Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 28 : Exposure to fungal product, called aflatoxin, is believed to cause up to 80 percent of liver cancer cases in many parts of the world.
A new study by MIT researchers have developed a way to determine, by sequencing DNA of liver cells, whether those cells have been exposed to aflatoxin.
This profile of mutations could be used to predict whether someone has a high risk of developing liver cancer, potentially many years before tumours actually appear.
"What we're doing is creating a fingerprint," said John Essigmann, the William R. and Betsy P. Leitch Professor of Biological Engineering and Chemistry at MIT. "It's really a measure of prior exposure to something that causes cancer."
This approach could also be used to generate profiles for other common carcinogens, said Essigmann, who is the senior author of a paper describing the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 28 : If you have a particular tree nut allergy, then generally you are being asked to avoid every kind of nuts.
But now, a new research suggests that you should consider having an oral food challenge to properly diagnose additional nut allergies, especially if you've never had a reaction to eating those almonds, chestnuts and pistachios before.
The study, published in journal of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, showed that among people allergic to one nut who have a positive test to other tree nuts, more than half passed an oral food challenge to other tree nuts without a reaction.
Passing an oral food challenge means you are not allergic to that nut. Tree nuts include almonds, cashews, walnuts and hazelnuts, but not peanuts.
"Too often, people are told they're allergic to tree nuts based on a blood or skin prick test," said lead study author Christopher Couch.
"They take the results at face value and stop eating all tree nuts when they might not actually be allergic," he added.
The team examined records of 109 people with a known tree nut allergy.
They were tested for other tree nuts that they had never eaten before using blood or skin prick tests.
The results revealed, despite showing sensitivity to the additional tree nuts, more than 50 percent of those tested had no reaction in an oral food challenge.
An oral food challenge is considered the most accurate way to diagnose food allergy. During an oral food challenge, the patient eats tiny amounts of the food in increasing doses over a period of time, followed by a few hours of observation to see if they have a reaction. An oral food challenge should only be conducted under the care of a trained, board-certified allergist. You should never do one on your own since if you are allergic, you could have a severe, life-threatening reaction.
"We found even a large-sized skin test or elevated blood allergy test is not enough by itself to accurately diagnose a tree nut allergy if the person has never eaten that nut. Tree nut allergy should only be diagnosed if there is both a positive test and a history of developing symptoms after eating that tree nut," said co-author Matthew Greenhawt.
"The practice of avoiding all peanut and tree nuts because of a single- nut allergy may not be necessary," said Greenhawt, adding, "After an oral food challenge, people allergic to a single tree nut may be able to include other nuts in their diet." (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 27 : Attention dog lovers! With just six months of training, a German Shepherd can accurately detect breast cancer, a study finds.
According to researchers, the technique is simple, non-invasive and cheap and may revolutionise cancer detection in countries where mammograms are hard to come by.
The results revealed, in the first experiment, the dogs detected 28 out of the 31 cancerous bandages - a 90 percent pass rate.
On the second try, they scored 100 percent - sitting down in front of the box containing the cancerous sample with their muzzle pressed deep into the cone.
"In these countries, there are oncologists, there are surgeons, but in rural areas often there is limited access to diagnostics," said lead researcher Isabelle Fromantin, reports the Mail Online.
Working on the assumption that breast cancer cells have a distinguishing smell which sensitive dog noses will pick up, the team collected samples from 31 cancer patients.
These were pieces of bandage that patients had held against their affected breast.
The team trained German Shepherds Thor and Nykios to recognise cancerous rags from non- cancerous ones.
After six months, the dogs were put to the test.
One bandage was used per experiment, along with three samples from women with no cancer.
Each bandage was placed in a box with a large cone which the dogs could stick their noses into, sniffing at each in turn-four boxes per test.
The team says it is the only one to work with breast cancer detection from skin-touch samples.
Other research projects are testing canines' ability to smell different types of cancer in samples of the skin itself, blood or urine, even the air people exhale. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
New Delhi [India], Mar. 27 : Do you know video game can be an effective treatment if your child is undergoing depression?
A new UC Davis study carries it a step further, though, finding that when the video game users were messaged reminders, they played the game more often and in some cases increased the time spent playing.
"Through the use of carefully designed persuasive message prompts ... mental health video games can be perceived and used as a more viable and less attrition-ridden treatment option," according to the study.
The paper, authored by Subuhi Khan and Jorge Pena, professors in the Department of Communication at UC Davis, is published in Computers in Human Behavior.
The messages, and subsequent games assigned, targeted depression that could be perceived as either internal, caused by a chemical imbalance or hereditary factor; or depression that could come from outside factors - such as a job or relationship situation. The messaging had slight differences in approach, but ended on basic inspirational notes to inspire the participant to play the game.
