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May 15, 2007, 11:05 PM CT

Smokeless cannabis delivery device efficient

Smokeless cannabis delivery device efficient
A smokeless cannabis-vaporizing device delivers the same level of active therapeutic chemical and produces the same biological effect as smoking cannabis, but without the harmful toxins, as per UCSF researchers.

Results of a UCSF study, which focuses on delivery of the active ingredient delta-9-tertrahydrocannibinol, or THC, are published in the online issue of the journal "Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics."

"We showed in a recent paper in the journal Neurology that smoked cannabis can alleviate the chronic pain caused by HIV-related neuropathy, but a concern was expressed that smoking cannabis was not safe. This study demonstrates an alternative method that gives patients the same effects and allows controlled dosing but without inhalation of the toxic products in smoke," said study lead author Donald I. Abrams, MD, UCSF professor of clinical medicine.

The research team looked at the effectiveness of a device that heats cannabis to a temperature between 180 and 200 degrees C, just short of combustion, which occurs at 230 degrees C. Eighteen individuals were enrolled as inpatients for six days under supervision in the General Clinical Research Center at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center.

Under the study protocol, the participants received on different days three different strengths of cannabis by two delivery methodssmoking or vaporizationthree times a day.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 14, 2007, 10:54 PM CT

Pregnant Women Have At Least One Kind Of Pesticide In Their Placenta

Pregnant Women Have At Least One Kind Of Pesticide In Their Placenta
A doctoral thesis written at the Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine reveals an average presence of eight organochlorine contaminants in the organisms of pregnant women, which are commonly ingested by means of food, water and air.

- These chemical substances may cause some malformations in the genito-urinary system of the foetus, such as cryptorchidism and hypospadias.

C@MPUS DIGITAL Human beings are directly responsible for more than 110,000 chemical substances which have been generated since the Industrial Revolution. Every year, we "invent" more than 2,000 new substances, most of them contaminants, which are emitted into the environment and which are consequently present in food, air, soil and water. Nonetheless, human beings are also victims of these emissions, and involuntarily (what is known in this scientific field as "inadvertent exposure"), every day humans ingest a number of of these substances which cannot be assimilated by our body, and are accumulated in the fatty parts of our tissues.

This is particularly worrying for pregnant women. During the gestation period, all the contaminants accumulated in the organism have direct access to the microenvironment where the embryo/foetus develops. The doctoral thesis "Maternal-child exposure via the placenta to environmental chemical substances with hormonal activity", written by MarĂ­a Jose Lopez Espinosa, from the Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine of the University of Granada, analyzes the presence of organochlorine pesticides -normally used as pesticides- in the organisms of pregnant women. The analysis was developed at San Cecilio University Hospital , in Granada, with 308 women who had given birth to healthy children between 2000 and 2002. The results are alarming: 100% of these pregnant women had at least one pesticide in their placenta, but the average rate amounts to eight different kinds of chemical substances.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 14, 2007, 10:36 PM CT

Obesity And Its Complications

Obesity And Its Complications
Due to the gastrointestinal tracts role in body weight regulation, gastroenterologists should work closely with other medical disciplines to oversee and coordinate the care of obese individuals, as per an American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute Obesity Task Force Report. The Report was published in a special 13th issue of Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA Institute, that focuses on the growing problems correlation to obesity and nutrition. The special issue of Gastroenterology presents a series of articles on the epidemiology of obesity, pathophysiology, associated disease and management.

An estimated 1.6 billion adults worldwide are overweight (body mass index [BMI]>25) and 400 million are obese (BMI>30), and potentially as a number of 20 million children are overweight. As obesity becomes an increasingly global problem, it is harder for government, institutions and individuals to continue to consider obesity as a problem of personal choice that can be controlled and even reversed by deciding to eat less and exercise more. The incidences of diabetes and other debilitating diseases attributable to obesity continue to rise along with the negative impact on healthcare budgets and various sectors of the economy leading to changing attitudes about the obesity epidemic.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 14, 2007, 9:07 PM CT

Migraines And Retinopathy

Migraines And Retinopathy
Middle-aged men and women with a history of migraine and other headaches are more likely to have retinopathy, damage to the retina of the eye which can lead to severe vision problems or blindness, than those without a history of headaches,.

as per a research studyfrom the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For the study, reported in the May 15, 2007, issue of Neurology, scientists evaluated the headache history and eye health of 10,902 men and women who participated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. Participants, who were from communities in Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Carolina, were black and white and between the ages of 51 and 71 at the time of their examination.

