A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Some 6,000 fireworks injuries preventable

(UPI) There were almost 6,000 U.S. injuries due to consumer fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday in 2009, but all were preventable, a medical expert says.
Dr. John Steinberg, a member of the board of directors of the National Council on Fireworks Safety, says these injuries would not have occurred if there had been close adult supervision and if some basic safety steps had been taken. If consumer fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety suggests injuries can be greatly reduced:
-- Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
-- Parents should not allow young children to handle or use fireworks.
-- Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
-- Always have water ready if you are shooting fireworks.
-- Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting.
-- Do not drink alcohol around fireworks.
-- Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
-- Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
-- Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
-- Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives.
-- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
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Fireworks and Fido Don't Always Mix

(HealthDay News) [F]or many family pets, the celebratory pops, booms and bangs [of fireworks] trigger a full-blown panic attack…
[A]nimal behaviorists recommend acclimating dogs to the sound.
How? [Applied animal behaviorist Dr. Sophia] Yin suggested while softly playing a CD of fireworks, putting the dog in a "happy state" by quickly tossing him several treats then teaching him a new game or trick. Keep the daily training sessions short, just 5 or 10 minutes. With each new session, gradually increase the CD's volume. Eventually the dog learns the scary sound isn't such a big deal because good things are happening to him.
"You're changing what's going on in his mind," explained Yin. "He's engaging in behaviors that take him away from his fear."
Ideally, owners should start desensitizing their dogs to the sound of fireworks a month or two ahead of time. However, even if there's only a day or two left before the holiday, it's still worth trying, she said.
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Pollution Took Heavy Toll at U.S. Beaches in 2010

(HealthDay News) As the summer gets into full swing, a new report Wednesday warns that water pollution can make a day at the beach no day at the beach.
Last year was one of the worst in two decades for pollution-related beach closures and warnings, partly due to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and rainy weather, according to the report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental activist group.
Going to the beach is "a summer rite of passage, but, unfortunately, it can also make you sick," David Beckman, director of the council's Water Program told a morning press conference Wednesday…
[The] contamination can make people sick with the stomach flu, rashes, pinkeye, dysentery, hepatitis, ear, nose and throat problems, and other diseases, Beckman said.
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Pollutants linked to diabetes in new study

(Reuters Health) People with higher levels of pesticides and other pollutants in their blood may be more likely to get type 2 diabetes, suggests a new study of elderly Swedes…
The pollutants, including pesticides and poly-chlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are largely found in meat and fatty fish. Some of them, including PCBs -- once used in paint, plastics, and for electrical equipment manufacturing -- are heavily regulated and no longer used in many countries.
However, "the exposure to these chemicals in the general population still occurs because they have widely contaminated our food chain," study researcher Dr. Duk-Hee Lee … told Reuters Health in an email.
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Diabetes, Prediabetes, and Metabolic Syndrome

(Arthur Agatston, MD, Everyday Health) If you are an American age 40 to 70, the odds are about 40 percent that you've been diagnosed with prediabetes, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome.
Shocked by this statistic? You should be! Not long ago, diabetes and prediabetes were rare. Now they are virtual epidemics in the United States, putting tens of millions of Americans at high risk for heart disease. In fact, diabetes is such a strong risk factor for heart disease that medical professionals define it as a "coronary heart disease risk equivalent." This means that a person with diabetes has the same high risk of a heart attack as someone who has already had one. Up to 70 percent of people in coronary care units have prediabetes or diabetes. Women, take note: If you have diabetes and have suffered a heart attack, you have an even greater risk of having another heart attack or heart failure than a man who has diabetes and has suffered a heart attack…
Prediabetes, sometimes called metabolic syndromeinsulin resistance, or Syndrome X, will lead to full-blown type 2 diabetes if it goes unchecked…
Luckily, type 2 diabetes is largely a "man-made" disease that we can unmake if we set our minds to it. Exercise, weight loss, and strategic dietary changes — particularly eliminating the highly processed "bad carbs" found in baked goods, breads, snack foods, and other starchy and sugary favorites — are all very effective in reversing insulin resistance.
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3 Ways to Have a Guilt-Free Barbecue

