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May 23, 2006, 11:39 PM CT

Lowering Blood Pressure Doesn't Prevent Dementia

Lowering Blood Pressure Doesn't Prevent Dementia
Lowering blood pressure does not appear to prevent cognitive or dementia-related disorders, a desired effect in light of the large number of older adults who suffer from both cognitive impairment and hypertension.

Authors of a new systematic review analyzed three studies comprising 12,091 patients with high blood pressure who were treated with either medicine or lifestyle strategies for at least six months while undergoing testing to assess their cognitive function. All were followed for five years.

"There is no convincing evidence that lowering blood pressure prevents the development of dementia or cognitive impairment in hypertensive patients without apparent previous cerebrovascular disease," write co-authors including A. Peter Passmore, M.D., of the department of Public Health Medicine and Primary Care at Queen's University in Belfast, Ireland.

One blood-pressure medication, Nitrendipine, did appear to reduce dementia in one of the studies reviewed, but when combined with all data, this effect was not significant.

The review appears in the current issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


May 23, 2006, 11:36 PM CT

When It Comes To Privacy

When It Comes To Privacy
A study aimed at assessing perspectives about privacy in a public place - especially when surveillance is not correlation to security - suggests women are more concerned than men, both as watcher and the watched.

The University of Washington study also tends to cast doubt on the notion held by some that people no longer have any expectation of privacy once they leave their homes. Nearly a quarter of the men and women considered even minimal video capture to be a privacy violation.

Eventhough the majority of both genders had no privacy problem with on-campus video capture, significantly more women than man were uncomfortable with it. And a majority of the women -- but not the men -- were uneasy about having their images viewed at off-campus locations.

The findings stem from responses of nearly 900 people, including 780 individuals who were surveyed or interviewed after being told they could be viewed using a high-definition television camera mounted atop a campus building.

The camera, with a view of pedestrians near a fountain and public plaza, presented a live display on a plasma screen in an office in the building. A roughly equal number of men and women took part in the study.

Findings are would be published next month in the Journal of Human Computer Interaction. UW Information School professor Batya Friedman and Psychology associate professor Peter Kahn, co-directors of the UW's Value Sensitive Design Research Lab, are lead authors.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 23, 2006, 11:32 PM CT

Cure for reading glasses?

Cure for reading glasses?
It's 10 p.m., and you've finally relaxed into your favorite comfy chair to browse the day's newspaper. Patting your shirt pockets you realize there's a problem, and now you're not relaxed anymore. You can't find your reading glasses. Again!.

Presbyopia---the inability to focus on close objects resulting in blurred vision---affects 100 percent of people by age 50. Historically, laser correction of the intraocular lens for presbyopia has been proposed, but it is risky because there is no way to monitor the procedure---no way for ophthalmologists to see what they are doing to the lens being cut.

But a tool developed at the University of Michigan allows for a potentially noninvasive, painless fix to presbyopia using tiny bubbles that help ophthalmologists reshape the eye's lens and restore its flexibility and focusing ability. Matthew O'Donnell, professor and chair of the U-M Department of Biomedical Research, along with Kyle Hollman, assistant research scientist and adjunct lecturer, and graduate student Todd Erpelding, developed the method. Recently, it was successful when tested in pig lenses.

Presbyopia commonly starts around age 40, O'Donnell says. The predominant belief is that fibers created in the intraocular lens accumulate and stiffen, thus making the lens less flexible. Without that flexibility, the lens can't change shape to focus on near objects, a process called accommodation.........

Posted by: Mike      Permalink         Source


May 23, 2006, 11:27 PM CT

Early Treatment Best For Multiple Sclerosis

Early Treatment Best For Multiple Sclerosis
An editorial accompanying a published debate on the pros and cons of starting therapy early in the course of multiple sclerosis comes down in favor of early therapy for this potentially devastating disease. This opinion coincides with a consensus paper published by the National MS Society. The recent issue of the Archives of Neurology features both sides of this debate on early therapy for MS.

Background: Currently five therapies are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the therapy of multiple sclerosis. These agents can reduce future disease activity for a number of individuals with relapsing forms of MS, including those with secondary progressive disease who continue to have relapses. The National MS Society's Medical Advisory Board recommends that initiating MS treatment with an immunomodulating drug (such as FDA-approved interferons or glatiramer acetate) should be considered as soon as possible following a definite diagnosis of MS with a relapsing course, and for selected patients with a first attack who are at high risk for MS. Some clinicians disagree, however, choosing to defer therapy until the extent of disease activity is more clearly established.

The Debate: E. M. Frohman, MD, PhD (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas) and an international panel of coauthors present the following arguments in favor of early therapy in an article titled, "Most Patients with Multiple Sclerosis or a Clinically Isolated Demyelinating Syndrome Should Be Treated at the Time of Diagnosis" (Archive of Neurology 2006;63:614-619):.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


May 22, 2006, 1:59 PM CT

Less Is More

Less Is More
Results from the largest controlled clinical trial of fluid management methods in patients with severe lung injury provide important new information on the risks and benefits of patient care strategies currently used in the intensive care unit. The two studies that comprised the trial showed that for patients with acute lung injury or its more severe form, acute respiratory distress syndrome, less fluid is better than more, and a shorter, less invasive catheter is as helpful as and safer than a longer catheter for monitoring patients. The trial was conducted by researchers from the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Clinical Research Network of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Investigators from the Fluid and Catheter Treatment Trial (FACTT) presented the findings May 21 at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference in San Diego. The results were also published early online concurrently by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). The study comparing the use of the longer pulmonary artery catheter to the shorter central venous catheter for managing patients would be reported in the May 25 print issue of NEJM; the study evaluating fluid management strategies will appear in the June 15 print issue of NEJM.........

