Health and Medicine Updates 16th Nov 2015

Simple drug regimen cures hepatitis C virus in patients after 12 weeks

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 03:17 PM PST

Researchers have found that a simple drug regimen delivered over 12 weeks achieved sustained eradication of several genotypes of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 99 per cent of the trial's patients.

New target for immuno-oncology therapies

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 03:13 PM PST

By studying a type of immune cells, a team of researchers identified the mechanism of action for a new target for novel immune-oncology treatments.

Emergency response system for blood formation identified inside body

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 03:12 PM PST

Scientists have determined how the body responds during times of emergency when it needs more blood cells. When tissue damage occurs, in times of excessive bleeding, or during pregnancy, a secondary, emergency blood-formation system is activated in the spleen.

Impact of high-fat diet on red blood cells may cause cardiovascular disease

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 03:12 PM PST

Researchers have discovered the negative impact a high fat diet has on red blood cells and how these cells, in turn, promote the development of cardiovascular disease.

Yoga may lessen side effects in men undergoing prostate cancer treatment

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 03:12 PM PST

Men with prostate cancer who are undergoing radiation therapy can benefit from yoga, researchers reported.

Lowering body temperature increases survival, brain function in cardiac arrest patients with non-shockable heart rhythms

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 03:10 PM PST

Lowering the body's temperature in cardiac arrest patients with 'non-shockable' heart rhythms increases survival and brain function. Patients who received the treatment were about three times more likely to survive cardiac arrest and have better neurological function compared to those who did not receive it.

Moderate coffee drinking may be linked to reduced risk of death

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 03:10 PM PST

Drinking coffee daily was associated with a lower risk of deaths from Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological diseases in nonsmokers. Regular consumption of coffee can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

New fat cell metabolism research could lead to new ways to treat diabetes, obesity

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 12:22 PM PST

New insights into what nutrients fat cells metabolize to make fatty acids have been released by scientists. The findings pave the way for understanding potential irregularities in fat cell metabolism that occur in patients with diabetes and obesity and could lead to new treatments for these conditions.

Safe spaces play important role in community-based HIV prevention, research finds

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 12:22 PM PST

The creation and sustainment of 'safe spaces' may play a critical role in community-based HIV prevention efforts by providing social support and reducing environmental barriers for vulnerable populations, a new study has found.

Student led a team that built a prosthesis for little girl's hand

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 11:34 AM PST

A biomedical engineer used her know-how to help create a prosthesis for a 4-year-old girl using 3-D printing. An energetic and inquisitive little girl, the child was born with Poland syndrome, a birth defect marked by incomplete development of hand and chest muscles typically on a person's right side.

Brushing up peptides boosts their potential as drugs

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 11:24 AM PST

Peptides promise to be useful drugs, but they're too easily digested and can't get into cells without help. Chemists now show that peptides can be protected from digestion and delivered into cells without changing their biological function by rearranging them into dense brushes.

New guideline for treating acne in children and adults

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 11:24 AM PST

A new guideline aims to help Canadian physicians, nurses and pharmacists treat children and adults with acne, a disease that can severely affect quality of life. The guideline updates the previous guidance published 15 years ago.

Antibiotic prescriptions increased in study to promote better prescribing for UTIs

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 11:24 AM PST

An initiative to improve prescribing of antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTIs) resulted in better-quality prescribing of first-line antibiotics, although the number of prescriptions also increased, according to new research.

China continues to lag in effective tobacco control, studies show

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 09:08 AM PST

Efforts over the past seven years to reduce tobacco use in China have been strikingly ineffective and leave tobacco use a top threat to the health and economic well-being of the world's largest country, according to research findings.

Population health promotion: Stratified approach for cardiovascular health

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 09:08 AM PST

Promoting cardiovascular health worldwide, experts discuss how the practice of medicine will change to reflect an increase in ambulatory care.

Changes in metabolites can regulate earliest stages of development

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 09:08 AM PST

Changes in cellular metabolites, the simple compounds generated during life-sustaining chemical activities in cells, have been shown to regulate embryonic stem cell development at the earliest stages of life. The recent findings should improve scientists' ability to use embryonic stem cells to grow new tissues and organs to replace those damaged by disease or injury. The findings also could lead to new treatments for common disorders ranging from infertility to cancer, say experts.

Gene drive reversibility introduces new layer of biosafety

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 09:06 AM PST

A research team demonstrates effective safeguarding mechanisms for working with gene drives and unveils a first-of-its-kind method for reversing the changes they spread.

Kids with Medicaid, CHIP get more preventive care than those with private insurance

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 09:06 AM PST

Children insured by Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were more likely to get preventive medical and dental care than privately insured children in a study that compared access and use of health care for children in households with low to moderate incomes, according to a new article.

Effect of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV infection integrated with community health services

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 09:06 AM PST

The rate of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was extremely low despite a high incidence of sexually transmitted infections in a study where pre-exposure antiretroviral medication to prevent HIV infection was dispensed at clinics in three metropolitan areas heavily affected by HIV, according to an article.

