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I came across an interesting article describing a paper that came out about the brain disorder ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in kids and how it might be related to prenatal smoking and exposure to lead. ADHD has been estimated to affect 4-12% of kids, quite a large percentage of children going to school. Though genetics and environmental issues definitely play a role in contributing to ADHD, this study seemed to confirm an earlier report by the National Academy of Sciences that said that there are a lot of problems that can occur when childrren are exposed to toxic chemicals and other factors. Tellingly, kids whose mothers smoked while pregnant were 2 1/2 times more likely to have ADHD.

Source: CNN / AP

I saw an article that seems to confirm the old tale that eating fish is good for your brain. A lot of people throw around that statement as if it had already been proven, but here’s some research that actually seems to show that a diet rich in fish actually may lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and helps keep your mind sharp in general.

The studies were done in Chicago on over 3500 people. Although in the study it was shown that people who ate one meal of fish per week seemed to slow the onset of decline in thinking by about 10 percent, the researchers caution that it could be something else related to eating fish that is responsible for helping out with keeping fish eater’s minds sharp.

The benefits of fish that have a lot of Omega-3 Fatty Acids is an added plus of course for fish eaters. These fatty acids occur in abundance in fish like salmon.

Source: CNN / AP

I know several people who have diabetes so this was of some interest to me. As an alternative to the standard injection of insulin that diabetics have to deal with daily, the FDA has given their stamp of approval on Inhaled Insulin. This could be a great development for those who are diabetic but less likely to take their insulin if it requires shots.

There are of course cautions by some advisers: smokers and people who have lung disease in particular are cases that they want to do more research on. Also, while the inhaled insulin definitely seems to help control blood sugar levels in Type I and Type II Diabetes, it would not completely replace the need for injections in those with Type I Diabetes. In addition, Type 2 Diabetes can sometimes be effectively treated with pills which would elimimate the need for the inhaled type of insulin.

Source: CNN / AP

I guess it’s common knowledge that a healthy diet along with lots of fruits and veggies is going to be better for you than eating a lot of fried processed foods. But I saw this article that said that some studies were done that show that eating foods that have a lot of phytoestrogens seem to reduce lung cancer risks. Foods that have these compounds include Soy as well as carrots and broccoli.

Though the study really wasn’t a conclusive one, it’s probably true that eating these healthier foods would be good for you anyhow. But of course, cutting down on smoking is still the best way to reduce lung cancer.

Source: Medpage Today

I came across a sort of interesting article on Weight Loss and Hypnosis online. I had no idea this type of thing was even seriously considered because of how hypnosis is viewed by the average person. But apparently hypnosis is being used in some medical conditions as an actual alternative way to treat a wide range of issues from smoking to

The professionals who actually do the hypnosis are called “hypnotherapists”. Some of these people have been saying that the numbers of people looking to use hypnosis as a possible additional treatment for weight problems has increased by a large amount. With more and more overweight people desperately looking for alternative methods to decrease their weight hypnotherapist report large increases in patients. But experts caution that it’s not meant as a cure-all “diet” in any way, and most patients who report success in using hypnosis have used it in conjunction with other lifestyle changes.

Source: The Associatd Press / CNN

The rare disease known as Progeria (approximately one case in four million) is a truly sad one that affects children and causes them to age prematurely and at an extremely accelerated rate. Many do not last into their teens. They take on the appearance of older people, with white hair and wrinkles and thinner bones.

There was a study I read about that showed the possibility of certain cancer drugs helping to reverse the cellular damage in the body caused by Progeria. The medicine in question is a family of drugs called FTIs (farnesyltransferase inhibitors). In addition to the team at UCLA that held the study, several other teams of people have noted similar results including researchers at HGSI and Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In addition to the FTIs, other newer therapies have showed promise in treating Progeria including RNA interference as well as a drug meant to be used by sufferers of osteoporosis.

Source: The Reuters / CNN

I read today in the news about the possible benefits of very low fat diets for those who have prostate cancer. Heart-related health expert Dr. Dean Ornish, who is somewhat famous for proposing strict vegetarianism combined with lowfat diets and exercise, led an intial study regarding prostate cancer. The study, which was published in The Journal of Urology showed that the participants who followed Ornish’s low fat diet and regimen had a 4 percent decrease in prostate specific antigen (PSA) which is an indicator of the growth of this type of cancer.

Those in the study who weren’t treated by the Ornish method saw an increase of 6 percent in PSA. While the research and results are extremely preliminary, the researchers note that it is promising and because of the multitude of other benefits of a low fat diet (reduction in weight and heart problems) it is definitely something to consider for men who have prostate cancer.

Source: The Associated Press / CNN

I came across the Alzheimer’s Association the other day. Their site is chock full of information about the Alzheimer’s disease including the causes and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, diagnosis and treatment and statistics and myths about it.

They stress making “brain-healthy” life choices and have this pretty cool section about 10 basic ways for “maintaining your brain”. This includes things like exercising all parts of your body (not just your brain), keeping your brain active by games and other activities, protecting your head from injuries and eating healthy while avoiding habits that are unhealthy for your brain like alcohol and drugs.

Source: The Alzheimer’s Association

This was a kind of interesting study involving a huge number of patients in the U.K., over 1000 in fact. The study involved pulmonary artery catheters which are commonly used for monitoring patients in the ICU.

It showed that there were no significant differences as far as mortality rates went in patients that had the catheters inserted and those that did not have them. These devices were first introduced in the 40s and have been used in a large number of patients in the ICU since then. But there was a lot of controversy as to their actual clinical effectiveness.

Source: Medpage Today

Thankfully, I don’t have sleep apnea myself… but I know several people who are afflicted by this debilitating sleep disorder. Basically, you stop breathing completely during normal sleep and this happens over and over again. You also tend to snore quite loudly. This is actually a quite common condition, affecting millions of people.

Now, according to researchers at the University of Louisville there appears to be some promising results for treating obstructive sleep apnea for kids using a drug called montelukast which is actually used to treat asthma. They found that children who were administered showed improvements in sleep disturbances. The anti-inflammatory drug could become an alternative to the current treatment whereby the children’s tonsils and/or adenoids need to be removed.

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution