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[ New Advance In Body 'Chemical Switch' Study has implications for strokes, heart Attacks ]

New Advance In Body 'Chemical Switch' Study has implications for strokes, heart Attacks

'We have the first realistic insight into how a switch linked to blood-clotting, and therefore connected to strokes and heart-attacks, is operated' - lead researcher Richard Evans. Scientists investigating a 'biochemical switch' linked to strokes and heart disease claim to have made an advance in understanding how it is 'turned on'. The breakthrough is announced in the prestigious science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work was led by a team at the University of Leicester, working in collaboration with Cardiff University, to investigate the 'biochemical switch' identified as the P2X1 receptor. It was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British Heart Foundation. Lead researcher Professor Richard Evans, of the University of Leicester Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology, said: "P2X1 receptors are protein molecules expressed on blood platelets which are cells involved in blood clotting.

Taurine Found To Protect Some From Coronary Heart Disease

A nutrient found in the dark meat of poultry may provide protection against coronary heart disease (CHD) in women with high cholesterol, according to a study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center. The study, published online in the European Journal of Nutrition, evaluated the effects of taurine, a naturally-occurring nutrient found in the dark meat of turkey and chicken, as well as in some fish and shellfish, on CHD. It revealed that higher taurine intake was associated with significantly lower CHD risk among women with high total cholesterol levels. The same association was not seen in women with low cholesterol levels, however. There is very little information available about taurine, said principal investigator Yu Chen, PhD, MPH, associate professor of epidemiology at NYU School of Medicine, part of NYU Langone Medical Center.

Cardiovascular Societies Release Heart Valve Replacement Credentialing Recommendations

Four leading heart organizations representing cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons released initial recommendations for creating and maintaining transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) programs. The recommendations are aimed at ensuring optimal care for patients with aortic stenosis, a form of valvular heart disease, as use of the new TAVR procedure grows. Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of TAVR in November 2011, interest in the procedure has quickly grown among cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons as well as patients, prompting efforts by professional medical societies to identify institutional and physician credentialing criteria for performing the procedure. The recommendations published today represent a joint collaboration of cardiovascular specialty societies, including the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF), the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) and the Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS).

Skeletal Muscle Function May Be Enhanced By Epicatechin-Enriched Cocoa

A small clinical trial led by researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine and VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) found that patients with advanced heart failure and type 2 diabetes showed improved mitochondrial structure after three months of treatment with epicatechin-enriched cocoa. Epicatechin is a flavonoid found in dark chocolate. The results of this initial study has led to the implementation of larger, placebo-controlled clinical trial at UC San Diego School of Medicine and VASDHS to assess if patients with heart failure and diabetes show improvement in their exercise capacity when treated with epicatechin-rich cocoa. The study published this week by the journal Clinical and Translational Science looked at five profoundly ill patients with major damage to skeletal muscle mitochondria.

Key Finding In Stem Cell Self-Renewal

A University of Minnesota-led research team has proposed a mechanism for the control of whether embryonic stem cells continue to proliferate and stay stem cells, or differentiate into adult cells like brain, liver or skin. The work has implications in two areas. In cancer treatment, it is desirable to inhibit cell proliferation. But to grow adult stem cells for transplantation to victims of injury or disease, it would be desirable to sustain proliferation until a sufficient number of cells have been produced to make a usable organ or tissue. The study gives researchers a handle on how those two competing processes might be controlled. It was performed at the university's Hormel Institute in Austin, Minn., using mouse stem cells. The researchers, led by Hormel Institute Executive Director Zigang Dong and Associate Director Ann M.


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