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May 22, 2008, 10:06 PM CT

Temporary dentures improve patients' smiles and overall health

Temporary dentures improve patients' smiles and overall health
As people begin to realize how their appearance may influence their social life, a number of are turning to alternative methods to perfect their smile. Temporary dentures are not only economically feasible to wear while waiting for a permanent denture, but they can also aid in a persons overall health and restore a fading smile, as per a research studyfrom the January/February 2008 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistrys (AGD) clinical, peer evaluated journal.

A smile serves as an individuals most powerful tool, says AGD spokesperson Laura Murcko, DMD. A great smile can make great, lasting impression, boost a persons self-esteem and confidence as well as improve their overall health.

However, each year in the United States, over 20 million teeth are extracted, leaving scores of people with imperfect and sometimes devastating smiles. A recent online survey of more than 1,100 AGD members revealed that more than 86 percent of dentists reported that their patients deemed social embarrassment as a problem linked to tooth loss.

Unsightly gaps in the mouth do not have to be part of a persons permanent appearance, says Dr. Murcko. While a number of dentures that help to restore a damaged smile, interim removable partial dentures, also known as temporary dentures provide an immediate and short-term pleasing result.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 21, 2008, 8:57 PM CT

How common vaccine booster works

How common vaccine booster works
In an online paper in the journal Nature, Yale University scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, explain how a common ingredient in a number of vaccines stimulates and interacts with the immune system to help provide protection against infectious diseases.

Vaccines must possess not only the bacterial or viral components that serve as targets of protective immune responses, but also ingredients to kick start those immune responses. In a number of vaccines, the bacterial or viral components themselves have this capability. For other vaccines, the immune system requires an added boost. Adjuvants are those substances added to a vaccine to help stimulate the immune system and make the vaccine more effective.

Currently the only vaccine adjuvants licensed for general use in the United States are aluminum hydroxide/phosphate formulations, known as alum. Eventhough alum has been used to boost the immune responses to vaccines for decades, no one has known how it worked.

In this paper, the Yale team, led by Richard Flavell, M.D., Ph.D., and Stephanie Eisenbarth, M.D., Ph.D., examined the immune system pathway and cell receptors used by alum. A number of microbial compounds function as adjuvants by stimulating Toll-like receptors. These receptors identify microbial invaders and alert the body to the presence of a disease-causing agent, or pathogen. Alum, however, does not stimulate Toll-like receptors. The Yale team observed that alum stimulates clusters of proteins called inflammasomes, found inside certain cells. Inflammasomes respond to stresses such as infection or injury by releasing immune cell signaling proteins called cytokines. Inflammasomes are a component of the innate immune system that operates in parallel with, but separate from, Toll-like receptors, also part of the innate immune system.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 19, 2008, 8:33 PM CT

The 21st birthday binge drinking extremely common

The 21st birthday binge drinking extremely common
The 21 for 21 ritual, where 21st birthday revelers attempt to down 21 alcoholic drinks, is highly prevalent among college students, as per new research. In the largest study of its kind, scientists at the University of Missouri determined that a number of college students drink to excess on their 21st birthdays and potentially jeopardize their health.

The study will appear in the recent issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association. The data were collected from a larger study where students at one university were followed for four years and asked questions about their drinking behaviors.

For this portion of the online survey, 2,518 current and former college students from one university responded to several questions. The participants had already turned 21 and were asked whether they had drunk alcohol to celebrate turning 21, and, if so, how much they had drunk and for how long. The scientists observed that excessive drinking on this particular birthday was common, with more than four out of five participants reporting they had consumed some alcohol on their birthday. Of those participants, 34 percent of men and 24 percent of women reported consuming 21 drinks or more. The maximum for women was about 30 drinks, while the maximum for men was about 50 drinks.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 19, 2008, 8:26 PM CT

With Age Comes a Sense of Peace and Calm

With Age Comes a Sense of Peace and Calm
Aging brings a sense of peace and calm, as per a new study from the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Starting at about age 60, participants reported more feelings of ease and contentment than their younger counterparts.

Catherine Ross and John Mirowsky, professors of sociology, have published the findings in "Age and the Balance of Emotions" in the May 19 issue of Social Science and Medicine. The research was funded in part by the National Institute on Aging.

