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March 3, 2008, 8:56 PM CT

Gender differences in forgiving

Gender differences in forgiving
Forgiveness can be a powerful means to healing, but it does not come naturally for both sexes. Men have a harder time forgiving than women do, according to Case Western Reserve University psychologist Julie Juola Exline. But that can change if men develop empathy toward an offender by seeing they may also be capable of similar actions. Then the gender gap closes, and men become less vengeful.

Exline is the lead author on the Journal of Personality and Social Psychologys article, Not so Innocent: Does Seeing Ones Own Capability for Wrongdoing Predict Forgiveness" She collaborated with researchers Roy Baumeister and Anne Zell from Florida State University; Amy Kraft from Arizona State; and Charlotte Witvliet from Hope College.

In seven forgiveness-related studies Exline conducted between 1998 through 2005 with more than 1,400 college students, gender differences between men and women consistently emerged. When asked to recall offenses they had committed personally, men became less vengeful toward people who had offended them. Women reflecting on personal offenses, and beginning at a lower baseline for vengeance, exhibited no differences in levels of unforgiving. When women had to recall a similar offense in relation to the others offense, women felt guilty and tended to magnify the others offense.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 3, 2008, 8:45 PM CT

Testosterone Could Guard Against Eating Disorders

Testosterone Could Guard Against Eating Disorders
Testosterone appears to protect people against eating disorders, providing further evidence that biological factors - and not just social influences - are associated with anorexia and bulimia, as per new research findings at Michigan State University.

An ongoing, six-year study of 538 sets of twins in Michigan indicates that females who were in the womb with male twins have lower risk for eating disorder symptoms than females who were in the womb with female twins. Prior animal research has shown that females in the womb with males are exposed to higher levels of testosterone.

The new findings - from a team of MSU psychology scientists - are reported in the recent issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, out today.

"From these findings, it appears that testosterone exposure could have a protective effect against the development of disordered eating," said project researcher Kelly Klump, MSU associate professor of psychology and president of the Academy for Eating Disorders.

As per the academy, 10 percent or more of late adolescent and adult women report symptoms of eating disorders at any given time.

Klump said scientists have known for years that women are more affected by eating disorders than men and that "some of that is due to social influences such as beauty ideals around thinness for women that we don't have for men".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 3, 2008, 8:41 PM CT

Restricting Kids' Video Time Reduces Obesity

Restricting Kids' Video Time Reduces Obesity
Entrenched sedentary behavior such as watching television and playing computer video games has been the bane for years of parents of overweight children and physicians trying to help those children lose pounds.

There has been little scientifically based research on the effect of limiting those activities, however.

University at Buffalo scientists now have shown in a randomized trial that by using a device that automatically restricted video-viewing time, parents reduced their children's video time by an average of 17.5 hours a week and lowered their body-mass index (BMI) significantly by the end of the 2-year study.

In contrast, children in the control group, whose video time was monitored, but not restricted, reduced their viewing time by only 5 hours per week.

Results of the study appear in the current issue (March 2008) of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

"Our controlled experiment provided a test of whether reducing access to television and computer time led to a reduction in BMI," said Leonard Epstein, UB Distinguished Professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Health Behavior and Social and Preventive Medicine and first author on the study.

"Results showed that watching television and playing computer games can lead to obesity by reducing the amount of time that children are physically active, or by increasing the amount of food they consume as they as engaged in these sedentary behaviors".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 2, 2008, 9:05 PM CT

How to Say "No" to Alcohol Advertising

How to Say
Teens who can recognize and resist the persuasive tactics used in alcohol ads are less likely to succumb to alcohol advertising and peer pressure to drink.

The results of a three-year study of inner-city middle school students by Weill Cornell Medical College scientists appears online in the journal Addictive Behaviors (April print edition). Prior research has shown the correlation between advertising and adolescent alcohol, use as well as the influence of peers in promoting adolescent alcohol use.

