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September 18, 2008, 10:44 PM CT

Probiotic intervention and lipid profile change?

Probiotic intervention and lipid profile change?
The new global metabolic profiling techniques, like lipidomics as a branch of metabolomics, have made it possible to measure large numbers of different metabolites, and are currently being applied to increase our understanding of the health and disease continuum.

A Finland research group investigated the effect of a three weeks intervention of a probiotic LGG intervention on serum global lipidomics profiles in healthy adults. This will be published on 28 May 2008, in the World Journal of Gastroenterology The result showed that there were decreases in the levels of lysophosphatidylcholines (LysoGPCho), sphingomyelins (SM) and several glycerophosphatidylcholines (GPCho), and increases in triacylglycerols (TAG) in the probiotic LGG group. These changes may contribute, for example, to the metabolic events behind the beneficial effects of LGG on gut barrier function seen in prior studies.

This study, done in collaboration with research groups of Associate Professor Riitta Korpela and Professor Matej Oreič, was the first to characterise the effect of probiotics on global lipidomics profiles. There were indications that probiotic LGG intervention may lead to changes in global lipidomics profiles reflected in decreased LysoGPCho and SM, mainly decreased GPCho and mainly elevated TAG. In addition, among the inflammatory variables, IL-6 was moderately associated by changes in global lipidomics profiles, while there was only a weak association between the lipidomics profiles and the two other inflammatory markers, TNF-αand CRP.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


September 18, 2008, 9:03 PM CT

Work together or face 'disastrous consequences'

Work together or face 'disastrous consequences'
Faced with the prospect of more variable and changing climates increasing Africa's already intolerable disease burden, researchers must begin to reach out to colleagues in other fields and to the people they want to help if they hope to avert an expected "continental disaster," as per leading climate, health, and information technology experts, who met in Nairobi last week.

Climate change will further increase the already high variability of Africa's climate, fostering the emergence, resurgence and spread of infectious diseases. "A warmer world will generally be a sicker world," said Prof. Onesmo ole-MoiYoi, a Tanzania medical, veterinary and vector expert. "We researchers need to adopt a new way of working, one that makes African communities bearing the burden of disease part of the solution rather than part of the problem." The separate fields of human health, animal health, climate, vectors and environment must come together to avert a "continental disaster," as per leading experts who attended the meeting.

Patti Kristjanson of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which hosted the meeting, agreed. "We need to do things differently than we have in the past. The impact of disease will increase if we continue to operate in silos. Our only chance at reducing the impact of deadly diseases in Africa is to increase collaboration across the disciplines of environment and health, and in a way that involves local communities. Failure to do so could lead to disastrous consequences".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 17, 2008, 5:08 PM CT

Pelvic disorders affect large number of women

Pelvic disorders affect large number of women
Dr. Joseph Schaffer, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, participated in a national study showing that nearly one-quarter of all women suffer from pelvic-floor disorders, such as incontinence, at some point
Nearly one-quarter of all women suffer from pelvic-floor disorders, such as incontinence, at some point in their lives, a national study, including scientists from UT Southwestern Medical Center, has found.

The study of nearly 2,000 women in seven U.S. cities observed that 23.7 percent of participants had experienced at least one pelvic-floor disorder, and the risk increased with age.

"This study is the first nationwide study to confirm what we consider a high prevalence of pelvic-floor disorders in the U.S.," said Dr. Joseph Schaffer, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern and an author of the study, which appears in today's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Nearly a quarter of all women suffer from at least one pelvic-floor disorder, and, with the aging of the population, this will become more prevalent," he said.

The national rate of pelvic-floor disorders has not been well-studied, eventhough several regional studies have observed that almost 10 percent of women go through surgery for such conditions at some point in their lives, while one-third of those women have two or more surgeries.

The current study was designed to assess the national rate of such disorders. The participating women were interviewed in 2005 and 2006 at their homes or at a mobile interview center and did not undergo physical examination. The questions were part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


September 16, 2008, 10:26 PM CT

Emotions are key in the study of face recognition

Emotions are key in the study of face recognition
Recognizing the faces of family and friends is commonly an effortless process. However, a minority of people have difficulties identifying the person they are meeting or remembering people they have met before. These problems can be quite dramatic, to the point where those affected fail to recognize the face of their spouse or child or even their own face. New research on face blindness demonstrates the importance of using naturalistic emotional faces and bodies for a better understanding of developmental face disorders.

