December 26, 2006, 7:45 PM CT
Osteoporosis Drug Can Discontinued
A long-term study of the most widely used osteoporosis drug has observed that a number of women can discontinue the drug after five years without increasing their fracture risk for as long as five more years.
The study on alendronate was led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, and findings appear in the December 27, 2006 issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association." The research also showed that women at very high risk of painful spine fractures might be better-off continuing therapy.
"This has important implications as it has not been known whether therapy of osteoporosis should be continued indefinitely," said lead author Dennis Black, PhD, professor in the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. "Because women with osteoporosis, especially older post-menopausal women, often need to take multiple drugs, this would be welcome news for this group".
As per Black, shorter term studies of up to five years duration have shown reductions in fracture risk with alendronate therapy. This was the first study to examine the effects on fracture using the drug longer than five years, he said.
"We observed that women who discontinued the drug had the same rate of non-spine fractures as women who continued using the drug," he said. "However, for clinically-recognized spine fractures, commonly discovered due to back pain, continuing alendronate was better than discontinuing. And, if women choose to continue, we showed that 10 years of therapy is safe".........
Posted by: Janet Read more Source
December 26, 2006, 6:23 PM CT
Why Video Games Are So Addicting?
Ever wondered why those video games are so addictive? Now scientists have some answers for you.
Kids and adults will stay glued to video games this holiday season because the fun of playing actually is rooted in fulfilling their basic psychological needs.
Psychology experts at the University of Rochester, in collaboration with Immersyve, Inc., a virtual environment think tank, asked 1,000 gamers what motivates them to keep playing. The results reported in the journal Motivation and Emotion this month suggest that people enjoy video games because they find them intrinsically satisfying.
"We think there's a deeper theory than the fun of playing," says Richard M. Ryan, a motivational psychology expert at the University and lead investigator in the four new studies about gaming. Players reported feeling best when the games produced positive experiences and challenges that connected to what they know in the real world.
The research observed that games can provide opportunities for achievement, freedom, and even a connection to other players. Those benefits trumped a shallow sense of fun, which doesn't keep players as interested.
"It's our contention that the psychological 'pull' of games is largely due to their capacity to engender feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness," says Ryan. The scientists think that some video games not only motivate further play but "also can be experienced as enhancing psychological wellness, at least short-term," he says.........
Posted by: JoAnn Read more Source
December 23, 2006, 11:03 AM CT
Two Different Crystalline Forms Of Aspirin
I am sure that you don’t think of the crystalline structure of aspirin, when you have a headache and reach out for the aspirin bottle. At least that’s what I do. This aspirin pill might relieve your headache, but the same aspirin is causing lots of headaches for some researchers.
The question that is causing problem for researchers is: is there another form on top of the long-known one? A team of researchers from Denmark, Gera number of, and India seems to have solved this controversial puzzle: yes, there is a second structure-but it does not exist as a pure form. "The two crystalline forms of aspirin are so closely related," explains the research team of Andrew D. Bond, Roland Boese and Gautam R. Desiraju in Angewandte Chemie, "that they form structures containing domains of both crystal types".
In 2004, computer calculations had indicated that while the long-known crystal structure of aspirin (form I) is definitely one of the most stable forms, another version might exist that is just as stable, though it had still not been discovered-a clear challenge to scientists in the field. The difference between the proposed structures is slight: both have identical layers containing molecules grouped into pairs, but these layers are arranged differently in the two different structures. In 2005, scientists in the USA announced the discovery of the predicted structure (form II). But was this merely an artifact?........
Posted by: Scott Read more Source
December 23, 2006, 9:26 AM CT
Is Trans Fat Ban Enough?
You might have read in the news that recently New York City passed a law to phase out the use of trans fat in restaurants. It is rumored that other cities, including Boston and Chicago, might follow the lead. The question is it enough? Experts say that it is one step in the right direction, but insist that lot more to be done. I tend to agree with them.
Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, Gershoff is a professor of nutrition science and policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science. She says that ban is a step in the right direction, but restaurateurs need to replace partially hydrogenated fat with unsaturated fat. If they choose saturated fat it would diminish the health benefits of this new initiative. Another new regulation that requires some restaurants to provide calorie information as prominently as price might be even more important, notes Lichtenstein.
"There is no biological need for trans fat and intake is linked to adverse health outcomes. However, the media attention on the trans fat announcement to the exclusion of the calorie labeling is unfortunate. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has proposed that the calorie content of food items be displayed as prominently as the price, at the point of purchase," says Lichtenstein, also director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts.........
Posted by: Evelyn Read more Source
December 23, 2006, 7:31 AM CT
Incredible Story Of Paul Kraus
What would be more inspiring for mesothelioma patients than listening to the longest mesothelioma survivor in the world? Do you know Paul Kraus? He is the inspiration behind a number of patients with the diagnosis of one of the deadliest forms of cancer called mesothelioma. I have been personally moved by his story.
It was in one those days in June 1997, Paul Kraus was diagnosed with mesothelioma. That has changed his world forever. The cancer was so widespread that he was told there was little hope and that he should go home and get his affairs in order. Fearful and depressed, but not ready to give up, he researched various therapy options. Unlike a number of Paul was not willing to give an unconditional surrender to the one of the most devastating forms of cancer. With the help of his doctors and family, Paul Kraus created his own remarkable path to healing. Today, over nine years later, he continues to enjoy a good quality of life.
"Dr. Andrew Weil wrote that any illness can be conquered through radical lifestyle change because our bodies are made with powerful self-healing capacities. It was hard to make such radical changes, but I was determined to see them through," Paul Kraus said.
During this teleconference, mesothelioma patients and their loved ones can listen to Mr. Kraus summarize his knowledge and insight into this disease. He will discuss how he handled his diagnosis, what he learned about the cancer, and the steps he took to heal his mesothelioma. Subjects include: chemotherapy, surgery, holistic approaches, integrative therapies, vitamins and other supplements, traditional Chinese medicine, mind-body medicine, doctor-patient relationships, and more. Participants can also ask questions of Mr. Kraus and share information and knowledge with each other.........
Posted by: Scott Permalink Source
December 22, 2006, 5:26 AM CT
LASIK and LASEK eye surgery
A study comparing the safety, effectiveness and reliability of LASIK and LASEK has found no clinically significant differences between the two types of laser eye surgery.
The study, led by a University of Illinois at Chicago researcher, is reported in the December 2006 issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.
"Eventhough there have been a number of studies of the safety and efficacy of both types of laser surgery, there has not been a large study directly comparing the outcomes of the two procedures," said Dr. Dimitri Azar, field chair of ophthalmologic research and professor and head of ophthalmology and visual sciences at UIC.
In the retrospective, case-matched study, eyes that had undergone laser eye surgery were matched for many measures, including visual acuity and astigmatism; 122 LASIK-treated eyes were matched for all measures with 122 LASEK-treated eyes from a review of the charts of 2,257 eye surgeries performed by Azar. All patients' outcomes included a follow-up of at least six months.
"We observed that eventhough there were some differences in the visual and refractive results that favor the LASEK procedure, the differences were not clinically significant," said Azar. "These results are in line with prior smaller studies that we evaluated comparing the procedures."........
Posted by: Mike Permalink Source
December 21, 2006, 4:14 PM CT
How much is your life worth?
How much is one life worth, how much is your health worth? I am sure most of us would not be able to find an estimate of how much of these worth to us. Some researchers had different idea; they were digging up data to see how much is the financial burden associated with prostate cancer treatment.
As per a recently published data cumulative cost of prostate cancer treatment is over $42,500 over five years. What are they trying to tell us? Our life is worth less than these dollars?Read the details:
Published in the February 1, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study reveals that the cumulative cost of prostate cancer is, on average, $42,570 over five years. Watchful waiting was the least expensive treatment while radiation and androgen deprivation therapy were the most expensive. The longitudinal study was the first to look at all related healthcare costs associated with all prostate cancer treatments cumulatively over time and for all ages and disease risks. The cost patterns also indicate that these therapies were appropriately utilized according to current guidelines for disease risk and age. Therefore some therapies are actually costly because they are being appropriately used for higher risk or older patients.........
