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Physical exercise protects the brain from stress-induced depression

Physical exercise has many beneficial effects on human health, including the protection from stress-induced depression. However, until now the mechanisms that mediate this protective effect have been unknown.

In a new study in mice, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden show that exercise training induces changes in skeletal muscle that can purge the blood of a substance that accumulates during stress, and is harmful to the brain.

The study is being published in the prestigious journal Cell.

All Diets Have Similar Results - If You Stick At It

Any diet will do, say researchers, if you stick to it.

All diets - from Atkins to Weight Watchers - have similar results and people should simply pick the one they find easiest, say researchers.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analysed data from 48 separate trials. The Canadian team concluded that sticking to a diet was more important than the diet itself.

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.

lyme disease - picture of tick feeding on human leg

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

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

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