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September 2, 2008, 8:04 PM CT

Colorectal cancer screening should start at age 50

Colorectal cancer screening should start at age 50
Colorectal adenomas, the precursor polyps in virtually all colorectal cancers, occur infrequently in younger adults, but the rate sharply increases after age 50. Additionally, African Americans have a higher rate of proximal, or right-sided, polyps, and may have a worse prognosis for survival if the polyps become malignant. Therefore, the results of this study further emphasize the importance of colonoscopies, which view the entire colon, for the prevention of colorectal cancer beginning at age 50. The results of this study, which represents the largest investigation, by several-fold, of this kind, were published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.

"While colorectal polyps are rare in adults aged 30 to 50, our study reveals an increase in polyp prevalence with age and a dramatic increase in colorectal adenoma incidence occurring in adults over the age of 50," said Francis M. Giardiello, MD, of The John Hopkins University and lead author of the study. "Understanding the natural occurrence of colorectal polyps, particularly in younger adults, is important to the development of colorectal cancer prevention strategies".



Findings


Scientists found the prevalence of colorectal polyps in younger adults increased from 1.72 percent to 3.59 percent from age 30 to 50. This rate sharply increased after age 50 with the prevalence of polyps ranging from 10.1 to 12.06 percent in the sixth and ninth decade, respectively. The study results quantified the number of adenomas typically found in people under the age of 50. It is important to note that those with two or more adenomas under 50 years of age represent unusual individuals who might merit closer colonoscopic surveillance for subsequent adenoma development.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


September 2, 2008, 7:24 PM CT

Gene is likely cause of stroke-inducing vascular malformations

Gene is likely cause of stroke-inducing vascular malformations
Rong Wang, PhD
UCSF researchers have discovered that a gene controlling whether blood vessels differentiate into arteries or veins during embryonic development is associated with a vascular disorder in the brain that causes stroke.

The UCSF studies were done in mice, and the new findings are the first to provide information on both the progression and regression of this particular brain disorder, known as BAVM, and to provide molecular clues into the disease, which is not well-understood and chiefly affects young people.

BAVM, for brain arteriovenous malformation, is a vascular disorder causing arteries and veins to be directly connected, rather than through capillaries. This direct connection produces enlarged, tangled masses of vessels that are prone to hemorrhagic rupture, bleeding and stroke. Because they develop most often in growing tissues, BAVMs are responsible for half of the hemorrhagic strokes in children.

Study findings were published in a recent issue (Aug. 5, 2008) of the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

The UCSF team identified the gene, known as Notch, as a potential cause of BAVMs because of its role in directing embryonic blood vessel formation. Using genetic tools, the team "turned on" a constantly active Notch gene in endothelial brain cells, which are the cells lining blood vessels in the brain, and observed that BAVMs were induced. When scientists turned the gene off, the mice exhibited full recovery from the disease's progression.........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


August 31, 2008, 9:07 PM CT

Chewing gum may help reduce stress

Chewing gum may help reduce stress
WHAT: "An investigation into the effects of gum chewing on mood and cortisol levels during psychological stress," to be presented at the 2008 10th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, observed that chewing gum helped relieve anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress among individuals in a laboratory setting.* The study examined whether chewing gum is capable of reducing induced anxiety and/or acute psychological stress while participants performed a battery of 'multi-tasking' activities. The use of chewing gum was linked to higher alertness, reduced anxiety and stress, and improvement in overall performance on multi-tasking activities.

WHO: Andrew Scholey, Ph.D., professor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia led the research study and can discuss the effect of chewing gum on stress relief and focus and concentration.

Gilbert Leveille, Ph.D., executive director, Wrigley Science Institute, will also be available to discuss research on the benefits of chewing gum correlation to stress relief and alertness and concentration in addition to other areas including weight management and oral health.

WHEN: Study to be presented orally on Saturday, August 30 at Rissho University in Tokyo, Japan at the 10th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


August 31, 2008, 9:03 PM CT

Radiation Risks Among Heart Doctors

Radiation Risks Among Heart Doctors
The IAEA is organizing a study to test the eyes of interventional cardiologists participating in a regional cardiology conference organized by SOLACI in Bogota, Colombia, in September. (Photo: Morguefile)

Patients are not the only ones at risk during cardiac procedures. Doctors performing heart surgery also face health risks, namely to their eyes.