(RealAge.com) Fire up the grill and feast to your heart's content on your favorite barbecue fare. Just use these prep-and-cook methods to healthy up things first.
Rethink your marinade: Rather than drown meats in spices and high-fat oils, make fruit juice, vinegar, or wine the focus of your marinades. Going light on the oil but heavy on the spices and acids will add plenty of moist flavor to your grilled meats without all the extra calories. Plus, marinated meats produce far fewer carcinogenic by-products during high-heat cooking…
Make over your burgers: Might sound strange, but tart cherries make for juicier, tastier, more healthful burgers. Just mix one-third cup of chopped tart cherries into a pound of ground turkey or beef before forming your patties for the grill. Your burgers will not only have less fat but also produce 90 percent fewer heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs) – carcinogenic by-products that form during high-heat cooking…
Turn down the grill: … This helps curb the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), troublesome little compounds that can age you faster and shorten your lifespan. Use a thermometer to make sure you've cooked your meat to a safe internal temperature.
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Grilled Steak Salad with Caper Vinaigrette
Add grilled steak to a bed of watercress and vegetables and toss with a tangy homemade dressing for a hearty main-dish salad.
Pork Chops with Peach Barbecue Sauce
The tangy peach barbecue sauce that glazes these pork chops is incredible on grilled chicken or salmon as well. Bone-in pork chops (as opposed to boneless) are less likely to dry out. Just make sure to trim away as much fat as possible for healthier results.
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Cured meats not linked to pancreatic cancer

(Reuters Health) There are no clear signs that eating cured meats like ham, bacon or hot dogs could increase the odds of getting pancreatic cancer, according to a new study.
Some research has hinted that might be the case, because the preservatives used for curing, nitrate and nitrite, cause tumors in lab animals…
Regardless of whether cured meats are linked to pancreatic cancer, experts say the study doesn't mean people shouldn't strive to eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in fatty foods such as cured meats.
"There are a number of good reasons to practice improved dietary habits -- not just for cancer prevention," said Dr. Al Benson, a cancer specialist at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "We routinely recommend people limit their intake of fatty foods, and many of these animal products also contain nitrite and nitrate salts."
Lighting up, eating lots of sugar, and being obese have all been tied to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer in earlier work.
"By and large, the best we can do to prevent pancreatic and other cancers," said Benson, "is to encourage people to avoid smoking, to avoid obesity, and to practice improved dietary habits."
Community: I’m still confused about which nitrates are good for us and which are not.
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Saturated Fat in Your Diet?

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) [M]y thinking on saturated fat has recently evolved. A scientific analysis of 21 recent studies has shown that there is "no significant evidence" that saturated fat in the diet is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
However, I don't advise eating saturated fat with abandon, because the foods that are full of it (salty bacon, conventionally raised beef, processed cheese) are often not the best for our health. Try to limit it to about ten percent of daily calories. You may choose to use your "budget" of saturated fat calories on ice cream, butter or high-quality natural cheese, or even an occasional steak (from organic, grass-fed, grass-finished cattle, please).
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Medical advice lacking for obese Latinos

(UPI) About one-half of obese Mexican-American adults get any diet or exercise advice from their physicians, U.S. researchers said…
The study … found overall 45 percent of participants reported their doctor never provided recommendations to increase exercise and 52 percent said a healthcare professional never advised them to make dietary improvements.
"Among this obese population, not seeing 100 percent of people receiving advice is discouraging. There is a much higher risk of having negative health consequences," [assistant professor Ha] Nguyen said in a statement. "The rate of about 50 percent receiving advice is generally the same as previous reports in the general population."
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Study finds Americans are eating more - and more often

