The coronavirus pandemic has dominated the headlines and our daily lives for most of this year. Medical News Today have covered this fast-moving, complex story with live updates on the latest news, interviews with experts, and an ongoing investigation into the deep racial disparities that COVID-19 has helped unmask.
However, this has not stopped us from publishing hundreds of fascinating stories on a myriad of other topics.
This week, we reported on the long-term cognitive benefits of playing video games (nobody tell my 12-year-old), the link between thunderstorms and an increased number of emergency room visits, and how simple changes to your lifestyle and diet could ward off dementia.
We also look at a new light therapy for people with migraine, which has been tested in humans for the first time, and a study that saw stem cell implantation restore motor function in mice with Parkinsons disease.
Finally, we look at the psychology of voting (and not voting) and news from Germany about how even a gentle 10-minute massage can bring about lasting relaxation.
Below are 10 recent stories that you may have missed amid all the COVID-19 fervor.
Good news for gamers, this week, with our report on new research that has found a link between video games and cognition. The results suggest that video games may induce cognitive changes that last for years after people have stopped playing.
Video games are a perfect recipe for strengthening our cognitive skills, almost without our noticing, says the lead author of the study, Dr. Marc Palaus.
Learn more here.
Our detailed report on this extremely rare, very serious congenital condition was read by over 100,000 visitors this week, making it our most-viewed new article.
Mermaid syndrome, or sirenomelia, was first described in the medical literature of the 15th century. It is called mermaid syndrome because the newborn babys legs are fused. Our article looks at the causes, treatments, and care techniques, as well as possible risk factors and the outlook for babies with this syndrome.
Learn more here.
There was also great interest in our coverage of new research that may help both the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimers disease. Nearly 4,000 readers spent, on average, over 6 minutes with this article.
Scientists at the Instituto de Neurociencias de Alicante, in Spain, identified differences in how the brains of people with Alzheimers chemically label a key protein, called the amyloid precursor protein, with sugars.
Finding this difference in the proteins sugar labeling, or glycosylation, could lead to the development of a new diagnostic test for Alzheimers disease. In the longer term, it may even inspire new treatments.
Learn more here.
This week, MNT reported on a possible link between weather conditions and the number of older adults visiting emergency rooms with respiratory issues. Over the 14-year period covered in their study, the researchers found 52,000 additional visits to emergency rooms on the days to either side of a significant thunderstorm.
Its thought that climate change will cause more intense thunderstorms of the type identified in this study. Respiratory problems spurred by an increase in temperature and particulate matter caused by storms could result in many more older people seeking medical assistance, particularly if they have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Learn more here.
Changing the diet and increasing physical activity levels can reduce the risk of developing dementia, even in older people, after a diagnosis of cognitive decline. That was the conclusion of a proof-of-concept study covered by MNT this week.
The changes proposed in the new study, led by a team from The Australian National University, in Canberra, are relatively easy to adopt and inexpensive to follow, making this approach to preventing dementia a promising option for many older people.
With the right intervention, people experiencing cognitive decline may retain sufficient neuroplasticity for their brain to bounce back from decline, says Mitchell McMaster, the studys lead author.
Learn more here.
Migraine usually involves moderate-to-severe headaches, which may accompany other symptoms that can be debilitating, such as visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and extreme sensitivity to sound and light.
Pain relief medications are not always effective and often cause unpleasant side effects. Light therapy, however, offers the promise of relief without a dependence upon drugs.
This week, MNT reported on new research that suggests that exposure to green light of a particular wavelength and brightness may relieve migraine headaches just as effectively as drugs.
The results have already been demonstrated in mice, and this new study represents the first time a clinical trial of green light therapy in humans has produced a significant improvement in the frequency of migraine headaches.
Learn more here.
In a fascinating study, covered this week by MNT, researches found that the type of neurons transplanted into the brain, rather than their location, was the key to restoring brain health and movement in mice with Parkinsons disease.
Within 45 months, the dopamine-producing stem cells implanted in this study made connections with the area of the brain involved in coordinating movement.
However, the researchers caution that the greater distances between brain areas in humans may make it more difficult for implanted stem cells to make these connections and restore movement in the same way.
Learn more here.
A diet of junk food in your teens and early 20s may contribute to serious health problems decades later, even if your diet improves in the meantime. This was the conclusion of new research that we covered this week.
The authors argue that this evidence supports the prescription of lipid-lowering drugs, like statins, in people aged 2039 years as well as earlier interventions to improve dietary and lifestyle choices if doctors detect high cholesterol.
Learn more here.
In recent weeks, MNT has published a number of articles on health and the 2020 election, covering topics like the mental health benefits of voting, advice on how to vote safely, and how health influences voting behavior.
In this Special Feature, we look at voter apathy and some of the factors that may influence the psychology of voting. We ask: Who votes, who does not, and why might this be?
Learn more here.
Finally in this weeks Recovery Room, weve found another reason to unwind with a massage. Psychologists at the University of Konstanz, in Germany, have found that a 10-minute massage measurably increases relaxation.
