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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > Stroke


Falls a risk after stroke survivors leave hospital

StrokeMay 31 08

During the 6-month period following a stroke, falls are common and often result in injury requiring medical treatment, according to surveys of more than 1000 stroke survivors in New Zealand.

Once stroke patients leave the hospital, their risk of falling is double that of people who haven’t had a stroke, Dr. Ngaire Kerse of the University of Auckland told Reuters Health.

“Fall prevention should be part of stroke rehabilitation,” she stressed.

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Kidney plus pancreas transplant best for diabetics

DiabetesMay 31 08

People with type 1 diabetes who need a kidney transplant, as many do, fare better over the long term when they receive a pancreas transplant at the same time, according to researchers from the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

“Our study shows that a functioning pancreas has a benefit for the simultaneously transplanted kidney,” lead investigator Dr. Christian Morath said in a statement. “At the same time, this procedure prolongs the survival of the patient, compared to a patient who received only a kidney transplant.”

The reason for the improved survival with simultaneous pancreas-and-kidney transplantation is not fully known, but likely relates to the enhanced glucose control achieved with the combined procedure, the researchers note in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Alzheimer’s brain plaques cleared in mice

Brain • • NeurologyMay 31 08

Protein accumulations, or plaques, characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease can be eliminated from the brains of mice, researchers report, by encouraging scavenger immune cells called macrophages to do their work.

The activity of macrophages is damped down by a naturally occurring compound called TGF-beta, to stop runaway reactions, and prior research has shown that brain levels of TGF-beta are increased in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the report in the research journal Nature Medicine.

Some researchers believed that the high levels of TGF-beta were simply an attempt to quiet the inflammatory response associated with Alzheimer plaques. However, the new findings contradict that notion.

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Canadian film festival to highlight breast cancer

Cancer • • Breast CancerMay 31 08

Toronto will host a movie event billed as the world’s first-ever film festival dedicated to breast cancer awareness, a Canadian charity said.

Breast Fest will showcase feature-length and short films, documentaries, animation, and experimental works that highlight breast cancer, an illness that afflicts more than 1 million women worldwide each year.

“We want this to be international and we want people to be able to share their experiences with breast cancer from their perspective from within their country and their unique experience,” MJ DeCoteau, the executive director of the charity Rethink Breast Cancer which is organizing the event, said in an interview.

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Whole milk is effective and cost-effective as oral contrast agent

Dieting • • Food & NutritionMay 30 08

An item commonly found in many homes – whole milk – is just as effective, costs less and is easier on the patient than a diluted (0.1%) barium suspension that is also commonly used as an oral contrast agent in conjunction with CT to examine the gastrointestinal tract, a new study finds.

The study included 215 patients undergoing abdominal and pelvic CT, said Chi Wan Koo, MD, lead author of the study. All patients were given an IV contrast media; 115 were also given whole milk as an oral contrast agent; 100 received a 0.1% barium suspension. Two radiologists reviewed all the images and scored them based on degree of bowel distension and bowel wall visibility. Adequate bowel distension is necessary to optimize resolution of the bowel wall and contents, said Dr. Koo.

The study found that the images taken of patients who were given whole milk were just as useful as the images that were taken of patients given the diluted barium, she said.

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Exercise cuts cancer death in men

Cancer • • Gender: MaleMay 29 08

Men who exercise often are less likely to die from cancer than those who don’t exercise, according to a new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet. In the study, the researchers looked at the effect of physical activity and cancer risk in 40,708 men aged between 45 and 79.

Over the seven year period of the study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, 3,714 men developed cancer and 1,153 died from the disease. Men who walked or cycled for at least 30 minutes a day had an increased survival from cancer with 33 per cent, than the men who exercised less or did nothing at all. The researchers also found that a more extensive programme of walking and cycling for between 60 and 90 minutes and a day, led to a l6 per cent lower incidence of cancer. But these activities only led to a five per cent reduction in cancer rates among the men who walked or cycled for 30 minutes day, a finding which could be due to chance.

The researchers surveyed men from two counties in central Sweden about their lifestyle and the amount of physical activity they did. They then scored these responses and compared the results with data officially recorded in a central cancer registry over a seven year period.

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Residual urine not tied to urinary infection

Infections • • Urine ProblemsMay 29 08

Among nursing home residents, incomplete bladder emptying is not associated with the occurrence of a urinary tract infection, according to a report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

It is generally assumed that residual urine after voiding increases the risk for urinary tract infection, “in that it creates an environment favorable to bacterial growth,” Dr. Esther Kuhry from Namsos Hospital, Norway told Reuters Health.

However, she explained, “The few studies published so far show conflicting results with regards to the association of post-void residual and urinary tract infection in the elderly.”

