Σάββατο, 14 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Scientists take totally tubular journey through brain cells

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 12:28 PM PDT

Scientists took a molecular-level journey into microtubules, the hollow cylinders inside brain cells that act as skeletons and internal highways, and watched how a protein called tubulin acetyltransferase (TAT) labels the inside of microtubules. The results answer long-standing questions about how TAT tagging works and offer clues as to why it is important for brain health.

Emotional contagion sweeps Facebook, finds new study

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 11:25 AM PDT

When it hasn't been your day – your week, your month, or even your year – it might be time to turn to Facebook friends for a little positive reinforcement. Emotions can spread contagiously among users of online social networks, both positive and negative, researchers report. The experiment is the first to suggest that emotions expressed via online social networks influence the moods of others, they say.

Antenatal classes for better mother-baby bonding

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 10:05 AM PDT

A one-off 3-hour antenatal class called 'Click' provides prospective parents with the knowledge and practical skills to build strong parent-infant bonds, according to new research. The quality of antenatal classes provided in the UK is currently quite variable in terms of length and content; with some receiving nothing, while others attend classes for as much as two hours per week for one month. There is often little or no guidance on the psychological needs of the infant.

Involving a genetic health care professional may improve quality, reduce unnecessary testing

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 10:05 AM PDT

A new study shows that counseling from a genetic health care provider before genetic testing educates patients and may help reduce unnecessary procedures. Up to 10 percent of cancers are inherited, meaning a person was born with an abnormal gene that increases their risk for cancer.

Summer season springs cluster headaches into action

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 10:05 AM PDT

Did you know that while most people celebrate the start of summer on June 21, nearly 1 million Americans are facing the debilitating pain of cluster headaches due to Earth's shift towards the sun? It's true. The human biological rhythm is tied into earth's rotation, making individuals who suffer cluster from headaches encounter unrelenting head pain.

Severe scoliosis linked to rare mutations

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 07:17 AM PDT

Children with rare mutations in two genes are about four times more likely to develop severe scoliosis than their peers with normal versions of the genes, scientists have found. One to 3 percent of the general population has some mild curvature of the spine. In about one in 10,000 children, scoliosis will produce curvature so pronounced that it requires corrective surgery.

Biomarkers predict long-term outcomes in juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 05:45 AM PDT

Data demonstrate the possibility of using biomarkers (developed from whole blood gene expression profiles) in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis to predict the status of their disease at 12 months. The long-term disease status at 12 months was accurately predicted only after treatment had been initiated, in newly diagnosed patients.

Sjögren's Syndrome significantly increases risk of heart attack

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 05:45 AM PDT

A new study showed a significantly increased risk of heart attack in patients with Sjögren's syndrome, particularly in the first year following diagnosis. There was also a trend towards an increased risk for stroke.

Higher health care cost burden of musculoskeletal conditions compared to other diseases

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 05:45 AM PDT

A new study highlights the increased health care costs associated with musculoskeletal conditions compared to other diseases. Health care costs were almost 50 percent higher for people with a musculoskeletal condition compared to any other singly occurring condition.

Genotyping can predict disease outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Posted: 13 Jun 2014 05:45 AM PDT

New cohort studies have shown the amino acid valine at position 11 of HLA-DRB1 gene to be the strongest independent genetic determinant of radiological damage in rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, positions 71 and 74 were found to represent independent predictors, with the three positions together: 11, 71 and 74 strongly associated with disease outcomes.

Grit better than GRE for predicting grad student success

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:53 PM PDT

Selecting graduate students in the fields of science and engineering based on an assessment of their character instead of relying almost entirely on their scores on a standardized test would significantly improve the quality of the students that are admitted students and, at the same time, boost the participation of women and minorities in these key disciplines, experts say.

Identifying cyst-laden meat: Sarcocystis thermostable PCR detection kit developed

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:24 PM PDT

Consumption of undercooked cyst-laden meat from cattle, sheep and goats may cause infection in humans. Researchers have successfully invented a PCR kit which provides a suitable and feasible means of screening, detection and identification with high sensitivity and specificity of the parasite.

Neural reward response may demonstrate why quitting smoking is harder for some

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 02:46 PM PDT

For some cigarette smokers, strategies to aid quitting work well, while for many others no method seems to work. Researchers have now identified an aspect of brain activity that helps to predict the effectiveness of a reward-based strategy as motivation to quit smoking. "Our results suggest that... 'at-risk' smokers could potentially be identified prior to a quit attempt and be provided with special interventions designed to increase their chances for success," researchers remarked.

Lower vitamin D level in blood linked to higher premature death rate

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 02:46 PM PDT

Researchers have found that people with lower blood levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to die prematurely as people with higher blood levels of vitamin D. The finding was based on a systematic review of 32 previous studies that included analyses of vitamin D, blood levels and human mortality rates. The specific variant of vitamin D assessed was 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the primary form found in blood.

Processed red meat linked to higher risk of heart failure, death in men

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 02:46 PM PDT

Men who regularly eat moderate amounts of processed red meat such as cold cuts (ham/salami) and sausage may have an increased risk of heart failure incidence and a greater risk of death from heart failure. Researchers recommend avoiding processed red meat and limiting the amount of unprocessed red meat to one to two servings a week or less.