Posted by: Mark Permalink Source
December 21, 2006, 3:53 PM CT
Did You Eat Broccoli During Your Pregnancy?
Did you eat nutritious food during your last pregnancy? I never knew protection from cancer would start in uterus. That's exactly what the scientists are saying. They say that women should eat lots of food when they are bearing a child. Pregnant and nursing women should eat a good quantity of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. Guess what? It would protect your infant from cancer both during infancy and during later life.
The study results come from study of animals. Scientists from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, studied laboratory mice, and observed that supplements of a key phytochemical found in certain vegetables provided a very high level of protection against leukemia and lymphoma in young animals, and also significantly protected against lung cancer during the rodent's equivalent of middle age.Read more on the story
The research, reported in the journal Carcinogenesis, is one of the first of its type to demonstrate that diet may play a protective role in a fight against cancer that may begin - and could be won or lost - well before a person is ever born. And some of the protective benefits may last into adulthood.
"Research of this type is still in its infancy, but it's pretty exciting," said David Williams, an LPI researcher and director of the Marine and Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center at OSU.........
Posted by: Janet Permalink Source
December 20, 2006, 9:58 PM CT
Biomarkers To Predict Risk Of Heart Disease
Don’t you think it would be nice if doctors could predict when a heart attack could happen to you? I think it might be possible in future. Researchers are paving the way for this. But we are not there yet.
In the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) researchers report findings from a long-term Framingham Heart Study. In this the investigators have identified multiple biomarkers that could predict when you might have your first heart attack.
A study of the use of biomarkers to predict the risk of cardiovascular disease and death in an apparently healthy population has observed that, even though some measurements are linked to future cardiovascular events, their usefulness for predicting risk in individuals may be limited. The report from the Framingham Heart Study appears in the Dec. 21 New England Journal (NEJM).
"We observed that several contemporary biomarkers were linked to future cardiovascular disease or death, over and above what was indicated by established risk factors; but even in combination their utility for risk prediction was modest," says Thomas J. Wang, MD, of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Division of Cardiology, the report's lead author. "High biomarker levels can successfully identify groups of people who are at risk, but their ability to predict an individual person's risk - a goal of 'personalized medicine' - is still limited".........
Posted by: Daniel Permalink Source
December 20, 2006, 9:41 PM CT
Should Older Men Stop Fathering Babies?
Should Older Men Stop Fathering Babies? "A study reported in the September, 2006 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry may give older prospective fathers pause before plunging into biological parenthood. The authors found a significant increase in the risk of autism and similar disorders as fathers got older." Dr. Michael Craig Miller, Editor In Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter wrote: "It's true that medical technology and general improvements in health have made life much more enjoyable for people in middle to late life. Maybe 50 is the new 30 when it comes to some aspects of aging. But a healthy and active lifestyle does not make 50-year-old sperm the new 30-year-old sperm."
"The increased risk of passing on any genetic vulnerability to a child is significant when you are older. When it comes to autism, however, the numbers are sobering. A man younger than 30 has no more than a 1 in 1,000 chance of fathering a child with autism. But the risk bumps up to approximately 3 in 1,000 for a man in his 40s and 5 in 1,000 above age 50. If a father in his fifties has a son, the risk of autism may approach 1 in 100." "Until recently, health care professionals have focused almost exclusively on the mother's age as a risk factor for health problems in the child. But we now know that the father's age also adds to the risk of potentially devastating diseases. And there is no practical way to detect these illnesses during pregnancy. For those weighing the risks, the decision can be wrenching. Adoption and in some instances a sperm donation may be acceptable alternatives to older fathers wanting to build a healthy family." Michael Craig Miller, M.D. is Editor in Chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. He is also associate doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. He has been practicing psychiatry for more than 25 years and teaches in the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Program.........
Posted by: Dorje Permalink Source