Health Highlights: Oct. 25, 201310/25/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Creator of 'Lorenzo's Oil' Dies At Age 80
The Italian man who helped create an oil that saved his son's
life and whose story was depicted in the movie "Lorenzo's Oil" has
died at age 80.
Augusto Odone's son was 6 years old in 1984 when he was
diagnosed with a genetic disorder that doctors said would lead to a
loss of voluntary movement and death within a few years. Augusto
and his wife Michaela learned everything about the disease called
adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), the
Los Angeles Timesreported.
Those efforts ultimately led to a treatment that was based on
two common cooking oils and slowed Lorenzo's decline. The treatment
was ridiculed by many doctors and researchers, but a 2005 study
showed it prevented the onset of symptoms in boys who had been
Lorenzo died in 2008 at age 30 and Michaela died of cancer in
2000. Augusto had heart problems and other ailments when he died
Thursday, according to his daughter Cristina, the
New Safety Rules for Animal Food Proposed by FDA
The first rules to govern production of pet food and farm animal
feed were introduced Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug
The proposed regulations are meant to prevent foodborne
illnesses in both animals and humans, FDA officials said. They
noted that people can become sick from handling contaminated animal
food and from touching pets that have eaten it,
The New York Timesreported.
If passed, the proposed rules would regulate production of pet
food and feed for millions of farm animals, including cows, pigs
and chickens. They would require companies that make animal food
sold in the U.S. to develop a written plan to prevent foodborne
illnesses and put it into effect.
Companies would have to implement preventive procedures at
critical points in the production process were problems are likely
to occur. For example, producers of canned dog food would might
have to create a system to monitor whether the food has been cooked
long enough at the proper temperature and keep records to document
it, Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary
medicine at the FDA, told
The proposed regulations -- which are open for public comment
for 120 days -- would also require animal food producers to
re-evaluate their plans at least every three years and to maintain
standards of cleanliness for the facilities and workers. The
proposal does not address the contentious issue of giving
antibiotics to farm animals, sometimes in their feed.
The FDA's proposed rules come six years after the largest pet
food recall in history. It occurred when dog and cat food from a
Chinese producer was contaminated with melamine, a compound used in
plastics, resulting in the deaths of animals across the U.S.,
New Program Seeks to Advance Brain Implant Technology
More than $70 million will be spent over the next 5 years in an
effort to advance brain implant technology, U.S. government
About 100,000 people worldwide have electrical implants in their
brains to control the involuntary movements caused by Parkinson's
disease, and this type of treatment is being tested for depression
and other disorders,
The New York Timesreported.
But current deep brain stimulation technology only treats
patients -- it is not able to monitor its own effectiveness. This
is because complex disorders such as depression do not have clear
The new program to advance brain implant technology was
announced Thursday by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
At the moment,"there is no technology that can acquire signals
that can tell them precisely what is going on with the brain,"
Justin Sanchez, DARPA program manager, told
This new program is "trying to change the game on how we
approach these kinds of problems," he explained.
The project is partly driven by the needs of combat veterans who
suffer from mental and physical disorders, and is the first to
invest directly in researching human illness as part of the brain
Ready-to-Eat Foods Recalled Over Listeria Concerns
Possible listeria contamination has led to the recall of about
109,000 cases of refrigerated ready-to-eat foods produced by
Reser's Find Foods of Oregon and distributed in the United States
The products include ham, potato, chicken and macaroni salads,
slaws and salsas sold under brand names such as Cobble Street
Market, Cross Valley Farms, Dillon's, Miller's, Target, 7-11,
Reser's Fine Foods, Walmart and Yoder's,
A list of the recalled products and their UPC codes can be found
at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service website. There have been no reported illnesses linked with
the recall, the agency said.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency discovered the problem and
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration then conducted follow-up
testing and an investigation,
Listeria is a bacteria that can cause serious illness in
seniors, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune
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