الثلاثاء، 18 أغسطس 2015

ScienceDaily: Health & Medicine News

ScienceDaily: Health & Medicine News

Some health insurance websites show improved efforts to support patient decision making

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 03:17 PM PDT

Websites for national and state health insurance marketplaces show evidence of improved efforts to assist patients in choosing health insurance plans, such as providing decision support tools, experts have found. However, in a new article, researchers recommend taking more steps to better support consumers in making informed health plan decisions.

Retinal changes may serve as measures of brain pathology in schizophrenia

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 03:13 PM PDT

Schizophrenia is associated with structural and functional alterations of the visual system, including specific structural changes in the eye. Tracking such changes may provide new measures of risk for, and progression of the disease, according to a literature review.

Aspirin reverses obesity cancer risk

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 03:13 PM PDT

A regular dose of aspirin reduces the long-term risk of cancer in those who are overweight, shows an international study of people with a family history of the disease.

New approach could reduce human health impacts of electric power generation

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 01:12 PM PDT

By combining information about power plant operation with real-time air quality predictions, researchers have created a new capability to minimize the human health effects of air pollution resulting from electric power generating facilities.

Vitamin D supplements could help reduce falls in homebound elderly

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 01:12 PM PDT

Every year falls affect approximately one in three older adults living at home, with approximately one in 10 falls resulting in serious injury. Even if an injury does not occur, the fear of falling can lead to reduced activity and a loss of independence. Research has shown that vitamin D plays a key role in maintaining muscle integrity and strength and some studies suggest vitamin D may reduce the risk of falls.

Drinking coffee daily may improve survival in colon cancer patients

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 01:12 PM PDT

Regular consumption of caffeinated coffee may help prevent the return of colon cancer after treatment and improve the chances of a cure, according to a new, large study that reported this striking association for the first time.

Study identifies cause of disruption in brain linked to psychiatric disorder

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 01:06 PM PDT

New research has identified the mechanisms that trigger disruption in the brain's communication channels linked to symptoms in psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. This research could have important implications for treating symptoms of brain disorders, say authors of a new report.

Opiate addiction spreading, becoming more complex

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 12:05 PM PDT

The growing availability of heroin, combined with programs aimed at curbing prescription painkiller abuse, may be changing the face of opiate addiction in the US, according to sociologists.

Smoking cessation drug not boosting number of smokers who quit

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 12:05 PM PDT

The introduction of a new prescription smoking-cessation aid, varenicline, in 2006 has had no significant impact on the rate at which Americans age 18 and older successfully quit smoking, according to a study.

Comprehending chemotaxis

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 11:21 AM PDT

The intricate mechanisms that allow certain cells to move have been uncovered by researchers, discoveries with implications for cancer metastasis, say authors of a new report.

Exercise alone does not help in losing weight

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 11:21 AM PDT

Physical activity has many health benefits, ranging from reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer to improving mental health and mood. But contrary to common belief, exercise does not help you lose weight, public health scientists report.

Scientists uncover nuclear process in the brain that may affect disease

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 11:20 AM PDT

Every brain cell has a nucleus, or a central command station. Scientists have shown that the passage of molecules through the nucleus of a star-shaped brain cell, called an astrocyte, may play a critical role in health and disease.

Poor sleep contributes to MS-related fatigue

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 11:20 AM PDT

Sleep disturbances significantly contribute to MS-related fatigue, a common and often disabling symptom among individuals with MS, research shows. The authors recommend routine screening/treatment of sleep disturbances, which may reduce debilitating effects of fatigue.

Woman’s health, education and marital status pre-pregnancy affect birth weight of her daughters, granddaughters

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:27 AM PDT

A woman's weight at birth, education level and marital status pre-pregnancy can have repercussions for two generations, putting her children and grandchildren at higher risk of low birth weight, according to a new study . The findings are the first to tie social and biological factors together using population data in determining causes for low birth weight.

Nonagenarian athlete: Researchers study Olga Kotelko's brain

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:25 AM PDT

In the summer of 2012, Olga Kotelko, a 93-year-old Canadian track-and-field athlete with more than 30 world records in her age group, submitted to an in-depth analysis of her brain. The resulting study offers a surprising first glimpse of the potential effects of exercise on the brains and cognitive abilities of the 'oldest old.'

Peripherally inserted central catheters can cause blood clots in lower limbs

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:25 AM PDT

Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are frequently used by healthcare professionals to obtain long-term central venous access in hospitalized patients. While there are numerous benefits associated with PICCs, a potential complication is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots, in upper limbs. A new study of more than 70,000 patients in hospitals indicates that PICC use is associated not only with upper-extremity DVT, but also with lower-extremity DVT.

