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Health News Results - 256

Right Amount of Sleep May Be Important in Early Alzheimer's

Getting the right amount of sleep — not too much and not too little — could reduce your risk of mental decline as you age, even if you have early Alzheimer's disease, a new study claims.

Poor sleep and Alzheimer's disease are both associated with thinking ("cognitive") declines, but separating out the effects of each has been a challenge.

This new study included 100 older adults...

Lyme Disease Often Spotted at Later Stage in Black Patients

The tell-tale sign of Lyme disease is its bulls-eye rash, but that might be harder to spot in Black people, who are often diagnosed with more advanced disease than white people are, new research suggests.

The first sign of Lyme disease looks different on darker skin, and these differences are not usually reflected in images found in medical textbooks, explained study author Dr. Dan Ly. He...

'Feel Good' Hormone Won't Help Ease Kids' Autism, Study Finds

Despite hints of promise from early research, a new clinical trial finds no evidence that kids with autism benefit from nasal sprays containing the "love" hormone oxytocin.

Researchers called the findings disappointing.

But they said the study also offers important information: Some parents of children with autism are already using oxytocin nasal sprays in the hopes of supporting th...

'Personalized' Brain Zaps May Ease Tough-to-Treat Depression

Imagine battling debilitating depression for years, trying everything but finding little or no relief.

That's what Sarah, 36, lived with most of her adult life.

"I had exhausted all possible treatment options," recalled Sarah, who did not want her last name used. "It [depression] had controlled my entire life. I barely moved. I barely did anything. I felt tor...

Shape, Size of Brain Arteries May Predict Stroke Risk

The size and shape of the blood vessels in your brain may help predict your risk of an often-fatal type of stroke, called an aneurysm, a new study finds.

An aneurysm is a bulge in an artery wall.

"A subarachnoid hemorrhage is the most dangerous type of stroke and occurs when a brain aneurysm leaks or ruptures, causing bleeding into the brain, killing more than 50% of affected peop...

A Simple Way to Boost Kids' Reading Skills?

A small fix might make reading a bit easier for kids with dyslexia, as well as their classmates: Increasing the amount of space between printed letters.

That's the finding of a small study that tested the effects of "extra-large" letter spacing on school children's reading speed and accur...

Diet Drinks May Thwart Efforts to Lose Weight

Trying to slim down? Diet drinks aren't likely to help, researchers warn.

And those containing the artificial sweetener sucralose may even increase food cravings and appetite in women and people who are obese, according to a University of Southern California study.

"There...

Tracking Key Protein Helps Predict Outcomes in TBI Patients

When people suffer a severe head injury, it's hard to predict how they will fare in the long run. But a new study suggests that something fairly simple — measuring a protein in the blood — could help.

The protein, called neurofilament light (NfL), is a component of the nerve fibers brain cells use to transmit signals. Damage to those fibers (called axons) is known to foretell a high...

Over Half of American Children Have Detectable Lead Levels in Their Blood

More than 50% of American children have detectable blood lead levels, a new study reveals. And young children who live in places with lots of pre-1950s housing and low incomes have the greatest risk.

"Public health authorities have worked commendably to reduce lead exposure for decades, and yet, substantial risk remains," said study co-author Dr. Harvey Kaufman, head of health trends rese...

Signs of Early Alzheimer's May Be Spotted in Brain Stem

Certain changes in a part of the brain stem, visible in scans, might be a potential early indicator of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

Using different brain imaging techniques, researchers found that lesser "integrity" in the brain stem region was linked to a faster decline in memory and thinking in older adults, as well as certain brain changes seen in early Alzheimer's.

Study Probes Relationship Between Migraines and Sleep

Do migraines cause poor sleep or does poor sleep cause migraines?

Though it's hard to say, it does appear that there's a difference in how well people with migraine think they sleep and how well they really do.

A large research analysis published online Sept. 22 in the journal Neurology found that adults and children with migraine headaches may get less quality REM sleep ...

Childhood Trauma Linked With Higher Odds for Adult Neurological Ills

Kids who suffer abuse, neglect or household dysfunction are more likely to have neurological problems like stroke or headaches as adults, researchers report.

"Traumatic events in childhood have been linked in previous studies to a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, riskier health behaviors like smoking and drug use, and decreased life expectancy," said researcher Dr. Adys Mendizabal...

Migraines and More Severe Hot Flashes Could Be Linked

Women with a history of migraine headaches may suffer severe hot flashes during menopause, and this combo may boost their risk for heart disease, researchers say.

