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June 8, 2010, 6:38 AM CT

Getting extra sleep improves the athletic performance

Getting extra sleep improves the athletic performance
Getting extra sleep over an extended period of time improves athletic performance, alertness and mood, as per a research abstract that will be presented Tuesday, June 8, 2010, in San Antonio, Texas, at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

Results indicate that football players' sprint times improved significantly after seven to eight weeks of sleep extension. Average sprint time in the 20-yard shuttle improved from 4.71 seconds to 4.61 seconds, and the average 40-yard dash time decreased from 4.99 seconds to 4.89 seconds. Daytime sleepiness and fatigue also decreased significantly, while vigor scores significantly improved.

"Sleep duration appears to be an important consideration for an athlete's daily training regimen," said main author Cheri Mah of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory in Stanford, Calif. "Furthermore, sleep extension also may contribute to minimizing the effects of accumulated sleep deprivation and thus could be a beneficial strategy for optimal performance".

The study involved seven healthy students on the Stanford University football team. Their ages ranged from 18 to 22 years, and they played a variety of positions on the team. Participants maintained their habitual sleep/wake schedule for two weeks at the beginning of the season to establish their baseline measures.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 8, 2010, 6:36 AM CT

Cost of caring for stroke patients

Cost of caring for stroke patients
Health-care costs for patients in just the first six months after they have a stroke is more than $2.5 billion a year in Canada, as per a research studypresented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

The Canadian Stroke Network's Burden of Ischemic Stroke (BURST) study observed that the direct and indirect health-care costs for new stroke patients tally an average $50,000 in the six-month period following a new stroke. There are about 50,000 new strokes in Canada each year.

Earlier and widely quoted estimates, based on the most recent data from Health Canada's Economic Burden of Illness (1998), indicated that the total cost of stroke in Canada was $2.4 billion a year for both new stroke patients and long-term survivors. There are 300,000 people living with stroke in Canada.

"Our old estimates of how much stroke costs the economy are way off base," says Dr. Mike Sharma, who together with Dr. Nicole Mittmann of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, led the BURST study, which is the first prospective national economic analysis on stroke costs.

"The cost of stroke is far more than we expected at least double prior estimates."

BURST scientists examined the health-care costs of 232 hospitalized stroke patients in 12 sites across Canada at discharge, three months, six months, and one year. The study looked at both disabling and non-disabling stroke.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


June 7, 2010, 6:51 AM CT

Potential genetic factor in eating disorders

Potential genetic factor in eating disorders
Kelly Klump, associate professor of psychology, studies the biological causes of eating disorders.

For the first time, researchers have discovered a possible biological culprit in the development of eating disorders during puberty: a type of estrogen called estradiol.

The groundbreaking pilot study led by Michigan State University observed that influence of one's genes on eating disorder symptoms was much greater in pubertal girls with higher levels of estradiol than pubertal girls with lower levels of estradiol. The study appears in the journal Psychological Medicine.

Lead investigator Kelly Klump, MSU associate professor of psychology, said prior research had established that eating disorders are influenced by both genetic and environmental factors once a girl hits puberty.

The underlying effects of the genes, however, were unknown.

"The reason we see an increase in genetic influences during puberty is that the genes for disordered eating are essentially getting switched on during that time," said Klump. "This research was trying to figure out why. What's turning on the genes during puberty? And what we found is that increases in estradiol apparently are activating genetic risk for eating disorders".

Estradiol is the predominant form of estrogen in females and is responsible for the growth of reproductive organs and also influences other organs including bones.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 7, 2010, 6:50 AM CT

Vandetanib shows clinical benefit for lung cancer

Vandetanib shows clinical benefit for lung cancer
Roy Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor and chief of the section of MD Anderson's Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology.
When combined with standard chemotherapy, an international Phase III trial has shown that the oral targeted treatment vandetanib improves progression-free survival for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, as per research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The findings, reported in the Lancet Oncology, mark the first clinical benefit of a small molecule targeted agent and standard chemotherapy in combination for lung cancer. The study was first presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

"This study shows that an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor can be combined with chemotherapy safely and effectively to provide systematic benefit to patients with this life-threatening disease," said Roy Herbst, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chief of the section of MD Anderson's Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology and the study's corresponding author. "Still, we need to build on this research and turn our focus toward better identifying molecular markers involved, with the ultimate goal of personalizing our patient's care."

