January 5, 2009, 11:14 PM CT
Procedures to stop heavy menstrual bleeding
RExperts estimate that 20 percent of women experience excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding at some time during their lives, especially as they approach menopause. A new, less invasive procedure called global endometrial ablation (GEA) preserves the uterus, while decreasing menstrual bleeding and shortening patients' recovery time. In an article reported in the recent issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology
, Mayo Clinic scientists attempt to determine the percentage of women who do not achieve permanent symptom relief from GEA and identify several factors that put women at greater risk for this outcome.
VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources, including excerpts from an interview with Dr. Abimbola Famuyide describing the research, are available on the Mayo Clinic News Blog at: http://newsblog.mayoclinic.org/2009/01/05/global-endometrial-ablation-for-heavy-menstrual-bleeding/.
For decades, hormone pills or hysterectomy, surgical removal of the uterus, were the standard therapys for excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Eventhough numerous studies have established the safety of GEA, some women who undergo this procedure require additional therapy or hysterectomy later because significant menstrual pain or heavy bleeding symptoms resume.How GEA works
Posted by: Emily Read more Source
January 2, 2009, 10:55 AM CT
Getting better results from anxiety treatment
A network of emotion-regulating brain regions implicated in the pathological worry that can grip patients with anxiety disorders may also be useful for predicting the benefits of therapy.
A newly released study appearing online Jan. 2 reports that high levels of brain activity in an emotional center called the amygdala reflect patients' hypersensitivity to anticipation of adverse events. At the same time, high activity in a regulatory region known as the anterior cingulate cortex is linked to a positive clinical response to a common antidepressant medication. The study will appear in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry
For individuals with anxiety disorders, the anticipation of a bad outcome can be worse than the outcome itself, says Jack Nitschke, assistant professor and clinical psychology expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and main author of the newly released study. Some individuals spend so much time worrying about getting into a negative situation or having a panic attack, he says, that the condition becomes debilitating. "In an extreme situation, they might not even leave their home," he says.
To study how the brain responds to anticipation, scientists at the UW-Madison Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine patients with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as they viewed a set of negative and neutral images. Patients were shown pre-image cues several seconds before each picture so they would know what to expect: a circle before a neutral image and a minus sign before an aversive image.........
Posted by: JoAnn Read more Source
January 2, 2009, 10:43 AM CT
Smoking and family history of stroke
A newly released study shows that people who are smokers and have a family history of brain aneurysm appear to be significantly more likely to suffer a stroke from a brain aneurysm themselves. The research is reported in the December 31, 2008, online issue of Neurology
, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology and will appear in the January 6, 2009, print issue of Neurology
The type of stroke, called subarachnoid hemorrhage, is one of the bleeding types of stroke and is deadly in about 35 to 40 percent of people.
In the study, researchers looked at 339 people who suffered a stroke from a brain aneurysm and 1,016 people who had not had a stroke due to an aneurysm. Current smokers made up half of the group that had a stroke. The other half had never smoked or had smoked in the past.
The research found people who smoked and had a family history of stroke were more than six times more likely to suffer a stroke than those who did not smoke and did not have a family history of stroke or brain aneurysm. The study also observed that people with a family history of stroke could cut their risk by more than half by quitting smoking. The results were the same regardless of high blood pressure, diabetes, alcohol use, body mass index and education level.........
Posted by: Daniel Read more Source
January 2, 2009, 10:40 AM CT
How much is cost to be sleepless?
Westchester, Ill. A study in the Jan. 1 issue of the journal Sleep
indicates that the indirect costs of untreated insomnia are significantly greater than the direct costs linked to its therapy. The study estimates that the total annual cost of insomnia in the province of Quebec is 6.5 billion Canadian dollars, representing about one percent of the province's $228.5 billion in gross domestic product for 2002.
Annual indirect costs of insomnia correlation to lost hours of productivity are estimated to be $5 billion, representing the largest proportion (76 percent) of all insomnia costs. The annual estimate of insomnia-related lost productivity is 27.6 days per year for individuals with insomnia syndrome, and 6.2 days per year for people with insomnia symptoms. The second-highest cost of insomnia is attributed to job absenteeism, with $970.6 million 14.7 percent of the total economic burden of insomnia - estimated to be lost annually due to insomnia-related absences. Individuals with insomnia syndrome are absent from work an estimated 4.36 days per year because of insomnia.
