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Aspirin's Ability to Prevent Colon Cancer May Depend on Your Genes

Posted today in Daily MedNews

WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- Aspirin seems to halve the risk of colon cancer in people with high levels of a genetic enzyme found in the colon, a new study says. Many questions remain, however, regarding who should take aspirin to potentially ward off colon cancer. The research isn't definitive, there's no easy test for patients to take to assess potential benefits, and aspirin can cause serious side effects. "There is very strong evidence that aspirin reduces the risk of colon cancer, but...

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Gene Therapy May Enhance Cochlear Implants, Animal Study Finds

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WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- Australian researchers say that gene therapy may one day improve the hearing of people with cochlear implants, allowing them to appreciate music and hear in noisy environments. In experiments with deaf guinea pigs, senior study author Gary Housley and colleagues found that inserting genes in the area of the cochlear implant and passing an electric charge through the implant stimulated the growth of cochlear cells. "Our study found a [new] way to provide safe...

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Guys: Don't Take Your Y Chromosome for Granted

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WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- Certain genes on the Y chromosome may have ensured the survival of males, a new study indicates. These genes have little if anything to do with sperm production or determining gender. Rather, they appear to be active throughout the body and may contribute to male-female differences in disease susceptibility and severity, the researchers said. Women have two X chromosomes while men have an X and a Y chromosome. Previous research has shown a history of significant...

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Scientists Study Gene Clues From 115-Year-Old Woman

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WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- More than 400 mutations were found in the healthy white blood cells of a 115-year-old woman, according to a new study that may advance what is known about limits of the human life span. Genetic mutations have been linked to diseases such as cancer, but these findings suggest that mutations in white blood cells are largely harmless over a lifetime, the researchers said. Blood is continually replenished by hematopoietic (meaning "to make blood") stem cells that are...

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Research Shows Ways to Speed Stroke Care

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WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- Every minute counts for stroke victims who need clot-busting medications quickly to restore blood flow to their brain and prevent further damage. Now, new efforts to hasten treatment in both ambulances and emergency rooms appear to have significantly improved patients' chances of survival and limited their long-term disability, according to a pair of studies in the April 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. A quality improvement initiative...

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Early Sign of Kidney Disease Often Ignored, Study Says

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WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- Too much protein in your urine -- an early sign of kidney disease and a risk factor for heart disease -- often goes undetected and untreated, a new study finds. Researchers also found that many people with this problem, called proteinuria, reported taking common over-the-counter pain medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can harm kidney function. Researchers tested nearly 300 patients who were admitted to a hospital in Albany, N.Y.,...

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People With Kidney Disease Show Higher Cancer Risk in Study

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WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- Older adults with moderate kidney dysfunction may face a higher risk of developing cancer than those with healthy kidneys, a large study suggests. Researchers found that among nearly 32,000 older U.S. adults, those with stage 3 kidney disease were more than 40 percent likelier to be diagnosed with cancer over five years, versus people with normal kidney function. Experts stressed that the findings do not necessarily mean that kidney disease itself leads to...

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A Little Wine Might Help Kidneys Stay Healthy

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WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests. And for those who already have kidney disease, which puts one at higher risk for cardiovascular problems, moderate wine drinking might help the heart, the researchers added. "Those [with healthy kidneys] who drank less than one glass of wine a day had a 37 percent lower risk of having chronic kidney disease than those who drank no wine," said study author Dr. Tapan Mehta, a...

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People Seek Out Health Info When Famous Person Dies

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WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of the respondents said they...

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Athletic Trainers First Line of Treatment for Young Basketballers: Study

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WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 -- High school basketball players in the United States suffered 2.5 million injuries over six seasons and athletic trainers dealt with many of them, a new study finds. Researchers examined data from basketball players aged 13 to 19 who were treated in hospital emergency departments between 2005 and 2010 and those who were treated by high school athletic trainers. There were about 1.5 million in the first group and about 1 million in the second group. In general, more...

