ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Birds Don't Miss a Beat
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
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Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Vitamin K Doesn't Slow Bone Loss
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
CANCER
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Holistic Dentistry-My View
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Go Healthy, Not Hungry for Holiday Eating
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
FITNESS
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Study Shows Exercise Shields Against Osteoporosis
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Maximize Your Run
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
Babies Who Eat Fish Lower Eczema Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Countdown to Hair Loss
MENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
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Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients

THURSDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The inability to focus is a common problem for stroke survivors, and a new study finds they might benefit from attention-training.

New Zealand psychologists evaluated 78 stroke patients who underwent attention process training (APT) and found significant improvement on one test of attention compared to those who had standard stroke therapy, according to a report in the July 23 issue of Stroke.

But the improvement in attention was not accompanied by significant improvements in performance, and no differences were seen in three other tests of attention.

The study is "really important and exciting," said McKay Moore Sohlberg, an associate professor in the department of communication disorders and sciences at the University of Oregon. She and a colleague, Catherine A. Mateer, developed APT in the 1980s when both were at the University of Washington. Mateer, a neuropsychologist, now is at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. They designed APT for accident victims with brain injuries.

"It's an exciting paper in terms of being a rigorous, controlled trial," Sohlberg said. "There has not been a lot of information available on APT after stroke. The positive results suggest that it might be something that is helpful."

APT is a series of exercises designed to improve cognitive function. "For example, you listen for a particular stimulus, a letter or word, and perform an appropriate response," Sohlberg said. "Different exercises are matched to different problems."

The New Zealand study is "a first step to establish whether people who have strokes can profit from APT," Sohlberg said.

"What we don't know from this paper is how well the results generalize to functional tasks," she said. "Does doing better on cognitive tests translate to a better ability to hold conversations or read? That is the next step, looking at the functional effects of it."

Loss of the ability to focus attention is a major problem for people after a stroke, said Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, director of the Duke University Stroke Center in Durham, N.C. "You can be sitting in a room and something is going on in the hallway and you have no idea of what's going on out there," he said. "Or your left arm is not working well, and you might not even realize that it's your arm."

But the New Zealand study does not establish the value of APT in stroke therapy, Goldstein noted. It is a small and very preliminary study, he said. "It looks like only half the participants completed the therapy. They found some benefit, but no significant changes in quality of life or global level of deficit," Goldstein said.

Nevertheless, the results indicate that use of APT in stroke therapy "is worthy of further research," he said.

SOURCES: McKay Moore Sohlberg, Ph.D, associate professor, department of communication disorders and sciences, University of Oregon, Portland; Larry A. Goldstein, M.D, director, Duke University Stroke Center, Durham, N.C.; July 23, 2009,