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Archives by Title - Volume 10, 2008 


ACPM concludes insufficient evidence to recommend routine prostate cancer screening

The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) has found there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine population prostate screening with digital rectal examination (DRE) or measurement of the serum tumor marker, prostatespecific antigen (PSA). ACPM advises that clinicians caring for men, especially African-American men and those with a family history, should provide information about the potential benefits and harms of screening and limits of current evidence to allow for them to make an informed decision about screening. more

AHRQ releases consumer financial incentives guide for employers and other health care purchasers

HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality today announced a new guide to help employers, private health plans, the federal government, and state Medicaid agencies as they consider consumer financial incentives as part of an overarching strategy to improve the quality of health care and get better value for what they spend on services. more  

ASGE encourages patients to see a physician if they experience symptoms suggestive of GERD

A recent study from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows that hospitalizations for disorders caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD rose 103 percent between 1998 and 2005. Also, hospitalizations for patients who had milder forms of GERD (in addition to the condition for which they were admitted), rose by 216 percent during the same time period. The numbers underscore the importance of seeing a physician if symptoms suggestive of GERD are present. more

Abuse history affects pain regulation in women with irritable bowel syndrome  

UCLA and University of North Carolina researchers have found that women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who have experienced sexual and/or physical abuse may have a heightened brain response to pain that makes them more sensitive to abdominal discomfort. IBS is a condition that affects 10 to 15 percent of the population and causes gastrointestinal discomfort along with diarrhea, constipation or both. more

Achieving a US health care system 'second to none'  

All candidates running for office in 2008 should commit to an agenda to create a health care system for the United States that is second to none the American College of Physicians (ACP) said today in its annual report on The State of the Nation’s Health Care. In its report, ACP offers a five-point Candidate’s Pledge designed to gain candidate commitments to support a series of recommendations. more

Acid-seeking “warheads” promise safer, more effective cancer weapons

Researchers in California report development of an anti-cancer “warhead” that targets the acidic signature of tumor cells in much the same way that heat-seeking missiles seek and destroy military targets that emit heat. These acid-seeking substances are not toxic to healthy cells, and represent a new class of potentially safer, more effective anti-cancer drugs, they say. more

Actual use of asthma medications contradicts guidelines

A study has found only 16% of the 352,082 Australians who filled a prescription for asthma preventer medications for the first time during the period July 2004 to June 2005, went on to use them regularly. more

Acupuncture shows promise in improving rates of pregnancy following IVF

A review of seven clinical trials of acupuncture given with embryo transfer in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) suggests that acupuncture may improve rates of pregnancy. An estimated 10 to 15 percent of couples experience reproductive difficulty and seek specialist fertility treatments, such as IVF. IVF, which involves retrieving a woman's egg, fertilizing it in the laboratory, and then transferring the embryo back into the woman's womb is an expensive, lengthy, and stressful process. more  

Acute pesticide poisoning: A proposed classification tool 

Cases of acute pesticide poisoning (APP) account for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in developing countries.1,2 There are no reliable estimates as to how many people per year suffer from pesticide-related health effects. This is due to several reasons including a lack of standardized case definition. more

ADVANCE diabetes trial results confirm no evidence of safety risk 

Data from the ADVANCE Study, involving 11,140 high-risk patients with type 2 diabetes, provides no evidence of an increased risk of death among those patients receiving aggressive treatment to lower blood glucose. more

Adolescents with chronic insomnia report 'twofold to fivefold' increase in personal problems  

Documenting a “twofold to fivefold” increase in personal problems among adolescents with persistent sleeplessness, public health researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston say they have completed the first prospective study demonstrating the negative impact of chronic insomnia on 11 to 17 year olds. More than one fourth of the youths surveyed had one or more symptoms of insomnia and almost half of these youngsters had chronic conditions. Findings appear in the March issue of the “Journal of Adolescent Health” and are based on interviews with 3,134 adolescents in metropolitan Houston. more

Adult stem cell application effective in treatment of peripheric vascular disease  

Multipotent adult progenitor stem cells extracted from bone marrow, and known as MAPCs, have proved to be effective in the regeneration of blood vessel tissue and also in muscle tissue when treating peripheric vascular disease. This was the result of research undertaken with mouse models by two research groups, one by the University Hospital of Navarra jointly with the Centre for Applied Medical Research (CIMA), also of the University of Navarra, and the other by the Centre for Molecular and Vascular Biology atthe Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium). more

Age-related dementia on the decline

Rates of cognitive impairment among older Americans are on the decline, according to a new study supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) comparing the cognitive health of older people in 1993 and 2002. Higher levels of education were associated with better cognitive health. more  

Aggressively lowering cholesterol and blood pressure may reverse atherosclerosis in adults with diabetes

Aggressively lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels below current targets in adults with type 2 diabetes may help to prevent — and possibly reverse — hardening of the arteries, according to new research supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. Hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, is the number one cause of heart disease and can lead to heart attack, stroke, and death. more  

ALS Aggregates are composed of only one protein

Researchers have provided a big new clue to help combat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), deciphering that the dense protein aggregates that contribute to the nerve decay of ALS are composed of just one protein: superoxide dismutase (SOD1). more

Alcohol and sleep

The average adult sleeps 7.5 to 8 hours every night. Although the function of sleep is unknown, abundant evidence demonstrates that lack of sleep can have serious consequences, including increased risk of depressive disorders, impaired breathing, and heart disease. In addition, excessive daytime sleepiness resulting from sleep disturbance is associated with memory deficits, impaired social and occupational function, and car crashes (1,2). Alcohol consumption can induce sleep disorders by disrupting the sequence and duration of sleep states and by altering total sleep time as well as the time required to fall asleep (i.e., sleep latency). more

Alcohol can benefit the hearts of new drinkers

A Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) Department of Family Medicine study concluded that people who began moderately consuming alcohol in middle-age experience a quick benefit of lower rates of cardiovascular disease morbidity with no change in mortality after four years. more

All about Ménière's disease

Ménière's disease is an abnormality of the inner ear causing a host of symptoms, including vertigo or severe dizziness, tinnitus or a roaring sound in the ears, fluctuating hearing loss, and the sensation of pressure or pain in the affected ear. The disorder usually affects only one ear and is a common cause of hearing loss. Named after French physician Prosper Ménière who first described the syndrome in 1861. more  

Allergy testing guides avoidance, targets treatment 

Allergy testing is essential in the effective management of patients with allergic conditions. When combined with a detailed medical history, it can identify the causes of allergy symptoms and provide the basis for avoidance, environmental control and immunotherapy. more

Alzheimer's disease: Tips for caregivers

Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) at home is a difficult task and can become overwhelming at times. Each day brings new challenges as the caregiver copes with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behavior. Research has shown that caregivers themselves often are at increased risk for depression and illness, especially if they do not receive adequate support from family, friends, and the community. Read a guide published by the National Institutes of Health in today's issue of Vidyya. more

Alzheimer's vaccine clears plaques, but does nothing for learning and memory

A promising vaccine being tested for Alzheimer’s disease does what it is designed to do – clear beta-amyloid plaques from the brain – but it does not seem to help restore lost learning and memory abilities, according to a University of California, Irvine study. more  

Amalgam fillings don’t affect children’s brain development, says study in ADA Journal 

Dental amalgam tooth fillings do not adversely affect children's brain development and neurological status, researchers report in the February issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association. more

Americans: Cash cows who don't comply with medication advice

American dialysis patients have the highest out-of-pocket drug costs among international dialysis patients. However, even those who can afford their prescription drugs are far less likely to take them than patients in other countries. more

America's 50 best hospitals: Patient outcomes at US hospitals from 1999 to 2006 identifies top centers

HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings organization, today identified America’s 50 Best Hospitals, an elite class of top-performing facilities. The HealthGrades America’s 50 Best Hospital designation represents the healthcare industry’s only quality ranking based solely on objective clinical outcomes among U.S. hospitals. more  

Ankylosing spondylitis genes found  

Work supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Skin Diseases has led to the discovery of two genes responsible for ankylosing spondylitis (AS), an inflammatory and potentially disabling disease of the spine. more

Anti-cancer drug damages brain vessels

The cancer drug Avastin (bevacizumab) is used to treat advanced bowel cancer in combination with chemotherapy. This drug targets a protein called VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) that stimulates blood vessel growth. Avastin inhibits the growth of tumors by cutting off their blood supply, which deprives them of oxygen and other nutrients. more

Anticipating a laugh reduces stress hormones

In 2006 researchers investigating the interaction between the brain, behavior, and the immune system found that simply anticipating a mirthful laughter experience boosted health-protecting hormones. Now, two years later, the same researchers have found that the anticipation of a positive humorous laughter experience also reduces potentially detrimental stress hormones. According to Dr. Lee Berk, the study team’s lead researcher of Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, “Our findings lead us to believe that by seeking out positive experiences that make us laugh we can do a lot with our physiology to stay well.” more

Antioxidants hope or hype? Mayo researchers look at effects of antioxidant supplements on cancer  

While some trials have suggested that antioxidants have beneficial effects, results from other trials have been negative. It has been unclear which antioxidant compounts are more beneficial (or more harmful), and how individual antioxidants affect target organs and specific patient populations. more

Antioxidants not a cure all - no help in development of children with Down's syndrome

Giving children with Down’s syndrome antioxidants and nutrients does not help their condition improve at all, according to a study published 21 February 2008. more  

Arcalyst is first treatment for extremely rare condition called Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndrome or CAPS 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a drug to help ease the suffering faced by those with certain chronic inflammatory diseases. Arcalyst (rilonacept, an Interleukin-1 blocker) is now approved for the long term treatment of two Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes (CAPS) disorders: Familial Cold Auto-Inflammatory Syndrome (FCAS) and Muckle-Wells Syndrome (MWS). more

Are you what you eat? New study of body weight change says maybe not

If identical twins eat and exercise equally, must they have the same body weight? By analyzing the fundamental equations of body weight change, NIH investigators Carson Chow and Kevin Hall find that identical twins with identical lifestyles can have different body weights and different amounts of body fat. more

Aromatherapy may make you feel good, but it won’t make you well  

One of the most comprehensive investigations done to date on aromatherapy failed to show any improvement in either immune status, wound healing or pain control among people exposed to two often-touted scents. more

Arsenic aids tumor imaging when joined to cancer-homing drug, UT Southwestern researchers find 

Arsenic linked to a drug that binds to the blood vessels of cancerous tumors provides a powerful imaging agent that could one day allow physicians to detect hard-to-find tumors and more closely monitor cancer’s response to therapy, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. more

Artificial sweeteners linked to weight gain

Want to lose weight? It might help to pour that diet soda down the drain. Researchers have laboratory evidence that the widespread use of no-calorie sweeteners may actually make it harder for people to control their intake and body weight. The findings appear in the February issue of Behavioral Neuroscience, which is published by the American Psychological Association (APA). more  

Asthma medicines often not prescribed as national guidelines recommend  

More than a decade after national guidelines were issued for asthma treatment, some patients still don’t receive prescriptions for the inhalers that experts say offer the safest and most effective long-term control of the disease, a new study suggests. more

At last a machine with good taste — for espresso  

Can a machine taste coffee" The question has plagued scientists studying the caffeinated beverage for decades. Fortunately, researchers in Switzerland can now answer with a resounding “yes.” The study on their coffee-tasting machine is scheduled for the 1 March issue of ACS’ Analytical Chemistry, a semi-monthly journal. more

Attacks against medical researchers: Time to take a stand

Biological Psychiatry, in its upcoming April 15th issue, is publishing a critically important commentary written by its Editors, members of its Editorial Committee, and its Editorial Board. This commentary is an urgent public statement, highlighting the increasing problem of terrorist acts, by individuals affiliated with groups such as the Animal Liberation Front, against investigators conducting research in non-human primates in the United States. more  

Auditory neurons in humans far more sensitive to fine sound frequencies than most mammals

The human ear is exquisitely tuned to discern different sound frequencies, whether such tones are high or low, near or far. But the ability of our ears pales in comparison to the remarkable knack of single neurons in the brain to distinguish between the very subtlest of sound frequencies. more

Autism's origins: Mother's antibody production may affect fetal brain

The mothers of some autistic children may have made antibodies against their fetuses’ brain tissue during pregnancy that crossed the placenta and caused changes that led to autism, suggests research led by Johns Hopkins Children’s Center investigators and published in the February issue of the Journal of Neuroimmunology. more

Autism risk higher in people with gene variant

Scientists have found a variation in a gene that may raise the risk of developing autism, especially when the variant is inherited from mothers rather than fathers. The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. more  

Automated external defibrillators and CPR are equally helpful for sudden cardiac arrest in the home

The first study to explore the use of automated external defibrillator (AEDs) in the home has found that although the safe and easy-to-use devices are effective for certain types of cardiac arrest, they were underused. The Home Automated External Defibrillator Trial (HAT), a randomized international clinical trial, was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. more  

Autopsy findings suggest end of decline in coronary disease rates  

Autopsies of individuals in one Minnesota County suggest that the decades-long decline in the rate of coronary artery disease may have ended and possibly reversed after 2000, according to a report in the February 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more



Bacon: It's what's for dinner?

Bacon, bacon, who has the bacon? Healthy exercisers aged 60-69 according to a new study from Texas A & M University. Exercisers with higher cholesterol intake and higher serum cholesterol levels gained muscle mass faster and more efficienty than their healthy eating, cholesterol-lowering pill-popping counterparts. So, who has the bacon? Well, maybe stick with peanut butter for now. more  

Battling potential disease outbreaks online: Public health surveillance in real time

Public health officials are constantly in battle mode against illness from food contaminants or a possible pandemic, but to fight these deadly foes they need more complete information and they need it faster. more

Before a CT scan or angiogram, many people should take inexpensive drug to protect kidneys

As more and more Americans undergo CT scans and other medical imaging scans involving intense X-rays, a new study suggests that many of them should take a pre-scan drug that could protect their kidneys from damage. more

Bejing researchers assemble the most comprehensive gene atlas underlying drug addiction

Using an integrative meta-analysis approach, researchers from the Center for Bioinformatics at Peking University in Beijing have assembled the most comprehensive gene atlas underlying drug addiction and identified five molecular pathways common to four different addictive drugs. This novel paper appears in PLoS Computational Biology on January 4, 2008. more

Benefits of Medicare-paid mammography lag for black women

When Medicare began paying for older women to undergo preventive mammograms in 1991, doctors expected breast cancer mortality rates to drop. Breast cancer deaths did decrease, but new research has unveiled a discrepancy: African-American women as a group do not benefit as much as white women. more

Best health advice? Be happy with your fat self. Desire to lose weight, not weight itself linked to unhealthy days

In a study to examine the impact of desired body weight on the number of unhealthy days subjects report over one month, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that the desire to weigh less was a more accurate predictor of physically and mentally unhealthy days, than body mass index (BMI). In addition, the desire to lose weight was more predictive of unhealthy days among Whites than among African-Americans or Hispanics, and among women than among men. The paper, I Think Therefore I Am: Perceived Ideal Weight as a Determinant of Health, will be published in the March issue of the American Journal of Public Health. more  

Better and faster: Distinguishing non-TB pulmonary disease from TB

A diagnostic kit shows new promise for distinguishing between tuberculosis (TB) and its infections from disease caused by related mycobacteria family, which mimic TB and other lung disease in symptoms but require distinctly different clinical treatments. more

Biochemical signals associated with atherosclerosis may damage other organs  

Many scientists view atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, as a localized disease characterized by the build up of fatty plaques in the arteries, which can eventually cause heart attacks and strokes. Now, in a finding that challenges conventional knowledge, researchers in New York and North Carolina report that plaques formed in arteries are associated with certain harmful chemical reactions that can contribute to damage in the lungs, liver, and other organs. more

Bio-identicals: Sorting myths from facts

"BHRT" is a marketing term not recognized by FDA. Sellers of bio-identicals often claim that these "all-natural" pills, creams, lotions, and gels are without the risks of synthetic FDA-approved drugs for menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). FDA-approved MHT drug products provide effective relief of the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. They also can prevent thinning of bones. more  

Biomarkers linked to DCIS outcomes

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), where abnormal cells are found in the lining of a breast duct, is usually treated with surgical lumpectomy, followed by radiation, chemotherapy, a combination of the two, or surveillance. Most women undergoing these treatments will not experience a recurrence, but in 15 to 30 percent of women, a new tumor will develop within 10 years, and about half of these will be invasive breast cancers. more

Biopsy techniques have made PSA test less predictive

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels typically have correlated with prostate biopsy results in the detection of prostate cancer, but that correlation no longer exists for men with a normal prostate exam, according to a new study published in the April 15, 2008 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The study suggests that improved biopsy techniques make PSA less useful in prostate cancer screening. more

Black British women younger at breast cancer diagnosis

In the first published study of patterns of breast cancer in British black women, available online January 8 in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers found that black women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at a significantly younger median age than white women and had a higher frequency of higher grade tumors, estrogen receptor (ER)-negative, and basal-like (triple negative) tumors, similar to African American women. more

Blacks awaiting lung transplants more likely to die or be denied than whites

Blacks with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were less likely to receive a lung transplant and more likely to die or be removed from the transplant list than whites, according to Columbia University Medical Center researchers. more  

Blacks twice as susceptible and more likely to die of severe sepsis than whites

Blacks have almost double the rate of severe sepsis—an overwhelming infection of the bloodstream accompanied by acute organ dysfunction—as whites, according to recent research. more

Blood pressure drug may have added benefit 

University of Kentucky researchers have discovered a possible added benefit of a novel new drug that lowers blood pressure. more

Blood pressure enzyme can have tumor-sensing role 

By increasing production of a blood pressure-regulating enzyme in mice, researchers have found they can enhance the mouse immune system's ability to sense tumor growth. more

Blueberry and green tea containing supplement protects against stroke damage  

A unique dietary supplement called NutraStem ® has been shown to have beneficial effects following experimental stroke. A nutritional supplement product, NutraStem also known as NT-020, is a proprietary formulation of blueberry, green tea, vitamin D3 and carnosine extracts- a combination of nutritional ingredients thought to be potent in protecting against brain damage. more

Body mass index higher among bariatric surgery patients with 2 genetic variations

The combination of two obesity-related genetic variations may be associated with an increased body mass index (BMI) among severely obese patients undergoing bariatric weight loss surgery. more

Boston University, WHO study reveals oral antibiotic treatment just as effective as hospital therapy for children with moderate to severe pneumonia

Treating children with severe pneumonia at home is just as effective as treating them in hospitals, a new study has found. The study results could significantly change the way the illness is managed in developing countries, saving a significant number of lives every year and taking pressure off health systems. more  

Botox for newborns

Botulinum toxin, also called Botox, is best known as one of the most commonly used molecules to reduce wrinkles. It is also known as one of the most poisonous naturally occurring substances. more

Brain-imaging study may explain why some continue to eat, despite full stomachs  

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have found new clues to why some people overeat and gain weight while others don't. Examining how the human brain responds to "satiety" messages delivered when the stomach is in various stages of fullness, the scientists have identified brain circuits that motivate the desire to overeat. Treatments that target these circuits may prove useful in controlling chronic overeating, according to the authors. The study is published online and will appear in the February 15, 2008 issue of NeuroImage. more

Brain network linked to contemplation in adults is less complex in children

A brain network linked to introspective tasks -- such as forming the self-image or understanding the motivations of others -- is less intricate and well-connected in children, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have learned. They also showed that the network establishes firmer connections between various brain regions as an individual matures. more

Brain region that can be stimulated to reduce the cognitive deficits of sleep deprivation identified

A Columbia University Medical Center research team has uncovered how stimulation of a particular brain region can help stave off the deficits in working memory, associated with an extended sleep deprivation. more  

Brain scientist shedding light on learning, memory

Neurons spoke to Dr. Joe Z. Tsien when he was a sophomore college student searching for some meaningful extracurricular activity. more  

Brain stress system presents possible treatment target for alcohol dependence

A brain circuit that underlies feelings of stress and anxiety shows promise as a new therapeutic target for alcoholism, according to new studies by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more

Breast cancer diagnosis comes late for women in gentrifying neighborhoods  

Women who live in Chicago's gentrifying neighborhoods are more apt to receive a late diagnosis of breast cancer than women who live in poverty-stricken neighborhoods, University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have found. more

Breakthrough in birth-defect research

Scientists have discovered how to prevent certain craniofacial disorders in what could ultimately lead to at-risk babies being treated in the womb. more

Breast cancer more aggressive among obese women  

Women with breast cancer have more aggressive disease and lower survival rates if they are overweight or obese, according to findings published in the March 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. more

Bright light therapy eases bipolar depression for some

Bright light therapy can ease bipolar depression in some patients, according to a study published in the journal Bipolar Disorders. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic studied nine women with bipolar disorder to examine the effects of light therapy in the morning or at midday on mood symptoms. more

Bullying threatens nurses' health and careers 

In workplaces where nurses are bullied, the quality of patient care declines, the health of nurses suffers, and the retention of quality nurses becomes difficult. A new article published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing reviews the psychological and social issues related to bullying in the workplace and strategies for creating a respectful work environment. more

But, on the other hand, oatmeal does a body good

Who's right? Who's wrong? A new scientific review of the most current research shows the link between eating oatmeal and cholesterol reduction to be stronger than when the FDA initially approved the health claim's appearance on food labels in 1997. more

Buying fake ED products online

Men looking online for "dietary supplements" to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) or enhance their sexual performance should beware: these products may contain prescription drugs or other undisclosed ingredients that can be harmful. more  



CDC study estimates 7,000 pediatric emergency departments visits linked to cough and cold medication  

An estimated 7,000 children ages 11 and younger are treated in hospital emergency departments each year because of cough and cold medications, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately two-thirds of those incidents were due to unsupervised ingestion (i.e., children taking the medication without a parent's knowledge). The study was published online today by the American Academy of Pediatrics journal, Pediatrics. more

CDC study warns of deaths due to the “choking game”

At least 82 youth have died as a result of playing what has been called “the choking game,” according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The choking game involves intentionally trying to choke oneself or another in an effort to obtain a brief euphoric state or “high.” Death or serious injury can result if strangulation is prolonged. more

California firm recalls beef products derived from non-ambulatory cattle without the benefit of proper inspection

Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co., a Chino, Calif., establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 143,383,823 pounds of raw and frozen beef products that FSIS has determined to be unfit for human food because the cattle did not receive complete and proper inspection. Through evidence obtained by FSIS, the establishment did not consistently contact the FSIS public health veterinarian in situations in which cattle became non-ambulatory after passing ante-mortem inspection, which is not compliant with FSIS regulations. more  

Calling Dr. Frankenstein: Growing brain cells in the laboratory that may one day be used to treat Parkinson’s disease

Scientists in Sweden are developing new ways to grow brain cells in the laboratory that could one day be used to treat patients with Parkinson’s disease, an international conference of biologists organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) was told last week. more

Camera in a pill offers cheaper, easier window on your insides

What if swallowing a pill with a camera could detect the earliest signs of cancer? The tiny camera is designed to take high-quality, color pictures in confined spaces. Such a device could find warning signs of esophageal cancer, the fastest growing cancer in the United States. more

Cancer doctors may need training on empathy skills

Cancer specialists (oncologists) may need additional training to encourage patients to express their concerns and negative emotions and to respond empathically to these concerns, researchers recommended in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. more  

Cancer-related protein may play key role in Alzheimer's disease  

The cancer-related protein Akt may profoundly influence the fate of the tau protein, which forms bundles of tangled nerve cell fibers in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease, reports a new study led by researchers at the University of South Florida and the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. more