The researchers divided participants into three groups. One received a moderately intense 10-minute massage designed to activate the stress-relieving parasympathetic nervous system. The second group received a softer massage, and the third group was asked to sit at a table and relax for 10 minutes, no massage included.
All of the participants reported feeling less stressed and more relaxed after the tests, but heart rate variability (HRV), a physiological measure of relaxation, was much higher in those who had received a massage. The team now plans to measure the benefits of other relaxation techniques, such as meditation and breathing exercises, using HRV as their guide.
Learn more here.
We hope these have provided a taste of the stories that we cover at MNT. We will be back with a new selection next week.
We publish hundreds of news stories and features every month. Here are some upcoming articles that may pique our readers interest:
- Fasting for Navratri? Here are some healthy and safe ways in which you can lose weight - The Indian Express - October 24th, 2020
- Freezing and Thawing Fresh Food: 8 Dos and Don'ts - Everyday Health - October 24th, 2020
- The 6 Types of Foods to Avoid With Ulcerative Colitis - Self - October 24th, 2020
- Brighter Bites Receives Walmart Foundation Grant to Expand Access to Fresh Produce and Nutrition Education Across Schools this Fall - PerishableNews - October 24th, 2020
- Tecate Pairs with Tamales in a Holiday Promotion Marking Mexican American Family Tradition - Abasto, Food and Beverage Industry News - October 24th, 2020
- 5 health benefits of aloe vera, from healing sunburn and reducing acne to helping with digestion - Insider - INSIDER - October 24th, 2020
- OPINION | Can tea really lower your blood sugar? - Health24 - October 24th, 2020
- 5 critical steps you can take to protect yourself from coronavirus and other infectious diseases - Times Now - October 24th, 2020
- Is intermittent fasting bad for you? These are the benefits and drawbacks of restrictive diets - and the healthiest way to lose weight explained - The... - October 21st, 2020
- Navratri Fasting Tips: 9 Expert-Recommended Foods That You Can Have Guilt-Free - NDTV - October 21st, 2020
- Tips to fast safely during this coronavirus pandemic - TheHealthSite - October 21st, 2020
- Everything you need to know about the diets loved by Zara McDermott, Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow - OK! magazine - October 21st, 2020
- Covid-19: Eating in the office cafeteria? Keep these pointers in mind - The Indian Express - October 21st, 2020
- Losing weight with fasting - Know what to eat during Navratri, tips, recipe to fast safely - Times Now - October 18th, 2020
- 9 of the best restaurants in Central Pa. for indoor dining during the pandemic: Mimis picks - PennLive - October 18th, 2020
- JODY HOLTON The doctor wants an A1C Test. What is it and why? - Port Arthur News - The Port Arthur News - October 17th, 2020
- Harriette Cole: Im just out with my girls. Why doesnt he trust me? - The Mercury News - October 17th, 2020
- Navratri 2020: Puja timings, vrat tithi and foods! - Times of India - October 17th, 2020
- Preventing hidden hunger in the time of pandemic - Al Jazeera English - October 17th, 2020
- Artist Gina Adams exhibition, titled Its Honor is Hereby Pledged, on display at UNCPs A.D. Gallery - The Robesonian - October 17th, 2020
- Boyfriend may have trust issues - The Times and Democrat - October 16th, 2020
- 5 Things To Know On World Food Day 2020 In Arlington Heights - Arlington Heights, IL Patch - October 16th, 2020
- 5 Things To Know On World Food Day 2020 In New York - Yorktown, NY Patch - October 16th, 2020
- RECALL: 18 Brands of Dog Food Recalled by FDA Over Toxin Concerns - ourcommunitynow.com - October 16th, 2020
- Were We Mentally Ready for COVID-19? Why It's Time to Take Behavioral Health Seriously - - HIT Consultant - October 16th, 2020
- Oct. 14 COVID-19 update: 12 best strategies to stay healthy this fall and winter - Prescott Daily Courier - October 16th, 2020
- Gallbladder and Alcohol Consumption: What to Know - Healthline - October 16th, 2020
- What is intermittent fasting? Simple tips to do it safely - DNA India - October 7th, 2020
- Jenna Dewan Nails Her Response to Fans Asking for Her Postpartum Diet and Fitness Routine - E! Online - October 7th, 2020
- Food for thought: Breast cancer and nutrition - Coastal Courier - October 7th, 2020
- What liposuction is, and why it can make you thinner, but not thin - ZME Science - October 7th, 2020
- Diabetes And Covid-19: Expert Tips And Full-Day Diet Plan For Diabetics - NDTV Food - October 7th, 2020
- Quick Breakfast Ideas: Prepare This Avocado Toast To Get A Dash Of Protein, Fibre And Good Fats - NDTV - October 7th, 2020
- Study Debunks Claim That This Popular Food Causes Inflammation - KYR News - October 7th, 2020
- The Top 10 Virtual Plant-Based Events You Don't Want To Miss - Plant Based News - October 1st, 2020
- How to gain weight quickly and safely - Netdoctor - October 1st, 2020
