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July 17, 2007, 10:45 PM CT

Adult type 2 diabetes : exercise seems good

Adult type 2 diabetes : exercise seems good
There are no high quality data to assess how well dietary therapys for type 2 diabetes work in people who have just been told they have the disease, but there is evidence that taking on exercise seems to be one way of improving blood sugar levels, as per the findings of a Cochrane Systematic Review.

Type 2 diabetes leaves a person at danger of having elevated levels of sugar (glucose) in their blood. This high sugar content then causes damage to blood vessels, which in turn harms a number of organs including the eyes, nerves, kidneys and heart.

When people are first diagnosed with this disease they are given dietary advice in the hope that this will enable them to take more control over the level of sugar in their blood. However, after searching published scientific literature, a team of Cochrane Scientists was unable to find high quality data that showed whether dietary advice did indeed alter the risk of developing long-term complications, affect overall quality of life or the likelihood of dying.

We did find 36 published articles that reported work from 18 different trials which included a total of 1467 people with type 2 diabetes, but only a minority of these trials examined hard clinical endpoints such as death or vascular disease, and those that did offered no details; most talked about factors that are easier to measure such as weight or blood sugar control, says lead researcher Nield, a researcher at the University of Teesside in Middlesbrough, UK.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 17, 2007, 10:43 PM CT

Vitamin C offers little protection against colds

Vitamin C offers little protection against colds
Vitamin C containg food
Unless you run marathons, you probably wont get much protection from common colds by taking a daily supplemental dose of vitamin C, as per an updated review of 30 studies.

Conducted over several decades and including more than 11,000 people who took daily doses of at least 200 milligrams, the review also shows that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) does little to reduce the length or severity of a cold, as per the scientists at the Australian National University and the University of Helsinki.

However, they observed that people exposed to periods of high stress such as marathon runners, skiers and soldiers on sub-arctic exercises were 50 percent less likely to catch a cold if they took a daily dose of vitamin C.

For most people, the benefit of the popular remedy is so slight when it comes to colds that it is not worth the effort or expense, the authors say. It doesnt make sense to take vitamin C 365 days a year to lessen the chance of catching a cold, said co-author Harri Hemil, a professor in the Department of Public Health at University of Helsinki in Finland.

The review appears in the latest 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: Janet      Read more         Source


July 17, 2007, 10:37 PM CT

Ability to listen to 2 things

Ability to listen to 2 things
Your ability to listen to a phone message in one ear while a friend is talking into your other earand comprehend what both are sayingis an important communication skill thats heavily influenced by your genes, say scientists of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health. The finding, reported in the August 2007 issue of Human Genetics, may help scientists better understand a broad and complex group of disorderscalled auditory processing disorders (APDs)in which individuals with otherwise normal hearing ability have trouble making sense of the sounds around them.

Our auditory system doesnt end with our ears, says James F. Battey, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIDCD. It also includes the part of our brain that helps us interpret the sounds we hear. This is the first study to show that people vary widely in their ability to process what they hear, and these differences are due largely to heredity.

The term auditory processing refers to functions performed primarily by the brain that help a listener interpret sounds. Among other things, auditory processing enables us to tell the direction a sound is coming from, the timing and sequence of a sound, and whether a sound is a voice we need to listen to or background noise we should ignore. Most people dont even realize they possess these skills, much less how adept they are at them. Auditory processing skills play a role in a childs language acquisition and learning abilities, eventhough the extent of that relationship is not well understood.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 17, 2007, 10:29 PM CT

Universal flu vaccine being tested

Universal flu vaccine being tested
Ghent, Belgium -- A universal influenza vaccine that has been pioneered by scientists from VIB and Ghent University is being tested for the first time on humans by the British-American biotech company Acambis. This vaccine is intended to provide protection against all A strains of the virus that causes human influenza, including pandemic strains.

Flu

Influenza is an acute infection of the bronchial tubes and is caused by the influenza virus. Flu is probably one of the most underestimated diseases: it is highly contagious and causes people to feel deathly ill. An average of 5% of the worlds population is annually infected with this virus. This leads to 3 to 5 million hospitalizations and 250,000 to 500,000 deaths per year. In Belgium, an average of 1500 people die of flu each year. A more severe flu year - such as the winter of 1989-1990 - claimed in our country 4500 victims.

