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Could Too Much Salt Harm MS Patients?

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- Too much salt in the diet may worsen symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study from Argentina suggests. "Many environmental factors affect MS, such as vitamin D, smoking and Epstein Barr virus infection. Our study shows that high salt intake may be another environmental factor affecting MS patients," said lead researcher Dr. Mauricio Farez, of the Raul Carrea Institute for Neurological Research in Buenos Aires. Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the nervous...

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Parents' Fights May Strain Bonds With Their Kids

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THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- Arguments between parents may damage their relationships with their children, a new study indicates. Parents in more than 200 families were asked to make daily diary entries for 15 days. At the end of each day, mothers and fathers rated the quality of their marriage and their relationship with their children. On days when parents reported conflict and tension in their marriage, their dealings with their children were also strained, according to the study recently...

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Less Sleep in Teen Years Tied to More Pounds at 21

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- Lack of sleep not only puts teens at risk for poor grades, it also puts them at increased risk for obesity, researchers warn. The study authors analyzed data collected from more than 10,000 Americans when they were aged 16 and 21. Nearly one-fifth of them got less than six hours of sleep a night when they were age 16, and this group was 20 percent more likely to be obese at age 21 than those who got more than eight hours of sleep per night at age 16, the...

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Most U.S. Babies Get Their Vaccines: CDC

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THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- The vast majority of American babies are getting the vaccines they need to protect them from serious illnesses, federal health officials said Thursday. More than 90 percent of children are getting the vaccines that prevent measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); polio; hepatitis B and chickenpox (varicella), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Nationally, vaccination among children 19 to 35 months of age remains stable or has increased for...

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Electrical Pulses to Scalp May Boost Memory: Study

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THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- Scientists have found that sending electrical currents through the scalp to a specific network of brain structures can enhance people's memories, for up to a day. In a small study of healthy young adults, researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to fire up certain networks involved in memory. That, in turn, boosted participants' performance on memory tests -- an improvement apparent 24 hours after the brain stimulation. During TMS, an electromagnetic...

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Donated Livers Not Harmed by Travel Distances, Study Finds

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- Transporting donated livers long distances does not affect the quality of the organs, according to new research. This finding may impact the number of organs transported by air rather than road. The study was triggered by concerns about the increasing distances from donor to recipient that are being caused by the ongoing shortage of liver donations in the United States. The concern involves organ quality because increased travel time significantly increases the time...

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Gene Research Yields Insights Into Ebola Virus

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- Genetic research performed during the early days of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has given scientists unprecedented insight into how the virus mutates and spreads. Researchers report in the Aug. 28 online issue of Science that they have now determined the following: The Ebola strains responsible for the current outbreak likely have a common ancestor, dating back to the very first recorded outbreak of Ebola in central Africa in 1976. The virus is spreading...

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Your Family's Germs May Move With You

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THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- Your family carries its own unique population of bacteria that accompany you when you move to a new home, a new study finds. Over the course of six weeks, seven families -- with a total of 18 people, three dogs and one cat -- swabbed their hands, feet and noses every day to collect samples of bacteria living in and on them. The participants also collected samples from household surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops and floors. The samples underwent...

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Young Driver's Gender May Play Role in Timing, Type of Crash

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THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- The types of vehicle crashes involving young drivers often vary by gender, a new study has found. Researchers analyzed data from 2007 to 2011 for all crashes involving drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 in Kansas and found a number of differences between male and female drivers. Young women were 66 percent more likely to wear a seat belt, 28 percent more likely to drive on a restricted license and they had more crashes at intersections and with pedestrians. They...

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Ebola Outbreak Could Infect 20,000 People, U.N. Says

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THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- The deadly Ebola outbreak hitting four West African nations could eventually infect more than 20,000 people, the World Health Organization announced Thursday. Already the largest Ebola outbreak ever, the viral infection has produced 3,069 cases so far and killed 1,552 people in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Nearly 40 percent of the total number of reported cases have occurred in the past three weeks, the health agency said. "This far outstrips any...

