October 1, 2006, 7:54 PM CT
Helping Children, Women To Sleep Better
The refusal of young children to go to bed at night can cause unnecessary stress for members of their family. However, parents and guardians can take comfort in knowing that behavioral therapys are an effective means for resolving a child's bedtime problems and night wakings.
The study, conducted by Jodi A. Mindell, PhD, of St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, is based on a review of 52 therapy studies, participated by 2,500 infants and toddlers, by a task force appointed by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM).
"The results indicate hat behavioral therapies produce reliable and durable changes in bedtime problems and night wakings in infants and children," wrote Mindell. "Across all studies, 94 percent report that behavioral interventions produced clinically significant improvements in bedtime problems and/or night wakings. Approximately 82 percent of children benefit from therapy and the majority maintain these results for three to six months".
Mindell noted that additional research is needed to examine the delivery methods of therapy, longer term efficacy and the role of pharmacological agents.
As per Mindell, studies have shown that 20 to 30 percent of young children have significant bedtime problems and/or night wakings. In addition, night wakings are among the most common sleep problems in infants and toddlers, with 25 to 50 percent of children over the age of six months waking during the night, added Mindell.........
Posted by: JoAnn Permalink Source
October 1, 2006, 7:46 PM CT
Treatment For Sleeplessness In The Elderly
Insomnia or lack of sleep is a common problem among elderly people. It is a more widespread problem than we recognize. Now scientists are suggesting that a brief behavioral therapy for insomnia (BBT) could help those elderly individuals suffering from insomnia.
Brief behavioral therapy for insomnia (BBTI) appears to be a promising intervention for elderly adults who suffer from insomnia.
The study, conducted by Anne Germain, PhD, and his colleagues of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, focused on 17 elderly adults who were randomly assigned to receive BBTI, and 18 selected to receive an information-only control (IC) condition. All participants completed clinician-administered and self-report measures of sleep quality, as well as a sleep diary. Interventions were delivered in a single individual session with a booster session administered two weeks later. Postintervention assessments were completed after four weeks.
The results showed significant improvements in sleep measures and in daytime symptoms of anxiety and depression in 71 percent of those individuals who received BBTI, in comparison to 39 percent favorable response among IC participants. Furthermore, 53 percent of BBTI participants met criteria for remission, while 17 percent of those in the IC group met the same criteria.........
Posted by: JoAnn Permalink Source
October 1, 2006, 7:38 PM CT
Predicting drug sensitivity in lung cancer
What if we can clearly predict which of those patients with non-small cell lung cancer would respond to a cisplatin-based chemotherapy. This would benefit a number of patients with non-small cell lung cancer, since oncologists could use another drug combination to treat these patients. This is what scientists from MD Anderson Cancer Center is trying to achieve.
Non-small cell lung cancer cells with a defective version of a potential tumor suppressor gene are highly resistant to attack by a platinum-based drug usually used to treat the disease, scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas report in the cover article of the latest issue of Cancer Research.
The gene may provide a potential biomarker for selecting among chemotherapy choices for non-small-cell lung cancer as well as a therapeutic target for restoring the drug cisplatin's punch in treating resistant forms of the disease, says senior author Lin Ji, Ph.D., associate professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
Scientists at the two institutions, working under a joint National Cancer Institute Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Lung Cancer grant, have identified three tumor-suppressor genes on chromosome 3. The latest paper refines the impact of one of those genes, NPRL2, on the most common form of lung cancer.........
Posted by: Scott Permalink Source
October 1, 2006, 7:27 PM CT
Antibiotic Inhibits Cancer Gene
Have you ever heard of antibiotic called siomycin A? Probably not, but this antibiotic would probably find a place in the fight against cancer. At least that's what the scientists say.
This little-known antibiotic, siomycin A shows early promise as an anti-cancer agent, inhibiting a gene found at higher-than-normal levels in most human tumors, as per scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.
Their findings are reported in the lastest issue of Cancer Research.
