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August 7, 2006, 3:38 PM CT

Classification of Diets

Classification of Diets
People have come to identify some essential factors which influence the general state of health and quality of life. These factors include eating, working, exercising, resting and spiritual activity closely associated with one's mental state.

Eating crucially influences the state of health. It provides the body with essential vital substances which are subsequently converted into the necessary forms of energy for life. For this reason, special attention has always been given to eating. A wide range of diets emerged from various traditions and philosophies.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


August 6, 2006, 11:26 AM CT

Simple Reassurance: Does It Work?

Simple Reassurance: Does It Work?
The humanistic principles of the medical profession are nicely condensed in Oliver Wendell Holmes's old maxim stating that the key role of the physician is “to comfort always.” Thus, beyond the specificity of diagnoses and the effectiveness of treatments, the traditional practice of medicine gave high importance to bedside manner and interpersonal issues.

In contrast, 21st century medicine, with its reliance on technology and the changes in practice patterns (e.g., managed care), leaves little time for face-to-face interactions, gradually eroding the doctor–patient relationship. In this transition towards technological medicine, it would appear that we have switched from “comforting” our patients (where “to comfort” means “to give strength and hope; to ease the grief or trouble; to cheer” [1]) to simply “reassuring” them (where “to reassure” means “to assure anew; or restore to confidence” [1]). In this modern context, “reassurance” simply means to let patients know that their symptoms do not appear to be caused by physical disease.

In primary care, the de facto mental health system [2], large numbers of patients with common mental disorders such as depression or anxiety present with medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS). These somatic presentations have been well documented throughout the years, have always baffled the medical establishment, and metamorphose with cultural evolution and the changing perspectives of medical paradigms [3]. In all their forms, patients presenting with MUPS are the bane of modern medicine. Not fitting anywhere, they land in the vortex of the centuries-old mind–body debate.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 6, 2006, 0:29 AM CT

Reversing Malnutrition

Reversing Malnutrition Patricia Wolff, M.D., examines a young patient in her pediatric clinic in Cap Haitien, Haiti
Swollen bellies, orange hair, listlessness and dull eyes - these are the traits of child malnutrition in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and where roughly one of every three children is chronically malnourished.

To try to change that statistic, Patricia A. Wolff, M.D., associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, founded Meds & Food for Kids (MFK) in 2004, after she saw that medications and small amounts of the local staples rice, beans and corn weren't enough to nourish children back to health.

MFK works to combat childhood malnutrition and related diseases in northern coastal Cap Haitien, Haiti's second-largest city, by giving Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) to malnourished children between 6 months and 5 years old. The mixture, known to Haitians as "Medika Mamba," or peanut-butter medicine, is a nutrient-rich mixture of peanuts, sugar, oil, vitamins, minerals and powdered milk. It is distributed in plastic containers for families to feed their children at home and can be stored for several months.

Children start to show visible signs of improvement about 1-2 weeks after receiving the peanut-butter mixture, becoming more active and growing new black hair. One course of the six-week therapy, which can be enough to renourish the child, costs under US$100.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 4, 2006, 0:24 AM CT

Miscarriage Associated With Age

Miscarriage Associated With Age
In a study conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the New York Psychiatric Institute scientists observed that increasing paternal age is significantly linked to increased rates of spontaneous abortion, a pregnancy loss occurring before twenty weeks of gestation. Results indicate that as the male partner ages there is a steady increase in rate of miscarriage. Women with partners aged 35 or older had nearly three times as a number of miscarriages as compared with women conceiving with men younger than 25 years of age. This finding is independent of the woman's age and not explained by other factors such as diabetes, smoking, or prior spontaneous abortions, and adds to the growing realization of the importance of paternal characteristics for successful reproductive outcome.

