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Alzheimer’s drug side effects can be reduced

Drug News • • NeurologyOct 19 07

Although rivastigmine improves cognitive symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s disease whether it is given twice or three times a day, the three times a day dosing schedule tends to produce fewer side effects and thus increase tolerability, researchers report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

“This study,” lead investigator Dr. Howard H. Feldman told Reuters Health, “suggests that for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease, rivastigmine treatment delivered in three times a day dosing—with smaller individual doses—may provide better efficacy and safety.”

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Mental deficits after concussion persist in women

Gender: Female • • Psychiatry / PsychologyOct 19 07

Up to eight months after suffering a concussion, female college-level soccer players still have impairment in certain mental functions, Canadian researchers report.

“Contrary to what is typically thought, these effects are longer-lasting,” Dr. Dave Ellemberg of the University of Montreal told Reuters Health. “They’re mild, but yet they’re prolonged.”

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A low prevalence of H pylori in HIV-positive patients

AIDS/HIV • • SurgeryOct 16 07

Helicobacter pylori has been extensively studied and proven to be the main cause of chronic gastritis and peptic ulcer in the HIV-negative population. Patients with chronic active gastritis have evidence of H pylori infection in over 90% of cases and in 70-100% of those with peptic ulcer disease. However, the reason for low incidence of H pylori infection in HIV-positive patients was still not very clear. A study examining this issue was recently reported in the November 7 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology because of its great significance for AIDS-related diseases.

The article describes 151 patients for gastrointestinal symptoms underwent endoscopic examination in Beijing Youбпan Hospital, Capital Medical University, the largest referral center for the management of HIV infection and HIV-related complications in China, from January 2003 to March 2006. The HIV-positive patients in the present study, mainly from HeNan province, were infected through illegal blood plasma collection.

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Obesity Strongest Risk Factor for Colorectal Cancer Among Women

Cancer • • Obesity • • Weight LossOct 16 07

Research presented at the 72nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology found that obesity, among other important risk factors, was the strongest risk factor for colorectal cancer in women.

Joseph C. Anderson, MD of Stony Brook University in New York (and the University of Connecticut) and his colleagues examined data from 1,252 women who underwent colonoscopy. They classified patients according to their age, smoking history, family history of colorectal cancer, and body mass index (BMI).

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CPAP therapy improves symptoms of depression in OSA patients

Depression • • Sleep AidOct 15 07

Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who also suffer from depression often find that continued use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) relieves them of symptoms of depression, according to a study published in the October 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM).

Daniel J. Schwartz, MD, of The Sleep Center at University’s Community Hospital in Tampa, Fla., surveyed patients referred to his sleep center for evaluation of OSA and who demonstrated a significant response to CPAP. The subjects were evaluated for symptoms of depression, were assessed again after four to six weeks of treatment with CPAP and then reassessed approximately one year later.

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Animal food allergens unmasked

AllergiesOct 15 07

The relatedness of an animal food protein to a human protein determines whether it can cause allergy, according to new research by scientists from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich and the Medical University of Vienna.

In theory all proteins have the potential to become allergens, but the study found that in practice the ability of animal food proteins to act as allergens depends on their evolutionary distance from a human equivalent.

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Leading researchers to reveal comprehensive dos and don’ts for prostate cancer

Prostate CancerOct 15 07

Today at the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s Annual Scientific Retreat, researchers will share new findings on how eating common foods such as tomatoes and fish, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding meats cooked at high temperatures may help prevent prostate cancer, and help men live healthier and longer after diagnosis. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, and an estimated 218,890 cases will occur in The United States this year.

Since the 1980s, researchers have hypothesized that nutrition choices could be connected to prostate cancer. Today, those ideas are being substantiated by more widespread studies, in combination with newer technologies in gene research.

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Cigarette Smoking May Accelerate Disability in Those with MS

Neurology • • Tobacco & MarijuanaOct 15 07

Persons with multiple sclerosis who smoke risk increasing the amount of brain tissue shrinkage, a consequence of MS, and the subsequent severity of their disease, new research conducted at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) at the University at Buffalo has shown.

The results are based on magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of smokers and nonsmokers in 368 MS patients treated in UB’s Jacobs Neurological Institute, the university’s Department of Neurology in its School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

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Statins reduce loss of function, keeping old lungs young - even in smokers

Drug News • • Psychiatry / Psychology • • Tobacco & MarijuanaOct 15 07

Statins are known to be good for lowering cholesterol and maybe even fighting dementia, and now they have another reported benefit: they appear to slow decline in lung function in the elderly— even in those who smoke. According to researchers in Boston, it may be statins’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help achieve this effect.

Their findings were published in the second issue for October in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Officials battle through “samurai” diet

Dieting • • Dieting To Lose WeightOct 12 07

Overweight local government officials in Japan have slimmed down with a three-month “samurai” diet, soldiering on despite a fellow samurai’s death.

The mayor of the city of Ise in west Japan and six officials joined forces as the “Seven Metabolic Samurai,” after Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” movie, to fight the so-called metabolic syndrome—excess belly fat, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

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Staying positive may help kids deal with pain

PainOct 12 07

It may be mind over matter when it comes to children’s ability to cope with pain, a study suggests.

Researchers found that children and teenagers who said they typically dealt with pain through positive thinking were able to better tolerate uncomfortable circumstances, like pressure on a finger or heat against their skin.

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Overweight kids at risk for asthma hospitalization

Children's Health • • Asthma • • ObesityOct 12 07

Overweight children seen in the ER for an asthma flare-up are more likely to be admitted to the hospital than their non-overweight peers, according to a report in the journal Pediatrics. Moreover, this finding holds true regardless of illness severity.

“This is the first study in children to examine the relationship between overweight and hospital admission during asthma exacerbations,” lead author Dr. Christopher L. Carroll, from Connecticut Children’s Hospital in Hartford, told Reuters Health.

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Smokers may find redemption on mobile phones

Tobacco & MarijuanaOct 12 07

For millions of smokers itching to quit, new Web-based technologies are promising to stand by you like a close friend through those dark days of stress and withdrawal.

Internet sites and discussion forums dedicated to kicking the nicotine habit have been around for more than a decade.

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Study sees differences in how U.S. Hispanics get HIV

AIDS/HIVOct 12 07

There are major differences among U.S. Hispanics in how they get infected with the AIDS virus depending on where they were born, officials said on Thursday, requiring more care in tailoring prevention efforts.

The trend was detailed in a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on HIV infection and AIDS among Hispanics, who make up 14 percent of America’s population.

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Arthritis causes job limitations for many

ArthritisOct 12 07

Nearly 12 percent of Americans ages 45 to 64 face work limitations because of arthritis, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report on Thursday.

The CDC issued its first state-by-state assessment of work limitations caused by arthritis, an inflammation of the joints that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement.

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