Health Updates 16 September 2011

  • Brain tumors feed off cholesterol, say researchers: “Scientists say their findings that most glioblastoma tumours are reliant on cholesterol to survive, opens the door to drugs that could be developed to stop them.  American researchers found that up to 90 percent of glioblastomas – themselves the most common form of brain cancer – have what they called a “hyperactive signalling pathway” for cholesterol.  This means that their cells become programmed to suck up LDL cholesterol, which further feeds their growth.” (The Telegraph)
  • Metal hips failing fast, report says: “In a troubling development for people with all-metal artificial hips, a registry that tracks orthopedic implants in Britain reported on Thursday that the failure rate of the devices was increasing.  The British registry also found that the early failure rate of some other ‘metal-on-metal’ hips – ones in which both the ball and the socket components of an artificial joint are made of metal – was significantly higher than those made from other materials, including a combination of metal and plastic….There was already heightened concern in the United States about all-metal hips….In May, the FDA took the unusual step of ordering producers of the devices to study how frequently they were failing and to examine the health implications for patients.” (Barry Meier, NY Times)
  • Not enough kids drink low-fat milk, says CDC: “The research…showed that about 73 percent of children and teens drink milk, but only about 20 percent of them say they usually drink low-fat milk (skim or 1 percent).  Meanwhile, the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey also revealed that about 45 percent drink reduced-fat milk (2 percent) and 32 percent reported they drink whole milk regularly.” (USA Today)
  • Scientists hint at why laughter feels so good: Laughter is regularly promoted as a source of health and well-being, but it has been hard to pin down exactly why laughing until it hurts feels so good.  The answer, reports Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at Oxford, is not the intellectual pleasure of cerebral humor, but the physical act of laughing.  The simple muscular exertions involved in producing the familiar ha, ha, ha, he said, trigger an increase in endorphins, the brain chemicals known for their feel-good effect.  His results build on a long history of scientific attempts to understand a deceptively simple and universal behavior.  ‘Laughter is very weird stuff, actually,’ Dr. Dunbar said.  ‘That’s why we got interested in it’.” (James Gorman, NY Times)

One response to “Health Updates 16 September 2011

  1. Pingback: Open Paw Launches Free Community Lecture Series In Bay AreaCat Care Tips

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