ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
CANCER
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Get to Know the Pap Test
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Depression
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
Restaurant Sushi May Have More Mercury Than Store-Bought Fare
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
EYE CARE, VISION
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
Florida Vision Test Law: Fewer Traffic Deaths Among Elderly
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
When Clocks Change, Body May Need Time to Adjust
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fewer Heart Attacks After England Goes Smoke-Free
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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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.