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July 12, 2006, 7:10 AM CT

Removal Of Ovaries Does Not Completely Eliminate Risk

Removal Of Ovaries Does Not Completely Eliminate Risk
Even after having their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed on a preventive basis, women who carry one of two gene mutations known to be linked to high rates of breast and ovary cancer are still at risk of developing a form of ovary cancer, cancer in the peritoneum, a large international study released Tuesday confirms.

About four per cent of women who had the preventive procedure, called a salpingo-oophorectomy, went on to develop peritoneal cancer within 10 years of the operation, the researchers, from the Hereditary Ovarian Cancer Clinical Study Group, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Senior author Dr. Steven Narod, a leading researcher in the field of inherited breast and ovary cancers, said that means that even after having their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed women with the mutations - known as BRCA1 or BRCA2 - still face a risk of developing peritoneal cancer that is significantly higher than that faced by women who didn't inherit either of the genes.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


July 5, 2006, 7:43 AM CT

Eggs Survive In Older Ovaries

Eggs Survive In Older Ovaries
In research that could have broad implications for women's fertility therapys, researchers have found that despite their age, female mice have a renewable egg supply in their ovaries.

The discovery, by Professor Jock Findlay from Prince Henry's Institute and Associate Professor Jeff Kerr from Monash's Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, has sparked controversy among biologists and challenged the theory, held for more than 50 years, that female mammals are born with a finite number of oocytes (eggs).

Two years ago, international scientists speculated that mice could continue to produce eggs throughout puberty and adulthood. Eventhough their speculation caused debate throughout the scientific community, the researchers could not produce evidence to confirm their idea. However, Professor Findlay and Dr Kerr's research gives support to the theory. Their findings have been reported in the recent issue of Reproduction.

In the mammalian ovary, reproductive cells called oocytes (eggs) develop within ovarian follicles. In humans, the eggs are believed to die off from late in foetal life, after birth and into adult life. When egg numbers decline towards zero females can no longer reproduce - resulting in the condition we know as menopause.

Professor Findlay, Dr Kerr and their colleagues have found that the total number of eggs in young and normal healthy adult female mice do not decline over time and that overall egg number is maintained for longer than previously thought. Their research suggests that mice have a source of renewable oocytes, Professor Findlay said.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


July 4, 2006, 9:44 AM CT

Path To Miscarriage Traced To Placental Infection

Path To Miscarriage Traced To Placental Infection
For years, doctors have puzzled over why pregnant women are 20 times more likely than others to be infected by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, now think they have the answer, and it isn't pretty.

Their research, conducted in guinea pigs, shows that the bacteria can invade the placenta, where - protected from the body's immune system - they proliferate rapidly before pouring out to infect organs such as the liver and spleen. The illness they cause often results in miscarriage or infection of the fetus.

The study is the first to trace such a pathway of infection, and it dashes the widely-held assumption that immune-system changes during pregnancy are to blame for elevated Listeria infection rates.

"The reason the mother is more susceptible is not necessarily because her immune system is compromised, but because the bacteria that got into her placenta are infecting her," said Anna Bakardjiev, the study's lead author and a postdoctoral researcher with Daniel Portnoy, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Berkeley. "The miscarriages that result from these infections may be a natural defense mechanism to dispel this source of infection".

The study will be posted on June 30 in the recent issue of the online journal PLoS Pathogens.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


July 1, 2006, 10:01 AM CT

Gabapentin Cools Hot Flashes

Gabapentin Cools Hot Flashes Image courtesy of www.neurontin.com
University of Rochester researchers, who have been investigating new therapies for hot flashes for several years, report in the July Obstetrics and Gynecology journal that the seizure drug gabapentin is as effective as estrogen, which used to be the gold standard therapy for menopause symptoms.