New test detects toxic prions in blood

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 02:46 PM PDT

The first cases of mad cow disease in humans occurred in the late 1990s and are thought to be the consequence of eating contaminated beef products. Several cases of secondary infections caused by transfusions with blood from donors who developed vCJD have been reported, raising concerns about the safety of blood products. A new article describes an assay that can detect prions in blood samples from humans with vCJD and in animals at early stages of the incubation phase.

Findings point toward one of first therapies for Lou Gehrig's disease

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

Researchers have determined that a copper compound known for decades may form the basis for a therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease. In humans, prior to this, no therapy for ALS has ever been discovered that could extend lifespan more than a few additional months.

With the right rehabilitation, paralyzed rats learn to grip again

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

After a large stroke, motor skills barely improve, even with rehabilitation. An experiment conducted on rats demonstrates that a course of therapy combining the stimulation of nerve fiber growth with drugs and motor training can be successful. The key, however, is the correct sequence: Paralyzed animals only make an almost complete recovery if the training is delayed until after the growth promoting drugs have been administered.

Unexpected origin for important parts of the nervous system

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

A new study shows that a part of the nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system, is formed in a way that is different from what researchers previously believed. In this study a new phenomenon is investigated within the field of developmental biology, and the findings may lead to new medical treatments for congenital disorders of the nervous system.

Father's age influences rate of evolution: 90% of new mutations from father, chimpanzee study shows

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

The offspring of chimpanzees inherit 90 percent of new mutations from their father, and just 10 percent from their mother, a finding which demonstrates how mutation differs between humans and our closest living relatives, and emphasizes the importance of father's age on evolution.

Cellular complexity of brain tumors charted

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT

Scientists have conducted a first-of-its-kind study that characterizes the cellular diversity within glioblastoma tumors from patients. The study, which looked at the expression of thousands of genes in individual cells from patient tumors, revealed that the cellular makeup of each tumor is more heterogeneous than previously suspected.

Rapid-acting antidepressant for treatment-resistant depression: New insights

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:21 AM PDT

Researchers have generated fresh insights that could aid in the development of rapid-acting antidepressants for treatment-resistant depression. The researchers found that by blocking NMDA receptors with the drug ketamine, they could elicit rapid antidepressant effects in patients with treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine was developed as an anesthetic, but is better known publicly for its abuse as the party drug Special K. Researchers are now seeking alternatives because ketamine can produce side effects that include hallucinations and the potential for abuse -- limiting its utility as an antidepressant.

Mexican genetics study reveals huge variation in ancestry: Basis for health differences among Latinos discovered

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 11:21 AM PDT

In the most comprehensive genetic study of the Mexican population to date, researchers have identified tremendous genetic diversity, reflecting thousands of years of separation among local populations and shedding light on a range of confounding aspects of Latino health.

Families like practical group wellness program, lose weight

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 10:24 AM PDT

Many children are obese these days, but what can be done about it? Research-proven treatments for obesity rely on regular one-on-one meetings with a trained health coach. So these "behavioral" treatments are seldom available outside of research studies in specialty medical centers. But now, a researcher and pediatrician has found that it's feasible and acceptable to give this same kind of behavioral treatment to groups of families in primary care.

Transmission of information via proteins could revolutionize drug discovery

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:50 AM PDT

The existence of information highways that connect and correlate distant sites within a single protein have been discovered by researchers. Their article furthers a key theoretical field for drug discovery, as it would allow the discovery of many more drug binding sites in proteins of biomedical interest.

Neurostimulator implanted for epilepsy

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:59 AM PDT

A recently FDA-approved device that uses electric stimulation of the brain to treat adult epilepsy patients whose seizures have not responded to medication has been implanted by an American hospital.

Advanced breast cancer: Benefits of Trastuzumab (Herceptin) outweigh the risk of harm

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:59 AM PDT

In women with advanced (or metastatic) breast cancer, treatment with the breast cancer drug Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is associated with prolonged survival but also increases the risk of developing heart problems, a new systematic review shows. However, the review concludes that more women benefit from use of Trastuzumab than are harmed.

Potential anti-TNF response biomarker identified

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:57 AM PDT

DNA methylation has been identified as a potential biomarker of response to etanercept and adalimumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis according to preliminary results from one of the largest methylome-wide investigations of treatment response to anti-TNF therapies. This data bring clinicians a step closer to being able to personalize a patient's treatment pathway.

Regular exercise beneficial in suppressing inflammation in rheumatic disease

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:53 AM PDT

Research findings suggest that exercise transiently suppresses local and systemic inflammation, reinforcing the beneficial effects of exercise and the need for this to be regular in order to achieve clinical efficacy in rheumatic disease.

Cranial ultrasound may replace temporal artery biopsy in diagnosis of giant cell arteritis

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 05:53 AM PDT

A new study shows that cranial ultrasound has a greater sensitivity than temporal artery biopsy, and a comparable specificity in the diagnosis of Giant Cell Arteritis.

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