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In Brief

In Brief

Acupuncture eases menstrual pain
Acupuncture can help relieve menstrual pain and improve the quality of life for some women, a new study from Germany shows.
Because the acupuncture patients were compared with a control group who received no therapy, rather than a "sham," or fake, version of the treatment, the placebo effect could have played a role, Dr. Claudia M. Witt of Charite University Medical Center in Berlin and her colleagues acknowledge.
"Nevertheless, our study showed that acupuncture was beneficial for women if offered as part of the health insurance system," the researchers write in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are standard treatment for menstrual pain, but they carry the risk of side effects, Witt said.
Parental instinct
Scientists believe they have located the part of the brain key to forging the parental instinct to care for and nurture an infant, according to a study published on Wednesday.
This discovery helps answer the evolutionary question of why people view babies as special and could help doctors better identify people suffering from postnatal depression, researchers at the University of Oxford said in the journal PLoS One.
Scientists believe this area - located just above the eyeballs and connected to the area important for recognizing faces - is key to controlling emotions, Kringelbach said.
The parental response to infants was similar among men, women and volunteers in the study who didn't have children, providing evidence that this reaction is innate, he added.
Stroke and obesity
The rapidly rising incidence of stroke among Americans is primarily due to the increasing number of middle-aged women who are having strokes. The increasing incidence is also associated with abdominal obesity, investigators told attendees here at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2008.
"The incidence of stroke is two-times higher in women than men between the ages of 35 and 54," announced Dr. Amytis Towfighi of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Waist circumference and body mass index - the ratio of height to weight often used to determine whether an individual is over- or underweight - also increased among men in the same age bracket, but not as sharply as in women.


Updated : 2021-08-05 13:06 GMT+08:00