Each message ended with, "Just like a regular workout, much of the benefit of these tasks comes from using them without taking breaks and putting in your best effort."
Using six, three-minute games, the study found in most cases that playing the specifically designed game helped subjects feel they had some control over their depression. Each game was an adaptation of neurophysiological training tasks that have been shown to improve cognitive control among people experiencing depression.
Portraying depression as something caused internally because of biological factors and providing a video game-based app for brain training made participants feel that they could do something to control their depression. This supports other research that shows that brain-training games have the potential to induce cognitive changes, the authors said. Those users also gave high ratings for the usability of the app.
On the other hand, portraying depression as a condition caused by external factors led users to spend more time playing the game - again, perhaps giving them a feeling of control over their situation. But researchers said this result was likely due to immediate engagement and was unlikely to have long-term benefits.
The study did not examine whether playing the games actually reduced depression, although that will be looked at in future studies, the authors said.
The study looked at results from 160 student volunteers who said they suffered from mild depression. They received class credit for participating. Three-fourths were women, and more than half of the subjects were of Asian heritage, followed by white, Latino, and other ethnicities. The average age was 21. (ANI)Region: IndiaGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 : A prescription weight-loss medication can decrease the urge to use opiates such as oxycodone, according to a recent study.
The researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found that the drug, lorcaserin, reduced the use and craving for the opioid oxycodone in preclinical studies.
Most of the treatments available to reduce opiate misuse work by occupying opioid receptors in the brain. If someone were to take an opiate while on these treatments, they would not feel the signature euphoria as strongly.
However, a person's drug-taking environment is a powerful cue that can condition someone to anticipate the experience of taking of the drug; this is called cue reactivity. People who have tried the currently available medications often relapse when they are around the people, places or paraphernalia that they associate with opiate use.
Lorcaserin, prescribed for weight loss, alters the serotonin system by changing chemical signals that affect satiety, the sensation of fullness. Serotonin regulates the brain circuitry involved in drug reward and cue reactivity, particularly though activating serotonin 2C receptors.
The researchers trained rats to self-administer oxycodone while exposed to specific lights and sounds that create a drug-taking environment. Once the rats were used to regularly consuming oxycodone, they went through a period where no oxycodone was available to them. The researchers then gave lorcaserin to some of the rats while others were given a placebo and placed them in the drug-associated environment. At this point, oxycodone was again made available to the rats.
The lorcaserin rats self-administered less oxycodone and reacted less strongly to cues associated with taking the drug. In order to show that this effect was attributed to the lorcaserin, a group of rats was given lorcaserin as well as a drug that blocks the serotonin 2C receptors - thus cancelling out the effect of the lorcaserin - those rats tried very hard to get oxycodone.
"The effectiveness of lorcaserin in reducing oxycodone seeking and craving highlights the therapeutic potential for lorcaserin in the treatment of opioid use disorder," said lead author Kathryn Cunningham. "We plan more studies to better understand how drugs like lorcaserin can help us stem the tide of addiction in America."
The study is published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 : All it takes is the flip of a protein "switch" within the tiny wire-like capillaries of the brain to increase the blood flow that ensures optimal brain function.
A new research has uncovered that capillaries have the capacity to both sense brain activity and generate an electrical vasodilatory signal to evoke blood flow and direct nutrients to nourish hard-working neurons.
When there is an increase in brain activity, there is an increase in blood flow, said first author Thomas Longden. "The area of the brain covered by the capillaries--the smallest blood vessels in the body -- vastly surpasses the area covered by arterioles. This ideally positions them for monitoring neuronal activity and controlling blood flow."
Understanding the mechanisms that precisely direct cerebrovascular blood flow to satisfy the brain's ever-changing energy needs has, to date, eluded scientists. Neurons consume an enormous amount of the body's energy supplies -- about 20 percent -- yet lack their own reserves, so are reliant on blood to deliver nutrients. Previously, capillaries were thought to be passive tubes and the arterioles were thought to be the source of action.
Now, Longden and colleagues have discovered that capillaries actively control blood flow by acting like a series of wires, transmitting electrical signals to direct blood to the areas that need it most.
To achieve this feat, the capillary sensory network relies on a protein (an ion channel) that detects increases in potassium during neuronal activity. Increased activity of this channel facilitates the flow of ions across the capillary membrane, thereby creating a small electrical current that generates a negative charge--a rapidly transmitted signal -- that communicates the need for additional blood flow to the upstream arterioles, which then results in increased blood flow to the capillaries.
The team's study also determined that if the potassium level is too high, this mechanism can be disabled, which may contribute to blood flow disturbances in a broad range of brain disorders.
