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October 23, 2008, 9:24 PM CT

Green tea may delay onset of type 1 diabetes

Green tea may delay onset of type 1 diabetes
A powerful antioxidant in green tea may prevent or delay the onset of type 1 diabetes, Medical College of Georgia scientists say.

Scientists were testing EGCG, green tea's predominant antioxidant, in a laboratory mouse with type 1 diabetes and primary Sjogren's syndrome, which damages moisture-producing glands, causing dry mouth and eyes.

"Our study focused on Sjogren's syndrome, so learning that EGCG also can prevent and delay insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes was a big surprise," says Dr. Stephen Hsu, molecular/cell biologist in the School of Dentistry.

They found it also worked well in their original disease focus.

In the mouse, EGCG reduced the severity and delayed onset of salivary gland damage linked to Sjogren's syndrome, which has no known cure.

"EGCG modulates several important genes, so it suppresses the abnormality at the molecular level in the salivary gland. It also significantly lowered the serum autoantibodies, reducing the severity of Sjogren's syndrome-like symptoms," Dr. Hsu says. Autoantibodies are antibodies the body makes against itself.

Both type 1 diabetes and Sjogren's syndrome are autoimmune diseases, which cause the body to attack itself. Autoimmune disorders are the third most common group of diseases in the United States and affect about 8 percent of the population, says Dr. Hsu. Sjogren's syndrome can occur alone or secondary to another autoimmune disease, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 23, 2008, 8:52 PM CT

Hypnosis can induce synesthesia

Hypnosis can induce synesthesia
Hypnosis can induce "synesthetic" experiences where one sense triggers the involuntary use of another within an average brain, as per a new study in the journal Psychological Science, the premiere publication of the Association for Psychological Society.

The findings suggests that people with synesthesia, contrary to popular belief, do not necessarily have extra connections in their brain; rather, their brains may simply do more 'cross talking' which can be induced by changing inhibitory processes in the average brain.

The research, "Induced cross-modal synesthetic experience without abnormal neuronal connections," was conducted by an international group that includes Cohen Kadosh, previously a doctoral student at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev under the supervision of Prof. Avishai Henik from BGU's Department of Psychology and now at the University College London (UCL); Andres Catena from the University of Granada, Spain; Vincent Walsh from the UCL; and Luis J. Fuentes from University of Murcia, Spain.

People living with synesthesia (known as synesthetes) experience abnormal interactions between the senses. Digit-color synesthesia, for instance, will experience certain numbers in specific colors (for example, they might experience the number seven as red). A possible reason put forward for this phenomenon is the existence of extra connections between brain areas in synesthesia, but this new study suggests otherwise.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 21, 2008, 9:46 PM CT

Eating quickly risks being overweight

Eating quickly risks being overweight
The combination of eating quickly and eating until full trebles the risk of being overweight, as per a research studypublished recently on bmj.com.

Until the last decade or so most adults did not have the opportunity to consume enough energy to enable fat to be stored. However, with the increased availability of inexpensive food in larger portions, fast food, and fewer families eating together and eating while distracted (e.g. while watching TV), eating behaviours are changing, and this may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.

Professor Iso and his colleagues recruited over three thousand Japanese men (1,122) and women (2,165) aged 30-69 between 2003 and 2006 to examine whether eating until full and speed of eating are linked to being overweight. Participants were sent a diet history questionnaire about their eating habits including questions about eating until full and their speed of eating.

The scientists report that around half (50.9%) of the men and just over half (58.4%) of the women said they ate until they were full. And just under half (45.6%) of men and 36% of women said they ate quickly.

The group of participants who said they ate "until full and ate quickly" had a higher body mass index (BMI) and total energy intake than those who did not "eat until full and did not eat quickly".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 21, 2008, 9:29 PM CT

Nutrition advice best served with family in mind

Nutrition advice best served with family in mind
Scientists at the University of Sheffield and Royal Holloway, University of London will argue today (21 October 2008) that the nation's diet is unlikely to improve significantly if healthy eating policies fail to take into account the diverse nature of contemporary family life.

Recent government initiatives have attempted to change people's dietary behaviour and the amount of exercise they take. But, despite compelling evidence of the need for healthier eating, families remain ambivalent about altering their eating habits.