"We chose to target a gene thought to beover-expressed in cancer cells to screen for promising anti-cancer agents," said Andrei Gartel, assistant professor of medicine and of microbiology and immunology at UIC and principal investigator on the study.
The FoxM1 gene is responsible for turning on genes needed for cell proliferation and turning off genes that block proliferation. Uncontrolled proliferation is characteristic of cancer cells.
The scientists developed a new screening system, based on a naturally fluorescent protein called luciferase, to identify small molecules that inhibit proteins that turn genes on and off. Using this system, they identified an antibiotic, siomycin A, that specifically targets FoxM1 without affecting other cell functions.........
Posted by: Janet Permalink Source
October 1, 2006, 7:17 PM CT
A Rheostat In Brain For Emotions
Scientists are revealing secrets about serotonin system and a serotonin receptor called the 5-HT1A autoreceptor.
Eventhough drugs that target the brain's serotonin system are widely used to treat depression, the basic biological mechanism by which they help to alleviate symptoms is poorly understood. Now, new University of Pittsburgh research suggests these drugs work by acting on a specific serotonin receptor called the 5-HT1A autoreceptor, which the study's researchers found plays a key role in regulating the response of the amygdala.
The findings, reported in the journal Nature Neuroscience, also provide a model of how specific changes in 5-HT1A autoreceptors and associated amygdala reactivity may impact a person's risk for developing depression. Much like a rheostat, these serotonin receptors regulate the brain's emotional responses and may contribute to one's vulnerability for depression and other psychiatric disorders.
The amygdala is a critical component of brain circuitry that processes clues from the environment about potential threats and generates appropriate behavioral and physiological responses such as the "fight or flight" response to these challenges. Research has indicated that depression and other mood disorders, such as anxiety, are linked to emotional brain circuitry problems involving the amygdala.........
Posted by: Daniel Permalink Source
October 1, 2006, 7:00 PM CT
Osteoarthritis A Biological Ageing?
Osteoarthritis is a common disease of the old age. It can often be seen in younger individuals. No some researchers are saying that those who get osteoarthritis at younger age might be biologically in an older age. Thse findings are published ahead of print in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
The authors base their findings on a study of almost 1100 people, aged between 30 and 79. Most of them were female twins.
X-rays of both hands were taken of all participants to check for signs of osteoarthritis and a blood sample was taken to assess "biological ageing" in white cell DNA.
Biological ageing is likely to be reflected by the gradual shortening of telomeres, the length of DNA which caps the tips of chromosomes. A host of factors make them shorten over time, including insufficient repair of the damage caused by oxygen free radicals (oxidative stress).
Oxygen free radicals are the unstable molecules produced as a by-product of normal bodily processes, as well as external factors, such as tobacco, alcohol, and sunlight.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, with the hands being one of the sites most often affected. Its frequency rises dramatically with age, but it is still not known exactly what causes it.
Unsurprisingly, the findings showed that white cell telomere lengths were associated with chronological age. The older a person was, the shorter they were.........
Posted by: Mark Permalink Source
October 1, 2006, 6:51 PM CT
Free Drug Samples And Physician Practice
Do you believe that your doctor is prescribing for a particular brand, because he or she is getting free samples and may be some incentives?
A recent researh suggest that one in three doctors agree that free drug samples influence prescribing, finds a small but representative US survey reported in the Journal of Medical Ethics.
But they also believe that other doctors are more likely to be influenced by incentives than they are, the data show.
In March 2003, the research team surveyed 397 members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists about their relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.
The members were part of a collaborative research network, representing each of the 10 districts covered by the College.
Just over half of those surveyed responded (217).
More than 90% of the respondents thought it was ethical to accept free samples of a new drug from a pharmaceutical company rep.
Similarly, just over half thought it was ethical to accept a lucrative consultancy with a company if they were a "high volume" prescriber of one of that company's drugs.
One in three agreed that their decision to prescribe a drug would probably be influenced by accepting the samples.
