Using a bronchoscope to visually examine the airways and collect fluid and tissue can help guide effective therapy for difficult-to-treat asthma patients, according to researchers at National Jewish Health. Reporting in the March 2012 issue of the journal Chest, the researchers identified five distinct phenotypes among the refractory asthma patients, and successfully treated four of them, often with reduced asthma medications. "While standard anti-inflammatory treatment with inhaled corticosteroids helps many asthma patients, there is a significant number of patients who need more personalized diagnosis and treatment, " said lead author James Good, MD, professor of medicine at National Jewish Health. "Bronchoscopy provides important clinical information that can help us better treat even the most difficult asthma patients.
Together with child and adolescent psychiatrists, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have just completed an extensive report which reviews the studies which have been done so far on the significance of diet for children and young people with ADHD. The report shows that there are potential benefits in changing the diets of children with ADHD, but that key knowledge in the area is still lacking. The comprehensive report covers the scientific literature on the significance of diet for children with ADHD: "Our conclusion is that more research is required in the area. There is a lot to suggest that by changing their diet, it is possible to improve the condition for some ADHD children, " says professor in paediatric nutrition Kim Fleischer Michaelsen from the Department of Human Nutrition at the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, who is heading the study.
Although adolescents have benefitted from progress in education and public health over the past two decades, a UNICEF report entitled "Progress for Children" reveals that tens of millions of adolescents are still without education and over 1 million are dying each year. According to the report, the most challenging place for an adolescent to live is in Sub-Saharan Africa. By 2050, it is estimated that the region will have the greatest number of adolescents in the world. However, youth employment in the region is low and only half of the children finish primary school. Other alarming consequences of the benefits of progress not being equally shared amongst the total of 1.2 billion adolescents worldwide are also highlighted in the report. The United Nations defines adolescents as those between the ages of 10 and 19.
Men who are moderate drinkers and who have survived a first heart attack have a lower risk of death from heart disease or any other cause than non-drinkers, according to the results of a study of nearly 2000 men in the USA. The latest findings from the US Health Professionals Follow-up Study, a prospective study of 51, 529 US male health professionals, are published online in the European Heart Journal and they show that, having survived a first heart attack, men who drank approximately two alcoholic drinks a day over a long period of time had a 14% lower risk of death from any cause and a 42% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than non-drinkers. The first author of the study, Dr Jennifer Pai, assistant professor of medicine at Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and a research associate at Harvard School of Public Health, said: "Our findings clearly demonstrate that long-term moderate alcohol consumption among men who survived a heart attack was associated with a reduced risk of total and cardiovascular mortality.
According to a study in the April 2012 International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, the plasma of children with autism disorder (AD) had significantly lower levels of various cytokines, compared with that of unrelated healthy siblings from other families, who had family members with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Cytokines are small proteins released by cells of the immune system that act as intercellular mediators and communicators between cells. Researchers of the University of Kansas Medical Center analyzed 29 cytokine levels and discovered abnormal cytokine levels in five cells related to the T-helper cell immune system. They found three abnormal levels in the production of blood cells (hematopoiesis), which could potentially affect the production of antibodies that are needed in order to have a normally functioning immune system.
A study published online in The Laryngoscope reveals that current studies do not support the use of olfactory identification tests (smell tests) for predicting Alzheimer's dementia. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that causes loss of brain function and is the most common cause of dementia. The disease is expected to double every 20 years through the year 2040. The study, conducted by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars at the University of Michigan and the VA Center for Clinical Management Research, is the first systematic review of the quantity and quality of these tests as prognostic tools for Alzheimer's. Gordon Sun, M.D., a general otolaryngologist and RWJF/US Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, explains: "Smell tests have been touted as a possible way of predicting Alzheimer's dementia because of a reported association with decreased sense of smell.
Anyone who has ever been subject to chronic stress knows that it can take a toll on emotions and the ability to think clearly. Now, new research uncovers a neural mechanism that directly links repeated stress with impaired memory. The study, published by Cell Press in the March 8 issue of the journal Neuron, also provides critical insight into why stress responses can act as a trigger for many mental illnesses. Stress hormones are known to influence the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain region that controls high level "executive" functions such as working memory and decision making. "Previous work has shown that chronic stress impairs PFC-mediated behaviors, like mental flexibility and attention. However, little is known about the physiological consequences and molecular targets of long-term stress in PFC, especially during the adolescent period when the brain is more sensitive to stressors, " explains the author this study, Dr.
Women are more prone to knee injuries than men, and the findings of a new study suggest this may involve more than just differences in muscular and skeletal structure - it shows that males and females also differ in the way they transmit the nerve impulses that control muscle force. Scientists at Oregon State University found that men control nerve impulses similar to individuals trained for explosive muscle usage - like those of a sprinter - while the nerve impulses of women are more similar to those of an endurance-trained athlete, like a distance runner. In particular, the research may help to explain why women tend to suffer ruptures more often than men in the anterior cruciate ligament of their knees during non-contact activities. These ACL injuries are fairly common, can be debilitating, and even when repaired can lead to osteoarthritis later in life.
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Fortunately, this is not always true. Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN-KNAW) have now discovered how the adult brain can adapt to new situations. The Dutch researchers' findings are published in the prestigious journal Neuron. Their study may be significant in the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia. Ability to learn Our brain processes information in complex networks of nerve cells. The cells communicate and excite one another through special connections, called synapses. Young brains are capable of forming many new synapses, and they are consequently better at learning new things. That is why we acquire vital skills - walking, talking, hearing and seeing - early on in life.
A minimally invasive treatment may target hunger at its source, another uses X-ray visible embolic beads to block arteries to the stomach and suppress hunger and a third explores the use of stem cells to repair vertebral disc degeneration. Initial results from all these studies were reported at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 37th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. Approximately 127 million Americans (or 65 percent) are overweight, obese or morbidly obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate of morbid obesity is also rising rapidly. Two new studies that explored the use of proven interventional radiology treatments in new ways may have the potential to help individuals with morbid obesity. "Currently, there are three clinically viable surgical alternatives for obesity: gastric bypass surgery, gastric pacing and endoscopic gastric banding.
New evidence proves humans are continuing to evolve and that significant natural and sexual selection is still taking place in our species in the modern world. Despite advancements in medicine and technology, as well as an increased prevalence of monogamy, research reveals humans are continuing to evolve just like other species. Scientists in an international collaboration, which includes the University of Sheffield, analysed church records of about 6, 000 Finnish people born between 1760-1849 to determine whether the demographic, cultural and technological changes of the agricultural revolution affected natural and sexual selection in our species. Project leader Dr Virpi Lummaa, of the University's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, said: "We have shown advances have not challenged the fact that our species is still evolving, just like all the other species 'in the wild'.
A new study lead by the Neuroscience Institute of Alicante reveals how manipulating the endocannabinoid system can modulate high levels of impulsivity. This is the main problem in psychiatric illnesses such a schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and substance abuse. Spanish researchers have for the first time proved that the CB2 receptor, which has modulating functions in the nervous system, is involved in regulating impulsive behaviour. "Such a result proves the relevance that manipulation of the endocannabinoid system can have in modulating high levels of impulsivity present in a wide range of psychiatric and neurological illness, " explains SINC Jorge Manzanares Robles, a scientist at the Alicante Neuroscience Institute and director of the study. Carried out on mice, the study suggests the possibility of undertaking future clinical trials using drugs that selectively act on the CB2 and thus avoid the psychoactive effects deriving from receptor CB1 manipulation, whose role in impulsivity has already been proven.
In the controversy surrounding the newly developed strains of avian H5N1 flu viruses, scientists and policy makers are struggling with one question in particular: what level of biosafety is best for studying these potentially lethal strains of influenza? In a pair of commentaries, researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the University of Michigan argue their different views of how to safely handle H5N1 flu viruses. The commentaries are published in mBio ® , the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. This fall, the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) set off a debate when it asked the authors of two recent H5N1 research studies and the scientific journals that planned to publish them to withhold crucial details of the research in the interest of biosecurity.
Some patients with irregular heartbeats who are taken off anti-clotting medication face a high risk of stroke or blood clotting within a month, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association's Emerging Science Series webinar. Patients with certain types of atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, take these drugs to reduce the risks of clots that could lead to a stroke. Sometimes they are instructed to stop taking the medication temporarily before surgery or permanently because of side effects. "No matter what drug they are on, patients who need anticoagulation revert back to their intrinsic risk of stroke and embolism after discontinuation, so it shouldn't be done lightly, " said Manesh Patel, M.D., lead author and assistant professor of medicine at the Duke University School of Medicine.
