Health Headlines: 5 Common Mental Illnesses Share DNA Roots
Plus: Heart disease and cancer were responsible for 50 percent of all deaths in the U.S. in 2010; Lyme Disease growing in Mass., and more health news.
Five of the most common mental¬†illnesses¬†share the same DNA roots,¬†according¬†to the largest study of its kind on genetics and mental health by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital. The study, published last week in the journal, Lancet,¬†says that five most common mental illnesses¬†‚ÄĒ autism, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disease, schizophrenia, and major depression ‚ÄĒ¬†all have a common genetic root. Researchers looked at the¬†genetics of more than 33,000 psychiatric patients and compared them to nearly 28,000 people without mental illness. Dr. Jordan Smoller, who led the study, told NBC News that,¬†‚ÄúWe didn‚Äôt know going in that we would be able to find commonality with such a broad array of disorders.” [NBC News]
Massachusetts urged to step up Lyme Disease prevention efforts in a special¬†committee¬†report. About¬†14,000 reports of Lyme disease are confirmed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health each year but officials say the real numbers could be 10 times that due to underreporting.¬†Lyme disease is spreading at alarming rates in Mass. as the tick-carrying deer population grows and new housing is built on natural habitats. [WBUR]
The CDC says that in 2010, heart disease and cancer were¬†responsible¬†for 50 percent of¬†deaths¬†in the United States. The new chart, released last week by the CDC, lists the top 10 causes of death is the U.S in 2010 (in order) as: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower¬†respiratory¬†disease, stroke,¬†unintentional¬†injuries, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, nephritis (kidney¬†inflammation), influenza and¬†pneumonia, and suicide. [CDC]
Have bad PMS? Eat more iron, and less potassium. According to a new study¬†published¬†online in The American Journal of Epidemiology, a¬†10-year study of more than 3,000 women has found that dietary iron may reduce the risk for premenstrual syndrome, while potassium intake may increase it. [NY Times]
Brain scans may reveal your political¬†affiliation.¬†A study out of the¬†University¬†of¬†California found that in¬†participants who voted Democrat, gray matter showed more activation in the left posterior insula, the region linked with empathy and emotion.¬†Conservatives, however, flexed their right amygdala more often when making decisions. That brain region is associated with fear, reward, and a fight-or-flight response. Sounds about right. [The Body Odd]
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/health/blog/2013/03/04/health-headlines-mental-disorders-dna/