Volume 9 Issue 150
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 31-May-2007 
Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 1-Jun-2007

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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How brain pacemakers erase diseased messages

Brain "pacemakers" that have helped ease symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders seem to work by drowning out the electrical signals of their diseased brains. more  

Mercury's link to heart disease begins in blood vessel walls

Heavy metals and other toxins have been linked to many human diseases, but determining exactly how they damage the body remains a mystery in many cases. New research focusing on a relatively obscure, misunderstood protein suggests mercury’s link to heart disease can be traced to activation of this enzyme, which triggers a process leading to plaque buildup in blood vessel walls. more

Gene expression patterns predict rapid decline in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic lung disease typically characterized by the slow but progressive onset of shortness of breath or cough. Most patients live about five years after diagnosis. However, according to a new study being published today in the online journal PLoS ONE, a subset of patients with a specific genetic profile has a much more rapid progression to complete pulmonary failure and death without a lung transplant. more  

Exposure to secondhand smoke among students aged 13--15 years

Although no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) exists, an international study determined that nearly half of never smokers aged 13--15 years were exposed to SHS at home (46.8%) or in places other than the home (47.8%). Never smokers exposed to SHS at home were 1.4 to 2.1 times more likely to be susceptible to initiating smoking than those not exposed, and students exposed to SHS in places other than the home were 1.3 to 1.8 times more likely to be susceptible. more

Breast cancer patients receiving higher doses of radiation with IMRT can reduce treatment time by two weeks  

Women with breast cancer who receive higher doses of radiation with IMRT each day can reduce their treatment time by two weeks without increasing side effects. more

Temsirolimus is an effective new treatment for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma 

The results of a phase III, randomized clinical study involving patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma and poor prognostic features show temsirolimus improved overall survival when compared to the current treatment for this stage of disease. The study, led by Gary R. Hudes, M.D., director of the Genitourinary Malignancies Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, is published in the May 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. more

Researchers have new insight into cause of Lou Gehrig’s disease

University of Kentucky researchers have discovered a new cellular mechanism that may better explain what causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. more

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Mercury has been implicated as a risk factor in cardiovascular disease because of environmental concerns both from contamination and the atmosphere.