Modified probiotics, the beneficial bacteria touted for their role in digestive health, could one day decrease the risk of Listeria infection in people with susceptible immune systems, according to Purdue University research. Arun Bhunia, a professor of food science; Mary Anne Amalaradjou, a Purdue postdoctoral researcher; and Ok Kyung Koo, a former Purdue doctoral student, found that the same Listeria protein that allows the bacteria to pass through intestinal cells and into bloodstreams can help block those same paths when added to a probiotic. "Based on the research, it looks very promising that we would get a significant reduction in Listeria infections, " said Bhunia, whose findings were published this month in the journal PLoS One. Bhunia's earlier work showed that Listeria triggers intestinal cells to express heat shock protein 60 on their surfaces.
Cervical spine CT examinations are unnecessary for emergency department (ED) patients who are a victim of "simple assault" or who have a "ground-level fall", unless the patient has a condition that predisposes the patient to spine fracture, a new study finds. The study, conducted at Grady Memorial Hospital by researchers from the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, found that out of 218 exams for simple assault, there were none that were positive, said Andrew Nicholson, MD, lead author of the study. In the series of 154 cervical spine CT scans that were obtained for ground-level fall, there was only one positive exam. This fracture was in a patient with ankylosing spondylitis, a condition that is known to increase the risk of fracture of the spine.
Newly diagnosed breast cancer patients should undergo a preoperative MRI exam even if their breasts are not dense, a new study indicates. The study found no difference between the usefulness of 3T breast MRI in detecting additional malignancies and high risk lesions in dense versus non-dense breasts. "There are currently no guidelines that define the role of breast density in determining if a preoperative MRI should be performed. However, anecdotally, we know that preoperative MRI exams tend to be ordered more frequently in younger patients and/or patients with dense breast tissue, " said Reena Vashi, MD, one of the authors of the study. The study of 127 patients, conducted at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT, found that 3T MRI detected additional malignancies in 26% of patients who had breasts that were not considered dense and in 25% of patients with dense breasts, said Dr.
Low oxygen levels in cells may be a primary cause of uncontrollable tumor growth in some cancers, according to a new University of Georgia study. The authors' findings run counter to widely accepted beliefs that genetic mutations are responsible for cancer growth. If hypoxia, or low oxygen levels in cells, is proven to be a key driver of certain types of cancer, treatment plans for curing the malignant growth could change in significant ways, said Ying Xu, Regents-Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and professor of bioinformatics and computational biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. The research team analyzed samples of messenger RNA data - also called transcriptomic data - from seven different cancer types in a publicly available database. They found that long-term lack of oxygen in cells may be a key driver of cancer growth.
A study in the May 2 issue of JAMA reveals that daily ingestion of fish oil did not lower the percentage of grafts with loss of patency, i.e. that remained open in patients with new synthetic arteriovenous grafts within 12 months. An arteriovenous graft is a synthetic tube that is grafted between an artery and vein in order to gain vascular access for hemodialysis. Those who took fish oil were observed to have a longer period of time without thrombosis - their rate of thrombosis was reduced by 50% and they achieved a significant decrease in the frequency of radiological and surgical interventions compared with those who did not. According to the article's background information: "Optimal hemodialysis requires reliable vascular access. Current options include the arteriovenous fistula [surgical creation of a connection between an artery and vein], synthetic arteriovenous graft, and central venous catheter, which in the United States are used in 55%, 21%, and 24% of prevalent patients receiving hemodialysis, respectively.
The demand for caregivers is growing rapidly as California's population ages, but the majority of state's Medi-Cal caregivers earn poverty or near-poverty wages and have poor access to health care and food, a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has found. Fifty-seven percent of paid Medi-Cal caregivers - and almost half of all 450, 000 paid caregivers in the state - have incomes that leave them in poverty or near poverty, according to the study, "Hidden in Plain Sight: California's Paid Medi-Cal Caregivers Are Vulnerable." Medi-Cal is the state's public health insurance program for low-income seniors or adults with long-term illnesses or disabilities. "Paid caregivers do a lot but get paid very little, " said Geoffrey Hoffman, the study's lead author. "They play a critical and complex role caring for our aging or disabled parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors yet can earn only a little more than minimum wage.
Younger girls are more likely than adult women to report side effects after receiving Gardasil, the human papillomavirus vaccine. The side effects are non-serious and similar to those associated with other vaccines, according to a new study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the Journal of Women's Health. As part of an ongoing study and evaluation of this relatively new vaccine, researchers surveyed 899 girls and young women (ages 11-26) within two weeks after they received the Gardasil vaccine injection in the upper arm. The survey, which took place in 2008, also found that while most girls and young women did know that the vaccine can prevent cervical cancer, and that three doses are recommended, many didn't know that the vaccine can also prevent genital warts and abnormal pap smears.
Chocolate, considered by some to be the "food of the gods, " has been part of the human diet for at least 4, 000 years; its origin thought to be in the region surrounding the Amazon basin. Introduced to the Western world by Christopher Columbus after his fourth voyage to the New World in 1502, chocolate is now enjoyed worldwide. Researchers estimate that the typical American consumes over 10 pounds of chocolate annually, with those living on the west coast eating the most. Wouldn't it be great if only chocolate were considered healthy? In fact, chocolate is a great source of myriad substances that scientists think might impart important health benefits. For instance, it contains compounds called "flavanols" that appear to play a variety of bodily roles including those related to their potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a single prion protein that causes neuronal death similar to that seen in "mad cow" disease, but is at least 10 times more lethal than larger prion species. This toxic single molecule or "monomer" challenges the prevailing concept that neuronal damage is linked to the toxicity of prion protein aggregates called "oligomers." The study was published in an advance, online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "By identifying a single molecule as the most toxic species of prion proteins, we've opened a new chapter in understanding how prion-induced neurodegeneration occurs, " said Scripps Florida Professor Corinne Lasm√ zas, who led the new study. "We didn't think we would find neuronal death from this toxic monomer so close to what normally happens in the disease state.
Brown University biologists have found a new molecule in fruit flies that is key to the information exchange needed to build wings properly. They have also uncovered evidence that an analogous protein may exist in people and may be associated with problems such as cleft lip, or premature ovarian failure. As they work together to form body parts, cells in developing organisms communicate like workers at a construction site. The discovery of a new signaling molecule in flies by Brown University biologists not only helps explain how cells send many long-haul messages, but also provides new clues for researchers who study how human development goes awry, for instance in cases of cleft lip and palate. For all the diversity of life, animal cells employ only a small set of proteins to send those jobsite signals that coordinate construction.
Although children are more likely than adults to suffer from many diseases, few clinical trials are being conducted to test drugs in pediatric patients, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston. Drug studies in children are important because children often respond differently to medications than adults. However, there is widespread concern about the lack of clinical evidence available to guide physicians in prescribing pharmaceuticals to children. Florence Bourgeois, MD, MPH, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, and her colleagues sought to measure how much research activity is devoted to conditions representing a high burden of pediatric disease. They identified all drug trials for the 10 highest burden conditions registered from 2006 to 2011 in ClinicalTrials.
Western diets are typically low in fibre and have been linked with a higher incidence of bowel cancer. Even though Australians eat more dietary fibre than many other western countries, bowel cancer is still the second most commonly reported cancer in Australia with 30 new cases diagnosed every day. Dr David Topping, from CSIRO's Food Futures Flagship, said this is referred to as 'the Australian paradox'. "We have been trying to find out why Australians aren't showing a reduction in bowel cancer rates and we think the answer is that we don't eat enough resistant starch, which is one of the major components of dietary fibre, " Dr Topping said. These findings, published in the latest issue of The Journal of Nutrition, reinforce the fact that dietary fibre is beneficial for human health, but go further to show that fibre rich in resistant starch is even better.
An innovative 13-postures Tai Chi designed for wheelchair users is described in the current issue of Technology and Innovation- Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors® . The innovation has brought the traditional Chinese martial and healing arts to people with ambulatory impairment, thanks to the technology and program developed by Zibin Guo, PhD, of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. "Too often, social and cultural barriers discourage people with physical disabilities from participating in fitness activities, " said Zibin Guo, PhD, who collaborated with the China Disabled People's Federation and the 2008 Beijing Paralympics Committee to introduce the Tai Chi Wheelchair at the 2008 Beijing Olympics/Paralympics Cultural Festival. "Wheelchair Tai Chi can be practiced seated for those needing simple, low-impact, upper-body exercise by integrating wheelchair motion with the gentle, dynamic flowing movements of Tai Chi.
