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Teams of scientists will use support from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research into the genetic underpinnings of Alzheimer’s disease, analyzing how genome sequences — the order of chemical letters in a cell’s DNA — may contribute to increased risk or protect against the disease. The NIH awarded grants for using innovative new technologies and computational methods for the analysis. The scientists also will seek insights into why some people with known risks do not develop the disease.

Adults with extreme obesity have increased risks of dying at a young age from cancer and many other causes including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and kidney and liver diseases, according to results of an analysis of data pooled from 20 large studies of people from three countries.

The study, led by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, found that people with class III (or extreme) obesity had a dramatic reduction in life expectancy compared with people of normal weight. The findings appeared July 8, 2014, in PLOS Medicine.

Invading glioblastoma cells may hijack cerebral blood vessels during early stages of disease progression and damage the brain’s protective barrier, a study in mice indicates. This finding could ultimately lead to new ways to bring about the death of the tumor, as therapies may be able to reach these deadly cells at an earlier time point than was previously thought possible. This research, published in Nature Communications, was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Depression is a common risk for people who have lost their vision from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but a new study shows that a type of rehabilitation therapy can cut this risk in half. The study was funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Researchers from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have identified novel mutations in a well-known cancer-causing pathway in lung adenocarcinoma, the most common subtype of lung cancer. Knowledge of these genomic changes may expand the number of possible therapeutic targets for this disease and potentially identify a greater number of patients with treatable mutations because many potent cancer drugs that target these mutations already exist.

Summer is the most likely time of year when you may find yourself caught in a thunderstorm, or surrounded by lightning. It’s important to prepared for this common, but dangerous aspect of nature.

What can you do to stay safe?

1) Sign up for weather alerts from the National Weather Service.

2) “When thunder roars, go indoors.” (Home, building, automobile) Stay inside until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder. Unplug electronic devices.

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During the warmer summer months you tend to spend a lot more time outdoors. Beyond using proper sun protection, you should be also aware of the air quality.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) tells you how clean or polluted your outdoor air is and what associated health effects might be a concern for you.

The AQI scale runs from 0 – 500. The higher the value, the greater risk the air is to your health. One hundred is generally accepted as the standard where air quality is satisfactory.

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An innovative National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS) is being developed to monitor emerging trends that will help health experts respond quickly to potential outbreaks of illicit drugs such as heroin and to identify increased use of designer synthetic compounds. The system will scan social media and Web platforms to identify new trends as well as use conventional national- and local-level data resources.

There are many types of insurance a person needs such as auto, home, health, and dental just to name a few. So here are some tips that may help you in saving money on the cost of insurance.

1) Shopping rates: Make sure to shop out your insurance each year to confirm you are still get the best price for your benefits. Before renewing your existing policies each year, check out the rates of competing companies. See if it cheaper to pay the plan annually compared to monthly (Often times companies will provide a discount for paying in full for the year vs paying monthly.)

2) If possible think about raising the deductibles on auto and homeowners’ insurance: Being willing to pay $500-1,000 on a claim, rather than only $100-250, can reduce annual premiums by as much as several hundred dollars.

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You hear about the  “Miracle” diet drugs, or the  “All Natural” supplements,  there are tons of health scams out there. Be aware and avoid them.  Health fraud scams refer to products that claim to prevent, treat, or cure diseases or other health conditions, but are not proven safe and effective for those uses.

Health fraud scams waste money and can lead to delays in getting proper diagnosis and treatment. They can also cause serious or even fatal injuries.   If you are not sure about a health product or are thinking about using one talk to your physician first about it and see what he or she best advises. Read the rest of this post »

Prescription drugs can start to become very costly here are just a few tips that may help you save some money off your prescription drugs

*  Ask your physician if generic drugs are an option. Generic drugs can cost several hundred dollars less to purchase annually than brand-name drugs.

* Shop out for the lowest-cost place to purchase prescription drugs. Make sure to check out not only your local pharmacist but also local supermarkets, area discount centers, and mail-order pharmacies.

* Purchase store brand over-the-counter medications. Store brand medications often cost 20-40 percent less than nationally advertised brands. The savings could easily exceed $100 a year.

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11) Save money on your grocery shopping: In a prior post about saving money we talked about avoiding impulse shopping.  The local grocery store is one place where we tend to buy items we where not shopping for. Therefore one good way to save money on your next grocery shopping trip is to make a list and stick to it.

People who do food shopping with a list, and buy little else, spend much less money than those who decide what to buy when they get to the food market. The annual savings could easily be hundreds of dollars.

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Do not leave your kids (or pets) in the car while you run an errand. It only takes a few minutes for the car to heat up and turn deadly.


The largest genomic dragnet of any psychiatric disorder to date has unmasked 108 chromosomal sites harboring inherited variations in the genetic code linked to schizophrenia, 83 of which had not been previously reported. By contrast, the “skyline” of such suspect variants associated with the disorder contained only 5 significant peaks in 2011. By combining data from all available schizophrenia genetic samples, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health powered the search for clues to the molecular basis of the disorder to a new level.

10) Eating out: If you eat out often try cutting back one time a month each month. If it costs you $25 to eat out, but only $5 to eat in, then the $20 you save each month allows you to save $240.00 a year.

9) If enjoy going to your favorite coffee shop daily try cutting back to once or twice a week or instead of buying the more expensive coffee drinks change to the house coffee. The $2.00 to $3.00 a day you could save by buying a house coffee rather than a cappuccino or latte would allow you, over the course of a year, to completely fund a $500 emergency fund.

8) Keep your goal with reach: One thing too many people do is set their goals to high at the on start.  Aim for short-term savings goals, such as setting aside $20 a week or month or 2 – 3 percent of your monthly income. You want to save money without feeling like it is a hardship for you to achieve. Then when you feel like you can start saving more a month do so.  People save more successfully when they keep the short-term goal in sight.

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