Two major US aquifers contaminated by natural uranium

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:25 AM PDT

Nearly 2 million people throughout the Great Plains and California above aquifer sites contaminated with natural uranium that is mobilized by human-contributed nitrate, according to a new study. Data show that many Americans live less than two-thirds of a mile from wells that often far exceed the uranium guideline set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Genomic testing triggers a diabetes diagnosis revolution

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:25 AM PDT

Over a 10 year period, the time that babies receive genetic testing after being diagnosed with diabetes has fallen from over four years to under two months. Pinpointing the exact genetic causes of sometimes rare forms of diabetes is revolutionizing healthcare for these patients.

Scientists visualize critical part of basal ganglia pathways

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:23 AM PDT

Certain diseases, like Parkinson's and Huntingdon's disease, are associated with damage to the pathways between the brain's basal ganglia regions. For the first time, scientists have used a non-invasive brain-imaging tool to detect the pathways that connect the parts of the basal ganglia.

New insight into tumor progression

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:23 AM PDT

Scientists know that activation of growth factor receptors like epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) promote tumor progression in many types of cancer. New study results provide further insight, and are focused on brain, breast, and prostate cancer.

How traumatic memories hide in the brain, and how to retrieve them

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:23 AM PDT

Some stressful experiences -- such as chronic childhood abuse -- are so traumatic, the memories hide like a shadow in the brain and can't be consciously accessed. Eventually, suppressed memories can cause debilitating psychological problems. Scientists have discovered how and where the brain stores those stressful memories and how to retrieve them. The findings could lead to new treatment for patients with repressed traumatic memories.

Effect of presymptomatic BMI, dietary intake, alcohol on ALS

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:20 AM PDT

Presymptomatic patients with the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) consumed more daily calories but had lower body-mass index (BMI) than those individuals without ALS in a study that also looked at risk for the disease and associations with food and alcohol intake.

Imaging study looks at brain effects of early adversity, mental health disorders

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:20 AM PDT

Adversity during the first six years of life was associated with higher levels of childhood internalizing symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, in a group of boys, as well as altered brain structure in late adolescence between the ages of 18 and 21, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Scientists discover atomic-resolution details of brain signaling

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:20 AM PDT

Scientists have revealed never-before-seen details of how our brain sends rapid-fire messages between its cells. They mapped the 3-D atomic structure of a two-part protein complex that controls the release of signaling chemicals, called neurotransmitters, from brain cells. Understanding how cells release those signals in less than one-thousandth of a second could help launch a new wave of research on drugs for treating brain disorders.

Children of military parents, caregivers at greater risk for adverse outcomes

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:20 AM PDT

Children with parents or caregivers currently serving in the military had a higher prevalence of substance use, violence, harassment and weapon-carrying than their nonmilitary peers in a study of California school children, according to an article.

In first year, two Florida laws reduce amount of opioids prescribed, study suggests

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:20 AM PDT

Two Florida laws, enacted to combat prescription drug abuse and misuse in that state, led to a small but significant decrease in the amount of opioids prescribed the first year the laws were in place, a new study.

Engineers develop a wireless, implantable device to stimulate nerves in mice

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 10:19 AM PDT

A blue glowing device the size of a peppercorn can activate neurons of the brain, spinal cord or limbs in mice and is powered wirelessly using the mouse's own body to transfer energy. The device is the first to deliver optogenetic nerve stimulation in a fully implantable format.

Bionic liver micro-organs explain off-target toxicity of acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 08:06 AM PDT

Safety evaluation is a critical part of drug and cosmetic development, but experimental considerations and tighter regulations require alternatives to animal testing. Now scientists have partnered to create a liver-on-chip device mimicking human physiology, with liver organs less than a millimeter in diameter that survive for more than a month. By adding nano-based optoelectronic sensors, the group identified a new mechanism of acetaminophen (Tylenol) toxicity using this human-on-a-chip technology.

How others see our identity depends on moral traits, not memory

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 08:06 AM PDT

We may view our memory as being essential to who we are, but new findings suggest that others consider our moral traits to be the core component of our identity. Data collected from family members of patients suffering from neurodegenerative disease showed that it was changes in moral behavior, not memory loss, that caused loved ones to say that the patient wasn't 'the same person' anymore.

Quiet design: Hospital tests sound panels to reduce noise

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 06:33 AM PDT

Monitors. Alarms. Pagers. People. Hospital noise can keep patients from getting a good night's sleep. Sound panels tested in the hallways of a hospital system helped reduce noise around patient rooms.

What's lurking in your lungs? Surprising findings emerge from microbiome research

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 06:32 AM PDT

With every breath you take, microbes have a chance of making it into your lungs. But what happens when they get there? And why do dangerous lung infections like pneumonia happen in some people, but not others? Researchers have started to answer these questions by studying the microbiome of the lungs -- the community of microscopic organisms are in constant contact with our respiratory system.