Mobile phones could play a valuable role in helping HIV patients to take their medication every day, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review. The researchers found that patients were less likely to miss doses if they were sent weekly mobile phone text message reminders. Text messaging is increasingly being used as a means of support in health care, including to help promote attendance at clinics and hospitals, and to increase contact between patients and care workers. There is also some evidence that text messaging helps tuberculosis patients to take their daily medication. Now researchers say text messaging could be used as a tool to help millions of HIV patients on antiretroviral therapy (ART) stick to these regimens. ART can help these patients to feel better and live longer, but often comes with side-effects that make it difficult for some patients to take the medication every day.
Student Research To Be Discussed At A National Conference Dedicated To The Advancement Of Treating Anxiety Disorders
Stress and anxiety among Americans is under increasing concern - in the doctor's office, in the workplace and at home. UC student researchers will be examining different facets of the crisis as they take part in a national conference aimed at bringing relief to that suffering. UC graduate and undergraduate research posters will be presented at the 32nd annual conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, which will be held April 12-15 in Arlington, Va. All of the student researchers are under the mentorship of Alison Mcleish, a UC assistant professor of psychology. Three graduate students and four undergraduate research assistants will represent the UC Department of Psychology at the conference. Here's a roundup of the poster presentations: The Role of Distress Tolerance in Excessive Worry Description: Excessive worry, the defining feature of generalized anxiety disorder, has been identified as a cognitive avoidance strategy to reduce emotional experiences.
Nosejobs and Breast Enhancements have certainly become mainstream procedures that many people electively choose to undergo. Now chin augmentation seems to be taking off, with figures highlighting so called "chin plants" as the fastest growing plastic surgery procedure. Experts say that use of video chat online, the aging baby boomer population and people who desire to be more attractive to achieve success for themselves, are all reasons for the rise in chin plant popularity. Remarkably, during 2011, the number of people seeking the procedure has grown more than Breast Augmentation, Botox and Liposuction combined with a 71% overall increase. Women and men seem to be about even in their desire for a better visage, with around 10, 000 procedures for each sex in 2011. Men increasing 76%, coming in more than women at 66%.
A large-scale study of medical claims data shows that introducing sophisticated biologic therapies early in the course of treatment for Crohn's disease improves response to medication and reduces the need for surgery. There is no known cure for Crohn's disease, and traditional treatment is focused on a "step-up" strategy of managing inflammatory symptoms, starting with simpler and less costly oral medications such as aminosalicylates (5-ASAs) and corticosteroids, and escalating through a series of steps to more expensive biological therapies that target specific proteins in the immune system's inflammatory response. David Rubin, MD, associate professor of medicine and co-director of the University of Chicago Medicine's Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center, studied a newer "top-down" strategy that reverses this order of treatment.
Harvard stem cell researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have taken a critical step in making possible the discovery in the relatively near future of a drug to control cystic fibrosis (CF), a fatal lung disease that claims about 500 lives each year, with 1, 000 new cases diagnosed annually. Beginning with the skin cells of patients with CF, Jayaraj Rajagopal, MD, and colleagues first created induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, and then used those cells to create human disease-specific functioning lung epithelium, the tissue that lines the airways and is the site of the most lethal aspect of CF, where the genes cause irreversible lung disease and inexorable respiratory failure. That tissue, which researchers now can grow in unlimited quantities in the laboratory, contains the delta-508 mutation, the gene responsible for about 70 percent of all CF cases and 90 percent of the ones in the United States.
People who received frequent dental x-rays in the past have an increased risk of developing the most commonly diagnosed primary brain tumor in the United States. That is the finding of a study published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. Although dental x-rays are necessary in many cases, these findings suggest that moderate use of this form of imaging may be of benefit to some patients. Ionizing radiation is the primary environmental risk factor for developing meningioma, which is the most frequently diagnosed primary brain tumor in the United States. Dental x-rays are the most common artificial source of exposure to ionizing radiation for individuals living in this country. To examine the link between dental x-rays and the risk of developing meningioma, Elizabeth Claus, MD, PhD, of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and her colleagues studied information from 1, 433 patients who were diagnosed with the disease between the ages of ages 20 and 79 years and were residents of the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, the San Francisco Bay Area, and eight counties in Houston, Texas, between May 1, 2006 and April 28, 2011.
The number of people living on their own has doubled, over the last three decades, to one in three in the UK and US. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Public Health shows that the risk of depression, measured by people taking antidepressants, is almost 80% higher for those living alone compared to people living in any kind of social or family group. For women a third of this risk was attributable to sociodemographic factors, such as lack of education and low income. For men the biggest contributing factors included poor job climate, lack of support at the work place or in their private lives, and heavy drinking. It is known that living alone can increase the risk of mental health problems for the elderly, and for single parents, but little is known about the effects of isolation on working-age people.
A report in the May issue of the journal Developmental Dynamics reveals that biologists from the Tufts University have, for the first time, discovered a "self-correcting" mechanism by which developing organisms recognize and repair head and facial abnormalities. This is the first time that this kind of flexible, corrective process has been rigorously analyzed through mathematical modeling. The study demonstrates that developing organisms are not genetically "hard-wired", but that the process is, instead, more flexible and robust. By using a tadpole model with a set of pre-determined cell movements that result in normal facial features, they demonstrated that cell groups can measure their shape and position in relationship to other organs, as well as performing the required movements and remodeling functions in order to compensate for important abnormalities in patterns.
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in collaboration with Nurses' Health Study investigators have shown that levels of certain related proteins found in blood are associated with a greatly reduced risk for developing type 2 diabetes up to a decade or more later. The findings, published in the online edition of Diabetes, could open a new front in the war against diabetes. These proteins are part of what is called the IGF axis. This axis was named for insulin-like growth factor-1, (IGF-1), so called because it has biological effects similar to those of insulin (the hormone that regulates blood glucose levels) but has a greater effect on cell growth than insulin. The researchers also looked at levels of several proteins known as IGF binding proteins, or IGFBPs, that may have strong effects independent of IGF-1.
Eighty-five percent of children's learning is related to vision. Yet in the U.S., 80 percent of children have never had an eye exam or any vision screening before kindergarten, statistics say. When they do, the vision screenings they typically receive can detect only one or two conditions. Three researchers at the University of Tennessee Space Institute in Tullahoma are working to change that with an invention that makes children eye exams inexpensive, comprehensive, and simple to administer. "Eye exams can do so much more than just test vision, " said Ying-Ling Ann Chen, device inventor and research assistant professor in physics. "They can detect learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, or neural disorders such as autism. By not testing our youth, we are potentially missing the window for effective treatment for a lot of conditions.
A one-inch long grasshopper can leap a distance of about 20 inches. Cicadas can produce sound at about the same frequency as radio waves. Fleas measuring only millimeters can jump an astonishing 100 times their height in microseconds. How do they do it? They make use of a naturally occurring protein called resilin. Resilin is a protein in the composite structures found in the leg and wing joints, and sound producing organs of insects. Highly elastic, it responds to exceptionally high rates of speed and demonstrates unmatched resilience after being stretched or deformed. Kristi Kiick, professor of materials science and engineering and biomedical engineering at the University of Delaware, believes this unusual protein may also be a key to unlocking the regenerative power of certain mechanically active tissues.
A history of binge eating - consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time - may make an individual more likely to show other addiction-like behaviors, including substance abuse, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. In the short term, this finding may shed light on the factors that promote substance abuse, addiction, and relapse. In the long term, may help clinicians treat individuals suffering from this devastating disease. "Drug addiction persists as a major problem in the United States, " said Patricia Sue Grigson, Ph.D., professor, Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences. "Likewise, excessive food intake, like binge eating, has become problematic. Substance-abuse and binge eating are both characterized by a loss of control over consumption.
On Thursday, UCB announced its intention to submit regulatory applications for Cimzia ® (certolizumab pegol) by the end of this year. The drug is designed to treat psoriatic arthritis, an inflammation of the joints, or arthritis, which typically occurs in combination with psoriasis, a skin disorder. People with PsA generally suffer from stiff, painful joints, and experience warmth and swelling in their joints and surrounding tissues. The majority of PsA sufferers develop psoriasis, a common disorder affecting about 2 to 3% of people worldwide, before joint problems occur, however, in some cases the development process can be the other way around. Left untreated PsA, which affects about 24 in 10, 000 people, can be a disabling disease. According to most estimates between 5 and 10% of individuals with psoriasis will develop PsA, however some studies estimate the figure to be as high as 30%.
A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine reveals that younger patients with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) who receive the medication levothyroxine are less likely to experience ischemic heart disease events. However, according to the researchers, this finding was not seen in older patients. SCH is a relatively common condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Although the condition is often asymptomatic, recent studies have indicated that SCH is linked with increased cardiovascular events and mortality, especially in young and middle-aged patients. However, the researchers highlight that those epidemiologic associations do not verify that treatment of SCH would be effective. The researchers explain: "Thus, only adequately powered randomized controlled intervention trials will be able to demonstrate whether treatment of SCH is worthwhile in terms of improvement in both cardiovascular disease risk and symptoms.