(Reuters) The number of daily meals and snacks consumed by U.S. adults rose to 4.8 in 2006 from 3.8 in 1977, according to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers who examined surveys of daily eating habits over a 30-year period.
In the top 10 percent of those surveyed, the number of daily meals and snacks rose to seven from five.
The analysis also found that although the size of meal portions has stabilized in recent years, but the number of total calories consumed is rising.
By 2006, the end of the period studied, Americans were consuming 570 more calories per day than they did in the late 1970s.
A chief culprit behind the calorie gain: Americans now consume 220 more calories daily from sugar-sweetened soft drinks than they did in the 1960s, the study found.
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Menu labels don't influence students' food choices

(Reuters Health) Menu labels on cafeteria food -- highlighting the good and the bad of various meal options -- make no difference in college students' meal choices, a new study concludes.
The results add to evidence that, despite laws in some cities mandating calorie counts on fast-food menus, nutritional information makes little difference to people when they are eating out.
Community: There they go again, expecting quick results. This study only covered a six-month period. It takes years to influence behavior.
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Kentucky Goes on the Offensive Against Colorectal Cancer

(HealthDay News) [T]he Colon Cancer Prevention Project, based in Louisville, started in 2004 with a mission of turning around [Kentucky’s colon cancer] statistics, said Claire Albright, the project's executive director…
The project attacked the problem on multiple fronts, holding awareness events to raise people's consciousness and lobbying the state legislature to enact laws that would encourage colon cancer screening, Albright said.
Its success has impressed national leaders. Kentucky's screening rate has moved up to 23rd in the state rankings, although its death rate remains high…
"Even if you have an unhealthy lifestyle, if you go in and get screened you can remove that polyp before it becomes cancerous," Albright said. "It just seems unthinkable that people would be dying from this disease. We don't want to see people losing loved ones and people suffering when they could undergo this simple procedure."…
"Persistence is really the biggest lesson," she said. "Just because something doesn't happen overnight, you need to stick to it and continue reaching out to people."
Community: Persistence is important in every health initiative. You don’t get instant results when changes in ways of thinking and behaving are involved.
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Get Screened for Colorectal Cancer: Who, Me?

(HealthDay News) It may sound simple: Colorectal cancer is generally considered one of the most preventable types of cancer that people can develop. So get screened and prevent it.
But the devil is in the details. Cancer experts have found much confusion regarding the guidelines for when and how people should be screened for colon cancer…
About 142,570 new cases of colorectal cancer were reported in 2010, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and about 51,370 people died from the disease.
Most of those deaths could have been prevented through screening, the CDC maintains, but nearly half of all colorectal cancers are not detected until they've reached a late stage, according to the agency…
Colonoscopy has long been regarded as the "gold standard" for colon cancer screening, Smith said. And with good reason: It is a very thorough test, and doctors can remove any polyps as they find them without making people undergo a second procedure.
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Natural Plant Compound Blocks Tumor Blood Vessel Growth

(Science Daily) Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers have discovered the first of an entirely new class of antiangiogenesis drugs -- agents that interfere with the development of blood vessels. In a report…, the investigators describe how a compound derived from a South American tree was able, through a novel mechanism, to interfere with blood vessel formation in animal models of normal development, wound healing and tumor growth…
Using a novel two-step strategy, the team first screened 50,000 compounds to find those affecting cellular adhesion and then analyzed identified compounds for toxicity and for their effects on actin, a protein essential to cellular structure.
One of two compounds identified by this process was dehydro-alpha-lapachone (DAL), derived from Tabebuia avellanedae, a tree native to Argentina and Brazil. Since DAL has structural similarities to another agent with antitumor activities and did not appear to be toxic, it was chosen for further investigation. The researchers first showed that DAL administration interfered with blood vessel formation in zebrafish, both during embryonic development and wound healing. They then found that it reduced the vascular density of tumors implanted in mice and, with daily treatment, significantly reduced tumor growth with no signs of toxicity.
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Gastric Bacterium Helicobacter Pylori Protects Against Asthma

