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March 31, 2008, 9:35 PM CT

Are you my mother?

Are you my mother?
Sigmund Freud hailed the phenomenon of transference as fundamental to the process of dynamic psychotherapy. Freud depicted transference as a false correlation between patient's memories of a past relationship and the therapeutic context. He noted it as an integral part in the psychoanalytic cure.

New theories present a very different interpretation of transference. In that, it transcends the therapeutic context and constitutes part and parcel of everyday social perception. Much like stereotypes, mental representations of significant others may be activated from memory and applied to new people that you meet who resemble someone you know.

Psychodynamic theories argue that transference is an intense, resource-demanding process, but psychology experts Arie Kruglanski, University of Maryland, and Antonio Pierro, University of Rome "La Sapienza," suggest that transference is more likely to occur when an individual's energy resources are low, rather than abundant.

Extending the logic from existing research showing that individuals exhibited more stereotypic biases at a non-optimal time of day (i.e., in the morning for evening types and in the evening for morning types,) Kruglanski and Pierro examined the occurrence of transference in participants' as correlation to their circadian rhythm.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 31, 2008, 9:30 PM CT

Actos preventes progression of atherosclerotic plaque

Actos preventes progression of atherosclerotic plaque
New data from a clinical trial using intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) technology observed that in patients living with type 2 diabetes, ACTOS® (pioglitazone HCl) reduced the atherosclerotic burden in the coronary arteries in comparison to glimepiride, and prevented progression in comparison to baseline. These data stem from the PERISCOPE (Pioglitazone Effect on Regression of Intravascular Sonographic Coronary Obstruction Prospective Evaluation) trial.

The PERISCOPE trial was presented today as a late breaker at the 57th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago. This trial adds to the body of cardiovascular data for ACTOS. ACTOS studies, conducted over the past 10 years in more than 16,000 patients, including short- and long-term trials, as well as prospective and findings based on observation, have shown no evidence that ACTOS is linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or death.

We are pleased with the results of the PERISCOPE, which further expands our cardiovascular data with ACTOS, said David P. Recker, M.D., senior vice president, Clinical Sciences and interim president at Takeda Global Research & Development. While not definitive, data from PERISCOPE combined with results from a prior study, looking at surrogate endpoints, have shown a consistent trend toward decreasing cardiovascular risk by reducing the atherosclerotic burden in people with type 2 diabetes.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 31, 2008, 9:25 PM CT

Healthy Gums are Something to Smile About

Healthy Gums are Something to Smile About
A smile is one of the most universally recognizable facial expressions, helping to depict an individual's happiness, confidence, attractiveness, sociability and sincerity. And now, as per a recent study reported in the Journal of Periodontology (JOP), the official publication of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), a smile may also help convey healthy teeth and gums. Scientists found evidence that periodontal, or gum, disease may negatively affect an individual's smiling patterns and deter someone from displaying positive emotions through a smile. Study Abstract *.

The study, conducted at the University of Michigan, reviewed the smiling patterns of 21 periodontal patients while viewing a segment of a comedy program. At predetermined measurement points throughout the segment, the scientists assessed three dimensions of each patient's smile: the horizontal width of the mouth in millimeters, the open width of the mouth in millimeters, and the number of teeth shown. In addition, the scientists also noted the number of times the patient covered his or her mouth while watching the segment. Individual perceptions of how the patient's quality of life is affected by oral health were also considered. The data were then reviewed along with a clinical exam of the patient's periodontal health.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 27, 2008, 9:55 PM CT

Sniffing out danger

Sniffing out danger
Each human nose encounters hundreds of thousands of scents in its daily travels perched front and center on our face. Some of these smells are nearly identical, so how do we learn to tell the critical ones apart? .

Something bad has to happen. Then the nose becomes a very quick learner.

New research from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine shows a single negative experience associated with an odor rapidly teaches us to identify that odor and discriminate it from similar ones.

"It's evolutionary," said Wen Li, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center at the Feinberg School. "This helps us to have a very sensitive ability to detect something that is important to our survival from an ocean of environmental information. It warns us that it's dangerous and we have to pay attention to it."

The study will be published March 28 in the journal Science.

In the study, subjects were exposed to a pair of grassy smells which were nearly identical in their chemical makeup and perceptually indistinguishable. The subjects received an electrical shock when they were exposed to one scent, but not when they were exposed to the other similar one.

After being shocked, the subjects learned to discriminate between the two similar smells. This illustrates the tremendous power of the human sense of smell to learn from emotional experience. Odors that once were impossible to tell apart became easy to identify when followed by an aversive event.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 27, 2008, 9:50 PM CT

Key culprit in stroke brain cell damage

Key culprit in stroke brain cell damage
Scientists have identified a key player in the killing of brain cells after a stroke or a seizure. The protein asparagine endopeptidase (AEP) unleashes enzymes that break down brain cells' DNA, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have found.

The results are reported in the March 28 issue of the journal Molecular Cell.

Finding drugs that block AEP may help doctors limit permanent brain damage following strokes or seizures, says senior author Keqiang Ye, PhD, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory.

When a stroke obstructs blood flow to part of the brain, the lack of oxygen causes a buildup of lactic acid, the same chemical that appears in the muscles during intense exercise. In addition, a flood of chemicals that brain cells commonly use to communicate with each other over-excites the cells. Epileptic seizures can have similar effects.

While some brain cells die directly because of lack of oxygen, others undergo programmed cell death, a normal developmental process where cells actively destroy their own DNA.

