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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Health Research: New microscopy may identify best sperm cells ♦ New tool for studying sepsis ♦ Couples' quality of life linked even when one partner dies

New tool for studying sepsis Sepsis is a very complicated and precarious condition. Research groups have now developed a way to use mass spectrometry to measure hundreds of proteins in a single blood sample. With the help of protein patterns it is then possible to determine the severity of the condition and which organs have been damaged
Couples' quality of life linked even when one partner dies When one spouse passes away, his or her characteristics continue to be linked with the surviving spouse's wellbeing.The findings also indicate that this link between the deceased spouse and surviving spouse is as strong as that between partners who are both living
New microscopy may identify best sperm cells New microscopic technology promises to be a game-changer in the field of reproductive assistance. A team of scientists has devised a new method of microscopy allowing scientists to perform clinical sperm analysis for in vitro fertilization without the use of staining, which can affect the viability of sperm samples
Largest-ever study of cornea condition reveals hidden risk factors A large new study reveals previously unknown risk factors associated with an eye condition that causes serious progressive nearsightedness at a relatively young age. The findings, made through the largest-ever clinical study of the condition called keratoconus, could help more people receive newer treatments that can slow the problem and protect their vision.

Health News: Permanent injunction preventing Dallas compounding pharmacy from distributing adulterated drugs ♦ Smart pill smells out the body's fiber factor

Permanent injunction preventing Dallas compounding pharmacy from distributing adulterated drugs The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas entered a consent decree for permanent injunction January 11 against Downing Labs LLC, its two owners, and the pharmacist-in-charge to prevent them from distributing adulterated drugs in interstate commerce until their processes are compliant with the law. The complaint stems from multiple U.S. FDA investigations which found numerous deficiencies regarding the firm’s sterile drug production.
Inflammation markers could guide depression treatments Depressed patients with signs of systemic inflammation have elevated levels of glutamate in regions of the brain that are important for motivation. These findings suggest which forms of depression may respond best to drugs that target glutamate, such as the anesthetic ketamine.
Gut reaction: Smart pill smells out the body's fiber factor Researchers have conducted the first ever trials of smart pills that can measure intestinal gases inside the body, with surprising results revealing some unexpected ways that fiber affects the gut.
Polymer puts new medical solutions within reach Combining the properties of liquid crystals and hydrogels in just the right proportions creates the potential for new materials that have the same mechanical properties as soft tissues in the body. A material that is water-loving and has structure opens up the door the possibility for artificial blood vessels that are mechanically stealth so they wouldn't be viewed as a foreign body. Now, a newly developed process can create this type of a polymer

Children's Health: Parents in dark about using epinephrine for kids’ food allergies ♦ Long-term benefits of improving your toddler's memory skills ♦

Parents in dark about using epinephrine for kids’ food allergies When a child has a food allergy, it’s critical for pediatricians and allergists to show parents when and how to use an epinephrine auto-injector and to provide a written emergency food allergy action plan for home and school. But many parents say doctors don’t give them this potentially lifesaving information about their children’s emergency care. This communication gap needs to be fixed.
Long-term benefits of improving your toddler's memory skills Preschoolers who score lower on a memory task are likely to score higher on a dropout risk scale at the age of 12, new research shows.The authors offer suggestions for how parents can help kids improve their kid's memory
Physical activity may help keep overweight children fit High body adiposity, low physical activity, and particularly their combination are related to poorer physical fitness among 6-8 year old children. These results suggest that physically active overweight children have better fitness compared to their inactive peers
Immigrant kids' diet is different, less nutritious than mom's The diet of Mexican immigrant children in the US is different from what their mothers eat, according to sociologists, and that may mean kids are trading in the generally healthy diet of their moms for less nutritious American fare.

Women's Health:Pre-pregnancy potato consumption may be linked to gestational diabetes risk ♦ Concerns over prescribed opioid use among pregnant women

Breakthrough in early diagnosis of preeclampsia The ratio of certain messengers in the blood of pregnant women can be used to reliably rule out preeclampsia, and to predict the risk of complications.
Postnatal depression linked to challenges in parenting: Could oxytocin be helpful?Caring for an infant is challenging for any mother -- but especially so for women with postnatal depression, which may lead to adverse effects on child outcomes. Current evidence on postnatal depression and parenting -- including preliminary data on the role of the hormone oxytocin.
Pre-pregnancy potato consumption may be linked to gestational diabetes risk Women who eat more potatoes before pregnancy may have higher rates of gestational diabetes -- the form that occurs during pregnancy -- compared to women who consume fewer potatoes, suggests a new study. The researchers propose that substituting potatoes with other vegetables, legumes or whole grains may help lower gestational diabetes risk.

