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January 6, 2009, 6:38 PM CT

Helping Seniors to Live at Home Longer

Helping Seniors to Live at Home Longer
A number of elderly adults want to remain active and independent for as long as possible. Seniors want to age in their own homes and avoid moving to institutions or nursing homes. University of Missouri scientists are using sensors, computers and communication systems, along with supportive health care services to monitor the health of elderly adults who are living at home. As per the researchers, motion sensor networks installed in seniors' homes can detect changes in behavior and physical activity, including walking and sleeping patterns. Early identification of these changes can prompt health care interventions that can delay or prevent serious health events.

As part of the "aging in place" research at MU, integrated sensor networks were installed in apartments of residents at TigerPlace, a retirement community that helps senior residents stay healthy and active to avoid hospitalization and relocation. MU scientists collected data from motion and bed sensors that continuously logged information for more than two years. The scientists identified patterns in the sensor data that can provide clues to predict adverse health events, including falls, emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

"The 'aging in place' concept allows elderly adults to remain in the environment of their choice and receive supportive health services as needed. With this type of care, most people wouldn't need to relocate to a nursing home," said Marilyn Rantz, professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing. "Monitoring sensor patterns is an effective and discreet way to ensure the health and privacy of elderly adults".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 5, 2009, 11:24 PM CT

Secrets of smoking addition

Secrets of smoking addition
Just seeing someone smoke can trigger smokers to abandon their nascent efforts to kick the habit, as per new research conducted at Duke University Medical Center.

Brain scans taken during normal smoking activity and 24 hours after quitting show there is a marked increase in a particular kind of brain activity when quitters see photographs of people smoking.

The study, which appears online in Psychopharmacology, sheds important light on why it's so hard for people to quit smoking, and why they relapse so quickly, explains Joseph McClernon, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center.

"Only five percent of unaided quit attempts result in successful abstinence," says McClernon. "Most smokers who try to quit return to smoking again. We are trying to understand how that process works in the brain, and this research brings us one step closer".

The Duke scientists used a brain-imaging tool called functional MRI to visualize changes in brain activity that occurs when smokers quit. The smokers were scanned once before quitting and again 24 hours after they quit. Each time they were scanned while being shown photographs of people smoking.

"Quitting smoking dramatically increased brain activity in response to seeing the smoking cues," says McClernon, "which seems to indicate that quitting smoking is actually sensitizing the brain to these smoking cues".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 2, 2009, 10:43 AM CT

Smoking and family history of stroke

Smoking and family history of stroke
A newly released study shows that people who are smokers and have a family history of brain aneurysm appear to be significantly more likely to suffer a stroke from a brain aneurysm themselves. The research is reported in the December 31, 2008, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology and will appear in the January 6, 2009, print issue of Neurology

The type of stroke, called subarachnoid hemorrhage, is one of the bleeding types of stroke and is deadly in about 35 to 40 percent of people.

In the study, researchers looked at 339 people who suffered a stroke from a brain aneurysm and 1,016 people who had not had a stroke due to an aneurysm. Current smokers made up half of the group that had a stroke. The other half had never smoked or had smoked in the past.

The research found people who smoked and had a family history of stroke were more than six times more likely to suffer a stroke than those who did not smoke and did not have a family history of stroke or brain aneurysm. The study also observed that people with a family history of stroke could cut their risk by more than half by quitting smoking. The results were the same regardless of high blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol use, body mass index and education level.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


January 2, 2009, 10:40 AM CT

How much is cost to be sleepless?

How much is cost to be sleepless?
Westchester, Ill. A study in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal Sleep indicates that the indirect costs of untreated insomnia are significantly greater than the direct costs linked to its therapy. The study estimates that the total annual cost of insomnia in the province of Quebec is 6.5 billion Canadian dollars, representing about one percent of the province's $228.5 billion in gross domestic product for 2002.

