A modified type of botulinum toxin — botox — gave mice long-term pain relief and may someday be a safer alternative to opioids as a treatment for chronic pain, according to British researchers. They “deconstructed” the botulinum molecule and reassembled it with an opioid called dermorphin. The resulting compound — called Derm-BOT — silenced pain…  read on >

Chemicals used to cure meats like salami and hot dogs may be linked to a mood disorder called mania, researchers report. Those chemicals, known as nitrates, are frequently added to processed meats to prevent bacteria growth. “There’s growing evidence that germs in the intestines can influence the brain,” said study lead author Dr. Robert Yolken.…  read on >

Children who abuse animals may have been abused themselves, a new study suggests. Kids aged 10 and up who intentionally hurt animals are two to three times more likely to have been abused than kids who treat animals with respect, said the British researchers who conducted the review. “Asking about a history of animal abuse…  read on >

As the tick population surges across the United States this summer, one doctor says the best way to avoid being infected with the nasty illnesses the tiny bugs carry is to wear protective clothing and to check your body thoroughly after every trip into the woods. Just last week, a new study found that ticks…  read on >

Children with autism show abnormalities in a deep brain circuit that typically makes socializing enjoyable, a new study finds. Using MRI brain scans, researchers found that kids with autism showed differences in the structure and function of a brain circuit called the mesolimbic reward pathway. That circuit, located deep within the brain, helps you take…  read on >

Even if it’s not visible to the naked eye, blood in the stool can be serious — a sign of a potentially fatal disease other than colon cancer, new research suggests. This could include circulatory, respiratory, digestive, blood, hormonal or neuropsychological diseases, the Scottish scientists said. A test that picks up unseen blood in feces,…  read on >

The more you smoke, the greater your chances of developing a common heart rhythm disorder that increases your risk of stroke and early death, researchers say. “If you smoke, stop smoking, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start,” said study author Dagfinn Aune, a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College London. “We found that smokers are…  read on >

You’ve probably heard the health warning: Sitting is the new smoking. The importance of getting up and walking to prevent serious health issues when you sit at a desk all day long has gotten a lot of attention recently. Those health risks include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess weight and high cholesterol levels,…  read on >

(HealthDay News) — Today’s ever-stressful lifestyles demand techniques to cultivate your healthiest self. The American Heart Association suggests these healthier habits: Sleep well, since getting a good night’s sleep helps improve eating habits, mood and memory. Add yoga or meditation to your life. Finding coping methods, such as a brisk walk, volunteering or starting a…  read on >

There’s no need to panic if you cut yourself with a knife or broken glass, one dermatologist says, since most cuts can be treated at home. “The most important thing to do is to gently wash the cut to prevent an infection,” said Dr. Laura Ferris, an associate professor of dermatology at the University of…  read on >