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Grapes could help treat concussions

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas are currently studying whether a compound found in red wine and grapes could help reduce the short- and long-term effects of concussions.

They are planning to recruit about 12 professional boxers to take the neuroprotective compound resveratrol after a fight to see if it reduces damage to the brain after impact and helps restore subtle brain functions and connections via its antioxidant effects.

If successful, the researchers hope the results may be applicable not only to concussions in other sports such as football and hockey, but also to everyday incidents such as falls, auto accidents and other blows to the head.

“We know from animal studies that if we give the drug immediately after or soon after a brain injury, it can dramatically and significantly reduce the damage you see long term,” said Dr Joshua Gatson, assistant professor of surgery in Burn/Trauma/Critical Care and principal investigator for the study.

“There haven’t been any completed human studies yet, so this is really the first look at resveratrol’s effect on traumatic brain injury,” he added.

Protein drinks keep aging muscles strong and fit

A new research has indicated that what someone drinks after exercise plays a critical role in maximising the effects of exercise.

Specifically, the report showed that protein drinks after aerobic activity increase the training effect after six weeks, when compared to carbohydrate drinks. Additionally, this study also suggested that this effect could be seen using as little as 20 grams of protein.

“If you want to age gracefully, this study shows that proteins taken after exercise keep your muscles strong and fit,” said Gerald Weissmann.

“You’ve got to feed your body with the proper nutrients after a work-out. Fortunately, protein shakes are cheap, readily available and some say taste good,” added Weissmann.

Abnormalities linked to mom’s pre-natal BPA exposure

A new case study has linked an infant’s neurobehavioural abnormalities to extremely high bisphenol A (BPA) concentration in the baby’s mother.

BPA, a synthetic, man-made chemical, is used in a wide variety of products including: can linings; hard polycarbonate plastics such as baby bottles and reusable cups; and dental sealants. Food may be the single largest source of BPA exposure due to contamination of foods during preparation and processing. BPA has estrogenic (hormone-like) properties.

In human studies, exposure to BPA early in life has not been studied extensively.
In this case study, researcher Sheela Sathyanarayana, MD of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, pediatrician and environmental health specialist at Seattle Children’s and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and co-investigators reported on a specific mother/infant pair from a larger study (Health Outcomes and Measures of the Environment — HOME study) that examined BPA exposures in pregnant women and then examined their infants for neurodevelopmental outcomes.

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