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Health Highlights: Oct. 26, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

FDA Warns About Testosterone and Related Steroids

Testosterone and related anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) can cause heart attacks, personality changes and infertility, and are easily abused, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says in a new warning.

"Testosterone and other AAS are abused by adults and adolescents, including athletes and body builders. Abuse of testosterone, usually at doses higher than those typically prescribed and usually in conjunction with other AAS, is associated with serious safety risks affecting the heart, brain, liver, mental health, and endocrine system," the agency said in a news release.

"Reported serious adverse outcomes include heart attack, heart failure, stroke, depression, hostility, aggression, liver toxicity and male infertility. Individuals abusing high doses of testosterone have also reported withdrawal symptoms, such as depression, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, decreased libido and insomnia," according to the FDA.

It said labeling on all prescription testosterone products -- which are approved to treat men with low testosterone due to certain medical conditions -- will be revised.

Millions of men use testosterone pills, gels or get injections. Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of testosterone and are legally prescribed to treat conditions such as delayed puberty and diseases that cause muscle loss, such as cancer or AIDS, NBC News reported.

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Study Shows How Small Lies Can Lead to Bigger Ones

Small lies can lead to bigger ones as the brain adapts to being dishonest, researchers say.

They used MRI scans to monitor brain activity in volunteers who were told to lie. The findings in the journal Nature Neuroscience show how people can find themselves on a slippery slope of lying, The New York Times reported.

"They usually tell a story where they started small and got larger and larger, and then they suddenly found themselves committing quite severe acts," explained study senior author Tali Sharot, associate professor of cognitive neuroscience, University College London, U.K.

It appears that negative emotional signals initially triggered by telling fibs decrease as the brain becomes desensitized to lying.

"Think about it like perfume," Sharot told The Times. "You buy a new perfume, and it smells strongly. A few days later, it smells less. And a month later, you don't smell it at all."

Posted: October 2016


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