Medical Headlines

Global burden of disability highest for low back pain

Many of us experience low back pain at some point in our lives for different reasons. And now, new research suggests this condition causes more disability worldwide than any other ailment.

E-cigarettes 'should not be marketed as smoking cessation aids'

The debate over the benefits and potential harms of e-cigarettes has raged on across the media in recent months. Now, research published in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that there is no association between e-cigarette use and reduced cigarette consumption.

Better sleep 'should be prescribed to treat metabolic disorders'

We all feel better after a good night's sleep, but increasingly, evidence is suggesting that not getting enough good-quality sleep could increase our risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders.A new study, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, suggests that both the prevention and treatment of these disorders may benefit from addressing poor sleep.

Difficulty getting pregnant could be due to stress

Doctors already know stress is tied to increased risk of heart disease and conditions like depression, but now, new research suggests stress may be a reason women trying to conceive experience difficulty getting pregnant.The researchers, led by Dr.

How can we combat drug-resistant TB?

Coinciding with World TB Day, new consensus statements have been drafted to address the growing problem of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Uterine cancer risks decrease by 81% with bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery, or weight-loss surgery, is normally used as a last resort when all other efforts have failed for obese patients who need to lose weight for their health. And now, researchers have found that the weight loss following such surgery significantly reduces the risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer in women.

Defective gene could suggest a genetic basis for IBS

A joint team of researchers from Sweden, Italy, Greece and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota claim to have unearthed a clue to a genetic basis for irritable bowel syndrome.Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common intestinal disorder that affects about 15-20% of the Western world. In some countries, such as Sweden, IBS is the second highest cause of work absenteeism, after common colds.

They know when you are faking it: computer recognizes mock pain

More and more, computers are showing their superiority over humans in a multitude of tasks. A new study reveals that a computer system is able to detect - with better accuracy than a human - whether our expressions of pain are genuine or phony.

Mood-stabilizing drug could reduce risk of head and neck cancer

New research suggests that a commonly used mood-stabilizing drug - valproic acid - could help reduce the risk of developing head and neck cancer.The research team, led by Dr. Johann Christoph Brandes of the Atlanta Veterans Medical Center and Emory University in Atlanta, GA, recently published their findings in the journal Cancer.

Vitamin D supplements 'do not reduce depression'

Past studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency may lead to depression. In response, other studies propose that increasing vitamin D levels with supplements may reduce depressive symptoms. But new research, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, has found no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduce depression.The research team, led by Dr. Jonathan A.

Exercise and occasional drinking may protect against visual impairment

You stay physically active, but you are also fond of the occasional drink? Not to worry, you may be doing your eyes a favor, according to new research in the journal Ophthalmology."Visual impairment" - loss of sight caused by eye disease, trauma or a congenital or degenerative condition that cannot be corrected by glasses - is on the rise.

Why do our eyes widen in fear and narrow in disgust?

Think about the last time you were home alone and you heard a loud, unexpected noise. Chances are, your eyes widened as you listened for more information. In a new paper, researchers have detailed why this happens, as well as why our eyes narrow when something disgusts us.The researchers, led by Prof.

Researchers create smartphone device that performs blood tests

Researchers have created a smartphone device that can perform blood tests - a creation they say could "improve the quality of life" for people undergoing treatment for the prevention of blood clots.The formation of blood clots in the arteries and veins can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Heart risk: 9/11 rescuers more likely to have sleep apnea and PTSD

When the World Trade Center towers collapsed on September 11, 2001, people who rushed to the scene in rescue efforts were probably not thinking about their long-term health risks. But now, nearly 13 years later, research suggests first responders at Ground Zero exposed to inhaled particulates have increased risks of obstructed sleep apnea and post-traumatic stress order.Cardiologist Dr.

Multiple sclerosis: raising awareness of a complex disease

What do you know about multiple sclerosis? Chances are, very little. "Many people aren't aware of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, or even of the condition itself," says Dr. Emma Gray. Considering that approximately 2.5 million people around the world have multiple sclerosis, it is surprising that there is such lack of awareness, but sadly, this is the case.Dr.

Alarming spread of drug-resistant TB threatens global health

The medical aid organization Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has published a briefing paper about the alarming spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis, which they refer to as the "biggest threat to global health you've never heard of.

Human sniff range exceeds 1 trillion odors

A new study published in the journal Science finds that the human sense of smell can detect more than 1 trillion odors, far exceeding the number previous studies have indicated.

Researchers discover how our body clock reacts to environmental changes

Our internal clocks are responsible for our body's daily rhythms, including our sleep and wake patterns and metabolism. Now, researchers from the University of Manchester in the UK say they have discovered a new mechanism by which our body clocks react to environmental changes.The research team, led by Dr. David Bechtold, recently published their findings in the journal Current Biology.

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