motor skills

  1. Tiny fruit may hold secret Parkinson's cure

    Beat Parkinson's with pie?

    It's 3 a.m., and you're shaking like a dog pooping razor blades. Your heart is beating through your chest, and everywhere you look you see terrifying hallucinations. The walls are melting. Dark, hooded figures surround you.

    And finally, when you just can't take it any more, you vomit all over yourself.

    No, friend, you haven't been stricken with some mysterious new illness. This evening of hell was brought to you courtesy of a powerful, million-dollar medication designed to make you well!

    If you suffer from Parkinson's disease, you've likely already been living this nightmare for far too long. Big Pharma's answer for the stiffness and tremors of Parkinson's disease has been a class of sledgehammer drugs that can leave everything from your bowels to your brain in tatters.

    But Canadian scientists say help may be on the way -- all thanks to a powerful little berry you can pop by the handful or bake into a delicious pie!

    It sounds strange -- but stick with me. You see, when you're suffering from Parkinson's disease, a nasty gene called alpha-synuclein builds up on your neurons like grime in a filthy bathtub. It blocks levels of dopamine your body and brain need to stay healthy, and your motor skills start going to hell in a hand basket.

    But when scientists tested regular ol' blueberry extract on fruit flies, it didn't just keep levels of alpha-synuclein in check -- it actually increased the flies' lifespan by an impressive 15%.

    Now 15% of a fruit fly's life may not add up to much, but researchers say it could translate to an extra eight years of healthy, active living for you!

    It's a big jump from fruit fly studies to human trials, but blueberries are packed with flavonoids and could help fight diabetes or keep your cholesterol in check naturally, so there's no reason you can't start enjoying them today. And, if you're lucky, they just may be a sweet way to ditch those sickening Parkinson's meds for good.

  2. Common chemical turns children into monsters

    If you think kids are just plain rotten now, just wait a few years. The next generation is going to be the worst group yet.

    It's not because of poor parenting (although that will certainly play its part). It's because of toxic chemicals.

    A new study finds that phthalates -- estrogen-like chemicals found in plastics -- are turning kids into bratty little monsters with serious physical, mental, and behavioral issues.

    Researchers measured phthalate levels in the urine of 319 pregnant women, and tracked the kids for three years. Even at the tender age of three, those problems were already cropping up.

    The researchers found that boys and girls alike with the highest levels of prenatal exposure were more likely to have behavioral problems and delays in motor skills. Girls got a bonus: They were lacking in the brains department, too.

    I feel bad for the teachers of tomorrow. They're going to have their work cut out for them, and this is going to get a whole lot worse down the road. The researchers say phthalates levels have skyrocketed since 2004, in some cases nearly tripling previous measurements.

    Believe it or not, the problems don't end there. Like I said, this stuff acts like estrogen in the body, and other studies have shown it's practically turning boys into girls.

    Some are even sprouting breasts! (Read about it here.) I'd crack a joke about a rise in male figure skaters in the coming years, but the delayed motor skills probably rules out that career path.

    Naturally, you can't count on the government to help you out here. The Environmental Protection Agency says its so concerned by phthalate risk that it plans to add these chemicals to its list of things to be concerned about... one of these days.

  3. Having friends keeps seniors sharp

    Staying young can be a state of mind. And now there's a study that says that old folks who maintain an active social life with friends are more likely avoid age-related decline like dementia.
  4. How HRT affects you gallbladder

    A new study has revealed yet another potentially devastating health issue that can develop in postmenopausal women who are on HRT regimens: gallbladder disease.

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