Exercise with a friend is beneficial

Heading to the gym? Well, don’t forget to take along your friend, for a new study has claimed that exercising with a partner boosts weight loss.
Shiriki Kumanyika and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, conducted the two-year trial. The study included 344 men and women.
The volunteers’ goal was to achieve and maintain a 5 per cent to 10 per cent weight loss. They were educated on a healthy diet and physical activity, given pedometers and enrolled in exercise sessions.
A total of 63 people enrolled in the programme alone and 281 enrolled with a friend or family member.
The groups were split into three sections, those who trained alone, those who had a partner that received little coaching and those who were with a friend who also had a high level of coaching.
Their progress was then measured at intervals of six, 12, 18 and 24 months, according to the research.
After analyses, researchers found that the participants with a partner in the high support group lost the most weight at all the measurement periods.

Chemicals modify learning process

A new American study has pointed out the chemical changes in the brain that transform the learning process of infants.
Psychologist Gordon A Barr of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and neuroscientist Regina M Sullivan of the Nathan Kline Institute and New York University Langone Medical Centre studied the mother-child behaviour in rats to draw parallels in humans.
The scientists say their findings can also be applied to infant behaviour in dogs, rats and people.
Barr said: “For humans... the findings may shed light on the pathologically strong attachment that children are known to have even for abusive caretakers.”

Birth control pills up stroke risk

Birth control pills can nearly double the risk of stroke in women, says a new study.
According to a review in ‘MedLink Neurology’ by three Loyola University Health System neurologists, women who take birth control pills and also smoke, have high blood pressure or have a history of migraine headaches, significantly increase their risk of stroke.
The review found there were about 4.4 ischemic strokes for every 1,00,000 women of childbearing age, but birth control pills increase the risk of stroke 1.9 times, to 8.5 strokes per 1,00,000 women.
“When prescribing oral contraceptives, doctors should balance the risks and benefits for each individual patient,” said senior author Dr Jose Biller.
“For a healthy young woman without any other stroke risk factors, the benefits of birth control pills probably outweigh the risks. But if a woman has other stroke risk factors, she should be discouraged from using oral contraceptives,” the expert added.

BP could go out of hand in winter

While winter holidays are just round the corner, there are chances that people with high blood pressure might risk their health by overindulging in the season, warns an expert.
Dr Shawna Nesbitt, UT Southwestern Medical Centre, said that about one in four Americans has hypertension, a disease that elevates blood pressure and can lead to a host of serious problems including heart attacks and strokes.
“I tell patients to allow themselves one special meal for a holiday, but not to continue unhealthy eating habits for several days or weeks. Leftovers are what sabotage people,” she said.