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

Experimental drug shows promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease

October 26, 2016

An experimental drug shows promise in treating Alzheimer’s disease by preventing inflammation and removing abnormal protein clumps in the brain that are associated with the disease, suggests a study in mice presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2016 annual meeting.

A key characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease is the development of abnormal protein clumps called amyloid plaques and tangled bundles of fibers in the brain. These changes cause inflammation in the brain and damage to the neurons. This progressive damage leads to memory loss, confusion and dementia. The new drug, known as NTRX-07, appears to decrease this inflammation in the brain, while preserving neurons and regenerative cells in the brain. Read more

Study shows toothpaste significantly reduces dental plaque and inflammation throughout the body

October 19, 2016

For decades, research has suggested a link between oral health and inflammatory diseases affecting the entire body — in particular, heart attacks and strokes.

The results released today from a randomized trial of a novel plaque identifying toothpaste, (Plaque HD®), show statistically significant reductions in dental plaque and inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation throughout the body is accurately measured by high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a sensitive marker for future heart attacks and strokes. These results, published today online ahead of print in the American Journal of Medicine, with an accompanying editorial by the editor-in-chief, show that Plaque HD®, produced statistically significant reductions in dental plaque and inflammation throughout the body as measured by hs-CRP. Read more

Brain computer interface helps paralyzed man feel again

October 13, 2016

Imagine being in an accident that leaves you unable to feel any sensation in your arms and fingers. Now imagine regaining that sensation, a decade later, through a mind-controlled robotic arm that is directly connected to your brain.

That is what 28-year-old Nathan Copeland experienced after he came out of brain surgery and was connected to the Brain Computer Interface (BCI), developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. In a study published online today in Science Translational Medicine, a team of experts led by Robert Gaunt, Ph.D., assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Pitt, demonstrated for the first time ever in humans a technology that allows Mr. Copeland to experience the sensation of touch through a robotic arm that he controls with his brain. Read more

Study suggests how older adults retain youthful memory abilities

September 15, 2016

Some loss of memory is often considered an inevitable part of aging, but new research reveals how some people appear to escape that fate. A study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators examines a remarkable group of older adults whose memory performance is equivalent to that of younger individuals and finds that certain key areas of their brains resemble those of young people. Read more

Eating a Mediterranean diet to improve memory

August 10, 2016

Eating a Mediterranean diet can slow down cognitive decline.

The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, as well your heart, shows a study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

By sticking to the Mediterranean diet the study showed that people had slowed rates of cognitive decline, reduced conversion to Alzheimer’s, and improved cognitive function. Read more

New evidence shows how amino acid cysteine combats Huntington’s disease

July 26, 2016

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine report they have identified a biochemical pathway linking oxidative stress and the amino acid cysteine in Huntington’s disease. The findings, described in last week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provide a mechanism through which oxidative stress specifically damages nerve cells in Huntington’s disease, an inherited and fatal neurodegenerative disorder.

Because cysteine deficiency and oxidative stress have been linked to other diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, AIDS and cancer, the investigators say these findings may facilitate therapeutic strategies for many serious conditions. Read more

New sun cream compound offers unprecedented protection against UVA radiation

July 20, 2016

A new wonder compound developed by University of Bath scientists in collaboration with King’s College London offers unprecedented protection against the harmful effects of UVA radiation in sunlight, which include photo-ageing, cell damage and cancer.

Most sunscreens on the market protect well against solar UVB radiation but have limited effectiveness against UVA-induced damage, relying on the reflective properties of creams to defend against dangerous UVA rays.

However this compound, called the ‘mitoiron claw’ by the team, offers strong protection within our cells precisely where the greatest damage from UVA occurs, and doesn’t interfere with rest of the cell. Read more

Breakthrough in scaling up stem cell production

July 16, 2016

Scientists have discovered a new method of creating human stem cells which could solve the big problem of the large-scale production needed to fully realise the potential of these remarkable cells for understanding and treating disease.

The discovery has been made by a team of scientists at The University of Nottingham, Uppsala University and GE Healthcare in Sweden.

Human pluripotent stem cells are undifferentiated cells which have the unique potential to develop into all the different types of cells in the body. With applications in disease modelling, drug screening, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, there is already an enormous demand for these cells, which will only grow as their use in the clinic and by the pharmaceutical industry increases. Read more

Portable test rapidly detects Zika in saliva for $2

June 30, 2016

Anxiety over the Zika virus is growing as the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro approach. To better diagnose and track the disease, scientists are now reporting in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry a new $2 test that in the lab can accurately detect low levels of the virus in saliva.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that there was no need to postpone or move the Olympics due to Zika’s presence, but concern over the virus’ spread and its link to serious birth defects is far from allayed. Public health experts debate whether WHO made the right call. Read more

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