‘Hearing Sound’ in Schizophrenia can Trace Specific Brain Areas

'Hearing Voices' in Schizophrenia May Trace to Specific Brain Region

 

The study involved 59 patients with schizophrenia who said they heard voices that other people could not perceive. The people in the study answered questions about the nature of these voices, including whether the voices were friendly or threatening, happened frequently or only occasionally, or were “internal” (perceived as coming from inside a patient’s head) or “external” (perceived as coming from outside a patient’s head). Based on the participants’ answers, the individuals were given an “auditory hallucinations” score, with higher scores indicating more-severe hallucinations.

The researchers then used a therapy called high-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which sends magnetic pulses through a person’s scalp to stimulate brain cells. The scientists targeted a specific part of the brain that is linked with people’s understanding and production of language, within an area known as the temporal lobe. [10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Brain]

Patients were randomly assigned to receive either TMS or a “sham” treatment that was not expected to have an effect. Each group underwent two sessions of their treatment a

Male bladder stones are almost as big as ostrich eggs. Why so?

The panel on the left shows a scan of the man’s abdomen. The large white circle is the neobladder stone, and above it, a black arrow points to another stone in the man’s left ureter. The middle panel shows the man’s abdomen from the side, and the panel on the right shows the egg-shaped neobladder stone after it was surgically removed.

Credit: The New England Journal of Medicine ©2017When a man in California went to the hospital because of bladder problems, doctors found a large reason for his pain: a mineral stone nearly the size of an ostrich egg, according to a new report of the case.

The 64-year-old man went to the emergency room because he had pain in his left side and trouble urinating. His doctors found an egg-shapedbladder stone that weighed a whopping 1.7 lbs. (770 grams) and measured 4.7 inches by 3.7 inches by 3 inches (12 by 9.5 by 7.5 centimeters), according to the report. (For reference, a typical ostrich egg weighs about 3 lbs., or 1,360 grams.) [Here’s

Young People Facing Risk of Stroke with Methamphetamine Use

Young People Face Stroke Risk with Methamphetamine Use Using methamphetamines may increase the risk of stroke among young people, according to a new review.

Methamphetamine use was linked most strongly to a type of stroke caused by bleeding in the brain, known as a hemorrhagic stroke, as opposed to ischemic stroke, which is caused by blood clots.

What’s more, strokes among young methamphetamine users tend to be deadlier than strokes among young people in general, the review found.

Given the increasing use of methamphetamine worldwide, the findings are cause for concern, the researchers said.

“With the use of methamphetamine increasing, particularly more potent forms, there is a growing burden of methamphetamine-related disease and harms, particularly among young people,” the researchers wrote in the Aug. 23 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. In fact, it’s likely that methamphetamine abuse is contributing to the increase in the rate of stroke among young people that has been seen in recent decades, the researchers said. [9 Weird Ways You Can Test Positive for Drugs]

In the review, the researchers analyzed data from

How Your Heights Can Affect Increase Your Blood Clot Risk

Your height may be linked to your risk of blood clots: A new study from Sweden found that taller men and women were more likely to develop blood clots in their veins than their shorter counterparts were.

Compared with men who were taller than 6 feet 2 inches (190 centimeters), men who were shorter than 5 feet 3 inches (160 cm) were 65 percent less likely to develop a blood clot in their veins, according to the study. And compared with women taller than 6 feet (185 cm), woman who were shorter than 5 feet 1 inch (155 cm) were 69 percent less likely to develop a venous blood clot.

Venous blood clots, or “venous thromboembolisms,” are blood clots that start in a person’s veins, according to the American Heart Association(AHA). One type of venous blood clot is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and it often forms in the vein of a person’s leg. If a DVT breaks free from a person’s vein, it can travel to the individual’s lungs and get stuck, causing the second type of venous blood clot, a pulmonary embolism. These embolisms can be deadly. [5 Surprising Ways to Be Heart Healthy]

PSA Playback Can Reduce Deaths of Prostate Cancer

For men approaching 50 years old, deciding whether or not to be screened for prostate cancer can be confusing: Information about a screening test — called the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test — is riddled with conflicting advice.

The test measures the blood level of the protein PSA, which is produced by cells in the prostate gland. Abnormally high levels of PSA can mean that a man has prostate cancer, but not always. Some organizations, such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (an expert panel that advises the government) do not recommend that men undergo routine screenings with the PSA test. But others, including the American Cancer Society, recommend that men discuss the test with their doctor.

