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June 15, 2006, 0:02 AM CT

Calorie Restriction May Prevent Alzheimer's

Calorie Restriction May Prevent Alzheimer's Image courtesy of Time
A recent study directed by Mount Sinai School of Medicine suggests that experimental dietary regimens might calm or even reverse symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The study, which appears in the July 2006 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is the first to show that restricting caloric intake, specifically carbohydrates, may prevent AD by triggering activity in the brain associated with longevity.

"Both clinical and epidemiological evidence suggests that modification of lifestyle factors such as nutrition may prove crucial to Alzheimer's Disease management," says Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Director of the Neuroinflammation Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "This research, however, is the first to show a correlation between nutrition and Alzheimer's Disease neuropathy by defining mechanistic pathways in the brain and scrutinizing biochemical functions. We hope these findings further unlock the mystery of Alzheimer's and bring hope to the millions of Americans suffering from this disease."

Alzheimer's Disease is a rapidly growing public health concern with potentially devastating effects. An estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's Disease and the number of Americans with Alzheimer's has more than doubled since 1980. Presently, there are no known cures or effective preventive strategies. While genetic factors are relevant in early-onset cases, they appear to play less of a role in late-onset-sporadic AD cases, the most common form of AD.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 14, 2006, 11:48 PM CT

Pesticide Use Increases Risk Of Parkinson Disease

Pesticide Use Increases Risk Of Parkinson Disease
Mayo Clinic scientists have found that using pesticides for farming or other purposes increases the risk of developing Parkinson's disease for men. Pesticide exposure did not increase the risk of Parkinson's in women, and no other household or industrial chemicals were significantly linked to the disease in either men or women.

Findings would be reported in the recent issue of the journal Movement Disorders.

"This confirms what has been found in prior studies: that occupational or other exposure to herbicides, insecticides and other pesticides increases risk for Parkinson's," says Jim Maraganore, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and study investigator. "What we think may be happening is that pesticide use combines with other risk factors in men's environment or genetic makeup, causing them to cross over the threshold into developing the disease. By contrast, estrogen may protect women from the toxic effects of pesticides."

The researchers identified all those in Olmsted County, Minn., home of Mayo Clinic, who had developed Parkinson's disease between 1976 and 1995. Each person with Parkinson's disease was matched for comparison to someone similar in age and gender who did not have the disease. The scientists conducted telephone interviews with 149 of those with Parkinson's and 129 of those who did not have the disease, or a proxy for these people, to assess exposure to chemical products via farming occupation, non-farming occupation or hobbies. The researchers were unable to determine through these interviews the exact exposure levels of these individuals or the cumulative lifetime exposure to pesticides.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 14, 2006, 6:55 AM CT

A Pink Phone To Benefit Breast Cancer Foundation

A Pink Phone To Benefit Breast Cancer Foundation
Now Sanyo and Qwest are jointly offering a pink phone to promote the cause of breast cancer. Ten percent of the sales from this phone would go to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for raising awareness about breast cancer. At the present time only one model (Sanyo 3100) is available, but the company says more models would be available soon. This phone is tagged as a "pink phone with a heart" and has all new and nice features like a sleek design, dual LCD displays, a built-in camera, walkie-talkie-style communication, wireless download capabilities and an external speaker.

The phone has a friendly flip open design and has a VGA camera with digital zoom and a 65K-color internal display. The phone is compatible with digital and current services like Sprint PCS Vision, Sprint PCS Picture Mail and Ready Link. This phone costs $49.99 with two-year contract and weighs 3.5 ounces. Features of the phone include parental or business call-restriction settings.

"A key to our success at the Komen Foundation is that we collaborate with a variety of organizations to provide creative ways for people to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer," said Cindy Schneible, vice president of cause-related marketing and sponsorship at the Komen Foundation. "We are proud to have the opportunity to partner with Qwest and SANYO to allow wireless phone users to make a bold statement about breast cancer awareness and a valuable contribution to breast cancer research and community outreach programs."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 14, 2006, 0:07 AM CT

Pancreatic Cancer Surgery Can Help Those Over 80

Pancreatic Cancer Surgery Can Help Those Over 80
Age doesn't necessarily have to be the deciding factor for cancer surgery, Jefferson Medical College surgeons have found.