Annual indirect costs of insomnia correlation to lost hours of productivity are estimated to be $5 billion, representing the largest proportion (76 percent) of all insomnia costs. The annual estimate of insomnia-related lost productivity is 27.6 days per year for individuals with insomnia syndrome, and 6.2 days per year for people with insomnia symptoms. The second-highest cost of insomnia is attributed to job absenteeism, with $970.6 million 14.7 percent of the total economic burden of insomnia - estimated to be lost annually due to insomnia-related absences. Individuals with insomnia syndrome are absent from work an estimated 4.36 days per year because of insomnia.

Main author of the study, Meagan Daley, PhD, professor of psychology and business, in Quebec City, Canada stated that costs linked to the use of alcohol as a sleep aid exceed those linked to consultations and the use of medications and over-the-counter products.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 2, 2009, 10:35 AM CT

Osteoporosis drugs may cause jaw necrosis

Osteoporosis drugs may cause jaw necrosis
Scientists at the University Of Southern California, School Of Dentistry release results of clinical data that links oral bisphosphonates to increased jaw necrosis. The study is among the first to acknowledge that even short-term use of common oral osteoporosis drugs may leave the jaw vulnerable to devastating necrosis, as per the report appearing in the January 1 Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA).

Osteoporosis currently affects 10 million Americans. Fosomax is the most widely prescribed oral bisphosphonate, ranking as the 21st most prescribed drug on the market since 2006, as per a 2007 report released by IMS Health.

"Oral Bisphosphonate Use and the Prevalence of Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: An Institutional Inquiry" is the first large institutional study in the U.S. to investigate the relationship between oral bisphosphonate use and jaw bone death, said principal investigator Parish Sedghizadeh, assistant professor of clinical dentistry with the USC School of Dentistry.

After controlling for referral bias, nine of 208 healthy School of Dentistry patients who take or have taken Fosamax for any length of time were diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). The study's results are in contrast to drug makers' previous assertions that bisphosphonate-related ONJ risk is only noticeable with intravenous use of the drugs, not oral usage, Sedghizadeh said. "We've been told that the risk with oral bisphosphonates is negligible, but four percent is not negligible," he said.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 2, 2009, 9:46 AM CT

Family History of Prostate Cancer Has No Impact On The Treatment Outcomes

Family History of Prostate Cancer Has No Impact On The Treatment Outcomes
Prostate anatomy
In a first of its kind study, a first-degree family history of prostate cancer has no impact on the therapy outcomes of patients with prostate cancer treated with brachytherapy (also called seed implants), and patients with this type of family history have clinical and pathologic characteristics similar to men with no family history at all, as per a January 1 study in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

"This information is relevant for both physicians and patients with new diagnoses as they embark on complex therapy decisions," Christopher A. Peters, M.D., main author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Northeast Radiation Oncology Center in Dunmore, Pa. (chief resident at Mount Sinai School of Medicine at the time of the study), said. "Now patients with a family history of prostate cancer can be confident that they have the same outcomes as patients with sporadic disease, regardless of the therapy modality they chose".

As per the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men behind skin cancer. A number of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer have some type of family history of the disease and men with a family history do have an increased risk of developing the disease, but there is conflicting data on how family history impacts therapy outcomes.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


December 31, 2008, 7:21 AM CT

No cancer prevention potential for common vitamins

No cancer prevention potential for common vitamins
Women who took beta carotene or vitamin C or E or a combination of the supplements had a similar risk of cancer as women who did not take the supplements, as per data from a randomized controlled trial in the December 30 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Epidemiological studies have suggested that people whose diets are high in fruits and vegetables, and thus antioxidants, may have a lower risk of cancer. Results from randomized trials that address the issue, however, have been inconsistent and have rarely supported that observation.

In the current study, Jennifer Lin, Ph.D., of the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and his colleagues tested the impact of antioxidant supplements on cancer incidence in a randomized controlled trial. A total of 7,627 women who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to take vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta-carotene.