Posted by: Scott      Permalink         Source


May 22, 2006, 1:44 PM CT

Cancer Cells Eating Themselves

Cancer Cells Eating Themselves
An engineered virus tracks down and infects the most common and deadly form of brain cancer and then kills tumor cells by forcing them to devour themselves, scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report this week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The modified adenovirus homed in on cancerous glioma cells in mice and induced enough self-cannibalization among the cancer cells - a process called autophagy - to reduce tumor size and extend survival, says senior author Seiji Kondo, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at M. D. Anderson.

"This virus uses telomerase, an enzyme found in 80 percent of brain tumors, as a target," Kondo says. "Once the virus enters the cell, it needs telomerase to replicate. Normal brain tissue does not have telomerase, so this virus replicates only in cancer cells".

Other cancers are telomerase-positive, and the scientists showed in lab experiments that the virus kills human prostate and human cervical cancer cells while sparing normal tissue.

In addition to demonstrating the therapeutic potential of the virus, called hTERT-Ad, Kondo says the international research team also clarified the mechanism by which such conditionally replicating adenoviruses (CRAs) infect and kill cancer cells.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 22, 2006, 12:52 AM CT

Minimizing the Risk of Melanoma

Minimizing the Risk of Melanoma
The incidence of melanoma, the most serious and deadly type of skin cancer, is increasing. In the United States, the lifetime risk of developing melanoma is now about one in 70. It used to be less than one in 100.

"The best way to reduce your risk is to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m, when the sun's rays are strongest," says Mark Pittelkow, M.D., Mayo Clinic dermatologist. "But, it's a misconception to believe that melanoma occurs only with too much sun exposure, or that it occurs only on sun-exposed areas".

In the recent issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource, Dr. Pittelkow shares insights on causes, prevention and warning signs of this potentially deadly cancer.

Causes: As with many types of cancers, melanoma results from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. That's why melanoma can occur in areas not commonly exposed to sun, such as the genital area or on the scalp underneath hair.

Prevention: Staying out of the sun (or tanning beds) is best. A broad-spectrum sunscreen (which protects against both UVA and UVB radiation from the sun) with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 offers important protection when you are in the sun. But don't rely on sunscreen alone to protect you and don't abuse the benefits of sunscreen by staying out in the sun for long periods. Think of sunscreen as a supplement to other measures to protect you from UV radiation. Wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat and tightly woven clothes to protect your arms and legs.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


May 22, 2006, 0:18 AM CT

Benadryl vs Clarinex

Benadryl vs Clarinex
As per a research studyreported in the recent issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Benadryl appears to be more effective than Clarinex in relieving symptoms of moderate to severe hay fever.

"Benadryl provided significantly better overall allergy symptom relief than Clarinex," investigator Dr. James T. Angello told Reuters Health. "Even more noteworthy in this study is the finding that Benadryl relieved nasal congestion just as well as it reduced allergic rhinitis (i.e., hay fever) symptoms as a whole".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 22, 2006, 0:15 AM CT

Desensitization Protocol For Allergy To Clopidogrel

Desensitization Protocol For Allergy To Clopidogrel
A careful desensitization protocol can help patients overcome allergic reactions to anti-clotting medicine critical to preventing new blockages inside coronary stents, as per a research studybeing presented at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 29th Annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago, May 10-13. (Time of Presentation: Thursday, May 11, 10:39 a.m. Central Time).

"Allergic reactions can be quite frightening to patients and physicians, and can lead to discontinuation of the medication," said the study's lead author, Nicholas E. Walker, MD, a cardiology fellow at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. "We showed we could successfully and safely desensitize patients who had just recently had a drug-eluting stent placed. That's a critical population to manage."

Perhaps two out of every hundred patients treated with the anti-clotting medicine clopidogrel develop an allergic reaction marked by rash, itching, hives, or swelling of the tongue and airway. A small number of patients even develop an anaphylactic reaction and go into shock.

Physicians generally discontinue a medicine that provokes an allergic reaction and prescribe an alternative. However, in the case of clopidogrel, substitute medications are either just as likely to provoke allergy symptoms or markedly less effective. Stopping the medicine may be riskier than continuing it: Patients who do not take clopidogrel after stenting--especially after receiving a drug-eluting stent--face approximately three times the risk of a blood clot blocking the stent and causing a heart attack.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


May 21, 2006, 10:12 AM CT

How accommodating is our society to women who breastfeed?

How accommodating is our society to women who breastfeed?
Eventhough the act of breastfeeding is not "illegal," women in various parts of the U.S. can be arrested for "public indecency" when breastfeeding their baby in public. As of November 2005, 12 states and Washington, DC had not enacted at least some kind of law regarding breastfeeding.

The U.S. Healthy People 2010 target is to increase the proportion of mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies for at least six months to 50%; the World Health Organization recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first six months. However, these goals may be difficult to meet since some mothers in the U.S. face challenges to breastfeeding. A number of women view their return to work as a cause for ending their breastfeeding regime early. Even women who use a breast pump require 30 minutes of privacy each workday to expel breast milk. In the recent issue of The Journal of Pediatrics, a commentary by Dr. Tonse Raju from the National Institutes of Health reflects on the continued barriers for breastfeeding mothers.

Most industrialized nations guarantee maternity leave for up to 16 weeks at 75-100% of pay. Norway exceeds that by providing up to 42 weeks of maternity leave with full pay or 52 weeks with 80% pay. The U.S., however, allows a woman 12 weeks of unpaid leave, without the risk of losing her job, during any 12-month period. Allowing new mothers more time off work may encourage the continuation of breastfeeding, potentially minimizing societal limitations. Eventhough it might be difficult to enact a policy similar to that of Norway, the U.S. should consider what is needed to support women who choose to breastfeed.........

Posted by: JoAnn      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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