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Health & Medicine News
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:44:03 EDT
Whooping cough bacterium evolving in Australia, research shows
The bacterium that causes whooping cough, Bordetella pertussis, has changed in Australia -- most likely in response to the vaccine used to prevent the disease -- with a possible reduced effectiveness of the vaccine as a result. A team of researchers analyzed strains of Bordetella pertussis from across Australia and found that many strains no longer produce a key surface protein called pertactin.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:45:20 EDT
MRI pinpoints region of brain injury in some concussion patients
Researchers using information provided by a magnetic resonance imaging technique have identified regional white matter damage in the brains of people who experience chronic dizziness and other symptoms after concussion. The findings suggest that information provided by MRI can speed the onset of effective treatments for concussion patients.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:44:23 EDT
New therapy helps to improve stereoscopic vision in stroke patients
Humans view the world through two eyes, but it is our brain that combines the images from each eye to form a single composite picture. If this function becomes damaged, impaired sight can be the result. Such loss of visual function can be observed in patients who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury or when the oxygen supply to the brain has been reduced (cerebral hypoxia). Those affected by this condition experience blurred vision or can start to see double after only a short period of visual effort.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:42:00 EDT
Obesity: Are lipids hard drugs for the brain?
Why can we get up for a piece of chocolate, but never because we fancy a carrot? Research has demonstrated part of the answer: triglycerides, fatty substances from food, may act in our brains directly on the reward circuit, the same circuit that is involved in drug addiction. These results show a strong link in mice between fluctuations in triglyceride concentration and brain reward development. Identifying the action of nutritional lipids on motivation and the search for pleasure in dietary intake will help us better understand the causes of some compulsive behaviors and obesity.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:41:54 EDT
Intelligent prosthetic liners could ease pain for lower limb amputees
A new device could help to relieve the pain and discomfort experienced by thousands of amputees as a result of poorly fitting replacement lower limbs. Researchers are developing a prototype of the world's first prosthetic 'intelligent' liner with integrated pressure sensors, which could be available in as little as three years. The sensors for the device measure the pressure and pulling forces at the interface between a patient's stump and socket of their prosthesis. In excess these pressures in excess can cause tissue damage, leading to painful sores.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:41:50 EDT
Outcome of stroke worse for people with infection
Infection is bad news for all of us - but it can be really serious to people who have had a stroke. Evidence is mounting that infection makes things much worse after a stroke. The researchers show that rodents with pneumonia fared worse after having a stroke than those without the bacterial infection. This study builds on previous research demonstrating that an anti-inflammatory drug, called 'interleukin-1 receptor antagonist', could dramatically limit the amount of brain damage in experimental stroke.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:39:02 EDT
Experimental blood test spots recurrent breast cancers, monitors response to treatment
A blood test that accurately detects the presence of advanced breast cancer and also holds promise for precisely monitoring response to cancer treatment has been designed by researchers. The test, called the cMethDNA assay, accurately detected the presence of cancer DNA in the blood of patients with metastatic breast cancers up to 95 percent of the time in laboratory studies.
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:39:00 EDT
Fiber-optic microscope will help physicians detect cancer, diseases at early stages
An inexpensive, portable and re-usable endoscopic microscope has been developed that will help clinicians detect and diagnose early-stage disease, primarily cancer. An endoscopic microscope is a tool or technique that obtains histological images from inside the human body in real-time. Some clinicians consider it an optical biopsy.
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:22:40 EDT
We're over the hill at 24, study says
It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new study. In one of the first social science experiments to rest on big data, the researchers investigate when we start to experience an age-related decline in our cognitive motor skills and how we compensate for that.
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:21:49 EDT
Everest trek shows how some people get type II diabetes
Scientists have gained new insights into the molecular process of how some people get type II diabetes, which could lead to new ways of preventing people from getting the condition. The research, which took place on Mount Everest, assessed the mechanisms by which low oxygen levels in the body -- known as hypoxia -- are associated with the development of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when cells fail to respond to insulin in the body. Insulin enables the body to regulate sugar levels. Too much sugar can be toxic and leads to type II diabetes.
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