Main author of the study, Meagan Daley, PhD, professor of psychology and business, in Quebec City, Canada stated that costs linked to the use of alcohol as a sleep aid exceed those linked to consultations and the use of medications and over-the-counter products.........
Posted by: Janet Read more Source
January 2, 2009, 10:35 AM CT
Osteoporosis drugs may cause jaw necrosis
Scientists at the University Of Southern California, School Of Dentistry release results of clinical data that links oral bisphosphonates to increased jaw necrosis. The study is among the first to acknowledge that even short-term use of common oral osteoporosis drugs may leave the jaw vulnerable to devastating necrosis, as per the report appearing in the January 1 Journal of the American Dental Association
Osteoporosis currently affects 10 million Americans. Fosomax is the most widely prescribed oral bisphosphonate, ranking as the 21st most prescribed drug on the market since 2006, as per a 2007 report released by IMS Health.
"Oral Bisphosphonate Use and the Prevalence of Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: An Institutional Inquiry" is the first large institutional study in the U.S. to investigate the relationship between oral bisphosphonate use and jaw bone death, said principal investigator Parish Sedghizadeh, assistant professor of clinical dentistry with the USC School of Dentistry.
After controlling for referral bias, nine of 208 healthy School of Dentistry patients who take or have taken Fosamax for any length of time were diagnosed with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). The study's results are in contrast to drug makers' previous assertions that bisphosphonate-related ONJ risk is only noticeable with intravenous use of the drugs, not oral usage, Sedghizadeh said. "We've been told that the risk with oral bisphosphonates is negligible, but four percent is not negligible," he said.........
Posted by: Janet Read more Source
January 2, 2009, 10:26 AM CT
Chronic pancreatitis pain: Relief with antioxidants
Antioxidant supplementation was found to be effective in relieving pain and reducing levels of oxidative stress in patients with chronic pancreatitis (CP), reports a newly released study in Gastroenterology
CP is a progressive inflammatory disease of the pancreas in which patients experience abdominal pain (in early stage) and diabetes and maldigestion (in late stage). Pain is the major problem in 90 percent of patients with CP and currently, there is no effective medical treatment for pain relief. Gastroenterology
is the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.
In this placebo-controlled, double blind trial, 127 patients, ages 30.5+/-10.5, were assigned to placebo or antioxidant groups. After six months, the reduction in the number of painful days/month was significantly higher in the antioxidant group, compared with the placebo group (7.46.8 versus 3.24, respectively). The reduction in the number of analgesic tablets/month was also higher in the antioxidant group (10.511.8 versus 4.45.8, respectively). Furthermore, 32 percent and 13 percent of patients became pain free in the antioxidant and placebo groups, respectively; the beneficial effect of antioxidants on pain relief was noted early at three months.
"Abdominal pain, the predominant symptom in patients with CP, is difficult to treat. The main reason for a largely ineffective medical therapy is that the mechanism of pain in CP is not well understood," said Pramod Kumar Garg, MD, DM, of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and main author of the study. "We are encouraged by our findings, as significant improvement was noted with antioxidants in respect to all the parameters of pain in this study. In addition, reduction in pain resulted in fewer man-days lost, thus providing functional employment gain to the patients. The findings should spur further research in this exciting area".........
Posted by: Sue Read more Source
January 2, 2009, 9:46 AM CT
Family History of Prostate Cancer Has No Impact On The Treatment Outcomes
In a first of its kind study, a first-degree family history of prostate cancer has no impact on the therapy outcomes of patients with prostate cancer treated with brachytherapy (also called seed implants), and patients with this type of family history have clinical and pathologic characteristics similar to men with no family history at all, as per a January 1 study in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics
, the official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.
"This information is relevant for both physicians and patients with new diagnoses as they embark on complex therapy decisions," Christopher A. Peters, M.D., main author of the study and a radiation oncologist at Northeast Radiation Oncology Center in Dunmore, Pa. (chief resident at Mount Sinai School of Medicine at the time of the study), said. "Now patients with a family history of prostate cancer can be confident that they have the same outcomes as patients with sporadic disease, regardless of the therapy modality they chose".