(Science Daily) Infection with the gastric bacterium Helicobacter pylori provides reliable protection against allergy-induced asthma, immunologists from the University of Zurich have demonstrated in an animal model…
According to lung and allergy specialist Christian Taube…, the new results confirm the hypothesis that the increase in allergic asthma in industrial nations is linked to the widespread use of antibiotics and the subsequent disappearance of micro-organisms that permanently populate the human body: "The study of these fundamental mechanisms is extremely important for us to understand asthma and be able to develop preventative and therapeutic strategies later on."
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Copper kills 97 percent of hospital ICU bacteria: study

(Reuters) Antimicrobial copper surfaces in intensive care units (ICU) kill 97 percent of bacteria that can cause hospital-acquired infections [HAI], according to preliminary results of a multisite clinical trial in the United States…
According to estimates provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in every 20 hospitalized U.S. patients acquires an HAI, resulting in 100,000 lives lost each year.
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Avastin Rejection Supported by Cancer Experts

(HealthDay News) Oncologists and even some breast cancer support groups are endorsing a U.S. health advisory panel's recommendation that the blockbuster cancer drug Avastin be removed for use in metastatic breast cancer.
The reason: There's still a lack of understanding of how the drug works or who it helps.
Avastin was given fast-track approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008 to be used, in combination with the chemotherapy drug Taxol, by women with metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer.
But a six-member FDA panel of cancer experts said Wednesday that the drug was not effective, caused dangerous side effects and its approval should be revoked.
Community: Medicare’s decision to continue to pay for Avastin treatment makes no sense at all.
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Happy Birthday Medicare!

(ThinkProgress) [Today] marks the 45th anniversary of the implementation of Medicare (July 1, 1966), following President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the landmark health care program on July 30, 1965. Despite Medicare’s great run, House Republicans voted almost unanimously to end it in order to pay for tax more breaks for Big Oil, hedge fund billionaires, huge corporations, and corporate jet owners. And every single GOP presidential candidate also supports this disastrous plan to end Medicare. Here are some fast facts on the beloved program that the GOP has devoted itself to destroying:
47 MILLION…the number of Americans for whom Medicare provides comprehensive health care
51 PERCENT…the number of Americans 65 or older who did not have health care before Medicare was passed, while today virtually all elderly Americans have health care thanks to Medicare
30 PERCENT…the number of elderly Americans who lived in poverty before Medicare, a number now reduced to 7.5 PERCENT
72 PERCENT…the number of Americans in a recent poll who said that Medicare is “extremely” or “very” important to their retirement security
What Would the GOP Plan to End Medicare Mean?
·         The end to Medicare’s affordable package of guaranteed benefits
·         Immediate increase in prescription drug costs for seniors because the notorious “donut hole” would be re-opened
·         A massive shift of health care costs to seniors, more than doubling their out-of-pockets costs:

Community: Sadly, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services itself may be trying to destroy the program, too. See below.
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Medicare Will Pay for Pricey Prostate Cancer Drug

(HealthDay News) The cost of Provenge, an expensive and newly approved therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine, will be covered by Medicare for men with metastatic prostate cancer, the agency announced late Thursday.
The vaccine, made by the Dendreon Corp., costs $93,000 per patient and extends survival by about four months on average, according to results from clinical trials. A panel of experts convened by Medicare gave the nod for coverage last November, but the agency has only now announced it would cover the treatment.
Community: Sorry, metastatic prostate cancer sufferers, but I think $93,000 for four months of life is a ridiculous waste of money. And I’d feel the same way if it were a drug for breast or any other kind of cancer.
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Medicare will keep covering Roche's Avastin

