Πέμπτη, 5 Ιουνίου 2014

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

ScienceDaily: Top Health News

Hemorrhagic fevers can be caused by body's antiviral interferon response

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 10:37 AM PDT

Virologists and immunologists have found a major clue to the mystery of "hemorrhagic fever" syndromes. The team showed that Interferon Type I immune proteins are key drivers of a viral syndrome in mice that closely mimics human hemorrhagic fevers. Hemorrhagic fevers caused by Lassa, dengue and other viruses affect more than one million people annually and are often fatal, yet scientists, until now, have never understood why only some virus-infected people come down with the disease and others do not.

Early palliative support services help those caring for patients with advanced cancer

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 10:37 AM PDT

Those caring for patients with advanced cancer experienced reduced depression and felt less burdened by caregiving tasks when palliative support services were offered soon after the patient's diagnosis. "Family caregivers are a crucial part of the patient care team. Because the well-being of one affects the well-being of the other, both parties benefit when caregivers receive palliative care," said the senior study author.

Discovery of compound may open new road to diabetes treatment

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 10:37 AM PDT

The discovery of an inhibitor of the Insulin Degrading Enzyme (IDE), a protein responsible for the susceptibility of diabetes because it destroys insulin in the body, may lead to new treatment approaches for diabetes, researchers say. More than 20 million people live with type II diabetes in the United States, a disease in which the body cannot make sufficient amounts of the hormone insulin.

Moving toward quality patient-centered care at cancer hospital

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 09:35 AM PDT

Patient navigation and survivorship programs were the focus of a new survey, and the challenges many of these programs face. Results indicate that nearly half of respondents had both a navigation and survivorship program at their institution. Full-time navigators had an average patient load of 100-400 patients, in various phases of the cancer continuum of screening, diagnosis, treatment, and posttreatment.

Courts face challenges when linking genetics to criminal behavior

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 09:35 AM PDT

Some people may be at increased risk of criminal behavior due to their genes, some say. Such research holds potential for helping judges and juries with some of the difficult decisions they must make, but it also brings a substantial risk of misinterpretation and misuse within the legal system. Experts suggest that addressing these issues will be of critical importance for upholding principles of justice and fairness.

Decoding how the brain miswires, possibly causing ADHD

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 09:34 AM PDT

Neuroscientists have shed light on why neurons in the brain's reward system can be miswired, potentially contributing to disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

New approach to diversity research proposed by professor

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 08:51 AM PDT

A rethinking of homogeneity as the baseline used to study diversity has been proposed by one expert in the field. Researchers have often used homogeneous social groups as a "baseline" to see what effects social diversity can have -- in the workplace, organizations, schools, and even markets. And yet, he contends, there are good reasons to think that such an approach fails to fully capture the social dynamics in play. "Both diversity and homogeneity have the ability to affect how people think or make decisions," he notes.

Doctors reluctant to discuss end-of-life care with heart failure patients

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 08:51 AM PDT

Few healthcare providers report talking to their heart failure patients about end-of-life care preferences. Doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants cited patient uneasiness, their own discomfort and lack of time as main reasons for not discussing the subject. Nearly a third of clinicians surveyed said they lacked the confidence to bring up the subject of end-of-life care.

Emotion drives customers to use smartphones with bigger screens

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Bigger smartphone screen size may be better for more than just practical reasons, according to researchers. Participants in a study on smartphones indicated that emotional reasons might influence their decision to buy smartphones with bigger screens even more than practical ones.

Weight loss surgery also safeguards obese people against cancer

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

Weight loss surgery might have more value than simply helping morbidly obese people to shed unhealthy extra pounds. It reduces their risk of cancer to rates almost similar to those of people of normal weight. This is the conclusion of the first comprehensive review article taking into account relevant studies about obesity, cancer rates and a weight loss procedure called bariatric surgery.

Human stem cells successfully transplanted, grown in pigs

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

A new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection, opening the door for future stem cell therapy research. One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts.

When hospital workers get vaccines, community flu rates fall, study shows

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:54 AM PDT

For every 15 healthcare providers who receive the influenza vaccination, one fewer person in the community will contract an influenza-like illness, according to a study using California public health data from 2009-2012. Influenza-like illness causes more than 200,000 hospitalizations each year and, on average, 24,000 people die as a result. Currently, vaccination is the single best way to prevent the flu.

