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Friday, October 3, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Hospitals with aggressive treatment styles had lower failure-to-rescue rates

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 03:59 PM PDT

Hospitals with aggressive treatment styles, also known as high hospital care intensity, had lower rates of patients dying from a major complication but longer hospitalizations.

Hypertension risk rises closer to major roadways

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 03:57 PM PDT

In a newly published analysis, the risk of high blood pressure among 5,400 post-menopausal women was higher the closer they lived to a major roadway. The result, which accounts for a wide variety of possible confounding factors, adds to concerns that traffic exposure may present public health risks.

Decreased ability to identify odors can predict death: Olfactory dysfunction is a harbinger of mortality

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 12:55 PM PDT

The inability of older adults to identify scents is a strong predictor of death within five years. Almost 40% of those who failed a smelling test died during that period, compared to 10% of those with a healthy sense of smell. Olfactory dysfunction predicted mortality better than a diagnosis of heart failure or cancer.

First diagnosed case of Ebola in the U.S.: What now?

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 12:44 PM PDT

A patient being treated at a Dallas hospital is the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, health officials announced yesterday. Now that the first case has been reported, what does this all mean for the rest of the country, and what types of precautions should Americans take?

Fertility preservation option for young boys with cancer

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 10:34 AM PDT

Treatments for certain childhood cancers come with a high risk of sterility. A new research study for young boys is focused on fertility preservation and restoration.

Why wet feels wet: Understanding the illusion of wetness

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 10:34 AM PDT

Though it seems simple, feeling that something is wet is quite a feat because our skin does not have receptors that sense wetness. UK researchers propose that wetness perception is intertwined with our ability to sense cold temperature and tactile sensations such as pressure and texture.

Gut bacteria are protected by host during illness

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 10:34 AM PDT

To protect their gut microbes during illness, sick mice produce specialized sugars in the gut that feed their microbiota and maintain a healthy microbial balance. This protective mechanism also appears to help resist or tolerate additional harmful pathogens, and its disruption may play a role in human diseases such as Crohn's disease.

Intervention helps decrease 'mean girl' behaviors, researchers find

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 10:32 AM PDT

Relational aggression, or 'mean girl' bullying, is a popular subject in news and entertainment media. This nonphysical form of aggression generally used among adolescent girls includes gossiping, rumor spreading, exclusion and rejection. As media coverage has illustrated, relational aggression can lead to tragic and sometimes fatal outcomes. Researchers have now developed and tested an intervention that effectively decreases relational aggression among teen girls.

Treatment of substance abuse can lessen risk of future violence in mentally ill

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 10:31 AM PDT

If a person is dually diagnosed with a severe mental illness and a substance abuse problem, are improvements in their mental health or in their substance abuse most likely to reduce the risk of future violence? A new study suggests that reducing substance abuse has a greater influence in reducing violent acts by patients with severe mental illness.

What happens in our brain when we unlock a door? Research sheds light on Aprixia condition

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 10:31 AM PDT

People who are unable to button up their jacket or who find it difficult to insert a key in lock suffer from a condition known as apraxia. This means that their motor skills have been impaired -- as a result of a stroke, for instance. Scientists have now discovered that there is a specific network in the brain for using tools.

Giving botox a safer facelift: Structures of botulinum neurotoxins studied

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 10:30 AM PDT

New insights into botulinum neurotoxins and their interactions with cells are moving scientists ever closer to safer forms of Botox and a better understanding of the dangerous disease known as botulism. By comparing all known structures of botulinum neurotoxins, researchers suggest new ways to improve the safety and efficacy of Botox injections.

FDG-PET/CT shows promise for breast cancer patients younger than 40

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:27 AM PDT

PET/CT imaging of patients younger than 40 who were initially diagnosed with stage I–III breast cancer resulted in change of diagnosis, a study shows. While guidelines recommend FDG-PET/CT imaging only for women with stage III breast cancer, it can also help physicians more accurately diagnose young breast cancer patients initially diagnosed with earlier stages of the disease.

New drug-delivery capsule may replace injections

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:27 AM PDT

A pill coated with tiny needles can deliver drugs directly into the lining of the digestive tract, researchers have found, suggesting that the end of injections may be near.

ZEB1: Oscar for leading role in fat storage

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:26 AM PDT

A research team has managed to decode the process of adipogenesis by identifying the precise proteins that play the leading roles in fat absorption. There are many actors involved in the process of adipogenesis, used by the body to store the fat that it absorbs from food. Up to now there had been some uncertainty as to how it was regulated. Yet, understanding this mechanism is of crucial importance to prevent the diseases related to fat accumulation in adipose tissue.

