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December 10, 2007, 11:00 PM CT

bacteria in cows milk may cause Crohn's disease

bacteria in cows milk may cause Crohn's disease
Crohn's is a condition that affects one in 800 people in the UK and causes chronic intestinal inflammation, leading to pain, bleeding and diarrhoea.

The team observed that a bacterium called Mycobacterium paratuberculosis releases a molecule that prevents a type of white blood cell from killing E.coli bacteria found in the body. E.coli is known to be present within Crohn's disease tissue in increased numbers.

It is thought that the Mycobacteria make their way into the body's system via cows' milk and other dairy products. In cattle it can cause an illness called Johne's disease - a wasting, diarrhoeal condition. Until now, however, it has been unclear how this bacterium could trigger intestinal inflammation in humans.

Professor Jon Rhodes, from the University's School of Clinical Sciences, explains: "Mycobacterium paratuberculosis has been found within Crohn's disease tissue but there has been much controversy concerning its role in the disease. We have now shown that these Mycobacteria release a complex molecule containing a sugar, called mannose. This molecule prevents a type of white blood cells, called macrophages, from killing internalised E.Coli." .

Researchers have previously shown that people with Crohn's disease have increased numbers of a 'sticky' type of E.coli and weakened ability to fight off intestinal bacteria. The suppressive effect of the Mycobacterial molecule on this type of white blood cell suggests it is a likely mechanism for weakening the body's defence against the bacteria.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


December 10, 2007, 10:44 PM CT

Don't just wear a mouthguard; keep it clean

Don't just wear a mouthguard; keep it clean
Image courtesy of hockeydogs.com
Fractured teeth, neck injuries and abrasions in the mouth, also known as sports-related dental injuries, are ever present among athletes. As per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, sports-related dental injuries account for more than 600,000 emergency room visits each year.

One may assume that mouthguards should serve as a preventive measure. In some 200,000 cases annually, mouthguards have been known to avert oral injuries and cut the risk of concussion by 50 percent. However, while a mouthguard may be popular for its ability to prevent the injuries that may temporarily and sometimes permanently disfigure a persons appearance, what a number of may not be aware of is the importance of proper maintenance, cleanliness and care to prevent disease transmission and infection.

As per a research studythat appears in the September/October 2007 issue of General Dentistry, the AGDs clinical, peer-evaluated journal, mouthguards harbor large numbers of bacteria, yeasts and molds that can possibly lead to life and/or health-threatening infectious/inflammatory diseases.

Everything that a microorganism needs to survive, including food and water, can be found in a mouthguard, says Thomas Glass, DDS, PhD, lead author of the study. While mouthguards appear solid, they are very porous, like a sponge, and with use, microorganisms invade these porosities.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 10, 2007, 10:41 PM CT

Parenting practices don't suffer during divorce

Parenting practices don't suffer during divorce
New research is challenging the notion that parents who divorce necessarily exhibit a diminished capacity to parent in the period following divorce. A large, longitudinal study conducted by University of Alberta sociology professor Lisa Strohschein has observed that divorce does not change parenting behavior, and that there are actually more similarities than differences in parenting between recently divorced and married parents.

The study used data from the 1994 and 1996 cycles of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NSLCY) to compare changes in parenting practices between 208 households that divorced between the first and follow up interview and 4796 households that remained intact. Strohschein looked at three measures of parenting behavior (nurturing, consistent, and punitive parenting) to tap into the different ways that divorce is believed to disrupt parenting practices. Her results show that there are no differences between divorced and stably married parents for any parenting behavior either before or after a divorce has occurred.

My findings that parenting practices are uncorrelation to divorce appear to fly in the face of accepted wisdom, states Strohschein. Undoubtedly, some parents will be overwhelmed and unable to cope with the demands of parenting in the post-divorce period, but the expectation that all parents will be negatively affected by divorce is unfounded.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 10, 2007, 10:26 PM CT

Living Longer With Obesity Means

Living Longer With Obesity Means
Markus Schafer, left, and Ken Ferraro
Living longer with obesity can lead to both longer hospital stays and more avoidable trips to the hospital, as per two new studies from Purdue University.

"Americans are overweight, and there are numerous studies that cite the problems of obesity," said Ken Ferraro, a professor of sociology. "However, as the age at which people become obese continues to get younger, we wanted to know how living longer with obesity affects people.

"These findings could motivate young people to reverse the trend with healthy eating and activity and, if so, they may be able to avoid the consequences of chronic obesity".

