February 6, 2008, 9:15 PM CT
Adolescent Reaction to Iraq War
University of Cincinnati scientists are reporting what they call a significant pattern among Iraqi adolescents and their reaction to the war in Iraq - the higher the perceived threat of the war, the higher the teens reported their self-esteem. The findings - from a 2004 survey of 1,000 Iraqi adolescents in 10 neighborhoods in Baghdad - are published in the current issue of the Journal of Adolescence.
Steve Carlton-Ford, a University of Cincinnati associate professor and co-author of the study, says the findings give a rare look at the impact of war on adolescents, explaining that, in general, sociologists and psychology experts are examining how war affects small children. Carlton-Ford adds that in the cases of young children, conflict-related events typically lower a child's psychological well-being. The survey of Iraqi teens was conducted in 2004 by co-author Morton Ender of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, who supervised field surveys with the U.S. Army in the neighborhoods surrounding Baghdad. The study is also authored by UC doctoral student Ahoo Tabatabai.
The authors observed that despite obvious threat to the adolescents' sense of security, the youth were coping fairly well in 2004, with self-esteem levels comparable to that of Palestinian youth. "In the presence of conflict-related trauma one generally observes lower levels of psychological well-being (e.g., PTSD, grief reactions), and sometimes lower self-esteem," write the authors. "Our results, however, are consistent with a body of theory and research that predicts self-esteem striving and higher self-esteem among the individuals who face indirect threats to central components of their social identities (rather than directly facing traumatic war-related events). In other words, in a situation where we observe a broad social context involving the presence of foreign forces ( a clear violation of Muslim principles) combined with general violence throughout Baghdad and Iraq, we also observe a heightened sense of self, at least to the extent that one's self is tied to one's nation".........
Posted by: JoAnn Read more Source
February 6, 2008, 9:03 PM CT
Two Different Peels Both Effective in Acne
Chemical peels using either alpha-hydroxy acid or beta-hydroxy acid are both highly effective in treating mild to moderately severe facial acne, scientists at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine have found - the first study to compare the two different types of acid peels as therapies for the skin disorder.
Peels using beta-hydroxy acid (or BHA) had slightly fewer side effects and results that lasted a bit longer than did peels using alpha-hydroxy acid (or AHA), the study found. But overall, both types of therapys were similarly effective in reducing lesions caused by acne vulgaris, the medical term for common facial acne, which affects some 85 percent of all people 12 to 24 years old.
"This is good news for the millions of Americans who suffer from mild to moderately severe facial acne," said Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., vice chair and professor of dermatology at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. "This provides more options for patients and doctors to chose from when it comes to tailoring a therapy program for each individual".
The research is reported in the current edition of Dermatologic Surgery.
AHA (which is also called glycolic acid) and BHA (also called salicylic acid) are frequently used by physicians to induce light skin peels, which help treat fine lines and wrinkles, acne and uneven texture and coloration. The peel removes a very thin layer of skin, which in turn promotes the growth of new, smoother skin.........
Posted by: George Read more Source
February 6, 2008, 8:34 PM CT
Dairy Products For Healthy Gums
Consumers have long known that including dairy in their diets can help maintain healthy bones and even help promote weight loss. However, a recent study reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Periodontology, the official publication of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), demonstrated that routine intake of dairy products may also help promote periodontal health. The study analyzed the periodontal health of 942 subjects and determined that those who regularly consumed dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt had a lower instance of gum disease.
"Research has suggested that periodontal disease may affect overall systemic health," said study author Dr. Yoshihiro Shimazaki of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. "This study reinforces what much of the public already knows - the importance of dairy in helping achieve a healthy lifestyle, including a healthy mouth".
Study participants aged 40 through 79 were examined on two periodontal parameters that can indicate gum disease, periodontal pocket depth (PD) and clinical attachment loss (CAL) of gum tissue. Scientists found that subjects that consumed 55 or more grams of products containing lactic acid each day had a significantly lower prevalence of deep PD and severe CAL, therefore demonstrating a lower instance of periodontal disease.........