The scientists argue that if government initiatives, such as improving the quality of school meals or increasing the nation's consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, are to succeed they need to acknowledge that families have differing domestic routines, relationships and resources and this affects how and what they eat.

Much of the current policy literature provides factual information on healthy eating and is aimed at individuals rather than families. However, the scientists discovered that decisions about what to eat aren't simply a matter of individual choice but are instead rooted in people's diverse family circumstances, embedded in the routines and rhythms of their everyday lives, subject to their available resources and shaped by their social, ethnic and religious ties.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 20, 2008, 5:54 AM CT

Smell of smoke does not trigger relapse in quitters

Smell of smoke does not trigger relapse in quitters
Research into tobacco dependence published online in the recent issue of Addiction, has shown that recent ex-smokers who find exposure to other people's cigarette smoke pleasant are not any more likely to relapse than those who find it unpleasant.

Led by Dr Hayden McRobbie and Professor Peter Hajek of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, scientists examined the hypothesis that those who find the smell of smoke pleasant are more likely to relapse than those who have a neutral or negative reaction to it. Surprisingly, they concluded that finding the smell of other people's cigarettes pleasant does not make abstaining smokers any more likely to relapse.

The scientists studied a group of over a thousand smokers receiving smoking cessation therapy at the East London Smokers Clinic. During their six weeks of therapy (two weeks previous to quitting and four weeks afterwards) the smokers completed a weekly questionnaire that measured the severity of their withdrawal discomfort, and also asked them to rate how pleasant they found the smell of other people's cigarettes during the past week.

The results showed that during their first week of abstinence, 23 per cent of respondents found the smell of other people's cigarette smoke pleasant. Finding the cigarette smoke pleasant was not correlation to smoking status in the following week.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 20, 2008, 5:43 AM CT

Educational materials can alter young women's attitudes about tanning

Educational materials can alter young women's attitudes about tanning
A new study indicates that educational literature can influence young women's use of indoor tanning, not by raising their fear of skin cancer but by changing their attitudes about indoor tanning and promoting healthier alternatives for changing appearance. The study is reported in the December 1, 2008 issue of CANCER, a peer-evaluated journal of the American Cancer Society.

Each year there are more than 1.3 million skin cancer diagnoses in the U.S., resulting in more than 10,000 deaths. A variety of efforts have attempted to get young people to alter their sun exposure behaviors, with limited success. For the new study, scientists led by Dr. Joel Hillhouse of the School of Public Health at East Tennessee State University designed a large, randomized, controlled study on an educational-based intervention meant to reduce indoor tanning, which is correlation to an increased risk of melanoma in young women.

The scientists included approximately 430 female university students aged 17 to 21 years, 200 of whom received a booklet on the effects of indoor tanning. The booklet, which focused on the appearance damaging effects of tanning, provided information on the history of tanning and tanning norms in society. It also presented the effects of ultraviolet radiation, specifically correlation to indoor tanning on the skin's appearance. The booklet also offered guidelines emphasizing tanning abstinence and recommended healthier alternatives to improve appearance including exercise, choosing fashion that does not require a complimentary tan and sunless tanning products.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 16, 2008, 10:57 PM CT

Genetic based human diseases are an ancient evolutionary legacy

Genetic based human diseases are an ancient evolutionary legacy
Artistic illustration of a phylostratigraphy.
Image: Irena Andreic, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb
The Human Genome Project that deciphered the human genetic code, uncovered thousands of genes that, if mutated, are involved in human genetic diseases. The genomes of a number of other organisms were deciphered in parallel. This now allows the evolution of these disease associated genes to be systematically studied.

Tomislav Domazet-Lošo and Diethard Tautz from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Plon (Gera number of) have used for this analysis a novel statistical method, "phylostratigraphy" that was developed by Tomislav Domazet-Lošo at the Ruder Boškovic Institute in Zagreb (Croatia). The method allows the point of origin for any existing gene to be determined by tracing the last common ancestor in which this gene existed. Based on this information, it is then possible to determine the minimum age for any given gene.

