Lab Report: Health, Science and Medicine

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Alexander Ho for TIME

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Exposure to dim light at night--about the brightness of a TV--caused hamsters to show signs of depression, according to a new study. Autopsies of the animals revealed physical changes to the hippocampus, a region of the brain linked to mood. Light at night suppresses production of the hormone melatonin, and this could have caused the brain changes. One more reason for humans to shut the blinds tight at bedtime.

NEW BLOOD THINNERS

For patients with atrial fibrillation who are at risk of stroke, the blood thinner warfarin has been a lifesaver. But warfarin requires constant blood tests and dose adjustments. Now, in a study of more than 14,000 people, a new drug, rivaroxaban, proved just as effective without the extra work. This follows FDA approval of a similar drug in October. Still, patients doing well on warfarin may not want to switch.

Sources, from left: FDA; Soc. for Neuroscience conf.; AHA conf.; ReNeuron; Soc. for Neuroscience conf.; AHA conf.; Data Set: AHA conf.; J. of Med. Ethics

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