Cancer study finds adolescents don't get same access to latest treatments as younger patients

The overall survival rate from cancer now is lower in older adolescents and young adults with cancer than in younger children, in part because of a lack of access to clinical trials nationally for the older age group, according to a study by pediatric oncologists at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. more

Cardiac arrest safer in a casino or an airport than in a U.S. hospital

Whether your patient survives a life-threatening arrhythmia depends on whether or not such incident happens outside the hospital. A new study appearing in this week's New England Journal of Medicine found that those who experience ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia at the aiport fare better than those who experience these conditions in the hospital. more  

Carnegie Mellon study shows just listening to cell phones significantly impairs drivers

Carnegie Mellon University scientists have shown that just listening to a cell phone while driving is a significant distraction, and it causes drivers to commit some of the same types of driving errors that can occur under the influence of alcohol. more

Catheter chaos: Hospitals lag in preventing common infection

One in four Americans in the hospital right now has a urinary catheter. One percent of them will get a urinary tract infection from that catheter. All of those will require antibiotics. A few may suffer life-threatening complications. more

Catheter repair of mitral valve improves heart size, symptoms

A catheter-mounted device that acts like a clothespin to clip together the flaps of a leaky heart valve is not only reducing the abnormal backflow of blood from the left ventricle to the left atrium, it is helping to shrink the enlarged, overworked heart and relieving symptoms of fluid overload—all without open-chest surgery. These are the one-year findings in a small group of patients enrolled in the Endovascular Valve Edge-to-Edge Repair Study (EVEREST), which is evaluating the use of the MitraClip for the treatment of mitral regurgitation (MR). more

Caution advised when using hormone therapy for prostate cancer  

In men with localized but aggressive prostate cancer, the combination of testosterone-lowering therapy and radiation improves survival substantially more than radiation therapy alone. But testosterone-lowering therapy isn’t so hot for the heart, reports the April issue of the Harvard Heart Letter. Low testosterone can increase harmful LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, and weight. It can also make arteries stiffer, promote formation of artery-clogging plaque, and allow blood clots to form more readily. more

Cervical vaccine hurts, but it's probably worth the sting 

The vaccine against cervical cancer, Gardasil, has been the subject of several complaints from women who have received it. According to stories appearing in the Associated Press, complaints such as: "It burns!" and "the burning is worse than with other kinds of vaccines I've had." There are also complaints about pain and discomfort in the arm for a day or two after getting the shot. There are also reports of women fainting after receiving Gardasil, but there's no clear information about whether this is a form of hysteria, whether the girls are fainting from nerves, fear, or pain. more

Changes in adult stem cells may underlie rare genetic disease associated with accelerated aging

Adult stem cells may provide an explanation for the cause of Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS), a rare disease that causes premature aging in children, according to researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more

Changes in folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine associated with incident dementia  

Folate deficiency is associated with a tripling in the risk of developing dementia among elderly people, suggests research published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. more

Chart for professionals: Commonly abused drugs 

Schedule I and II drugs have a high potential for abuse. They require greater storage security and have a quota on manufacturing, among other restrictions. Schedule I drugs are available for research only and have no approved medical use; Schedule II drugs are available only by prescription (unrefillable) and require a form for ordering. Schedule III and IV drugs are available by prescription, may have five refills in 6 months, and may be ordered orally. Some Schedule V drugs are available over the counter. Download a chart in today's issue. more

Chart for professionals: Prescription drug abuse chart  

Medications can be effective when they are used properly, but some can be addictive and dangerous when misused. This chart provides a brief look at some prescribed medications that—when used in ways other than they are prescribed—have the potential for abuse and even addiction. more

Childhood maltreatment linked to adult inflammation, depression

A history of neglect or abuse in childhood appears to be associated with depression and inflammation in adulthood, a combination that may increase cardiovascular risk, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more

Childhood personality can predict important outcomes in emerging adulthood 

A new study in the Journal of Personality reveals the extent to which children’s personality types can predict the timing of key transitional moments between childhood and adulthood. more

Children with autism may learn from 'virtual peers' 

Using “virtual peers” -- animated life-sized children that simulate the behaviors and conversation of typically developing children -- Northwestern University researchers are developing interventions designed to prepare children with autism for interactions with real-life children. more

Children with healthier diets do better in school

A new study in the Journal of School Health reveals that children with healthy diets perform better in school than children with unhealthy diets. more

Cholesterol drug makes staph more vulnerable

An experimental cholesterol-fighting drug can also strip staph bacteria of their golden color and make the microbes more susceptible to killing by the immune system. The finding may lead to new options for battling Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which are increasingly resistant to antibiotics. more  

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may not prevent Alzheimer's disease 

Contrary to some reports, taking statins, which are cholesterol-lowering drugs, offers no protection against Alzheimer’s disease, according to research published in the January 16, 2008, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. more

Cigarette smoking and cancer: Questions and answers  

Cigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. Smoking is also responsible for most cancers of the larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, and bladder. more

Clinical outcomes in colon cancer linked to microRNA gene

Colon tumors that produced high expression levels of a microRNA gene called miR-21 were associated with poor survival and therapeutic outcome in two patient populations, one in the U.S. and the other in China, according to a study in the January 30 Journal of the American Medical Association. more

Clinical trial watch: Inhibiting tumor angiogenesis in children  

Great progress has been made in the treatment of childhood cancers over the past 30 years, thanks primarily to advances in chemotherapy and a high level of participation in clinical trials by pediatric patients. This progress, however, is in danger of stalling without new treatment advances. more

Clinical trial will test new HIV/AIDS vaccine: Phase 1 trial begins in Boston  

A phase 1 clinical trial to test a novel HIV/AIDS vaccine has begun at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). This new vaccine aims to overcome the problem of preexisting immunity to common vaccine vectors, which is thought to be a major problem in the developing world. more

Cognitive tests are the best way to select medical students  

Cognitive ability tests are the best way for medical schools to select their entrants, rather than interviews and psychological tests, says an editorial in this week’s BMJ. more

Combined radiation seed, chemotherapy wafer implants show promise in treating cancerous brain tumors  

In the battle against malignant brain tumors, dual implantation of radioactive seeds and chemotherapy wafers following surgery showed promising results in a study led by specialists at the Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and University Hospital. more

Combined stenting and photodynamic therapy improves survival in late stage liver cancer patients

A combined therapeutic approach of stenting and photodynamic therapy may improve survival rates for patients suffering from advanced liver bile duct cancer, according to a study published this month in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. more

Coming soon: Cell therapies for diabetes, cancer? 

Therapies using stem cell transplants are advancing promising treatments for such conditions as Alzheimer’s Disease, neurological diseases and spinal cord injury, and heart disease. Now, scientists think that stem cell transplants may ultimately benefit those who suffer from diabetes or cancer. more<

Common human viruses threaten endangered great apes  

Common human viruses are responsible for outbreaks of respiratory disease that have led to the decline of endangered chimpanzees in the wild, according to a study reported online on January 24th in Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press. The findings—which are the first to provide direct evidence of virus transmission from humans to wild great apes—illustrate the challenge of maximizing the benefit of research and tourism to great apes while minimizing the negative side effects that come with human contact, the researchers say. more

Comorbidities may limit benefits of combination prostate therapy

The addition of androgen suppression therapy (AST) to radiation therapy (RT) improved overall survival in men with localized prostate cancer and risk factors for disease recurrence, but the survival benefit may apply only to men who do not have moderate to high levels of other illnesses, researchers report in the January 23 Journal of the American Medical Association. more  

Comparison of venlafaxine and SSRIs in the treatment of depression

There are numerous antidepressant medications currently on the market, but sadly, many patients still experience the debilitating symptoms of depression even with treatment. A new study published in the February 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry set out to compare two popular classes of antidepressants, the newer serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), like venlafaxine (Effexor), and the older selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like fluoxetine (Prozac) and citalopram (Celexa), to determine if one provides an overall greater benefit. more  

Computers detect Alzheimer's disease in brain scans

Computers can be trained to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease in MRI brain scans, according to a new report. The finding could help doctors diagnose the disease earlier and more accurately than they can now, so treatment can begin earlier. more  

Consumer financial incentives: A decision guide for purchasers

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) commissioned a multidisciplinary group of experts to develop Consumer Financial Incentives: A Guide for Purchasers. It is a tool for employers, health plans, and State Medicaid agencies considering or poised to design and implement a consumer financial incentive strategy. more

Contact lenses purchased over Internet may place individuals at risk for harmful eyecare practices

Purchasing contact lenses online may save consumers time, but the process could cause more problems in the long run, according to a new study reported in the January issue of Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association. The research, conducted by Joshua Fogel, Ph.D., and Chaya Zidile of Brooklyn College, found that individuals who did not purchase their contact lenses from an eye doctor, but from an online site or store, are potentially placing themselves at greater risk. The findings indicated that online and store purchasers (consumers who get their contacts at a wholesale club or optical chain outlet) are less likely to adhere to healthy eye care practices, as recommended by their eye doctor. more  

Controversial shoulder surgery for first-time dislocation proven effective long-term  

Young, athletic, first-time shoulder dislocation patients benefit from arthroscopic surgery long term, according to a study released today at the 2008 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Specialty Day at The Moscone Center. The study found that for highly active patients, surgery, rather than conservative methods, yielded excellent results. more

Converting sewage into drinking water: Wave of the future?

Amid growing water shortages in parts of the United States, more communities are considering tapping their sewage treatment plants as a new source of drinking water. The conversion of wastewater into tap water could help meet increased demand for one of life’s most essential resources, according to an article in the 28 January 2008 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS’s weekly newsmagazine. more

Copper may inhibit the transmission of HIV through breast milk and blood

Researchers from the U.S. and abroad have developed an inexpensive copper-based filter that may prevent HIV from being passed through breast milk and blood. They report their findings in the February 2008 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. more

Cortisol could alleviate chronic fatigue & fibromyalgia

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are two serious and debilitating diseases with no confirmed cause and limited treatment options. However, results of a new comprehensive literature study propose a simplified treatment process that could help alleviate symptoms for patients suffering from these diseases. more

Countering tobacco use among young adults: new approaches needed  

For the tobacco industry, a 22-year-old who isn't a smoker represents a challenge but also an opportunity. The reason: While most - but by no means all - smokers start as teenagers, only about one-third are fully addicted smokers by age 18. Young adulthood, typically defined as ages 18 to 25, is when many transition from light smokers to heavy smokers - or quit. If smoking hasn't taken root by age 25, studies show, chances are good it's not going to. more

Craniosynostosis minimally invasive surgery holds more promise than old procedure  

Craniosynostosis, the premature fusion of the skull, is estimated to affect one out of every 2,000 babies. For the past several years, physicians have used two procedures to correct the problems. One procedure was to make an incision from ear to ear, strip back the scalp of the infant and reshape the skull by breaking the bones that had fused. The other procedure required a small incision near the point of the fused skull plates. Now, the first long-term study by a researcher at the University of Missouri School of Medicine found that the minimally invasive technique is just as effective and results in a quicker recovery time than the old technique. more

CSI fact catching up with fiction as chemists develop new technology  

Real-life crime scene analysis of bloodstains, fingerprints, and other evidence does not match the speed and certainty on television shows such as CSI. But thanks to advances in chemistry, fact is catching up with fiction as researchers develop faster, more sensitive forensics tools, according to an article scheduled for the March 24 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS’ weekly newsmagazine. more

Curing addiction with cannabis medicines

Smokers trying to quit in the future could do it with the help of cannabis based medicines, according to research from The University of Nottingham. more

Cutting caffeine may help control diabetes

Daily consumption of caffeine in coffee, tea or soft drinks increases blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes and may undermine efforts to control their disease, say scientists at Duke University Medical Center. more

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announces positive early results for phase 2 clinical trial of VX-770

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced today that VX-770, an oral drug in development that targets a basic defect in CF, showed promising results in an ongoing Phase 2a clinical trial for patients who carry the G551D mutation of CF. The drug is being developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated. more



The danger of blindness after ophthalmic surgery 

The injection of gas into the eye, as is performed in various ophthalmic surgical procedures, can cause blindness by expanding the eye. This rare but serious problem is described by a team of anesthesiologists and ophthalmologists from the Essen (Germany) University Clinic in the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International more

Delayed Letrozole therapy after tamoxifen reduces breast cancer recurrence

An analysis of data from a phase III clinical trial that was unblinded 5 years ago indicates that in some breast cancer patients, use of the aromatase inhibitor letrozole (Femara) after 5 years of adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen has survival benefits even if begun several years after completing tamoxifen. more

Depression does increase in early Alzheimer’s disease

Although individuals with depression may be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, symptoms of depression do not appear to increase in the years before a diagnosis is made, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. This suggests that depression is not a consequence of developing Alzheimer’s disease but may instead be a risk factor for dementia. more  

Despite no gender difference in adverse drug reactions, women are treated less frequently than men with statins, aspirin and beta- blockers 

Women and men experience a similar prevalence of adverse drug reactions in the treatment of coronary artery disease; however, women are significantly less likely than their male counterparts to be treated with statins, aspirin, and beta-blockers according to a new study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center. The study is published in the March issue of the journal Gender Medicine. more

Detecting Alzheimer’s disease: Research aims for earlier diagnosis

Do you ever forget where you put your car keys or what you were supposed to pick up at the grocery store? You might worry that these memory lapses, or “senior moments,” could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), an irreversible brain illness. AD is the most common cause of dementia, which involves memory loss, loss of the ability to solve problems, personality changes and behavioral problems severe enough to interfere with normal activities and relationships. more

A device that measures metabolic stress could help eye doctors diagnose disease before symptoms appear

Scientists at the University of Michigan have shown that their new metabolic imaging instrument can accurately detect eye disease at a very early stage. Such a device would be vision-saving because many severe eye diseases do not exhibit early warning signals before they begin to diminish vision. The testing is noninvasive and takes less than 6 minutes to administer to a patient. more

Diabetes may be disorder of upper intestine, therefore amenable to surgical treatment  

Growing evidence shows that surgery may effectively cure Type 2 diabetes — an approach that not only may change the way the disease is treated, but that introduces a new way of thinking about diabetes. more

Diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence

Diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence have evolved over time. As new data become available, researchers revise the criteria to improve their reliability, validity, and precision. more  

Dietary oil may need help in avoiding any side effects of weight loss  

An oil made of natural fatty acids that is sometimes used as a weight-loss supplement may need to be paired with hormones or other substances to prevent health problems that can follow rapid weight loss, a new study suggests. more

Diets high in lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin E associated with decreased risk of cataracts 

Women who have higher dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin—compounds found in yellow or dark, leafy vegetables—as well as more vitamin E from food and supplements appear to have a lower risk for developing cataracts, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more

The difference in eating habits between men and women

When it comes to what we eat, men and women really are different according to scientific research presented today (March 19) at the 2008 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia. In general, men are more likely to report eating meat and poultry items and women are more likely to report eating fruits and vegetables. more

Discovery may bring special treatment for male babies

Hunter researchers have discovered that male babies born prematurely are more vulnerable to cardiovascular complications than female babies. more

Disparities in awareness of heart attack warning signs among adults in 14 states revealed

An alarming number of adults fail to recognize heart attack warning signs and symptoms that could, if heeded, save their lives, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study conducted in 14 states. more

Diuretics most effective blood pressure medication for people with metabolic syndrome: Evidence strongly supports diuretics as initial therapy, especially in black patients

New research shows that in people with high blood pressure as part of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increases the risk for heart disease, diuretics offer greater protection against cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, and are at least as effective for lowering blood pressure as newer, more expensive medications. The findings run counter to current medical practices that favor ACE-inhibitors, alpha-blockers, and calcium channel blockers for treatment of high blood pressure in those with metabolic syndrome. In addition, the results provide important new evidence supporting the use of diuretics for initial blood pressure-lowering therapy in black patients with metabolic syndrome. more

Do we really know about antidepressants? Statins? Or any other drug?

Following last week’s study suggesting that new generation antidepressants aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, a special report in this week’s BMJ asks do we really know the truth about antidepressants? Or statins? Or any other drug on the market? more  

Dr. Mom was right -- and wrong -- about washing fruits and vegetables

Washing fresh fruits and vegetables before eating may reduce the risk of food poisoning and those awful episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. But according to new research, described today at the 235th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, washing alone — even with chlorine disinfectants — may not be enough. more

Doctor "pay-for-performance" improves patient care

A new study examines whether patients seeing physicians participating in a “pay-for-performance” incentive program receive better care than those who saw non-participating physicians. The health plan that was examined reimburses physicians based on the quality of care they provide. more

Doctor who? Are patients making clinical decisions?

Doctors are adjusting their bedside manner as better informed patients make ever-increasing demands and expect to be listened to, and fully involved, in clinical decisions that directly affect their care. In a study just published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Dr. J. Bohannon Mason of the Orthocarolina Hip and Knee Center in Charlotte, NC, USA, looks at the changes in society, the population and technology that are influencing the way patients view their orthopaedic surgeons. As patients gain knowledge, their attitude to medicine changes: They no longer show their doctors absolute and unquestionable respect. more

Doctors may be giving the wrong dosage of adrenaline in an emergency because of labelling 

A new study by Cambridge University reveals that doctors treating life-threatening emergencies such as allergy attacks may give the wrong dosage of adrenaline (epinephrine) because of confusing labelling. more

Does ADHD look the same in youth of different races?

The research in the article looked at childhood ADHD in underrepresented minorities, reviewing controversy around evaluation, diagnosis, and obstacles faced by families, ending with recommendations for assessment and treatment. more  

Does less education mean less ability to recognize Alzheimer's disease onset?

Does less education mean a patient might not recognize the onset of Alzheimer's disease symptoms? A review of epidemiological data has found evidence that people who spend fewer years in school may experience a slight but statistically significant delay in the realization that they're having cognitive problems that could be Alzheimer's disease. more  

Does the desire for drugs begin outside awareness? NIDA research reveals subconscious signals can trigger drug craving circuits

Using a brain imaging technology called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), scientists have discovered that cocaine-related images trigger the emotional centers of the brains of patients addicted to drugs — even when the subjects are unaware they've seen anything. The study, published Jan. 30 in the journal PLoS One, was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more  

Does gingko biloba affect memory?

Taking the supplement ginkgo biloba had no clear-cut benefit on the risk of developing memory problems, according to a study published in the February 27, 2008, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. more

Don't worry, be (moderately) happy, research suggests

Could the pursuit of happiness go too far? Most self-help books on the subject offer tips on how to maximize one’s bliss, but a new study suggests that moderate happiness may be preferable to full-fledged elation. more  

The dopamine transporter gene influences alcohol withdrawal seizures 

The physiological component of alcoholism is defined by tolerance and/or withdrawal: the more severe the dependency on alcohol, the more severe the clinical complications, such as greater intensity and/or complications of alcohol withdrawal. A new study of polymorphisms – two or more mutually exclusive forms or alleles – within the dopamine transporter (DAT1) gene has shown that four of them are associated with withdrawal seizures. more

Driving proves potentially hazardous for people with early Alzheimer's

A new study by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University finds that people with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) experienced more accidents and performed more poorly on road tests compared to drivers without cognitive impairment. The study is published in the January 23 edition of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. more

Drug-eluting stents -- More good than harm for heart patients?

The incidence of type 2 diabetes in Western society is on the rise, due largely to an increasing prevalence of obesity. Dysfunction of skeletal muscle mitochondria, the powerhouses of a cell, is associated with type 2 diabetes; however, whether this association is causal or consequential has not been understood. A new study by Jennifer Rieusset and her colleagues at INSERM U870, France, has shed light on this question and has provided evidence that alterations in mitochondrial function are the result, and not the cause, of insulin resistance (which usually precedes full-blown clinical type 2 diabetes) in mice. more

Drugs like aspirin could reduce breast cancer and help existing sufferers

Anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin may reduce breast cancer by up to 20 per cent, according to an extensive review carried out by experts at London’s Guy’s Hospital and published in the March issue of IJCP, the International Journal of Clinical Practice. more  



Early detection critical in treating pediatric thyroid cancer

Efforts to treat pediatric papillary thyroid cancer are greatly improved by detecting the disease as early as possible, making the patient’s age the most important factor in determining a prognosis, according to new research published in the February 2008 issue of the journal Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. more  

Early living together, marriage and parenting benefits some young adults

Young people are always encouraged to complete their education and postpone marriage and children to achieve more rewarding lifestyles. However, a Penn State study found that for some young adults, getting married or living together and having children have provided positive benefits. more

Early promising results in malaria vaccine trial in Mali

A small clinical trial conducted by an international team of researchers in Mali has found that a candidate malaria vaccine was safe and elicited strong immune responses in the 40 Malian adults who received it. The trial was the first to test this vaccine candidate, which is designed to block the malaria parasite from entering human blood cells, in a malaria-endemic country. Based on these promising results, the research team is now conducting trials of this vaccine in 400 Malian children aged 1 to 6 years. Malaria is a leading killer in Africa and other developing countries, claiming more than 1 million lives each year, most of them children. more

Elderly Medicaid patients less likely to receive chemotherapy for colorectal cancer 

A study using data from the Michigan Tumor Registry and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed that elderly Medicaid-insured patients in the state are less likely to initiate or complete chemotherapy for colorectal cancer compared with Medicare-insured patients. The results were published in the March 10 Archives of Internal Medicine. Previous studies have shown that Medicaid-insured patients have worse survival rates for colorectal cancer, but it had not been known if they receive less treatment than patients with other forms of insurance. more

Embryonic stem cells could help to overcome immune rejection problems

Tissues derived from embryonic stem (ES) cells could help to pacify the immune system and so prevent recipients from rejecting them, according to information presented on 11 April at the UK National Stem Cell Network Science Meeting. Speaking at the conference in Edinburgh, Dr Paul Fairchild from the University of Oxford will tell delegates that although tissues derived from ES cells succumb to rejection, they have an inherent immune-privilege which, if exploited, could have far reaching implications for the treatment of conditions such as diabetes, heart attacks and Parkinson’s. more

End of life: Helping with comfort and care

End of Life: Helping With Comfort and Care offers advice and information to help family members and others during the difficult time when a loved one is nearing death. Its goals include to help make the end of a person’s life more comfortable and address readers’ own emotional and practical needs. more  

Enzyme structure reveals new drug targets for cancer and other diseases 

If the genome is the parts list of the human cell, certain proteins are the production managers, activating and deactivating genes as needed. Scientists funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), part of the National Institutes of Health, now have a clearer understanding of how a key protein controls gene activity and how mutations in the protein may cause disease. The work could provide new avenues to design drugs aimed at cancer, diabetes, HIV, and heart disease. more

The epidemiology of fractures in England: Twice the number of broken bones than previously believed 

The annual bone fracture rate in England is just short of 4% of the population, which is more than double previous estimates, suggests a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. more

Epilepsy advocates propose strategies to heighten treatment expectations

On the heels of the nation’s largest event dedicated to the epilepsy community, the National Walk for Epilepsy, advocates today announced their recommendations in response to a new national survey uncovering key challenges facing the epilepsy community. Challenges include gaps in patient-physician communication around medication-related side effects and low public awareness of epilepsy. more

Epilepsy marked by neural 'hub' network  

An increased number of neuron “hubs” in the epileptic brain may be the root cause for the seizures that characterize the disorder, according to a UC Irvine study. more

Essential nutrient found in eggs reduces risk of breast cancer by 24 percent

Choline, an essential nutrient found in foods such as eggs, is associated with a 24 percent reduced risk of breast cancer, according to a study supported by a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), to be published in The FASEB Journal’s print issue in June. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that links egg consumption to a decreased risk of breast cancer. more

Everolimus extends progression-free survival in advanced kidney cancer

A 400-patient, international phase III trial testing the drug everolimus in patients with advanced kidney cancer has been stopped after meeting its primary endpoint, the drug's manufacturer, Novartis, reported February 28. more  

Evidence-based recommendations on neck pain 

The long-awaited report by a special international Task Force underscores the need for a systematic, evidence-based approach to the common, costly, and underestimated problem of neck pain. The report will appear in print as a supplement to the Feb. 15 issue of Spine more

Evidence found for genes that affect risk of developing Alzheimer's disease  

Through one of the largest studies yet of Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and their brothers, sisters, and children, researchers at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville have found strong evidence that genes other than the well-known susceptibility risk factor APOE4 influence who is at risk for developing the neurodegenerative disease later in life. more

Exactly how much housework does a husband create?  