How cancer cells alter bone tissue

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 06:00 AM PDT

Migrating tumor cells produce a protein that aids them to set up home in bones, researchers show. If a tumor develops metastases, the chances of the patient's survival will be severely diminished. Cancer cells that leave the primary tumor, travel through the body, and set up home in distal organs such as lungs and bones start to express cathepsin K. Cathepsin K is primarily found only in the bone and is secreted by osteoclasts.

Commercial brain stimulation device impairs memory

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 06:00 AM PDT

People show impaired memory after receiving low intensity electrical stimulation administered to the frontal part of the brain by a commercial, freely available, device, a new study shows.

Decisive steps in the initiation of programmed cell death revealed

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 05:56 AM PDT

Researchers have studied the formation of membrane pores that are critical to start the apoptosis program. The key step in apoptosis is the release of the protein cytochrome c and other apoptotic factors from the mitochondria into the cell interior. After this step, apoptosis induction is irreversible and cell's fate is sealed. In order to allow this process, the mitochondrial membrane must be permeable. The research team has examined how the mitochondrial membrane becomes permeable.

Dream of feeling less tired? The trick comes with age

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 05:56 AM PDT

The elderly are doing something right. New research into the effects of age on sleep suggests our older community sleep less, but report better quality sleep, and feel more awake during the day.

Even as two-year-olds, girls are more independent, sociable, study suggests

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 05:56 AM PDT

Girls aged two and a half years master most everyday activities better than boys, a new Norwegian study shows. Both Norwegian and international research shows that girls have better language and social skills than boys in school and kindergarten. There are few studies, however, which document how small children master everyday activities in kindergarten.

Dealing with the stigma and 'lived experience' of obesity

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 05:56 AM PDT

How obese people feel about themselves has much to do with how they experience social stigma and it can change over time, a new study has found. 

Nitrogen dioxide air pollution increases allergenicity in ragweed pollen

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 05:56 AM PDT

Pollen of the common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) has higher concentrations of allergen when the plant is exposed to NO2 exhaust gases, according to new findings.

Breastfeeding could reduce commons infections among Indigenous infants

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 05:54 AM PDT

Promoting breastfeeding could lead to a substantial reduction in common infections and even deaths that are more common in Indigenous infants than non-Indigenous infants, a new study suggests.

A thin ribbon of flexible electronics can monitor health, infrastructure

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 05:54 AM PDT

A new world of flexible, bendable, even stretchable electronics is emerging from research labs to address a wide range of potentially game-changing uses. Over the last few years, one team of chemists and materials scientists has begun exploring military applications in harsh environments for aircraft, explosive devices and even combatants themselves.

New method could detect blood clots anywhere in the body with a single scan

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 05:54 AM PDT

A blood clot can potentially trigger heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies. Treatment requires finding its exact location, but current techniques can only look at one part of the body at once. Now, researchers are reporting a method, tested in rats, that may someday allow physicians to quickly scan the entire body for a blood clot.

Mosquito-repelling chemicals identified in traditional sweetgrass

Posted: 17 Aug 2015 05:54 AM PDT

Native North Americans have long adorned themselves and their homes with fragrant sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata), a native plant used in traditional medicine, to repel biting insects, and mosquitoes in particular. Now, researchers report that they have identified the compounds in sweetgrass that keep these bugs at bay.

Color-changing polymer may signal traumatic brain injuries in soldiers, athletes

Posted: 16 Aug 2015 12:19 PM PDT

A bomb blast or a rough tackle can inflict serious brain damage. Yet at the time of impact, these injuries are often invisible. To detect head trauma immediately, a team of researchers has developed a polymer-based material that changes colors depending on how hard it is hit. The goal is to someday incorporate this material into protective headgear.

Eliminating water-borne bacteria with pages from The Drinkable Book could save lives

Posted: 16 Aug 2015 12:18 PM PDT

Human consumption of bacterially contaminated water causes millions of deaths each year throughout the world -- primarily among children. An inexpensive, simple and easily transportable nanotechnology-based method to purify drinking water has just been developed. Researchers call it The Drinkable Book, and each page is impregnated with bacteria-killing metal nanoparticles.

A childhood dilemma: Growth or play

Posted: 14 Aug 2015 11:58 AM PDT

Frolicking, wrestling, climbing, jumping -- Playing is a lot of fun and promotes development but is also very strenuous. Behavioral biologists therefore suspect that animals only play intensively if they have surplus energy at their disposal or if playing brings about vital advantages. Scientists investigated this in young Assamese macaques in their natural habitat in Thailand. They found that those animals that play a lot grow more slowly than their less active conspecifics. However, during play they learn motoric skills that are vital for fight and flight. Thus, it depends on the respective conditions whether faster growth or more play is the right choice.