Studies explore possible cure for diabetes

By Andy Coghlan
Posted on May 01, 2011

A pioneering hormone treatment may be the secret to an easy life for diabetics, consigning insulin shots and regular glucose monitoring to the medical history books.Most people associate diabetes with insulin, the pancreatic hormone that dictates how much glucose circulates in blood. Type 1 diabetics have to inject the hormone because they can’t make it themselves.Now, the spotlight... READ MORE

Ignore most health claims on food labels

By Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDM
Posted on April 15, 2011

Q: When the label of a food or supplement says that it supports the immune system, does that mean it will help prevent cancer, or does it refer only to fighting off colds and flu? A: Here’s the confusing part for shoppers: It doesn’t necessarily mean the food or supplement will do either one.A food or supplement company might be able to make a “structure/function... READ MORE

Brewing up a healthier image for coffee

By Laura Janecka
Posted on April 15, 2011

There’s something inexplicable about our relationship with coffee. It percolates through our day from the moment we wake, enlivening our senses and galvanizing us into action. It’s an affair that’s been going on for over 500 years, since the first cafes set up tables in the Middle East.And it’s now gathering steam as quality-obsessed kiosks add conviviality and... READ MORE

Brain ‘pacemakers’ to treat mental illness

By Lauran Neergaard
Posted on April 01, 2011

Call them brain pacemakers — tiny implants that hold promise for fighting tough psychiatric diseases, if scientists can just figure out where to put them in all that gray matter.Deep brain stimulation, or DBS, has proved a powerful way to block the tremors of Parkinson’s disease, working immediately to deliver relief.Blocking mental illness isn’t nearly as easy a task.... READ MORE

Is that test really necessary, doctor?

By Marilynn Marchionne
Posted on April 01, 2011

Orthopedic CT scans, MRIs and other pricey imaging tests are often performed more for the doctor’s benefit than the patient’s, new research confirms.Roughly one-fifth of tests that bone and joint specialists order are because a doctor fears being sued, not because the patient needs them, a first-of-its-kind study in Pennsylvania suggests. The study comes on the heels of a push... READ MORE

New technologies ease everyday tasks

By Barbara Ruben
Posted on March 29, 2011

From easier-to-use keyboards and cell phones to innovative ways to read and listen to books, technology is making it easier to communicate and use the computer. Here are a few new products and services: The MoreKeyboard has larger keys with large print designed to benefit those who are physically challenged, visually impaired or larger-framed. The easy-to-see, raised lettering enables... READ MORE

Five ways to save money at the pharmacy

By Dr. Kenny Lin
Posted on March 29, 2011

With our nation still mired in a deep recession, many of us are having a tough time paying for prescription drugs — especially those for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.In fact, a Consumer Reports survey last year found that 28 percent of Americans have taken drastic steps to cut costs, like not filling their prescriptions, skipping dosages, and cutting pills in... READ MORE

This is your brain on drugs or…music?

By Malcolm Ritter
Posted on March 09, 2011

Whether it’s the Beatles or Beethoven, people like music for the same reason they like eating or having sex: It makes the brain release a chemical that gives pleasure, a new study says.The brain substance is involved both in anticipating a particularly thrilling musical moment and in feeling the rush from it, researchers found.Previous work had already suggested a role for dopamine... READ MORE

Blood test for cancer is becoming reality

By Marilynn Marchione
Posted on March 09, 2011

A blood test so sensitive that it can spot a single cancer cell lurking among a billion healthy ones is moving one step closer to being available at your doctor’s office.Boston scientists who invented the test, and healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, announced in January that they are joining forces to bring it to market. Four big cancer centers also will start studies using the... READ MORE

Why unhealthy habits are so hard to break

By Lauran Neergaard
Posted on February 17, 2011

Uh-oh, the new year is only a month old, and already you’re finding it hard to keep those resolutions to junk the junk food, get off the couch or kick smoking.It might make you feel better to learn there’s a biological reason a lot of our bad habits are so hard to break — they get wired into our brains.That’s not an excuse to give up. Understanding how unhealthy... READ MORE