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June 15, 2007, 12:57 AM CT

When to turn breech babies

When to turn breech babies
An international study led by a McMaster researcher aims to determine if a manual procedure to turn breech babies in the uterus can result in fewer births by caesarean section.

The clinical trial, led by Eileen Hutton, assistant dean of midwifery at McMaster, is examining whether attempting to turn breech babies earlier in a pregnancy than the current practice will mean a higher success rate for the procedure, and ultimately fewer C-sections.

The number of births by caesarean section has been climbing in Ontario for the past five years. One of the reasons for the need for a C-section is fetuses that are in a breech presentation with their feet, instead of their heads, towards the pelvis. A fetus is in breech position in about one in every 25 to 30 full-term births. Eventhough breech babies can be delivered by vaginal birth, most care providers recommend caesarean births.

A procedure called external cephalic version (ECV), in which a doctor or midwife uses their hands to manipulate the mothers abdomen and help the baby turn in a somersault-like motion, is recommended for women whose babies are in breech position at 37 weeks gestation. The procedure is successful in turning the baby in about 30 per cent of first-time moms, and 58 per cent of subsequent pregnancies.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


June 15, 2007, 12:50 AM CT

Stress And The Development Of Alzheimer Tangles

Stress And The Development Of Alzheimer Tangles
Stress and Tau Phosphorylation
Credit: Image courtesy of Dr. Paul E. Sawchenko and Dr. Robert A. Rissman, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Subjecting mice to repeated emotional stress, the kind we experience in everyday life, may contribute to the accumulation of neurofibrillary tangles, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimers disease, report scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. While aging is still the greatest risk factor for Alzheimers disease, many studies have pointed to stress as a contributing factor.

A long-term study of about 800 members of religious orders had observed that the people who were most prone to stress were twice as likely to develop Alzheimers disease, but the nature of the link between the two has been elusive, says Paul E. Sawchenko, Ph.D., a professor in the Neuronal Structure and Function Laboratory, who led a phalanx of Salk scientists contributing to the current study.

The groups findings, detailed in this weeks Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that the brain-damaging effects of negative emotions are relayed through the two known corticotropin-releasing factor receptors, CRFR1 and CRFR2, which are part of a central switchboard that mediates the bodys responses to stress and stress-related disorders.

Alzheimers disease is defined by the accumulation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. While plaques accumulate outside of brain cells, tangles litter the inside of neurons. They consist of a modified form of the tau protein, whichin its unmodified formhelps to stabilize the intracellular network of microtubules. In Alzheimer's disease, as well as various other neurodegenerative conditions, phosphate groups are attached to tau. As a result, tau looses its grip on the microtubules, and starts to collapse into insoluble protein fibers, which ultimately cause cell death.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


June 15, 2007, 12:22 AM CT

How Insomnia Affects Job Performance And Safety

How Insomnia Affects Job Performance And Safety
Minneapolis, MN -- June 15, 2007 -- Alertness Solutions presented results of a new survey this week at the annual SLEEP meeting showing the significant impact our 24/7 culture is having on healthcare professionals job performance and patient safety. The survey of 2,082 nurses observed that more than one quarter of nurses (27.23%) suffered from insomnia; 32.10% had difficulty staying asleep, 12.52% had trouble falling asleep, and 55.38% suffered from a combination of both symptoms. To our knowledge, this is the first study looking at how insomnia in healthcare professionals affects their job performance. The findings revealed that insomnia is attributed to a significant increase in medicine dispensing errors, charting deviations from standard practice and falling asleep unintentionally at work. The survey also observed that despite the significant impact of their insomnia, only 30% of those surveyed sought professional care to address the problem.

The pressure of shift work and the high demands of our round the clock society, often result in the development of insomnia, which is a significant contributing factor to workplace errors that may compromise safety, said Dr. Mark Rosekind, president and chief scientist of Alertness Solutions, who conducted the survey. The results from this study show that insomnia affects workplace productivity, performance and safety, regardless of the type of insomnia experienced. Yet in spite of the significant effects that were reported, the insomnia is rarely being addressed.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 15, 2007, 11:24 AM CT

Breast Feeding Protects From Rheumatoid Arthritis

Breast Feeding Protects From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Breast feeding for a period of thirteen months or more has been shown to reduce the mothers the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as per new data presented today at EULAR 2007, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Barcelona, Spain. In the study, the longer the breast feeding period, the lower the mothers risk of developing RA in later life. Comparable use of oral contraceptives (OCs) or hormone replacement treatment (HRT) did not show a significant effect on the risk of developing RA.

