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Can open-heart surgery make you dimmer?

Every year, about half a million Americans undergo open-heart surgery. Roughly 60 percent of them experience some degree of mental decline after the surgery, a phenomenon that surgeons call "pumphead." A new study in this month's Annals of Thoracic Surgery sheds light on possible causes of the mysterious condition, which in some patients is temporary but in others may last a lifetime...

January 9, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

Watch out Hawaii: Veggies may harbor rare parasite

Three people in Hawaii have come down with what appears to be a rare parasitic disease called rat lungworm disease in recent weeks. Two of the victims (friends who had a meal together) told the Honolulu Star Bulletin that they experienced "agonizing pain" after eating raw vegetables – and physicians fear they may have accidentally swallowed slug larvae hidden inside folds of raw peppers...

January 8, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

"Love hormone" may also help us recognize faces

Oxytocin, a hormone associated with trust and social bonding, also helps people recognize familiar human faces, according to a new study. Researchers say the findings, published today in The Journal of Neuroscience , could shed light on the causes of mysterious neurological and psychological disorders...

January 7, 2009 — Coco Ballantyne

Exercise and your brain: Why working out may help memory

A new study shows that sugar may not be so sweet for the brain – and may lead to memory problems. Researchers from four universities report in the Annals of Neurology that people who absorb glucose more slowly than those who metabolize it quickly are more forgetful and are more likely to have a faulty dentate gyrus, a pocket in the hippocampus section of the brain...

December 30, 2008 — Jordan Lite

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