"There are a number of pressures on teens to drink. One very powerful influence is advertising - from television to billboards, it's everywhere. Our study found their ability to be critically aware of advertising as well as their ability to resist peer pressure are both key skills for avoiding alcohol," says Dr. Jennifer A. Epstein, lead author and assistant professor of public health in the Division of Prevention and Health Behavior at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Results were taken from surveys of over 2,000 predominantly African-American adolescents from 13 inner-city junior high schools in New York City over three years. The study observed that seventh graders better able to be critically aware of advertising - something the study terms "media resistance skills" - were significantly less likely to drink alcohol as ninth graders.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 2, 2008, 8:57 PM CT

Increased allergen levels in homes linked to asthma

Increased allergen levels in homes linked to asthma
Results from a new national survey demonstrate that elevated allergen levels in the home are linked to asthma symptoms in allergic individuals. The study suggests that asthmatics that have allergies may alleviate symptoms by reducing allergen exposures inside their homes. The work was carried out by scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the University of Iowa, Rho Inc., and the Constella Group. The teams findings may help millions of Americans who suffer from asthma.

Indoor allergen exposures are of great importance in relation to asthma because most people spend a majority of their time indoors, particularly at home, said Darryl Zeldin, M.D., a Principal Investigator in the Laboratory of Respiratory Biology at NIEHS and senior author on the paper.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic ailments in the United States, affecting more than 22 million people. Asthma has been shown to be triggered by a wide range of substances called allergens.

The findings, published online and available in the recent issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, show that exposure to multiple indoor allergens was common in U.S. households with 52 percent having at least six detectable allergens and 46 percent having three or more allergens at increased levels. The indoor allergens studied included those from dog, cat, mouse, cockroach, dust mite, and the fungus Alternaria.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 2, 2008, 8:52 PM CT

Snoring linked to cardiovascular disease

Snoring linked to cardiovascular disease
Loud snoring with breathing pauses is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and increased health care utilization, as per a research studyreported in the March 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, authored by Marta Novak, MD, PhD, of the Institute of Behavioral Sciences at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, focused on interviews with 12,643 Hungarian individuals. Interviews were carried out in the homes of the participants and questions about snoring were asked.

As per the results, loud snorers had 40 percent greater odds of having hypertension, 34 percent greater odds of having a heart attack and 67 percent greater odds of having a stroke, compared with people who do not snore, after statistical adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, diabetes, level of education, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Quiet snoring was associated only with an increased risk for high blood pressure in women. Loud snoring was also linked to increased use of health care resources (emergency visits and hospitalization).

Our findings suggest that loud snoring with breathing pauses carries a significantly increased risk for cardiovascular disease and is close to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) on the spectrum of sleep disordered breathing, therefore this simple question may identify high risk individuals whom may benefit from a sleep study, said Istvan Mucsi, MD, PhD, of Semmelweis University and Humber River Regional Hospital and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in Canada, co-author of the study.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 2, 2008, 8:48 PM CT

High prevalence of eating disorders in narcoleptics

High prevalence of eating disorders in narcoleptics
The majority of patients with narcolepsy/cataplexy experience many symptoms of eating disorders, with an irresistible craving for food and binge eating as the most prominent features, as per a research studyreported in the March 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, authored by Hal Droogleever Fortuyn, MD, and Sebastiaan Overeem, MD, of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in The Netherlands, focused on 60 patients with narcolepsy/cataplexy who were recruited from specialized sleep centers and 120 healthy controls.

As per the results, 23.3 percent of the narcolepsy/cataplexy patients fulfilled the criteria for a clinical eating disorder, as opposed to none of the control subjects. Half of the patients reported a persistent craving for food, as well as binge eating. Twenty-five percent of patients even reported binging at least twice a week.

These data make it clear that narcolepsy is not just a sleeping disorder, but a hypothalamic disease with a much broader symptom profile, said Dr. Fortuyn. Hypocretin, the neurotransmitter that is lost in narcolepsy, has been implicated in the regulation of feeding through animal studies. Earlier studies in narcolepsy found a clear increase in body weight. However, we did not find a connection between binge eating and increased weight. Binge eating is apparently not the direct cause of the obesity in narcolepsy, and this suggests that metabolic alterations may be involved. Nevertheless, our study shows that the loss of hypocretin function makes narcolepsy patients not only struggle with staying awake, but also destabilizes their eating pattern, which makes it harder to stay away from the candy jar.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 2, 2008, 8:45 PM CT

Mouse model for speed drug hunt

Mouse model for speed drug hunt
Frustrated by the slow pace of new drug development for a condition that causes pediatric brain tumors, a neurologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis decided to try to fine-tune the animal models used to test new drugs.

