International News Desk – At Home: Healthy Grads – Around the World: The Eyes Have It

International News Desk – At Home: Healthy Grads – Around the World: The Eyes Have It

At Home: Healthy Grads

Midway through high school, report cards start really mattering. A poor report can affect your future, while a really good one can work toward securing that coveted spot at a top-tier university. At one New Brunswick high school the 10th-graders are receiving a different kind of report?one which can impact their future far beyond the university years.

As the CBC reports, the medical report cards, ?which list blood pressure, cholesterol levels, heart rate, blood sugar levels and body mass index (BMI),? were distributed to sophomore students recently.

The report cards have been the project of school guidance counselor Don Walker, who has worked with students for decades and noticed ?a steady decline in the health of phys-ed students since the early 1980s.? The project team, which includes medical professionals like cardiologists, hopes that catching teens? health problems early on ?could help prevent dangerous and much more expensive health problems in future.?

Last year, 75 per cent of the students ?had at least one risk factor for heart disease,? and nearly 10 per cent had four or more. Students who manifest risk factors ?will be offered follow-up,? including diet counselling and exercise classes.

Around the World: The Eyes Have It

The eyes have it, It’s said?and when it comes to regenerative power, the expression may just take on a literal meaning.

As the CBC reports, scientists have high hopes for newly-discovered stem cells located at the back of the eye. Researchers believe that the cells ?may help fight blindness . . . and repair the damage from age-related macular degeneration, or AMD.? AMD is the ?leading cause of vision loss in people over 60.?

The stem cells line the layer behind the retina of the eye, but because they can ?be isolated from the fluid surrounding the retina,? they can be accessed from ?living people? rather than eye donors.

Scientists are experimenting with the regenerative power of the cells, which they told reporters were ?mind-boggling.? In the lab, a tenth of the specimens were able to grow, and further experimentation ?caused the cells to differentiate into, or give rise to, a variety of cell types ? those that make bone, fat or cartilage.?