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June 13, 2007, 7:48 AM CT

College students who pull 'all-nighters' get lower GPA

College students who pull 'all-nighters' get lower GPA
A common practice among a number of college students involves "pulling all-nighters", or a single night of total sleep deprivation, a practice linked to lower grade-point averages in comparison to those who make time for sleep, as per a research abstract that will be presented Wednesday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

"Sleep in college students is generally inadequate, irregular and of poor quality. As sleep quality and quantity decrease, academic performance worsens. The data collected in this study indicate that the use of a single night of total sleep deprivation is not an effective practice for achieving academic goals," said Pamela Thacher, PhD, of St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, who authored the study.

The findings are based on interviews with 111 students at St. Lawrence University.

The amount of sleep a person gets affects his or her physical health, emotional well-being, mental abilities, productivity and performance. Recent studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 12, 2007, 5:08 AM CT

Distress-prone people and memory problems

Distress-prone people and memory problems
People who are easily distressed and have more negative emotions are more likely to develop memory problems than more easygoing people, as per a research studyreported in the June 12, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

In the study, those who most often experience negative emotions such as depression and anxiety were 40 percent more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than those who were least prone to negative emotions. Mild cognitive impairment is a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia. People with mild cognitive impairment have mild memory or cognitive problems, but have no significant disability.

Scientists analyzed the results from two larger studies, the Religious Orders Study and the Memory and Aging Project, which involved 1,256 people with no cognitive impairment. During up to 12 years of follow-up, 482 people developed mild cognitive impairment. Participants were reviewed on their level of proneness to distress and negative emotions by rating their level of agreement with statements such as I am not a worrier, I often feel tense and jittery, and I often get angry at the way people treat me.

People differ in how they tend to experience and deal with negative emotions and psychological distress, and the way people respond tends to stay the same throughout their adult lives, said study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. These findings suggest that, over a lifetime, chronic experience of stress affects the area of the brain that governs stress response. Unfortunately, that part of the brain also regulates memory.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 12, 2007, 5:06 AM CT

Antibiotic use in infants linked to asthma

Antibiotic use in infants linked to asthma
New research indicates that children who receive antibiotics before their first birthday are significantly more likely to develop asthma by age 7. The study, reported in the recent issue of CHEST, the peer-evaluated journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), reports that children receiving antibiotics in the first year of life were at greater risk for developing asthma by age 7 than those not receiving antibiotics. The risk for asthma doubled in children receiving antibiotics for nonrespiratory infections, as well as in children who received multiple antibiotic courses and who did not live with a dog during the first year.

Antibiotics are prescribed mostly for respiratory tract infections, yet respiratory symptoms can be a sign of future asthma. This may make it difficult to attribute antibiotic use to asthma development, said lead study author Anita Kozyrskyj, PhD, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB. Our study reported on antibiotic use in children being treated for nonrespiratory tract infections, which distinguishes the effect of the antibiotic.

By using a prescription database, Dr. Kozyrskyj and his colleagues from the University of Manitoba and McGill University in Montreal were able to monitor the antibiotic use of 13,116 children from birth to age 7, specifically noting antibiotic use during the first year of life and presence of asthma at 7. The reason for antibiotic use was categorized by lower respiratory tract infection (bronchitis, pneumonia), upper respiratory tract infection (otitis media, sinusitis), and nonrespiratory tract infection (urinary infections, impetigo). Risk and protective factors also were noted, including gender, urban or rural location, neighborhood income, number of siblings at age 7, maternal history of asthma, and pets reported living in the home. Within the study group, 6 percent of children had current asthma at age 7, while 65 percent of children had received at least one antibiotic prescription during the first year of life. Of the prescriptions, 40 percent of children received antibiotics for otitis media, 28 percent for other upper respiratory tract infections, 19 percent for lower respiratory tract infections, and 7 percent for non-respiratory tract infections. Results showed that antibiotic use in the first year was significantly linked to greater odds of asthma at age 7. This likelihood increased with the number of antibiotic courses, with children receiving more than four courses of antibiotics having 1.5 times the risk of asthma compared with children not receiving antibiotics. When scientists compared the reason for antibiotic use, their analysis indicated that asthma at age 7 was almost twice as likely in children receiving an antibiotic for nonrespiratory tract infections compared with children who did not receive antibiotics.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 12, 2007, 5:03 AM CT

