Πέμπτη, 15 Μαΐου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

A better way to treat ACE inhibitor angioedema in the ED

Posted: 14 May 2014 03:28 PM PDT

Emergency medicine and allergy experts have reported a safe and effective treatment for life-threatening angioedema attacks in the emergency department. In a triple blind, placebo-controlled phase-2 trial, researchers studied the drug Ecallantide for ACE inhibitor induced angioedema that failed to respond to the conventional therapy of corticosteroids and antihistamines. They found that patients treated with Ecallantide were more likely to meet discharge sooner and with few side effects.

Scientists investigate the role of the 'silent killer' inside deep-diving animals

Posted: 14 May 2014 03:28 PM PDT

Scientists have furthered science's understanding of carbon monoxide's natural characteristics and limitations by studying the gas in one of the world's best divers: the elephant seal. Colorless and odorless, carbon monoxide (CO) is now monitored in many homes with inexpensive detectors. In human bodies, CO is produced naturally as a byproduct of the breakdown of hemoglobin -- molecules responsible for transporting oxygen -- inside red blood cells. To their surprise, researchers discovered that carbon monoxide is bound to 10 percent of the hemoglobin in adult elephant seals, or 10 times the amount found in healthy humans, and roughly comparable to someone who smokes 40 cigarettes per day.

Novel blood test may help predict impending preterm birth

Posted: 14 May 2014 03:27 PM PDT

A blood-based diagnostic test accurately predicted whether 70 percent of female study participants with threatened preterm labor would or would not give birth prematurely.

Antidepressant may slow Alzheimer's disease

Posted: 14 May 2014 11:23 AM PDT

A commonly prescribed antidepressant can reduce production of the main ingredient in Alzheimer's brain plaques, according to new research. The findings, in mice and people, support preliminary studies that evaluated a variety of antidepressants. Brain plaques are tied closely to memory problems and other cognitive impairments caused by Alzheimer's disease. Stopping plaque buildup may halt the disastrous mental decline caused by the disorder.

How cone snail venom minimizes pain

Posted: 14 May 2014 11:23 AM PDT

The venom from marine cone snails, used to immobilize prey, contains numerous peptides called conotoxins, some of which can act as painkillers in mammals. Researchers provide new insight into the mechanisms by which one conotoxin, Vc1.1, inhibits pain.

Outcome data in clinical trials reported inadequately, inconsistently, study finds

Posted: 14 May 2014 10:36 AM PDT

There is increasing public pressure to report the results of all clinical trials to eliminate publication bias and improve public access. However, investigators building a database of clinical trials involving chronic pain have encountered several challenges. They describe the perils in a new article, and propose alternative strategies to improve clinical trials reporting.

Possible new plan of attack for opening, closing blood-brain barrier

Posted: 14 May 2014 10:34 AM PDT

The gene that controls blood-brain barrier permeability through a little-studied phenomenon calledtranscytosis has been identified by researchers for the first time. The study, which was conducted in mice, offers a new way to devise strategies to open the blood-brain barrier for drug delivery or restore it in neurological disease.

How gut bacteria regulate weight gain: Study provides further understanding

Posted: 14 May 2014 10:30 AM PDT

Gut bacteria communicate with their host to specifically regulate weight gain and serum cholesterol levels, new research has found. The research has implications for the rational selection and design of probiotics for the control of obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. "Recent work by other groups has shown that bile acids act as signalling molecules in the host, almost like a hormonal network, with an ability to influence host metabolism. What we have done is to show that a specific mechanism exists by which bacteria in the gut can influence this process with significant consequences for the host," commented one researcher.

Hope for normal heart function in children with fatal heart disease

Posted: 14 May 2014 10:29 AM PDT

After two decades of arduous research, an investigator has published a new study showing that many children with an often fatal type of heart disease can recover "normal size and function" of damaged sections of their hearts. The finding clearly demonstrates that nearly one-fourth of children treated for "idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy," or DCM, when these children with DCM become symptomatic by developing congestive heart failure) can be expected to fully recover normal size and function of left-ventricular (LV) heart muscle fibers within about two years of diagnosis.

Who should be saved? Study gets diverse MD views on healthcare disaster planning

Posted: 14 May 2014 10:29 AM PDT

Few disaster preparedness plans have taken community values regarding allocation into account, but a new study is aiming to change that through public engagement with diverse groups. Citizens ranked most and least healthy in one state share their thoughts on how ventilators should be allocated in the event of a flu pandemic.

Enzyme helps stem cells improve recovery from limb injuries

Posted: 14 May 2014 08:18 AM PDT

While it seems like restoring blood flow to an injured leg would be a good thing, it can actually cause additional damage that hinders recovery, researchers say. Ischemia reperfusion injury affects nearly two million Americans annually with a wide variety of scenarios that temporarily impede blood flow -- from traumatic limb injuries, to heart attacks, to donor organs, said an immunologist. Restoring blood flow actually heightens inflammation and cell death rather than recovery for many of these patients.