Having a husband creates an extra seven hours a week of housework for women, according to a University of Michigan study of a nationally representative sample of U.S. families. more

Excessive overtriage in US trauma centers overwhelming system resources, delaying patient care

Research in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS) shows that many patients with minimal injuries are being transferred from community hospitals to Level I and II trauma centers, despite the ability of the community hospitals to treat such injuries. The study concludes that overuse of trauma centers threatens to limit the availability of resources to injured patients truly in need; increase overall system costs; and burden higher-level trauma centers with the routine care of minor injuries. more

Exercise program improves symptoms in arthritis patients

Patients with arthritis, the country’s leading cause of disability, tend to be less fit than their peers who don’t have this condition. Studies have shown, however, that they can safely participate in exercise programs to increase their fitness, strength and psychosocial status and that health providers recommend that arthritis patients participate in exercise. more  

Experimental drug dampens alcohol craving

Blocking stress-related circuits in the brain can reduce the desire for alcohol in people who are trying to stop drinking, a small clinical study has found. The discovery may provide a new approach for developing alcoholism treatments. more  

Experimental drug for osteosarcoma improves overall survival

Patients with osteosarcoma who received the experimental drug mifamurtide (L-MTP-PE) along with chemotherapy fared better than patients who received chemotherapy alone, researchers are reporting. Osteosarcoma is a rare but often fatal cancer of the bone. The disease typically affects children and young adults, and no new therapies have been introduced in two decades. more  

Experimental helmet that reverses Alzheimer's disease symptoms headed for human trials by summer

Using a brain imaging technology called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), scientists have discovered that cocaine-related images trigger the emotional centers of the brains of patients addicted to drugs — even when the subjects are unaware they've seen anything. The study, published Jan. 30 in the journal PLoS One, was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more  

Experimental weight-loss drug cuts appetite, burns more energy

The first clinical studies of an experimental drug have revealed that obese people who take it for 12 weeks lose weight, even at very low doses. Short-term studies also suggest that the drug, called taranabant—the second drug designed to fight obesity by blocking cannabinoid receptors in the brain—causes people to consume fewer calories and burn more, researchers report in the January issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press. Cannabinoid receptors are responsible for the psychological effects of marijuana (Cannabis sativa), and natural “endocannabinoids” are important regulators of energy balance. more

Extra-hepatic manifestation of hepatitis C virus infection

In 1994, the team of Tchernev and Petrova from Alexandrovska Hospital in Sofia examined a female patient with liver cirrhosis caused by chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV). They were intrigued by the patient's many extra-hepatic manifestations -- vascular lesions on the lower limbs, acute pain in the joints, intense tingling of the fingers, and extreme labor-impairing fatigue. They were also intrigued by the presence of cryoglobulins in the patient's blood. Two years later, the patient developed enlarged lymph nodes on the neck. When one of the nodes was histologically tested, the patient was found to have lymphoma. more

Eye blinks may help to identify children prenatally exposed to alcohol  

Not all children prenatally exposed to alcohol show distinctive facial anomalies usually associated with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). more



FDA advisory committee recommends further limits on use of ESAs

On March 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) recommended substantially limiting the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) to treat anemia in cancer patients. The panel made the recommendation after hearing additional evidence from a recently published meta-analysis showing that ESAs increase the risk of blood clots and death in patients taking the drugs for chemotherapy-induced anemia. more  

FDA alerts health care providers to risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior with antiepileptic medications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued new information to health care professionals to alert them about an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (suicidality) in patients who take drugs called antiepileptics to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, migraine headaches, and other conditions. more

FDA announces permanent injunction against food companies, executives  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced that Brownwood Acres Foods Inc., Cherry Capital Services Inc. (doing business as Flavonoid Sciences) and two of their top executives have signed a consent decree that effectively prohibits the companies and their executives from manufacturing and distributing any products with claims in the label or labeling to cure, treat, mitigate or prevent diseases. more

FDA approves drug-eluting stent for clogged heart arteries

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Endeavor Zotarolimus-Eluting Coronary Stent for use in treating patients with narrowed coronary arteries, the blood vessels supplying the heart. more  

FDA approves first clotting solution made using recombinant DNA technology

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first clotting solution manufactured using recombinant DNA techniques to help stop small blood vessels from bleeding after surgery. more

FDA approves new HIV drug after priority review: Etravirine tablets used in combination with other antiretroviral agents

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved etravirine tablets for the treatment of HIV infection in adults who have failed treatment with other antiretrovirals. more  

FDA approves new medical adhesive to treat burn patients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a new medical adhesive (a fibrin sealant) called Artiss for use in attaching skin grafts onto burn patients. more  

FDA approves Nexium for use in children ages 1-11 years  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium) for short-term use in children ages 1-11 years for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). more

FDA clears first quick test for drug-resistant staph infections: Test identifies mrsa bacterium in two hours  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it has cleared for marketing the first rapid blood test for the drug-resistant staph bacterium known as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), which can cause potentially deadly infections. more

FDA clears first test designed to detect and identify 12 respiratory viruses from single sample

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared for marketing a test that simultaneously detects and identifies 12 specific respiratory viruses. more  

FDA clears for marketing real-time test for respiratory viruses

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared for marketing a test that simultaneously detects four common respiratory viruses, including the flu, in a patient’s respiratory secretions. The ProFlu+ test provides results in as few as three hours. Other diagnostic tests for respiratory viruses are fast but not as accurate or are accurate but not as rapid. more  

FDA drug safety newsletter

This publication provides postmarketing information to healthcare professionals to enhance communication of new drug safety information, raise awareness of reported adverse events, and stimulate additional adverse event reporting. more

FDA issues alert on Tussionex, a long-acting prescription cough medicine containing hydrocodone

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert today on the safe and correct use of Tussionex Pennkinetic Extended-Release Suspension in response to numerous reports of adverse events--including death--associated with the misuse and inappropriate use of this potent cough medication. more  

FDA issues documents on the safety of food from animal clones

After years of detailed study and analysis, the Food and Drug Administration has concluded that meat and milk from clones of cattle, swine, and goats, and the offspring of clones from any species traditionally consumed as food, are as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals. There was insufficient information for the agency to reach a conclusion on the safety of food from clones of other animal species, such as sheep. more

FDA issues pain warning for bisphosphonates  

In January 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert to health care providers and patients regarding bisphosphonate drugs, which prevent and treat bone-density problems in patients who have cancer-related hypercalcemia, Paget disease, multiple myeloma, or bone metastases from solid tumors, as well as osteoporosis. more

FDA issues public health advisory on Chantix

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued a Public Health Advisory to alert health care providers, patients, and caregivers to new safety warnings concerning Chantix (varenicline), a prescription medication used to help patients stop smoking. more

FDA licenses new hemophilia treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today licensed a treatment for hemophilia A, a rare, hereditary blood-clotting disorder that affects approximately 15,000 individuals, almost exclusively males, in the United States. more

FDA makes recommendations on medical devices that treat blocked heart arteries

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach announced that the agency has issued draft guidelines to aid the development, testing and manufacture of coronary drug-eluting stents, devices used to treat blocked heart arteries. more  

FDA proposes guidance for dissemination of information on unapproved uses of medical products 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued draft guidance on "Good Reprint Practices" for industry use in the distribution of medical or scientific journal articles and reference publications that involve unapproved uses of FDA-approved drugs and medical devices. more

FDA receives new data on risks of anemia drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing new data from two studies that provide further evidence of the risks of anemia drugs known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, or ESAs. The studies show that patients with breast or advanced cervical cancers who received ESAs to treat anemia caused by chemotherapy died sooner or had more rapid tumor growth than similar patients who didn’t receive the anemia drug. more

FDA releases recommendations regarding use of over-the-counter cough and cold products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a Public Health Advisory for parents and caregivers, recommending that over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products should not be used to treat infants and children less than 2 years of age because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur from such use. OTC cough and cold products include decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines, and antitussives (cough suppressants) for the treatment of colds. more  

FDA takes next step in establishing overseas presence agency on path to establish offices in China

In an important development, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received approval from the U.S. State Department to establish eight full time permanent FDA positions at U.S. diplomatic posts in the People's Republic of China, pending authorization from the Chinese government. more

FDA warns public of contaminated syringes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced a nationwide recall of all lots of heparin and saline pre-filled flush syringes manufactured by AM2 PAT, Inc., of Angier, N.C. Two lots have been found to be contaminated with Serratia marcescens, a bacterium that can cause serious injury or death. more

FDA wants to study Vytorin study results

The FDA wants to review the results of the ENHANCE study, which shows that Vytorin, a combination drug, may not be any better than the cheaper single-ingredient drug, Zocor, at keeping arteries cleared of cholesterol-laden plaques. more  

Face facts: People don't stand out in crowds 

Why is it difficult to pick out even a familiar face in a crowd? We all experience this, but the phenomenon has been poorly understood until now. The results of a recent study may have implications for individuals with face-recognition disorders and visual-attention related ailments — and eventually could help scientists develop an artificial visual system that approaches the sophistication of human visual perception. more

Facts about menopausal hormone therapy

Revised with updated information following NIH's cessation of the estrogen-alone study. Choosing whether or not to use menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) can be one of the most important health decisions women face as they age. more

A family history of alcoholism - Are you at risk?

If you are among the millions of people in this country who have a parent, grandparent, or other close relative with alcoholism, you may have wondered what your family's history of alcoholism means for you. Are problems with alcohol a part of your future? Is your risk for becoming an alcoholic greater than for people who do not have a family history of alcoholism? If so, what can you do to lower your risk? more

A family lifestyle approach to diabetes prevention (Power to prevent)

A Family Lifestyle Approach to Diabetes Prevention (Power to Prevent) ( PDF—6.11 MB) is a curriculum developed to help educate African American communities on how to prevent and control diabetes through healthy eating and physical activity. This valuable resource provides community-based organizations, faith-based communities, diabetes educators, and other program leaders with a step-by-step resource to help lead African Americans in making healthy life-style changes for themselves and for their families. more

Faux Fido eases loneliness in nursing home residents as well as real dog

A sophisticated robotic dog could be a good companion for your dog-loving grandmother who can’t care for a living pet, a new Saint Louis University study suggests. more  

Finding the roots of hair loss

A healthy individual loses around a hundred hairs a day. Nothing to worry about as long as they are constantly replaced and the losses occur evenly around the whole scalp. But when hair loss goes well beyond this level it can become quite a problem for those affected – not only superficially in terms of looks but also psychologically. A breakthrough on the hair front has now been made by an international research team headed by scientists at the University of Bonn. After six years of research they have succeeded in identifying a gene that is responsible for a rare hereditary form of hair loss known as Hypotrichosis simplex. more

First autism prevention study launched by University of Washington  

Autism researchers at the University of Washington will take the initial step in attempting to prevent the developmental disorder when they launch an $11.3 million study this week. more

First early-detection blood test for Parkinson's shows promise

A test that profiles molecular biomarkers in blood could become the first accurate diagnostic test for Parkinson's disease, new research shows. more

First-ever study to link increased mortality specifically to carbon dioxide emissions

A Stanford scientist has spelled out for the first time the direct links between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increases in human mortality, using a state-of-the-art computer model of the atmosphere that incorporates scores of physical and chemical environmental processes. The new findings, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, come to light just after the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent ruling against states setting specific emission standards for this greenhouse gas based in part on the lack of data showing the link between carbon dioxide emissions and their health effects. more  

Flat and depressed colorectal growths may change screening  

Unlike most cancers, colorectal cancer is considered preventable in many cases: prevailing opinion states that many malignancies found in the colon or rectum began years earlier as adenomas - noncancerous tumors that form in the linings, or mucosa, of these organs. Early detection and removal of these adenomas is the basis of screening for colorectal neoplasms. more

Flu virus fortified in colder weather

A new finding may explain why the flu virus is more infectious in cold winter months than during warmer seasons. more  

Folate scores a win in animal studies: Brief, high doses of B vitamin blunt damage from heart attack

Long known for its role in preventing anemia in expectant mothers and spinal birth defects in newborns, the B vitamin folate, found in leafy green vegetables, beans and nuts has now been shown to blunt the damaging effects of heart attack when given in short-term, high doses to test animals. more  

Foodborne outbreaks from leafy greens on rise 

Over the past 35 years the proportion of foodborne outbreaks linked to the consumption of leafy green vegetables has substantially increased and that increase can not be completely attributed to Americans eating more salads according to research presented today (March 17) at the 2008 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia. more

Fugitive cancer cells can be blocked by stopping blood cells that aid them

Cancer cells get a helping hand from platelets, specialized blood cells involved in clotting. Platelets shelter and feed tumor cells that stray into the bloodstream, making it easier for cancer to spread, or metastasize. Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that inactivating platelets could slow down or prevent metastasis. more

Full report: HIV infection in the United States household population: Aged 18–49 years: Results from 1999–2006  

Measurement of HIV prevalence in a nationally representative sample of the United States population provides an understanding of the background level of infection in the general household population aged 18–49 years as well as in demographic subgroups. This information can also be used to monitor trends in infection in the household population over time. more

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GBM tumors: Research suggests new treatment suitable for all patients

New research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center suggests that a three-drug cocktail may one day improve outcomes in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a type of brain tumor with a dismal prognosis. Two of the drug candidates have been developed, and the team is working on the third -- all targeted to kill or impair cancer cells and spare healthy brain. more

Gene dose affects tumor growth

Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Ohio State University have found that the number of copies of a particular gene can affect the severity of colon cancer in a mouse model. Publishing in the Jan. 3 issue of Nature, the research team describes how trisomy 21, or Down syndrome in humans, can repress tumor growth. more  

Gene mutations linked to longer lifespans

Mutations in genes governing an important cell-signaling pathway influence human longevity, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found. more

Gene newly linked to inherited ALS may also play role in common dementia

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have linked a mutation in a gene known as TDP-43 to an inherited form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the neurodegenerative condition often called Lou Gehrig's disease. more

Gene signatures enhance breast cancer risk estimates

Combining gene signatures for breast cancer with clinical factors such as patient age and tumor size can improve predictions about the risk of recurrence in women with early-stage disease, new research suggests. more

Gene soup? More genes and more gene deletions responsible for schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia have higher rates of rare genetic deletions and duplications that likely disrupt the developing brain, according to studies funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. more  

Gene variant linked to moderated symptoms of beta-thalassemia

Beta-thalassemia is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease that affects red blood cells, cells that carry oxygen via hemoglobin throughout the body. As part of the SardiNIA Study of Aging, supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a component of the National Institutes of Health, scientists have found a genetic variant in the BCL11A gene that can explain why some people with beta-thalassemia seem to be protected from most dangerous symptoms. The findings appear this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. more

Gene variant determines response to treatment for PCOS

NIH-sponsored researchers have discovered that women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are less likely to ovulate in response to a promising new drug treatment for the condition if they have a variation in a particular gene. more  

Gene variants protect against adult depression triggered by childhood stress

Certain variations in a gene that helps regulate response to stress tend to protect adults who were abused in childhood from developing depression, according to new research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. Adults who had been abused but didn't have the variations in the gene had twice the symptoms of moderate to severe depression, compared to those with the protective variations. more  

Gene variant may identify cirrhosis patients at high risk of liver cancer

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have found that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) - a change in a single unit of DNA - in the epidermal growth factor (EGF) gene may significantly increase the likelihood that a patient with cirrhosis will develop hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). more

Genes hold the key to how happy we are, scientists say

Happiness in life is as much down to having the right genetic mix as it is to personal circumstances according to a recent study. more

Genes influence blood lipid levels and heart disease risk

Blood levels of lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides are important risk factors for coronary artery disease. Scientists know about certain lifestyle factors—such as smoking, diet and physical activity—that affect blood lipid levels, but the role of genetics hasn’t been well understood. A large study has now revealed more than 25 genetic variants in 18 genes connected to blood cholesterol and lipid levels. The finding may lead to new strategies for treating and preventing coronary artery disease. more  

Genetic difference predicts antidepressant response

Researchers have identified subtle genetic variations that predict the efficacy of two widely used antidepressant drugs. They found that certain variants in the gene for a protective transporter protein that pumps drugs and other substances out of the brain compromise the effectiveness of the antidepressants citalopram (trade name Celexa) and venlafaxine (Effexor). more  

Genetic mutation found in peripheral artery disease

The finding, appearing online in the journal Circulation, is the first to document a genetic mutation linked to PAD. Although the work was done in mice, researchers say it is likely to give them new insight into how PAD develops and progresses in humans. more  

Genetic tags reveal secrets of memories’ staying power in mice

A better understanding of how memory works is emerging from a newfound ability to link a learning experience in a mouse to consequent changes in the inner workings of its neurons. Researchers, supported in part by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), have developed a way to pinpoint the specific cellular components that sustain a specific memory in genetically-engineered mice. more

Genetic “telepathy”? A bizarre new property of DNA  

Scientists are reporting evidence that intact, double-stranded DNA has the “amazing” ability to recognize similarities in other DNA strands from a distance. And then like friends with similar interests, the bits of genetic material hangout or congregate together. more

Geneticist first to connect a gene central to neuron formation to autism

Eli Hatchwell, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pathology at Stony Brook University Medical Center, and colleagues have found that a disruption of the Contactin 4 gene on chromosome 3 may be linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). What causes ASD, a developmental disorder of the central nervous system, is largely unknown. Dr. Hatchwell’s finding suggests that mutations affecting Contactin 4 may be relevant to ASD pathogenesis, and thus a potential biomarker for some individuals with the disorder. Details of the study are reported in the early online edition of the Journal of Medical Genetics. more  

Genome scans for cancer: What's next? 

Scanning the human genome for genetic variants involved in common cancers began to pay dividends in 2007, and the trend is likely to continue as more large studies involving new types of cancer report their results in the coming year. more

Genome-wide association studies

A genome-wide association study is an approach that involves rapidly scanning markers across the complete sets of DNA, or genomes, of many people to find genetic variations associated with a particular disease. Once new genetic associations are identified, researchers can use the information to develop better strategies to detect, treat and prevent the disease. Such studies are particularly useful in finding genetic variations that contribute to common, complex diseases, such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and mental illnesses. more

Getting forgetful? Then blueberries may hold the key  

If you are getting forgetful as you get older, then a research team from the University of Reading and the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England may have good news for you. more

Gleason score remains one of the strongest prognostic predictors of treatment outcome in patients with prostate cancer  

The Gleason score remains one of the strongest prognostic predictors of treatment outcome in patients with prostate cancer (CaP). The prostate biopsy is a sampling and may not accurately reflect the Gleason score in the final radical prostatectomy (RP) specimen. more

A good fight may keep you and your marriage healthy

A good fight with your spouse may be good for your health, research suggests. more  

Got carrots? Vegetables may have bone to pick as calcium providers

A specially developed carrot has been produced to help people absorb more calcium. more

Green tea helps beat superbugs

Researchers demonstrate both genetic and pharmaceutical evidence for the role of a protein called collagenase-2 in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), providing a potential new way to combat this debilitating disease. more

Growth hormone does not enhance athletic performance

A review of published randomized controlled trials that compared growth hormone (GH) to no-growth-hormone treatment in healthy people between 13 and 45 years of age found that lean body mass increased in people who took growth hormone but strength and exercise capacity did not. more  

Guidelines for colonoscopy follow-up assessed

The size and number of polyps removed during colonoscopy may be of limited use in predicting a recurrence that leads to cancer, new research suggests. The findings, in the March 18 Annals of Internal Medicine, raise questions about the current guidelines on follow-up colonoscopies, which define a schedule for surveillance exams based on detected polyps, or adenomas. more  

Guidelines for the Diagnosis, Evaluation and Management of von Willebrand Disease  

Von Willebrand disease (VWD) is an inherited bleeding disorder that is caused by deficiency or dysfunction of von Willebrand factor (VWF), a plasma protein that mediates the initial adhesion of platelets at sites of vascular injury and also binds and stabilizes blood clotting factor VIII (FVIII) in the circulation. Therefore, defects in VWF can cause bleeding by impairing platelet adhesion or by reducing the concentration of FVIII. more



Half of the people suffering from head injuries that go to court fake their ailments to receive financial help

How can it be proved that a patient is lying when they say that they have a cognitive problem, such as memory or concentration problems or anxiety? There are many people who exaggerate their injuries and even feign them in order to receive more money from insurance companies or obtain a sick leave, according to a pioneering research in Spain. This research was carried out in the Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment of the University of Granada by Doctor Raquel Vilar López. The conclusions of her study, which focused on patients who suffered from head injuries, speak for themselves: nearly half of the people who go to court feign psycho-cognitive disorders with the objective of profiting from this in some way. They are not hypochondriacs or overanxious or obsessive patients, they just lie in order to receive some sort of compensation, as for example money. They are the so called ‘simulators’. more

Handheld DNA detector  

A researcher at the National University at San Diego has taken a mathematical approach to a biological problem - how to design a portable DNA detector. Writing in the International Journal of Nanotechnology, he describes a mathematical simulation to show how a new type of nanoscale transistor might be coupled to a DNA sensor system to produce a characteristic signal for specific DNA fragments in a sample. more

HDL-associated protein gene linked to heart disease risk

The gene for the HDL-associated protein paraoxonase 1 (PON1) appears to be associated with coronary artery disease and with the risk of developing adverse cardiac events, and variations in both the PON1 gene and its related enzyme activity may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease events, according to a study in the March 19 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on Genetics and Genomics. more

Health care reform and 2008 U.S. elections: New reports examine candidates' plans, public's views

Eighty-one percent of Americans believe that in order to help reach the goal of health insurance for all, employers should either provide health insurance to their workers or contribute to the cost of their coverage, according to survey data released today by The Commonwealth Fund. Nearly nine of 10 (88%) Democrats, nearly three-quarters (73%) of Republicans, and nearly four of five (79%) Independents would support such an employer “play or pay” requirement. more

Health watch for patients: Protecting yourself from hepatitis

Hepatitis can make you feel as if you have the flu, but it’s a completely different disease. Flu is caused by viruses that attack your lungs and respiratory system; hepatitis is a liver disease. Some forms of hepatitis get better on their own. But others can inflict serious liver damage, and may even leave you needing a new liver. more  

Heart attack symptoms in women

Chest pain or discomfort has long been seen as the most common early warning sign of a heart attack. But recent research has raised questions about whether this holds true for women. A new study looked at the available evidence and concluded that chest pain is the most common sign of heart attack for most women. more  

