Category: Health

New help for that bane of middle-age: blurry close-up vision

BY LAURAN NEERGAARD – AP MEDICAL WRITER WASHINGTON (AP) — Squinting while texting? Always losing your reading glasses? An eye implant that takes about 10 minutes to put in place is the newest in a list of surgical repairs for the blurry close-up vision that is a bane of middle age. But who’s really a good candidate to toss their specs? “It’s not bringing anybody back to being 20 again,” cautioned Dr. Shilpa Rose, a Washington ophthalmologist who tests whether patients’ eyes are healthy enough to qualify. “But it decreases the need to rush to get that pair of...

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Adding friendly bacteria to skin lotion wards off bad germs

BY LAURAN NEERGAARD – AP MEDICAL WRITER WASHINGTON (AP) — Bacteria live on everyone’s skin, and new research shows some friendly germs produce natural antibiotics that ward off their disease-causing cousins. Now scientists are mixing the good bugs into lotions in hopes of spreading protection. In one early test, those customized creams guarded five patients with a kind of itchy eczema against risky bacteria that were gathering on their cracked skin, researchers reported Wednesday. “It’s boosting the body’s overall immune defenses,” said Dr. Richard Gallo, dermatology chairman at the University of California, San Diego, who is leading the work....

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Testosterone gel shows no benefit for older men’s memories

BY LINDSEY TANNER – AP MEDICAL WRITER CHICAGO (AP) — Testosterone treatment did not improve older men’s memory or mental function in the latest results from landmark government research that challenges the anti-aging claims of popular supplements. While testosterone use for one year appeared to strengthen bones and reduce anemia, it also showed signs of worsening artery disease and questions remain about other potential risks. The researchers said more studies are needed to determine long-term effects – the kind of research the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already asked supplement makers to conduct. "I don’t think anybody would...

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Altering heredity to fight disease?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Don’t expect designer babies any time soon – but a major new ethics report leaves open the possibility of one day altering human heredity to fight genetic diseases, with stringent oversight, using new tools that precisely edit genes inside living cells. What’s called genome editing already is transforming biological research, and being used to develop treatments for patients struggling with a range of diseases. The science is nowhere near ready for what would be a huge next step – altering sperm, eggs or embryos so that babies don’t inherit a disease that runs in the family,...

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Games, crafts, other activities may safeguard aging brain

CHICAGO (AP) — Even in your 70s and beyond, simple activities including web-surfing, playing bridge and socializing can stave off mental decline, new research says. Benefits were greatest in computer users and in those without a gene variation linked with Alzheimer’s disease. But even among seniors with that trait, mental decline that sometimes precedes dementia was less common among those who engaged in mind-stimulating activities. The results don’t apply to costly, computer-based games that purport to keep the brain sharp – those were not studied. The benefits were found from activities that many seniors have access to. "They don’t...

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