Posted by: Janet Read more Source
February 6, 2008, 5:24 AM CT
Novel Molecules Can Boost Vaccine Potency
Two novel proteins studied by a University at Buffalo professor of microbiology and immunology appear to have the potential to enhance the production of antibodies against a multitude of infectious agents.
Terry D. Connell, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology in the Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, developed and patented the LT-IIa and LT-IIb enterotoxins and their respective mutant proteins as new mucosal adjuvants, or "boosters," that can enhance the potency of existing and future vaccines.
Connell and his colleagues published five papers in 2007 describing their advances. They are the only research group in the scientific community investigating the immunology of these adjuvants.
The scientists currently are working to develop a safe and effective method to deliver the immune-enhancing molecules to the body's mucous membranes -- the first line of defense against most pathogens -- to elicit protective immune responses on those membranes.
"Almost every bacterium and virus that attacks us doesn't bore through the skin," said Connell. "These infectious agents enter by colonizing the mucosal surfaces on the eye, sinuses, mouth, gut lining, lungs and genital tract."........
Posted by: Mark Read more Source
February 6, 2008, 5:20 AM CT
Inadequate diagnostic criteria for eating disorders
Providence, RI A new study by Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University suggests that the DSM-IV criteria for eating disorders have limited clinical utility. Scientists recommend a broadening of the criteria for bulimia, anorexia and binge eating disorder.
In the DSM-IV manual, bulimia and anorexia nervosa are the only officially recognized and formally defined eating disorders. A third, binge eating disorder, is listed in the Appendix as a disorder requiring further study for possible inclusion in the next edition.
Scientists noted that in therapy center programs for eating disorders more than half of the patients are diagnosed with an eating disorder not otherwise specified (NOS). The scientists anticipated that in a general psychiatric setting, patients conditions would be less severe than in a specialized center.
The Rhode Island Hospital study looked at 330 patients who were diagnosed with a lifetime history of an eating disorder. Of those, 307 received 1 diagnosis and 23 were diagnosed with 2 disorders. The majority of the patients (85 percent) were female with a mean age of 34.3 years. Of the 330 patients, almost half (164) had a current eating disorder, 60 had an eating disorder in partial remission and slightly more than one-third (129) had a past diagnosis.........
Posted by: JoAnn Read more Source
February 6, 2008, 5:18 AM CT
Button mushrooms contain much anti-oxidants
The humble white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) has as much, and in some cases, more anti-oxidant properties than more expensive varieties.
Eventhough the button mushroom is the foremost cultivated edible mushroom in the world with thousands of tonnes being eaten every year, it is often thought of as a poor relation to its more exotic and expensive cousins and to have lesser value nutritionally.
But as per new research in SCIs Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, the white button mushroom has as much anti-oxidant properties as its more expensive rivals, the maitake and the matsutake mushrooms - both of which are highly prized in Japanese cuisine for their reputed health properties including lowering blood pressure and their alleged ability to fight cancer.
Anti-oxidants are believed to help ward off illness and boost the bodys immune system by acting as free radical scavengers, helping to mop up cell damage caused by free radicals.
Dr Jean-Michel Savoie and his team from the Institut National de la Recherche Agrinomique, a Governmental research institute in France, observed that anti-radical activity was equivalent to, if not more, than the better known mushrooms when they measured the respective mushrooms free radical scavenging ability.........
Posted by: JoAnn Read more Source
February 4, 2008, 10:23 PM CT
Key interaction in cholesterol regulation
Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined the specific way in which a destructive protein binds to and interferes with a molecule that removes low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the so-called bad cholesterol, from the blood.
The practical benefit of this finding is that we can now search for new ways to lower cholesterol by designing targeted antibodies to disrupt this interaction, said Dr. Jay Horton, professor of internal medicine and molecular genetics and a senior author of the study, which appears online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The protein, called PCSK9, has emerged as an important regulator of bad cholesterol in the blood, said Dr. Horton, whose research focuses in part on understanding the proteins function.