Heart failure treated ‘in the brain’  

Beta-blockers heal the heart via the brain when administered during heart failure, according to a new study by UCL (University College London). Up to now, it was thought that beta-blockers work directly on the heart, but the new study shows that the drugs may also act via the brain, suggesting that future therapies to treat cardiovascular disease could be targeting the central nervous system. more

Heart and stroke death rates steadily decline; risks still too high  

In an appropriate prelude to American Heart Month, which is just ahead in February, new mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that, since 1999, coronary heart disease and stroke age-adjusted death rates are down by 25.8 percent and 24.4 percent, respectively. This means that the American Heart Association’s 2010 strategic goal for reducing deaths from coronary heart disease has been achieved, and for stroke nearly achieved – ahead of time. However, potential problems loom for the future, as all of the major risk factors for these leading causes of death are still too high and several are actually on the rise. If this trend continues, death rates could begin to rise again in years ahead. more

Helping patients navigate the health care system: Advice from Dr. Carolyn Clancy about prescription drug errors

If your doctor wrote you a prescription for the pain reliever Darvon, would you know if you received Diovan, a medicine for high blood pressure, by mistake? Unless you're a health professional or you carefully read both the doctor's prescription and your medicine bottle at the drug store, chances are you would not know you got the wrong medicine. more

High blood cholesterol - What you need to know

For children who struggle to learn language, the choice between various interventions may matter less than the intensity and format of the intervention, a new study sponsored by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) suggests. The study, led by Ronald B. Gillam, Ph.D., of Utah State University is online in the February 2008 Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. NIDCD is one of the National Institutes of Health. more

High blood pressure in older adults traced to gene's effects in blood vessels

Scientists have identified the gene that sets off a sequence of events in the blood vessels of otherwise healthy adults that can lead to high blood pressure. The disease process eventually makes conditions in vessels ripe for the creation of blockages that can cause heart attacks, strokes and circulatory problems. more

High degree of resistance to antibiotics in Arctic birds

In the latest issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, Swedish researchers report that birds captured in the hyperboreal tundra, in connection with the tundra expedition “Beringia 2005,” were carriers of antibiotics-resistant bacteria. These findings indicate that resistance to antibiotics has spread into nature, which is an alarming prospect for future health care. more  

High prevalence of eating disorders in narcoleptics

The majority of patients with narcolepsy/cataplexy experience a number of symptoms of eating disorders, with an irresistible craving for food and binge eating as the most prominent features, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of the journal SLEEP. more  

Higher rates of MRSA among drug users than six years ago  

A new comparative study suggests that rates of MRSA infection in injection drug users in Vancouver have significantly increased over the last six years highlighting the need for interventional methods in high-risks groups. The researchers from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver General Hospital, and Vancouver Coastal Health report their findings in the February 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. more

HIV, infant feeding and more perils for poor people: new WHO guidelines encourage review of formula milk policies

The new WHO Consensus Statement on HIV and Infant Feeding highlights critical issues in the continuing debate on whether the HIV transmission resulting from breastfeeding can ever be superseded by the benefits of breastfeeding and therefore justified ethically. more

Hormonal dietary supplements might promote prostate cancer progression

Hormonal components in over-the-counter dietary supplements may promote the progression of prostate cancer and decrease the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered. more

Hormone refractory prostate cancers more likely to spread to other organs

Prostate cancers that are resistant to androgen deprivation therapy are more invasive and more likely to spread to other organs than androgen dependent prostate cancers, UCLA cancer researchers have found. more

How antioxidant therapy may play a role in the treatment of type 2 diabetes

The incidence of type 2 diabetes in Western society is on the rise, due largely to an increasing prevalence of obesity. Dysfunction of skeletal muscle mitochondria, the powerhouses of a cell, is associated with type 2 diabetes; however, whether this association is causal or consequential has not been understood. A new study by Jennifer Rieusset and her colleagues at INSERM U870, France, has shed light on this question and has provided evidence that alterations in mitochondrial function are the result, and not the cause, of insulin resistance (which usually precedes full-blown clinical type 2 diabetes) in mice. more

How much protein do you need?

The idea of eating more protein has gained popularity in the past few years. Some people may think the way to build body muscle is to eat high-protein diets and use protein powders, supplements and shakes. But there’s no solid scientific evidence that most Americans need more protein. Most of us already get all we need. Some of us may even be eating much more than we need. more  

How to give medicine to children

Do you know how to give medicine to children? If you are caring for a child who needs medicine, it's important that you know how to give the medicine the right way. more

HPV, periodontitis work in tandem to increase risk of tongue cancer  

Persons with periodontitis who also are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) are at increased risk of developing tongue cancer, new research conducted at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine has shown. more

Hungry mothers risk addiction in their adult children

Babies conceived during a period of famine are at risk of developing addictions later in life, according to new research published in the international journal Addiction. Researchers from the Dutch mental health care organisation, Bouman GGZ, and Erasmus University Rotterdam studied men and women born in Rotterdam between 1944 and 1947, the time of the Dutch ‘hunger winter’. more

Human hormone blocker found to help prevent obesity and diabetes: study

A new study finds that a chemical found in the body is capable of promoting weight loss, improving insulin resistance and reversing diabetes in an animal model. The hormone is gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) receptor blockade. more


Huntington's disease problems start much earlier than expected 

The damaging effects of the mutated protein involved in Huntington’s disease take place earlier in cell life than previously believed, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in a report that appears in the current edition of the journal Neuron. more

Hypnosis helped Stanford/Packard physicians pinpoint cause of children's seizures

It was no way for an 11-year-old to live. For a month the boy had endured daily episodes of uncontrollable jerking and foaming at the mouth, and his physicians at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital were concerned that the boy had epilepsy. Before starting the boy on a lifetime of anti-seizure medications, though, they turned to an unconventional diagnostic tool: hypnosis. more  


I'll take the metabolic syndrome blue-plate special, please: Burgers, fries and diet soda

"BHRT" is a marketing term not recognized by FDA. Sellers of bio-identicals often claim that these "all-natural" pills, creams, lotions, and gels are without the risks of synthetic FDA-approved drugs for menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). FDA-approved MHT drug products provide effective relief of the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. They also can prevent thinning of bones. more  

Improvements needed for adolescents and young adults

Compared with advances achieved for younger children over the past 30 years, there has been a relative lack of progress in identifying more effective treatments for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients. Cancer survival rates for AYA patients, who are those diagnosed with cancer at ages 15 through 39, have seen little or no improvement for decades. This concern led NCI and the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) in 2005-2006 to convene a Progress Review Group (PRG) to evaluate the issues behind this bleak trend. more

Increased allergen levels in homes linked to asthma

Results from a new national survey demonstrate that elevated allergen levels in the home are associated with asthma symptoms in allergic individuals. The study suggests that asthmatics that have allergies may alleviate symptoms by reducing allergen exposures inside their homes. more  

Increased clotting risk associated with birth control patch

On 18 January 2008, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved additional changes to the Ortho Evra Contraceptive Transdermal (Skin) Patch label to include the results of a new epidemiology study that found that users of the birth control patch were at higher risk of developing serious blood clots, also known as venous thromboembolism (VTE), than women using birth control pills. VTE can lead to pulmonary embolism. more  

Increased level of magnetic iron oxides found in Alzheimer's disease 

A team of scientists, led by Professor Jon Dobson, of Keele University in Staffordshire, UK, have found, for the first time, raised levels of magnetic iron oxides in the part of the brain affected by Alzheimer's Disease (AD). more

Indian medicinal plant Acanthus ilicifolius may combat liver cancer

Liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world with a poor prognosis. About three quarters of the cases of liver cancer are found in Southeast Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, India, and Japan. The frequency of liver cancer in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa is greater than 20 cases per 100,000 population. Moreover, recent data show the frequency of liver cancer in the U.S. overall is rising. more  

Infant mortality higher for boys than girls

Male infants in developed nations are more likely to die than female infants, a fact that is partially responsible for men’s shorter lifespans, reveals a new study by researchers from University of Pennsylvania and University of Southern California. more  

Infectious disease facts: The difference between latent TB infection and active TB disease

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a germ called Mycobacterium tuberculosis that is spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine. When a person with infectious TB coughs or sneezes, droplet nuclei containing M. tuberculosis are expelled into the air. If another person inhales air containing these droplet nuclei, he or she may become infected. However, not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist: latent TB infection and active TB disease. more

Information for all of us: Topsy-turvy world of daylight-saving time returns 

The arrival of daylight-saving time this weekend means extra time for evening yard work or barbecues, but for some it also means sleepy days at work and even a bit of crankiness. more

Information for patients: Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics normally work by killing germs called bacteria. Or they stop the bacteria from growing. But sometimes not all of them are stopped or killed. The strongest ones are left to grow and spread. A person can get sick again. This time the germs are harder to kill.. more

Information for patients: Cell phones

Everybody seems to have a cell phone these days. Cell phones are not really phones. They are two-way radios. A cell phone changes your voice into radio waves. more  

Information for patients: Depression

A detailed booklet that describes Depression symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping. more

Information for patients: Men and depression

A detailed booklet that describes what you need to know about depression in men: how it looks, how it feels, getting help, and getting better. more  

Information for patients: Periodontal (gum) disease: causes, symptoms, and treatments

An estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. This booklet answers questions for those diagnosed with gum disease. more

Information for patients: Risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease

There’s no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but researchers think certain factors may affect your risk of getting the disease. more  

Information for patients: What is metabolic syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors linked to overweight and obesity that increase your chance for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and stroke. The term “metabolic” refers to the biochemical processes involved in the body’s normal functioning. Risk factors are behaviors or conditions that increase your chance of getting a disease. In this article, “heart disease” refers to coronary heart disease. more

Information for patients: Your guide to living well with heart disease

People can live well with heart disease. This booklet is a step-by-step guide to helping people with heart disease make decisions that will protect and improve their lives. It provides information and examples of how to live fully, healthfully, and enjoyably as you cope with your heart condition. Includes the latest information about testing for heart disease, controlling risk factors, and treatments. Includes a heart attack survival plan and information about how to recognize heart attack signs and get help quickly. Make living well with heart disease your priority. Useful for any heart disease patient. more

Information for professionals: The new label: Ortho Evra (norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol) information

Since the patch is applied transdermally, first-pass metabolism (via the gastrointestinal tract and/or liver) of NGMN and EE that would be expected with oral administration is avoided. Hepatic metabolism of NGMN occurs and metabolites include norgestrel, which is highly bound to SHBG, and various hydroxylated and conjugated metabolites. Ethinyl estradiol is also metabolized to various hydroxylated products and their glucuronide and sulfate conjugates. more  

Ingredient found in green tea significantly inhibits breast cancer growth in female mice  

Green tea is high in the antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin-3- gallate) which helps prevent the body’s cells from becoming damaged and prematurely aged. Studies have suggested that the combination of green tea and EGCG may also be beneficial by providing protection against certain types of cancers, including breast cancer. more

Ingredient in yellow curry can reduce heart enlargement and may prevent heart failure 

Eating curcumin, a natural ingredient in the spice turmeric, may dramatically reduce the chance of developing heart failure, researchers at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre of the Toronto General Hospital have discovered. more

Injection of human umbilical cord blood helps aging brain 

When human umbilical cord blood cells (UCBC) were injected into aged laboratory animals, researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) found improvements in the microenvironment of the hippocampus region of the animals’ brains and a subsequent rejuvenation of neural stem/progenitor cells. more

'Innocent bystanders' can be the cause of tumor development

Tumor growth has commonly been viewed as a result of mutations in a given cell that will therefore proliferate uncontrollably. However, a study conducted at the University of Helsinki, Finland, has demonstrated that in certain type of gastrointestinal polyps, the cause of tumor development are mutations in the smooth muscle cells, previously regarded as “innocent bystanders”. more

Institute for Safe Medication Practices: List of confused drug names  

In the first study examining American physicians' use of placebos in clinical practice in the 21st Century, 45 percent of Chicago internists report they have used a placebo at some time during their clinical practice researchers report in the January issue of Journal of General Internal Medicine. more

International consortium identifies genes linked to lupus

A landmark genetic study has identified multiple genes linked to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus, a debilitating autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans. more

International clinical trial of a promising new agent against Ewing sarcoma under way  

Researchers at NCI have joined forces with investigators across the U.S. and Europe to launch an international clinical trial of a promising new agent against Ewing sarcoma, a rare cancer that affects mostly children, adolescents, and young adults. more

Internists say they prescribe placebos on occasion  

In the first study examining American physicians' use of placebos in clinical practice in the 21st Century, 45 percent of Chicago internists report they have used a placebo at some time during their clinical practice researchers report in the January issue of Journal of General Internal Medicine. more

Irritating smells alert special cells, NIH-funded study finds 

If you cook, you know. Chop an onion and you risk crying over your cutting board as a burning sensation overwhelms your eyes and nose. Scientists do not know why certain chemical odors, like onion, ammonia and paint thinner, are so highly irritating, but new research in mice has uncovered an unexpected role for specific nasal cavity cells. more

iPods and similar devices found not to affect pacemaker function

Last May, a widely reported study concluded that errant electronic noise from iPods can cause implantable cardiac pacemakers to malfunction. This just didn't sound right to the cardiac electrophysiologists at Children's Hospital Boston, who've seen hundreds of children, teens and young adults with heart conditions requiring pacemakers. "Many of our pacemaker patients have iPods and other digital music players, and we've never seen any problem," says Charles Berul, MD, director of the Pacemaker Service at Children's. "But kids and parents bring up this concern all the time, prompting us to do our own study." more  

Is less more in patient management of care? Highly involved patients don't always see better health outcomes

Patients who prefer to be highly involved in their treatment don't necessarily have better luck managing chronic health conditions, a new study suggests. more  

Is it a Cold or the Flu?

Download this at-a-glance publication, which can help determine if you or someon in your care have a cold or the flu. more

Is the obesity epidemic exaggerated? 

Last week, the UK health secretary declared that we are in a grip of an obesity epidemic, but does the evidence stack up? Researchers in this week’s BMJ debate the issue. more

Is there a vaccine and autism link, after all?

Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have agreed that vaccines administered to a 9-year old girl contributed to her condition. Hannah Poling of Athens, GA, and her family may be receiving compensation from the federal vaccine fund, although the exact amount of the award is not yet known. The girl began presenting with signs of autism three months after receiving series of routine shots administered to her at the age of 19 months. more



January: Birth defects prevention month 

Each year in the United States, about 1 in 33 babies is born with a birth defect. more

Jazz on the brain

A pair of Johns Hopkins and government scientists have discovered that when jazz musicians improvise, their brains turn off areas linked to self-censoring and inhibition, and turn on those that let self-expression flow. more  

Jefferson scientists find protein helps pancreatic cancer cells evade immune system and spread  

A protein that helps prevent a woman’s body from rejecting a fetus may also play an important role in enabling pancreatic cancer cells to evade detection by the immune system, allowing them to spread in the body. more

Jefferson scientists studying the effects of high-dose vitamin C on non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients

Scientists at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center have received approval for a first-of-its kind study on the effect high dose vitamin C has on non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients. Researchers from the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine and Kimmel Cancer Center in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health will study whether high doses of vitamin C can slow the progression of the deadly disease. more  

Journal Sleep: Short, long sleep duration is associated with future weight gain in adults 

Both short and long sleeping times predict an increased risk of future body weight and fat gain in adults, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of the journal SLEEP. more



Kaiser Permanente study shows link between caffeine and miscarriage  

High doses of daily caffeine during pregnancy – whether from coffee, tea, caffeinated soda or hot chocolate -- cause an increased risk of miscarriage, according a new study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. The study controlled, for the first time, pregnancy-related symptoms of nausea, vomiting and caffeine aversion that tended to interfere with the determination of caffeine’s true effect on miscarriage risk. The research appears in the current online issue of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. more

Kidney cancer deaths show overall decrease in Europe

Overall deaths from kidney cancer have now fallen across Europe after peaking in the early 1990s, according to a detailed analysis of mortality rates for 32 countries published in the urology journal BJU International. more

A kinder cut: Advances in surgery for head and neck cancer

Before the development of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted treatments for cancer, there was surgery. And today, the physical removal of cancerous tissue remains a cornerstone of treatment for most tumor types. more  

Knitting prosthetic breasts - A solution to help patients take control

Women have more choices than ever when it comes to prosthetic breasts, however, most women still find available prostheses inadequate. One such woman has taken a crafty approach to the problem and created a thriving business. Her business also helps breast cancer survivors deal with the physical and emotional fall out of breast cancer. more  



Lack of deep sleep may increase risk of type 2 diabetes

Suppression of slow-wave sleep in healthy young adults significantly decreases their ability to regulate blood-sugar levels and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, report researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center in the “Early Edition” of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, available online 1 January 2008. more

A large waist may equal early death for women

Women who carry excess fat around their waists were at greater risk of dying early from cancer or heart disease than were women with smaller waistlines, even if they were of normal weight, reported researchers from Harvard and the National Institutes of Health. more  

The lean gene

Your friend can eat whatever she wants and still fit into her prom dress, but you gain five pounds if you just look at that chocolate cake. Before you sign up for Weight Watchers and that gym membership, though, you may want to look at some recent research from Tel Aviv University and save yourself a few hundred dollars. more

Legal exposure to asbestos-like material linked to lung damage 25 years later 

Men and women who worked in a plant that processed vermiculite tainted with asbestos-like fibers that originated from a mine in Libby, Montana, show high prevalence of scarring and thickening of the membrane that lines the chest wall some 25 years after the plant stopped using the material—even those who were exposed at or below current legal levels. more

Lifetime medical costs of obesity

A new research paper published in PLoS Medicine suggests that preventing obesity might result in increased public spending on medical care. Many countries are currently developing policies aimed at reducing obesity in the population. However, it is not currently clear whether successfully reducing obesity will also reduce national healthcare spending or not. Pieter van Baal and colleagues, from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, created a mathematical model to try to answer this question. more

A link between antidepressants and type 2 diabetes

While analyzing data from Saskatchewan health databases, Lauren Brown, researcher with the U of A’s School of Public Health, found people with a history of depression had a 30 per cent increased risk of type 2 Diabetes. more  

A little anxiety pays sometimes, study shows

Anxiety gets a lot of bad press. Dwelling on the negative can lead to chronic stress and anxiety disorders and phobias, but evolutionarily speaking, anxiety holds some functional value. In humans, learning to avoid harm is necessary not only for surviving in the face of basic threats (such as predators or rotten food), but also for avoiding more complex social or economic threats (such as enemies or questionable investments). more

Living with Crohn’s disease: More options for treatment

For the half-million Americans with Crohn’s disease, finding relief from abdominal pain and digestive problems is an ongoing challenge. Conventional therapies like steroids are often effective, but some patients find that they don’t do enough to calm their troubling symptoms. more  

Long-term outcomes following blood clots

Patients who develop a blood clot in their legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism) are at risk for experiencing another blood clot within three years, and patients with pulmonary embolism have a higher risk of death. more

Low-fat diets more likely to reduce risk of heart disease than low-carb diets

Low-fat diets are more effective in preserving and promoting a healthy cardiovascular system than low-carbohydrate, Atkins’-like diets, according to a new study by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. more  

Low-intensity exercise reduces fatigue symptoms by 65 percent, study finds

Sedentary people who regularly complain of fatigue can increase their energy levels by 20 percent and decrease their fatigue by 65 percent by engaging in regular, low intensity exercise. more

Low risk seen in monitoring, not treating, some prostate cancers

The vast majority of older men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer who initially forego treatment will die of something other than prostate cancer, researchers said last week. The finding supports the view that actively monitoring the cancer's progression until such time as treatment is needed - a strategy called watchful waiting - is a reasonable response to a diagnosis of early-stage disease for some men. more  

Low vitamin E levels associated with physical decline in elderly

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that a low concentration of vitamin E in the blood is linked with physical decline in older persons. more

Lowering drug co-pays for chronic disease patients increases use of important preventive medicines 

As 2008 begins, millions of Americans are having to dig deeper into their own pockets every time they refill a prescription or see a doctor. more

Lung cancer test aims to improve early detection

When an imaging test shows a suspicious mass in the lungs of a smoker, the next step is a bronchoscopy. A thin tube with a camera is passed into the person's airway to look for abnormalities and collect tissue for biopsy. But in many cases the results do not reveal whether the person has cancer. more



Macadamia nuts can be included in heart healthy diet

Macadamia nuts included in a heart healthy diet reduced low-density cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and should be included among nuts with qualified health claims, according to researchers. more  

Major surgery no longer needed for the removal of uterine fibroids  

The treatment of uterine fibroids with 3T MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is safe, non-invasive and effective, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY. more

Managing bone metastases: Can radiopharmaceuticals help? 

When cancer spreads to bone during the advanced stages of disease, the results can be devastating. Some patients experience severe pain and face an increased risk of fractures and other skeletal-related complications. These often require additional treatments and may further diminish a patient's quality of life and compromise survival. more

Many stroke, heart attack patients may not benefit from aspirin

Up to 20 percent of patients taking aspirin to lower the risk of suffering a second cerebrovascular event do not have an antiplatelet response from aspirin, the effect thought to produce the protective effect, researchers at the University at Buffalo have shown. more

A major step toward a more targeted treatment for auto-immune diseases?

