Volume 11 Issue 20
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 21-Jan-2009 
Next Update - 14:00 UC 08:00 EST 22-Jan-2009



Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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Magnesium sulphate cuts cerebral palsy risk

Magnesium sulphate protects very premature babies from cerebral palsy, a new study shows. The findings of this Cochrane Review could help reduce incidence of the disabling condition, which currently affects around one in every 500 newborn babies overall, but up to one-in-ten very premature babies (< 28 weeks of gestation). more  

Excessive weight loss can be a bad thing

Doctors are not doing enough to pick up on problems with excessive weight loss, says a Saint Louis University physician who helped draft recent guidelines to diagnose the condition called "cachexia" (kuh-kex-ee-uh). more

School-based physical activity: Has benefits even if it doesn't help lose weight

School-based health and exercise programs have positive outcomes despite having little effect on children's weight or the amount of exercise they do outside of school, say Cochrane Researchers who carried out a systematic review of studies on physical activity programs in schools. more  

Impaired kidney function raises risk of heart problems in the elderly

A study published next week in the open access journal PLoS Medicine suggests that elderly people with damaged kidneys are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease, such as heart failure and stroke, and other causes of mortality. The findings indicate that greater efforts should be made to encourage elderly people who have impaired kidney function alongside other risk factors—such as high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure, which are often a result of smoking and diet—to make lifestyle changes to avoid developing cardiovascular problems. more

Robo-surgery: As safe and capable as a human assistant in key-hole gallbladder removal  

Using a robotic assistant to remove a patient's gallbladder by key-hole surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy) is as safe as working with a human assistant, a Cochrane Review has concluded. Comparisons between robot- and human-assisted surgery showed that there were no differences in terms of morbidity, the need to switch to open surgery, total operating time, or length of stay in hospital. more

Acupuncture stops headaches, but 'faked' treatments work almost as well 

Headache sufferers can benefit from acupuncture, even though how and where acupuncture needles are inserted may not be important. Two separate systematic reviews by Cochrane Researchers show that acupuncture is an effective treatment for prevention of headaches and migraines. But the results also suggest that faked procedures, in which needles are incorrectly inserted, can be just as effective. more

Slices of living brain tissue are helping scientists identify new stroke therapies

Slices of living human brain tissue are helping scientists learn which drugs can block the waves of death that engulf and engorge brain cells following a stroke. more

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Magnesium sulphate protects very premature babies from cerebral palsy, a new study shows.