Applying this method to disease genes, the researchers from Plon came to surprising findings. The vast majority of these genes trace back to the origin of the first cell. Other large groups emerged more than one billion years ago around the first appearance of multi-cellular organisms, as well as at the time of origin of bony fishes about 400 million years ago. Surprisingly, they found almost no disease associated genes among those that emerged after the origin of mammals.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 16, 2008, 10:49 PM CT

Aspirin does not prevent heart attacks in patients with diabetes

Aspirin does not prevent heart attacks in patients with diabetes
Taking regular aspirin and antioxidant supplements does not prevent heart attacks even in high risk groups with diabetes and asymptomatic arterial disease, and aspirin should only be given to patients with established heart disease, stroke or limb arterial disease, as per a research studypublished recently on bmj.com.

In light of these findings, and the evidence from six other well controlled trials, the prescribing practice of doctors and international guidelines should be evaluated so that aspirin is only prescribed to patients with established heart and stroke disease, argues the author of an accompanying editorial.

Patients with diabetes are two to five times more likely to suffer from heart disease than the general population and heart disease is a major cause of death in patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes. Eventhough there is considerable evidence showing no protective benefit of aspirin in high risk patients without heart disease, guidelines are inconsistent and aspirin is usually prescribed for the primary prevention of heart disease in patients with diabetes and with peripheral arterial disease.

But aspirin is one of the top 10 causes of adverse drug events reported to the Commission on Human Medicines. It causes gastrointestinal bleeding and the risk of bleeding increases with age and prolonged use.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


October 16, 2008, 10:39 PM CT

Early exposure to drugs, alcohol creates lifetime of health risk

Early exposure to drugs, alcohol creates lifetime of health risk
People who began drinking and using marijuana regularly previous to their 15th birthday face a higher risk of early pregnancy, as well as a pattern of school failure, substance dependence, sexually-transmitted disease and criminal convictions that lasts into their 30s.

A study published online by the journal Psychological Science has been able to sort out for the first time the difficult question of whether it's bad kids who do drugs, or doing drugs that makes kids bad.

The answer is both, said Duke University psychology expert Avshalom Caspi, who co-authored the report with his wife and colleague Terrie Moffitt. They are part of a team of scientists from the U.S., Britain and New Zealand that analyzed data tracking the health of nearly 1,000 New Zealand residents from birth through age 32.

Half of the study subjects who were using alcohol and marijuana regularly before age 15 were indeed the so-called "bad kids" who came from an abusive, criminal or substance-abusing household and had behavior problems as children.

But the other half were the "good kids" from more stable backgrounds, and they also ended up in poorer health in their 30s.

Caspi said it is clear from these data that adolescent exposure to drugs and alcohol can make a good kid veer off on a bad trajectory. "The good kids who do drugs end up looking like the bad kids who didn't do drugs," Caspi said.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 15, 2008, 5:45 PM CT

Genetic analysis predicts whether liver cancer likely to recur

Genetic analysis predicts whether liver cancer likely to recur
Scientists are poised to unlock the genetic secrets stored in hundreds of thousands of cancer biopsy samples locked in long-term storage and previously believed to be useless for modern genetic research. With the aid of a new technique developed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers, researchers can now reconstruct thousands of genes that are "shredded" into tiny pieces when tissue samples are treated with a chemical fixative and stored in wax a protocol that is usually used to preserve the samples.

The researchers tested their new technique on liver tissue samples from 307 patients enrolled in clinical studies in four different countries. Using sophisticated microarray technology, the researchers studied RNA from stored liver tissue samples and identified a tell-tale genetic profile that indicates whether liver cancer will recur. Since the testing was done on tissue samples of patients whose clinical outcome was known, the scientists were able to associate specific "gene expression signatures" with particular outcomes.

The scientists are optimistic that oncologists will be able to use this information to determine which liver cancer patients would likely suffer recurrence and treat them to help prevent it.

"It is now possible to scan the entire genome for gene expression profiles in tissues that have been fixed for a very long timein our study as long as twenty-four years," said Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Todd R. Golub, who led the study. "There are lots of those tissues available compared with frozen ones, and tissue availability has been a real bottleneck in cancer genomic research".........

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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