More and more people in Western society are suffering from auto-immune diseases. Discovering the cause of these chronic inflammations is a first important step in the search for targeted medicines. VIB researchers connected to Ghent University and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven joined forces and have elucidated the function of MALT1, a key player in controlling inflammatory reactions. They are the first to show that MALT1 is able to cleave the A20 protein, which inhibits inflammation. Scientists hope that by counteracting MALT1 they will be able to restore the body’s natural inhibition of inflammation and thus provide an alternative for treatments that tax the immune system. This would represent a profound improvement over current medicines. Their research will be published in the authoritative journal Nature Immunology. more

Many stroke, heart attack patients may not benefit from aspirin

Up to 20 percent of patients taking aspirin to lower the risk of suffering a second cerebrovascular event do not have an antiplatelet response from aspirin, the effect thought to produce the protective effect, researchers at the University at Buffalo have shown. more

Marijuana-based drug reduces fibromyalgia pain  

Patients with fibromyalgia treated with a synthetic form of marijuana, nabilone, showed significant reductions in pain and anxiety in a first-of-its-kind study, published in The Journal of Pain . more

Marijuana withdrawal as bad as withdrawal from cigarettes  

Research by a group of scientists studying the effects of heavy marijuana use suggests that withdrawal from the use of marijuana is similar to what is experienced by people when they quit smoking cigarettes. Abstinence from each of these drugs appears to cause several common symptoms, such as irritability, anger and trouble sleeping - based on self reporting in a recent study of 12 heavy users of both marijuana and cigarettes. more

Marketing junk food to children restricted

More than 50 consumer groups have decided to back a "code of practice" which will include restrictions on television and internet advertising of unhealthy food to children. Honoring the code of practice is voluntary. more  

Materials expert denounces Norwegian ban on dental amalgam  

In an editorial published today in the February issue of the Journal of Dental Research, Derek Jones, Professor Emeritus of Biomaterials, Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS, Canada), and Chair of the International Standards Organization’s Technical Committee on Dentistry, denounces new Norwegian regulations governing the use of mercury that will adversely affect the use of dental amalgam not only in Norway, but also in other countries around the world that are contemplating taking similar action. more

Medical errors cost US $8.8B, result in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths: HealthGrades study

Patient safety incidents cost the federal Medicare program $8.8 billion and resulted in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths during 2004 through 2006, according to HealthGrades' fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study. HealthGrades' analysis of 41 million Medicare patient records found that patients treated at top-performing hospitals had, on average, a 43 percent lower chance of experiencing one or more medical errors compared to the poorest-performing hospitals. more

Medications plus dental materials may equal infection for diabetic patients

People who live with diabetes on a daily basis are usually instructed to eat right, maintain regular physical activity, and if necessary, take medication. What many may not know is that these medications that help control healthy insulin levels may lead to unexpected events at the dentist’s office. According to a study in the November/December 2007 issue of General Dentistry, the AGD’s clinical, peer-reviewed journal, diabetic patients especially need to communicate special needs to their dentists. more

Meditation impacts blood pressure, study shows

Transcendental Meditation is an effective treatment for controlling high blood pressure with the added benefit of bypassing possible side effects and hazards of anti-hypertension drugs, according to a new meta-analysis conducted at the University of Kentucky. The study appears in the March issue of the American Journal of Hypertension. more

Melanomas may appear noticeably different than other moles  

A preliminary study suggests that melanomas have a different appearance than other irregular skin moles (i.e., are “ugly ducklings”), according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more

Memories, stolen by stress hormones, at least in rodents

Diabetes is known to impair the cognitive health of people, but now scientists have identified one potential mechanism underlying these learning and memory problems. A new National Institutes of Health (NIH) study in diabetic rodents finds that increased levels of a stress hormone produced by the adrenal gland disrupt the healthy functioning of the hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for learning and short-term memory. Moreover, when levels of the adrenal glucocorticoid hormone corticosterone (also known as cortisol in humans) are returned to normal, the hippocampus recovers its ability to build new cells and regains the "plasticity" needed to compensate for injury and disease and adjust to change. more  

Memory loss and other cognitive impairment becoming less common in older Americans, study finds  

Although it’s too soon to sound the death knell for the “senior moment,” it appears that memory loss and thinking problems are becoming less common among older Americans. more

Menopausal women need better health care and community support in rural areas

Good social support and reliable information are essential for women who find menopause an intense and life-altering experience, especially if they live in rural areas where health services are patchy or inaccessible. That’s the key finding from research published in the latest issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing. more

Metabolic syndrome affects nearly 1 in 10 US teens

About nine percent of teenagers may have metabolic syndrome, a clustering of risk factors that put them on the path toward heart disease and diabetes in adulthood. This shocking statistic represents some of the first concentrated efforts to define and measure metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents – a necessary starting point for combating the problem, but one that has proven even trickier in youth than it has been in adults. more  

Metabolic syndrome linked to cold tolerance

Researchers from the University of Chicago have discovered that many of the genetic variations that have enabled human populations to tolerate colder climates may also affect their susceptibility to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of related abnormalities such as obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, heart disease, and diabetes. more

The methadone fix

There is no miracle solution to the addictive grip of opioid drugs such as heroin, writes Patralekha Chatterjee. New WHO guidelines confirm that, even after 40 years, substitution therapies such as methadone are still the most promising method of reducing drug dependence, but getting access to treatment is a global problem. more

Methylation markers suggest recurrence risk in lung cancer  

The switching on and off of a specific set of genes, or methylation, in patients with stage I non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) appears to increase the risk of recurrence following surgery, researchers are reporting. In fact, when two of these genes were methylated (or switched off) in tissue samples from the tumor and mediastinal lymph nodes, the recurrence risk increased as much as 25-fold. more

MIT: Culture influences brain function

People from different cultures use their brains differently to solve the same visual perceptual tasks, MIT researchers and colleagues report in the first brain imaging study of its kind. more  

Medicare drug plans hike costs; Free prescription drug samples miss getting into the hands of lower-income Americans

Two different stories originating from two very different media sources highlight the ever spiraling cost of prescription drugs. The first story from the American Journal of Public Health demonstrates that free prescription drug samples end up in the hands of wealthy, insured patients rather than the poor and underinsured. The second story from Consumer's Union reports that 75 percent of Medicare drug plans hiked the cost of 5 commonly prescribed drugs between $350-$1000 in the 31 days between December and January of this year. more  

Meditation impacts blood pressure, study shows

Transcendental Meditation is an effective treatment for controlling high blood pressure with the added benefit of bypassing possible side effects and hazards of anti-hypertension drugs, according to a new meta-analysis conducted at the University of Kentucky. The study appears in the March issue of the American Journal of Hypertension. more

Methadone can kill, suddenly

Methadone is a possible cause of sudden cardiac death even when it isn’t overdosed but is taken at therapeutic levels primarily for relief of chronic pain or drug addiction withdrawal, a new study by Oregon Health & Science University researchers suggests. more

Methylphenidate can have sleep benefits in adults with ADHD

Treatment with methylphenidate (MPH) appears to have beneficial effects on sleep parameters in adults with ADHD, including increased sleep efficiency and a feeling of improved restorative value of sleep. more

Microbes: In sickness and in health

Microbes: In sickness and in health have evolved over time. As new data become available, researchers revise the criteria to improve their reliability, validity, and precision. more  

MicroRNA molecule prevents skin cell proliferation 

Researchers supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases have discovered a molecule that keeps cells in the outer layers of skin from proliferating in mice. Their finding, to be published in the March 13 issue of Nature, could lead to a better understanding of skin cancer and open up new avenues of therapeutic research. more

Minority groups less likely to get strong pain medications in hospital emergency departments

Blacks and Hispanics who go to hospital emergency departments in pain are significantly less likely than whites to get pain-relieving opioid drugs, according to a new study funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). more  

Mixed results for weight loss drug on slowing progression of coronary disease  

The anti-obesity medication rimonabant showed mixed results in slowing progression of coronary artery disease in patients with abdominal obesity and pre-existing coronary disease, according to a new study in the April 2 issue of JAMA. The study is being released early online April 1 to coincide with its presentation at the annual conference of the American College of Cardiology. more

Mmmmm yak cheese: yummy and good for you

In a finding likely to get cheese lovers talking, researchers in Nepal and Canada report that yak cheese contains higher levels of heart-healthy fats than cheese from dairy cattle, and may be healthier. Their study is scheduled for the March 12 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication. more  

Moderate alcohol consumption in middle age can lower cardiac risk 

Previous studies have pointed out the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption as a factor in lowering cardiovascular risk. In a study conducted by the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina and published in the March 2008 issue of The American Journal of Medicine, researchers found that middle-aged non-drinkers who began consuming moderate amounts of alcohol saw an immediate benefit of lower cardiac disease morbidity with no change in mortality after four years. more

Modified Atkins diet can cut epileptic seizures in adults  

A modified version of a popular high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet can significantly cut the number of seizures in adults with epilepsy, a study led by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests. The Atkins-like diet, which has shown promise for seizure control in children, may offer a new lifeline for patients when drugs and other treatments fail or cause complications. more

Modified virus vaccine shows promise in mouse model of breast cancer

Researchers have shown that vaccinating mice with a modified form of a virus containing proteins from breast cancer cells can kill large breast cancer tumors and tumors that have spread to the lungs. The rodent model of cancer used in this study closely resembles a type of breast cancer seen in humans called HER2-positive. Although other cancer vaccines have shown activity in the treatment of very small tumors, their ability to influence large, established tumors, such as many HER2-positive breast cancers, has proven difficult. The study, led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, appeared in the March 15, 2008, issue of Cancer Research. more

Molecular biology of sleep apnea could lead to new treatments

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have provided, for the first time, a detailed look at the molecular pathways underlying sleep apnea, which affects more than twelve million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health. Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by temporary breathing interruptions during sleep, in which disruptions can occur dozens or even hundreds of times a night. more

Mom's obesity during conception phase may set the stage for offspring's obesity risk 

The number of overweight and obese Americans continues to grow rapidly. Today, 50 percent of adults are overweight and up to 20 percent are obese. While the number of overweight/obese children is at an all time high, the steady increase of overweight infants -- individuals under 11 months old -- is alarming. more

More genes for Lou Gehrig's disease identified, according to Penn researchers

In recent months a spate of mutations have been found in a disease protein called TDP-43 that is implicated in two neurodegenerative disorders: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, and certain types of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). These mutations could potentially become candidates for drug targets. more

More genetic clues for prostate cancer found  

A new wave of genome scans for prostate cancer ties additional chromosome regions to the disease while also confirming previously reported associations on chromosomes 8 and 17. The results, from three genome-wide association studies published online this month in Nature Genetics, underscore the complexity of prostate cancer genetics. more

Morphine dependency blocked by single genetic change  

Morphine’s serious side effect as a pain killer – its potential to create dependency – has been almost completely eliminated in research with mice by genetically modifying a single trait on the surface of neurons. The study scientists think a drug can be developed to similarly block dependency. more

Most republicans think the US health care system is the best in the world; democrats disagree

A recent survey by the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Harris Interactive, as part of their ongoing series, Debating Health: Election 2008, finds that Americans are generally split on the issue of whether the United States has the best health care system in the world (45% believe the U.S. has the best system; 39% believe other countries have better systems; 15% don’t know or refused to answer) and that there is a significant divide along party lines. Nearly seven-in-ten Republicans (68%) believe the U.S. health care system is the best in the world, compared to just three in ten (32%) Democrats and four in ten (40%) Independents who feel the same way. more  

Most with high blood pressure do not follow recommended diet 

A relatively small proportion of individuals with hypertension (high blood pressure) eat diets that align with government guidelines for controlling the disease, according to a report in the February 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In fact, since the introduction of a diet shown to help reduce blood pressure, the dietary quality of those with hypertension has decreased. more

Mounting evidence shows red wine antioxidant kills cancer  

Rochester researchers showed for the first time that a natural antioxidant found in grape skins and red wine can help destroy pancreatic cancer cells by reaching to the cell's core energy source, or mitochondria, and crippling its function. The study is published in the March edition of the journal, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. more

Moving beyond tamoxifen: Drug discovery and the future of selective hormone receptor modulators

How did a failed contraceptive become the first targeted therapy for the treatment of breast cancer" The transformation of tamoxifen, from cast-off to lifesaver, laid the foundation for a new class of therapeutics – selective estrogen receptor modulators – that could treat or prevent a variety of human diseases. more

MRI 'best' for looking at breast cancer and more

The use of MRI is effective in differentiating the blood supply to medial and lateral breast tumors, which is important in treatment planning and prognosis according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Miami in Miami, FL and the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Israel. more

MRI findings help forecast prostate cancer prognosis  

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in patients about to undergo radiation therapy for prostate cancer can help predict the likelihood that the cancer will return and spread post-treatment, according to a new study published in the April issue of the journal Radiology. more

MRI and PET/CT can prevent unnecessary treatment of some cervical cancer patients 

MRI and PET/CT can help spare patients with clinically operable cervical cancer from unnecessary high-morbidity treatment, however, pretreatment imaging does not lead to increased survival of these patients, a new study shows. more

MRI studies show brain changes in the adolescent brain impact cognition, emotion and behavior  

Many parents are convinced that the brains of their teenage offspring are different than those of children and adults. New data confirms that this is the case. An article by Jay N. Giedd, MD, of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), published in the April 2008 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health describes how brain changes in the adolescent brain impact cognition, emotion and behavior. more

Mysterious fevers of unknown origin: could surgery be a cure?  

A child spikes a high fever, sometimes as high as 104 or 105 degrees, and sometimes causing seizures. She's rushed to the emergency room, the hospital runs test after test, specialists are brought in, but no explanation is found. Many families - though no one knows how many - go through this cyclical nightmare. The fevers seem to come like clockwork, aren't accompanied by any obvious symptoms and don't respond to antibiotics or fever reducers like Motrin or Tylenol. Instead, they vanish on their own after four to five days, only to return four to six weeks later. more



NEJM study demonstrates carotid stenting with embolic protection is comparable to surgery

According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine this week, three-year data from the Stenting and Angioplasty with Protection in Patients at High Risk for Endarterectomy (SAPPHIRE) study in patients with severe blocked carotid arteries, the main blood vessels in the neck leading to the brain, who underwent carotid artery stenting (CAS) with the PRECISE® Nitinol Stent and the ANGIOGUARD? Emboli Capture Guidewire were comparably protected from stroke, heart attack, death, and repeat revascularization procedures as patients who underwent surgery (endarterectomy). more

NHLBI issues first U.S. von Willebrand Disease clinical practice guidelines

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health, issued the first clinical guidelines in the United States for the diagnosis and management of von Willebrand Disease (VWD), the most common inherited bleeding disorder. The guidelines include recommendations on screening, diagnosis, disease management, and directions for future research. more

NIAID experts see dengue as potential threat to U.S. public health

Previously confined to tropical and subtropical climates, the mosquito-borne illness is becoming a much more serious problem along the U.S.-Mexico border and in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Dengue occurs sporadically and has had a relatively small impact on the United States thus far, so the amount of dengue-related illness in this country is presently minimal. However, the disease tends to occur in explosive epidemics. Moreover, the NIAID scientists note, efforts to control the populations of mosquitoes that transmit dengue have fallen short of their goal. more

NIAID scientists identify new cellular receptor for HIV

A cellular protein that helps guide immune cells to the gut has been newly identified as a target of HIV when the virus begins its assault on the body's immune system, according to researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more  

NIDA Infofacts: Cigarettes and other tobacco products (Also available in Spanish)

Through the use of cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the United States. In 2004, 29.2 percent of the U.S. population 12 and older—70.3 million people—used tobacco at least once in the month prior to being interviewed. more

NIH research suggests stimulant treatment for ADHD does not contribute to substance abuse later in life

Treating children as early as age six or seven with stimulants for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not likely to increase risk of substance abuse as adults, according to two studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, the studies also showed treatment with stimulants did not prevent substance abuse later in adulthood. The studies, conducted by researchers at New York University School of Medicine (NYU) and the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (Mass General) are being published in this month’s American Journal of Psychiatry. more  

NIH receives gates foundation grant to investigate role of iron supplements in malaria

Do iron supplements worsen the course of malaria? Researchers aren't sure, and the uncertainty has jeopardized efforts to treat the debilitating effects of iron deficiency in parts of the world where malaria and other infectious diseases are common. more

A nano-sensor for better detection of Mad Cow Disease agent

In an advance in food safety, researchers in New York are reporting development of a nano-sized sensor that detects record low levels of the deadly prion proteins that cause Mad Cow Disease and other so-called prion diseases. The sensor, which detects binding of prion proteins by detecting frequency changes of a micromechanical oscillator, could lead to a reliable blood test for prion diseases in both animals and humans, the researchers say. more

National Health Observances for 2008

Health observances are days, weeks, or months devoted to promoting particular health concerns. This planning guide developed by the National Health Information Center lists national health observances, along with the sponsoring organizations and information about supporting materials that will be available. more

National hospice study reveals gaps in service

More than a third of Americans now die under the care of a hospice service, a huge increase from just a decade ago and a major advance in end-of-life care. But a new University of Michigan study reveals major gaps in the availability of hospice care across the country – gaps that the researchers attribute directly to the way hospice care is currently funded in America. more

Nationwide recall of canned products covers five year time period: Possible botulism risk

New Era Canning Company, New Era, Mich., is expanding its earlier product recall of certain canned beans to include all canned green beans and garbanzo beans distributed by the company nationwide over the last five years because of potential Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum). more

Need for federal protection against genetic discrimination

A policy monograph highlighting the need for federal protections against genetic discrimination in employment and insurance practices was released today by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The six policy positions ACP believes should be included in the federal protections are the focus of the policy paper. more  

New bacterium found in hairspray

What makes you suddenly dart into the bakery when you spy chocolate- frosted donuts in the window, though you certainly hadn't planned on indulging? As you lick the frosting off your fingers, don't blame a lack of self-control. more  

New findings on emerging contaminants  

American and Canadian scientists are finding that out of sight, out of mind can no longer be the approach we take to the chemicals in our waters. Substances that we use everyday are turning up in our lakes, rivers and ocean, where they can impact aquatic life and possibly ourselves. more

New guidelines update recommendations on colorectal cancer screening

A new guideline on colorectal cancer screening released today by an expert group representing a broad spectrum of health care organizations, including the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the American Cancer Society (ACS), offers recommendations for various alternatives for colorectal cancer detection and states a strong preference for screening tests that can prevent colorectal cancer. The ASGE and the ACG are members of the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer and were participants in the guideline development process. more

New hospital standards needed for pediatric flu vaccines

A new study published in the February 2008 issue of Pediatrics finds that many children hospitalized for influenza have had a recent, previous hospitalization that would have provided an easy, convenient opportunity to receive a hospital-based influenza vaccination. The authors suggest that evaluating and establishing industry standards for flu vaccines for hospitalized children could help prevent additional hospitalizations and complications from influenza. more  

A new more effective tuberculosis screening test for HIV victims

World Health Organization (WHO) figures show that each year an estimated 9 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) arise in the world. The growth of this disease remains particularly strong in Africa owing to a high proportion of HIV patients (nearly 13% compared with less than 1% in Asian countries for example). This region of the world is experiencing accelerating advance of a deadly combination of AIDS and TB, developed because the virus weakens the immune system of TB-infected individuals. more  

New potential drug target for the treatment of atherosclerosis  

A nuclear receptor protein, known for controlling the ability of cells to burn fat, also exerts powerful anti-inflammatory effects in arteries, suppressing atherosclerosis in mice prone to developing the harmful plaques, according to new research by scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Harvard School of Public Health. more

New potential treatment for muscular dystrophy appears to be safe 

Myostatin, a protein that blocks muscle growth, has shown promising results as a potential therapeutic target for treating muscular dystrophy in animal studies, where its inhibition led to increased muscle mass and strength. A new study, the first to evaluate a myostatin inhibitor in patients, assessed its safety in adults with muscular dystrophy and found that it was well-tolerated. more

New report provides information on HIV prevalence in the U.S. household population

Approximately half of 1 percent (0.47 percent) of the U.S. household population between the ages of 18 and 49 are living with HIV, according to estimates from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) based on surveys conducted between 1999-2006. more

New research shows neuroprotective effect of lovastatin

High cholesterol levels are considered to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease including stroke. Therefore, many cholesterol lowering drugs have been developed by pharmaceutical companies in recent years. One class of these drugs, statins, has been found to reduce the incidence of stroke and progression of Alzheimer’s disease when prophylactically administered. more

New study estimates 151 000 violent Iraqi deaths since 2003 invasion

A large national household survey conducted by the Iraqi government and WHO estimates that 151 000 Iraqis died from violence between March 2003 and June 2006. more  

New study finds uncontrollable stress worsens symptoms of endometriosis 

Endometriosis is a poorly understood condition that incapacitates and affects the productivity and lifestyle of millions of women around the world. In the US, it affects approximately six million women and adolescents at a cost of some $1.6 billion per year. It is a chronic painful disease which occurs when endometrial tissue grows as lesions outside the uterus, mainly in the area more

New study raises questions about cholesterol-lowering drugs: Vytorin is no better than generic simvastatin

A new study showing that the heavily advertised cholesterol drug Vytorin doesn’t work any better than a newly available generic drug in slowing artery-clogging calls into question who should be taking the most potent cholesterol drugs. more  

New study reveals profound impact of our unconscious on reaching goals  

Whether you are a habitual list maker, or you prefer to keep your tasks in your head, everyone pursues their goals in this ever changing, chaotic environment. We are often aware of our conscious decisions that bring us closer to reaching our goals, however to what extent can we count on our unconscious processes to pilot us toward our destined future? more

New study shows Dermytol produces pronounced decrease in malignant melanoma tumor volume

A new study presented at the Experimental Biology Annual Meeting shows that a proprietary blend extracted from canola, Dermytol™, produces a pronounced reduction of malignant melanoma cell growth. Dermytol™, a proprietary compound developed by KGK Synergize Inc., a biotechnology company in Ontario Canada, is designed to protect skin cells from damage that may lead to skin cancer. more

New study shows tobacco control programs cut adult smoking rates 

Greater investments in state tobacco control programs are independently and significantly associated with larger and more rapid declines in adult smoking prevalence, according to a study by researchers at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and RTI International, an independent nonprofit research institute based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Researchers were able to quantify the link between comprehensive tobacco control programs and a decrease in adult smoking — observing a decline in prevalence from 29.5 percent in 1985 to 18.6 percent in 2003. more

New survey shows allergies dramatically impact sufferers' moods and how they feel about themselves

A new Harris Interactive phone survey conducted among 1,000 allergy sufferers, 1,000 consumers (both allergy sufferers and non-sufferers) and 300 physicians shows that beyond the sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes, allergies also have deep and emotional impacts on a sufferer's mood and self-perceptions. more

New Study Shows Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates Increasing Among U.S. Adults

The percentage of U.S. adults aged 50 years and older getting screened for colorectal cancer is increasing according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The study uses state-level Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) data that have been combined to estimate that 60.8 percent of adults were current with colorectal cancer screening recommendations in 2006, compared with 53.9 percent in 2002. more

New survey shows allergies dramatically impact sufferers' moods and how they feel about themselves

A new Harris Interactive phone survey conducted among 1,000 allergy sufferers, 1,000 consumers (both allergy sufferers and non-sufferers) and 300 physicians shows that beyond the sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes, allergies also have deep and emotional impacts on a sufferer's mood and self-perceptions. more

New technique in treating patients with liver cancer proves effective

Use of multipolar radiofrequency ablation in the treatment of colorectal liver metastases is effective and has a relatively low recurrence rate, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Charité, Campus Benjamin Franklin in Berlin, Germany. more

New test for joint infection could spare some patients an unnecessary procedure

A potential diagnostic test that could help surgeons confirm or rule out the presence of infection-causing bacteria in prosthetic joints that require surgical revision has been developed by researchers at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more  

New therapy effectively treats deep vein thrombosis

A novel treatment for blood clots in the legs appears to be safe and effective, according to a pilot study published in the February issue of Radiology. The study found that injecting or “lacing” the clot with a fiber-binding thrombolytic agent effectively treats deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and reduces the risk of subsequent recurrence or bleeding. more

New vaccine against deadliest strain of avian flu tested by University of Pittsburgh scientists

A vaccine against the most common and deadliest strain of avian flu, H5N1, has been engineered and tested by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research and Novavax Inc. According to a study published by the Public Library of Science in the Jan. 30 issue of PLoS ONE, the vaccine produced a strong immune response in mice and protected them from death following infection with the H5N1 virus. The vaccine is being tested in humans in an early-phase clinical trial. more

A new view of drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis

Powerful drugs used to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a profound, previously unrecognized effect on the immune system, breaking up molecular “training camps” for rogue cells that play an increasingly recognized role in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. more

New study of targeted therapies for breast cancer -- model for global clinical trials

Two targeted medications designed to treat an aggressive form of breast cancer are being tested in a new study involving 8,000 participants in 50 countries across six continents -- a clinical trial that investigators hope will provide a new model for global cancer research. This trial, dubbed ALTTO (Adjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimization study), will be one of the first global initiatives in which two large, academic breast cancer research networks covering different parts of the world have jointly developed a study in which all care and data collection are standardized, regardless of where patients are treated. more

A new way to boost red blood cell numbers

A common treatment for anemia — a deficiency in red blood cells (rbcs) caused by their insufficient production, excessive destruction, or excessive loss — is administration of recombinant erythropoietin (Epo), a hormone that stimulates the production of rbc precursors by the bone marrow. Unfortunately, many patients with anemia do not respond to treatment with Epo. However, a new study in mice, by Anne Angelillo-Scherrer and her colleagues at the University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, Switzerland, has indicated that the protein Gas6 might augment or replace Epo in the treatment of patients who are hyporesponsive or resistant to Epo, respectively. more

