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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > InfectionsUrine Problems


Reason for cystic fibrosis infections uncovered

Infections • • Urine ProblemsMar 31 08

People with cystic fibrosis are prone to lung infections, especially with the bug Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and now a German team has discovered why. Their experiments with mice show that the accumulation of a fatty substance called ceramide in the respiratory tract is the reason.

The good news is that one enzyme, dubbed Asm, is in large part responsible for this build-up, so treatment aimed at blocking this enzyme might reduce lung infections in people with CF.

The underlying cause of the disease cystic fibrosis is known to be a gene mutation, but how this promotes lung infections was unclear.

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Micardis cuts heart risks in large study

Drug News • • HeartMar 31 08

A six-year study pitting the newer blood pressure drug Micardis with the ACE inhibitor ramipril found Micardis was just as effective in preventing serious heart problems as the older drug, but with fewer side effects, international researchers said on Monday.

The Boehringer Ingelheim drug Micardis, or telmisartan, is typically used in patients with heart failure, but the study found it worked as well as the ACE inhibitor ramipril, marketed in the United States as Altace by King Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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Flu shots leave heart failure patients at risk

Flu • • HeartMar 31 08

Patients with heart failure are especially vulnerable to influenza and most doctors recommend they get flu shots, but a study suggests these annual jabs may not offer them full protection, U.S. researchers said on Saturday.

They found heart failure patients in a study had lower immune responses to the vaccine compared with healthy people of similar ages, leaving them more vulnerable to infection.

“What we theorize is that heart failure as a condition leads to impaired immune function, which renders these patients less able to respond to the vaccine,” said Orly Vardeny of the University of Wisconsin, who presented the study at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Chicago.

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Two Indonesian youths die of bird flu

FluMar 31 08

Two Indonesian youths have died from bird flu, a health ministry official said on Monday, taking the confirmed death toll in the country worst affected by the virus to 107.

A 15-year-old boy from Subang, in West Java, died on Wednesday in an area where chickens had died, said Nyoman Kandun, director general of communicable disease control at the ministry.

An 11-year-old girl from Bekasi, east of Jakarta, who died on Friday also tested positive for the virus, the official said.

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2-drug blood pressure therapy lowers cardiovascular risk

HeartMar 31 08

An international blood pressure study comparing two single-pill drug combinations has yielded results so significant that the study has been stopped early – and the researchers say their findings might alter the way high blood pressure is treated worldwide.

The randomized study showed that both drug combinations helped people who had high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors get their BP down to recommended levels – despite the fact that two-thirds of them had been unable to achieve good BP control with other medications before they entered the study.

But even more important, the study revealed that the patients taking one of the combinations had 20 percent fewer heart-related events than the patients taking the other one. Those events included cardiovascular deaths, heart attacks, strokes, hospitalizations for unstable angina and treatments to re-open blocked heart arteries.

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Potential association of type 2 diabetes genes with prostate cancer

Cancer • • Prostate Cancer • • DiabetesMar 31 08

-Scientists have identified six new genes which play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, and among the group is the second gene known to also play a role in prostate cancer.

The new findings bring the total number of genes or genomic regions implicated in diabetes to 16, said Laura Scott, assistant research scientist in the Department of Biostatistics. Researchers from the University of Michigan were one of three teams of scientists in Europe and North America that led the multi-group collaboration. The findings, which were published today in the journal Nature Genetics, provide new insights into the mechanisms which are usually responsible for the control of glucose, or sugar, levels in the blood, and to the derangements that can result in type 2 diabetes, which impacts more than 170 million people worldwide.

One of the newly discovered genes, which goes by the name of JAZF1, contains a separate variant that has recently been shown to play a role in prostate cancer, and is the second gene that appears to play a role in both conditions.

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Potential new target for multiple sclerosis therapy

NeurologyMar 28 08

Researchers demonstrate both genetic and pharmaceutical evidence for the role of a protein called collagenase-2 in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), providing a potential new way to combat this debilitating disease.

Collagenase-2 is a member of a protein family called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs, collagenase-2 is MMP8), a large group of enzymes that break down collagen and other components of the body’s connective tissue. MMPs have been implicated in contributing to MS by degrading the tissue that maintains the blood-brain barrier, thus allowing unwanted cells to invade and break down nerves. In fact, MMPs are found in elevated amounts in the blood and spinal fluid of diseased individuals.

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Are teenage brains really different?

Children's Health • • BrainMar 28 08

Philadelphia, March 28, 2008 Ц Many parents are convinced that the brains of their teenage offspring are different than those of children and adults. New data confirms that this is the case. An article by Jay N. Giedd, MD, of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), published in the April 2008 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health describes how brain changes in the adolescent brain impact cognition, emotion and behavior.

Dr. Giedd reviews the results from the NIMH Longitudinal Brain Imaging Project. This study and others indicate that gray matter increases in volume until approximately the early teens and then decreases until old age. Pinning down these differences in a rigorous way had been elusive until MRI was developed, offering the capacity to provide extremely accurate quantifications of brain anatomy and physiology without the use of ionizing radiation.