The findings reveal aging is linked to more positive than negative emotions, and more passive than active emotions, Ross said.

Prior research on emotions linked to aging focused on negative emotions, such as depression. However, a second dimension underlying emotions is an active versus passive dimension, which is less studied, but may be important in explaining how emotions shift as people age, as per the researchers.

"The passive/positive combination reveals that contentment, calm and ease are some of the most common emotions people feel as they age," Ross said. "Emotions that are both active and negative, such as anxiety and anger, are particularly unlikely among the elderly".

The study examined 1,450 responses to the 1996 U.S. General Social Survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center, which included English-speaking people aged 18 and older. The gender distribution of the sample was 56 percent female and 44 percent male, and the racial distribution was 81 percent white, 14 percent African American and 5 percent other races.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 18, 2008, 9:09 PM CT

Men at increased risk of death from pneumonia

Men at increased risk of death from pneumonia
Men who come to the hospital with pneumonia generally are sicker than women and have a higher risk of dying over the next year, despite aggressive medical care, as per a research studybeing presented Tuesday, May 20, at the 104th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society. Scientific sessions are scheduled May 16 to 21 in Toronto.

It is well known that women live longer than men. We have always assumed that these differences occur because men engage in riskier behaviors and have a greater burden of chronic diseases, said Sachin Yende, M.D., co-author of study and assistant professor in the Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Our study showed that men were more likely to die up to a year after pneumonia, despite adjusting for health behaviors and chronic conditions. Further, our findings indicate this may be associated with differences in immune response.

The University of Pittsburgh scientists reviewed data from 1,136 men and 1,047 women with symptoms of pneumonia who were treated at 28 hospital emergency departments in the United States.

On average, men arrived at the emergency departments with poorer vital signs, were more likely to be smokers and had a greater variety of complicating health conditions. After hospitalization, men received timely antibiotic therapys more often than women and were twice as likely to be admitted immediately to intensive-care units.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 15, 2008, 7:40 PM CT

Doubt on Risk of Death from Higher Salt Intake

Doubt on Risk of Death from Higher Salt Intake
Contrary to long-held assumptions, high-salt diets may not increase the risk of death, as per researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. They reached their conclusion after examining dietary intake among a nationally representative sample of adults in the U.S. The Einstein scientists actually observed a significantly increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease (CVD) linked to lower sodium diets. They report their findings in the advance online edition of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The scientists analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), which was conducted by the federal government among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. These data were then compared against death records that had been collected by the government through the year 2000. The sample of approximately 8,700 represented American adults who were over 30 years of age at the time of the baseline survey (1988-1994) and were not on a special low-salt diet.

After adjusting for known CVD risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes and blood pressure, the one-fourth of the sample who reported consuming the lowest amount of sodium were found to be 80% more likely to die from CVD in comparison to the one-fourth of the sample consuming the highest level of sodium. The risk for death from any cause appeared 24% greater for those consuming lower salt, but this latter difference was not quite large enough to dismiss the role of chance.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 14, 2008, 8:51 PM CT

Teens reach linguistic peak in online chat

Teens reach linguistic peak in online chat
Parents and teachers worry that teenagers use of these and other forms of online shorthand is harming their language skills. Perhaps they will take comfort from a study suggesting that instant messaging (IM) actually represents an expansive new linguistic renaissance.

Sali Tagliamonte and Derek Denis at the University of Toronto, Canada, say teenagers risk the disapproval of their elders if they use slang, and the scorn of their friends if they sound too buttoned-up. But instant messaging allows them to deploy a robust mix of colloquial and formal language. In a paper would be reported in the spring 2008 issue of American Speech, the scientists argue that far from ruining teenagers ability to communicate, IM lets teenagers show off what they can do with language.

IM is interactive discourse among friends that is conducive to informal language, says Denis, but at the same time, it is a written interface which tends to be more formal than speech.

He and Tagliamonte analysed more than a million words of IM communications and a quarter of a million spoken words produced by 72 people aged between 15 and 20. They observed that eventhough IM shared some of the patterns used in speech, its vocabulary and grammar tended to be relatively conservative. For example, teenagers are more likely to use the phrase He was like, Whats up? than He said, Whats up? when speaking - but the opposite is true when they are instant-messaging. This supports the idea that IM represents a hybrid form of communication.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 14, 2008, 8:46 PM CT

Middle class relaxing with marijuana

Middle class relaxing with marijuana
A variety of middle-class people are making a conscious but careful choice to use marijuana to enhance their leisure activities, a University of Alberta study shows.

