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Archives Of Health News Blog From Medicineworld.Org

March 22, 2006, 11:17 PM CT

Combating Balance Disorders

Combating Balance Disorders
Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University's Neurological Sciences Institute and the University of Bologna have developed a portable "Ipod-like" device that can be used to help correct balance disorders. Researchers believe this new device, based on auditory feedback of balance, can be worn on the belt like a pager to provide regular treatment for patients with balance disorders, improving their day-to-day activities. The research is reported in the current edition of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

"We believe this type of device can become an important tool in combating balance disorders associated with problems like vestibular loss diabetic neuropathy, or Parkinson's disease, where a person's ability to maintain balance is impaired," explained Fay Horak, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the NSI and senior author of the paper. "In fact, in early testing, research subjects with balance disorders who have used the device have shown significant improvement. We believe the nervous system can substitute auditory cues for missing or inaccurate sensory information from other senses important for balance, such as from sensors in the inner ear and from muscles and skin".

The balance feedback device acts much like a carpenter's level in alerting the subject to how much they are leaning outside of a predetermined central "safe-zone." The device is connected to a pair of headphones and hooked to the subject's belt. When activated, subjects receive audio cues to let them know how their body is balancing.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

March 22, 2006, 11:11 PM CT

When It Comes To Obesity Age Matters

When It Comes To Obesity Age Matters
For the approximately 30 million morbidly obese people in the United States considering weight reduction surgery, age should be a prime consideration, as per a new study led by Oregon Health & Science University bariatric surgeon Robert O' Rourke, M.D. The research is reported in the recent issue of the Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

In a retrospective study of patients who underwent weight reduction surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, in the OHSU Digestive Health Center from April 14, 2000, to December 23, 2003, O' Rourke and his colleagues found that increased age is a predictor for complications.

"With the demand for obesity surgery markedly increasing, the ability to predict patients" outcomes has become increasingly important," said O' Rourke, also an assistant professor of surgery (general surgery) in the OHSU School of Medicine. "Bariatric procedures are technically challenging operations performed on high-risk patients. In addition to the traditional risk factors - BMI, other illnesses - surgeons should counsel patients about the higher risks associated with increased age and about the higher risks of some procedures".

The scientists examined several risk factors, including age, BMI (body mass index), gender, surgeon experience, other illnesses, type of procedure and whether the procedure was open or performed laparoscopically, that is performed through several tiny quarter-sized incisions with fiberoptic instruments. They found that bariatric surgery patients aged 60 and older had longer hospital stays, regardless of the type of bariatric procedure, and more major and minor complications.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

March 22, 2006, 11:04 PM CT

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Stroke Recovery

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Stroke Recovery
Sending tiny electric pulses to a part of the brain controlling motor function helps ischemic stroke survivors regain partial use of a weakened hand, new Oregon Health & Science University research shows.

But coupling the technique known as cortical stimulation with aggressive rehabilitation is key to reversing the impairment, doctors say.

"It's the coolest thing in stroke I've seen in a long time," said Helmi Lutsep, M.D., associate professor of neurology and associate director of the Oregon Stroke Center, OHSU School of Medicine.

In a study examining the safety of cortical stimulation treatment, Lutsep and co-researchers found that stroke patients who received stimulation with rehabilitation improved "significantly" better in hand mobility and strength tests than people undergoing rehabilitation alone.

"Everybody improved to some degree, because even in the subjects who received some rehabilitation, we did see improvement," Lutsep said. "What the data suggested is those who received the (stimulation) implant improved more".

The study was published this month in the journal Neurosurgery. Lutsep's co-researchers were Jeffrey A. Brown, M.D., of Wayne State University, Detroit, Martin Weinand, M.D., of the University of Arizona, Tucson, and Steven C. Cramer, M.D., of the University of California, Irvine.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

March 22, 2006, 10:56 PM CT

The Purple Pill Reduces Gastric Ulcers

The Purple Pill Reduces Gastric Ulcers Image courtesy of Duke University
Results from two clinical trials, would be reported in the April 2006 edition of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, indicate that NEXIUM (esomeprazole magnesium) can reduce the incidence of gastric (stomach) ulcers in patients at risk of developing gastric ulcers and who regularly take either non-selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or COX-2-selective NSAIDs.1

NSAIDs are a class of pain relief medications that include traditional, non-selective drugs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin, and newer COX-2-selective agents. Non-selective NSAIDs are known for increasing the risk of gastric ulcers, especially among older patients who take them regularly or who have a history of gastric ulcers.

