Τρίτη, 13 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News


Association between small-vessel disease, Alzheimer pathology studied

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:41 PM PDT

Cerebral small-vessel disease and Alzheimer disease pathology appear to be associated, new research indicates. "Our study supports the hypothesis that the pathways of SVD and AD pathology are interconnected. Small-vessel disease could provoke amyloid pathology while AD-associated cerebral amyloid pathology may lead to auxiliary vascular damage," researchers conclude.

Diets rich in antioxidant resveratrol fail to reduce deaths, heart disease or cancer

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:41 PM PDT

A study of Italians who consume a diet rich in resveratrol -- the compound found in red wine, dark chocolate and berries -- finds they live no longer than and are just as likely to develop cardiovascular disease or cancer as those who eat or drink smaller amounts of the antioxidant.

Low-value care in Medicare studied, may reflect broad overuse

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:41 PM PDT

A substantial number of Medicare beneficiaries receive low-value medical services that provide little or no benefit to patients, such as some cancer screenings, imaging, cardiovascular, diagnostic and preoperative testing, and this may reflect a broader overuse of services while accounting for a modest proportion of overall spending.

Low rate of adverse events associated with male circumcision

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:40 PM PDT

A low rate of adverse events was associated with male circumcision when the procedure was performed during the first year of life, but the risk was 10 to 20 times higher when boys were circumcised after infancy. "Given the current debate about whether male circumcision should be delayed from infancy to adulthood for autonomy reasons, our results are timely and can help physicians counsel parents about circumcising their sons," the researchers concluded.

Underage college men discount dangers of driving after marijuana use

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:40 PM PDT

The researchers say their findings probably reflect the widespread myth that driving after marijuana use is safe. The researchers suggest that developing strategies to combat this belief could help to change social norms and encourage using a designated driver not only after alcohol use, but after a driver has used any risky substance. Results are not surprising, but this study quantifies the prevalence, which is useful in setting priorities for public health action.

Living near foreclosed property linked to higher blood pressure

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:40 PM PDT

This study provides the first evidence that foreclosed properties may increase neighbors' blood pressure. Neighborhood environment is an important social determinant of cardiovascular health, including blood pressure. The scale of the recent U.S. housing crisis has prompted the public health community to seek a better understanding of how foreclosure activity might impact health. The number of foreclosures spiked in the United States in 2007-10 when more than 6 million homeowners fell behind on their mortgages and banks took ownership of the homes, or foreclosed.

Screening 'not effective' in fight against domestic violence, researchers conclude

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:40 PM PDT

One in three women around the world have experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner. Although domestic violence is associated with a range of adverse health impacts, even after the abuse has ended, it is not easily identified by health care professionals, prompting some countries, notably the United States, to introduce screening programs in healthcare settings. A new study has found no evidence to support domestic violence screening.

Intensive insulin provides survival benefit in patients with type 2 diabetes after heart attack

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:38 PM PDT

Intensive insulin treatment prolonged life by more than 2 years in patients with diabetes after a heart attack, compared with standard treatment for diabetes, a long term follow-up trial has shown. The trial, involving 620 patients with type 2 diabetes, began in 1990. Patients who were admitted to hospital with a suspected heart attack received either intensive insulin treatment, or standard glucose-lowering treatment for one year. The purpose of the study was to determine whether the difference in treatment affected all-cause mortality in the long-term.

Brain May Never Fully Recover from Exposure to Paint, Glue, Degreasers

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:37 PM PDT

People who are exposed to paint, glue or degreaser fumes at work may experience memory and thinking problems in retirement, decades after their exposure, according to a new study. Researchers assessed the workers' lifetime exposure to chlorinated solvents, petroleum solvents, and benzene, including the timing of last exposure and lifetime dosage. Benzene is used to make plastics, rubber, dye, detergents and other synthetic materials. Chlorinated solvents can be found in dry cleaning solutions, engine cleaners, paint removers and degreasers. Petroleum solvents are used in carpet glue, furniture polishes, paint, paint thinner and varnish.

Genetic blueprint for cancerous appendix tumors identified

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

Using next generation DNA sequencing, scientists have identified potentially actionable mutations in cancers of the appendix. When specific mutations for a cancer type are identified, patients can be treated with chemotherapy or other targeted agents that work on those mutations. Little is known about the molecular biology of two types of appendix tumors, low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm (LAMN) and adenocarcinoma, but both can lead to pseudomyxoma peritonea (PMP), a critical condition in which cancerous cells grow uncontrollably along the wall of the abdomen and can crush digestive organs.

