Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 7:56 am
It's bad enough to have to be tested for dementia. It's even worse if the test isn't fair. Researchers in Chicago found they needed to update the screening test for a type of early onset dementia so that the measure would more accurately pick up symptoms among a new wave of patients — baby boomers and Gen Xers.
Credit Courtesy of Se-Jin Lee and Alexandra McPherron / PNAS
Belgian Blue bulls look like they are made of muscle because they have a mutation in the gene that codes for the protein myostatin. In humans, as in other types of cattle, myostatin normally limits the number of muscle fibers that form before birth and then limits the growth of those fibers later on.
Credit Jasper Juinen / Getty Images
Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line at the end of stage 15 of the 2009 Tour de France from Pontarlier to Verbier on July 19, 2009 in Verbier, Switzerland. Armstrong has admitted to using the anemia drug known as EPO.
Research intended to help people with muscle-wasting diseases could be about to launch a new era in performance-enhancing drugs.
The research has produced several muscle-building drugs now being tested in people with medical problems, including muscular dystrophy, cancer and kidney disease. The drugs all work by blocking a substance called myostatin that the body normally produces to keep muscles from getting too big.
Credit Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine
When dealing with aches and pains, sometimes the best way to get better is to feel better — and fast. Some popular medicines of old favored additives like cocaine.
Credit Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
According to pioneering American physician Benjamin Rush, a draught of strong beer would lead to cheerfulness and nourishment, while a pint of grog could lead to idleness, anarchy, or even murder.
Credit Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine
Drink Burdock Blood Bitters to settle your stomach, calm your nerves, restore youthful vigor — and maybe get a little bit tipsy. These bitters, like many tonics of the time, contained up to 20 percent alcohol.
Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 8:05 pm
Feeling bilious? Have a swig of tonic. Got a kid with a toothache? A dab of cocaine tooth powder could do the trick.
Much to the shock of our 21st-century sensibilities, popular remedies of the late 19th century often contained strong mind-altering substances like cocaine and opium. And while patients may not have understood what the ingredients were or what they did, these heavy-hitting patent drugs could deliver a feeling of well-being, which may, in some cases, have led to actual well-being.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:01 am
Imagine a friend of a friend brings his family to stay with you — his family of tiny survivalists. For weeks or months you all live quietly side by side with no problems. You share meals. Your kids play together.
Then one day you get sick — maybe felled by a bad cold or the flu. Suddenly certain the end is near, your jittery houseguest breaks out an armory's worth of chemical weapons. He abandons his community to save himself and hunt for a new home, wreaking havoc on the way out the door.
When Sally O'Neill's doctor told her she had an early form of cancer in one of her breasts, she didn't agonize about what she wanted to.
The 42-year-old mother of two young girls wanted a double mastectomy.
"I decided at that moment that I wanted them both taken off," says O'Neill, who lives in a suburb of Boston. "There wasn't a real lot of thought process to it. I always thought, 'If this happens to me, this is what I'm going to do.' Because I'm not taking any chances. I want the best possible outcome. I don't want to do a wait-and-see."
Imported food is getting the kind of attention these days that no product wants. Health officials in Iowa and Nebraska are blaming salad greens for making hundreds of people sick with a parasite called cyclospora. That parasite usually comes from the tropics, so it's likely the salad did, too. Earlier this summer, pomegranate seeds from Turkey were linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A.
Steamy days, sultry nights and swarming bugs all make up the thrum of life in the heart of summer. But more and more, our summers are assaulted by the bloodsucking kind of bugs, namely mosquitoes and ticks.
More than a nuisance, new species can impact our health and indicate larger environmental trends.
Beautiful And Adaptable
One relative newcomer prowling the scene is the Asian tiger mosquito. Named for its unique markings, it is black with white stripes.
Come summertime, some of us here at Shots are reminded, as we lounge on decks and venture into overgrown gardens, that we are irresistible to mosquitoes. As we gripe about our itchy, pocked limbs, we can't help but wonder just why they unfailingly devour us and pass over our friends and loved ones. And when it comes to repellent, it's hard to tell just what works best.
Menthol gives cough drops, lip balm and other drugstore remedies that cool minty taste and slight numbing quality. Now the Food and Drug Administration has taken a long-awaited step toward saying that in cigarettes, those same qualities do more harm than good.
Not so long ago, most people thought that the only good microbe was a dead microbe.
But then scientists started to realize that even though some bugs can make us sick and even kill us, most don't.
In fact, in the past decade attitudes about the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes living all over our bodies has almost completely turned around. Now scientists say that not only are those microbes often not harmful, we can't live without them.
Children with tuberculosis sleep outside at Springfield House Open Air School in London in 1932. Like sanatoriums, these schools offered TB sufferers a place to receive the top treatment of the day: fresh air and sunshine.
Credit Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Kids receive treatment at a tuberculosis clinic in Friedrichstadt, Germany, circa 1925.
Credit Edvard Munch / Wikimedia.org
Edvard Munch's The Sick Child depicts the moments before his sister died of tuberculosis in 1896.