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There is a widely held belief that maintaining a normal weight automatically guards against disorders such as high levels of circulating blood fats and a tendency to develop type 2 diabetes. More than half of American adults considered to have normal body weight have high body fat percentages -- greater than 20 percent for men and 30 percent for women -- as well as heart and metabolic disturbances, new Mayo Clinic research shows.

The researchers defined “normal weight” by body mass index (BMI). They found that people with normal BMI who had the highest percentage of body fat were also those who had metabolic disturbances linked to heart disease.

The researchers use the phrase “normal weight obesity” to describe this new type of patient at risk for metabolism problems and risk factors for heart disease, but who rates as “normal” on standard weight charts. They defined normal weight obesity as a condition of having a normal BMI with high body fat percentage.

Parkinson’s disease affects daily tasks that people take for granted. Brushing teeth, getting out of bed and walking become a problem for these patients because of dopamine depletion, which results in stiffness or slowing of movement and fine motor dysfunction.

While occupational therapy is frequently used in the comprehensive care of Parkinson’s patients, evidence is needed to support its short- or long-term effectiveness, says says Dr.

Who knew you could cure disease by getting down in the mud?

Scientists in Arizona report that minerals from clay could form the basis of a new generation of inexpensive, highly-effective antimicrobials for fighting MRSA infections that are moving out of health care settings and into the community. These “superbugs” are increasingly resistant to multiple antibiotics and cause thousands of deaths each year.

Unlike conventional antibiotics that are often administered by injection or pills, the so-called “healing clays” could be used as rub-on creams or ointments to keep MRSA infections from spreading, the researchers say. The clays also show promise against a wide range of other harmful bacteria, including those that cause skin infections and food poisoning, the scientists add. Their study, one of the first to explore the antimicrobial activity of natural clays in detail, was presented today at the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.


People affected by Huntington’s disease, which affects up to one person in every 10,000 but clusters in families and certain populations, develop clusters of a defective protein in their neurons and shrinkage of brain areas associated with movement. The disorder causes disability and eventually death, but does not normally manifest until after people have had children, allowing the disease gene to be passed on.

“Although Huntington’s disease is considered the epitome of genetic determinism, environmental factors are increasingly recognised to influence the disease progress”, the researchers write.

Current strategies for jaw reconstruction require multiple procedures, first to repair the bone defect to offer sufficient support, and then to place the tooth implant.

The entire procedure can be painful and time-consuming, and the desired esthetic and functional repair can be achieved only when both steps are successful. Although the patient’s quality of life can be improved significantly, the prognosis is often unpredictable, especially in young patients, whose jaws continue to grow, while the implant remains fixed.

The ability to bioengineer combined tooth and bone constructs, which would grow in a coordinated fashion with the surrounding tissues, could potentially improve the clinical outcomes, and also reduce patient suffering.

Our biological rhythm controls many metabolic functions and is based on the circadian rhythm, which is a roughly 24-hour cycle that is important in determining sleeping and feeding patterns, cell regeneration, and other biological processes in mammals.

A newly discovered rhythm discovered by NYU dental professor Dr. Timothy Bromage also originates in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that functions as the main control center for the autonomic nervous system. Unlike the circadian rhythm, this clock varies from one organism to another, operating on shorter time intervals for small mammals, and longer ones for larger animals. For example, rats have a one-day interval, chimpanzees six, and humans eight.

Bromage discovered the rhythm while observing incremental growth lines in tooth enamel, which appear much like the annual rings on a tree. He also observed a related pattern of incremental growth in skeletal bone tissue – the first time such an incremental rhythm has ever been observed in bone.