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October 3, 2008, 5:27 AM CT

Brain pathway responsible for obesity

Brain pathway responsible for obesity
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers, for the first time, have found a messaging system in the brain that directly affects food intake and body weight.

Published in the Oct. 3, 2008 issue of Cell, the findings--from a study in mice--point to a entirely new approach to treating and preventing obesity in humans. The discovery also offers hope for new ways to treat related disorders, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases--the most prevalent health problems in the United States and the rest of the developed world.

Led by Dongsheng Cai, an assistant professor of physiology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, the scientists looked specifically at the hypothalamus--the brain structure responsible for maintaining a steady state in the body--and for the first time observed that a cell-signaling pathway primarily linked to inflammation also influences the regulation of food intake. Stimulating the pathway led the animals to increase their energy consumption, while suppressing it helped them maintain normal food intake and body weight.

The research stems from recent explorations into the problem called metabolic inflammation, a by-product of too much food or energy consumption. Unlike the classical inflammation typically observed in infections, injuries and diseases such as cancer, the metabolic inflammation seen in obesity-related diseases is much milder, doesn't lead to overt symptoms or cause tissues damage.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 3, 2008, 5:18 AM CT

Breast cancer cells recycle to escape death

Breast cancer cells recycle to escape death
A number of breast cancer cells facing potentially lethal antiestrogen treatment recycle to survive, scientists say.

About 70 percent of breast cancer cells have receptors for the hormone estrogen, which acts as a nutrient and stimulates their growth. Patients typically get an antiestrogen such as tamoxifen for five years to try to starve them to death, says Dr. Patricia V. Schoenlein, cancer researcher in the Medical College of Georgia Schools of Medicine and Graduate Studies.

"About 50 to 60 percent of these women really benefit from hormonal treatment," says Dr. Schoenlein. Why others don't has been asked for at least two decades.

One reason may be breast cancer cells switch into a survival mode that normal cells also use when faced with starvation, as per research reported in the recent issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Dr. Schoenlein also is reporting on the research during the 2nd World Conference on Magic Bullets (Ehrlich II) Oct. 3-5 in N├╝renberg, Gera number of.

It's called macroautophagy - autophagy means "self eating" - and within a week, breast cancer cells can reorganize component parts, degrade non-essentials and live in this state until antiestrogen treatment is stopped or the cells mutate and resume proliferation in the presence of tamoxifen. "It's like taking your foot off of the gas pedal of your car," says Dr. Schoenlein, corresponding author on the study. "The cancer cell is in idle, unable to grow or replicate. But the cell is smart enough to use component parts generated by macroautophagy for the most necessary things mandatory for survival." She notes that macroautophagy can't be maintained indefinitely; cells can actually self-digest. "This is a time-buying strategy".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 3, 2008, 5:11 AM CT

Study examines how doctors discuss medical errors

Study examines how doctors discuss medical errors
We can learn from our mistakes, but how willing are we to talk about them? And what happens when those making mistakes are physicians, who are often expected to be infallible?

A new University of Iowa study shows that most general practice doctors in teaching hospitals are willing to discuss their own patient care errors with colleagues, but about one in four do not. At the same time, nearly nine of 10 doctors said that if they wanted to talk about a mistake, they knew a colleague who would be a supportive listener. The findings are published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics

The results suggest that it is important to ensure that learning occurs not just in the person who made the mistake but also among their peers, said the study's lead author, Lauris Kaldjian, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

"Discussing medical errors can be a form of professional learning for doctors. Mistakes should be considered shared commodities and used for all they're worth," said Kaldjian, who also is director of the college's Program in Bioethics and Humanities. "The findings also point to some challenges for physicians seeking emotional support after making an error".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 3, 2008, 5:09 AM CT

Colonoscopy reduces colorectal cancer

Colonoscopy reduces colorectal cancer
Patients who undergo a complete negative colonoscopy have a reduced occurence rate of colorectal cancer, confirms a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology However, in the proximal colon, the incidence reduction of colorectal cancer following complete negative colonoscopy differs in magnitude and timing. The reduction of colorectal cancer is observed in about half of the 14 follow-up years and for the most part occurs after just seven years of follow-up. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology is the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.