Twenty-two percent of the participants had a history of migraine or other headaches. Those with a history of headaches were slightly younger, more likely to be female, and more likely to be white than those without a history of headaches.

The study found people with headaches were between 1.3 and 1.5 times more likely to have retinopathy than those without headaches. Among participants who did not have a history of diabetes or hypertension, the association was stronger and limited to those with migraine headaches and other headaches with aura (visual disturbances).........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 14, 2007, 8:59 PM CT

Breastfeeding duration rates for infants born in an inner-city

Breastfeeding duration rates for infants born in an inner-city
A new study in the recent issue of the Journal of Human Lactation reports that being born in a Baby-Friendly hospital gives babies the best possible chance of breastfeeding to 6 months. This is especially true for low-income populations and for families from backgrounds that traditionally have low breastfeeding rates.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other respected groups recommend that babies breastfeed exclusively until six months of age. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was established by WHO and the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) to help the participating hospitals become centers of breastfeeding support.

The research published by SAGE in the Journal of Human Lactation, for the International Lactation Consultant Association, studied breastfeeding rates among babies who were born in an inner-city US Baby-Friendly hospital. They looked at the factors influencing a mothers decision to begin to breastfeed while in the hospital and what influenced whether that baby was still being nursed at six months old.

The study observed that the rates of breastfeeding at six months was decreased for families with public insurance or if there was an early feeding problem. And eventhough other studies have concluded that demographics commonly factor into poor breastfeeding duration rates in low-income, black populations, this study observed that those mothers who gave birth in a Baby-Friendly hospital breastfed at rates comparable to the overall US population, suggesting that the Baby-Friendly initiatives were positively affecting the health of those babies.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


May 14, 2007, 8:51 PM CT

Studying Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Studying Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Weill Cornell Medical College scientists are using a virtual reality simulation called "Virtual Iraq" to better understand how symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develop. In their ongoing research trial, participating Iraq War and Gulf War veterans with and without PTSD are shown a brief, 3-D virtual-reality simulation of an urban combat scenario. They wear a headset, through which they hear, see, and - using a keypad - "move" through a "virtual world" in which images change in a natural way along with head and body movement.

A recent Archives of Internal Medicine study observed that as a number of as 13 percent of recent veterans are diagnosed with PTSD.

The Weill Cornell scientists are testing whether physiological arousal (heart rate, stress hormones) and anxiety while viewing the simulation - as well as suppressing memories after viewing the simulation - affect the ability to remember the scenario and suppress intrusive scenario memories.

The study's principal investigator, Dr. Loretta Malta, a clinical psychology expert at Weill Cornell Medical College, states: "It isn't possible after a traumatic event to study, in a controlled way, conditions that lead to the development of specific types of PTSD symptoms. Commonly this is studied by comparing people who develop PTSD months or even years after trauma exposure. With this pilot study, we are trying to develop a paradigm in which we can use virtual reality to learn more about how the responses of people exposed to trauma contribute to the development of PTSD re-experiencing symptoms, like intrusive memories or physiological reactivity to trauma reminders. By better understanding how PTSD symptoms develop, we hope to create effective prevention programs and improve current therapys".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


May 13, 2007, 9:56 PM CT

Spiritual Beliefs, Practices May Help Smokers Quit

Spiritual Beliefs, Practices May Help Smokers Quit
Unlike a number of traditional alcohol and drug dependence therapy programs, mainstream smoking cessation programs generally exclude spiritual practice and beliefs from the therapy process. But a study by Oregon Health & Science University Smoking Cessation Center scientists reveals a number of smokers are receptive to and may benefit from their own spiritual resources, when attempting to quit.

The study, thought to bethe first to look at the potential use of spiritual resources for quitting in adult smokers, recently was published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

For decades, the OHSU research team encountered some patients in clinical practice who reported that in addition to the therapys provided by the team, they used personal spiritual beliefs and practices in their quit attempts. This led the team to question why spiritual resources were not part of mainstream tobacco dependence therapy programs.