Paint on 'smart' bandage emits phosphorescent glow for healing below

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:26 AM PDT

Inspired by a desire to help wounded soldiers, a team of researchers has created a paint-on, see-through, 'smart' bandage that glows to indicate a wound's tissue oxygenation concentration. Because oxygen plays a critical role in healing, mapping these levels in severe wounds and burns can help significantly improve the success of surgeries to restore limbs and physical functions.

Medical discovery first step on path to new painkillers

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:26 AM PDT

A major medical discovery could lead to the development of an entirely new type of painkiller, scientists suggest. The new drug would offer new hope to sufferers of chronic pain conditions such as traumatic nerve injury, for which few effective painkillers are currently available, they say.

Robot researcher combines nature to nurture 'superhuman' navigation

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:25 AM PDT

Researchers are investigating realistic navigation for robots using computer modeling of the human eye and the brain of a rat.

Acupuncture does not improve chronic knee pain, study finds

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:25 AM PDT

In patients older than 50 years with moderate or severe chronic knee pain, acupuncture did not provide any benefit, a study has concluded. Acupuncture is the most popular of alternative medical systems. Although traditionally administered with needles, laser acupuncture (low-intensity laser therapy to acupuncture points) is a non-invasive alternative with evidence of benefit in some pain conditions.

Eighty percent of bowel cancers halted with existing medicines

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:25 AM PDT

More than 80 percent of bowel cancers could be treated with existing drugs, an international team of scientists say at the conclusion of their study. The study found that medicines called 'JAK inhibitors' halted tumor growth in bowel cancers with a genetic mutation that is present in more than 80 per cent of bowel cancers. Multiple JAK inhibitors are currently used, or are in clinical trials, for diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, blood cancers and myeloproliferative disorders.

Fat chats: The good, the bad and the ugly comments

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:24 AM PDT

Cyberbullying and hurtful "fat jokes" are disturbingly prevalent in the social media environment, especially on Twitter, says the lead author of a study that analyzed well over a million social media posts and comments about weight matters. However, the researchers were also happy to find that the news was not all bad: many instances of support and advice were also observed, especially on blogs and forums.

What to anticipate after you've heard those dreaded words 'you have breast cancer'

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:20 AM PDT

A new article looks at breast cancer and provides insight on what a patient may anticipate. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that can invade other parts of the body. For American women, breast cancer is the second most common cancer (second only to skin cancer). About 12 percent of women in the United States will battle invasive breast cancer at one point during their lifetime.

Lift weights, improve your memory, study shows

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 07:20 AM PDT

Here's another reason why it's a good idea to hit the gym: it can improve memory. A new study shows that an intense workout of as little as 20 minutes can enhance episodic memory, also known as long-term memory for previous events, by about 10 percent in healthy young adults.

Insight into challenges facing college athletes

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 06:03 AM PDT

A new study sheds light on how some collegiate student-athletes deal with uncertainties ranging from excelling in both school and sports to their career prospects outside of athletics, and urges university athletic programs to adopt new efforts to support student-athletes.

Predicting future course of psychotic illness

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 06:03 AM PDT

Psychiatry researchers have developed a model that could help to predict a patient's likelihood of a good outcome from treatment -- from their very first psychotic episode.

Keeping your eyes on the prize can help with exercise, study finds

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 06:03 AM PDT

The adage that encourages people to keep their 'eyes on the prize' may be on target when it comes to exercise. When walking, staying focused on a specific target ahead can make the distance to it appear shorter and help people walk there faster, psychology researchers have found.

Is Australia prepared for Ebola?

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 06:02 AM PDT

Australia needs to be proactive about potential disease outbreaks like Ebola and establish a national center for disease control, an expert says, while he questions Australia's preparation for public health crises.

Immunotherapy could stop resistance to radiotherapy

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 06:02 AM PDT

Treating cancers with immunotherapy and radiotherapy at the same time could stop them from becoming resistant to treatment, scientists report. Radiotherapy is a very successful treatment for many forms of cancer, but in cancer cells that it doesn't kill it can switch on a 'flag' on their surface, called PD-L1, that tricks the body's defences into thinking that cancerous cells pose no threat.

