• U.S.

Health Report: Feb. 2, 1998

2 minute read
Janice M. Horowitz


YOU RANG? Tinnitus, the high-pitched ringing in the ears that affects millions, may be in your head. Literally. Scientists have located a part of the brain where spontaneous nerve activity causes the noise of tinnitus.

FISSURE FIX Relief is reported for the painful skin tears known as anal fissures. Injecting the area with a tiny amount of botulinum toxin–yes, the stuff that causes botulism–seems to allow the sphincter to relax. That creates more blood flow–and helps the fissure heal.

COUGH NO MORE? Ozone–and with it, smog–has gone down significantly since 1980 in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Sources: Neurology; New England Journal of Medicine; Journal of Geophysical Research


SOCIAL DISEASE Folks who are socially ill at ease, anxious and insecure–dubbed “type D” personalities–may be three times as likely to suffer a second heart attack than other first-time heart-attack survivors.

PMS WOE PMS may be a biological problem, not an emotional one. Doctors think estrogen and progesterone levels are normal in women with bad PMS, but that something–perhaps in the brain–is reacting to the hormones abnormally.

OLDER AIDS Since 1991, AIDS cases among those 50 and older have risen twice as fast as in younger adults. The problem may be that they don’t view themselves as at risk.

Sources: Circulation; New England Journal of Medicine; Centers for Disease Control

–By Janice M. Horowitz

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com