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Why obese people can’t stop gorging

A team of researchers has identified that certain antibodies have a greater affinity for the ‘hunger hormone’, ghrelin, in obese patients, leading to extended appetite stimulation.

In many of the morbidly obese, this mechanism is faulty: despite their efforts, they continue to consume too much food (hyperphagia), contributing to maintaining a higher weight or even increasing it further. Even so, their brain should take in the information about over-eating and reduce food intake to encourage weight loss.

This observation is all the more surprising given that the hunger hormone ghrelin, produced by the stomach and acting on the hypothalamus, is most frequently found at a normal, or even a reduced level in obese patients.

The study conducted by Serguei Fetissov and the team from University of Rouen has revealed the molecular mechanism of this paradoxical hyperphagia.

Paracetamol during pregnancy affects foetus

A new study has suggested that long-term use of paracetamol during pregnancy could increase the risk of adverse effects on child development.

The study uses data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study to investigate the effect of paracetamol during pregnancy on psychomotor development, behaviour and temperament at 3 years of age.

Almost 3000 sibling pairs were included in the study.

By comparing children who were exposed to paracetamol during pregnancy with unexposed siblings of the same sex, researchers could control for a variety of genetic and environmental factors, in addition to other important factors like infections, fever, use of other medications, alcohol intake and smoking.

The study shows that children who had been exposed to paracetamol for more than 28 days of pregnancy had poorer gross motor skills, poor communication skills and more behavioural problems compared with unexposed siblings.

The same trend was seen with paracetamol taken for less than 28 days, but this was weaker.

To investigate whether the underlying illness could be the cause of the effect on the children, and not paracetamol itself, the researchers examined a different type of analgesic with another type of mechanism of action (ibuprofen).

Too much exposure to noise can pose health threat

A research team examined the latest research on noise’s impact on an array of health indicators- hearing loss, cardiovascular disease, cognitive performance and mental health, and sleep disturbance, reporting that noise exposure is a serious public health threat.

The combined toll of occupational, recreational and environmental noise exposure poses a serious public health threat going far beyond hearing damage, according to an international team of researchers.

With both noise-related hearing issues (auditory) and broader deleterious effects of noise on physical and mental wellbeing (non-auditory) in mind, the research team- consisting of members from the International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise (ICBEN), a global panel of experts in various areas of noise and public health – convened to summarize current findings related to noise exposure and overall health.

The team concentrated on studies published during the past five years in the fields of otolaryngology, cardiovascular medicine, sleep medicine, psychology, and hospital medicine to best determine the state of current evidence of noise’s impact on health.

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