"The mystery was: how do the acidic conditions trigger DNA damage?" Ye says. "This was a very surprising result because previously we had no idea that AEP was involved in this process".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


March 27, 2008, 9:42 PM CT

Being born bottom first is inherited

Being born bottom first is inherited
A baby is twice as likely to be born bottom first if either or both the parents were themselves breech deliveries, as per a research studypublished ahead of print on bmj.com. The results suggest genes are a contributing factor.

The vast majority of babies are delivered head first. Fewer than one in twenty are delivered the other way round what is known as a breech delivery. Such deliveries carry significantly greater risks for the baby: they are more likely to die or suffer from health problems.

Factors such as premature delivery and low birth weight are also known risk factors linked to a breech delivery but these only account for up to one in seven of all such breech births. Until now knowledge of whether genes could also be a factor has been lacking.

The scientists from the University of Bergen in Norway looked at data covering all the births in Norway between 1967 and 2004. They studied the information available on men and women and their first born children - a total of 387,555 parent and child units.

They observed that men and women who had been delivered full-term in breech had more than twice the risk of breech delivery in their own first pregnancies. Furthermore, babies delivered naturally, not by caesarean, were at the biggest risk of a breech delivery.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


March 27, 2008, 9:39 PM CT

Risks of over-the-counter medicines

Risks of over-the-counter medicines
The risks of increasing peoples access to over-the-counter medicines may outweigh the benefits, warn experts in this weeks BMJ.

They suggest that the safety of over-the-counter medicines should be kept under close review and that patients should be urged to report any adverse reactions.

Medicines are currently divided into classes that do or do not require prescription, write Robin Ferner, Director at the West Midlands Centre for Adverse Drug Reactions and Keith Beard, Consultant Clinician at the Victoria Infirmary Glasgow.

Prescription only medicines are subject to a range of controls that are relaxed when medicines are made more freely available over the counter.

When deciding if a medicine should be reclassified to make it available over the counter, regulatory authorities must balance the benefits of easier access against the potential harm from unsupervised or inappropriate use.

Once medicines have been reclassified, they remain subject to safety review.

Patients, doctors and pharmacists can all benefit if medicines are available over the counter. For example, patients can call at a pharmacy any time rather than waiting to see a doctor, general practitioners no longer need to write prescriptions for minor ailments, and pharmacists can make better use of their professional skills.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 27, 2008, 9:36 PM CT

Too many women still dying from breast cancer

Too many women still dying from breast cancer
Thousands of women die from breast cancer each year because current therapys are not always effective and in some cases fail to stem the disease, warns Breast Cancer Campaign today.

In a comprehensive review of breast cancer research published recently, 56 of the UKs most influential breast cancer experts have identified the key research gaps and priorities for the greatest potential impact on patients.

Breast cancer therapy has improved over the past few decades and led to increased survival rates and better quality of life, the report highlights. However over 44,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and around 12,500 will die.

Unfortunately, not enough is known about why therapys dont work for some patients or why breast cancer can return, sometimes a number of years later, says Breast Cancer Campaign.

The new study, one of the largest ever carried out in the UK and published by the open access journal Breast Cancer Research, is a unique insight into the current state of breast cancer research and its future challenges.

Gaps in key areas of breast cancer research have been identified in the report, says the charity: prevention, detection, spread or recurrence of the disease, therapy, pathology, physiology, genetics and psychosocial aspects of breast cancer.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


March 27, 2008, 9:35 PM CT

Cooperative classrooms lead to better friendships

Cooperative classrooms lead to better friendships
Students competing for resources in the classroom while discounting each others success are less likely to earn top grades than students who work together toward goals and share their success, as per an analysis of 80 years of research.

Competitive environments can disrupt childrens ability to form social relationships, which in turn may hurt their academic potential, as per scientists at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Cary J. Roseth, PhD, David W. Johnson, PhD, and Roger T. Johnson, PhD, evaluated the last eight decades of research on how social relationships affect individual behavior and achievement. Their findings appear in the current issue of Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association.

The scientists examined 148 studies that compared the effects of cooperative, competitive and individualistic goals on early achievement and peer relationships among 12- to 15-year-olds. The studies included more than 17,000 adolescents from 11 countries and used four multinational samples. No one was excluded from the analysis because of gender, nationality, or academic or physical ability.

As per the studies, adolescents in classrooms that supported cooperative learning studying together to complete a project or prepare for an exam got along better with their peers, were more accurate on academic tests and achieved higher scores on problem-solving, reasoning and critical thinking tasks in comparison to adolescents who were in classrooms geared toward competitive learning studying alone knowing that success would mean only one winner and plenty of losers.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


March 27, 2008, 9:34 PM CT

Relaxation training may improve hypertension

Relaxation training may improve hypertension
Adding the relaxation response, a stress-management approach, to other lifestyle interventions may significantly improve therapy of the type of high blood pressure most common in the elderly. Among participants in a study conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) High blood pressure Program and the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at MGH, those who received relaxation response training in addition to advice on reducing lifestyle risk factors were more than twice as likely to successfully eliminate at least one blood pressure medicine than were those receiving lifestyle counseling only. The study appears in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Nearly 80 million Americans are classified as having hypertension, and eventhough we have a number of medications to lower blood pressure, only about a third of patients achieve adequate control of their pressures, says Randall Zusman, MD, co-senior author of the report who leads the High blood pressure Program at the MGH Heart Center. If a practice that takes only 15 to 20 minutes a day can help decrease patients dependence on antihypertensive medications reducing often-unpleasant side effects and the considerable costs of these drugs we could not only improve their quality of life but lower direct and indirect health costs by billions of dollars.........

Posted by: Daniel      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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