To Lower Diabetes Risk, Get a Good Night’s Sleep

We are all familiar with the negative consequences of getting too little sleep, but they may be more serious than just feeling a bit groggy. A new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine has shown that sleep restriction, along with a disruption of one’s internal body clock, can raise the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes [1]. This could explain the increased rates of these conditions in shift workers and others who work at night.

Good nights sleep

New Warning for Statins

Statins, including Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor, are among the most prescribed drug in the world, and are currently routinely taken by millions of Americans. They are indicated for people with high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, and have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke in this population. Yet the FDA has just issued new warnings concerning potential side effects: elevated blood sugar, which is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and cognitive impairment such as memory loss. The warnings will not be affixed to the outside of the bottle, but will be included in the package insert that comes with all prescription medications.


Amid Debate, First Proton Therapy Center Opens in New Jersey

All too often, the most brutal part of a bout with cancer is radiation therapy. X rays are electromagnetic waves that travel with a constant amount of energy, so although they effectively kill cancer cells, they pass through the skin and healthy tissues on their way to and from the tumor. In doing so, they damage the normal cells in their path. Protons, on the other hand, are particles that have a mass and a charge (they are positive). They can thus be targeted with exquisite specificity only to the tumor site, emitting the bulk of their radiation there and there only and sparing patients the terrible side effects that can accompany therapy with X rays.

ProCure gantry room

Cellular Mechanisms of Long Term Memory Storage

Dr. Menahem Segal, head of the Laboratory of Neuronal Plasticity at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, studies the neuronal basis of long term memory in the brain. Of particular interest are conditions that are associated with deterioration of memory systems, such as those occurring in Alzheimer’s disease patients and mentally retarded children.


Massage Therapy Reduces Inflammatory Signaling After Exercise-induced Muscle Damage

When most of us get a massage, we leave in a trance with muscles feeling like jelly. But when Mark Tarnopolsky, Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University, got a massage — as part of a therapeutic regimen for a hamstring injured while waterskiing — he left determined to figure out exactly what was happening in his muscles at the molecular level to make them feel like jelly. His results are reported in Science Translational Medicine.

Massage therapyImage credit: A luxurious massage via Shutterstock