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May 17, 2007, 5:27 AM CT

Hyperactivity and academic achievement

Hyperactivity and academic achievement
Children who are hyperactive tend to do worse academically than their peers who are not hyperactive. Eventhough the relationship between such behaviors as overactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness in children and poor achievement in math, reading, language, and other areas has been well documented, little is known about the reasons for this link. New research shows that the tie may be due to genetic influences.

The study, conducted by scientists at Boston University and at the Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry in London, appears in the May/June 2007 issue of the journal Child Development.

The scientists examined the extent to which common genetic and environmental factors operate across hyperactivity and achievement in nearly 2,000 7-year-old pairs of twins taking part in the U.K.-based Twins Early Development Study. In the study, both parents and teachers provided ratings of twins' hyperactive behavior problems (e.g., restlessness, fidgeting, distractibility, impulsivity, and attention span). Academic achievement was based on teacher assessments of English and mathematics skills conducted at the end of the first year of primary school (equivalent to first grade in the United States).

Based on the study's results, the scientists concluded that hyperactive behavior and poor academic achievement are linked primarily because of common genetic influences. They posited two possibilities for how this could happen: It could be that some of the genes that influence hyperactivity also influence academic achievement. Or it could be an indirect relationship, as a result of genes influencing one behavior, which, in turn, influences another; for example, it may be that behaviors linked to hyperactivity may make it harder for children to learn in the classroom.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 17, 2007, 5:25 AM CT

Ulcerative colitis quite disruptive

Ulcerative colitis quite disruptive
Nearly three out of four ulcerative colitis (UC) sufferers (73 percent) responding to a new nationwide survey say not feeling well has become a normal part of life. Furthermore, they describe UC as disruptive when it comes to their relationship with a spouse (64 percent), their sexual relations (75 percent) and their emotional state (82 percent).

UC patients "normalize" aspects of their experience to the point that they resign themselves to these burdens. The majority say that there is not much they can do beyond what they are already doing to feel better (70 percent) and they have learned to live with the disruptions that UC causes (83 percent).

"The findings sound an alarm because a diagnosis of UC shouldn't mean patients are settling for the level of burden reported in this survey for the next 50 or 60 years. UC is a manageable disease with the appropriate treatment," says David Rubin, M.D., a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center who helped design the surveys.

UC is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the intestine and can lead to symptoms such as severe abdominal pain and cramping, uncontrollable bloody diarrhea several times a day, fatigue and weight loss. It is typically first diagnosed in people between the ages of 15 to 30 and is estimated to affect nearly 700,000 Americans.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


May 17, 2007, 5:21 AM CT

No magic tomato? No benefit to prostate cancer prevention

No magic tomato? No benefit to prostate cancer prevention
Tomatoes might be nutritious and tasty, but dont count on them to prevent prostate cancer. In the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, scientists based at the National Cancer Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center report that lycopene, an antioxidant predominately found in tomatoes, does not effectively prevent prostate cancer. In fact, the scientists noted an association between beta-carotene, an antioxidant correlation to lycopene, and an increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer.

As per the researchers, the study is one of the largest to evaluate the role of blood concentrations of lycopene and other carotenoid antioxidants in preventing prostate cancer. Study data were derived from over 28,000 men enrolled in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, an ongoing, randomized National Cancer Institute trial to evaluate cancer screening methods and to investigate early markers of cancer.

"It is disappointing, since lycopene might have offered a simple and inexpensive way to lower prostate cancer risk for men concerned about this common disease," said Ulrike Peters, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "Unfortunately, this easy answer just does not work."

Prior studies suggested that a diet rich in lycopene protected against prostate cancer, spurring commercial and public interest in the antioxidant. Antioxidants protect against free radicals, highly reactive atoms and molecules that can damage DNA and other important molecules in the cell. Since free radical damage increases with age, there has been a long-held suspicion in the scientific community that free radical damage could increase the risk of prostate cancer, a disease that has been clearly linked to age.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


May 17, 2007, 5:20 AM CT

Fatalistic beliefs about cancer

Fatalistic beliefs about cancer
If you feel that you are fated for cancer, your belief could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. As per a national survey of more than 6,000 U.S. adults reported in the recent issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a substantial number of American adults hold fatalistic beliefs about cancer and are correspondingly less likely to take basic steps to lower their cancer risk, such as exercising, quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

The study, which analyzes data from the National Cancer Institutes Health Information National Trends Survey, is the first national survey in almost 20 years to assess Americans knowledge about and attitudes toward cancer prevention. The findings have implications for cancer education efforts.

