Today in Medicine: Can nicotine prevent Parkinson’s?

US -FLU OUTBREAK-NYC
File photo of a woman receiving an injection. Credit: Metro

Topic of Study: Anti-cocaine vaccine
Location of study: U.S.
Study subjects: Mice, non-human primates
Results: Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College say they have successfully tested an anti-cocaine vaccine in primates, bringing them closer to launching human clinical trials. This study, published online by the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, compared the vaccine’s effect to that of Pac-man, in this case gobbling up cocaine in the blood before it can reach the brain.
Significance: Researchers state there are about 1.4 million cocaine users in the United States seeking to break their addiction to the drug. They hope that the anti-cocaine vaccine will render the drug ineffectual due to antibodies produced by the body when the drug enters the body.

Topic of Study: Nicotine and Parkinson’s disease
Location of study: U.S.
Study subjects: 490 patients newly diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, 644 unrelated individuals without neurological conditions as a control
Results: A study recently published in Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society, found that eating foods containing trace elements of nicotine, such as peppers and tomatoes, might reduce risk of developing Parkinson’s. Researchers seem to think that Solanaceae, a flowering plant family that includes variants that are edible sources of nicotine, may provide a protective effect against Parkinson’s disease. Eating vegetables in general did not affect Parkinson’s disease risk, but as consumption of edible Solanaceae increased, Parkinson’s Disease risk decreased. Peppers displayed the strongest effect.
Significance: Previously, researchers have found that smoking cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, also a Solanaceae plant, reduced relative risk of Parkinson’s Disease, which is caused by a loss of brain cells that produce dopamine and results in facial, hand, arm, and leg tremors; stiffness in the limbs; loss of balance and slower overall movement. Experts are not sure if nicotine or other components in tobacco provide a protective effect.

Topic of Study: Fish vs. red meat in reducing cancer risk
Location of study: Canada
Study subjects: Meta-analysis
Results: Nutrition Reviews just published a report stating that people who eat red and processed meat are 40 percent more likely to develop oesophageal cancer than others who ate a diet with more fish.
Significance: It’s been thought that nitrates and other chemicals used in processed meat are carcinogenic. This new study provides more evidence that cutting down on red meat is healthier.

Topic of Study: Coumarin In cinnamon and cinnamon-based products
Location of study: U.S.
Study subjects: Data study
Results: The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reports that many cinnamon-flavored foods, drinks and supplements sold in the U.S. use a form of the spice that contains high levels of a natural substance, coumarin, which may cause liver damage. Cassia cinnamon, which is used as a cinnamon flavor in most American breads, sticky buns and other products, is cheaper than Ceylon, true cinnamon. Cassia was found to have higher levels of coumarin than ceylon.
Significance: The study results are similar to those out of the European Union.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.