Sensitivity to diverse range of chemotherapeutic drugs

Sensitivity to diverse range of chemotherapeutic drugs
Using a functional genomic screen, researchers have defined elements that impact the responsiveness of cancer cells to drugs usually used as anticancer therapeutics. The research, reported in the recent issue of the journal Cancer Cell, published by Cell Press, identifies individual genes that are linked to resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs and sets the stage for future studies that may significantly enhance the ability to predict whether or not a particular tumor will respond to therapy.

Resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs is the primary cause of therapy failure in patients with metastatic cancer. Dr. Julian Downward from the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute and his colleagues used RNA interference to directly examine the contribution of over 800 candidate proteins to the sensitivity or resistance of cancer cells to several drugs that are usually used to treat cancer.

Using this technique, the scientists observed that resistance to the chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel, a member of the taxane family, as expected, involves genes that impair drug-induced mitotic arrest following knockdown. Silencing of these genes in a number of cases also induces polyploidy and multinucleation in the absence of drug therapy. The scientists conclude that specific disruption of the mitotic checkpoint promotes paclitaxel resistance and that chromosomal numerical heterogeneity may be a useful predictor of paclitaxel resistance in some cancers.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 12, 2007, 4:56 AM CT

Sleep disorders highly prevalent among police officers

Sleep disorders highly prevalent among police officers
Sleep disorders are common, costly and treatable, but often remain undiagnosed and untreated. Unrecognized sleep disorders adversely affect personal health and may lead to chronic sleep loss, which, in turn, increases the risk of accidents and injuries. These problems are exacerbated in shift workers such as police officers, who may experience chronic sleep loss due to their schedules. A sampling of police officers shows a high occurence rate of sleep disorders among the members of this profession, as per a research abstract that will be presented Tuesday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Shantha M.W. Rajaratnam, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, was based on the responses of 4,471 police officers to a self-report survey that included screening for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) alone or for OSA and insomnia, restless legs syndrome (RLS), shift work sleep disorder and narcolepsy with cataplexy.

The percentage of those who screened positive for any sleep disorder was 38.4 percent, including 35.1 percent for OSA, 6.8 percent for insomnia, 0.7 percent for RLS, two percent for shift work sleep disorder and 0.5 percent for narcolepsy. These individuals were referred to a sleep clinic for a formal evaluation.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 12, 2007, 4:51 AM CT

Racial differece in slow wave brain activity during sleep

Racial differece in slow wave brain activity during sleep
Slow wave activity (SWA), a stable trait dependent marker of the intensity of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, is lower in young healthy African-Americans in comparison to Caucasians who were matched for age, gender and body weight, as per a research abstract that will be presented Tuesday at SLEEP 2007, the 21st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

Dr. Esra Tasali and his colleagues at the University of Chicago collected overnight polysomnographic data from 12 African-Americans and 12 Caucasians, none of whom had any sleep complaints or disorders. The authors observed that African-Americans had markedly lower SWA as in comparison to Caucasians.

"The current findings provide evidence for ethnic differences in the intensity of NREM sleep," said Tasali. "Lower levels of SWA in African-Americans could be correlation to their reported poor sleep quality and higher risk for insulin resistance".

The amount of sleep a person gets affects his or her physical health, emotional well-being, mental abilities, productivity and performance. Recent studies associate lack of sleep with serious health problems such as an increased risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


June 11, 2007, 4:06 PM CT

Hot Flashes With Breast Cancer Treatment

Hot Flashes With Breast Cancer Treatment
Women on tamoxifen treatment who reported having hot flashes were less likely to develop recurrent breast cancer than those who did not report hot flashes, as per a research studyfrom the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Moreover, hot flashes were a stronger predictor of outcome than age, hormone receptor status or even how advanced the breast cancer was at diagnosis.

The study results were published online June 1 by the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, and were presented June 4 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago.

