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November 2, 2006, 8:57 PM CT

Common Antacids To Fight Gingivitis

Common Antacids To Fight Gingivitis
Chemicals usually used to treat heartburn also display fighting power against the oral bacteria linked with gum disease, as per scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Gteborg University in Sweden.

A study published in November's Archives of Oral Biology explores how the active ingredients in popular antacids could help fend off gingivitis. If the work holds up in subsequent studies in people, the compounds could one day find themselves widely available in oral care products like toothpaste and mouthwashes.

"The American diet and the constant drip of sugar allows little time for the natural repair of teeth. All day, it's a cycle of acidic erosion and repair or at least, it should be but our constant sucking on hard candy and guzzling sodas with high fructose syrups leaves little time for repair," said Robert Marquis, Ph.D., of the University of Rochester Medical Center. Marquis, an internationally recognized expert on the bacteria that inhabit our mouths, is the study's lead author.

The team studied a compound known as lansoprazole, part of a family of compounds known as benzimidazoles that already have a range of uses, primarily controlling stomach hyperacidity and killing Helicobacter pylori (the bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers). Now, the compounds are brandishing potent antimicrobial actions that interfere with the dirty work of other types of bacteria that cause plaque buildup and gingivitis.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


November 2, 2006, 8:48 PM CT

Alzheimer's Drug Shows Promise

Alzheimer's Drug Shows Promise
The only drugs currently available for Alzheimer's patients are those that alleviate symptoms, but a team of scientists led by Paul Aisen, MD, director of the Memory Disorders program at Georgetown University Medical Center, is testing a new class of drugs that actually target the molecule believed to cause the disease. Aisen and his colleagues report that a compound called tramiprosate reduced levels of a marker for the progression of Alzheimer's disease in a Phase II clinical trial in the November 1 electronic version of Neurology.

"Everyone wants to figure out how to create an Alzheimer's treatment that attacks the amyloid peptide, which is considered to be the molecular cause of the disease," said Aisen. "This is the most advanced anti-amyloid treatment that exists-it has the potential for slowing down progression of the disease".

Aisen and his team are currently in the midst of Phase III clinical trials on tramiprosate (manufactured by Neurochem, for which Aisen is a scientific advisor, as ALZHEMED-) and hope to have results by early next summer. Media should call 202-687-5100 to schedule an interview with Aisen or to be connected with another Georgetown expert on the topic.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


November 2, 2006, 8:43 PM CT

Towards Cure For Multiple Sclerosis

Towards Cure For Multiple Sclerosis
A breakthrough finding on the mechanism of myelin formation by Jonah Chan, assistant professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, could have a major impact on the therapy of diseases such as multiple sclerosis and demyelination as a result of spinal cord injuries.

Myelin, the white matter that coats all nerves, allows long-distance communication in the nervous system. "It plays a vital role in the overall health and function of the nervous system, and its degeneration plays a role in many diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathies, and even in spinal cord injury," Chan explained.

The study, "The Polarity Protein Par-3 Directly Interacts with p75NTR to Regulate Myelination", appears in the Nov. 3 issue of Science. Chan, who works at the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, collaborated on the study with Michel Cayouette and scientists at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montreal in Canada.

At a basic level, the nervous system functions like a collection of wires that transmit electrical signals encoding our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Just as an electrical wire needs insulation, myelin is wrapped around axons - the wire-like extensions of neurons that make up nerve fibers. The sheath helps to propagate the electrical signal and maximize the efficiency and velocity of these signals in our brain and body.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


November 2, 2006, 5:29 PM CT

Smoking Related Cancers

Smoking Related Cancers
There are currently about fifty million smokers in the U.S. and there are another fifty million ex-smokers. Cigarette smoking has been linked to several human malignancies. Some of these links like the relationship between smoking and lung cancer are well established. In some other cases the relationship between smoking and cancer is not very well established. However several studies have clearly shown the malignant potential of chemical substances in cigarette smoke. This article is an attempt to summarize some of the known links between cigarette smoking and caner.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer has a strong association with smoking. On average, smokers increase their risk of lung cancer between 5 and 10-fold compared to never smokers. Even though lung cancer can occur in non-smokers, it should be appreciated that more than 90 percent of all lung cancer patients are current or past smokers. Some sub types of lung cancer like small cell lung cancer is more strongly associated with smoking than others. There is plenty of research evidence in the literature linking lung cancer to smoking. A recent study published in the British Journal Of Medicine (Ref: BMJ 1997) concluded that the accumulated evidence support the fact secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke could lead to lung cancer. ........