Effect of topical antibiotics on antibiotic resistance, patient outcomes in ICUs

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 06:02 AM PDT

A comparison of prophylactic antibiotic regimens applied to an area in the mouth and throat and digestive tract were associated with low levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and no differences in patient survival and intensive care unit length of stay, according to a study.

Power can corrupt even the honest

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 06:01 AM PDT

When appointing a new leader, selectors base their choice on several factors and typically look for leaders with desirable characteristics such as honesty and trustworthiness. However once leaders are in power, can we trust them to exercise it in a prosocial manner? New research looked to discover whether power corrupts leaders.

Omega-3 fatty acids may prevent some forms of depression

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 06:01 AM PDT

Patients with increased inflammation, including those receiving cytokines for medical treatment, have a greatly increased risk of depression. For example, a 6-month treatment course of interferon-alpha therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus infection causes depression in approximately 30% of patients. Omega-3 fatty acids have a long list of health benefits, including lowering the risk of heart disease and reducing triglyceride levels. These nutritional compounds are also known to have anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Non-traditional donor lungs appear safe for transplant

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 05:59 AM PDT

Patients receiving lungs from donors whose cause of death was asphyxiation or drowning have similar outcomes and long-term survival as patients receiving lungs from traditional donors, researchers report.

Strict blood sugar control after heart surgery may not be necessary

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 05:59 AM PDT

Patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery may not have to follow a strict blood sugar management strategy after surgery, experts suggest.

Gene interacts with stress, leads to heart disease in some people

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 05:59 AM PDT

Some people who are prone to hostility, anxiety and depression might also be hard-wired to gain weight when exposed to chronic stress, leading to diabetes and heart disease, a new genetic finding suggests. An estimated 13 percent of people, all of whom are Caucasian, might carry the genetic susceptibility, and knowing this could help them reduce heart disease with simple interventions such as a healthy diet, exercise and stress management.

To improve oral health of adults with developmental disabilities, improve support for caregivers

Posted: 01 Oct 2014 05:59 AM PDT

The first large-scale study in the U.S. to investigate at-home oral care for adults with developmental disabilities suggests that future policy initiatives should focus on improving sources of support for caregivers, in addition to addressing access to care.

Geneticists solve 40-year-old dilemma to explain why duplicate genes remain in the genome

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 06:22 PM PDT

After 40 years of wondering why, scientists have discovered that duplicate genes confer 'mutational robustness' in individuals, which allows them to adapt to novel, potentially dangerous environments.

Genetic study casts further doubt that vitamin D prevents the development of type 2 diabetes

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 06:20 PM PDT

There is no evidence of a causal link between a person's vitamin D levels, and whether they develop type 2 diabetes, a large study has concluded. The findings of this study challenge evidence from earlier observational studies which suggest that higher concentrations of circulating vitamin D might prevent type 2 diabetes.

EEG's potential to reveal depolarizations following TBI

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 02:15 PM PDT

The potential for doctors to measure damaging 'brain tsunamis' in injured patients without opening the skull has moved a step closer to reality, thanks to new pioneering research. The discovery has the potential to revolutionize bedside neuro-monitoring by enabling doctors to measure spreading depolarizations, which lead to worse outcomes, in patients who do not require surgery.

Low social support linked to poor health in young heart attack survivors

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 02:15 PM PDT

Lower social support is associated with poorer health and quality of life and more depressive symptoms in young men and women a year after having a heart attack. Social support is the perception of having friends or family who serve as confidants and companions, offer advice and information, show emotional concern, or provide financial or material support.

'Virtual breast' could improve cancer detection

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 01:07 PM PDT

A 'virtual breast' has been developed to help train clinicians in the use of ultrasound elastography. The advanced imaging technique holds promise for improving cancer detection, but only if the results are interpreted properly.

Tongue size, fat may predict sleep apnea risk in obese adults

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 01:07 PM PDT

A new study of obese adults is the first to show that those who have obstructive sleep apnea have a significantly larger tongue with a higher percentage of fat than obese controls. This may provide a mechanistic explanation for the relationship between obesity and sleep apnea.

Expect 6,000 more Australian deaths if pollution rises to 'safe' threshold

Posted: 30 Sep 2014 10:27 AM PDT

The National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM) in Australia has set maximum daily limits, or 'standards', for six key outdoor pollutants, which one expert says many authorities wrongly assume to be 'safe' thresholds for health. To test that assumption, he calculated what the health effects would be if the current average levels of five of those pollutants across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane were to rise to just below the NEPM 'safe' standards.

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