"A number of Americans seem to feel afraid and helpless in regards to cancer, which may be exacerbated by conflicting news reports and a general lack of education on the causes and prevention of cancer," said Jeff Niederdeppe, Ph.D., professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. "They say well, there is nothing much you can do about it and, as our survey shows, they indeed do nothing about it".

The survey asked respondents if they agreed with three statements about cancer. About 47 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement that "It seems like almost everything causes cancer," while 27 percent agreed that "Theres not much people can do to lower their chances of getting cancer." Moreover, 71.5 percent of American adults agreed that "There are so a number of recommendations about preventing cancer, its hard to know which ones to follow".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 16, 2007, 10:30 PM CT

Violent sleep disorder linked to dementia

Violent sleep disorder linked to dementia
Mayo Clinic scientists and a group of international collaborators have discovered a connection between an extreme form of sleep disorder and eventual onset of parkinsonism or dementia. The findings appear in the current issue of the journal Brain

Clinical observations and pathology studies, as well as research in animal models, led to the findings that patients with the violent rapid eye movement sleep (REM) behavior disorder (RBD) have a high probability of later developing Lewy body dementia, Parkinsons disease or multiple system atrophy (a Parkinsons-like disorder), because all of these conditions appear to stem from a similar neurodegenerative origin.

"Our data suggest that a number of patients with idiopathic (not linked to any other neurologic symptoms) RBD may be exhibiting early signs of an evolving neurodegenerative disease, which in most cases appear to be caused by some mishap of the synuclein protein," says Bradley Boeve, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and lead author of the study. Synuclein proteins are linked to synapses in the brain, and clumps of abnormal alpha-synuclein protein are present in some forms of dementia. "The problem does not seem to be present in the synuclein gene itself, but its something that happens to the protein following gene expression. Just what happens to it to cause the conditions isnt clear".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 15, 2007, 11:22 PM CT

Alzheimer's weight gain initiative

Alzheimer's weight gain initiative
Swedish scientists have found a way to increase the weight of people with Alzheimer's, by improving communication and patient involvement, altering meal routines and providing a more homely eating environment.

During the three-month study, reported in the recent issue of Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13 of the 18 patients in the intervention group put on weight, compared with just two of the 15 patients in the control group.

Patients who gained weight also displayed improved intellectual abilities.

"Weight loss is a common issue among people with dementia and in particular Alzheimer's" explains lead researcher Anna-Greta Mamhidir from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

"Meal environment, communication difficulties, loss of independence and confusion are just some of the factors that appear to contribute to this problem.

"Malnutrition can also lead to other serious issues, such as increased infection rates, delayed wound healing and increased risk of hip fractures".

The aim of the study was to measure weight changes in patients with moderate and severe dementia and analyse whether providing staff training and a more supportive environment could lead to weight gain.

Two nursing home wards with similar staffing profiles and numbers of patients were selected. Both received meals from the same central kitchen.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 15, 2007, 11:21 PM CT

Screening men over 65 for abdominal aortic aneurysms

Screening men over 65 for abdominal aortic aneurysms
Between 5% and 10% of men aged 65 to 79 have abdominal aortic aneurysms, but don't know it. If their weakened arteries burst they stand a very high risk of dying. Ultrasound screening of men in this age group can significantly reduce the numbers of men who die from this condition. The overall benefits of screening are complex, however, because a number of men may be subjected to unnecessary anxiety and/or to the complications of surgery.

An aneurysm is a localised widening of an artery. It occurs because the artery wall is weakened and without therapy it could easily burst. If the aneurysm is in the aorta, the main artery that carries blood through the abdomen, the result often can be fatal. Doctors think that any abdominal aortic aneurysm that is greater than 5cm is at a high risk of bursting.

