Researchers Crack Gene Code of Melanoma and Lung Cancer
Scientists in Britain have identified the specific mutations in DNA that lead to melanoma and lung cancer, BBC News reports. After mapping the entire genomes of both cancers, the team uncovered more than 30,000 DNA errors in melanoma. Lung cancer DNA showed more than 23,000 mutations. (Not all of the mutations cause disease.) The work could enable clinicians to spot cancer earlier with blood tests, the scientists say, and may aid the development of drugs to target mutations. The Institute of Cancer Research says the breakthrough will lead to a better understanding of how other cancers develop, according to BBC News.
Children's Sleep Problems May Be Tied to Headaches, Stomach Pain
Children's sleep problems are a huge headache for families. Now it looks as if the sleep problems themselves could be linked to headaches, U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute reports.
Children who have trouble falling asleep or wake up often at night are much more likely to have headaches or to regurgitate food, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Headaches were twice as likely to occur in children with sleep problems; 24 percent of those kids reported pain, compared with 13 percent of children without disturbed sleep. And 19 percent of children with insomnia had problems with regurgitation, compared with 7.5 percent of children without sleep problems. The good news is that treating the medical condition that causes the headaches or stomach problems may well improve children's sleep. Read more.
Stroke: 7 Signs You May Be at Risk of Brain Attack
A new study suggests that taking antidepressants may put older women at greater risk of stroke, HealthDay reports. Researchers looked at data from 5,500 postmenopausal women taking antidepressants. When they compared the group with more than 130,000 women not on medication, they found that antidepressant users had a 45 percent greater chance of stroke, according to HealthDay. The study's lead researcher, however, stressed that the heightened risk, though statistically significant, may not apply to most women.
In May, U.S. News's Sarah Baldauf wrote about the risk factors that may increase your chances of having either an ischemic stroke, caused by a blood clot and the most common form of stroke, or the less prevalent hemorrhagic stroke, caused by bleeding in the brain.
Having high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine is one risk factor. Too much homocysteine is associated with cardiovascular troubles, including stroke. Genetics and diet each play a role in generating the amino acid. For example, having high levels of dietary nutrients folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 is associated with lower levels of homocysteine in the blood. Read more.
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