(Reuters) Medicare will continue paying for Roche Holding's drug Avastin for breast cancer, regardless of what health regulators decide about the medicine's future, a spokesman said on Thursday…
An FDA panel recommended on Wednesday that Avastin no longer be used to treat the disease because it has not proven safe or clinically beneficial in large trials. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg is expected to make a final decision later this year…
Using Avastin for metastatic breast cancer costs about $88,000 a year, based on people taking it for approximately 11.3 months, Roche said.
Genentech has limited the annual cost of Avastin to $58,000 for patients taking it for any FDA-approved indication. But if breast cancer loses that indication in FDA's final ruling, the cost limit offer would also have to end, Genentech said.
Community: What is wrong with the Medicare people? Paying $88,000, or even $58,000, a year for a drug that doesn’t work makes no sense. Why would anyone who cares about the continuity of the Medicare program give this kind of ammunition to those who would destroy it?
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Big Medicare cuts to reduce deficit unpopular: poll

(Reuters) Few Americans would support major cuts to Medicare to reduce the federal deficit, but many would be okay with minor savings in the popular healthcare program, a survey released on Thursday said.
The latest tracking survey on healthcare issues by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the public is more willing to accept Medicare spending cuts if done to shore up the elderly healthcare program rather than for deficit reduction or avoiding tax increases.
The survey's findings are important because the future of Medicare is at the heart of high level discussions over the $1.4 trillion annual deficit and $14.3 trillion U.S. debt.
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Chipotle Barbecue Burgers with Slaw
The cool sour cream dressing in the slaw balances the spiciness of chiles in the burger. Toast the buns while the patties cook. Serve with baked sweet potato chips.
Toasted Quinoa Salad with Scallops & Snow Peas
This scallop-studded quinoa salad gets an exciting texture from crunchy snow peas, red bell pepper and scallions. Feel free to substitute shrimp or thin slices of chicken for the scallops.
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TV ads up preference for unhealthy food

(UPI) Children who watch TV advertisements for unhealthy foods are more likely to express a preference for high-fat and high-sugar foods, researchers in Britain say…
[In a study,] children were shown an episode of a popular cartoon and then they were shown it again two weeks later. In each case, the cartoon was preceded by 5 minutes of commercials -- one set showing toy ads and one showing mainly snacks and fast-food…
The study … found that after viewing the food commercials the children were more likely to pick unhealthy foods.
Community: It’s not just children, we’re all influenced by these unhealthy food commercials.
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Preventing Diabetes Damage: Zinc's Effects

(Science Daily) In type 2 diabetes, a protein called amylin forms dense clumps that shut down insulin-producing cells, wreaking havoc on the control of blood sugar. But zinc has a knack for preventing amylin from misbehaving.
Recent research at the University of Michigan offers new details about how zinc performs this "security guard" function…
 The results of these studies will facilitate the development of metal-based therapies for type 2 diabetes, similar to the promising metal-based drugs developed for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, [professor Ayyalusamy] Ramamoorthy said.
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Herbal Medicine Treatment Reduces Asthma Inflammation, Study Suggests

(Science Daily) Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) using a traditional Korean medicine, SO-CHEONG-RYONG-TANG (SCRT) that has long been used for the treatment of allergic diseases in Asia, found that SCRT treatment alleviates asthma-like pulmonary inflammation via suppression of specific chemokines or proteins…
The researchers found SCRT treatment significantly reduced airway hyper-reactivity as measured by both whole body plethysmography and direct measurement of airway resistance. The researchers report that the immune response of pulmonary inflammation was significantly inhibited by SCRT treatment.
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Natural Gases as a Therapy for Heart Disease?

(Science Daily) [Researchers have] analysed the complex 'cross talk' between hydrogen sulphide (H2S ) and nitric oxide (NO), both gasses that occur naturally in the body, and found that the interaction may offer potential strategies in the management of heart failure…
Both gases interact naturally with each other within the body and the balance between the two and other chemical compounds has influence on health. The research team found that by modulating how H2S and NO interact, a positive affect was produced for heart health.
The two gases were found to interact together to form a thiol-sensitive compound (linked to the sulphur in H2S) which produces inotropic (muscular contraction) and lusitropic (muscular relaxation) effects in the heart. This crosstalk suggests that there is the potential to produce a molecule that may be of benefit to the heart and which could be the basis of a new drug therapy based on elements that occur naturally in the body.
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Chronic pain costs U.S. up to $635 billion a year