Heart disease without coronary plaque buildup linked to heart attack risk

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:54 AM PDT

Non-obstructive coronary artery disease was associated with a 28 to 44 percent increased risk of a major adverse cardiac event such as a heart attack or death. The possible cause is that the non-obstructive plaques can still rupture and cause heart attacks. Providers and patients should take note of non-obstructive CAD and consider lifestyle changes and medications that could help prevent it from causing future adverse cardiac events such as heart attacks.

Crows' memories are made of this: Scientists discover neurons allowing crows to remember short-term

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:53 AM PDT

Researchers have discovered neurons allowing crows to remember short-term, although their brains are different from ours. An important prerequisite for intelligence is a good short-term memory which can store and process the information needed for ongoing processes. This "working memory" is a kind of mental notepad -- without it, we could not follow a conversation, do mental arithmetic, or play any simple game.

Small-molecule drugs moved through blood-brain barrier in new study

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 07:53 AM PDT

A recently developed synthetic peptide carrier is a potential delivery vehicle for brain cancer chemotherapy drugs and other neurological medications, researchers have demonstrated in a mouse model. The blood-brain barrier is meant to protect the brain from numerous undesirable chemicals circulating in the body, but it also obstructs access for treatment of brain tumors and other conditions. Too often the only recourse is invasive, which often limits a drug's effectiveness or causes irreversible damage to an already damaged brain.

Unlocking the potential of stem cells to repair brain damage

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

Scientists are hoping to unlock the potential of stem cells as a way of repairing neural damage to the brain. They are manipulating adult stem cells from bone marrow to produce a population of cells that can be used to treat brain damage.

Light treatment improves sleep, depression, agitation in Alzheimer's

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

Light treatment tailored to increase circadian stimulation during the day may improve sleep, depression and agitation in people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, research suggests. Results show that exposure to the tailored light treatment during daytime hours for four weeks significantly increased sleep quality, efficiency and total sleep duration. It also significantly reduced scores for depression and agitation.

App paired with sensor measures stress, delivers advice to cope in real time

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:41 AM PDT

A system that combines a mobile application and sensor to detect stress in parents has been developed by computer scientists. It delivers research-based strategies to help decrease parents' stress during emotionally charged interactions with their children. The system was initially tested on a small group of parents of children with ADHD.

Genes, adversity linked to crime in incarcerated sample

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:39 AM PDT

A genetic characteristic that interacts with childhood adversity has been found to predict higher rates of crime in an incarcerated sample, researchers report. The study is the first in a series that will examine contributions of genetic and environmental variations to criminal behavior. "These findings indicate that gene-by-environment interactions are important for understanding variation in crime amongst populations with high base rates of criminal activity," said the principal investigator of the study.

Short intervals between pregnancies result in decreased pregnancy length

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:39 AM PDT

Women who have short intervals between pregnancies of less than 18 months are more likely to see a decrease in the length of subsequent pregnancies, finds a new study. The study looked at 454,716 live births from women with two or more pregnancies over a six year period. The researchers looked at the influence of inadequate birth spacing on the duration of the subsequent pregnancy.

Ice cream sensations graphed on computer, may help to build better tasting food

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:35 AM PDT

Changes in coldness, creaminess or texture that we experience in the mouth while we are eating an ice cream can be visualized on a screen using colored curves. Graphs help manufacturers improve product quality, researchers suggest. In the last five years a technique known as 'Temporal Dominance of Sensations' has become popular, used to analyze how consumer impressions evolve from the moment they taste a product.

Diabetes app developed for smartphone

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:35 AM PDT

An app for smartphones automatically calculates the carbohydrate content of a meal. The program called "GoCARB" enables diabetics to better plan their meals and to control their blood glucose easier. Approximately 366 million people worldwide -- and counting -- are affected by diabetes mellitus. According to estimates by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), it shall be 500 million people worldwide by 2030.

E-cigarettes may help smokers quit, but research is insufficient

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:35 AM PDT

E-cigarettes are a potential smoking cessation aid and they may also be able to lower the risk of nicotine dependency in high-risk groups. The available scientific evidence, however, remains insufficient. According to an international survey e-cigarettes were used by younger people, those with higher incomes, and heavier smokers in particular. Among e-cigarette users, 85% reported that they used them to stop smoking.

How long is too long to wait for groundbreaking new aortic valve replacement surgery procedures?

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

Severe aortic stenosis (AS) has a grave prognosis with 25-50% of patients dying within a year once symptoms develop. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) represents a paradigm shift in the therapeutic options for these patients. Because of cost and availability issues, there are often waiting times for this procedure. Investigators have found that even modest increases in wait times have a substantial impact on the effectiveness of TAVR in individuals who need it the most: otherwise inoperable patients and high-risk surgical candidates. Creating benchmarks for appropriate wait times should be a priority, say investigators.

