ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists ID New Genes Tied to Crohn's Disease
B Cells Can Act Alone in Autoimmune Diseases
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
CANCER
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
CAREGIVING
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
What Moms Learned May Be Passed to Offspring
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
DIET, NUTRITION
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
The Raw Food Diet
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
Air Pollution May Cause Appendicitis: Study Reveals
EYE CARE, VISION
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
FITNESS
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
U.S. Prepares for Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Add your Article

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.