Photo: A mom with her puppies; Copyright: The Seeing Eye

Successful guide dogs have 'tough love' moms, study finds


Much has been written on the pitfalls of being a helicopter parent, one who insulates children from adversity rather than encouraging their independence. A new study seems to back up this finding - in dogs. Researchers showed that doting mothers seem to handicap their puppies, in this case reducing their likelihood of successfully completing a training program to become guide dogs.
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Photo: Young man training with exercise band beeing assisted by a female physiotherapist; Copyright: Popov

Resistance training may slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis


In the past, multiple sclerosis patients were advised not to exercise for fear of exacerbating the illness. However, it is now known that physical training can relieve many of the symptoms, including the excessive fatigue and mobility impairments that are often seen. New research now shows that resistance training may protect the nervous system and thus slow the progression of the disease.
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Photo: A young man with earphones; Copyright:örn Alberts

People with autism are less surprised by the unexpected


Adults with autism may overestimate the volatility of the world around them, finds a new UCL study published in Nature Neuroscience.
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Photo: A volunteer performs a simulated wheelchair turning task; Copyright: Eric Weston, Ohio State University

When push comes to injury: What pushing a wheelchair does to your back


When you push someone in a wheelchair, you may be hurting your back without knowing it. Researchers at The Ohio State University Spine Research Institute measured the forces on the spine caused by pushing a wheelchair, and discovered that people aren't good at judging when they're exerting forces strong enough to hurt their back.
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Photo: A man older than 100 years; Copyright: Marion Schütt, synopsisfilm

A changing society – 100 is the new 80


Researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have been studying illness trajectories in centenarians during the final years of their lives. According to their findings, people who died aged 100 or older suffered fewer diseases than those who died aged 90 to 99, or 80 to 89. The findings of this study have been published in The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.
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Photo: An elderly man is riding an exercise bike; Copyright: Franz

How physical exercise can prevent dementia


Numerous studies have shown that physical exercise seems beneficial in the prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia in old age. Now researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt have explored in one of the first studies worldwide how exercise affects brain metabolism.
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Photo: Elderly man sitting at the bed of his wife; Copyright:

Caregiving needs increase as older adults approach the end of life


Researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have found that dying adults received almost twice as many hours of help per week compared to those not at the end of life, and that end-of-life caregivers were significantly more likely to report physical difficulty related to giving care.
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Photo: Blood sugar monitoring device; Copyright:

Diabetes complications are a risk factor for repeat hospitalizations


People who were previously hospitalized for severe hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia are at highest risk for recurrent dysglycemic episodes in the short term (within 30 days of the prior episode) and over the long term.
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Photo: Man during a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS); Copyright: MPI CBS

First aid in the brain: When language suddenly fails


Talking to each other is a complex matter. While chatting we have to recognise single words and phrases out of a flood of sounds. In parallel we have to think about an answer and to plan the movements of our lips and tongue. Every single step, from analysing the words to producing the language, requires a range of brain areas to work together.
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Photo: Several dices with letters on them, forming the word

Aphasia recovery via speech therapy related to structural plasticity of the ventral stream


Language disturbances (aphasia) are common after stroke and can manifest as difficulty identifying the correct word to use (semantic problems) and/or difficulty pronouncing words (phonemic problems). Speech therapy has long been a standard of post-stroke care and can improve aphasia.
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Photo: Elderly man lying on the floor after falling; Copyright: American College of Emergency Physicians

Falls lead to declines in seniors


More than half of elderly patients (age 65 and older) who visited an emergency department because of injuries sustained in a fall suffered adverse events - including additional falls, hospitalization and death - within 6 months. The results of a study examining how risk factors predict recurrent falls and adverse events were published online now.
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Photo: A person of color with an injection; Copyright: Popov

Diabetes increasing at alarming rates in sub-Saharan Africa


Sub-Saharan Africa is in the midst of a rapidly expanding diabetes epidemic that could have devastating health and economic consequences for the region unless quick and decisive action is taken to turn the tide, according to a major new report from a Lancet commission co-led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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Photo: an elderly happy woman; Copyright:

