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June 19, 2006, 9:24 PM CT

Suggest your News Item To Medicineworld

Suggest your News Item To Medicineworld
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Posted by: Janet      Permalink


June 18, 2006, 6:53 PM CT

Another Grape Excuse To Hit The Bottle

Another Grape Excuse To Hit The Bottle
Researchers in Italy say they have discovered that the grapes used to make some of the most popular red wines contain high levels of the sleep hormone melatonin. (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture DOI 10.1002/jsfa2537). Melatonin is naturally secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, particularly at night. It tells the body when it is time to sleep.

The discovery of melatonin in grape skin could explain why so a number of of us hit the bottle in the evening to wind down after a day's hard slog. 'The melatonin content in wine could help regulate the circadian rhythm [sleep-wake patterns], just like the melatonin produced by the pineal gland in mammals,' says researcher Iriti Marcello at the University of Milan.

Until recently, melatonin was believed to be exclusively produced by mammals but has recently been discovered in plants. It is thought to have antioxidant properties. Iriti's study discovered high levels of melatonin in Nebbolo, Merlot, Cabernet Savignon, Sangiovesse and Croatina grape varieties.

Iriti's team have also shown that melatonin content can be enhanced in grapes by treating vines with a plant vaccine Benzothiadiazole.

Richard Wurtman of the brain and cognitive science department at MIT is unconvinced, however, and believes further research is needed to determine whether the compounds discovered are melatonin, or something very similar.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 15, 2006, 11:45 PM CT

Fruit Flies Provide Clues To Learning

Fruit Flies Provide Clues To Learning
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that a brain region previously known for its role in learning and memory also serves as the location of sleep regulation in fruit flies. Through further examination of this brain structure, researchers hope to shed light on sleep regulation and its role in memory.

Despite its importance in everyday human function, very little is known about the regulation of sleep. In search of the underlying brain region responsible for sleep regulation, senior author Amita Sehgal, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator, and colleagues turned their attention to the fruit fly.

"Fruit flies and humans share similar resting patterns," explains Sehgal. Typically typically "like humans, the sleeping states of fruit flies are characterized by periods of immobility over a twenty-four hour period, during which the fruit flies demonstrate reduced responsiveness to sensory stimuli".

By tinkering with the gene expression of multiple regions of the fruit fly brain, the research team was able to zero in on the adult mushroom body as the sleep center of the brain. They reported their findings in last week's issue of Nature.

To locate the brain region involved in sleep regulation, Sehgal manipulated the activity of an enzyme known as protein kinase A (PKA). Previous work in Sehgal's lab revealed that the higher the level of PKA activity, the lower the period of immobility, or sleep, in the fruit fly. By building upon this work, Sehgal and others set out to increase PKA activity in various regions of the brain and examine the subsequent sleeping patterns in the fruit flies. "Sleeping fruit flies" were defined as those that remained immobile for at least five minutes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 15, 2006, 0:02 AM CT

Calorie Restriction May Prevent Alzheimer's

Calorie Restriction May Prevent Alzheimer's Image courtesy of Time
A recent study directed by Mount Sinai School of Medicine suggests that experimental dietary regimens might calm or even reverse symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The study, which appears in the July 2006 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is the first to show that restricting caloric intake, specifically carbohydrates, may prevent AD by triggering activity in the brain associated with longevity.

"Both clinical and epidemiological evidence suggests that modification of lifestyle factors such as nutrition may prove crucial to Alzheimer's Disease management," says Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Director of the Neuroinflammation Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and lead author of the study. "This research, however, is the first to show a correlation between nutrition and Alzheimer's Disease neuropathy by defining mechanistic pathways in the brain and scrutinizing biochemical functions. We hope these findings further unlock the mystery of Alzheimer's and bring hope to the millions of Americans suffering from this disease."

Alzheimer's Disease is a rapidly growing public health concern with potentially devastating effects. An estimated 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimer's Disease and the number of Americans with Alzheimer's has more than doubled since 1980. Presently, there are no known cures or effective preventive strategies. While genetic factors are relevant in early-onset cases, they appear to play less of a role in late-onset-sporadic AD cases, the most common form of AD.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 13, 2006, 9:45 PM CT

Child Abuse Can Cause Schizophrenia

Child Abuse Can Cause Schizophrenia
University of Manchester researcher Paul Hammersley is to tell two international conferences, in London and Madrid on 14 June 2006, that child abuse can cause schizophrenia.