The ability to navigate using spatial cues was impaired in mice whose brains were minus a channel that delivers potassium - a finding that may have implications for humans with damage to the hippocampus, a brain structure critical to memory and learning, according to a Baylor University researcher. Mice missing the channel also showed diminished learning ability in an experiment dealing with fear conditioning, said Joaquin Lugo, Ph.D., the lead author in the study and an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences. "By targeting chemical pathways that alter those potassium channels, we may eventually be able to apply the findings to humans and reverse some of the cognitive deficits in people with epilepsy and other neurological disorders, " Lugo said.
The use of multiple medications is associated with increased severity of erectile dysfunction, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published online in the British Journal of Urology International. This study surveyed 37, 712 ethnically diverse men from Southern California and found that men taking various medications are likely to have more severe ED. This was part of the California Men's Health Study, a multiethnic cohort of men ages 46 to 69 who are members of Kaiser Permanente in California. Information about medication use between 2002 and 2003 was obtained from pharmacy records. This study looked at men who were taking more than three medications. Survey responses about ED were used to quantify its presence and severity. Of the men included in this study, 29 percent reported moderate or severe ED.
There may be new found hope for patients whose vision is threatened when medicine injected directly into the eyes fails to cause abnormal blood vessels to recede. While injectable drugs called angiogenesis (an-gee-oh-jen-esis) inhibitors are considered a modern miracle and have become the standard of care for patients with the fast-progressive form of macular degeneration, they are not foolproof. For the first time researchers report that an oral nutriceutical, used on a last resort basis, rapidly restores vision to otherwise hopeless patients who face permanent loss. Stuart Richer OD, PhD, Director, Ocular Preventative Medicine-Eye Clinic, James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center, North Chicago, Illinois, says all other therapies were exhausted before employing the oral nutriceutical under compassionate-use protocols on a case-by-case basis.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered a key tool that helps sperm and eggs develop exactly 23 chromosomes each. The work, which could lead to insights into fertility, spontaneous miscarriages, cancer and developmental disorders, is published April 13 in the journal Cell. Healthy humans have 46 chromosomes, 23 from the sperm and 23 from the egg. An embryo with the wrong number of chromosomes is usually miscarried, or develops disorders such as Down's syndrome, which is caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. During meiosis, the cell division process that creates sperm and eggs, matching chromosomes pair up and become connected by "crossing over" with each other, said Neil Hunter, a professor of microbiology at UC Davis and senior author of the new study.
There is a connection between age and susceptibility to the influenza virus. It can't be explained by frailty in general, because it is not obvious that very small children and the very old are the biggest risk groups. In a study of the connection between age and the risk of suffering from the flu, Timpka and his colleagues show that the 2009 swine flu affected age groups 10-19 and 20-29 the worst. They studied how five different influenza epidemics struck in Osterg√ tland County of East Sweden between 2005 and 2010. Except for the swine flu, they were all what are known as seasonal flu. The difference in those taken sick among age groups varies up to ten times in certain cases, they state, for example, with swine flu. 2.3 cases per thousand inhabitants were diagnosed in the 10-19 age group, compared with 0.
A study published in the March issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals reveals that total extraperitoneal inguinal hernioplasty (TEP), a minimally invasive surgery for hernia repair, is linked to lower damage of inguinal (groin) sensation, higher patient satisfaction, as well as less chronic pain than open Lichtenstein repair. Although hypoesthesia (reduced sensitivity) and chronic pain are measured following inguinal hernia repair, there have been insufficient studies conducted that compare TEP with Lichtenstein repair. Hasan H. Eker, M.D., of Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues enrolled 660 individuals to participate in the prospective multi-center randomized clinical trial. The researchers randomly assigned 336 participants to receive TEP and 324 participants to received Lichtenstein repair.
According to an investigation published in the recent issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida have discovered that a malignancy-risk gene signature created for breast cancer has predictive and prognostic value for individuals suffering with early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC is responsible for 80% to 90% of all lung cancers, according to corresponding author Dung-Tsa Chen, Ph.D., associate member with the Moffitt Biostatistics program. Individuals with non-small cell lung cancer have a 30% to 50% chance of relapsing after surgery and a 40% to 70% five-year survival rate. Even though adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT), standard treatment of NSCLC, has increased survival rates, some patients do not gain any benefit from the treatment.
According to a phase II clinical trial, the drug rilonacept, which inhibits the protein interleukin-1 (IL-1), substantially reduces acute gout flares that occur at the start of uric acid-reducing therapy and is noted to be generally well tolerated with no serious infections or serious adverse events occurring in relation to the treatment. The findings of the first placebo controlled study, in which IL-1 targeted therapy to prevent gout flares has been evaluated, are published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis caused by the crystallization of urates in soft tissues, often affects the feet and is extremely painful causing swelling. According to a recent study in Arthritis & Rheumatism, doctor-diagnosed gout has increased in the past twenty years and currently affects 8.
Harvard Medical School scientists who say they have a better idea of what causes brain freeze, believe that their study could eventually pave the way to more effective treatments for various types of headaches, such as migraine-related ones, or pain caused by brain injuries. Brain freeze, also known as an ice-cream headache, cold-stimulus headache, or sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, is a kind of short-term headache typically linked to the rapid consumption of ice-cream, ice pops, or very cold drinks. Brain freeze occurs when something extremely cold touches the upper-palate (roof of the mouth). It normally happens when the weather is very hot, and the individual consumes something too fast. Dr. Jorge Serrador, a cardiovascular electronics researcher, who presented the team's finding at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting, San Diego, explained that until now, scientists have not been able to fully understand what causes brain freeze.
Lung cancer is the most lethal cancer in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, lung cancer causes more than 150, 000 deaths annually and has a survival rate of 16 percent. More Americans die of lung cancer each year than of cervical, breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Currently, cancer screening - checking people for cancers or pre-cancers before symptoms appear - is widely supported for breast (mammography), colorectal (colonoscopy and other techniques) and cervical (Pap smears) cancers. While regular screening for these cancers is standard practice, lung cancer screening is not. Now, results of a large, randomized, controlled trial conducted by Rush University Medical Center scientist Dr. James L. Mulshine, and co-researchers showed that screening with low-dose spiral computed tomography (CT) not only reduces lung cancer deaths but would cost insurers less than colorectal, breast and cervical cancer screenings.
A Northwestern University study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) provides the first biological evidence that bilinguals' rich experience with language in essence "fine-tunes" their auditory nervous system and helps them juggle linguistic input in ways that enhance attention and working memory. Northwestern bilingualism expert Viorica Marian teamed up with auditory neuroscientist Nina Kraus to investigate how bilingualism affects the brain. In particular, they looked at subcortical auditory regions that are bathed with input from cognitive brain areas. In extensive research, Kraus has already shown that lifelong music training enhances language processing, and an examination of subcortical auditory regions helped to tell that tale. "For our first collaborative study, we asked if bilingualism could also promote experience-dependent changes in the fundamental encoding of sound in the brainstem -- an evolutionarily ancient part of the brain, " said Marian, professor of communication sciences in Northwestern's School of Communication.
Research conducted at the University of Granada has demonstrated the efficiency of a heart rehabilitation program aimed at patients suffering from heart disease. The authors of this study affirm that it is essential that heart rehabilitation programs aimed at cardiac patients are established. In Spain, a low percentage of cardiac patients participate in this type of program, as compared to the rest of Europe. The study included a sample of 200 patients suffering from heart disease, who were members of the Association of Cardiac Patients of Granada, Spain. Subjects were assigned to two groups: the intervention group participated in a heart rehabilitation program conducted by the Association mentioned above, while the second group was excluded from the rehabilitation program. Both groups underwent a clinical-functional study and answered a survey on risk factors associated with their heart disease.
HIV patients treated with genetically modified T cells remain healthy up to 11 years after initial therapy, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report in the new issue of Science Translational Medicine. The results provide a framework for the use of this type of gene therapy as a powerful weapon in the treatment of HIV, cancer, and a wide variety of other diseases. "We have 43 patients and they are all healthy, " says senior author Carl June, MD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Penn Medicine. "And out of those, 41 patients show long term persistence of the modified T cells in their bodies." Early gene therapy studies raised concern that gene transfer to cells via retroviruses might lead to leukemia in a substantial proportion of patients, due to mutations that may arise in genes when new DNA is inserted.
