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Cataract ups risk of depression in older adults

Health News - Sat, 12/03/2016 - 09:44

Washington D. C. [USA], Dec. 3 : Older adults, especially women, with cataract are more likely to have symptoms of depression, says a new study.

The study was published in the Optometry and Vision Science journal.

According to researchers from Soochow University in China, the link between cataract and depression is independent of other factors and appears strongest among older adults with lower education.

"Our study sheds further light on the complex relationship between aging, vision loss, cataract and depression and suggests that there may be a role for cataract surgery in improving mental health in the elderly," the researchers wrote.

For the study, approximately 4,600 adults aged 60 or older completed a depression questionnaire and they also underwent a clinical eye examination to rate the presence and severity of cataract.

They found nearly half (49 percent) of older adults in the study had cataracts in at least one eye. On the depression questionnaire, eight percent of subjects had depressive symptoms.

Symptoms of depression were more common in women than men (11 versus 5 percent), and more common in older age groups.

Older adults with cataracts were more likely to have depressive symptoms, independent of socio-economic status, lifestyle factors and visual acuity.

On adjusted analysis, symptoms of depression were 33 percent more, when cataracts were present. Importantly, the odds of depressive symptoms were similar for subjects with cataracts in one eye versus both eyes.

The association between cataracts and depression was even stronger for subjects with no formal education-- a 50 percent increase.

After all other factors were taken into account, cataract explained 14 percent of the variation in depression risk.

The researchers also noted that their study cannot show the direction of the association--vision loss might cause older adults to become isolated and withdrawn, or depression might make them less likely to seek treatment for cataracts. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonUnited StatesGeneral: Health

Is saturated fat good for health?

Health News - Sat, 12/03/2016 - 09:37

Washington D. C [US], Dec. 3 : A recent diet intervention study (FATFUNC) raises questions regarding the validity of a diet hypothesis that has dominated for more than half a century: that dietary fat and particularly saturated fat is unhealthy for most people.

The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found strikingly similar health effects of diets based on either lowly processed carbohydrates or fats.

In the randomized controlled trial, 38 men with abdominal obesity followed a dietary pattern high in either carbohydrates or fat, of which about half was saturated.

Fat mass in the abdominal region, liver and heart was measured with accurate analyses, along with a number of key risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

"The very high intake of total and saturated fat did not increase the calculated risk of cardiovascular diseases," said researcher Ottar Nygard.

Adding, "Participants on the very-high-fat diet also had substantial improvements in several important cardiometabolic risk factors, such as ectopic fat storage, blood pressure, blood lipids (triglycerides), insulin and blood sugar."

Both groups had similar intakes of energy, proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, the food types were the same and varied mainly in quantity, and intake of added sugar was minimized.

"We here looked at effects of total and saturated fat in the context of a healthy diet rich in fresh, lowly processed and nutritious foods, including high amounts of vegetables and rice instead of flour-based products," said expert Vivian Veum.

Adding, "The fat sources were also lowly processed, mainly butter, cream and cold-pressed oils."

Total energy intake was within the normal range. Even the participants who increased their energy intake during the study showed substantial reductions in fat stores and disease risk.

"Our findings indicate that the overriding principle of a healthy diet is not the quantity of fat or carbohydrates, but the quality of the foods we eat," said another researcher Johnny Laupsa-Borge.

Saturated fat has been thought to promote cardiovascular diseases by raising the "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood.

But even with a higher fat intake in the FATFUNC study compared to most comparable studies, the authors found no significant increase in LDL cholesterol.

Rather, the good cholesterol increased only on the very-high-fat diet.

"These results indicate that most healthy people probably tolerate a high intake of saturated fat well, as long as the fat quality is good and total energy intake is not too high. It may even be healthy," said Ottar Nygard.

Adding, "Future studies should examine which people or patients may need to limit their intake of saturated fat," assistant professor Simon Nitter Dankel points out, who led the study together with the director of the laboratory clinics, professor Gunnar Mellgren, at Haukeland university hospital in Bergen, Norway."

"But the alleged health risks of eating good-quality fats have been greatly exaggerated. It may be more important for public health to encourage reductions in processed flour-based products, highly processed fats and foods with added sugar," he concluded. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonUnited StatesGeneral: HealthResearch

Scientists develop new device to detect complicated prostate cancer

Health News - Sat, 12/03/2016 - 09:09

Washington D.C [US], Dec. 3 : A recent research demonstrates that a novel imaging agent can quickly and accurately detect metastasis of prostate cancer, even in areas where detection has previously been difficult.

