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Saturday, December 20, 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Early exposure to antidepressants affects adult anxiety, serotonin transmission

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 01:06 PM PST

Early developmental exposure to two different antidepressants, Prozac and Lexapro, has been studied by researchers in a mouse model that mimics human third trimester medication exposure. They found that, although these serotonin-selective reuptake inhibiting antidepressants were thought to work the same way, they did not produce the same long-term changes in anxiety behavior in the adult mice. About 15 percent of women in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders and depression during their pregnancies, and many are prescribed antidepressants.

New technique reveals immune cell motion

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 01:06 PM PST

Neutrophils, cells recruited by the immune system to fight infection, need to move through a great variety of tissues. New research shows how neutrophils move through confined spaces in the body. A new system can mimic tissues of different densities and stiffness, enabling improved development and testing of drugs.

Reducing emergency surgery cuts health care costs

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 01:05 PM PST

Researchers have determined the hospital costs and risk of death for emergency surgery and compared it to the same operation when performed in a planned, elective manner for three common surgical procedures: abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, coronary artery bypass graft and colon resection. The research indicates that reducing emergency surgery for three common procedures by 10 percent could cut $1 billion in health care costs over 10 years.

Technophobia may keep seniors from using apps to manage diabetes

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 01:05 PM PST

Despite showing interest in web or mobile apps to help manage their type 2 diabetes, only a small number of older adults actually use them, says a new study. Approximately 2.2 million Canadians are living with type 2 diabetes, 2 million of whom are age 50 or older. A study found that although more than 90 per cent of research participants owned a computer or had daily Internet access, just 18 per cent used applications on this technology to help manage their diabetes. While almost half owned smartphones, only 5 per cent used them to manage their disease.

Family criticizing your weight? You might add more pounds

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 01:05 PM PST

Women whose loved ones are critical of their weight tend to put on even more pounds, says a new study on the way people's comments affect our health. "When we feel bad about our bodies, we often turn to loved ones -- families, friends and romantic partners -- for support and advice. How they respond can have a bigger effect than we might think," said one author.

Gene critical for proper brain development discovered

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 07:41 AM PST

A genetic pathway has been found that accounts for the extraordinary size of the human brain. The research team has identified a gene, KATNB1, as an essential component in a genetic pathway responsible for central nervous system development in humans and other animals.

Helping parents understand infant sleep patterns

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 07:41 AM PST

Most parents are not surprised by the irregularity of a newborn infant's sleep patterns, but by six months or so many parents wonder if something is wrong with their baby or their sleeping arrangements if the baby is not sleeping through the night. Health-care providers, specifically nurse practitioners, can help parents understand what 'normal' sleep patterns are for their child, according to researchers.

Cells identified that enhance tumor growth and suppress anti-cancer immune attack

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 07:39 AM PST

A study has identified the population of white blood cells that tumors use to enhance growth and suppress the disease-fighting immune system. The results mark a turning point in cancer immunology and provide the foundation for developing more effective immunotherapies.

Neuroscientists identify brain mechanisms that predict generosity in children

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 07:39 AM PST

Developmental neuroscientists have found specific brain markers that predict generosity in children. Those neural markers appear to be linked to both social and moral evaluation processes. Although young children are natural helpers, their perspective on sharing resources tends to be selfish.

Parents' BMI decreases with child involved in school-based, community obesity intervention

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 07:39 AM PST

Parents of children involved in an elementary school-based community intervention to prevent obesity appear to share in its health benefits. A new analysis shows an association between being exposed to the intervention as a parent and a modest decrease in body mass index (BMI) compared to parents in two similar control communities.

OCD patients' brains light up to reveal how compulsive habits develop

Posted: 19 Dec 2014 05:51 AM PST

Misfiring of the brain's control system might underpin compulsions in obsessive-compulsive disorder, according to researchers.

High socioeconomic status increases discrimination, depression risk in black young adults

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 06:01 PM PST

An investigation into factors related to disparities of depression in young adults has found that higher parental education -- which has a protective effect for white youth -- can also increase the risk of depression for black youth by increasing the discrimination they experience.

Latest evidence on using hormone replacement therapy for treating menopausal symptoms

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 06:00 PM PST

Hormone replacement therapy is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, in particular for younger women at the onset of the menopause, suggests a new review, which highlights that menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and night sweats are common, affecting around 70% of women for an average of 5 years but may continue for many years in about 10% of women.

