MS TREATMENT MAY HALT DISEASE
The drug Tysabri may help prevent new brain damage from developing in patients with multiple sclerosis, neurologists say. "In the clinical trials, the development of new lesions in the brain ... was controlled in almost 90 percent of all cases," says Dr. Victor Rivera, medical director of the Maxine Mesinger Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and The Methodist Hospital. "None of the patients has had any relapse or attack since we started the trial." Tysabri, approved in November for certain multiple sclerosis patients, appears effective, fast-acting and safe for the relapsing forms of the degenerative disease, Rivera says. Tysabri is made by the trial's sponsor, pharmaceutical company Biogen Idec. The drug is being tested in an international study.
FOOD MAY LIFT MOOD
A Harvard University study suggests eating the right foods could have the same effect as taking traditional antidepressant medications. The researchers at McLean Hospital report in Biological Psychiatry omega-3 fatty acids and uridine, substances found in such foods as fish, walnuts, molasses and sugar beets, can help prevent the development of depression in rats. "Giving rats a combination of uridine and omega-3 fatty acids produced immediate effects that were indistinguishable from those caused by giving the rats standard antidepressant medications," says lead author William Carlezon, director of the Behavioral Genetics Laboratory. Co-author Dr. Bruce Cohen notes, "Cultures eating diets rich in fish with high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids tend to show a lower prevalence of major depression. Many elements of diet can affect the brain and could enhance or detract from this benefit."
ATTRACTION MAY NOT SPELL HAPPINESS
Research with newlyweds suggests what first attracts you to your spouse may not keep you happy after marriage. Scientists at the University of Iowa found people tend to marry those who are similar in attitudes, religion and values, but it is similarity in personality that appears to be more important in determining whether a marriage stays happy. "Once people are in a committed relationship, it is primarily personality similarity that influences marital happiness because being in a committed relationship entails regular interaction and requires extensive coordination in dealing with tasks, issues and problems of daily living," Eva Klohnen and colleagues report in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
WOMEN'S VIEWS ON VITAMINS, HEALTH
A national survey shows 44 percent of U.S. women take a multivitamin every day while 33 percent never do. More than half of women think taking a multivitamin could help ward off the flu by improving their immune system, and 69 percent think it makes them healthier overall, the survey conducted for the makers of Viactiv vitamins shows. More American women say they make their bed every day, 67 percent, than those who say they take a multi-vitamin. Adults over 55 are most likely to take a multivitamin every day, while those ages 18 to 35 are least likely. The poll also shows more than half of women are more concerned about their health now than they were a few years ago, but nearly two-thirds of women say they are not very concerned or not at all concerned about the flu this year. The survey also shows the most active group is the over-65-set, with half the women that age exercising daily.
(Editors: For more information about MS, contact Ross Tomlin at (713) 798-4712 or
email@example.com. For FOOD, Adriana Bobinchock at (617) 855.2110. For HAPPINESS, David Partenheimer at (202) 336-5706 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For VITAMINS, Kirsten Plonner at (212) 994-7546)