Cell death insight offers perspectives for treating degenerative, inflammatory diseases

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:33 AM PDT

The mechanism of necroptosis has been unraveled by reseachers. This is a type of cell death that plays a crucial role in numerous diseases, from viral infections and loss of auditory nerve cells to multiple sclerosis, acute heart failure and organ transplantation. Having detailed knowledge of the cell death process enables a targeted search for new drugs.

Stocking the drug dantrolene saves lives, money, experts say

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:27 AM PDT

A substantial number of patients receive care in ambulatory surgical centers. Experts say storing the drug dantrolene at ambulatory surgical centers will save lives and is very cost effective. Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a rare hypermetabolic syndrome of the skeletal muscle and a potentially fatal complication of general anesthesia. Dantrolene is currently the only specific treatment for MH.

Proton beam therapy model policy issued

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:27 AM PDT

A new Model Policy for proton beam therapy (PBT) that details which cancer diagnoses meet evidence-based standards and should be covered by private insurers and Medicare has been released for use. PBT is neither a new nor an experimental technology for treating cancer with radiation. It utilizes proton radiation particles to deliver highly conformal radiation therapy to a specific tumor target area while giving a much lower dose to the normal tissues in the proton beam's path of entry and exit.

Saturated fat intake may influence a person's expression of genetic obesity risk

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:27 AM PDT

A person's genetic risk for obesity is linked with Body Mass Index (BMI), researchers show. They also explain that saturated fat intake may influence the expression of a person's genetic obesity risk. Limiting saturated fat could help people whose genetic make-up increases their chance of being obese.

Possible benefits of brain stimulation on hand, arm movement following stroke

Posted: 04 Jun 2014 06:27 AM PDT

Researchers are studying whether stimulating the brain before rehabilitation could yield greater gains in motor function for people recovering from stroke. The technology is akin to a more advanced version of constraint-induced therapy in which clinicians physically tie down a patient's good arm, which forces the patient to use the injured side. With this non-invasive device, researchers are using electromagnetism to slow activity in portions of the healthy brain hemisphere that control the uninjured arm, similarly forcing the brain to use its injured half.

Increasing rates of premature death, conviction for a violent crime in people with schizophrenia since 1970s, study shows

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 04:39 PM PDT

Rates of adverse outcomes, including premature death and violent crime, in people with schizophrenia are increasing, compared to the general population, new research shows. The results come from a unique study that analyzes long-term adverse outcomes -- including conviction for a violent crime (such as homicide or bodily harm), premature death (before the age of 56), and death by suicide -- between 1972 and 2009 in nearly 25,000 people in Sweden diagnosed with schizophrenia or related disorders.

Are your pets disturbing your sleep? You’re not alone

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 04:38 PM PDT

While countless pet owners peacefully sleep with a warm pet nearby, a new study finds an increase in the number of people experiencing sleep disturbances because of their pets.

New definition of kidney disease for clinical trials could lead to new treatments

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:25 PM PDT

New therapies for kidney disease could be developed more quickly by revising the definition of kidney disease progression used during clinical trials, experts say. If adopted, the new definition could shorten the length of some clinical trials and also potentially encourage more clinical trials in kidney disease.

New health services needed for rise in 100-year-olds

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:25 PM PDT

Over 35,000 people lived to 100 years or more in England over the last ten years, with a large proportion subsequently dying from frailty exacerbated by pneumonia, according to a new study. With the number of centenarians set to grow, end-of-life care needs to be tailored to the increasing frailty in this age group, warn the palliative care researchers.

New device isolates most aggressive cancer cells

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 03:25 PM PDT

Not all cancer cells are created equal: some stay put in the primary tumor, while others move and invade elsewhere. A major goal for cancer research is predicting which cells will metastasize, and why. A cancer research team is taking a new approach to screening for these dangerous cells, using a microfluidic device they invented that isolates only the most aggressive, metastatic cells.

Researchers shut down SARS cloaking system; Findings could lead to SARS, MERS vaccines

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:22 PM PDT

A research team has figured out how to disable a part of the SARS virus responsible for hiding it from the immune system -- a critical step in developing a vaccine against the deadly disease. The findings also have potential applications in the creation of vaccines against other coronaviruses, including MERS.