New approach to treating peanut and other food allergies

Posted: 14 May 2014 08:17 AM PDT

These days, more and more people seem to have food allergies, which can sometimes have life-threatening consequences. Scientists now report the development of a new type of flour that someday could be used in food-based therapies to help people better tolerate their allergy triggers, including peanuts.

Relationship satisfaction linked with changing use of contraception

Posted: 14 May 2014 08:17 AM PDT

Women's sexual satisfaction in long-term heterosexual relationships may be influenced by changes in hormonal contraceptive use, research shows. "Our findings showed women who had met their partner while taking the pill and were still currently taking it -- as well as those who had never used the pill at any point -- reported greater sexual satisfaction than those women who had begun or stopped using the pill during the course of the relationship," says lead researcher.

Widely used drug no more effective than FDA approved medication in treating epileptic seizures

Posted: 14 May 2014 08:17 AM PDT

Lorazepam -- a widely used but not yet Food and Drug Administration approved drug for children -- is no more effective than an approved benzodiazepine, diazepam, for treating pediatric status epilepticus, a study shows. Status epilepticus is a state in which the brain is in a persistent state of seizure. By the age of 15, 4 to 8 percent of children experience a seizure episode, which can be life threatening if they aren't stopped immediately.

Understanding 1918 flu pandemic can aid in better infectious disease response

Posted: 14 May 2014 05:46 AM PDT

The 1918 Flu Pandemic infected over 500 million people, killing at least 50 million. Now, a researcher has analyzed the pandemic in two remote regions of North America, finding that despite their geographical divide, both regions had environmental, nutritional and economic factors that influenced morbidity during the pandemic. Findings from the research could help improve current health policies.

Early menopause increases heart failure risk, especially for smokers

Posted: 14 May 2014 05:46 AM PDT

Women who go through menopause early -- at ages 40 to 45 -- have a higher rate of heart failure, according to a new study. Smoking, current or past, raises the rate even more. The authors' analysis of the data showed that women who went through menopause naturally at this early age had a rate of heart failure some 40% higher than women who went through menopause the usual age between 50 and 54. (The average is 51.) And for every one-year increase in age at menopause, the rate of heart failure was 2% lower.

Mobile phone data helps combat malaria

Posted: 14 May 2014 05:45 AM PDT

Mobile phone data has been used in a study in Namibia to help combat malaria more effectively. The study used anonymized mobile records to measure population movements within Namibia in Africa over the period of a year (2010-11). By combining this data with information about diagnosed cases of malaria, topography and climate, the researchers have been able to identify geographical 'hotspots' of the disease and design targeted plans for its elimination.

Crucial decisions often taken with poor guidance for those with limited mental capacity

Posted: 14 May 2014 05:45 AM PDT

People who have limited mental capacity need better help with making decisions according to a clinical psychologist. "With an aging population and more people surviving serious injury, this Act will affect nearly everyone at some point. Whether from Alzheimer's, autism or brain injury, people can lack the mental capacity to decide things like where to live or whether to have hospital treatment," the lead researcher said. He said that professionals often veered between being too empowering or too restrictive when helping with decisions.

New technology simplifies production of biotech medicines

Posted: 14 May 2014 05:45 AM PDT

The final step in the production of a biotech medicine is finishing with the correct sugar structure. This step is essential for the efficacy of the medicine, but it also makes the production process very complex and expensive. Researchers have developed a technology that shortens the sugar structures whilst retaining the therapeutic efficiency. This technology has the potential to make the production of biotech medicines significantly simpler and cheaper.

Strongly interacting electrons in wacky oxide synchronize to compute like the brain

Posted: 14 May 2014 05:43 AM PDT

A new type of computing architecture that stores information in the frequencies and phases of periodic signals could work more like the human brain to do computing using a fraction of the energy of today's computers.

Repeat bowel cancer surgery: First trial restored under new initiative casts doubt

Posted: 13 May 2014 04:05 PM PDT

A trial that remained unpublished for 20 years casts doubt on the survival benefit of repeat -- 'second look' -- surgery for bowel cancer. Experts say the new evidence "should fuel uncertainty about present day second look surgery for colorectal cancer in its various forms and hope that it will give some encouragement to undertake the randomized trials that are needed."

Patients most in need of the vaccine against shingles don't get it 

Posted: 13 May 2014 04:05 PM PDT

People at the highest risk of shingles are those with immunosuppressive conditions -- such as HIV -- but they are not entitled to vaccination due to safety concerns, suggests research. Researchers say alternative strategies are needed to reduce the risk of shingles among these patient groups. Shingles is a common disease among older individuals which causes an acute painful rash and can lead to a complication resulting in pain lasting from months to years that can significantly impair a person's quality of life.

