Jumat, 18 Februari 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Friday, February 18, 2011

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Warm weather may hurt thinking skills in people with multiple sclerosis (February 18, 2011) -- People with multiple sclerosis may find it harder to learn, remember or process information on warmer days of the year, according to new research. ... > full story

Total knee replacement patients functioning well after 20 years, study finds (February 18, 2011) -- Most patients who undergo total knee replacement are age 60 to 80. More than 90 percent of these individuals experience a dramatic reduction in knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities. However questions have been raised about the decline in physical function over the long term despite the absence of implant-related problems. New research evaluates patient functionality 20 years after knee replacement. ... > full story

Broader psychological impact of 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill (February 18, 2011) -- The explosion and fire on a BP-licensed oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 had huge environmental and economic effects, with millions of gallons of oil leaking into the water for more than five months. It also had significant psychological impact on people living in coastal communities, even in those areas that did not have direct oil exposure, according to researchers. ... > full story

Swedish discovery could lead to new stroke therapy (February 18, 2011) -- The opportunities to treat a stroke have long been limited to the hours after an attack. The loss of brain function caused by the stroke has previously been regarded as permanent. Brain researchers in Sweden have now discovered a substance that opens up the possibility of treatment up to two days after a stroke. ... > full story

Checklist cuts lethal ventilator-associated lung infections (February 18, 2011) -- Cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia -- the most lethal and among the most common of all hospital-associated infections -- dropped by more than 70 percent in Michigan hospitals where medical staff used a simple checklist. Such pneumonias kill an estimated 36,000 Americans each year. ... > full story

Chronically ill children are 88% more likely to suffer physical abuse, Swedish researchers find (February 18, 2011) -- Children with chronic health conditions are 88% more likely to suffer physical abuse than healthy children and 154% more likely to suffer a combination of physical abuse and exposure to intimate partner violence. Researchers in Sweden analyzed 2,510 questionnaires completed anonymously by children aged ten, 12 and 15 from 44 schools. Nearly one in four had at least one chronic health condition. 12% of all the children who took part in the survey said they had been physically abused, 7% had witnessed intimate partner violence and 3% had experienced both. But when researchers looked at children with chronic illness, the figures were significantly higher for physical abuse and for physical abuse combined with intimate partner violence. ... > full story

New testing could replace colonoscopies in the future (February 17, 2011) -- Nobody enjoys colonoscopies, including mice. Researchers are excited about the potential of using genetic biomarkers to predict colon cancer caused by inflammation. A new method could eventually lead to a method that might eliminate colonoscopies altogether. ... > full story

Group of enzymes could have a positive impact on health, from cholesterol to osteoporosis (February 17, 2011) -- Recent studies on a group of PCSK enzymes could have a positive impact on health, from cholesterol to osteoporosis. ... > full story

Female topics encourage girls to study science, study finds (February 17, 2011) -- Girls are more interested in studying science if topics are presented in a female friendly way, according to new research. ... > full story

Promising treatment for heroin dependency (February 17, 2011) -- A new treatment using naltrexone implants could lead to a significant reduction in heroin dependency. According to the researchers responsible for a recent Norwegian study, this should have major implications for the treatment options offered to heroin-dependent patients. ... > full story

Neurologists develop software application to help identify subtle epileptic lesions (February 17, 2011) -- Researchers have identified potential benefits of a new computer application that automatically detects subtle brain lesions in MRI scans in patients with epilepsy. ... > full story

Mobile phone use not related to increased brain cancer risk, UK study suggests (February 17, 2011) -- Radio frequency exposure from mobile phone use does not appear to increase the risk of developing brain cancers by any significant amount, a new study suggests. ... > full story

Cigarette smoking increases production of mucus in patients with bronchitis (February 17, 2011) -- Cigarette smoking has been linked with overproduction of mucus associated with chronic bronchitis, according to a new study. The study indicates cigarette smoke suppresses a protein that causes the natural death of mucus-producing cells in the airways of bronchitis patients. ... > full story

Innovative virtual reality exposure therapy shows promise for returning troops (February 17, 2011) -- A new study is one of the first to provide evidence of the effectiveness of exposure therapy with active duty military service members suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study shows that virtual reality exposure therapy resulted in significant reductions in PTSD symptoms after an average of seven treatment sessions. Additionally, 62 % of patients reported clinically meaningful, reliable change in PTSD symptoms. ... > full story

Treatment for manic-depressive illness restores brain volume deficits (February 17, 2011) -- Lithium, introduced in the late 1940's, was the first "wonder drug" in psychiatry. It was the first medication treatment for the manic and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder and it remains among one of the most effective treatments for this disorder. In the past 15 years, as molecular mechanisms underlying the treatment of bipolar disorder began to emerge, basic research studies conducted in animals began to identify neuroprotective and perhaps neurotrophic effects of this important medication. ... > full story

