Health bites

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 September, 2011, 12:00am
 

Skin Republic

This annual health exhibition on skincare returns next month. Organised by the Medical Society of the Hong Kong University Students' Union, the exhibition will have free public lectures by doctors on various skin-related topics, such as acne and psoriasis, as well as basic health checks. It will take place from 10am to 7pm at different locations each weekend, starting at Tsuen Wan Town Hall this weekend, Metro City Plaza II (Tseung Kwan O) on October 8 and 9, and finally Tuen Mun Town Hall on October 22 and 23. For more details, see www.skinrepublic.net.

Brain gain

Think you can't teach a post-adolescent dog new tricks? Think again. Research from the University of Alberta's faculty of medicine and dentistry has dispelled the long-held belief that the human brain stops developing in the teens. In an imaging study of brain wiring, the scientists found that in 103 subjects aged between five and 32, structural changes were still happening well into their 20s. Young adult brains were continuing to develop wiring to the frontal lobe, tracts responsible for complex cognitive tasks such as inhibition, high-level functioning and attention. The researchers speculated that this may be due to the many life experiences young adults face, such as tertiary education, starting a career and independence.

Sleep off diabetes risk?

Getting a good night's sleep - 71/2 to 81/2 hours per night - may stave off type-2 diabetes in obese teenagers, say paediatric researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In the study, published in the journal Diabetes Care, the experts worked with 62 obese children with an average age of 14, measuring total sleep time, stages of sleep and glucose levels. They found that getting optimal sleep helped keep insulin secretion and blood sugar (glucose) levels stable - findings that were consistent with research in adults showing an association between sleep deprivation and increased risk of type-2 diabetes.

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