Binge drinking affects male and female brains differently, here’s why

Binge drinking affects male and female brains differently, here’s why

While binge drinking affects the health of both males and females, the effect of gene expression in an area of the brain linked to addiction was found to be different, finds a new study. Repeated binge drinking was found to significantly alter molecular pathways in the nucleus accumbens — a region of the brain linked to addiction. But, in females, the genes linked to hormone signalling and immune function are altered, whereas in males genes related to nerve signalling are affected. The study has significant implications for the treatment of alcohol use…

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Strokes are linked to dementia, increases risk of the brain disease by 70%

Strokes are linked to dementia, increases risk of the brain disease by 70%

People who have suffered a stroke are more likely to develop dementia, a study conducted by the University of Exeter Medical School confirmed. The study involved an analysis of 3.2 million people across the world. Researchers found that the link between stroke and dementia persisted even after taking into account other dementia risk factors such as blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. “We found that a history of stroke increases dementia risk by around 70%, and recent strokes more than doubled the risk. Given how common both stroke and dementia are, this strong…

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If you feel very sleepy during the day, you might be at risk of getting Alzheimer’s

If you feel very sleepy during the day, you might be at risk of getting Alzheimer’s

People who feel very sleepy during the day are nearly three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who do not, a long-term study has found. The study, published in the journal SLEEP, found that adults who reported being very sleepy during the day were thrice more likely to have brain deposits of beta amyloid, a protein that is a hallmark for Alzheimer’s, years later. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in the US suggest that getting adequate nighttime sleep could be a way to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease….

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New blood test could predict second heart attack risk

New blood test could predict second heart attack risk

A blood test that quickly and easily detects whether a person is at the risk of a secondary heart attack is being developed by scientists. The researchers at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia have identified plasma lipid biomarkers (fats in the blood) that improve upon traditional risk factors in predicting heart disease and stroke. The blood test is proposed to be trialled in Australia over the next 2-3 years, said Peter Meikle, a professor Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. Eventually this test will help better assess a…

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Bone cancer in children begins years before tumour is visible

Bone cancer in children begins years before tumour is visible

Scientists have discovered that some childhood bone cancers start growing years before tumours appear and get diagnosed. Ewing sarcoma is a rare cancer found mainly in bone or soft tissue of young teenagers as they grow, and is the second most commonly diagnosed bone cancer in children and young people. Researchers at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) discovered large scale rearrangements in Ewing Sarcomas and other children’s cancers, and showed that these can take years to form in bone or soft tissue. In Ewing sarcoma, two specific…

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Cannabis extract can be used to treat psychosis, says this study

Cannabis extract can be used to treat psychosis, says this study

A single dose of the non-intoxicating compound of cannabis — cannabidiol — can help reduce brain function abnormalities seen in people with psychosis, results of a clinical trial, led by an Indian-origin doctor, has revealed. Psychosis is a mental disorder characterised by a disconnection from reality. Brain activity in the people at risk of psychosis remains abnormal compared to the healthy ones. But in people who had cannabidiol, the abnormal brain activity was less severe than for those who received a placebo, suggesting cannabidiol can help re-adjust brain activity to…

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Insulin can boost your immune system, here’s how

Insulin can boost your immune system, here’s how

Insulin, a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets, boosts immune health, according to a new study. Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI) scientists have identified a specific insulin signalling pathway that, when activated, revs up the response of T cells in the immune system to divide rapidly and secrete cytokines, chemical messenger proteins that activate the rest of the immune system. A fast and effective immune response protects us against disease and life-threatening infections by destroying infected cells or microbes, while a wrong or inefficient one can…

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All You Need To Know About Sleep Medication: It’s Use And Abuse

All You Need To Know About Sleep Medication: It’s Use And Abuse

Insomnia or sleep disturbance is the most common of all sleep disorders. Insomnia is the difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person can sleep in. According to a report by the National Institutes of Health, it is estimated that around 30 per cent of the total general population complains about sleep disruption and over 10 per cent have been associated with symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistently, with the diagnosis of insomnia. Treatment of insomnia depends on the severity of symptoms and underlying cause. Sleep medications are not…

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How Mushrooms Can Aid In Diabetes Treatment

How Mushrooms Can Aid In Diabetes Treatment

Eating white button mushrooms daily can act as a prebiotic by improving microbial community in the gut, which could then improve the regulation of glucose in the liver, a finding that could one day pave way for new diabetes treatments, say researchers. In the study, feeding white button mushrooms to mice changed the composition of gut microbes — microbiota — to produce more short chain fatty acids, specifically propionate from succinate, according to Margherita T. Cantorna, Professor at Pennsylvania State University in the US. Previous research has shown that succinate and…

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Faster, Safer Lab Test Developed To Diagnose Heart Attacks

Faster, Safer Lab Test Developed To Diagnose Heart Attacks

Researchers have developed a simple laboratory score which is safer and faster at diagnosing patients who visit the emergency department with heart attack symptoms. The findings, published in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), suggest that the score can also identify patients at risk of subsequent heart issues after discharge. “We have developed a simple lab score that is superior to using cardiac troponin alone for the identification of patients at low and high risk for heart attack or death at emergency department presentation,” said co-author Peter Kavsak from the…

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