Instead of studying one mouse model of the disease causing the brain tumors, the laboratory of David Gutmann, M.D., Ph.D., the Donald O. Schnuck Family Professor of Neurology, reviewed three. They "auditioned" the three models to see which was the best match for neurofibromatosis 1, a genetic condition that increases the risk of brain tumors and afflicts more than 100,000 people in the United States.

Animal models have long been used to explore the basic physiology underlying disease and to tentatively try out new remedies, but Gutmann believes that creating a tighter match between the animal models and the human disorder will allow more extensive and more accurate preclinical testing of potential therapies.

"If you think of how we move drugs from testing in the laboratory to testing in humans, this is an exciting step that's likely to speed the translation from bench to bedside," says Gutmann, the senior author of a report in the March 1 Cancer Research. "With more extensive preclinical testing in the mice, we can make sure a new drug is reaching its target protein in tumor cells, we can learn whether the drug is killing tumor cells or shutting off their growth, and we can get some indication of whether the drug is likely to have an adverse effect on the developing brain."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 2, 2008, 8:43 PM CT

Methylphenidate can have sleep benefits

Methylphenidate can have sleep benefits
Treatment with methylphenidate (MPH) appears to have beneficial effects on sleep parameters in adults with ADHD, including increased sleep efficiency and a feeling of improved restorative value of sleep, as per a research studyreported in the March 1 issue of the journal SLEEP.

The study, authored by Esther Sobanski, MD, of the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Gera number of, focused on 34 non-medicated patients with ADHD, of whom 24 were without current psychiatric disorders, and 34 control subjects without current psychiatric disorders or psychotropic medication. In comparison to the control group, all subjects in the ADHD sample displayed reduced sleep efficiency, with longer sleep onset latency and more nocturnal awakenings. They had altered sleep architecture, with a higher percentage of stage 1 and reduced percentage of REM sleep. Patients also showed a trend toward the reduced total REM density and elevated percentage of wakefulness after sleep onset.

As per Dr. Sobanski, this study showed that objective and subjective sleep problems in adults with ADHD are identical with sleep problems in children with ADHD, including longer sleep latencies, more nocturnal activity, reduced sleep efficiency, more nocturnal awakenings and slightly decreased REM activity during sleep, eventhough the clinical significance of the last findings remains to be clarified.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 2, 2008, 8:35 PM CT

Steps leading to celiac disease

Steps leading to celiac disease
Researchers who last year identified a new genetic risk factor for coeliac disease, have, following continued research, discovered an additional seven gene regions implicated in causing the condition. The team, lead by David van Heel, Professor of Gastrointestinal Genetics at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, have further demonstrated that of the nine coeliac gene regions now know, four of these are also predisposing factors for type 1 diabetes. Their research sheds light not only on the nature of coeliac disease, but on the common origins of both diseases. It is published online today (2 March 2008) in Nature Genetics.

Professor van Heel and his team, including collaborators from Ireland, the Netherlands, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, first performed a genome wide association study in coeliac disease. Genetic markers across the genome were compared in coeliac disease subjects versus healthy controls. They then assessed around 1,000 of the strongest markers in a further ~ 5,000 samples. Their results identified seven new risk regions, six of which harbour important genes critical in the control of immune responses, highlighting their significance in the development of the disease.

Coeliac disease is common in the West, afflicting around 1 per cent of the population. It is an immune-mediated disease, triggered by intolerance to gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye containing foods), that prevents normal digestion and absorption of nutrients. If undetected it can lead to many often severe problems among them anaemia, poor bone health, fatigue and weight loss. Currently only a restricted diet can diminish symptoms.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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