LAB REPORT

Healthy diet linked to lower risk of chronic lung disease

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 February, 2015, 6:02am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 February, 2015, 6:02am

The eight faces of of schizophrenia Scientists from the universities of Granada in Spain and Washington in St Louis, US, have found that there is not just one single type of schizophrenia, but a group of eight genetically different types of disease, each of which presents its own set of symptoms. Published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study, which involved nearly 4,200 schizophrenic patients and 3,200 healthy people, reveals a total of 42 gene groups that influence in a variety of ways the risk of suffering schizophrenia. In one group of patients, for example, researchers found that incongruent speech and disorganised behaviour are specifically associated with a DNA variations network that leads to a 100 per cent risk of suffering schizophrenia.

Healthy diet lowers risk of lung disease A recent study shows that eating a diet rich in whole grains, polyunsaturated fats and nuts - and low in red and processed meat, refined grains and sugary drinks - is associated with a lower risk of chronic lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), the third leading cause of death worldwide. The study, published in The BMJ, was based on data from more than 120,000 US men and women who were tracked from 1984 to 2000. After adjusting for factors such as age, physical activity, body mass index, smoking and ethnicity, researchers found the risk of newly diagnosed chronic lung disease was a third lower in participants who ate the healthiest diet compared with those who ate the least healthy diet.

Genetics of motion sickness uncovered Roughly one in three people are affected by motion sickness, and now scientists have identified 35 genetic variants that make some people more prone to it than others. It's estimated that up to 70 per cent of variation in risk for motion sickness is due to genetics. The study, by Californian personal genetics company 23andMe, shows the importance of the nervous system in motion sickness and suggest a role for glucose levels in motion-induced nausea and vomiting. The study also identified associations between motion sickness and lifestyle; for example, a link between being a poor sleeper and having a propensity for motion sickness.

More evidence that studying music protects the brain Musical training from a young age can prevent the decay in speech listening skills later in life. A study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that older adults who had musical training in their youth were 20 per cent faster at identifying speech sounds than their non-musician peers on speech identification tests. Starting formal lessons on a musical instrument before the age of 14 and continuing intense training for up to a decade appears to enhance key areas in the brain that support speech recognition.