Referral Banners

Thursday, January 15, 2015

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Dehydration common among patients admitted to hospital from care homes

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 05:57 PM PST

Patients admitted to hospital from care homes are commonly dehydrated on admission and consequently appear to experience significantly greater risks of in-hospital mortality, researchers report. Old and infirm people are at increased risk of dehydration, especially if they require assistance with drinking and, left to themselves, may not drink enough to avoid dehydration.

Does screening asymptomatic adults for major disease save lives? It seems not

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 05:56 PM PST

Screening for disease is a key component of modern healthcare. Yet, new surprising new research shows that few currently available screening tests for major diseases where death is a common outcome have documented reductions in disease-specific mortality. Evidence was evaluated on 16 screening tests for 9 major diseases where mortality is a common outcome. The researchers found 45 randomized controlled trials and 98 meta-analyses that evaluated disease-specific or all-cause mortality. Reductions in disease-specific mortality were uncommon and reductions in all-cause mortality were very uncommon.

Sexual objectification increases women's fear of crime

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:28 PM PST

A new study offers an explanation for why women fear face-to-face crime more than men, despite being less likely to experience most crimes. The findings support the theory that women may have a greater fear of crime due to the potential of also being raped during these encounters.

HIV/AIDS patients in Deep South of U.S. have lower survival rates

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:28 PM PST

A nine-state region of the US South has the nation's lowest five-year survival rate among people diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, according to new research. Fifteen percent of people diagnosed with HIV and 27 percent of those diagnosed with AIDS in 2003-2004 had died within five years of diagnosis. Researchers say poverty, education, health insurance, social stigma and racism contribute.

Helicopter parenting better for pets than for kids

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:28 PM PST

Helicopter parenting may not be the best strategy for raising independent kids. But a healthy measure of overprotectiveness could actually be advantageous when raising dogs and cats, according to a new study that compares 'dog people' to 'cat people' and correlates neuroticism with better pet care.

One punch to knock out flu

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:25 PM PST

When comparing the potency of an isolated strain-specific flu antibody (the type that current vaccines generate) with an isolated broadly-neutralizing flu antibody (the type generated by universal vaccines) in a lab setting, the latter have much weaker neutralization activity than the strain-specific antibodies, researchers report.

Depression, behavioral changes may precede memory loss in Alzheimer's

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 01:25 PM PST

Depression and behavioral changes may occur before memory declines in people who will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to new research. Researchers have known that many people with Alzheimer's experience depression, irritability, apathy and appetite loss but had not recognized how early these symptoms appear before now.

Platelet transfusions increase odds of death in some rare blood cell disorders

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 12:29 PM PST

People hospitalized with certain rare blood cell disorders frequently receive a treatment that is associated with a two- to fivefold increase in death, according to a new study that reviewed hospital records nationwide. The authors recommend that for the rare disorders thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, doctors should administer the treatment, a platelet transfusion, only in exceptional circumstances.

Endobronchial forceps effective in retrieval of tip-embedded inferior vena cava (IVC) filters

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 12:29 PM PST

When retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters were approved for use in the United States in 2003 to prevent pulmonary embolism among patients unable to receive the standard blood thinner treatment, many experts anticipated most of them would be removed when no longer needed and IVC filter complications would decrease. Instead, the number of IVC filters placed has more than doubled in the last 10 years, and by some estimates, less than half of these retrievable devices are actually removed each year.

Lack of exercise responsible for twice as many early deaths as obesity

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:31 AM PST

A brisk 20 minute walk each day could be enough to reduce an individual's risk of early death, according to new research published today. The study of over 334,000 European men and women found that twice as many deaths may be attributable to lack of physical activity compared with the number of deaths attributable to obesity, but that just a modest increase in physical activity could have significant health benefits.

Combat veterans' brains reveal hidden damage from IED blasts

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:06 AM PST

The brains of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans who survived blasts from improvised explosive devices and died later of other causes show a honeycomb of broken and swollen nerve fibers in critical brain regions, including those that control executive function. The pattern is different from brain damage caused by car crashes, drug overdoses or collision sports, and may be the never-before-reported signature of 'shell shock' suffered by World War I soldiers.

Taking sightlessness for a spin can harm people's attitudes toward blindness

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:05 AM PST

Using simulation to walk in the shoes of a person who is blind -- such as wearing a blindfold while performing everyday tasks -- has negative effects on people's perceptions of the visually impaired, according to a study.

