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September 18, 2006, 4:49 AM CT

Want to lose weight? Be a SMART planner

Want to lose weight? Be a SMART planner
OK. Recently you have made a decision to get some unwanted pounds from your body. And you have a plan and motivation to actually implement this brave idea. The first thing regarding this nice idea is to become a very SMART planner.

SMART is actually an acronym (short form) which means being Specific, Measured, Appropriate, Realistic, and Time-bound about your cherished goal. For example, imagine that your plan is focused on increasing exercise, then the first thing you do is to jolt down the details of your workout plan. You have to be specific regarding your strategic plan. You should settle on precisely what kind of activity you are considering and write it down. Being SMART would mean that you are very much aware about all details of your master plan. In this example, you should be very clear about the fact, how many times you would be able to realistically perform the planned physical activity in each week. You are also assumed to have a clear idea as to the amount of time you would be spending on this physical activity during each session.

We are all poor performers when it comes to memorizing and maintaining to set patterns and schedules. It is important that you just don't keep your bright ideas in your brain since memories and your new year resolutions would fade with time. Moreover you are more willing to procrastinate schedules and resolutions that reside just in your brain. Create a calendar and mark a regular schedule of exercise corresponding to the time at your disposal. It is better to setup a regular and periodic physical activity plan. Always start with small, short, and easier goals, which you are likely to achieve, and then work your way up to your major goal with a feeling of achievement.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink


September 17, 2006, 10:33 PM CT

A Possible Treatment For Type 1 Diabetes

A Possible Treatment For Type 1 Diabetes
A new vaccine being tested in a human clinical trial holds a great deal of promise for treating type 1 diabetes, a disease that newly afflicts 35,000 children each year. The research that established the foundation for this vaccine was conducted in UCLA research laboratories. The drug is still being tested and is not likely to be available for at least a few years.

"It's the only thing so far that really slows this disease down without adverse side effects," Allan J. Tobin, a UCLA professor emeritus of physiological science and neurology, said about the new drug. "The amazing thing about this emerging story, however, is that it started from basic research on the brain." Tobin, whose laboratory conducted critical neuroscience research in the late 1980s and 1990s, is a member and former director of UCLA's Brain Research Institute.

Type 1 diabetes -- also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes (because it commonly begins in childhood or adolescence) -- afflicts more than 1 million Americans. Typically it is characterized by a failure of the body to produce insulin because the immune system attacks and destroys the body's insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

On Sunday, Sept. 17, at a meeting in Copenhagen of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Johnny Ludvigsson -- pediatrics professor at Sweden's University Hospital, Linkping University -- will present results from the phase II study conducted in eight hospitals in Sweden in collaboration with Diamyd Medical (www.diamyd.com), a life science company located in Stockholm, Sweden.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


September 17, 2006, 10:24 PM CT

Dieting and Alzheimer's disease

Dieting and Alzheimer's disease Dr. Alzheimer
A new study directed by Mount Sinai School of Medicine extends and strengthens the research that experimental dietary regimens might halt or even reverse symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The study entitled "Calorie Restriction Attenuates Alzheimer's Disease Type Brain Amyloidosis in Squirrel Monkeys" which has been accepted for publication and would be reported in the November 2006 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, demonstrates the potential beneficial role of calorie restriction in AD type brain neuropathology in non-human primates. Restricting caloric intake may prevent AD by triggering activity in the brain linked to longevity.

"The present study strengthens the possibility that CR may exert beneficial effects on delaying the onset of AD- amyloid brain neuropathology in humans, similar to that observed in squirrel monkey and rodent models of AD," reported Mount Sinai researcher Dr. Pasinetti and colleagues, who published their study, showing how restricting caloric intake based on a low-carbohydrate diet may prevent AD in an experimental mouse model, in the July 2006 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

"This new breakthrough brings great anticipation for further human study of caloric restriction, for AD researchers and for those physicians who treat millions of people suffering with this disease" says Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Director of the Neuroinflammation Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "The findings offer a glimmer of hope that there may someday be a way to prevent and stop this devastating disease in its tracks." .........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


September 17, 2006, 10:21 PM CT

Prozac Interferes With Reproduction

Prozac Interferes With Reproduction
Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and North Carolina State University (NCSW) have demonstrated that a usually prescribed antidepressant can interfere with the reproductive cycle of freshwater mussels--at least in a controlled setting. The research, presented this week at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society*, was conducted to better understand the environmental impact of pharmaceuticals in waste water.