"There has been a tremendous amount of research on women, and how their characteristics affect pregnancy outcomes. Of course, women's importance and centrality to pregnancy cannot be overstated. However, researchers seem to have forgotten that men are equal partners in reproduction, and their influence should be studied to the same degree. Our group has focused on men's influence on the health of their offspring, and we have made some fascinating discoveries," said Karine Kleinhaus, MD, MPH currently in Columbia's Department of Psychiatry and first author of the study. "This study shows how a man's age affects the likelihood of miscarriage." .........

Posted by: Emily      Permalink         Source


August 4, 2006, 0:05 AM CT

Links between DNA damage and breast cancer

Links between DNA damage and breast cancer
Scientists from the Pacific Northwest Research Institute (PNRI) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have uncovered a pattern of DNA damage in connective tissues in the human breast that could shed light on the early stages of breast cancer and possibly serve as an early warning of a heightened risk of cancer.

In the United States, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Breast cancer detection and treatment generally target epithelial cells, the primary locus of breast cancers, but in recent years evidence has accumulated that genetic mutations that develop into cancer may occur initially in a deeper layer of breast tissue, called the stroma. Genetic changes in this connective tissue that supports the breast's network of glands and ducts have been reported to precede the cancerous conversion of tumor cells, but the actual role of stromal cells in the early stages of breast cancer initiation and progression is not well understood.

In two recent papers*, the PNRI/NIST team explored the occurrence of damage to stromal DNA caused by free radicals and other oxidants. NIST scientists used a high-precision chemical analysis technique (liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry with isotope dilution) to identify specific DNA lesions, while the PNRI team used a spectroscopic technique (Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy) to reveal subtle conformational changes to DNA base and backbone structures. Such alterations to the molecular structure can change or disrupt gene expression.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 3, 2006, 11:58 PM CT

Race Affects Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Race Affects Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Rajesh Balkrishnan
African Americans may be less likely than whites to take their medicine for Type 2 diabetes as it is prescribed, a new study suggests.

The scientists observed that adherence rates were as much as 12 percent lower among black people when in comparison to whites.

"That's an unacceptable difference, especially because African Americans tend to have higher rates of diabetes and disease-related complications," said Rajesh Balkrishnan, a co-author of study and the Merrell Dow professor of pharmacy at Ohio State University.

Each of the nearly 2,700 study participants were covered by Medicaid, which provided prescription medicine coverage to all enrollees. Still, more than a third of the African Americans and whites in this study failed to take their anti-diabetic medications properly.

"Adherence rates for these types of medications should be better than 90 percent, regardless of who takes them," Balkrishnan said. "Such low rates of adherence may be correlation to lower socioeconomic status and to lower levels of education.

"A number of commercial insurers pay for educators to teach patients the importance of taking their medications as prescribed," he continued. "Medicaid needs to do the same thing. While it invests a lot of money in providing services, it does little to educate its recipients about those services and how to use them. People need to understand the importance of taking their medications".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Permalink         Source


August 3, 2006, 11:49 PM CT

Protector Of DNA, Enemy Of Tumors

Protector Of DNA, Enemy Of Tumors
A single gene plays a pivotal role launching two DNA damage detection and repair pathways in the human genome, suggesting that it functions as a previously unidentified tumor suppressor gene, scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report in Cancer Cell.

The advance online publication also reports that the gene - called BRIT1 - is under-expressed in human ovarian, breast and prostate cancer cell lines.

Defects in BRIT1 seem to be a key pathological alteration in cancer initiation and progression, the authors note, and further understanding of its function may contribute to novel, therapeutic approaches to cancer.

"Disruption of BRIT1 function abolishes DNA damage responses and leads to genomic instability," said senior author Shiaw-Yih Lin, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Therapeutics at M. D. Anderson. Genomic instability fuels the initiation, growth and spread of cancer.

A signaling network of molecular checkpoint pathways protects the human genome by detecting DNA damage, initiating repair and halting division of the damaged cell so that it does not replicate.