With an average of 9.4 years of follow-up time, there was no statistically significant benefit from antioxidant use compared with placebo in terms of disease risk or mortality due to cancer. Overall, 624 women developed cancer and 176 died from cancer during the follow-up time. Compared with placebo, the relative risk of a new cancer diagnosis was 1.11 for women who took vitamin C, 0.93 for women who took vitamin E, and 1.00 for women who took beta carotene. None of these relative risks was statistically significantly different from 1.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 31, 2008, 7:16 AM CT

Evaluating the century old treatment for peptic ulcer

Evaluating the century old treatment for peptic ulcer
Bismuth compounds have been used for centuries in medicine. The discovery of H. pylori in 1983 led to renewed interest in bismuth compounds, because these were found to successfully treat the infection in combination with antibiotics. However, in the 1970s bismuth salts, used at high doses for prolonged periods, were found to lead to neurotoxicity. There has been no summary of evidence for the toxicity of bismuth when used for short periods as part of H. pylori eradication treatment.

A research article would be published on December 28, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Professor Paul Moayyedi from McMaster University, Canada performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the safety of bismuth compounds, when used in a 1 or 2-week course of H. pylori eradication treatment. They examined the risk of adverse events in randomized controlled trials using bismuth compounds as part of H. pylori eradication treatment in comparison to other regimens.

Thirty-five randomized controlled trials containing over 4500 patients were identified comparing bismuth with placebo or no therapy, or bismuth salts in combination with antibiotics as part of eradication treatment with the same dose and duration of antibiotics alone or in combination with acid suppression. There were no differences in the total number of adverse events with bismuth versus comparison regimen. Individual adverse events were also no more frequent with bismuth, with the exception of dark stools. There were no significant differences detected in the number of adverse events leading to withdrawal of treatment with bismuth versus comparison regimen.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 30, 2008, 11:01 PM CT

Are chemotherapy errors common?

Are chemotherapy errors common?
Seven percent of adults and 19 percent of children taking chemotherapy drugs in outpatient clinics or at home were given the wrong dose or experienced other mistakes involving their medications, as per a newly released study led by Kathleen E. Walsh, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and reported in the January 1, 2009 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology

"As cancer care continues to shift from the hospital to the outpatient setting, the complexity of care is increasing, as is the potential for medicine errors, especially in the outpatient and home settings," said Dr. Walsh, who is also a Robert Wood Johnson Clinician Faculty Scholar.

An analysis of data on nearly 1,300 patient visits at three adult oncology outpatient clinics and 117 visits at one pediatric facility between September 1, 2005 and May 31, 2006 showed that errors in medicine were more common than previously reported by oncology patients.

Of the 90 medicine errors involving adults, 55 had the potential to harm the patient and 11 did cause harm. The errors included administration of incorrect medicine doses due to confusion.

over conflicting orders one written at the time of diagnosis and the other on the day of administration. Patients were also harmed by over-hydration previous to administration of medication, resulting in pulmonary edema and recurrent complaints of abdominal pain and constipation. More than 50 percent of errors involving adults were in clinic administration, 28 percent in ordering of medications, and 7 percent in use of the drugs in patients' homes.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 30, 2008, 7:11 AM CT

How your facial expressions are formed?

How your facial expressions are formed?
Facial expressions of emotion are hardwired into our genes, as per a research studypublished recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology The research suggests that facial expressions of emotion are innate rather than a product of cultural learning. The study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that sighted and blind individuals use the same facial expressions, producing the same facial muscle movements in response to specific emotional stimuli.

The study also provides new insight into how humans manage emotional displays as per social context, suggesting that the ability to regulate emotional expressions is not learned through observation.

San Francisco State University Psychology Professor David Matsumoto compared the facial expressions of sighted and blind judo athletes at the 2004 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games. More than 4,800 photographs were captured and analyzed, including images of athletes from 23 countries.

"The statistical connection between the facial expressions of sighted and blind individuals was almost perfect," Matsumoto said. "This suggests something genetically resident within us is the source of facial expressions of emotion."

Matsumoto observed that sighted and blind individuals manage their expressions of emotion in the same way as per social context. For example, because of the social nature of the Olympic medal ceremonies, 85 percent of silver medalists who lost their medal matches produced "social smiles" during the ceremony. Social smiles use only the mouth muscles whereas true smiles, known as Duchenne smiles, cause the eyes to twinkle and narrow and the cheeks to rise.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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