LONDON, Sept 9 (Reuters)- As Susan sits chatting to a nurse
in a London clinic, a light tapping sound by her head signals
that parts of her brain are being zapped by thousands of tiny
electro-magnetic pulses from a machine plugged into the wall.
The 50 year-old doctor is among growing ranks of people with
so-called treatment-resistant depression, and after 21 years
fighting a disorder that destroyed her ability to work and at
times made her want to “opt out of life”, this is a last resort.
LONDON (Reuters) – Smokers who switch to electronic cigarettes to try to kick their habit are at least as likely to succeed in quitting or cutting down as users of nicotine patches, according to research published on Sunday.
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers compared electronic, or e-cigarettes, with the more standard nicotine replacement therapy patches.
LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists experimenting with rats have found that de-activating certain nerves in the neck can effectively treat high blood pressure – a discovery that could be an advance in tackling one of the world’s biggest silent killers.
Researchers at Britain’s Bristol University found that in rats with high blood pressure, when they removed nerve links between the brain and the carotid body – a nodule about the size of a grain of rice on the side of each carotid artery – the animals’ blood pressure fell and remained low.
LONDON, Sept 2 (Reuters) – The average height of European
men grew by a surprising 11 centimetres from the early 1870s to
1980, reflecting significant improvements in health across the
region, according to new research published on Monday.
Contrary to expectations, the study also found that average
height accelerated in the period spanning the two World Wars and
the Great Depression, when poverty, food rationing and hardship
of war might have been expected to limit people’s growth.
LONDON (Reuters) – Poverty and the all-consuming fretting that comes with it require so much mental energy that the poor have little brain power left to devote to other areas of life, according to the findings of an international study published on Thursday.
The mental strain could be costing poor people up to 13 IQ (intelligence quotient) points and means they are more likely to make mistakes and bad decisions that amplify and perpetuate their financial woes, researchers found.
LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have grown the first mini human brains in a laboratory and say their success could lead to new levels of understanding about the way brains develop and what goes wrong in disorders like schizophrenia and autism.
Researchers based in Austria started with human stem cells and created a culture in the lab that allowed them to grow into so-called “cerebral organoids” – or mini brains – that consisted of several distinct brain regions.
LONDON (Reuters) – Even those who survived the suspected chemical weapons attack in Damascus – and many hundreds didn’t – may have life-long disabilities and health problems for which there are few effective treatments.
The death toll from the incident, the latest grisly episode in Syria’s two-and-a-half-year civil war, could well rise in coming days as doctors and other health workers who suffered secondary exposure via the direct victims start to succumb to the agent’s poison.
LONDON (Reuters) – A deadly new bird flu virus in China evolved from migratory birds via waterfowl to poultry and into people, and there are other bird flu viruses circulating that could follow the same path, scientists have found.
The study – an analysis of the evolutionary history of the H7N9 bird flu that has so far killed 44 people – identified several other H7 flu viruses circulating in birds that the researchers said “may pose threats beyond the current outbreak”.
LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) – The delusions and other psychotic
symptoms experienced by people with schizophrenia may be caused
by a faulty brain “switch” that blurs their ability to
distinguish inner thoughts from objective reality, scientists
said on Wednesday.
In a study published in the journal Neuron, researchers
found the severity of symptoms such as hearing voices and
delusions was due to a disconnection between two key regions of
the brain – the insula and the lateral frontal cortex.
LONDON, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Rates of tuberculosis (TB) in
Britain are among the highest in western Europe and London is
struggling to shed its status as the “TB capital” of the region,
according to data released on Wednesday.
If trends of infection continue, within two years Britain is
likely to have more new cases of TB each year than the United
States, according a report from the government’s health agency,
Public Health England (PHE).