medical research

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A Discovery About Memory Could Help the Mentally Ill

Scientists have a new view on 'working memory'

(Newser) - Scientists have a new theory about how the brain processes memories, one that holds the promise—someday—of helping those with depression and other mental illnesses. The study out of the University of Wisconsin focused on working memory, which covers immediate stuff like new phone numbers or where we left... More »

Dose of Magic Mushrooms Had Big Effect on Cancer Patients

A single dose of psilocybin in a controlled setting appears to reap long-term benefits

(Newser) - Hallucinogens are back on the table—at least when it comes to clinical trials. Hundreds of trials in the 1940s and 1950s studied their effects, but since their ban in the late '60s the research all but stopped, reports the New York Times . Nowadays, though, drugs like MDMA (think... More »

100-Year-Old Antiseptic Could Battle Viruses and Superbugs

It does double duty, binding to DNA of both patients and bacteria

(Newser) - An antiseptic that German scientists invented in 1912 using coal tar has the potential to help treat and prevent both viral and bacterial infections, according to new research out of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Australia. Acriflavine was used throughout both world wars as a shotgun approach to... More »

Doctor Now Studying Rare Disease That Nearly Killed Him

David Fajgenbaum's last rites were read to him in 2010

(Newser) - When David Fajgenbaum's mother died of brain cancer, the Georgetown University student founded Students of Ailing Mothers and Fathers in 2007 to cope. Now a doctor who's been diagnosed with a rare and deadly disease, he's founded another organization, the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network , where he works... More »

Here's Why You Should Use Heartburn Meds With Caution

Proton pump inhibitors appear to increase the risk of ischemic stroke

(Newser) - Heartburn is a big problem in the US. In fact, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are used to treat acid reflux and heartburn, are among the most prescribed drugs in the country, with millions taking them, and they're becoming more widely available over-the-counter, reports CNN . But a preliminary report... More »

Yo-Yo Dieting Is Bad for Women's Hearts

'Weight cycling' appears to be a significant risk factor for otherwise healthy women

(Newser) - Lots of people are trying to lose weight—24% of American men and 38% of American women—but most who succeed also gain it back quickly, reports Medical News Daily . This so-called "weight cycling" or "yo-yo effect" could end up being quite hard on the hearts of both... More »

When Teens Binge Drink, It Could Impact Their Future Kids

Repeated binge drinking appears to affect certain brain functions in offspring, at least in rats

(Newser) - Alcohol and adolescence don't mix—especially not when the alcohol is in regularly large quantities. So said Loyola University researchers at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience this week, where they presented their findings, Science Daily reports. They've been studying the effects of binge drinking on... More »

Boys' and Girls' Brains React Totally Differently to Trauma

Biologically opposite, in fact

(Newser) - A new study into male and female reactions to childhood trauma has revealed an interesting difference between the sexes, Live Science reports. The anterior circular sulcus—a region of the brain associated with emotional awareness and empathy—was larger in boys who had experienced trauma versus a control group who... More »

Your Miscarriage May Have Been Followed by PTSD

Women relive the ordeal through nightmares, flashbacks

(Newser) - Many women report feeling isolated and alone after experiencing a miscarriage, and now research out of Imperial College London finds that many who suffer one fulfill the diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Reporting in the journal BMJ Open , the researchers noted their survey of 113 women who had... More »

Scientists Pinpoint When a Woman's Sex Drive Declines

It seems to start 20 months before her final menstrual period

(Newser) - Sex is important to most middle-aged women, a fact established by a new study in the journal Menopause, which found that 75% of 1,390 middle-aged women reported sexual functioning to be moderately to extremely important. But roughly 20 months before menopause hit, these women reported a "notable decline... More »

Even Subtle Loneliness Could Betray Early Onset Alzheimer's

People with high levels of amyloid were far more likely to feel lonely

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered a link between the levels of amyloid plaque in the brains of otherwise healthy seniors and feelings of loneliness, and the connection is strong enough to suggest possible screening. Reporting in the journal JAMA Psychiatry , researchers say that among the 43 women and 36 men they examined,... More »

Peanut Allergy Skin Patch Looks Promising in First Trial

It was particularly effective in younger kids

(Newser) - Peanut allergies are on the rise, and some are so severe as to result in anaphylaxis (often causing swelling, vomiting, and a drop in blood pressure) and death, reports the Mayo Clinic . Even without harmful exposures, constant vigilance can be stressful, but treatments don't yet exist—while research suggests... More »

Music Makes High-Intensity Exercise Easier to Take

Tunes also make people more likely to continue

(Newser) - High-intensity interval training is all the rage, with research suggesting that just a few minutes of all-out sweating could reap the same health benefits as a 45-minute moderate workout, and that's true even for the elderly . The draw is clear—interval training takes less time, after all—but so... More »

New Vision for Male Birth Control: Don't Let Sperm Swim

Control over sperm motility could help infertile men, too

(Newser) - Male fertility comes down to one thing in many cases: sperm motility. If they're not good swimmers, fertility can be an issue, reports the Independent . But researchers at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK are reporting (though not yet in a peer-reviewed scientific journal) that they may have... More »

Those Who Lose Weight Gain a Stronger Appetite

Findings help explain why it's so hard to keep lost weight off

(Newser) - A "landmark" new study out of the National Institutes of Health helps explain why weight gain after weight loss is so common—and so difficult to avoid. Reporting in the journal Obesity , researchers say that weight loss puts the body in a sort of fight mode and results in... More »

Scientists May Have Found Migraine Trigger —in Our Mouths

Oral bacteria could be the key

(Newser) - Certain foods like chocolate, wine, and processed meats have long been linked to migraines, and while nitrates in those foods are often seen as the culprit, it's not entirely clear why some people are more susceptible to ensuing headaches than others, reports Quartz . Now scientists are reporting in the... More »

He Was Paralyzed in 2004. Now He Can Feel His Hand

Thanks to electrodes in the brain and a robotic arm

(Newser) - It's a small but hopeful step: A man paralyzed from the neck down due to a spinal injury sustained in a 2004 car accident says he's feeling "possibly natural" sensations in his hand after scientists electrically stimulated his brain. A team led by researchers at the University... More »

To Lose and Keep Off Weight: Poop Transplant?

Research is young but promising

(Newser) - Stool transplants already appear to be helping fight the hospital-acquired superbug C. difficile, and they're also being tested against ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. But could the radical treatment go so far as to help obese people shed weight and not gain it back again? Researchers at the... More »

Smoke Pot When You're Young and Your IQ May Suffer

'It makes them feel better momentarily,' but issues like depression don't improve

(Newser) - Over the years, Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a researcher in Canada studying mood and anxiety disorders and the impact of marijuana, has seen "many youth" smoke pot "heavily." And despite previous research suggesting those who start at a young age are at a higher risk of psychiatric issues... More »

Chin Up: This Is the Lightest You'll Weigh This Entire Year

Once you gain those holiday pounds, it'll take about five months to lose them

(Newser) - The good news is you're probably lighter now than you were at any other point so far this year. The bad news is you're about to pack on the pounds again, and it'll take months to lose them. So report researchers out of Cornell and Finland in... More »

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