Jumat, 25 Maret 2011

ScienceDaily Health Headlines

for Friday, March 25, 2011

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Acupuncture for pain no better than placebo -- and not without harm, study finds (March 25, 2011) -- Although acupuncture is commonly used for pain control, doubts about its effectiveness and safety remain. Researchers in the UK and Korea critically evaluated systematic reviews of acupuncture as a treatment of pain in order to explore this question. The scientists conclude that numerous systematic reviews have generated little truly convincing evidence that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain, and serious adverse effects continue to be reported. ... > full story

Mini-stroke doubles risk of heart attack (March 25, 2011) -- Patients who have had temporary stroke symptoms known as a transient-ischemic attack (TIA) have twice the risk of heart attack as the general population, a new study has found. TIA patients who had a subsequent heart attack were three times more likely to die during the 20-year study than those who did not have a heart attack. These findings signify the importance of screening TIA patients for signs of heart disease, researchers say. ... > full story

Crucial hour to prevent fatal bleeding (March 25, 2011) -- An hour can make the difference between life and death when using tranexamic acid to treat injured patients with severe bleeding, a new study suggests. ... > full story

Losing a parent can be fatal (March 25, 2011) -- The death of parents entails an increase in their children’s risk of dying, according to researchers in Sweden and Finland. Those especially affected are younger children, and primarily if they lose their mother. ... > full story

Statins make radiation more effective at curing prostate cancer, study suggests (March 25, 2011) -- Men with high-risk prostate cancer who take statin drugs commonly used to lower cholesterol while receiving radiation therapy are less likely to have their cancer return than patients who do not take these medications, according to a new study. ... > full story

Telomerase inhibitor PinX1 is a key tumor suppressor, research shows (March 25, 2011) -- The discovery of a vitally important new function for this telomerase inhibitor suggests a novel option for treating cancers of the breast, lung, liver and GI system. ... > full story

Mouse cancer genome unveils genetic errors in human cancers (March 24, 2011) -- By sequencing the genome of a mouse with cancer, researchers have uncovered mutations that also drive cancer in humans. The investigators are the first to sequence a mouse cancer genome. ... > full story

High levels of dietary nitrate might in part explain the vascular benefits of diets rich in leafy greens (March 24, 2011) -- Nitric oxide (NO) helps maintain the health of vasculature. NO is synthesized by an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS). In a new study, researchers determined that after vessel injury, the NOS pathway is disrupted, but a secondary pathway that generates NO from nitrate is activated. This suggests that high levels of dietary nitrate might in part explain the vascular benefits of diets rich in leafy greens. ... > full story

Contented citizens vote against change (March 24, 2011) -- US citizens who have a high quality of life are more engaged in the direct democracy process, according to new research. A new study demonstrates that quality of life is a strong predictor of voter turnout. However, interestingly, voters with a higher quality of life are less likely to support changes in public policy through direct democracy. ... > full story

In adolescence, the power to resist blooms in the brain (March 24, 2011) -- Just when children are faced with intensifying peer pressure to misbehave, regions of the brain are actually blossoming in a way that heighten the ability to resist risky behavior, report researchers. ... > full story

Novel immune therapy for pancreatic cancer developed (March 24, 2011) -- Researchers have discovered a novel way of treating pancreatic cancer by activating the immune system to destroy the cancer's scaffolding. The strategy was tested in a small cohort of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, several of whose tumors shrank substantially. The team believes their findings -- and the novel way in which they uncovered them -- could lead to quicker, less expensive cancer drug development. ... > full story

Robot-assisted prostate surgery is safe, long-term study finds (March 24, 2011) -- In the first study of its kind, urologists and biostatisticians have found that robot-assisted surgery to remove cancerous prostate glands is safe over the long term, with a major complication rate of less than one percent. The findings follow an earlier Henry Ford study that found nearly 87 percent of patients whose cancerous prostates were removed by robot-assisted surgery had no recurrence of the disease after five years. ... > full story

Rehabilitation within a day of knee replacement pays off (March 24, 2011) -- Starting rehabilitation sooner following knee arthroplasty surgery could pay dividends -- for both patients and hospitals. Commencing physical therapy within 24 hours of surgery can improve pain, range of joint motion and muscle strength as well as cut hospital stays, according to new research. ... > full story

Parents important for keeping adolescents off alcohol (March 24, 2011) -- Parents who are both present and engaged are the very best way of preventing teenagers from consuming large quantities of alcohol. Adolescents who smoke, stay out with their friends and have access to alcohol – from their parents, for example – when they are as young as 13 are at greater risk of becoming binge drinkers in their late teens, reveals new research. ... > full story

How lung cancers evolve in response to targeted treatment (March 24, 2011) -- A detailed analysis of lung tumors that became resistant to targeted therapy drugs has revealed two previously unreported resistance mechanisms and some surprising changes in the appearance of tumor cells. The findings support the importance of monitoring the molecular status of tumors throughout the treatment process. ... > full story

