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January 29, 2009, 6:21 AM CT

Weight loss reduces urinary incontinence

Weight loss reduces urinary incontinence
Reducing urinary incontinence can now be added to the extensive list of health benefits of weight loss, as per a clinical trial funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The paper reporting the results of the trial would be reported in the January 29 issue of the New England Journal (NEJM)

The Program to Reduce Incontinence by Diet and Exercise (PRIDE), conducted in Birmingham, Alabama, and Providence, Rhode Island, recruited a total of 338 obese and overweight women who leaked urine at least 10 times per week. The women were randomly assigned to either an intensive six-month weight-loss program of diet, exercise and behavior modification or to a group that received information about diet and exercise, but no training to help them change habits.

The researchers report that women in the intensive weight-loss group lost an average 8 percent of their body weight (about 17 pounds) and reduced weekly urinary incontinence episodes by nearly one-half (47 percent). In contrast, women in the information-only group lost an average 1.6 percent of body weight (about 3 pounds) and had 28 percent fewer episodes.

"Clearly, weight loss can have a significant, positive impact on urinary incontinence, a finding that may help motivate weight loss, which has additional health benefits such as preventing type 2 diabetes," said NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 29, 2009, 6:19 AM CT

Our senior citizens living longer but on less

Our senior citizens living longer but on less
"This is a wakeup call for America: Congress must act now to ensure economic stability for today's seniors and future generations".

Waltham, MAOlder Americans have experienced huge, negative financial shifts that now make it more difficult to enter retirement with sustainable economic security, a newly released study finds. Seventy-eight percent of all senior households are financially vulnerable when it comes to their ability to meet essential expenses and cover projected costs over their lifetimes.

This is as per the Senior Economic Security Index (SESI), a new research project developed by The Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University and Demos, a national public policy and research organization. Single households, African-American households, and Latino households are the most likely groups of seniors to be financially vulnerable.

These sobering stats serve as a wakeup call for younger and middle-aged Americans. Though they are financially vulnerable, today's seniors represent a best-case scenario of having reached retirement under stronger Social Security, better employer-based benefits, and greater opportunities to avoid debt and build assets than future generations will experience.

Particular areas of vulnerability include:........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 29, 2009, 6:18 AM CT

Stunning findings at memory research

Stunning findings at memory research
Like countless neuroresearchers around the world, Northwestern University Professor Nelson Spruston knew H. M. well -- his personal story and the sound of his voice. But it wasn't until H. M. died last month that Spruston learned H. M.'s full name -- Henry Gustav Molaison.

In 1953, Molaison, aged 27, had brain surgery to control his severe epilepsy. Both medial temporal lobes were removed, the first and only surgery of its kind. His seizures improved, but he became frozen in time, unable to form new and lasting memories. When Molaison died, his body was 82, but his mind and personality were in a number of ways still 27.

Molaison's experience has pointed Spruston and other researchers interested in understanding learning and memory to the temporal lobe, especially the hippocampus. In a newly released study would be reported in the Jan. 29 issue of the journal Neuron, Spruston and his research team report discovering a new cellular mechanism that could be critical to the formation of memories in the hippocampus.

Something in the brain must change in response to experience in order for individuals to learn. Spruston and colleagues studied the electrical output of neurons and discovered that two different types of neuronal metabotropic receptors together produce biochemical changes that change the way a neuron fires, increasing the neuron's electrical output and strengthening the signals it sends to other brain regions, including those involved in reward and decision making.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


January 29, 2009, 6:14 AM CT

Finding endometrial cancer early

Finding endometrial cancer early
Cancer is a genetic disease. It occurs when changes take place in the genes that regulate cell division, cell growth, cell death, cell signalling and blood vessel formation either due to mutations caused by external factors such as smoking or radiation or due to inherited changes. This interaction between defective genes and environmental factors means that cancer is an extremely complex disease. Cancer of the uterus, or endometrial carcinoma, is no exception.

Cancer of the uterus is the commonest gynaecological malignancy in the West and accounts for between five and six per cent of all cancers in Swedish women. However, the symptoms are often vague, and we know little about the genetic factors that lead to the appearance and development of this form of cancer. It is therefore vital that these genes are identified, as this could enable doctors to make the diagnosis much more quickly and easily, allowing the development of more effective cancer therapy.

In her study, Sandra Karlsson, a researcher at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, has used inbred rats to locate the defective genes that cause uterine cancer. Like monozygotic (identical) twins, these inbred rats are genetically almost identical, which makes it much easier to study the influence of the environment in which they live.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


January 29, 2009, 6:11 AM CT

Preterm birth and autism

Preterm birth and autism
Recent studies have suggested that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) appears to be more prevalent among children born very prematurely. The early symptoms of ASD are also linked to other conditions correlation to preterm births, such as cerebral palsy, which can make it difficult to correctly screen children for ASD. Because of this, scientists have begun to explore the relationship between preterm birth, cognitive and developmental impairments, and ASD. Two articles soon would be published in The Journal of Pediatrics explore this possible connection between preterm birth and ASD.

Dr. Karl Kuban and his colleagues from Boston University, Wake Forest University, and Harvard University studied 988 children born between 2002 and 2004 who participated in the ELGAN (Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborn) study, a large, multi-center study that enrolled more than 1500 infants born at least three months prematurely. They wanted to explore whether children born preterm are more likely to screen positive on the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), a survey administered to a caregiver regarding a child's behavior. Pediatricians typically wait to formally diagnose ASD until after a child's third birthday. In this study, however, the caregivers of the infants completed the M-CHAT when the children were 24 months of age. The scientists observed that 21% of the preterm children screened positive for ASD.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 28, 2009, 6:29 AM CT

What's the link between menopause and heart disease?