(Reuters) Addressing chronic pain, a hard-to-treat yet highly common condition, costs the United States as much as $635 billion a year and requires a much more comprehensive strategy for curbing lost productivity and healthcare expenses, according to a new government report…
[The] report urges more professional education as well as more data collection and research into the phenomenon of chronic pain, in part to get rid of various social stigmas associated with pain as a disease.
The call comes a day after the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians lobbied Congress to pass a bill that would require physicians to go through special training before prescribing painkillers.
Citing a recent study, IOM said only five of 133 U.S. medical schools have required courses on pain and 17 have elective courses.
The IOM report also calls on federal and state insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid, together with private health plans and workers' compensation programs to address lags in pain care coverage.
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Nearsightedness linked to serious eye disease

(Reuters Health) People who are nearsighted may be nearly twice as likely to also develop glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, according to a new study that summarizes earlier research.
More than two million Americans over 40 have been diagnosed with the eye disease, which is becoming increasingly expensive to treat.
According to one expert, the findings mean nearsighted people -- a third of all Americans -- may want to undergo regular eye screening.
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Nanoparticles Disguised as Red Blood Cells to Deliver Cancer-Fighting Drugs

(Science Daily) Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a novel method of disguising nanoparticles as red blood cells, which will enable them to evade the body's immune system and deliver cancer-fighting drugs straight to a tumor…
The method involves collecting the membrane from a red blood cell and wrapping it like a powerful camouflaging cloak around a biodegradable polymer nanoparticle stuffed with a cocktail of small molecule drugs. Nanoparticles are less than 100 nanometers in size, about the same size as a virus.
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New Procedure Treats Atrial Fibrillation

(Science Daily) Doctors at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are performing a new procedure to treat atrial fibrillation, a common irregular heartbeat.
Available at only a handful of U.S. medical centers, this "hybrid" procedure combines minimally invasive surgical techniques with the latest advances in catheter ablation, a technique that applies scars to the heart's inner surface to block signals causing the heart to misfire. The two-pronged approach gives doctors access to both the inside and outside of the heart at the same time, helping to more completely block the erratic electrical signals that cause atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation affects more than 2 million Americans, a number that continues to increase as the population ages. While not fatal in itself, patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation are at increased risk of stroke and congestive heart failure.
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New Gene Therapy for Heart Failure Developed

(Science Daily) Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found in a Phase II trial that a gene therapy developed at Mount Sinai stabilized or improved cardiac function in people with severe heart failure. Patients receiving a high dose of the therapy, called SERCA2a, experienced substantial clinical benefit and significantly reduced cardiovascular hospitalizations, addressing a critical unmet need in this population…
After one year, patients who were administered a high dose SERCA2a demonstrated improvement or stabilization. Gene therapy with SERCA2a was also found to be safe in this sick patient population, with no increases in adverse events, disease-related events, laboratory abnormalities, or arrhythmias compared to placebo.
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Nicotine receptors affect social behavior

(UPI) Activation of nicotinic receptors within the brain's prefrontal region in mice helps establish rankings among competing motivations, French researchers say…
The discovery could one day lead to novel treatments for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, and depression, among other illnesses, [researcher Sylvie] Granon says.
"One of the main aims would be to understand and help people to make good decisions for themselves -- and for others -- and to maintain, during old age, such abilities in the social domain as well as in other aspects of our lives," Granon says in a statement.
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Scientists Use 'Optogenetics' to Control Reward-Seeking Behavior

(Science Daily) Using a combination of genetic engineering and laser technology, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have manipulated brain wiring responsible for reward-seeking behaviors, such as drug addiction. The work, conducted in rodent models, is the first to directly demonstrate the role of these specific connections in controlling behavior.
The UNC study … uses a cutting-edge technique called "optogenetics" to tweak the microcircuitry of the brain and then assess how those changes impact behavior. The findings suggest that therapeutics targeting the path between two critical brain regions, namely the amygdala and the nucleus accumbens, represent potential treatments for addiction and other neuropsychiatric diseases.
Community: This finding is intriguing, but there are some mighty serious ethical considerations associated with manipulating behavior.
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Doctors encourage mammograms in dying patients

