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Health Updates 22 August 2011

  • Researchers find common cause in Lou Gehrig’s disease that could lead to better treatment: “The discovery also could help in developing treatments for other, more common neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and  Parkinson’s, Siddique said.  The Northwestern team identified the breakdown of cellular recycling systems in the neurons of the spinal cord and brain of ALS patients that results in the nervous system slowly losing its ability to carry  brain signals to the body’s muscular system.” (LA Times)
  • Over 5,000 children and teens fall from windows every year, many from first- and second-stories: “The study, appearing Monday in the journal Pediatrics, is the first nationally representative study of such injuries.  Researchers analyzed data from emergency departments from 1990 to 2008.  An estimated 98,415 children were hurt during that time.” (Associated Press)
  • Healthy living really does postpone mortality: “A low-risk lifestyle, with an emphasis on healthy eating and being active, has a ‘powerful and beneficial’ effect on mortality, CDC researchers found.'”  Earl Ford, PhD, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues, reports that “our results add to the evidence base regarding the favorable effect of healthy living on mortality…The estimates of mortality that can be postponed underscore the need for improving the overall level of healthy living in the United States.”  Healthy living might mean 11.1 more years of protection from all causes of death; 14.4 years from malignancies; 9.9 years from major cardiovascular disease; and 10.6 from other causes. (Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today)
  • Doctors urge new parents to have their newborns tested for congenital heart disease before leaving hospital: “In a report published online Sunday in the journal Pediatrics, the doctors propose nationwide screening for critical congenital heart disease using pulse oximetry, a probe placed on a hand and a foot that uses a light source and sensor to measure oxygen in the blood.  Low oxygen levels signal the need for further testing to look for a heart-related problem.” (LA Times)
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