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Viagra against heart failure: Researchers at the RUB and from Rochester throw light on the mechanism PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 December 2011 05:01

Circulation: active ingredient sildenafil makes stiffened cardiac walls elastic again

How sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra, can alleviate heart problems is reported by Bochum's researchers in cooperation with colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester (Minnesota) in the journal Circulation. They studied dogs with diastolic heart failure, a condition in which the heart chamber does not sufficiently fill with blood. The scientists showed that sildenafil makes stiffened cardiac walls more elastic again. The drug activates an enzyme that causes the giant protein titin in the myocardial cells to relax. "We have developed a therapy in an animal model that, for the first time, also raises hopes for the successful treatment of patients" says Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Linke of the RUB Institute of Physiology.

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Researcher contends multiple sclerosis is not a disease of the immune system PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 25 December 2011 04:25

An article to be published Friday (Dec. 23) in the December 2011 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology argues that multiple sclerosis, long viewed as primarily an autoimmune disease, is not actually a disease of the immune system. Dr. Angelique Corthals, a forensic anthropologist and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, suggests instead that MS is caused by faulty lipid metabolism, in many ways more similar to coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) than to other autoimmune diseases.

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NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia surgeons perform first 'ex vivo' lung transplants in New York PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 03:50

Ex vivo technique uses oxygen, nutrients and antibiotics to assess and recondition donor lungs outside the body prior to transplantation

NEW YORK (Dec. 12, 2011) -- A 59-year-old woman from upstate New York and a 60-year-old woman from the New York metro area were the first patients in New York state and among the first in the United States to receive transplanted lungs that were assessed and reconditioned in the operating room -- a technique that has the potential to dramatically increase the availability of lungs for transplant. The experimental procedure was performed by Dr. Frank D'Ovidio at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

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Scripps research study underlines potential of anti-stress peptide to block alcohol dependence PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 December 2011 05:06

Findings could lead to development of new anti-alcoholism drugs.

LA JOLLA, CA -- New research by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has underlined the power of an endogenous anti-stress peptide in the brain to prevent and even reverse some of the cellular effects of acute alcohol and alcohol dependence in animal models. The work could lead to the development of novel drugs to treat alcoholism.

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Depressed? Crossed wires in the brain PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 December 2011 04:27

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a severely debilitating illness characterized by sadness and an inability to cope. Not only does it affect a person's ability to concentrate and make decisions, it also alters their ability to experience pleasurable emotion, and instead prolongs negative thoughts and feelings. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show aberrant connectivity in depressed brains.

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Psychology researcher finds that power does go to our heads PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 00:49

Power—defined as the ability to influence others—makes people think differently. For North Americans, a feeling of power leads to thinking in a focused and analytical way, which may be beneficial when pursuing personal goals.

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Mid-morning snacking may sabotage weight-loss efforts PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 05:21

Finding may not relate to time of day, but to the short interval between breakfast and lunch

SEATTLE — Nov. 28, 2011 — Women dieters who grab a snack between breakfast and lunch lose less weight compared to those who abstain from a mid-morning snack, according to a study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

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40 percent of youths attempting suicide make first attempt before high school PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 November 2011 01:40

Thoughts about killing oneself and engaging in suicidal behavior may begin much younger than previously thought. While about one of nine youths attempt suicide by the time they graduate from high school, new findings reveal that a significant proportion make their first suicide attempt in elementary or middle school.

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Researchers surprised to find fatty liver disease poses no excess risk for death PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 November 2011 03:59

Condition prevalent among those with heart disease and obesity

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common condition associated with obesity and heart disease long thought to undermine health and longevity. But a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests the condition does not affect survival.

A report on the study was published online last week in BMJ, the British medical journal.

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Dendritic cells protect against acute pancreatitis PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 04:50

Researchers identify new therapeutic target for pancreas' dangerous, sudden swelling and inflammation

NYU Langone Medical Center researchers have discovered the novel protective role dendritic cells play in the pancreas. The new study, published in the November issue of journal Gastroenterology, shows dendritic cells can safeguard the pancreas against acute pancreatitis, a sudden dangerous swelling and inflammation of the pancreas gland.

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A new way of approaching the early detection of Alzheimer's disease PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 25 December 2011 04:45

APOE is the main genetic risk factor for this disease, but that is not the whole story; The University of the Basque Country is looking for complementary genetic factors

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Balancing the womb PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 07:29

New research hopes to explain premature births and failed inductions of labour. The study by academics at the University of Bristol suggests a new mechanism by which the level of myosin phosphorylation is regulated in the pregnant uterus.

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Penn researchers repair immune system in leukemia patients following chemotherapy PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 December 2011 05:32

Treatment with patients' own cells may prevent infections commonly seen following treatment and prolong remission

(SAN DIEGO) –– A new treatment using leukemia patients' own infection-fighting cells appears to protect them from infections and cancer recurrence following treatment with fludarabine-based chemotherapy, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The new process is a step toward eliminating the harsh side effects that result from the commonly prescribed drug, which improves progression-free survival in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but destroys patients' healthy immune cells in the process, leaving them vulnerable to serious viral and bacterial infections. The drug's effects on the immune system tend to be so violent that it has been dubbed "AIDS in a bottle."