Suggesting genes' friends, Facebook-style (March 24, 2011) -- Scientists in Germany have developed a new method that uncovers the combined effects of genes. The technique helps understand how different genes can amplify, cancel out or mask each others' effects, and enables scientists to suggest genes that interfere with each other in much the same manner that Facebook suggests friends. ... > full story

Molecular muscle: Small parts of a big protein play key roles in building tissues (March 24, 2011) -- We all know the adage: A little bit of a good thing can go a long way. Now researchers in London are reporting that might also be true for a large protein associated with wound healing. ... > full story

The evolution of brain wiring: Navigating to the neocortex (March 24, 2011) -- A new study is providing fascinating insight into how projections conveying sensory information in the brain are guided to their appropriate targets in different species. The research reveals a surprising new evolutionary scenario that may help to explain how subtle changes in the migration of "guidepost" neurons underlie major differences in brain connectivity between mammals and non-mammalian vertebrates. ... > full story

'Knowing it in your gut': Cross-talk between human gut bacteria and brain (March 24, 2011) -- A lot of chatter goes on inside each one of us and not all of it happens between our ears. Researchers have discovered that the "cross-talk" between bacteria in our gut and our brain plays an important role in the development of psychiatric illness, intestinal diseases and probably other health problems as well including obesity. ... > full story

Study of how brain corrects perceptual errors has implications for brain injuries, robotics (March 24, 2011) -- New research provides the first evidence that sensory recalibration -- the brain's automatic correcting of errors made by our sensory or perceptual systems -- can occur instantly. ... > full story

'Junk food' moms have 'junk food' babies (March 24, 2011) -- Pregnant mothers who eat high sugar and high fat diets have babies who are likely to become junk food junkies themselves. According to the report, which used rats, this happens because the high fat and high sugar diet leads to changes in the fetal brain's reward pathway, altering food preferences. ... > full story

Arthritis drug could help beat melanoma skin cancer, study finds (March 24, 2011) -- A breakthrough discovery promises an effective new treatment for one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Researchers found that leflunomide -- a drug commonly used to treat rheumatoid arthritis -- also inhibits the growth of malignant melanoma. ... > full story

Plant oil may hold key to reducing obesity-related medical issues, researcher finds (March 24, 2011) -- Scientists have known for years that belly fat leads to serious medical problems, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke. Now, a researcher has found a plant oil that may be able to reduce belly fat in humans. A new study has found that a specific plant oil, known as sterculic oil, may be a key in the fight against obesity. ... > full story

Road traffic pollution doubles risk of rejection after lung transplant (March 24, 2011) -- Lung transplant patients have double the risk of organ rejection and death within five years of the procedure if they live near a main road, new research indicates. ... > full story

Health information technology 'control tower' could improve earthquake response (March 24, 2011) -- A new study foresees improvements in patient outcomes after a major earthquake through more effective use of information technology. A control tower-style telemedicine hub to manage electronic traffic between first responders and remote medical experts could boost the likelihood that critically injured victims will get timely care and survive, according to the team's computer simulation model. ... > full story

New insight into how environmental enrichment enhances memory (March 24, 2011) -- A new study introduces a valuable model system for investigating the role of synapse turnover in learning and memory in adult animals and elucidates mechanisms that link loss of existing synapses and the establishment of new synapses with improved learning. ... > full story

Sign language users read words and see signs simultaneously (March 24, 2011) -- People fluent in sign language may simultaneously keep words and signs in their minds as they read, according to an international team of researchers. ... > full story

Physical activity decreases salt's effect on blood pressure, study finds (March 24, 2011) -- The less physically active you are, the more your blood pressure rises in response to a high-salt diet, new research finds. Following a low-salt diet may be particularly important in lowering blood pressure among sedentary people. ... > full story

Prostate cancer spreads to bones by overtaking the home of blood stem cells (March 24, 2011) -- Like bad neighbors who decide to go wreck another community, prostate and breast cancer usually recur in the bone, according to a new study. ... > full story

Gene responsible for severe skin condition identified in research on epilepsy drug side-effect (March 24, 2011) -- Scientists have identified a gene that could indicate if epilepsy patients starting drug treatment are likely to experience side-effects resulting in blistering of the skin. ... > full story

Similarities found in brain activity for both habits and goals (March 24, 2011) -- Researchers hasve found that pursuing carefully planned goals and engaging in more automatic habits shows overlapping neurological mechanisms. Because the findings show a neurological linkage between goal-directed and habitual, and perhaps damaging, behaviors, they may offer a pathway for beginning to address addiction and similar maladies. ... > full story

Even mild stress is linked to long-term disability, study finds (March 24, 2011) -- Even relatively mild stress can lead to long term disability and an inability to work, reveals a large population-based study. ... > full story