A research team led by the University of Melbourne has developed a novel technique that tracks diseased proteins behaving badly by forming clusters in brain diseases such as Huntington's and Alzheimer's. The technique published in Nature Methods is the first of its kind to rapidly identify and track the location of diseased proteins inside cells and could provide insights into improved treatments for brain diseases and others such as cancer. Developed by Dr Danny Hatters and his team of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne, the technique uses a flow cytometer to track the protein clusters in cells at a rate of 1000s per minute. In addition, cells with clustered proteins can be recovered for further study - neither of which had been possible before.
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers have discovered that changes in the gene expression of a key enzyme may contribute to high blood pressure and increase susceptibility to forming blood clots in pregnant women with preeclampsia. These findings could provide clues to the best treatment approaches for high blood pressure and the formation of blood clots that can block blood flow to a pregnant woman's internal organs and lead to organ failure. Researchers have been working to determine the root cause of preeclampsia on the molecular level and have now identified that epigenetic mechanisms may be at play. Epigenetics refers to changes in gene expression that are mediated through mechanisms other than changes in the DNA sequence. In a study published online in Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association, the VCU team reported that thromboxane synthase - an important inflammatory enzyme - is increased in the blood vessels of expectant mothers with preeclampsia.
Diseases and injuries trigger warning signals in our cells. As a result, genes are expressed and proteins produced, modified or degraded to adapt to the external danger and to protect the organism. In order to be able to produce a particular protein, the corresponding DNA segment, the gene, needs to be expressed and translated. The DNA is localized in the cell nucleus, and exists as a long string that is coiled and bound by proteins. ARTD1 is one such protein, and therefore has the potential to regulate the expression level of genes through its interaction with DNA. If cells detect warning signals or foreign bodies like bacteria and viruses in their surroundings, the expression profile of genes changes and an inflammatory response is triggered. To induce changes in gene expression, ARTD1 is removed from particular sites of the DNA.
New research finds a strong link between healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and patient readmission after an initial hospital stay. The findings, published in the June 2012 issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), suggest that reducing such infections could help reduce readmissions, considered to be a major driver of unnecessary healthcare spending and increased patient morbidity and mortality. "Although much attention has been directed toward hospital readmissions and healthcare-associated infections as potentially preventable conditions and targets to reduce healthcare spending, to our knowledge, no studies have directly assessed the association between the two, " write the study's authors, from the University of Maryland and Oregon State University.
Last August, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented a new assessment rule for disability benefits, given that a high rate of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan experience irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. The VA presumes that military service during the veterans' detachment in the Gulf War is responsible for the development of functional GI disorder in veterans. In support of the veterans, the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) calls for more and improved ways to assist them. Nancy Norton, president and founder of IFFGD said: "Otherwise healthy individuals are experiencing digestive issues that can be debilitating. These issues began during deployment and then continue long after they have returned home.
Online crowd-sourcing - in which a task is presented to the public, who respond, for free, with various solutions and suggestions - has been used to evaluate potential consumer products, develop software algorithms and solve vexing research-and-development challenges. But diagnosing infectious diseases? Working on the assumption that large groups of public non-experts can be trained to recognize infectious diseases with the accuracy of trained pathologists, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have created a crowd-sourced online gaming system in which players distinguish malaria-infected red blood cells from healthy ones by viewing digital images obtained from microscopes. The UCLA team found that a small group of non-experts playing the game (mostly undergraduate student volunteers) was collectively able to diagnosis malaria-infected red blood cells with an accuracy that was within 1.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is updating information on Victrelis (boceprevir). The drug is used as a hepatitis C (HCV) protease inhibitor. It is combined with various ritonavir-boosted human immunodeficiency virus ( HIV ) protease inhibitors. The FDA is stating that it cannot recommend use of the drug at this time, because it appears to reduce effectiveness of other medications and has been seen to cause HCV and HIV to increase in the bloodstream. This is known as the viral load, and obviously leads to the diseases becoming more potent and aggressive. Ritonavir-boosted HIV protease inhibitors include ritonavir-boosted Reyataz (atazanavir), ritonavir-boosted Prezista (darunavir), and Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir). Ritonavir is an HIV protease inhibitor that is taken as a small dose along with other HIV protease inhibitors in order to increase their levels in the blood and make them more effective.
A new study has shown that adding boron-nitride nanotubes to the surface of cancer cells can double the effectiveness of Irreversible Electroporation, a minimally invasive treatment for soft tissue tumors in the liver, lung, prostate, head and neck, kidney and pancreas. Although this research is in the very early stages, it could one day lead to better therapies for cancer. The study was carried out by researchers in Italy at the Institute of Life Sciences, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa with BNNTs provided by researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center, the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and the National Institute of Aerospace. Irreversible Electroporation is a new therapy for difficult-to-treat cancers in soft tissues. It is offered in many cancer treatment centers across the United States, and is being studied for effectiveness on a wide variety of specific cancers.
To the surprise of investigating researchers, an animal model of Epstein Barr virus protected lupus-prone mice against development of the autoimmune disease. Earlier work had suggested that EBV might promote the development of autoimmunity. "We were completely surprised. So, we redid the experiments, and the results came out the same, " said Dr. Pelanda, lead author on the paper appearing online in The Proceesing of the National Academy of Sciences. "We believe these findings could lead to therapeutic targets for lupus and other autoimmune diseases." Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infects most people in the United States by the time they are adults. It causes mononucleosis in about 35 to 50 percent of those infected. Acute symptoms usually pass within weeks, after which the virus goes into a dormant state within the body.
The Anticancer Effects That Come With Breastfeeding May Be Due To High Levels Of TRAIL Protein In Breast Milk
The benefits of breast milk are well known, but why breastfeeding protects against various forms of cancer remains a mystery. A new study in the Journal of Human Lactation (published by SAGE) found high levels of cancer-fighting TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) in human milk, which might be one source of breast milk's anticancer activity. Researchers took samples of colostrum, the first milk available to newborns, and of mature breast milk from new mothers. Researchers then obtained samples of blood from healthy women, and various ready-to-feed infant formulas. The colostrum, mature breast milk, blood and formula were then all tested to measure their level of TRAIL. The researchers found that colostrum and breast milk contained 400- and 100-fold, respectively, higher levels of TRAIL than blood.
Hip replacement is one of the most frequent operations carried out in Germany. Each year, doctors implant some 200, 000 artificial hip joints. Often the artificial hips need to be replaced just ten years later. In the future, a new implant currently being developed using high technology materials could help prevent premature revision surgeries. Thanks to artificial hips, people with irreparable damage to the joint have been able to lead active, pain-free lives for the past 50 years. Still, some hip replacements do not function completely as intended, and metal-on-metal implants in particular, demand accurate positioning in surgery and implants positioned non optimally are often susceptible to premature failure notably in small female patients. Physicians are even calling for a prohibition on the use of artificial joints made of cobalt-chromium alloys in which the joint's metal ball rubs against its metal socket whenever the wearer walks.
Results of a survey published in a research letter in JAMA this week, reveal that sexual misconduct and prescribing without an established clinical relationship are among the most common ever reported online violations of professionalism by doctors in the US. For their survey, Dr S. Ryan Greysen, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues invited 68 executive directors of all medical and osteopathic boards in the US to respond to questions about violations of online professionalism by physicians reported to them and the subsequent actions taken. 48 out of the 68 surveyed (71%) responded, and the majority (92%) said that at least 1 of several examples they were given of online professionalism violations had ever been reported to their board. Among the most common violations reported were inappropriate patient communication online (including, for example sexual misconduct, 69%), using the Internet for inappropriate practice (for instance, prescribing to people with whom there is no established clinical relationship 63%), and online misrepresentation of credentials (60%).
In the hope of reducing maternal mortality in a region where 1 woman in 31 loses her life as she carries or gives birth to her baby*, a workshop was organized in Mali by the Global Health Initiative of the University of Montreal Superhospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) and the Government of Mali's Ministry of Health. Since 2006, researchers affiliated with the CRCHUM, the University of Montreal and the University of Bamako have led a research programme that comprehensively and intensively analyses the various reasons why so many of these deaths are happening in the Kayes region of Mali. The results of this study should enable the implementation of practical solutions. Time is the greatest enemy of these women, the research team discovered. Armed with accounts provided by 240 women who had survived an obstetrical emergency and a further 240 accounts provided by the families of women who had not, the team was able to identify three types of delays in the delivery of critical treatment thanks to the leadership of Dr.
Community health plans are improving how patients transition from hospital to home by breaking down silos of care, coordinating among providers, and directly engaging with patients, according to a new report entitled Transitions of Care from Hospital to Home. In the report, prepared by Avalere Health for the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), Avalere researchers examined ACHP community health plans and found five practices that the plans identified as facilitating the success of their care transitions programs: Using data to tailor care transition programs to patients' needs. By identifying patients most at risk for readmission, plans can ensure that these patients get the necessary help and resources for their transition to home. Anticipating patients' needs and engaging them early in the transition process.
