New tests provide new insight into why patients are in heart failure
A failing heart makes a lot of a hormone needed to eliminate the excess salt and water bloating the body but not enough of the enzyme needed to activate it, researchers say.
Researchers question effectiveness of warning labels on over-the-counter drugs
Medicine packages barrage consumers with information, some required to be "prominent" and "conspicuous." But marketing claims and brand names still overshadow critical fine print on nonprescription medications, Michigan State University researchers found. more
Bad mix of bacterial remnants and genetics leads to arthritis
Here's another reason to hate leftovers. A research study appearing in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology sheds light on one cause of arthritis: bacteria. In the study, scientists from the United States and The Netherlands show that a specific gene called NOD2 triggers arthritis or makes it worse when leftover remnants of bacteria cell walls, called muramyl dipeptide or MDP, are present. This discovery offers an important first step toward new treatments to prevent or lessen the symptoms of inflammatory arthritis. more
West Nile virus studies show how star-shaped brain cells cope with infection
A new study published as the cover article for the April 2009 issue of The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) promises to give physicians new ways to reduce deadly responses to viral infections of the brain and spinal cord. In the report, scientists from Columbia University, NY, detail for the first time the chemical processes that star-shaped nerve cells, called astrocytes, use to handle invading viruses and to summon other immune cells to cause life-threatening inflammation. more
As good as it gets: Octogenarian muscles don’t get stronger with exercise
Octogenarian women were unable to increase muscle mass after a 3-month weight lifting program targeted at strengthening the thigh muscle, according to a new study from the Journal of Applied Physiology. The results are surprising because previous studies have found resistance training capable of increasing muscle mass, even for people who are into their 70s. An increase in muscle size translates to an increase in strength.
CT scans: Too much of a good thing can be risky
Patients who undergo numerous CT scans over their lifetime may be at increased risk for cancer, according to a study published in the April issue of Radiology. more
Multiple sclerosis associated with lower cancer risk
A new study shows that people with multiple sclerosis may be at a lower risk for cancer overall, but at a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as brain tumors and bladder cancer. The study is published in the March 31, 2009, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. more
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