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Eye Pigment May Help Vision in Hazy Conditions

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THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- Having greater amounts of yellow pigment in your eyes could boost your ability to see distant objects in hazy conditions, a new study reports. In a laboratory experiment, University of Georgia researchers simulated hazy conditions in order to test the distance vision of people with different levels of yellow pigment (also called macular pigment) in their eyes. The volunteers had widely varying amounts of yellow pigment, which represents accumulations of the...

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California Trees Harbor Fungus Deadly to People With HIV

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THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- A potentially deadly fungus that has been sickening HIV/AIDS patients in Southern California for decades grows on trees, a new study finds. The team of scientists who published the research note that they were tipped off to the finding by a teen girl's science fair project. The Cryptococcus gattii fungus triggers infections of the lungs and brains and is responsible for a full third of all AIDS-related deaths, the researchers noted. They found that three tree...

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Health Highlights: Aug. 28, 2014

Posted today in Daily MedNews

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay: Many Parents Uncomfortable About Kids Playing Football: Poll Nearly half of American parents are uncomfortable about their children playing contact sports such as football and hockey amid growing concerns about the long-term effects of concussions. A new poll found that 44 percent of parents weren't comfortable with their children playing football, the same percentage was uncomfortable...

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Concussion Recovery Can Reverse After Return to Activity, Study Shows

Posted today in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 -- Athletes who seem to have recovered from a concussion may actually show a subtle worsening in a particular mental ability after they return to exercise, a small study suggests. The findings come from a study of 19 high school athletes who suffered a concussion and then got medical clearance to return to physical activity -- most often football, although a few were on soccer, wrestling or volleyball teams. Researchers found that for 12 of those athletes, a particular...

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Health Tip: Recognizing Hay Fever

Posted today in Daily MedNews

-- Millions of people are bothered by hay fever, an allergy to grass, trees, weeds or other types of pollen. Symptoms of the most common type of allergy frequently make sufferers feel miserable. The American Academy of Family Physicians mentions these common symptoms of hay fever: Sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose and difficulty recognizing smells. Coughing and a sore throat. Itchiness of the skin, mouth, throat, nose and eyes. Pressure in the cheeks and nose. A popping sensation and...

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Health Tip: Eating When You're Not Hungry

Posted today in Daily MedNews

-- Eating when you're not hungry can pack on unnecessary pounds and calories. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says common triggers for eating when not hungry include: Seeing your favorite snacks when you enter the pantry. Watching TV. Passing by the vending machines at work. Dealing with a stressful situation. Being bored.

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Polyp Removal Doesn't Always Signal Raised Colon Cancer Risk, Study Says

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 -- Doctors may be performing too many repeat colonoscopies on people who've had pre-cancerous polyps removed during an earlier colon cancer screening, a new Norwegian study suggests. Many of these patients have no greater risk of dying from colon cancer than the general public, the researchers determined. People who have a single low-risk polyp removed have a much lower risk of colon cancer, compared to both the general public and patients who have multiple polyps or...

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MERS Virus Doesn't Seem to Spread Easily, Study Finds

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 -- People infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus are unlikely to pass it to others in their household, a new study suggests. Mostly confined to countries in the Middle East so far, the virus has infected 837 people and killed at least 291, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). "A lot of speculations have been made that MERS spreads significantly among family members and household contacts of active cases," said study lead...

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'Half a Glass' Rule May Curb Overdrinking

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 -- Pouring half a glass of wine at a time may keep you from drinking too much, according to a new study. Researchers asked 74 college students and staff to pour red and white wines in different settings and from bottles that had varying amounts of wine in them. The participants were told to pour an amount they considered normal. Those who had a "rule of thumb" about how much to pour -- such as limiting it to half a glass or two fingers from the top -- poured less wine...

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Light Therapy a Good Option for Pre-Cancerous Skin Lesions, Study Says

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2014 -- Treating pre-cancerous skin spots with a type of light therapy may be more effective than the usual therapy -- freezing the lesions with liquid nitrogen, a new study suggests. Rough, scaly spots, called actinic keratoses, are often found on the scalp and face of people with fair complexions who've had a lot of sun exposure. This review of prior research found that people who underwent the light treatment -- called photodynamic therapy -- were 14 percent more likely...

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