Biomarker discovery may lead to reliable blood test for ectopic pregnancy (February 17, 2011) -- A long, urgent search for proteins in the blood of pregnant women that could be used in early diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy has resulted in discovery of biomarkers that seem to be specific enough to begin testing in clinical trials. ... > full story

Children of working moms face more health problems, study suggests (February 17, 2011) -- Children of working mothers are significantly more likely to experience health problems, including asthma and accidents, than children of mothers who don't work outside the home, according to new research. ... > full story

Regrowing hair: Researchers may have accidentally discovered a solution (February 17, 2011) -- Scientists were investigating how stress affects gastrointestinal function may have found a chemical compound that induces hair growth by blocking a stress-related hormone associated with hair loss -- entirely by accident. ... > full story

Key culprit identified in breast cancer metastasis (February 17, 2011) -- New research suggests that regulatory T cells, whose job is to help mediate the body's immune response, produce a protein that appears to hasten and intensify the spread of breast cancer to distant organs and, in doing so, dramatically increase the risk of death. ... > full story

Water softeners not found to improve childhood eczema (February 17, 2011) -- Water softeners provide no additional clinical benefit to usual care in children with eczema, so the use of ion-exchange water softeners for the treatment of moderate to severe eczema in children should not be recommended, experts say. ... > full story

Waking up is hard to do: Scientists identify a gene important for the daily rhythms of the sleep-wake cycle (February 17, 2011) -- Scientists have discovered a new mechanism in the core gears of the circadian clock. They found the loss of a certain gene, dubbed "twenty-four," messes up the rhythm of the common fruit fly's sleep-wake cycle, making it harder for the flies to awaken. The circadian clock drives, among other things, when an organism wakes up and when it sleeps. While the study was done using Drosophila melanogaster, the findings have implications for humans. ... > full story

Researchers reveal first autism candidate gene that demonstrates sensitivity to sex hormones (February 17, 2011) -- Biochemists and molecular biologists have found that male and female sex hormones regulate expression of an important gene in neuronal cell culture through a mechanism that could explain not only higher levels of testosterone observed in some individuals with autism, but also why males have a higher incidence of autism than females. ... > full story

Tau-induced memory loss in Alzheimer’s mice is reversible; Study raises hopes for the development of effective therapies (February 17, 2011) -- Amyloid-beta and tau protein deposits in the brain are characteristic features of Alzheimer disease. The effect on the hippocampus, the area of the brain that plays a central role in learning and memory, is particularly severe. However, it appears that the toxic effect of tau protein is largely eliminated when the corresponding tau gene is switched off. Researchers have succeeded in demonstrating that once the gene is deactivated, mice with a human tau gene, which previously presented symptoms of dementia, regain their ability to learn and remember, and that the synapses of the mice also reappear in part. The scientists are now testing active substances to prevent the formation of tau deposits in mice. This may help to reverse memory loss in the early stages of Alzheimer disease -- in part, at least. ... > full story

Host genetics plays unexpected role in dance with pathogen (February 17, 2011) -- A new study suggests that differences in the host's genetics can make a big difference in susceptibility bacterial infection. Researchers show that the virulence of a strain of Yersinia pestis, notable for causing bubonic plague, varies drastically among mice strains with different genetic backgrounds. These findings carry major implications for vaccine development. ... > full story

Lie detection: Misconceptions, pitfalls and opportunities for improvement (February 17, 2011) -- Unlike Pinocchio, liars do not usually give telltale signs that they are being dishonest. In lieu of a growing nose, is there a way to distinguish people who are telling the truth from those who aren't? A new report discusses some common misconceptions about those proficient in the art of deception, reviews the shortcomings of commonly used lie-detection techniques, and presents new empirically supported methods for telling liars from truth-tellers with greater accuracy. ... > full story

Drug therapy shows significant benefit in treating a leading cause of childhood blindness (February 17, 2011) -- A readily available, inexpensive drug therapy showed a significant benefit in treating premature infants with the worst and historically most difficult-to-treat cases of retinopathy of prematurity. ... > full story

Eating berries may lower risk of Parkinson's (February 17, 2011) -- New research shows men and women who regularly eat berries may have a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease, while men may also further lower their risk by regularly eating apples, oranges and other sources rich in dietary components called flavonoids. ... > full story

Biomarker could make diagnosing knee injury easier, less costly, othopaedists say (February 17, 2011) -- A recently discovered biomarker could help doctors diagnose a common type of knee injury, according to a new study. ... > full story

Security weaknesses in file-sharing methods used in clinical trials revealed (February 17, 2011) -- Patients who participate in clinical trials expect that their personal information will remain confidential, but a recent study found that the security practices used to transfer and share sensitive files were inadequate. ... > full story

Who's the boss? Americans respond faster to those with high social status (February 17, 2011) -- A new study examines how White Americans and Chinese people in China respond to pictures of their boss, suggesting cultural differences in our responses to authority figures. ... > full story

Whole genome sequencing used to help inform cancer therapy (February 17, 2011) -- Whole genome sequencing -- spelling out a person's entire DNA genetic code -- has moved one step closer to being a medical option for direct patient care. ... > full story

