Cardiology

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An advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration has recommended the approval of a novel, injectable cholesterol-lowering drug called alirocumab, though many committee members have noted certain restrictions for its use and have requested further data on the drug's ability to reduce the risk of heart problems.

Disease

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New research reveals at least one way that the toxic tau protein associated with Alzheimer's disease jumps from brain cell to brain cell - it spreads through the extracellular space that surrounds them. The team found tau protein can spread via extracellular space. In this image, orange shows where it has traveled from one neuron to another.

Medical practice

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A new study has identified gene variations that determine life expectancy. Sixteen gene variations linked to life expectancy, of which 14 are newly discovered, have been recently identified by specialists. They also revealed three genes whose low expression in the brain is linked with longevity. In the United States, life expectancy is currently averaged at 78.

Other

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Has your dog ever barked at something that wasn't there? Has your cat ever hissed while staring at an empty space? There's some bad news if the answer is yes: your home could be haunted by evil spirits. But do not fear! The good news is your pet is busy warding them off. The new survey reveals that many pet owners believe their furry friends protect them from evil spirits.

Psychiatry

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Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is a chemical found in the human body. It carries signals along and between nerves - a neurotransmitter. It is mainly found in the brain, bowels and blood platelets. Serotonin is thought to be especially active in constricting smooth muscles, transmitting impulses between nerve cells, regulating cyclic body processes and contributing to wellbeing and happiness.

Retirees

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Physician-assisted suicide has been legal in The Netherlands since 2002, where doctors can legally help patients die if the request is voluntary, has been well thought out and if the patient is suffering with no hope of improvement. This recent study, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, explores to what degree the public agrees with the right for older people - who do not have a serious medical condition and who have a wish to die - to receive physician-assisted suicide.

Women health

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A new study on Danish women has shown that using abortion pills to terminate pregnancies during the first trimester is no more hazardous to future pregnancies than surgical terminations. The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine and is the work of scientists in Denmark and the US.