Health Highlights: Feb.5, 201302/05/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Recovering Pakistani Girl Vows to Continue Push for Girls'
In a video statement released Monday, 15-year-old Pakistani
schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai said she will continue her campaign for
girls' education despite threats against her.
She was shot in the head last October by a Taliban attacker.
After initial treatment in Pakistan she was transported to Britain
to receive specialized medical care. The Taliban said Malala was
targeted because she promoted girls education and "Western
In the video, Malala said she is "getting better, day by day."
She spoke clearly but the left side of her face appeared rigid.
"I want to serve. I want to serve the people. I want every girl, every child, to be educated. For that reason, we have organized the Malala Fund," she said in the video, which was released by a public relations firm, the APreported.
"Today you can see that I am alive. I can speak, I can see you, I can see everyone," Malala said in the video. "It's just because of the prayers of people. Because all people -- men, women, children -- all of them have prayed for me. And because of all these prayers God has given me this new life. A second life."
TB Vaccine Doesn't Protect Infants: Study
An experimental tuberculosis vaccine that has shown promise in
adults does not protect babies against the deadly infectious
disease, a new study says.
The MVA85A vaccine was given to infants in South Africa, who
were then followed for up to three years. The researchers said
there was no proof that the vaccine prevented TB in the infants,
The vaccine did not cause any serious side effects, according to
the study published online in the journal
The results are "pretty disappointing," Dr. Jennifer Cohn, a
medical coordinator at Doctors Without Borders, who was not part of
the study, told the
AP. "Infants are at really high risk of TB but this doesn't
seem to offer them any protection."
New Study May Improve Understanding of Panic Attacks
A moment of fear experienced by a woman who previously could not
feel afraid may help scientists learn more about panic attacks,
according to researchers.
A rare illness had damaged the woman's amygdala, a part of the
brain that processes fear. As a result, no external threats -- such
as spiders, snakes, horror movies or risk of violence -- scared the
The New York Timesreported.
However, she suffered a panic attack during an experiment in
which she inhaled carbon dioxide through a mask in amounts that
weren't harmful but created a brief feeling of suffocation,
according to the study in the journal
Two other women -- identical twins with amygdala damage similar
to the first woman's -- also felt intense fear when they took part
in the same experiment.
The findings support the theory that while the amygdala is
central to fear generated by external threats, there is a different
brain path that triggers fear in response to internal bodily
experiences such as a heart attack, Antonio Demasio, of the
University of Southern California, told
"I think it's a very interesting and important result," said Damasio, who was not involved in this study but has worked with the first woman in the study.
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