June 24, 2010, 11:14 PM CT
Teens and alcohol study
Parents appears to be surprised, even disappointed, to find out they don't influence whether their teen tries alcohol.
But now for some good news: Parenting style strongly and directly affects teens when it comes to heavy drinking - defined as having five or more drinks in a row - as per a new Brigham Young University study.
The scientists surveyed nearly 5,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 about their drinking habits and their relationship with their parents. Specifically, they examined parents' levels of accountability - knowing where they spend their time and with whom - and the warmth they share with their kids. Here's what they found:
- The teens least prone to heavy drinking had parents who scored high on both accountability and warmth.
- So-called "indulgent" parents, those low on accountability and high on warmth, nearly tripled the risk of their teen participating in heavy drinking.
- Strict" parents - high on accountability and low on warmth - more than doubled their teen's risk of heavy drinking.
Previous research on parenting style and teen drinking was a mixed bag, showing modest influence at best. Unlike prior research, this study distinguished between any alcohol consumption and heavy drinking.........
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June 24, 2010, 11:07 PM CT
Antihypertensive against Alzheimer's disease
Scientists at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have observed that the drug carvedilol, currently prescribed for the therapy of hypertension, may lessen the degenerative impact of Alzheimer's disease and promote healthy memory functions. The new findings appear in two studies in the current issues of Neurobiology of Aging
and the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease
"These studies are certainly very exciting, and suggest for the first time that certain antihypertensive drugs already available to the public may independently influence memory functions while reducing degenerative pathological features of the Alzheimer's disease brain," said study author Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, Saunders Family Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center of Excellence for Novel Approaches to Neurotherapeutics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Dr. Pasinetti's team found for the first time that carvedilol, a blood pressure lowering agent, is capable of exerting activities that significantly reduce Alzheimer's disease-type brain and memory degeneration. This benefit was achieved without blood pressure lowering activity in mice genetically modified to develop Alzheimer's disease brain degeneration and memory impairment. These data were published in Neurobiology of Aging.........
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June 24, 2010, 11:01 PM CT
Polarized arguments about breast screening
Polarised arguments about the benefits and harms of breast screening are not helping women to make an informed decision, argues a senior doctor on bmj.com today.
Klim McPherson, Professor of Public Health Epidemiology at the University of Oxford looks at the evidence and calls for dispassionate analysis of all available data.
The burden of breast cancer is unremitting and we must do anything we can to contain it, he says. But screening for a progressive disease is justified only if earlier diagnosis and therapy improve disease progression.
A recent US report on screening for breast cancer estimated that the mortality reductions attributable to breast screening are 15% for women aged 39-49, 14% for those aged 50-59, and 32% for those aged 60-69. Worse still, estimated numbers of women needed to be invited to a US screening programme in order to save one life are high. For the younger group it is nearly 2,000 while in those aged 60-69 it is still nearly 400. In the UK, the figure is 1,610 for women aged 40-55.
A recent analysis from the Nordic Cochrane Centre also claimed that one in three breast cancers detected in screening programmes is overdiagnosed, eventhough others argue that the lives saved by screening greatly outnumber overdiagnosed cases.........
Posted by: Janet Read more Source
June 24, 2010, 10:54 PM CT
Treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly cancerous digestive tumor with a very poor prognosis. Hypoxia-inducible transcription factor-1α (HIF-1α) is involved in cancerous progression in a number of solid tumors, including PDAC, upregulation of HIF-1α accelerates PDAC progression, but the exact regulatory mechanisms of HIF-1αin PDAC has not been unequivocally addressed. Recently, an increasing number of studies reported that toll-like receptors (TLRs) were upregulated in epithelial malignancies and involved in tumor progression, but whether TLRs, such as TLR4, is expressed on PDAC cells remains unknown. In immune-related cells, TLR signal pathway may induce expression of HIF-1α, but it is also still unclear whether there exists some association between TLR4 and HIF-1α in tumor microenviroment, such as PDAC.