Migraine doesn't cause more or worse hot flashes — or vice versa. But both are believed to be related to changes in blood vessels known as neurovascular dysregulation, according to Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of th...

Study Spots People at High Risk of Severe Breakthrough COVID

A study of millions of people vaccinated against COVID-19 has identified those at greatest risk of hospitalization and death after breakthrough infection.

The most vulnerable are those who are immunosuppressed from chemotherapy, a recent bone marrow or solid organ transplant, or HIV/AIDS. Also at risk are people with neurological disorders (such as dementia and Parkinson's disease), nur...

Special 'Strategies' Can Help People With Parkinson's Walk, But Many Patients Unaware

Movement can be very difficult for people with Parkinson's disease, as shaking and stiffness play havoc with balance, coordination and gait.

There are many different tricks Parkinson's patients can use to improve their walking and avoid injury from a bad tumble -- but a new study reveals that people often have to figure them out on their own, with no help from either a doctor or physical ...

People With MS Have Worse Survival If Colon Cancer Strikes

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients diagnosed with colon cancer may have a greater risk of dying from cancer or other causes in the next six months to year than colon cancer patients without MS, a Canadian study finds.

"These results warrant further investigation to determine what factors may lead to shorter survival times," said study author Dr. Ruth Ann Marrie, a professor of neurology at ...

Stories Get Listeners' Hearts in Sync

The heart rates of people sync up when listening to a story, a new study finds.

"There's a lot of literature demonstrating that people synchronize their physiology with each other. But the premise is that somehow you're interacting and physically present [in] the same place," said co-author Lucas Parra, a professor of biomedical engineering at City College of New York.

"What we hav...

Multigenerational Study Finds Links Between ADHD, Dementia Risk

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to be somehow linked to risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, a new multigenerational study has found.

Parents and grandparents of people with ADHD have a higher risk of Alzheimer's and dementia than people with no ADHD in their family, Swedish researchers said.

Specifically, parents of an ADHD child have a 34% higher risk ...

Insights Into Genes Driving Epilepsy Could Help With Treatment

Danish researchers have found genetic causes for epilepsy in half of children they studied and said half of those could be treated with targeted therapies.

That's the upshot of genetic testing of 290 children born between 2006 and 2011. Some had been diagnosed with epilepsy. Others had had seizures along with a high temperature; they were either long seizures or consciousness was not rega...

FDA Approves First Nerve-Stimulation Device to Aid Stroke Recovery

A first-of-a-kind nerve stimulation treatment for people who have problems moving their arms after a stroke has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"People who have lost mobility in their hands and arms due to ischemic stroke are often limited in their treatment options for regaining motor function," explained Dr. Christopher Loftus. He is acting director of the FDA's ...

Could Electrode 'Pulses' Cut Back, Leg Pain Without Drugs?

A new approach to spinal cord stimulation may drastically reduce chronic back pain, a small pilot study suggests.

The study, of 20 patients with stubborn low back pain, tested the effects of implanting electrodes near the spinal cord to stimulate it with "ultra-low" frequency electrical pulses.

After two weeks, 90% of the patients were reporting at least an 80% reduction in their pa...

A Mentally Challenging Job Could Help Ward Off Dementia

While every worker would prefer a fun, mentally stimulating job, new research reveals an added bonus: Such work could help prevent dementia in old age.

On-the-job intellectual stimulation appears to lower levels of certain proteins that block brain cells from forming new connections -- and doing so could help prevent or postpone dementia, the study's authors said.

"This is an import...

New Clues to Why Disability Strikes People With MS

A new study may help explain why people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience worsening disability while those with two related diseases do not.

MS causes permanent brain and spinal cord scarring, and researchers investigated whether the same damage accompanies two rarer, similar diseases in which the immune system also attacks the central nervous system.

The diseases are known a...

Neuro Surprise: Some Brain Skills Might Improve With Age

There's an old saying, "Age and guile beat youth and exuberance," and new research suggests there might be something to that.

Some key brain functions can improve in people as they age, researchers report, challenging the notion that our mental abilities decline across the board as we grow old.

With increasing age, many people appear to get better at focusing on important matters an...

Lyme Disease Can Wreak Havoc on Mental Health

Lyme disease can exact a significant mental toll as well as a physical one on its sufferers, a new study confirms.

Patients hospitalized for Lyme disease had a 28% higher incidence of mental disorders and were twice as likely to attempt suicide than people without Lyme, researchers report.

"These findings highlight the need for greater awareness in the medical community that patien...