Ferraro, along with graduate student Markus Schafer, studied how obesity influences hospitalizations by using 20 years of personal health data based on surveys associated with hospital records of more than 4,000 people ages 25-77. The data, from 1971-1992, was part of a federally funded national health and nutrition survey.

"In an economic sense, we have a major problem on our hands in terms of what we would project for today's overweight children and teenagers," said Ferraro, who is director of Purdue's Center on Aging and the Life Course. "In the past, people's weight peaked during late middle age. As more young people become obese, we may anticipate accumulated health problems by the time they are 40. If they are going to be obese for 30, 40 or 50 years, then the health-care costs linked to their adult medical needs will skyrocket. These findings are more evidence that we need to act now to reverse the obesity trend in our younger people. Eventhough it is hard to project the future from these data, the likely scenarios portend a diabetes epidemic".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 10, 2007, 9:37 PM CT

Patients, dentists differ on smile ratings

Patients, dentists differ on smile ratings
People rate their smiles higher than dentists do, as per a new study. Teeth and eyes rated as the most important features of an attractive face, the study also found, and people younger than age 50 were most satisfied with their smiles.

The study, published in this months Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), asked 78 patients in Norway to rate their own smiles on a 100-point satisfaction scale. Later, the patients regular dentist and an independent periodontist rated the patients smiles from photographs, using the same satisfaction scale.

As per the study, patients were more satisfied with their own smiles than dentists, rating them an average 59.1 on the 100-point scale. Dentists ratings of the patients smiles were much lower, averaging 38.6 (independent periodontist) and 40.7 (patients own dentist).

The scientists say that it may be difficult to understand what a smile satisfaction level of 59 really means, adding it might be more accurate to say patients are accepting of, or contented with, their smiles.

The study participants, who were not actively seeking cosmetic dental therapys, averaged 51 years of age (range, 22-84 years) and numbered 50 women and 28 men.

The fact that the patients had much higher opinions of their smiles than we dentists did is interesting, the scientists state. They explained that patients expressed their opinions from memory, while the dentists made their assessments from photographs.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 9, 2007, 5:19 PM CT

Homosexuality is biological but not hard-wired

Homosexuality is biological but not hard-wired
While the biological basis for homosexuality remains a mystery, a team of neurobiologists reports they may have closed in on an answer -- by a nose.

The team led by University of Illinois at Chicago researcher David Featherstone has discovered that sexual orientation in fruit flies is controlled by a previously unknown regulator of synapse strength. Armed with this knowledge, the scientists found they were able to use either genetic manipulation or drugs to turn the flies' homosexual behavior on and off within hours.

Featherstone, associate professor of biological sciences at UIC, and his colleagues discovered a gene in fruit flies they called "genderblind," or GB. A mutation in GB turns flies bisexual.

Featherstone found the gene interesting initially because it has the unusual ability to transport the neurotransmitter glutamate out of glial cells -- cells that support and nourish nerve cells but do not fire like neurons do. Prior work from his laboratory showed that changing the amount of glutamate outside cells can change the strength of nerve cell junctions, or synapses, which play a key role in human and animal behavior.

But the GB gene became even more interesting when post-doctoral researcher Yael Grosjean noticed that all the GB mutant male flies were courting other males.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 6, 2007, 2:55 PM CT

Miscarriage Myths Persist

Miscarriage Myths Persist
Jonathon Schaffir
More than a third of women surveyed about their beliefs surrounding miscarriage and birth defects said they thought that a pregnant woman's foul mood could negatively affect her baby.

One in four of these women thought a pregnant woman's exposure to upsetting situations could hurt her unborn child, and one in five believed excessive exercise could cause a woman to miscarry.

Despite those beliefs, relatively few of the women surveyed blamed mothers for a poor pregnancy outcome. Ten percent suggested pregnant women are responsible for their miscarriages, and 3 percent said mothers should be blamed for their babies' birth defects. Women with less formal education were more likely to hold mothers responsible for bad pregnancy outcomes.

The recent Ohio State University study points to the persistence of folklore surrounding pregnancy despite advances in medical interventions and evidence that most miscarriages and defects result from circumstances beyond a woman's control, said study author Jonathan Schaffir, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Ohio State.

