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May 23, 2007, 9:57 PM CT

Sexual orientation affects how we navigate and recall lost objects

Sexual orientation affects how we navigate and recall lost objects
Scientists at the University of Warwick have observed that sexual orientation has a real effect on how we perform mental tasks such as navigating with a map in a car but that old age does not discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation and withers all mens minds alike just ahead of womens.

The University of Warwick scientists worked with the BBC to collect data from over 198,000 people aged 2065 years (109,612 men and 88,509 women). As expected they found men outperformed women on tests such as mentally rotating objects (NB the scientists tests used abstract objects but the skills used are also those one would use in real life to navigate with a map). They observed that women outperformed men in verbal dexterity tests, and remembering the locations of objects. However for many tasks the University of Warwick scientists found key differences across the range of sexual orientations studied.

For instance in mental rotation (a task where men commonly perform better) they observed that the table of best performance to worst was:
  • Heterosexual men.
  • Bisexual men.
  • Homosexual men.
  • Homosexual women.
  • Bisexual women.
  • Heterosexual women.


In general, over the range of tasks measured, where a gender performed better in a task heterosexuals of that gender tended to perform better than non-heterosexuals. When a particular gender was poorer at a task homosexual and bisexual people tended to perform better than heterosexual members of that gender.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 23, 2007, 9:54 PM CT

Botulism bug has few genome wrinkles

Botulism bug has few genome wrinkles
The genome of the organism that produces the world's most lethal toxin is revealed today. This toxin is the one real weapon in the genome of Clostridium botulinum and less than 2 kg - the weight of two bags of sugar - is enough to kill every person on the planet. Very small amounts of the same toxin are used in medical therapys, one of which is known as Botox.

The genome sequence, reported in Genome Research, shows that C. botulinum doesn't have subtle tools to evade our human defences or tricky methods of acquiring resistance to antibiotics. It lives either as a dormant spore or as a scavenger of decaying animal materials in the soil, and doesn't interact with human or other large animal hosts for prolonged periods of time.

Occasionally it gets into a living animal, via contaminated food or open wounds, leading to infant botulism or wound botulism, both of which are serious human infections. The host can be quickly overpowered and, in some cases, killed by the toxin, and C. botulinum has a new food source.

"Eventhough in the same group as Clostridium difficile - the Cdiff superbug - C. botulinum has a genome that is remarkable because it is so stable, "commented Dr Mohammed Sebaihia, lead author on the paper from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Unlike Cdiff, in which more than 10% of genes have been acquired from other bacteria, there is almost no footprint of these in C. botulinum".........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


May 23, 2007, 9:53 PM CT

Bronchial thermoplasty for severe asthma patients

Bronchial thermoplasty for severe asthma patients
The Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty System from Asthmatx
Credit: Asthmatx
A medical device company that has developed a catheter-based procedure for the therapy of asthma, announced recently that positive results from the Research in Severe Asthma (RISA) Trial were reported today at the annual scientific assembly of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) by Neil Thomson, MD, Professor of Respiratory Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland. Clinically and statistically significant improvements in pulmonary function, asthma control, and quality of life, as well as a reduction in use of rescue medications, were observed following the bronchial thermoplasty procedure in patients with severe asthma. Bronchial Thermoplasty is an innovative non-drug therapy for asthma under clinical investigation in the United States.

The RISA Trial was conducted at a total of eight hospitals, in three countries, and reviewed the safety and efficacy of bronchial thermoplasty in 32 adult subjects with severe persistent asthma who remained symptomatic despite taking regular asthma medications. In comparison to patients who received only standard asthma medications, patients who received the bronchial thermoplasty procedure and standard medications showed clinically and statistically significant improvements in pulmonary function, quality of life, and asthma control, and used less rescue medicine nearly 6 months following the procedure. One year following the therapy, 50% of bronchial thermoplasty treated patients were able to wean completely off oral corticosteroids (OCS), in comparison to 14% of patients who did not receive the therapy. Further, a greater overall reduction in OCS dose was observed at 52 weeks in the bronchial thermoplasty treated patients compared with those that did not receive therapy at 52 weeks, eventhough this difference didnt reach statistical significance. The study was not powered to show statistical significance in medicine changes.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 23, 2007, 8:33 PM CT

Same-day coronary angiography and surgery

Same-day coronary angiography and surgery
Mayo Clinic scientists discovered it is safe -- and much more convenient and less costly -- for a number of patients to undergo coronary angiography and elective valve surgery on the same day, it is published in the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

We have developed a protocol to allow patients to safely have coronary angiography on the same day as their elective surgery, says David Holmes Jr., M.D., a heart specialist at Mayo Clinic and one of the study authors. For patients, we are providing quality care and saving them the time and money it takes to make two trips to the hospital for the test and then surgery.

