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This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Dec 26, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- NEW OPTIONS FOR CONTACT LENS WEARERS

A new law means contact lens wearers can buy their lenses from retailers other than their eye doctors. The law, signed by President Bush, will make contact lenses cheaper to buy and more convenient to replace, researchers say. The 36 million U.S. contact lens wearers, who spend $3.5 billion annually, stand to save as much as $350 million, they say. The "Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act" gives wider options for purchasing contact lenses. Eye doctors can prescribe and sell contact lenses, and some patients have complained they were unable to get copies of their prescriptions or had difficulty trying to purchase lenses from sources other than their doctor. The law creates national standards that should ease such concerns, doctors say. Under the law, once the fitting process is complete, the eye specialist must supply a copy of the prescription. In addition, eye doctors cannot require patients, as a condition of receiving their prescription, to pay a fee, purchase lenses or sign a waiver or release.


Researchers say too much stress can make you put on the pounds due to an increase in a hormone that can cause health trouble. Dr. Shawn Talbot, adjunct associate professor of foods and nutrition at the University of Utah and author of "Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health," says the hormone in question is cortisol. It is our primary stress hormone, which, in small amounts, is needed to control carbohydrate metabolism, inflammation and cardiovascular function. However, too much of cortisol may lead to increased appetite, weight gain, diabetes or depression. Talbot, a biochemist, has developed a dietary supplement, called CortiSlim, to help control cortisol levels as part of a weight-loss program. He says by modulating cortisol levels, CortiSlim removes a key physiological signal for weight gain. Talbott says the supplement also may help balance blood-sugar to reduce cravings and maximize metabolism to boost energy expenditure and fat-burning.


An imaging study of multisensory processing in dyslexic readers reveals sights and sounds cross paths abnormally in their minds. "Dyslexic readers appear to process auditory and visual sensory cues differently than do normal readers, and these differences may be the cause of their difficulty in reading," said lead author Dr. Jonathan Burdette, assistant professor of neuroradiology and associate in bioengineering at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. Burdette told a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America up to 8 percent of American elementary school children may have dyslexia, characterized by difficulty with word recognition. The underlying neurological basis for the disorder remains unclear, but studies have shown people with dyslexia cannot distinguish the sounds in spoken words. The magnetic resonance imaging exams of 30 dyslexic readers and 30 normal ones showed differences in their brain during reading activities. The results may lead to more effective strategies to help people with dyslexia learn to read, researchers said.


Research shows Doppler ultrasound performed in early pregnancy can identify embryonic congestive heart failure and subsequent risk of miscarriage. The investigators told a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America the chances the pregnancy will continue are about 95 percent when Doppler ultrasound confirms normal embryonic heart function at six weeks. However, study author Dr. Jason Birnholz, president of Diagnostic Ultrasound Consultants in Oak Brook, Ill., said more than 99 percent of pregnancies with an abnormal Doppler pattern end in a miscarriage. The test measures the speed of red blood cells moving through vessels to determine pressure dynamics within the embryo's heart, he explained. Miscarriage is the most common complication of human gestation, occurring in some 20 percent of pregnancies, the National Center for Health Statistics reports.

(Editors: For more information CONTACT, contact Gail Anderson at (888) 633-4279, ext. 216 or For STRESS, Anthony Mora at(310) 207-6615. For DYSLEXIA, Maureen Morley at (630) 590-7754 or For MISCARRIAGE, Maureen Morley at (630) 590-7754 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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