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December 11, 2008, 5:14 AM CT

Surge in older cancer survivors expected as baby boomers age

Surge in older cancer survivors expected as baby boomers age
The United States could be faced with a national health care crisis in the coming decades as the country's baby boomer population ages and a growing number of elderly adults find themselves diagnosed with and living longer with cancer.

That is the position of a team of scientists from across the country who believe current prevention measures, screening, therapys, and supportive care for older patients at risk of or dealing with cancer are lacking in the US.

In a special supplement issue of the international journal Cancer being released this month - Aging in the Context of Cancer Prevention and Control: Perspectives from Behavioral Health Medicine the scientists say there is an urgent need for clear, evidence-based practice guidelines to assist physicians, oncologists and others who provide short- and long-term care management to elderly adults with cancer.

Only with more immediate research will proper prevention efforts, screening, therapy approaches, post-treatment survivorship and end of life care be put in place to serve this rapidly growing population, the experts say.

Consider these facts:
  • More than 60 percent of all cancerous cancer diagnoses in the U.S. occur in people age 65 or older.
  • There are an estimated 6.5 million adults age 65 or older currently living with a history of cancer in the U.S.
  • ........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 11, 2008, 5:07 AM CT

Exercise Suppresses Appetite By Affecting Appetite Hormones

Exercise Suppresses Appetite By Affecting Appetite Hormones
A vigorous 60-minute workout on a treadmill affects the release of two key appetite hormones, ghrelin and peptide YY, while 90 minutes of weight lifting affects the level of only ghrelin, as per a new study. Taken together, the research shows that aerobic exercise is better at suppressing appetite than non-aerobic exercise and provides a possible explanation for how that happens.

This line of research may eventually lead to more effective ways to use exercise to help control weight, as per the senior author, David J. Stensel of Loughborough University in the United Kingdom.

The study, "The influence of resistance and aerobic exercise on hunger, circulating levels of acylated ghrelin and peptide YY in healthy males," appears in the online edition of The American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, published by The American Physiological Society. The authors are David R. Broom, James A. King and David J. Stensel of Loughborough University, and Rachel L. Batterham of University College, London.

Treadmill versus weight lifting

There are several hormones that help regulate appetite, but the scientists looked at two of the major ones, ghrelin and peptide YY. Ghrelin is the only hormone known to stimulate appetite. Peptide YY suppresses appetite.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 9, 2008, 10:25 PM CT

Honey adds health benefits and is a natural preservative

Honey adds health benefits and is a natural preservative
Antioxidant-rich honey is a healthy alternative to chemical additives and refined sweeteners in commercial salad dressings, said a new University of Illinois study.

"To capitalize on the positive health effects of honey, we experimented with using honey in salad dressings," said Nicki Engeseth, a U of I associate professor of food chemistry. "We observed that the antioxidants in honey protected the quality of the salad dressings for up to nine months while sweetening them naturally".

Engeseth's study substituted honey for EDTA, an additive used to keep the oils in salad dressings from oxidizing, and high-fructose corn syrup, used by a number of commercial salad-dressing producers to sweeten their salad dressing recipes.

"We chose clover and blueberry honeys for the study after an analysis of the sweetening potential, antioxidant activity, and phenolic profiles of 19 honeys with varying characteristics," said the scientist.

The dressings were also in comparison to a control dressing that contained ingredients found in current commercial salad dressings, she said.

Engeseth explained a problem the researchers encountered in using honey in a salad dressing system. "Salad dressings are emulsionsthey contain oil and water; and to keep these ingredients together in one phase, manufacturers rely on emulsifiers and thickening agents to avoid thinning of the dressing and separation of the oil and water phase," she said.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 9, 2008, 10:01 PM CT

How Power Affects Complex Decision Making

How Power Affects Complex Decision Making
Presidential scholars have written volumes trying to understand the presidential mind. How can anyone juggle so a number of complicated decisions? Do those seeking office have a unique approach to decision making? Studies have suggested that power changes not only a person's responsibilities, but also the way they think. Now, a new study in the recent issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, indicates that having power may lead people to automatically think in a way that makes complex decision-making easier.

