Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of
Don't Use Qualaquin To Treat Leg Cramps: FDA
The malaria drug Qualaquin should not be used to treat or
prevent leg cramps because there's a risk of serious blood
disorders and other adverse events, the U.S. Food and Drug
The agency has only approved the drug to treat malaria but it's
most often used in the United States to treat leg cramps, the
Wall Street Journal reported.
Between April 2005 and Oct. 1, 2008, there were 38 reported
cases of serious adverse events associated with quinine, the active
ingredient in Qualaquin, the FDA said.
The cases included 24 blood-disorder conditions, four
cardiovascular events, and 10 miscellaneous events such as hearing
loss, rash, drug interaction, electrolyte imbalance and
gastrointestinal problems, the
Among patients with a blood disorder, 21 were hospitalized and
two died, the FDA said.
Doctors Perform 1st Face Transplant Including Eyelids, Tear
A 35-year-old man who underwent the world's first full-face
transplant including eyelids and tear ducts is doing well,
according to the French doctor who did the surgery.
Dr. Laurent Lantieri performed the transplant June 27 at the
Henri Mondor Hospital in the Paris suburb of Creteil. Neither he
nor the hospital provided any more information about the patient,
who has a genetic disorder, or the donor, the
Associated Press reported.
Experts said the transplant further advances efforts to provide
new faces and lives for disfigured patients.
This is a "considerable achievement," said Neil Huband, a
spokesman for the U.K. Facial Transplantation Research Team, based
at the Royal Free Hospital in London, the
This is the 12th face transplant worldwide since the first
successful one was performed in France in 2005. In that case,
doctors replaced the nose, mouth and chin of a woman whose face had
been disfigured by a dog attack.
Obesity Leads to Inactivity in Kids: Study
A new study challenges the widely held belief that a lack of
exercise leads to obesity in children.
The 11-year study, which included more than 200 children in
Plymouth, England, suggests that putting on excess weight leads to
inactivity in children -- instead of the other way around -- and
that anti-obesity programs need to focus more on diet than
BBC News reported.
Because they may have a negative body image, overweight and
obese children might decide not to participate in exercise and
sports, the study authors said. In addition, children who are too
heavy may be more likely to suffer discomfort and pain during
The study appears in the journal
Archives of Disease in Childhood.
While the findings offer new insight, the wider health benefits
of exercise for children need to be considered, Dr. David Haslam,
of the National Obesity Forum in Great Britain, told
"What we shouldn't do is take the paper at face value and allow lean children to be as lazy as they please, as that would be a catastrophic mistake," he warned.
New Rules May Ease Veterans' Claims for PTSD Compensation
New regulations will eliminate a requirement that U.S. veterans
document specific incidents -- such as firefights, mortar attacks
or bomb blasts -- when they apply for post-traumatic stress
Under the new rule, which could take effect as early as Monday,
veterans of all wars will be eligible for compensation if they can
prove they served in a war zone in a role consistent with events
they say caused their condition,
The New York Times reported.
Veterans have long complained that finding documents about
specific incidents that triggered PTSD was an extremely
time-consuming and sometimes impossible task.
One provision of the new rule that's causing concern is that a
final decision of a veteran's case will be made by a psychiatrist
or psychologist who works for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans' advocates fear this requirement could be used by the VA
to sharply limit approvals of PTSD-related compensation, the