Jim Byard's Health Beat
Health Watch Stories 1 to 6 of 796  
  (SAN DIEGO,CA)  Researchers are saying they’ve found a DNA link to schizophrfenia.  An international team led by a UC San Diego medical professor has found that mutations in the human genome increase the risk of the disorder.  UCSD’s Jonathan Sebat calls the finding a “milestone”.  He says the knowledge will help scientists identify specific genes that play a role in schizophrenia and other psychiatric conditions.
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Psychedelic Mushrooms May Help Cancer Patients
   (Undated)   Two new studies say cancer patients experience relief from anxiety and depression when treated with psychedelic mushrooms.  One New York University study found that cancer patients given single doses of psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, experienced an ease of depression and anxiety for longer than seven weeks, and up to eight months for some.  A similar study done at Johns Hopkins University also showed significant decreases in anxiety and moodiness in cancer patients, and an increase in quality of life and optimism for up to six months.  Researchers said the results are unprecedented and may represent a potential paradigm shift for treating patients suffering with cancer-related psychological distress.  
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House Passes Medical Cures Bill
   (Undated)    A bill aimed at speeding up medical innovation to cure diseases is on its way to the Senate.  The House yesterday passed the bill known at the 21st Century Cures Act, after more than a year of bipartisan negotiations.  The bill provides a billion dollars over two years to fight the opioid addiction epidemic and one-point-eight billion dollars for the so-called cancer moonshot.  Michigan Republican Fred Upton is the chief sponsor.  He says the bill speeds up approval of drugs and medical devices and includes billions of dollars for research.  The White House said earlier this week that President Obama strongly supports the bill.
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FDA To Study Use Of Ecstasy To Treat PTSD
FDA To Study Use Of Ecstasy To Treat PTSD (Undated)    The FDA is looking to find out what, if any, impact the use of Ecstasy may have on patients suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  A large scale study was green lighted on Tuesday.  If the results of the study are favorable the drug, also known as MDMA, could be available with a prescription in about five years.    
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Robot Helps Identify Which Epilepsy Patients Are Candidates For Surgery
   (Houston, TX)   A robot is helping epilepsy experts identify which patients are good candidates for surgery.  It's a two-step process in which electrodes are planted in a patient's brain to map the seizures and then remove the tissue involved.  Doctors at Mischer Neuroscience Institute in Houston say in one out of three epilepsy patients, the surgery reduces the number of seizures, or even stops them completely.  The procedure is not recommended for everyone, including patients whose seizures are centered deep in the brain or originate in multiple areas.  
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Smokers With Diabetes See Higher Risk Of Early Death
   (Undated)    Smoking is bad enough for your health, but add being diabetic on top of that and the result can be downright scary.  A new study conducted by the University of Colorado, Denver finds heavy smokers who also suffer from diabetes run twice the risk of dying early as compared to smokers without the disease.  Over the course of their seven-year study, researchers say nearly 13 percent of diabetic smokers died.  Less than seven percent of the participants who smoked but were not diabetic passed away.  
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