(Reuters Health) Many doctors would recommend mammograms to terminally ill women, even though there is almost no chance they would benefit, according to a U.S. poll…
[T]here should be "no controversy" when it comes to women with terminal illnesses, according to the researchers on the new study…
That's because those women would have virtually no chance of benefiting from early breast cancer detection…
There is also the unnecessary cost of having terminally ill women undergo mammograms, which run $100 or more.
Yet in the new study, researchers found that nearly half of U.S. primary care doctors said they would recommend mammography screening to a hypothetical patient with inoperable lung cancer.
Community: I don’t know where these researchers think anyone can get a mammogram for $100. I don’t even know where you can get one for $1,000.
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Drugmakers angle for advantage in treating diabetes

(Reuters) Obesity and longevity have helped make diabetes an epidemic in much of the world, and drugmakers are jockeying to make sure their medicines are used early and often.
Companies including Sanofi and Eli Lilly aim to introduce new classes of drugs that could further extend treatment options, and potentially their market share…
Global sales of diabetes medicines totaled $35 billion last year and could rise to as much as $48 billion by 2015, according to research firm IMS Health, driven by increased prevalence and treatment, especially in countries such as China, India, Mexico and Brazil.
"There is a large amount of people who don't know they have diabetes," said Dr. Stuart Weinerman, chief of endocrinology at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New Hyde Park, New York. "There is an even larger group of people that have diabetes and don't control it adequately."
Community: Disease as opportunity. What a business! I, for one, plan to dash their hopes by staying healthy.
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Study finds text messages help smokers quit

(Reuters) Smokers are twice as likely to quit when they get text messages urging them to stick to their goal of being smoke free compared with those who receive texts with no motivational messages, a British study has found.
Experts say the "txt2stop" trial, which is the first such study to verify quit rates using biochemical testing, may offer a cheap and easy way to improve levels of health by increasing the number of people who give up smoking.
With rates of smoking rising in many developing countries and tobacco predicted to kill 8 million people a year by 2030, the researchers said their findings could be translated into a potentially powerful public health measure.
Community: So they should be able to help all people trying to change a bad habit.
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Harlem barbershops, salons double as health clinics

(Reuters) Across the country, healthcare workers are trying to harness the unique status of the barber and the unusually intimate rapport he can develop with his regular clients. A man may be barely on nodding terms with the guy who runs his laundromat, and yet confess every hope, fear and peccadillo once he's seated in the barber's chair.
"If someone is six inches from your ear and they have seen you at your worst and your best, then who better to give a health message?" Ruth Browne, the chief executive officer of the Brooklyn-based Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, said in an interview…
[T]he Arthur Ashe Institute is one of several organizations that believe barbershops and beauty salons may be one of the best ways to reach communities where economic, cultural and linguistic barriers impede access to primary health care.
Studies have found that men with hypertension were more likely to seek treatment and bring their blood pressure under control if they regularly saw a barber who took their blood pressure rather than one who didn't.
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Problem gambling linked to impulsivity

(UPI) University of Cambridge researchers report they found a link between impulsivity and belief in superstitious rituals and luck among in problem gamblers…
[In a test,] problems gamblers were significantly more likely to choose the immediate reward despite the fact that it was less money. Additionally, a questionnaire showed that gamblers were particularly impulsive during high or low moods, which are frequently cues that can trigger gambling sprees.
The novel finding in the British gamblers was that those gamblers with higher levels of impulsivity were also more susceptible to various errors in reasoning that occur during gambling, including an increase in superstitious rituals and blaming losses on such things as bad luck.
Read more.
Community: Overeating can also be related to impulsivity. And there’s at least one non-invasive, non-drug related method of reducing impulsivity.
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