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June 19, 2006, 9:23 PM CT

Suggest your News Item To Medicineworld

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Posted by: Janet      Permalink


June 7, 2006, 11:56 PM CT

Thanks To Long-lived Fruit Fly

Thanks To Long-lived Fruit Fly
The creation of an extraordinarily long-lived fruit fly by genetics scientists at the University of Rochester has led researchers down an unexpected new path in the fight against diabetes. The mutant fly is serving as a portal for understanding the factors that determine how nutrition and stress set the foundation for metabolic syndrome and diabetes, why diabetes occurs more frequently as people age, and indeed why people live as long as they do.

Dirk Bohmann, Ph.D., and Henri Jasper, Ph.D., are focusing on a cell signaling system that responds to stress and works in tandem with the insulin receptor that is central to diabetes. They recently received $2.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to conduct the next phase of their studies.

Why spend such funds on a fly that lives 40 percent longer than the average fly? Because of its promise for human health. New findings on aging, diabetes, and stress converge on the fly the team created. Later this month Bohmann will discuss the fly's implications for aging and health at a symposium in Sweden sponsored by the Wenner-Gren Foundations and also at the exclusive International Workshop on the Molecular and Developmental Biology of Drosophila, sponsored by the European Molecular Biology Organization, in Crete.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 7, 2006, 11:36 PM CT

New Approach To Treating Diabetes

New Approach To Treating Diabetes
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have uncovered a surprising and novel way of lowering blood sugar levels in mice by manipulating the release of sugar by liver cells. The results, reported in the recent issue of Cell Metabolism, have implications for treating conditions like diabetes.

The discovery by scientists in Hopkins' Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences and McKusick-Nathans Institute for Genetic Medicine reveals that a protein called GCN5 is critical for controlling a domino-like cascade of molecular events that lead to the release of sugar from liver cells into the bloodstream. Understanding the role of GCN5 in maintaining blood sugar levels is leading to a clearer picture of how the body uses sugar and other nutrients to make, store and spend energy.

"Understanding the ways that energy production and use are controlled is crucial to developing new drugs and therapies," says the report's senior author, Pere Puigserver, Ph.D., an assistant professor of cell biology at Hopkins.

The inability to properly regulate blood sugar levels leads to conditions like obesity and diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause blood sugar levels to stay too high, which can lead to complications like blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage.

"Diabetes is a really big problem, even when patients are given insulin and stay on strict diets," says Carles Lerin, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in cell biology at Hopkins and an author of the report. "In the absence of a cure for the disease, we are really trying to focus on finding better therapy because currently available methods just don't work that efficiently," he says.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 2, 2006, 7:01 AM CT

Adverse Reactions to Popular Type 2 Diabetes Drugs

Adverse Reactions to Popular Type 2 Diabetes Drugs
Used by several million people worldwide, rosiglitazone (RSG) is an oral agent that helps patients with type 2 diabetes maintain good blood glucose levels by improving how their bodies use insulin.

But RSG, like all the other thiazolidinedione (TZD) drugs that can lower blood glucose levels, can cause fluid retention (edema), a condition that puts patients at greater risk for weight gain, vascular complications and heart failure. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures the drugs, reported cases of new onset or worsening macular edema (an eye disorder that leads to blurred or distorted vision) among patients who took RSG. While reports of these complications remain rare, GlaxoSmithKline has added a warning about the risks to the drugs' labels.

Now a new study at Joslin Diabetes Center has uncovered a mechanism that leads to these complications and suggests a way to prevent them. The study was led by George L. King, M.D., the Director of Research and Head of Vascular Cell Biology at Joslin and Professor at Harvard Medical School. It will appear in the June edition of the FASEB Journal, a publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Treating rats with RSG over several weeks and comparing their tissues with those of rats in the control group, the scientists documented increases in blood vessel leakage and fluid retention in fat tissue and the retina. They also showed that the rats experienced weight gain similar to that observed in patients. What gave them the clue to the cause of these changes came when they examined the activity levels of one form of the protein kinase C (PKC) enzyme in the affected tissues.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 1, 2006, 7:05 PM CT

Landmark Study On Diabetic Foot Infection

Landmark Study On Diabetic Foot Infection
Persons with diabetes who develop an infection are at a 55-fold greater risk for hospitalization, and an alarming 154-fold greater risk for amputation. These are some of the startling figures emanating from the first population-based study on diabetic foot infection. Scientists from Texas A&M University, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, and the University of Washington collected data on nearly 1,700 patients over a two-year period.