Customized knee replacement depends on surgeon's skill, not implant design, study finds (February 17, 2011) -- While the choices of knee implants are plentiful, the success of total knee replacement surgery still is dependent on the surgeon's skill, researchers say. ... > full story

Risks for quitting college identified (February 17, 2011) -- College students who consider dropping out are particularly sensitive to a handful of critical events including depression and loss of financial aid, according to a new study. ... > full story

Palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases guideline published (February 17, 2011) -- The American Society for Radiation Oncology Clinical Affairs and Quality Committee has developed a guideline for the use of radiation therapy in treating bone metastases. ... > full story

Dwarfism gene linked to protection from cancer and diabetes (February 16, 2011) -- A long-term study finds extremely low incidence of cancer and diabetes among individuals with a growth-stunting genetic defect. The authors ask whether controlling growth hormone in healthy adults might provide similar protection. ... > full story

Bleeding disorder often misdiagnosed, study suggests (February 16, 2011) -- A rare bleeding disorder that can lead to life-threatening bleeding episodes is misdiagnosed in 15 percent of cases according to new findings. ... > full story

Statin may affect markers associated with progression of HIV, trial suggests (February 16, 2011) -- A recent multicenter clinical trial of atorvastatin found that although the drug did not inhibit plasma HIV RNA levels, it did inhibit expression of cellular markers of immune activation and inflammation in patients with HIV infection. ... > full story

To escape blame, be a victim, not a hero, new study finds (February 16, 2011) -- Great works and praiseworthy behavior may bring respect and admiration, but these won't help us to escape blame when we do something wrong, says a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland and Harvard University. To do that, the researchers say, one needs to be a victim not a hero! ... > full story

Brain insulin plays critical role in the development of diabetes (February 16, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered a novel function of brain insulin, indicating that impaired brain insulin action may be the cause of the unrestrained lipolysis that initiates and worsens Type 2 diabetes in humans. ... > full story

New pneumococcal vaccine approach successful in early tests; Vaccine inhibits bacteria by mimicking naturally-acquired immunity (February 16, 2011) -- Pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae) accounts for as much as 11 percent of mortality in young children worldwide. While successful vaccines exist, they are expensive and only work against specific pneumococcal strains, with the risk of becoming less effective as new strains emerge. Researchers have now developed a new vaccine candidate that is potentially cheaper and able to protect against any pneumococcal strain. ... > full story

Dial 5683 for love: Dialing certain numbers on a cell phone changes your emotional state (February 16, 2011) -- A psychological scientist in Germany has found a way that cell phones, and specifically texting, have hacked into our brains. Just by typing the numbers that correspond to the letters in a word like "love," we can activate the meaning of that word in our minds. ... > full story

Hearing with your nose: How nasal stem cells could tackle childhood hearing problems (February 16, 2011) -- Stem cell scientists have found that patients suffering from hearing problems which began during infancy and childhood could benefit from a transplant of stem cells from their nose. The research reveals that mucosa-derived stem cells can help preserve hearing function during the early-onset of sensorineural hearing loss. ... > full story

Using chlorhexidine gluconate baths to reduce hospital-acquired infections (February 16, 2011) -- A new study has found a reduced risk of hospital-acquired infections when using two percent chlorhexidine gluconate cloths for daily bathing instead of soap and water. The study found a 64 percent decrease in the risk of acquiring an infection from either methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus. ... > full story

Got a goal? A helpful partner isn't always helpful (February 16, 2011) -- You might think that a loving partner helps keep you on track -- say, when you want to stick to your jogging or concentrate on your studies. But a new study reports the opposite: Thinking about the support a significant other offers in pursuing goals can undermine the motivation to work toward those goals -- and can increase procrastination before getting down to work. ... > full story

Increasing brain enzyme may slow Alzheimer's disease progression; Study finds damaging accumulation of tau proteins removed (February 16, 2011) -- Increasing a naturally occurring enzyme in the brain slowed the damaging accumulation of tau proteins that are toxic to nerve cells and eventually lead to the neurofibrillary tangles, a major pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. ... > full story

Losing hair at 20 is linked to increased risk of prostate cancer in later life, study finds (February 16, 2011) -- Men who start to lose hair at the age of 20 are more likely to develop prostate cancer in later life and might benefit from screening for the disease, according to a new study. ... > full story

Researchers model fetal-to-adult hemoglobin switching: Important step towards cure for blood diseases (February 16, 2011) -- Researchers have engineered mice that model the switch from fetal to adult hemoglobin, an important step towards curing genetic blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia and beta-thalassemia. ... > full story

Drivers engaging in a secondary task may pay more attention to the road, study suggests (February 16, 2011) -- Although many human factors/ergonomics studies conducted over the past few years indicate that drivers who talk on the phone fail to attend to the road and increase the likelihood of an accident, the monotony of driving may also pose an accident risk. ... > full story

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