Besides the annual flu epidemics, there is the possibility of a pandemic, which occurs every 10 to 30 years and causes more severe disease symptoms and a higher mortality rate. During the pandemic caused by the Spanish flu in 1918-1919, the number of deaths worldwide even rose to over 50 million.

Why an annual vaccine?

Todays flu vaccines need to be adapted every year and, consequently, they must also be administered again every year. The external structure of the flu virus mutates regularly, giving rise to new strains of flu. Due to these frequent mutations, the virus is able to elude the antibodies that have been built up during a prior infection or vaccination. This is why we run the risk of catching the flu each year and also why a new flu vaccine must be developed each year. A universal flu vaccine that provides broad and lifelong protection - like the vaccines we have for polio, hepatitis B or measles - is still not available.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


July 17, 2007, 10:24 PM CT

Hereditary Link To Premenstrual Depression

Hereditary Link To Premenstrual Depression
A specific genetic variation may be tied to an increased.

risk for severe premenstrual depression, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the National Institute of Mental Health have found.

Known medically as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, this.

psychiatric condition affects roughly 8 percent of women in their.

childbearing years. It's characterized by bouts of major depression and/or anxiety and severe irritability during the second half of the menstrual cycle. Symptoms subside with the onset of each menstrual period.

While PMDD has been believed to be associated with hormonal changes over the.

course of the menstrual cycle, until now an explanation for the susceptibility to hormone-related mood changes has been elusive. "Our initial hope in the study was that by looking at steroid-related genes like those for receptors for steroid hormones such as estrogen, we would be able to find gene differences that might explain why some women have these mood disorders and others don't," said Dr. David R. Rubinow, the study's senior author and the Meymandi distinguished professor and chair of psychiatry at UNC School of Medicine. "This study may begin to provide important clues to the nature of that susceptibility".........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


July 17, 2007, 10:13 PM CT

Food-cancer Drug Interactions

Food-cancer Drug Interactions
Tykerb tablets
Alexandria, Va. A commentary in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO) urges scientists to explore an intriguing approach to reduce the dose, and therefore the cost, of oral targeted cancer therapies. The commentary, by Mark Ratain, MD and Ezra Cohen, MD of the University of Chicago, examines recent pharmacologic research which observed that taking the targeted treatment lapatinib (Tykerb) with food significantly increased the concentration of the drug in the body. The commentary suggests that taking lapatinib with food instead of on an empty stomach, as currently indicated, could cut the needed dose by at least 60 percent, reducing the cost accordingly. The authors stress that formal studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of this approach. The article is being published online July 16.

The commentary focuses on a study presented at the March 2007 meeting of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, which observed that lapatinib is more readily absorbed by the body when taken with food, especially a high-fat meal. As a result, 500 mg of lapatinib taken with food may be as effective as taking the currently approved 1,250 mg without food.

Lapatinib was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March of this year for women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer. The FDA approved the 1,250 mg dose of lapatinib based on a large phase III clinical trial demonstrating its effectiveness and safety at that dose without food. It is taken as five 250 mg tablets on an empty stomach and costs $2,900 per month.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 17, 2007, 10:09 PM CT

Flavonoids in Orange Juice Make It a Healthy Drink

Flavonoids in Orange Juice Make It a Healthy Drink
Orange juice, despite its high caloric load of sugars, appears to be a healthy food for diabetics due to its mother lode of flavonoids, a study by endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo has shown.

The study appeared in the June 2007 issue of Diabetes Care.

Flavonoids suppress destructive oxygen free radicals -- also known as reactive oxygen species, or ROS. An overabundance of free radicals can damage all components of the cell, including proteins, fats and DNA, contributing to the development of a number of chronic diseases, including heart disease and stroke as well as diabetes.

"A number of major diseases are linked to oxidative stress and inflammation in the arterial wall, so the search for foods that are least likely to cause these conditions must be pursued," said Paresh Dandona, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Diabetes-Endocrinology Center of Western New York and senior author on the study.