Now, a new analysis of conflicting findings from two of the largest prostrate screening trials conducted suggests that PSA testing does lead to a lower risk of death from prostate cancer. These results should reduce uncertainty in an area of medicine where patients, doctors and policymakers have many questions, and could help raise awareness about who is best-suited for the blood test, said senior study author Ruth Etzioni, a biostatistician at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

How Zika Virus Can Help Combat Brain Cancer

The Zika virus can be a serious health threat, especially to unborn children, but now researchers say the virus itself could help treat another devastating illness — brain cancer.

A new study suggests that the same properties that make Zika a dangerous virus for unborn children could be useful in treating brain cancer in adults. The study was done in lab dishes and animals, and much more research is needed before it could be tested in humans.

It’s thought that the Zika virus naturally targets and kills brain stem cells, which are abundant in fetal brains during development. As a consequence, women infected with Zika virus during pregnancy are at increased risk of giving birth to children with neurological problems. But adults have fewer active stem cells in their brains, and as a result, the effect of Zika on adult brains is usually much less severe, the researchers said.

What’s more, the growth of certain brain cancers — including often-lethal glioblastomas — may be driven by cancer stem cells that divide and give rise to other tumor cells. These glioblastoma stem cells are typically resistant to therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation, and may fuel

Lack of Sleep May Cause, Not Symptoms, Mental Health Conditions

An online therapy program designed to treat insomnia also appears to reduce levels of anxiety and depression, a new study from the United Kingdom finds.

Sleep problems are common in people who also have mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. In fact, sleep issues are often thought to be a symptom of these other issues, according to the study. But the new findings suggest that the opposite may be true: Some mental health conditions may stem from a lack of sleep.

“How well we sleep might actually play a role in our mental health,” lead study author Daniel Freeman, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Oxford, said in a statement. “If you can sort out your sleep, you could also be taking a significant step forward in tackling a wide range of psychological and emotional problems.” [Get Better Sleep in 2017]

The new study, which was published today (Sept. 6) in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry, included more than 3,700 British college students (with an average age of 24) who had insomnia. All participants filled out questionnaires about their sleep and other mental health conditions — including paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety and

Is ‘Chicken Sashimi’ Safe to Consume?

It’s not uncommon to find raw foods on a restaurant menu — think sushi or steak tartare — but if you see uncooked poultry as an option the next time you’re dining out, you may want to opt for something else.

Several restaurants in the United States are serving up a raw chicken dish that’s referred to as either chicken sashimi or chicken tartare, according to Food & Wine Magazine. Though the “specialty” hasn’t caught on much in the U.S., it’s more widely available in Japan.

But if you’re wondering whether raw chicken served in a restaurant has suddenly become safe to eat, the answer is still no. [Top 7 Germs in Your Food That Make You Sick]

Eating chicken sashimi puts a person at a “pretty high risk” of getting an infection caused by Campylobacter or Salmonella, two types of bacteria that cause food poisoning, said Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist and an associate professor at North Carolina State University.

“There’s a pretty good chance that one or both of these pathogens are on/in the chicken meat itself,” Chapman told Live Science in an email.

Campylobacter infections are one of the

Marijuana with ‘CBD’ May Pose Less Risk to Long-Term Users

Marijuana with relatively high levels of a compound called cannabidiolmay be less risky to smoke over the long term, because this ingredient may counteract some of the drug’s harmful effects, according to a new study in mice.

The study found that adolescent mice injected with frequent doses oftetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the ingredient in marijuana that produces a “high” — showed signs of impaired memory and increased anxiety over the long term. But mice that received daily doses of THC combined with an equal amount of cannabidiol (CBD) did not experience these negative effects.

The study “suggests that strains of cannabis with similar levels of CBD and THC would pose significantly less long-term risk due to CBD’s protective effect against THC,” study author Dr. Ken Mackie, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, said in a statement.

Over the last several decades, THC levels in marijuana used in the United States have increased 300 percent, while levels of CBD in marijuana have decreased, the researchers said. But the long-term effects of exposure to THC and CBD need to be studied further, they said. [25 Odd Facts About Marijuana]

Studies

Scientists Move One Step More Near

What if you could reap the benefits of exercise without moving a muscle? A new study from England has taken an important step toward understanding how the human body senses when it’s exercising and developing a potential way to flip this “switch” without breaking a sweat.

But don’t cancel your gym membership just yet: The new study was done in mice, and much more research is needed to explore the effects in humans.

During exercise, a person’s heart rate increases, pumping more blood throughout the body. But this increased blood flow doesn’t reach all parts of a person’s body equally; more blood goes to a person’s skeletal muscles and brain, and less goes to internal organs such as the stomach and intestines. [The 4 Types of Exercise You Need to Be Healthy]

What wasn’t clear, however, was how the body knew to divert blood from one part of the body to another during exercise, said senior study author David Beech, a professor of cardiovascular science at the University of Leeds in England.

