Author: Editor - Health News

Millennials Increasingly Strive for Perfection

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Perfectionism has reached new heights among young people, a new study suggests. This intense desire to succeed could take a toll on their mental health, the researchers speculated. The findings come from an analysis of data on more than 40,000 American, Canadian and British college students who completed a test that measured three types of perfectionism: the irrational desire to be perfect, perceived pressure from others to be perfect and having unrealistic expectations of others. The study assessed changes in perfectionism over time, from the 1980s to 2016. It found that college students scored much higher in all forms of perfectionism in recent years than they had in the past. For instance, scores indicating an irrational desire to be perfect — also called self-inflicted perfectionism — jumped 10 percent between 1989 and 2016. During this time, scores for external pressure to be perfect increased 33 percent and scores for unrealistic expectations of others jumped 16 percent. Several driving forces may help explain the rise in perfectionism among millennials, according to the study authors. The trend may be linked to social media, they said, because it can cause young people to increasingly compare themselves to others. This could lead to body image issues and social isolation, the researchers cautioned. Perfectionism among young people is also associated with the desire to move up the...

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New Hope for ‘Ringing’ in the Ears

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For people with tinnitus, the persistent sense of ringing in the ears is mildly annoying at best and disabling at worst. But a new device may help ease the phantom noises, researchers report. The experimental device uses precisely timed sound and skin stimulation to target nerve activity in the brain. It quelled the bothersome sounds in lab animals and improved quality of life in a test group of 20 humans, according to University of Michigan researchers. “Animal studies have identified specific nerve cells in the brain, called fusiform cells, that signal phantom sounds to the rest of the brain,” said lead researcher Susan Shore. In someone with tinnitus, fusiform cells increase activity as they normally would in the presence of a real sound, she explained. “These signals are transmitted to the auditory part of the brain and are interpreted as sound when there is no sound stimulus,” said Shore, a professor of otolaryngology, physiology and biomedical engineering. Some 15 percent of Americans suffer from tinnitus. About 2 million can’t work or carry out other daily activities because of the constant ringing or grinding in their ears or the resulting stress it causes, the researchers said in background notes. The problem often stems from exposure to loud noise, or head and neck trauma. The new study shows fusiform cell activity can be tamed...

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Prenatal Vitamins Tied to Lower Autism Risk in Kids, Study Finds

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Taking folic acid and multivitamins during pregnancy could reduce your child’s risk of autism, a new study suggests. Kids were less likely to be diagnosed with autism if their moms took supplements before pregnancy and while they were expecting, according to a study of just over 45,000 Israeli children. “Reduced risk of [autism] in offspring is a consideration for public health policy that may be realized by extended use of folic acid and multivitamin supplements during pregnancy,” the researchers concluded in the report. The international team of scientists, led by Stephen Levine from the University of Haifa in Israel, gathered data on tens of thousands of children born in Israel between 2003 and 2007, and followed their progress until 2015. The team also gathered prescription data, to see whether the kids’ mothers had been prescribed folic acid or multivitamin supplements either prior to or during pregnancy. Women who took supplements prior to pregnancy were 61 percent less likely to have a child diagnosed with autism, compared with moms who didn’t take supplements, the researchers found. In addition, taking supplements during pregnancy was linked to a 73 percent reduced risk of an autism diagnosis, the findings showed. The overall risk of autism remained low, with only 1.3 percent of the children in the study receiving a diagnosis. But these study results suggest that...

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Could Gene Therapy Someday Eliminate HIV?

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Gene therapy may have the potential to eradicate HIV in people infected with the virus, new animal research suggests. The science centers around the use of “chimeric antigen receptor” (CAR) genes. In laboratory work with monkeys, these engineered cells have destroyed HIV-infected cells for more than two years, scientists reported. “Theoretically, the goal is to provide a lifelong immunity to HIV,” said study co-author Scott Kitchen, of the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine. “We’re aiming for a cure,” he said. “And we know that to cure HIV you need an effective immune response, which is what we’re seeing here.” Kitchen is an associate professor of medicine with the division of hematology and oncology. Scientists have been searching for a way to create long-term immunity to HIV, the AIDS-causing virus. Currently, antiretroviral therapy is prescribed to keep HIV under control, but this doesn’t eliminate the virus from the body. Kitchen explained the new strategy this way: “In terms of basic immunology, T-cells are the cells that are largely responsible for our ability to fight off pathogens and get rid of infections in the body. Malignancies. Anything abnormal. “Every T-cell has a unique receptor, or molecule, on it. That receptor allows the cell to recognize a specific target — a bacteria, or fungus or virus. And when it recognizes that target,...

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What’s Your Best Diet for 2018? Experts Rate Them

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 3, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Your New Year’s resolution diet should be based on a well-balanced eating plan that fits your lifestyle, rather than a weird fad replete with food restrictions. That’s according to U.S. News & World Report’s best diet rankings for 2018. The two diets that tied for the top spot — the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet — fit that bill because they feature real food and reasonable, flexible guidelines, experts said. “It’s tasty, it’s sensible, nutritionally sound, and there’s great research that it can help ward off or control a whole host of chronic diseases,” Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News & World Report, said of the Mediterranean Diet. On the other hand, you should avoid fad diets that require you to adopt severe restrictions. The hot new Keto Diet got a raspberry from the U.S. News’ panel of nutrition experts, tying for last on the list. The Keto Diet requires people to severely restrict their carbohydrate intake while indulging in high-fat foods, a plan that is simply not sustainable, Haupt said. “It really is the diet of the moment, but it can be a pretty extreme plan. There’s a very strict carb limit. Our experts say it’s not necessary to be so extreme or restrictive,” Haupt said. “One expert said if a diet recommends snacking on bacon,...

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