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Australian Research Shows Exercise Can Help People with Parkinson’s Disease

Source: Dr Kathy Kramer

Exercise may help people with Parkinson’s disease improve their balance, ability to move around and quality of life, even if it does not reduce their risk of falling, according to Australian research published Neurology.

For the study, 231 people with Parkinson’s disease either received their usual care or took part in an exercise program of 40 to 60 minutes of balance and leg strengthening exercises three times a week for six months. This minimally-supervised exercise program was prescribed and monitored by a physical therapist with participants performing most of the exercise at home. On average, 13 percent of the exercise sessions were supervised by a physical therapist.

Compared to those in the control group, the number of falls by participants who exercised was reduced in those with less severe Parkinson’s disease, but not in those with more severe disease. For those with less severe disease, a 70% reduction in falls was reported in those who exercised compared to those who did not.

“These results suggest that minimally supervised exercise programs aimed at reducing falls in people with Parkinson’s should be started early in the disease process,” the lead author said.

Overall, those who took part in the exercise program performed better on tests of ability to move around and balance, had a lower fear of falls, and reported better overall mood and quality of life.

The study was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and the Harry Secomb Foundation.

Neurology 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001155

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Organic Milk vs Regular: Is There Any Difference?

Source: Brian Stallard via Nature World News

If you were to walk into a grocery store and ask anyone in the dairy section which is more nutritious, organic or regular milk, they would likely tell you that organic is the safest bet. After all, that’s why we pay more for organic products, right? Well now an independent team of researchers has found that we might actually be comparing apples to apples, where the differences between organic and conventional milks are far from Earth-shattering.

That’s at least according to an overarching study recently published in the Journal of Dairy Science, which details how researchers reviewed nearly 200 scientific publications on milk composition.

“When comparing organic and conventional milk composition (especially milk fatty acids), previous studies have generally compared organic dairying with milk produced from grass-fed cows to conventional dairying with milk produced from concentrate-fed cows,” lead investigator Don Otter, a AgResearch member from the Grasslands Research Centre in New Zealand, said in a statementRead More>>

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Powerful Protein Promotes Flu Resistance Through Rest

Source: Brian Stallard via Nature World News

Doctors have long known that when dealing with the flu, getting plenty of rest is very important. This, of course, is because your body’s immune system needs a lot of energy to wage its helpful war. However, the discovery of a new type of protein in the brains of mice has revealed that there may be a bit more to it than that.

According to a study recently published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, the brain protein AcPb appears to boost the healing power of sleep to help speed along its recovery from an influenza infection.

Researcher James Kruger, a sleep researcher at Washington State University at Spokane, recently led a team in assessing sleep responses triggered by the influenza virus in mice. They quickly identified that AcPb sees increased activity alongside an immune system signaling chemical called interleukin-1. The protein reportedly links up with interleukin-1 to help regulate sleep in healthy animals and also prompts infected animals to spend more time sleeping during an illness… Read More>>

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Bright E-Readers Before Bedtime Can Impact Sleep

Source: Jenna Iacurci via Nature World News

It’s not uncommon to read a good book snuggled under the covers to put you to sleep, but a new study shows that bright e-Readers, also known as light-emitting electronic devices (LE-eBook), before bedtime can impact your sleep cycle and overall health.

“We found the body’s natural circadian rhythms were interrupted by the short-wavelength enriched light, otherwise known as blue light, from these electronic devices,” Anne-Marie Chang, a corresponding author of the study, said in a press release. “Participants reading an LE-eBook took longer to fall asleep and had reduced evening sleepiness, reduced melatonin secretion, later timing of their circadian clock and reduced next-morning alertness than when reading a printed book.” …Read More>>

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Men and Women Process Emotions Differently

Source: MedicalXpress

Women rate emotional images as more emotionally stimulating than men do and are more likely to remember them. However, there are no gender-related differences in emotional appraisal as far as neutral images are concerned. These were the findings of a large-scale study by a research team at the University of Basel that focused on determining the gender-dependent relationship between emotions, memory performance and brain activity.

It is known that women often consider emotional events to be more emotionally stimulating than men do. Earlier studies have shown that emotions influence our memory: the more emotional a situation is, the more likely we are to remember it. This raises the question as to whether women often outperform men in memory tests because of the way they process emotions… Read More>>

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E-Cigarettes Less Addictive than Cigarettes

Source: Jennifer Abassi via Penn State News

E-cigarettes appear to be less addictive than cigarettes in former smokers, according to American research.

More than 3,500 current users of e-cigs who were ex-cigarette smokers completed the Penn State Cigarette Dependence Index and the Penn State Electronic Cigarette Dependence Index.

Dependence was predicted by:

  • higher nicotine concentration in e-cig liquid
  • advanced second-generation e-cigs (which deliver nicotine more efficiently than earlier versions)
  • longer use of e-cigs.

“However, people with all the characteristics of a more dependent e-cig user….in our study still had a lower e-cig dependence score than their cigarette dependence score,” the lead author said. “We think this is because they’re getting less nicotine from the e-cigs than they were getting from cigarettes.” …Read More>>>

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Anti-Vaccination Seminar Venues All Pull Out – But Tour ‘Will Go Ahead’

Source: Melissa Davey via The Guardian

All eight venues scheduled to host seminars by a controversial anti-vaccination osteopath from the US have pulled out, but the Queensland-based organiser said the Australian tour would go ahead.

Questions have also been raised about the status of an organisation associated with Stephanie Messenger, who has been booking venues to host the talks by Sherri Tenpenny.

With major studies concluding there is no link between vaccinations and the conditions autism and multiple sclerosis, opponents have said it would be irresponsible to allow Tenpenny into the country to deliver her talks.…Read More>>

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Our Jobs Really Are Driving Us To Drink

Source: BT

We’ve all been guilty of it – dramatically exclaiming that work is going to drive us to drink after yet another gruelling day at the office. But it turns out there may be a little truth in the old saying after all. A new study published by the British Medical Journal suggests that working too hard can be encouraging us to reach for the booze. And they may have a point – how many of you have found that there’s nothing quite like the healing powers of a large glass of wine to take the edge off a stressful week? The study, which looked at the behaviour of more than 400,000 people, discovered that working over 48 hours a week can lead to ‘risky’ drinking – the “just one more then I’m going home, I promise” kind? …Read More>>

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Understanding Dementia

Source: Alice Lucey via Be Independent Home Care


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Buried Clinical Trial Data: The Dam is about to Burst

Source: Larry Husten via Forbes

Two important new developments may mean that many more researchers will soon be able to access and analyse data from many more clinical trials.

In recent years, in response to troubling and far-reaching questions about the availability and reliability of clinical trial data, reformers have called for new policies that would require drug companies and other clinical trial sponsors to provide outside researchers access to the data. The two announcements today appear to bring the open data movement closer to the tipping point.

In the first development, a preliminary report from the prestigious Institute of Medicine lends strong support to the open data movement. The IOM report states that investigators should be required to establish a data-sharing plan at the same time the trial is registered. The report includes detailed recommendations for when and how the data should be made available. Among the major recommendations: data underlying a trial analysis should be made available within 6 months after journal publication, and all data should be made available no later than 18 months after the last patient visit in the trial.

In the second development, the Yale University Open Data Access (YODA) Project announced that Johnson & Johnson is expanding its plans to share data. The company had previously announced that it planned to share data from its large drug portfolio. Now the company has announced that it will also share data from its device and diagnostic trials — a first in the field. YODA will act as “a fully independent intermediary to manage requests and promote data use,” said YODA. The project will have “full control” over the data…Read More>>

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