"These findings open new avenues in the way we can investigate cerebral diseases with a vascular component," said co-first author Fabrice Dabertrand. Cerebrovascular illnesses like Alzheimer's disease, CADASIL, and other conditions that cause cognitive decline can, in part, be a consequence of neurons not receiving enough blood flow and therefore not getting sufficient nutrients.
The study is published online in Nature Neuroscience. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 : A team of researchers has come up with a new method to reduce dental implant failure.
Dental implants are a successful form of treatment for patients, yet according to a study published in 2005, five to 10 per cent of all dental implants fail.
The reasons for this failure are several-fold - mechanical problems, poor connection to the bones in which they are implanted, infection or rejection. When failure occurs the dental implant must be removed.
The main reason for dental implant failure is peri-implantitis. This is the destructive inflammatory process affecting the soft and hard tissues surrounding dental implants. This occurs when pathogenic microbes in the mouth and oral cavity develop into biofilms, which protects them and encourages growth. Peri-implantitis is caused when the biofilms develop on dental implants.
Scientists from the School of Biological Sciences, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Engineering at the University of Plymouth, have joined forces to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a new nanocoating for dental implants to reduce the risk of peri-implantitis.
In the study, the team created a new approach using a combination of silver, titanium oxide and hydroxyapatite nanocoatings.
The application of the combination to the surface of titanium alloy implants successfully inhibited bacterial growth and reduced the formation of bacterial biofilm on the surface of the implants by 97.5 per cent.
Not only did the combination result in the effective eradication of infection, it created a surface with anti-biofilm properties which supported successful integration into surrounding bone and accelerated bone healing.
Researcher Christopher Tredwin commented: "In this cross-Faculty study we have identified the means to protect dental implants against the most common cause of their failure. The potential of our work for increased patient comfort and satisfaction, and reduced costs, is great and we look forward to translating our findings into clinical practice."
He added: "Our work has been about proving these criteria which we have done in vitro. The next step would be to demonstrate the effectiveness of our discovery, perhaps with animal models and then human volunteers."
Lead author Dr Alexandros Besinis said: "Current strategies to render the surface of dental implants antibacterial with the aim to prevent infection and peri-implantitis development, include application of antimicrobial coatings loaded with antibiotics or chlorhexidine."
"However, such approaches are usually effective only in the short-term, and the use of chlorhexidine has also been reported to be toxic to human cells. The significance of our new study is that we have successfully applied a dual-layered silver-hydroxyapatite nanocoating to titanium alloy medical implants which helps to overcome these risks," he continued.
The results are published in the journal Nanotoxicology. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 25 : A team of researchers has found that hydrophobic proteins on virus surfaces can help purify vaccines.
The complex structures making the surface of a virus are small weaves of proteins that make a big impact on how a virus interacts with cells and its environment.
A slight change in protein sequence makes this surface slightly water-repelling, or hydrophobic, causing it to stick to other hydrophobic surfaces. A new paper, published recently in Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, details surface hydrophobicity in porcine parovirus (PPV).
Lead author Caryn Heldt from Michigan Technological University said, "Vaccine purification is all about surface interactions; if the components break apart, then they cannot be used as a therapeutic," adding that sensing and removing viruses also depend on surface interactions. "This may also help biologists understand a virus' interactions with a cell."
The main finding is that Heldt and her team compared experimental methods with computational methods to measure the surface chemistry.
Because virus hydrophobicity is relatively new and difficult to measure, Heldt's team focused on using hydrophobicity models as a comparison. They compared the expected hydrophobicity measurements based on the main protein from the virus, the non-enveloped PPV, to well-studied model proteins that span a range of repelling or attracting water.
Then they analyzed the samples using two kinds of chromatography--the analysis of chemical mixtures, along with fluorescent dyes that illuminate sticky, hydrophobic patches on the proteins.
The key is that the measurements focus on what's easy to reach. These locations are part of what's called a crystal structure's solvent accessible surface area. Narrowing down the observed area in an experiment helped the team measure hydrophobicity.
"The entire virus capsid is too large of a complex to do these calculations," Heldt noted, explaining the capsid is an outside shell made of 60 copies of similar proteins--VP1, VP2, VP3--and her team tested the exposed parts of VP2, which is the most abundant. "It was interesting that we were still able to correlate our solvent exposed surface area calculations with the experimental results because we were only using this one protein."
The strong correlation between the computational and experimental results indicates that PPV--and likely other viruses--have a measurable hydrophobicity. Once the measurements are better understood, then Heldt and other researchers can better catch viruses. Doing so can improve detecting viruses, concentrating them and purifying vaccines.
The study appears in Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 24 : Weight training, walking, hiking, jogging for 12 months may increase the particular hormone associated with bone growth, promoting bone formation, increasing bone density.
