December 6, 2012

Health roundup: Vitamin D, MS, HIV, Coffee, Asperger's, Anti-depressants for Stroke and Pace-maker for Brain

Low Vitamin D Level Tied to Type 1 Diabetes

"Type 1 diabetes “has all the hallmarks of the kinds of diseases — rickets, scurvy, pellagra — that we prevent with vitamin supplements.”


Multiple Sclerosis Linked to Vitamin D Levels, Study Says

People with high levels of vitamin D in their blood have shown a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis, according to results of a Swedish study released Monday.  The new study adds to a growing body of research suggesting a link between vitamin D and MS, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord that is believed to afflict more than a quarter-million Americans. The research will be published in Tuesday's edition of the medical journal Neurology.
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Researchers have speculated that low vitamin D levels increase risk for developing a number of chronic health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, various cancers—and MS.

Infected but oblivious: Young Americans with HIV often don't know

More than a quarter of new HIV infections in the U.S. occur among people ages 13 to 24, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What's more, about 60% of those young people with HIV don't know they have the virus.  ...According to the CDC, about 12,200 young Americans became infected with HIV in 2010, with African Americans representing more than half of those newly infected. Young gay and bisexual people were also hit particularly hard.

The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like

"What I tell patients is, if you like coffee, go ahead and drink as much as you want and can," says Dr. Peter Martin, director of the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University. He's even developed a metric for monitoring your dosage: If you are having trouble sleeping, cut back on your last cup of the day. From there, he says, "If you drink that much, it's not going to do you any harm, and it might actually help you. A lot."

Asperger's Gone and other Changes to the Bible of Psychiatric Disorders

1.Autistic disorder will become autism-spectrum disorder.
2. Binge-eating disorder moves from a category of … proposed conditions that require “further study” — to a full-blown illness .
3. The definition for depression expands by removing the exception for bereavement from the definition of depression will be removed, which means psychiatrists will be able to diagnose depressive disorder even among those who have just lost a loved one. For years, skeptics have criticized the APA for its expansive meaning of depression; now that definition is even broader.
4. Tantrums more than 3 times a week can be diagnosed as “disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD),”

Anti-depressants could help stroke patients recover more quickly by 'rebuilding' the brain

'The results of this meta-analysis are extremely promising. We do not yet fully understand how anti-depressants could boost recovery after stroke, but it may be because they promote the growth of new nerve cells in the brain, or protect cells damaged by stroke.' ….by preventing depression, the drugs may help patients to be more physically active which is known to aid overall recovery.

'We now need to carry out a number of much larger clinical trials in order to establish exactly if, how and to what extent antidepressants can help stroke survivors recover.'

The revolutionary new breath test to diagnose bowel cancer

The test, which works by identifying chemicals associated with cancer tumors, is said to be 76 per cent accurate.

The 'pacemaker' implanted in the brain to prevent Alzheimer's patients losing their memory

The device, which uses deep brain stimulation, has already been used in thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease as possible means of boosting memory and reversing cognitive decline.
Posted by Jill Fallon at December 6, 2012 9:56 AM | Permalink