Christina Applegate Announces She Has Multiple Sclerosis

Emmy award-winning actress Christina Applegate revealed Monday night that she is battling multiple sclerosis.

She is perhaps best known for her starring roles in "Married With Children," "Dead to Me" and "Samantha Who?"

"A few months ago I was diagnosed with MS," Applegate

  • Robin Foster
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  • August 10, 2021
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  • Full Page
  • Could COVID-19 Accelerate Alzheimer's Symptoms?

    COVID-19 can kill you. It can rob you of your breath, cause strange blood clots, and prompt side effects that last for months after you're over the initial infection.

    It's also possible that COVID-19 might impact the human brain in ways that could promote the onset of Alzheimer's disease, a new study reports.

    Severely ill COVID-19 patients display biological evidence of brain injury...

    Premature Delivery Raises Odds for Cerebral Palsy

    Extremely premature babies have a much higher risk of cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions than full-term infants, a large Israeli study affirms.

    Cerebral palsy -- the name for a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and coordination -- is the most common cause of severe childhood physical disability and motor impairment. It can also affect sensation, perception, t...

    It's Tick Season: Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease

    When you're heading outdoors this summer, keep an eye out for ticks during and after your outing, health experts say.

    These common parasites can transmit Lyme disease, a potentially serious illness.

    Lyme disease is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected black-legged tick, also called a deer tick, explained Dr. Crystal Tank and Dr. Ashany Sundaram of Mountainside Medic...

    Drug Shows Promise in Easing Dementia-Linked Psychosis

    A drug that eases hallucinations in people with Parkinson's disease may be able to do the same for those with dementia, a new clinical trial finds.

    The medication, called Nuplazid (pimavanserin), is already approved in the United States for treating hallucinations and delusions related to Parkinson's.

    The new study, published July 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine, ...

    Severe COVID in Kids: Rare, but Brain Issues Can Result

    About one in 20 kids hospitalized with COVID-19 develop debilitating brain or nerve complications that could haunt some for a long time, a new British study reports.

    Children with severe infections can suffer from brain inflammation, seizures, stroke, behavior changes, hallucinations and psychosis.

    About one-third of the stricken kids had symptoms that didn't resolve in the short te...

    Could Menopausal Hormone Therapy Reduce Women's Odds for Dementia?

    Women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopause go on to have a 58% lower risk of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions, a new study finds.

    Although the study wasn't designed to prove cause and effect, the findings could point the way to new treatments for such diseases, according to the researchers.

    "This is not the first study on the impact of hormone...

    Shock Therapy Safe, Effective for Tough-to-Treat Depression

    "Shock" therapy often helps lift severe depression, but fear and stigma can deter patients from getting it. Now a large new study is confirming the treatment's safety.

    Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), as it's medically known, has been around for decades. For almost as long, it's been seen in a bad light -- fueled by disturbing media portrayals like those in the 1975 film "One Flew Over th...

    Geneticists Probe Origins of Painful Cluster Headaches

    The causes of a type of excruciating headache known as cluster headaches aren't clear, but heredity is known to play a role. Now, genetic factors associated with cluster headaches are under investigation as scientists search for more effective treatments.

    Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analyzed blood samples from more than 600 people with cluster heada...

    Stroke Prevented His Speech, But Brain Implant Brought It Back

    Researchers have developed an implant that allowed a man with severe paralysis to "speak" again by translating his brain signals into text.

    The achievement is the latest step in "brain-computer interface" (BCI) research.

    Scientists have been studying BCI technology for years, with the aim of one day giving people with paralysis or limb amputations greater independence in their daily...

    Growing Up in Lead-Contaminated Area Might Alter Personality: Study

    Can childhood lead exposure affect personality into adulthood?

    Yes, a big multi-decade study suggests.

    The finding stems from an analysis of data on atmospheric lead levels across the United States and 37 European nations since 1960. Lead levels were stacked up against responses to a personality survey of roughly 1.5 million men and women.

    The result: Americans raised in areas...

    Scientists Track Spirituality in the Human Brain

    Researchers have identified specific brain circuitry that is related to people's sense of spirituality -- and it's centered in a brain region linked to pain inhibition, altruism and unconditional love.

    The findings add to research seeking to understand the biological basis for human spirituality.

    "It is something of a treacherous subject to navigate," said lead researcher Michael Fe...

    Could Losing Your Wisdom Teeth Enhance Your Sense of Taste?

    Having your wisdom teeth yanked could have one culinary up side: Heightening your sense of taste.

    So claims a new study that challenges previous research on the issue.