According to researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia in the US, long-term, weight-bearing exercises decrease sclerostin, a protein made in the bone, in men and increase IGF-1, a hormone associated with bone growth an and prevent osteoporosis.
The study was published in the journal of Bone.
"People may be physically active and many times people know they need to exercise to prevent obesity, heart disease or diabetes," said Pamela Hinton, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.
"However, you also really need to do specific exercises to protect your bone health," Hinton added.
They analysed 25 to 60-years-old men, who had low-bone mass and were split into two groups.
One group performed resistance training exercises such as lunges and squats using free weights.
The other group performed various types of jumps, such as single-leg and double-leg jumps.
After 12 months of performing the exercises, the team then compared the levels of bone proteins and hormones in the blood.
The researchers noticed a decrease in the level of sclerostin in both of these exercise interventions in men.
"When sclerostin is expressed at high levels, it has a negative impact on bone formation. In both resistance and jump training, the level of sclerostin in the bone goes down, which triggers bone formation," Hinton explained.
To increase bone mass and prevent osteoporosis, Hinton recommended that exercising specifically to target bone health.(ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
New Delhi [India], Mar. 24 : Tuberculosis can affect any age, caste or class and it is one of the top 10 causes of death across the globe, ranking above HIV and malaria.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2015, there were 10.4 million new cases of TB worldwide. Six countries account for 60% of the total TB deaths, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.
As per WHO, each year about 2.2 million people develop TB in India and an estimated 220,000 die from the disease.
However, very few people know that the disease affects children too. In 2015, an estimated 1 million children became affected with TB and 170,000 children died of TB (excluding children with HIV) worldwide.
Almost 10% of total TB cases in India are among children, but only six percent are reported. Childhood TB is often not given adequate attention by healthcare providers as it is difficult to diagnose and treat.
This World TB Day, March 24, 2017, is an occasion to call for increased public awareness on the rising cases of TB among children.
According to Dr. Rahul Nagpal, Director, Pediatrics, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, New Delhi, "There has been a steep rise in TB cases among children in India. In a month, I see nearly seven to 10 new cases. It is sad to see children below the age of 5 years in the OPDs with TB but the most unfortunate part is the lack of awareness, proper diagnosis and treatment in case of childhood TB. The youngest TB case handled by me was a 1500 gm baby boy, who was born premature with congenital TB."
"I have seen other similar cases too but what makes me remember this one was that his mother had uterus TB and was unaware of it. Many people aren't aware that TB can happen anywhere and can transfer from anyone. While 60% of TB in children are pulmonary, the rest 40% are extra-pulmonary and are on rise by 20-30% each year, with people knowing very little about it," he added.
It is important to know that TB is a disease which is preventable and curable. Dealing with childhood TB is difficult and crucial because there are several challenges in diagnosis and treatment. At the time of birth, BCG vaccine is compulsory for children. In case a child under the age of 5 years develops TB symptoms, the mantaux test, a very economical and reliable screening test in adults, is done to detect the signs. However this test may have little value in a child who has already taken the BCG vaccine.
According to TB FACTS.ORG:
Signs and symptoms of TB disease in children include:
• Feelings of sickness or weakness, lethargy, reduced playfulness
• Weight loss or failure to thrive
• Fever, night sweats
Signs of TB in other parts of the body among children depend on the area affected. Infants, young children, and immunocompromised children (e.g., children with HIV) are at the highest risk of developing the most severe forms of TB such as TB meningitis or disseminated TB disease. A pediatric TB expert should be consulted in the treatment of TB in children and infants. It is very important that children or anyone being treated completes the course and takes the medicines exactly as instructed.
The medication for children is usually prescribed according to their weights and hence the treatment for each child needs to be customized. Taking blood repeatedly for tests is also a problem as the pain is not easy to bear for them or their parents.
According to Sandeep Guduru, Facility Director, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, New Delhi, "TB in children is ignored, goes unnoticed and is under-reported. While there are many campaigns to create awareness about pulmonary TB, we need to work more aggressively towards creating knowledge about extra-pulmonary TB cases. Also, the rise in Multi-Drug-Resistance (MDR-TB) among children has drawn very less attention of caregivers. The government and private sector healthcare providers need to come on a single platform to ensure the next generation is TB free."
While there has been significant progress in the fight against TB, with 43 million lives saved since 2000, the battle is only half-won: over 4 000 people lose their lives each day to this leading infectious disease. Many of the communities that are most burdened by tuberculosis are those that are poor, vulnerable and marginalized.
