The coronavirus pandemic has dominated the headlines and our daily lives for most of this year. Medical News Today have covered this fast-moving, complex story with live updates on the latest news, interviews with experts, and an ongoing investigation into the deep racial disparities that COVID-19 has helped unmask.
However, this has not stopped us from publishing hundreds of fascinating stories on a myriad of other topics.
We have a very varied selection this week, taking in some common misconceptions about mental health, all you need to know about Medicare, and a promising new treatment option for people with Parkinson’s disease.
We also look at what sugar may be doing to your gut microbiota and how the active compound in cannabis may undo some of that damage.
Finally, we look at the Stockholm syndrome – what it is, its history, and what treatment is available. We also provide an illustrated guide to the perfect stretching routine that will loosen you up before the weekend.
Below are 10 recent stories that you may have missed amid all the COVID-19 fervor.
1. Medical myths: Mental health misconceptions
In the latest addition to our Medical Myths series, we tackle 11 myths associated with mental health and address the stigma wrongly linked with mental disorders.
Are mental health problems uncommon? Can a panic attack be fatal? Do people with schizophrenia have a split personality? We answer these and eight more questions, complete with a video summary of the highlights.
2. MNT‘s Medicare hub
With 39 articles covering every aspect of the government-funded medical insurance program, it’s one of the most comprehensive Medicare resources available.
3. Fructose in diet may exacerbate inflammatory bowel disease
This week, MNT reported on new research in mice that found a diet high in the sugar fructose (which makes up 50% of table sugar, or sucrose) makes IBD worse. Changes in gut microbiota may explain this effect, as giving the mice antibiotics reduced the harmful effects of their high fructose diet on the colon.
The number of people diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) each year in the United States has increased from 2 million in 1999 to 3 million in 2015. Increasing consumption of fructose over recent decades may account for some of this increase.
4. Cannabis compound prevents colon cancer in mice
MNT have already covered several studies on the health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD). This week we reported on new research suggesting that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active compound in cannabis, has anti-inflammatory properties and may prevent colon cancer.
In the study, scientists treated some mice with THC, while the mice in the control group received only a vehicle, which is similar to a placebo. Mice receiving THC showed no tumors at the end of the study, unlike the control group.
This finding suggests that people who have a higher chance of developing colon cancer may benefit from treatment with THC.
5. Parkinson’s: Study examines the potential of spinal cord stimulation
New research, reported by MNT this week, looks at whether spinal cord stimulation methods could improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms — particularly pain and mobility issues. All of the people in the study reported reduced pain and improved mobility following the treatment.
The researchers hope that spinal cord stimulation could serve as a salvage therapy in people for whom DBS is no longer as effective as it used to be.
6. 9 home remedies for insomnia
One-third of U.S. adults get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep each night. Many people prefer to use natural remedies and relaxation techniques, rather than sleeping pills, to encourage the onset of sleep, and improve its quality and duration.
In this new, medically-reviewed article, we look at nine different ways to treat insomnia, including melatonin, herbal remedies, relaxation techniques, and exercise. We also look at the importance of good sleep hygiene. To learn what that is, click below.
7. How quickly do probiotics work?
Probiotics are living microorganisms that thrive within the human body and may produce beneficial health effects, particularly by promoting healthy gut microbiota. We explored the possible benefits of probiotics and prebiotics in a previous article, but you may wonder how long it takes before a person feels any effects.
This new article looks at how it takes for probiotic treatment to affect conditions, ranging from diarrhea to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We also look at some common types of probiotic organisms and how to use them.
8. What is Stockholm syndrome?
Stockholm syndrome takes its name from the aftermath of a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1973. During a 6-day stand-off between the captors and the police, some of the hostages developed emotional bonds with their captors. They refused to testify against them in the court trial.
This fascinating article looks at the possible causes of Stockholm syndrome, its symptoms, treatment, and further examples from recent times.
9. What to know about choosing a psychologist
Psychologists can help with a range of mental health issues, ranging from chronic depression to episodes of grief. They may even help people develop strategies to cope with unusual psychological phenomena, such as Stockholm syndrome.
This new article explores how a person might choose a psychologist, highlighting factors such as accreditation, specialism, and cost, as well as what to consider when looking for a child psychologist.
10. Daily stretching routines: For beginners, runners, and more
Finally, the latest in our series of illustrated guides to exercise. This week, we look at how you might develop a daily stretching routine to help manage pain and reduce the risk of injury.
The article begins with a full-body stretching routine and continues with stretching exercises for hip flexibility and routines tailored for runners and athletes. It also considers safety issues, and when to consult a doctor if you experience pain or discomfort.
With animations demonstrating each exercise, we hope this article becomes an indispensable part of your fitness routine this weekend.
We hope these have provided a taste of the stories that we cover at MNT. We will be back with a new selection next week.
Coming soon: A sneak preview of what’s in our drafts folder
We publish hundreds of news stories and features every month. Here are some upcoming articles that may pique our readers’ interest:
- Mice with diabetes successfully treated with electromagnetic fields
- Coffee may protect against Parkinson’s disease
- New approach may give new life to old antibiotic