May 2013

Mapping Female Desire: XX Marks the Spot!

Did you know that 15% of women are diagnosed with Hypoactive Sexual-Desire Disorder (H.S.D.D)?  This disorder is characterized by a lack of female desire coupled with significant emotional distress, primarily in post-menopausal women.  A recent article in The New York Times placed Dutch psychopharmacologist Adriaan Tuiten in the spotlight for his new research studies on sex differences.  Tuiten, who has spent his career studying biological

Do bigger breasts cause more back pain?

Breasts—especially those that scale towards the large end of the spectrum—are often named as a scapegoat for back pain in women. However, it’s likely that much of the blame is misplaced. This misdirected implication could be leading women to false self-diagnoses and even unnecessary medical procedures.

Smoking is a risk factor for tooth loss in older women

Smoking can do more than make your teeth yellow. A study indicates smoking can make teeth go away. Researcher Xiaodan Mai of the University at Buffalo in New York found this in data on about 1,100 postmenopausal women. She compared periodontal disease or gum disease with caries or tooth decay as reasons for tooth loss.

Smoking is an important risk factor for tooth loss in older women.  “The more women smoked, the more likely they are to experience tooth loss due to periodontal disease. This pattern was not seen in tooth loss due to caries.”

Alcohol and bone density in women

The density of bones, measured as bone mineral density (BMD), is strongly related to osteoporosis.  Elderly women with osteoporosis, in particular, are at increased risk of fractures of the hip, arm, and spine; such fractures often relate to severe disability.  With data on alcohol collected as part of a clinical trial on the prevention of osteoporosis, investigators in Finland have related alcohol consumption to changes over three years in BMD.  After those excluded due to incomplete data, data on 300 women were available for analysis.  The majority of women were abstainers or consumed little alcohol.  Nevertheless, the results support much earlier research: regular, moderate drinking is

Healthy Feet are Happy Feet

Your feet are pretty small, considering they have to support the entire height and weight of your body. But they can cause big problems. So pay some attention to your feet especially with summer coming and you want to wear those cute sandals!

“Feet don’t get any respect,” says Dr. Marian T. Hannan, who studies foot disorders at the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife. “They’re sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of the human body.”

Valproate taken during pregnancy linked to autism risk.

Women who take valproate (Depacon) during pregnancy may increase the risk of childhood autism and its spectrum disorders in their children, a population-based study showed.

In utero exposure to the drug was associated with a five-fold elevated risk of autism and three-fold elevated risk for autism spectrum disorder, Jakob Christensen, PhD, of Denmark’s Aarhus University Hospital, and colleagues found.

Understanding brain signals may hold promise for treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

When the mind is at rest, the electrical signals by which brain cells communicate appear to travel in reverse, wiping out unimportant information in the process, but sensitizing the cells for future sensory learning, according to a study of rats conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

The finding has implications not only for studies seeking to help people learn more efficiently, but also for attempts to understand and treat post-traumatic stress disorder — in which the mind has difficulty moving beyond a disturbing experience.