Outside of Cases: News, blogs & case reports round-up

Sleep gives brain disease warning: Canadian researchers warn that Physically “acting out” dreams when asleep could be an early warning sign of dementia or Parkinson’s disease.

Thiamine ‘reverses kidney damage’: A team from Warwick University have shown that doses of vitamin B1 (thiamine) can reverse early kidney disease in people with type 2 diabetes.

Elderly at risk from drug interactions: A study published in JAMA has found that more than two million Americans between the ages of 57 and 85 are at risk of “major drug-drug interactions.”

20% ‘have blood pressure gene’: Research suggests that one in five white people carry a gene fault that could raise their risk of high blood pressure.

Vietnam pushes back against AIDS epidemic: In the past decade, the number of people living with HIV in Vietnam has tripled. Wall Street Journal reporter Lam Thuy Vo describes the steps that the Vietnamese government is now taking to curb the spread of this virus.

Festive medical myths: A number of common medical or health beliefs related to the holidays and winter season are investigated for their scientific validity.

Brown “totally against” changing laws on euthanasia: Prime-minister Gordon Brown gives his opinion on Euthanasia in an interview with head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Smiles and scowls ‘in our genes’: A team of US researchers that compared the facial expressions of normal sighted and blind athletes have provided strong evidence that the facial expressions we make to show or hide emotions are as a result of our genetic makeup and are not learned during life (picture left showing blind athlete after losing match).

Sickle cell trait and priapism: Case report of a 32-year-old African-American man presenting with priapism who was later diagnosed with sickle-cell anaemia. A literature review investigates a possible link between these two conditions.

Seven unsolved medical mysteries: This list published on the New Scientist website describes seven ailments that have perplexed the medical profession.

Chocolate, wine and tea improve brain performance: As if by Christmas miracle, a group of Oxford researchers working with colleagues in Norway, publish a study to suggest that chocolate, wine and tea enhance cognitive performance. However, it should also be noted to those overdoing it at Christmas that while moderate alcohol consumption is associated with better cognitive function and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, heavy alcohol intake could be one of many causes of dementia – as well as a host of other health problems.

Healthy New Years resolutions: A few familiar New Years resolutions suggested by Cancer Research UK that could help to dramatically cut your risk of cancer.


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