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News

  • Untreated sleep apnea poses danger while driving

    Apr 16 2013...
    People with sleep apnea are more likely to fail a driving simulator test and report nodding while driving, according to new research.

    The study was presented April, 12, at the Sleep and Breathing Conference in Berlin, organized by the European Respiratory Society and the European Sleep Research Society. READ MORE>>
  • Sound stimulation during sleep may enhance memory

    Apr 11 2013...
    Slow oscillations in brain activity, which occur during so-called slow-wave sleep, are critical for retaining memories. Researchers reporting online April 11 in the journal Neuron have found that playing sounds synchronized to the rhythm of the slow brain oscillations of people who are sleeping enhances these oscillations and boosts their memory. This demonstrates an easy and noninvasive way to influence human brain activity to improve sleep and enhance memory.

    "The beauty lies in the simplicity to apply auditory stimulation at low intensities—an approach that is both practical and ethical, if compared for example with electrical stimulation—and therefore portrays a straightforward tool for clinical settings to enhance sleep rhythms," says coauthor Dr. Jan Born, of the University of Tübingen, in Germany. READ MORE>>
  • New gene associated with almost doubled Alzheimer's risk in African-Americans

    Apr 10 2013...
    African-Americans with a variant of the ABCA7 gene have almost double the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease compared with African-Americans who lack the variant. The largest genome-wide search for Alzheimer's genes in the African-American community, the study was undertaken by the Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium and led by neurologists from Columbia University Medical Center.

    "Our findings strongly suggest that ABCA7 is a definitive genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease among African-Americans," said study senior author, Richard Mayeux, MD, MS, professor and chair of Neurology at CUMC. "Until now, data on the genetics of Alzheimer's in this patient population have been extremely limited." READ MORE>>
  • Increased sleep could reduce rate of adolescent obesity

    Apr 09 2013...
    Increasing the number of hours of sleep adolescents get each night may reduce the prevalence of adolescent obesity, according to a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Results of the study show that fewer hours of sleep is associated with greater increases in adolescent body mass index (BMI) for participants between 14 and 18-years-old. The findings suggest that increasing sleep duration to 10 hours per day, especially for those in the upper half of the BMI distribution, could help to reduce the prevalence of adolescent obesity.

    Full results of the study are available online in the latest issue of Pediatrics. Previous studies have shown that a correlation exists between short sleep and obesity, but until now few have been able to rule out other variables such as time spent watching television and being physically active. READ MORE>>
  • Sleep apnea in kids associated with behavioral, learning problems

    Apr 04 2013...
    A new study found that obstructive sleep apnea, a common form of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), is associated with increased rates of ADHD-like behavioral problems in children as well as other adaptive and learning problems.

    “This study provides some helpful information for medical professionals consulting with parents about treatment options for children with SDB that, although it may remit, there are considerable behavioral risks associated with continued SDB,” said Michelle Perfect, PhD, the study’s lead author and assistant professor in the school psychology program in the department of disability and psychoeducational studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “School personnel should also consider the possibility that SDB contributes to difficulties with hyperactivity, learning and behavioral and emotional dysregulation in the classroom.” READ MORE>>
  • Study links diabetes risk to melatonin levels

    Apr 03 2013...
    Millions of Americans are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, yet the exact causes of diabetes still puzzle scientists. Now, new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) finds that the amount of melatonin a person secretes during sleep may predict their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

    "This is the first time that an independent association has been established between nocturnal melatonin secretion and type 2 diabetes risk," said Dr. Ciaran McMullan, a researcher in the Renal Division and Kidney Clinical Research Institute at BWH. "Hopefully this study will prompt future research to examine what influences a person's melatonin secretion and what is melatonin's role in altering a person's glucose metabolism and risk of diabetes." READ MORE>>
  • Babies’ brains process emotional tone of voice even while asleep

    Apr 02 2013...
    Being exposed to arguing parents is associated with the way babies' brains process emotional tone of voice, according to a newly published study by University of Oregon researchers.

    UO doctoral student Alice Graham, working with her faculty advisers Phil Fisher and Jennifer Pfeifer, found that infants respond to angry tone of voice, even when they're asleep. The study appears in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. READ MORE>>
  • Internal clocks can be ticking time bombs for diabetes, obesity

    Apr 01 2013...
    If you're pulling and all-nighter to finish a term paper, a new parent up all night with a fussy baby, or simply can't sleep like you once could, then you may be snoozing on good health. That's because new research published in The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal used mice to show that proper sleep patterns are critical for healthy metabolic function, and even mild impairment in our circadian rhythms can lead to serious health consequences, including diabetes and obesity.

    "We should acknowledge the unforeseen importance of our 24-hour rhythms for health," said Claudia Coomans, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Molecular Cell Biology in the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, Netherlands. "To quote Seneca 'We should live according to nature (secundum naturam vivere).'" READ MORE>>
  • Obesity decreases physical activity

    Mar 28 2013...
    Physical activity and its relation to obesity has been studied for decades by researchers; however, almost no one has studied the reverse – obesity’s effect on physical activity.

    So BYU exercise science professor Larry Tucker decided to look at the other side of the equation to determine if obesity leads to less activity. The findings, no surprise, confirmed what everyone has assumed for years. READ MORE>>
  • Increasing physical activity may improve sleep for menopausal women

    Mar 27 2013...
    Getting a good night's sleep isn't always easy for women at menopause. Exercise may help, but women can have a tough time carving out leisure time for it. The good news from a study published online today in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society, is that higher levels of routine daily physical activity may be the more important key to a better night's sleep for many women who have hot flashes or night sweats.

    Although exercise is known to improve sleep for people in general, studies in menopausal women haven't been conclusive. That's why the researchers at the Pittsburgh site of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) focused exclusively on women with hot flashes or night sweats and also drew the distinction between leisure time and household activity. READ MORE>>