New computer-based method to detect epileptic seizures (March 24, 2011) -- Researchers have pioneered a computer-based method to detect epileptic seizures as they occur -- a new technique that may open a window on the brain's electrical activity. ... > full story

Long-term methadone treatment can affect the brain (March 24, 2011) -- Methadone has been used to treat heroin addicts for nearly 50 years. Yet we have surprisingly incomplete knowledge about possible harmful effects from prolonged use. New research shows that methadone affects the brain and impairs the attention of experimental animals. ... > full story

Scientists find a key to maintaining our DNA: Provides new clues in quest to slow aging (March 24, 2011) -- Maintaining the integrity of our DNA is a critical, yet complex part of the aging process. Scientists have discovered how DNA maintenance is regulated, opening the door to interventions that may enhance the body's natural preservation of genetic information. The findings may help researchers delay the onset of aging and disease by curbing the loss or damage of our genetic makeup, which makes us more susceptible to cancers and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's. ... > full story

First look at the full multiple myeloma genome reveals new insights, discoveries (March 24, 2011) -- Scientists have unveiled the most comprehensive picture to date of the full genetic blueprint of multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. ... > full story

Researchers find cardiac pacing helps epilepsy patients with ictal asystole (March 24, 2011) -- Researchers have found that cardiac pacing may help epilepsy patients with seizure-related falls due to ictal asystole, an unusual condition in which the heart stops beating during an epileptic seizure. ... > full story

Psychologists find the meaning of aggression: 'Monty Python' scene helps research (March 24, 2011) -- Bottling up emotions can make people more aggressive, according to new research. The psychologists used a pair of classic movie scenes in their research. They found that subjects who were asked to suppress their emotions and show no reaction to a notoriously disgusting scene in the 1983 film "The Meaning of Life" and another in the 1996 film "Trainspotting" were more aggressive afterwards than subjects who were allowed to show their revulsion. ... > full story

Drug prevents Type 2 diabetes in majority of high-risk individuals (March 23, 2011) -- An oral pill already in wide use prevented Type 2 diabetes in 72 percent of individuals at high risk for the disease, a multicenter study has found. ... > full story

Lung cancer study finds mentholated cigarettes no more harmful than regular cigarettes (March 23, 2011) -- Smokers of mentholated cigarettes are no more likely to develop lung cancer than other smokers, according to a new, very large, prospective study of black and white smokers. In fact, contrary to a popular hypothesis, menthol smokers in this study had a somewhat lower risk of developing and dying from lung cancer than non-menthol smokers. ... > full story

Study finds no association between mercury exposure and risk of cardiovascular disease (March 23, 2011) -- In a new, large-scale study, researchers found no evidence that higher levels of mercury exposure were associated with higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or total cardiovascular disease in two separate studies of US adults. ... > full story

Obese and overweight women, children underestimate true weight, study finds (March 23, 2011) -- Overweight and obese women and children underestimate their body weight, new research finds. Almost half of the mothers with overweight and obese children think that their children's weight is normal. Obese images appear to have become acceptable norms in some families; thereby, increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease. ... > full story

Zebrafish model of human melanoma reveals new cancer gene (March 23, 2011) -- Looking at the dark stripes on the tiny zebrafish you might not expect that they hold a potential clue for discovering a treatment for melanoma. Yet melanocytes, the same cells that are are responsible for the pigmentation of zebrafish stripes and for human skin color, are also where melanoma originates. Researchers have now used zebrafish to identify a new gene responsible for promoting melanoma. ... > full story

Bird embryo provides unique insights into development related to cancer and wound healing (March 23, 2011) -- Avian embryos could join the list of model organisms used to study a specific type of cell migration called epiboly, a developmental process involving mass movement of cells as a sheet that is linked with medical conditions that include wound healing and cancer. ... > full story

Time lived with obesity linked with mortality (March 23, 2011) -- Researchers have found the number of years individuals live with obesity is directly associated with the risk of mortality. ... > full story

Does belief in free will lead to action? (March 23, 2011) -- Free will may be an illusion. Yet we persist in believing we are the masters of our fates -- and that belief affects how we act. Think you determine the course of your life and you're likely to work harder toward your goals and feel better about yourself too. Think you don't, and you're likelier to behave in ways that fulfill that prophesy. ... > full story

Youth at risk for obesity show greater brain activity in response to food (March 23, 2011) -- In a novel study using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), investigators compared the neural response to food and monetary reward in lean adolescents at risk for obesity relative to lean adolescents not at risk for obesity. Results suggest that the initial vulnerability that gives rise to obesity may be elevated rather than blunted sensitivity of the brain's reward circuitry. ... > full story

Number of child diarrhea deaths can be halved with current interventions, experts say (March 23, 2011) -- Deaths from diarrhea -- a major killer of young children in poor countries -- could be almost halved if already available interventions such as breastfeeding, hand washing with soap and improved household water treatment were widely implemented, according to experts. ... > full story

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