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March 28, 2011, 7:21 AM CT

Activity of single neurons during seizures

Activity of single neurons during seizures
Single neuron
Typically the first study to examine the activity of hundreds of individual human brain cells during seizures has observed that seizures begin with extremely diverse neuronal activity, contrary to the classic view that they are characterized by massively synchronized activity. The investigation by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brown University scientists also observed pre-seizure changes in neuronal activity both in the cells where seizures originate and in nearby cells. The report will appear in Nature Neuroscience and is receiving advance online publication.

"Our findings suggest that different groups of neurons play distinct roles at different stages of seizures," says Sydney Cash, MD, PhD, of the MGH Department of Neurology, the paper's senior author. "They also indicate that it appears to be possible to predict impending seizures, and that clinical interventions to prevent or stop them probably should target those specific groups of neurons."

Epileptic seizures have been reported since ancient times, and today 50 million individuals worldwide are affected; but much remains unknown about how seizures begin, spread and end. Current knowledge about what happens in the brain during seizures largely comes from EEG readings, which reflect the average activity of millions of neurons at a time. This study used a neurotechnology that records the activity of individual brain cells via an implanted sensor the size of a baby aspirin.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 28, 2011, 7:14 AM CT

Surgeon availability in vehicle crashes

Surgeon availability in vehicle crashes
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine claim that the availability of surgeons is a critical factor in public health and suggest that surgery should become an important part of the primary health care system.

A recent study led by David C. Chang, PhD, MPH, MBA, director of Outcomes Research in the Department of Surgery at UCSD School of Medicine, points out that surgery in the United States continues to be seen as tertiary care and is mainly centered at large urban hospitals, creating an unequal distribution of surgical providers. The report, to be published on line in the Journal of American College of Surgeons March 28, shows that the insufficient availability of surgeons in certain regions of the country significantly lowers the quality of patient care and leads to unnecessary loss of lives.

To investigate how access to surgical care impacts health outcomes, Chang and his colleagues focused on motor vehicle crashes (MVC) � one of the leading causes of deaths in the United States. The scientists examined the relationship between the three-year average of MVC-related deaths and the availability of surgeons across 3,225 counties in the United States. After adjusting for factors such as density of population, urban versus rural location, and socioeconomic status, they observed that there was a significant inverse association between the number of surgeons and the number of road traffic injury-related deaths, particularly in rural areas.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 28, 2011, 7:06 AM CT

Some women worry too much about breast

Some women worry too much about breast
Most women face only a small risk of breast cancer coming back after they complete their therapy. Yet a newly released study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds that nearly half of Latinas who speak little English expressed a great deal of worry about recurrence.

"Some worry about cancer recurrence is understandable. But for some women, these worries can be so strong that they impact their therapy decisions, symptom reporting and screening behaviors, and overall quality of life," says study author Nancy K. Janz, Ph.D., professor of health behavior and health education at the U-M School of Public Health.

The scientists found substantial variation based on racial or ethnic background, with Latinas who speak primarily Spanish expressing the most worry and African-Americans expressing the least worry. For Latinas, the scientists considered acculturation, a measure of how much a person is integrated into American society. For Latinas, a significant factor is whether they speak primarily English or Spanish.

While 46 percent of Latinas who spoke primarily Spanish reported they worry "very much" about recurrence, that number drops to 25 percent for Latinas who speak primarily English, 14 percent for white women and 13 percent for African-Americans.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 28, 2011, 7:04 AM CT

'Spicing' up your love life possible

'Spicing' up your love life possible
Looking to spice up your sex life? Try adding ginseng and saffron to your diet. Both are proven performance boosters, as per a new scientific review of natural aphrodisiacs conducted by University of Guelph researchers.

Indulge in wine and chocolate, too, but know that their amorous effects are likely all in your head. Stay away from the more obscure Spanish fly and Bufo toad. While purported to be sexually enhancing, they produced the opposite result and can even be toxic.

Those are among the findings of the study by Massimo Marcone, a professor in Guelph's Department of Food Science, and master's student John Melnyk. The results will appear in the journal Food Research International but are available online now.