Newly discovered virus linked to aggressive skin cancer

Researchers have identified a previously unknown virus and linked it to Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare but usually rapidly fatal skin cancer. The researchers, led by Drs. Yuan Chang and Patrick Moore of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, say it is too soon to know whether the virus causes the cancer, but their evidence suggests that it may be a contributing factor. more

Newly identified genetic variations may affect breast cancer risk

Researchers have identified genetic variations in a region of DNA that may be associated with risk for breast cancer. Women with the variation have a 1.4 times greater risk of developing breast cancer compared to those without this variation. The study is one of several genome-wide association studies looking for breast cancer genes to be published this year by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues. more  

News you can use: An HPV primer

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is now recognized as the major cause of cervical cancer, a disease that kills more than 200,000 women around the world each year. HPV is very common, however, and of the more than 100 types of HPV, fewer than 20 are considered "high-risk" for the development of cancer. The following is a brief guide to HPV, including transmission, incidence, treatment, and its connection to genital warts and cancer. more

No good evidence that private treatment centers are value for money  

There is no good evidence that independent sector treatment centres have provided additional capacity, value for money, or high quality care, argue researchers in this week’s BMJ. more

No link between acid reflux and survival  

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), often known as acid reflux, is a common problem that has been associated with cancers, asthma, recurrent aspiration and pulmonary fibrosis. A new study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology examines whether GERD sufferers may have shorter lifespans than those without the disease. more

Nonprotruding colorectal growths may harbor cancer

Most colorectal cancers are thought to arise from polypoid adenomas - growths that protrude from the mucous membrane in the colon or rectum. A study from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System in Palo Alto, CA, published in the March 5 Journal of the American Medical Association adds to a growing body of evidence that nonpolypoid colorectal neoplasms (NP-CRNs) - abnormalities that can appear either flat or depressed relative to the surrounding membrane - can also contain precancerous or cancerous cells. Previous studies established the existence of NP-CRNs in Japan, but their prevalence and importance in other parts of the world has remained unclear. more  

Normal weight obesity: An emerging risk factor for heart and metabolic problems  

More than half of American adults considered to have normal body weight in America have high body fat percentages -- greater than 20 percent for men and 30 percent for women -- as well as heart and metabolic disturbances, new Mayo Clinic research shows. The finding conflicts with the widely held belief that maintaining a normal weight automatically guards against disorders such as high levels of circulating blood fats and a tendency to develop metabolic syndrome, which often leads to type 2 diabetes. more

Notch-ing glucose into place

A novel gene called rumi regulates Notch signaling by adding a glucose molecule to the part of the Notch protein that extends outside a cell, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and Stony Brook University in New York in a report that appears today in the journal Cell. more  

Novel approach strips staph of virulence

An international team of researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has blocked staph infections in mice using a drug previously tested in clinical trials as a cholesterol-lowering agent. The novel approach, described in the February 14 online edition of Science, could offer a new direction for therapies against a bacterium that's becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. more

Novel link between excessive nutrient levels and insulin resistance 

For quite some time now, scientists suspected the so-called hexosamine pathway — a small side business of the main sugar processing enterprise inside a cell — to be involved in the development of insulin resistance. But they could never quite put their finger on the underlying mechanism. more

NYU dental professor discovers biological clock

Why do rats live faster and die younger than humans? A newly discovered biological clock provides tantalizing clues. more  

NYU dental researchers find evidence of periodontal disease leading to gestational diabetes  

A study by a New York University dental research team has discovered evidence that pregnant women with periodontal (gum) disease are more likely to develop gestational diabetes mellitus than pregnant women with healthy gums. more



Obesity affects chances of kidney transplantation 

For patients on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, severe and morbid obesity are associated with a lower chance of receiving an organ, reports a study in the February Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. more

Obesity linked to decreased seatbelt use

Obese people are less likely to use their seatbelts than the rest of the population, adding to the public health risks associated with this rapidly growing problem. more

Obesity linked to stroke increase among middle-aged women

Middle-aged women’s waists aren’t the only thing that increased in the last decade. So did their chance of stroke. In a new study reported at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2008, rising obesity rates have been linked to more strokes among women aged 35 to 54. more

Obesity chokes up the cellular power plant  

The machinery responsible for energy production in fat cells is working poorly as a result of obesity. Finnish research done at the University of Helsinki and the National Public Health Institute shows that this may aggravate and work to maintain the obese state in humans. more

Obesity may keep some women from getting screened for breast, cervical cancer

A review of cancer screening studies shows that white women who are obese are less likely than healthy weight women to get the recommended screenings for breast and cervical cancer, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health. more

Obesity quick fix unlikely; problem even more complex than previously thought

Reporting in the online journal BMC Genetics, researchers from the Monell Center have for the first time attempted to count the number of genes that contribute to obesity and body weight. more

Older corneas suitable for transplantation, study shows

The age pool of corneas for transplant should be expanded to include donors up to 75 years of age, based on findings from a study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Corneal transplants using tissue from older donors have similar rates of survival to those using tissue from younger donors. more

Older women more likely to become, remain depressed than older men

Older women appear more susceptible to depression and more likely to stay depressed but less likely to die while depressed than older men, factors that contribute to the higher burden of depression among older women, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more

Omega-3 intake during last months of pregnancy boosts an infant’s cognitive and motor development 

A study supervised by Université Laval researchers Gina Muckle and Éric Dewailly reveals that omega-3 intake during the last months of pregnancy boosts an infant’s sensory, cognitive, and motor development. The details of this finding are published in a recent edition of the Journal of Pediatrics. more

100% of people carry at least one type of pesticide from the air, water or food in their bodies use

A study carried out by researchers from the Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine of the University of Granada, in collaboration with the Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública, found that 100% of Spaniards analyzed had at least one kind of persistent organic compound (POC´s), substances internationally classified as potentially harmful to one’s health, in their bodies. These substances enter the body trough food, water or even air. All of them tend to accumulate in human adipose tissue and easily enter into the organism through the aforementioned mediums. more

Online video program trains clinicians to help patients who drink too much

A new, interactive video training program from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), demonstrates quick and effective strategies for screening patients for heavy drinking and helping them to cut down or quit. more

Ongoing safety review of Botox, Botox Cosmetic and Myobloc taking place

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified the public that Botox and Botox Cosmetic (Botulinum toxin Type A) and Myobloc (Botulinum toxin Type B) have been linked in some cases to adverse reactions, including respiratory failure and death, following treatment of a variety of conditions using a wide range of doses. more

Oral contraceptives and cancer risk: Questions and answers

Oral contraceptives (OCs) first became available to American women in the early 1960s. The convenience, effectiveness, and reversibility of action of birth control pills (popularly known as “the pill”) have made them the most popular form of birth control in the United States. However, concerns have been raised about the role that the hormones in OCs might play in a number of cancers, and how hormone-based OCs contribute to their development. Sufficient time has elapsed since the introduction of OCs to allow investigators to study large numbers of women who took birth control pills for many years. more

Oral contraceptives reduce long-term risk of ovarian cancer

Since they were first licensed nearly 50 years ago, birth control pills containing estrogen have prevented some 200,000 cases of ovarian cancer world-wide, estimate the authors of a study published January 26 in The Lancet. Further, in the absence of having taken oral contraceptives, half of these women would have died of the disease. more

Oral osteoporosis meds appear to reduce the risk of jaw degradation

Athanasios Zavras began receiving messages from distraught patients in 2005 after case reports linked oral osteoporosis meds to bone death in the jaw. A number of doctors and dentists advised women and men taking these drugs to postpone dental work, fearing that procedures such as tooth extractions would exacerbate the problem. That’s when Zavras, an associate professor in the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, decided to take a closer look at the purported link. more  

Oregon study raises questions on synthetic progestins

The widely used synthetic progestin medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) decreased endothelial function in premenopausal women in a study done at the University of Oregon. The finding, researchers said, raises concerns about long-term effects of MPA and possibly other synthetic hormones on vascular health in young women. more  

Over-the-counter eardrops may cause hearing loss or damage

A new study, led by researchers at The Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH) of the MUHC, has revealed that certain over-the-counter earwax softeners can cause severe inflammation and damage to the eardrum and inner ear. The results of the study, recently published in The Laryngoscope, suggest that use of these medications should be discouraged. more  



Pancreatic cancer: The smaller the tumor, the better your chances, study shows 

The odds of surviving cancer of the pancreas increase dramatically for patients whose tumors are smallest, according to a new study by researchers at Saint Louis University and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston – the first study to specifically evaluate the link between tumor size and survival rates for one of the most common and deadly cancers. more

Panel finds hydroxyurea treatment is underutilized for sickle cell disease

An independent panel convened this week by the NIH concluded that the use of hydroxyurea for sickle cell patients should be increased in adolescents and adults. Hydroxyurea was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in adults with sickle cell anemia in 1998, but provider and patient concerns have hindered its use, depriving many patients of its proven benefits. Research has shown that sickle cell patients on this drug experience fewer pain crises and hospital admissions, and the panel advocated increased utilization of this drug with appropriate monitoring. Additionally, the panel concluded that the risks of serious side effects of hydroxyurea appear to be lower than previously expected. more

Partial nephrectomy to treat small renal tumors underused

The use of partial nephrectomy to treat small, newly diagnosed kidney tumors appears to be vastly underused, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine are reporting. more

Patient' exposure to radiation significantly lower when using new cardiac CT technique

A new cardiac CT technique, prospective gated 64-channel cardiac CT, has a significantly lower radiation dose and produces CT coronary angiograms with better image quality when compared with the standard retrospective ECG gating, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington in Redmond, WA. more

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-41), signed into law on July 29, 2005, was enacted in response to growing concern about patient safety in the United States and the Institute of Medicine's 1999 report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System. The goal of the Act is to improve patient safety by encouraging voluntary and confidential reporting of events that adversely affect patients. more

Pay for performance: A decision guide for purchasers

This Guide is intended to be used by public and private purchasers of health care services, including health plans, who are considering sponsorship of a pay-for-performance (P4P) initiative.

Twenty questions, identified in collaboration with purchasers, are presented for consideration along with options and any available evidence for each. more  

Penn researchers find targeted therapy combination overcomes treatment resistance in liver cancer

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center reported today at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research that combining two targeted therapies overcomes treatment resistance in liver cancer cell lines. The team is currently designing a trial to test the combination in patients. more

Penn researchers identify first sex chromosome gene involved in meiosis and male infertility

A team of scientists led by University of Pennsylvania veterinary researchers have identified a gene, TEX11, located on the X chromosome, which when disrupted in mice renders the males sterile and reduces female fecundity. This is the first study of the genetic causes of infertility that links a particular sex chromosome meiosis-specific gene to sterility. more

Pieces coming together in Parkinson's, cholesterol puzzle

In 2006, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers published a study that found people with low levels of LDL cholesterol are more likely to have Parkinson's disease than people with high LDL levels. more

People not always needed to alleviate loneliness

New research at the University of Chicago finds evidence for a clever way that people manage to alleviate the pain of loneliness: They create people in their surroundings to keep them company. more

People with anorexia less likely to be blamed when biology, genetics explained

People given a biological and genetics-based explanation for the causes of anorexia nervosa were less likely to blame people with anorexia for their illness than those given a sociocultural explanation, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study found. more

Personal counseling and web-based strategies show modest success for sustaining weight loss, according to NHLBI study

Adults who lost weight in a six-month program were able to keep at least some of the weight off for 2.5 years with the help of brief monthly personal counseling, according to a new study from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. A Web-based intervention also helped participants keep the weight off for two years, but the benefit waned during the last six months of the trial. more  

Personalized medicine can cut breast cancer risk

The time has come for breast cancer risk assessment, counseling and genetic testing to move from cancer specialists to the realm of primary care, according to a presentation at the AAAS annual meeting, held this year in Boston. more  

Physicians want to learn from medical mistakes but say current error-reporting systems are inadequate

The perception that U.S. doctors are unwilling to report medical errors and learn how to prevent them is untrue, according to a new study funded by the Department of Health & Human Services' (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). more  

Plant pathogen yields substance to fight neuroblastoma

Drug treatment of neuroblastoma, a tumor of the nervous system in children, poses major problems. Therefore, scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) have been searching for substances that are suitable as a basis for developing better drugs. Now they have found a candidate: HC-toxin, which is isolated from a fungal plant pathogen. The substance from the maize pathogen reprograms neuroblastoma cells in such a way that they behave almost like healthy cells again. more

Poor sleep more dangerous for women

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center say they may have figured out why poor sleep does more harm to cardiovascular health in women than in men. more

POPs: The real root cause of type 2 diabetes?

Cambridge scientists believe additional research examining the possible link between persistent organic pollutants (POPs, a group which includes many pesticides) and insulin resistance, which can lead to adult onset diabetes, is needed. more  

Popular alternative therapy for psoriasis performs no better than placebo

Anecdotal evidence touting the healing power of the Indian spice turmeric for psoriasis received a setback in a prospective study published this month by a leading dermatology journal stating that the low response rate of patients who ingested the active ingredient of the exotic spice was probably a result of the placebo effect. more

Popular arthritis drug may disrupt heart rhythm

Celebrex, a popular arthritis drug that blocks pain by inhibiting an enzyme known as COX-2, has been shown in laboratory studies to induce arrhythmia, or irregular beating of the heart, via a novel pathway unrelated to its COX-2 inhibition. more  

Potential new target for multiple sclerosis therapy

Researchers demonstrate both genetic and pharmaceutical evidence for the role of a protein called collagenase-2 in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), providing a potential new way to combat this debilitating disease. more

Preschool kids do better on tasks when they talk to themselves, research shows  

Parents should not worry when their pre-schoolers talk to themselves; in fact, they should encourage it, says Adam Winsler, an associate professor of psychology at George Mason University. His recent study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly showed that 5-year-olds do better on motor tasks when they talk to themselves out loud (either spontaneously or when told to do so by an adult) than when they are silent. more

Prescribing information: Intelence (Etravirine)

Intelence, in combination with other antiretroviral agents, is indicated for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in antiretroviral treatment-experienced adult patients, who have evidence of viral replication and HIV-1 strains resistant to a NNRTI and other ARV agents. more

Prescription costs rise more than 6 times when patients reach 65 says study of 5M people

Prescribing costs increase dramatically when people reach 65, according to a detailed analysis of more than five million patients published in the March issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. more

The price paid for higher energy is highly dangerous to teeth

For more than 10 years, energy drinks in the United States have been on the rise, promising consumers more “oomph” in their day. In fact, it is estimated that the energy drink market will hit $10 billion by 2010. While that may be great news for energy drink companies, it could mean a different story for the oral health of consumers who sometimes daily rely on these drinks for that extra boost. more  

Principles of drug addiction treatment: A research based guide

Drug addiction is a complex illness. It is characterized by compulsive, at times uncontrollable drug craving, seeking, and use that persist even in the face of extremely negative consequences. For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse prepared this guide to help professionals deal with the problem of drug addiction. more

Promising new drug targets identified for Huntington's disease

Research funded by the Wellcome Trust has provided a number of promising new drug targets for Huntington's disease, a neurodegenerative disease. Scientists at the University of Cambridge have identified a number of candidate drugs to investigate further which encourage cells to "eat" the malformed proteins that lead to the disease. more

Protein deficiency leads to faster fat burning in mice, study shows

Researchers have developed a new, lean mouse with characteristics suggesting that someday, using medication to manipulate a specific protein in humans could emerge as a strategy to treat obesity and disorders associated with excess weight, such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. more

Protein in breast tumors does not predict chemotherapy benefit  

High levels of the protein Ki-67 in breast tumors did not predict which women in two clinical trials would benefit from chemotherapy added to endocrine (antiestrogen) therapy. Some studies have suggested that the protein, which is associated with cell proliferation, might be used to identify women with early-stage disease who may benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery and endocrine therapy. more

Protein in human hair shows promise for regenerating nerves

A protein found in human hair shows promise for promoting the regeneration of nerve tissue and could lead to a new treatment option when nerves are cut or crushed from trauma. more

Protein in tick saliva prevents HIV-1 from attaching to T cells

The HIV-1 virus cripples the human immune system by targeting white blood cells called T cells that form the body’s first line of defense in fighting infections. A recent study by researchers from the University of Massachusetts Amherst shows that a protein found in the saliva of deer ticks prevents the HIV-1 virus from attaching to the surface of T cells, which is the critical first step in the virus’ attack strategy. Results were published in the February 2008 issue of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. more  

Protein may control spread of breast cancer

A single protein may trigger the spread of breast cancer cells to other parts of the body by altering the behavior of large numbers of genes. The protein, SATB1, could potentially be used to identify women at risk of metastasis and may be a therapeutic target, Dr. Terumi Kohwi-Shigematsu of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and her colleagues report in the 13 March Nature. more

Protein may stop melanoma before it starts

A single protein may enable skin cells to detect genetic damage and stop growing rather than become cancerous, researchers are reporting. more

Protein possible key to allergy and asthma control

Activating a protein found on some immune cells seems to halt the cells’ typical job of spewing out substances that launch allergic reactions, a study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests. The findings could eventually lead to new treatments for allergic reactions ranging from annoying bouts of hay fever to deadly asthma attacks. more


PSA testing can predict advanced prostate cancer

A single prostate specific antigen (PSA) test taken before the age of 50 can be used to predict advanced prostate cancer in men up to 25 years in advance of a diagnosis, according to a new study published by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Lund University in Sweden. The findings, published in the online open- access journal BMC Medicine, should help physicians be able to identify men who would benefit from intensive prostate cancer screenings over their lifetime. more

Purple pigments and obesity  

Scientists in Arkansas are reporting new evidence that natural pigments responsible for the beautiful blue/purple/reddish color of certain fruits and vegetables may help prevent obesity. Their animal study, scheduled for the Feb. 13 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, however, reports that eating the whole fruit containing these pigments seems to be less effective than eating an extract of the berry. more


Quantity and frequency of drinking influence mortality risk  

How much and how often people drink — not just the average amount of alcohol they consume over time — independently influence the risk of death from several causes, according to a new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more

Questions and Answers: Ortho Evra (norelgestromin/ethinyl estradiol) (The birth control patch)

FDA has approved changes to the Ortho Evra label to include the results of an additional epidemiology study designed to evaluate the risk of developing serious blood clots, also known as venous thromboembolism (VTE), among women aged 15-44 when using Ortho Evra. more



Radiologists use special MRI to identify brain cancer early 

A special type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can depict changes in blood volume in the brain that often precede cancerous transformation of brain tumors, according to a new study published in the April issue of the journal Radiology. more

Recent generic drug approvals

Each year, FDA approves scores of generic drugs that treat a variety of conditions and help consumers save money. more  

Reconstructing mandibular defects with bioengineered tooth and bone

Current strategies for jaw reconstruction require multiple procedures, first to repair the bone defect to offer sufficient support, and then to place the tooth implant. The entire procedure can be painful and time-consuming, and the desired esthetic and functional repair can be achieved only when both steps are successful. Although the patient’s quality of life can be improved significantly, the prognosis is often unpredictable, especially in young patients, whose jaws continue to grow, while the implant remains fixed. more

Redox-active iron is a sensor of cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer's disease

An innovative discovery has been reported that highlights the problems that oxidative stress resulting from iron cumulated in the human brain can generate in relation with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the brain disorder affecting almost 30 million throughout the world. more

Regular, long-term aspirin use reduces risk of colorectal cancer  

The use of regular, long-term aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk associated with colorectal cancer, according to a study published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. However, the use of aspirin for chemoprevention of colorectal cancer may require using the drug at doses that are higher than recommended over a long period of time, which may cause serious side effects including gastrointestinal bleeding. more

Relaxation training may improve control of hard-to-treat systolic hypertension  

Adding the relaxation response, a stress-management approach, to other lifestyle interventions may significantly improve treatment of the type of hypertension most common in the elderly. Among participants in a study conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Hypertension Program and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at MGH, those who received relaxation response training in addition to advice on reducing lifestyle risk factors were more than twice as likely to successfully eliminate at least one blood pressure medication than were those receiving lifestyle counseling only. The study appears in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. more

Renal artery stenting falls short in large randomized trial  

The largest-ever randomized study to evaluate the effectiveness of catheter-based interventions in patients with narrowing of the renal artery has shown that angioplasty and stenting offer no benefit over medical therapy. Among patients who completed one year of follow-up, there were no differences in the change in kidney function, blood pressure control or the rates of major cardiovascular illness, according to the Angioplasty and Stenting for Renal Artery Lesions (ASTRAL) trial. more

Research to lead to brain tumor therapies

Unique human in vitro model (cell culture) research currently underway at the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England is set to identify and develop therapies for the treatment of multiple tumors in the brain. more  

Research Report Series - Tobacco addiction (Also available in Spanish)

Tobacco use kills nearly half a million Americans each year, with one in every six U.S. deaths the result of smoking. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and compromising smokers’ health in general. Nicotine, a component of tobacco, is the primary reason that tobacco is addictive, although cigarette smoke contains many other dangerous chemicals, including tar, carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde, nitrosamines, and more. more  

Researchers challenge previous findings regarding widely used asthma treatment  

A new study published recently in The Lancet reveals that one of the most commonly used asthma medicines -- long-acting beta-agonists -- may not be associated with adverse events in people based on their genotype (gene variation), as previous studies had shown. more

Researchers develop successful test vaccine that prevents development of prostate cancer

Researchers at the University of Southern California have developed a prostate cancer vaccine that prevented the development of cancer in 90 percent of young mice genetically predestined to develop the disease. In the February 1 issue of Cancer Research, they suggest the same strategy might work for men with rising levels of PSA (prostate specific antigen), a potential diagnostic indicator of prostate cancer. more

Researchers discover new biomarker for predicting liver cancer spread and survival

New research has shown that a unique pattern of microRNAs, small RNA molecules that regulate gene activity, can accurately predict whether liver cancer will spread and whether liver cancer patients will have shorter or longer survival, even patients with early stage disease. The study, which appeared online January 7, 2008 in Hepatology, was conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and colleagues at Ohio State University, Columbus, and the Liver Cancer Institute in Shanghai, China. more  

Researchers find biological factors that may drive prostate tumor aggressiveness in African-American men

Researchers analyzing prostate tumors have identified differences in gene expression (the degree to which individual genes are turned on or off) between African-American and European-American men that show the existence of distinct tumor microenvironments (the area that includes the tumor and the surrounding non-cancerous tissue) in these two patient groups. These findings by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institute of Health, appeared online February 1, 2008, in Cancer Research. more

Researchers find cause of severe allergic reaction to cancer drug

Clinicians have been perplexed by the fact that some patients given the drug cetuximab — an immune-based therapy commonly used to treat persons diagnosed with head and neck cancer, or colon cancer — have a severe and rapid adverse reaction to the drug. Sometimes the reaction includes anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition characterized by a drop in blood pressure, fainting, difficulty breathing, and wheezing. more

Researchers find 1 in 6 women, 1 in 10 men at risk for Alzheimer's disease in their lifetime  

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have estimated that one in six women are at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in their lifetime, while the risk for men is one in ten. These findings were released today by the Alzheimer’s Association in their publication 2008 Alzheimer’s Disease: Facts and Figures. more

