Today’s Headlines: The New Bacteria Behind Lyme Disease, the Importance of Sighing, and the Relationship Between Exercise and Menopause

A new bacterium has been discovered that can carry Lyme disease. This bacterium comes from the same type of deer tick as the more commonly known Borrelia burgdorferi but does not always carry the same symptoms. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with the Mayo Clinic and health officials from Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota said in a press release Monday that the bacteria Borrelia mayonii, as well as the previously known bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, can cause Lyme disease…If treated early with antibiotics, its early symptoms of fever, headache and fatigue can pass after two to four weeks, according to the Mayo Clinic. The CDC said in the release that the newly discovered bacteria is associated with those symptoms plus nausea and vomiting, as well as diffuse rashes and a higher concentration of bacteria in the blood. The first-discovered bacteria were associated with a rash that forms a ‘bull’s eye’ shape.” Currently the CDC believes the new bacteria are only in the Midwest. (Fox)

Sighing is an important movement for lung function. New research stresses not only the importance of sighing, but also where the reflex happens in the brain. “Most humans heave an involuntary sigh an average of 12 times an hour…These types of sighs are not related to emotion…Instead, they provide an extra gust of air that helps to re-inflate some of the 500 million tiny balloon-like sacs in our lungs called alveoli…[The]…part of the brain, called the pre-Bötzinger complex, is well known as the core of the breathing control center of the body. The new work could help scientists develop drugs that can induce sighing in people who don’t naturally sigh enough, or be used to inhibit sighs in those who suffer anxiety and other psychological disorders that can lead to too much sighing.” Researchers now want to look into other parts of the brain that might be affected by stress or emotion. (LA Times)

Exercise may help reduce hot flashes. A new study found that exercise was likely correlated to the symptoms women experience during menopause. “Standardized scales that rated menopause symptoms showed that sedentary women, compared with active women — who did exercise three or more times a week — had more symptoms overall, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, bladder problems and joint pain. They were also more likely to have more-severe menopause symptoms, including insomnia and depression.” The study encourages middle-aged women to make exercise a part of their daily routines in order to help them in the long run. (Washington Post)