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March 3, 2009, 6:15 AM CT

Drinking wine lowers risk of Barrett's esophagus

Drinking wine lowers risk of Barrett's esophagus
Drinking one glass of wine a day may lower the risk of Barrett's Esophagus by 56 percent, as per a newly released study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in the recent issue of Gastroenterology Barrett's Esophagus is a precursor to esophageal cancer, the nation's fastest growing cancer with an incidence rate that's jumped 500 percent in the last 30 years.

Barrett's Esophagus affects 5 percent of the population and occurs when heartburn or acid reflux permanently damages the esophageal lining. People with Barrett's Esophagus have a 30- to 40-fold higher risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma (a type of esophageal cancer) because the Barrett's Esophagus cells can grow into cancer cells.

Because there are no symptoms or warning signs of Barrett's Esophagus, people discover they have Barrett's Esophagus when an endoscopy for anemia, heartburn or a bleeding ulcer reveals esophageal cells that were damaged, then changed form during the healing process. Currently nothing can be done to treat Barrett's Esophagus; it can only be monitored.

This is the first and largest population-based study to examine the correlation between alcohol consumption and risk of Barrett's Esophagus. Funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, the Kaiser Permanente study looked at 953 men and women in Northern California between 2002 and 2005 and observed that people who drank one or more glasses of red or white wine a day had less than half the risk (or 56 percent reduced risk) of Barrett's Esophagus. There was no reduction of Barrett's Esophagus risk among people who drank beer or liquor.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


March 3, 2009, 6:13 AM CT

TV viewing before the age of 2

TV viewing before the age of 2
A longitudinal study of infants from birth to age 3 showed TV viewing before the age of 2 does not improve a child's language and visual motor skills, as per research conducted at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. The findings, reported in the recent issue of Pediatrics, reaffirm current guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that recommend no television under the age of 2, and suggest that maternal, child, and household characteristics are more influential in a child's cognitive development.

"Contrary to marketing claims and some parents' perception that television viewing is beneficial to children's brain development, no evidence of such benefit was found," says Marie Evans Schmidt, PhD, main author of the study.

The study analyzed data of 872 children from Project Viva, a prospective cohort study of mothers and their children. In-person visits with both mothers and infants were performed immediately after birth, at 6 months, and 3 years of age while mothers completed mail-in questionnaires regarding their child's TV viewing habits when they were 1 and 2 years old. It was conducted by scientists in the Center on Media and Child Health at Children's and the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 3, 2009, 6:12 AM CT

Swimming lessons do not increase drowning risk

Swimming lessons do not increase drowning risk
Providing very young children with swimming lessons appears to have a protective effect against drowning and does not increase children's risk of drowning, reported scientists at the National Institutes of Health.

The scientists state that the findings should ease concerns among health professionals that giving swimming lessons to children from ages 1 to 4 years might indirectly increase drowning risk by making parents and caregivers less vigilant when children are near bodies of water.

"Swimming lessons are appropriate for consideration as part of a comprehensive drowning prevention strategy," said Duane Alexander, M.D., director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH Institute at which the study was conducted. "Because even the best swimmers can drown, swimming lessons are only one component of a comprehensive drowning prevention strategy that should include pool fencing, adult supervision, and training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation".

The findings are reported in the March Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Health The study's first author was Ruth A. Brenner, M.D., M.P.H., at the NICHD's Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research when the study was conducted. Other authors of the study were Gitanjali Saluja Taneja, Denise L. Haynie, Ann C. Trumble, and Mark A. Klebanoff, also of the Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research; Ron M. Klinger, Westat Inc, and Cong Qian, Allied Technology Group, Inc.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 3, 2009, 6:10 AM CT

Treating high cholesterol in HIV patients

Treating high cholesterol in HIV patients
A newly released study in the online issue of Annals of Internal Medicine has observed that cholesterol medications can work well among certain HIV patients at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Though HIV patients are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease in part due to lipid abnormalities that can occur with the use of certain antiretroviral therapies, scientists now have evidence that cholesterol medications work very well in this population.

