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Diagnosis and Investigation News

Aeterna Zentaris Announces FDA Approval of Macrilen (macimorelin) for Diagnosis of Adult Growth Hormone Deficiency

Posted 12 hours ago by

CHARLESTON, S.C. December 20, 2017 – Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ and TSX: AEZS), a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing and commercializing pharmaceutical therapies, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted marketing approval for Macrilen (macimorelin), an orally available ghrelin agonist, to be used in the diagnosis of patients with adult growth hormone deficiency (AGHD). The Company estimates that approximately 60,000 tests for suspected AGHD are being conducted each year across the United States, Canada and Europe. “Aeterna Zentaris is proud of our commitment to patients with suspected AGHD and to the endocrinology community who we are confident will welcome an easier safe and effective oral diagnostic tool,” said Michael V. Ward, Chief Executive Officer, Aeterna Zentaris. “In the absence of an FDA-approved diagnostic test f ... Read more

Related support groups: Adult Human Growth Hormone Deficiency, Diagnosis and Investigation, Macimorelin, Macrilen

Were NYC Cancer Cases Tied to Chernobyl Disaster?

Posted 16 hours ago by

MONDAY, Jan. 22, 2018 – A possible link between a cluster of cases in New York City of an extremely rare type of cancer and the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in Ukraine has been found by researchers. They began their investigation after 10 people in New York City were diagnosed with vitreoretinal lymphoma (VRL) in a four-year span. VRL affects the eyes and can occur in people with a rare cancer called primary central nervous system lymphoma, a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the brain or spine. Only about a fourth of those who have this cancer develop VRL. The cluster of cases prompted the researchers to look closely at various characteristics of the patients, such as their age at diagnosis, racial/ethnic background, family history, where they've lived and other medical conditions they have. That's when they discovered that six of the patients had lived in areas close to the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Lymphoma, Diagnosis and Investigation

Quick Test Could Spot Precursor to Esophageal Cancer

Posted 1 day 17 hours ago by

FRIDAY, Jan. 19, 2018 – A pill-sized device that you swallow might help detect a change in the esophagus that can lead to a deadly form of cancer, researchers are reporting. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. And the change that occurs in the esophagus, known as Barrett's esophagus, usually results from long-term reflux. Barrett's esophagus is considered a precursor to a type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma. More than 80 percent of people diagnosed with this cancer die within five years. Yet, medical experts say that many of these deaths could be prevented if people were diagnosed earlier with Barrett's esophagus. However, that usually requires a costly and invasive test, known as an endoscopy, that also requires sedation. According to the researchers, this prevents some people from being screened for the condition. Screening with ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation

'One-Stop' Blood Test for Cancer Shows Early Promise

Posted 4 days ago by

THURSDAY, Jan. 18, 2018 – In an early step toward "one-stop" screening for cancer, researchers report they've developed a blood test that can detect eight types of the disease. The blood test is dubbed CancerSEEK. It was able to catch cancer cases anywhere from 33 percent to 98 percent of the time, depending on the type. The accuracy range was better – 69 percent to 98 percent – when it came to five cancers that currently have no widely used screening test, the scientists reported in a new study. Those cancers included ovarian, pancreatic, stomach, liver and esophageal cancers. The researchers said the findings are an "exciting" initial step. The hope is to eventually have a single blood test that can screen people for a range of common cancers. "This is a proof-of-concept," said Dr. Anne Marie Lennon, one of the researchers on the work. "Will this eventually impact patients' care? I ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Gastric Cancer

Concussion May Not Be Needed to Bring on CTE Brain Disease

Posted 4 days ago by

THURSDAY, Jan. 18, 2018 – Head impacts, not just concussions, may lead to the degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), according to new research. The findings could lead to early detection and improved treatment and prevention of CTE, the researchers suggest. More than 100 National Football League players have been posthumously identified as having CTE. They include former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who died by suicide in 2017 at the age of 27 while serving a life sentence for murder. Medical experts later said his condition was the most severe case of CTE ever discovered in someone his age and would have affected his decision-making, judgment and cognitive abilities. CTE has been found in the brains of teens and adults who sustained repeated head injuries, even in those who were not diagnosed with concussion, the study authors ... Read more

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

Could a Blood Test Spot Early Stage Colon Cancer?