Pancreas cancer surgeon Charles J. Yeo, M.D., Samuel D. Gross Professor and chair of surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center, and colleagues studied records of pancreatic surgery during the last 35 years at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and found that contrary to what a number of both in and out of medicine may believe, major pancreas cancer surgery can successfully be performed on patients in their 80s, 90s and even older.

In the study, reported recently in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Dr. Yeo and co-workers examined records of nearly 2,700 cases of the standard Whipple operation for pancreatic disease, including cancer. Of these, about 1,000 operations were performed in the last four years. The Whipple procedure entails the surgical removal of the head of the pancreas, the duodenum (part of the small intestine), part of the common bile duct, the gallbladder and sometimes a portion of the stomach.

Of this group, 207 patients were 80 years old or older. Those who were 80 to 89 years of age had a mortality rate of 4.1 percent (8 of 197), and a complication rate of 52.8 percent. Those younger than 80 years old had a mortality rate of 1.7 percent, with a complication rate of 41.6 percent. Of 10 patients 90 or older, the scientists reported no deaths after surgery, though half had complications. Of those 80 to 89 years old, 59.1 percent lived for at least one year, while 60 percent of patients 90 years and older lived that long after surgery.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


June 14, 2006, 0:00 AM CT

Non-Hispanic Blacks May Have Best Hearing

Non-Hispanic Blacks May Have Best Hearing
Non-Hispanic black adults in the U.S. have on average the best hearing of the three most prevalent race-ethnic groups in the nation, a new study shows, with women hearing better than men in general. Overall, the nation's hearing health remains about the same as it was 35 years ago, despite massive changes in society and technology. The results were presented last week at the Acoustical Society of America's spring meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.

William Murphy, Christa Themann, and Mark Stephenson at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati reported on the hearing test results of more than 5,000 U.S. adults aged 20-69 who were asked to identify themselves as members of a particular ethnic group. They studied the adults' "hearing thresholds," the softest sound an individual could hear, over a range of frequencies. Comparing data on the three most prevalent race-ethnic groups in the U.S., the scientists found that non-Hispanic blacks have on average the best hearing thresholds, non-Hispanic whites the worst, with Mexican Americans in between. Women in general had better hearing compared to men.

Revisiting a similar study from 35 years ago with adults aged 25-74, the scientists found the median hearing levels in U.S. adults have not changed much; the hearing of U.S. residents is on average not any worse, nor any better than in the early part of 1970s. This is somewhat surprising because of the greater number of noise sources now present in our society. One potential factor is that hearing protection was not widely available in the early part of 1970s. Another speculation for the results is that fewer U.S. residents are working in noisy factory jobs, potentially offsetting the effects of newer noise sources. In addition, it is worth noting that the effects of playing portable music players such as now-ubiqitous iPod too loudly might still not fully be accounted for, since the analyzed data span the years 1999-2004.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


June 13, 2006, 11:50 PM CT

Using Device To Give CPR

Using Device To Give CPR
Scientists looking for methods to improve survival from cardiac arrest were surprised by the results of a study comparing manual CPR compressions with those given by an FDA-approved mechanical device.

The randomized study, conducted in five North American cities including Columbus, showed that victims of sudden cardiac arrest were more likely to be discharged alive from the hospital if they received manual cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) rather than CPR administered by the mechanical device.

Results of the study are reported in the June 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lynn White, clinical research manager in emergency medicine at Ohio State University Medical Center, coordinated the 34 medic crews involved in the Columbus study. "Everyone thought the device was a great idea and that its ability to provide compressions of much higher quality than those administered by humans would be lifesaving," said White. "The results are certainly not what we anticipated at the onset of the study."

The study involved 1,071 people who experienced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Columbus, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Vancouver and Calgary, Canada. The study, originally planned to last 12-18 months, was halted in March 2005, nine months after it began, when it became apparent that the study device was not improving long-term outcomes.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 13, 2006, 11:40 PM CT

Link Between Obesity And Memory

Link Between Obesity And Memory
Researchers have wondered why obese patients who have diabetes also may have problems with their long-term memory. New Saint Louis University research in this month's Peptides provides a clue.

