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July 11, 2007, 5:23 AM CT

Early Warning Of Deep Belly Fat

Early Warning Of Deep Belly Fat
Measuring levels of a chemical found in blood offers the best indicator yet of the amount of fat surrounding abdominal organs, as per a new study of lean and obese individuals published in the recent issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press. The buildup of such visceral fat is of particular health concern as it has been associated with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease risk.

The researchers, including Barbara Kahn and Timothy Graham of Harvard Medical School and Matthias Blher of the University of Leipzig in Gera number of, showed that retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) is produced in much greater amounts by visceral fat in comparison to the subcutaneous fat that lies just beneath the skin. Moreover, they report that blood serum levels of RBP4 jump in people who are obese, who have double or even triple the concentrations found in individuals of normal weight.

We think that in the near future, measurements of RBP4 serum concentrations might serve as a novel biomarker for visceral obesity and increased risk for type 2 diabetes and other adverse outcomes of visceral obesity, said Blher. In addition, pharmacological interventions that reduce RBP4 levels might be a new approach in the therapy of metabolic syndrome and visceral obesity.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 11, 2007, 5:17 AM CT

No strong link between tomatoes and reduced cancer risk

No strong link between tomatoes and reduced cancer risk
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review has found only limited evidence for an association between eating tomatoes and a decreased risk of certain cancers, as per an article published online July 10 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Several studies have reported an association between the consumption of tomatoes or lycopene, an antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red hue, and a decreased risk of some cancers, especially prostate cancer. In order for foods and dietary supplements to be labeled with such health claims, the FDA must review and approve these claims based on the available scientific evidence.

In a review article, Claudine Kavanaugh, Ph.D., of the FDA in College Park, Md., and his colleagues describe the agencys November 2005 evaluation of the scientific evidence linking tomatoes or tomato-based foods, lycopene, and reduced cancer risk.

Their review found no evidence that tomatoes reduced the risk of lung, colorectal, breast, cervical, or endometrial cancer. However, there was very limited evidence for associations between tomato consumption and reduced risk of prostate, ovarian, gastric, and pancreas cancers. Based on this assessment, the FDA decided to allow qualified health claims for a very limited association between tomatoes and these four cancers. Their analysis found no credible evidence that lycopene, either in food or in a dietary supplement, was linked to reduced risk of any of the cancers reviewed.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 8, 2007, 10:34 PM CT

New Risk Factors Discovered for Alzheimer's Disease

New Risk Factors Discovered for Alzheimer's Disease
A recent study in Journal of Neuroimaging suggests that cognitively normal adults exhibiting atrophy of their temporal lobe or damage to blood vessels in the brain are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. Elderly adults showing signs of both conditions were seven-times more likely to develop Alzheimer's than their peers.

"Alzheimer's disease, a highly debilitating and ultimately fatal neurological disease, is already linked to other risk factors such as poor cognitive scores, education or health conditions," says study author Caterina Rosano. "This study, because it focused on healthy, cognitively normal adults, shows that there other risk factors we need to consider."

MRI images of participants' brains were examined to identify poor brain circulation, damaged blood vessels and/or atrophy of the medial temporal lobe. Subjects showing any one or a combination of these symptoms were more likely to develop Alzheimer's in the following years.

"Similarly to heart disease, brain blood vessel damage is more likely to occur in patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes," says Rosano. "Since we know that prevention of these conditions can lower risk of heart attack and stroke, it is likely that it would also lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


July 5, 2007, 9:31 PM CT

Wives Have Greater Power In Marriage

Wives Have Greater Power In Marriage
Men may still have more power in the workplace, but apparently women really are "the boss" at home. That's as per a new study by a team of Iowa State University researchers.

The study of 72 married couples from Iowa observed that wives, on average, exhibit greater situational power -- in the form of domineering and dominant behaviors -- than their husbands during problem-solving discussions, regardless of who raised the topic. All of the couples in the sample were relatively happy in their marriages, with none in counseling at the time of the study.