Researchers find possible cause of “chemo brain” in breast cancer patients

Thanks to early diagnosis and chemotherapy, more women survive breast cancer than ever before. However, following treatment, approximately 25 percent of survivors experience mild to moderate memory, concentration and cognitive problems known as “chemobrain”. more  

Researchers find way to reduce amount of bad cholesterol and fatty acids that end up in the blood from metabolized food 

Researchers at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada, have found a way to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol and fatty acids that end up in the blood from food the body metabolizes, a key discovery that could lead to new drugs to treat and reverse the effects of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease related to obesity. more

Researchers have discovered a gene that can block the spread of HIV

A team of researchers at the University of Alberta, including a scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, have discovered a gene that is able to block HIV, and thought to in turn prevent the onset of AIDS. more  

Researchers identify new receptor complex in brain

Mount Sinai researchers have identified a new receptor complex in the brain that responds to several types of antipsychotic drugs used to treat schizophrenia and also reacts to hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD. Stuart Sealfon, MD, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center for Translational Systems Biology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and colleagues discovered the receptor complex, which could help provide new treatments for schizophrenia and other diseases associated with psychosis. This new study was published online in Nature. more

Researchers identify novel molecular pattern linked to colon cancer prognosis

An international research team has identified a link between the expression patterns of a class of molecules called microRNAs and how a patient's colon cancer may progress. These data, the first to make such a link, may lead to a new tool for clinicians to help them assess a colon cancer patient's prognosis and decide on appropriate treatment, while potentially providing a new target for the development of colon cancer therapies. The findings, by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Ohio State University, and the University of Hong Kong, China, were published in the January 30, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Additional research is planned to verify and build on these findings, which is needed before these results can be applied to tests or therapies in patients. more

Researchers look for smaller, cheaper, one-dose vaccines  

A team of Iowa State University researchers is examining a new vaccine method that may change the way we get vaccinations. more

Researchers uncover an error in immature brain cells in lab and animal studies that may promote the growth of some brain tumors  

In experiments done in lab and animal studies, a breakdown in proper cell development has been shown to cause brain-specific stem cells to become starter seeds for aggressive brain tumors called glioblastoma multiforme, according to research from a team of researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke (NINDS), parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more

Researchers uncover key interaction in cholesterol regulation

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined the specific way in which a destructive protein binds to and interferes with a molecule that removes low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the so-called “bad” cholesterol, from the blood. more

Researchers uncover key trigger for potent cancer-fighting marine product

An unexpected discovery in marine biomedical laboratories at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has led to new, key information about the fundamental biological processes inside a marine organism that creates a natural product currently being tested to treat cancer in humans. The finding could lead to new applications of the natural product in treating human diseases. more

Researchers uncover new piece to the puzzle of human height  

In studies involving more than 35,000 people and a survey across the entire human genome, an international team supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found evidence that common genetic variants recently linked to osteoarthritis may also play a minor role in human height. The findings were released today in the advance online publication of the journal Nature Genetics. more

Researchers use light to detect Alzheimer's

A team of researchers in Bedford, Mass. has developed a way of examining brain tissue with near-infrared light to detect signs of Alzheimer's disease. more  

Researchers use neuroimaging to study ESP

Psychologists at Harvard University have developed a new method to study extrasensory perception that, they argue, can resolve the century-old debate over its existence. According to the authors, their study not only illustrates a new method for studying such phenomena, but also provides the strongest evidence yet obtained against the existence of extrasensory perception, or ESP. more  

Review of posttraumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury research published

The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD) has released a single-topic issue on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and polytrauma. This issue focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of TBI in military personnel returning from combat. more

Rise and walk again

Spinal cord injuries sever the connection between the brain and body. Researchers have long thought that, to restore movement, the long nerve fibers that run from the brain to the lower spinal cord had to be regrown. A new study in mice showed that nerves within the spinal cord can rearrange and restore those connections. The finding could lead to new therapies for the estimated 250,000 Americans living with spinal cord injuries. more  

The risk of osteoarthritis and index to ring finger length ratio 

Index to ring finger length ratio (2D:4D) is a trait known for its sexual differences. Men typically have shorter second than fourth digits; in women, these fingers tend to be about equal in length. Smaller 2D:4D ratios have intriguing hormonal connections, including higher prenatal testosterone levels, lower estrogen concentrations, and higher sperm counts. Reduction in this ratio has also been linked to athletic and sexual prowess. Whether this trait affects the risk of osteoarthritis (OA), a progressive joint disease associated with both physical activity and estrogen deficiency, has not been examined. Until recently. more

Risks of increased access to over-the-counter medicines may outweigh benefits

The risks of increasing people’s access to over-the-counter medicines may outweigh the benefits, warn experts in this week’s BMJ. more  

Rodent study finds artificial butter chemical harmful to lungs  

A new study shows that exposure to a chemical called diacetyl, a component of artificial butter flavoring, can be harmful to the nose and airways of mice. Scientists at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, conducted the study because diacetyl has been implicated in causing obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) in humans. OB is a debilitating but rare lung disease, which has been detected recently in workers who inhale significant concentrations of the flavoring in microwave popcorn packaging plants. more

Romanian community provides insight into genetic factors associated with vitiligo  

An isolated, inbred Romanian community has a higher than average frequency of the skin disease vitiligo and other autoimmune diseases, suggesting a genetic variation that may indicate susceptibility to the condition in a broader population, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more

Running Words Together: The science behind cross-linguistic psychology

While communication may be recognized as a universal phenomenon, differences between languages -- ranging from word-order to semantics -- undoubtedly remain as they help to define culture and develop language. Yet, little is understood about similarities and differences in languages around the world and how they affect communication. Recently, however, two studies have emerged that aid in our understanding of cross-linguistic distinctions in language usage. more



Salivary diagnostics, the 'magic mirror' to your health ... at your personal computer

Accuracy, convenience, and non-invasiveness are the most critical characteristics for any diagnostic tool. A new concept, Salivaomics Knowledge Base (SKB), an in silico (i.e., performed on computer or via computer simulation) saliva diagnostic atlas, is launching today during the 37th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research in Dallas, Texas. more

Salmonella illnesses in multiple states may be linked to recently recalled cereal

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that at least 23 people in 14 states have been diagnosed with salmonellosis that was caused by the same strain of Salmonella that was found in the recently recalled unsweetened Puffed Rice and unsweetened Puffed Wheat Cereals produced by Malt-O-Meal. more  

Sample newsletter for readers: The FDA's Maturity Health Matters  

We at Vidyya occasionally come across materials that we feel are worthwhile for practitioners to pass on to their patients. This is one of them. Welcome to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Maturity Health Matters. This online newsletter is about FDA regulated products for older adults, their families and their caregivers. It focuses on FDA approved products that help people live longer, more productive lives. more

St. Jude finds signaling system that halts the growth of a childhood brain cancer

A discovery by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists suggests a safer way to treat medulloblastoma, a rare but often fatal childhood brain tumor. The group found that one of the brain’s signaling pathways inhibits the growth of the highly aggressive cancer cells. more

Scientists ask whether microscaffolding can help stem cells rebuild brain after stroke damage 

Inserting tiny scaffolding into the brain could dramatically reduce damage caused by strokes the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual Science Meeting will hear today (10 April). Speaking at the conference in Edinburgh, Dr Mike Modo from the Institute of Psychiatry will explain how combining scaffold microparticles with neural stem cells (NSCs) could regenerate lost brain tissue. more

Scientists can predict psychotic illness in up to 80 percent of high-risk youth  

Youth who are going to develop psychosis can be identified before their illness becomes full-blown 35 percent of the time if they meet widely accepted criteria for risk, but that figure rises to 65 to 80 percent if they have certain combinations of risk factors, the largest study of its kind has shown. Knowing what these combinations are can help scientists predict who is likely to develop the illnesses within two to three years with the same accuracy that other kinds of risk factors can predict major medical diseases, such as diabetes. more

Scientists determine structure of brain receptor implicated in epilepsy and PMT

Scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have published new research in the journal Molecular Pharmacology identifying the structure of a receptor in the brain implicated in conditions such as epilepsy and pre-menstrual tension. The same receptor has also been reported to be highly sensitive to alcohol. more

Scientists discover that 2 frontal brain areas contribute specifically to certain decision-making processes

The option to choose among several courses of action is often associated with the feeling of being in control. Yet, in certain situations, one may prefer to decline such agency and instead leave the choice to someone else – out of politeness, or when too tired to choose, or when the consequences of the choice options appear complex or are unknown. more

Scientists find antibody that can potently neutralize two viruses

In laboratory experiments, scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and their colleagues supported by the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), have discovered an antibody that neutralizes two viruses classified as henipaviruses. Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV) are highly infectious agents that transitioned from infecting flying foxes in the mid-1990s to causing fatal disease in humans and livestock in Australia, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, and Singapore. Recent outbreaks have resulted in encephalitis and acute respiratory distress, person-to-person transmission, and up to 70 percent fatality rates. The finding appears in the Feb. 15, 2008, issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases. more

Scientists find genetic factor in stress response variability

Inherited variations in the amount of an innate anxiety-reducing molecule help explain why some people can withstand stress better than others, according to a new study led by researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). more  

Scientists launch first comprehensive database of human oral microbiome

Scientists know more today than ever before about the microbes that inhabit our mouths. They know so much, in fact, that gathering all of the relevant bits of information into one place when designing experiments can be a labor-intensive job in itself. Now, grantees of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their international colleagues intend to solve this problem with the launch of the first comprehensive database of the oral microbiome, or the approximately 600 distinct microorganisms currently known to live in the mouth. more

Scientists link chromatin changes with alcohol withdrawal anxiety

Changes to genetic material in the brain may help induce the anxiety that is characteristic of alcohol withdrawal, according to a new study conducted in rats and supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The finding points to possible therapies to prevent withdrawal-related anxiety, a driving force behind alcohol use among dependent individuals. more  

Scientists successfully treat new mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease

Researchers trying to improve cancer immune therapy have made an unexpected find: They've produced the most accurate mouse model to date of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a cluster of conditions that afflict approximately 1.4 million Americans with abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. more

Second generation memory care debuts  

Researchers and clinicians from the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute are blurring the distinction between lab and clinic as they debut the second generation of memory care. more

7-year neck pain study sheds light on best care

A seven-year, international study published today finds that some alternative therapies such as acupuncture, neck manipulation and massage are better choices for managing most common neck pain than many current practices. Also included in the short-list of best options for relief are exercises, education, neck mobilization, low level laser therapy and pain relievers. more

Severe asthma may be a different form of the disease

A multi-center research project to investigate severe asthma has found a key physiological difference between severe and non-severe forms of the disease, a finding that could help explain why those with severe asthma do not respond well to treatment. more  

Short-term stress can affect learning and memory  

Short-term stress lasting as little as a few hours can impair brain-cell communication in areas associated with learning and memory, University of California, Irvine researchers have found. more

Should doctors advocate alternative sources of nicotine?

Smoking currently kills over 100,000 UK citizens each year, predominantly from lung cancer, heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, writes John Britton, Professor of Epidemiology at City Hospital, Nottingham. Currently 77% of UK smokers want to quit, and 78% have tried and failed, mainly because of nicotine addiction. more

Siblings of schizophrenia patients display subtle shape abnormalities in brain

Subtle malformations in the brains of patients with schizophrenia also tend to occur in their healthy siblings, according to investigators at the Silvio Conte Center for the Neuroscience of Mental Disorders at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Shape abnormalities were found in the brain's thalamus. more

Simple online methods increase physician disease reporting

With emerging diseases like the West Nile Virus, and re-emerging diseases such as the pandemic flu and drug-resistant tuberculosis, it’s increasingly important to promptly detect a potential infectious outbreak within a community. But public health officials can’t act quickly unless physicians report the diseases. more  

A short-term dose of zolpidem is an effective treatment for insomnia  

A study published in the January 1 issue of the journal SLEEP finds that zolpidem extended-release 12.5 mg, taken three to seven nights per week for up to six months, provided sustained and significant improvements in sleep onset and maintenance, and also improved next-day concentration and morning sleepiness in people with insomnia. more

Silence may lead to phantom noises misinterpreted as tinnitus

Phantom noises, that mimic ringing in the ears associated with tinnitus, can be experienced by people with normal hearing in quiet situations, according to new research published in the January 2008 edition of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. more  

'Smart' holograms help patients help themselves 

Patients with diabetes, cardiac problems, kidney disorders or high blood pressure could benefit from the development of new hologram technology. The new "smart" holograms, which can detect changes in, for example, blood-glucose levels, should make self-diagnosis much simpler, cheaper and more reliable, write Chris Lowe and Cynthia Larbey in February’s Physics World. more

Smokers treated for brain aneurysm with coils at higher risk of recurrence

Cigarette smokers who were treated for cerebral aneurysms with coil embolization (blocking of a blood vessel) are at greater risk of developing another aneurysm, say neurological surgeons at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Philadelphia in the first-known study of its kind. more

Smoking alters gene activity in lungs and tumors

The strong link between smoking and lung cancer has long been clear, but the underlying genetic and molecular changes have been harder to pin down. Now NIH scientists have shown that cigarette smoking distinctively alters gene activity and that these changes can persist for years, contributing to cancer long after a person has kicked the habit. more

Smoking can double risk of colorectal polyps  

Smokers have a two-fold increased risk of developing colorectal polyps, the suspected underlying cause of most colorectal cancers (CRC), according to a study published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. more

Smoking marijuana impairs cognitive function in MS patients 

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who smoke marijuana are more likely to have emotional and memory problems, according to research published February 13, 2008, in the online edition of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. more

Smoking related to long-term risk and progression of age-related eye disease  

Smokers appear to have an increased long-term risk and greater progression of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more

Smoking’s effects on genes may play a role in lung cancer development and survival

Smoking plays a role in lung cancer development, and now scientists have shown that smoking also affects the way genes are expressed, leading to alterations in cell division and regulation of immune response. Notably, some of the changes in gene expression persisted in people who had quit smoking many years earlier. These findings by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, appeared in the Feb. 20, 2008, issue of PLoS ONE. more  

Sorafenib increases risk of high blood pressure

A meta-analysis published online January 24 in Lancet Oncology reports that patients receiving the standard clinical dose of sorafenib (Nexavar), an anticancer drug that targets the growth of tumor blood vessels, or angiogenesis, have a significantly increased incidence of hypertension. more  

The special risks of pharmacy compounding

Pharmacy compounding is an age-old practice in which pharmacists combine, mix, or alter ingredients to create unique medications that meet specific needs of individual patients. more

Spinal cord injury: Hope through research

Accounts of spinal cord injuries and their treatment date back to ancient times, even though there was little chance of recovery from such a devastating injury. The earliest is found in an Egyptian papyrus roll manuscript written in approximately 1700 B.C. that describes two spinal cord injuries involving fracture or dislocation of the neck vertebrae accompanied by paralysis.* The description of each was "an ailment not to be treated." more

Spit tests may soon replace many blood tests

One day soon patients may spit in a cup, instead of bracing for a needle prick, when being tested for cancer, heart disease or diabetes. A major step in that direction is the cataloguing of the “complete” salivary proteome, a set of proteins in human ductal saliva, identified by a consortium of three research teams, according to an article published today in the Journal of Proteome Research. more

Standard test for blood sugar control not accurate in diabetic dialysis patients

The standard test for measuring blood sugar control in people with diabetes is not accurate in those on kidney hemodialysis, according to new research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. more  

Stem cell breakthrough offers diabetes hope 

Scientists have discovered a new technique for turning embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing pancreatic tissue in what could prove a significant breakthrough in the quest to find new treatments for diabetes. more

Stem cell treatment for brittle bones in the womb

The extraordinary results of an in utero stem cell treatment could lead to a new treatment for babies with brittle bones, as well as a range of other disabling conditions, according to a maternal-fetal medicine researcher, now based at The University of Queensland (UQ). more

Stem cells offer cartilage repair hope for arthritis sufferers

Research presented at the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual Science Meeting in Edinburgh could offer hope that bone stem cells may be harnessed to repair the damaged cartilage that is one of the main symptoms of osteoarthritis. more  

Strategies to improve communication between pharmacy staff and patients : Training program for pharmacy staff - a curriculum guide

This training program is designed to introduce pharmacists to the problem of low health literacy in patient populations and to identify the implications of this problem for the delivery of health care services. The program also explains techniques that pharmacy staff members can use to improve communication with patients who may have limited health literacy skills. more

Stem cells make bone marrow cancer resistant to treatment

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have evidence that cancer stem cells for multiple myeloma share many properties with normal stem cells and have multiple ways of resisting chemotherapy and other treatments. more

Sticky blood protein yields clues to autism

Many children with autism have elevated blood levels of serotonin – a chemical with strong links to mood and anxiety. But what relevance this “hyperserotonemia” has for autism has remained a mystery. more

Strengthening the tumor-fighting ability of T cells

When faced with cancer, the immune system dispatches cells, called T cells, to kill the tumor. But these killer cells often fail to completely eliminate the tumor because they’re deactivated by a distinct population of T cells known as regulatory T cells. more

Stress may increase a woman's risk of developing cervical cancer

A woman’s daily stress can reduce her ability to fight off a common sexually transmitted disease and increase her risk of developing the cancer it can cause, according to a new study. No such association is seen, however, between past major life events, such as divorce or job loss, and the body’s response to the infection. more  

Studies highlight MRSA evolution and resilience 

Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections are caused primarily by a single strain — USA300 — of an evolving bacterium that has spread with "extraordinary transmissibility" throughout the United States during the past five years, according to a new study led by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists. CA-MRSA, an emerging public health concern, typically causes readily treatable soft-tissue infections such as boils, but also can lead to life-threatening conditions that are difficult to treat. more

Studies identify modifiable factors associated with exceptionally long life

A healthy lifestyle during the early elderly years—including weight management, exercising regularly and not smoking—may be associated with a greater probability of living to age 90 in men, as well as good health and physical function, according to a report in the February 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. A second article in the same issue finds that although some individuals survive to 100 years or beyond by avoiding chronic diseases, other centenarians live with such conditions for many years without becoming disabled. more

Studies' message to women: Keep your cool

Whether you are running for president or looking for a clerical job, you cannot afford to get angry if you are a woman, Yale University psychologist Victoria Brescoll has found. more

Studies suggest how drug-resistant staph evolved 

By studying the genomes of drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, scientists have found that a single, highly transmissible strain may be responsible for most community outbreaks nationwide. Just a few tiny genetic changes seem to affect disease severity and drug resistance, allowing the bacteria to become a leading cause of disease in otherwise healthy people. more

Study: Brain connections strengthen during waking hours, weaken during sleep

Most people know it from experience: After so many hours of being awake, your brain feels unable to absorb any more—and several hours of sleep will refresh it. more  

Study details link between obesity, carbs and esophageal cancer  

Cases of esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma) in the U.S. have risen in recent decades from 300,000 cases in 1973 to 2.1 million in 2001 at age-adjusted rates. A new study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology shows that these rates in the U.S. closely mirrored trends of increased carbohydrate intake and obesity from 1973-2001. more

Study details risk of NHL in some autoimmune diseases 

Researchers found that the risks for developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), especially some NHL subtypes, are significantly increased in individuals who reported previously having had certain autoimmune diseases, according to results published online February 8 in Blood. more

Study finds biological link between pain and fatigue  

A recent University of Iowa study reveals a biological link between pain and fatigue and may help explain why more women than men are diagnosed with chronic pain and fatigue conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. more

Study finds a daytime nap can benefit a person's memory performance

A brief bout of non-REM sleep (45 minutes) obtained during a daytime nap clearly benefits a person’s declarative memory performance, according to a study published in the 1 February 1 issue of the journal Sleep. more  

Study finds exercise reduces menopausal anxiety, stress and depression

With more menopausal women seeking natural therapies to ease symptoms, a new study has found that simply adding a brisk walking routine can reduce a variety of psychological symptoms such as anxiety, stress and depression. The research is published in the January issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. more  

Study finds good outcomes for older lung transplant patients

In the world of organ donation, it has been common practice to exclude older patients from receiving transplants because of limited donor supply and lower survival rates. more

Study finds high percentage of CHD patients have not made changes to improve health 

More than 13 million Americans have survived a heart attack or have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD), the number one cause of death in the United States. In addition to medications, lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and exercise, are known to reduce the risk for subsequent cardiac events. Despite this evidence, a high proportion of heart attack survivors do not follow their doctor’s advice to adhere to a healthy diet, according to researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). more

Study finds no link between hormones, prostate cancer 

An analysis of the original data from 18 prospective studies indicates that prostate cancer risk is not influenced by levels of certain circulating sex hormones in the blood, reports an international research team. more

Study finds that blood test can gauge prostate cancer risk  

New genomics research has found that a simple blood test can determine which men are likely to develop prostate cancer. Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues found that five genetic variants previously associated with prostate cancer risk have a strong cumulative effect. more

Study finds widespread vitamin and mineral use among cancer survivors

Use of vitamin and mineral supplements among cancer survivors is widespread, despite inconclusive evidence that such use is beneficial, according to a comprehensive review of scientific literature conducted by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and published Feb. 1 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. more  

Study helps explain fundamental process of tumor growth

Nearly 80 years ago, scientist Otto Warburg observed that cancer cells perform energy metabolism in a way that is different from normal adult cells. Many decades later, this observation was exploited by clinicians to better visualize tumors using PET (positron emission technology) imaging. But it has not been known exactly how tumor cells perform this alternate metabolic feat, nor was it known if this process was essential for tumor growth. more

Study of successful drug targets could hasten development of new medications

Guidance from an innovative computational approach could speed up the process and cut down the cost of new drug development, researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center and Columbia University suggest in a study to be published in the February 2008 issue of Genome Research, available early online. more  

Study shows how ignorance can be influential

In the current issue of The RAND Journal of Economics, USC researchers provide a challenge to the classic economic model of information manipulation, in which knowing more than anybody else is the key to influence. more

Study uncovers cause of flu epidemics

The exchange of genetic material between two closely related strains of the influenza A virus may have caused the 1947 and 1951 human flu epidemics, according to biologists. The findings could help explain why some strains cause major pandemics and others lead to seasonal epidemics. more  

Study validates Pittsburgh Compound-B in identifying Alzheimer's disease brain toxins

A groundbreaking study conducted by University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer’s disease researchers reported in the journal Brain (currently online) confirms that Pittsburgh Compound-B (PiB) binds to the telltale beta-amyloid deposits found in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The finding is a significant step toward enabling clinicians to provide a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in living patients. more

Study identifies new patterns of brain activation used in forming long-term memories

Researchers at New York University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have identified patterns of brain activation linked to the formation of long-term memories. The study, which appeared in the journal Neuron, also offered an innovative and more comprehensive method for gauging memories. It asked subjects to recall the content of a television sit-com, which more accurately simulated real-life experiences because it required retrieving material that occurs in more complex settings than typically exist in a laboratory environment. more  

Study raises questions about diagnosis, medical treatment of ADHD

A new UCLA study shows that only about half of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, exhibit the cognitive defects commonly associated with the condition. more

Study shows effects of vitamin D and skin's physiology 

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that previtamin D3 production varies depending on several factors including skin type and weather conditions. The study will appear in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. more

Study of sugars on cell surface identifies key factor in flu infection

Scientists have identified a key factor that determines the ability of influenza viruses to infect cells of the human upper respiratory tract — a necessary step for sustaining spread between people. The research, described in the January 6 online edition of Nature Biotechnology and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers new insights into how the H5N1 avian flu virus currently circulating in birds would have to change in order to gain a foothold in human populations. more

