This week in health news: Pregnancy mood swings linked to binge drinking

Watch your imbibing if you've got a baby belly. Credit: Richer Pour.
Now there’s a new reason to watch how much you drink while pregnant.
Credit: Richer Pour

Pregnancy mood swings linked to binge drinking

Location of study: Norway

Study subjects: 66,111 pregnant women

Results: A new study finds that anxiety and depression increase the risk of binge drinking during pregnancy, and that 12 percent of women binge drink during their first trimester and 0.5 percent in the second trimester. The study was published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal out of Norway.

Significance: The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking for women as four or more drinks in two hours. Mothers who drink while pregnant risk premature birth, fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal death.

 

New clues for Alzheimer’s

Location of study: U.K.

Study subjects: Mice

Results: A drug that seems to stop brain cell degeneration in mice could lead to a treatment for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other degenerative brain diseases, according to researchers at the University of Leicester. Brain degeneration is thought to be the result of proteins that build up, causing neurodegeneration. The new study, published in Science Translational Medicine, finds that the brain normally stops this from happening by blocking all protein formation. But the brain needs certain proteins to do its job in other areas, and these proteins might be permanently restricted, leading to diseased brain cells. Alzheimer’s patients have a large amount of protein build-up, which is likely to trigger the permanent protein blockage.

Significance: Because the testing was in mice, “we are still far away from knowing if this has potential,” the Alzheimer’s Association said in a statement.

 

Meth found in workout supplement

Location of study: Global

Study subjects: Lab study

Results: Potentially dangerous amounts of a methamphetamine analog were found in the workout supplement Craze, according to a report published in Drug Testing and Analysis. The product is widely sold across the U.S. and online, and has not been tested for human consumption.

Significance: “In recent years, banned and untested drugs have been found in hundreds of dietary supplements,” says lead study author Dr. Pieter Cohen of Harvard Medical School.


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