To see whether a program of ultrasound screening could detect these aneurysms before they burst, and save lives as a result, Cochrane Scientists performed a systematic review of screening trials. They identified four controlled trials that were conducted in the UK, Denmark and Australia, and involved a total of 127,891 men and 9,342 women.

The results showed that men aged 65-79 could benefit from screening, but there were insufficient data on women (whose risk of death from ruptured aortic aneurysm is much lower than the risk in men) to ascertain effectiveness in women.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 15, 2007, 11:16 PM CT

Boiling Broccoli Ruins Its Anti Cancer Properties

Boiling Broccoli Ruins Its Anti Cancer Properties
Scientists at the University of Warwick have observed that the standard British cooking habit of boiling vegetables severely damages the anticancer properties of a number of Brassica vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and green cabbage.

Past studies have shown that consumption of Brassica vegetables decreases the risk of cancer. This is because of the high concentration in Brassicas of substances known as glucosinolates which are metabolized to cancer preventive substances known as isothiocyanates. However before this research it was not known how the glucosinolates and isothiocyanates were influenced by storage and cooking of Brassica vegetables.

The researchers, Prof Paul Thornalley from Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick and Dr Lijiang Song from the University of Warwick's Department of Chemistry bought Brassica vegetables, (broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and green cabbage) from a local store and transported them to the laboratory within 30 minutes of purchasing. The effect of cooking on the glucosinolate content of vegetables was then studied by investigating the effects of cooking by boiling, steaming, microwave cooking and stir-fry.

Boiling appeared to have a serious impact on the retention of those important glucosinolate within the vegetables. The loss of total glucosinolate content after boiling for 30 minutes was: broccoli 77%, Brussel sprouts 58%, cauliflower 75% and green cabbage 65%.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 15, 2007, 11:10 PM CT

Obesity Increases Risk of Injury on the Job

Obesity Increases Risk of Injury on the Job
Having a body mass index (BMI) in the overweight or obese range increases the risk of traumatic workplace injury, as per scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy. Employer-sponsored weight loss and maintenance programs should be considered as part of a well-rounded workplace safety plan. The study was Advance Access published on May 7, 2007, by the American Journal of Epidemiology.

BMI is a measure of body fat based on an adult's height and weight. It is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight, 18.5-24.9 is normal; 25-29.9 is overweight and over 30 is obese.

"Clearly, limited resources for workplace injury prevention and control should target the most prominent and modifiable risk factors, but we cannot neglect the fact that our study and other recently published studies support an association between BMI and the risk, distribution and prevalence of workplace injury," said Keshia M. Pollack, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management.

The scientists used medical and injury surveillance data on hourly workers employed in eight plants of the same aluminum manufacturer to determine whether increased BMI was a risk factor for workplace injury. The plants were scattered across the United States. BMI was calculated using National Institutes of Health criteria. Employees were grouped into five categories: underweight, normal, overweight, obesity levels I and II and obesity level III.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 15, 2007, 11:06 PM CT

Women And Cholesterol Controlled

Women And Cholesterol Controlled
Women are significantly less likely than men to have their LDL cholesterol controlled to recommended levels, as per a new study by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). The study, would be reported in the May/June edition of Womens Health Issues, investigated gender differences in cardiovascular disease prevention, therapy and risk factors based on national health care quality data from commercial and Medicare managed care plans.

Elevated LDL cholesterol is an important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading single cause of death for both women and men.

The study, "Improving the Quality of Care for Cardiovascular Disease: Using National Managed Care Performance Data to Investigate Gender Differences in HEDIS Measures Correlation to Heart Disease," analyzed data from a national sample of 46 commercial managed care plans and 148 Medicare plans across 11 HEDIS measures of care for cardiovascular conditions and diabetes. The results, controlled for other factors such as age, income and ethnicity, showed equal or better outcomes for women on most dimensions of carewith the notable exception of cholesterol control, where significant disparities existed between men and women.

"This study highlights the importance of not just knowing your health, but also taking an active role in your care," said NCQA President Margaret E. OKane. "The data show that weve got our work cut out for us in terms of raising awareness among both physicians and patients".........

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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