are nutritionally poor.

Infant probiotic use 'reduces risk of gastrointestinal disorders'

Past studies have suggested that consuming probiotics on a daily basis can benefit our digestive health. And these benefits may also apply to infants, as a new study suggests that giving probiotics to children in their first 3 months of life may reduce their risk of developing gastrointestinal disorders.The research team from the Aldo Moro University of Baro in Italy, led by Dr.

Infection-fighting cellular process 'a cause of childhood leukemia'

The American Cancer Society states that leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens in the US, accounting for 1 in 3 cancers. Now, researchers have found that a cellular mechanism that fights off infection may contribute to the development of the disease in youngsters, opening doors for further research into treatment for the condition.

Higher depression risk in boys who think they are underweight

The focus on teenage weight issues tends to center around girls, but boys are not immune to body image pressures. In two new studies, researchers found that teen boys of a healthy weight who think they are too skinny have a higher risk of being depressed, compared with other boys - even those who think they are overweight.

New home-based test could detect early Alzheimer's symptoms

According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 5 million people in the US suffer from Alzheimer's disease. But new research suggests that early symptoms of the disease could now be detected early with the help of a 15-minute home-based test, meaning potential treatments could be started much earlier.Researchers from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, led by Dr.

Green spaces have long-lasting benefit for mental health

UK researchers who analyzed data that tracked people's health for 5 years after they moved to greener areas suggests not only that it improved their mental health, but also that the benefit lasted long afterward.

Brain training boosted older adults' mental skills

Researchers found that giving a group of older adults a brief course of mental or cognitive training helped to improve their reasoning ability and processing speed, and hold onto the gains for up to 10 years, compared with a group of untrained controls. Plus, those who received additional training for another 3 years improved even further.

Caffeine may boost long-term memory

Numerous studies have suggested that caffeine has many health benefits. Now, new research suggests that a dose of caffeine after a learning session may help to boost long-term memory. This is according to a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Type 1 diabetes in mice averted with cancer drug

A new international study led by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark has taken a significant step toward the prevention of type 1 diabetes, by showing how low doses of a cancer drug stopped it developing in disease-prone mice.The treatment also protected the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas from being destroyed.Dr.

Hospitalized dementia patients 'benefit from intensive exercise'

A more intensive exercise program specifically designed for people in hospital with dementia has been shown to add benefits over normal rehabilitation, say researchers set to publish their findings in a February 2014 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Type 2 diabetes is an inflammatory disease, say researchers

New research from Denmark adds further weight to the idea that type 2 diabetes is an inflammatory disease.The recently published study describes how in mice, during the very early stages of type 2 diabetes, immune cells called macrophages invade pancreatic tissue, releasing large quantities of cytokines - pro-inflammatory proteins - that help destroy insulin-producing beta cells.

High fiber diet may protect against asthma

In the past 50 years, as fruits and vegetables have featured less and less in the Western diet, rates of allergic asthma have gone up. Now a new study suggests these trends are not coincidental, but causally linked.