The groundbreaking and highly contentious theory, co-presented by New Zealand clinical psychology expert Dr John Read, has been described as "an earthquake" that will radically change the psychiatric profession.

Clinical psychology expert and writer Dr Oliver James commented: "The psychiatric establishment is about to experience an earthquake that will shake its intellectual foundations [and] may trigger a landslide."

Mr Hammersley, Programme Director for the COPE (Collaboration of Psychosocial Education) Initiative at the School of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work, said: "We are not returning to the 1960s and making the mistake of blaming families, but professionals have to realize that child abuse was a reality for large numbers of adult sufferers of psychosis."

He added: "We work very closely in collaboration with the Hearing Voices Network, that is with the people who hear voices in their head. The experience of hearing voices is consistently associated with childhood trauma regardless of diagnosis or genetic pedigree."

Dr Read said: "I hope we soon see a more balanced and evidence-based approach to schizophrenia and people using mental health services being asked what has happened to them and being given help instead of stigmatizing labels and mood-altering drugs."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


June 13, 2006, 9:22 PM CT

Asherman's Syndrome Poses Pregnancy Problems

Asherman's Syndrome Poses Pregnancy Problems Dr. Fermin Barrueto, Chief of Endoscopy and Pelvic Reconstruction at Mercy
A somewhat rare condition could cause significant problems for women trying to become pregnant. Asherman's syndrome affects the walls of the uterus, which stick together as a result of scar tissue following surgery. Asherman's, which may occur following a D&C (dilatation and curettage, a procedure to scrape and collect the tissue in the uterus), may causes problems for a woman trying to get pregnant or carry one full term.

As per Dr. Fermin Barrueto, Chief of Endoscopy and Pelvic Reconstruction at Mercy, mild to moderate cases of Asherman's syndrome can mean reduced menstrual flow and frequent miscarriage. When Asherman's syndrome becomes severe, he said menstrual flow completely stops and there's no pregnancy. "The great majority don't even know they have this condition and there is a lack of space for baby to grow," Barrueto said.

Significant research brought Brenner to Barrueto in an effort fix her condition with surgery -- a very delicate operation.

"What we have to do is put a telescope inside the uterus and make a new cavity, it has to be done under laproscopic control," Barrueto said.

Barreuto said the most common scenarios for Asherman's syndrome to occur is after a postpartum dilatation and curettage, or sometimes after having fibroids removed.........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


June 12, 2006, 11:42 PM CT

Are You Happier At Younger Age?

Are You Happier At Younger Age?
Back when he was 20 years old in 1965, rock star Pete Townshend wrote the line "I hope I die before I get old" into a song, "My Generation" that launched his band, the Who, onto the rock 'n' roll scene.

But a unique new study suggests that Townshend may have fallen victim to a common, and mistaken, belief: That the happiest days of people's lives occur when they're young.

In fact, the study finds, both young people and older people believe that young people are happier than older people -- when in fact research has shown the opposite. And while both older and younger adults tend to equate old age with unhappiness for other people, individuals tend to think they'll be happier than most in their old age.

In other words, the young Pete Townshend may have thought others of his generation would be miserable in old age. And now that he's 61, he might look back and think he himself was happier back then. But the opposite is likely to be true: Older people "mis-remember" how happy they were as youths, just as youths "mis-predict" how happy (or unhappy) they will be as they age.

The study, performed by VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and University of Michigan researchers, involved more than 540 adults who were either between the ages of 21 and 40, or over age 60. All were asked to rate or predict their own individual happiness at their current age, at age 30 and at age 70, and also to judge how happy most people are at those ages. The results are reported in the recent issue of the Journal of Happiness Studies, a major research journal in the field of positive psychology.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 12, 2006, 11:37 PM CT

A Sweet Solution For Alzheimer's Disease?