"The results strongly suggested that foot infections are common and complex. They are also costly in terms of morbidity," noted Dr. Lawrence A. Lavery of Texas A&M, the lead author on the study.

The study also found that nearly 9 in 10 amputations performed are instigated by an infection. "This waccording tohaps the most interesting figure in the study," noted David G. Armstrong, DPM, PhD, Professor of Surgery and Director of Scholl's Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research at Rosalind Franklin University and one of the study's principal investigators.

"It is infection that is the spark that led to nearly all amputations in this study," said Armstrong. "Poor circulation, while critically important, did not necessarily cause amputation. It determined the level of amputation. This subtlety makes a significant difference when designing strategies for prevention."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 31, 2006, 9:00 PM CT

How To Live With Diabetes

How To Live With Diabetes
People with type-2 diabetes can learn life skills to manage their disease during a six-class workshop organized by the Patient Education Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Participants will be surveyed as part of a study to assess the effectiveness of the new course.

Without careful management, diabetes can lead to other disorders, such as cardiac complications, hypertension, strokes and kidney failure. Patients frequently don't get enough help from their primary health-care providers. "Once you have the disease, you have it for the rest of your life, and you have to manage it or it will lead to complications," said project coordinator Frank Villa, MPH. "You have to change the way you eat, increase your physical activity, watch your sugar levels and manage your medications".

The diabetes class is the latest in a series of self-management classes run by the center. For 20 years, the center has helped people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis and HIV by teaching self-help techniques. "The diabetes workshops do more than just provide information," said Villa. "People learn skills and techniques that are easy to apply to their day-to-day lives".

The first session of the course is tentatively scheduled for later this month at 1000 Welch Road, Suite 204, in Palo Alto, though the exact date has yet to be determined. The course will be repeated throughout the year in Palo Alto and at other Bay Area locations. During the six weekly, two-and-a-half hour workshops, two lay facilitators, also diabetic, will provide more information about managing the disease including healthful eating habits, ways to incorporate exercise into their lives and coping with medications and the health-care system. The program is intended to complement any instructions from the patients' physicians.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 30, 2006, 10:49 PM CT

Breakthrough For Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment

Breakthrough For Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment Professor David Tomlinson
A potentially ground-breaking therapy for nerve damage caused by diabetes has shown promising results in preclinical and early patient trials.

The University of Manchester team has discovered that injection of a novel therapeutic that works by stimulating a person's genes may prevent nerve damage - primarily to the hands and feet - caused by the disease.

The positive preclinical results - published in the journal Diabetes - are further evidence that the research could lead to a new therapy for diabetic nerve damage or 'neuropathy'; initial-stage clinical trials on patients in the United States have also been encouraging.

Lead researcher Professor David Tomlinson says the study has massive potential for managing the condition and preventing thousands of foot amputations each year.

"The vast majority of non-traumatic hand and foot amputations carried out in UK hospitals are caused by diabetes and there are currently no therapys available to prevent or slow the progress of nerve disease in diabetic patients," he said.

"Our tests have shown that a single injection of a DNA-binding protein protected nerve function, stimulated nerve growth and prevented tissue damage that in humans can lead to limb loss."

An estimated 50 per cent of patients with long-term diabetes develop some form of neuropathy that can cause numbness and sometimes pain and weakness in the hands, arms, feet and legs. Progression to amputation is not inevitable, but it is always a threat.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 8, 2006, 11:32 PM CT

Cutting Calories Can Combat Aging

Cutting Calories Can Combat Aging
A lifelong habit of trimming just a few calories from the daily diet can do more than slim the waistline - a new study shows it may help lessen the effects of aging.

Researchers from the University of Florida's Institute on Aging have found that eating a little less food and exercising a little more over a lifespan can reduce or even reverse aging-related cell and organ damage in rats.

