Obesity can worsen multiple sclerosis symptoms, researchers say. Their study involved 140 patients with the relapsing-remitting form of MS, which means patients have periods of attacks (relapses), followed by periods of remission with no or few symptoms. The researchers found that obesity at the time of diagnosis was associated with more severe disability. The reason:…  read on >

About 22% of people who live in conflict areas suffer from mental health problems, a new study review finds. Common problems include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, according to the World Health Organization. About 9% have a moderate to severe mental health condition. These conclusions are based on a review of…  read on >

Apart from the sheer fun of owning a pet, having a dog enhances well-being and even personal growth in many ways. Caring for a dog teaches kids responsibility and offers everyone in the family unconditional love. Many studies have found that the social support that dogs — and pets in general — provide boosts their…  read on >

If you or a family member has asthma, your doctor has most likely mapped out the steps you need to take to treat an asthma flare. Creating a healthier home by minimizing your triggers can be as effective as medication for reducing symptoms and flares, according to a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics.…  read on >

If your loved one’s crooning is music to your ears, the reason appears to rest with part of brain that is super-sensitive to pitch. That’s the upshot of a new study offering a fresh look into what makes us human. For the research, which aimed to understand the role of music in health, researchers compared…  read on >

Can a DNA test predict a person’s future heart health? Perhaps, researchers say. A team of Canadian researchers found that by analyzing a person’s entire genome, it might be possible to predict their future heart disease risk. The so-called “polygenic risk score” analysis looks for key heart disease indicators — genetic “biomarkers” — along with…  read on >

(HealthDay News) — Allergy medications often contain an antihistamine. Some antihistamines can make users feel drowsy, unfocused and slow to react, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. When taking allergy medication, the FDA suggests: Follow directions, and read all package warnings. Use caution when driving or operating machinery. Avoid using alcohol, sedatives and tranquilizers…  read on >

(HealthDay News) — For most insect stings, a person can be treated at home, says MedlinePlus. For non-severe reactions, first aid is as follows: Do not use tweezers. Scrape a straight-edged object across the stinger for removal. Wash the site with soap and water. Apply ice on the site for 10 minutes. Take an antihistamine,…  read on >

The waning effectiveness of a flawed whooping cough vaccine is the main culprit in recent outbreaks of the highly contagious bacterial infection, a new study reports. More than four out of five confirmed whooping cough (pertussis) cases strike children who are fully vaccinated, the study authors said. That’s because the vaccine for whooping cough loses…  read on >