"Aphrodisiacs have been used for thousands of years all around the world, but the science behind the claims has never been well understood or clearly reported," Marcone said.

"Ours is the most thorough scientific review to date. Nothing has been done on this level of detail before now." .

There is a need for natural products that enhance sex without negative side effects, Melnyk added. Currently, conditions such as erectile dysfunction are treated with synthetic drugs, including sildenafil (usually sold as Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 26, 2011, 10:21 PM CT

A new colon cancer marker

A new colon cancer marker
Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD
A research team at the University of Colorado Cancer Center has identified an enzyme that could be used to diagnose colon cancer earlier. It is possible that this enzyme also could be a key to stopping the cancer.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in Americans, with a one in 20 chance of developing it, as per the American Cancer Society. This enzyme biomarker could help physicians identify more colon cancers and do so at earlier stages when the cancer is more successfully treated.

The research was led by Vasilis Vasiliou, PhD, professor of molecular toxicology at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy, and reported in the Jan. 7 online issue of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. Vasiliou's laboratory specializes in understanding the role of enzymes called aldehyde dehydrogenases in drug metabolism, metabolic diseases, cancer and normal and cancer stem cells.

Vasiliou's team studied colon cancers from 40 patients and found a form of this enzyme known as ALDH1B1 present in every colon cancer cell in 39 out of the 40 cases. The enzyme, which is normally found only in stem cells, was detected at extraordinarily high levels.

"Other potential colon cancer biomarkers have been identified in the past, but none thus far are present in such a high percent of the cancer cells and virtually none are overexpressed like this one," says David Orlicky, PhD, associate professor of pathology at the CU medical school and a member of the research team.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


March 25, 2011, 7:35 AM CT

Consumption of omega-3s

Consumption of omega-3s
A study of Yup'ik Eskimos in Alaska, who on average consume 20 times more omega-3 fats from fish than people in the lower 48 states, suggests that a high intake of these fats helps prevent obesity-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

The study, led by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and conducted in collaboration with the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, was published online March 23 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

"Because Yup'ik Eskimos have a traditional diet that includes large amounts of fatty fish and have a prevalence of overweight or obesity that is similar to that of the general U.S. population, this offered a unique opportunity to study whether omega-3 fats change the association between obesity and chronic disease risk," said main author Zeina Makhoul, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the Cancer Prevention Program of the Public Health Sciences Division at the Hutchinson Center.

The fats the scientists were interested in measuring were those found in salmon, sardines and other fatty fish: docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA.

Scientists analyzed data from a community-based study of 330 people living in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta region of southwest Alaska, 70 percent of whom were overweight or obese. As expected, the scientists observed that in participants with low blood levels of DHA and EPA, obesity strongly increased both blood triglycerides (a blood lipid abnormality) and C-reactive protein, or CRP (a measure of overall body inflammation). Elevated levels of triglycerides and CRP increase the risk of heart disease and, possibly, diabetes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 25, 2011, 7:12 AM CT

Anemia in postmenopausal women

Anemia in postmenopausal women
A newly released study reported in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicates that inadequate nutrition is associated with a greater risk of anemia in postmenopausal women.

"This study suggests that inadequate nutrient intakes are a significant risk factor for anemia in this population of older women and use of multivitamin/mineral supplements is not linked to lower rates of anemia," reports lead investigator Cynthia A. Thomson, PhD, RD, Associate Professor Nutritional Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson. "Overall mortality is increased in relation to a diagnosis of anemia, and anemia, especially iron deficiency, has been linked to reduced capacity for physical work and physical inactivity, injury correlation to falls and hospitalizations, making this an important health care concern in the aging." The authors also point out that there have been few studies of anemia and diet of independently living women in the past 20 years.

