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Health News Results - 126

Caffeine may reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease in people who have a gene mutation associated with the movement disorder, researchers report.

"These results are promising and encourage future research exploring caffeine and caffeine-related therapies to lessen the chance that people with this gene develop Parkinson's," said study author Dr. Grace Crotty, of Massachusetts General H...

Falling leaves, pumpkins and apples are signs of fall. And so is asthma.

Asthma attacks tend to increase in early autumn. During the coronavirus pandemic, it's especially important for people with the disease to know how to prevent flare-ups, a lung expert says.

"There are two different types of asthma flare-ups," said Dr. Pushan Jani, an assistant professor of pulmonary and...

Pregnancy can delay the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) by more than three years, researchers report.

The international study found those who'd been pregnant had their first MS symptoms an average of 3.3 years later than those who'd never been pregnant. Having carried a baby to term delayed MS onset by an average of 3.4 years, the researchers determined.

More than 2.5 milli...

Biologic therapy for the skin condition psoriasis may reduce patients' risk of heart disease, new research suggests.

Chronic inflammation in people with psoriasis is associated with the development of plaque in heart arteries, which increases the risk of coronary artery disease. In biologic therapy, patients receive protein-based infusions to reduce inflammation.

"This is th...

Researchers may have found a way for people with severe hemophilia to take their standard treatment less often, if the results of an early trial pan out.

In what experts called a feat of bioengineering, scientists were able to create a "fusion protein" that may extend the interval between treatments for hemophilia -- from about every couple of days to once a week.

The early ...

The narcolepsy medicine modafinil doesn't appear to increase the risk of birth defects, according to a new study that contradicts earlier research.

"This study is based on twice as many pregnancies as earlier studies, and we find no increase in the risk of malformation in infants exposed to modafinil during pregnancy," lead author Carolyn Cesta, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, ...

People with lupus aren't at increased risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 due to steroidal medications they take to reduce immune system activity, a new study finds.

And a related study found that people with inflammatory forms of arthritis -- such as rheumatoid arthritis -- aren't more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people without arthritis.

Both studies wer...

An experimental treatment may help slow the progression of the deadly brain disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study finds.

Researchers called the results a promising step in the fight against a devastating and invariably fatal disease. And two advocacy groups are calling for swift action to make the drug available to patients.

ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig...

Christina Kosyla, a drama and yoga teacher in her late 20s, was about to take the trip of a lifetime when she felt a strange twinge in her shoulder. A co-worker also pointed out some slight swelling in Kosyla's shoulder.

Kosyla and her best friend were planning to hike the Camino De Santiago -- a 500-mile pilgrimage from France to Spain that required exceptional physical fitness and ...

While there are treatments to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson's disease, there is no known cure or preventive drug. But a recent review offers some encouraging findings.

The review found more than 100 clinical trials are underway around the world that are testing various preventive therapies and treatments for the neurodegenerative disorder.

The large number of trials, and ...

A cream medication that eases skin inflammation might offer a safer treatment option for people with psoriasis, a new clinical trial suggests.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects more than 8 million Americans, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. The disease arises from an abnormal immune response that triggers rapid turnover of skin cells, causing them to pi...

Rates of cerebral palsy among babies in Nordic countries born through in vitro fertilization (IVF) have fallen by more than half over the past two decades, due to fewer twin births from IVF, according to a new study.

A study in Denmark 15 years ago found a significantly increased risk of cerebral palsy in infants born through IVF. The absolute risk was small, but cerebral palsy was th...

Despite the existence of conventional medications to manage multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, a majority of patients also rely on alternative therapies, including vitamins, exercise and marijuana, a new survey suggests.

For the study, researchers at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland asked MS patients if they used "complementary and alternative therapies" -- medicines a...

People with schizophrenia have a suicide rate 170 times higher than the general population, Canadian researchers report.

The researchers looked at 20 years of population data, including information on 75,000 patients with schizophrenia. Each was followed for about 10 years, on average.

Risk of suicide was heightened the first five years after the mental illness was diagnos...

HIV may not be the death sentence it was 20 or 30 years ago, but people who are HIV-positive still face much shorter lives than other adults -- even if they're treated with medications that make the virus undetectable.

A new study reports that people who were HIV-positive at age 21 had an average life expectancy of 56 years -- nine years fewer than their virus-free peers.

Th...

In a new trial there are hints, but no proof, that a wriggling intestinal parasite might help fight multiple sclerosis.

The lowly hookworm has for years been proposed as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune disorders.

But the first clinical trial testing the potential benefits of the parasite against MS has produced decidedly mixed results, ...

Your sex matters when it comes to your health, yet women may still be an afterthought in research studies.

Despite policies and grant requirements to include females in research studies, many researchers still don't analyze their data by sex, a new study found. If researchers don't look at their results by sex, it's impossible to know if diseases, drugs or vaccines might impact each ...

