Παρασκευή, 13 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Brain power: New insight into how brain regulates its blood flow

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 10:23 AM PDT

Engineering professors have identified a new component of the biological mechanism that controls blood flow in the brain, demonstrating that the vascular endothelium plays a critical role in the regulation of blood flow in response to stimulation in the living brain. Understanding how and why the brain regulates its blood flow could provide important clues to understanding early brain development, disease, and aging.

Synchronized brain waves enable rapid learning

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 09:13 AM PDT

The human mind can rapidly absorb and analyze new information as it flits from thought to thought. These quickly changing brain states may be encoded by synchronization of brain waves across different brain regions, according to a new study.

Viral infections, including flu, could be inhibited by naturally occurring protein

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 09:13 AM PDT

By boosting a protein that naturally exists in our cells, an international team of researchers has found a potential way to enhance our ability to sense and inhibit viral infections. The laboratory-based discovery could lead to more effective treatments for viruses ranging from hepatitis C to the flu.

Potential new treatment may protect celiac patients from gluten-induced injury

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 08:46 AM PDT

The gluten-specific enzyme ALV003 reduces a patient's exposure to gluten and its potential harm, according to a new phase 2 study. This study is the first to find that a non-dietary intervention can potentially benefit celiac disease patients.

When good people do bad things: Being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 07:49 AM PDT

Researchers find that being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs. When people get together in groups, unusual things can happen -- both good and bad. Groups create important social institutions that an individual could not achieve alone, but there can be a darker side to such alliances: Belonging to a group makes people more likely to harm others outside the group.

Alcohol abuse damage in neurons at a molecular scale identified for first time

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:50 AM PDT

New research has identified, for the first time, the structural damage caused at a molecular level to the brain by the chronic excessive abuse of alcohol. In concrete, the research team has determined the alterations produced in the neurons of the prefrontal zone of the brain (the most advanced zone in terms of evolution and that which controls executive functions such as planning, designing strategies, working memory, selective attention or control of behavior. This research opens up pathways for generating new pharmaceutical drugs and therapies that enhance the life of alcoholic persons and reduce the morbimortality due to alcoholism.

Survivors of childhood liver transplant at risk of becoming 'skinny fat'

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:52 AM PDT

New research reports that survivors of childhood liver transplant remain nutritionally compromised over the long-term. Recipients' return to normal weight post-transplant was due to an increase in fat mass as body cell mass remained low, indicating a slim body composition with little lean muscle mass or "skinny fat."

Immune response affects sleep and memory

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:51 AM PDT

Sickness-induced insomnia is common because of the link between the brain and the immune system. Fighting off illness- rather than the illness itself- causes sleep deprivation and affects memory, a new study has found. Biologists said a common perception is that if you are sick, you sleep more. But the study, carried out in flies, found that sickness induced insomnia is quite common.

Children showing signs of social withdrawal in risk of internalized distress

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:51 AM PDT

Children showing signs of social withdrawal are more susceptible to parental influences than others. These children were also more prone to distress caused by the impacts of guilt-inducing parenting.

Dormant Viruses Re-Emerge in Patients with Lingering Sepsis, Signaling Immune Suppression

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:50 AM PDT

A provocative study links prolonged episodes of sepsis — a life-threatening infection and leading cause of death in hospitals — to the reactivation of otherwise dormant viruses in the body. In healthy people, such latent viruses are kept in check by the immune system. But a new study provides strong evidence that when sepsis lingers for more than a few days, which is common, viruses re-emerge and enter the bloodstream, signaling that the immune system has become suppressed.

Manipulating and detecting ultrahigh frequency sound waves: 1,000 times higher resolution ultrasound images possible

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 02:10 PM PDT

Researchers have demonstrated a technique for detecting and controlling ultrahigh frequency sound waves at the nanometer scale. This represents an advance towards next generation ultrasonic imaging with potentially 1,000 times higher resolution than today's medical ultrasounds.

Coordinated intervention reduced prevalence of drug-resistant CRE in long-term care

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 02:10 PM PDT

A nationwide effort to control carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Israel reduced CRE cases by improving compliance of infection control standards and using a coordinated intervention focused on long-term care facilities researchers report. Since 2006, Israel has faced a nationwide outbreak of CRE throughout its healthcare system.

PTSD, major depressive episode appears to increase risk of preterm birth

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 02:10 PM PDT

Diagnoses of both post-traumatic stress disorder and a major depressive episode appear to be associated with a sizable increase in risk for preterm birth that seems to be independent of antidepressant and benzodiazepine medication use.