Estrogen is no longer the preferred treatment because recent, large studies have shown that the hormone increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease for some women. Given that news, millions of women have abandoned hormone replacement treatment (HRT) and are seeking other ways to ease symptoms. So-called natural remedies such as soy, herbal products or acupuncture have not proven safe or effective at this point.

The latest Rochester study is the first to compare gabapentin and estrogen head-to-head against a placebo. Eventhough it showed a substantial placebo effect similar to other menopause studies - women taking the sugar pill reported a 54-percent reduction in hot flashes - the women taking gabapentin and estrogen reported even better results, with a 71 percent to 72 percent decline in symptoms.

"Gabapentin does appear to be as effective as estrogen," said lead author Sireesha Y. Reddy, M.D., assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "Until now its efficacy relative to estrogen was unknown".........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


June 21, 2006, 7:10 AM CT

Nutrition And Twin Pregnancies

Nutrition And  Twin Pregnancies
The commonly held view that IVF is the only culprit in the steady increase in the numbers of twins born over the past thirty years was challenged by a scientist speaking at the 22nd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday 21 June 2006. Professor Robert Jansen, Medical Director of Sydney IVF, Sydney, Australia, said that his research had shown that improved nutrition, both maternal and in the lab in the case of IVF, had produced better and stronger embryos.

"Over the last 100 years, both in the UK and Australia, there has been an increase in identical twinning through the division of the embryo into two, even without IVF", he said, "and with the move to single embryo transfer with IVF this trend is obviously set to continue." Professor Jansen went on to say that the present rate of identical twinning with IVF is between one-in-a-hundred and one-in-fifty, a little over twice the rate involved when getting pregnant naturally.

Professor Jansen and his team reviewed Australian national birth statistics from 1920 to 2003 to determine the sex of babies at birth among multiple pregnancies. They found that the rate of dizygotic (DZ) twinning - where two embryos are involved and half the twins will be of different sex - was relatively constant from 1920 until the 1960s, but there was then the well-known dramatic increase with the advent of induced ovulation and IVF - reaching 300 in every 1000 IVF conceptions by 2000. Among monozygotic (MZ) twins, caused by embryo division (so all are of like sex), the excess rate of same-sex twins among natural conceptions has risen steadily for the last 80 years. MZ twins were relatively rare among IVF babies in the 1980s - much less than occurs naturally - but then rose in the nineties to reach 14 per 1000 by the year 2000.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


June 19, 2006, 9:24 PM CT

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Posted by: Janet      Permalink


June 19, 2006, 8:29 PM CT

Newborn Screening Can Cause Parental Stress

Newborn Screening Can Cause Parental Stress
Virtually all babies in the U.S. have their heels pricked soon after birth to get a blood sample for genetic testing. These "heel stick" tests identify rare metabolic disorders before they cause irreversible damage, but as more disorders are added to the screening - a number of states now test for 30 or more - false-positive results are on the rise. In the recent issue of Pediatrics, scientists from Children's Hospital Boston report that false-positive results cause considerable parental stress, even when the baby proves negative on retesting, and that the stress could be alleviated by better education for parents and pediatricians.

Psychology expert Susan Waisbren, PhD and Elizabeth Gurian, MS in Children's Division of Genetics interviewed 173 families who had received false-positive screening results and a comparison group of 67 families with normal newborn screening results.

Eventhough mothers in the false-positive group were interviewed at least six months after their child's diagnosis had been ruled out, they reported more worry about their child's future and rated themselves less healthy than mothers in the comparison group. Fifteen percent said their child needed extra parental care, versus 3 percent of mothers in the comparison group. After adjustment for socioeconomic factors, both mothers and fathers in the false-positive group had higher scores on the standardized Parenting Stress Index (PSI); 11 percent of mothers (versus no mothers in the comparison group) scored in the clinical range, in which therapy might be prescribed.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 18, 2006, 6:10 PM CT

Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping Boosts Iron in Infants

Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping Boosts Iron in Infants
Just a two-minute delay in clamping a baby's umbilical cord can boost the child's iron reserves and prevent anemia for months, report nutritionists at the University of California, Davis.