Are all rattlesnakes created equal? No, maybe not

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:05 AM PST

New research by a team of biologists has revealed that creating antivenom is a bit tricky. That's because the type of venom a snake produces can change according to where it lives.

Cancer fighting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy moves to clinical trial

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:00 AM PST

Cancer fighting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, developed in the Sentman laboratory of Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center, are taking the next step into a Phase I clinical trial beginning early in 2015.

List of top 50 game-changing technologies for defeating global poverty

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 11:00 AM PST

The aim of the 50 Breakthroughs study is to give philanthropies, aid agencies, businesses, and technologists a blueprint for where to invest their resources to achieve the highest impact.

Advanced 3-D facial imaging may aid in early detection of autism

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:56 AM PST

Autism is a spectrum of closely related disorders diagnosed in patients who exhibit a shared core of symptoms, including delays in learning to communicate and interact socially. Early detection of autism in children is the key for treatment. Using advanced 3-D imaging and statistical analysis techniques, researchers have identified facial measurements in children with autism that may lead to screening tools for young children and provide clues to genetic causes.

US needs harm-reduction approach to drug use, researcher says

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:56 AM PST

The United States' law-and-order approach to reducing the supply of drugs and punishing sellers and users has impeded the development of a public health model that views drug addiction as a disease that is preventable and treatable. A new policy paper advocates that a harm-reduction approach would more effectively reduce the negative individual and societal consequences of drug use.

Health outcomes improve in states where nurse practitioners independently provide care

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

Many states do not allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to perform primary care duties to their full potential; however, researchers say APRNs can help relieve the shortage of healthcare workers and expand access to care for underserved populations. In a recently published study, researchers found that quality of health care is improved in states where APRNs are allowed to practice independently.

How to predict responses to disease

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

Sometimes the response to the outbreak of a disease can make things worse -- such as when people panic and flee, potentially spreading the disease to new areas. The ability to anticipate when such overreactions might occur could help public health officials take steps to limit the dangers.

Shoulder to the wheel: Parental intervention improves teen driving

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

Seven 16- to 19-year-olds die every day as a result of injuries incurred from road crashes. But attempts to address the problem through legislation or technological innovation have yielded limited results. Now a new study proves that a two-pronged strategy of vigilant parental intervention along with monitoring technology improves the safety of young drivers on the road.

Clinical trial examines safety, effectiveness of drug to treat binge eating disorder

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

At some doses, the medication lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, a drug approved to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, was effective compared with placebo in decreasing binge-eating days in patients with binge-eating disorder, a public health problem associated symptoms of mental illness and obesity and for which there are no approved medications, according to a study.

Patients with advanced colon cancer having less surgery, better survival

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:55 AM PST

The annual rate of primary tumor removal for advanced stage IV colorectal cancer has decreased since 1988 and the trend toward nonsurgical management of the disease noted in 2001 coincides with the availability of newer chemotherapy and biologic treatments, according to a report.

Patients across Europe to get improved access to pain medicines

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:53 AM PST

Governments in 12 European countries are to implement the recommendations of research into why more patients are not receiving essential painkillers. "People hopefully will now have more access to accessible, affordable and available opioid medicines and our report provides a template which can be used not only in Europe but in other parts of the world," one investigator notes.

Potassium salts aid bone health, limit osteoporosis risk, new research finds

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 08:53 AM PST

The potassium salts (bicarbonate and citrate) plentiful in fruit and vegetables, play an important part in improving bone health, researchers have found. For the first time, the results also showed that these potassium salts reduce bone resorption, the process by which bone is broken down, therefore increasing their strength.

Levels of 'Molly,' aka ecstasy, spike in rivers near music festival

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:17 AM PST

The illicit drug called 'Molly' or ecstasy is a serious concern for parents, law enforcement and now for environmentalists. Scientists report that a major music festival in Taiwan coincides with a spike in the drug's levels in nearby rivers. Not only does this highlight drug abuse at the concert, but the scientists say it also focuses attention on potential effects the substance could have on aquatic life.

Tattoo-like sensor can detect glucose levels without painful finger prick

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:17 AM PST

The first ultra-thin, flexible device that sticks to skin like a rub-on tattoo can detect a person's glucose levels. The sensor has the potential to eliminate finger-pricking for many people with diabetes.

Long duration weightlessness in space induces a blood shift

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

In space, the shift of blood and fluid from the lower to the upper body caused by weightlessness is much higher and the blood pressure much lower than previously thought, researchers have found.

