Trans Fat Bans Tied to Fewer Heart Attacks and Strokes

Laws that restrict adding trans fats to foods have had immediate beneficial effects on heart health, new research has found. The Food and Drug Administration plans to restrict the use of trans fats in foods nationwide in 2018, but between 2007 and 2011, some counties in New York State, but not others, banned trans fatty acids in restaurants, bakeries, soup kitchens, park concessions and other public places where food is served. In a natural experiment to test the effect of the ban, researchers compared nine counties with trans fat restrictions to eight that had none. Cardiovascular disease has been declining nationwide in recent years, but the decline was even steeper in counties where trans fats were banned. Three years after restrictions were imposed,...

Brain Cell Therapy “promising” for Parkinson’s Disease

SPL Scientists believe they have found a way to treat and perhaps reverse Parkinson’s disease, by making replacement cells to mend the damaged brain.  They say human brain cells can be coaxed to take over the job of the ones that are destroyed in Parkinson’s.  Tests in mice with Parkinson-like symptoms showed that the therapy appeared to ease the condition.  Many more studies are needed before similar tests can begin in people. Experts say the research published in Nature Biotechnology is hugely promising, although at a very early stage. The scientists still have to check if the treatment is safe, and whether the converted cells, which started out in life as astrocytes, can truly function like the dopamine-producing neurons...

Dying Man Noel Conway Can Fight Right-to-die Law

  Noel Conway was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2014 A terminally ill man has won the right to bring a High Court challenge over the law on assisted dying. Noel Conway, 67, asked the Court of Appeal to overturn a decision that prevented a judicial review over the blanket ban on providing a person with assistance to die. The retired college lecturer, who has motor neurone disease, is not expected to live for more than 12 more months. Mr Conway, from Shrewsbury, was diagnosed with the disease in 2014. More updates on this and other stories in Shropshire Mr Conway, who lives with his wife and son, used to enjoy climbing, skiing, walking and cycling, but is now dependent on a ventilator overnight, requires a wheelchair and needs help to dress and...

Healthiest Hearts in the World Found

  The healthiest hearts in the world have been found in the Tsimane people in the forests of Bolivia, say researchers. Barely any Tsimane had signs of clogged up arteries – even well into old age – a study in the Lancet showed. “It’s an incredible population” with radically different diets and ways of living, said the researchers. They admit the rest of the world cannot revert to a hunter-gathering and early farming existence, but said there were lessons for all of us. Tsimane? Tsimane is pronounced “chee-may-nay”. There are around 16,000 Tsimane who hunt, fish and farm on the Maniqui River in the Amazon rainforest in the Bolivian lowlands. Their way of life has similarities to human civilisation thousands of...

How to Find Clinical Trials for Experimental Cancer Treatments

Sung Yoo has gastric cancer. He signed up for an experimental cancer treatment with the help of the Queens Cancer Center. CreditJoshua Bright for The New York Times  Who might benefit from a clinical trial for an experimental cancertreatment? A common misperception is that such trials are strictly for patients who have reached the end of the road and have no more hope of being helped by standard treatments. “But it’s not last-ditch,” said Dina G. Lansey, the assistant director for diversity and inclusion in clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. New forms of immunotherapy are being tested in many types of cancer, and not just at late stages. Doctors should head off the misunderstanding by routinely mentioning...

The Cost Can Be Debated, but Meals on Wheels Gets Results

Meals on Wheels has been delivering food to older people in the United States since the 1950s. Last year it served 2.4 million people. This week, after President Trump released his budget proposal, a furor erupted over the program’s future and effectiveness. Let’s look at the evidence. Mr. Trump’s budget proposes big cuts to discretionary spending. In a news conference on Thursday, his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, defended cuts to the Community Development Block Grant program by arguing that it was “just not showing any results.” (Some states give a portion of that block grant money to Meals on Wheels.) “We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good,” Mr. Mulvaney said. “And Meals on Wheels sounds great —...