medical research

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How the Brains of Those Blinded at a Young Age Differ

Some areas show increased connectivity

(Newser) - Ever wonder whether being blind was in some way an advantage for pianists like Ray Charles, George Shearing, Art Tatum, and Stevie Wonder? New research published in the journal PLOS ONE finds that the brains of people blind from a young age are dramatically different than the brains of normally... More »

Science's Surprising Discovery: Lungs Aren't Just for Breathing

They're a key part of blood formation, too: study

(Newser) - All this time we thought lungs were just for breathing. It turns out they also play a key role in how blood is formed, suggests a study in Nature out of the University of California-San Francisco. Scientists studying the lungs of mice discovered to their surprise that the lungs produced... More »

Whole-Body Vibration Could Affect Body Like Exercise

The jury is still out on whether it works in humans

(Newser) - Remember last year's exciting finding that just a few minutes of high-intensity interval training can reap similar health benefits as 45 minutes of moderate exercise? Well, there's a chance that just sitting on a vibrating platform might also reap similar benefits, especially for those with type 2 diabetes—... More »

The Dead Man Had CTE, but Not the History You'd Expect

No history or brain injury, contact sports

(Newser) - Think CTE only affects people who've suffered brain injuries? So did scientists—until one man turned their research upside down. For the first time, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disorder previously found only in people who suffered head injuries, has been found in a patient with no such history,... More »

Men Who Smoke Affect Future Kids in Surprising Way

Life-saving drugs may be less effective for them, study suggests

(Newser) - When research began to trickle out 10 years ago suggesting that what we do today can affect the health of our unborn children, it was largely "considered heretical," medical biochemistry professor Dr. Oliver Rando tells the Boston Herald . Not anymore. Habits like cigarette smoking have since been shown... More »

Don't Marry Mario: 'Locked-in' Patients Can Finally 'Talk'

They communicate by thinking yes or no

(Newser) - Four paralyzed patients unable to communicate for years were finally able to do so through a potentially groundbreaking brain-reading system. And it turns out that one of them really didn't want his daughter to marry her boyfriend. The patients all had advanced ALS and were unable to control even... More »

Man's Daily Vodka Intake Calcified His Pancreas

He'd consumed the equivalent of 5 shots daily for 15 years

(Newser) - After drinking a half a pint of vodka every day since he was 35, a 50-year-old man in Pennsylvania went to the emergency room vomiting blood. He complained of abdominal pain and "foul-smelling diarrhea" that had been plaguing him for two months, per a report on his case in... More »

Startup Bets 'Young Blood,' Taken Literally, Fights Aging

Clinical trial underway, but you have to pay to play

(Newser) - If you'd like to fill your veins with the blood of young people, you need only drain your bank account of $8,000. That's right, young blood is now joining the ever-growing ranks of "cures" people are paying for to combat age-related diseases and even aging itself.... More »

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 »

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