Music lessons help in boosting memory
new Canadian study shows that young children who take music lessons have better memories than their nonmusical peers. “If you take music lessons, your brain is getting wired differently than if you don’t take music lessons,” says Laurel Trainor, professor of psychology, neuroscience and behaviour at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Over a period of one year, the Trainor-led research team compared developmental changes in two groups of children aged between four and six — those taking music lessons and those with no musical training. The children taking music lessons improved on general memory skills such as literacy, verbal memory, visiospatial processing, mathematics and IQ. It’s the first study to identify these effects in brain-based measurements in young children.
omen who take multivitamins in the first few weeks of their pregnancy may reduce the risk that their child will develop some types of brain tumours. A study carried out at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has found that children of such mothers seem less likely to develop medullablastoma — the second commonest brain tumour in children — and primitive neuroectodermal tumours. Since women are often unaware that they have conceived this early in their pregnancy, the researchers have advised all women of reproductive age to take multivitamins regularly. The study appeared in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention.
The power of K
new study by Jane Lukacs of the University of Michigan School of Nursing suggests that the impairment of vitamin K function could compromise bone health and contribute to the development of osteoporosis. The study found that one of the early effects of declining estrogen is the impairment of vitamin K function in bone even before any bone loss that could be attributed to menopause can be measured. It is essential for making osteocalcina — a bone protein. In the presence of sufficient vitamin K, this protein binds calcium in the bone. This vitamin is easily available in green leafy vegetables, green vegetables and vegetable oils but most individuals don’t consume enough to promote bone health.
substantial percentage of men who have homosexual sex still consider themselves “straight”, a survey of New York City men suggests. The findings imply that doctors should not rely on a man’s self-described sexual orientation in assessing his risk of HIV and other STDs but should ask patients specific questions about their sexual behaviour.