The impact of this research could be significant: Nearly 48,000 heart valve replacement or repair surgeries were registered with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons National Database in 2005, the scientists point out.

Coronary angiography, which is recommended preoperatively for all patients who are considered at risk for coronary artery disease, is frequently done several days or even weeks before surgery; the patient goes home and then returns for surgery. With coronary angiography, a dye is injected into the blood vessels through a thin, flexible tube; the dye or contrast medium allows the doctor to see narrowing or blockage.

One of the primary concerns of performing coronary angiography the same day as surgery is the risk of acute kidney failure, an independent predictor of death after cardiac surgery; mortality rates have been reported as high as 44.4 percent to 63.7 percent, the scientists report. The dye used in angiography is linked to radiocontrast-induced nephropathy, which can cause kidney failure.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 23, 2007, 8:21 PM CT

Benefits Of Aspirin To Prevent Colon Cancer

Benefits Of Aspirin To Prevent Colon Cancer
A colon cancer researcher at the Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals Case Medical Center (UHCMC) has laid out the roadmap for how medical science should employ aspirin and new aspirin-like drugs for use in preventing colon cancer in certain high-risk individuals.

In today's New England Journal (NEJM), Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, writes an editorial accompanying research from Dr. Charles Fuchs' team at Harvard Medical School that lays out the hypothesized mechanism by which the use of aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), also called COX-2 inhibitors, act to decrease the risk of developing colon cancer.

"The compelling evidence that chronic use of aspirin or certain NSAIDS can substantially lower the risk of colon cancer has important implications, particularly because colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death," writes Dr. Markowitz, the Francis Wragg Ingalls Professor of Cancer Genetics at UHCMC and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

In the Journal article, the Harvard researchers' findings demonstrated that two-thirds of colon cancers have high levels of expression of the COX-2 enzyme, which is blocked by aspirin. Individuals who regularly used aspirin over a course of several years demonstrated a 36% decrease in the risk of developing one of these high COX-2 expressing colon cancers. These results again demonstrated that drugs that block COX-2 can decrease the risk of colon cancer, and demonstrated that such drugs specifically target those individuals whose tumor development is encouraged by the action of the COX-2 enzyme.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 23, 2007, 7:46 PM CT

Aripiprazole In Adolescents With Schizophrenia

Aripiprazole In Adolescents With Schizophrenia
In a six-week study in adolescents (13-17 years old) with schizophrenia, the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) atypical antipsychotic aripiprazole demonstrated significant improvement in comparison to placebo on the primary efficacy endpoint, Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) Total Score. In the findings first presented here at the 160th annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, approximately 85 percent of patients completed this six-week study. (1), (2) .

"Data on the management of schizophrenia in adolescents are limited," said Robert Findling, M.D., Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio. "The findings from this study contribute important new information about schizophrenia in adolescents."



Study Design and Findings


The findings are from a six-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study that reviewed the efficacy and safety of aripiprazole in adolescents, 13-17 years-old, with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia. This study, sponsored by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Inc. (Princeton, NJ) was conducted at 101 centers in 13 countries with 302 ethnically diverse adolescents. After a minimum three-day washout period without any antipsychotic therapy, adolescents were randomly assigned to receive one of two fixed doses of aripiprazole [10 mg/day (n=100) or 30 mg/day (n=102)] or placebo (n=100). Aripiprazole was started at 2 mg/day and titrated to the target dose. The primary efficacy endpoint was the mean change from baseline to endpoint (Week Six) in the PANSS Total Score. Secondary endpoints included the PANSS positive and negative subscales and the Clinical Global Impression of Improvement (CGI-I) scale. Important safety measures included occurence rate of adverse events, discontinuation from study due to adverse events, and laboratory measures.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 22, 2007, 10:05 PM CT

Patient satisfaction with SYMBICORT

Patient satisfaction with SYMBICORT
New data demonstrated that the combination asthma treatment, SYMBICORT (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate), led to significant improvements in health-related quality of life (HRQL) and greater patient-reported satisfaction with asthma therapy, versus its monocomponents (budesonide or formoterol) or placebo. The results from these two 12-week randomized, double-blind trials were presented at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2007 International Conference held in San Francisco, May 18-23.