In the new study, the researchers identified a protein in mice that appears to do just that: detect when exercise is happening

Rabbits, Dogs, Humans, How Can One Bacteria Spread Infections

A woman in Arizona died from an infection called rabbit fever, despite never coming into contact with any rabbits, according to a recent report of the woman’s case.

The 73-year-old woman first got sick on June 6, 2016, and died five days later from severe breathing problems, according to a report published today (Aug. 24) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It wasn’t until June 17 of that year, however, when the results of a blood test came back, that doctors learned the woman had rabbit fever, which is also called tularemia. [10 Bizarre Diseases You Can Get Outdoors]

Rabbit fever is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, according to the report. Symptoms typically start three to five days after exposure to the bacteria and can include fever, skin lesions, difficulty breathing and diarrhea. Though the infection can be deadly, most infections can be treated with antibiotics, according to the CDC.

People can get rabbit fever through insect bites, coming into contact with an infected animal or inhaling the bacteria.

Though the woman lived in a semirural area, she told doctors that she didn’t participate in outdoor activities,

Four Weeks Pregnant, What to Expect

During the fourth week of your pregnancy (measured from the first day of your last period), you may begin to have positive results on a home pregnancy test. For the sake of accuracy, it’s best to wait until the end of the first week after a missed period to take the test, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office on Women’s Health.

If the test comes back positive, congratulations! You should make an appointment to see your health care provider to confirm your pregnancy with a blood test and arrange a prenatal checkup. If the results are negative, take another test at five weeks because you may have taken the test too early for it to show a positive result.

Home pregnancy tests measure the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine, a hormone that is produced by the placenta when a woman is pregnant. The hormone begins to appear shortly after the embryo attaches to the lining of the uterus, and hCG levels increase rapidly in early pregnancy.

Most practitioners don’t see pregnant women until they are eight weeks along, so you may need to wait a few

How Floods Can Endanger Our Health

Houston and other parts of southeast Texas are in the midst of historic flooding from Harvey, now a tropical storm, with heavy rain still expected to batter the region in the coming days. How does flooding put people’s health at risk?

The public health implications run deeper than the risk of injury and drowning during a flood, though these are a serious concern. [In Photos: Hurricane Harvey Takes Aim at Texas]

Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes a slew of risks related to floodwater and standing water, including wound infections and the spread of infectious diseases and chemicals in the water.

Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Tennessee, said that the biggest concerns during and after a flood are injuries, access to medical care and providing people with clean water to drink.

Safe water is more important than food, Schaffner told Live Science. “Lack of food for a period of time is not a crisis,” but lack of water can lead to serious dehydration in the very young and the very old, he said.

People’s health

FDA Moves Forward on Ecstasy Material Testing for PTSD

The active ingredient in the drug ecstasy passed an important hurdle on the path to becoming a prescription drug for treating post-traumatic stress disorder.

The ingredient, MDMA, was granted “Breakthrough Therapy Designation” status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a statement released Aug. 26 by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a nonprofit organization that advocates for medical research on psychedelic substances.

The Breakthrough Therapy Designation term means that the FDA will “expedite the development and review” of the drug. The designation is given to those drugs that are intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition; such drugs also present preliminary clinical evidence indicating that the drug may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies, according to the FDA.

“By granting Breakthrough Therapy Designation, the FDA has agreed that this treatment may have a meaningful advantage and greater compliance over available medications for PTSD,” according to the MAPS statement.

MAPS has funded clinical trials looking into the use of MDMA along with psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD. With the new designation from the FDA, the association will move forward with Phase 3 clinical trials and plans

AI Can Predict Alzheimer’s Disease Two Years Ahead

An artificial-intelligence-driven algorithm can recognize the early signs of dementia in brain scans, and may accurately predict who will developAlzheimer’s disease up to two years in advance, a new study finds.

The algorithm — which accurately predicted probable Alzheimer’s disease 84 percent of the time — could be particularly useful in selecting patients for clinical trials for drugs intended to delay disease onset, said lead study author Sulantha Sanjeewa, a computer scientist at McGill University in Canada.

“If you can tell from a group of of individuals who is the one that will develop the disease, one can better test new medications that could be capable of preventing the disease,” said co-lead study author Dr. Pedro Rosa-Neto, an associate professor of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry, also at McGill University. [6 Big Mysteries of Alzheimer’s Disease]

The technology is still in its early stages, but the findings suggest that AI analysis of brain scans could offer better results than relying on humans alone, Rosa-Neto told Live Science.

The findings are detailed in a new study, which was published online in July in the journal Neurobiology of Aging.