The study, which is reported in the open-access journal PLoS ONE this week, by scientists in the Netherlands and at Massachusetts General Hospital, led by Beatrice de Gelder, shows that the presence of emotional information in the face increases neural activity in the area of the brain linked to face recognition (the fusiform face area, or FFA), a finding that could be used to design novel assessment and training programs. The study also provides evidence that body and face sensitive processes are less categorically segregated in people with face blindness and points to a possible cause of face blindness in cortical specialisation.

Recent research has shown that as much as 2% of the population suffers from face recognition difficulties. On analogy with developmental dyslexia, these cases are usually referred to as developmental prosopagnosia, referring to the possible origin of the adult face recognition deficit in anomalous development of the full face recognition skills.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 16, 2008, 10:22 PM CT

Colds and flu cut by one-third in vaccinated seniors

Colds and flu cut by one-third in vaccinated seniors
A winter free from colds and flu? Not yet. But a new study offers new evidence that Canada's top cold and flu-fighting product provides significant help. The three-year study showed that trial participants who took COLD-FX were about one-third less likely to get a "Jackson" cold or flu. The very sensitive Jackson scoring method is a well-accepted scientific approach for judging clinical symptoms, which include coughing, sneezing, runny noses and others. COLD-FX is a unique extract of North American ginseng discovered by 25 Canadian scientists. The multi-center study also revealed that COLD-FX gave trial participants added protection on top of the flu shot's benefit.

The multi-centre study confirmed the results of prior clinical trials evaluated by Health Canada, the federal government's regulatory body. One study reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that for trial participants who regularly suffer two colds a year, COLD-FX reduced their chance of getting a second one by 56%. Health Canada approved strong claims for the product last year.

The multi-centre trial involved 780 healthy seniors in four major Canadian cities who took the flu shot just previous to their six-month therapy phase as part of the study. Participants were given either the standard dose of two capsules a day or double the standard dose or a placebo. The study was led by Dr. Gerald Predy, Medical Officer of Health for Alberta Health Services, in collaboration with various leading Canadian researchers. Neither the participants nor the researchers were aware of who was receiving what in this double-blind, placebo controlled trial.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


September 16, 2008, 10:04 PM CT

A healthy lifestyle halves the risk of premature death in women

A healthy lifestyle halves the risk of premature death in women
Over half of deaths in women from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease could be avoided if they never smoke, keep their weight in check, take exercise and eat a healthy diet low in red meat and trans-fats, as per a research studypublished on bmj.com today.

It is well known that diet, lack of physical activity, being overweight, alcohol consumption and smoking increase the risk of disease including cancer and diabetes, but little research has examined combinations of lifestyle factors in younger populations and women.

Dr Rob van Dam and his team from the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital, recruited nearly 80 000 women aged 34 to 59 years in 1980 who were part of the Nurses' Health Study in the US. They analysed the data of over 1.5 million person-years follow up over a 24 year period.

Participants completed detailed follow-up questionnaires every two years about their diet, frequency of physical activity, alcohol intake, weight, how much they smoked, and disease history. Deaths were confirmed by next of kin and the National Death Index.

Over the follow-up period the authors documented 8 882 deaths including 1 790 from heart disease and 4 527 from cancer.

The authors estimated that 28% of these deaths could have been avoided if women had never smoked and that 55% could have been avoided if women had combined never smoking, regular physical activity, a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Alcohol intake did not substantially change this estimate, eventhough heavy alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of dying from cancer.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


September 15, 2008, 10:20 PM CT

Vaccine against HER2-positive breast cance

Vaccine against HER2-positive breast cance
Scientists at Wayne State University have tested a breast cancer vaccine they say completely eliminated HER2-positive tumors in mice - even cancers resistant to current anti-HER2 treatment - without any toxicity.

The study, published in the September 15 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggests the vaccine could treat women with HER2-positive, therapy-resistant cancer or help prevent cancer recurrence. The scientists also say it might potentially be used in cancer-free women to prevent initial development of these tumors.

