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UAMS neurologists discover new disease; FDA on sleeping pills; cancer detecting bra

Two UAMS neurologists are part of a multi-institutional team that has identified a new neuro- degenerative disease. A major change that could affect sleeping patterns for those who suffer from insomnia. A company in Reno, Nevada has developed a bra that can detect temperature changes in a woman's breasts -- which could signal breast cancer.
Two UAMS neurologists are part of a multi-institutional team that has identified a new neuro- degenerative disease.

The new disease is called BPAN, which is basically an increased deposit of iron in the brain.

UAMS researchers discovered the disease in 20 patients whose symptoms include early-onset Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and dementia by early adulthood.

Doctors say the discovery pushes the frontiers of science and helps deliver quality health care to Arkansans.

A major change that could affect sleeping patterns for those who suffer from insomnia.

The FDA is ordering lower doses of Ambien and other sleeping pills to prevent reported harmful side effects.

If you have issues sleeping -- a new effort by the Food and Drug Administration could leave you tossing and turning.

In an attempt to stem the misuse of prescription sleeping pills, the agency is now ordering drug makers to lower dosages of the drugs.

Dr. Manny says, "For a lot of patients it's becoming a little addictive. They rely on Ambien constantly now to go to sleep."

According to the CDC, about 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems.

Last year alone - doctors issued close to 40-million prescriptions for sleep inducing drugs like Ambien.

And while the meds are said to be non-habit forming, their lingering effects could affect your alertness.

Dr. Manny says, "We see a lot of people that have gotten themselves in automobile accidents where they are driving and again they lose that cognitive connection with their driving skills."

The FDA now says a key ingredient in the pills -- zolpidem -- stays in women's bodies longer.

They’re ordering drug makers to cut doses of regular pills in half - to 5 milligrams - for women and suggest doctors consider lower dosages for men as well.

The FDA has received a number of reports of car accidents connected to zolpidem over the years but, it's not known how big a role sleeping pills played in the incidents.

For now, though, they say patients should continue taking their currently prescribed dose until they can talk to their doctor about the best way to proceed.

Meantime – the DEA is now pushing for tighter restrictions on the nation's most widely used drug, the painkiller, Vicodin. They're hoping the FDA will put these drugs in a different category - which could make them harder to get and abuse.

A company in Reno, Nevada has developed a bra that can detect temperature changes in a woman's breasts -- which could signal breast cancer.

First Warning Systems has developed brasixteen sensors.

The eight sensors on each breast collect the data then analyze the information. The company say it's non invasive, non compression, and extremely accurate. First Warning Systems hopes to have their bra available for public use in the middle of next year.

Breast cancer survivor Cindy Lain says, "I feel as though this is a very empowering tool for women. And they owe it to themselves and they owe it to their kids and their families to be on top of it."

More than 250,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 or younger are living in the U.S. today. And 50 percent of women have dense breasts.

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