February 18, 2009, 6:18 AM CT
Why do you experience fatigue with inflammatory disease?
Image showing a brain blood vessel (outlined in red) and a monocyte within the blood vessel and adherent to the vessel wall (yellow), and a monocyte within the brain after being recruited from the blood (green) in a mouse with liver inflammation.
Credit: The Journal of Neuroscience
people feel so tired and listless. Eventhough the brain is commonly isolated from the immune system, the study suggests that certain behavioral changes suffered by those with chronic inflammatory diseases are caused by the infiltration of immune cells into the brain. The findings suggest possible new therapy avenues to improve patients' quality of life.
Chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and liver disease cause "sickness behaviors," including fatigue, malaise, and loss of social interest. However, it has been unclear how inflammation in other organs in the body can impact the brain and behavior.
The scientists observed that in mice with inflamed livers, white blood cells called monocytes infiltrated the brain. These findings support prior research demonstrating the presence of immune cells in the brain following organ inflammation, challenging the long-held belief that the blood-brain barrier prevents immune cells from accessing the brain.
"Using an experimental model of liver inflammation, our group has shown for the first time the existence of a novel communication pathway between the inflamed liver and the brain," said the study's senior author Mark Swain, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Calgary.........
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February 18, 2009, 6:15 AM CT
Predicting recurrence in colorectal cancer
(PHILADELPHIA) Findings reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association
by scientists at Thomas Jefferson University show that the presence of a biomarker in regional lymph nodes is an independent predictor of disease recurrence in patients with colorectal cancer.
Detection of the biomarker, guanylyl cyclase 2C (GUCY2C), indicates the presence of occult metastases in lymph nodes that may not have been identified by current cancer staging methods, as per Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.
As per Dr. Waldman, who is also the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Professor of Clinical Pharmacology in the Department of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College, colorectal cancer that has metastasized, or spread, to the regional lymph nodes carries a worse prognosis and a higher risk for recurrence. However, these metastases are often missed, and the cancer is understaged.
"One of the unmet needs in colorectal cancer is an accurate staging method to determine how far the disease has spread," said Dr. Waldman, who is also director of the Gastrointestinal Malignancies Program at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. "The current standard method, histopathology, is imperfect since it only involves looking at a very small sample of the regional lymph nodes under a microscope. There is no way to know whether occult metastases are present in the rest of the tissue".........
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February 18, 2009, 6:13 AM CT
Benefits of eating egg
The Nutrition Today
review analyzes more than 25 protein studies and concludes that the all-natural, high-quality protein in eggs contributes to strength, power and energy in the following ways:
- Sustained energy: The protein in eggs provides steady and sustained energy because it does not cause a surge in blood sugar or insulin levels, which can lead to a rebound effect or energy "crash" as levels drop. Eggs are a nutrient-rich source of high-quality protein and provide several B vitamins mandatory for the production of energy in the body, such as thiamin, riboflavin, folate, B12 and B6.
- Muscle strength: Dietary protein intake directly influences muscle mass, strength and function in people of all ages. One egg provides more than six grams of high-quality protein (13 percent of the Daily Value), which can help individuals build and preserve muscle mass, and help elderly adults prevent muscle loss. Eggs are also rich in leucine, an essential amino acid that contributes to the muscle's ability to use energy and aids in post-exercise muscle recovery.
- Gold-standard protein: The high-quality protein in eggs provides all of the essential amino acids our bodies need to build and maintain muscle mass. In fact, the quality of egg protein is so high that researchers frequently use eggs as the standard for evaluating the protein quality of other foods.(5).........
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February 18, 2009, 6:11 AM CT
What would be the right way to cope with tragedy?
Researcher Mark Seery says there is no 'right' way to cope with a traumatic event.
After a collective trauma, such as Thursday's crash of Continental Flight 3407, an entire community (or even the nation) can be exposed to the tragedy through media coverage and second-hand accounts, as per Mark Seery, Ph.D., University at Buffalo assistant professor of psychology.