Biomarkers linked to long-term kidney damage, death in critically ill

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:16 AM PST

High levels of two novel urinary biomarkers early in critical illness are associated with adverse long-term outcomes in patients with acute kidney injury (AKI), according to an international, multi-center study. AKI is a condition that often affects those in intensive care and can occur hours to days after serious infections, surgery or taking certain medications.

Trans buddy program to support LGBT patients

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:15 AM PST

Fear of being stigmatized by health care professionals is a barrier for many patients who are members of the LGBT community — it's one of the most-reported reasons transgender individuals do not go to the doctor. Two researchers want to change that. This month the pair, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, will begin serving as advocates for a pilot program called Trans Buddy.

Stone Age humans weren't necessarily more advanced than Neanderthals

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 07:15 AM PST

A multi-purpose bone tool dating from the Neanderthal era has been discovered by researchers, throwing into question our current understanding of the evolution of human behavior. It was found at an archaeological site in France.

Cardiac specialists recommend donor heart allocation changes

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:10 AM PST

A group of leading cardiac specialists has proposed new guidelines for the allocation of donor hearts to patients awaiting transplant. The changes are aimed at improving the organ distribution process to increase the survival rate of patients awaiting transplant and posttransplant.

Total milk intake dropped by nearly half when chocolate milk removed from Canadian school program

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:10 AM PST

A new study is the first to investigate impacts of milk choice in Canadian elementary schools. Current policies in many schools have led to the removal of flavored milk because of the amount of added sugar. However, this research shows that when flavored milk is removed from the school, total milk intake drops by nearly half.

Professional development programs improve pre-K teacher-child interactions

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:09 AM PST

Two professional development programs for pre-kindergarten teachers have improved their interactions with children, according to a new report that found benefits from both approaches in increased emotional support that children received from their teachers.

People conform to the norm -- even if the norm is a computer

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:08 AM PST

Often enough, it is human nature to conform. This tendency makes us follow the lead of computers, even if the machines give us the wrong advice. This is the finding of a study that investigates how people make judgment calls after playing role-playing video games. Real-life encounters and face-to-face contact with other people are on the decline in a world that is becoming increasingly computerized. Many routine tasks are delegated to virtual characters. People spend hours role-playing through virtual-reality video games by taking on the persona of a virtual character or avatar.

Electrical stimulation 'tunes' visual attention

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:08 AM PST

Picking a needle out of a haystack might seem like the stuff of fairytales, but our brains can be electrically "tuned" to enable us to do a much better job of finding what we're looking for, even in a crowded and distracting scene, new research indicates.

Cone snail venom holds promise for medical treatments for cancer, addiction

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:08 AM PST

While considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, snails have found a more intriguing use to scientists and the medical profession offering a plethora of research possibilities. Cone snails are marine mollusks, just as conch, octopi and squid, but they capture their prey using venom. The venom of these marine critters provides leads for detection and possible treatment of some cancers and addictions.

Possible treatments identified for highly contagious stomach virus

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 06:08 AM PST

Antibiotics aren't supposed to be effective against viruses. But new evidence in mice suggests antibiotics may help fight norovirus, a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus, report scientists. Outbreaks of norovirus are notoriously difficult to contain and can spread quickly on cruise ships and in schools, nursing homes and other closed spaces.

Designing Effective Health Messages

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 04:29 AM PST

Those who design health messages, such as health care professionals, will be impacted by them differently than the general public. When writing a health message, rather than appealing to the sentiment of the experts, the message will be more effective if it's presented positively. The general public is more likely to adopt the behavior being promoted if they see that there is a potential positive outcome, experts say.

How E. coli passes safely through stomach acid

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 04:27 AM PST

Researchers have investigated the infection mechanisms used by bacteria causing severe diarrhea. Strains of Escherichia coli (commonly known as E. coli) bacteria, and bacteria of the genus Yersinia, attach themselves to the wall of the small intestine and use a needle-like apparatus to inject toxins into the tissue. Yet these bacteria usually enter the human body via the mouth -- and you would expect them to be killed off by the strong acid in the stomach, which provides a barrier against infection.

How cells communicate

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 04:27 AM PST

During embryonal development of vertebrates, signaling molecules inform each cell at which position it is located. In this way, the cell can develop its special structure and function. For the first time now, researchers have shown that these signaling molecules are transmitted in bundles via long filamentary cell projections.

