Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine
Week Beginning 9 September 2002
Hope for tooth decay
A new technique using ozone may halt tooth decay. The gas kills bacteria in a tooth cavity, in a procedure can take just 10 seconds and involves no injections or drilling. Scientists in Belfast who developed the technique, say that it gets rid of 99 per cent of micro-organisms. A spokesman for the British Dental Association pointed out that the treatment is still in its experimental stages.
The Daily Mail
Brain exercise 'wards off Alzheimer’s'
A US scientist says mental activity can help to stave off Alzheimer’s disease. Neuroscientist Dr Gary Small of the University of California says adopting a healthy lifestyle is an important way of minimising the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases. This includes keeping physically active, eating a low fat diet with plenty of antioxidant foods such as fruit and vegetables and avoiding long-term chronic stress. He also advocates exercising the brain by practising what he terms "mental aerobics", which can include doing crosswords or learning a new language.
Diabetes 'may be associated with pollution'
US research has found a correlation between diabetes cases and air pollution. Dr Alan Lockwood, of the University of Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, says the probability that the two variables are not related is approximately five in 100,000. He says his statistical analysis does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between diabetes and air pollution, but it does merit more research. More than 15 million Americans have diabetes, and the condition accounts for about 14 per cent of all health spending in the US.
Suncreams blamed for epidemic of skin rashes
Popular suncreams, moisturisers and shampoos are being blamed for an 'alarming epidemic' of painful skin complaints including rashes, swelling and itching. Five times as many people are reporting allergic skin reactions as did a decade ago, and now European Commission scientists have identified a chemical found in products from Boots, Nivea and Pantene as the culprit. Methyldibromo glutaronitrile is used to prevent the growth of moulds and bacteria, but experts say that it particularly affects eczema sufferers and that even those who do not have the condition are at risk. The scientists want use of the chemical banned until a 'safe' level is found.
Drivers 'may be at DVT risk'
The RAC Foundation says drivers as well as air passengers could be at risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on long trips. It believes the phenomenon could affect anyone seated in a confined space for long periods. RAC Foundation executive director Edmund King says, 'It is, as yet, uncertain whether DVT poses a threat to everyone travelling or immobile for more than four hours or whether travelling for long period can trigger DVT in those who are medically or genetically predisposed to blood clots.'
The Daily Mail
Aromatherapy reduces agitation
An essential oil extracted from lemon balm may help soothe agitation in dementia patients without causing side effects, according to a study at Newcastle General Hospital. Researchers found that lotions containing the essential oil appear to help reduce agitation and increase quality of life more effectively than a placebo lotion. The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
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