Concerns over prescribed opioid use among pregnant women The increase in use of prescribed opioids among women during pregnancy has probably contributed to the rise in neonatal abstinence syndrome, argues an expert. In the US, estimates suggest that 14-22% of pregnant women receive an opioid prescription during their pregnancy, and there has been an increase in the prevalence of opioid use disorders among pregnant women.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Health Research: Transcendental Meditation may reduce PTSD symptoms ♦ Long-term opioid use associated with increased risk of depression ♦ The awful anchor that lets UTIs take hold

Transcendental Meditation may reduce PTSD symptoms, medication use in active-duty personnel Regular practice of Transcendental Meditation enables some active duty service members battling post-traumatic stress disorder to reduce or even eliminate their psychotropic medication and get better control of their often-debilitating symptoms, researchers report
Long-term opioid use associated with increased risk of depression Opioids may cause short-term improvement in mood, but long-term use imposes risk of new-onset depression, a new study shows. The link was independent of the known contribution of pain to depression, and the study calls on clinicians to consider the contribution of opioid use when depressed mood develops in their patient
Revealed: The awful anchor that lets UTIs take hold The freaky, flexible coils of the UTI bacterium let it survive where others cannot. But researchers have unlocked its secrets, advancing the effort to block it from setting up shop in the urinary tract

Sedentary behavior linked to poor health in adults with severe obesity Sedentary behavior is associated with poor cardiovascular health and diabetes in adults with severe obesity, independent of how much exercise they perform, a study showed for the first time. For every hour spent sitting in 10-minute bouts, odds of diabetes increased 15 percent.

Health News; Salmonella Outbreak in Alabama ♦ Researchers closer to better treatment for leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea

Salmonella Outbreak in Alabama Johnny Ray’s in Pelham was closed indefinitely January 8 following four confirmed cases of Salmonella tied to the restaurant. Health officials in Alabama are investigating the outbreak.
Roman toilets gave no clear health benefit, and Romanization actually spread parasites Intestinal parasites such as whipworm became increasingly common across Europe during the Roman Period, despite the apparent improvements the empire brought in sanitation technologies, archaeological evidence shows.

Researchers closer to better treatment for leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea Researchers have obtained the crystal structure of a toxin from the bacterium Clostridium difficile ('C. diff') -- the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea in the United States. They also found that zinc is required to unleash the toxin's damaging effects in the colon. The discoveries are aiding efforts to develop vaccines and other novel therapies to prevent the potentially fatal consequences of C. diff infection

Playing american football may be a risk factor for hypertension As National Football League playoff games are underway, a new article suggests that the toll the sport takes on players' bodies extends beyond head trauma and damage to limbs and joints. The trauma and damage associated with football participation may also be linked to elevations in blood pressure through immune system activation and inflammation.

Brain Research: Cocaine addiction: Scientists discover 'backdoor' into the brain ♦ People who experience rage attacks have smaller 'emotional brains'

Changes in brain connectivity protect against developing bipolar disorder Naturally occurring changes in brain wiring can help patients at high genetic risk of developing bipolar disorder avert the onset of the illness
Beneficial effects of blocking brain inflammation in an experimental model of Alzheimer's Blocking a receptor in the brain responsible for regulating immune cells could protect against the memory and behavior changes seen in the progression of Alzheimer's disease. It was originally thought that Alzheimer's disease disturbs the brain's immune response, but this latest study adds to evidence that inflammation in the brain can in fact drive the development of the disease. The findings suggest that by reducing this inflammation, progression of the disease could be halted.
Cocaine addiction: Scientists discover 'backdoor' into the brain Individuals addicted to cocaine may have difficulty in controlling their addiction because of a previously-unknown 'back door' into the brain, circumventing their self-control,
People who experience rage attacks have smaller 'emotional brains' Neuroimaging studies suggest that frontolimbic regions of the brain, structures that regulate emotions, play an important role in the biology of aggressive behavior. A new article reports that individuals with intermittent explosive disorder (IED) have significantly lower gray matter volume in these frontolimbic brain structures. In other words, these people have smaller "emotional brains."