Scientists in Europe report they were able to diagnose Down syndrome prenatally by giving a simple blood test to pregnant women, an approach that might one day help them avoid the more extensive procedure used now to detect the condition.
The preliminary report published online Sunday in the journal Nature Medicine is the latest of several recent studies that suggest scientists can spot Down syndrome through fetal DNA that has been shed into the mother's bloodstream.Full Story
Patrick Hetzner tried diets and exercise, just about everything short of stomach stapling to lose weight. Nothing worked. Five months ago he tried something new: a stomach pacemaker that curbed his appetite.
Since having it implanted, Hetzner, a 20-year-old Munich mailman, has knocked off more than 10 kilos (22 pounds) from his earlier weight of 104 kilos (229 pounds).Full Story
Adults who take the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen may reduce their risk of getting Parkinson's disease by about 27 percent compared to those who do not, said a study published Wednesday.
"There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, so the possibility that ibuprofen, an existing and relatively non-toxic drug, could help protect against the disease is captivating," said senior author Alberto Ascherio of the Harvard School of Public Health.Full Story
Teenagers and young adults who use cannabis face increased risk of psychosis, research published in the British Medical Journal showed Wednesday.
Experts from Germany, the Netherlands and London's Institute of Psychiatry studied 1,900 people aged between 14 and 24 over a period of eight years.Full Story
A gel that has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in women during vaginal sex has also shown promise toward preventing transmission during anal sex, U.S. researchers said on Monday.
"HIV was significantly inhibited in tissue samples from participants who used tenofovir gel daily for one week compared to tissue from participants who used the placebo gel," the study said.Full Story
Spine surgeon Anders Cohen puts a lot of stock in patients' expectations of pain relief. He prefers to operate only on those who "grab you by the collar and say, `I can't take it anymore.'"
New brain research proves doctors like Cohen are onto something: Pessimism can override the effectiveness of even powerful treatments.Full Story
The more advanced degrees a person has, the lower their blood pressure, a study published online has found.
An analysis of some 4,000 patient records from the 30-year Framingham Offspring Study found that, controlling only for age, women with 17 years or more of education -- a master's degree or doctorate -- had systolic blood pressure readings 3.26 millimeters of mercury lower than female high school drop-outs.Full Story
Most people put one in front of the other as a most basic way to get around, though they often come in handy to kick a ball, ride a bicycle or dance a jig -- maybe even walk a tightrope.
But in Asia, feet are far more than just the two pins that keep us upright and get us from A to B -- they can lead people into a cultural minefield.Full Story
Hot flashes that bedevil many women in menopause might actually be a good thing, depending on when they strike, according to new data from a long-running government study.
Women who had hot flashes at the start of menopause but not later seemed to have a lower risk for heart attack and death than women who never had hot flashes, or those whose symptoms persisted long after menopause began.Full Story
Organ traffickers in China could face the death penalty under a draft law being reviewed by the country's top legislature, state media reported Thursday.
Those convicted of "forced organ removal, forced organ donation or organ removal from juveniles" could face the same punishment as for homicide, which ranges from 10 years in prison to execution, Xinhua news agency said.Full Story