Friday Roundup

This week, there have been many health headlines in the news. Here are 5 highlights as the week draws to a close.

 New Images For Cigarette Packages Delayed USAToday

Since the new graphic designs were released and set to be printed on cigarette packs in September 2012, there has been a lot of debating between not only community members but by politicians as well. As you can imagine, these images which contained horrifying photos of a corpse on a table, a man with an oxygen math and so on, were not welcomed with open arms by the cigarette industry and have lead to a much publicized lawsuit. This week, U.S. district judge Richard Leon “ruled that cigarette-makers are likely to succeed in a lawsuit before him that argues the images violate the U.S. constitutions free-speech guarantee,” as stated in the USAToday article.

Lowering Dietary Salt is Being Linked to Higher Cholesterol? ABC News

Most of us believe that cutting out excess salt is good for our health, and for the most part it is true. However, a new study has revealed that while blood pressure is lowered by reducing sodium intake, a slight increase in cholesterol level may result due to the reaction of the hormones in the body.

Signs of Awareness are Found in Vegetative Patients  NY Times

In what can be considered an amazing discovery, a study found that patients who are in a vegetative state may actually be cognitively aware. It was previously believed that a person in this state was physically still alive but not capable of any real understanding or thought. A new study which measured the brain waves of these patients revealed some shocking evidence. Researchers asked the vegetative patients to imagine making a fist with their right hand every time they heard a beep. Tests like this continued and found that a shocking number of these patients had brain activity that was similar to those with no brain damage when asked to visualize the same movements. On one hand this is amazing, on the other it is also very sad to imagine these patients trapped within their own bodies aware of all that is going on.

Cholesterol Testing for Children is Now Advised Reuters 

Previously, cholesterol testing has been reserved largely for the adult population but this week new guidelines emerged from the American Academy of Pediatrics that suggests that children ages 9 to 11 should be screened so that doctors can actively help prevent heart disease if cholesterol problems are present. In addition, testing is also now recommended for those ranging in age from 17 to 21 since changes from puberty may have caused changed levels.