ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Chronic Low Back Pain Is on the Rise
CANCER
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
CAREGIVING
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
DIABETES
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Genetics, Environment Shape Sexual Behavior
EYE CARE, VISION
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
FITNESS
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Have Fun But Put Play It Safe on the 4th
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Working Intensely Early on May Help Autistic Kids
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
MEN'S HEALTH
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
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Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller

The needle pricks involved in acupuncture may help relieve pain by triggering a natural painkilling chemical called adenosine, a new study has found.

The researchers also believe they can enhance acupuncture's effectiveness by coupling the process with a well-known cancer drug -- deoxycoformycin -- that maintains adenosine levels longer than usual.

"Acupuncture has been a mainstay of medical treatment in certain parts of the world for 4,000 years, but because it has not been understood completely, many people have remained skeptical," lead author Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in a news release. "In this work, we provide information about one physical mechanism through which acupuncture reduces pain in the body."

Nedergaard and her team report their findings online May 30 in the journal Nature Neuroscience. They are also scheduled to present the results this week at the Purines 2010 scientific meeting in Barcelona.

Working exclusively with mice, Nedergaard and her colleagues administered half-hour acupuncture treatments to a group with paw discomfort.

The investigators found adenosine levels in tissue near the needle insertion points was 24 times greater after treatment, and those mice with normal adenosine function experienced a two-thirds drop in paw pain. By contrast, mice that were genetically engineered to have no adenosine function gained no benefit from the treatment.

The team also found that if they activated adenosine in the same tissue areas without applying acupuncture, the animals' discomfort was similarly reduced, strongly suggesting that adenosine is the magic behind the method.

Adenosine, better known for regulating sleep, inhibits nerve signals and inflammation, the authors explained.

In their experiments with deoxycoformycin, which is known to impede adenosine removal from the body, the researchers said the drug almost tripled the amount of adenosine in the targeted muscles and more than tripled the amount of time that the mice experienced pain relief.