Men experience a marked drop in their testosterone levels when taking a targeted therapy to control a specific type of lung cancer. That's according to a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the April issue of Cancer, the official journal of the American Cancer Society. Investigators at CU Cancer Center looked at the hormone levels in men with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) positive advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) taking crizotinib, after a 35-year-old man on the drug reported symptoms that are often attributed to low testosterone levels: fatigue and sexual disinterest. Crizotinib tablets were licensed by the Food and Drug Administration in August 2011, because of its dramatic and long-lasting suppression of ALK positive lung cancer. ALK positive lung cancer was only recently described so very few cancer centers have a lot of experience identifying and treating this subtype of the disease.
A woman whose menopause arrives early has nearly double the risk of suffering form osteoporosis later on, compared to other females, researchers from Sk√ ne University Hospital, Malmo, Sweden, reported in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The researchers explained that their study looked at what long-term effects early menopause might have on osteoporosis risk, mortality, and the risk of fragility fracture. 390 Caucasian women, average age 48, from northern Europe were recruited in the Malmo Perimenopausal Study. In this observational study, the females were regularly followed-up after the age of 48. The authors divided the women into two groups: Those whose menopause started before they were 47 years old Those whose menopause started after they were 47 years old All of them had their BMD (bone mineral density) measured.
When children behave badly, it's easy to blame their parents. Sometimes, however, such behavior may be due to a mental disorder. Mental illnesses are the No. 1 cause of medical disability in youths ages 15 and older in the United States and Canada, according to the World Health Organization. "One reason we haven't made greater progress helping people recover from mental disorders is that we get on the scene too late, " said Thomas R. Insel, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the featured speaker at the American Academy of Pediatrics' Presidential Plenary during the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston. Dr. Insel discussed signs of mental illnesses in young children and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention in his presentation, "What Every Pediatrician Needs to Know about Mental Disorders, " in the Hynes Convention Center.
Dissection Necessary For Breast Cancer Patients With Positive Ultrasound Guided Axillary Node Biopsy
Contrary to a trend in treatment, breast cancer patients with suspicious lymph nodes should have an ultrasound-guided axillary node biopsy, and if that biopsy is positive these patients should undergo an axillary dissection, a new study shows. The study, conducted at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, compared 199 patients with a positive ultrasound-guided axillary node biopsy to 434 patients with a positive sentinel lymph node biopsy. "About 50% of patients with a positive ultrasound-guided axillary node biopsy had substantial lymph node involvement; they were staged pN2 or pN3 at axillary dissection compared to 16% of patients with a positive sentinel node biopsy, said M. Lee Spangler, MD, one of the authors of the study. "Our results suggest that patients who have a positive ultrasound-guided axillary node biopsy should have an axillary dissection because they have more extensive disease.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria continue to be a global concern with devastating repercussions, such as increased healthcare costs, potential spread of infections across continents, and prolonged illness. However, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) could change the playing field of man versus bacteria. Charles Serhan, PhD, director of the BWH Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury Center, has identified pathways of naturally occurring molecules in our bodies that can enhance antibiotic performance. The study was electronically published in Nature. Mice infected with Escherichia coli ( E. coli ) or Staphylococcus aureus ( S. aureus ) bacteria were given molecules called specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) along with antibiotics. SPMs are naturally found in our bodies, and are responsible for mediating anti-inflammatory responses and resolve inflammation.
Novartis says it has updated prescribing data for multiple sclerosis therapy Gilenya (Fingolimod) after a review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The prescribing information includes new parameters for selecting patients, based on specific cardiovascular considerations. Novartis emphasizes that the prescribing information does not alter treatment management of MS patients currently taking Gilenya, unless treatment is stopped, and then a need to reinitiate occurs. Gilenya (fingolimod) is an oral medication, taken once a day, which has been proven to reduce relapse numbers, as well as slowing down disability progression in patients with relapsing forms of MS ( multiple sclerosis ). Fingolimod, a sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator, sequesters lymphocytes in lymph nodes, stopping them from becoming involved in an autoimmune reaction.
An international team led by the University of Melbourne Australia, has found that increasing a specific protein in muscles could help treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a severe and progressive muscle wasting disease that affects young boys. Approximately one in every 3, 500 boys worldwide is afflicted with DMD. There is no cure for the disease which causes muscle fragility, spinal curvature and premature death. Results from the studies published in Nature showed that by increasing levels of 'heat shock protein 72' (HSP72) in the muscles of animal models of DMD, muscle strength improved, the disease progression slowed and lifespan increased. The research led by Professor Gordon Lynch, Head of the Department of Physiology at the University of Melbourne and conducted by Dr Stefan Gehrig for his PhD, investigated several scientific approaches of increasing the levels of the protein.
Collaborative research by groups headed by scientists Joan J. Guinovart and Marco Milan at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has revealed conclusive evidence about the harmful effects of the accumulation of glucose chains (glycogen) in fly and mouse neurons. These two animal models will allow scientists to address the genes involved in this harmful process and to find pharmacological solutions that allow disintegration of the accumulations or limitation of glycogen production. Advances in this direction would make a significant contribution to investigation into Lafora progressive myoclonic epilepsy and other neurodegenerative diseases characterized by glycogen accumulation in neurons. The journal EMBO Molecular Medicine publishes the results of the study this week.
Russians born during the Leningrad Siege in World War II, which was responsible for some of the greatest losses of civilian life in history, are giving scientists new strategies to identify people who experienced intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and starvation during childhood at greatest risk of developing long term heart complications. The abstract study¬, presented at the Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) meeting, in London, UK, 30 March to 1 April 2012, makes use of a unique population of people exposed to extreme starvation both as foetuses and during childhood. The cellular changes identified, investigators suggested, might be used to target treatments to children at greatest risk of developing heart complications. In a second study ¬, also presented at FCVB 2012, Spanish investigators elucidated structural changes occurring in the heart as a direct consequence of IUGR.
Brown seems to be the color of choice when it comes to the types of fat cells in our bodies. Brown fat expends energy, while its counterpart, white fat stores it. The danger in white fat cells, along with the increased risk for diabetes and heart disease it poses, seems especially linked to visceral fat. Visceral fat is the build-up of fat around the organs in the belly. So in the battle against obesity, brown fat appears to be our friend and white fat our foe. Now a team of researchers led by Jorge Plutzky, MD, director of The Vascular Disease Prevention Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School has discovered a way to turn foe to friend. By manipulating the metabolic pathways in the body responsible for converting vitamin A - or retinol - into retinoic acid, Plutzky and his colleagues have essentially made white fat take on characteristics of brown fat.
A new analysis of published and unpublished studies concludes that risk for ovarian cancer is associated with increasing height. It also finds that among women who have never used hormone therapy for the menopause, the risk for developing the disease is also tied to increasing body mass index, BMI, a measure of obesity. The Collaborative Group on Epidemiological Studies of Ovarian Cancer, based at the University of Oxford in the UK, write about their findings in a paper published online in PLoS Medicine this week. The findings are important because in high-income countries, height and BMI (a person's weight in kilos divided by the square of their height in metres), have been increasing by about 1 cm and 1 kg/m2 respectively every decade. Among its conclusions, the Collaborative Group, which comprises some 100 internationally based researchers in addition to the team at Oxford, suggests: "If all other relevant factors had remained constant, then these increases in height and weight would be associated with a 3% increase in ovarian cancer incidence per decade.
A patient education process may provide an antidote to the emotional and physical difficulties that lung cancer patients face before and after an operation, according to a new study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Specifically, researchers report that lung procedure patients who watched a 30-minute preparation video reported less anxiety about the procedure, less physical pain after the operation, and higher rates of overall satisfaction with the operative experience. Each year 205, 536 people are diagnosed with lung cancer, and the vast majority are long-time smokers, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. "It's a unique population, " said Traves D. Crabtree, MD, FACS, lead author of the study and assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, St.
At the 64th American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in New Orleans USA, UCB presented results from their post-hoc analyses of Neupro (rotigotine), which suggests that the drug improves common non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson's disease. In the EU, Neupro ® (rotigotine) is approved for the treatment of the signs and symptoms of early-stage idiopathic Parkinson's disease as a monotherapy, i.e. without levodopa, or in combination with levodopa over the course of the disease until the late stages, when the effect of levodopa wears off or becomes inconsistent and fluctuations of the therapeutic effect occur (end of dose or on-off fluctuations). It is also approved in the EU for the symptomatic treatment of moderate to severe idiopathic Restless Legs Syndrome in adults.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reveals that children are more likely to have better fitness levels if physical education at their school is mandatory. The researchers examined fitness levels among fifth graders in both public school districts in California that comply with the state's mandatory physical education requirement and those that don't. Lead author, Emma V. Sanchez-Vaznaugh, Sc.D., assistant professor of health education at San Francisco State University, explained: "Even though California has a physical education law and monitors its compliance, our study revealed that many school districts are not providing the required physical education and too many children go to school in districts that do not comply with physical education laws." According to the researchers, educators have an opportunity to influence life-long health habits, given that grade school children spend a large portion of their day in school.
