Round-Up of Global News In Health and Complementary Medicine

Monthly Archive

Week Beginning 26 March

Human Foot-And-Mouth Cases

The latest alleged cases of human foot-and-mouth brings to mind the only previously confirmed case – way back in the ‘60’s. Mr Bobby Brewis, who sadly died eight years ago, contracted the disease in the 1960s when he was a farm machinery salesman. Mr Brewis drank milk from an infected cow and began complaining of a sore throat four days later. He went on to develop a fever and blisters on his hands, feet and tongue. The blisters disappeared and reappeared twice before the disease finally seemed to have subsided, and medical tests at the time confirmed the presence of the foot-and-mouth virus. Mr Brewis could no longer work on farms after the diagnosis and went on to become a hospital chef. He never received any compensation for his illness.

The Times,,2-119270,00.html

Prevent Ankle Injury With The Right Type Of Shoe

In the latest research from down under, a team of physiotherapists in Australia have discovered that athletes with air cells in the heels of their trainers are four times more likely to injure an ankle. The La Trobe University researchers, based in Victoria, observed 10,000 amateur basketball players and documented 40 ankle injuries. The study, published in today’s British Journal of Sports Medicine, found an injury rate of 3.85 per 1000 players. Although training methods and footwear quality have improved over the last years, players wearing shoes with air cells in the heels ran the second greatest risk of injury, behind players who had a previous history of ankle problems. The physiotherapist who led the study, Gaylene McKay, said: ‘It may be hypothesised air cells located in the heels of basketball shoes decrease rear foot stability, which in turn increase the risk of ankle injury.’

Daily Mail

Genetic Factor In Eating Disorders

US researchers now have strong evidence for a distinct hereditary component in the development of human eating disorders. The researchers studied anorexia in men – an extremely rare condition – and found that their female relatives are nine times more likely than the general female population to suffer from the eating disorder. Previous research has shown that female relatives of women with anorexia or bulimia are over 12 times more likely to suffer from the same condition. These findings suggest that certain genes predispose some people to develop anorexia and bulimia. Dr Michael Strober, a specialist in eating disorders at the University of California, said that his team ‘hope one day to isolate these specific genetic factors behind eating disorders.'

The Independent

Reduce Depression – Exercise!

Researchers at the Freie University in Berlin have revealed that regular aerobic exercise can have a quicker effect in reducing the effects of mild depression than medications. The typical aerobic exercise includes running or walking.

Research doctors asked 12 depressed patients to walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes every day, alternating between fast and slow activity. After 10 days, six patients were substantially less depressed, including five who had not responded to anti-depressants. Another two were slightly less depressed while four patients showed no improvement. Although the study, published today in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, is small, the authors say that aerobic training could offer safe treatment for significant numbers of patients who do not benefit from drugs.

Daily Express

Men Should Not Have To Open Up About Cancer

The Institute of Cancer Research’s, Clare Moynihan, has advised conference attenders that men suffering from cancer should not be forced to talk about their disease or ‘open up to their families’ about it. She said that despite the growing social trend towards encouraging British men to talk more openly about their emotions, it is generally healthier for men with cancer not to depart from their ‘emotional stereotype’. Research shows that men generally felt that opening about their illness would endanger their relationship with male family members and friends. They felt they would make their male friends and family members uncomfortable. They were far happier being private, keeping the illness to themselves. But Ms Moynihan found that because communication between male family members about the illness was often minimal, the knowledge of cancers with a genetic base, such as prostate and testicular, was also extremely limited.

The Guardian,4273,4161406,00.html

Changes In Lifestyle May Be Key To Cancer

If ever we needed evidence that lifestyle can affect our risk of cancer then we should look at historical precedents. For new research suggests that the rise in cancer over the last century was caused by massive lifestyle changes. The research conducted jointly by the Institute of Cancer Research, Oxford University, and the London School of Tropical Medicine shows that human behaviour influences who gets cancer and who does not. In the 1900s cancer was a rare cause of death, but in modern times it has become one of the major causes of mortality in the developed world. The number of cancer deaths peaked in the 1980s, and is now on the decrease following advertising campaigns to reduce smoking, as well as widespread screening programs, such as cervical smear testing and breast screening. Professor Andrew Swerdlow of the Institute of Cancer Research said: ‘Because the research to find the causes of cancer and to improve treatments has been a long process, often the results are only apparent over several decades. When viewed with this perspective, there are many encouraging signs.’

The Daily Telegraph

Relax And Beat Cancer

Relaxation can be a great boon in the fight against cancer. Cancer patients who relax and try hypnotherapy alongside regular chemotherapy can live nearly three years longer than sufferers’ receiving chemotherapy alone, according to a new study. Researchers measured the survival rates of 63 cancer patients in Scotland and found that 13 years after diagnosis and treatment those who received training in simple relaxation techniques had significantly higher survival rates. All of the patients had cancer of the lymphatic system, known as Hodgkin’s disease or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Survival rates depended on the severity and stage of disease in each patient, but there was an overall improvement in the patient’s life span. Among the complimentary techniques was an exercise in which patients recalled a time and place where they felt at one with the world. The therapies were originally intended to reduce the side effects of radiation, not as a treatment in their own right. The study could have far reaching implications for the treatment of other forms of cancer.

The Times

Epilepsy Responds To Melody

Seizure sufferers should listen to classical music it seems. The great Mozart’s music could help relieve the symptoms of epilepsy, according to new research. Twenty-nine volunteers listened to one of his piano sonatas (K448) while their brainwaves were monitored. Twenty-three experienced a reduction in epileptic activity. The effects stopped as soon as the music finished, but when an eight-year-old girl listened to the music for ten minutes an hour, the number of seizures she suffered fell over the following days. Modern and minimalist music had no effect. Professor John Jenkins of the University of London, who led the study, believes the music affects the disturbed electrical impulses of an epileptic’s brain.

The Observer


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