"Our prior work has shown that 300 calories of glucose induces ROS and other proinflammatory responses," said Dandona, who is Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

"We hypothesized that 300 calories-worth of orange juice or of fructose would induce less oxidative stress and inflammation than caused by the same amount of calories from glucose."........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 16, 2007, 10:29 PM CT

Would you like fries with that?

Would you like fries with that?
Exploiting interactions between food and drugs could dramatically lower the rapidly rising costs of several anticancer drugs, and perhaps a number of other medications, two cancer-pharmacology specialists suggest in a commentary in the July 16, 2007, issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

University of Chicago oncologists Mark Ratain, MD, and Ezra Cohen, MD, call attention to the flip side of recent studies showing how certain foods can alter absorption or delay breakdown of precisely targeted anti-cancer drugs.

Instead of seeing such studies as highlighting a dosing problem, Ratain and Cohen argue that results like this one should point scientists toward a partial solution, a novel way to decrease medicine costs while increasing benefits from these effective but expensive drugs.

The commentary was inspired by a study presented in June at the American Society for Clinical Oncology. Scientists from Dartmouth showed that taking the breast cancer drug lapatinib (TYKERB) with foodinstead of on an empty stomach as suggested on the labelresulted in more of the drug being absorbed and available to treat the cancer.

Patients currently take five 250 mg lapatinib tablets on an empty stomach. The study observed that taking the drug with a meal increased the bioavailability of the drug by 167 percent. Taking the drug with a high-fat meal boosted levels by 325 percent.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 16, 2007, 10:25 PM CT

Lower mortality rates in quality hospitals

Lower mortality rates in quality hospitals
Boston, MA -- A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) shows that patients who go to hospitals ranked higher as per specific quality measures have a lower chance of dying than patients treated at lower-ranked hospitals. The scientists calculate that if the lowest performing hospitals had similar patient mortality rates to those of top-performing hospitals, 2,200 fewer elderly Americans would die each year in the surveyed hospitals from acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (CHF) and pneumonia, three common medical conditions. The findings are reported in the July/August 2007 issue of the journal Health Affairs.

These findings show that these quality indicators, which are widely available on the web, are very helpful in identifying low mortality hospitals, said Ashish Jha, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at HSPH and lead author of the study.

The Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA), a public-private collaboration that includes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the American Hospital Association, aims to improve the quality of care at the nations hospitals by reporting how hospitals perform on detailed quality measures. However, little was known about whether hospitals that perform well on those measures had better patient outcomes. The scientists set out to determine whether performing well on HQA measures was linked to lower risk-adjusted mortality rates for AMI, CHF and pneumonia. (By adjusting for risk, the scientists made sure that hospitals that took care of sicker patients werent penalized.).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 16, 2007, 10:19 PM CT

Reanimating Paralyzed Faces

Reanimating Paralyzed Faces
A surgical technique known as temporalis tendon transfer, in conjunction with intense physical treatment before and after surgery, may help reanimate the features of those with facial paralysis, as per a report in the July/recent issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The rehabilitation of facial paralysis is one of the greatest challenges faced by reconstructive surgeons today, the authors write as background information in the article. It is an unfortunate fact that there is no ideal procedure that leads to the return of fully normal facial function. Furthermore, every case of facial paralysis is different in the cause of the paralysis, the degree and location of the paralysis and the resulting condition of the facial musculature and surrounding soft tissue envelope. A number of patients have excessive movement in some areas of the face and no movement in others; as a result, surgeons treating this condition must be able to perform multiple types of procedures and understand the underlying neurologic dysfunction.

Patrick J. Byrne, M.D., and his colleagues at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, report the results of seven facial paralysis patients treated with temporalis tendon transfer. This technique typically involves an incision beginning at the ear and ending 3 to 4 centimeters into the hairline at the temple. The temporalis muscle, a fan-shaped muscle on the side of the head, is cut at the point that it connects to the jawbone and released from the tissue surrounding it. Then, it is stretched to the point where the muscles of the mouth join together. The tendon that previously connected the temporalis muscle to the jawbone is cut free and then stretched horizontally for 3 to 4 centimeters; it is sutured to the surrounding muscles and deep skin tissue. Physical treatment to retrain facial muscles begins before the surgery and continues beginning seven days after the procedure.........

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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