HER2 receptors promote normal cell growth, and are found in low amounts on normal breast cells. But HER2-positive breast cells can contain a number of more receptors than is typical, promoting a especially aggressive type of tumor that affects 20 to 30 percent of all patients with breast cancer. Therapies such as trastuzumab and lapatinib, designed to latch on to these receptors and destroy them, are a mainstay of therapy for this cancer, but a significant proportion of patients develop a resistance to them or cancer metastasis that is hard to treat.

This therapy relied on activated, own-immunity to wipe out the cancer, says the study's lead investigator, Wei-Zen Wei, Ph.D., a professor of immunology and microbiology at the Karmanos Cancer Institute.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 15, 2008, 10:18 PM CT

Massage therapy may have immediate positive effect

Massage therapy may have immediate positive effect
A new study from the National Institutes of Health finds that massage treatment may have immediate benefits on pain and mood among patients with advanced cancer. The study appears in the September 16, 2008 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine

In a randomized trial of 380 advanced cancer patients at 15 U.S. hospices, improvement in pain and mood immediately following therapy was greater with massage than with simple touch.

"When patients near the end of life, the goals of medical care change from trying to cure disease to making the patient as comfortable as possible," said Jean S. Kutner, MD, MSPH, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. "This study is important because it shows massage is a safe and effective way to provide immediate relief to patients with advanced cancer".

Pain and depressed mood are common problems for patients with advanced cancer. While drug therapies can reduce symptoms, they don't always work and often have troublesome side effects. Scientists believe that massage may interrupt the cycle of distress, offering brief physical and psychological benefits. Physically, massage may decrease inflammation and edema, increase blood and lymphatic circulation, and relax muscle spasms. Psychologically, massage may promote relaxation, release endorphins, and create a positive experience that distracts temporarily from pain and depression.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


September 15, 2008, 10:08 PM CT

Migraine linked to blood clots in veins

Migraine linked to blood clots in veins
People with migraines may also be more likely to develop blood clots in their veins, as per a research studyreported in the September 16, 2008, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

In the condition, called venous thrombosis or thromboembolism, blood clots form in a vein, which can limit blood flow and cause swelling and pain. Those clots can then dislodge from the vein and travel to the heart and the lungs, which can be fatal.

For the study, 574 people in Italy age 55 and up were interviewed to determine whether they had a history of migraine or migraine at the time of the evaluation and their medical records were evaluated for cases of venous thrombosis. The arteries in their necks and thighs were scanned with ultrasounds to check for atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

Of the participants, 111 people had migraine. A total of 21 people with migraine also had one or more instances of venous thrombosis, or 19 percent. In comparison, 35 people without migraine had the condition, or 8 percent.

Scientists do not know why migraine and venous thrombosis are linked. One theory is that the blood of people with migraine may be more prone to clotting.

The study also observed that people with migraine are not more likely to have hardening or narrowing of the arteries, which is contrary to a current theory.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


September 15, 2008, 9:43 PM CT

Steady work and mental health - is there a connection?

Steady work and mental health - is there a connection?
Despite low overall unemployment, Canada's manufacturing industry has cut 88,000 jobs this year, with nearly all the losses occurring in Ontario. Also, part-time employment has grown by 3.5 per cent in 12 months, much faster than the 0.9 per cent growth in full time work. A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the social determinants of health demonstrates that these kind of employment changes can affect more than your wallet. Research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)'s Dr. Carles Muntaner in the WHO report highlights the profound impact of employment conditions on health.

Dr. Muntaner and his research team observed that poor mental health outcomes are linked to precarious employment (e.g. temporary contracts or part-time work with low wages and no benefits). When compared with those with full-time work with benefits, workers who report employment insecurity experience significant adverse effects on their physical and mental health.

The research team have also observed that stress at work is linked to a 50 per cent excess risk of coronary heart disease, and there is consistent evidence that jobs with high demands, low control, and effort-reward imbalance are risk factors for mental and physical health problems (major depression, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders). Canada and many other wealthy countries such as the U.K., the United States, Australia and New Zealand all face similar challenges, Dr. Muntaner notes, because there's a greater tolerance for inequities than in some other countries such as Sweden and Denmark.........

Posted by: JoAnn      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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