Study suggests antibiotic may prevent dreaded brain fever

Two researchers from National Brain Research Center (NBRC) suggest that a common antibiotic called minocycline may prevent children from death due to Japanese encephalitis (JE), or commonly known as brain fever. Japanese Encephalitis virus is the causative agent for JE. Although there is no consolidated official figure for JE cases in India, a rough estimate would indicate a few thousands fatalities every year. The team found that minocycline, an USFDA approved drug, often used to treat acne, limits the death by reducing the microglial activation, neuronal death as well as viral replication. Microglia are cells that act as the "cleanup crew" for the Central Nervous System (CNS). They destroy damaged cells by releasing toxins and engulfing them. Should they become activated and release their toxins in the CNS, the toxins will kill the healthy neurons critical for normal function of brain. more  

Study sheds important new light on inherited disorder causing iron overload

Research in today’s New England Journal of Medicine shows hereditary hemochromatosis is much more common than previously thought and will spur more study to determine who is most likely to develop complications from the debilitating and potentially fatal disease, write two faculty members at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Their work appears in an editorial in the NEJM that accompanies the research. more

Study reveals why certain ovarian cancers develop resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy

A team of researchers led by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has identified a new mechanism that explains why some recurrent ovarian tumors become resistant to treatment with commonly used platinum-based chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin and carboplatin. They describe their research online Feb. 10 in the journal Nature. more

Study shows variety of approaches help children overcome auditory processing and language problems

For children who struggle to learn language, the choice between various interventions may matter less than the intensity and format of the intervention, a new study sponsored by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) suggests. The study, led by Ronald B. Gillam, Ph.D., of Utah State University is online in the February 2008 Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. NIDCD is one of the National Institutes of Health. more

Studying mutations in non-hodgkin lymphoma yields clues for potential new therapies

DNA mutations found in a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has a poor prognosis has led researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues to a better understanding of how the cancer develops and how it might be treated. The research findings appear in the March 6 2008, issue of Science. more  

Sunitinib linked to heart failure and hypertension

Patients taking sunitinib (Sutent) should be monitored for cardiovascular side effects such as hypertension and signs of heart failure, especially those patients with a history of coronary artery disease or cardiac risk factors, a team of oncologists and cardiologists said last month in The Lancet. The recommendation is based on evidence of cardiac side effects among some patients taking sunitinib to treat gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). Sunitinib is approved to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma and metastatic GIST after resistance to imatinib (Gleevec) develops. more

Supplement use and cancer

Many current and former cancer patients take vitamin and mineral supplements. They may believe these supplements can help reduce treatment side effects. They may think extra vitamins will keep cancer from coming back or help them live longer. But research in these areas hasn’t yet found whether many of these beliefs are true. And some doctors worry that supplements can interact with cancer treatments or have other unintended consequences. more

Supplement watch: University of Sydney researchers find new evidence linking kava to liver damage

In recent years, serious concerns about the dangers of kava and the effects on the liver have resulted in regulatory agencies, such as the US Food and Drug Administration and Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration, banning or restricting the sale of kava and kava products. more

Surgical site infections more common than expected following breast procedures

Infections at the incision site occurred in more than 5 percent of patients following breast surgery and cost them more than $4,000 each in hospital-related expenses, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more

'Swish-and-spit' test accurate for cancer

A morning gargle could someday be more than a breath freshener – it could spot head and neck cancer, say scientists at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Their new study of a mouth rinse that captures genetic signatures common to the disease holds promise for screening those at high risk, including heavy smokers and alcohol drinkers. more




Two scientists from Duke University have found a way to tag healthcare workers to make sure they're washing their hands. While it's a bit unsettling to think of nurses tagged like deer, it's comforting to know that the devices could cut down on the approximately 100,000 deaths from hospital-acquired infections each year. more  

Taking more than 1 anti-inflammatory drug may lead to complications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used to treat arthritis, which affects one-third of all adults. These drugs are available in both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) forms and are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the world. Because of their widespread availability, patients may take both forms at the same time, either because of inadequate pain relief or because they are unaware that they are taking two drugs in the same therapeutic class. At the same time, health care providers may also be unaware that patients are taking more than one NSAID. more

Targeting astrocytes slows disease progression in ALS

In what the researchers say could be promising news in the quest to find a therapy to slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, scientists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine have shown that targeting neuronal support cells called astrocytes sharply slows disease progression in mice. more

Technology drives search for childhood therapies

Childhood cancers are biologically different from those that arise later in life. Cancers in children are more likely to involve developing organs, for instance, or to begin in the prenatal environment. more

Teenage girls aren't the only ones who tan indoors -- older adults do so as well

Think you won’t run into grandparents at your local tanning salon? According to new research, you just might. In fact, a recent health survey of American adults suggests that while 20 percent of 18-39 year olds visited tanning beds, as many as 10 percent of those between 50 and 64 years of age and eight percent of those older than 65 tanned indoors. more  

Teens with treatment-resistant depression more likely to get better with switch to combination therapy

Teens with difficult-to-treat depression who do not respond to a first antidepressant medication are more likely to get well if they switch to another antidepressant medication and add psychotherapy rather than just switching to another antidepressant, according to a large, multi-site trial funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). more  

Testing everyone admitted to 3 hospitals for MRSA infection greatly reduced disease in hospital and after discharge

A three-year program compared three strategies for tackling MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphlococcus aureus) infection. Researchers compared no screening for MRSA with screening those admitted to the emergency departments and with screening all people admitted to the hospitals (universal surveillance). more

Testosterone could guard against eating disorders

Testosterone appears to protect people against eating disorders, providing further evidence that biological factors – and not just social influences – are linked to anorexia and bulimia, according to new research findings at Michigan State University. more

Testosterone supplementation for older men appears to have limited benefit

Older men with low testosterone levels who received testosterone supplementation increased lean body mass and decreased body fat, but were no stronger and had no improvement in mobility or cognition compared with men who did not use the supplement, according to a study in the January 2 issue of JAMA. more

Test reveals the risk of asthma is inherited and can be measured at birth

Risk for developing asthma is linked to variants in a gene called CHI3L1, which can be measured by checking levels of an inherited blood protein regulated by that gene, according to new research sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. more  

Testing the most promising new cancer therapies for children

It is perhaps a good problem to have: Many more experimental cancer drugs enter clinical evaluation in adults each year than can realistically be tested in children, given the small number of children with cancer eligible for early-stage clinical trials. more  

Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) beneficial in men 60 and older

The risk of osteoporosis (bone fracture) in women is highly recognized by the public. Less appreciated is the fact that the disorder also occurs in men. Some two million males have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and another three million are at risk. more  

Texas Hospital nation's first to use large-scale 'cocoon strategy' against whooping cough

The new Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research at Texas Children’s Hospital announced that it will implement the nation’s first major “cocoon strategy” vaccination program to protect newborn infants from the life-threatening infection pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough. more

Thin bones seen in boys with autism and autism spectrum disorder

Results of an early study suggest that dairy-free diets and unconventional food preferences could put boys with autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at higher than normal risk for thinner, less dense bones when compared to a group of boys the same age who do not have autism. more  

Thyroid treatment no 'quick fix' for weight loss in children

Children treated for hypothyroidism aren't likely to drop pounds with treatment for the condition says a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics. The study is the first to examine the link between hypothyroidism treatment and weight loss in pediatric patients. more

Ties you up in knots: There is a stress-health connection from heart disease to mild depression stress hurts everything

Stress, is bad. Stress kills. A study now reveals that stress causes deterioration in everything from your gums to your heart and can make you more susceptible to everything from the common cold to cancer. Thanks to new research crossing the disciplines of psychology, medicine, neuroscience, and genetics, the mechanisms underlying the connection are rapidly becoming understood. more  

Timing is everything when using IL-7 to boost antiviral immunity 

CD8+ T cells are an important component of antiviral immune responses. Much research effort is being invested in identifying new ways to boost antiviral immune responses in individuals with chronic viral infections (such as those infected with HIV and hepatitis C virus) and to boost the efficacy of vaccines designed to target these viruses. more

Tips to prevent adverse drug events in older adults

Adverse drug events are more common in older adults because they are prescribed more drugs and are effected differently by these drugs than their younger counterparts. A review article written by Tufts University School of Medicine clinicians, published in American Family Physician, summarizes steps that physicians and other healthcare providers can take to avoid overuse, misuse, and underuse of medication in older adults. more

Toddlers affected most by secondhand smoke exposure at home 

Secondhand smoke in the home appears to induce markers for heart disease as early as the toddler years, researchers reported at the American Heart Association’s 48th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention. more

A ton of bitter melon produces sweet results for diabetes

Scientists have uncovered the therapeutic properties of bitter melon, a vegetable and traditional Chinese medicine, that make it a powerful treatment for Type 2 diabetes. more

Tonsillectomy significantly improves quality of life in adult and pediatric patients

Tonsillectomies to treat chronic and recurrent tonsillitis substantially improve a patient’s quality of live in both children and adults, according to two new studies published as a supplement to the January 2008 issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. more

Top malaria experts publish groundbreaking research to aid malaria eradication efforts

Leading research scientists, physicians, and public health specialists from around the world have published new insights into the international burden of malaria and how the global community can best combat the disease, it was announced today by malaria experts at the Fogarty International Center, part of the National Institutes of Health. more

Treating SSRI-resistant depression

When your antidepressant medication does not work, should you switch to a different medication from the same class or should you try an antidepressant medication that has a different mechanism of action? This is the question asked by researchers in a new report scheduled for publication in Biological Psychiatry on April 1st. more

Trial shows some benefit of adjuvant chemo for early colorectal cancer  

A large European trial designed to determine the value of adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery for stage II colorectal cancer has found that patients receive "small but definite benefit" in both survival and risk of recurrence, say researchers at the University of Birmingham in England. more

Treatment approaches for drug addiction

Drug addiction is a complex but treatable brain disease. It is characterized by compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use that persist even in the face of severe adverse consequences. For many people, drug addiction becomes chronic, with relapses possible even after long periods of abstinence. more

Treatment with an antipsychotic drug found to cause changes in metabolism earlier than expected

Schizophrenia is a complex type of psychotic mental illness characterized by thoughts that are uncoupled from reality. Huge gains in the effective treatment of individuals with the disease began in the 1950s with the development of the first generation of antipsychotic drugs. The medications allowed physicians to treat the “positive” effects of the illness (delusions and hallucinations) and, to a lesser extent, the “negative” symptoms (apathy). more  

Treatment with NAC is associated with better outcomes for children with liver failure

A new retrospective study on the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on children with acute liver failure not caused by acetaminophen poisoning has found that the treatment was associated with a shorter hospital stay, higher incidence of liver recovery, and better survival after transplantation. The study is in the January issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal by John Wiley & Sons. more

Trial finds tenofovir gel safe for daily use and most women adhered to study regimens

A vaginal microbicide that incorporates an antiretroviral (ARV) drug normally used to treat people with HIV is safe for sexually active HIV-negative women to use every day over an extended period, suggest results of a clinical trial of tenofovir topical gel. Moreover, most of the women who participated in the study conducted in India and the United States adhered to a regimen involving either daily or sex-dependent use of the gel, report researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) at Microbicides 2008, an international meeting taking place Feb. 24-26 at the Hotel Ashok in New Delhi. more  

Trial suggests HRT increases breast cancer recurrence risk

Long-term follow-up data from a randomized clinical trial indicate that, in women previously treated for breast cancer, use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) significantly increases the risk of recurrence or contralateral breast cancer - a new cancer in the opposite breast. Published online March 25 by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), the analysis shows a 2.4-fold increased risk of recurrence or contralateral breast cancer in women randomized to receive HRT to treat menopausal symptoms compared with women given the best, nonhormonal treatments for such symptoms. more  

The Truth about Cancer premieres on PBS 16 April 2008  

What is the truth about cancer? Is it the same deadly killer it was 30 years ago -- or are we making progress? Find out through the poignant stories of patients battling the disease in The Truth About Cancer premiering nationally on PBS Wednesday, 16 April. Comprised of a 90-minute documentary followed by a 30-minute panel discussion, the two-hour broadcast event takes a look deep inside the cancer field gauging how far we have come in this decades-old war and asking, "Why does anyone still die of cancer?" more

Tumor-killing virus selectively targets diseased brain cells 

New findings show that a specialized virus with the ability to reproduce its tumor-killing genes can selectively target tumors in the brains of mice and eliminate them. Healthy brain tissue remained virtually untouched, according to a Feb. 20 report in The Jou more

Tumor-targeting viral therapy slows neuroblastoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors

Researchers in a multi-institutional study led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center slowed the growth of two particularly stubborn solid tumor cancers – neuroblastoma and peripheral nerve sheath tumors –without harming healthy tissues by inserting instructions to inhibit tissue growth into an engineered virus, according to study results published in the February 15 Cancer Research. more

Turning on adult stem cells may help repair bone 

The use of a drug to activate stem cells that differentiate into bone appears to cause regeneration of bone tissue and be may be a potential treatment strategy for osteoporosis, according to a report in the February 2008 Journal of Clinical Investigation. The study – led by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) – found that treatment with a medication used to treat bone marrow cancer improved bone density in a mouse model of osteoporosis, apparently through its effect on the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that differentiate into several types of tissues. more

Two different neural pathways regulate loss and regain of consciousness during general anesthesia 

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers have answered long-running questions about the way that anesthetics act on the body, by showing that the cellular pathway for emerging from anesthesia is different from the one that drugs take to put patients to sleep during operations. The findings were published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. more

Two glasses a day keep bladder infections, ulcers, cavities, and viruses away

Cranberry juice, long dissed as a mere folk remedy for relieving urinary tract infections in women, is finally getting some respect. more  

Two studies identify drivers of metastases

A study published in the January 10 Nature has pinpointed several microRNAs (miRNAs) - tiny RNA strands that regulate gene expression - that help suppress breast cancer metastases. more  



Umbilical cord blood cell therapy reduces pathology in animal model of Alzheimer's disease

Targeted immune suppression using human umbilical cord blood cells may improve the pathology associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a new study in a mouse model of this currently untreatable neurodegenerative condition reports. more

UNC, Harvard develop inhaled TB vaccine

A new tuberculosis vaccine successfully tested at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is easier to administer and store and just as effective as one commonly used worldwide. more  

Uncovering the Achilles' heel of the HIV-1 envelope

New structural details illustrate how a promising class of antibodies may block human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection and reveal valuable clues for design of an effective HIV-1 vaccine. The findings, published by Cell Press in the January issue of Immunity, are particularly significant as antibody induction appears to be a key and necessary component of an effective HIV vaccine, evidenced by the recent failure of vaccines that stimulated only the T cell arm of the immune system to protect humans from contracting HIV-1. more  

Undernourished stroke patients may have more complications, worse outcomes

Patients who are undernourished when they enter the hospital with an acute ischemic stroke—the most common type of stroke, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked—are likely to remain undernourished in the hospital and may have worse clinical outcomes, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more

Unexpected protein interaction suggests new ALS drug target

Discovery of an unexpected protein-protein interaction has led University of Iowa scientists and colleagues to identify a drug that slows the progression of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in mice and nearly doubles the animals' lifespan. The study is published Jan. 24 online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. more

The untrained eye: Confusing sexual interest with friendliness

New research from Indiana University and Yale suggests that college-age men confuse friendly non-verbal cues with cues for sexual interest because the men have a less discerning eye than women -- but their female peers aren't far behind. more  

Urinary biomarkers for coronary disease

A set of 15 proteins found in urine can distinguish healthy individuals from those who have coronary artery disease (CAD), reports a new study appearing in the february Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. more  

USC researchers find new clues to risk of Hodgkin lymphoma 

A long-term study of twins has led University of Southern California (USC) researchers to find potential links between Hodgkin lymphoma and levels of an immune response protein (interleukin-12). more

Use of opioids for pain in ERs on the rise, but racial differences in use still exist 

In the last 15 years, use of opioid medications to treat patients with pain-related emergency department visits has improved although white patients were more likely to receive opioids than patients of a different race/ethnicity, according to a study in the January 2 issue of JAMA. more



Vaccine treats breast tumors in mice

A new therapeutic vaccine designed to stimulate the body's immune system so that it recognizes cancer as an invader shows promise in eradicating some advanced breast cancer tumors in mice. The study results appeared March 15 in Cancer Research. more

Vegan diet promotes atheroprotective antibodies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis 

A gluten-free vegan diet may improve the health of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to new research from Karolinska Institutet. The diet has a beneficial effect on several risk factors for cardiovascular disease. more

Virtual reality teaches autistic children street crossing

Recent research conducted at the University of Haifa found that children with autism improved their road safety skills after practicing with a unique virtual reality system. "Children with autism rarely have opportunities to experience or to learn to cope with day-to-day situations. Using virtual simulations such as the one used in this research enables them to acquire skills that will make it possible for them to become independent," said Profs. Josman and Weiss, from the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Haifa. more  

Vitamin D for the Heart

Many people know the human body needs vitamin D for strong bones. But a recent study suggests that the vitamin is also good for a strong heart. The research, published in the May 2007 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, hints that taking vitamin D supplements could have a positive impact on people’s health—but a single recommended dose might not necessarily be a good fit for everyone. more  

Vitamin D2 is as effective as vitamin D3 in maintaining concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that vitamin D2 is equally as effective as vitamin D3 in maintaining 25-hydroxyvitamin D status. The study appears online in the December 2007 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. more

Vitamin E associated with slight risk of lung cancer

Vitamin supplements do not protect against lung cancer, according to a study of more than 77,000 vitamin users. In fact, some supplements may even increase the risk of developing it. more  

Viva la resistance - Tamiflu resistance

European public health specialists on Monday identified significant resistance to the drug Tamiflu, casting a shadow over the efficacy of the world’s most widely purchased influenza antiviral medicine. more  



Waking the brain

When a person sleeps, the brain hums slowly, like an idling automobile engine. The slower the engine idles, the deeper the sleep. As the engine is revved up, a person wakes up and—provided the foot remains on the accelerator—stays awake. Researchers at the NCRR-funded Center for Translational Neuroscience in Little Rock, Ark., have now discovered how that process works. more  

Ways to improve informed consent are testable, study says

New ways to make sure people are adequately informed about the risks and benefits of taking part in a clinical trial can be field-tested for effectiveness as vigorously as new medical treatments themselves, a study led by a Johns Hopkins bioethicist suggests. more  

We know that we don't know: National report calls for more research on health effects of wireless technologies  

A new National Research Council report chaired by University of Colorado at Boulder Distinguished Professor Frank Barnes calls for a stronger research effort on the potential health effects of exposure to radio frequency energy tied to the global explosion in wireless technology like cell phones, laptops and hand-held Web-surfing gadgets. more

What effect does melatonin have in colitis?

In rats with experimental colitis, the marked increase in bacterial translocation in postcolitis rats has been reversed by melatonin administration. This is due to melatonin's anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects. more

What makes you hungry also makes you ready to buy, buy, buy

Exposure to something that whets the appetite, such as a picture of a mouthwatering dessert, can make a person more impulsive with unrelated purchases, finds a study from the February 2008 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. For example, the researchers reveal in one experiment that the aroma of chocolate chip cookies can prompt women on a tight budget to splurge on a new item of clothing. more

When a childhood virus comes back to bite you

It’s an unpleasant part of childhood you can never really leave behind. Even when chickenpox is gone, the virus that causes it stays with you for life, hidden and inactive in your nerve cells. As you get older, the virus may make a second, unwelcome appearance and cause a painful disease called shingles. The second time around can be far more complicated and miserable than the first. more

WHI follow up study confirms health risks of long-term combination hormone therapy outweigh benefits for postmenopausal women

New results from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) confirm that the health risks of long-term use of combination (estrogen plus progestin) hormone therapy in healthy, postmenopausal women persist even a few years after stopping the drugs and clearly outweigh the benefits. Researchers report that about three years after women stopped taking combination hormone therapy, many of the health effects of hormones such as increased risk of heart disease are diminished, but overall risks, including risks of stroke, blood clots, and cancer, remain high. more  

WHO in 60 years: a chronology of public health milestones

In 2008, WHO is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Read a chronology that tells the story of WHO and public health achievements over the last 60 years. more

Who owns the information? Who has the power?  

The Health Metrics Network, which is hosted by WHO, received US$ 50 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve the quality and reliability of health information in developing countries. Executive Secretary Dr Sally Stansfield says it’s time for the world to shift the ownership of health information to countries instead of letting donors and disease-specific programs run the agenda. more

Whole body MDCT just as 'good' as neck MDCT angiography in diagnosing head and neck injuries

Blunt cerebrovascular injuries can be diagnosed using whole body 16 multi-detector CT (MDCT); there’s no need for an additional neck MDCT angiography examination according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center and R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, both in Baltimore, MD. The study showed that whole body MDCT is just as accurate as neck MDCTA. more

Wine may protect against dementia

There may be constituents in wine that protect against dementia. This is shown in research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg in Sweden. more  

With annual deaths from malaria on the rise: Scientists ask 'where is all the money going?'

A new study in the April issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, asks the question “With more than $220 million dollars dedicated to malaria treatment and prevention, why is the annual mortality rate from malaria on the rise" The study, entitled “Malaria Vector Management: Where Have We Come From and Where Are we Headed"” conducted by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, examines the current methods used to control and prevent the spread of malaria. more

Woe is us (U.S.): US bottom of list among industrialized nations on preventable deaths  

Last place. That's where the United States places among 19 countries when it comes to preventable deaths. By preventable deaths we mean those that could have been prevented by access to timely and effective health care. According to new research supported by The Commonwealth Fund and published in the January/February issue of Health Affairs, while other nations dramatically improved these rates between 1997–98 and 2002–03, the U.S. improved only slightly. more

Women should not postpone knee-replacement surgery

Women wait longer to pursue knee-replacement surgery than men do. And, by postponing surgery until they can no longer stand the pain, these women may also risk putting their mobility, and quality of life, on hold indefinitely. more  

Working memory has limited 'slots'

A new study by researchers at UC Davis shows how our very short-term "working memory," which allows the brain to stitch together sensory information, operates. The system retains a limited number of high-resolution images for a few seconds, rather than a wider range of fuzzier impressions. more  

Workshop of note: Free telephone workshop series for cancer survivors

The sixth annual telephone workshop series, "Living With, Through, and Beyond Cancer," begins April 22. This series offers cancer survivors, their families, friends, and health care professionals practical information to help them cope with concerns and issues that arise after treatment ends. more

World's aging population to defuse war on terrorism

Changing demographic trends will impact the future of international relations, according to the latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR). Several hotbed areas in the world that offer the motive and opportunity for political violence are due to stabilize by the year 2030. more



Yale scientists show that a microRNA can reduce lung cancer growth  

A small RNA molecule, known as let-7 microRNA (miRNA), substantially reduced cancer growth in multiple mouse models of lung cancer, according to work by researchers at Yale University and Asuragen, Inc., published in the journal Cell Cycle. more

Yale study shows weight bias is as prevalent as racial discrimination  

Discrimination against overweight people—particularly women—is as common as racial discrimination, according to a study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University. more

Your brain on Krispy Kremes

What makes you suddenly dart into the bakery when you spy chocolate- frosted donuts in the window, though you certainly hadn't planned on indulging? As you lick the frosting off your fingers, don't blame a lack of self-control. more  




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