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Stories by Coco Ballantyne

What's the best Rx for lower-back pain?

Suffer from inexplicable lower-back pain? Exercise may be the best way to keep it away, according to a new analysis of remedies, including workouts, shoe inserts and support belts. 

"We did an evaluation of high quality studies on the prevention of back problem episodes in adults [and] found that, surprisingly, exercise is the only intervention that works, and other popular interventions don't work," says Stanley Bigos, emeritus professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, and lead author of the analysis published recently in The Spine Journal ...

March 3, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

Calcium might fight cancer

Got milk? Then drink to this: A new study has linked high calcium intake to lower incidence of cancers, including colon cancer, in men and women between the ages of 50 and 78.

February 24, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

What causes albinism?

Albinos around the world face day-to-day health issues, but in Africa they have a bigger problem: being hacked to death for body parts

February 18, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

What will it take to get you to stop smoking? How about cold, hard cash?

Seventy percent of smokers in the U.S. say they want to quit, but studies show that only 2 percent to 3 percent manage to kick the habit each year. Incentives for quitting—avoiding potentially deadly lung cancer and premature wrinkling, saving thousands of dollars annually (in money spent on cigarettes and medical bills stemming from health-related ills), and perhaps even becoming president of the United States—are just not enough, it seems...

February 11, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

New test for mitochondrial disease

Researchers may have discovered a new way to monitor mitochondrial diseases, a spectrum of disorders caused by genetic errors in mitochondria, the fuel-burning factories within cells that produce energy necessary for life...

February 11, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

HIV microbicides that might actually work

Until now, the news on HIV microbicides—gels, creams and foams applied to the vagina and rectum to prevent transmission of the disease—has been dismal.

February 10, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

Do heart scans up cancer risk?

Cardiologists over the past five years have increasingly come to rely on a technology called cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) to locate artery blockages in the heart.

February 4, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

How your mother might affect your memory

A new study in mice suggests that a mother's childhood experiences may affect the brain function of her offspring. Researchers found that mouse moms who were physically active, stimulated and changed their living arrangements frequently as youngsters gave birth to babies with better memory than those born to mothers raised in dull environments...

February 3, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

A blood test for predicting postpartum depression?

Identifying women at risk for postpartum depression might be as easy as measuring hormone levels in the blood during pregnancy, suggests a study published today in the Archives of General Psychiatry ...

February 2, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne
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