Tooth loss linked to slowing mind, body

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 06:00 PM PST

The memory and walking speeds of adults who have lost all of their teeth decline more rapidly than in those who still have some of their own teeth, finds new research. The association between total tooth loss and memory was explained after the results of a study were fully adjusted for a wide range of factors, such as sociodemographic characteristics, existing health problems, physical health, health behaviors, such as smoking and drinking, depression, relevant biomarkers, and particularly socioeconomic status. However, after adjusting for all possible factors, people without teeth still walked slightly slower than those with teeth.

People with blood groups A, B and AB at higher risk of type 2 diabetes than group O

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 06:00 PM PST

A study of more than 80,000 women has uncovered different risks of developing type 2 diabetes associated with different blood groups, with the biggest difference a 35 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes found in those with group B, Rhesus factor positive blood compared with the universal donor group O, Rhesus factor negative.

Don't be tempted to buy your teen a cheap (old) car, parents warned

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 06:00 PM PST

Almost half of teen drivers killed on US roads in the past few years were driving vehicles that were 11 or more years old, and often lacking key safety features, reveals research. Parents, who are usually the ones stumping up for a car, could be putting their children's lives at risk by focusing on cost, warn the researchers.

Less than half of UK prescriptions for antipsychotics issued for main licensed conditions

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 06:00 PM PST

Less than half of UK prescriptions for antipsychotic drugs are being issued to treat the serious mental illnesses for which they are mainly licensed, reveals research. Instead, they may often be prescribed 'off label' to older people with other conditions, such as anxiety and dementia, despite the greater risk of potentially serious side effects in this age group, the findings indicate.

Local enforcement of federal immigration laws affects immigrant Hispanics' healthcare

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 06:00 PM PST

State and local enforcement of federal immigration laws can have an adverse impact on the use of health care services by immigrant Hispanics, according to a new study, which analyzed both birth records and information collected in focus groups and individual interviews.

Older kidney donors with hypertension may have good kidney health following donation

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 05:57 PM PST

Kidney donors with hypertension had slightly fewer nephrons (the kidney's filtering units) at the time of donation than similarly aged donors with normal blood pressure; however, 6 months following their surgery, hypertensive and non-hypertensive donors both maintained excellent blood pressure control and had similarly robust compensatory kidney responses.

Cell-associated HIV mucosal transmission: The neglected pathway

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 12:45 PM PST

Scientists are challenging dogma about the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Most research has focused on infection by free viral particles, while this group of researchers proposes that HIV is also transmitted by infected cells.

RNA measurements may yield less insight about gene expression than assumed

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 12:44 PM PST

The majority of RNA expression differences between individuals have no connection to the abundance of a corresponding protein, report scientists. The results point to a yet-unidentified gene regulatory mechanism.

Resistance to anti-viral drug may be more likely in cystic fibrosis patients

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 11:10 AM PST

Following lung transplantation, resistance to the anti-viral drug ganciclovir may be more likely in cystic fibrosis patients, scientists report. Ganciclovir is given to lung transplant patients to protect against a life-threatening virus that is common after transplantation, and reduces mortality due to the virus from 34 percent to between 3 and 6 percent. But between 5 percent and 10 percent of patients infected with the virus have strains that are resistant to the drug.

Scientists identify new, beneficial function of endogenous retroviruses in immune response

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 11:10 AM PST

Endogenous retroviruses play a critical role in the body's immune defense against common bacterial and viral pathogens, researchers have found. Retroviruses are best known for causing contagious scourges such as AIDS, or more sporadically, cancer.

Bacterial infections differ based on geography, healthcare spending

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 11:10 AM PST

Bacterial infections differ based on distance from the equator and spending on health care, researchers have discovered. In their study, 23 health centers on six continents participated in study of bloodstream infections.

'Deep learning' finds autism, cancer mutations in unexplored regions of genome

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 11:10 AM PST

Scientists have built a computer model that has uncovered disease-causing mutations in large regions of the genome that previously could not be explored. Their method seeks out mutations that cause changes in 'gene splicing,' and has revealed unexpected genetic determinants of autism, colon cancer and spinal muscular atrophy.

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