Today’s Headlines: Caffeine, Gestational Diabetes and Polio

Caffeine may help boost memory, study shows: Caffeine “may help boost long-term memory,” according a new study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. In the study, participants took a 200 mg caffeine pill or a placebo after looking at a set of images. A day later, those who took caffeine were better at identifying certain pictures compared to those who took a placebo pill. However, “participants who took a caffeine pill before the memory test – as opposed to after – had no improvement in memory,” so you might want to wait on your morning coffee in order to remember the day better. Taking more than 200 mg (about one to two cups of coffee) was not associated with any further benefits. (Fox News)

Screen all pregnant women for diabetes, task force says: “All pregnant women should be screened for gestational diabetes, an independent task force advised Monday, endorsing a test that most doctors routinely perform.” The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) had previously determined that there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the screening, but since then, “further studies have showed that the benefits outweigh the harms.” Ninety-six percent of obstetricians already screen for the condition. (NBC News)

India to be declared polio-free 3 years after last case: Three years after its last reported case of polio, India is set to be declared officially polio-free by the World Health Organization (WHO). Polio, which “attacks the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis within hours of infection,” is still endemic in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Though it is highly contagious, it may be prevented by vaccination. “India had been considered one of the toughest places in the world to eradicate polio,” and this latest news is considered a big step towards worldwide eradication of the virus. (CBS News)