Associate Professor of Psychology David Vogel and Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies Megan Murphy led the research. The ISU research team also included Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies Ronald Werner-Wilson, Professor of Psychology Carolyn Cutrona -- who is director of the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research at Iowa State -- and Joann Seeman, a graduate student in psychology. They authored a paper titled "Sex Differences in the Use of Demand and Withdraw Behavior in Marriage: Examining the Social Structure Hypothesis," which appeared in last month's issue of the Journal of Counseling Psychology -- a professional journal published by the American Psychological Association.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 3, 2007, 9:49 PM CT

protecting cancer patients against infertility

protecting cancer patients against infertility
Lyon, France: A promising new treatment for protecting the fertility of women with cancer and auto-immune diseases such as lupus was revealed at the 23rd annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Tuesday 3 July 2007). Dr. Kate Stern, Research Director of the Royal Womens Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, told the conference that her pilot study had shown gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonists were likely to be able to protect the ovary in women receiving potentially toxic doses of chemotherapy. We are now hoping to carry out a randomised controlled trial to assess the long term protective effect of this therapy, she said .

GnRH analogues are usually used in the management of womens disorders that are dependent on oestrogen production, and in IVF therapies. Dr. Stern and her team studied women between the ages of 18 and 35 years who were due to receive high doses of cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy drug. They knew that GnHR analogues were already used for the temporary suppression of ovulation in infertility therapy, so reasoned that it would be possible to use it to shut down the ovaries temporarily during the time that chemotherapy was administered, and hence protect them from the effect of the drugs.

The women were given the GnRH antagonist cetrorelix by 3 subcutaneous injections, each of them four days apart, concurrently with their chemotherapy. The researchers found that there was evidence that ovarian function was suppressed, but that this returned to normal after chemotherapy stopped. Follicle stimulating hormone levels were up in 73% of the patients, but these also subsequently returned to normal. 94% of the patients resumed spontaneous ovulation and menses within 12 months.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


July 2, 2007, 10:02 PM CT

More Swimmers Means More Pathogens in the Water

More Swimmers Means More Pathogens in the Water
The levels of potentially harmful waterborne microorganisms in rivers, lakes and other recreational waterways may be highest when the water is most crowded with swimmers. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health completed two studies at the Hammerman beach area along Maryland's Gunpowder River that linked the number of swimmers using the water with the levels of microsporidian spores and the parasites Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia. The studies were made available online in advance of publication in the scientific journals Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Water Research.

Exposure to microorganisms like C. parvum and G. lamblia can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. They can be especially harmful to people with compromised immunity.

"Our research suggests it would be best to test the water when the beach is active to determine if it is safe for recreational use," said Thaddeus K. Graczyk, PhD, co-author of both studies and associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Center for Water and Health. As per Graczyk, health officials typically conduct water sampling when there is little human activity.

For both studies, scientists sampled the water at the Hammerman area for 11 weeks during the summer of 2006. Samples were taken on Wednesdays, when beach activity was typically low, and on Saturdays, when activity was commonly high. The scientists also counted the number of swimmers in the water at the time the water was sampled.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


July 2, 2007, 9:49 PM CT

Most middle-school boys play violent video games

Most middle-school boys play violent video games
A new study by scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospitals (MGH) Center for Mental Health and Media dispels some myths and uncovers some surprises about young teens and violent video and computer games. The study, reported in the recent issue of Journal of Adolescent Health, is the first to ask middle-school youth in detail about the video and computer games they play and to analyze how a number of of those titles are rated M (Mature meant for ages 17 and up). It is also the first to ask children why they play video games. Some of the more striking findings include:
  • Almost all young teens play video games. Just six percent of the sample had not played any electronic games in the prior six months.
  • Most 7th and 8th graders (ages 12 to 14) regularly play violent video games. Two-thirds of boys and more than one in four girls reported playing at least one M-rated game a lot in the past six months.
  • A third of boys and one in ten girls play video or computer games almost every day.
  • A number of children are playing video games to manage their feelings, including anger and stress. Children who play violent games are more likely to play to get their anger out. They are also more likely to play games with strangers on the Internet.