MRI brain scans detect people with early Parkinson's

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 02:09 PM PDT

A simple and quick MRI technique that offers promise for early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease has been developed by researchers. The team demonstrated that their new MRI approach can detect people who have early-stage Parkinson's disease with 85 percent accuracy. Parkinson's disease is characterized by tremor, slow movement, and stiff and inflexible muscles. It's thought to affect around 1 in 500 people.

Poor cardiovascular health linked to memory, learning deficits

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 02:09 PM PDT

People with poor cardiovascular health have a substantially higher incidence of cognitive impairment. Better cardiovascular health was more common in men and among people with higher education and higher income. The incidence of mental impairment was found more commonly in those with a lower income, who lived in the 'stroke belt' or had cardiovascular disease.

Diet higher in protein may be linked to lower risk of stroke

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 02:07 PM PDT

People with diets higher in protein, especially from fish, may be less likely to have a stroke than those with diets lower in protein, according to a meta-analysis. The meta-analysis looked at all of the available research on the relationship between protein in the diet and the risk of stroke. Seven studies with a total of 254,489 participants who were followed for an average of 14 years were included in the analysis.

Central-line associated bloodstream infections: Real world implementation strategies

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 12:11 PM PDT

As central-line associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) pose a danger to vulnerable patients, infection prevention and control experts released new practical recommendations to assist acute care hospitals in implementing and prioritizing prevention efforts.

Key step toward a safer strep vaccine

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 11:37 AM PDT

The genes encoding a molecule that famously defines Group A Streptococcus (strep), a pathogenic bacterial species responsible for more than 700 million infections worldwide each year, has been identified by an international team of scientists. Efforts to develop such a vaccine have been significantly hindered by complexities in how the human immune system reacts to the bacterial pathogen. Specifically, some patients with strep infections produce antibodies that cross-react with their own heart valve tissue, leading to rheumatic fever and heart damage.

Why aren't product designers considering activity trackers for older adults?

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 11:37 AM PDT

Commercially available activity-monitoring apps, Web sites, and wearable devices allow for easy self-management of health and wellness. This technology may be particularly helpful for older adults, who can improve their cognitive function through proper diet and exercise. Despite tracking monitors' growing popularity and potential benefits, product designers rarely consider those over 65 to be a viable user group, and new human factors/ergonomics research indicates that the technology presents several usability challenges for this population.

'Master' protein identified in pulmonary fibrosis

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 11:37 AM PDT

The key role played by an ancient protein in the course of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis has been uncovered by scientists. The research offers more than an unprecedentedly detailed explanation of the disease's tragic course. It also points toward a new therapeutic strategy. The authors implicate it as the "master regulator" of what appears to be a tragically errant repair response to the mysterious lung injuries that give rise to the disease.

Zebrafish model helps identify drug compound that reverses lethal form of cardiomyopathy

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 11:36 AM PDT

Investigators have identified a drug compound that appears to reverse arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy using a zebrafish model. This condition is a hereditary disease and leading cause of sudden death in young people. It damages the muscle of the heart's ventricles (the pumping chambers) so that, over time, muscle cells or myocytes, become replaced by fatty deposits and fibrosis, leaving patients especially susceptible to arrhythmias.

Almost all adult Texans knew about Health Insurance Marketplace during open enrollment, survey shows

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:21 AM PDT

Almost all adult Texans were aware of the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Marketplace before the open-enrollment period ended March 31, 2014, according to a report released. The report also found that an estimated 2 million Texans looked for information about the Marketplace and found the federal website generally helpful. Almost half of Texans who visited the site wanted to purchase insurance or check their eligibility for a premium subsidy.

Migrating north may trigger immediate health declines among Mexicans

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:20 AM PDT

Mexican immigrants who relocate to the United States are more likely to experience declines in health within a short time period compared with other Mexicans, according to a study. Barriers faced by immigrants -- like poorly paying jobs, crowded housing and family separation, as well as the migration process itself -- may be cause of such health declines.

Gum disease bacteria selectively disarm immune system, study finds

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:20 AM PDT

Bacteria responsible for many cases of periodontitis cause an imbalance in the microbial community in the gums, with a sophisticated, two-prong manipulation of the human immune system, research shows. Not only does the team's discovery open up new targets for periodontitis treatment, it also suggests a bacterial strategy that could be at play in other diseases involving dysbiosis.

Company man or family man? Fatherhood and identity in the office

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:20 AM PDT

There is no 'one size fits all' image of how men view their role as fathers within the context of the workplace. However, fatherhood is becoming a more serious and time consuming role for men to fulfill. Therefore employers must acknowledge that many fathers want to be more than just traditional 'organization men' who dedicate their life to their work.