Posted 5 days ago by

THURSDAY, Jan. 18, 2018 – A simple, cheap blood test to detect colon cancer – even in its early stages – appears highly effective and accurate, new research indicates. The test detects so-called "circulating tumor cells" (CTCs). Researchers tested it on 620 people in Taiwan who were scheduled for a routine colonoscopy at a local hospital. By comparing the blood test results with the colonoscopy results, the study team found that the blood test identified colon cancer in 87 percent of cases, ranging from stage I to stage IV cancer. The blood test also was able to detect 77 percent of pre-cancerous lesions indicating early stage disease. The researchers described the test as highly accurate, noting that it correctly identified cancer 84 to 88 percent of the time. Less than 3 percent of the time did it produce a "false positive" result, which mistakenly indicates the presence of cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Colonoscopy, Colorectal Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

Creativity May Rely on 'Teamwork' in the Brain

Posted 6 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17, 2018 – Scientists may have discovered what makes a creative mind tick: stronger connections among brain regions that usually work in opposition to each other. For eons, researchers have wondered what sets the da Vincis, Shakespeares and Einsteins apart. Results from this new study offer more evidence to debunk the popular notion that creativity is a "right brain" activity. "There's a lingering myth about the 'right brain' and 'left brain.' But creativity involves the whole brain," said Roger Beaty, a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University who led the research. The study, of 163 young adults, found the most creative thinkers had greater "connectivity" across three brain areas: the default mode, salience network, and executive systems. The findings offer a clearer idea of exactly what happens in the brain during creative thinking. And it all makes sense, according ... Read more

Related support groups: Psychiatric Disorders, Diagnosis and Investigation

Brain Zaps May Help Curb Tics of Tourette Syndrome

Posted 6 days ago by

TUESDAY, Jan. 16, 2018 – Electric zaps can help rewire the brains of Tourette syndrome patients, effectively reducing their uncontrollable vocal and motor tics, a new study shows. The procedure, called deep brain stimulation (DBS), improved tic severity by nearly half in 171 patients with uncontrolled Tourette symptoms at 31 hospitals in 10 countries. "That's an impressive number," said senior researcher Dr. Michael Okun, chair of neurology and co-director of the Movement Disorders Center at the University of Florida's College of Medicine. "To get that much improvement in these symptoms is difficult when using medication or behavioral therapy." With DBS, brain surgeons run thin electric leads to specific regions of the basal ganglia, a cluster of nerves in the brain related to motor control and behavior, Okun explained. Doctors then apply electricity to the brain circuits they've most ... Read more

Related support groups: Tourette's Syndrome, Diagnosis and Investigation

BRCA Breast Cancer Gene Doesn't Affect Patient Survival: Study

Posted 11 days ago by

FRIDAY, Jan. 12, 2018 – Young breast cancer patients with a BRCA gene mutation have the same chances of survival after treatment as those without the mutation, a new study finds. BRCA mutations are inherited and increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Between 45 percent and 90 percent of women with a BRCA mutation develop breast cancer, compared with about 12.5 percent of women in the general population. "Our study is the largest of its kind, and our findings suggest that younger women with breast cancer who have a BRCA mutation have similar survival to women who do not carry the mutation after receiving treatment," said lead researcher Diana Eccles. She is with the University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, in England. "Women diagnosed with early breast cancer who carry a BRCA mutation are often offered double mastectomies soon after ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer

Study Gets to the Core of Back Pain in Runners

Posted 12 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 10, 2018 – The onset of back pain among runners may stem from a general weakness in their deep core muscles, new research indicates. Such deep muscles are located well below the more superficial muscles typified by the classic six-pack abs of fitness magazine fame, the researchers noted. Using computer simulations, they found that runners with relatively weak deep core muscles end up relying more and more on their superficial muscles to keep on running. The result is a higher risk for back pain. "We measured the dimensions of runners' bodies and how they moved to create a computer model that's specific to that person," said study lead author Ajit Chaudhari. "That allows us to examine how every bone moves and how much pressure is put on each joint." Chaudhari is an associate professor of physical therapy and biomedical engineering at Ohio State University's Wexner ... Read more