Lead researcher Dr Mitra Keshavarz, of Malm Hospital University, Sweden, said of the study, Whilst other studies suggest that hormonal factors play a part in the development of RA, and we know that pregnancy can result in an improvement in RA symptoms, we wanted to investigate the long term effect of breast-feeding. This study specifically highlights the potential of naturally-induced hormones in protecting individuals from developing RA in the future. Furthermore, it adds to the growing body of evidence in favour of breast feeding and its positive health implications this time demonstrating its protective benefits for the mother.

The study observed that breast feeding for 13 or more months was linked to a reduced risk of developing RA (odds ratio 0.46; confidence interval 95% 0.24-0.91). For women with between 1 and 12 months history of breast feeding, the odds ratio was 0.74, with a 95% confidence interval (0.45-1.20) compared directly to those who had never breast fed.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


June 15, 2007, 11:12 AM CT

Ris Factors For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ris Factors For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Barcelona, Spain, Friday 15 June 2007: New data presented today at EULAR 2007, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Barcelona, Spain, sheds light on the role of environmental and genetic risk factors in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Two new studies by a team in Sweden have identified smoking, a low formal level of education and certain metabolic indicators as important risk factors in the development of RA. These findings represent a significant step towards better understanding of the risk factors for RA and may contribute to improved future prevention and therapy of this debilitating disease.

The first study showed that smoking (odds ratio 1.77; 95% confidence interval 1.13 to 2.78) and a low level of formal education, such as elementary school education only versus university degree status (odds ratio 2.46 confidence interval 1.20 to 5.02), may independently increase the risk of developing RA.

The second study similarly highlights the link between of smoking and RA but, contrary to previously noted relationships between RA with active inflammation and impaired glucose tolerance, observes better glucose tolerance as a predictor of RA. In the multivariate model, a lower glucose level at 120 minutes after an oral glucose tolerance test (odds ratio 1.19 per mmol/L; confidence interval 1.04 to 1.35) and smoking (odds ratio 1.64; confidence interval 1.08 to 2.48) were both found to be independent predictors of RA. Thus the authors suggest that factors such as diet and genetics influencing metabolism may play an important part in RA development.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


June 15, 2007, 11:10 AM CT

Childhood Lead Poisonings Continue Downward Trend

Childhood Lead Poisonings Continue Downward Trend
Eventhough childhood lead poisoning remains a serious problem, the number of new cases identified in 2006 marks the lowest level in more than a decade. The number of new cases identified in 2006 - 2,310 among children ages 6 months to 6 years - marks a 13% decline from 2005 and an 88% decline since 1995, when nearly 20,000 children were newly identified with lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is defined as a blood-lead level greater than or equal to 10 )g/dL (micrograms per deciliter).

The number of cases is falling even as health care providers expand testing of one- and two-yearold children, as mandatory by State law. In 2006, an estimated 76% of one-year-olds and 65% of twoyear- olds were tested for lead poisoning, as in comparison to 72% and 60%, respectively, in 2005. The Health Department actively promotes blood lead testing among healthcare providers, particularly in high-risk neighborhoods.

"We want to make lead poisoning a thing of the past in New York City," said Nancy Clark, Assistant Commissioner for Environmental Disease Prevention. "Peeling lead paint, especially on doors and windows, is the primary cause of lead poisoning and young children are the most at risk group for lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can cause learning and behavioral problems so it's critical to have your doctor test them at their first and second birthdays".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 15, 2007, 11:06 AM CT

Infectious diseases experts issue warnings

Infectious diseases experts issue warnings
New vaccines are available to make significant gains against cervical cancer deaths and debilitating pain from shingles, but infectious diseases experts warn that their full potential will not be realized without changes in the way vaccines for adults and adolescents are promoted, financed, and delivered in the United States.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has released a new blueprint for action to prevent tens of thousands of deaths and illnesses caused by these and other diseases that can be avoided with a few simple shots. The blueprint is reported in the June 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases.

We have done a great job in this country delivering vaccines to children, but we have done an awful job delivering vaccines to adults, said Neal A. Halsey, MD, professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and chair of the IDSA Immunization Work Group that developed the policy blueprint.