Developing drugs that slow the onset of

How Fast Do You Go? The Answer You Can Predict The Risk Of Your Heart Disease Death

A simple question — how fast do you walk? — may help researchers determine who has a higher risk of death from heart disease, a new study from the United Kingdom suggests.

The study found that middle-age adults who said they typically walk at a slow pace were about twice as likely to die from heart disease during the study period, compared with those who said they walk at a brisk pace. The findings held even after the researchers accounted for factors that could affect the results, such as people’s exercise habits, their diets, and whether they smoked or drank alcohol.

The study suggests that “a simple, self-reported measure of slow walking pace” would help doctors determine people’s risk of death from heart disease, the researchers wrote in the Aug. 21 issue of the European Heart Journal. [Top 10 Amazing Facts About Your Heart]

For the study, the researchers analyzed information from more than 420,000 middle-age adults in the United Kingdom, who were followed for about six years. None of the participants had heart disease at the time they entered the study. Participants were asked to rate their usualwalking pace as “slow,” “steady/average” or “brisk.”

Magnetic Fields Can Remotely Control Cells in Mice

Using magnetic fields, scientists can activate specific brain cells in mice and make them run, spin and freeze, new research shows.

This could help scientists pinpoint the specific brain circuits animals use for certain behaviors, which could in turn help scientists pinpoint with greater accuracy which brain areas are involved in those same behaviors in humans, said Arnd Pralle, a biophysicist at the University at Buffalo in New York.

The main goal is to develop tools that can help scientists study the brains of laboratory animals to see how they encode emotions and behaviors, Pralle told Live Science. “We can translate a lot of that to human brains,” he added. [Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind]

Scientists have used implanted electrodes to control the movement and thoughts of monkeys, while others have genetically engineered brain circuits that turn on with a beam of laser light. Brain implants have even allowed one monkey to control the movements of another, a 2014 experiment found. However, those methods involve either implanting electrodes into the brain or hard-wiring a bulky cable into the brain. But those procedures can do damage to the animals, and essentially

Lead Poisoning Caused by ‘Homeopathic Magnetic’ Bracelet

An infant girl in Connecticut developed lead poisoning after wearing — and chewing on — a bracelet made with lead beads, according to a new report of the child’s case.

Doctors discovered that the 9-month-old had abnormally high bloodlead levels during a routine checkup. Her blood lead level was 41 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL); anything over 5 ug/dL is considered abnormal, according to the report, published today (Aug. 31) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Health investigators visited the infant’s home, and found two windows with peeling lead-based paint. However, the infant wouldn’t have been able to reach these areas, according to the report. In addition, the girl’s three siblings, who were between ages 3 and 5, had blood lead levels of less than 3 ug/dL, suggesting that the peeling paint wasn’t the source of the lead poisoning. [9 Weird Ways Kids Can Get Hurt]

Instead, investigators focused on a handmade bracelet the parents had given the infant. The bracelet was a “homeopathic magnetic hematite healing bracelet” that the parents purchased from an artisan at a local fair. The parents had given the infant the bracelet for “teething-related discomfort,” the report said.

Stages of Pregnancy

For a pregnant woman, feeling a new life developing inside her body is an amazing experience, even though she may not always feel her best at some points along the way.

Pregnancy can be different from woman to woman, and even for the same mother from one pregnancy to the next. Some symptoms of pregnancy last for several weeks or months, while other discomforts are temporary or don’t affect all women.

“Pregnancy is a long, 10-month journey,” said Dr. Draion Burch, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Magee-Womens Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

A normal pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks, counting from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period, which is about two weeks before conception actually occurs.

Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. Each of these periods lasts between 12 and 13 weeks.

During each trimester, changes take place in a pregnant woman’s body as well as in the developing fetus, and a summary of these changes will be described below.

About two weeks after a woman has her period, she ovulates and her ovaries release one mature egg. The egg

How Zika Virus Can Help Combat Brain Cancer

The Zika virus can be a serious health threat, especially to unborn children, but now researchers say the virus itself could help treat another devastating illness — brain cancer.

A new study suggests that the same properties that make Zika a dangerous virus for unborn children could be useful in treating brain cancer in adults. The study was done in lab dishes and animals, and much more research is needed before it could be tested in humans.

It’s thought that the Zika virus naturally targets and kills brain stem cells, which are abundant in fetal brains during development. As a consequence, women infected with Zika virus during pregnancy are at increased risk of giving birth to children with neurological problems. But adults have fewer active stem cells in their brains, and as a result, the effect of Zika on adult brains is usually much less severe, the researchers said.

What’s more, the growth of certain brain cancers — including often-lethal glioblastomas — may be driven by cancer stem cells that divide and give rise to other tumor cells. These glioblastoma stem cells are typically resistant to therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation, and may fuel