Chill-fever nexus uncovered
Even though colds are called colds, most people know that viruses are to blame, not the temperature. But a small group of people come down with fevers when they experience chills. A report published in The Lancet quotes a study at the University of California at San Diego showing that about 300 people, most of them in the US, suffered from the disorder ' familial cold autoinflammatory syndrome, or FCAS, which is caused by a single genetic mutation. In FCAS, what matters is not the actual temperature but the feeling of being chilled. And the biggest complaint of FCAS patients is air-conditioned rooms. The study also tested an arthritis drug, anakinra, which was found to block a protein that sets off the disorder.
PC use leads to eye disease
Heavy computer use can lead to glaucoma, especially among those who are short-sighted, say researchers in a study reported in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Glaucoma is caused by an increased fluid pressure within the eye, compressing the nerves at the back, which can lead to blindness if not treated. The researchers, who studied 10,000 Japanese workers involved in heavy computer use, suggest that computer users should refrain from staring at the PC screen at a stretch without blinking. Shortsighted people should regularly test their eye pressure, they add.
Painkillers useless in arthritis
Painkillers taken by millions of arthritis sufferers are no better than dummy pills, says a Norwegian study reported in the British Medical Journal. Researchers from the University of Bergen said their findings suggested the drugs should be used only on a short-term basis and be prescribed much more critically in future. The study reaffirms the concerns surrounding anti-inflammatory drugs after the bestselling painkiller Vioxx was withdrawn due to heart attack risk. On earlier occasions older drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen were implicated for gastrointestinal disorders. Given the serious adverse effects that the drugs can cause, doctors needed to review carefully whether their use was justified, advised the researchers.
Ovary preserved in arms
Doctors in the Netherlands transplanted a wo-man's ovary into her arms to save her fertility before she underwent a treatment for cervical cancer, reports New Scientist. The ovary has been functioning well, and the surgeons at the Leiden University says the woman can now conceive through a test-tube technique, using eggs extracted from the ovary.