The treatment is unique in that it's a dual inhibitor and targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR). It is the first single agent in lung cancer to target both receptors, said Herbst, the study's international principal investigator.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


June 7, 2010, 6:48 AM CT

How smarter school lunchrooms increase fruit sales

How smarter school lunchrooms increase fruit sales
Professor Brian Wansink will present findings from Cornell University's Smarter Lunchroom Initiative at the Food for Your Whole Life Health Symposium in New York City on June 6-7.

Credit: Jason Koski, Cornell University

How a number of more apples can a school cafeteria sell if the fruit is displayed in an attractive basket and placed in a well-lit area? .

That's the sort of question scientists from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab are exploring as part of their Smarter Lunchrooms Initiativean effort to discover and share low-cost changes that can be made in lunchrooms to subtly guide smarter food choices.

Led by Professor Brian Wansink, the scientists observed a 58 percent increase in fresh fruit sales at one Upstate New York school simply by moving the fruit from a stainless steel tray and into a basket lit by an ordinary desk lamp.

Wansink will present these findings and others at the Food for Your Whole Life Health Symposium on June 6-7 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.

"The best solution is often the simplest one," Wansink explained. "Rather than penalizing a less healthy food choice, we just made the healthier item much more likely to be noticed and chosen."

Later in the week, Wansinkalong with colleagues David Just and Mitsuru Shimizuwill deliver presentations at a two-day Consumer Camp event on the Cornell University campus on June 10-11.

While Thursday's proceedings are geared toward school nutrition professionals and require pre-registration, Friday's sessions are free and open to the public.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 7, 2010, 6:41 AM CT

Regular bedtimes for children

Regular bedtimes for children
Children in households with bedtime rules and children who get adequate sleep score higher on a range of developmental evaluations, as per a research abstract that will be presented Monday, June 7, 2010, in San Antonio, Texas, at SLEEP 2010, the 24th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

Results indicate that among sleep habits, having a regular bedtime was the most consistent predictor of positive developmental outcomes at 4 years of age. Scores for receptive and expressive language, phonological awareness, literacy and early math abilities were higher in children whose parents reported having rules about what time their child goes to bed. Having an earlier bedtime also was predictive of higher scores for most developmental measures.

The study also provides a wealth of information about typical sleep patterns in 4-year-old children. As per the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, preschool children should get a minimum of 11 hours of sleep each night. Getting less than this recommended amount of sleep, the study's authors found, was linked to lower scores on phonological awareness, literacy and early math skills. The data show that a number of children are not getting the recommended amount of sleep, which may have negative consequences for their development and school achievement.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 7, 2010, 6:36 AM CT

Exercise to reduce depression

Exercise to reduce depression
Quebec You don't always need to build up a big sweat to reap the healing benefits of physical activity. Research has observed that even a low-intense exercise program can reduce depression symptoms and boost physical treatment results in recovering stroke patients.

"The power of physical activity to raise the spirits of recovering stroke patients is stronger than anyone suspected," Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher Dr. Jocelyn Harris told Canadian Stroke Congress, co-hosted by the Canadian Stroke Network, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and the Canadian Stroke Consortium.

She says that a number of stroke survivors experience feelings of depression in the weeks and months following stroke, which can interfere with the recovery process. This appears to be due in part to the fact that depression can cause a lack of motivation, increased fatigue, and trouble concentrating.

Intense physical activity has a positive effect on reducing depression for most stroke patients. But some stroke patients undergoing medical therapys have special challenges and can't reach high activity levels, she says.

