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February 1, 2006, 7:39 AM CT

Aspirin Therapy After Brain Hemorrhage

Aspirin Therapy After Brain Hemorrhage
A study from the Stroke Service at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that some patients who have survived an intracerebral hemorrhage - a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain - may be safely treated with aspirin to prevent future heart attacks or strokes caused by blood clots. The study, appearing in the January 24 issue of the journal Neurology, addresses a fairly common clinical dilemma.

"The two types of stroke - ischemic, caused by a clot cutting off the brain's blood supply, and hemorrhagic, caused by bleeding in the brain - share a number of of the same risk factors," says Eric Smith, MD, MPH, of MGH Neurology, the study's senior author. "Physicians often see patients with a history of intracerebral hemorrhage who are also at risk for ischemic stroke or heart attacks and need to decide what kind of preventive therapy to recommend. We have still not had a good answer to whether daily aspirin treatment would be safe for these patients or would increase the risk of another hemorrhage."

The scientists followed a group of 207 patients who had survived intracerebral hemorrhage during the period from 1994 to 2004. The patients were surveyed by telephone every six months and asked about any recurrence of hemorrhage or other neurologic disorders and whether they took aspirin or other antiplatelet therapies. While 18 percent of the study participants had recurrent hemorrhages during an average of 20 months of follow-up, the risk was no greater among the 46 patients who reported taking antiplatelet treatment than it was among the 161 who did not take aspirin. The only factor associated with increased risk of recurrence was the location of the original hemorrhage, with greater risk associated with hemorrhage in the cerebral cortex than in the deep structure of the brain, which had been observed in prior studies.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink


February 1, 2006, 7:27 AM CT

Drug Slows Severe Alzheimer's Symptoms

Drug Slows Severe Alzheimer's Symptoms
A drug used to treat symptoms of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease appears to be effective for one year, as per the results of a new multicenter study that provides additional support for the continuing effectiveness of the therapy, called Namendaandreg;, for patients in the later stages of the disease.

"This study demonstrates that it is possible to alleviate some of the cognitive and functional losses associated with the later stages of Alzheimer's, providing a basis for greater optimism on the part of caregivers," says Barry Reisberg, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, the lead investigator of the study, which is reported in the January 2006 issue of the Archives of Neurology.

"Our study verifies that this medicine continues to be beneficial and is safe with remarkably few side effects," said Dr. Reisberg, who is also Clinical Director of the Silberstein Aging and Dementia Research Center at NYU School of Medicine.

Namendaandreg; was approved in October 2003 by the Food and Drug Administration for the therapy of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. The approval was based partly on a rigorous 28-week study of 252 people who were randomly chosen to receive the drug or a placebo. The results, reported in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in the spring of 2003, showed that the drug could slow the downward spiral of the disease. Dr. Reisberg also was the principal investigator of this study.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink


January 31, 2006, 0:02 AM CT

Price Of Divorce

Price Of Divorce
A new nationwide study provides some of the best evidence to date of the devastating financial toll divorce can wreak on a person's wealth.

The study of about 9,000 people found that divorce reduces a person's wealth by about three-quarters (77 percent) compared to that of a single person, while being married almost doubles comparative wealth (93 percent). And people who get divorced see their wealth begin to drop long before the decree becomes final.

"Divorce causes a decrease in wealth that is larger than just splitting a couple's assets in half," said Jay Zagorsky, author of the study and a research scientist at Ohio State University 's Center for Human Resource Research.

By the same token, married people see an increase in wealth that is more than just adding the assets of two single people.

"If you really want to increase your wealth, get married and stay married. On the other hand, divorce can devastate your wealth," Zagorsky said.

Contrary to popular belief, the results showed that the wealth status of divorced women wasn't significantly worse than that of divorced men, in terms of real money.

The findings are reported in the current issue of the Journal of Sociology.

The study used data involving 9,055 people who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which is funded primarily by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The NLSY is a nationally representative survey of people nationwide conducted by Ohio State 's Center for Human Resource Research.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink


January 30, 2006, 11:45 PM CT

Pay Cuts Lead To Lack Of Sleep

Pay Cuts Lead To Lack Of Sleep
When workers take a pay cut, money is not the only thing that is lost - they may also lose sleep, as per new research.

