Why Asthma Is on the Rise
Contrary to expectations, asthma rates have skyrocketed in urban areas in the U.S. that are not particularly clean; respiratory infections in early childhood may actually be a risk factor for it.
What's the Most Recent Development?
The hygiene hypothesis states that exposure in early childhood to infectious agents programs the immune system to mount differing highly effective defenses against disease-causing viruses, bacteria and parasites. While the hypothesis holds true in the case of allergies, according to the most recent research, it does not hold for asthma. Why? "Asthma is a much more complex condition than anyone has truly appreciated. Indeed, it may not be even be a single disease. Studies now suggest that only half of asthma cases have an allergic component."
What's the Big Idea?
Rising asthma rates contradict a mainstay of disease research: the hygiene hypothesis, first described in 1989 by David P. Strachan, a British epidemiologist who was studying hay fever. "The more children in a family, he noticed, the lower the rates of hay fever and eczema, an allergic skin condition. Children in large families tend to swap colds and other infections more often than children with fewer siblings. Could it be that increased exposure to pathogens from their many siblings was protecting children from large families against allergies?"
Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.
- A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
- The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
- This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
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