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Study shows benefit of statins before heart surgery

Heart • • SurgeryMay 29 08

People given cholesterol-fighting statin drugs before heart surgery are far less likely to die or suffer complications afterwards, German researchers said on Wednesday.

The analysis of more than 31,000 patients provides some of the strongest evidence yet of the benefits of statins before heart surgery but it also found that too few doctors are prescribing them, they said in the European Heart Journal.

“This is the first big summary of all the existing studies about people undergoing cardiac surgery,” said Oliver Liakopoulos, a researcher at the University of Cologne, who led the study.

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Dehydrated Tomatoes Show Promise for Preventing Prostate Cancer

Cancer • • Prostate CancerMay 29 08

New research suggests that the form of tomato product one eats could be the key to unlocking its prostate cancer-fighting potential, according to a report in the June 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

“Processing of many edible plants through heating, grinding, mixing or drying dramatically increases their nutrition value, including their cancer prevention potential. It appears that the greatest protective effect from tomatoes comes by rehydrating tomato powder into tomato paste,” said Valeri V. Mossine, Ph.D., research assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Missouri.

The protective effect of tomato products against prostate cancer has been suggested in many studies, but researchers remain uncertain about the exact mechanisms. Mossine and colleagues demonstrated that FruHis, an organic carbohydrate present in dehydrated tomato products, exerts a strong protective effect.

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Kids’ obesity rates may be stabilizing, data hint

Children's Health • • ObesityMay 28 08

After years of bad news about skyrocketing numbers of overweight and obese children and adolescents, new data released today indicate that there has been no significant increase in the prevalence of obese children and teens in the United States in recent years.

“In the United States, the prevalence of overweight among children and adolescents increased between 1980 and 2004, and the heaviest children have been getting heavier,” note Dr. Cynthia L. Ogden, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hyattsville, Maryland and colleagues in this week’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

To gauge the latest trends, they analyzed height and weight measurements obtained from 8,165 children and adolescents as part of the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which are nationally representative surveys of the U.S. population.

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“Silent” heart attack boosts dementia risk

Heart • • Psychiatry / Psychology • • StrokeMay 28 08

Men who are found to have had an unrecognized or “silent” heart attack are at increased risk of developing dementia or small lesions in the brain that can affect cognition, Dutch researchers report.

Dr. Monique M. B. Breteler told Reuters Health that her group had previously found that men, but not women, with a silent heart attack are more likely to have a stroke than men who had a recognized heart attack or those who had not had any heart attack.

To examine whether this might also be the case for dementia and so-called cerebral small vessel disease, Breteler of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, and her colleagues examined data for more than 6300 participants in a population-based study.

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Common painkillers have anti-Alzheimer’s effect

NeurologyMay 28 08

Pooled data from six studies suggest that all painkillers classified as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs—including aspirin, ibuprofen and celecoxib—reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer dementia to a similar extent.

“This is an interesting finding because it seems to challenge a current theory that the NSAID group which includes ibuprofen may work better in reducing a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s,” Dr. Peter P. Zandi said in a statement.

“The NSAID group that includes ibuprofen was thought to target a certain type of plaque in the brain found in Alzheimer’s patients. But our results suggest there may be other reasons why these drugs may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s,” added Zandi, a researcher with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

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Swayze ‘responding well’ to cancer treatment

Cancer • • Pancreatic cancerMay 28 08

Former “Dirty Dancing” star Patrick Swayze is responding well to treatment for pancreatic cancer, he told People magazine.

Swayze, 55, who announced in March that he had been diagnosed with cancer, is receiving treatment at Stanford University Medical Center near San Francisco.

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Low-carb diets work for overweight diabetics

Diabetes • • Obesity • • Weight LossMay 28 08

Overweight people with type 2 diabetes can keep their weight and blood sugar under control over the long term by following a low-carbohydrate diet, Swedish researchers report.

“It is indeed possible to have a lasting success in the treatment of some of these patients,” Dr. Jorgen Vesti Nielsen told Reuters Health.

The participants in the study limited their carbohydrate intake to 20 percent of total calories. The most significant effect of this low-carb diet is the absence of hunger, Nielsen added.

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Estrogen Helps Drive Distinct, Aggressive Form of Prostate Cancer

Cancer • • Prostate CancerMay 28 08

Using a breakthrough technology, researchers led by a Weill Cornell Medical College scientist have pinpointed the hormone estrogen as a key player in about half of all prostate cancers.

Estrogen-linked signaling helps drive a discrete and aggressive form of the disease caused by a chromosomal translocation, which in turn results in the fusion of two genes.

“Fifty percent of prostate cancers harbor a common recurrent gene fusion, and we believe that this confers a more aggressive nature to these tumors,” explains study senior author Dr. Mark A. Rubin, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and vice chair for experimental pathology at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Rubin is also attending pathologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

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