Medical Headlines

Stop smoking ads show damage to brain

A new anti-smoking campaign launched in the closing days of 2013 by Public Health England (PHE) includes TV adverts that show in graphic detail the harmful effects of smoking on the brain, heart and lungs.

Meat, smoking have strongest links to cancer incidence rates

Using 2008 global cancer rates from the World Health Organization, a new international study has found that certain lifestyle factors - specifically smoking and eating diets high in animal products - have the strongest association with cancer rates.Publishing their findings in the journal Nutrients, the researchers say the results could impact international food policies.

Slow eating may reduce hunger but not calorie intake

It is a well known fact that the more calories one consumes, the more weight is gained. Previous studies suggest that eating speed may affect how many calories the body consumes. But new research suggests that eating speed, rather than caloric intake, may have more of an impact on hunger suppression.

Molecular researchers find new key to inflammatory diseases

Biologists have discovered genetic material that may help to explain part of how our immune defense is triggered. Dubbing it THRIL, they say it could be targeted in the development of treatments against inflammatory diseases such as Kawasaki disease, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Surgery 'better than chemotherapy' for tongue cancer

For the treatment of cancer, many would consider chemotherapy to be the best option. But for tongue cancer, new research suggests that surgery may be the most effective primary port of call. This is according to a study published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

Fine-tuned MRI may help MS diagnosis

Researchers have found a way to fine-tune MRI scanning that may help to diagnose multiple sclerosis earlier and to track its progression.The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has found a way to improve a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) approach called quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM).

Low oxygen levels in tumors 'trigger spread of breast cancer'

Researchers have discovered that low oxygen conditions can trigger the production of proteins that contribute to the spread of breast cancer cells. This is according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Biologists from Johns Hopkins University found that low oxygen conditions prompted increased production of proteins called RhoA and ROCK1.

Some bacteria 'live for long periods' on toys, books and cribs

Researchers from the University at Buffalo in New York say two bacteria that cause many common infections in children and the elderly, such as strep throat and ear infections, can live outside the human body for long periods of time on various objects, including books, cribs and toys.

Reading a novel triggers lasting changes in the brain

Lovers of literature can rejoice: a new study combines the humanities and neuroscience to take a look at what effects reading a novel can have on the brain. Researchers say exploring a book can not only change your perspective, but also it can change your mind - at least for a few days.

'Work with anxiety' rather than seek calm to improve performance

Performance anxiety is better helped by telling yourself to get excited rather than to calm down, says a psychologist publishing the results of experiments looking into fear-inducing prospects, such as public speaking and math tests.Simply saying the phrase, "I am excited" out loud was found to improve performance in the studies by Alison Wood Brooks, PhD, of Harvard Business School.

Beatboxing less harmful to vocal cords than singing

Many of us will have been intrigued by the sound of beatboxing at some point - a highly skilled vocal percussion in which the performer imitates a drum sound with their voice. You may think that compared with standard singing, beatboxing is harsher on the voice. But new research suggests this is not the case.

Pre-surgery chemo benefits more esophageal cancer patients

A new study suggests having chemotherapy before surgery to remove a tumor may benefit more patients with esophageal cancer than previously thought.Tim Underwood, an esophageal surgeon researcher at the University of Southampton in the UK, and colleagues report their findings in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

Injectable gene therapy targets blood vessels in tumors

By designing an injectable viral vector that targets blood vessels of tumors, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, have opened new avenues for gene therapy against cancer and other diseases that have abnormal blood vessels.

Study links concussion with Alzheimer's disease brain pathology

Alzheimer's disease has become an increasing burden in older patients, which is why research into its causes is a high priority. Now, a new study links concussion history and Alzheimer's, suggesting loss of consciousness could be associated with the build-up of plaques in the brain.

'Oldest case of sarcoidosis' uncovered in French Revolution leader

Maximilien de Robespierre was one of the most influential and best known figures in the French Revolution. A lawyer and politician who was guillotined in 1794, he might also have been the first described case of the rare immune disorder sarcoidosis.

Over 40 new genetic markers found for rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the lining of the joints, but it can also affect other organs. In a recent international collaboration, researchers have discovered 42 new genetic markers associated with the condition, which they say could open doors to new treatments.

'No reduction' in deaths caused by aggressive prostate cancer

Death rates from metastatic prostate cancer have remained "mostly unchanged over the past 25 years," a study of 19,336 men with an advanced form of the urological disease has found.Publishing their findings online in the journal Cancer, the researchers from the University of California, Sacramento, had been expecting improvements in these mortality rates.