Iron deficiency is a concern for both wealthy and poor nations. It is a problem especially in developing countries, where half of all children become anemic during their first year, putting them at risk of serious developmental problems that may not be reversible, even with iron therapys.

Results of the study, conducted by UC Davis nutrition professor Kathryn Dewey and nutrition graduate student Camila Chaparro at a large obstetrical hospital in Mexico City, will be published June 17 in the British medical journal The Lancet.

"By simply delaying cord clamping for this brief time, we can provide the infant with the extra blood, and the iron it contains, from the placenta," said Dewey, an expert in maternal and infant nutrition. "This is an efficient, low-cost way to intervene at birth without harm to the infant or the mother".

She noted that eventhough iron deficiency is a greater problem in developing countries, it is also a serious issue in industrialized nations like the United States, especially for low-income and minority families and in lower birth-weight infants or babies born to iron-deficient mothers.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


June 15, 2006, 11:56 PM CT

Pregnancy Complications Still High For Women With Diabetes

Pregnancy Complications Still High For Women With Diabetes
Perinatal mortality and congenital anomalies in babies of women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes in England, WalesThe risk of death and major birth defects are still high in babies born to women with diabetes, despite an international strategy to raise standards of diabetes care, say scientists as per a research findings published on www.bmj.com today.

They also warn that these problems will get worse as the number of young women diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes continues to rise.

Scientists analysed deaths shortly after birth (perinatal mortality) and congenital anomalies in babies born to women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who delivered between 1 March 2002 and 28 February 2003 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Of 2,359 women with diabetes, 1,707 had type 1 diabetes and 652 had type 2 diabetes. Women with type 2 diabetes were more likely to come from an ethnic minority group and from a deprived area.

Perinatal mortality was similar in babies of women with type 1 (31.7 per 1000 births) and type 2 diabetes (32.3 per 1000 births), and was nearly four times higher than that in the general maternity population.

The rate of major congenital anomaly (mainly heart and nervous system defects) was 46 per 1000 births in women with diabetes (48 per 1000 births for type 1 diabetes and 43 per 1000 for type 2 diabetes), more than double than that in the general maternity population.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 13, 2006, 9:41 PM CT

Risk Of Infertility Iafter Bowel Surgery

Risk Of Infertility Iafter Bowel Surgery
The risk of infertility in women triples after the most major surgery for the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis, suggests research published ahead of print in the journal Gut.

The authors base their finding on an extensive trawl of print and online research archives, and a detailed analysis of eight published studies. Infertility was defined as a failure to conceive after 12 months of trying.

Ulcerative colitis is a condition in which sores and inflammation develop along the lining of the large intestine, producing severe diarrhoea and rectal bleeding. It affects around 1 to 2% of the population. Surgical removal of the colon is sometimes needed to alleviate persistent and painful symptoms.

Ileal pouch anal anastomosis is a standard procedure in which the lower section of the large intestine is removed and a surgical pouch artificially created from the small intestine. This is then joined to a short remaining cuff of the rectum to ensure as normal bowel function as possible.

The evidence from the published studies showed that the risk of infertility after drug therapy was around 1 in 7 or 15%.

But this risk tripled to 48% after ileal pouch anal anastomosis. All patients seemed to be at risk of infertility, so there were no obvious factors among the patients or the procedure itself to account for the increased risk.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source



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Did you know?
The addition of testosterone to hormone therapy in women after menopause enhances their sexual function. However, it may also reduce HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) in women, according to a systematic review of current evidence."If the reduction in HDL had been associated with an increase in triglycerides [fatty acids] or LDL cholesterol it would be of great concern," said Dr. Susan Davis, professor of medicine at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, and study co-author "However, as an isolated finding the significance is difficult to interpret." She added, "Testosterone has not been found to alter other coronary heart disease risk factors.".

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