The IAEA is helping to raise awareness of threats, through training in radiation protection correlation to medical uses of X-ray imaging systems.

The issue of radiation protection for medical personnel is especially acute in the case of lengthy angioplasty and other cardiac interventions performed under X-ray fluoroscopic guidance. The procedure can cause extensive radiation exposure to heart specialists that could lead to cataracts, alongside other longer term health risks. Fluoroscopy provides X-ray images of a patient that physicians can view on a display screen or monitor in real time.

The IAEA is helping the medical community to address this problem through a major international initiative aimed at training heart specialists and other medical professionals in radiation protection. This September in Latin America, the IAEA is organizing a study to test the eyes of interventional heart specialists participating in a regional medical conference. The Cardiology Conference is organized by the Latin American Society of Interventional Heart specialists (SOLACI) in Bogota, Colombia.

The study is being led by a team of experts, including Prof. Eliseo Vano, Radiology Department of the Complutense University of Madrid; Prof. Norman Kleiman, Columbia University, New York; local ophthalmologists from Bogota; and Mr. Raul Ramirez of the IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation. The initiative is part of an International Action Plan on the radiological protection of patients spearheaded by the IAEA.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


August 31, 2008, 8:47 PM CT

Magnesium Sulfate Reduces Risk of Cerebral Palsy

Magnesium Sulfate Reduces Risk of Cerebral Palsy
Results of a 10-year study reported in the August 28 issue of the New England Journal (NEJM) observed that magnesium sulfate administered to women delivering before 32 weeks of gestation reduced the risk of cerebral palsy by 50 percent. The Beneficial Effects of Antenatal Magnesium Sulfate (BEAM) trial was conducted in 18 centers in the U.S., including Northwestern Memorial, and is the first prenatal intervention ever found to reduce the instance of cerebral palsy correlation to premature birth.

Magnesium sulfate is traditionally used in obstetrics to stop premature labor and prevent seizures in women with hypertension. The BEAM trial studied the link between magnesium sulfate and cerebral palsy by identifying 2,240 women who were likely to give birth more than two months premature. Half of the women intravenously received magnesium sulfate while the other half received a placebo. Children born to the women in the study were examined at two-years-old, and results observed that the children in the magnesium group were 50 percent less likely to develop cerebral palsy in comparison to children in the placebo group.

"This is a substantial breakthrough in maternal fetal medicine that could positively impact the health of thousands of babies," said Alan Peaceman, MD, chair of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and an investigator in the study. "After 10 years of studying the effects of magnesium sulfate, it has proven to be a successful method of reducing the outcome of cerebral palsy in premature births".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


August 31, 2008, 8:40 PM CT

Professional guidelines for regarding earwax

Professional guidelines for regarding earwax
Dr. Peter Roland, chairman of otolaryngology -- head and neck surgery, helped develop new national guidelines regarding the removal of wax from the ear.

Credit: UT Southwestern Medical Center
The age-old advice to routinely clean out earwax is discouraged under the first published guidelines from health care professionals about removing wax from the ear.

"Unfortunately, a number of people feel the need to manually remove earwax, called cerumen, which serves an important protective function for the ear," said the guidelines' lead author, Dr. Peter Roland, chairman of otolaryngology head and neck surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Cotton swabs and some other home remedies can push cerumen further into the canal, potentially foiling the natural removal process and instead cause build-up, known as impaction".

The guidelines recommend professionals use wax-dissolving agents, irrigation or ear syringing, or manually remove it with a suction device or other specialty instrument under supervised care to avoid damaging the ear or further impaction. The guidelines warn against using cotton-tipped swabs, and the home use of oral jet irrigators.

In addition, people with hearing aids should be checked for impaction during regular check-ups because cerumen can cause feedback, reduced sound intensity or damage the hearing aid, as per the guidelines.

The guidelines were created with input from family practitioners, pediatricians, internists, nurses, audiologists and emergency room doctors and have been endorsed by the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


August 31, 2008, 8:37 PM CT

Door to new cancer, aging treatments

Door to new cancer, aging treatments
Scientists at The Wistar Institute have deciphered the structure of the active region of telomerase, an enzyme that plays a major role in the development of nearly all human cancers. The landmark achievement opens the door to the creation of new, broadly effective cancer drugs, as well as anti-aging therapies.