"Our study raises a question about the effectiveness of colonoscopy in usual clinical practice," said Linda Rabeneck, MD, MPH, of the University of Toronto and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto and lead author of the study. "Our findings suggest that the effectiveness of colonoscopy is reduced for cancers arising in the proximal colon. Whether this is due to colonoscopy quality, or whether it is due to tumor biology is the key issue that we need to address."



Findings


The relative rate of colorectal cancer overall and the relative rate of distal (left-sided) colorectal cancer in the study group remained significantly lower than the control population. The relative rate of proximal (right-sided) colorectal cancer was significantly lower than the control population in half of the follow-up years, mainly after seven years of follow-up.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


October 2, 2008, 10:35 PM CT

Musicians use both sides of their brains more frequently

Musicians use both sides of their brains more frequently
Supporting what a number of of us who are not musically talented have often felt, new research reveals that trained musicians really do think differently than the rest of us. Vanderbilt University psychology experts have observed that professionally trained musicians more effectively use a creative technique called divergent thinking, and also use both the left and the right sides of their frontal cortex more heavily than the average person.

The research by Crystal Gibson, Bradley Folley and Sohee Park is currently in press at the journal Brain and Cognition

"We were interested in how individuals who are naturally creative look at problems that are best solved by thinking 'out of the box'," Folley said. "We studied musicians because creative thinking is part of their daily experience, and we observed that there were qualitative differences in the types of answers they gave to problems and in their associated brain activity." .

One possible explanation the scientists offer for the musicians' elevated use of both brain hemispheres is that a number of musicians must be able to use both hands independently to play their instruments.

"Musicians may be especially good at efficiently accessing and integrating competing information from both hemispheres," Folley said. "Instrumental musicians often integrate different melodic lines with both hands into a single musical piece, and they have to be very good at simultaneously reading the musical symbols, which are like left-hemisphere-based language, and integrating the written music with their own interpretation, which has been associated with the right hemisphere".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 2, 2008, 5:04 AM CT

Acupressure calms children before surgery

Acupressure calms children before surgery
Acupressure bead applied before surgery decreases anxiety in children. Photo by Daniel A. Anderson.
An acupressure therapy applied to children undergoing anesthesia noticeably lowers their anxiety levels and makes the stress of surgery more calming for them and their families, UC Irvine anesthesiologists have learned.

As per Dr. Zeev Kain, anesthesiology and perioperative care chair, and his Yale University collaborator Dr. Shu-Ming Wang, this noninvasive, drug-free method is an effective, complementary anxiety-relief treatment for children during surgical preparation. Sedatives currently used before anesthesia can cause nausea and prolong sedation.

"Anxiety in children before surgery is bad because of the emotional toll on the child and parents, and this anxiety can lead to prolonged recovery and the increased use of analgesics for postoperative pain," said Kain, who led the acupressure study. "What's great about the use of acupressure is that it costs very little and has no side effects".

In this study, Kain and his Yale colleagues applied adhesive acupressure beads to 52 children between the ages of 8 and 17 who were to undergo endoscopic stomach surgery. In half the children, a bead was applied to the Extra-1 acupoint, which is located in the midpoint between the eyebrows. In the other half, the bead was applied to a spot above the left eyebrow that has no reported clinical effects.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 2, 2008, 4:59 AM CT

Culture's role on alcohol and violence

Culture's role on alcohol and violence
Countries with strict social rules and behavioral etiquette such as the United Kingdom may foster drinking cultures characterized by unruly or bad behavior, as per a new report on alcohol and violence released recently by International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP). The report lists 11 cultural features that may predict levels of violence such as homicide and spousal abuse.

The report, "Alcohol and Violence: Exploring Patterns and Responses," examines the association between alcohol and violence through the disciplines of anthropology, clinical psychology, human rights law, gender, and public health.

