What will they think of next?

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Alphabet H How about dyeing brain cells green to help weight loss, spring-cleaning your immune system and trying phone-based therapy to beat pain?
Telephone and stethoscopeTelephone and stethoscope

Green way to weight loss

Just can’t get rid of that spare tyre? In future an injection of brain cells (neurones) could help. Scientists at Harvard University have succeeded in repairing a brain circuit involved in regulating food intake and weight using healthy neurones labelled with a green fluorescent protein. Once in the brain these were able to send and receive messages to other neurones and respond to appetite control hormones. At the end of the study in obese mice, those who received the treatment weighed 30 per cent less than their untreated peers.

Cell solution

As you get older so do your body’s cells and your immune system becomes less effective at sweeping the aged cells away. Their presence may lead to age-linked conditions, such as cataracts, muscle loss and weakness. Researchers at the US Mayo Clinic have now found a way to eliminate these defunct cells and even more excitingly, have discovered that this may slow progression of conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancers and dementia. So far, it’s only been tested in mice but the findings could lead to new ways to protect our health in later life.

Dial up for CBT

Telephone-based cognitive behavioural therapy and exercise, both separately and combined, can relieve chronic pain, according a trial of people with chronic widespread pain at GP surgeries in Cheshire and Aberdeen. Commenting in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal, Dr Seth A Berkowitz and Dr Mitchell H Katz say, “This represents a management strategy that puts patients firmly in charge.”


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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