A drug championed by President Donald Trump as a coronavirus panacea appears to be in short supply for people who really need it: lupus patients.

More than one-third of U.S. lupus patients who take hydroxychloroquine have struggled to fill prescriptions for the drug during the COVID-19 crisis, a new survey finds.

One patient finally filled her prescription after three weeks ...

People with physically demanding jobs take more sick leave. They also have higher unemployment rates and shorter work lives, a new Danish study finds.

"This study showed that high physical work demands are a marked risk factor for a shortened expected working life and increased years of sickness absence and unemployment," study co-author Lars Andersen and colleagues wrote. Andersen is...

Getting too little or too much sleep may worsen asthma in adults, a new study finds.

Researchers asked nearly 1,400 adults, 20 and older, with self-reported asthma about their sleep habits.

About one-quarter said they slept five hours or less a night (short sleepers), 66% slept six to eight hours a night (normal sleepers), and 8% slept nine or more hours a night (l...

Multiple sclerosis can cause weakness, pain, fatigue and vision problems. The disease also appears to increase the odds of heart disease and stroke, new research suggests.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disorder that can affect movement. The British study found that people with MS were nearly one-third more likely to have "macrovascular disease." Those are condit...

This is not a good time to have hypochondria. For folks who routinely obsess about their health, the coronavirus crisis could greatly magnify their distress. But there's some good news for them in this era of sheltering-in-place.

While in-person talk therapy is the gold standard for helping hypochondria patients overcome a crippling fear of health threats, a new study suggests online ...

In a first, scientists have treated a Parkinson's disease patient with his own skin cells -- repurposing them to become key brain cells that the disease kills off.

Two years after receiving the experimental treatment, the patient has had no adverse effects, his doctors report. His symptoms, meanwhile, have either stabilized or gotten somewhat better.

"The improvement has be...

If you're worried about developing Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests that eating more fruits or drinking more tea or red wine might help protect your brain.

People who had the lowest amounts of fruits -- like apples and berries -- and red wine and tea in their diets were two to four times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease or another related dementia, the study found...

People suffering from regular migraines despite medication might consider investing in a yoga mat.

That's according to a new trial that tested the effects of a gentle yoga practice -- with slow-paced physical postures, breathing exercises and relaxation. Researchers found that people who added the practice to their usual migraine medication suffered about half as many headache attacks...

The new coronavirus is disproportionately striking minority populations -- particularly urban blacks and Navajo Indians living on their reservation. Experts say social and economic factors that predate the COVID-19 crisis may help explain why.

"We found that there were large disparities in the proportion of people at risk of COVID-19 from minority and low-income populations," said stu...

Vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox) are highly effective and do not cause autism, say researchers who reviewed 138 studies that included 23 million children.

"In terms of safety, we know from previous studies all around the world that the risks posed by these diseases far outweigh those of the vaccines administered to prevent them," said lead author Dr. Car...

Doctors are increasingly worried that people are mistaking stay-at-home orders to mean they should avoid emergency medical care -- including for serious lung diseases.

People with chronic lung conditions, such as emphysema and moderate to severe asthma, are among those at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. And medical experts have been urging them to be vigilant abou...

One of the few bright spots in the COVID-19 pandemic has been the perception that children are mostly spared from its worst effects. But what about kids already at risk of contracting serious infections due to a compromised immune system? Do they have the same protection?

"One group we always worry about when it comes to viral illnesses is immunocompromised children," said Dr. Reggie...

A type of talk therapy by phone may help treat depression in people with Parkinson's disease, researchers say.

Depression is common in Parkinson's disease patients. It's associated with faster physical and mental decline, but is often overlooked and undertreated.

While cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown promise in easing depression in people with Parkinson's, many ...

Obesity is not only tied to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, researchers now say it's also linked to a painful condition known as acute pancreatitis.

"We were able to demonstrate that fat within the belly is rapidly degraded during acute [sudden-onset] pancreatitis, but not during diverticulitis [another condition that causes abdominal pain]," said researcher Vijay Singh. He's a...

A green tea extract has shown early hints of promise against a serious, progressive form of lung disease, researchers say.

The disease is called pulmonary fibrosis, where scar tissue builds up in the lungs over time, limiting the amount of oxygen the body receives. Eventually, life-threatening lung failure can develop.

There are many types of pulmonary fibrosis, but the most...

While the world's focus is trained on the new coronavirus, a groundbreaking clinical trial finds researchers battling a tough-to-treat form of an "old" infectious disease, tuberculosis.

TB is a bacterial infection that usually attacks the lungs. The disease does not get much attention in wealthy nations, where it's less common. The United States saw about 9,000 cases in 2018, accordin...

More than 200,000 people in the United States have pulmonary fibrosis, but more than eight in 10 Americans don't know the symptoms of the lung disease, a new survey finds.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease that causes scarring of the lungs. Symptoms include persistent, dry cough, shortness of breath and fatigue. There is no known cure.

An online survey of more than...

