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Vaccine for Deer Against 'Mad Cow'-Like Illness Shows Promise

Posted today in Daily MedNews

SUNDAY, Dec. 21, 2014 -- A new vaccine created to fight an illness similar to "mad cow disease" in deer might also protect livestock and even humans from similar brain infections, researchers report. The vaccine appears to help prevent deer from becoming infected by the incurable brain disorder known as chronic wasting disease, according to the report in the Dec. 21 online edition of the journal Vaccine. Chronic wasting disease is caused by mysterious infectious particles known as prions that...

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Holiday Trimmings Can Trigger Allergies

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

SATURDAY, Dec. 20, 2014 -- The holidays can be anything but joyous for people with allergies when they contend with fresh trees, scented candles and other allergy triggers. "The dust from the boxes and on the decorations that have been packed away in dank basements or dusty attics is triggering reactions in my allergy and asthma patients," Dr. Rachna Shah, an affiliate faculty member at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in Loyola news release. Shah, who is also an...

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Cocaine, Amphetamines May Up Injection Drug Users' Suicide Risk

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- Injectable drug users who also use cocaine and amphetamines have nearly double the suicide attempt rate of other substance users, a new study finds. "We know that substance use is associated with the risk of suicide attempt and completed suicide," Didier Jutras-Aswad, a psychiatry professor at the University of Montreal, said in a university news release. "However, there are many different profiles of drug users. We wanted to know who among substance users were...

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Lynparza Approved for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- Lynparza (olaparib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced ovarian cancer associated with defective BRCA genes, the agency said Friday in a news release. Nearly 22,000 women in the United States are projected to be diagnosed this year with ovarian cancer, and more than 14,000 will die from it, the U.S. National Cancer Institute estimates. Lynparza was approved with a companion diagnostic called BRACAnalysis CDx, designed to detect...

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Could Bacteria Play a Role in Colon Cancer?

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- Dense bunches of bacteria called biofilms can be found on most colon polyps and cancers, a new study finds. The researchers said these biofilms were especially prevalent on the right side of the colon. The presence of these biofilms may represent an increased likelihood of colon cancer and could offer a new way to predict a person's risk for the disease, the researchers said. Like tooth plaque and slime on pond stones, these biofilms may coat the mucus layer of cells...

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FDA Approves First in New Class of Drugs for Advanced Ovarian Cancer

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat advanced ovarian cancer, along with a test to identify patients eligible to receive the drug. Lynparza (olaparib) belongs to a new class of drugs called poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. The drug is for women who have already received extensive treatment for advanced ovarian cancer associated with defective BRCA genes, according to an FDA news release issued Friday. "Today's approval...

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System Approved to Remove Germs From Blood Platelets

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- A new system designed to remove viruses, bacteria and other germs from donated blood platelets was approved Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Earlier in the week, the agency approved a similar system to remove germs from donated blood plasma. Platelets are disc-shaped components of blood that assist in clotting. The Intercept System can filter platelets of AIDS-causing HIV, hepatitis B and C, and West Nile virus, the FDA said in a news...

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Cancer Treatment Costs Weigh Heavily on Patients, Study Finds

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- The cost of cancer treatment can cause financial stress that threatens patients' well-being, a new study finds. Researchers examined data from 1,000 people in the United States who had been diagnosed with colorectal or lung cancer. Of those patients, almost 900 had finished their treatments and were cancer-free, and more than 100 had advanced cancer. Nearly half of the patients said they were struggling to pay their medical bills, which was linked with a poorer...

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CDC Warns of Listeria Danger From Caramel Apples

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- U.S. and state health officials are investigating a listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples that has killed at least four people and sickened 28 others in 10 states. Consumers should not eat any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples until more information becomes available, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release. As of Dec. 18, a total of 28 people had been infected with the outbreak strains of the bacteria Listeria...

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Preschoolers Need Eye Screening, Experts Say

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- All children should have their eyesight checked between the ages of 3 and 6, preferably every year, eye experts say. The new vision-screening guidelines for preschool-aged children are from an expert panel of the U.S. National Center for Children's Vision Health. The panel said that children in this age group require screening for eye problems, particularly vision issues that require correction with glasses, such as amblyopia ("lazy eye") and strabismus (a disorder of...