WHO is calling on countries and partners to "Unite to End Tuberculosis" this year. The call comes as we enter the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ending tuberculosis (TB) by 2030 is a target of the SDGs and the goal of the WHO End TB Strategy. (ANI)Region: IndiaGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.23 : According to a new study, places which have weaker non-medical exemption policies for vaccinations can reduce the likelihood of a measles outbreak 140 to 190 percent by strengthening them.
The research was published in Academic Pediatrics.
The researchers also found, that the magnitude of these outbreaks can also be cut in half by strengthening exemption policies for children.
"In the year 2000 measles was no longer being transmitted in the U.S. Compare that to 2015 when we had over 150 cases in the first three months. Suddenly measles is an issue again despite having an effective vaccine," said the study's lead author Melanie Whittington, PhD., a health services researcher.
Using mathematical models, they simulated the magnitude, likelihood and cost of a measles outbreak under different non-medical vaccine exemption policies.
The states with "easy" exemption policies typically only require a parent signature on a standardized form.
Those, with "medium" exemption policies require parents to obtain a form from a health department and/or attend an educational session on vaccinations, or write a statement of objection.
Finally, states with "difficult" exemption policies require parents to get a standardized form or statement of objection notarized.
Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Immunization Study, the researchers found easier non-medical vaccine exemption policies to be associated with a greater risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.
"We modeled an environment where the population had low vaccination coverage and then simulated measles outbreaks under different exemption policies," said Whittington.
Adding, "We found that a state like Colorado is 140 to 190 percent more likely to experience an outbreak with an easy exemption policy than if it had a medium or difficult non-medical exemption policy. The outbreak size can also be reduced nearly by half with stronger policies."
Colorado has one of the lowest vaccination rates for measles. Only 87.4 percent of children between the ages of 19-35 months are covered. And five percent of kindergartners report an exemption.
While the researchers focused on measles, strengthening exemption policies could benefit other vaccine-preventable diseases, such as mumps.
The researchers urged the strengthening of non-medical exemption policies as a way to increase vaccination coverage.
"We are not saying you can't have non-medical exemptions. But if we strengthen them, we can improve health and reduce the economic impact of a potential outbreak," said Campbell and Whittington. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
New Delhi [India], Mar. 23 : Have you ever imagined of a chat in between watermelon sliders? Or Jalebi in form of churros with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on it?
If not, then get ready for experiencing a bounce on your palate, as 'Punjab Grill Tappa,' as the name suggests, brings to you a young, perky and unique restaurant, designed specially to appeal to the global bohemian travellers.
It is the newest addition by ' Lite Bite Foods,' one of India's largest F&B operators, in Gurgaon's Cyber Hub.
The restaurant stands out with its classy exteriors and a comfortable outdoor seating as well.
It presents a long bar and 'achaar tapas' space, which runs along the length of the interiors and is done in stylish geometric black and white setting. The decor is a perfect combo of lot of old school and modern elements and draws inspiration from global trends to truly carry the legacy of Punjab Grill and Indian cuisine in circa 2016.
'Punjab Grill Tappa' offers North Indian cuisine with an innovative, contemporary flair and a healthier twist.
The starters menu under 'Rock and DholChaalats' feature signature items, such as Watermelon Slider with Crisp Palak and Local Sprouts, Almond and Cucumber Koshimbirand Shrimp and PameloChaat with Ginger and Ambi Panna Glaze.
The appetizers also feature some unusual dishes such as Aampapad with Lettuce wrapped Kurkuri, Tandoori Norwegian Salmon and a healthy version of Chikken Tikka marinated with non-dairy green herb.
Story doesn't end here. For the main course, the Rum-soaked raisin and palak churchur naan have their perfect pairing with some Indian classics like Punjab Grill Dal Makhni or Halim Khao Suey. The Sabut Dana with Shrimp Pulao is a star in the range of Biriyanis on offer and is delicious with the Rehydrated Pineapple and Spinach Raita.
Tappa also has a decadent dessert menu with some unique offerings such as Jalebi Churros with Cinnamon sugar and MalaiRabri, Mango Saffor Creme Brulee and Snow Balls with Dark Chocolate Mousse. The classics also find a spot in the menu with Gulab Jamun and Rabri as well as a Trio of Kulfi on offer among others.
For those who want it all, Tappa has a Dessert Platter to satisfy your sweet tooth.
To sum it all, with an aim to look at Indian cuisine through global lens, Punjab Grill Tappa promises to give a perfect foodgasm, satisfying you to the core. (ANI)Region: IndiaGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 22 : Turns out, your pre-pregnancy weight determines a lot more than the size of the maternity jeans you'll be wearing.
Specific messaging and resources are needed to promote healthy weight gain during pregnancy for young mothers, a new study suggested.