A qualitative study of 41 Canadians surveyed in 2005-06 by U of A scientists showed that there is no such thing as a typical marijuana user, but that people of all ages are selectively lighting up the drug as a way to enhance activities ranging from watching television and playing sports to having sex, painting or writing.

For some of the participants, marijuana enhanced their ability to relax by taking their minds off daily stresses and pressures. Others found it helpful in focusing on the activity at hand, said Geraint Osborne, a professor of sociology at the University of Albertas Augustana Campus in Camrose, and one of the studys authors.

The study was published recently in the journal Substance Use and Misuse.

The focus was on adult users who were employed, ranging in age from 21 to 61, including 25 men and 16 women from Alberta, Quebec, Ontario and Newfoundland whose use of the drug ranged from daily to once or twice a year. They were predominantly middle class and worked in the retail and service industries, in communications, as white-collar employees, or as health-care and social workers. As well, 68 per cent of the users held post-secondary degrees, while another 11 survey participants had earned their high school diplomas.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 12, 2008, 9:50 PM CT

Vision therapy appears to improve visual function

Vision therapy appears to improve visual function
A low-vision treatment program that includes a home visit, counseling, assistive devices such as magnifiers and assignments to practice using them appears to significantly improve vision in veterans with diseases of the macula (the area of the retina with the sharpest vision), as per a report in the recent issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Low vision, chronic visual impairment that limits everyday function, is one of the 10 most prevalent causes of disability in America, the authors write as background information in the article. In addition to affecting daily function, low vision increases the risk of depression, injury and an overall decline in health. Most diseases that cause low vision are not curable. In most cases, impaired vision cannot be corrected and rehabilitation is the only option for regaining lost function for the patient with low vision. Low-vision rehabilitation aims to restore functional ability, the ability to perform tasks modulated by visual impairment.

Joan A. Stelmack, O.D., M.P.H., of the Edward E. Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, Ill., and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and his colleagues studied 126 patients (average age 78.9, 98 percent male) with low vision and diseases affecting the macula who were eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) services. Between November 2004 and November 2006, participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. In one, patients received a vision treatment program incorporating a low-vision examination, counseling, assistive devices such as magnifiers and five weekly sessions provided by a low-vision therapist to teach use of the assistive devices and other adaptive strategies. They were also assigned homework to ensure they used the devices outside of treatment. The other group was placed on a wait list for the treatment program and received no therapy for four months, an amount of time veterans might normally wait to receive such services.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


May 12, 2008, 9:48 PM CT

When schools ban unhealthy snacks

When schools ban unhealthy snacks
Children who attend schools that run fruit tuck shops are much more likely to eat more fruit if they and their friends are also banned from bringing unhealthy snacks on to the school premises, as per research published online ahead of print in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Scientists at Cardiff University studied the snacking habits of 9-11 year olds attending 43 primary schools in deprived areas of South Wales and South West England which had a variety of policies on bringing food to school: no restrictions, fruit only or no food at all.

Twenty three of the schools were asked to start fruit tuck shops selling a variety of fruit at a fixed price and not to sell sweets and crisps as alternatives. All the schools continued with their current policies on bringing food to school.

Over the year-long study funded by the Food Standards Agency, the tuck shops sold approximately 70,000 pieces of fruit, equivalent to 0.06 pieces of fruit per student per day.

At the end of the year, the children were surveyed on how much fruit and other snacks they had eaten the prior day. They were also asked how much fruit they and their friends were eating regularly at school.

Fruit tuck shops alone had a limited impact on childrens fruit consumption at school. Eventhough children in schools with fruit tuck shops were more likely to say they and their friends ate fruit regularly, the amount of fruit they reported eating the prior day was not significantly more than children at schools without fruit tuck shops.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Adolescents who suffer physical injuries are vulnerable to emotional distress in the months following their hospitalization, yet almost 40 percent of hospitalized adolescents interviewed for a new study had no source for the follow-up medical care that could diagnose and treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress. These young trauma survivors are at risk for high levels of post-traumatic stress and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of alcohol use, according to research by researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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