Well-being in later life: the mind plays an important role


Well-being in later life is largely dependent on psychosocial factors. Physical impairments tend to play a secondary role, as scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have discovered. The results of their recent study are published in "BMC Geriatrics".
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Photo: an elderly farmer; Copyright:

Research group focuses on economics of transportation needs for rural elderly


A multidisciplinary team of researchers is examining economic issues associated with providing transportation for the rural elderly and other socially disadvantaged populations.
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Photo: Three boys standing in a cowshed; Copyright: University of Zurich

How cats and cows protect farm children from asthma


It is a known fact that microbes on farms protect children from asthma and allergies. But even non-microbial molecules can have a protective effect: Immunologists from the University of Zurich have shown that a sialic acid found in farm animals is effective against inflammation of lung tissue. This study opens up a wide variety of perspectives for the prevention of allergies.
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Photo: The bandage reveals its measurings under UV light; Copyright: Empa/CSEM

Bandage with a voice


A novel bandage alerts the nursing staff as soon as a wound starts healing badly. Sensors incorporated into the base material glow with a different intensity if the wound’s pH level changes. This way even chronic wounds could be monitored at home.
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Photo: A nurse measuring the blood pressure of a patient in a nursing home; Copyright: Cervo

Serious pain afflicts a third of nursing home residents in last six months of life


Many nursing home residents have a fairly pain-free experience until the end of life, but at least a third suffer persistent, significant pain during their last six months, according to a new study from the University of Manitoba, University of British Columbia and University of Alberta that could have implications for end-of-life care in Canada.
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Photo: Comparison between sighted and blind athletes who just lost a match for a medal; Copyright: Bob Willingham

Do blind people express their emotions in the same way as people who can see?


Facial expressions play a powerful role in social interactions from birth to adulthood. Fear, joy, anger - all our emotions are articulated and understood thanks to universal codes. Common sense sees this enterprise as an act of imitation. But if this is the case, does the same hold true for people who were born blind? Do they show their emotions in the same way?
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Image: talking to a doctor about cost; Copyright: University of Michigan

Older Americans don't get - or seek - enough help from doctors & pharmacists on drug costs


The majority of Americans over age 50 take two or more prescription medicines to prevent or treat health problems, and many of them say the cost weighs on their budget, a new poll finds.
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Photo: a woman sitting on a bench and checking on her insulin; Copyright:

Diabetes patients still produce insulin


A 'brain training' game developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge could help improve the memory of patients in the very earliest stages of dementia, suggests a study published in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.
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Photo: a man sitting on his veranda, reading the newspaper and drinking his coffee; Copyright:

Leisure activities lower blood pressure in Alzheimer's caregivers


Going for a walk outside, reading, listening to music - these and other enjoyable activities can reduce blood pressure for elderly caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer's disease, suggests a study published by Wolters Kluwer.
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Photo: hands of an elderly person are holding a rosary; Copyright:

Older people who feel close to God have well-being that grows with frequent prayer


As people grow older, those who are securely attached to God are more likely to have a sense of well-being - and the more frequently they pray, the greater that feeling, according to a Baylor University study. But those who feel more distant from God do not receive the same benefit.
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Photo: One person ist wearing the Wearable and another person is holding it in his hand; Copyright: University of Texas at Dallas

Bioengineers create wearable diagnostic biosensor for diabetes monitoring


Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas are getting more out of the sweat they've put into their work on a wearable diagnostic tool that measures three diabetes-related compounds in microscopic amounts of perspiration.
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Photo: Hand of an elderly person petting a therapy dog; Copyright: Dominick Reuter for Tufts University

Could therapy animal visitation pose health risks at patient facilities?


A survey of United States hospitals, eldercare facilities and therapy animal organizations revealed their health and safety policies for therapy animal visits varied widely, with many not following recommended guidelines for animal visitation.
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