A study at four hospitals found that nurses who took an unexpected pay cut reported higher levels of insomnia than their colleagues whose pay did not change.

But insomnia symptoms dropped sharply for nurses whose supervisors were trained to offer emotional support and full information to those suffering the salary cut.

"There's both bad news and good news in these results," said Jerald Greenberg, author of the study and professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University 's Fisher College of Business.

The bad news is that sources of stress in the workplace - such as a pay cut - really can have a negative physiological effect on workers. Insomnia has been linked to workplace accidents and lowered productivity.

But the good news is that management can help minimize these problems both easily and inexpensively, Greenberg said.

"There's nothing magical about the supervisor training I did at the hospitals during the study," he said. "But unfortunately, it is seldom done at a number of organizations."

The study was published this week in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink


January 30, 2006, 11:33 PM CT

Women Feel Rushed Even With More Time

Women Feel Rushed Even With More Time
While more free time sounds like a good thing for everyone, new research suggests it is a better deal for men than it is for women.

A study found that men who have more free time feel less rushed than men with less leisure time. But even when women have more time free from paid work and household tasks, they don't feel less rushed.

The results suggest that women - especially mothers - may feel the pressures of childcare and housework even when they have time for relaxation, said Liana Sayer, co-author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University.

"The meaning of free time for men's and women's lives are quite different," Sayer said. "Particularly for wives and mothers, it appears free time is still combined with other activities or responsibilities."

Women, in effect, pay a "family penalty," she said.

For example, the study found that men who were married and had children didn't feel more rushed in their daily lives than single, childless men.

But the odds of feeling sometimes or always rushed were 2.2 times higher for married women with children than it was for single, childless women.

Sayer conducted the study with Marybeth Mattingly of the University of Maryland. Their results appear in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink


January 28, 2006, 5:01 PM CT

Thermal Energy Procedure For Asthma

Thermal Energy Procedure For Asthma
Up until now, if you suffer from asthma, medicine has been the only therapy available to you for relief. But now, clinical scientists at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) hope to open up a new avenue to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of asthma - through an investigative bronchoscopic procedure where the smooth muscle of the airway, which causes the spasm, is reduced using thermal energy.

"Even though the smooth muscle in your airway serves no identifiable purpose, when something does go wrong with it, it can cause problems," explains Ali Musani, MD, an interventional pulmonologist at Penn and principal investigator of the study. "It can constrict, tighten, and narrow the airway considerably -- causing real health consequences for asthmatics".

Interventional pulmonologists will explore, for the first time in the United States, a new way to treat asthma. Physicians will actually go into the airways with a bronchoscope, which is a routine procedure, and by generating and applying thermal energy, will reduce areas of underlying smooth muscle in the small to medium size airways with a new medical device. The Alairandreg; System - which is manufactured by Asthmatx, Inc. - consists of a single-use device and a controller that delivers thermal energy to the bronchial wall during an outpatient bronchoscopic procedure known as Bronchial Thermoplasty™.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink


January 28, 2006, 4:31 PM CT

Keys To Fighting Winter Blues

Keys To Fighting Winter Blues
As the long, dark stretch of winter lingers on, it can be a struggle for some people to keep the blues at bay, but there are several tips that can help until spring arrives, a Purdue University expert says.

Jane Kinyon, a clinical professor in the School of Nursing, says mild depression, or the "blahs," are common in the winter due to the double impact of a lack of sunlight and the often bitter cold temperatures that discourage outdoor activities. She says that's why more discipline is needed this time of year to keep spirits afloat.

"In addition to the obvious things - eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep - it's important to make ourselves do things like have lunch with a friend or take a walk," Kinyon says. "We must schedule activities like this and make ourselves get out in the winter because we might not do them otherwise".

Putting more light into our lives also is beneficial, she says.

"Having a lot of lights on in the house may not be a substitute for sunlight, but it can raise our spirits," Kinyon says. "If your house is dark and it's dark outside, it just contributes to a low mood".