A Sweet Solution For Alzheimer's Disease?
Certain variants of a simple sugar ameliorate Alzheimer's-like disease in mice, as per a new study by Canadian researchers. Eventhough the new studies are still in the early stages, the findings could lead to new therapies that prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

The new studies show that some types of a sugar called cyclohexanehexol-also known as inositol-prevented the accumulation of amyloid ß deposits, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Scyllo-inositol therapy also improved cognitive abilities in the mice and allowed them to live a normal lifetime. The study appeared in advance online publication of the journal Nature Medicine on June 11, 2006.

HHMI international research scholar and senior author Peter St George-Hyslop cautioned that the chemicals tested in these studies are not the type of inositol sold commercially as a nutritional supplement. That type-myo-inositol-has been shown previously to be ineffective at breaking up amyloid aggregates, he said.

In the brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease, small proteins called amyloid ß aggregate into plaques, and a protein called tau clumps into neurofibrillary tangles. The brain becomes inflamed and neurons atrophy and die. It's not completely clear what kind of amyloid ß peptide (monomers, oligomeric aggregates, or fibrillar aggregates) is responsible for the onset of disease, said St George-Hyslop of the University of Toronto. "Because we were able to show that scyllo-inositol specifically dispersed the high-molecular-weight oligomeric aggregates, this study confirms that the initiating event is the accumulation of oligomeric aggregates of amyloid ß peptide," he said.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


June 11, 2006, 8:02 AM CT

Before Prohibition

Before Prohibition
A number of of the substances prohibited today were legally available in the past. This small exposition contains samples of the a number of psychoactive medicines widely available during the late-19th century through the mid-20th century. Some of the pictures are oversized to improve legibility. Additional photographs are available for some products in the author's private collection. For a quick comparison with current drug regulations, see Drug Schedules.

The prohibition of psychoactive substances has evolved gradually in the United States and in Europe. The opium-containing preparation laudanum had been widely available since the 18th century. Morphine, cocaine, and even heroin were seen as miracle cures when they were first discovered. During the mid to late 19th century, a number of manufacturers proudly proclaimed that their products contained cocaine or opium. A few, like Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup for infants which contained morphine, were more guarded in divulging their principal ingredients. By the beginning of the 20th century, problems with habitual use of cocaine and opiates was becoming increasingly apparent. This led to the removal of these substances from some products (e.g., Coca Cola) and to the introduction of the Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) in the United States which mandatory the listing of ingredients on product labels. Nonetheless, standard narcotic remedies like paregoric remained readily available into the early 20th century, and Benzedrine inhalers were marketed without prescription until the early 1950s. Codeine wasn't removed from most over-the-counter cough suppressants until the early part of 1980s.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


June 10, 2006, 7:12 PM CT

Women's Skin Tone Influences Perception Of Beauty

Women's Skin Tone Influences Perception Of Beauty
Using a revolutionary imaging process, a new study is revealing that wrinkles aren't the only cue the human eye looks for to evaluate age. Researchers at the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Urban Ethology (Austria) and the Department for Sociobiology/Anthropology at the University of Goettingen (Gera number of), have shown that facial skin color distribution, or tone, can add, or subtract, as much as 20 years to a woman's age. The study is to be presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES) annual meeting, June 7-11, 2006, in Philadelphia, PA. The study used 3-D imaging and morphing software technologies to remove wrinkles and bone structure from the equation to determine the true impact of facial skin color distribution on the perception of a woman's age, health and attractiveness and is currently in the edit acceptance process with the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

"Until now, skin's overall homogeneity and color saturation received little attention among behavioral scientists. This study helps us better understand that wrinkles are not the only age cue. Skin tone and luminosity may be a major signal for mate selection and attractiveness, as well according toceived age," says lead researcher Dr. Karl Grammer, Founder and Scientific Director of the Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Urban Ethology, University of Vienna, Austria.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source



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Did you know?
Too little evidence exists to recommend or rule out estrogen as a treatment for schizophrenia in women, a new review of studies finds.People diagnosed with schizophrenia suffer distorted perceptions of reality and hallucinations. Today, estrogen is strictly an experimental therapy for the psychotic symptoms associated with the mental illness.

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