Weight gain during pregnancy is an issue every pregnant woman faces. After pregnancy, new research showed that for young mothers, , or BMI, and ethnicity might signal likelihood for obesity later in life.
After analyzing the medical records of more than 1,000 women who gave birth between the ages of 15 and 24, investigators from the University of Michigan concluded that physicians caring for adolescent women should use BMI before pregnancy as a strong predictor of whether a young mother will gain too much weight during pregnancy, a risk factor for later obesity. They also found that Hispanic women were less likely than non-Hispanic women to gain too much weight during pregnancy.
For the work, researchers reviewed information about the mothers' pregnancy and delivery, including pre-pregnancy BMI and the mother's weight gain during pregnancy. Follow-up interviews gathered additional information, including access to and use of health care and child care services; experiences with local welfare and child support agencies; parental conflict and domestic violence; and child health and well-being.
Researcher Tammy Chang believes getting young people to understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight can lead to a healthier population in the future. Although getting adults to eat right, exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle is difficult, she says pregnancy is a prime opportunity for patient education about diet and exercise. Women are often more concerned and invested in their health during pregnancy and have more face time and support from the health care system.
Chang also noted that interventions and programs promoting healthy weight gain during pregnancy must be designed to take adolescent-specific factors into consideration. Younger pregnant women face different issues, concerns and circumstances than older or more established pregnant women.
The results are published in the journal PLOS ONE. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
New Delhi [India], Mar. 21 : Hair transplant surgery is changing lives and helping people look younger once again. All those people who have lost their hair can now reverse the process through hair transplant surgery. It is the ideal solution for men looking for a more youthful and attractive appearance. A lot of people lose their confidence because of excessive hair loss and as a result their personal and professional lives suffer. Hair surgery can help you roll back the years and give you the appearance that you desire. Hair loss is something that is very common in men, everyone at some point or the other suffers from it. But now you have a revolutionary solution at your disposal.
Dr Alia Rizvi, Dermatologist at Me Clinic, discuss the various benefits of hair transplant surgery.
- Natural Process: Some people have reservations about hair implants and they think of it as an unsafe process. But according to medical experts this is totally untrue because hair transplants are completely safe and natural. No special chemicals or medicines are used in this process that might damage your hair. Amongst all the hair growing methods hair transplant surgery is the most natural. The results are so good that majority of the people won't be able to tell that you got a hair transplant.
-Eliminate Balding: Once you get a hair transplant done you can say goodbye to all your hair related issues. You won't have to worry about a receding hairline or bald spots on your head because hair transplant surgery can solve all problems. The results from hair transplant surgery are highly effective and you are unlikely to see balding again. The hair growth after a transplant will not be as good as how it was naturally but it will be very close to it.
-Improve Your Looks: People who go bald at an early age are generally looked at in a negative manner by other people. These people may be subject to jokes from colleagues and others. This sort of treatment can lower your self esteem and make you feel older than you actually are. Hair transplant surgery will give you a full head of hair and also return your lost confidence. You will look and feel better too.
- Low Maintenance: Another benefit of hair transplant surgery is that you get hair that is very manageable. Transplanted hair works just like your naturally grown hair so you don't need to apply any special shampoos or chemicals to maintain its density. Hair transplantation is also a onetime process. You won't have to visit the doctor again and again. Transplanted hair generally lasts a lifetime so it is well worth the cost.
- Cost Effective: People might be thinking that how hair transplant surgery is cost effective! Well if you consider the costs of other treatments you will realize that those costs are although small but never ending. Over a long period of time the costs of temporary solutions will exceed that of a hair transplant. If you want a long term and permanent solution for your baldness then consider hair transplant surgery. (ANI)Region: IndiaGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 20 : Dear adults, opioids prescribed cautiously for chronic pain should be stored up, away and out of sight of kids of all ages, in a locked cabinet is best, as a study finds most of the exposures occurred among children younger than five years were 60 percent and teenagers was 30 percent.
The researchers call for changes to prescribing practices, increased education about safe storage at home.
The findings, published online in the journal of Pediatrics, indicated more than 188,000 people called to US Poison Control Centers for pediatric exposure to opioids from January 2000 to December 2015, which is 32 calls a day or one every 45 minutes.
"The opioid crisis which has been affecting our adult population has now trickled down to our children," said Dr. Marcel Casavant, study author.
The study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital in the US.
One notable exception is buprenorphine, a medication primarily used to treat people for addiction to heroin and other opioids.
"As physicians, we need to find a balance between making sure that we are helping our patients manage their pain and making sure we don't prescribe more or stronger medication than they need," said senior study suthor Gary Smith.
"We need to continue to examine our prescription practices and to increase education to parents about safe ways to store these medications at home to keep them out of the hands of children," Smith added.
