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Diagnosis and Investigation News

The Scoop on Avoiding 'Brain Freeze'

Posted 9 hours ago by

SATURDAY, July 22, 2017 – Gulping down a cold smoothie or giant scoop of ice cream sometimes leads to a fleeting severe headache known as "brain freeze." But a neurologist says you can avoid it. "A brain freeze is what happens when cold food touches a bundle of nerves in the back of the palate," said Dr. Stephanie Vertrees, a headache specialist and clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Medicine. The medical term for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, she said. "The sphenopalatine ganglion is a group of nerves that are sensitive to cold food, and when they're stimulated, they relay information that stimulates a part of the brain to have a headache," Vertrees explained. This is the same bundle of nerves responsible for migraine headaches and cluster headaches. "There has been a lot of research done on this bundle of nerves, but mostly for trying to prevent ... Read more

Related support groups: Headache, Diagnosis and Investigation

Cows May Offer Clues to an AIDS Vaccine

Posted 2 days 9 hours ago by

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017 – Cows already give us milk, meat and leather. Now, researchers say they may also hold the key to an AIDS vaccine. Scientists found it took cows just a few weeks to develop powerful antibodies against HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This suggests they could move from the farm to the laboratory and play an important role in testing experimental AIDS vaccines, researcher Devin Sok and colleagues said in a new study. "One approach to a preventive HIV vaccine involves trying to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies in healthy people, but so far the experiments have been unsuccessful, in both human and animal studies," said Sok. He's director of antibody discovery and development at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, based in New York City. The team of researchers said it immunized four cows. The scientists got a response from the cows within 35 to 52 days. ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

Can Dirty Diapers Offer Clues to the Infant Brain?

Posted 2 days 9 hours ago by

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017 – Babies' diapers may hold clues to their brain development, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed fecal samples from dozens of 1-year-olds and assessed their thinking (cognitive) skills a year later. The results revealed a link between certain types of microbes in the infants' feces and higher levels of brain development at age 2. "The big story here is that we've got one group of kids with a particular community of bacteria that's performing better on these cognitive tests," said Rebecca Knickmeyer. She's an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill. "Are the bacteria actually 'communicating' with the developing brain? That's something that we are working on now, so we're looking at some signaling pathways that might be involved," Knickmeyer said in a university news release. "Another possibility ... Read more

Related support groups: Delivery, Premature Labor, Diagnosis and Investigation, Cesarean Section, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Surgery for ACL Tear Often Successful Over Long Term

Posted 2 days 9 hours ago by

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017 – People who undergo knee surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) can expect to stay active and maintain a high quality of life, researchers report. Activity levels may decline over time, but a new study found that those who had the knee operation could usually still play sports 10 years later. "An active patient may view an ACL injury as devastating, but our research adds to short- and long-term studies that show a good prognosis for return to pre-injury quality of life," said the study's corresponding author, Dr. Kurt Spindler. Spindler, from the Cleveland Clinic department of orthopaedic surgery, added that these findings could help medical providers continue to make good treatment decisions. The study also confirms that these injuries are typically just a setback, he said in a news release from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine ... Read more

Related support groups: Knee Joint Replacement, Orthopedic Surgery, Diagnosis and Investigation

Oxygen Therapy Revives Brain of Toddler Who Nearly Drowned

Posted 3 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – In one of the first such confirmed cases, an Arkansas toddler who suffered severe brain injury after nearly drowning has had that brain damage reversed, using a new treatment. The treatment is known as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). It exposes a patient to pure oxygen within the confines of a carefully controlled pressurized chamber. During the therapy, the body gets three times the normal amount of oxygen, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The saga began with every parent's nightmare. Just one day shy of her 2nd birthday, Eden Carlson nearly drowned in the family pool. The little girl was found floating face down, unresponsive. Alive, but just barely. The initial prognosis, noted Dr. Paul Harch, wasn't good. The little girl's heart had stopped beating. "It took 100 minutes of CPR at both the house and the emergency room to get a return of ... Read more

Related support groups: Oxygen, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