    "Prior studies have only pointed to adverse effects on taste after extraction, and it has been generally believed that those effects dissipate over time," said study senior author Richard Doty. He is director of the S...

    New Insights Into How Eating Disorders Alter the Brain

    Behaviors associated with eating disorders can make real changes to the brain, new research shows. The findings could help explain why these serious disorders are often chronic -- and may also point the way to new treatments.

    Eating disorders -- such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating disorder -- can result in severe complications, including death. Related behaviors include bi...

    First Signs of MS May Often Go Undiagnosed

    Early symptoms of multiple sclerosis may commonly be missed for years before the right diagnosis is made, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that patients with MS had a higher-than-average number of medical appointments, with doctors of various specialties, for up to five years before their diagnosis.

    And for the most part, those visits were for neurological symptoms consistent...

    Lost Sense of Smell Returns for Almost All COVID Survivors

    A year on, nearly all patients in a French study who lost their sense of smell after a bout of COVID-19 did regain that ability, researchers report.

    "Persistent COVID-19-related anosmia [loss of smell] has an excellent prognosis, with nearly complete recovery at one year," according to a team led by Dr. Marion Renaud, an otorhinolaryngologist at the University Hospitals of Strasbourg.

    ...

    Animal Study Offers Hope for a Better Herpes Treatment

    Aiming to deliver a one-two punch to the herpes virus, animal research on an experimental drug found it tackled active infections and reduced or eliminated the risk of future outbreaks.

    Existing treatments, such as Zovirax, Valtrex or Famvir, are only effective at the first task; they can help treat cold sores and genital eruptions once a herpes outbreak occurs. But the new ...

    What Works Best to Ease Migraines?

    A new research review offers good news for migraine sufferers: There are more pain-relieving options than ever.

    In an analysis of over 100 published studies, researchers found that several drug classes showed good evidence they ease the pain of a migraine-in-progress.

    Some of those medications have only become available in the past few years, opening up new options for migraine suff...

    Poor Sleep After Head Injury Could Point to Dementia Risk

    Sleep disorders may increase the odds for dementia in survivors of traumatic brain injury, new research suggests.

    The study included nearly 713,000 patients who were free of dementia when they were treated for traumatic brain injury (TBI) between 2003 and 2013. The severity of their brain injuries varied, and nearly six in 10 were men. Their median age was 44, meaning half were older, hal...

    A Real Headache: Racism Plays Role in Migraine Care

    The color of your skin may very well determine how your headache gets treated, a new study warns.

    The same percentage of white, Black and Hispanic Americans - about 15% - suffer from severe headaches and/or migraines, the investigators noted.

    But the current analysis, conducted by 16 headache disorder experts, found that Black men are far less likely to receive headache treatment; t...

    New Disabilities Plague Half of COVID Survivors After Hospital Discharge

    People hospitalized for COVID-19 are often discharged in much worse shape than before their illness - underscoring the value of preventing severe cases with vaccination.

    In a new study, researchers found that during the pandemic's early months, almost half of COVID-19 patients discharged from their health system had some degree of "functional decline."

    That's a broad category includ...

    Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy May Help Parkinson's Patients Long Term

    Parkinson's disease patients can get symptom relief with deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy that lasts over the long term, a new study shows.

    Over 15 years, patients who received DBS, which requires surgical implantation, had significant improvement in motor symptoms and less need for medication, researchers found.

    "Our study, for the first time, supports the efficacy of deep brai...

    Do Prescription Sleep Medicines Even Work?

    An estimated 9 million Americans turn to prescription pills when they can't sleep, but a new study of middle-aged women finds taking the drugs for a year or longer may do little good.

    Comparing a group of about 200 women who were medicated for sleep problems with over 400 women who had sleeping problems but did not take medication, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston f...

    New Insights Into Treating Mild Head Injuries

    It may be possible to treat the thinking problems that result from repeated hits to the head, a new laboratory study suggests.

    The new experiments with mice are the first to offer a molecular analysis of what happens in the brain after repetitive but mild blows to the head, said researcher Mark Burns. He is head of the Laboratory for Brain Injury and Dementia at Georgetown University, in ...

    Most Severe COVID Cases Involve Neuro Issues, and They're More Often Fatal

    Neurological problems are occurring in a very high percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 patients -- and what's worse, those symptoms foretell a bad end for many sufferers, a new study finds.

    About four out of five people sick enough to be hospitalized for COVID-19 suffer some sort of neurological problem, ranging from headache and a loss of sense of smell to confusion, delirium, stroke a...