"This should be encouraging for patients and their providers," said the study's main author Michael Silverberg, PhD, MPH, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland. CA. He explained that HIV Patients getting cholesterol-lowering therapys such as statins get slightly less benefit on cholesterol levels from the therapy as patients without HIV infection, but it is still a clinically significant benefit and side effects from the drugs occurred in very few patients.

In addition, say the researchers, the use of fibrates in combination with NNRTIs (a class of antiretroviral drugs) appears to be a good choice to manage triglyceride levels in HIV patients. Triglycerides are another fat in that blood that contributes to inflammation of the pancreas and may contribute to coronary disease, they explain.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 3, 2009, 6:07 AM CT

Increasing prevalence of drug resistant Influenza

Increasing prevalence of drug resistant Influenza
Influenza A viruses (H1N1 subtype) that are resistant to the drug oseltamivir circulated widely in the U.S. during the 2007-2008 influenza season, with an even higher prevalence of drug resistance during the current 2008-2009 influenza season, as per a research studyto be reported in the March 11 issue of JAMA, and being released early online because of its public health importance.

During the 2007-2008 influenza season, increased levels of resistance to the influenza drug oseltamivir (marketed as Tamiflu) were detected for the first time in the United States and worldwide. In addition, early 2008-2009 influenza season surveillance data suggest that oseltamivir resistance among influenza A(H1N1) viruses will most likely be higher, as per background information in the article. It was unknown whether some resistant viruses would cause clinical illness similar to other influenza viruses.

Nila J. Dharan, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and his colleagues examined the trends and characteristics of patients infected with oseltamivir-resistant and -susceptible influenza A(H1N1) virus. These viruses, identified and submitted to the CDC by U.S. public health laboratories between September 2007 and May 2008 and between September 28, 2008, and February 19, 2009, were tested as part of ongoing surveillance.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


March 3, 2009, 6:04 AM CT

Can we cure type 2 diabetes with bariatric surgery?

Can we cure type 2 diabetes with bariatric surgery?
As the occurence rate of obesity-induced type 2 diabetes mellitus continues to increase worldwide, medical research indicates that surgery to reduce obesity can completely eliminate all manifestations of diabetes. As per a research findings reported in the March 2009 issue of The American Journal of Medicine, researchers analyzed 621 studies from 1990 to April of 2006, which showed that 78.1% of diabetic patients had complete resolution and diabetes was improved or resolved in 86.6% of patients as the result of bariatric surgery. The primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes is obesity, and 90% of all patients with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.

The dataset included 135,246 patients where 3188 patients reported resolution of the clinical and laboratory manifestations of type 2 diabetes. Nineteen studies with 11,175 patients reported both weight loss and diabetes resolution outcomes separately for the 4070 diabetic patients in those studies. Clinical findings were substantiated by the laboratory parameters of serum insulin, HbA1c, and glucose.

Scientists observed a progressive relationship of diabetes resolution and weight loss as a function of the operation performed: laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, gastroplasty, gastric bypass, and biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch (BPD/DS). Gastric banding yielded 56.7% resolution, gastroplasty 79.7%, gastric bypass 80.3% and BPD/DS 95.1%. After more than 2 year post-operative, the corresponding resolutions were 58.3%, 77.5%, 70.9%, and 95.9%. In addition, the percent excess weight loss was 46.2%, 55.5%, 59.7% and 63.6%, for the type of surgery performed, respectively.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 3, 2009, 6:02 AM CT

Schizophrenia linked to signaling problems

Schizophrenia linked to signaling problems
Schizophrenia could be caused by faulty signalling in the brain, as per new research published recently in the journal Molecular Psychiatry In the biggest study of its kind, researchers looking in detail at brain samples donated by people with the condition have identified 49 genes that work differently in the brains of schizophrenia patients in comparison to controls.

A number of of these genes are involved in controlling cell-to-cell signalling in the brain. The study, which was carried out by scientists at Imperial College London and GlaxoSmithKline, supports the theory that abnormalities in the way in which cells 'talk' to each other are involved in the disease.

Schizophrenia is thought to affect around one in 100 people. Symptoms vary but can include hallucinations, lack of motivation and impaired social functioning. The disorder has little physical effect on the brain and its causes are largely unknown.

