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GOOD NEWS

Device lowers BP

InterCure Ltd, a US company, has announced the publication of a peer-reviewed overview of seven clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of device-guided breathing. Routine use of RESPeRATE, an over-the-counter therapeutic device, either alone or as an adjunctive treatment with lifestyle modifications or prescription drugs, significantly lowered blood pressure with no adverse side effects, according to the General Medicine Journal. A summary of the results of the seven studies shows an average all-day reduction of 14/8 mm Hg within four to six weeks of commencement of 15-minute-daily treatments with RESPeRATE.

Alzheimer’s check

Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s in their early stages can be difficult for physicians to spot, and many diagnoses are incorrect. However, researchers at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center have used an advanced technique to identify proteins in the human body, known as biomarkers, that can indicate whether a patient has a particular neurodegenerative disease, or determine the progression of a disease. The system could help a physician determine the amount of a biomarker a patient may have in his body, which can help with diagnosis, the researchers write in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

BAD NEWS

Parkinson’s link

Researchers from Mayo Clinic have discovered that allergic rhinitis is associated with the development of Parkinson’s disease. The researchers theorise that a tendency toward inflammation is the link between the diseases. “People with allergic rhinitis mount an immune response with their allergies, so they may be more likely to mount an immune response in the brain as well, which would produce inflammation. The inflammation produced may release certain chemicals in the brain and inadvertently kill brain cells, as we see in Parkinson’s,” the researchers write in the journal Neurology.

Dementia risk

A four-year study of elderly women has found that chronically elevated blood sugar is associated with an increased risk of developing either mild cognitive impairment or dementia. The study is the first to investigate the link between glycosylated haemoglobin — a measure of blood sugar — and the risk of cognitive difficulties, says the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Ageing.

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