The discovery, described this month in the journal Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, builds on recent research in animals and humans that has shown a more drastic 20 percent to 40 percent cut in calories slows aging damage. The UF findings indicate even small reductions in calories could have big effects on health and shed light on the molecular process responsible for the phenomenon, which until now has been poorly understood.

"This finding suggests that even slight moderation in intake of calories and a moderate exercise program is beneficial to a key organ such as the liver, which shows significant signs of dysfunction in the aging process," said Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, Ph.D., an associate professor of aging and geriatric research at the UF College of Medicine and the paper's senior author.

UF researchers found that feeding rats just 8 percent fewer calories a day and moderately increasing the animals' activity extended their average lifespan and significantly overturned the negative effects of cellular aging on liver function and overall health.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


April 20, 2006, 9:12 PM CT

Shock Wave Therapy For Kidney Stones May Increase Risk Of Diabetes

Shock Wave Therapy For Kidney Stones May Increase Risk Of Diabetes
Mayo Clinic scientists are sounding an alert about side effects of shock wave lithotripsy: in a research study, they found this common therapy for kidney stones to significantly increase the risk for diabetes and high blood pressure during the later part of life. Risk for diabetes was correlation to the intensity of the therapy and quantity of the shock waves administered; high blood pressure was correlation to therapy of stones in both kidneys.

Shock wave lithotripsy uses shock waves to break up an impassable kidney stone into smaller, sandlike pieces which can be passed spontaneously, commonly within a month. The patient and the lithotriptor that emits the shock waves are placed in a water bath. Water allows easier conduction of the shock waves through the patient's tissue and precise focus on the kidney stone.

"This is a completely new finding," says Amy Krambeck, M.D., Mayo Clinic urology resident and lead study investigator. "This opens the eyes of the world of urology to the fact that high blood pressure and diabetes are potential side effects. We can't say with 100 percent certainty that the shock wave therapy for the kidney stones caused diabetes and hypertension, but the association was very strong. The risk of developing diabetes after shock wave lithotripsy is almost four times the risk of people with kidney stones treated with medicine, and the risk of developing high blood pressure is one and one-half times, which is a significant risk increase."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


April 10, 2006, 7:37 PM CT

New Approach For Curbing Obesity

New Approach For Curbing Obesity
Hot fudge sundaes and french fries aside, new research suggests obesity is due at least in part to an attraction between leptin, the hormone that signals the brain when to stop eating, and a protein more recently associated with heart disease. Reporting in Nature Medicine, University of Pittsburgh scientists provide evidence that C-reactive protein (CRP) not only binds to leptin but its hold impairs leptin's role in controlling appetite. The results may help explain why obese people have so much trouble losing weight as well as point to a different target for the pharmaceutical therapy of obesity.

"There's been a lot of interest in leptin as a means to curb appetite and reduce weight but clinical trials have had disappointing results. Our studies suggest an approach that should be further studied is one that disrupts the interaction between leptin and CRP, thereby restoring leptin's ability for signaling. We need to better understand how this interaction works and investigate the underlying mechanisms involved," said Allan Z. Zhao, Ph.D., assistant professor of cell biology and physiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and the study's senior author.

Leptin is secreted by fat - the more fat, the more leptin - yet it is named for the Greek word leptos, which means "thin." In a region of the brain called the hypothalamus, leptin binds to receptors residing on the surface of neurons, setting off signals that tell the brain to stop eating and the body to expend energy by burning calories. While obese people produce much higher levels of leptin than thin and normal-weight individuals, they are somehow resistant to its effects. Dr. Zhao and his co-authors believe the binding of CRP to leptin may be the reason this is so. Their argument seems all the more plausible since CRP also is elevated in obese people. CRP, which is produced by the liver and typically rises as part of the immune system's inflammatory response, is gaining favor as a marker for high blood pressure and heart disease risk, known complications of obesity.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source



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Did you know?
Eventhough having diabetes can sometimes feel isolating to individuals, participation in an Internet-based discussion group offers hope, inspiration and encouragement as well as bolsters people's perceived ability to cope with diabetes, according to a new study from Joslin Diabetes Center. The study, which appears in the November/recent issue of The Diabetes Educator, examined the impact of Joslin's Online Discussion Boards - forums in which people with diabetes can find information and share thoughts and experiences on specific diabetes issues.

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