Posted by: Agarwaal MD      Permalink


November 2, 2006, 5:22 AM CT

MRI Study To Prevent Brain Damage

MRI Study To Prevent Brain Damage
A stroke victim arrives in the emergency room and, within minutes, the doctor must make a decision: Should drugs be administered to open up the blocked blood vessel and prevent further brain damage? Or is this patient at high risk for suffering a brain hemorrhage if the blocked vessel is opened?

Greg Albers, MD, director of the Stanford Stroke Center, and his team report in the recent issue of Annals of Neurology that new magnetic resonance imaging techniques can discriminate between stroke patients who are likely to benefit from a stroke medicine - even when administered beyond the currently approved three-hour time window - and those for whom therapy is unlikely to be beneficial and may cause harm.

For years, Albers, professor of neurology and neurological sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, has been using new MRI techniques to visualize the damage from stroke while it is actually happening. His goal is to differentiate brain tissue that is potentially salvageable from tissue that is already irreversibly injured by a stroke. As his group accumulated MRI scans of stroke patients, they noticed patterns that seemed to identify which patients were most likely to benefit from opening up blocked blood vessels.

"One of the criticisms was that these detailed brain images looked beautiful and interesting, but there was no proof that they should be used to influence therapy or that they would result in improved outcomes," said Albers. "How do you know that these MRI patterns can predict whether the treatment is likely to be beneficial?".........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


November 2, 2006, 5:17 AM CT

Breakthrough In Eye Cancer Treatment

Breakthrough In Eye Cancer Treatment
Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have demonstrated in a mouse model a new, locally applied therapy for the eye cancer retinoblastoma that not only greatly reduces the size of the tumor, but does so without causing the side effects common with standard chemotherapy. The therapy also appears to be suitable for certain forms of breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer, and is simple enough for widespread use even in countries with limited resources.

A report on this work appears in the Nov. 2 issue of the journal Nature.

Retinoblastoma occurs in about 5,000 young children worldwide each year, arising from the immature retina, which is the part of the eye responsible for detecting light and color. The cancer is fatal if left untreated.

The new therapy holds promise for a simpler, more effective and less-toxic therapy for retinoblastoma that would eliminate the need for the current, complex treatment, as per senior author Michael Dyer, Ph.D., a Pew Scholar and associate member of the St. Jude Department of Developmental Neurobiology. The therapy is based on a discovery by Dyer's laboratory that overturned a widely held belief about the process of apoptosis (cell suicide) in retinoblastoma. Apoptosis is the way the body rids itself of abnormal cells that might become malignant or cause other problems.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


November 2, 2006, 5:02 AM CT

Serotonin Child Abuse Link

Serotonin Child Abuse Link
A research team observed that when baby rhesus monkeys endured high rates of maternal rejection and mild abuse in their first month of life, their brains often produced less serotonin, a chemical that transmits impulses in the brain. Low levels of serotonin are linked to anxiety and depression and impulsive aggression in both humans and monkeys.

Abused females who became abusive mothers in adulthood had lower serotonin in their brains than abused females who did not become abusive parents, the research showed.

Because the biological make up of humans and monkeys is quite similar, the findings from the monkey research could be valuable in understanding human child abuse, said Dario Maestripieri, Associate Professor in Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago.

"This research could have important implications for humans because we do not fully understand why some abused children become abusive parents and others don't," Maestripieri said. The research suggests that therapys with drugs that increase brain serotonin early in an abused child's life could reduce the likelihood that the child will grow up to become abusive, Maestripieri said.