"Hot flashes are a very common and disruptive problem in breast cancer survivors," said the study's first author Joanne Mortimer, M.D., medical director of the Moores Cancer Center and professor of medicine with the UCSD School of Medicine. "About two-thirds of women with breast cancer say hot flashes compromise their quality of life. The most common request for additional therapy we get is for relief from these symptoms".

The study was based upon data from the comparison group of the Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) study - a multi-site randomized trial of the impact of a diet high in vegetables, fruits and fiber, and low in fat on the recurrence of breast cancer. The WHEL participating institutions are University of California, San Diego and Davis, Stanford University, Kaiser Permanente in Oakland and Portland, University of Arizona at Tucson, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 11, 2007, 3:52 PM CT

Diet and Exercise Keyto Surviving BreastCancer

Diet and Exercise Keyto Surviving BreastCancer
Breast cancer survivors who eat a healthy diet and exercise moderately can reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer by half, regardless of their weight, suggests a new longitudinal study from the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

Prior studies have looked at the impact of diet or physical activity on breast cancer survival, with mixed results. This study, reported in the June 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, is the first to look at a combination of both in breast cancer.

"We demonstrate in this study of breast cancer survivors that even if a woman is overweight, if she eats at least five servings of vegetables and fruits a day and walks briskly for 30 minutes, six days a week, her risk of death from her disease goes down by 50 percent," said the paper's first author, John Pierce, Ph.D., director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. "The key is that you must do both".

The study looked at 1,490 women aged 70 years and younger (average 50 years) with early stage breast cancer who were randomly assigned to the non-intensive dietary arm of the ongoing Women's Health Eating and Living (WHEL) study. The WHEL study is a multi-center study, based at UCSD, investigating the effect of a plant-based diet on additional breast cancer events.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 11, 2007, 3:49 PM CT

When Medical Residents Work Fewer Hours

When Medical Residents Work Fewer Hours
When medical residents work shorter hours, fewer patients are transferred to intensive care and there are not as a number of interventions by pharmacists to avoid errors in medication, as per a Yale School of Medicine study in Annals of Internal Medicine.

In addition, when residents work schedules are limited to 80 hours per week more patients are discharged to their homes or rehabilitation centers instead of facilities such as nursing homes, the scientists found.

What might have helped is reduced fatigue and clinical involvement by more senior physicians to compensate for frequent turnover of house staff, said Leora Horwitz, M.D., postdoctoral fellow in internal medicine and lead author of the study. We found no evidence of adverse unintended consequences after the institution of work-hour regulation.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) implemented work-hour regulations in July 2003 in hospitals across the country. Following the institution of these regulations, residents were no longer allowed to work more than 80 hours a week. The rules were intended to reduce errors caused by fatigue. However, one concern was that patient care would be transferred more often, increasing the possibility of mistakes.

Horwitz and her colleagues compared outcomes for patients under the care of house staff, or a teaching service, and patients cared for by a non-teaching service. They looked at data for patients discharged from July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2004. This included one year before and one year after the work-hour regulations were instituted.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 10, 2007, 8:56 PM CT

Potential New Target For Type 2 Diabetes

Potential New Target For Type 2 Diabetes
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered a potential new target for treating type 2 diabetes, as per a new study that appeared online this week in Nature. The target is a protein, along with its molecular partner, that regulates fat metabolism.

"Over the last 10 years, we have begun to understand the importance of fat metabolism in diabetes," notes lead author Morris J. Birnbaum, MD, PhD, the Willard and Rhoda Ware Professor of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases at Penn and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "Type 2 diabetics are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease because they also have disorders in fat metabolism as a result of obesity and abnormal insulin action." Birnbaum is also the Associate Director of the Type 2 Diabetes Unit for Penn's Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism.

When a person eats a meal, the pancreas commonly responds by secreting insulin that signals the liver to stop making glucose and burning fat. When a type 2 diabetic eats a meal, insulin cannot stop the manufacture of glucose in the liver, but it can stop the burning of fat stores. This gives the diabetic person a "double whammy:" fatty acids accumulate from food and from the liver. Consequently, more fat is deposited in tissues and obesity worsens.........

Posted by: JoAnn      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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