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June 26, 2006, 10:40 PM CT

Memory Loss In People With Diabetics

Memory Loss In People With Diabetics
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh are aiming to pinpoint why diabetes can cause memory loss and mental decline. A thousand people will take part in the study, the largest of its kind ever undertaken in the UK.

The research team will ask people with Type 2 diabetes -associated with an increased risk of memory impairment and dementia -aged 60-75 years to complete puzzle-based tests and have their heart function and blood sugar levels measured. Follow up tests four years later will find out if there have been any changes in brain function.

Dr Mark Strachan, an honorary senior lecturer at the University and a consultant in diabetes and endocrinology at the Western General Hospital, said: "People with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of developing problems with memory and problem-solving abilities. Eventhough the cause of these abnormalities is not understood, various risk factors associated with diabetes may be important. For example, in some cases, high blood sugar levels can be damaging to small blood vessels in the eyes, nerves and kidneys and there is evidence that the same damage - microvascular disease - can occur in the brains of people with diabetes.

"The main aim of this study is to find out which risk factors, including microvascular disease, inflammation and alterations in hormone levels are linked to altered brain function in people with diabetes. This information is crucial in determining the cause of diabetes-related memory problems and other changes in brain function such as problem-solving abilities and attention span." He added: "Diabetes affects around three per cent of the UK population, and about 170,000 people in Scotland are known to be affected. The prevalence of diabetes is increasing but we are better at treating its complications, such as heart disease. As a result, people with diabetes are likely to live longer and so cognitive problems are likely to become a much bigger issue."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

June 26, 2006, 10:30 PM CT

Mushrooms Are Antioxidants

Mushrooms Are Antioxidants Image courtesy of
Don't believe that vegetables are the only good source for dietary antioxidants. A number of sof the mushrooms particularly portabella and crimini mushrooms rank with carrots, green beans, red peppers and broccoli as good sources of dietary antioxidants, according to researches from Penn State.

Dr. N. Joy Dubost, measured the activity of two antioxidants, polyphenols and ergothioneine, present in mushrooms, using the ORAC assay and HPLC instrumentation, as part of her dissertation research. She has demonstrated that portabella mushrooms had an ORAC value of 9.7 micromoles of trolox equivalents per gram and criminis had an ORAC value of 9.5. Data available from other scientists shows carrots and green beans have an ORAC value of 5; red pepper 10; and broccoli 12.

The ORAC assay, the most well known test of antioxidant capacity, focuses on the peroxyl radical, the most predominate in the human body. Free radicals, such as the peroxyl radical, are thought to play a role in the aging process and in a number of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's and atherosclerosis. Epidemiological studies have shown that those who eat the most fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants have lower incidence of these diseases.

Dubost detailed her results in a paper, Quantification of Polyphenols and Ergothioneine in Cultivated Mushrooms and Related to Total Antioxidant Capacity Using the ORAC and HORAC Assays, presented Monday, June 26, at the Institute of Food Technologists meeting in Orlando, Fl. Her co-author is her dissertation adviser, Dr. Robert Beelman, professor of food science.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 26, 2006, 8:03 PM CT

Pork Rivals Chicken In Terms Of Leanness

Pork Rivals Chicken In Terms Of Leanness
Pork. The Other White Meat® is one of the most recognized advertising slogans ever created, and new research announced recently solidifies this well-known description with scientific backing.

The new research, presented at the Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting, revealed a surprising fact: pork tenderloin is just as lean as the leanest type of chicken - a skinless chicken breast. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) analysis found that pork tenderloin contains only 2.98 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving1, compared to 3.03 grams of fat in a 3-ounce serving of skinless chicken breast.2 Pork tenderloin meets government guidelines for "extra lean" status.

"These new data illustrate how pork is changing to meet consumers' concerns about fat content," said Ceci Snyder, MS, RD, Assistant Vice President of Consumer Marketing for the National Pork Board. "Some of the more common cuts of pork you can find in today's meat case are now lower in fat and saturated fat because America's pork producers have improved feeding and breeding practices to deliver the leaner products that consumers demand."

In other words, pigs have gone on a diet. On average, six common cuts of pork are 16 percent leaner than 15 years ago, and saturated fat has dropped 27 percent.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

June 26, 2006, 7:23 PM CT

Building a better brain

Building a better brain
In the modern world in which your children play with all kinds of flashy toys, have access to expensive classes and a number of music compilations promising to make your child smarter, it's hard to sort out the best way to help your child's brain thrive. A recently published policy paper helps put those worries to rest. This is the essence of the paper: what kids need is a secure relationship with adults who adore them.

"It's all about playing with your child," said Eric Knudsen, PhD, the Edward C. and Amy H. Sewall Professor in the Stanford University School of Medicine, succinctly summing up a paper coming out in the June 27 advance online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A child's eventual ability to learn calculus or a second language, he explained, starts with the neurons that are shaped by positive interactions with nurturing adults.

The piece, written by Knudsen and three other members of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child including Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman, PhD, doesn't just ease parents' toy-buying decisions - it lays out the scientific basis for why helping all kids have the best early experiences is good economic policy.

Their argument is based on work from the diverse fields of economics, neurobiology, developmental psychology and public policy. Working independently, the four authors each came to the conclusion that the earliest years of life forever shape an adult's ability to learn. Eventhough much research has been published on the value of positive early experiences, this paper pulls those strands together into an integrated message that the group hopes will help guide public policy in the future. They've already influenced legislation in Washington state and Nebraska and have begun working with lawmakers around the country with a nonpartisan partner, the National Conference of State Legislatures.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 26, 2006, 7:02 PM CT

Heart Implant Patients' Anxiety

Heart Implant Patients' Anxiety
Implantable heart devices are the therapy of choice for patients with potentially life-threatening irregular heartbeats. But the thought of receiving a high-energy shock to restore normal cardiac rhythm can strike fear in their hearts nonetheless.

Just ask Ed Burns, of Ocala, who received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, or ICD, five years ago. The uncertainty of when or if the device would fire made him wary of driving long distances. Before setting out on a road trip to California to visit family, Burns researched and made a list of every medical center along the route that could treat ICD patients.

Now a new tool from the University of Florida can help health-care providers identify which patients may need psychological services to cope with anxiety. It's called the Florida Shock Anxiety Scale, and UF scientists report on its effectiveness in the current issue of Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology.

The research was done as part of a continuing series of investigations on ICD recipients' psychological health led by Samuel Sears, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of clinical and health psychology at the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, and Jamie Conti, M.D., an associate professor in the College of Medicine.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

June 26, 2006, 7:00 AM CT

Chemotherapy During Pregnancy

Chemotherapy During Pregnancy
Breast cancer diagnosis can happen to a woman while she is awaiting the birth of a baby. About 3,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States while they are pregnant. If a woman develops breast cancer during her pregnancy, she has often to choose between taking chemotherapy drugs, which could be harmful for the fetus, and not taking any chemotherapy drugs during pregnancy, which would increase the risk of breast cancer progression.

A new study suggests that in most of the cases women can have chemotherapy during pregnancy without causing damage to the fetus. These findings come from a recent research conducted by Dr. Richard Theriault and his colleagues from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

"Treating women who have breast cancer diagnosed while pregnant can result in happy mothers and the expected outcome of a healthy baby".

In this study the scientists followed 57 pregnant women with breast cancer. Among these women deliveries occurred between 37 weeks and 42 weeks of gestation, and mean birth weight of the babies was 6.4 pounds. Fifty-seven percent of the women had a vaginal delivery and thirty-nine percent had a Caesarian delivery.

"The attitude we hear most often is, 'we can't treat the cancer because of the pregnancy,' " Theriault said. Doctors then offered patients one of two options: "Delay the therapy, or terminate the pregnancy, so we can treat it. But terminating the pregnancy doesn't improve the mother's outcome. It does, however, obviate the concern about fetal outcomes".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

June 24, 2006, 11:48 PM CT

Role of Environment in Women's Smoking

Role of Environment in Women's  Smoking
Scientists have long known that reasons for smoking include social pressure and other environmental factors, as well as genetic factors based on results of prior twin studies. Now a more comprehensive study of twins by scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) has provided a better understanding of these complex influences. They found that women are far more likely than men to start smoking because of environmental factors, whereas genetic factors appear to play a larger role in influencing men to start smoking.

However, the study, which appears in the current issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, found no differences between the sexes in factors correlation to continued smoking, which appeared to be strongly influenced by genetics. The study, entitled "Gender Differences In Determinants of Smoking Initiation and Persistence in California Twins," looked at factors that influenced twins to start smoking and to continue smoking.

With regard to starting smoking, there was a significant difference between men and women, said Ann Hamilton, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and lead author on the study. "Heritability, which reflects factors correlation to genetic effects, was stronger in men; however, among men who communicated with each other at least weekly, the heritable effect was reduced. This may indicate that the heritable effect in men could be overestimated or able to be affected by environmental factors."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

June 24, 2006, 11:38 PM CT

NASA Joins Fight Against Diabetes

NASA Joins Fight Against Diabetes
NASA image processing technology used to explore orbital images of Earth and distant worlds is being modified for diabetes research.

Researchers at The George Washington University, Washington, and Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., helped modify the technology, which has greatly increased the speed of the research. "NASA technology combined with our modifications has provided us with new tools for fighting diabetes," said Murray Loew, director of the Biomedical Engineering Program and professor of engineering at The George Washington University's School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Diabetes afflicts more than 20 million Americans. It is caused by the body's inability to regulate glucose, a sugar that cells use for energy. The hormone insulin regulates blood glucose levels by unlocking the interior of cells and allowing glucose in blood to pass through the cell wall. Insulin is manufactured in beta cells in the pancreas. Microscopic structures called granules carry insulin toward the cell wall of the beta cells, where it is secreted in response to glucose levels in the blood.

Two types of diabetes exist. In Type I diabetes, pancreatic cells are destroyed. In Type II diabetes, either pancreatic cells don't secrete enough insulin, or cells in the body lose their responsiveness to insulin, or both problems happen at once. Both types of diabetes cause glucose to build up in the blood instead of being delivered to the interior of cells, where it is needed or would be stored. Life-threatening effects include coma, heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, blindness, and loss of limbs.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

June 24, 2006, 11:25 PM CT

Better Lymph Node Staging For Colorectal Cancer

Better Lymph Node Staging For Colorectal Cancer
Techniques that identify the key lymph nodes and the lymph channels that drain areas of the colon or rectum where cancer is located can identify more patients with lymph nodes that contain cancer. Patients with nodes positive for cancer - stage III diagnosis -benefit from chemotherapy.

Patients who don't have positive nodes - stage II - have less benefit from chemotherapy and deciding whether the risk outweighs the benefit is difficult for both doctors and patients.

Because it is important to make sure that the staging is accurate, better techniques to locate lymph nodes and test them for cancer may find patients who are need to have their cancer upstaged from stage II to stage III and be treated with chemotherapy after their surgery.

Using a technique called lymphatic mapping along with identification of sentinel nodes, surgeons at the John Wayne Cancer Center in California found that 1 in 4 stage II patients had cancer that had spread to very small lymph nodes and were actually stage III.

Surgeons were able to locate sentinel nodes in almost all patients. Pathologists located the rest. Dye was used to stain the sentinel nodes and their lymphatic channels during surgery so that small nodes could be found and tested during the pathological examinations after surgery critical to accurate staging.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source

June 23, 2006, 5:08 AM CT

Cadmium Exposure Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Cadmium Exposure Increases Breast Cancer Risk
]Level of cadmium present in women's body might have a role future development of breast cancer in women according to findings from new research. This research finding suggest that women who have high levels of cadmium in their urine may be twice at risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who have low levels of cadmium in their urine. It is not clear at this point if the cadmium is the direct cause of increase in beast cancer risk. It is possible that cadmium might be an innocent marker of another risk factor or a combination of risk factors.

Cadmium is a heavy metal and has been listed as one of the carcinogens (cancer causing materials). Animal studies have shown that higher cadmium levels in the body might lead to development of cancer, but till now no human study has shown a clear link between elevated cadmium levels and cancer. This suggests that further studies are needed to determine if these elevated levels are really what is causing the increased risk of breast cancer.

These new findings come form a group of scientists lead by Dr. Jane A. McElroy at the Environmental Protection Agency and University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center in Madison.

These scientists made measurements of urinary levels of cadmium in 246 breast cancer patients and compared these levels to 254 age-matched controls. These subjects were kept in contact by telephone to see if any of these women had breast cancer risk factors.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink

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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. Archives of health news blog

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