High risk of recurrence of two life-threatening adverse drug reactions

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:21 PM PDT

Individuals who are hospitalized for the skin conditions of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis appear to have a high risk of recurrence, according to a study. Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) are life-threatening conditions that develop primarily as responses to drugs, and result in extensive epidermal detachment (upper layers of the skin detach from the lower layers). Recurrence has been reported in isolated cases, and the overall risk of recurrence has been unknown.

Outcomes for older adults with pneumonia who receive treatment including azithromycin

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:21 PM PDT

Treatment for pneumonia that included azithromycin compared with other antibiotics was associated with a significantly lower risk of death and a slightly increased risk of heart attack, according to a study that included nearly 65,000 hospitalized older patients. Pneumonia and influenza together are the eighth leading cause of death and the leading causes of infectious death in the United States.

Preventive placement of ICDs for less severe heart failure may improve survival

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:21 PM PDT

An examination of the benefit of preventive placement of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators in patients with a less severe level of heart failure, a group not well represented in clinical trials, finds significantly better survival at three years than that of similar patients with no ICD, according to a study.

Community program helps lower blood pressure among minorities

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:21 PM PDT

A community-based program helped minorities significantly lower their blood pressure, researchers report after evaluating the American Heart Association's Check. Change. Control. program in 18 urban, predominately African-American communities with a high rate of high blood pressure. Those who checked their blood pressure more often benefited the most.

Many breast cancer patients don't get treatment for heart problems

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:21 PM PDT

About 12 percent of older breast cancer patients developed heart failure within three years, often as a result of the cancer drugs and treatments. Despite this, only a third of older breast cancer patients saw a cardiologist within 90 days of developing heart problems. Those who saw a cardiologist were more likely to receive standard drugs for heart failure than those who didn't, researchers report.

Parents should stock up on healthy food for growing teens

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:19 PM PDT

Refrigerators and pantries across the country are bracing for the seasonal assault from teenagers who are now done with school and will eat most of their meals at home for the summer months.

Search engine identifies functionally linked genes

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:19 PM PDT

Scientists have designed a search engine that identifies genes that are functionally linked. The discovery may lead to ways to treat diseases that have a genetic component, such as cancer or Alzheimer's.

Fatty liver disease prevented in mice

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:19 PM PDT

Studying mice, researchers have found a way to prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. Blocking a path that delivers dietary fructose to the liver prevented mice from developing the condition, according to investigators.

New test predicts if breast cancer will spread

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 01:19 PM PDT

A test that counts the number of locations in tumor specimens where tumor cells may invade blood vessels predicted the risk of distant spread, or metastasis, for the most common type of breast cancer. To measure the test's effectiveness, the researchers used it on about 500 breast tumor specimens that had been collected over a 20-year period. The test proved more accurate in predicting the risk of distant tumor spread than a test closely resembling the leading breast cancer prognostic indicator on the market.

Progress on detecting glucose levels in saliva: New biochip sensor

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 12:10 PM PDT

A new biochip sensor that uses dye chemistry and plasmonic interferometry to selectively measure concentrations of glucose in a complex solution similar to human saliva. The advance is an important step toward a device that would enable people with diabetes to test their glucose levels without drawing blood.

Acne can't be prevented or cured, but it can be treated effectively

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 12:10 PM PDT

Recent advances in both medications and approaches to care have significantly reduced the impact acne once had on both skin and self-esteem. Acne doesn't discriminate by gender or race, and while it's most common in adolescents and young adults it can appear at later ages, especially in women. There's no way to prevent acne, there's no cure, and today's over-the-counter remedies contain the same basic ingredients as those on drugstore shelves decades ago.

'Cool' factor separates e-cigarettes from nicotine inhalers, study finds

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 10:58 AM PDT

Why are e-cigarettes so popular among Americans who want to quit smoking, even though so little is known about their safety or effectiveness? The answer lies in their marketing -- they are simply 'cooler' than nicotine inhalers. "E-cigarettes have the potential to be important nicotine delivery products because of their high acceptance and perceived benefit, but more data are needed to evaluate their actual efficacy and safety," emphasized the lead researcher.

More than 10 percent of heart attack patients may have undiagnosed diabetes

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 10:57 AM PDT

At least ten percent of people who have a heart attack may also have undiagnosed diabetes. Less than a third of those diagnosed with diabetes during their hospitalization received diabetes education or medications at discharge. Diabetes, which causes blood sugar to reach dangerous levels, significantly raises the risk for heart attack. Two out of three people with diabetes die from cardiovascular disease.