- Six commonly-eaten foods that can make you ill, and how to prepare and store them safely - Aberdeen Evening Express - October 1st, 2020
- Coronavirus Tips: Prevention and Safety For Everyday Life - Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic - October 1st, 2020
- 7 Bad Habits to Quit That Can Make You Feel Healthier Within Weeks - Chiang Rai Times - October 1st, 2020
- Understanding heart conditions and their warning signs - Times of Malta - October 1st, 2020
- Kidney Health and Ketoveyda: How Suraksha Naturals Is Addressing the Health Concerns of the Keto Community - PRNewswire - September 29th, 2020
- Eating right and playing well The Island - The Island.lk - September 29th, 2020
- Prebiotics 101: Discover Why Prebiotic Fiber Is The Most Important Thing Missing From Your Diet - CBS Houston - September 29th, 2020
- Amsterdam and Helsinki launch algorithm registries to bring transparency to public deployments of AI - Best gaming pro - September 29th, 2020
- How Safe is the 3 Day Cardiac Diet? - MedicineNet - September 23rd, 2020
- James Cracknell is running for five days without food to prove we don't need carbs - is he right? - Telegraph.co.uk - September 23rd, 2020
- Opinion | Going against the grain: Debunking celiac disease misconceptions - University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News - September 23rd, 2020
- Blue Origin gets ready to test its suborbital spaceship with COVID-19 safety in mind - GeekWire - September 23rd, 2020
- What We Miss Most About Going to the Movies - Collider.com - September 23rd, 2020
- Want to Lose Weight Running? Experts Explain How to Achieve Your Goals Faster (and Safely) - Yahoo! Voices - September 22nd, 2020
- The Best Fish Scalers to Clean Your Catch - Robb Report - September 22nd, 2020
- Heart Failure in Primary Care: Do's and Don't's - Medscape - September 22nd, 2020
- The good, the bad and the dietary: Making sense of cholesterol - Gaston Gazette - September 22nd, 2020
- Why can't I go into my child's school, what is happening with SQA Exams? North-east council release FAQ guide to help parents - Aberdeen Evening... - September 22nd, 2020
- COVID-19 threatens to increase cancer mortality The Cancer Letter - The Cancer Letter - September 22nd, 2020
- How to be second wave savvy and what not to repeat from the first lockdown - Telegraph.co.uk - September 22nd, 2020
- The good, the bad and the dietary: Making sense of cholesterol - Boonville Daily News - September 18th, 2020
- The 7 Health Benefits of Eating More Tofu, and How to Enjoy It - The Beet - September 18th, 2020
- Is VR the Future of Corporate Training? - Harvard Business Review - September 18th, 2020
- City seeking input on safety improvements to Linn Street in West End - WCPO - September 18th, 2020
- What is a 'reverse diet' and can it help you to maintain your goal weight? - Health24 - September 8th, 2020
- How to Use Public Transit Safely During the Pandemic - One Green Planet - September 8th, 2020
- Brits ignore PMs diet plea as spending on takeaways surges - City A.M. - September 8th, 2020
- Healthy success for Pocklington-based slimming consultant - Pocklington Post - September 8th, 2020
- Tips on how to stay safe and not spread COVID-19 on this Labor Day Weekend - Berkeleyside - September 8th, 2020
- Dr. Pimple Popper cut open a 'bubble wrap' growth the size of a grapefruit on a patient's back - Business Insider India - September 6th, 2020
- Vancouver teacher praises benefits of taking kids outside of classroom to learn - CBC.ca - September 6th, 2020
- From a bald budgie to a fat goldfish your pet queries answered - The Sun - September 6th, 2020
- 'Gross cruelty' towards the consignment of sheep and cattle headed for the Middle East - IOL - September 6th, 2020
- How Much Weight Loss Can You Achieve In Three Months? - Women's Health - September 5th, 2020
- These simulations show how face shields and valved masks allow clouds of respiratory droplets to escape - Business Insider India - September 5th, 2020
- My ex just admitted he avoided sex because he has erectile dysfunction. Was I wrong to end things over our lac - Business Insider India - September 5th, 2020
- Anxious with anticipation? | News, Sports, Jobs - The Sentinel - Lewistown Sentinel - September 5th, 2020
- Vegetarians suffer from iron deficiency anaemia and other myths about the micronutrient deficiency busted - Times Now - September 5th, 2020
- Understanding the hidden risks of recreational marijuana - Houston Chronicle - September 4th, 2020
- Debunking the soy-estrogen problem and other soy myths - ZME Science - September 4th, 2020
- The Foods 5 Famous Chefs Never Leave the Grocery Store Without - Yahoo! Voices - September 4th, 2020
- The 8 Best Diet Plans Sustainability, Weight Loss, and More - September 1st, 2020
- Column: Be smart and safe when trying to lose weight during coronavirus pandemic - Honolulu Star-Advertiser - September 1st, 2020
- Severe Weather Warning Issued For Melbourne On Wednesday - KIIS1011 - September 1st, 2020