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November 29, 2007, 10:19 PM CT

Quit Rates Double With Counseling And Free Nicotine Patches

Quit Rates Double With Counseling And Free Nicotine Patches
Increasing the level of Quitline smoking cessation services and offering free nicotine patches are a successful and cost-effective way to reduce smoking rates, as per two new studies in the recent issue of Tobacco Control, a peer-evaluated publication of the British Medical Journal. Both studies were conducted by scientists at Kaiser Permanentes Center for Health Research in Portland, the Oregon Health Department, and Free & Clear in Seattle, a phone-based tobacco therapy program.

One study observed that the number of callers to the Oregon Tobacco Quitline jumped from 6,426 to 13,646 annually, and their quit rates nearly doubled, when Oregon became the first state in the country to promote Quitline services by combining one 30-minute telephone counseling session with a free two-week supply of Nicotine Replacement Therapy using earned or unpaid media to increase calls from smokers.

Previous to this initiative, the Oregon Tobacco Quitline provided one 30-minute telephone counseling session with no NRT and promoted the service through paid advertising. Analysis of the one-year results showed that the free NRT initiative was extremely successful even though its total costs were higher than the costs of the pre-initiative program ($2.25 million versus $1.97 million) because:.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


November 29, 2007, 3:57 PM CT

Club drugs inflict damage to brain

Club drugs inflict damage to brain
What do suffering a traumatic brain injury and using club drugs have in common".

University of Florida scientists say both may trigger a similar chemical chain reaction in the brain, leading to cell death, memory loss and potentially irreversible brain damage.

A series of studies at UF over the past five years has shown using the popular club drug Ecstasy, also called MDMA, and other forms of methamphetamine lead to the same type of brain changes, cell loss and protein fluctuations in the brain that occur after a person endures a sharp blow to the head, as per findings a UF researcher presented at a Society for Neuroscience conference held in San Diego this month.

Using methamphetamine is like inflicting a traumatic brain injury on yourself, said Firas Kobeissy, a postdoctoral associate in the College of Medicine department of psychiatry. We observed that a lot of brain cells are being injured by these drugs. Thats alarming to society now. People dont seem to take club drugs as seriously as drugs such as heroin or cocaine.

Working with UF scientists Dr. Mark Gold, chief of the division of addiction medicine at UFs McKnight Brain Institute and one of the countrys leading experts on addiction medicine, and Kevin Wang, director of the UF Center for Neuroproteomics and Biomarkers Research, Kobeissy compared what happened in the brains of rats given large doses of methamphetamine with what happened to those that had suffered a traumatic brain injury.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


November 28, 2007, 10:00 PM CT

Pedophilia may be the result of faulty brain wiring

Pedophilia may be the result of faulty brain wiring
For Immediate Release November 28, 2007 (TORONTO) Pedophilia might be the result of faulty connections in the brain, as per new research released by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The study used MRIs and a sophisticated computer analysis technique to compare a group of pedophiles with a group of non-sexual criminals. The pedophiles had significantly less of a substance called white matter which is responsible for wiring the different parts of the brain together.

The study, reported in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, challenges the usually held belief that pedophilia is brought on by childhood trauma or abuse. This finding is the strongest evidence yet that pedophilia is instead the result of a problem in brain development.

Prior research from this team has strongly hinted that the key to understanding pedophilia might be in how the brain develops. Pedophiles have lower IQs, are three times more likely to be left-handed, and even tend to be physically shorter than non-pedophiles.

There is nothing in this research that says pedophiles shouldnt be held criminally responsible for their actions, said Dr. James Cantor, CAMH Psychology expert and lead scientist of the study, Not being able to choose your sexual interests doesnt mean you cant choose what you do.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 28, 2007, 9:59 PM CT

Vaccines can improve the lives of HIV-infected children

Vaccines can improve the lives of HIV-infected children
An international team of experts has published the first comprehensive review of evidence on pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (PCV) for children with HIV infection. Now available in the on-line edition of the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, the review shows that HIV increases the risk of pneumococcal infection by up to 40 fold, that the disease is commonly due to serotypes in the PCV, and that the vaccine can protect HIV-infected infants. The authors conclude that PCV can improve the lives of HIV-infected children and should be considered a potentially valuable complement to existing therapy strategies for HIV-infected children (1)

In the run up to World AIDS Day (1st December 2007), the study authors are calling for action to make pneumococcal vaccines available for all children in resource-poor countries, particularly those with a high burden of HIV infection.