"We need to look more closely at the meaning attached to both drinking and violence in different.

cultures, without assuming that the one causes the other," writes Anne Fox, PhD, a contributor to the report and founding director of Galahad SMS Ltd. in England.

Dr. Fox writes that the presence of certain cultural features can largely predict levels of homicide, spousal abuse and other forms of violence. Violence-reinforcing cultures tend to share the following features:
  • Cultural support (in media, norms, icons, myths, and so on) for aggression and aggressive.

    solutions;.
  • Militaristic readiness and participation in warssocieties that are frequently at war have.........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 1, 2008, 9:32 PM CT

Getting help for depression and anxiety

Getting help for depression and anxiety
As per the Mood Disorder Society of Canada, about 1.3 million Canadians suffer from depression.

University of Alberta researcher Ian Colman says most people are not getting the type of therapy they need.

Colman, an assistant professor from the School of Public Health, and his research team decided to perform a study to see the long term effects of taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.

The team studied a group of 200 people who were diagnosed with either depression or anxiety. Of that group, 45 were on medication.

The group of 200 had their mental health assessed in 1989 through a series of questions in a survey asking about their illness and what, if any, therapys they were on. Ten years later the group took a similar questionnaire.

Colman says they were surprised to find those who were not using antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications were three times more likely to be suffering from depression or anxiety 10 years later.

"This is a significant find," said Colman. "What this tells us is that, if people get treated initially, they are less likely to have a relapse in the future. This could be a significant benefit, not only for the patient but also for the health-care system as it's estimated the economic costs in Canada linked to depression are $14 billion per year".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 1, 2008, 9:30 PM CT

Television Viewing and Aggression

Television Viewing and Aggression
The effect of media violence on behavior is not only an interesting psychological question but is also a relevant public policy and public health issue. Eventhough a number of studies have been conducted examining the link between violence on TV and aggressive behavior, most of these studies have overlooked several other potentially significant factors, including the dramatic context of the violence and the type of violence depicted as well as the race and ethnicity of the viewers.

In a new study appearing in the recent issue of Perspecitves on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychology experts Seymour Feshbach from the University of California, Los Angeles and June Tangney from George Mason University investigated the effect that exposure to violent TV programs has on negative behavior in children from different ethnic backgrounds. To investigate this connection, the psychology experts conducted a study that reviewed TV viewing habits, intelligence, and behavior in 4th, 5th and 6th grade children. To assess these qualities, the children's parents and teachers completed behavioral questionnaires detailing the children's aggression, delinquency and cruelty. The children took IQ tests and completed surveys indicating the TV programs (which were later categorized as violent or non-violent by the researchers) they had watched during a seven day time period.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 1, 2008, 8:25 PM CT

Breakthrough optical technology to assess colon cancer risk

Breakthrough optical technology to assess colon cancer risk
Scientists at NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) and Northwestern University have discovered that fiber optic technology can for the very first time effectively measure blood levels in the colonic lining (mucosa) in humans, thus having potential applications for analyzing risk of colon cancer.

The study appears in the October 2008 issue of Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.

The study used fiber optic technology to map microvascular blood content in patients during colonoscopy. The results provide the first indication that the early increase in blood supply (EIBS) is detectable in humans and that a high blood level mirrors proximity to neoplasia (process of tumor formation). The findings also suggest that this technology could be a valuable screening tool for enhancing polyp detection and could lead to improvements in colon cancer prevention.

"Our premise is that since the lining of the large intestine -- rectum and colon -- is contiguous, if you see an abnormality in one part of the colon, then somewhere else in the colon you have a higher likelihood of harboring an adenoma [non-malignant tumor] or carcinoma [cancerous tumor]," said Hemant K. Roy, M.D., director of gastroenterology research at NorthShore University HealthSystem and the study's principal clinical researcher. "EIBS strengthens our premise thanks largely to the unique and accurate ability of Four Dimensional Elastic Light Scattering Fingerprinting (4D-ELF)".........

Posted by: Sue      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.

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