ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
New Clues to How Fish Oils Help Arthritis Patients
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
CANCER
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
CAREGIVING
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
Mediterranean Diet Enriched With Nuts Cuts Heart Risks
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
EYE CARE, VISION
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
FITNESS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Maximize Your Run
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
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Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Music may have charms to help restore sight to those recovering from a stroke, a new study finds.

Stroke survivors can suffer impaired visual awareness called visual neglect. It's caused by stroke-related damage in brain areas that integrate vision, attention and action, the researchers said.

Patients with visual neglect lose awareness of objects in the opposite side of space compared to the site of the brain injury. For example, if the stroke is on the right side of the brain, patients lose awareness of visual information that's to their left. This occurs even though there's no damage to the brain area associated with sight, according to the study.

"Visual neglect can be a very distressing condition for stroke patients. It has a big effect on their day-to-day lives," lead author Dr. David Soto, of Imperial College London, said in a school news release. "For example, in extreme cases, patients with visual neglect may eat only the food on their right side of their plate, or shave only half of their face, thus failing to react to certain objects in the environment."

The study included three stroke survivors who'd lost awareness of half of their field of vision. They completed vision tasks in three settings: listening to their preferred music; listening to music they didn't like; and in silence.

All the patients were better able to identify colored shapes and red lights in their depleted side of vision when they listened to music they liked, compared with music they didn't like or silence.

According to the researchers, this suggests that positive emotions triggered by listening to pleasant music may result in more efficient signaling in the brain. In turn, this may improve the patient's awareness by giving the brain more resources to process stimuli.

The study was published March 23 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Our results are very promising, although we would like to look at a much larger group of patients with visual neglect and with other neuropsychological impairments," Soto said. "Our findings suggest that we should think more carefully about the individual emotional factors in patients with visual neglect and in other neurological patients following a stroke," Soto said.

"Music appears to improve awareness because of its positive emotional effect on the patient, so similar beneficial effects may also be gained by making the patient happy in other ways. This is something we are keen to investigate further," he said.

More information

The National Stroke Association has more about the effects of stroke.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Imperial College London, news release, March 23, 2009

Last Updated: March 25, 2009

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