But respondents felt that other doctors would be significantly more likely to accept the offer of a free lunch, an anatomical model emblazoned with a drug's name, or a consultancy than they would, even if offered without free samples.........
Posted by: Janet Permalink Source
September 28, 2006, 10:07 PM CT
Cancer Drug For Rheumatoid Arthritis
The potent cancer drug Gleevec, used to combat leukemia and some gastrointestinal cancers, may be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis, as per a team of scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Their findings would be reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Eventhough the study shows that Gleevec worked well in mice, the scientists cautioned against doctors using Gleevec for treating rheumatoid arthritis until clinical trials are completed demonstrating its effectiveness and safety for people with the disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful, chronic autoimmune disorder, characterized by inflammation of the lining of the joints. It affects more than 2 million Americans; up to half of those with the disease are disabled after 15 years due to disfigured joints. Standard treatment for rheumatoid arthritis now includes agents that suppress the immune system, but a number of patients do not benefit from such therapys. They do not get adequate reduction in the symptoms and signs of disease; they may also continue to have damage to their joints or develop side effects that make continued use of such therapies impossible. Thus, new approaches are needed.
Bill Robinson, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and the study's senior author, led a team that set out to find drugs that might provide additional benefit to rheumatoid arthritis patients. They screened a range of drugs in mice that have a condition similar to human rheumatoid arthritis.........
Posted by: Janet Permalink Source
September 28, 2006, 10:01 PM CT
High-resolution CT For Shin Splints
Shin splints may develop in the muscles in the front and outer parts of the shin.
Image courtesy of Merck
High resolution CT can accurately show medial tibial stress syndrome, better known as shin splints, in distance runners according, to a study conducted at the University of Messina in Messina, Italy.
According to the study, medial tibial stress syndrome is one of many overuse lower leg injuries that may be found in athletes and accounts for between 13.2% and 17.3% of all running injuries.
For the study, high-resolution CT of both tibiae (shin bones) was performed on 41 subjects: 20 distance runners with no symptoms of shin splints, 11 distance runners with pain due to shin splints and 10 volunteers not involved in a sport. A total of 82 shin bones, 14 painful and 68 painless, were evaluated. Among the distance runners, CT abnormalities were found in 14 of 14 (100%) painful tibiae in patients with shin splints.
"The study demonstrates that CT is capable of revealing cortical abnormalities in medial tibial stress syndrome, thus representing a reliable diagnostic tool in patients with leg pain," said Fabio Minutoli, MD, lead author of the study.
"The results are useful for the management of athletes, particularly long distance runners. Moreover, we think that CT can be used in research studies, to evaluate other subtle bone abnormalities; for example it can be useful in studies concerning osteoporosis," said Dr. Minutoli.........
Posted by: Mark Permalink Source
September 28, 2006, 9:56 PM CT
Radiofreqency Ablation For Ovarian Cancer
Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation, a procedure that uses a high frequency electric current to kill tumor cells, is effective in achieving local control in selected patients with metastasis from ovary cancer, as per a preliminary study conducted by the department of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA.
The study consisted of six patients with advanced ovary cancer who underwent radiofrequency ablation to destroy disease that had spread to the liver. "Some studies have shown that patients with advanced ovary cancer can survive longer if they have repeated surgery to remove recurrent or new disease," said Debra Gervais, MD, lead author of the study. "We wanted to see if we could use radiofrequency ablation instead of repeated open surgical resection for some of these patients," she said.
The study observed that, "after a single session, radiofreqency ablation resulted in complete necrosis" in five of the six patients, said Dr. Gervais. "We followed the patients for between eight months and 3.3 years, and four of the five patients had no evidence that the cancer in the area that had been destroyed by radiofrequency ablation had returned," she said.
"Treatment of ovary cancer requires multi-modality approaches including surgery and chemotherapy, but our study indicates that a small number of patients may benefit from radiofrequency ablation instead of repeated surgery," she said.........
Posted by: Emily Permalink Source