Published in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, the Phase 1 dose-escalation study of Zr-89-desferrioxamine-IAB2M (Zr-89-Df-IAB2M), an anti-PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) minibody, in patients with metastatic prostate cancer shows its effectiveness in targeting both bone and soft tissue lesions.

"This agent is imaged faster than other PSMA-targeting imaging antibodies due to its small size and has been shown to be safe for patients," explained lead researcher Neeta Pandit-Taskar.

Adding, "The radiotracer combines a small amount of the radioactive material zirconium-89 with a fragment of an antibody called a minibody. This minibody has anti-PSMA qualities and attaches to overexpression of the enzyme on the exterior of prostate cancer cells, wherever they may have traveled in the body. Particles emitted from the site are then detected by positron emission tomography (PET). The resulting scan highlights 'hot spots' of PSMA overexpression."

She further said, "Using this agent, we can detect the prostate cancer cells that have metastasized to bone--one of the most difficult areas to evaluate using standard methods."

For the study, 18 patients were imaged with the new agent using PET/CT as well as a variety of conventional imaging modalities, including computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), molecular bone scan (SI), and PET with fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG-PET).

Suspected disease sites were then selected and biopsied.

Both skeletal and nodal lesions were detected with Zr-89-Df-IAB2M; scans were positive in 17 of the 18 patients, with bone lesions targeted in 9 and soft tissue disease seen in 14.

In comparison, bone scans with more traditional agents (Tc-99m-methylene diphosphonate and FDG) were positive for bone lesions in 9 and 6 patients, respectively; for nodal/soft tissue disease, CT and FDG scans were positive in 14 and 10 patients, respectively.

In two patients, a single site of disease per patient was identified only by the minibody. In total, Zr-89-Df-IAB2M imaging detected 147 bone and 82 soft-tissue or nodal lesions.

"Results of imaging with this Zr-89 radiolabeled minibody have shown that we are able to detect more disease sites in patients than with conventional imaging," Pandit-Taskar stated.

Adding, "We hope that with further development this technology will help us in earlier and more accurate assessment of disease and assist in clinical decision-making."

"With further validation, this agent could potentially be used for targeted biopsies, which could lead to more appropriate, timely treatment for prostate cancer patients. It may also have potential use in targeted radiotherapy," she pointed out. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonUnited StatesGeneral: Health NewsResearch

Hearing loss caused by chemotherapy can now be prevented

Health News - Sat, 12/03/2016 - 09:02

Washington D. C. [USA], Dec. 3 : In first of its kind study, researchers have developed a new treatment that can prevent chemotherapy-induced hearing loss to about half in kids and adolescents with cancer.

The results of the study have been published in Lancet Oncology.

The study found that the greatest benefit was seen in children younger than 5 years of age, who are most susceptible to, and also most affected by, cisplatin-induced hearing loss.

Investigators from Children's Hospital Los Angeles and 37 other Children's Oncology Group hospitals in the U. S. and Canada have determined that sodium thiosulfate prevents cisplatin-induced hearing loss in children and adolescents with cancer.

Cisplatin is a chemotherapy medication widely used to treat a variety of cancers in both adults and children.

"This federally-funded, cooperative group study is the first to show that cisplatin-induced hearing loss can be reduced by about half in children and adolescents being treated for cancer," said lead author David R. Freyer at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

"It is an important step toward developing a safe and effective strategy that will greatly improve quality of life for cancer survivors," he added.

Although effective, cisplatin frequently causes permanent hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears), resulting in functional disability for patients who receive it.

For young children in particular, hearing loss is especially serious because it results in impaired language development, learning and social interactions.

In ACCL0431, the randomized, controlled, phase 3 study, 125 eligible participants between the ages of one to 18 years with newly-diagnosed cancer were enrolled over a four year period. The cancer diagnoses were treated with cisplatin.

The participants received sodium thiosulfate or observation (control) during their chemotherapy. Their hearing was assessed at baseline, following completion of the chemotherapy regimen and one year later.

They found a significant reduction in the incidence of hearing loss in participants who were treated with cisplatin and sodium thiosulfate by 29 percent compared to those who received cisplatin alone were 56 percent.

Overall, sodium thiosulfate was tolerated well without any serious adverse events. (ANI)

Region: WashingtonUnited StatesGeneral: Health NewsResearch

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