Researchers have long wondered why some women with MS go into remission while they're pregnant. Now in a study on pregnant mice, researchers found production of the hormone prolactin went up during pregnancy and likewise, many damaged nerve cells repaired themselves during that time in fact, when scientists injected prolactin into non-pregnant mice, the protective coating on nerves that were damaged by ms also became repaired. The report in the journal Neuroscience is described as promising research that may even apply to ailments outside of MS like brain and spinal cord injuries. The study at the University of Calgary found that the pregnant mice had twice as many myelin-producing cells, called oligodendrocytes, and continued to generate new ones during pregnancy. After giving birth, these mice also had fifty percent more myelin coating their nerve cells. The researchers also showed that pregnancy repaired nerve cells faster where the myelin had been chemically destroyed: pregnant female mice had twice as much new myelin two weeks after damage. Finally, they found that prolactin mimicked the effects of pregnancy, increasing both myelin production and repair. This suggests prolactin, which increases during pregnancy, may help induce the making of new myelin.
High cholesterol could double a woman's chance of having a stroke even if she's healthy otherwise. More than 27,000 healthy women, all professionals over the age of 45, were followed for 11 years for this study researchers say those who had high cholesterol were significantly more likely to suffer a stroke -- even though no one in the study had a history of cardiovascular disease, cancer or any other major illness.
And one more headline kids are sure to like surgeons who play video games may have better surgical skills than those who don't! A study surveyed surgeons on their past and present video game habits, and then scored their performance on simulated surgery drills. They found surgeons with the best video game skills made nearly fifty per cent fewer errors, performed procedures faster and scored nearly 40 percent better on the simulated surgery drills. Researchers say video games can be used to train surgeons particularly those who do laproscopic procedures which is where a surgeon works his hands but watches what he does on a TV screen.