Many schools are neglecting students' health, wellbeing, warn experts

Posted: 13 May 2014 04:05 PM PDT

Many schools in England are neglecting -- and may be actively harming -- students' health and wellbeing, warn experts who argue that education policy shouldn't focus solely on academic attainment. They point out that personal, social, and health education (PSHE) remains a non-statutory subject, and argue that schools "spend less and less time teaching it because of pressure to focus on academic subjects."

Additional imaging before cancer surgery: Is it beneficial?

Posted: 13 May 2014 01:17 PM PDT

This study is the largest, based on high-quality imaging and reading of scans, to understand the role of PET-CT in selecting the best colorectal cancer candidates whose cancer has spread to the liver for surgery. Researchers found no significant difference in survival or disease-free survival between patients in the PET-CT group versus the control group, suggesting that there may not be benefits to additional imaging before surgery.

Large increase seen in emergency departments visits for traumatic brain injury

Posted: 13 May 2014 01:17 PM PDT

Between 2006 and 2010, there was a nearly 30 percent increase in the rate of visits to an emergency department for traumatic brain injury, which may be attributable to a number of factors, including increased awareness and diagnoses, according to a study. In the last decade, traumatic brain injury (TBI) garnered increased attention, including public campaigns and legislation to increase awareness and prevent head injuries.

Football: Concussions, years of play related to brain differences, especially in areas linked to memory

Posted: 13 May 2014 01:17 PM PDT

College football players with and without a history of concussions have less volume in the hippocampal region of the brain that relates to memory and emotion, according to a new study. Moreover, the number of years of playing experience was inversely related to hippocampal volume and reaction time.

Effectiveness of medications to treat alcohol use disorders examined

Posted: 13 May 2014 01:17 PM PDT

An analysis of more than 120 studies that examined the effectiveness of medications to treat alcohol use disorders reports that acamprosate and oral naltrexone show the strongest evidence for decreasing alcohol consumption, according to a study. Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are common, cause substantial illness, and result in 3-fold increased rates of early death. Treating AUDs is difficult, but may be aided by medications, although only a small percentage (<10 percent) of patients with AUDs receive medications to assist in reducing alcohol consumption.

3-D map of enzyme could lead to more effective drugs

Posted: 13 May 2014 10:26 AM PDT

A 3-D map of an enzyme called Proline utilization A (PutA) has been completed by researchers. PutA facilitates metabolism by adding oxygen to molecules. The lead investigator says that mapping this enzyme will give researchers a better understanding of its function, which could help drug manufacturers create more effective drugs.

East/West differences in meditation: Spirituality or technique

Posted: 13 May 2014 06:24 AM PDT

In Western tradition, meditation is linked to a personal relationship with God. Asiatic meditation places more emphasis on techniques, according to new research. Meditation is practiced in Norway as well as in India. With or without a religious purpose. And with a wealth of different techniques. Meditation has been performed for several thousand years, and appears in all the major religions. But what is meditation? What role does it play in various cultures? And how is it practiced in different parts of the world?

Professional surfer back in the water after successful surgery to treat rare bone cancer

Posted: 13 May 2014 06:11 AM PDT

When professional surfer Richie Lovett began experiencing hip pain at 31, he attributed it to his athletic lifestyle. But after months of discomfort and preliminary tests, the Australian native learned the pain was caused by a cancerous tumor in his femur or thigh bone. A surgical technique was applied, requiring the removal of Lovett's tumor and damaged bone in its entirety. It was then replaced with a prosthetic and then reconnected his hip and surrounding muscle to the prosthetic implant. This innovative approach provides the greatest range of movement possible.

Genetic marker linked to OCD identified

Posted: 13 May 2014 06:11 AM PDT

A genetic marker that may be associated with the development of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), whose causes and mechanisms are among the least understood among mental illnesses, has been identified by researchers. OCD is a condition marked by thoughts and images that chronically intrude in the mind and by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety. Some of the least disabling forms of the disorder can add an extra hour to the day's routine, causing distress and interfering with daily life. Some people are so disabled that they can't leave their homes.

Lyme disease confirmed in humans from southern states

Posted: 13 May 2014 06:11 AM PDT

Additional cases of Lyme disease have been found in patients from several states in the southeastern U.S. These cases include two additional Lyme disease Borrelia species recently identified in patients in Florida and Georgia. Overall, 42 percent of 215 patients from southern states tested positive for some Lyme Borrelia species. More than 90 cases of Lyme infection were confirmed among patients from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Former prisoners, parolees turn to emergency departments for care

Posted: 12 May 2014 06:41 PM PDT

Being released from prison or jail is a difficult time for the millions of Americans returning to their communities from correctional facilities. Add to the list of challenges a high risk of winding up in the emergency department or the hospital. The study provides support for efforts to improve access to insurance and readily available health care for this vulnerable group.

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