Some patients with bulimia, an eating disorder, may benefit from a treatment that helps control epileptic seizures. Six bulimic patients at the University of Minnesota were implanted with vagus nerve stimulators, a device that's approved for patients with epilepsy. The VNS acts like a pacemaker, controlling the responses of the vagus nerve, in this case to reduce the impulse to vomit. Since the VNS devices were installed in these patients, all have experienced dramatic reductions in their episodes, with some having no relapse.
Advances in imaging technologies have led to astonishing views of the heart, all without surgery. The latest heart ultrasound is so good, doctors can make a diagnosis that would have previously required multiple tests. Philips Medical Systems I-E-33 ultrasound system can show the heart in clear 3-D detail, in less than a minute. The technology also measures the amount of blood pumped in each heartbeat, and the volume of the left ventricle, both prime markers of heart health. The echocardiography system is now in use at hospitals across the U.S.
Food scientists at Penn State University say the quest to keep fresh spinach in grocery stores is taking a toll on nutrient content, and causing those leafy greens to morph into nutrient weaklings. When fresh spinach was refrigerated for eight days at a low temperature, folate levels tumbled to 53%. Worse still, keeping the greens at room temperature dropped nearly half of the B vitamin potency in just four days. The food experts say either eat your spinach quickly after purchasing, or buy canned or frozen versions that retain more nutritional value.