Medical News

  • High-tech tools, teamwork were key to separating infant girls joined at the head
    Over a year and a half after the successful separation of two infant twins joined at the top of their heads, surgical team leaders report on this dramatic case in the Jan. 24 New England Journal of Medicine. The surgeons describe the innovative devices, elaborate planning and precisely orchestrated teamwork needed to perform the complex separation surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Read more »
  • Final verdict on finasteride: Safe, effective prevention for prostate cancer
    Finasteride, a generic hormone-blocking drug, was found to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 25 percent in the landmark Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT). Long- term data, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that reduction in prostate cancer risk has continued and fewer than 100 men on the trial died from the disease. Read more »
  • Even in young adults, blood pressure above normal may be linked to brain shrinkage
    For people in their 20s and 30s, having blood pressure above normal but below the level considered to be high blood pressure, may be linked to loss of brain volume, according to a study published in the January 23, 2019, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Read more »
  • Herd protection seen with 4-valent HPV vaccination
    (HealthDay)—From 2006 to 2017, there was a decrease in 4-valent vaccine-type human papillomavirus (HPV) detection among vaccinated and unvaccinated women, according to a study published online Jan. 22 in Pediatrics. Read more »
  • Another day at the office—thanks to a defibrillator close at hand
    On National Wear Red Day in 2018, few people at the Nashville law firm Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop took notice of the occasion, which calls attention to heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women. Read more »
  • Study sheds light on brain cell changes in people with MS
    Fresh insights into the types of cells found in the brains of people with multiple sclerosis could help develop improved therapies, research has found. Read more »
  • Those with inadequate access to food likely to suffer from obesity
    According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, over one-third of U.S. adults are obese. At the same time, obesity is the second leading cause of premature death in the North America and Europe. Read more »
  • Cancer has a biological clock and this drug may keep it from ticking
    A new drug shows potential to halt cancer cells' growth by stunting the cells' biological clock. Read more »
  • Short-term hospital readmissions for gun injuries cost $86 million a year
    Hospital readmissions of patients within six months of suffering a firearm injury cost taxpayers, private insurers and uninsured families an average of $86 million a year from 2010 through 2015, according to new estimates from Stanford University School of Medicine researchers. Read more »
  • Bacterial pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis may contribute to Alzheimer's disease: Study
    Cortexyme, Inc., a privately held, clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to alter the course of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other degenerative disorders, today announced publication of a foundational paper supporting its approach in Science Advances. In the paper, an international team of researchers led by Cortexyme co-founders Stephen Dominy, M.D. and Casey Lynch detail the role of a common bacterium, Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg), in driving Alzheimer's disease pathology, and demonstrate the potential for small molecule inhibitors to block the pathogen. Read more »
  • New vaccine offers fresh take on malaria fight
    Early research on a new approach to protecting against malaria is offering promising, potentially long-lasting results against the persistent parasite that sickens hundreds of millions people each year. Read more »
  • Gene-edited disease monkeys cloned in China
    The first cohort of five gene-edited monkey clones made from fibroblasts of a monkey with disease phenotypes were born recently at the Institute of Neuroscience (ION) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Shanghai. The expression of BMAL1, a core circadian regulatory transcription factor, was knocked out in the donor monkey using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing at the embryo stage, and the fibroblasts of the donor monkey were used to clone five monkeys using the method of somatic cell nuclear transfer, the same method that generated Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the first two cloned monkeys, last year. This major advance, reported in two articles in the journal National Science Review on January 24, demonstrates that a population of customized gene-edited macaque monkeys with uniform genetic background will soon be available for biomedical research. Read more »
  • In surprising reversal, scientists find a cellular process that stops cancer before it starts
    Just as plastic tips protect the ends of shoelaces and keep them from fraying when we tie them, molecular tips called telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes and keep them from fusing when cells continually divide and duplicate their DNA. But while losing the plastic tips may lead to messy laces, telomere loss may lead to cancer. Read more »
  • Old cells repair damage in the brains of multiple sclerosis patients
    A new study shows that there is a very limited regeneration of cells in the brains of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). These findings underline the importance of treating MS at an early stage of disease progression, when the affected cells can repair the damage, as they are not replaced by new ones. The results are published in the journal Nature by researchers from Karolinska Institutet and Uppsala University in Sweden. Read more »
  • Small metabolites have big effects on the intestinal immune response
    For at least a decade, researchers have known that normal bacteria in the gut can induce intestinal immune cells to extend tentacle-like structures, known as dendrites, to "capture" antigens, triggering both immediate and long-term immune responses. What was less clear was how the bacteria activate this process. Now, a research team led by Osaka University has found that the molecules responsible have been hiding in plain sight. Read more »
  • Study finds correlation between eviction rates in the US and high number of STIs
    Almost 2.3 million people are evicted from their homes annually and four evictions are filed every minute in the United States. A study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases outlines a correlation researchers found between America's eviction crisis and the high rate of sexually transmitted infections. The study is part of an ongoing collaboration between researchers from American University, Yale University, and Drexel University that is aimed at examining connections between mass incarceration, housing instability, subsidized housing policies, race inequities, and sexually transmitted infections. Read more »
  • New tumor test could guide personalized treatment for children with cancer
    Scientists at the University of British Columbia and BC Children's Hospital are the first in Canada to use a new test for pediatric tumour analysis that may one day guide personalized treatments for children with cancer. Read more »
  • Flu vaccination keeps COPD patients out of the hospital
    A new study published in the January issue of Chest establishes that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) face heightened risks of death, critical illness, and hospitalization if they develop the flu and demonstrates the beneficial effects of influenza vaccination. The report also reveals gaps in care that need to be addressed, including less-than-universal influenza vaccination in patients with COPD and failure to provide an antiviral medication in a timely manner once the patient is diagnosed with the flu. Read more »
  • Study supports physical activity as a preventive strategy against depression
    While many studies have found associations between greater levels of physical activity and lower rates of depression, a key question has remained—does physical activity actually reduce the risk of depression or does depression lead to reduced physical activity? Now a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has used a novel research method to strongly support physical activity as a preventive measure for depression. Their report is being published online in JAMA Psychiatry. Read more »
  • Childhood lead exposure linked to poor adult mental health
    Lead exposure in childhood appears to have long-lasting negative effects on mental health and personality in adulthood, according to a study of people who grew up in the era of leaded gasoline. Read more »
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