Streptococcus pneumoniae, a bacterium that is a major cause of pneumonia, meningitis and blood stream infections, kills over 800,000 and up to one million children every year (2) Tragically children with HIV are at a vastly increased risk of getting pneumoccocal disease, due to their weakened immune system (3) (4)

The expert review, authored by seven leading experts in pneumococcal disease and HIV medicine, based in the US and Africa, summarises available data on the burden of pneumococcal disease and the safety and efficacy of pneumococcal vaccination in HIV infected children. The review found: (1)........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 28, 2007, 9:57 PM CT

Live kidney donors report high satisfaction rates

Live kidney donors report high satisfaction rates
Live kidney donors suffer minimal health problems and 90 per cent would strongly encourage other people to a become a donor if a partner or family member needed a transplant, as per a research studyof more than 300 people reported in the recent issue of the UK-based urology journal BJU International.

Scientists from Egypt, where live donations are currently the only legal option, carried out detailed evaluations of 339 patients who attended follow-up clinics between January 2002 and January 2007.

Based at a centre which performs about 100 live donor transplants a year, they included patients who had donated kidneys between 1976 and the end of 2001 in their research.

Living donors remain the main option in developing countries where donations from dead donors have yet to establish roots, because of the lack of infrastructure or the implementation of legal criteria for brain death explains lead author Dr Amgad E El-Agroudy from the Urology and Nephrology Center at Mansoura University.

Even in developing countries, the increasing demand for kidneys has resulted in a rapid increase in the number of living donors being used. This had led to concerns about the risk involved in the procedure and its long-term consequences.

All of the people who participated in the study underwent an extensive physical and psychosocial assessment, which included a full range of laboratory tests and detailed medical history. Any medical problems were then compared with health tables for the general population.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


November 28, 2007, 9:54 PM CT

Physical Activity In Middle Age

Physical Activity In Middle Age
Scientists from the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, UK, have concluded a study that proves a direct link between levels of physical activity in middle age and physical ability during the later part of life regardless of body weight.

Dr. Iain Lang headed the research team from the Epidemiology and Public Health Group at the Peninsula Medical School. The team observed that middle-aged people who maintained a reasonable level of physical activity were less likely to become unable to walk distances, climb stairs, maintain their sense of balance, stand from a seated position with their arms folded, or sustain their hand grip as they get older.

Research showed that, among men and women aged 50 to 69 years and across all weight ranges, the rate of decreased physical ability during the later part of life was twice as high among those who were less physically active.

The research team studied 8,702 participants in the US Health and Retirement Study and 1,507 people taking part in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Each subject was followed for up to six years.

Findings showed that being overweight or obese was linked to an overall increased risk of physical impairment but that, regardless of weight, people who engaged in heavy housework or gardening, who played sport or who had a physically active job, were more likely to remain mobile during the later part of life.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 28, 2007, 9:52 PM CT

Morality and pro-social behaviors

Morality and pro-social behaviors
Eventhough a high standard of morality gives but a slight or no advantage to each individual man and his children over the other men of the same tribe.an advancement in the standard of morality will certainly give an immense advantage to one tribe over another.

With these words, Charles Darwin proposed an evolutionary explanation for morality and pro-social behaviors individuals behaving for the good of their group, often at their own expensethat anticipated the future discipline of Sociobiology. A century after this famous passage was published in The Descent of Man (1871), however, Darwins explanation based on group selection had become taboo and has not recovered since. In a landmark article for The Quarterly Review of Biology, Rethinking the Theoretical Foundation of Sociobiology, eminent evolutionary researchers David Sloan Wilson and Edward O. Wilsonwhose book Sociobiology:The New Synthesis brought widespread attention to the field in 1975call for an end to forty years of confusion and divergent theories. They propose a new consensus and theoretical foundation that affirms Darwins original conjecture and is supported by the latest biological findings.