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Health Highlights: April 23, 2014

Posted today in Daily MedNews

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay: Artificial Retina Restores Vision Four Americans have received an artificial retina since it was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year, and a fifth is scheduled to receive the implant next month. The device is meant to help people with retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disease that causes progressive damage to light-sensitive cells in the eye's retina. The "bionic eye"...

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Health Tip: Signs Your Child Has An Overuse Injury

Posted today in Daily MedNews

-- Children's bodies are still growing, which can make them more susceptible to overuse injuries as they enjoy sports and physical activity. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these warning signs of overuse injuries in children: Pain that worsens with activity. Unexplained swelling. Differences in your child's technique or form when playing a sport. Reduced interest in playing a sport or practicing.

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Health Tip: When Lifestyle Disrupts Sleep

Posted today in Daily MedNews

-- Getting enough sleep is essential for good health, but there are lifestyle choices that can get in the way. The American Psychological Association mentions these factors that can affect sleep: Stress at work, school, at home or with family. Exercising late in the day or engaging in mentally strenuous activities just before bed. Drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages in the evening or afternoon. Lack of a consistent bedtime and waking schedule. Being a shift worker or traveling. An...

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For Many Older Men, Impotence Is Treatable Without Drugs

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TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 -- A new study reminds men with erectile dysfunction that there's help out there that doesn't require a prescription: diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes. Losing weight, eating better, getting more active, drinking less alcohol and getting better sleep can all help reverse problems that contribute to impotence, according to a new study published recently in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Erectile dysfunction and low sexual desire is often linked to the...

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Size of Fetus May Affect Stillbirth Risk

Posted today in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 -- Fetuses that are either too small or too large are at increased risk for stillbirth, a large new study says. Researchers analyzed all the stillbirths that occurred over 2.5 years at 59 hospitals in five regions of the United States. They found that abnormal fetal growth was associated with between 25 percent and 50 percent of the stillbirths. Stillbirth refers to a fetal death that occurs during pregnancy at 20 weeks' gestation or later, according to the American...

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Two Drugs Work Equally Well for Epileptic Seizures in Kids: Study

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 -- Researchers comparing two drugs used to treat epileptic seizures in children -- lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium) -- found no difference between them in safety or effectiveness. Although previous studies gave the edge to Ativan, Dr. James Chamberlain, lead researcher for the new study, gave several reasons why Valium might be as good or better. "Unexpectedly, Ativan is not superior to Valium for treating pediatric seizures. It's been dogma in medicine that...

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Certain Type of Brain Malformation May Be Best Left Alone

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 -- People with abnormal connections between arteries and veins in the brain may be less likely to suffer a stroke or die if they don't undergo any procedures to correct the problem, new research suggests. The study included 204 patients in Scotland who had these types of abnormal connections -- called "brain arteriovenous malformations" or bAVMs -- that had not ruptured. Of those patients, 103 decided to undergo one of three types of treatment: open brain surgery,...

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Low Blood Sugar May Affect Heartbeat in People With Diabetes

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 -- Low blood sugar levels -- known as hypoglycemia -- in people with diabetes may cause potentially dangerous changes in heart rate, according to a small new study. This study's findings may help explain why a large-scale study found that very tight control of blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes led to higher-than-expected death rates. It may also help explain why some otherwise healthy people with type 1 diabetes die during their sleep -- sometimes called...

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New Drugs May Help Prevent Migraines

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 -- Two experimental drugs may help prevent migraines in people who suffer multiple attacks a month, according to preliminary findings from a pair of clinical trials. The drugs, one given by IV and one by injection, are part of a new approach to preventing migraine headaches. They are "monoclonal antibodies" that target a tiny protein called the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) -- which recent research has implicated in triggering migraine pain. In one study,...

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Glaucoma Drug May Help Reverse Obesity-Related Vision Loss

Posted yesterday in Daily MedNews

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 -- A drug used to treat glaucoma eye disease can also help people with vision loss linked to obesity, a new study reveals. Researchers examined the effectiveness of the inexpensive drug, called acetazolamide (Diamox), in women and men with the condition known as "idiopathic intracranial hypertension." According to the researchers, the disorder primarily affects overweight women of reproductive age, and 5 percent to 10 percent of women with it suffer disabling vision...

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