Hospitals ranked on complications after hip, knee replacement surgeries

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

With an aging population comes an increase in hip and knee joint replacement surgeries, totaling almost one million procedures per year in the United States. To provide better information on the outcomes of these surgeries, help inform patient choice, and improve the quality of the nation's hospitals, a team of researchers has developed a measure for hospitals based on the complications following their patients' hip and knee replacements.

Mobilizing immune system against viruses: New way found

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:53 PM PDT

An intricate chain reaction in the body's immune system has been found by researchers who have used the knowledge to develop a new treatment against harmful viruses. Viral pandemics, such as the coronavirus that caused the deadly SARS outbreak in 2002, have caused hundreds of deaths, yet effective anti-viral drugs are rare.

Molecular motor for packaging virus DNA found, may lead to targeted antiviral drugs

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:50 PM PDT

New light has been shed on a type of molecular motor used to package the DNA of a number of viruses, including herpes and the adenoviruses. Their findings could help in the development of more effective drugs and inspire the design of new and improved synthetic biomotors. Viruses are the enigma of the biological world -- despite having their own DNA and being able to adapt to their environment and evolve, they are not considered to be alive like cells. In order to reproduce and multiply -- a requirement of "life" -- a virus must invade a living cell, eject its DNA into that of the cell, and commandeer the cell's biological machinery.

Alcohol and drugs: Not just for modern humans

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:50 PM PDT

Unlike most modern humans, the prehistoric people of Europe did not use mind-altering substances simply for their hedonistic pleasure. Researchers contend that their use was an integral part of prehistoric beliefs, and that these substances were seen to aid in communication with the spiritual world.

Alternative pathways let right and left communicate in early split brains

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:50 PM PDT

Humans who lack the corpus callosum, a bundle of 200 million fibers that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain, have long fascinated physicians, neuroscientists and other curious minds. Now, a group of researchers puts an end to the Sperry's paradox, which describes major differences between individuals born with reduced or absent brain connections and those who acquire this condition later in life.

Bullying may have long-term health consequences

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:48 PM PDT

Bullied children may experience chronic, systemic inflammation that persists into adulthood, while bullies may actually reap health benefits of increasing their social status through bullying, according to researchers.

Improve grades, reduce failure: Undergrads should tell profs 'don't lecture me'

Posted: 12 May 2014 12:48 PM PDT

A significantly greater number of students fail science, engineering and math courses that are taught lecture-style than fail in classes incorporating so-called active learning, according to the largest and most comprehensive analysis ever published of studies comparing lecturing to active learning in undergraduate education.

Second opinion changes woman's diagnosis from incurable to curable cancer: Case study

Posted: 12 May 2014 10:59 AM PDT

The case of a woman diagnosed with advanced, incurable lung cancer has been reported, whose disease was in fact early stage, curable lung cancer with additional lung lesions due to a rare antibiotic side effect. When her primary lung tumor was surgically removed, and the antibiotic stopped, the 62-year-old woman recovered and may now be cured.

Worse health, more problems, higher costs among Medicaid patients, study shows

Posted: 12 May 2014 10:48 AM PDT

Surgery patients covered by Medicaid come into their operations with worse health, do worse afterward, stay in the hospital longer and find themselves back in the hospital more often than those covered by private insurance, a new analysis shows. In fact, people with Medicaid coverage were twice as likely as other patients to have certain health risk factors before they had surgery, the researchers report.

Video stories, other bonding exercises could help foster families connect

Posted: 12 May 2014 10:48 AM PDT

Teenagers and their foster families often say they don't feel connected and have trouble communicating, but few resources exist that nurture their bonding. In a research paper, researchers describe how they tailored a parenting program known to improve communication in non-foster families for use in foster families. The program is intended to guide foster families through exercises that will bring them closer together.

Immune therapy might be effective for multiple myeloma

Posted: 12 May 2014 09:43 AM PDT

Genetically modified immune cells might effectively treat multiple myeloma, a disease that remains incurable and will account for an estimated 24,000 new cases and 11,100 deaths in 2014, new research finds. The researchers modified T lymphocytes to target a molecule called CS1, which is found on myeloma cells, and to kill the cells. The findings support testing the potential therapy in a clinical trial.