"Asthma is a chronic disease that can have a significant effect on patients' day-to-day routine, including participating in activities, such as walking to the store or even playing with their children," said Dr. Kevin R. Murphy, Clinical Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center. "For the millions of asthma sufferers in the U.S., and particularly for those whose condition is not adequately controlled with their current medication, SYMBICORT will provide a new option for patients to help manage and control their asthma, allowing them to get back to their daily activities".

SYMBICORT is a recently approved, combination treatment indicated for the long-term maintenance therapy of asthma in patients 12 years of age and older. SYMBICORT does not replace fast-acting inhalers and should not be used to treat acute symptoms of asthma. Studies of patients treated with SYMBICORT demonstrated clinically significant improvement in lung function occurring within 15 minutes of beginning therapy. SYMBICORT has safety data in long-term studies of up to one year, and has a robust cardiac safety profile.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 22, 2007, 9:59 PM CT

Treating Female Urinary Incontinence

Treating Female Urinary Incontinence
A minimally invasive device for treating recurrent stress urinary incontinence in women has been shown to be safe and effective in early clinical trials and is now under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), says Emory University School of Medicine urologist and trial co-principal investigator Niall Galloway, MD.

Preliminary results from the North American Adjustable Continence Therapy (ACT) clinical study group will be presented today at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association convened in Anaheim, Calif.

The first phase of the multi-center ACT clinical trial, which included Emory, launched in December 2001 and will conclude in June. It tested the device in 160 women diagnosed with stress urinary incontinence who failed to respond to prior therapys.

During the outpatient procedure, which lasts 20-30 minutes, two adjustable balloons are implanted on each side of a patient's urethra. The ACT clinical trial patients on average reported significant continence improvement one year after undergoing therapy. Complications were commonly mild.

"The ACT device spells hope for millions of women dealing with incontinence, especially those who've experienced severe weakness of the urethra muscles," says Dr. Galloway. "Follow up is needed, but the results we have thus far are promising".........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 22, 2007, 9:50 PM CT

Stem cells provide clues to cancer spread

Stem cells provide clues to cancer spread
Researchers have made a breakthrough in understanding how cancers spread in what could lead to new ways of beating the disease.

The University of Manchester study used embryonic stem (ES) cells to investigate how some tumours are able to migrate to other parts of the body, which makes the therapy of cancer much more difficult.

Dr Chris Ward, in the Universitys Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, studied a crucial change that makes cancer cells able to start moving and spread into other tissues.

Normal cells, as well as early cancer cells, are called epithelial cells because they bind tightly to each other forming stable layers of tissue. However, as a tumour becomes more advanced, some of the cells change to become mesenchymal.

Mesenchymal cells do not bind to each other, forming more disorganised tissues in which the cells can move around. Since this crucial change known as the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, was first observed in the early embryo, Dr Ward theorised that embryonic stem cells might undergo a similar process.

Dr Ward, whose findings appear in the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell, said: "We have shown that ES cells spontaneously change in a manner that is remarkably similar to the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. They lose the proteins that cells use to bind to each other and have other protein alterations that are characteristic of spreading cancer cells.........

By: Kottapurath Kunjumoideen MD      Read more         Source


May 22, 2007, 9:37 PM CT

Aripiprazole in major depressive disorder

Aripiprazole in major depressive disorder
Investigational studies are important because a number of patients with major depressive disorder do not achieve adequate symptom response, said study investigator Arif Khan, M.D., Medical Director, Northwest Clinical Research Center, Bellevue, Wash., and Adjunct Professor, Psychiatry, Duke University, Durham, N.C. The findings from this study contribute more information about the potential use of add-on medications to antidepressant treatment in patients who inadequately respond to antidepressants alone.

Study Design and Findings

This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multi-center, six-week study enrolled adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder who had an inadequate response to one or more ADTs. After a seven to 28-day screening phase, adults in this study underwent an eight-week prospective therapy phase with one ADT plus single-blind placebo to confirm their inadequate response to ADT. The ADTs included escitalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine controlled release, sertraline or venlafaxine extended release, dosed per label guidelines. A total of 362 adults with inadequate response then entered the six-week randomized therapy phase during which they continued their ADT plus double-blind adjunctive placebo or adjunctive aripiprazole (2-20 mg/day).........

Posted by: JoAnn      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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