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June 1, 2008, 10:49 PM CT

Cold Medication Use in Young Children

Cold Medication Use in Young Children
significant number of adverse effects and several deaths, leading the FDA to recommend against their use for children less than two years old. Despite these concerns about safety and efficacy, there has been little research on patterns of cough and cold medicine use in very young children. Now, a new study from the Emergency Medicine Network (www.emnet-usa.org) led by Katherine O'Donnell, M.D. of Children's Hospital Boston reveals important new statistics about medicine use in children under the age of two.

As per the study, 1-in-3 children under the age of two with bronchiolitis (a lower respiratory tract infection linked to runny nose, cough, wheezing and/or difficulty breathing) had received over-the-counter cough and cold medicines in the week previous to visiting an emergency department.

This study identifies rates and predictors of cough and cold medicine use previous to the manufacturer recall of and FDA recommendations against use of these medications in children younger than two years of age.

"After the recall and labeling changes, it will be important to monitor for potential ongoing use of these medicines in young children and observe if parents or physicians are turning to other therapies in place of these medications," says O'Donnell.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 1, 2008, 10:46 PM CT

Acupuncture reduces pain and dysfunction in head and neck cancer

Acupuncture reduces pain and dysfunction in head and neck cancer
New data from a randomized, controlled trial observed that acupuncture provided significant reductions in pain, dysfunction, and dry mouth in head and neck cancer patients after neck dissection. The study was led by David Pfister, MD, Chief of the Head and Neck Medical Oncology Service, and Barrie Cassileth, PhD, Chief of the Integrative Medicine Service, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Dr. Pfister presented the findings today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology.

Neck dissection is a common procedure for therapy of head and neck cancer. There are different types of neck dissection, which vary based on which structures are removed and the anticipated side effects. One type the radical neck dissection involves complete removal of lymph nodes from one side of the neck, the muscle that helps turn the head, a major vein, and a nerve that is critical to full range of motion for the arm and shoulder.

"Chronic pain and shoulder mobility problems are common after such surgery, adversely affecting quality of life as well as employability for certain occupations," said Dr. Pfister. Nerve-sparing and other modified radical techniques that preserve certain structures without compromising disease control reduce the occurence rate of these problems but do not eliminate them entirely. Dr. Pfister adds, "Unfortunately, available conventional methods of therapy for pain and dysfunction following neck surgery often have limited benefits, leaving much room for improvement."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 1, 2008, 10:45 PM CT

Mom's behavior key to dad's involvement in child care

Mom's behavior key to dad's involvement in child care
Mothers play an important role in determining how much fathers get involved in taking care of their infants, as per new research.

A study of 97 couples observed that fathers were more involved in the day-to-day care of their infants when they received active encouragement from their wife or partner.

In fact, this encouragement was important even after taking into account fathers and mothers views about how involved dads should be, the overall quality of the couples parenting relationship, and how much mothers worked outside the home.

In addition, fathers beliefs about how involved they should be in child care did not matter when mothers were highly critical of fathers parenting. In other words, fathers didnt put their beliefs into practice when faced with a especially judgmental mother.

Mothers are in the drivers seat, said Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, co-author of the study and assistant professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University.

Mothers can be very encouraging to fathers, and open the gate to their involvement in child care, or be very critical, and close the gate.

This is the first real evidence that mothers, through their behavior, act as gatekeepers by either fostering or curtailing how much fathers take part in caring for their baby.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 1, 2008, 10:40 PM CT

New combination therapy safe, promising for melanoma

New combination therapy safe, promising for melanoma
The combination of two different biotherapies may be beneficial for patients with inoperable melanoma, as per a University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) study presented at the 44th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

Scientists in the melanoma and skin cancer program at UPCI combined two biotherapies therapys that stimulate the immune system to fight cancer and found the results promising in terms of anti-tumor effects and tolerable in terms of toxicity. High-dose interferon alfa-2b, a standard therapy for metastatic skin cancer, and tremelimumab, an antibody thought to instigate the bodys immune system to attack tumors, were combined for the first time in this phase 2 clinical trial.

With each new study, we learn something important about melanoma, said John M. Kirkwood, M.D., leader of the program and professor and vice chairman for clinical research in the Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. With this study, we learned that adding tremelimumab to traditional therapy is not only safe, but an effective way to induce an anti-tumor response, which is very exciting.

For this study, 16 patients diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma, all of whom received and had not benefited from at least one round of prior treatment, were given the combination therapy. The overall response rate was 19 percent, and the study has since moved into the second stage, where it will enroll 21 additional patients.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 1, 2008, 10:33 PM CT

It's Okay to Keep Those Feelings

It's Okay to Keep Those Feelings
Contrary to popular notions about what is normal or healthy, new research has observed that it is okay not to express one's thoughts and feelings after experiencing a collective trauma, such as a school shooting or terrorist attack.

In fact, people who choose not to express their feelings after such an event may be better off than those who do talk about their feelings, as per University at Buffalo psychology expert Mark Seery, Ph.D., lead author of a study to appear in the recent issue of Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

The study investigated the mental and physical effects of collective traumas on people who are exposed to a tragedy but who do not experience a direct loss of a friend or family member. It focused on people's responses to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but the results may generalize to include responses to other collective traumas.

The findings have important implications for expectations of how people should respond in the face of a collective trauma affecting a whole community or even an entire nation, says Seery, an assistant professor of psychology.

Seery says the results should not be interpreted to mean that expressing one's thoughts and feelings is harmful or that if someone wants to express their emotions they should not do so. "It's important to remember that not everyone copes with events in the same way, and in the immediate aftermath of a collective trauma, it is perfectly healthy to not want to express one's thoughts and feelings," he says.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 28, 2008, 6:14 PM CT

Stretching exercises may reduce risk of pre-eclampsia

Stretching exercises may reduce risk of pre-eclampsia
Stretching exercises may be more effective at reducing the risk of preeclampsia than walking is for pregnant women who have already experienced the condition and who do not follow a workout routine, as per scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.

