Category: Health Problems

An omega-6 fatty acid could help in fight against heart disease

An omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid has the potential to help fight heart disease, finds a new study by researchers at Cardiff University, in collaboration with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. With funding from the British Heart Foundation, the team found that dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, could halt the progression of atherosclerosis—one

Alzheimer’s drug trial targets by-product of gum disease

The pharmaceutical company, Cortexyme, Inc. has outlined a trial of potential Alzheimer’s drug that targets toxic substances released by P. gingivalis, a bacteria linked to gum disease. In a poster presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference today (Wednesday, July 17), researchers provided an overview of the development of the drug, known as COR388, and

Making cancer stem cells visible to the immune system

Leukemia stem cells protect themselves against the immune defense by suppressing a target molecule for killer cells. This protective mechanism can be tricked with drugs. In the journal Nature, scientists from Basel, Tübingen and Heidelberg describe the new therapeutic approaches that can possibly be derived from these results. Patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) often

How the brain distinguishes between voice and sound

Is the brain capable of distinguishing a voice from the specific sounds it utters? In an attempt to answer this question, researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, – in collaboration with the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands—devised pseudo-words (words without meaning) spoken by three voices with different pitches. Their aim? To observe how

Why hospitals underreport the number of patients they infect

Would hospitals lie? It’s an important question for patients, certainly, but also for insurers, regulators, and policymakers interested in containing medical costs. Mohsen Bayati of Stanford Graduate School of Business has examined a version of that question in recent research on how hospitals report infections for Medicare patients. “Before starting this project, I was reading

Treating stroke patients just 15 minutes earlier can save lives

Initiating stroke treatment just 15 minutes faster can save lives and prevent disability, according to a new UCLA-led study, published today in JAMA. The research also determined that busier hospitals—those that treat more than 450 people for stroke each year—have better outcomes than those that treat fewer than 400 stroke patients per year. Researchers at

The way a single neuron processes information is never the same

How do neurons process information? Neurons are known to break down an incoming electrical signal into sub-units. Now, researchers at Blue Brain have discovered that dendrites, the neuron’s tree-like receptors, work together—dynamically and depending on the workload—for learning. The findings further our understanding of how we think and may inspire new algorithms for artificial intelligence.

Mosquito surveillance uncovers new information about malaria transmission in Madagascar

Riley Tedrow, Ph.D., a medical entomologist at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, has uncovered new findings about malaria transmission in Madagascar. In a recent study published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, he also describes real-world application of an effective mosquito surveillance strategy using low cost traps and a recently reported tool that simultaneously

Osteoporosis undertreated in joint replacement patients

(HealthDay)—Osteoporosis is common in patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty (TJA), yet the condition is often undertreated, according to a study published in the July issue of the Journal of Arthroplasty. James T. Bernatz, M.D., from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues retrospectively reviewed medical records of 200 consecutive adults (106 female and 94

Major breakthrough in the treatment of leukemia

A molecular process involved in the action of anti-leukemia drugs has been discovered at Université de Montréal’s Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC). While calling into question a central tenet of oncology, this discovery, published today in the journal Cancer Cell, also holds promise for the development of effective treatments in the near

Want to boost creativity? Try playing Minecraft

The next time you need to get the creative juices flowing, playing some types of video games may help. Video games that foster creative freedom can increase creativity under certain conditions, according to new research from Iowa State University. The experimental study compared the effect of playing Minecraft, with or without instruction, to watching a

Problematic smartphone use linked to poorer grades, alcohol misuse and more sexual partners

A survey of more than 3,400 university students in the U.S. has found that one in five respondents reported problematic smartphone use. Female students were more likely be affected and problematic smartphone use was associated with lower grade averages, mental health problems and higher numbers of sexual partners. Smartphones offer the potential of instant, round-the-clock

Flesh-eating bacteria claims life of Florida woman

A Florida woman died late last week from flesh-eating bacteria two weeks after cutting her leg while walking along the coast. Carolyn “Lynn” Fleming, 77, lived in Ellenton and visited Coquina Beach, near St. Petersburg, on June 14. While wading in the water, she stumbled and suffered a small cut her on her left shin,

High-sensitivity troponin levels can predict MI risk

(HealthDay)—For patients presenting to the emergency department with symptoms suggestive of myocardial infarction, a tool developed to integrate high-sensitivity troponin I or T concentrations and dynamic change during serial sampling can estimate the probability of myocardial infarction and 30-day outcomes, according to a study published in the June 27 issue of the New England Journal