(This June 30th story was refiled to fix link at the bottom of the story) By Reyna Gobel (Reuters Health) – Stretching just 10 minutes a day might help ease menopause and depression symptoms in middle-aged women, a small study suggests. “Light-intensity exercises such as stretching have not been previously evaluated for its impact on menopausal and depressive symptoms,” lead researcher Yuko Kai told Reuters Health by email. Forty Japanese women, ages 40 to 61 years, participated in the study at the Physical Fitness Research Institute, Meiji Yasuda Life Foundation of Health and Welfare in Tokyo.
Overweight female adolescents with a positive body image gain significantly less weight as they become young adults than those with negative feelings about their bodies, according to research from the University of Minnesota published this week. The 10-year-long study looked at the body mass index—a common tool recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that uses height and weight to determine whether someone is overweight or obese—and body satisfaction of about 500 boys and girls who were 14 and 15 years old in 1998 and 1999. Researchers analyzed the BMIs of the young adults again in 2009 and 2010.
A combination of two drugs has shown promise toward improving the health of people with the most common form of the incurable lung disease known as cystic fibrosis, researchers said Sunday. Patients treated with two medications — lumacaftor and ivacaftor — saw “significant” gains in their ability to breathe and fewer lung infections than those taking a placebo, according to the results of two international clinical trials published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The randomized controlled trials included 1,108 people, age 12 and older, who were treated for six months. “These groundbreaking findings will benefit around 15,000 patients in US alone,” said Susanna McColley, one of the study's authors and a professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.
By Andrew M. Seaman (Reuters Health) – For nursing home residents, surgery to improve blood flow to the legs yields only limited improvements in mobility, according to a new study. Knowing that so-called lower extremity revascularization may not improve mobility allows doctors, patients and families to have more realistic discussions about outcomes of the operation, said Dr. Emily Finlayson, the study’s senior author from the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. The nearly 11,000 nursing home residents in the study had a problem called peripheral artery disease, which results when arteries in the legs are clogged and blood flow is reduced. To treat the condition, the residents underwent lower extremity revascularization between 2005 and 2009, at an average age of 82.
Spider venom may contain a long-sought secret ingredient for an effective, long-term painkiller, researchers said Wednesday. In lab-dish tests, seven compounds obtained from venom blocked a protein crucial for transmitting the sensation of pain to the human brain. “The hunt for a medicine based on just one of these compounds, which would open up a new class of potent painkillers, is now a step closer,” said a statement issued with the study published by the British Journal of Pharmacology. If it could be targeted and controlled, this “off switch” may be the solution for millions of chronic pain sufferers.