Psychology experts Pamela Smith, Ap Dijksterhuis and Daniël Wigboldus of Radboud University Nijmegen stimulated feelings of powerlessness or power in a group of volunteers by having some volunteers recall a situation when other people had power over them and other volunteers recall a situation when they had power over other people. Then they were given a complicated problem to solve (they had to pick among four cars, each varying on 12 different attributes). The experiment was designed so that there was a "correct" solution-that is, one of the cars had the most positive and least negative attributes, eventhough the optimal choice was not obvious. Both the "powerful" and the "powerless" volunteers chose among the cars, but some spent time consciously thinking about the problem, while others were distracted with a word puzzle.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 8, 2008, 10:33 PM CT

Are men hardwired to overspend?

Are men hardwired to overspend?
Bling, foreclosures, rising credit card debt, bank and auto bailouts, upside down mortgages and perhaps a mid-life crisis new Corvette-all symptoms of compulsive overspending.

University of Michigan researcher Daniel Kruger looks to evolution and mating for an explanation. He theorizes that men overspend to attract mates. It all boils down, as it has for hundreds of thousands of years, to making babies.

Kruger, an assistant research scientist in the School of Public Health, tested his hypothesis in a community sample of adults aged 18-45 and observed that the degree of financial consumption was directly correlation to future mating intentions and past mating success for men but not for women.

Financial consumption was the only factor that predicted how a number of partners men wanted in the next five years and also predicted the number of partners they had in the prior five years, Kruger said. Being married made a difference in the frequency of one-time sexual partners in the last year, but not in the number of partners in the past or desired in the future.

The 25 percent of men with the most conservative financial strategies had an average of three partners in the past five years and desired an average of just one in the next five years. The 2 percent of men with the riskiest financial strategies had double those numbers.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 8, 2008, 10:21 PM CT

Men Are Red, Women Are Green

Men Are Red, Women Are Green
Male or female?
Test subjects tended to confirm subtle color differences associated with gender. Even when viewing pixelated or distorted images, subjects identified redder images as male and greener images as female. Top left: gender-ambiguous face; top-right: random noise over the ambiguous face; bottom-left: reconstructed male face; bottom-right: reconstructed female face.
Credit: Michael J. Tarr/Brown University
Michael J. Tarr, a Brown University scientist, and graduate student Adrian Nestor have discovered this color difference in an analysis of dozens of faces. They determined that men tend to have more reddish skin and greenish skin is more common for women.

The finding has important implications in cognitive science research, such as the study of face perception. But the information also has many potential industry or consumer applications in areas such as facial recognition technology, advertising, and studies of how and why women apply makeup.

"Color information is very robust and useful for telling a man from a woman," said Tarr, the Sidney A. and Dorothea Doctors Fox Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences at Brown. "It's a demonstration that color can be useful in visual object recognition".

Tarr said the idea that color may help us to identify objects better has been controversial. But, he said, his and related findings show that color can nonetheless provide useful information.

Tarr and Nestor's research is published in the journal Psychological Science. The paper will be published online Dec. 8 and in print a few weeks later.

To conduct the study, Tarr needed plenty of faces. His lab analyzed about 200 images of Caucasian male and female faces (100 of each gender) compiled in a data bank at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Gera number of, photographed using a 3-D scanner under the same lighting conditions and with no makeup. He then used a MatLab program to analyze the amount of red and green pigment in the faces.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 8, 2008, 10:10 PM CT

Breaking the silence after a study ends

Breaking the silence after a study ends
While an estimated 2.3 million people in the United States take part in clinical trials every year, there currently exists no formal requirement to inform them of study results, an oversight that leaves participants confused, frustrated, and, in some cases, lacking information that may be important to their health. In an article published recently in the Archives of Neurology, scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have proposed a novel and effective approach to disseminate the results of clinical trials to study volunteers.

Industry, government, and academic scientists are dependent upon the willing participation of millions of individuals to fill the estimated 50,000 clinical trials conducted every year that evaluate the safety and efficacy of experimental drugs and medical devices.