Kinyon says another tactic that is helpful is what she calls "reframing".

"It's just like in your house, where you have a picture hanging on the wall that you like but are tired of the frame," she says. "Reframing is about turning a given situation around to make it more positive".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink


January 28, 2006, 4:12 PM CT

Exercise Good For Protection During Cold

Exercise Good For Protection During Cold
Exercise during the cold and flu season can strengthen the immune system, provided you don't overdo it, says a Purdue University professor who studies exercise and the immune system.

"Exercising during the cold and flu season will help people stay in shape, and most likely fight off colds or reduce the number of days a person is ill," says Michael Flynn, professor of health and kinesiology. "The cold season should not be an excuse for the average person to refrain from exercising - working out at the gym, a brisk walk in the park or a jog through the neighborhood."

While moderate exercise is known to be very beneficial, exceptionally strenuous exercise presents special challenges.

"There is still a lot to learn about how exercise affects the immune system, because it's difficult for scientists to assess the a number of layers of protection within the system," Flynn says. "Strenuous or prolonged exercise seems to suppress the immune system, leaving athletes more susceptible to illness for one to six hours following a hard workout - the so-called open window".

Serious athletes, such as those who run 40 miles a week, have a higher rate of upper-respiratory tract infection than recreational joggers, Flynn says.

For serious athletes to get the most from their training routine, and to be able to fight off illness, it is essential for them to take some time off between hard workouts, he says.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink


January 28, 2006, 3:36 PM CT

Pharmacogenomics For Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Pharmacogenomics For Colorectal Cancer Treatment
University of Chicago scientists have licensed a genetic test that determines which patients are likely to have a serious adverse reaction to irinotecan hydrochloride (Camptosarandreg;), a key component of the standard first-line therapy for advanced cancers of the colon and rectum, to Mayo Clinic.

Until now, the UGT1A1 test has only been available to patients enrolled in studies at the University of Chicago. Third Wave had received FDA approval for its UGT1A1 test kit in August, but the test had still not been made available to patients.

Through this licensing agreement, Mayo Clinic's reference laboratory, Mayo Medical Laboratories (MML), will make the test available to patients nationwide, starting this month.

The UGT1A1 test was developed and patented by Mark J. Ratain, MD, the Leon O. Jacobson Professor of Medicine and Chairman of the Committee on Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics at the University of Chicago, and his colleagues. It gives doctors advance knowledge of an individual's risk for toxicity from irinotecan by revealing whether patients have one of two common versions of a gene that encodes for a protein involved in the metabolism of irinotecan.

"Eventhough most patients tolerate the drug quite well, some patients are genetically predisposed to severe side effects from irinotecan therapy," said Ratain. "The UGT1A1 test enables us to know in advance which patients are at risk. Those patients could be given reduced doses of irinotecan or other chemotherapy drugs".........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink


January 26, 2006, 4:23 PM CT

Hunting For Cancer Cure

The New Cancer Hunters Image courtesy of IsraCast
Scientists from the Hebrew University have succeeded in isolating a variant of the Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV-HUJ), which commonly affects birds, in order to specifically target cancer cells. The research, which has already cleared the first phase of clinical trials, is already patented and if all goes well it might receive an approval for clinical use, changing the way we think about viruses forever.

Professors Amos Panet and Zichria Zakay-Rones, from the Department of Virology at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, have been involved during the past five years in research that could create a new and effective weapon in the fight against cancer, as well as change the way we look at viruses. As an obligatory parasitic entity with no independent life of its own, a virus must enter a living cell in order to multiply. The viral life-cycle begins when the virus inserts its genetic material into the host's cell, forcing it to replicate the virus' components, and eventually leading to the death of the cell. The NDV-HUJ virus, discovered by the Hebrew University in Jerusalem team, acts in a similar way, except for its outstanding preference for infecting malignant cells. NDV-HUJ is a natural variant of NDV (Newcastle Disease Virus) which commonly affects birds. Being an attenuated variant (e.g., weakened virus), it is innately preferentially targets and replicates in certain types of tumor cells, leaving normal cells almost unaffected.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink



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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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