The medications leading to the most calls were hydrocodone (29 percent), oxycodone (18 percent), and codeine (17 percent).
Among younger children (0-5 years), most opioid exposures occurred at home and were managed there without serious medical outcome.
Among teenagers, on the other hand, more than two-thirds of the exposures were intentional.
"The opioid crisis which has been affecting our adult population has now trickled down to our children," said study author Dr. Marcel Casavant.
"When adults bring these medications into their homes, they can become a danger to the children that live there. It is important that these medications are stored up, away and out of sight of kids of all ages, in a locked cabinet is best," Casavant explained. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 20 : A study finds that by combining two independent, scientifically-proven risk measurements, physicians can better predict a patient's irregular and often very fast heart rate risk of stroke or death.
According to researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, US, these tools can help to determine the need for blood thinners in treatment.
The researchers combined the commonly used CHA2DS2-VASc tool - for Predicting Stroke Risk in Atrial Fibrillation - with an extensively validated tool, the Intermountain Mortality Risk Score, to improve stroke and mortality predictions in atrial fibrillation patients and provide a more individualised approach to a patient's need for blood thinners as part of treatment.
Blood thinners are used to prevent atrial fibrillation patients from a stroke.
The results of the study have been presented during the American College of Cardiology's 2017 Scientific Session in Washington D.C.
"The CHA2DS2-VASc score isn't terribly predictive of outcomes, but it's easy to use and so it has served as a guideline to help calculate stroke risk for many years," said lead author Benjamin Horne from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.
"But there are many variables not accounted for in the CHA2DS2-VASc score, so combining it with the Intermountain Mortality Risk Score provides a more complete predictive tool for physicians," Horne added.
The CHA2DS2-VASc score is an easy-to-use international guideline to determine a patient's need for blood thinner.
The points are added based on age, gender, history of stroke, hypertension, heart failure or diabetes.
The findings indicated that an atrial fibrillation patient, with a score of two or more, is placed on blood thinners.
The Intermountain Mortality Risk Score is based on lab values typically collected from a patient - a complete blood count and basic metabolic profile - which sync automatically to a patient's electronic medical record so physicians have the score readily available.
They found the Intermountain Mortality Risk Score offered a more accurate scale of low and high risk in patients with a CHA2DS2-VASc score of two, which provides physicians with a better guide for determining if a blood thinner is right for their patient. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 19 : Tennis elbow sufferers, if the idea of going under the knife is terrifying, then you can opt for non-operative approaches as a recent study has suggested that surgery may not offer additional benefit.
The study, a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial, explored patient responses to a common surgery aimed at repairing a damaged elbow, compared to a placebo procedure.
The study analyzed 13 patients who underwent surgery to remove a degenerated portion of their extensor capri radialis brevis (ECRB), compared to a group of 13 who received an incision over their lateral elbow and no further repair. Patients included had experienced symptoms of tennis elbow for more than 6 months, and attempted at least two non-surgical treatment approaches such as physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, or splinting/bracing, but had no symptom relief over that period.
"Our data shows both groups experienced significant improvements in pain measures by 26 weeks after surgery, including frequency of pain with activity," commented lead author Martin Kroslak from the Orthopaedic Research Institute in Sydney, Australia. "Further, these results were consistent or improved after 1-4 years of follow-up, with no significant difference between the two groups at any point."
"Managing chronic tennis elbow is a challenge for a large portion of the active population," noted Kroslak. "Our research demonstrates the challenges in outlining a treatment plan for these patients, and the continued work to be done in developing both surgical and non-operative approaches."
The study appears in the journal American Journal of Sports Medicine. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 19 : Ablation procedures may not always fix a patient's abnormal heart rhythm completely and now, a recent study has found as to why it is so.
Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City have found that certain molecules are associated with the recurrence of atrial fibrillation in some patients after therapy.
These molecules, known as circulating microRNA, have the promise of becoming screening tools to help determine which patients will benefit from various therapies, the team found.
Circulating microRNA refers to microRNA that has spilled out of the cell into the blood and can be measured. MicroRNA is the name given to small, very stable non-coding RNA molecules that are involved in gene regulation.
Researchers used a series of blood markers to identify those patients whose ablations worked the first time. They compared 85 patients who had successful ablations with 55 patients whose atrial fibrillation recurred within a year.
The microRNA particles studied can impact inflammation, fibrosis, and the heart's electrical activity. Because RNA molecules are so small and stable, they can be detected in circulating biological fluids like saliva and blood.
The researchers found low levels of three microRNA molecules, designated as 21, 150, and 328, in patients whose atrial fibrillation came back after ablation. Those molecules have already been associated with ablation's atrial scarring, called remodeling and adverse electrical healing.
