Author: Sondra Forsyth

Trees Save Lives, Especially in Cities

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In the first broad-scale estimate of air pollution removal by trees nationwide, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms. The researchers valued the human health effects of the reduced air pollution at nearly $7 billion every year in a study published recently in the journal Environmental Pollution.

Brain Health

Surprising Mechanism Behind Neurodegeneration

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A research team led by Professor Susan Ackerman, Ph.D. at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Mane has pinpointed a surprising mechanism behind neurodegeneration in mice, one that involves a defect in a key component of the cellular machinery that makes proteins, known as transfer RNA or tRNA.

Exercise

Does Air Pollution Make Outdoor Exercise Risky?

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By Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. While aerobic activity is one of the keys to a healthy lifestyle, air pollution and exercise can be an unhealthy combination. This is especially true if you have asthma, diabetes, heart or lung conditions, or lower respiratory disease.Even when you're not exercising, exposure to air pollution can cause health problems. But with the combination of air pollution and exercise, the potential health problems are increased.

Parkinson's Disease

Anti-Inflammatory Drug for Parkinson's

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An experimental anti-inflammatory drug can protect vulnerable neurons and reduce motor deficits in a rat model of Parkinson's disease, according to researchers at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. The results were published in July 2014 the Journal of Parkinson's Disease.

Obesity

Toward New TX for Obesity & Diabetes

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Research done at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center could lead to new therapies to treat obesity and diabetes. The team found that a protein that controls when genes are switched on or off plays a key role in specific areas of the brain to regulate metabolism. The transcription factor involved – spliced X-box binding protein 1 (Xbp1s) – appears to influence the body's sensitivity to insulin and leptin signaling.

Marriage

“Soulmates” Have the Worst Relationships

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If you’re looking for love as a Thirdager, you’re probably best off ditching the notion that finding your “soulmate” will guarantee a good relationship this time around. That’s the finding of research done at the University of Toronto and the University of Southern California. The study was published in 2014 in published the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Mental & Emotional Health

The Guilty Couch Potato

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Using media as a stress reducer can lead to feelings of guilt and failure, according to research done at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and VU University Amsterdam. The study was published July 24th 2014 in the Journal of Communication. The team found that people who had high stress levels after work and engaged in television viewing or video game play didn't feel relaxed or recovered, but had high levels of guilt and feelings of failure.

Rosemary & Oregano Fight Diabetes

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The popular culinary herbs oregano and rosemary are packed with healthful compounds, and now lab tests show they could work in much the same way as prescription anti-diabetic medication, scientists report. In their study published in July 2014 in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia and colleagues found that the way the herbs are grown makes a difference, and they also identified which compounds contribute the most to this promising trait.

Aging Well

Life Expectancy Gains Threatened

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A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health finds that the more ailments you have after retirement age, the shorter your life expectancy. The analysis, one of the first to examine the burden of multiple chronic conditions on life expectancy among the elderly, may help explain why increases in life expectancy among older Americans are slowing.A report on the findings, based on an analysis of 1.4 million Medicare enrollees, appears in the August 2014 issue of the journal Medical Care.

Women's Health and Wellness

Hysterectomy With Morcellation Poses Cancer Risk

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Among women undergoing a minimally invasive hysterectomy using electric power morcellation, uterine cancers were present in 27 per 10,000 women at the time of the procedure, according to a study published July 22nd 2014 by JAMA. There has been concern that this procedure, in which the uterus is fragmented into smaller pieces, may result in the spread of undetected malignancies.

Heart Health

Women With a Heart Attack Fare Worse Than Men

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While awareness campaigns may be getting women to go to the hospital more quickly during a heart-attack, a new look at hospital data shows women have longer hospital stays and are more likely than men to die in the hospital after a heart attack.For the study published online July 21st 2014 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers from Yale School of Medicine analyzed 230,684 hospitalizations for heart attack in patients age 30 to 54 from a total of 1.1 million hospitalizations reported in a national database from 2001 to 2010.

Medical Care

Survey: Quality of Health Care Providers

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The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has released the results of a major survey examining the public's opinions about what it means to be a quality health care provider in the United States. The survey, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, sheds new light on how American adults perceive the quality of their health care and doctors, as well as the information they use and trust when making health care decisions. The survey produces new and actionable data during a crucial period of Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation.

Breast Cancer

Immunotherapy in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

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Yale Cancer Center researchers used a new molecular analysis tool to accurately detect the level of an important target for immunotherapy in early-stage breast cancers. The diagnostic test, using RNAScope, measures the amount of PD-L1 (programmed death ligand 1) mRNA in routine formalin-fixed cancer tissues and is devoid of many of the technical issues that plague antibody-based detection methods that have yielded conflicting results in the past. PD-L1 is the target of several novel immune stimulatory therapies in clinical trials.

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