The full clinical study reports that drugs that have been authorized for use in patients should be made publicly available in order to allow independent re-analysis of the benefits and risks of such drugs, according to leading international experts who base their assertions on their experience with Tamiflu (oseltamivir). Tamiflu is classed by the World Health Organization as an essential drug and many countries have stockpiled the anti-influenza drug at great expense to taxpayers. But a recent Cochrane review on Tamiflu has shown that even more than ten thousand pages of regulatory evidence were not sufficient to clarify major discrepancies regarding the effects and mode of action of the drug. Writing in this week's PLoS Medicine, Peter Doshi from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, USA, Tom Jefferson from the Cochrane Collaboration in Rome, Italy, and Chris Del Mar from Bond University in the Gold Coast, Australia say that there are strong ethical arguments for ensuring that all clinical study reports are publicly accessible.
With infant formula scandals, mine collapses and pollution and contamination problems, China is not well regarded for its industrial safety record, and today the story continues with 13 different drugs produced in China being pulled from the market by the Government regulator. In a statement issued on Sunday, The State Food and Drug Administration confirmed that it had requested local authorities to inspect capsule manufacturers in their provinces. The problem appears to stem from very high chromium levels in the capsules rather than their contents, thus it affects products varying from herbal medicines through to antibiotics in a variety of locations. CCTV said in a report that the gelatin from companies in northern Hebei Province and eastern Jiangxi Province and used in the capsules manufacture was made from scraps of leather material.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has issued newly created guidelines for the screening, treatment, and management of lupus nephritis - a severe manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) where the disease attacks the kidneys. Previously, only general guidelines for SLE existed for clinicians. The guidelines, available in Arthritis Care & Research, are specific to lupus nephritis and include methods for identifying renal disease, newer therapies, and treatment of pregnant SLE patients with kidney involvement. The ACR estimates that up to 322, 000 adult Americans are diagnosed with SLE, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, fatigue, joint pain, and organ damage. Lupus nephritis is one of the most serious complications of SLE where inflammation of the kidney could lead to renal failure.
Should HCPs In Pharmacotherapeutic Treatment For Opioid Addiction Be Allowed To Return To Clinical Practice?
Many health care professionals (HCPs) have easy access to controlled medications and the diversion and abuse of drugs among this group may be as high as 10%. Controversy surrounds the safety of allowing addicted HCPs to return to clinical practice while undergoing medical treatment with opioid substitution therapy such as buprenorphine. In the March issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Heather Hamza, CRNA, MS, of the Department of Anesthesiology, Los Angeles County Medical Center at the University of Southern California, and Ethan O. Bryson, MD, of the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York, review the evidence and call for abstinence-based recovery instead. "Because health care professionals are typically engaged in safety-sensitive work with considerable consequences when errors occur, abstinence-based recovery should be recommended until studies demonstrate that it is safe to allow this population to practice while undergoing opioid replacement therapy, " says Dr.
Prostate cancer cells that defy treatment and display heightened tumor-generating capacity can be identified by levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) expressed in the tumor cells, a research team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports in Cell Stem Cell. "Using a new technique, we were able for the first time to separate low-PSA and high-PSA prostate cancer cells. This led to the discovery of a low-PSA population of cancer stem cells that appears to be an important source of castration-resistant prostate cancer, " said study senior author Dean Tang, Ph.D., professor in MD Anderson's Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis. Hormone therapy is used to block production of testosterone, which fuels prostate cancer growth, via either chemical or physical castration.
1. Evidence Review: Screening Women for Intimate Partner Violence May Have Benefits, Few Harms Intimate partner violence, or IPV, includes a range of abusive behaviors perpetrated by someone who is in an intimate relationship with the victim. Abusive behaviors may include physical violence, sexual violence, rape, and psychological aggression - all of which have immediate health effects on the victim. While victims and perpetrators can be male or female, women are disproportionately victimized (up to 5.3 million women are affected each year in the U.S.). In 2004, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) found insufficient evidence to support screening women for IPV. To inform an update of its previous recommendation, the Task Force reviewed articles published since 2003 to determine the effectiveness of IPV screening and interventions for women in health care settings in reducing IPV and related health outcomes, the diagnostic accuracy of screening tools, and adverse effects of screening and interventions.
A new study from The Commonwealth Fund reveals that although health care expenditures are greater in the United States than in 12 other developed countries, the care provided is not "notably superior." According to the study, in 2009, the United States spent almost $8, 000 per person on health care services, compared with Japan and New Zealand who spent approximately $2, 666 and Norway and Switzerland $5, 333. Even though survival rates for colorectal and breast cancer in the U.S. are better, the nation has some of the highest rates of potentially preventable deaths from asthma and amputations due to diabetes. In addition, rates for in-hospital deaths from stroke and heart attack are no better than average. Study author David Squires, senior research associate at The Commonwealth Fund says that greater use of technology and higher prices seem to be the leading factors driving the high rates of spending in the United States, rather than greater use of physician and hospital services.
The latest issue of the journal Annals of Oncology reports that a major new study by one of the country's leading cancer centers, the VU University Medical Center (VUMC) in Amsterdam has revealed that widespread use of advanced radiotherapy techniques in the Netherlands has resulted in improved survival rates amongst elderly lung cancer patients. Until now, the VUMC has treated over a thousand patients for pulmonary tumors with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR). Varian Medical Systems supplied the machines for the SABR treatment. Dr. Niels Haasbeek from VUMC's department of radiation oncology, the first author of the publication, states: "The greater use of advanced radiotherapy techniques have led to large improvements in survival for Dutch lung cancer patients over the age of 75, many of whom are too frail to undergo surgery.
Diabetes drug Victoza (liraglutide [rDNA] injection) has been shown to be superior to Januvia (sitagliptin) in achieving body weight reduction and blood sugar control, Novo Nordisk has announced. The drug's label in the USA has been updated, demonstrating its superior effectiveness when compared to Januvia, as well as approval by the Food and Drug Administration for combination treatment for patients with diabetes type II (Vectoza in combination with basal insulin). Novo Nordisk informs that a label update also explains about the safety and efficacy of adding basal insulin to Victoza and metformin for diabetes type II therapy. The FDA examined data from two large, randomized, open-label clinical trials in adult patients with diabetes type II. Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president and chief science officer of Novo Nordisk, said: "The data from these studies further demonstrate the strong clinical profile and the value of Victoza in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Stanford University School of Medicine neuroscientists have demonstrated, in a study published online in Stroke, that a compound mimicking a key activity of a hefty, brain-based protein is capable of increasing the generation of new nerve cells, or neurons, in the brains of mice that have had strokes. The mice also exhibited a speedier recovery of their athletic ability. These results are promising, because the compound wasn't administered to the animals until a full three days after they had suffered strokes, said the study's senior author, Marion Buckwalter, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of neurology and neurological sciences. This means that the compound works not by limiting a stroke's initial damage to the brain, but by enhancing recovery. This is of critical significance, said Buckwalter, a practicing clinical neurologist who often treats recently arrived stroke patients in Stanford Hospital's intensive care unit.
Asthma is an extremely common condition amongst elite athletes; one of whom is marathon runner Paula Radcliffe. Since the 70s, the numbers of athletes suffering from asthma has gradually risen at almost every Olympics, and in 2004, nearly 21% of Team GB had asthma, in comparison to 8% of the British population. Journalist Sophie Arie published findings in BMJ which show that many asthmatic athletes may not be using the best therapy for their condition and could be risking their long-term health. The article is published under BMJ's new Olympics portal, www.bmj.com/olympics, which will be open until the end of the Olympics and Para-Olympics and features online resources to keep doctors up-to-date with sports medicine content from across the BMJ Group. Intense physical exertion can sometimes trigger asthma-like symptoms.
Although the two disorders may seem dissimilar, epilepsy and psychosis are associated. Individuals with epilepsy are more likely to have schizophrenia, and a family history of epilepsy is a risk factor for psychosis. It is not known whether the converse is true, i.e., whether a family history of psychosis is a risk factor for epilepsy. Multiple studies using varied investigative techniques have shown that patients with schizophrenia and patients with epilepsy show some similar structural brain and genetic abnormalities, suggesting they may share a common etiology. To investigate this possibility, researchers conducted a population-based study of parents and their children born in Helsinki, Finland. Using data available in two Finnish national registers, the study included 9, 653 families and 23, 404 offspring.
