WHAT'S THE BUZZ

Sunshine could help beat swine flu

Sunshine could be a ‘major weapon’ against swine flu, according to scientists.
Scientists at Wisconsin University have discovered the H1N1 swine flu causes more inflammation than seasonal flu. Studies have shown vitamin D—which our bodies make from sunshine protects against inflammatory conditions including heart disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. According to Dr John Cannell, from the University of Washington, it is no accident colds and flu peak in winter. That is because of lack of sunlight, which means vitamin D deficiency in the body. He is sure the sunshine vitamin could be the key to avoiding a bout of swine flu.

Closeness with caregivers may reduce Alzheimer’s

 Emotional closeness with caregivers can significantly help slow disease progression in Alzheimer's patients, say researchers.

The study led by Johns Hopkins and Utah State University researchers suggests that a particularly close relationship with caregivers may give people with Alzheimer's disease a marked edge over others in retaining mind and brain function over time. “We’ve shown that the benefits of having a close caregiver, especially a spouse, may mean the difference between someone with AD staying at home or going to a nursing facility,” said Dr Constantine Lyketsos, the Elizabeth Plank

Althouse Professor in Alzheimer's Disease Research and director of the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer's Treatment Centre.

The researchers found marked differences between patients whose caregivers had scored their relationships as close or more distant on the surveys. Patients whose caregivers felt particularly close to them retained more of their cognitive function over the course of the study, compared to patients with more distant caregivers.

They also scored better on a functional test called the Clinical Dementia Rating, remaining significantly closer to baseline over time compared to those with more distant caregivers. Moreover, the “closeness effect” was heightened for pairs in which the caregiver was a spouse.

Western lifestyle may be bad for teens’ mental health

Western diet may have a negative impact on adolescents' mental health, according to a new study.

In the study of 1600 14-year-old adolescents, Dr Wendy Oddy, from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Western Australia, found that a typical Western diet increased a child’s chance of developing emotional and behavioural problems.The researchers found that Western diet makes an individual more likely to be withdrawn, anxious, aggressive and delinquent.

Acupuncture may ease pregnancy indigestion

A new study has suggested that acupuncture can help ease the symptoms of indigestion in pregnancy.

Digestive disorders are one of the most frequent complaints in pregnancy, with 45 to 80 per cent of women reporting heartburn, pain or discomfort, regurgitation, belching and bloating.

Researchers from Sao Paulo University in Brazil say that such symptoms tend to get worse as a pregnancy progresses.

The researchers found that average heartburn intensity fell by at least a half in 75 per cent women receiving acupuncture compared with 44 per cent women not receiving it.
The study is published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine.

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