"Individuals potentially suffer negative effects on their mental and physical health, even if they have not 'directly' experienced the loss of someone they know or have not witnessed the event or its aftermath in person," Seery says.
In this type of situation, it is common for people to believe that everyone exposed to the tragedy will need to talk about it, and if they do not, they are suppressing their "true" thoughts and feelings, which will only rebound later and cause them problems.
This is not always the case, Seery explains.
"Expressing one's thoughts and feelings to a supportive listener can certainly be a good thing, whether it is to family and friends or to a professional therapist or counselor. However, this does not mean that it is bad or unhealthy to not want to express thoughts and feelings when given the opportunity".
Seery's perspective results from his research of people's responses following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He and his colleagues studied a national sample of people, most of whom did not witness the events in person or lose a loved one. They did, however, experience the events through media coverage.........
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February 18, 2009, 6:08 AM CT
Iron overload in alcoholics
Alcohol and iron are believed to have a synergistic effect in the development of liver injury. Furthermore, alcohol enhances iron absorption. Primary hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder, mostly resulting from mutations in the HFE gene, with a disturbance in the iron metabolism which leads to iron accumulation that may eventually result in liver disease. However, data regarding an association between iron metabolism, HFE mutations and alcoholic liver disease are inconclusive at present.
A research article to be published on January 7, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology
addresses this question. A research team led by Professor Helena Cortez-Pinto, from Hospital Santa Maria in Lisbon, studied a group of heavy drinkers with and without liver disease. A high prevalence of iron overload was found in alcoholics, which appeared to be correlation to the development of liver disease [odds ration for having liver disease in alcoholics with transferrin saturation greater than 45% was 2.2 (95% CI 1.37-3.54)]. Regarding HFE mutations, only H63D was found to be linked to alcoholic liver disease [odds ratio 1.57 (95% CI 1.02-2.40)]. Alcoholics who were heterozygotes for H63D mutation and had evidence of iron overload, showed an even greater risk of developing liver disease [odds ratio 2.17 (95% CI 1.42-3.32)].........
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February 18, 2009, 6:04 AM CT
Chemotherapy after surgery in gastric cancer
Peritoneal carcinomatosis can be thought of as a series of events that together form a peritoneal metastatic cascade. The peritoneal stromal tissue may be a friendly host for tumour proliferation, providing a rich source of growth factors and chemokines known to be involved in tumour metastasis. Till now, our understanding of the molecular mediators that orchestrate this cascade is weakly understood. Astragalus memebranaceus,a traditional chinese herbal medicine used for the therapy of common cold , diarrhea, fatigue anorexia and cardiac diseases. In recent years, it has been proposed that Astragalus may possess anti-apoptosis potential in peritoneal mesothelial cell. In spite of this, the anti-apoptosis effects of Astragalus saponin extract in human peritoneal mesothelial cells during peritoneal carcinomatosishas has not been studied. In this study, the anti-apoptosis effects of Astragalus saponin extract were investigated in human peritoneal mesothelial cells during peritoneal gastric cancer metastasis.
A research article to be published on February 7, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology
addresses this question. The research team led by Professor Hui-Mian Xu from Department of Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital, China Medical University.Human peritoneal mesothelial cell line HMrSV5 was co-incubated with gastric cancer cell supernatant and/or Astragalus injection. Morphological changes were observed. Apoptosis was determined by transmission electron microscope. Apoptosis was also quantified by two methods: the detection of acridine orange/ethidium bromide-stained condensed nuclei by fluorescent microscopy and flow cytometry. The expressions of Bcl-2 and Bax were reviewed by immunostaining.........
Posted by: Sue Read more Source
February 16, 2009, 9:51 PM CT
Migraine, stroke and heart attack
ST. PAUL, Minn. New research looks at whether a gene variant may affect the link between migraine and stroke or heart attacks. The study is reported in the February 17, 2009, print issue of Neurology
, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
The study involved 25,000 women who answered a questionnaire about their history of migraines and migraines with aura. Aura is commonly described as visual disturbances, such as flashing lights or geometric patterns. The women were tested for a genetic variant called the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) D/I polymorphism.