In a series of laboratory experiments, Lin and his colleagues show that BRIT1 activates two of these checkpoint pathways. The ATM pathway springs into action in response to damage caused by ionizing radiation. The ATR pathway responds to DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


August 2, 2006, 11:53 PM CT

Key Fat And Cholesterol Cell Regulator

Key Fat And Cholesterol Cell Regulator
Boston, MA -- Scientists at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have identified how a molecular switch regulates fat and cholesterol production, a step that may help advance therapys for metabolic syndrome, the constellation of diseases that includes high cholesterol, obesity, type II diabetes, and high blood pressure. The study is now reported in the online version of the scientific journal Nature and will appear in the August 10th print edition.

"We have identified a key protein that acts together with a family of molecular switches to turn on cholesterol and fat (or lipid) production," says principal investigator Anders Nr, PhD, assistant professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. "The identification of this protein interaction and the nature of the molecular interface may one day allow us to pursue a more comprehensive approach to the therapy of metabolic syndrome".

High levels of cholesterol and lipids are associated with many interrelated medical conditions and diseases, including obesity, type II diabetes, fatty liver, and high blood pressure. This set of conditions and diseases, known as metabolic syndrome, are afflicting a rapidly increasing portion of society and serve as a major risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the developed world.........

Posted by: Daniel      Permalink         Source


August 2, 2006, 11:43 PM CT

Easy Route From Nose To Brain

Easy Route From Nose To Brain
In a continuing effort to find out if the tiniest airborne particles pose a health risk, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers showed that when rats breathe in nano-sized materials they follow a rapid and efficient pathway from the nasal cavity to several regions of the brain, as per a research studyin the recent issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Scientists also saw changes in gene expression that could signal inflammation and a cellular stress response, but they do not know yet if a buildup of ultrafine particles causes brain damage, said lead author Alison Elder, Ph.D., research assistant professor of Environmental Medicine.

The study tested manganese oxide ultrafine particles at a concentration typically inhaled by factory welders. The manganese oxide particles were the same size as manufactured nanoparticles, which are controversial and being diligently investigated because they are the key ingredient in a growing industry -- despite concerns about their safety.

Nanotechnology is a new wave of science that deals with particles engineered from a number of materials such as carbon, zinc and gold, which are less than 100 nanometers in diameter. The manipulation of these materials into bundles or rods helps in the manufacturing of smaller-than-ever electronics, optical and medical equipment. The sub-microscopic particles are also used in consumer products such as toothpaste, lotions and some sunscreens.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


August 2, 2006, 11:40 PM CT

CT Images Faster Than Traditional Scanners

CT Images Faster Than Traditional Scanners
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a new method to create computed tomography (CT) images using carbon nanotube x-rays that works much faster than traditional scanners and uses less peak power.

The work is another step toward developing scanners for medical imaging and homeland security that are smaller, faster, and less expensive to operate, said Dr. Otto Zhou, Lyle Jones Distinguished Professor of Materials Science, in the curriculum in applied and materials sciences and the department of physics and astronomy, both in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences.

"The current Computerized axial tomography scanners take images sequentially, which is slow and inefficient. Using the nanotube x-ray technology, we show in this paper the feasibility of multiplexing - taking multiple images at the same time," Zhou said.

Carbon nanotubes, made of layers of carbon atoms, can be as small as one nanometer - one billionth of a meter - in diameter. The UNC team uses them in this work because they can emit electrons without high heat.

The new development is reported in the current edition of the journal Applied Physics Letters. The lead author of the paper is Dr. Jian Zhang, a postdoctoral research associate in the UNC School of Medicine's department of radiation oncology. In addition to Zhou, other authors - all from UNC - are Dr. Sha Chang, associate professor of radiation oncology; doctoral candidate Guan Yang and Dr. Jianping Lu, professor of condensed matter physics, both of the department of physics and astronomy; and Dr. Yueh Lee, an intern at the medical school and an adjunct assistant professor in physics and astronomy.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         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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