"We theorized the absence of spiritual resources in smoking cessation programs may be due to perceived resistance from smokers or, until recently, the social acceptance of smoking, which may have prevented patients and providers from considering the health effects of tobacco dependence as life-threatening," said David Gonzales, Ph.D., principal investigator of the study, and co-director, OHSU Smoking Cessation Center, OHSU School of Medicine. "We know that smoking cessation medications coupled with behavioral interventions increase quit rates, but quitting is still difficult and some smokers need more support in order to quit successfully. We may be missing opportunities to assist these smokers".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 13, 2007, 9:52 PM CT

Does he take sugar?

Does he take sugar?
A simple request, when placed in a certain context, has the potential to create conflict. This is epitomised in the phrase - 'does he take sugar"' - an approach society has learned to avoid when speaking about a disabled person. New research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) seeks to better understand the ways in which people strive to avoid disagreement in every-day conversation.

The results reveal our ability to choose the right, rather than the wrong form of words to avoid potentially troublesome situations. Carried out between six different European countries, the research could provide valuable guidance for improving the use of language in potentially troublesome circumstances. With increasing migrant flows across Europe, this could have an important impact on language learning in general and on improved inter-cultural relations in particular.

Professor Paul Drew of the University of York puts his findings down to what he describes as a "social cohesion principle" underlying simple conversation.

"To date, the mechanisms through which social solidarity is promoted linguistically in interaction are little understood. By focusing on speech activities likely to be linked to conflict between participants, we have come up with surprising results which show systematic, and previously undocumented, connections between the construction of a sentence and the context in which the interaction takes place".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


May 11, 2007, 5:06 PM CT

Dynamin's Role in Nerve Cell Function

Dynamin's Role in Nerve Cell Function
An unexpected finding on how nerve cells signal to one another could rewrite the textbooks on neuroscience, says a collaborative team of scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College and Yale University.

Their study, published as a high-profile research article in the journal Science, suggests that a key cellular enzyme called dynamin 1 is not essential to all synaptic transmission, as experts had previously assumed.

Dynamin has long been a focus of research for its role in packaging chemical signals, called neurotransmitters, into tiny synaptic vesicles within the cell.

The new study finds that the enzyme is not always necessary for this process. Instead, dynamin 1 goes into action only when the synapse enters moments of particularly high activity.

"In that sense, dynamin 1 remains crucial, allowing the synapse the freedom to function under all conditions," explains co-senior author Dr. Timothy Ryan, professor of biochemistry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

The discovery is a potentially important new piece of the puzzle for researchers investigating neurological injury and disease.

"In the long run, what we're trying to achieve here is a kind of biochemical 'repair manual' for the brain and brain cells," Dr. Ryan explains. "So, in the future, if we find out that a particular illness is caused by a flaw in dynamin 1 function or proteins that interact with dynamin 1, we'll have answers on hand to help fix that".........

Posted by: Daniel      Read more         Source


May 11, 2007, 5:04 PM CT

HIV survival improves if patients stay in care

HIV survival improves if patients stay in care
People with HIV who drop out of care do not live as long as those who remain under a doctor's therapy, said Baylor College of Medicine and Veterans Affairs scientists in a report reported in the June 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases and available on line.

"In an era when highly active treatment directed against HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS) is keeping people alive, understanding the value of regular medical care is crucial," said Dr. Thomas Giordano, assistant professor of medicine infectious diseases at BCM and lead author of the report.

"We know that adherence to medications is critically important," said Giordano. "Patients who have trouble taking their medicines regularly will do less well. But what about those people who aren't even seeing a doctor regularly" Before this study, we had only a vague understanding of the magnitude of the problem, and we certainly didn't know whether it affected survival".

While HIV is now a chronic or lifelong disease, it is one that typically strikes at a relatively young age. That makes the population different from those who have hypertension or adult-onset diabetes.

"These patients often have a lot of other things going on. They are young. Often, they face challenges of substance abuse, mental health problems and financial issues. Now they have to stay in care the rest of their lives, which may be 20, 30, 40 or more years".........

Posted by: Mark      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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