PCSK9 disrupts the activity of a key molecule called the low-density lipoprotein receptor, or LDLR. This molecule, which juts out from the surface of cells, latches on to bad cholesterol in the bloodstream and removes it by drawing it into the cells.
The PCSK9 protein also can latch on to the LDL receptor. This binding, however, triggers a chain of biochemical reactions that leads to the destruction of the LDL receptor. With fewer receptors available, more bad cholesterol remains in the bloodstream.........
Posted by: Daniel Read more Source
February 4, 2008, 9:51 PM CT
Grapefruit compound may help combat hepatitis C
A compound that naturally occurs in grapefruit and other citrus fruits may be able to block the secretion of hepatitis C virus (HCV) from infected cells, a process mandatory to maintain chronic infection. A team of scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Engineering in Medicine (MGH-CEM) report that HCV is bound to very low-density lipoprotein (vLDL, a so-called bad cholesterol) when it is secreted from liver cells and that the viral secretion mandatory to pass infection to other cells may be blocked by the common flavonoid naringenin.
If the results of this study extend to human patients, a combination of naringenin and antiviral medicine might allow patient to clear the virus from their livers. The report will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Hepatology and has been released online.
By finding that HCV is secreted from infected cells by latching onto vLDL, we have identified a key pathway in the viral lifecycle, says Yaakov Nahmias, PhD, of the MGH-CEM, the papers lead author. These results suggest that lipid-lowering drugs, as well as supplements, such as naringenin, may be combined with traditional antiviral therapies to reduce or even eliminate HCV from infected patients.
HCV is the leading cause of chronic viral liver disease in the United States and infects about 3 percent of the world population. Current antiviral medications are effective in only half of infected patients, 70 percent of whom develop chronic infection that can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. Since the virus does not integrate its genetic material into the DNA of infected cells the way HIV does, totally clearing the virus could be possible if new cells were not being infected by secreted virus.........
Posted by: Mark Read more Source
February 4, 2008, 9:40 PM CT
Women prefer contraceptive ring over patch
In the first study to directly compare a contraceptive vaginal ring and skin patch, more women indicated overall satisfaction with the vaginal ring, scientists report in the current issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Using the same combination of hormones included in prescription birth control pills, these products became available in 2002 as an alternative to taking a pill every day. Ring and patch are left in place for three weeks at a time.
The study reviewed the experiences of 500 women who were randomly assigned to use the ring or patch for four consecutive menstrual cycles in 2005 and 2006. Of these, 249 used the ring and 251 used the patch. In addition to regular study visits for physical evaluation, participants completed a questionnaire and talked to researchers by phone following the study period.
What we found is that more women are happier with the ring than the patch, said Mitchell Creinin, M.D., professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the studys first author. On the whole, they report fewer complications, and a significant majority preferred the ring to their pill. The University of Pittsburgh served as sponsoring institution for the trial, which was conducted at 10 centers nationwide.........
Posted by: Emily Read more Source
February 4, 2008, 9:22 PM CT
Microneedles enhance drug administration
Microscopic needle transdermal patch.
Credit: Courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology
In what is thought to bethe first peer-evaluated study of its kind involving human subjects, scientists at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy and the Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated that patches coated on one side with microscopic needles can facilitate transdermal delivery of clinically-relevant doses of a drug that normally cannot pass through the skin.
Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study could help advance the use of microneedles as a painless method for delivering drugs, proteins, DNA and vaccines into the body. The research also found other advantages for the microneedles, including an ability to produce therapeutic drug levels with lower doses, and lowered production of metabolites that may cause side-effects.
This proof-of-concept study shows that microneedles work in humans for transdermal drug delivery, said Daniel Wermeling, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at UK's College of Pharmacy. Success with microneedles could cause us to rethink the convergence of the drug and delivery system and lead to a more integrated approach merging engineering with pharmaceutical technology.
The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Kentucky Research Foundation.........
Posted by: Scott Read more Source