Contrary to the stereotype of the solitary gamer with no social skills, we observed that children who play M-rated games are actually more likely to play in groups in the same room, or over the Internet, says Cheryl K. Olson, ScD, co-director of the Center for Mental Health and Media and lead author of the study. Boys friendships in particular often center around video games.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 2, 2007, 11:41 AM CT

You can't make up for lost sleep

You can't make up for lost sleep
Weve all experienced that occasional all-too-short night of sleep -- staying out too late at a party on a weeknight, studying into the wee hours for a morning exam or being kept up during the night with a sick child. Our bodies try to catch up by making us sleep more and/or more deeply the following night.

It is well established that following an acute period of sleep loss, the body responds this way in order to maintain a homeostatic balance between sleep and wakefulness. Very little is known, however, about the health consequences of chronic partial sleep loss -- losing a little bit of sleep over a period of days, months or even years.

Now sleep scientists at Northwestern University have discovered that when animals are partially sleep deprived over consecutive days they no longer attempt to catch up on sleep, despite an accumulating sleep deficit. Their study is the first to show that repeated partial sleep loss negatively affects an animals ability to compensate for lost sleep. The body responds differently to chronic sleep loss than it does to acute sleep loss.

The results, which shed light on a problem prevalent in industrialized nations with 24/7 societies such as the United States, where Americans get nearly an hour less sleep a night than they did 40 years ago, were published online recently by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 2, 2007, 11:10 AM CT

Violence in schizophrenia patients

Violence in schizophrenia patients
Some people with schizophrenia who become violent may do so for reasons uncorrelation to their current illness, as per a new study analyzing data from the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials for Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE). CATIE was funded by the National Institutes of Healths National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The study was published online on June 30, 2007, in the journal Law and Human Behavior.

Most people with schizophrenia are not violent, said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. But this study indicates that the likelihood of violence is higher among people with schizophrenia who also have a history of other disorders, namely childhood conduct problems.

Using data from 1,445 CATIE participants, Jeffrey Swanson, Ph.D., of Duke University, and his colleagues examined the relationship between childhood antisocial behavior, including conduct disorder symptoms, and adult violence among people with schizophrenia. The overall percentage of participants who committed acts of violence was 19 percent. Those with a history of childhood conduct problems reported violence twice as frequently (28 percent) as those without conduct problems (14 percent). In both groups, violence was more likely among those who were unemployed or underemployed, living with family or in restrictive settings (such as a halfway house or hospital), been recently arrested, or involved with the police.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


July 2, 2007, 9:23 AM CT

IVF embryos are more likely to develop into twins

IVF embryos are more likely to develop into twins
Lyon, France: Evidence gathered from time-lapse recordings of the formation of early embryos (blastocysts) in the laboratory has revealed why embryos created via IVF and undergoing extended culture are more likely to develop into twins than those created via natural conception. Furthermore, the research has shown that the culture in which the IVF embryos are formed is possibly responsible for the embryos dividing into twins.

Dianna Payne, a visiting research fellow at the Mio Fertility Clinic, Yonago, Japan, told the 23rd annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Monday 2 July) that about three pairs of twins per thousand deliveries occurred as a result of natural conception, but a number of more were born after IVF, even when only one embryo had been transferred to the mother (approximately 21 pairs per thousand deliveries). However, it was not known why this happened.

Using 33 surplus frozen-thawed embryos that had been donated for research, Ms Payne and her colleagues used computer software called MetaMorph [1], which creates a free-running film from single images taken every two minutes with a digital camera attached to a microscope. They then used the software to analyse data from the film.

After thawing, 26 of the 33 embryos (most of which were composed of between two and ten cells) developed to blastocyst stage in which the blastocoele is formed. This is a fluid-filled cavity in the blastocyst and is formed on about day four or five when the embryo forms tight junctions between the cells around its periphery. These outer cells (the trophectoderm) begin to pump fluid into the blastocoelic cavity where a micro-environment is formed in which the cells that will go on to develop into the body of the embryo (the inner cell mass or ICM) develop.........

Posted by: Emily      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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