A new monitoring approach could help improve treatment of patients with tuberculosis (TB), researchers say.

TB is an infectious disease that primarily affects the lungs. Treatment involves multiple pills or injection drugs daily for at least six months. Successful treatment depends on the medications reaching pockets of TB bacteria in the lungs.

Researchers have developed a ...

Anywhere from 4% to 10% of adults have troublesome chronic cough, defined as an unexplained cough lasting more than eight weeks. But a new drug may offer some long-sought relief.

Reporting Feb. 25 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, British researchers said the experimental drug, called gefapixant, blocks a cellular receptor that's key to the cough reflex.

"M...

Doctors thought they had a fairly common scenario in front of them: A patient with advanced liver disease who needed help for her alcohol abuse. Then they discovered her own bladder was making the alcohol.

The doctors, at the University of Pittsburgh, say it's a previously unrecognized variant of so-called auto-brewery syndrome. ABS, which has been reported sporadically over the years...

Adults with HIV have higher rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and are diagnosed with the lung disease years earlier than those without HIV, a new study finds.

Smoking may be a major reason why, researchers suggest.

"As people with HIV live longer, it is important to understand how common other illnesses are to ensure that prevention, screening and treatme...

Rising drug costs are hampering the care of patients with debilitating neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's, a new study finds.

Patients are less likely to fill necessary prescriptions as out-of-pocket costs increase, said senior researcher Dr. Brian Callaghan, a neurologist with the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.

"It's a pretty predictable ...

Diabetes among U.S. youths continued to rise from 2002 to 2015, especially for Asian children and teens, a new study says.

Researchers analyzed type 1 and type 2 diabetes among 5- to 19-year-olds. They found rates were generally higher in blacks and Hispanics than in whites. Surprisingly, the rate in Asian/Pacific Islanders rose faster than in all other racial ethnic groups.

Seniors who get the shingles vaccine may gain stroke protection as well, a new study suggests.

Shingles is a viral infection tied to heightened risk of stroke. But overall stroke risk dropped 20% among patients under age 80 who got the shingles vaccine. In patients 80 and older, risk was cut by about 10%, said researchers led by Quanhe Yang, a senior scientist at the U.S. Cent...

The coronavirus that has rapidly infected nearly 6,000 people in China is spreading across the globe, with five cases confirmed in the United States.

The death toll in China so far has topped 130.

Here's what else you should know about the new coronavirus, called 2019-nCoV, which originated in the city of Wuhan:

"This is a new virus that has not been previously ...

When a child has strep throat, an antibiotic like penicillin usually has them back at school 24 hours later.

But a new study warns that strains of bacteria that cause strep throat and "flesh-eating disease" appear close to becoming resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics known as beta-lactams.

"If this germ becomes truly resistant to these antibiotics, it would have a ...

Diagnosing lung emergencies caused by vaping can be a challenge because symptoms can look like pneumonia or go unrecognized, according to a new case report.

The vaping illness known as EVALI (electronic cigarette- or vaping-associated lung injury) has so far killed nearly 60 people in the United States. More than 2,600 have been hospitalized.

"Electronic cigarettes and vapi...

More than one-third of working Americans don't get enough sleep, and the problem is greatest among the police, the military, health care workers and truckers, researchers report.

Their analysis of data from more than 150,000 employed adults between 2010 and 2018 also found that the rate of inadequate sleep (7 hours or less) rose from about 31% to nearly 36% during that time....

Kertisha Brabson's mom rushed to the hospital after being told her adult daughter was acting out of her mind.

"She was talking out of her head, dancing like she was at a concert," recalls Kertease Williams. "She was trying to get out of the room. They had to have a nurse in her room around the clock because she would try to leave."

Neither woman could know it, but this incid...

For people with the mysterious chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, researchers say nerve stimulation may offer some relief.

In a recent study, use of TENS -- transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation -- during movement or activity was shown to significantly reduce pain associated with fibromyalgia after just four weeks.

Dr. Lesley Arnold, who was not involved with the n...

Medications called SGLT2 inhibitors lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. And new research suggests these drugs may have an added benefit -- lowering the risk of gout.

Compared with people taking another class of diabetes drugs (GLP1 receptor agonists), those taking the SGLT2 drugs had 36% reduced odds of developing gout, the painful condition that usually starts in t...

Everyone quickly shoos houseflies off their dinner plates, but exactly how disease-ridden are these pesky insects?

New research reveals that flies do pick up plenty of microbes from the nearby environment -- germs that can then be transmitted to your food or drink.

But there's also reason to relax: Experts agreed that houseflies don't rank high on the list of disease threats...

Lab-altered mosquitoes have made a big dent in the spread of dengue fever, researchers report.

How? Australian scientists released mosquitoes carrying a bacteria that prevents transmission of the dengue virus.

The strategy resulted in a 76% decrease in dengue transmission in a community in Indonesia that has frequent dengue outbreaks. Similar reductions were seen in an u...