Hot Magnets Soothe Migraines

HOT MAGNETS SOOTHE MIGRAINES A hairdryer-size magnetic device held to the back of the head may reduce the severity of migraine headaches if it is used during the "aura" phase that some patients experience before the onset of their migraine, according to two new studies presented at the American Headache Society meeting in Los Angeles. In most cases, the magnetic pulses did not prevent the migraine entirely but prevented some of the more unpleasant symptoms usually associated with migraine, like sensitivity to light or noise. The device is not available for home use, but researchers plan to test an at-home device in a trial.

CONDOMS KEEP HPV AWAY A yearlong study of 82 newly sexually active college women finds that consistent condom use is associated with a lower rate of HPV (human papillomavirus) infection. HPV infection is linked to genital warts, cervical cancer and vaginal cancer. Published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, the new report shows that, compared to women who used condoms less than 5 percent of the time, women who used condoms 100 percent of the time had a 70 percent reduced risk of HPV infection. Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine against several strains of HPV, but this study demonstrates that condoms are also effective against the virus.

HORMONE KEY TO OLD AGE? A hormone derived from fat tissue may contribute to longevity in women, according to new research that included women older than 100 years old. The study finds that the oldest women have higher concentrations of the hormone adiponectin in their blood -- this hormone helps keep inflammation down and the blood vessels clear from blockages. However, scientists don't yet know that this hormone actually causes the women to live longer, so more study is needed. This research was presented at the International Congress of Neuroendocrinology in Pittsburgh.

STAT is a brief look at the latest medical research and is compiled by Joanna Schaffhausen, who holds a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience. She works in the ABC News Medical Unit, evaluating medical studies, abstracts and news releases.

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