- Oily Fish May Not Protect Against Dementia: Study
- Scientists Identify Genes Linked to Childhood Brain Cancer
- CNN's Gupta Won't Be U.S. Surgeon General
- Optimism Boosts Health, Life Span: Study
- Companies Halt U.S. Sales of Baby Bottles With BPA
- Viruses May Cause Diabetes: Study
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Oily Fish May Not Protect Against Dementia: Study
Eating oily fish may not help prevent dementia in old age, say U.K. researchers who studied data from a trial of more than 800 older people.
Initially, the researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found a significant association between eating a couple of portions of oily fish per week and higher scores on tests of cognitive function, BBC News reported.
However, that association almost vanished when the researchers factored in education and psychological health. The finding, published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, challenges previous research suggesting that oily fish may help prevent dementia.
"The evidence on this has always been sporadic," said study leader Dr. Alan Dangour, BBC News reported. "What this shows is there is a link between people who eat oily fish and better cognitive function, but if you adjust for education and mood, this relationship goes, so it's not at all clear that healthy older people get any benefit from eating fish oil."
Scientists Identify Genes Linked to Childhood Brain Cancer
Genetic malfunctions linked to one of the leading types of childhood brain cancer have been identified by a Canadian-led team of researchers, who said their findings may lead to new treatments for medulloblastoma.
In the largest-ever genetic study of childhood brain cancer, the scientists sequenced the DNA of brain tumors taken from 800 children worldwide, the Globe and Mail reported.
They identified a family of eight genes capable of causing the deadly form of brain cancer, which occurs when primitive brain cells develop into tumors at the back of the brain. When the genes work properly, they instruct neurons in that area of the brain to stop growing. But a malfunction in any of the eight genes leads to medulloblastoma, which kills 40 percent of patients within five years.
Scientists are racing to test compounds already known to affect these eight genes, the Globe and Mail reported.
The study was published online Sunday in the journal Nature Genetics.
CNN's Gupta Won't Be U.S. Surgeon General
Citing family and work considerations, CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has withdrawn his name as a candidate for U.S. Surgeon General, White House officials said Thursday.
Gupta had been under "serious consideration" for the post but decided he wants to focus on his medical career and spend more time with his family, an administration official told the Associated Press.
There were no problems that would have disqualified Gupta from becoming surgeon general, the official added.
In an interview with CNN's Larry King, Gupta noted he had two young daughters and a third child on the way.
"My wife is imminent with our third child. You know, this job ... takes us away from our children for so many years at once, and I sort of came to grips with the fact that I'd probably be away at least the first several years. ... And I just didn't feel like I should do that now," Gupta said in the interview.
Optimism Boosts Health, Life Span: Study
Optimists live longer and healthier lives than pessimists, according to a U.S. study of 100,000 women who were surveyed about their personality traits and then followed for eight years.
Those who said they were optimists were less likely to die from any cause and 30 percent less likely to die from heart disease. Women who were more pessimistic had a higher overall death rate and were 23 percent more likely to die from a cancer-related condition, ABC News reported.
The findings were presented Thursday in Chicago at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.