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Binge-drinking teenagers risking brain damage PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 June 2010 00:00
Binge-drinking teens are risking permanent brain damage, research reveals.

High levels of boozing can result in memory loss and a lack of reasoning powers.

A major component of the brain called the hippocampus degenerates under the strain of drinking, tests showed.

Polar bears face 'tipping point' due to climate change PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 23:30
Climate change will trigger a dramatic and sudden decline in the number of polar bears, a new study has concluded.

The research is the first to directly model how changing climate will affect polar bear reproduction and survival.

Based on what is known of polar bear physiology, behaviour and ecology, it predicts pregnancy rates will fall and fewer bears will survive fasting during longer ice-free seasons.

These changes will happen suddenly as bears pass a 'tipping point'.

Yoga Practice Improves Sleep Quality and Reduces Fatigue in Cancer Survivors PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 May 2010 23:27
Practicing yoga might improve sleep and overall quality of life in cancer survivors. It appears to also improve fatigue, which along with impaired sleep quality are the most prevalent and troublesome adverse effects experienced by cancer survivors. Both can significantly affect quality of life.

Cancer survivors also reported reducing their need for sleep medication once they began a yoga program, according to the findings of the largest randomized controlled study ever to examine the value of yoga specifically designed for cancer survivors.

Participants in the yoga program were able to decrease their use of sleep medication by 21%, compared with the control group, who increased their use of sleep medication by 5% during the same time period.

Arctic sea ice heading for new record low PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 00:00
Arctic sea ice is on track to recede to a record low this year, suggesting that northern waters free of summer ice are coming faster than anyone thought.

The latest satellite information shows ice coverage is equal to what it was in 2007, the lowest year on record, and is declining faster than it did that year.

"Could we break another record this year? I think it's quite possible," said Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.

"We are going to lose the summer sea-ice cover. We can't go back."

Burgers, Fries May Worsen Asthma, Study Finds PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 May 2010 21:32
High-fat meals that have become common in westernized countries may have another side effect beyond bulging waistlines. They also may worsen asthma attacks, a new study finds.

The findings, reported on by LiveScience, showed that asthma patients who ate a high-fat meal of burgers and hash browns experienced increased inflammation in their airways, as opposed to patients who ate a low-fat meal of yogurt. Those who ate the fatty meals also didn't respond as well to treatment.

ADHD in kids tied to organophosphate pesticides PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 May 2010 21:19
Children exposed to pesticides known as organophosphates could have a higher risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study.

Researchers tracked the pesticides' breakdown products in kids' urine and found those with high levels were almost twice as likely to develop ADHD as those with undetectable levels.

The findings are based on data from the general U.S. population, meaning that exposure to the pesticides could be harmful even at levels commonly found in children's environment.

Regular use of vit E may cut COPD risk PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 May 2010 10:32
A new study conducted by researchers at Cornell University and Brigham and Women's Hospital has suggested that long-term, regular use of vitamin E in women 45 years of age and older may help decrease the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by about 10 percent in both smokers and non-smokers.

"As lung disease develops, damage occurs to sensitive tissues through several proposed processes, including inflammation and damage from free radicals. Vitamin E may protect the lung against such damage," said Anne Hermetet Agler, doctoral candidate with Cornell University's Division of Nutritional Sciences.

Low vitamin D tied to depression in older people PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 00:00
Older men and women with lower levels of vitamin D in their blood are more prone to become depressed over time, new research shows.

Many studies have been published recently on the potential health benefits of vitamin D, and the potential risks of deficiency. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and more severe asthma.

In older people, insufficient vitamin D is quite common, and has been linked to fractures, worse physical function, greater frailty, and a wide variety of chronic illness.

Are drugs the solution to the problem of ADHD among young people? PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 May 2010 00:00
Figures revealed to Education Guardian show a huge increase in spending on Ritalin. Are teachers doing all they could to help children without drugs?

Leon Perry is in trouble for insulting his teacher. Fidgeting on a chair in the assistant head's office of Queen's Park community school (QPCS) in north London, the 13-year-old admits he skipped his medication the day the trouble started.

"I can get a bit hyperactive when I come off," he says. "I'll be honest, I can be violent. When I'm on my tablet, I think before I act, when I'm off, I think after. If teachers get on my nerves, I'll say what I want. When I'm on my tablet, I can't be bothered."

Leon has been taking Ritalin since he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) when he was six. He's not alone. According to data obtained exclusively by Education Guardian under Freedom of Information legislation, there has been a 65% increase in spending on drugs to treat ADHD over the last four years. Such treatments now cost the taxpayer over £31m a year.

Surgery "should be last resort for obese children" PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 05 May 2010 00:00
Weight-loss surgery should only be used in the most severely obese of children, and then only with extreme caution due to the risks and the fact its effectiveness remains unknown, health experts said on Thursday.

In a review of studies on the obesity epidemic, scientists from Britain and the United States said lifestyle changes such as better diet and more exercise should always be the first option, and treatment with drugs should be used rarely.

Bariatric surgery, or weight-loss surgery, such as operations to apply gastric bands to limit the stomach size of severely overweight people, should be a last resort, they said.

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