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E. Coli Germs Found on Farmers Market Herbs

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- Potentially illness-causing E. coli bacteria were found on nearly one-quarter of herbs bought at farmers markets, according to a new study. Researchers checked cilantro, basil and parsley from almost 50 vendors from 13 farmers markets in Los Angeles and Orange counties in California, and in the Seattle area. Out of almost 150 samples tested, 24 percent were positive for E. coli. One sample was positive for salmonella, according to the researchers. Both types of...

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Crohn's, Colitis May Have Genetic Underpinnings, Study Finds

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- The intestinal bacteria that cause inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, may be inherited, researchers report. The findings, published recently in the journal Genome Medicine, could help in efforts to prevent the disease and treat the 1.6 million Americans with Crohn's or colitis, the study authors added. "The intestinal bacteria, or 'gut microbiome,' you develop at a very young age can have a big impact on your health for...

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Older Cars a Bad Choice for Younger Drivers

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- New research warns parents that buying an older car for their teens may put their young lives at risk. Nearly half of teen drivers killed in the United States between 2008 and 2012 were driving cars that were at least 11 years old and often lacked important safety features that are available on newer cars, the study found. Eighty-two percent of teen drivers killed in crashes were in cars at least six years old, 34 percent were in cars six to 10 years old, 31 percent...

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Health Highlights: Dec. 19, 2014

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay: Many Doctors Hit With Medicare Payment Cuts Hundreds of thousands of American doctors will have their Medicare payments cut next year because they haven't met specified goals, federal officials say. More than 257,000 doctors will have their payments reduced by one percent because they didn't meet federal goals for using electronic medical records, and about 28,000 will lose another one...

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E-Cigarettes Less Addictive Than Regular Cigarettes, Study Finds

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- Former tobacco smokers find e-cigarettes less addictive than traditional cigarettes, new research finds. Even though they "smoke" e-cigarettes as often as they did regular cigarettes, thousands of ex-smokers said they have fewer cravings and are less likely to feel impulsive and irritable over their need to smoke, researchers reported. "The pattern was really very clear. The score was significantly less for e-cig use than for tobacco use," said lead researcher...

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Health Tip: Bake a Healthier Holiday Treat

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

-- Baking holiday goodies doesn't have to include loads of butter and sugar. The American Heart Association mentions these potential substitutes: Swap no sugar-added cinnamon applesauce for butter. Use a sugar substitute. Instead of heavy cream or half and half, use skim milk. Use whole wheat flour in half the amount of flour called for in a recipe. Skip candies and chocolate chips in flavor of dried fruit. Flavor treats with peppermint, vanilla or almond extracts, instead of extra...

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Loss of Teeth Linked to Physical, Mental Decline in Study

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 -- Older adults who have lost all their teeth have faster decreases in memory and walking ability than people who still have at least some of their teeth, a new study says. The findings suggest that total tooth loss could provide an early warning of increased risk of physical and mental decline in older people, the British researchers said. However, the findings don't prove that tooth loss causes the physical or mental decline. The study included more than 3,100...

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Health Tip: 12 Ways to a Healthier Holiday

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

-- No one wants to be sick over the holidays. So, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these 12 tips to help you stay healthier: Wash hands frequently. Bundle up in layers to stay warm. Keep stress in check and get plenty of sleep. Take it easy and slow on the road. Quit smoking. See your doctor for vaccinations and regular checkups. Make sure children are always supervised. Take care to prevent falls. Practice good food safety. Eat a nutritious diet and get...

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Some Blood Types Might Raise Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Study

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 -- In what scientists say is a first, a new analysis suggests that some blood types place women at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. How much higher? According to a team of French researchers, women with blood type B positive appear to face a 35 percent greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes than women with blood type O negative. However, experts questioned the value of the findings when so many other risk factors for the blood sugar disease can be...

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Study Supports Benefit of Widely Used Glaucoma Drug

Posted 2 days ago in Daily MedNews

THURSDAY, Dec. 18, 2014 -- Prostaglandin analogue eye drops -- a common form of glaucoma drug -- significantly reduce the risk of vision loss in patients with the eye disease, a new study finds. British researchers led by David Garway-Heath, of the Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology in London, tracked outcomes for more than 500 people newly diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma -- the most common form of the disease and one of the leading causes of blindness. About 45...

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