"Our genetic makeup is important in how we respond and heal from procedures," said senior investigator T. Jared Bunch. "MicroRNA particles are a direct result of our genetic make-up. As we try to identify treatments that are tailored to an individual person, microRNA has the promise to help us determine who may be a better candidate for ablation versus other therapies."
Researchers hope the study findings will help doctors determine which treatments are more likely to work for different patients with atrial fibrillation, including those who wouldn't benefit from ablation, which is expensive and carries some risks.
Results of the study have been presented at the American College of Cardiology's Scientific Session. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar.18 : According to a new study, veterans who have drug or alcohol problems are more than twice as likely to die by suicide as their comrades.
The research published in the journal Addiction finds highest suicide risks are among those, who misuse prescription sedative medicines, such as tranquilizers. Women veterans who misuse opioid drugs also have an especially high risk of suicide.
The study finds highest suicide risks are among those, who misuse prescription sedative medicines, such as tranquilizers. Women veterans who misuse opioid drugs also have an especially high risk of suicide.
The findings point to a need to focus more veteran suicide-prevention efforts on those, who have substance use disorders, especially if they also have depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety.
These findings come from one of the largest-ever examinations of substance use disorders and suicide, involving more than 4.4 million veterans.
"We hope these findings will help clinicians and health systems care for people with substance use disorders, with mental health conditions, and with both -- and focus suicide prevention efforts accordingly. Substance use disorders may be important markers for suicide risk," says Kipling Bohnert, Ph.D., lead author of the study and researcher with the VA Center for Clinical Management Research who is also an assistant professor of psychiatry at the U-M Medical School.
Using statistical techniques, the team calculated suicide rates per 100,000 veterans, and then calculated those rates for veterans with substance use issues overall, and for specific substance use disorders.
In all, the suicide rate was 75.6 per 100,000 for veterans with any substance use disorder, compared with 34.7 for veterans overall.
A previous study led by Mark Ilgen, Ph.D., co-author on the new study, found similarly higher rates in veterans who were tracked from 1999 to 2006.
But the new study lets the researchers drill down to the specific substance that veterans had problems with, including alcohol, opioids, marijuana, and cocaine.
The study found the suicide risk was highest for veterans of both genders who misused sedatives -- 171.4 per 100,000 -- and markedly higher for women who misused opioids, at 98.6 per 100,000.
The researchers then took into account veterans' age and the overall severity of their medical conditions, and calculated the risk of suicide by type of substance use disorder.
Men who misused amphetamines also had a suicide rate of 95 per 100,000. Among women, only alcohol and opioid disorders remained associated with higher suicide risk, independent of mental and physical health.
Bohnert adds, "Assessment and treatment of co-existing psychiatric conditions, in addition to substance use, may be important in lowering the risk of suicide among individuals who have substance use disorders."
But both genders with substance use disorders had a higher rate of suicide even after differences in physical and mental health were factored in. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
Washington D.C. [USA], Mar. 18 : A new class of cholesterol-lowering drug can help patients cut their risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attack.
In a trial of more than 27,000 patients, researchers found that taking monthly or twice-monthly injections of the medication, called evolocumab, on top of statins could cut cholesterol levels by almost 60 percent on average in patients with an underlying risk of cardiovascular disease.
The international team, which includes researchers from Imperial College London, says the drug could provide added benefit to patients already taking statins by further reducing the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in their blood.
"This is one of the most important trials of cholesterol-lowering since the first statin trial, published 20 years ago," said lead author Peter Sever, adding "Our results suggest this new, extremely potent class of drug can cut cholesterol dramatically, which could provide great benefit for a lot of people at risk of heart disease and stroke."
In the study, researchers looked at the protective effect of evolocumab on patients in 49 countries, with a history of atherosclerotic vascular disease, who were already taking statins to reduce their cholesterol.
At the end of the treatment period, researchers found that on average, patients taking evolocumab plus statins were able to reduce their LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 59 per cent, from 92 mg/dL to 30 mg/dL, compared to those taking placebo plus statins.
The group which had received evolocumab experienced fewer primary endpoint events, compared to the placebo arm of the study, with 1,344 (9.8 per cent) compared to 1,563 (11.3 per cent) respectively.
Overall, this equated to a 15 per cent reduction in the risk of serious cardiovascular events for patients taking the drug with statins. The benefits were seen across all subtypes of patients, even in those who started with low levels of cholesterol.
According to the researchers, the findings demonstrate the protective effect of the drug through lowering LDL cholesterol levels, with no significant difference in the occurrence of side effects between the treatment and placebo arms of the study.
The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (ANI)Region: WashingtonGeneral: Health
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