A research article to be published on June 21, 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology
addresses this question. The research team led by He-Shui Wu, MD, from Department of Pancreatic Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, used real time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry, to detect TLR4, NF-κB p65 and HIF-1α expression in 65 cases of PDAC tissues and 38 cases of corresponding adjacent tissues.........
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June 24, 2010, 10:52 PM CT
Addiction: a loss of plasticity of the brain?
Why is it that only some drug users become addicts? This is the question that has been addressed by the teams of Pier Vincenzo Piazza and Olivier Manzoni, at the Neurocentre Magendie in Bordeaux (Inserm unit 862). These scientists have just discovered that the transition to addiction could result from a persistent impairment of synaptic plasticity in a key structure of the brain. This is the first demonstration that a correlation exists between synaptic plasticity and the transition to addiction. The results from the teams at Neurocentre Magendie call into question the hitherto held idea that addiction results from pathological cerebral modifications which develop gradually with drug usage. Their results show that addiction may, instead, come from a form of anaplasticity, i.e. from incapacity of addicted individuals to counteract the pathological modifications caused by the drug to all users.
This research is reported in the journal Science
on 25 June 2010.
The voluntary consumption of drugs is a behaviour found in a number of species of animal. However, it had long been considered that addiction, defined as compulsive and pathological drug consumption, is a behaviour specific to the human species and its social structure. In 2004, the team of Pier Vincenzo Piazza showed that the behaviours which define addiction in humans, also appear in some rats which will self administer cocaine*. Addiction exhibits astonishing similarities in men and rodents, in particular the fact that only a small number of consumers (humans or rodents) develop a drug addiction. The study of drug dependent behaviour in this mammal model thus opened the way to the study of the biology of addiction.........
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June 24, 2010, 10:51 PM CT
Breast milk transmits drugs and medicines to the baby
Breast milk transmits drugs and medicines to the baby.
There is great confusion among the scientific community about whether women who are drug abusers should breast feed their babies. In order to shed some light on this issue, researchers from various Spanish hospitals and research centres are reviewing the methods used to detect substances in breast milk, their adverse effects, and the recommendations that mothers should follow in this month's issue of the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
"The general recommendation is to totally avoid drug abuse while breastfeeding, because these substances can pass directly through to the newborn", scar Garca Algar, co-author of the study and a doctor in the Paediatrics Department at the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, tells SINC.
The researcher adds: "This recommendation extends to the prenatal period, because these substances are passed on to the foetus via the placenta, and then in the postnatal period via the environment. If they have exposure through the milk, they will certainly also have had it during the pregnancy, and they can also be in the environment, as is the case with tobacco smoke".
For this study, the team used the average daily intake of the breastfeeding baby, around 150 millilitres of milk per kilo of weight, as a benchmark. The recommendations are listed for each substance, taking the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as a reference.........
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June 24, 2010, 10:37 PM CT
Aerobic exercise for rheumatoid arthritis patients
Scientists from the University of Grenoble Medical School in France determined that cardio-respiratory aerobic exercise is safe for patients with stable rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The team observed that RA patients who exercised regularly had improved function, less joint pain, and greater quality of life. Full findings of the study are now available online and will publish in the July print issue of Arthritis Care & Research
, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology.
RA, a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by swollen joints, pain, stiffness, fatigue, and general malaise affects up to 1% of the global population, as per the World Health Organization (WHO). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) citing health-related quality of life (HRQL) studies observed that RA patients were 40% more likely to report fair or poor general health and twice as likely to have a health-related activity limitation compared with those without arthritis.
The current study led by Athan Baillet, M.D., conducted an abstract search of relative medical journals for studies that researched RA patients and impact of aerobic exercise. The team analyzed 14 studies and meta-analysis included 510 patients in the intervention group and 530 in the control group. Participants in these studies had a mean age of 44-68 years and their RA disease duration was 1-16 years. Scientists compared HRQL, the Health Evaluation Questionnaire (HAQ), joint count, and pain using a visual analog scale (VAS) among patients in the studies.........
