Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 137 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 16-May-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 17-May-2004
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Petting puppies puts people in positive moods
The next time a dog comes bounding up to you for a wet, sloppy kiss and a good belly rub, donít back away. In an ongoing study, a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher has found that interacting and petting animals creates a hormonal response in humans that can help fight depression.  more

Computer prescribing systems risk patient safety
Prescribing safety features of general practice computer systems: evaluation using simulated test cases BMJ Volume 328, pp 1171-2 Commentary: computer aided prescribing leaves holes in the safety net BMJ Volume 328, pp 1172-3

Computer prescribing systems are putting patients at risk by failing to warn of potentially serious errors, warn researchers in this week's BMJ. more

Data show investigational antibiotic safe, effective in preventing travelers diarrhea
New data suggest the investigational drug rifaximin, a non-absorbed (less than .5%) antibiotic with few side effects and low potential for resistance, is effective in preventing travelers' diarrhea, an illness that affects up to 60 percent of international travelers. Until now, antimicrobial prophylaxis, while effective, has been discouraged because of side effects and the encouragement of resistance.  more


Psychological factors may be root of back pain, say Stanford researchers
When it comes to back pain, psychological distress is a more reliable predictor of the problem than imaging and diagnostic disc injection, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers say. Their finding could affect how doctors treat back pain, which often includes costly surgery that insurance companies are increasingly reluctant to cover.  more

UK researchers in search of best diet to guard against diabetes and heart disease
UK experts are to determine what diet is best to reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A four-year study will look at the impact of changes in dietary fat and carbohydrates on known risk factors for these diseases.  more

Directing traffic along memory lane
Most people experience deterioration in memory as they age, whereas others may suffer from memories that are alarmingly vivid. People with post-traumatic stress disorder, for instance, are repeatedly reminded of traumatic events through flashbacks and nightmares. By uncovering the molecular underpinnings of memory, scientists hope to develop new strategies for treating these and other memory-related disorders.  more

Advisory committee recommends against approval of two new cancer drugs
An advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week recommended against the approval of two drugs for the treatment of advanced melanoma and brain metastases, respectively. In both cases, the drugsí manufacturers had submitted applications for FDA approval of their products based on the results of a single phase III clinical trial in which the drug did not achieve the trialís primary endpoint. more

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