Alcohol, Autism, Lasers

NewsCenter 5's Heather Unruh reported that lasers could help women suffering the side effects of breast cancer radiation; new statistics about autism have been released; and for women, a drink or two each day may not be as bad as once thought.

Women and Alcohol

Drinking can get some women thinking, according to new research.

Researchers at Columbia University studied about 3,300 women and found those who had up to two drinks a day scored 20 percent higher on a cognitive test than women who drank less than one drink a week.

The study did not find any link between alcohol and brainpower in men.

Autism Stats

The odds of a child being diagnosed with autism are much higher than previously thought -- just one in 166, according to new statistics.

The group Autism Speaks is launching a new campaign to draw awareness to the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States. The group encourages parents to see a pediatrician if their child doesn't meet developmental milestones.

There is no way to prevent autism, but with early diagnosis and treatment, the long-term effects of the disorder can be reduced.

Laser and Cancer Treatment

Women undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer often have to deal with red, itchy skin reactions called radiation dermatitis. But a simple light-based therapy introduced Thursday at a meeting of laser specialists in Boston may help relieve their pain.

LED photo-modulation works by activating skin cells with pulses of low-energy light. The light helps increase collagen production while decreasing inflammation.

"What this does is it keeps their skin in tact so they can perform their normal tasks without a lot of discomfort," said radiation oncologist Dr. M. Maitland DeLand.

In a small study group, LED photo-modulation lowered skin reactions in 95 percent of patients. Doctors said the treatment allows breast cancer patients to focus on treating their cancer instead of a painful side effect.


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