A total of 4,577 women reported a history of migraine and of those, 1,275 had migraine with aura. Twelve years after the start of the study, 625 strokes and heart attacks were reported.
The study did not find a link between the gene variant and migraine, migraine with aura, stroke or heart attacks. However, women who had migraine with aura and also were carriers of certain genotypes, called the DD and the DI genotypes, had double the risk of stroke and heart attacks. In contrast, women who had migraine with aura and were carriers of a third genotype, called the II genotype, were not at increased risk. The authors add the caution that this relationship was identified with very little information and must be tested in other studies to determine if it is real.........
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February 16, 2009, 9:49 PM CT
Insulin analogues or Insulin?
Insulin analogues are modified human insulins developed to address the limitations of human insulins which do not always respond to increased blood glucose levels in the same way as insulin that is naturally secreted by the body.
A comprehensive systematic review by Sumeet Singh and his colleagues http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg385.pdf. looked at outcomes linked to the use of rapid- and long-acting insulin analogues in adult and childhood type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as gestational diabetes.
"Our results suggest that differences between conventional insulins and insulin analogues are minimal in the management of type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes," write Mr. Singh and coauthors. They suggest that insulin analogues appears to be useful for some patients with problematic hypoglycemia.
In a companion research study http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg400.pdf looking at cost-effectiveness of insulin analogues, CADTH scientists observed that the routine use of long-acting insulin analogues in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes or use of rapid-acting analogues in patients with type 2 diabetes is not likely to be economically viable in a health care system with finite resources.
However, for adults with type 1 diabetes, rapid-acting insulin analogues can make sense as they appear to be cost-effective over human insulin.........
Posted by: JoAnn Read more
February 16, 2009, 9:47 PM CT
What's the link between Parkinsonism and melanoma?
People with a family history of melanoma may have a greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease, as per a research studyreleased recently that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25 to May 2, 2009.
The study involved nearly 157,000 people who did not have Parkinson's disease. They were asked if their parents or siblings had been diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Scientists then traced their progress for a period of 14 to 20 years. During that time, 616 of the people were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Scientists observed that people with a reported family history of melanoma were nearly twice as likely to develop Parkinson's as people with no family history.
"The results from this study suggest that melanoma and Parkinson's could share common genetic components," said study author Xiang Gao, MD, PhD, of the Harvard University School of Public Health in Boston, MA. "More research needs to be done to examine the relationship between these two diseases."
Other studies have shown that people with Parkinson's disease have a greater risk of developing melanoma.........
Posted by: George Read more
February 16, 2009, 9:29 PM CT
About antimicrobial resistance
Antibiotic resistance and the rise of illnesses that cannot be treated easily because of drug resistance is a health concern around the world. CMAJ
launches a 6-part series on antibiotic resistance to provide practical therapy guidelines for practicing doctors to manage resistant microbes in 3 settings: the hospital, clinic and home. The current issue features 3 articles on the topic.
An analysis by Dr. David Patrick from the BC Centre for Disease Control and Dr. Jim Hutchinson contains practical guidelines for clinicians to help reduce antibiotic exposure http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg416.pdf. "Our collective prescriptions constitute an ecological problem that may reduce the success of future treatment," write Dr. Patrick and coauthor. They point out that changes to drug formularies at the institutional level and in reimbursements from provincial drug plans result in the biggest shifts in antibiotic use.
A review by Dr. Andrew Simor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto and scientists from the Public Health Agency of Canada focuses on antimicrobial resistance in hospitals, the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance, transmission of these organisms and the impact of antimicrobial resistance http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg408.pdf. They note that enhanced monitoring, hand washing hygiene and other infection prevention control measures may help limit the increase of antibiotic resistance in Canada.........
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