Volume 9 Issue 174
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 24-Jun-2007 
Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 25-Jun-2007

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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Type 1 diabetes and heart disease -- Heavier may mean healthier

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences studying links between an early sign of heart disease called coronary artery calcification and body fat have found that, paradoxically, more fat may have some advantages, at least for people – particularly women – who have type 1 diabetes. Cardiovascular complications, including heart disease, are a leading cause of death for people with diabetes, who tend to suffer cardiovascular disease decades earlier than non-diabetics. more  

St. Jude study shows genes play an unexpected role in their own activation

Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered how a single molecular “on switch” triggers gene activity that might cause effects ranging from learning and memory capabilities to glucose production in the liver. more

Alzheimer's-associated enzyme can disrupt neural activity in the brain

An enzyme involved in the formation of the amyloid-beta protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease can also alter the mechanism by which signals are transmitted between brain cells, the disruption of which can cause seizures. These findings from researchers at the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders (MGH-MIND) may explain the increased incidence of seizures in Alzheimer’s patients and suggest that potential treatments that block this enzyme – called beta-secretase or BACE – may alleviate their occurrence. The report will appear in the journal Nature Cell Biology and is receiving early online release. more  

Blood-brain barrier breached by new therapeutic strategy

A major obstacle in the treatment of infections and other diseases of the brain is the blood-brain barrier, which prevents systemically delivered therapeutic drugs from reaching the brain. Grantees of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, have now shown that a short protein (peptide) from the rabies virus can carry a strip of therapeutic material into the brain via intravenous administration. Once delivered to the nerve cells of the brain, the strip, called a small interfering RNA (siRNA), was shown to protect mice from infection caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). more

Clot-dissolving agent may be beneficial in treatment of severe frostbite  

A preliminary study suggests that a blood clot-dissolving medication that is administered to some patients following a stroke or heart attack may help to reduce the risk of amputation following severe frostbite, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more

Long-term etanercept treatment reduces psoriasis severity without increased adverse events 

Extended exposure to the psoriasis medication etanercept does not appear to cause more infections or adverse events than placebo, and improvements in several measures of disease severity were observed for up to 96 weeks of therapy, according to a study in the June issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. more

Women with diabetes left behind in drop in death rates

A new analysis of data from three large national databases finds that in the 29 years between 1971 and 2000, the death rate of men with diabetes has dropped significantly, in line with the overall decline of the death rate for all Americans. But the death rate for women with diabetes did not decline at all. more

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Upsetting the apple cart. Diabetes is yet another disease where heavier may mean healthier. Earlier this week, Vidyya reported that obese people survive some types of heart attack better than their normal weight counterparts. Now comes news that heavier type 1 diabetics may be healthier than their thin counterparts. Do we fully understand the link between weight and health?