Preeclampsia, or pregnancy-induced hypertension, is a condition that affects up to 8 percent of pregnancies every year and is among the leading causes of maternal and fetal illness and death worldwide.

The finding is contrary to existing studies and literature that suggest that rigorous exercise is the most effective way to reduce the risk of preeclampsia, said SeonAe Yeo, Ph.D., an associate professor with a specialty in womens health at the UNC School of Nursing and the studys lead researcher.

Yeo will present the findings Thursday (May 29) at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in Indianapolis, Ind. The results would be reported in the spring issue of the journal High blood pressure in Pregnancy.

Typically preeclampsia is characterized by a marked increase in blood pressure during pregnancy and may be accompanied by swelling and kidney problems. It is diagnosed when blood pressure readings taken twice in six hours read 140/90 or higher.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 27, 2008, 10:06 PM CT

Brain cells help neighboring nerves regenerate

Brain cells help neighboring nerves regenerate
Scientists have uncovered a completely unexpected way that the brain repairs nerve damage, wherein cells known as astrocytes deliver a protective protein to nearby neurons.

Astrocytes are a type of support cell in the brain that serve a number of functions; one of their roles is to chew up damaged nerves during brain injury and then form scar tissue in the damaged area.

Roger Chung and his colleagues have now observed that astrocytes have another trick up their sleeve. During injury, astrocytes overproduce a protein called metallothionein (MT) and secrete it to surrounding nerves; MT is a scavenging protein that grabs free radicals and metal ions and prevents them from damaging a cell, and thus is a potent protecting agent.

While the ability of astrocytes to produce MT has been known for decades, the general view was that the MT stayed within astrocytes to protect them while they help repair damaged areas. However, Chung and his colleagues demonstrated that MT was present in the external fluid of damaged rat brain. Furthermore, with the aid of a fluorescent MT protein, they found that MT made in astrocytes could be transported outside the cell and then subsequently taken up by nearby nerves, and that the level of MT uptake correlated with how well the nerves repaired damage.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 27, 2008, 9:10 PM CT

Combining exercise with hormone could prevent weight gain

Combining exercise with hormone could prevent weight gain
Once heralded as a promising obesity therapy, the hormone leptin lost its fat-fighting luster when researchers discovered overweight patients were resistant to its effects. But pairing leptin with just a minor amount of exercise seems to revive the hormones ability to fight fat again, University of Florida scientists recently discovered.

The combination of leptin and a modest dose of wheel running prevented obese rats on a belt-busting, high-fat diet from gaining weight, even though neither tactic worked alone, say UF researchers, writing in the journal Diabetes.

They dont run enough to use sufficient energy to prevent weight gain, said Philip Scarpace, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology and therapeutics in the UF College of Medicine and the senior author of the study. What the act of running appears to do is allow the leptin to work again. Its a demonstration that this simple act can reverse leptin resistance.

More than 34 percent of American adults about 72 million people are obese or overweight, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers had hoped to wield leptin, a hormone that sends the body chemical signals to stop eating and use stored energy, as a weight-loss weapon. Studies in lean animals were promising, but overweight animals and people dont respond the same way, likely because their bodies already overproduce leptin, causing them to develop resistance to the hormone, Scarpace said.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 27, 2008, 9:08 PM CT

Estrogen Helps Drive Prostate Cancer

Estrogen Helps Drive Prostate Cancer
Using a breakthrough technology, scientists led by a Weill Cornell Medical College scientist have pinpointed the hormone estrogen as a key player in about half of all prostate cancers.

Estrogen-linked signaling helps drive a discrete and aggressive form of the disease caused by a chromosomal translocation, which in turn results in the fusion of two genes.

"Fifty percent of prostate cancers harbor a common recurrent gene fusion, and we think that this confers a more aggressive nature to these tumors," explains study senior author Dr. Mark A. Rubin, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and vice chair for experimental pathology at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Rubin is also attending pathologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

"Interfering with this gene fusion - or its downstream molecular pathways - will be crucial in the search for drugs that fight the disease. Based on our new data, we now think that inhibiting estrogen may be one way of doing so," he says.

The findings are published in the May 27 online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Rubin conducted the study while at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and in collaboration with Dr. Todd Golub and other members of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, in Cambridge, Mass. His team is now continuing this line of research at Weill Cornell.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


May 27, 2008, 9:04 PM CT

New Cancer Stem Cell Driving Metastatic Tumors

New Cancer Stem Cell Driving Metastatic Tumors
The molecular profile of cancer stem cells that initiate metastatic colon tumors is significantly different from those responsible for primary tumors, as per new research from a team at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Cancer scientists have long believed that a protein called CD133 identifies a population of cancer stem cells (so-called CD133+ cells), the only subset of cells that are responsible for tumor initiation. But in the experiment, in which immunocompromised mice were injected with human metastatic colon cancer, the Weill Cornell team discovered that cancer cells that do not express CD133 can also spur metastatic disease.

"In fact, metastatic tumors originating with these CD133- cells are more aggressive than those spurred by CD133+ cells," says study senior author Dr. Shahin Rafii, the Arthur B. Belfer Professor in Genetic Medicine and director of the Ansary Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics at Weill Cornell. Dr. Rafii is also a noted investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "Our discovery shows that metastatic and primary cancer may not initiate in the same way. This could have significant implications for research going forward - we believe the discovery opens up new avenues of investigation in cancer stem cell biology".

The findings were released as a special "highlighted" article in the May 22 online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.........

Posted by: Janet      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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