"The survey shows that a sizable proportion of the population believes maternal thoughts and actions contribute to adverse fetal outcomes - but despite these feelings, few assign responsibility to the mother," Schaffir said. "I think it's kind of amazing that people out there still believe that a pregnant woman seeing something frightening could cause her baby to have a birthmark. That was an 18th-century belief and it's still circulating, even today.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


December 4, 2007, 10:40 PM CT

Waistline growth on high-carb diets

Waistline growth on high-carb diets
Experts have been warning for years that foods loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and other processed carbohydrates are making us fatter. Now, a University of Wisconsin-Madison study has uncovered the genetic basis for why this is so.

Writing in the recent issue of Cell Metabolism, a team led by biochemistry and nutritional sciences professor James Ntambi reports that a gene in the liver, called SCD-1, is what causes mice to gain weight on a diet laden with carbohydrates. The gene encodes the enzyme SCD, whose job is to synthesize fatty acids that are a major component of fat.

When the researchers fed a starch- and sugar-rich diet to mice lacking SCD-1 in the liver, the extra carbohydrates were broken down rather than being converted into fat and stored - keeping the mice skinny. Meanwhile, control mice with normal gene activity grew plump on the same food.

"It looks like the SCD gene in the liver is responsible for causing weight gain in response to a high-carbohydrate diet, because when we take away the gene's activity the animals no longer gain the weight," says Ntambi. "These findings are telling us that the liver is a key tissue in mediating weight gain induced by excess carbohydrates".

The results could have implications for stemming the skyrocketing obesity problem in people, Ntambi adds. He explains that people pack on pounds in two ways, one of which is to eat extra fat, which then accumulates in adipose, or fat, tissue. But the main cause of weight gain is excess carbohydrates, because they trigger the body to produce new fat.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 4, 2007, 10:37 PM CT

Why do high school seniors drink?

Why do high school seniors drink?
Most high school seniors drink because they want to experiment with alcohol, some drink for the thrill of it, and others because it helps them relax. A new study finds that a fourth group of high school students share all those reasons for drinking, but they also drink to get away from problems and to deal with anger or frustration issues.

Kids with multiple reasons to drink, including reasons correlation to coping with life, show the heaviest and most problematic drinking behaviors, as per the study reported in the recent issue of Prevention Science, a peer-evaluated journal of the Society for Prevention Research. The data for the study came from 1,877 students from the national Monitoring the Future survey conducted annually.

Our study observed that for the graduating class of 2004, students who had multiple reasons to drink, including reasons correlation to coping, were also more likely to begin drinking at an earlier age, more likely to be drunk in the past year and more likely to drink before 4:00 pm, in comparison to students who drank to experiment with alcohol, to experience the thrill of drinking or just to relax, as per Donna Coffman, Ph.D., of Penn State.

It is important to know why high school seniors drink so parents, teachers and high school counselors can pay special attention to the needs of the small but high-risk group of seniors who offer multiple reasons for drinking and who also have anger or frustration issues. Research shows that drinking patterns established during adolescence are likely to continue through adulthood, as per Coffman.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 4, 2007, 10:33 PM CT

Common treatments for sinus infections may not work

Common treatments for sinus infections may not work
A comparison of common therapys for acute sinusitis that included an antibiotic and a topical steroid found neither more effective than placebo, as per a research studyin the December 5 issue of JAMA.

Acute sinusitis (sinus infection) is a common clinical problem with symptoms similar to other illnesses, and is often diagnosed and treated without clinical confirmation. Despite the clinical uncertainty as to a bacterial cause, antibiotic prescribing rates remain as high as 92 percent in the United Kingdom and 85 percent to 98 percent in the United States, as per background information in the article. Because there are no satisfactory studies of microbiological etiology from typical primary care patient practices, wide-scale overtreatment is likely occurring, the authors write. Concerns about wide-spread antibacterial use include increasing antibiotic resistance in the community. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as topical steroids are also used as a therapy and may be beneficial, but there has been limited research.

Ian G. Williamson, M.D., of the University of Southampton, England, and his colleagues conducted a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial to determine the effectiveness of the antibiotic amoxicillin and topical steroid budesonide in acute maxillary sinusitis (rhinosinusitis; inflammation of the nasal cavity and sinuses). The study included 240 adults with acute nonrecurrent sinusitis treated at 58 family practices between November 2001 and November 2005. Patients were randomized to 1 of 4 therapy groups: antibiotic and nasal steroid (500 mg of amoxicillin 3 times per day for 7 days and 200 g of budesonide in each nostril once per day for 10 days); placebo antibiotic and nasal steroid; antibiotic and placebo nasal steroid; placebo antibiotic and placebo nasal steroid.........

Posted by: Sue      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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