Wilson and Wilson trace much of the confusion in the field to the 1960s, when most evolutionists rejected for the good of the group thinking and insisted that all adaptations must be explained in terms of individual self-interest. In an even more reductionistic move, genes were called the fundamental unit of selection, as if this was an argument against group selection. Scientific dogma became entrenched in popular culture with the publication of Richard Dawkins The Selfish Gene (1976). Eventhough evidence in favor of group selection began accumulating almost immediately after its rejection, its taboo status prevented a systematic re-evaluation of the field until now.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


November 28, 2007, 9:49 PM CT

Dosing instructions for prescription drugs

Dosing instructions for prescription drugs
You have just been prescribed a new medicine by your doctor and the container label says: "take one tablet by mouth twice daily for 7 days." How much and how often should you take your medicine" This might be easy for you to answer, but 46 percent of adults misunderstand at least one prescription container label, as per a 2006 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Ninety million Americans about half of the adult population suffer from low health literacy. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) defines health literacy as the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions.

At todays Sixth Annual National Health Communication Conference co-sponsored by the American College of Physicians Foundation (ACPF) and IOM, Alastair J.J. Wood, MD, FACP, proposed an evidence-based system of simplified, standardized dosing instructions for prescription medicine container labels.

Dr. Wood, a member of the ACPF Medication Labeling Technical Advisory Board, called for a Universal Medication Schedule (UMS) that standardizes prescription medicine dosing times on drug container labels so that patients are told to take their medicine at the same four times per day, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime. The UMS would replace the current practice which either instructs patients to take the medicine a specific number of times per day or at specific time intervals.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


November 28, 2007, 9:48 PM CT

A molecular map for aging in mice

A molecular map for aging in mice
Scientists at the National Institute of Aging and Stanford University have used gene arrays to identify genes whose activity changes with age in 16 different mouse tissues. The study, published November 30 in PLoS Genetics, uses a newly available database called AGEMAP to document the process of aging in mice at the molecular level. The work describes how aging affects different tissues in mice, and ultimately could help explain why lifespan is limited to just two years in mice.

As an organism ages, most tissues change their structure (for example, muscle tissues become weaker and have slow twitch rather than fast twitch fibers), and all tissues are subject to cellular damage that accumulates with age. Both changes in tissues and cellular damage lead to changes in gene expression, and thus probing which genes change expression in old age can lead to insights about the process of aging itself.

Prior studies have studied gene expression changes during aging in just one tissue. The new work stands out because it is much larger and more complete, including aging data for 16 different tissues and containing over 5.5 million expression measurements.

One noteworthy result is that some tissues (such as the thymus, eyes and lung) show large changes in which genes are active in old age whereas other tissues (such as liver and cerebrum) show little or none, suggesting that different tissues may degenerate to different degrees in old mice.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


November 27, 2007, 10:48 PM CT

CT Scans to Determine Heart Disease in the Emergency Room

CT Scans to Determine Heart Disease in the Emergency Room
In the future, patients who arrive at a hospital Emergency Department complaining of chest pain may be diagnosed with a sophisticated Computerized axial tomography scan. If the diagnosis is negative, the patient can go home-and the total time at the hospital will be much shorter than it is today.

That is the theory behind a study being presented at the RSNA (Abstract ID: 5009389; Monday, November 26, 3:10 p.m.) by Rajan Agarwal, M.D., a resident in Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

"The cost of chest pain triage (where patients in the Emergency Department are prioritized based on their symptoms) and management has been estimated to be as high as $8 billion annually, with most patients ultimately not having to remain in the hospital. Therefore," Dr. Agarwal states, "there is a tremendous opportunity to reduce health care costs if we can demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of this procedure with low-risk patients who go to the Emergency Department."

Further, this reduced length of stay improves resource utilization by decreasing costs, improving inpatient bed shortages and reducing crowding in the Emergency Department.

In the study, a total of 202 patients, older than age 30, who came to the Emergency Department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania between October 2005 and February 2007, and whose primary complaint was chest pain, were given an electrocardiogram and a specialized Computerized axial tomography scan.........

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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