Scientists have attempted for more than a decade to find drugs that shut down telomerasewidely considered the No. 1 target for the development of new cancer therapysbut have been hampered in large part by a lack of knowledge of the enzyme's structure.

The findings, published online August 31 in Nature, should help scientists in their efforts to design effective telomerase inhibitors, says Emmanuel Skordalakes, Ph.D., assistant professor in Wistar's Gene Expression and Regulation Program, who led the study.

"Telomerase is an ideal target for chemotherapy because it is active in almost all human tumors, but inactive in most normal cells," Skordalakes says. "That means a drug that deactivates telomerase would likely work against all cancers, with few side effects".

The study elucidates the active region of telomerase and provides the first full-length view of the telomerase molecule's critical protein component. It reveals surprising details, at the atomic level, of the enzyme's configuration and how it works to replicate the ends of chromosomesa process critical to both tumor development and the aging process.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


August 31, 2008, 8:34 PM CT

The association with stress and depression

The association with stress and depression
The brain is the key organ in the response to stress. It reacts in a complex, orchestrated manner that is correlation to the activation and inhibition of neural structures involved in sensory, motor, autonomic, cognitive and emotional processes. It is the brain which finally determines what in the world is threatening and might be stressful for us, and which regulates the stress responses that can be either adaptive or maladaptive. Chronic stress can affect the brain and lead into depression: Environmental stressors (e.g. job and family situation, neighborhood) and particularly stressful life events such as trauma or abuse are amongst the most potent factors to induce depression. Since the development of novel approaches to antidepressant therapy is based upon an improved neurobiological understanding of this condition, new information about the cellular changes that take place in the brain is required.

Depression: a growing public health burden

Depression is a chronic, recurring, multifactorial, and life-threatening disorder, which represents a collection of psychological, neuroendocrine, physiological and behavioural symptoms. Chronicity and frequency of these symptoms constitute the clinical condition. Depressive disorders affect up to 20% of people at some time in their life. In primary care, an estimated 20��% of patients suffer from depression, but often are not diagnosed correctly (Wittchen, 2000).........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


August 31, 2008, 8:31 PM CT

New genes for inflammatory bowel disease in children

New genes for inflammatory bowel disease in children
Scientists have discovered two new genes that increase the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in childhood.

While further study is needed to identify the specific disease-causing mutations in these new genes, the scientists say the genes are especially strong candidates to be added to the list of genes already known to affect IBD. "As we continue to find genes that interact with each other and with environmental influences in this complex, chronic disease, we are building the foundation for personalized therapys tailored to a patient's genetic profile," said co-first author Robert N. Baldassano, M.D., director of the Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"We will resequence the gene regions we have identified to pinpoint the causative mutations in these genes," added study leader Hakon Hakonarson, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for Applied Genomics at Children's Hospital. "We strongly suspect one gene will provide a compelling target for drug development, given what's known about its biology".

Both authors direct research programs at Children's Hospital and are also faculty members of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Their study, performed in collaboration with scientists from the Medical College of Wisconsin, The University of Utah, Cincinnati Children's Hospital and two research hospitals in Italy, appears in advance online publication Aug. 31 in Nature Genetics........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


August 31, 2008, 8:20 PM CT

Sex hormones link to heart risk

Sex hormones link to heart risk
Men are more prone to and likely to die of - heart disease compared with women of a similar age and sex hormones are to blame, as per a new University of Leicester led study.

The findings of a study by Dr Maciej Tomaszewski, New Blood Lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester, suggest that this "male disadvantage" may be correlation to the sex-specific effects of naturally occurring sex hormones.

The research by Dr Tomaszewski and colleagues, which has been published on line in the journal Atherosclerosis, involved 933 men aged, on average, 19 years, from the Young Men Cardiovascular Association study. The scientists looked at ways that the sex hormones - estradiol, estrone, testosterone and androstenedione - interacted with three major risk factors of heart disease (cholesterol, blood pressure and weight).

They observed that two of these sex hormones (estradiol and estrone, called together estrogens) are associated with increased levels of bad cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) and low levels of good cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) in men.

This suggests that certain sex hormones may be important risk factors of heart disease in men, even before they present symptoms of coronary artery disease or stroke.........

Posted by: Daniel      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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