Archive for the ‘HEALTH’ Category

Baby’s first smiles give mom’s brain a buzz

July 9, 2008

Tiny grins light up reward centers that lead to quality care, study says. Any mother who’s ever felt a jolt of joy at her baby’s first grin knows how intoxicating that can be.

Now, scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine say there’s more to the baby buzz than just a rush of happy feelings. Turns out that seeing your own child smile actually activates the pleasure receptors in the brain typically associated with food, sex — and drug addiction.

“It may be that seeing your own baby’s face is like a ‘natural high,’ said Lane Strathearn, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor and and Texas Children’s Hospital who studied the brain reactions of 28 first-time moms.

“We know similar brain circuits are activated,” he added. “Whether that feels the same as a shot of cocaine, I’m not sure.” (more…)

Advertisements

Colorful insects help search for anti-cancer drugs

July 8, 2008

Brightly-colored beetles or caterpillars feeding on a tropical plant may signal the presence of chemical compounds active against cancer and parasitic diseases, report researchers writing in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The discovery could help speed drug discovery.

Scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and other organizations collected beetles and caterpillars on plants that produce compounds with and without activity against various cancers and parasites. They found that insects showing warning coloration — bright colors and bold patterns — were significantly more common on plants that contained anti-cancer and anti-parasite compounds. There was no difference in abundance of plain-colored insects between plants with and without bioactivity. (more…)

Five Great Ways to Achieve Happiness Through Serving Others

July 7, 2008

From Zen Habits
I worked in the “Happiness” business. For a long time I worked in the Hospitality industry, restaurants and hotels, where I have been a busboy, host, waiter, bartender and manager. For 12 years I spent most evenings and weekends, and every holiday, taking care of people who were going out to dinner or attending an event like a wedding or prom.

I truly enjoyed this work as it was emotionally fulfilling and financially rewarding, not to mention just plain fun a lot of the time.

There are those who would disparage a career path like this as demeaning and servile, yet the call to serve others is the source of my own greatest happiness. (more…)

Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness

July 6, 2008

New Research Shows That Humans Have More Control Over Their Happiness Than Previously Thought. What exactly is happening inside the brains of people experiencing joy and happiness? “It’s a very complicated chemical soup,” explained Dr. Richard Davidson, who has made a life’s work out of studying “happy brains.” His lab at the University of Wisconsin is devoted to understanding how much of our joy level is set at birth, and how much we can control.

With a skull cap containing 128 sensors, Davidson’s team can watch a subject’s brain respond to a series of photographs, some pleasant, some distressing.

“We can challenge the brain by presenting these emotional images and look to see how you respond to them,” Davidson said.

ABC News’ Bill Weir underwent the test, and by studying the activity in his left prefrontal cortex, Davidson discovered that Weir’s brain was “more positive than not.” (more…)

Meditation ‘good for brain’

July 2, 2008

Scientists say they have found evidence that meditation has a biological effect on the body.

A small-scale study suggests it could boost parts of the brain and the immune system.

Meditation has been practiced since ancient times, mainly in the East.

“There is increasing evidence that meditation is a useful and, for some people, a powerful therapy.”said Dr Adrian White of the department of Complementary Medicine at the University of Exeter.

It is now catching on worldwide as a means to reduce stress or to help with pain caused by various illnesses. (more…)

Positive thinking: Practice this stress management skill

July 2, 2008

Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Overcome negative self-talk by recognizing it and practicing with some examples provided.

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic.

In fact, some studies show that these personality traits — optimism and pessimism — can affect how well you live and even how long you live.

With this in mind, take a refresher course in positive thinking. Learn how to put positive thinking into action. Positive thinking is a key part of an effective stress management strategy. (more…)

The Power of Positive Thinking

July 2, 2008

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that admits into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conductive to growth, expansion and success. It is a mental attitude that expects good and favorable results. A positive mind anticipates happiness, joy, health and a successful outcome of every situation and action. Whatever the mind expects, it finds.

Not everyone accepts or believes in positive thinking. Some consider the subject as just nonsense, and others scoff at people who believe and accept it. Among the people who accept it, not many know how to use it effectively to get results. Yet, it seems that many are becoming attracted to this subject, as evidenced by the many books, lectures and courses about it. This is a subject that is gaining popularity.

It is quite common to hear people say: “Think positive!”, to someone who feels down and worried. Most people do not take these words seriously, as they do not know what they really mean, or do not consider them as useful and effective. How many people do you know, who stop to think what the power of positive thinking means? (more…)

US studies show how fruits and vegetables reduce cancer

July 2, 2008

A growing body of research that shows fruits and vegetables, especially richly colored varieties, can reduce the risk of cancer.