Pooled data from the double-blind, randomized, six-month trials showed that significantly fewer patients taking either NEXIUM 20 mg or NEXIUM 40 mg, in addition to their regular non-selective NSAID/COX-2-selective treatment, developed an ulcer at six months, compared to those taking a placebo (5.2 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively, vs. 17 percent, p<0.001).1 These differences were seen as early as the first month of therapy and maintained throughout the study duration.1

"Paradoxically, NSAID use is common among patients at high risk for gastric ulcers or other complications associated with these medications. Eventhough COX-2-selective drugs generally cause fewer gastric ulcers than non-selective NSAIDs, these events aren't completely eliminated, and the residual side-effect rate still may be high," said James M. Scheiman, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan. "Data from the two trials showed that NEXIUM was effective in reducing stomach ulcers in at-risk patients who require chronic NSAID therapy.".........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source

March 22, 2006, 7:21 AM CT

Follow-up Of Breast Cancer Survivors

Follow-up Of Breast Cancer Survivors
What is the best way of follow-up breast cancers survivors that would help an early detection of breast cancer recurrence? Research indicates that breast cancer survivors receive better care if they get follow-ups by two physicians, their own family doctor and an oncologist. This is better than seeing just one physician.

Prior studies have indicated that up to one third of women who survive breast cancer do not get follow-up mammograms. Breast cancer survivors would have a better chance of getting mammograms and early detection of breast cancer recurrence if two physicians handle the care.

Scientists found that the best approach for delivering care for breast cancer survivors remains unclear. They tracked mammography use among survivors followed by primary-care physicians, cancer specialists or both. The study lasted for three years and involved more than 3,800 women, age 66 or older, who'd been treated for breast cancer.

One third of these women received shared oncologist/generalist doctor care. The study found that, that group who had two physicians overlooking the care experienced higher mammography (84 percent) than breast cancer survivors cared for by a specialist or generalist alone (76 percent).........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink

March 21, 2006, 10:02 PM CT

One Step Closer To Cancer Vaccine

One Step Closer To Cancer Vaccine
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have helped to identify a molecule that can be used as a vaccination agent against growing cancer tumours. Eventhough the results are so far based on animal experiments, they point to new methods of treating metastases.

The results are presented in the online edition of the prestigious scientific journal Nature Medicine, and represent the collaborative efforts of scientists at KI and Leiden University Medical Centre in Holland.

The study analysed an immunological cell, a T cell, which recognises other cells with defects common to metastasing ones. These defects (which are found in MHC class 1 molecules) allow the tumour cell to evade the "conventional" T cell-mediated immune defence.

The scientists have identified a short peptide molecule that the T cell in the study recognises. Using this peptide, the scientists can vaccinate and protect against the spread of tumours from different tissues, including melanoma, colon cancer, lymphoma, and fibrosarcoma.

"So far we've only conducted research on mice, so it's too early to get out hopes up too much," says research scientist Elisabeth Wolpert at the Microbiology and Tumour Biology Centre. "However, the study does point towards new possible ways of developing a therapy for advanced tumour diseases".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

March 21, 2006, 9:56 PM CT

Low-dose Aspirin Suppresses Clumping Of Blood Platelets

Low-dose Aspirin Suppresses Clumping Of Blood Platelets
A once-daily pill of low-dose aspirin helps lower the potential for clot-forming blood cells - in both men and women - to stick together in narrow blood vessels, a study from Johns Hopkins shows.

In what is thought to bethe first direct comparison of blood cell testing in both sexes of 81 milligrams of acetyl salicylic acid a day, Hopkins scientists found aspirin treatment prevents the clumping together of these clot-forming cells, called platelets. Clots in blood vessels of the heart and brain can cause heart attacks and strokes.

However, while the drug's overall effects on blood cell function were the same for men and women, the researchers found that women's platelets reacted somewhat more strongly to aspirin before the start of treatment, and remained so even after therapy.