Using data from 72,833 women in the Observational Cohort of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI-OS), scientists observed that deficiencies in more than a single nutrient were linked to a 21% greater risk of persistent anemia while three deficiencies resulted in a 44% increase in risk for persistent anemia. Inadequate intakes of multiple anemia-associated nutrients were less frequent in non-Hispanic whites (7.4%) than other race/ethnic groups (15.2% of Native Americans/Alaskans, 14.6% Asian/Pacific Islanders, 15.3% of African Americans and 16.3% of Hispanic/Latinos reported all three nutrient inadequacies). Women with anemia reported lower intakes of energy, protein, folate, vitamin B12, iron, vitamin C and red meat. In fact, inadequate intake of dietary iron, vitamin B12 and folate were each linked to approximately 10% to 20% elevated risk for incident anemia among WHI-OS study participants and the odds increased for persistent anemia to 21%. Age, body mass index and smoking were also linked to anemia.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


March 25, 2011, 7:10 AM CT

Psychiatric symptoms in children with epilepsy

Psychiatric symptoms in children with epilepsy
A newly published report reveals that children with epilepsy are more likely to have psychiatric symptoms, with gender a determining factor in their development. Findings showed that girls had more emotional problems, while boys had more hyperactivity/inattention problems and issues regarding peer relationships. Details of this study in Norwegian children are now available online in Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy.

Prior studies have shown that children with epilepsy are at increased risk of developing behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders including anxiety, depression, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In a 2003 population-based study, psychiatric disorders were reported in 37% of children with epilepsy, while children with diabetes and those in the healthy control group were much lower at 11% and 9%, respectively (Davies et al., 2003). Medical evidence, however, has not clearly established when children or teens with epilepsy appears to be vulnerable to developing psychiatric issues, or how gender influences psychopathology in epilepsy.

The current study used data collected by the Norwegian Health Services Research Centre in a 2002 health profile questionnaire. For children in the 8-13 years of age group, there were 14,699 (response rate of 78%) parents who completed the questionnaire which included questions on topics such as sociodemographic conditions, physical and mental health, and psychosocial conditions. To assess psychiatric symptoms, scientists used the parent report of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) which included questions covering four problem domains�emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity-inattention, and peer problems�and prosocial behavior. The SDQ scores were classified as normal, borderline, or abnormal.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 22, 2011, 10:31 PM CT

Load Up on Fiber Now

Load Up on Fiber Now
A newly released study from Northwestern Medicine shows a high-fiber diet could be a critical heart-healthy lifestyle change young and middle-aged adults can make. The study found adults between 20 and 59 years old with the highest fiber intake had a significantly lower estimated lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease in comparison to those with the lowest fiber intake.

The study will be presented March 23 at the American Heart Association's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Scientific Sessions 2011 in Atlanta, Ga. This is the first known study to show the influence of fiber consumption on the lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease.

"It's long been known that high-fiber diets can help people lose weight, lower cholesterol and improve hypertension," said Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., corresponding author of the study and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a heart specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "The results of this study make a lot of sense because weight, cholesterol and high blood pressure are major determinants of your long-term risk for cardiovascular disease".

A high-fiber diet falls into the American Heart Association's recommendation of 25 grams of dietary fiber or more a day. Lloyd-Jones said you should strive to get this daily fiber intake from whole foods, not processed fiber bars, supplements and drinks.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 22, 2011, 10:28 PM CT

Discovery in liver cancer cells

Discovery in liver cancer cells
Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) have discovered a novel mechanism in gene regulation that contributes to the development of a form of liver cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Currently, there is virtually no effective therapy for HCC, and this breakthrough identifies a promising new target for therapeutic intervention.

In the journal Hepatology, Devanand Sarkar, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., Harrison Endowed Scholar in Cancer Research at VCU Massey Cancer Center, a Blick scholar and assistant professor in the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics and a member of the VIMM at VCU School of Medicine, describes for the first time how RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) contributes to the development of liver cancer.

RISC is an important factor in post-transcriptional gene regulation, which occurs between transcription (where DNA is converted to RNA) and translation (where RNA is converted to protein). These processes regulate functions such as cellular growth, division and death. Sarkar and his team identified the proteins AEG-1 and SND1 as factors that increase RISC activity and lead to the development of liver cancer.

For years, Sarkar has been studying the role of AEG-1 in cancer with his collaborator on this research, Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., Thelma Newmeyer Corman Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at VCU Massey, professor and chair of the Department of Human and Molecular Genetics and director of the VIMM.........

Posted by: Janet      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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