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Normal Weight Obesity: An Emerging Risk Factor for Heart and Metabolic Problems

Heart • • ObesityMar 28 08

More than half of American adults considered to have normal body weight in America have high body fat percentages—greater than 20 percent for men and 30 percent for women—as well as heart and metabolic disturbances, new Mayo Clinic research shows. The finding conflicts with the widely held belief that maintaining a normal weight automatically guards against disorders such as high levels of circulating blood fats and a tendency to develop metabolic syndrome, which often leads to type 2 diabetes.

The researchers defined “normal weight” by body mass index (BMI). They found that people with normal BMI who had the highest percentage of body fat were also those who had metabolic disturbances linked to heart disease. The researchers use the phrase “normal weight obesity” to describe this new type of patient at risk for metabolism problems and risk factors for heart disease, but who rates as “normal” on standard weight charts. They defined normal weight obesity as a condition of having a normal BMI with high body fat percentage. The Mayo team will present its study results at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session next week in Chicago.

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Four Tips for Understanding Medical News

Public HealthMar 28 08

Medicine is a science. That means research should provide clear answers that stand the test of time and scrutiny from additional investigations. That’s the theory behind evidence-based, data-driven scientific medicine. But in our imperfect world, things don’t always turn out as they should. The April 2008 issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch explains how to handle medical advice that changes from day to day and study to study.

Here are four tips:

1. Understand the different types of research you are likely to hear about. Randomized controlled clinical trials are the gold standard for medical research, and really the only way to prove whether an intervention is beneficial or harmful. Meta-analyses are also important—they combine the results of many different studies and use sophisticated statistical techniques to analyze the pooled data. Observational studies can provide information on links between two factors, but they cannot prove that one factor caused another. Results from animal and laboratory studies should be considered preliminary.

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“Give Me 5” stroke awareness campaign launched

Neurology • • StrokeMar 26 08

Actress Morgan Fairchild has teamed up with the American Academy of Neurology, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Stroke Association to launch a new campaign designed to raise awareness about the early warning signs of stroke and the critical importance of early treatment.

“With stroke, every minute counts,” said Fairchild, who cared for her mother who suffered a series of debilitating strokes until her death in 1999.

Recognizing that you or someone you are with is having a stroke as soon as symptoms appear can “make the difference between life and death,” added Dr. Ralph Sacco, member of the American Academy of Neurology.

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Many young adults take chances with food safety

Dieting • • Food & NutritionMar 26 08

Efforts to teach young adults about food safety may not be hitting home, a new study suggests.

Dr. Carol Byrd-Bredbenner of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and colleagues found that many college students engaged in eating behaviors that could make them sick, like eating raw homemade cookie dough or runny eggs.

While people are becoming increasingly aware of food safety issues, Byrd-Bredbenner and her team note, surveys still show a substantial proportion run the risk of food poisoning by eating raw eggs, undercooked hamburger and other foods that may harbor harmful bacteria.

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Britain urges pregnant women to avoid alcohol

Gender: Female • • PregnancyMar 26 08

Women should drink no alcohol during the first three months of pregnancy, despite uncertainty over whether the odd drink could harm their baby, a British government watchdog said on Wednesday.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said there was limited evidence that drinking in the early stages of pregnancy may be linked to a higher risk of miscarriage.

Its new guidance says that pregnant women who choose to drink should limit their intake to one or two units, once or twice a week.

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Some people may transmit weaker AIDS virus: study

AIDS/HIVMar 25 08

People with a genetic variation that slows down HIV may also be causing a mutation to the AIDS virus that makes it less potent if transmitted to others, researchers said on Friday.

The human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS attacks immune system cells. Like other viruses, it cannot replicate on its own but must hijack a cell and turn it into a virus factory. HIV must evade several genes to do this, including an immunity gene called HLA.

“Some people have versions of the HLA gene that are known to force HIV to tolerate mutations that damage its ability to reproduce,” Carolyn Williamson and Salim Abdool Karim at the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa wrote in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens.

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Hearing implants improve quality of life

Ear / Nose / ThroatMar 25 08

For people with profound hearing loss, getting a cochlear implant—an electronic device that restores partial hearing—leads to a marked improvement in speech recognition and quality of life, new research confirms.

A cochlear implant is surgically implanted in the inner ear and activated by a device worn outside the ear. Unlike a hearing aid, it does not make sound louder or clearer. Instead, the device bypasses damaged parts of the hearing system and directly stimulates the hearing nerve, allowing individuals who are profoundly hearing-impaired to hear sound.

“The results of our study are once more proof that cochlear implantation is indeed a successful treatment for improving quality of life and speech recognition for deaf patients,” write Dr. Anke Hirschfelder from Charite-Universitatsmedizin in Berlin and colleagues.

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