ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
Ginkgo No Shield Against Alzheimer's
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Drinking Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
More Cancer Tests Mean More False-Positive Results
CAREGIVING
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Dementia Underestimated in Developing Countries
Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FITNESS
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Man Dies of Brain Inflammation Caused by Deer Tick Virus
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Eat Light - Live Longer
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
When It Comes to Toys, Shop Smart, Shop Safe
Help Your Kids Stay Active
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
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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.