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Saturday, November 15, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Do spinal cord injuries cause subsequent brain damage?

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 10:10 AM PST

Spinal cord injuries can cause widespread and sustained brain inflammation that leads to progressive loss of nerve cells, with associated cognitive problems and depression, researchers have found for the first time.

Crucial mechanism driving colliding epidemics of smoking, TB unlocked by scientists

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:49 AM PST

TB is an infectious disease that kills 1.5 million people each year and smoking is the biggest driver of the global TB epidemic. Medical scientists have unlocked the mechanism underlying the connection between smoking and Tuberculosis. This discovery will considerably strengthen anti-smoking efforts to control TB and uncovers new therapy and vaccine options for TB.

New imaging technique identifies receptors for targeted cancer therapy

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:49 AM PST

A fluorescence imaging technique has been developed that can more accurately identify receptors for targeted cancer therapies without a tissue biopsy. "Accurately determining the population of protein receptors in a tumor available for targeting by molecular therapies or diagnostic imaging agents can greatly impact oncology patient outcomes," said one investigator. "Our in vivo receptor concentration imaging technique is a novel approach for fluorescence imaging that can potentially impact clinical assessment of tumor status and malignant tissue classification."

Cutting-edge computer software helps pinpoint aggressiveness of breast cancer tumors

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:49 AM PST

Cutting-edge genetic mutation-analysis software is being used to interpret mutations in tumor genomes that may provide insight into determining which breast cancer tumors are more likely spread to other parts of the body and which ones won't.

Chemical in coffee may help prevent obesity-related disease

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:49 AM PST

A chemical compound commonly found in coffee may help prevent some of the damaging effects of obesity. Scientists have found that chlorogenic acid, or CGA, significantly reduced insulin resistance and accumulation of fat in the livers of mice who were fed a high-fat diet.

DNA sequencing helps identify genetic defects in glaucoma

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:49 AM PST

Scientists have sequenced the mitochondrial genome in glaucoma patients to help further understanding into the genetic basis for the disease. Glaucoma is a major cause of irreversible blindness, affecting more than 60 million people worldwide, increasing to an estimated 79.6 million people by 2020. It is thought that the condition has genetic origins and many experiments have shown that new sequencing approaches could help understand how the condition develops.

Mapping future of adolescent substance use treatment

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:45 AM PST

Adolescent substance use treatment is at a critical turning point – treatment success is short-lived and the field lacks a definitive best approach. Researchers have conducted a comprehensive literature review to identify the common traits underlying different therapies aimed at reducing substance use and then recommend future directions.

Fragile X Syndrome: Orphan designation for molecule

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:45 AM PST

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has granted "orphan designation" to BMS 204352(1), a molecule developed by French researchers to treat Fragile X Syndrome, a rare genetic disease for which there exists no treatment. Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic disease that causes inherited intellectual disability often associated with autism spectrum disorders as well as with characteristic physical signs. Affecting almost one in 4,000 infants, this is one of the most frequent rare diseases, but there is no existing treatment.

Telephone Coaches Improve Children's Asthma Treatment

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:44 AM PST

Peer trainers who coach parents over the phone on managing their children's asthma can sharply reduce the number of days the kids experience symptoms, a new study shows. The program also dramatically decreased ER visits and hospitalizations among low-income children with Medicaid insurance.

Sleep apnea may contribute to kidney disease progression

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:44 AM PST

Sleep apnea may accelerate kidney function decline in diabetic patients with kidney disease, a study shows. "This study shows that a high-risk score for obstructive sleep apnea is common in non-dialysis chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with diabetic nephropathy and is associated with more rapid loss of renal function," the investigators concluded. "This simple approach identifies patients at higher risk of CKD progression."

How to get teens, young adults with chronic conditions to take their medications

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:44 AM PST

Many young patients with chronic conditions don't take their medications correctly, but two new studies point to ways to address such medication non-adherence. "Young adult patients are at a critical point in their educational, psychological, and professional development that will shape their future life. Increasing the survival of their transplants will lead to higher levels of education and employment rates, which will be financially beneficial to society," said one researcher.

Nerve block procedure is safe in children, report researchers

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:43 AM PST

A regional anesthesia procedure widely used for surgery in infants and young children is effective and safe, with a minimal rate of serious complications, concludes a large database study.

First successful delivery of dialysis in Ebola virus disease provided

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:43 AM PST

Acute kidney injury occurs frequently in Ebola virus disease; however, providing hemodialysis to these patients was previously thought to be too risky. Clinicians recently accomplished the first known successful delivery of renal replacement therapy with subsequent recovery of kidney function in a patient with Ebola virus disease.

Could Depression Actually Be a Form of Infectious Disease?

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 09:43 AM PST

Major depressive disorder (MDD) should be re-conceptualized as an infectious disease, according to a professor. A new article suggests that major depression may result from parasitic, bacterial, or viral infection. The article presents examples that illustrate possible pathways by which these microorganisms could contribute to the etiology of MDD.

Nonsmokers in automobiles are exposed to significant secondhand smoke

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 06:00 AM PST

Nonsmokers sitting in an automobile with a smoker for one hour had markers of significantly increased levels of carcinogens and other toxins in their urine, indicating that secondhand smoke in motor vehicles poses a potentially major health risk according to a groundbreaking study.