For example, he points out that more than 90 percent of U.S. children are immunized against measles, mumps, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and other diseases. Rates of these diseases are at or near historic lows. In contrast, an estimated 175,000 adults are hospitalized and 6,000 die each year from pneumococcal pneumonia, but one in three adults over 65 has not been vaccinated against it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the cost of treating diseases that vaccines could prevent exceeds $10 billion annually.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


June 13, 2007, 1:33 PM CT

Mechanism Of Action Used By Sorafenib

Mechanism Of Action Used By Sorafenib
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center scientists have uncovered a new mechanism of action of the anti-cancer drug sorafenib, which could stimulate the development of novel regimens in which it is combined with other molecularly targeted agents for patients with blood cancers and solid tumors.

In the new study, led by Steven Grant, M.D., Massey's associate director for translational research and co-leader of the cancer center's cancer cell biology program, VCU scientists identified a mechanism by which sorafenib inhibits protein translation, and which may be involved in reducing expression of pro-survival factors, such as Mcl-1, and other proteins. The findings were published online in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology on June 4.

As per Grant, sorafenib, or Nexavar which is manufactured by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, has recently been approved for the therapy of patients with renal cell cancer, the most common form of kidney cancer in adults. It was originally developed as an inhibitor of the oncogene, Raf, which is frequently mutated in numerous cancers, including leukemia. Oncogenes are typically responsible for promoting tumor growth.

Prior findings by Grant's team, published in the Journal of Biologic Chemistry, showed that in human leukemia cells, sorafenib lethality was less a consequence of Raf inhibition, but rather reflected interference with the synthesis of Mcl-1. They observed that sorafenib interfered with Mcl-1 translation, a process in which proteins are synthesized from their constituent amino acids. However, the mechanism by which protein translation was inhibited by sorafenib remained largely unknown.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 13, 2007, 1:30 PM CT

Lung and bladder cancer after arsenic exposure

Lung and bladder cancer after arsenic exposure
Image courtesy of Liver pool Middle School
Arsenic exposure appears to continue causing lung and bladder cancer deaths years after exposure ends, as per a research studypublished online June 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Arsenic is a known cause of lung and bladder cancer, but scientists dont yet know how long cancer risk remains elevated after arsenic exposure. The drinking water in a region of northern Chile became contaminated with very high amounts of arsenic beginning in 1958. In the 1970s, construction of water therapy plants in the region led to a decline in arsenic concentration. This sudden rise and fall of arsenic levels gave scientists the opportunity to investigate the period between first and last exposure to high levels of arsenic and subsequent mortality due arsenic-related cancers, such as bladder and lung cancer.

Guillermo Marshall, Ph.D., of Pontificia Universidad Catlica de Chile in Santiago and his colleagues including collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley, investigated bladder and lung cancer death rates in the region between 1950 and 2000 and compared them with data from a similar region farther south, where the water was not contaminated.

Lung and bladder cancer mortality rates in the area with arsenic-contaminated drinking water began to rise about 10 years after arsenic levels rose. They then continued to climb, peaking between 10 and 20 years after the arsenic levels dropped. At the peak, lung cancer deaths among men and women in the contaminated region were about three times higher than in the control region, while bladder cancer deaths were six times higher in men and 14 times higher in women. The lag time between exposure to a carcinogen and the peak of cancer deaths is commonly difficult to determine, but the size of the study and the record of arsenic exposure aided the researchers.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


June 13, 2007, 1:05 PM CT

Warning Signs Of Ovarian Cancer

Warning Signs Of Ovarian Cancer
Cancer experts have identified a set of health problems that may be symptoms of ovary cancer, and they are urging women who have the symptoms for more than a few weeks to see their doctors.

The new advice is the first official recognition that the disease, long believed to give no warning until it was far advanced, does cause symptoms at earlier stages in a number of women.

The symptoms to watch out for are bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly and feeling a frequent or urgent need to urinate. A woman who has any of those problems nearly every day for more than two or three weeks is advised to see a gynecologist, particularly if the symptoms are new and quite different from her usual state of health.

Doctors say they hope that the recommendations will make patients and doctors aware of early symptoms, lead to earlier diagnosis and, perhaps, save lives, or at least prolong survival.

But it is too soon to tell whether the new measures will work or whether they will lead to a flood of diagnostic tests or even unnecessary operations.

Cancer experts say it is worth trying a more aggressive approach to finding ovary cancer early. It is among the more deadly types of cancer, because most cases are diagnosed late, after the disease has begun to spread.........

Posted by: Emily      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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