The study findings are reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association online March 21, and challenge the conclusions from several other recent studies, including the federal Women's Health Study, which showed low-dose aspirin had no effect in preventing heart attacks in women, even though it worked in men. Prior results, the scientists say, were not likely caused by the failure of aspirin to prevent platelets from clumping together and forming blood clots in women.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source

March 21, 2006, 9:36 PM CT

Newer Diabetic Meds Cost More But Cuts Visits

Newer Diabetic Meds Cost More But Cuts Visits
Diabetics who were prescribed newer medications to control their illness were more likely to take these drugs as instructed than were other patients who were prescribed drugs that have been on the market for several decades.

A new study suggests that patients on the newer medications had a slightly lower risk of hospitalization because of diabetes-related complications. They also spent between $920 and $1,760 less on annual total healthcare costs.

The scientists analyzed more than three years' worth of medical records' data on patients who took thiazolidinediones (TZDs) or either metformin or a sulfonylurea to control their diabetes. TZDs (pioglitazone and rosiglitazone, brand names Actos and Avandia, respectively), were approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the late 1990s. Metformin and sulfonylureas have been on the market for more than 50 years.

"Taking a TZD as instructed was the strongest predictor of a reduced risk of hospitalization and decreased healthcare costs in this group of patients," said Rajesh Balkrishnan, the study's lead author and the Merrell Dow professor of pharmacy at Ohio State University.

The issue is that TZDs can be 10 times more expensive than the older diabetes drugs, Balkrishnan said.

"There are a lot of new medications on the market for treating diabetes," Balkrishnan said. "Eventhough some of these newer drugs are more expensive, that extra expense is made up for by a reduction of cost in other aspects of healthcare use".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

March 21, 2006, 9:09 PM CT

Kids With Cavities And Overweight

Kids With Cavities And Overweight
New evidence from pediatric dentists at the University at Buffalo has shown that, contrary to prior findings, most young children with decayed "baby" teeth are not underweight, and actually may be overweight or at risk of being overweight.

A study of children ages 2-5 who underwent aggressive dental therapy under general anesthesia in the operating room by UB's pediatric dentists at the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo found that at least a quarter of the patients were over the recommended weight for their age or close to it, unlike their peers who had good teeth. Results of the research were presented at the International Association of Dental Research meeting held March 9-12 in Orlando, Fla.

"Previous studies in the 1990s found that children with rampant tooth decay appeared to be underweight, and this was attributed to a failure to thrive," said Hiran Perinpanayagam, D.D.S., Ph.D., an endodontist and assistant professor in UB's School of Dental Medicine and senior author on the study.

"In contrast, a more recent study found that the children with tooth decay did not have reduced bodyweight. Given these conflicting results, we thought a more definitive study was needed".

Sandra McDougal, D.D.S., pediatric dental resident was first author on the study.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source

March 21, 2006, 9:03 PM CT

Extreme Personality Poses Risk Of ADHD

Extreme Personality Poses Risk Of ADHD
Children with personalities marked by aggressiveness, mood swings, a sense of alienation and a need for excitement may be at greater risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or conduct disorder, as per a new Florida State University study.

FSU psychology professors Jeanette Taylor and Chris Schatschneider, FSU doctoral student Kelly Cukrowicz and University of Minnesota Professor William Iacono found that children with ADHD or conduct disorder had more negative emotions - aggressiveness, tension and feelings of being exploited, unlucky or poorly treated - and lower constraints - a tendency to break rules and engage in thrill-seeking behavior - than children with neither of the disorders. Not surprisingly, those children who have both ADHD and conduct disorder had the most extreme personality profiles.

"This helps us to understand that personality is part of the bigger picture of these disorders," Taylor said. "That could help with initial assessments or lead to unexpected discoveries or potential interventions. We're saying to scientists and clinicians, 'Think about personality when you look at these issues.' ".

The study, reported in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, is the first to investigate personality trait patterns among children who have ADHD, conduct disorder or a combination of both. It is important to learn more about the co-occurrence of ADHD and conduct disorder because the consequences are so severe, Taylor said.........

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. Archives of health news blog

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