"A number of stroke patients could never reach aerobic levels high enough to alleviate depressive symptoms," says Dr. Harris, who works at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


June 7, 2010, 6:34 AM CT

Alcohol use and smoking may cause headache

Alcohol use and smoking may cause headache
A novel study by German scientists reported that alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking were linked to increased migraines and tension-type headaches (TTH) in high school students. Coffee drinking and physical inactivity were associated specifically with migraines. Results of this study, the first to investigate modifiable risk factors for different types of headaches in a youth population, appear online early in Headache, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Headache Society.

Previous studies have indicated that headache is one of the most frequently reported health complaints in adolescents with 5%-15% of this age group suffering from migraine and 15%-25% with TTH. Modifiable risk factors, such as alcohol use, cigarette smoking and coffee drinking which have been linked to headache in adults, have not been fully explored in a youth population.

Astrid Milde-Busch, Ph.D. and his colleagues at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Gera number of invited 1,260 students in grades 10 and 11 (aged 14-20) from eleven area public schools to participate in the study. The students were asked to fill out a questionnaire on headache and associated lifestyle factors. Students were asked: 'Did you have headache during the last seven days/three months/six months?' and were classified as headache sufferers if the response was positive. Furthermore, migraine and TTH were differentiated by questions regarding headache characteristics and symptoms. The questionnaire also inquired about diet and lifestyle (e.g. 'Do you daily have breakfast before you go to school?'; 'How much beer, wine and cocktails do you normally drink?'; 'How much coffee do you normally drink?'; 'Do you smoke?').........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 7, 2010, 6:32 AM CT

Smoke-free air laws effective

Smoke-free air laws effective
Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have observed that children and adolescents living in non-smoking homes in counties with laws promoting smoke-free public places have significantly lower levels of a common biomarker of secondhand smoke exposure than those living in counties with no smoke-free laws.

The children living in non-smoking homes in U.S. counties with smoke-free laws had 39% lower prevalence of cotinine in their blood, an indicator of tobacco smoke exposure, in comparison to those living in counties with no smoke-free laws. Children living in homes with smokers exhibited little or no benefit from the smoke-free laws.

The study appears in the June 7, 2010 advance online edition of the journal Pediatrics

"The findings suggest that smoke-free laws are an effective strategy to protect both children and adults from exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, interventions designed to reduce or prevent adults from smoking around children are needed," said Melanie Dove, who received her doctorate in environmental health at HSPH in 2010 and led the study.

The HSPH scientists examined data from the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a cross-sectional survey designed to monitor the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population. They analyzed the cotinine levels in 11,486 nonsmoking youngsters, aged 3-19 years, from 117 counties, both with and without exposure to secondhand smoke in the home.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


June 6, 2010, 8:48 PM CT

Selenium shows no benefit

Selenium shows no benefit
Selenium, a supplement taken daily by millions in hopes of protection against cancer and a host of other diseases, has proven to be of no benefit in reducing a patient's risk of developing lung cancer - either a recurrence or second primary malignancy, as per results of an international Phase III clinical trial.

Results from the decade-long study, initiated by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, were presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2010 Annual Meeting by Daniel D. Karp, M.D., professor in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

"Several epidemiological and animal studies have long-suggested a link between deficiency of selenium and cancer development," said Karp, the study's principal investigator. "Interest and research escalated in the late 1990's after a skin cancer and selenium study, published in 1996, found no benefit against the skin cancer, but did suggest an approximate 30 percent reduction of prostate and lung cancers. Our lung cancer research and another major study for the prevention of prostate cancer evolved from that finding".

These large, follow-up clinical studies investigating the naturally occurring mineral, however, have since proven disappointing. In 2009, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) halted SELECT, an international study of more than 35,000 men investigating if either selenium or Vitamin E, alone or in combination, could reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Both supplements failed to show benefit.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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