"Leptin is a hormone secreted by fat cells that tells us to stop eating. In obese people, it doesn't cross into the brain to help regulate appetite," says Susan A. Farr, Ph.D., principal investigator and associate research professor in the division of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

"We've now found leptin affects the brain in other ways, compromising learning and memory. Low levels of leptin also could be correlation to cognitive deficits in disorders like type two diabetes."

Farr and her research team tested the role of leptin in learning and memory using an animal model. They found that mice navigated a maze better after they received leptin.

"We found that this drug affected the processes going into the brain," says Farr, who also is a researcher at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in St. Louis. "The mice that got the drug at the appropriate dose had improved learning and long-term memory."

Mice with elevated levels of amyloid-beta protein, the brain plaques believed to cause Alzheimer's disease, and impaired learning and memory were "super sensitive" to leptin, Farr adds.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 13, 2006, 11:22 PM CT

Acupuncture Relief For Fibromyalgia

Acupuncture Relief For Fibromyalgia
Evidence suggests acupuncture reduces the symptoms of fibromyalgia, as per a Mayo Clinic study.

Typically fibromyalgia is a disorder considered disabling by a number of, and is characterized by chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain and symptoms such as fatigue, joint stiffness and sleep disturbance. No cure is known and available therapys are only partially effective.

Mayo's study involved 50 fibromyalgia patients enrolled in a randomized, controlled trial to determine if acupuncture improved their symptoms. Symptoms of patients who received acupuncture significantly improved compared with the control group, as per the study reported in the recent issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

"The results of the study convince me there is something more than the placebo effect to acupuncture," says David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the acupuncture article and a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist. "It affirms a lot of clinical impressions that this complementary medical technique is helpful for patients."

Increasingly, patients are interested in pursuing complementary medicine techniques in conjunction with their mainstream medical care, Dr. Martin says. But often, such techniques lack scientific evidence to justify a patient's expense and time.........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


June 13, 2006, 9:45 PM CT

Child Abuse Can Cause Schizophrenia

Child Abuse Can Cause Schizophrenia
University of Manchester researcher Paul Hammersley is to tell two international conferences, in London and Madrid on 14 June 2006, that child abuse can cause schizophrenia.

The groundbreaking and highly contentious theory, co-presented by New Zealand clinical psychology expert Dr John Read, has been described as "an earthquake" that will radically change the psychiatric profession.

Clinical psychology expert and writer Dr Oliver James commented: "The psychiatric establishment is about to experience an earthquake that will shake its intellectual foundations [and] may trigger a landslide."

Mr Hammersley, Programme Director for the COPE (Collaboration of Psychosocial Education) Initiative at the School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work, said: "We are not returning to the 1960s and making the mistake of blaming families, but professionals have to realize that child abuse was a reality for large numbers of adult sufferers of psychosis."

He added: "We work very closely in collaboration with the Hearing Voices Network, that is with the people who hear voices in their head. The experience of hearing voices is consistently associated with childhood trauma regardless of diagnosis or genetic pedigree."

Dr Read said: "I hope we soon see a more balanced and evidence-based approach to schizophrenia and people using mental health services being asked what has happened to them and being given help instead of stigmatizing labels and mood-altering drugs."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 13, 2006, 9:41 PM CT

Risk Of Infertility Iafter Bowel Surgery

Risk Of Infertility Iafter Bowel Surgery
The risk of infertility in women triples after the most major surgery for the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis, suggests research published ahead of print in the journal Gut.

The authors base their finding on an extensive trawl of print and online research archives, and a detailed analysis of eight published studies. Infertility was defined as a failure to conceive after 12 months of trying.

Ulcerative colitis is a condition in which sores and inflammation develop along the lining of the large intestine, producing severe diarrhoea and rectal bleeding. It affects around 1 to 2% of the population. Surgical removal of the colon is sometimes needed to alleviate persistent and painful symptoms.

Ileal pouch anal anastomosis is a standard procedure in which the lower section of the large intestine is removed and a surgical pouch artificially created from the small intestine. This is then joined to a short remaining cuff of the rectum to ensure as normal bowel function as possible.

The evidence from the published studies showed that the risk of infertility after drug therapy was around 1 in 7 or 15%.

But this risk tripled to 48% after ileal pouch anal anastomosis. All patients seemed to be at risk of infertility, so there were no obvious factors among the patients or the procedure itself to account for the increased risk.........

Posted by: Emily      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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