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June 24, 2010, 10:29 PM CT
Hepatitis B virus and liver cancer
Prior studies have shown that antiviral therapy reduces the occurence rate of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). But now, scientists from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Thomas Jefferson University are reporting that the antiviral treatment also prevents recurrence of HCC and extends patients' lives.
The standard of care for patients with HCC is local ablation of the tumor, unless it is large or has metastasized. However, HCC tumors often recur, or new lesions develop. In the International Journal of Cancer
, Hie-Won Hann, M.D., professor of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, and his colleagues reported that the median survival in patients who received antiviral treatment after HCC diagnosis was 60 months in patients. In those who did not receive antiviral treatment, the median survival was 12.5 months.
"Before the antiviral drugs were developed, patients would often develop new lesions within a few months of tumor ablation because we were not treating the underlying virus that is causing the liver cancer," Dr. Hann said. "The virus drives the cancer, and by suppressing the virus and making it undetectable we can extend the survival for these patients".
The small study included 15 CHB patients who received local ablation of a single HCC tumor that was less than four cm. The first six patients were diagnosed between 1991 and 1997, previous to the development of antiviral treatment. These patients were considered historical controls.........
Posted by: Sue Read more Source
June 24, 2010, 10:23 PM CT
Gene Therapy A Step Closer
EUREKA project E! 3371 Gene Transfer Agents has made great advances in the development of novel non-viral carriers able to introduce genetic material into the target cells. These new agents, derivatives of cationic amphiphilic 1,4-dihydropyridine (1,4-DHP), avoid the problems of the recipient's immune system reacting against a viral carrier. The project partners have developed methods to produce them in large amounts, which solves another of the problems with viral delivery. But the greatest advantage is that the new compounds are significantly more effective at delivering DNA into cell nuclei than other standard synthetic carriers; increasing the chance of the DNA successfully controlling the defective genes, and the disease.
Gene treatment involves the insertion of DNA into human cells within the body to treat disease. The technique is still in its early days, and has been demonstrated successfully only in the last decade. Most investigation has been into the possibilities for treating hereditary diseases correlation to a genetic defect, and the technique also has potential uses in treating the early stages of cancer, and in cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Gene treatment faces a number of difficulties as a practical method; not the least of which is that DNA is a large and complicated structure which needs to be delivered and attached to the correct section of the recipient's set of DNA. Many methods are in use or under investigation for introducing DNA into cells (a process known as transfection) - using viruses, chemical agents or physical injection.........
Posted by: Scott Read more Source
June 23, 2010, 7:25 AM CT
Exercise trumps creatine in cardiac rehab
Athletes have been enjoying the benefits of creatine supplements to gain stronger muscles since the 1990s, and the supplement has also proven beneficial among other groups. Could it help cardiac patients regain strength to help with their heart-training workouts as part of rehabilitation? The evidence at this stage suggests not - exercise alone proved a far more powerful tonic for patients in a study out today. The results appear in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation
, published by SAGE.
Drs Cornelissen and Defoor along with colleagues created a double blinded, randomised placebo controlled trial to test the effects of creatine supplements used alongside an exercise programme. The study focused on patients with coronary artery disease or chronic heart failure over a three-month period.
Creatine is found naturally in our diets, in particular in meat. Creatine is also produced naturally in the human body for use by muscles; skeletal muscles use the vast majority. The remainder is used in the brain and heart. Supplements improve muscle strength, especially for short-term, high-intensity exercise, and are used by athletes to make their training more effective. It may also help with muscle weakness due to atrophy in many clinical conditions.
Prior studies have shown that chronic heart failure patients' skeletal muscle strength can be improved with creatine supplements giving better strength and endurance in cycle ergomotry tests (on a stationary, gym-style bicycle). Cornelissen and Defoor wanted to find out whether creatine would help with cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength and endurance during a cardiac rehabilitation programme, too. They reasoned that test results for older patients and cardiac patients may are likely to be lower due primarily to peripheral muscle weakness, and so giving these muscles a creatine boost may lead to more effective rehabilitation fitness results.........
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