Having children does not lead to more sickness absence

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:58 AM PST

Women with children are not more absent from work, do not receive more social insurance benefits and do not have higher mortality rates than most other employees. These findings are the result of a recent, comprehensive Norwegian study.

Kidney function monitoring vital for people on lithium

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:58 AM PST

People with bipolar disorder who are being treated with the drug lithium are at risk of acute kidney damage and need careful monitoring, according to new research. Lithium is a mainstay treatment for bipolar disorder and it is known that the drug can cause a loss of kidney function. The new research establishes the link between short-term exposure to high levels and potential damage to the kidneys.

New insight into common cause of blindness

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:58 AM PST

An important new factor behind one of the major causes of blindness has been discovered by scientists, which they hope could lead to new treatments. Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the major cause of blindness in the western world, affecting around 50 million people. It has been shown that sufferers are genetically predisposed to develop the condition.

New mechanism for growth control discovered

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:56 AM PST

Research on Drosophila reveals that once activated during starvation, a newly-discovered regulatory system prevents the secretion of insulin like peptides, the counterparts of IGF and insulin in mammals.

Expression of SIP1 protein indicates poor prognosis in pharyngeal cancer

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:56 AM PST

The expression of SIP1 protein in pharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma tumors often indicates an advanced tumor stage, a high risk of recurrence and a poor prognosis, according to research. Based on the results, SIP1 is a potential new prognostic factor for clinical use, helping to single out patients with more aggressive tumor behavior requiring more intensive therapy and closer follow-up.

Portable device for hearing the heart of mother and her baby

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:56 AM PST

A new portable device is able to detect both the electrical activity emitted by the heart of the mom as from the unborn baby's.

Scientists uncover vast numbers of DNA 'blind spots' that may hide cancer-causing mistakes

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:56 AM PST

More than 400 'blind spots' in DNA have been discovered, which researchers say could hide cancer-causing gene faults. The researchers found hidden faults in areas that are tricky for gene-reading technology to decode. This technique, which unravels cancer's genetic blueprint, is an important part of the research that scientists carry out to understand more about cancer's biology.

Cannabis extract can have dramatic effect on brain cancer, says new research

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:56 AM PST

Experts have shown that when certain parts of cannabis are used to treat cancer tumors alongside radio therapy treatment the growths can virtually disappear.

Killing cancer by protecting normal cells

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:54 AM PST

An anti-cancer drug protects normal cells from radiation damage and increases the effectiveness of radiation therapy in prostate cancer models, investigators report. Using human prostate cancer cells growing in mice, the researchers also showed that RTA 408 did not confer radiation protection to the cancer cells. In fact, when RTA 408 was given alone, without radiation, it also slowed the growth of human prostate cancer transplants in mice. In combination, it further amplified the tumor growth inhibitory effects of radiation.

Sonar-assisted human navigation

Posted: 14 Nov 2014 05:53 AM PST

STEM incubator students have developed a device inspired by bat sonar to help those with visual impairment. "We were inspired by bat sonar, we learned about it, and then we used it to develop a new product. The students took the idea and made it happen," their professor has noted.

'Hidden' emissions in traded meat calculated by researchers

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:51 PM PST

The amount of methane and nitrous oxide that countries release into the atmosphere when producing meat from livestock has been estimated, for the first time, but an international team of researchers. This study assigned the emissions to the countries where the meat is ultimately consumed.

Britain's obese in denial about their weight

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:50 PM PST

A majority of obese people in Britain would not describe themselves as "obese", and many would not even describe themselves as "very overweight", according to a study.

Technology developed to improve lung cancer detection, treatment

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:49 PM PST

A technology that improves the detection of tumors during radiation therapy for early-stage lung cancer has been developed by researchers. Their approach uses dual-energy imaging combined with fluoroscopy to view tumors during radiation therapy. This technology does not require an X-ray that produces both high-and low-energy images.

New Alzheimer's-related memory disorder identified

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:49 PM PST

A multi-institutional study has defined and established criteria for a new neurological disease closely resembling Alzheimer's disease called primary age-related tauopathy (PART). Patients with PART develop cognitive impairment that can be indistinguishable from Alzheimer's disease, but they lack amyloid plaques. Awareness of this neurological disease will help doctors diagnose and develop more effective treatments for patients with different types of memory impairment.

Gene variants in organ donors linked to shorter survival of transplanted kidneys

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:49 PM PST

Transplanted kidneys may not function long-term if they come from donors with variants in a particular gene. Results from a study confirmed that 2 APOL1 gene variants in donor kidneys were associated with more than a 2-fold increased risk of organ failure after transplantation.

Nearly all patients with chronic kidney disease should take statins, guidelines indicate

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 04:49 PM PST

A comparison of two different cholesterol management guidelines indicates that the vast majority of patients with chronic kidney disease are recommended to receive statins. 50% of people with chronic kidney disease who are recommended to receive statins are not taking them, the study shows.

Key mechanism, potential target to prevent leukemia found

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 12:29 PM PST

Two proteins that appear crucial to the development -- and patient relapse -- of acute myeloid leukemia have been found by researchers. They have also shown they can block the development of leukemia by targeting those proteins.

Scientists find way to reduce ovarian cancer tumors, chemo doses

Posted: 13 Nov 2014 12:29 PM PST

In a potential breakthrough against ovarian cancer, researchers have discovered how to both shrink tumors and improve drug delivery, allowing for lower doses of chemotherapy and reducing side effects.

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