More Patients OK'd for Cancer Trials Under Obamacare: Study

Posted 3 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – The Affordable Care Act has enabled more privately insured patients to enroll in clinical trials for new cancer treatments, a new study contends. Speedy approvals are important for patients who want to participate in clinical trials, said study author Dr. David Hong. He's deputy chair of investigational cancer therapeutics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Since 2000, Medicare, the publicly funded insurance program for seniors, has covered routine costs of clinical trial participation. But coverage for patients with private insurance differed by insurer and state, the researchers noted. Under the ACA, or Obamacare, however, private insurers had to cover "standard of care" costs of clinical trial participation as of 2014. For this study, the researchers analyzed more than 2,400 patient referrals to the Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy at ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Votrient, Avastin, Tarceva, Pancreatic Cancer, Tasigna, Sutent, Sprycel, Afinitor, Nexavar, Stomach Cancer, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cytoxan

Study Traces All Dogs to Gray Wolves in Europe

Posted 4 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 – Modern dogs likely descended from a single population of gray wolves in Europe up to 40,000 years ago, new research suggests. The findings challenge existing evidence and could help scientists gain a better understanding of dog evolution, the study authors said. Dogs were the first type of animal to be domesticated by people, but it's unclear exactly where this first occurred. Many scientists believe it could be traced back to many areas of Europe, Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East. For this latest study, a team of international researchers analyzed the DNA of two prehistoric dogs from Germany. The study authors concluded these ancient dogs were probably the ancestors of modern European dogs, including most dog breeds. The research sheds new light on the geographic origin of dog domestication, suggesting a single event took place between 20,000 and ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation

Most Women Should Forgo Ovarian Cancer Screening: Panel

Posted 5 days ago by

TUESDAY, July 18, 2017 – The potential harms of ovarian cancer screening outweigh the benefits, so only very specific groups of women should be screened for the disease, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) says in a draft recommendation. "The task force found that screening women without signs or symptoms for ovarian cancer does not decrease the number of deaths from the disease, and may lead to unnecessary surgeries," Dr. Maureen Phipps said in a news release from the USPSTF. "Therefore, the task force recommends against screening for ovarian cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms, and who are not at high risk for ovarian cancer," she said. Phipps is a member of the task force, which is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. The new guidance reaffirms a 2012 final recommendation made by the USPSTF. Task force ... Read more

Related support groups: Ovarian Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging

Asthma Control Essential in Pregnancy, Study Suggests

Posted 9 days ago by

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017 – Children whose mothers had uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy are at increased risk of developing the disease at a young age, a new study finds. The findings suggest that "maintaining asthma control during pregnancy is an area for possible prevention of asthma in future generations," lead author Xiaoqin Liu said. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 7,200 children in Denmark who were born to mothers with active asthma during pregnancy. Those born to mothers who had mild controlled asthma were less likely to be diagnosed with asthma at an early age than those whose moms had mild uncontrolled asthma, moderate-to-severe controlled asthma, or moderate-to-severe uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy, the study found. The study was published online July 13 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Asthma, Asthma - Maintenance, Postcoital Contraception, Fluticasone, Qvar, Asthma - Acute, Budesonide, Flovent, Entocort, Mometasone, Entocort EC, Beclomethasone, Pulmicort Flexhaler, Alvesco, Asmanex Twisthaler, Uceris, Pulmicort Turbuhaler

Our Gorilla Cousins Harbor Mono-Like Virus, Too

Posted 9 days ago by

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017 – Researchers say a herpes virus similar to the Epstein-Barr virus that infects people has been found in mountain gorillas. The discovery may assist in the conservation of critically endangered mountain gorillas, according to scientists at the University of California, Davis. The finding might also benefit people with the Epstein-Barr virus, they said. Epstein-Barr – also called human herpesvirus 4 – infects more than 90 percent of people worldwide, but typically causes no symptoms or serious health consequences. However, it can lead to certain types of cancer in people with HIV/AIDS and weakened immune systems. It's also one of the major causes of mononucleosis, often called the "kissing disease." The researchers analyzed saliva found on plants chewed by mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda. They found the gorillas have their own version of this herpes virus. ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation

New Diabetes Treatment Teaches Rogue Immune Cells to Behave

Posted 9 days ago by

FRIDAY, July 14, 2017 – A treatment targeting wayward immune cells in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes may help even years later, a new study finds. For the treatment, researchers take blood from a person with diabetes and separate out the immune system cells (lymphocytes). They briefly expose those cells to stem cells from umbilical cord blood from an unrelated infant. Then they return the lymphocytes to the patient's body. The researchers have dubbed this treatment "stem cell educator therapy," because when exposed to the stem cells, the errant lymphocytes seem to re-learn how they should behave. "Stem cell educator therapy is a safe approach" with long-term effectiveness, said the study's lead author, Dr. Yong Zhao. He's an associate scientist at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, occurs when the body's immune system ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Metformin, Insulin, Lantus, Diabetes, Type 1, Glipizide, Glucophage, Novolog, Humalog, Insulin Resistance, Glyburide, Lantus Solostar, Levemir, Actos, Glimepiride, Pre-Diabetes, Novolin R, Amaryl, Novolin N, Pioglitazone

Boxers, MMA Fighters May Face Long-Term Harm to Brain: Study

Posted 10 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – There's been a great deal of attention paid lately to the potential lasting damage of head blows suffered by professional football players. But what about other sports where repeated trauma to the head is also common? Do those sports lead to any long-term brain damage? Possibly, suggests a new study that found boxers and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters have higher levels of certain brain proteins that reflect brain injury compared to retired fighters and non-fighters. The research is preliminary, but if it bears out, the analysis might be a way to predict which fighters are at the greatest risk of long-term complications, said study author Dr. Charles Bernick. He's the associate director of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. "We can identify proteins in the blood that may reflect ongoing brain injury," he said. In the study, ... Read more

Related support groups: Head Injury, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Imaging, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

PTSD After Head Injury May Signal Brain Changes

Posted 10 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Scientists report they have discovered biological differences in the brains of head injury patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Specifically, the area of the brain that controls emotion – the amygdala – is larger than normal in those who develop PTSD after a brain injury, researchers said. "Many consider PTSD to be a psychological disorder, but our study found a key physical difference in the brains of military-trained individuals with brain injury and PTSD," said Dr. Joel Pieper, from the University of California, San Diego. "These findings have the potential to change the way we approach PTSD diagnosis and treatment," Pieper added. The study included 89 current or former members of the U.S. military with mild traumatic brain injury. Brain scans revealed that the amygdala was 6 percent larger, particularly on the right side, in the 29 ... Read more

Related support groups: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Head Injury, Head Injury with Intracranial Hemorrhage, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Injury w/ Intracranial Hemorrhage and Loss of Consciousness, Head Injury with Loss of Consciousness

Genes May Explain Why Kids With Autism Avoid Eye Contact

Posted 10 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Children with autism spectrum disorders tend to avoid eye contact and look away from other people's mouths, behaviors that are likely influenced by genetics, new research suggests. Roughly 1 in 68 children in the United States has autism. The disorder affects how children learn, communicate and behave. It's common for children with autism to look away from other people's faces. Doctors often use this behavior to help screen for the condition, according to researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and Emory University in Atlanta. For the study, the team of scientists investigated how children's DNA affects their ability to engage visually in social settings. "Research shows that autism likely has a genetic basis. Siblings of children diagnosed with autism and people with certain genetic mutations have a higher risk of developing the disorder, compared ... Read more

Related support groups: Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation

'Observation' Best Option for Most Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

Posted 10 days ago by

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Men with early stage prostate cancer who have surgery to remove their tumor do not live longer than those who receive no treatment at all, a long-running clinical trial has concluded. At the same time, nearly one in three men who had the surgery wound up with long-term complications, such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, said lead researcher Dr. Timothy Wilt. He is a clinical investigator with the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Based on these findings, cancer experts should revise clinical guidelines so most men with low-risk prostate cancer receive no treatment, Wilt said. Instead, doctors should simply track the progress of their patient's slow-growing cancer by asking about signs and symptoms of disease progression. "Our results demonstrate that for the large majority of men with localized prostate cancer, selecting ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Prostate Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Genitourinary Surgical and Other Conditions

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