Severe asthma: Diagnosis, treatment are inadequate

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 04:27 AM PST

Asthma is a common disease. In most sufferers, asthma can be treated successfully, and as a result emergency room consultation and hospitalization are rarely needed. However, in a minority of patients asthma can be only partially controlled, or even prove impossible to control, despite intensive treatment. In a new review article, researchers describe the points that require consideration when diagnosing and treating such cases, known as severe asthma, and the areas in which further research is required.

Researchers discover new 'trick' steroids use to suppress inflammation

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 04:25 AM PST

A new "trick" steroids use to suppress inflammation, which could be used to make new anti-inflammatory drugs without the harmful side effects of steroids, has been discovered by researchers. Steroids have been effective at suppressing inflammation, but if used for long-term treatment they can cause serious side effects such as increased risk of infections, liver damage, fluid retention, increased blood pressure, weight gain, easy bruising and slower wound healing.

Autonomous tots have higher cognitive skills

Posted: 14 Jan 2015 04:25 AM PST

Higher cognitive skills are found in the children of mothers who are consistently able to support the development of their baby's sense of autonomy, according to a study. The researchers specifically looked at executive functioning, which refers to a range of cognitive processes that are essential for cognitive, social and psychological functioning.

Challenges of providing obstetric care during an Ebola epidemic

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 05:44 PM PST

Obstetric interventions during an Ebola epidemic are deeply challenging say two new commentaries. Ebola is highly infectious and is spread through contact with human bodily fluids. Women are a high risk group in terms of possible exposure to the virus and subsequently transmitting it due to their predominant caregiver role.

Reducing fear avoidance beliefs key to improving symptoms and reducing disability in chronic fatigue syndrome

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 05:43 PM PST

Reducing fears that exercise or activity will make symptoms worse is one of the most important factors determining the success of cognitive behavior therapy or graded exercise therapy in reducing fatigue and improving physical function in people with chronic fatigue syndrome, according to new analysis.

Bisexual women have worse mental health than lesbians in the UK

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 05:43 PM PST

Bisexual women are more likely to experience poor mental health and mental distress than lesbians, according to new research from the United Kingdom.

Clinical physiologists must be properly regulated to protect patients

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 05:43 PM PST

Clinical physiologists must be properly regulated to ensure patient safety, argues an expert. Clinical physiologists are the health professionals who check that medical devices such as pacemakers and hearing aids are working.

Widespread hepatitis C screening may result in more harms than benefits

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 05:43 PM PST

Several organizations have recommended scaling up screening for hepatitis C infection. But experts warn that no study has tested whether this will lead to net clinical benefit or harm. Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect and damage the liver.

Long working hours linked to increased risky alcohol use

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 05:43 PM PST

Employees who work more than 48 hours per week are more likely to engage in risky alcohol consumption than those who work standard weeks, finds a new study. Risky alcohol consumption is considered as more than 14 drinks per week for women and more than 21 drinks per week for men. It is believed to increase risk of adverse health problems, including liver diseases, cancer, stroke, coronary heart disease and mental disorders.

Men want commitment when women are scarce

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 05:41 PM PST

The sexual stereotype, in line with evolutionary theory, is that women want commitment and men want lots of flings. But a study of the Makushi people in Guyana shows the truth is more complex, with men more likely to seek long-term relationships when women are in short supply.

Ebola epidemic in Liberia could be ended by June, new model predicts

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 03:41 PM PST

The Ebola epidemic in Liberia could likely be eliminated by June if the current high rate of hospitalization and vigilance can be maintained, according to a new model developed by ecologists.The model includes such factors as infection and treatment location, hospital capacity development and safe burial practice adoption and is "probably the first to include all those elements," said the project's leader.

Tumor micro-environment is a rough neighborhood for nanoparticle cancer drugs

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 03:41 PM PST

Nanoparticle drugs -- tiny containers packed with medicine and with the potential to be shipped straight to tumors -- were thought to be a possible silver bullet against cancer. However new cancer drugs based on nanoparticles have not improved overall survival rates for cancer patients very much. Scientists now think that failure may have less to do with the drugs and tumors than it does the tumor's immediate surroundings.

New device allows for manipulation of differentiating stem cells

Posted: 13 Jan 2015 12:40 PM PST

A new device creates nanopores in adherent cell membranes, allowing researchers to deliver molecules directly into the cells during differentiation. "The ability to deliver molecules into adherent cells without disrupting differentiation is needed for biotechnology researchers to advance both fundamental knowledge and the state-of-the-art in stem cell research," one researcher notes.

No comments: