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November 8, 2007, 9:42 PM CT

Which is the most talkative gender?

Which is the most talkative gender?
Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, and Singapore (November 6, 2007) A Gallup poll recently confirmed that men and women both think that it is women who are most likely to possess the gift of gab. Some even think that women are biologically built for conversation. This widespread belief is challenged in research published by SAGE in the recent issue of Personality and Social Psychology Review.

The article describes a recent set of meta-analyses conducted by Campbell Leaper and Melanie Ayres. These analyses collect all of the available evidence from decades of scientific study and systematically combine the findings into an overall picture of the differences between men and women regarding talkativeness. The authors found a small but statistically reliable tendency for men to be more talkative than women overall particularly in certain contexts, such as when they were conversing with their wives or with strangers. Women talked more to their children and to their college classmates.

The type of speech was also explored in the analyses, which looked at verbal behavior in a wide variety of contexts. The scientists discovered that, with strangers, women were generally more talkative when it came to using speech to affirm her connection to the listener, while mens speech focused more on an attempt to influence the listener. With close friends and family, however, there was very little difference between genders in the amount of speech.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

November 7, 2007, 9:32 PM CT

How the brain sends eyeballs bouncing

How the brain sends eyeballs bouncing
All vision, including reading this sentence, depends on a constant series of infinitesimal jumps by the eyeball that centers the retina on target objectswords or phrases in the case of reading. Such jumps, or saccades, are critical to vision because only the small central region of the retina, called the fovea, produces the clear image necessary for perception. Such saccades take place several times a second and are generated within a brain region known as the frontal eye field (FEF).

In studies with monkeys, Robert Schafer and Tirin Moore have taken an important step in understanding how circuitry of the FEF generates saccadeswith the FEFs attentional circuitry governing the motor circuitry that produces saccades. The scientists published their findings in the November 8, 2007, issue of the journal Neuron, published by Cell Press.

In a preview of the paper in the same issue of Neuron, Stefan Everling wrote that the scientists findings are exciting, because they demonstrate that attention and action interact more closely in the FEF than previously thought, and they suggest a mechanism by which attention can modulate saccade motor commands. Everling is at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

In their experiments, Schafer and Moore took advantage of a well-known optical phenomenon involving the influence of the motion of a drifting grating on saccades that target the grating. The moving grating causes a motion-induced bias of saccades; for example, if the eye makes a saccade to a grating that is drifting upward, that saccade to the grating is biased to land higher than it would if the grating were stationary.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source

November 7, 2007, 9:25 PM CT

'Tweens' double use of diabetes drugs

'Tweens' double use of diabetes drugs
Diabetic pills
Americas tweens more than doubled their use of type-2 diabetes medications between 2002 and 2005, with girls between 10 and 14 years of age showing a 166 percent increase. The likely cause: Obesity, which is closely linked to Type 2 diabetes.

The finding is included in a study of chronic medicine use in children 5 to 19 reported Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association by scientists from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and School of Public Health and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. In addition to diabetes, utilization patterns for blood pressure, cholesterol, asthma and depression medications were also examined.

Across every chronic medicine class we examined over this four year period of time, childrens use increased, with varying patterns of growth across males and females and age groups, said Emily R. Cox, Ph.D., RPh, senior director of research at Express Scripts.

For example, the number of males between 15 and 19 using a blood pressure drug increased by 15.4 percent even as the number of females in the age group taking the drugs, called antihypertensives, declined by 1.6 percent.

Conversely, the number of females between 15 and 19 taking an anti-depressant increased by 6.8 percent while, for males in the same age group, utilization declined slightly.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

November 7, 2007, 8:26 PM CT

America may over-vaccinate

America may over-vaccinate
A new study reported in the New England Journal (NEJM) this week by Oregon Health & Science University scientists suggests that timelines for vaccinating and revaccinating Americans against disease should possibly be rereviewed and adjusted. The study shows that in a number of cases, the established duration of protective immunity for a number of vaccines is greatly underestimated. This means that people are getting booster shots when their immunity levels most likely do not require it. The results are reported in the November 8 edition of the journal.

The goal of this study was to determine how long immunity could be maintained after infection or vaccination. We expected to see long-lived immunity following a viral infection and relatively short-lived immunity after vaccination, particularly since this is the reasoning for requiring booster vaccinations. Surprisingly, we observed that immunity following vaccination with tetanus and diphtheria was much more long-lived than anyone realized and that antibody responses following viral infections were essentially maintained for life, explained Mark Slifka, Ph.D. Slifka serves as an associate scientist at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute with joint appointments at the Oregon National Primate Research Center and the department of molecular microbiology and immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

November 7, 2007, 7:00 PM CT

When to have a child?

When to have a child?
Women seeking to balance career, social life and family life in making the decision on when to have a child may benefit from applying formal decision-making science to this complex emotional choice.

This decision is too complex to logically consider all the relevant aspects intuitively in ones head, write Professor Ralph Keeney and doctoral student Dinah Vernik of Dukes Fuqua School of Business. Yet, for a number of, it is too important and consequential to simply go with ones feelings.

The pair have demonstrated that using a formalized approach to this very personal decision may help a woman evaluate her options regarding the optimal time for her to attempt to conceive a first child. Their analysis, which was reported in the current issue of the journal Decision Analysis, also reveals that women may have more options than they realize.

Keeney and Vernik developed a sophisticated logical decision model to help women weigh their options. Variables are plugged into the model which then attempts to balance the benefits of motherhood against its effects on career and social interests and the age-related concerns of diminishing fertility or an increased likelihood of conceiving a child with a genetic abnormality.

In their analyses, Keeney and Vernik illustrate their model by considering the situations of a 25-year-old doctoral student who desires an academic career and a 20-year-old college student who plans to pursue a professional career.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source

November 7, 2007, 6:55 PM CT

Viral Infections Andt Asthma In Young Children

Viral Infections Andt Asthma In Young Children
Babies who get severe respiratory viral infections are much more likely to suffer from asthma as they get older. Now scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have pinpointed a key step in the development of asthma in mice after a severe respiratory infection. They suggest that medications designed to interfere with this mechanism could potentially prevent a number of cases of childhood asthma.

"A severe respiratory infection in infancy greatly increases the risk of developing asthma," says the study's lead author Mitchell Grayson, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Allergy and Immunology. "Less than one in 30 people who don't suffer a severe respiratory infection as a baby develop asthma, but of those who do get these infections, one in five goes on to have asthma".

Grayson and his colleagues published their research in the Oct. 29, 2007, issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine. They observed that mice that developed asthma-like symptoms after a severe respiratory viral infection had an unusual immune reaction. During the infection, the mice produced antibodies and immune signals similar to those produced during an allergic response, instead of those typically made in response to infection. That started a chain reaction that led to asthma. The scientists propose that a similar reaction occurs in some people who suffer severe respiratory viral infections.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

November 7, 2007, 6:27 PM CT

Gleevec safe and effective over the long term

Gleevec safe and effective over the long term
The drug imatinib mesylate, more usually known as Gleevec®, proves safe and effective over the long term in patients with an advanced form of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), as per a research studyprepublished online in Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.

A team of scientists from the U.S. and Europe, including the drug's creator, Brian Druker, MD, followed 454 patients with chronic-phase CML taking imatinib for more than six years. Previous to enrollment, all study participants had experienced either therapy failure or intolerance with interferon alpha, which was the standard of care for CML at the time the study was initiated.

"The long-term follow-up results of imatinib in CML post interferon failure reassure us of the high efficacy of the drug and its safety," stated Hagop Kantarjian, MD, the lead author on the study and Chairman and Professor of the Leukemia Department at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. "With a six-year follow-up, the estimated six-year survival rate is 76 percent. In historical data, after interferon failure the average survival was about three to four years".

Imatinib dosage began at 400 milligrams per day and was escalated to 600 mg/d or 800 mg/d in patients who did not achieve positive therapy responses within set time periods or whose disease relapsed.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source

November 7, 2007, 6:16 PM CT

Golimumab for ankylosing spondylitis

Golimumab for ankylosing spondylitis
More than half of patients receiving monthly subcutaneous (SC) injections of golimumab (CNTO 148) 50 mg and 100 mg experienced significant and sustained improvements in the signs and symptoms of active ankylosing spondylitis, according to Phase 3 study results presented at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) annual meeting. At week 14 of the study, 59 percent of patients receiving golimumab 50 mg and 60 percent of patients receiving golimumab 100 mg achieved at least 20 percent improvement in the Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis criteria (ASAS 20) compared with 22 percent of patients receiving placebo.

(P < 0.001). Investigators also reported that study subjects receiving golimumab 50 mg or golimumab 100 mg showed significant, sustained improvements in physical function through six months as measured by the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI).

Golimumab, Centocor Inc. and Schering-Plough Corporation's next-generation human anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha monoclonal antibody, is currently in the most comprehensive Phase 3 development program to date for an anti-TNF-alpha biologic therapy. With ongoing studies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, golimumab is being studied as a monthly SC injection and an every twelve-week intravenous (IV) infusion (approximately 30-minutes) therapy.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source

November 7, 2007, 5:14 AM CT

A maternal link to Alzheimer's disease

A maternal link to Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer -tangles
New York, Nov. 6, 2007 People who have a mother with Alzheimers disease appear to be at higher risk for getting the disease than those individuals whose fathers are afflicted, as per a new study by NYU School of Medicine researchers.

The study is published in this weeks online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It is the first to compare brain metabolism among cognitively normal people who have a father, a mother, or no relatives with Alzheimers disease, and to show that only individuals with an affected mother have reduced brain metabolism in the same brain regions as Alzheimers patients.

Over the last two decades many studies have shown that people with the disease have significant reductions in brain energy metabolism in certain regions of the brain. In some recent research studies these reductions are evident in healthy people years before symptoms of dementia emerge.

The scientists wanted to evaluate people with a family history of Alzheimers because that is one of the biggest risk factors for the disease. Alzheimers affects more than 5 million Americans and is the most common form of senile dementia. People with an affected parent have a 4- to 10-fold higher risk in comparison to individuals with no family history. It isnt known why people with a family history are more susceptible to the disease.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source

November 7, 2007, 5:06 AM CT

Link between asthma and depressive disorders

Link between asthma and depressive disorders
Young people with asthma are about twice as likely to suffer from depressive and anxiety disorders than are children without asthma, as per a research studyby a research team in Seattle. Prior research had suggested a possible link in young people between asthma and some mental health problems, such as panic disorder, but this study is the first showing such a strong correlation between the respiratory condition and depressive and anxiety disorders. The findings are reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The study was conducted by scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Group Health Cooperative, and Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute. The scientists interviewed more than 1,300 youths, ages 11 to 17, who were enrolled in the Group Health Cooperative health maintenance organization. Of the participants, 781 had been diagnosed with or treated for asthma, and the rest were randomly selected youths with no history of asthma.

About 16 percent of the young people with asthma had depressive or anxiety disorders, the scientists found, in comparison to about 9 percent of youth without asthma. When controlling for other possible variables, youth with asthma were about 1.9 times as likely to have such depressive or anxiety disorders.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         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. Archives of health news blog

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