Maestripieri is lead author of a paper reporting the research, "Early Maternal Rejection Affects the Development of Monoaminergic Systems and Adult Abusive Parenting in Rhesus Macaques" reported in the current issue of Behavioral Neuroscience.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 2, 2006, 4:59 AM CT

Intact Tonsils Triple Risk Of Recurrent Strep Throat

Intact Tonsils Triple Risk Of Recurrent Strep Throat
Children with recurrent strep throat whose tonsils have not been removed are over three times more likely to develop subsequent episodes of strep throat than children who undergo tonsillectomy, as per a Mayo Clinic study reported in the Nov. 2 issue of Laryngoscope.

"These results suggest that tonsillectomy is a useful treatment for treating children with recurrent strep throat infections," says Laura Orvidas, M.D., Mayo Clinic ear, nose and throat surgeon and senior study investigator. "It should decrease the amount of infections experienced by this subset of children and therefore diminish the number of missed school days and hopefully improve overall quality of life".

Dr. Orvidas and his colleagues conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study of children between ages 4 and 16 who received three or more diagnoses of strep-correlation tonsillitis or pharyngitis at least one month apart, within 12 months. Within this group, children who subsequently underwent a tonsillectomy were compared with an age- and sex-matched sample of children who had not had a tonsillectomy. The date of the tonsillectomy for the matched pair was defined as the index date. All strep infections were recorded for each of these two groups of children.

The study population comprised 290 children (145 who received a tonsillectomy and 145 who did not). In the tonsillectomy group, 74 children experienced at least one strep infection after the index date and before age 16. Among those who did not receive a tonsillectomy, 122 experienced at least one strep infection during the follow-up. The time before first subsequent strep infection was much longer for those who had a tonsillectomy, a median of 1.1 years as in comparison to 0.6 years for children whose tonsils had not been removed. By one year after the index date, the cumulative occurence rate of a strep infection was 23.1 percent among the children who had a tonsillectomy in comparison to 58.5 percent among the children who had not.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


November 1, 2006, 3:58 PM CT

Nap A Day Makes Doctors OK

Nap A Day Makes Doctors OK
Give emergency room doctors a nap, and not only will they do a better job, they'll also be nicer to you, as per a new study from Stanford University School of Medicine.

The findings, would be reported in the recent issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine, showed improved mood, a higher alertness level and the ability to complete a simulated I.V. insertion more quickly among doctors and nurses who were allowed a short nap while working the night shift in an emergency room.

"Napping is a very powerful, very inexpensive way of improving our work," said one of the study's authors, Steven Howard, MD, associate professor of anesthesia and expert on sleep deprivation and fatigue.

Howard has taken the results of the study one step further and begun implementing an official napping program at the hospital at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. "This is the first time a napping program has been instituted to try to get at the problem of fatigue in the workplace for health-care workers," he said.

As per statistics on America's need for sleep, plenty of people could use a nap. More than 50 percent of Americans are sleep-deprived.

Scientific research has documented the need for naps to mitigate drowsiness and improve performance and alertness in pilots and truckers, but no prior study has looked specifically at the possible benefits for health-care workers, said the first author of the study, Rebecca Smith-Coggins, MD, associate professor of surgery (emergency medicine).........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


November 1, 2006, 5:07 AM CT

Stress Hormones May Speed Up Cancer Growth

Stress Hormones May Speed Up Cancer Growth
New research here suggests that hormones produced during periods of stress may increase the growth rate of a especially nasty kind of cancer.

The study showed that an increase in norepinephrine, a stress hormone, can stimulate tumor cells to produce two compounds. These compounds can break down the tissue around the tumor cells and allow the cells to more easily move into the bloodstream. From there, they can travel to another location in the body to form additional tumors, a process called metastasis.

The research also suggests the same hormone can also stimulate the tumor cells to release another compound that can aid in the growth of new blood vessels that feed cancer cells, hastening the growth and spread of the disease. The work was published in the latest issue of the journal Cancer Research.

"This opens up an entirely new way of looking at stress and cancer that's different from current interpretations," explained Ronald Glaser, a professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics, and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University.

Glaser and Eric Yang, a research scientist in the same institute, focused on the role of these three compounds. Two of them, both matrix metalloproteinases -- MMP-2 and MMP-9 -- play a role in breaking down the scaffolding that cells attach to in order to maintain their shape. The third compound, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), is important in the growth of new blood vessels into tumor cells.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         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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