As per the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men behind skin cancer. A number of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer have some type of family history of the disease and men with a family history do have an increased risk of developing the disease, but there is conflicting data on how family history impacts therapy outcomes.........
Posted by: Mark Read more Source
December 31, 2008, 7:21 AM CT
No cancer prevention potential for common vitamins
Women who took beta carotene or vitamin C or E or a combination of the supplements had a similar risk of cancer as women who did not take the supplements, as per data from a randomized controlled trial in the December 30 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Epidemiological studies have suggested that people whose diets are high in fruits and vegetables, and thus antioxidants, may have a lower risk of cancer. Results from randomized trials that address the issue, however, have been inconsistent and have rarely supported that observation.
In the current study, Jennifer Lin, Ph.D., of the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and his colleagues tested the impact of antioxidant supplements on cancer incidence in a randomized controlled trial. A total of 7,627 women who were at high risk of cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to take vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta-carotene.
With an average of 9.4 years of follow-up time, there was no statistically significant benefit from antioxidant use compared with placebo in terms of disease risk or mortality due to cancer. Overall, 624 women developed cancer and 176 died from cancer during the follow-up time. Compared with placebo, the relative risk of a new cancer diagnosis was 1.11 for women who took vitamin C, 0.93 for women who took vitamin E, and 1.00 for women who took beta carotene. None of these relative risks was statistically significantly different from 1.........
Posted by: Janet Read more Source
December 31, 2008, 7:18 AM CT
Components of grape-seed may control leukemia
An extract from grape seeds forces laboratory leukemia cells to commit cell suicide, as per scientists from the University of Kentucky. They observed that within 24 hours, 76 percent of leukemia cells had died after being exposed to the extract.
The investigators, who report their findings in the January 1, 2009, issue of Clinical Cancer Research
, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, also teased apart the cell signaling pathway linked to use of grape seed extract that led to cell death, or apoptosis. They observed that the extract activates JNK, a protein that regulates the apoptotic pathway.
While grape seed extract has shown activity in many laboratory cancer cell lines, including skin, breast, colon, lung, stomach and prostate cancers, no one had tested the extract in hematological cancers nor had the precise mechanism for activity been revealed.
"These results could have implications for the incorporation of agents such as grape seed extract into prevention or therapy of hematological malignancies and possibly other cancers," said the study's main author, Xianglin Shi, Ph.D., professor in the Graduate Center for Toxicology at the University of Kentucky.
"What everyone seeks is an agent that has an effect on cancer cells but leaves normal cells alone, and this shows that grape seed extract fits into this category," he said.........
Posted by: Janet Read more Source
December 31, 2008, 7:16 AM CT
Evaluating the century old treatment for peptic ulcer
Bismuth compounds have been used for centuries in medicine. The discovery of H. pylori
in 1983 led to renewed interest in bismuth compounds, because these were found to successfully treat the infection in combination with antibiotics. However, in the 1970s bismuth salts, used at high doses for prolonged periods, were found to lead to neurotoxicity. There has been no summary of evidence for the toxicity of bismuth when used for short periods as part of H. pylori
A research article would be published on December 28, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology
addresses this question. The research team led by Professor Paul Moayyedi from McMaster University, Canada performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the safety of bismuth compounds, when used in a 1 or 2-week course of H. pylori
eradication treatment. They examined the risk of adverse events in randomized controlled trials using bismuth compounds as part of H. pylori
eradication treatment in comparison to other regimens.
Thirty-five randomized controlled trials containing over 4500 patients were identified comparing bismuth with placebo or no therapy, or bismuth salts in combination with antibiotics as part of eradication treatment with the same dose and duration of antibiotics alone or in combination with acid suppression. There were no differences in the total number of adverse events with bismuth versus comparison regimen. Individual adverse events were also no more frequent with bismuth, with the exception of dark stools. There were no significant differences detected in the number of adverse events leading to withdrawal of treatment with bismuth versus comparison regimen.........
Posted by: Sue Read more Source