More and more studies are turning up evidence of common drugs and their breakdown products in the nation's waterways (see NIST Tech Beat, www.nist.gov/public_affairs/techbeat/tb2005_1222.htm#drugs, raising concerns about potential health impacts for both humans and animals from low-level but continuous exposure to the chemicals. NIST and NCSU scientists at the Hollings Marine Laboratory (Charleston, S.C.) examined the effect of fluoxetine, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) on a native freshwater mussel (Elliptio complanata). Fluoxetine, sold under the trade name ProzacTM, is one of the most heavily prescribed antidepressants in the United States. In humans, it acts to increase the levels of serotonin at nerve synapses, relieving depression and associated illnesses. But for many aquatic species, serotonin moderates the reproductive system--and has been used to artificially induce spawning in bivalves.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


September 17, 2006, 10:06 PM CT

Cancer Drug Against Muscular Dystrophy

Cancer Drug Against Muscular Dystrophy
(La Jolla, CA September 17, 2006) -- Muscle weakness and fiber deterioration seen in muscular dystrophy can be countered by a class of drugs currently under study for their effects against cancer, a Burnham Institute study has observed.

The report shed light on the potential use of these drugs, called histone deacetylase inhibitors, in promoting regeneration and repair of dystrophic muscles, thereby countering the progression of the disease, in two different mouse models of muscular dystrophy. Led by Burnham Institute assistant professor Lorenzo Puri, M.D., Ph.D., in collaboration with the Dulbecco Telethon Institute (DTI) of Rome and other colleagues in Italy and at the National Institutes of Health, the study was made available to scientists worldwide by expedited publication at Nature Medicine's website on September 17, 2006.

Puri's team discovered that ongoing therapy with the deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A, currently under clinical study for breast cancer, restored skeletal muscle mass and prevented the impaired function characteristic of muscular dystrophies. Importantly, these restored muscles showed an increased resistance to contraction-coupled degeneration--the primary mechanism by which muscle function declines in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and related dystrophies.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


September 15, 2006, 2:13 PM CT

Selecting Breast Cancer Patients For Chemo

Selecting Breast Cancer Patients For Chemo
A test that measures the amounts of two members of the same protein family - one of which appears to act as an oncogene, and the other as a tumor suppressor - helps identify breast cancer patients who will likely benefit from chemotherapy and those who won't, as per researchers.

The test, known as OncoPlanTM, is already commercially available, and studies have shown that it can predict the aggressiveness of the patient's tumor and the relative risk of disease recurrence following surgery in breast, colon and gastric cancers. Now, scientists in the U.S. and Canada have studied whether it also can help identify patients with breast cancer who would benefit most from chemotherapy.

Results were presented at the first meeting on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development, organized by the American Association for Cancer Research.

OncoPlan measures two forms of Shc protein, which are known to drive the formation of protein complexes involved in signal transduction pathways and have been found to be involved in a number of of the pathways important to development of aggressive cancer. These two forms have a "push pull" relationship with each other: tyrosine-phosphorylated (PY)-Shc helps drive these dangerous cell pathways, but p66 Shc, after initial stimulation, works to inhibit the very growth pathway the other Shc proteins promote.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 15, 2006, 1:54 PM CT

Behavior In Cancer Cells Signals Metastasis

Behavior In Cancer Cells Signals Metastasis
The most aggressively cancerous cancer cells have a "toggle switch" that enables them to morph into highly mobile cells that invade other tissues and then nest comfortably in their new surroundings, a new study in rats suggests.

This picture of how cancer cells shift between two alternating states -- travelers and nesters -- represents a new understanding of how cancer metastasizes, or spreads to other parts of the body, said the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center scientists who conducted the study.

"Understanding this toggle switch might ultimately enable researchers to find ways to stop cells from metastasizing, which is the most deadly trait of cancer," said the study's lead investigator, Mariano Garcia-Blanco, M.D., Ph.D., professor of molecular genetics and microbiology.

The scientists will publish their findings in the Sept. 19, 2006, issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, now available on line. The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Until now, researchers have believed that cancer cells must transform permanently from stationary epithelial cells into migratory mesenchymal cells in order to metastasize.