Health of Hispanic moms, babies a growing concern, new report says

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:20 AM PDT

Hispanic women are more likely to have a baby with a neural tube birth defect, and nearly a quarter of all preterm births in the United States are Hispanic, according to a report. While this disparity is not well understood, one reason may be that Hispanic women have a lower intake of folic acid. In the U. S., wheat flour is fortified with folic acid, but corn masa flour is not. Hispanic women are less likely to report taking a multivitamin containing folic acid prior to pregnancy.

Genes found in nature yield 1918-like virus with pandemic potential

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:15 AM PDT

An international team of researchers has shown that circulating avian influenza viruses contain all the genetic ingredients necessary to underpin the emergence of a virus similar to the deadly 1918 influenza virus.

Tuberculosis dogma upended: Even uninfected cells trigger immune defenses

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 10:15 AM PDT

Immune system cells uninfected with the bacterium that causes tuberculosis trigger immune system T cells to fight the disease, infectious disease experts have found by experimenting with mice. The findings upend the long-held scientific belief that only cells, known specifically as dendritic cells, infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis could stimulate a broader, defensive immune system attack of the invading microorganism.

Is background TV harming your toddler’s language development?

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:21 AM PDT

We already know how important parent input is in developing children's language skills, and that a reduction in child-directed language could have a negative impact on their language development. New research suggests that the presence of background TV is a significant factor in reducing this vital input, affecting both the quantity and quality of language spoken by parents to their children.

Insulin's risks as second-line medicine to treat type 2 diabetes

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 07:21 AM PDT

Adults with type 2 diabetes who take insulin in addition to the recommended first-line drug therapy, metformin, had a 30 percent higher risk of heart attack, stroke or death when compared to similar patients who instead augment their metformin regimen with a sulfonylurea, research shows. New heart attacks and strokes occurred at similar rates in both groups but death (from all causes) was 44 percent higher in patients who added insulin compared to those who added a sulfonylurea.

Cognitive performance can be improved in teens months, years after traumatic brain injury

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:36 AM PDT

Traumatic brain injuries from sports, recreational activities, falls or car accidents are the leading cause of death and disability in children and adolescents. While previously it was believed that the window for brain recovery was at most one year after injury, new research shows cognitive performance can be improved to significant degrees months, and even years, after injury, given targeted brain training.

New sensor to detect harmful bacteria on food industry surfaces

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

A new device designed to sample and detect foodborne bacteria is being trialled by scientists. The team is developing a sensor capable of collecting and detecting Listeria monocytogenes on food industry surfaces, thereby preventing contaminated products from entering the market. Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogen that causes listeriosis, an infection with symptoms of fever, vomiting and diarrhea, that can spread to other parts of the body and lead to more serious complications, like meningitis.

Forest loss starves fish

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:32 AM PDT

Research shows forest debris that drains into lakes is an important contributor to freshwater food chains – bolstering fish diets to the extent that increased forest cover causes fish to get 'fat' and sparse forest leaves smaller, underfed fish.

Regulation process of protein linked to bipolar disorder, researchers find

Posted: 11 Jun 2014 06:30 AM PDT

New insight into a protein associated with bipolar disorder has been gained by recent research. The study reveals that calcium channels in resting neurons activate the breakdown of Sp4, which belongs to a class of proteins called transcription factors that regulate gene expression. The main goal of the study was to determine whether a specific type of calcium channel -- store-operated calcium channels -- drive the breakdown of Sp4 protein. Along the way, however, the team also discovered that signaling by these calcium channels is most active in the so-called "off" or "resting" phase.

A shot against heart attacks? Scientists use genome-editing approach to mimic vaccination

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:55 PM PDT

A 'genome-editing' approach has been developed for permanently reducing cholesterol levels in mice through a single injection, a development with the potential to reduce the risk of heart attacks in humans by 40 to 90 percent, researchers report. "Heart attack is the leading natural killer worldwide, with one in two men and one in three women past the age of 40 having heart attacks in their lifetimes. If you had a therapy that targeted the liver, changed the genome, then at least in theory you could think of this therapy as something like a vaccination," said the main investigator.

Levodopa better than newer drugs for long-term treatment of Parkinson's, largest-ever trial shows

Posted: 10 Jun 2014 05:53 PM PDT

For long-term treatment of newly diagnosed Parkinson's disease (PD), the old drug levodopa provides better mobility and a higher quality of life than the two main alternatives, dopamine agonists and monoamine oxidase type B inhibitors, according to the largest-ever trial of PD treatment.

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