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Gene therapy achieves early success against hereditary bleeding disorder PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 December 2011 04:44

Study of gene therapy developed at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and University College London offers first proof that the treatment benefits adults with hemophilia B; reduces need for clotting factor to prevent bleeds

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Scientists identify strategies to conquer lifestyle and genetic factors related to chronic diseases PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 December 2011 04:24

Recommendations published in supplement to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

St. Louis, MO, December 7, 2011 – A dramatic increase in the incidence of chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma, allergy, and irritable bowel syndrome, has led to concern about how modern lifestyles may trigger physiological defense mechanisms. Now, in the context of a foresight study under the auspices of the European Science Foundation (ESF), a group of scientists has examined the challenges associated with chronic inflammatory diseases, and described 10 key areas with the highest priority for research. Their recommendations are published in a supplement to The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), the official journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).

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Health gap has grown among young US adults, study finds PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 December 2011 05:08

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Levels of health disparity have increased substantially for people born in the United States after 1980, according to new research.

The study also found that health disparity tends to increase as people move into middle age, before declining as people reach old age.

These two results suggest that the gap between the healthiest and least healthy people in the United States as a whole will grow larger for the next one or even two decades as the younger generations grow older and replace previous generations.

"As young people today reach middle age and preceding cohorts with a smaller health gap die off, we expect health disparities in the whole population to grow even larger," said Hui Zheng, lead author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University.

A lot will depend on whether future generations will continue the trend, seen in post-baby boomers, of large health disparities.

"If that trend continues, as I expect it will, health disparities in the whole population will increase in the coming decades," Zheng said.

The health gap has not always been growing, according to the study. Health disparities continuously declined from those born early in the 20th century to the baby boomer cohort, before increasing for post-baby boomer cohorts, especially those born after 1980.

Zheng conducted the study with Yang Yang of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Kenneth Land of Duke University. Their results appear in the December issue of the journal American Sociological Review.

This study provides one of the clearest, most comprehensive pictures ever of health disparities in the United States because of a methodological innovation, Zheng said.

Zheng and his colleagues combined two statistical models that allowed them, for the first time, to disentangle how health disparity over time is affected by three factors: people's age, when they were born, and the time period when their health is assessed.

"We have never before been able to look at all three of these factors together and see how each interacts with the others to affect changes in health disparities," Zheng said.

The study is based on data from the National Health Interview Survey for the 24-year period from 1984 to 2007. The survey, which includes about 30,000 people each year, is conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.

The survey asked respondents to rate their own health on a five-point scale from poor to excellent. While this is a self-report and not based on any objective health data, previous studies have shown that self-reported health is a good indicator of objective health and is actually better at predicting mortality among the elderly than doctor assessments, Zheng said.

The researchers took into account a variety of other factors that may affect health, including gender, race, marital status, work status, education and income.

Overall, the study found that late baby boomers – those born from 1955 to 1964 – reported better health than any other generation. In addition, self-rated health has significantly declined since the late 1990s.

One of the key findings was the large gap in self-reported health that opened up for people born since 1980. That means people are more spread out among the five health categories, from excellent to poor, Zheng said.

This data can't explain why health disparities grew, but research by other sociologists provides potential explanations, Zheng said.

For one, income inequality increased dramatically in the past three decades in the United States, which could impact accessibility to health care and other important resources.

Also, an increase in immigrants, both documented and undocumented, has probably changed the distribution of health ratings in the country, while the growing obesity crisis has added to those in poor health.

Finally, a growing "digital divide" in access to medical and health information on the internet has created disparities in health knowledge among different populations, which can affect health choices and outcomes.

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Cleft lip corrected genetically in mouse model PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 05:16

Weill Cornell researchers report development and use of new mouse model that could show the way to new treatments and prevention strategies for cleft lip and cleft palate in humans

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Mice with fewer insulin-signaling receptors don't live longer PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 November 2011 04:19

SAN ANTONIO (Nov. 23, 2011) — Scientists studying longevity thought it might be good to lack a copy of a gene, called IGF1 receptor, that is important in insulin signaling. Previous studies showed invertebrates that lacked the copy lived longer, even if their bodies were less responsive to insulin, the hormone that lowers blood sugar.

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Diabetes drug shows promise in reducing risk of cancer PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 November 2011 03:47

Metformin prevents tumors from growing in human cultures

EAST LANSING, Mich. — An inexpensive drug that treats Type-2 diabetes has been shown to prevent a number of natural and man-made chemicals from stimulating the growth of breast cancer cells, according to a newly published study by a Michigan State University researcher.

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Depression and anxiety not linked to delayed resolution of abnormal mammograms, Pap tests PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 04:36

Boston – In what is believed to be the first study of its kind to examine the relationship between pre-existing depression (with and without anxiety) and the amount of time to diagnostically resolve an abnormal mammogram and/or Pap test, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found suffering from depression was not associated with a prolonged time to diagnostic resolution in a vulnerable population of urban women. These findings currently appear in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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