Medicine

Active youth linked to lower risk for cognitive decline

A new study analyzing physical activity at different phases of life for more than 9,000 elderly women finds that routine exercise at any age was associated with a reduced risk for cognitive decline or dementia, but that regular physical activity during teenage years was most strongly linked to a lower risk for mental deterioration later …

How Parental Smoking Affects Kids

There’s plenty of data showing how harmful smoking can be, and that goes for both smokers and the people around them. Two studies published in Pediatrics point out how indirect the effects can be. A study of paternal smoking in Hong Kong finds that children whose fathers smoke are heavier at seven and 11 years old than their …

Report: fetus cannot feel pain before 24 weeks

A new report from the U.K.’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) concludes that, before 24 weeks, nerve endings in the brains of fetuses aren’t sufficiently developed to experience pain. The findings, based on a review of recent studies examining fetal development and capacity for pain, undermine the argument for a …

A portable eye test — using a cell phone?

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab have come up with a way to test vision that doesn’t involve any hefty optometry equipment or even a visit to the eye doctor. A small, simple plastic device they’ve developed, when attached to the screen of a cell phone, can scan the eye and determine the appropriate …

Healthcare: U.S. spends more, but gets less

A new report from the Commonwealth Fund once again highlights the discrepancy between U.S. spending on healthcare and the quality of that care. The new analysis compares spending and health outcomes of seven industrialized nations: the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia. And the authors find that, …

When to Stop Breastfeeding

There are many good reasons for new mothers to breastfeed their infants —studies have shown that babies digest mother’s milk better than formula, and that breast milk can build up babies’ immune systems and protect them from infection, leading to better health overall.  Breast milk is full of antibodies and other agents that …

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