The Duke team discovered that highly cancerous cells are equal parts epithelial and mesenchymal, transitioning between the two as their surroundings necessitate. The proteins that the cell produces dictate which way the cell shifts.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


September 15, 2006, 1:37 PM CT

Genetic Susceptibility For Viral Encephalitis

Genetic Susceptibility For Viral Encephalitis Herpes virus
The study is being published September 14 in Science X-Press, an advanced, online edition of the journal Science.

In the study, the scientists suggest that herpes simplex encephalitis may reflect a single gene immunodeficiency that confers susceptibility to herpes simplex virus, an idea that contrasts with the prevailing scientific theory of how genes work to make people vulnerable to infections. These new findings, the study added, may apply to other infectious diseases as well.

In the study, researchers focused on blood cells from two French children with a deficiency for UNC-93B, an endoplasmic reticulum protein involved in the recognition of pathogens. When infected with herpes simplex virus-1, the UNC-93B-deficient cells were unable to produce natural interferons alpha, beta, and gamma (IFNs -?/? and -?). Interferons are produced by the immune system to fight infections and tumors.

This deficiency resulted in high rates of herpes simplex virus-1 proliferation and cell death. Assuming these findings extend to neurons, they provide a plausible mechanism for herpes simplex encephalitis.

"We and our colleagues have identified recessive UNC-93B deficiency as a genetic etiology of herpes simplex encephalitis in otherwise healthy patients," said Professor Bruce Beutler, M.D., one of three Scripps Research researchers who contributed to the study. "The discovery of this genetic cause for herpes simplex encephalitis not only broadens our understanding of these types of immunodeficiencies, but also has important therapeutic implications-some of these patients could benefit from recombinant interferon alpha (IFN-?) therapy, just as patients with low levels of naturally occurring interferon gamma (IFN-?) benefit from a similar life-saving approach".........

Posted by: Mark      Permalink         Source


September 15, 2006, 1:33 PM CT

Potential New Marker For Heart Failure

Potential New Marker For Heart Failure
A collaborative study by scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the University Hospital of Maastricht, The Netherlands, has identified a new candidate biomarker for heart failure with the potential of further improving the challenging task of diagnosing and predicting outcomes for patients with symptoms of heart failure, primarily shortness of breath. In the September 19 Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the researchers report that elevated blood levels of galectin-3, an inflammatory protein, can help diagnose heart failure and identify patients at risk of dying within 60 days. Another potential marker, apelin, did not prove to be useful.

"Heart failure is one of the most difficult diagnoses to make accurately, since it has numerous, varied symptoms, and signs that indicate heart failure are hard to detect," says James Januzzi Jr., MD, of the MGH Cardiology Division, the paper's co-lead author and principal investigator of the 2005 PRIDE Study, from which the data for the current report was generated. "It also is notoriously difficult to identify those heart failure patients at the highest risk of death, so biomarker screening to assist with prognostication has been studied and increasingly implemented over the past several years."

Januzzi and his collaborators have published several studies showing that testing for a protein called NT-proBNP can aid the diagnosis of heart failure in patients coming to hospital emergency rooms with shortness of breath and can identify those at increased risk of dying within the coming year. Since a number of biological factors and processes lead to heart failure, the scientists recognized that testing for several complementary biomarkers would probably give the best and most complete information for individual patients.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


September 14, 2006, 9:02 PM CT

Detecting Breast Cancer Metastasis

Detecting Breast Cancer Metastasis
In the U.S., a novel technology soon may be available to detect the spread, or metastasis, of breast cancer earlier than now possible, as per research presented at the first international meeting on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development, organized by the American Association for Cancer Research.

Since secondary tumors, ignited by spreading cancerous cells, and not the primary breast cancer tumor, are the primary cause of cancer death, early detection of metastatic spread is crucial to a woman's prognosis.

It should enable the patient's doctor to adjust the woman's therapy so that it will target the spreading cancer early, said Winfried H. Albert, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of AdnaGen, the German biotech company that developed the technology.

Albert said that the company's diagnostic tool, which is being reviewed in clinical studies at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, can spot one cancerous cell in a typical blood sample. A typical sample is 5 milliliters and contains over 2.5 x 1010 cells.

As a biomarker for breast cancer metastasis, cancer cells circulating in the blood system have not been easy to detect and analyze because they are a "needle in the haystack" among the millions of cells in the bloodstream.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         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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