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Mental illness writers had industry ties

Most of the experts who wrote the manual widely used to diagnose mental illness have had financial ties to drug makers, US researchers have said recently. Writing in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, the researchers called for full disclosure of the relationships between pharmaceutical companies and the medical experts on panels that draft future editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The study found that 56 per cent of 170 psychiatric experts who worked on the most recent edition, published in 1994, had at least one financial link to a drug maker at some point from 1989 through 2004. The relationships included speaking or consulting fees, ownership of company stock, payment for gifts and travel and funding for research.

Climate linked to high BP

People who were born during hot, dry years seem to have higher blood pressures, a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology said. The link could be the occurrence of dehydration in infancy. “Animal studies have suggested that severe dehydration in infancy resulted in greater sodium retention and a taste for salty foods throughout life,” researchers at the University of Bristol wrote. This effect may be a result of “natural selection over generations produced by the survival advantage associated with the ability to retain sodium and hence water in during severe dehydration”. But in contemporary life, the retention of sodium may lead to elevated blood pressure.

Yogurt kills ulcer bug

The stomach bug Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most stomach ulcers, so doctors often try to eradicate the troublemaker with antibiotics, according to a new study. When this doesn’t work (10 to 23 per cent of the time), a yogurt may help, a study conducted by researchers in Taiwan said. Specifically, eating yogurt containing the beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (AB-yogurt) before trying a second round of combo antibiotic therapy can improve its efficacy in eradicating residual Helicobacter pylori, researchers at the National Cheng Kung University Hospital wrote in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Girls better at timed tests

In a study involving over 8,000 males and females ranging in age from two to 90 from the across the United States, researchers at Vanderbilt University have discovered that females have a significant advantage over males on tests and tasks that are set in a limited time period. The differences were particularly significant among pre-teens and teens, the researchers write in the journal Intelligence.

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