Jena s Leibniz Institute for Age Research Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) and Berlin s Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) from Germany are jointly starting a project for ageing research in 2012. Within the framework of the "Joint Initiative Research and Innovation" (PAKT), researchers want to identify molecular networks responsible for a long life in health. Naked mole-rats (Heterocephalus glaber) act as a model organism, these animals can reach a high age without suffering from age-related diseases. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal States invest 1.5 million euro within three years for this innovative research. The continuous increase in life expectancy and age-related diseases represents an ethical and economic challenge to human society.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 30% of the nation's workers are sleeping under 6 hours a day, which is less than the 7 to 9 hours that the National Sleep Foundation recommends for healthy adults. To assess the prevalence of insufficient sleep among US workers, the CDC analyzed data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). They published the results in the 27 April issue of their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Insufficient sleep is an important public health issue: it can have serious and sometimes fatal consequences for tired workers and the people around them. For instance, according to the CDC, some 20% of motor vehicle crashes are linked to drowsy driving. For their analysis of the NHIS data, the CDC looked at reported sleep duration according to age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education and employment characteristics (eg industry sector and usual shift working).
Despite longstanding recommendations for children with asthma to avoid tobacco smoke, many youths are still exposed to secondhand smoke and their health suffers because of it, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston. "National asthma guidelines have advised avoidance of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) for patients with asthma for decades, but it is unclear to what degree these recommendations are being followed and what the impact of exposure has been in an era of increased awareness of the effects of ETS exposure, " said lead author Lara J. Akinbami, MD, FAAP, medical officer, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers undertook this investigation after co-author Brian Kit, MD, MPH, conducted a study showing that 53 percent of children with asthma were exposed to smoke from cigarettes, cigars or pipes from 2005 to 2010.
Results from the Copenhagen City Heart study reveals that regular jogging considerably increases life expectancy of men by 6.2 years and women by 5.6 years. In order to gain the optimum benefits for longevity the researchers recommend jogging at a slow or average pace for between one to two and half hours per week. The study, which reviewed evidence on whether jogging is healthy or hazardous, was presented at the EuroPRevent2012 meeting, held May 3 to May 5, 2012, in Dublin Ireland. Peter Schnohr, chief cardiologist of the Copenhagen City Heart Study, explained: "The results of our research allow us to definitively answer the question of whether jogging is good for your health. We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity. The good news is that you don't actually need to do that much to reap the benefits.
Researchers have identified enzymes and biochemical compounds called lipids that are targeted and modified by the dengue virus during infection, suggesting a potential new approach to control the aggressive mosquito-borne pathogen. Findings also suggest that medications used to treat high cholesterol and other lipid-related conditions might also inhibit dengue's replication and could represent a potential new therapy. The researchers have identified how infected mosquito cells undergo changes to certain lipids in membranes and in biochemical sensors that alert cells of invading viruses. "The virus reorganizes the internal architecture of the cell to support its own needs, " said Purdue University research scientist Rushika Perera. "Many details are unknown. This is our first attempt to understand how the virus alters lipids as part of the infection process.
Researchers have rejuvenated aged hematopoietic stem cells to be functionally younger, offering intriguing clues into how medicine might one day fend off some of the ailments of old age. Scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the Ulm University Medicine in Germany report their findings online in the journal Cell Stem Cell. The paper brings new perspective to what has been a life science controversy - countering what used to be broad consensus that the aging of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) was locked in by nature and not reversible by therapeutic intervention. HSCs are stem cells that originate in the bone marrow and generate all of the body's red and white blood cells and platelets. They are an essential support mechanism of blood cells and the immune system. As humans and other species age, HSCs become more numerous but less effective at regenerating blood cells and immune cells.
The mantra in stroke care is "time is brain." With each passing minute more brain cells are irretrievably lost and, because of this, timely diagnosis and treatment is essential to increase the chances for recovery. While significant strides have been made to improve the response time of caregivers, a new study shows that a critical step in the process - imaging of the brain to determine the nature of the stroke - is still occurring too slowly at too many hospitals. A study out this month in the journal Stroke shows that only 41.7 percent of stroke patients underwent brain imaging within the recommended 25 minutes of their arrival at a hospital. It also found that certain individuals, including people with diabetes, those over 75 years of age, women, those that did not arrive by ambulance, non-whites, and those with certain cardiac conditions were less likely to receive a timely brain scan.
Autologous (self-donated) mononuclear cells derived from bone marrow (BMMNCs) have been found to significantly induce vascular growth when transplanted into patients with diabetes who are suffering from critical limb ischemia caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD), a complication of diabetes. The team of researchers in Seville, Spain who carried out the study published their results in a recent issue of Cell Transplantation (20:10), now freely available on-line.* "Critical limb ischemia in diabetic patients is associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality; however, neovascularization induced by stem cell therapy could be a useful approach for these patients, " said study corresponding author Dr. Bernat Soria of the Andaluz Center for Biologic and Molecular Regenerative Medicine in Seville, Spain.
As public health experts warn that the spread of dengue fever could prove more costly globally and cause more sickness than even malaria, a new report published in the May issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene finds each year dengue is inflicting a US$ 37.8 million burden on Puerto Rico and that every $1 invested in traditional surveillance and prevention could save $5 in costs of illness. The study by researchers at Brandeis University's Schneider Institutes for Health Policy is the first to look at who bears the cost - across households, governments, employers and insurance companies and how much - when dengue strikes. Overall, households accounted for almost half of the costs of the disease, with government paying for 24 percent, insurance companies 22 percent, and employers seven percent.
A two-drug combination is one of the most promising advances in decades for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB) - a disease that kills 2 million people annually - a scientist reported at the 243 National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The treatment, which combines two medications already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), delivers a knockout punch to forms of TB that shrug off other antibiotics. John Blanchard, Ph.D., pointed out that TB is fostering a global public health crisis. Up to one-third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the bacterium that causes TB. Mtb can be especially serious among the elderly, individuals infected with the AIDS virus and others with weakened immune systems. Of special concern is the emergence of drug-resistant forms of the TB microbe, including the so-called XDR and MDR strains that shrug off the most powerful antibiotics.
To improve the quality of life in gay men and minorities treated for prostate cancer, a greater awareness of ethnic and sexual preference-related factors is needed to help men choose a more-suitable treatment plan, researchers from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital conclude in a literature review published in Nature Reviews Urology. Some of the factors to consider, for example, include increased risk of urinary and bowel function decline in African Americans regardless of treatment received and differing sexual expectations and social support in gay men. "Different communities of men view the effects of prostate cancer treatments very differently, " said co-author Edouard J. Trabulsi, M.D., of the Department of Urology and Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, noting the poorer quality of life among certain subpopulations.
The FDA announced today that it wants to take action to protect public health in regards to the use of antibiotics in food producing animals. The issue has been in the media recently with reports of farmers treating livestock with barrages of antimicrobial drugs for no compelling reason. As with any antibiotic, the problem is that the bacteria slowly develop resistance, making the drugs less effective and even causing epidemics of superbugs. With this in mind, the FDA is proposing a voluntary system to start monitoring how these drugs are used on farm animals and to create guidelines for them only to be used strictly and when medically necessary. The FDA back up their actions with scientifically produced reports of the harmful effects of using antibiotics without due process or medical need.
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered how exposure to arsenic can turn normal stem cells into cancer stem cells and spur tumor growth. Inorganic arsenic, which affects the drinking water of millions of people worldwide, has been previously shown to be a human carcinogen. A growing body of evidence suggests that cancer is a stem-cell based disease. Normal stem cells are essential to normal tissue regeneration, and to the stability of organisms and processes. But cancer stem cells are thought to be the driving force for the formation, growth, and spread of tumors. Michael Waalkes, Ph.D., and his team at the National Toxicology Program Laboratory, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of NIH, had shown previously that normal cells become cancerous when they are treated with inorganic arsenic.
Washington State University researchers have found that ovarian disease can result from exposures to a wide range of environmental chemicals and be inherited by future generations. WSU reproductive biologist Michael Skinner and his laboratory colleagues looked at how a fungicide, pesticide, plastic, dioxin and hydrocarbon mixtures affected a gestating rat's progeny for multiple generations. They saw subsequent generations inherit ovarian disease by "epigenetic transgenerational inheritance." Epigenetics regulates how genes are turned on and off in tissues and cells. Three generations were affected, showing fewer ovarian follicles - the source of eggs - and increased polycystic ovarian disease. The findings suggest ancestral environmental exposures and epigenetics may be a significant added factor in the development of ovarian disease, says Skinner.