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Blood test predicts Alzheimer's disease

blood testIn a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have developed a blood test for Alzheimer's disease that predicts with astonishing accuracy whether a healthy person will develop the disease.

Though much work still needs to be done, it is hoped the test will someday be available in doctors' offices, since the only methods for predicting Alzheimer's right now, such as PET scans and spinal taps, are expensive, impractical, often unreliable and sometimes risky.

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New laws permanently close 3 abortion clinics in Texas

Abortion ban TexasThree Texas abortion clinics — including both facilities in the Rio Grande Valley and the sole clinic in Beaumont — have permanently shut their doors in the face of strict state laws currently being challenged in federal court.

Whole Women's Health, a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging a sweeping package of abortion restriction passed by the Legislature last summer, has closed its clinics in McAllen and Beaumont, company CEO Amy Hagstrom Miller said Wednesday night.

“It may have taken me a little too long to accept it ... because the need is still here,” Miller said. “That's what's so heartbreaking.”

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CDC: U.S. hospitals' poor antibiotic use puts patients at risk

AntibioticsMore than half of U.S. hospitalized patients get an antibiotic and health officials say a strong antibiotic stewardship program is needed for all hospitals.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said antibiotics save lives, but poor prescribing practices are putting patients at unnecessary risk for preventable allergic reactions, super-resistant infections and deadly diarrhea.

Errors in prescribing decisions also contribute to antibiotic resistance, making these drugs less likely to work in the future, he said.

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Hundreds of foods in U.S. contain 'ADA' plastics chemical: report

ada in foodsNearly 500 foods found on grocery store shelves in the United States, including many foods labeled as "healthy," contain a potentially hazardous industrial plastics chemical, according to a report issued Thursday by a health research and advocacy group.

Azodicarbonamide, also known as ADA, was found as an ingredient in breads, bagels, tortillas, hamburger and hot dog buns, pizza, pastries, and other food products, according to a report by the Environmental Working Group, based in Washington.

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Acetaminophen use in pregnancy may be linked to ADHD

acetamenophenAcetaminophen, the most common drug taken by pregnant women, may be linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, according to a large but preliminary new study from Denmark.

The study, published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics, found the disorder was more likely to develop in children whose mothers took the medication while pregnant.

Experts say the study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship and more study is needed. It is likely to prompt concerns among women who have been told that the medication – found in Tylenol and many other pain and fever remedies – is safe during pregnancy.

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Excessive tanning may be linked to mental disorders

tanningDespite warnings that tanning brings a greater risk of skin cancer, many still tan to excess and U.S. researchers suggest mental health issues may play a role.

Lisham Ashrafioun, a Bowling Green State University doctoral student in psychology, and Dr. Erin Bonar, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Addiction Research Center and a BGSU alumna, showed some who engage in excessive tanning might also be suffering from obsessive-compulsive and body dysmorphic disorders.

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Toxic chemicals linked to autism, ADHD, dyslexia

toxic chemicalsToxic chemicals may be behind the rising number of children with autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia, U.S. researchers say.

Co-authors Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and Philip Landrigan, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, said the study outlines possible links between newly recognized neurotoxicants and negative health effects on children, including:

-- Manganese associated with diminished intellectual function and impaired motor skills.

-- Solvents linked to hyperactivity and aggressive behavior.

-- Certain types of pesticides might cause cognitive delays.

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