Computer model helps Benin vaccinate more kids at lower cost

Posted: 12 May 2014 09:43 AM PDT

A modeling software called HERMES has been used by researchers to help the Republic of Benin in West Africa determine how to bring more lifesaving vaccines to its children. Results from the HERMES model have helped the country enact some initial changes in their vaccine delivery system, which may lead to further changes nationwide.

Having a sense of purpose may add years to your life

Posted: 12 May 2014 09:43 AM PDT

Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to new research. The research has clear implications for promoting positive aging and adult development, says the lead researcher.

Pregnancy significantly increases risk of serious traffic crashes

Posted: 12 May 2014 09:43 AM PDT

Pregnancy is associated with a significant risk of a serious car crash requiring emergency medical care during the second trimester, according to a new research. Traffic mishaps place mother and baby at risk of fetal death, chronic disability and complicated emergency medical care. Statistically, about 1 in 50 pregnant women will be involved in a motor vehicle crash at some point during pregnancy.

Graphene and painkiller receptor combined into scalable chemical sensor

Posted: 12 May 2014 08:25 AM PDT

Researchers have created an artificial chemical sensor based on one of the human body's most important receptors, one that is critical in the action of painkillers and anesthetics. In these devices, the receptors' activation produces an electrical response rather than a biochemical one, allowing that response to be read out by a computer.

Entering adulthood in a recession linked to lower narcissism later in life

Posted: 12 May 2014 08:25 AM PDT

We often attribute the narcissistic tendencies of others to parenting practices or early social experiences. But new research reveals that economic conditions in the formative years of early adulthood may also play a role. The research shows that people who entered their adulthood during hard economic times are less narcissistic later in life than those who came of age during more prosperous times.

Scientists discover a natural molecule to treat type 2 diabetes: Molecule mimics some effect of physical exercise

Posted: 12 May 2014 08:25 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered a natural molecule that could be used to treat insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The molecule, a derivative of omega-3 fatty acids, mimics some of the effects of physical exercise on blood glucose regulation.

Link found between cell death, inflammatory disease

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:19 AM PDT

A recently discovered type of cell death called necroptosis could be the underlying cause of inflammatory disease, researchers have found. The research team discovered that a previously identified molecule involved in necroptosis, called RIPK1, was essential for survival by preventing uncontrolled inflammation. This finding could lead to future treatments for inflammatory diseases including Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

Protein's role revealed in preventing heart muscle growth leading to heart failure

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:19 AM PDT

For the first time the protein Erbin has been shown to be an important brake that helps prevent pathological cardiac hypertrophy. Researchers showed that damage to this protein leads to excess growth of heart muscle, a decrease in function, and severe pathological growth of heart muscle. Their research has implications for breast cancer treatment, as Erbin interacts with the receptor Her2/ErBb2, which is overexpressed in approximately 30 percent of breast cancers.

Respect for human rights is improving, study suggests

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:19 AM PDT

By ignoring how the collection of data on political repression changes over time, human rights watchers may be misjudging reports that seem to show respect for human rights has not been improving, according to a political scientist. Over the last decade, political scientists have debated whether or not human rights practices have been stagnating, as the uncorrected data seem to indicate.

Analyzing sperm cells to learn about animal infidelity, evolution

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:15 AM PDT

The analyzing of sperm cells to learn more about bird evolution and behavior is a new area of research. "To understand sexual infidelity in species, interpreting DNA is not enough. We also need to look at the shape and behavior of the sperm cells. Sperm research has opened up a completely new world to us," says one researcher.

Drug therapy for allergy moves forward

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:15 AM PDT

Several target molecules that are suitable for the development of new allergy drugs have been identified by researchers. Immediate allergic reactions and allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma and urticaria are extremely widespread across the population. Traditionally, drug therapy for allergy is based on the use of non-sedative antihistamines, i.e. blocking of the histamine H1 receptors, but sometimes additional help is obtained from blockers of the cysteinyl leukotriene receptor-1.