Some researchers think that schizophrenia could be caused by the brain producing too much dopamine, partly because drugs that block dopamine action provide an effective therapy for the condition. Another theory is that the coat surrounding nerve cells, which is made of myelin, is damaged in people with schizophrenia. However, the newly released study observed that the genes for dopamine and for myelin were not acting any differently in schizophrenia patients compared with controls.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


February 27, 2009, 6:28 AM CT

Helping to mobilize MS patients

Helping to mobilize MS patients
The experimental drug fampridine (4-aminopyridine) improves walking ability in some individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). That is the conclusion of a multi-center Phase 3 clinical trial, the results of which were published recently in the journal The Lancet

"This study indicates that fampridine could represent an important new way to treat multiple sclerosis and perhaps become the first drug to improve certain symptoms of the disease," said neurologist Andrew Goodman, M.D., chief of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and main author of the study. "The data suggest that, for a sub-set of MS patients, nervous system function is partially restored while taking the drug".

The study reviewed a sustained-release formulation of the drug, Fampridine-SR, which is being developed by Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. The company, which funded the study, submitted a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month. Goodman has been a consultant and advisor to Acorda for its fampridine studies in MS.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system and is the most common cause of neurological disability in young adults. Worldwide it is estimated that more than a million people are affected by MS which is typically characterized by recurrent relapses followed by periods of remission early in its course. The symptoms of the disease vary from person to person, but usually consist of muscle weakness, gait difficulties, numbness or tingling in arms and legs, difficulty with coordination and balance, blurred vision, and slurred speech. Over time, the effects of the disease tend to become more permanent and debilitating.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


February 27, 2009, 6:25 AM CT

Modern lifestyle prevents tooth decay

Modern lifestyle prevents tooth decay
New research has observed that modern lifestyle habits may play a bigger role than food alone, when it comes to tooth decay.

A review of the scientific evidence over the past 150 years observed that the effects of fluoride toothpaste, good oral hygiene and health education, may override the effects of food alone on tooth decay. The research is published online in a Supplement to the journal Obesity Reviews

Professor Monty Duggal, an author of the review explained 'Nowadays, it's not enough to just look at what we eat when talking about tooth decay, as other factors seem to be as important. Fluoride toothpaste changes the effect that some foods have on the teeth, as do other good oral hygiene practices'.

He added 'Future research should investigate many lifestyle factors together with different foods that might affect tooth decay. Times have changed and with that, the foods we eat, and how we care for our teeth'.

Professor Duggal is a consultant and head of paediatric dentistry at Leeds dental institute. He has published over 65 research papers in international scientific journals.

The overall aim of the review was to look at the evidence for the claim that sugar was the main cause of dental caries (tooth decay). The authors concluded that out of 31 studies carefully evaluated, the majority did not find a relationship between the amount of sugar consumed and dental caries, but the frequency of consumption appears to be important.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 27, 2009, 6:22 AM CT

Taking care of muscles in type 2 diabetes

Taking care of muscles in type 2 diabetes
Research by kinesiology investigator Dustin Hittel, PhD, has proven that muscle in extremely obese individuals produces large amounts of a protein called myostatin, which normally inhibits muscle growth suggesting that for Type 2 diabetics, and the very obese, the task of getting healthy appears to be more difficult than initially thought.

It has been known for some years that naturally occurring mutations in the gene which controls myostatin results in doublemuscling in cattle, dogs and even humans. A number of in the body building community think that blocking myostatin is a shortcut to the Arnold Schwarzenegger body.

The flipside is that producing too much myostatin has been linked with muscle wasting conditions such as HIV-AIDS, starvation and now, Type 2 diabetes.

Hittel believes this appears to be due to a pre-diabetic condition known as insulin resistance that "tricks" the muscles into thinking the body is starving despite the fact that blood sugar levels are skyrocketing.

"When that happens, the body reverses muscle production using myostatin," says Hittel. "This is especially worrisome because losing muscle mass further erodes your ability to control your blood sugar with exercise".

One of the tell-tale signs of the transition between insulin resistance and full-blown Type 2 diabetes is a loss of muscle mass.........

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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