Author: Jane Farrell

Sleep Health

Sleep: Myths vs. Facts


How much do you know about one of life’s most important activities? Here, the experts from the National Center on Sleep Disorder Research, a division of the National Institutes of Health, separate the facts from the myths and misunderstandings: Sleep is a time when your body and brain shut down for rest and relaxation

Heart Health

Patients, Have a Statin Discussion with Your Doctor


Patients and physicians should work together to decide on individualized treatments based on new statin guidelines, according to a commentary by three Mayo Clinic doctors. The guidelines, issued last year by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, called for caregivers to prescribe statins to healthy patients if their 10-year cardiovascular risk is 7.5 percent or higher.

Humidifiers and Your Health


Dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips — humidifiers can help soothe these familiar problems caused by dry indoor air. Humidifiers can also help ease symptoms of a cold or another respiratory condition. But be cautious: Although useful, humidifiers can actually make you sick if they aren't maintained properly or if humidity levels stay too high. If you use humidifiers, be sure to monitor humidity levels and keep your humidifier clean. Dirty humidifiers can breed mold or bacteria. If you have allergies or asthma, talk to your doctor before using a humidifier.

DNA and Age-Related Cancers


Changes in a process that controls genes appear to be linked to some of the increased risk of cancer seen in older people, according to a new National Institutes of Health study. It’s long been known that age is a leading risk factor for the development of many cancers. But scientists haven’t known exactly why that’s so. They’ve suspected a process called DNA methylation-- the binding of chemical tags, known as methyl groups, onto DNA.

After Antibiotics Stop Working, What's Next?


By Paul DiCorleto, Ph. D. Each year in the United States, 23,000 people die from drug-resistant bacterial infections. Antibiotics, designed to fight infections, have been one of the greatest medical advances of the past 100 years. But many health experts warn that we are entering a postantibiotic era, where drug-resistant “superbugs” threaten our health and economy. Our behavior — how we use antibiotics and antibacterial products — may be part of the problem. How superbugs survive

Molecule Linked to Reawakened Prostate-Cancer Cells


Dormant prostate-cancer cells in bone tissue can be reawakened, causing the disease to spread to different parts of the body. The discovery, by researchers in the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, in Los Angeles, could lead to new ways to intervene before the disease progresses.

Fructose vs. Glucose: Not Much Difference


Fructose has a reputation for causing obesity, but replacing it with glucose doesn’t seem to make much difference. The findings, published in the journal Current Opinion in Lipidology, show that when portion sizes and calories are the same, fructose does not cause any more harm than glucose.

Weight Loss

Weight Loss and Weekend Splurges


If you want to lose weight, eating well during the week may be more important than avoiding weekend splurges. Researchers from Cornell University, in collaboration with researchers from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Tampere University of Technology, examined the impact that the seven-days-a-week human cycle has on weight.

How to Eat Healthy with Other Cultures


As a diverse nation, we can embrace our cultural traditions for the foods we love and still prepare them in healthier ways. Here, from the program MyPlate, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is how to eat the best of other cultures’ cuisine without abandoning your health goals:

What You Need to Know About COPD


Along with lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, affects a patient’s very ability to breathe. COPD, which is also called emphysema or chronic bronchitis, is a progressive lung disease in which the airways of the lungs become damaged, making it hard to breathe. COPD is also known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. According to the National Institutes of Health, COPD is a major cause of death and illness worldwide. In the U.S., it kills more than 120,000 Americans every year, or one every four minutes.

Caregiving Doesn't Cause Depression


A caregiver’s depression appears to be related to family and genetic factors more than the difficulty of the caregiving itself, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Washington analyzed 1,228 female twins. Some were caregivers and some were not. When it comes to life's stressors, most people would put caregiving at the top of the list. But according to Peter Vitaliano, a professor of psychiatry and psychology at UW, there never have been data actually showing caregiving causes psychological distress.

Some Women May Need More Hormone Therapy


Researchers have found that for a substantial percentage of women, moderate to severe hot flashes last up to ten years or more after menopause, and that may mean hormone therapy should be prescribed for a longer period of time. Investigators from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine discovered that for most women, moderate to severe hot flashes continue, on average, for just five years after menopause, but more than one third of women have hot flashes for a decade or beyond.

Slow Reaction Time Can be Deadly


Having a slow reaction time can be fatal: a new study shows that people who have that in midlife increase their risk of death 15 years later. The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE. Researchers from University College London and the University of Edinburgh looked at statistics from more than 5,000 participants (age 20 to 59). The figures were collected from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES-III) in the US.

Improving Ultrasound for Cancer Detection


Researchers have made a breakthrough in the use of ultrasound to detect and monitor cancer, and the discovery could provide a safer method than the ones already in use. Ultrasound has some advantages over other detection and monitoring methods such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs: It’s less expensive and is radiation-free. But it hasn’t provided as clear an image as have the other methods.

7 Ways to Traverse Through Any Transition


By Servet Hasan None of us can escape loss. Life's challenges are universal and eventually will find us. Whether you're moving to a new city, leaving for college, or experiencing a divorce in your family, having life throw a major curve ball can leave us longing for the way things used to be.

A Good Inflammatory Substance?


It’s well known that inflammation is frequently a cause of disease, but new research indicates that low levels of a pro-inflammatory substance in the brain are crucial for cognition. Researchers from the University of Texas, San Antonio, found that found that blocking the substance, interleukin-6 , impaired learning in rats. The learning area affected was cognitive flexibility – the ability to change learned thoughts and behaviors in response to a changed environment.

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