How depleting the gut microbiota protects from obesity

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 09:06 AM PST

By studying mice without microbiota, scientists were able to demonstrate how the absence of microbiota has a remarkable effect against obesity. Indeed, it triggers a surprising metabolic mechanism: white fat cells -- which in excess cause obesity and insulin resistance -- are transformed into cells similar to brown fat (they are called 'beige fat'), that protects the body against excess weight and its damaging consequences.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a stem cell disease

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 09:06 AM PST

For nearly 20 years, scientists have thought that the muscle weakness observed in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy is primarily due to problems in their muscle fibers, but new research shows that it is also due to intrinsic defects in muscle stem cells. Muscle stem cells that lack the dystrophin gene can't sense their orientation and produce ten-fold fewer muscle precursor cells, which in-turn generate fewer functional muscle fibers.

Public health leaders urge far-reaching reforms to curb prescription opioid epidemic

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:29 AM PST

A group of experts has issued recommendations aimed at stemming the prescription opioid epidemic, a crisis that kills an average of 44 people a day in the U.S.

Lung transplant criteria biased against shorter patients

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:27 AM PST

Short people have several health advantages over tall people, including lower risk for cancer and heart disease, and longer life expectancy. But there's at least one health-related downside to being small: the odds of getting a lung transplant are considerably lower.

Former smokers who quit within the past year are four times more likely to be daily users of e-cigarettes

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:25 AM PST

Analysis of a national survey of adult tobacco use points to use of e-cigarettes as a quitting aid. The researchers also found that while any e-cigarette use was higher among young adults, daily e-cigarette use was more common among adults over age 25 than among young adults aged 18-24.

New microscopy technology may help surgeons save more lives

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:23 AM PST

Biomedical engineers and neurosurgeons have developed an augmented microscopy technology to help surgeons operate with greater precision and reduced risk of harming patients.

Most extensive face transplant to date

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:23 AM PST

Physicians have just announced the successful completion of the most extensive face transplant to date, setting new standards of care in this emerging field. Equally important, for the first time a face transplant has been performed on a first responder -- a volunteer firefighter who suffered a full face and scalp burn in the line of duty.

Responding to C. diff: Concerted action needed to control health care-related infection

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:23 AM PST

Appropriate use of antibiotics is a critical step toward controlling the ongoing epidemic of health care-related Clostridium difficile infection, according to a special article from experts.

New tech helps handlers monitor health, well-being of guide dogs

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:22 AM PST

A device has been developed that allows people who are blind to monitor their guide dogs, in order to keep tabs on the health and well-being of their canine companions.

Surprising links between bullying and eating disorders

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:20 AM PST

Being bullied in childhood has been associated with increased risk for anxiety, depression and even eating disorders. But according to new research, it's not only the victims who could be at risk psychologically, but also the bullies themselves.

Ophthalmology's data science initiative yields important clinical post-surgery insights

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:20 AM PST

Important clinical insights have been gleaned from new research on America's only comprehensive database of ophthalmic patient outcomes. These findings revealed new information on rare complications following common eye procedures. The results may have policy implications and influence clinical decisions.

Treating epilepsy, brain traumas by neurotransmitters

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:20 AM PST

Researchers conducted experiments on the hippocampus of neonatal rats and mice, quite similar to the one of a human fetus at the second half of pregnancy period. Hence it will be possible make precise identification of medicaments safe for a fetus and its brain development. The potential application of obtained results is to find its place in treating brain malfunctions, such as epilepsy, post-ischemic conditions, and brain traumas.

Primordial goo used to improve implants

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 08:20 AM PST

An innovative new coating that could be used to improve medical devices and implants, thanks to a 'goo' thought to be have been home to the building blocks of life.

Alzheimer research: new findings

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 05:48 AM PST

Current Alzheimer’s research focuses on the amyloid precursor protein (APP), which is responsible for the formation of destructive plaques in the brain. Researchers have now demonstrated that APP, in addition to forming those plaques, might also affect the development of Alzheimer’s disease via another mechanism.

Alzheimer's patients' health care costs higher already before diagnosis: Finnish study

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 05:48 AM PST

The health care costs of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) start to increase already one year before the diagnosis, shows a new study. The differences in the health care costs between AD patients and non-AD patients were the greatest during six months following the diagnosis, with AD patients having 5,088 euros higher health care costs per person-year. After the first six months, the differences evened out. Two years after the diagnosis, the health care costs of AD patients stabilized at a level two times higher than that of non-AD patients.

Fit older adults are more active

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 05:40 AM PST

Fitness level has the strongest association with physical activity, followed by gender and season. The authors of a new study wanted to identify how demographics and physical activity history, environmental and biological correlates were associated with objectively measured physical activity among older adults.

Teens and parents agree: Electronic cigarettes need restrictions

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 05:40 AM PST

More than three fourths of both teens and adults say e-cigarettes should be restricted in public spaces, come with health warnings and be taxed like conventional cigarettes.

Gene therapy: Promising candidate for cystic fibrosis treatment

Posted: 16 Nov 2015 05:40 AM PST

An improved gene therapy treatment can cure mice with cystic fibrosis (CF). Cell cultures from CF patients, too, respond well to the treatment, suggest new encouraging results.