Stem cell transplants may induce long-term remission of multiple sclerosis

February 1, 2017

New clinical trial results provide evidence that high-dose immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of a person’s own blood-forming stem cells can induce sustained remission of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system.

Five years after receiving the treatment, called high-dose immunosuppressive therapy and autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (HDIT/HCT), 69 percent of trial participants had survived without experiencing progression of disability, relapse of MS symptoms or new brain lesions. Notably, participants did not take any MS medications after receiving HDIT/HCT. Other studies have indicated that currently available MS drugs have lower success rates.

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Gut microbe study shows promise as a potential treatment for autism

January 23, 2017

The key to fighting autism might lie not in the mind, but in the gut.

A team led by Arizona State University researchers is taking a novel approach the search for effective autism treatments by focusing on improving the gut microbiome through fecal microbial transplants.

Early results are promising, but additional testing is required before an FDA-approved therapy would be available or recommended to the public.

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Breakthrough drug for MS treatment

January 10, 2017

In separate clinical trials, a drug called ocrelizumab has been shown to reduce new attacks in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), and new symptom progression in primary progressive MS.

Three studies conducted by an international team of researchers, which included Amit Bar-Or and Douglas Arnold from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University, have discovered that ocrelizumab can significantly reduce new attacks in patients with relapsing MS, as well as slow the progression of symptoms caused by primary progressive MS.

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Researchers urge caution in psilocybin use

January 2, 2017

In a survey of almost 2,000 people who said they had had a past negative experience when taking psilocybin-containing “magic mushrooms,” Johns Hopkins researchers say that more than 10 percent believed their worst “bad trip” had put themselves or others in harm’s way, and a substantial majority called their most distressing episode one of the top 10 biggest challenges of their lives. Despite the difficulty, however, most of the respondents still reported the experience to be “meaningful” or “worthwhile,” with half of these positive responses claiming it as one of the top most valuable experiences in their life.

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Promising discovery for a non-invasive early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

December 28, 2016

A discovery of high relevance in medical research will be published in Volume 55, number 4 of December 2016 of the prestigious “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD)”, entitled “Tau Platelets Correlate with Regional Brain Atrophy in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease”. This paper has been highlighted as one of the most important contribution to this field. The paper stems from a fruitful collaboration between the neuroscience laboratory from the International Center for Biomedicine (ICC) under the leadership of Dr. Ricardo Maccioni and the research teams of Drs. Andrea Slachevsky, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, together with Drs. Oscar Lopez and James Becker from University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, USA.

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Benefits of daily aspirin outweigh the risk of stomach bleeding

November 30, 2016

Stomach bleeds caused by aspirin are considerably less serious than the spontaneous bleeds that can occur in people not taking the drug, concludes a study led by Cardiff University.

Published in the journal Public Library of Science, the extensive study of literature on aspirin reveals that while regular use of the drug increases the risk of stomach bleeds by about a half, there is no valid evidence that any of these bleeds are fatal.

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Most Americans consume too much sodium, not enough potassium

November 14, 2016

A majority of Americans consume too much sodium and not enough potassium, according to a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers analyzed 24-hour urine excretions — the gold standard measure for sodium intake — from a sample of 827 U.S. adults, aged 20 to 69, participating in the 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This is the first nationally-representative estimate of U.S. sodium intake based on 24-hour urine excretions. Read more

Do men or women have better memory?

November 9, 2016

In the battle of the sexes, women have long claimed that they can remember things better and longer than men can. A new study proves that middle-aged women outperform age-matched men on all memory measures, although memory does decline as women enter postmenopause. The study is being published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Read more

Women have a remarkable variety of orgasmic experiences

November 2, 2016

The nature of a woman’s orgasm has been a source of debate for over a century. Since the Victorian era, the pendulum has swung from the vagina to the clitoris, and to some extent back again.

Today, the debate is stuck over whether an orgasm can be produced through vaginal stimulation alone, or if arousal of the external clitoris is always necessary.

A new review by Concordia research published in Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology details the vast potential women have to experience orgasms from one or more sources of sensory input. Read more

New survey shows obesity equals cancer as top health threat

November 2, 2016

Americans take obesity as seriously as cancer, and say it’s an even bigger health threat than heart disease, the nation’s leading killer, yet most do not go beyond traditional diets or involve doctors in their largely unsuccessful personal struggles against the disease, according to a new survey by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the independent research organization, NORC at the University of Chicago. The findings were released here during ObesityWeek 2016, the largest international event focused on the basic science, clinical application and prevention and treatment of obesity. Read more

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