Preservation of wine without sulphite addition

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 10:57 AM PDT

A good glass of wine is a byword for quality of life -- and not just for connoisseurs. In order to avoid wine spoilage, wineries mostly add sulphur dioxide during the winemaking process. However, the sulphites that dissolve in wine can cause allergic reactions – including asthma. Within the EU they must therefore be declared as an ingredient on the label and the limits for sulphites in wine have been reduced. Sulphites unfold their preservative action in two ways.

Process to help personalize treatment for lung cancer patients developed

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 10:56 AM PDT

A process to analyze mutated genes in lung adenocarcinoma to help better select personalized treatment options for patients has been developed by researchers. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of lung cancer in the United States with approximately 130,000 people diagnosed each year. The study investigated 10 highly mutated and altered genes that contribute to cancer progression, termed oncogenic driver genes, in more than 1,000 lung cancer patients.

Prototype electrolyte sensor to provide immediate read-outs: Painless wearable microneedle device may reduce trips to doctors' offices

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:43 AM PDT

A prototype handheld sensor expected to detect and replenish elecrolytes may aid athletes (runners), soldiers on long missions, and ordinary citizens trying to minimize doctor visits and resultant lab charges. Runners, athletes in other strenuous sports and soldiers on long missions also might prefer immediate knowledge of their electrolytic states as an aid to improved performance. Electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and other salts are key in carrying nerve impulses that tell the heart and other muscles when to contract or relax.

Brain signals link physical fitness to better language skills in kids

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:43 AM PDT

Children who are physically fit have faster and more robust neuro-electrical brain responses during reading than their less-fit peers, researchers report. These differences correspond with better language skills in the children who are more fit, and occur whether they're reading straightforward sentences or sentences that contain errors of grammar or syntax.

Chinese stroke patients fare better when hospitals follow guidelines

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:43 AM PDT

Patients who suffered a stroke in China were more likely to survive and avoid catching pneumonia when hospitals followed recommended researched-based guidelines. Only slightly more than half of patients received all guideline-recommended treatments.

Social media garden is first step in creating 'emotional' buildings

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 08:42 AM PDT

A Twitter-reactive garden could provide a prototype for the future development of 'smart' buildings that can adapt to our emotional state. A new research project, which involves computer scientists and architects, is exploring whether architecture is able to reflect and map human emotions.

Lasers, night-vision technology help improve imaging of hidden lymphatic system

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 07:35 AM PDT

Detecting lymphedema early, before swelling occurs, would lead to better outcomes for patients, but the major barrier preventing early diagnosis is the lack of high-resolution imaging techniques that can resolve these tiny vessels. Recently, a team of researchers has developed a new technology that can non-invasively image the human lymphatic system. A fluorescent dye and commercially-available laser diode and military-grade night vision devices are used to visualize the lymphatic capillaries.

Stopping the spread of breast cancer: Newly discovered pathway may advance treatment

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:26 AM PDT

A new pathway that can stop breast cancer cells from spreading has been discovered by researchers. Working with human cancer cells and a mouse model of breast cancer, scientists identified a new protein that plays a key role in reprogramming cancer cells to migrate and invade other organs. When that protein is removed from cancer cells in mice, the ability of the cells to metastasize to the lung is dramatically decreased.

Quest for the bionic arm: Advancements and challenges

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:26 AM PDT

Nearly 2,000 veterans have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with injuries requiring amputations; 14 percent of those injured veterans required upper extremity amputations. The recent advancements in upper extremity bionics and the challenges that remain in creating a prosthesis that meets or exceeds the abilities of a human arm and hand are the focus of new research.

In utero exposure to antidepressants may influence autism risk

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:25 AM PDT

A new study adds evidence that using common antidepressant medications during pregnancy may contribute to a higher risk of autism spectrum disorders in children, although this risk is still very small.

Liver cancer vaccine effective in mice

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:25 AM PDT

Tweaking a protein expressed by most liver cancer cells has enabled scientists to make a vaccine that is exceedingly effective at preventing the disease in mice. Liver cancer is among the fastest-growing and deadliest cancers in the United States with a 17 percent three-year survival rate. Vaccines help direct the immune system to attack invaders by showing it a representative substance, called an antigen, that the body will recognize as foreign, in this case, AFP for liver cancer.

Screening has prevented half a million colorectal cancers

Posted: 03 Jun 2014 06:25 AM PDT

An estimated half a million cancers were prevented by colorectal cancer screening in the United States from 1976 to 2009, report researchers. During this more than 30-year time span, as increasing numbers of men and women underwent cancer screening tests -- including fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopies, and colonoscopies -- colorectal cancer rates declined significantly, the researchers found.

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