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Two Cups of Cocoa a Day May Boost Memory

Drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day helps boost memory among the elderly, a study has suggested.

Research on pensioners found that drinking cocoa improved blood flow, which has been linked to healthier brains and improved cognition. The study led by Harvard researchers examined 60 people with an average age of 73, who did not have dementia.

Participants drank two cups of hot cocoa per day for 30 days and did not eat any other chocolate. They were given memory and thinking skills tests, as well as ultrasound tests to measure the amount of blood flow to the brain.

Ignorance of tick-borne Lyme disease 'costing lives'

When Joanne Drayson regularly walked her dogs in the woodland near her home in Guildford, Surrey, UK she was unaware that a tick the size of a poppy seed would infect her with a serious and debilitating disease.

"I had this strange symptom, which I can only describe as whole body rigidness. It kept recurring," she says.

Her health deteriorated to such an extent that she was unable to lift her legs or arms. The pain in her hips meant she was unable to climb stairs in her own home.

In the end, she was retired on health grounds from her job in the civil service.

Can Intense Exercise Cause a Stroke?

The well known BBC presenter Andrew Marr blames his recent stroke on overworking and an overly vigorous exercise session on a rowing machine. The 53-year-old said he had, to his detriment, believed the newspapers "... that we must take very, very intensive exercise in short bursts for good health."

"We have heard anecdotally that some activities like vigorous exercise can sometimes cause blood vessels to burst”  says Nikki Hill of The Stroke Association

Five psychiatric disorders 'linked'

These psychiatric illnesses seem very different — schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, major depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Yet they share several genetic glitches that can nudge the brain along a path to mental illness, researchers report. Which disease, if any, develops is thought to depend on other genetic or environmental factors.

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