Just three servings a month of raw broccoli or cabbage can reduce the risk of bladder cancer by as much as 40 percent, researchers reported this week.

Researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, surveyed 275 people who had bladder cancer and 825 people without cancer.

They asked especially about cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. These foods are rich in compounds called isothiocyanates, which are known to lower cancer risk.

The effects were most striking in nonsmokers, the researchers told a meeting being held this week of the American Association of Cancer Research in Philadelphia.

Dr. Farmer’s Remedy For World Health

July 1, 2008

The great innovators of our time are said to be the titans of technology – the inventors of the microchip, the founders of Microsoft, the guys behind Google. But far from Silicon Valley another great thinker and innovator is changing the world with far less fanfare. His name is Dr. Paul Farmer.

As Byron Pitts reports, more than 20 years ago Dr. Farmer and a few other great minds created a charity called “Partners In Health.” In the years since, they revolutionized the delivery of healthcare worldwide, saving millions of lives in places where no one thought there was any reason for hope.

“The idea that because you’re born in Haiti you could die having a child. The idea that because you’re born in you know Malawi your children may go to bed hungry. We want to take some of the chance out of that,” Farmer tells Pitts. (more…)

Lifting the Veil of Depression

June 30, 2008

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 21 million Americans suffer from some kind of depressive disorder. For about 4 million of the most severe cases, no treatment can help. But there is a promising experimental therapy now in clinical trials that, in essence, “rewires” the brain. It is most definitely medicine on the cutting edge.

Diane Hire of Norwalk, Ohio, is 54 years old. For the past 20 years, she has lived with severe, unrelenting depression.

“You felt like a dead person walking. There was just nothing left in me,” Hire told ABC News. “I had no emotion left. I had no energy left. I had nothing. I was an empty shell of a person.”

She was prescribed one anti-depressant after another, as well as psychotherapy. Nothing worked. She tried to commit suicide three times. (more…)

New Skin Cancer Treatment Saves Man

June 26, 2008

ATLANTA – A man who had been given less than a year to live had a complete remission of advanced deadly skin cancer after an experimental treatment that revved up his immune system to fight the tumors.

The 52-year-old patient’s dramatic turnaround was the only success in a small study, leading doctors to be cautious in their enthusiasm. However, the treatment reported in Thursday’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine is being counted as the latest in a small series of successes involving immune-priming treatments against deadly skin cancers.

“Immunotherapy has become the most promising approach” to late-stage, death-sentence skin cancers, said Dr. Darrell Rigel, a dermatology researcher at the New York University Cancer Institute in New York who had no role in the research.

(more…)

Free medical tool tackles disease

June 26, 2008

A free and simple piece of open source software is helping manage the spread of disease in developing countries.

The Open Medical Record System (OpenMRS) is providing countries, such as South Africa, with an online patient medical record system.

Users do not require any programming knowledge for the tool which helps improve how people are treated.

It could transform the prevention and treatment of diseases such as HIV and Aids, its developers say.

(more…)

Free Clinics Offer Hope For The Uninsured

June 17, 2008

(CBS) Kimberlee Maloney has been a registered nurse all her working life, but she recently lost her job and her health insurance, too.

“It’s devastating because every day you wake up and think, ‘Today I hope there’s nothing wrong,'” she says.

Kimberlee came to the Genessee County Free Medical Clinic in Flint, Michigan, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane, where the uninsured don’t need to pay a penny for health care.

Doane asks truck driver Randy Ervin what his lack of medical insurance means for him today.

“That means if it wasn’t for places like this here, I’d be still home sick coughing my head off,” Ervin says.

For 51-year-old Dale Willis, it was bad enough to lose his job at an auto parts supplier.

Even worse, he is a diabetic.

“Scares me more losing medical insurance than losing a job,” Willis says.

Doane asks him why that is.

“Well, my age-our age-cost of prescriptions,” Willis says.

The clinic is staffed by more than 100 volunteer nurses and doctors like Dr. Samuel Dismond.

(more…)

Utahns give new smiles to children in Mexico

June 16, 2008

June 16th, 2008
A group of Utahns just returned from a humanitarian mission to Mexico with the charity Operation Smile. The charity sponsors cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries for children throughout the world.

Many Utahns have been involved for more than 25 years, and that volunteer list is growing as more groups travel to see for themselves how lives are changed.

Hundreds of children wait in line, their parents hope and wonder will our child be chosen? During one week this June, more than 130 children’s faces changed. Cleft lips and palates were fixed.

Each Operation Smile mission costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to transport people and equipment to foreign countries. That’s where corporate sponsors come in.

Joe Morton and his brother, Gordon, commit a portion of XanGo’s profits to children’s’ charities, like Operation Smile.

(more…)