Scientists are only mandatory to inform participants in instances when new information arises that may affect their willingness to continue participation. However, neither federal guidelines nor institutional review boards generally require disclosure of results at the conclusion of a study even if the study is halted. Consequently, a number of research participants never learn the outcome of studies in which they volunteer.

"Individuals who volunteer to participate in clinical research frequently expose themselves to risks, both known and unknown," said neurologist Ray Dorsey, M.D., the report's author. "Because of their participation, they should be informed of the results of these studies in a timely and personalized manner."........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 6, 2008, 4:43 PM CT

A book of common prayers

A book of common prayers
In times of economic distress and plenty, ninety percent of Americans pray, more than half of us once a day or more. We pray for big things-to stay healthy, to keep our jobs, and to strengthen our relationships. And we pray for small things-to find parking spaces and missing items. Some of us are sure God exists and others pray simply to cover the bases.

A novel Brandeis study reported in the current issue of Poetics analyzed 683 prayers written in a public prayer book placed in the rotunda of the Johns Hopkins University Hospital between 1999 and 2005. The study observed that prayer writers seek general strength, support, and blessing from their prayers, rather than explicit solutions to life's difficult situations, and, more often than not, frame their prayers broadly enough to allow multiple outcomes to be interpreted as evidence of their prayers being answered.

Lead author Wendy Cadge, a sociologist, observed that the prayers fell into one of three categories: about 28 percent of the prayers were requests of God, while 28 percent were prayers to both thank and petition God, while another 22 percent of the prayers thanked God.

The study sheds light on the psychology of the people behind the prayers. Most writers anthropomorphized God, addressing God as they would a relative, friend, or parent, preferring familiarity over deference. "Most prayer writers imagine a God who is accessible, listening, and a source of emotional and psychological support, who at least sometimes answers back," says Cadge.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 6, 2008, 4:09 PM CT

Spreading the joy around

Spreading the joy around
A laugh can be infectious. You don't need a sophisticated study to tell you that. But does this happy contagion vanish as quickly as a smile?

New research from James Fowler of UC San Diego and Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School shows that happiness spreads far and wide through a social network traveling not just the well-known path from one person to another but even to people up to three degrees removed.

This holiday season, during gloomy economic times which, if things get dire enough, might be called a "depression" it is heartening to know, said Fowler, that "happiness spreads more robustly than unhappiness" and seems to have a greater effect than money.

The study is being reported in the British Medical Journal

"Researchers have been interested in happiness for a long time," said Fowler. "They've studied the effect of everything from winning the lottery to losing your job to getting sick, but they never before considered the full effect of other people. We show that happiness can spread from person to person to person in a chain reaction through social networks".

"One of the key determinants of human happiness is the happiness of others," said Christakis. "An innovative feature of our work was exploring the idea that emotions are a collective phenomenon and not just an individual one".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 6, 2008, 4:01 PM CT

Secondhand smoke raises odds of fertility problems

Secondhand smoke raises odds of fertility problems
If you need another reason to quit smoking, consider that it may diminish your chances of being a parent or grandparent. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have observed that women exposed to second hand smoke, either as adults or children, were significantly more likely to face fertility problems and suffer miscarriages.

An epidemiologic analysis of more than 4,800 non-smoking women showed those who were exposed to second hand smoke six or more hours per day as children and adults faced a 68 percent greater chance of having difficulty getting pregnant and suffering one or more miscarriages. The study is published online in Tobacco Control and is one of the first publications to demonstrate the lasting effects of second hand smoke exposure on women during childbearing years.

"These statistics are breathtaking and certainly points to yet another danger of second hand smoke exposure," said Luke J. Peppone, Ph.D., research assistant professor at Rochester's James P. Wilmot Cancer Center.

In the study, four out of five women reported exposure to second hand smoke during their lifetime. Half of the women grew up in a home with smoking parents and nearly two-thirds of them were exposed to some second hand smoking at the time of the survey.........

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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