Artificial magnetic bacteria 'turn' food into natural drugs

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:14 AM PDT

Scientists have successfully created magnetic bacteria that could be added to foodstuffs and could, after ingestion, help diagnose diseases of the digestive system like stomach cancer. These important findings constitute the first use of a food as a natural drug and aid in diagnosing an illness, anywhere in the world.

Noninvasive monitoring of HIV-induced peripheral neuropathy may be possible

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:14 AM PDT

Corneal nerve fiber assessment has great potential as a tool to diagnose and monitor peripheral neuropathy induced by HIV, say scientists. Although corneal nerve assessments have shown increasingly valuable as a replacement for epidermal nerve fiber evaluation in diabetic peripheral neuropathy, the evaluation of corneal alterations in tracking HIV-induced neuropathy has yet to be explored.

Endocrine disruptors impair human sperm function, research finds

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:14 AM PDT

A plethora of endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with human sperm function in a way that may have a negative impact on fertilization, according to new research. The work suggests that endocrine disruptors may contribute to widespread fertility problems in the Western world in a way that hitherto has not been recognized.

U.S. cervical cancer rates higher than previously reported, especially among older women, African-American women

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Cervical cancer rates in the United States are higher than previously believed, particularly among 65- to 69-year-old women and African-American women, according to a study. Current U.S. cervical cancer screening guidelines do not recommend routine Pap smears for women over 65 if their prior test results have been normal.

ADHD Treatment Associated with Lower Smoking Rates

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with stimulant medication may reduce smoking risk, especially when medication is taken consistently, according to an analysis. ADHD is a common childhood disorder that can continue through adolescence and adulthood, and is characterized by hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention and impulsivity. It is most commonly treated with stimulant medication (such as Vyvanse or Concerta), as well as with behavior therapy or a combination of the two.

Scientists slow brain tumor growth in mice

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:13 AM PDT

Much like using dimmer switches to brighten or darken rooms, biochemists have identified a protein that can be used to slow down or speed up the growth of brain tumors in mice. Brain and other nervous system cancers are expected to claim 14,320 lives in the United States this year.

Understanding Aspirin's effect on wound healing offers hope for treating chronic wounds

Posted: 12 May 2014 07:12 AM PDT

Researchers describe how aspirin acts on key skin cells called keratinocytes to delay skin repair at wound sites. A better understanding of this process offers hope for the development of drugs to encourage wounds to heal. The public health impact of chronic wounds is significant, affecting 6.5 million people in the US alone. Chronic wounds, a common complication of diabetes, are an increasing healthcare burden due to the rising incidence rates for obesity and diabetes.

Human microbiome studies should include wider diversity of populations, experts warn

Posted: 11 May 2014 06:48 PM PDT

Microbial samples taken from populations living in the US and Tanzania reveal that the microbiome of the human hand is more varied than previously thought, according to new research. These findings suggest that the 'standard' hand microbiome varies depending on location and lifestyle. Results compared the microbes on the hands of women in the U.S. and Tanzania and found that organisms that have commonly been identified in prior human skin microbiome studies were highly abundant on U.S. hands, while the most abundant bacterial species on Tanzanian hands were associated with the environment, particularly soil.

Men from ethnic minorities take longer to recover from mental illness, study finds

Posted: 11 May 2014 06:48 PM PDT

Men from minority ethnic groups experiencing mental health problems in the UK take longer to recover than white men as they are more reluctant to seek professional help, according to research. The study, which analyzed the experiences of twelve groups of men with poor mental health from African-Caribbean, African, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Chinese communities in London and the West Midlands, found that black and minority ethnic men's ability to talk openly about feeling vulnerable was affected by masculine identity.

Hijacking bacteria's natural defences to trap, reveal pathogens

Posted: 11 May 2014 01:54 PM PDT

Bad bacteria could soon have no place left to hide, thanks to new materials that turn the cell's own defenses against them. Scientists have developed a technique that could locate the potential source of an infection by hijacking the normal processes of pathogens, thus revealing their location. And by using fluorescent markers to tag these cells, they have even been able to detect them by using a simple mobile phone camera.

New atlas of molecules paves way for improved understanding of metabolic diseases

Posted: 11 May 2014 01:54 PM PDT

A comprehensive study of associations between genetic variation and human metabolism will improve our understanding of the molecular pathways underlying common complex diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Researchers have linked 145 genetic regions with more than 400 molecules involved in human metabolism.

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