What's the link between menopause and heart disease?
An evaluation of 203 women as part of the multifaceted Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study (LAAS) observed that those who transitioned more quickly through menopause were at increased risk for a higher rate of progression of "preclinical atherosclerosis" narrowing of arteries caused by the thickening of their walls.

Heart specialist C. Noel Bairey Merz, M.D., is principal investigator of the study. She is director of the Women's Heart Center and the Preventive and Rehabilitative Cardiac Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. She serves as professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai and holds the Women's Guild Endowed Chair in Women's Health.

This observational study included 203 women between ages 45 and 60 at the time they entered the study. Fifty-two were premenopausal, 20 were perimenopausal and 131 were postmenopausal. None of the women had been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. They were reviewed when they entered the study and at two 18-month intervals, providing a snapshot over a three-year period of time.

Evaluations included carotid intimal-media thickness (cIMT) measurements and objective measures of menopausal status based on hormone levels and physiologic changes, not subjective factors, such as hot flashes and estimates of menstrual cycling.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


January 28, 2009, 6:24 AM CT

Stress disrupts human thinking

Stress disrupts human thinking
new neuroimaging study on stressed-out students suggests that male humans, like male rats, don't do their most agile thinking under stress. The findings, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that 20 male M.D. candidates in the middle of preparing for their board exams had a harder time shifting their attention from one task to another than other healthy young men who were not under the gun.

Prior experiments had observed that stressed rats foraging for food had similar impairments and that those problems resulted from stress-induced changes in their brain anatomy. The newly released study, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the stressed students' brains, is a robust example of how basic research in an animal model can lead to high-tech investigations of the human brain.

"It's a great translational story," says Bruce S. McEwen, head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at The Rockefeller University, who worked on the project with colleagues at Weill Cornell Medical College. "The research in the rats led to the imaging work on people, and the results matched up remarkably well".

The work holds good news too, for both rats and humans: Their brains recuperate quickly. Less than a month after the stress goes away, they are back to normal. "The message is that healthy brains are remarkably resilient and plastic," McEwen says.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


January 28, 2009, 6:20 AM CT

Sequential and alternating chemotherapy and radiatio

Sequential and alternating chemotherapy and radiatio
Larynx cancer patients treated with alternating cycles of chemotherapy and radiation have similar outcomes to patients treated with chemotherapy followed by radiation, as per data from a randomized controlled trial in the January 27 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Prior trials in patients with locally advanced larynx cancer showed that chemotherapy followed by radiation was as effective as total removal of the larynx, known as laryngectomy, in terms of overall and disease-free survival and that this sequential treatment provided better quality of life. Subsequent trials indicated that concurrent administration of chemotherapy and radiation resulted in a statistically significant improvement in larynx preservation but was linked to more serious acute toxicity and possibly long term side effects.

To try to improve patient survival without increasing side effects, Jean Lefebvre, M.D., of the Centre Oscar Lambret in Lille, France, and his colleagues in the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer enrolled 450 patients with larynx or hypopharynx cancer in a randomized controlled trial. Patients received either chemotherapy followed by radiation or alternating cycles of radiation and chemotherapy.

With a median follow-up of 6.5 years, there was no significant difference in clinical outcomes between the two therapy groups. Larynx preservation, overall survival, and progression-free survival were similar for patients treated with sequential and alternating chemotherapy and radiation.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 28, 2009, 6:18 AM CT

HPV18 DNA levels are not prognostic for cervical lesions

HPV18 DNA levels are not prognostic for cervical lesions
Perhaps surprisingly, the number of copies of the carcinogenic human papillomavirus type 18 (HPV18) relative to cellular DNA is not linked to the likelihood of progression to advanced premalignant lesions of the cervix, as per a research studyin the January 27 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Two types of HPV are most frequently linked to cervical cancer, HPV16 and HPV18. Prior studies showed that the number of HPV16 copies per cell correlated with an increasing risk of progression to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or 3 (CIN2-3). The prognostic significance of HPV18 DNA level is not known.

In the current study, Long Fu Xi, M.D, Ph.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and his colleagues compared the number of copies of HPV18 DNA relative to cellular DNA at baseline with a woman's risk of progressing to CIN2-3. The 303 study participants were drawn from the Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance and Low-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesion Triage Study.

During the 2-year study period, 92 women were diagnosed with CIN2-3. Among women with a cytologic diagnosis of low- or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions at enrollment, HPV18 DNA level was lower in women with CIN2-3 than those without CIN2-3.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


January 28, 2009, 6:15 AM CT

Regular sprint boosts metabolism

Regular sprint boosts metabolism
A regular high-intensity, three-minute workout has a significant effect on the body's ability to process sugars. Research reported in the open access journal BMC Endocrine Disorders shows that a brief but intense exercise session every couple of days appears to be the best way to cut the risk of diabetes.

Professor James Timmons worked with a team of scientists from Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, Scotland, to investigate the effect of 'high-intensity interval training' (HIT) on the metabolic prowess of sixteen sedentary male volunteers. He said, "The risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes is substantially reduced through regular physical activity. Unfortunately, a number of people feel they simply don't have the time to follow current exercise guidelines. What we have found is that doing a few intense muscle exercises, each lasting only about 30 seconds, dramatically improves your metabolism in just two weeks."

Current exercise guidelines suggest that people should perform moderate to vigorous aerobic and resistance exercise for several hours per week. While these guidelines are very worthwhile in principle, Timmons suggests that a lack of compliance indicates the need for an alternative, "Current guidelines, with regards to designing exercise regimes to yield the best health outcomes, may not be optimal and certainly require further discussion. The low volume, high intensity training utilized in our study substantially improved both insulin action and glucose clearance in otherwise sedentary young males and this indicates that we do still not fully appreciate the traditional correlation between exercise and diabetes".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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