Related support groups: Back Pain, Sciatica, Herniated Disc, Radiculopathy, Diagnosis and Investigation

Those With 'Obesity Genes' May Gain Most From Healthy Eating

Posted 12 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 10, 2018 – Though healthy eating is good for everyone, those who have genes that put them at high risk for obesity might benefit the most. A new study suggests that even those who carry an inherited predisposition to pack on excess pounds are not destined to become obese. In fact, researchers say it can be avoided over time by adopting a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and unencumbered by salt, sugar, alcohol and red meat. The finding stems from a new analysis of diet, lifestyle and medical data on about 14,000 men and women that had been collected for two earlier studies. "We found that eating healthy foods – high intake of vegetable, fruits, whole grain, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, and low intakes of trans fat, fried foods and sugary drinks – lowers the risk of obesity and promotes weight loss for all populations," said study author Dr. Lu Qi. ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Weight Loss/Failure to Thrive, Diagnosis and Investigation

Screening, Treatment Cuts Breast Cancer Deaths in Half

Posted 14 days ago by

TUESDAY, Jan. 9, 2018 – Breakthroughs in breast cancer screening and treatment have slashed the percentage of women dying from the disease, a new analysis reveals. "Advances in screening and treatment are saving lives," said lead researcher Sylvia Plevritis, a professor of radiology and biomedical data science at the Stanford University School of Medicine. "Here's an example that all this investment in research and discovery has had a real benefit. This has translated into making a difference." Screening and treatment reduced breast cancer deaths by 49 percent in 2012, compared with a 37 percent reduction in 2000, according to the study. Treatments that target specific types of breast cancer have generated the most scientific advancement and, as such, have taken a larger role in saving lives, the researchers found. Better cancer treatments accounted for 63 percent of the reduction in ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Diagnosis and Investigation

Scientists Turn Skin Cells Into Muscle Cells, a Potential Boon for Research

Posted 14 days ago by

TUESDAY, Jan. 9, 2018 – In a potential advance for medical research, scientists say they've created the first functioning human muscle from skin cells. The breakthrough could lead to better genetic or cell-based therapies, as well as furthering investigations into the causes and treatment of muscular disorders, the Duke University team said. "The prospect of studying rare diseases is especially exciting for us," Nenad Bursac, professor of biomedical engineering, said in a university news release. "When a child's muscles are already withering away from something like Duchenne muscular dystrophy, it would not be ethical to take muscle samples from them and do further damage," he explained. "But with this technique, we can just take a small sample of non-muscle tissue – like skin or blood – revert the obtained cells to a pluripotent state, and eventually grow an endless amount of ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Cachexia, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Hair Loss, Fibroids May Have Links in Black Women

Posted 18 days ago by

FRIDAY, Jan. 5, 2018 – Black women with a relatively common form of hair loss may also face a high risk for developing fibroids, a new study suggests. Fibroids are fibrous growths that develop in the lining of the womb. About 80 to 90 percent of black women (and 70 percent of white women) develop fibroids by the time they're 50. In nearly all cases these growths are benign (noncancerous). Researchers reviewed four years of data on more than 487,000 adult black women. This included data on a hair loss condition known as central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia (CCCA). CCCA mostly affects black women. It's the most common form of hair loss in this group. The study found that nearly 14 percent of women with CCCA also had fibroids. However, just 3 percent of those who did not have CCCA had fibroids. That translates into a five times greater risk for fibroids among women with CCCA. "The ... Read more

Related support groups: Alopecia, Uterine Leiomyomata / Fibroids, Diagnosis and Investigation

Mom-to-Be's Immune Response May Trigger Zika Birth Defects

Posted 18 days ago by

FRIDAY, Jan. 5, 2018 – Zika might not directly cause the miscarriages and birth defects that have been associated with the notorious virus, a new study in mice suggests. Instead, the ravaging effects of Zika infection on a developing fetus appear to stem from the immune response of the expecting mother, researchers said. Lab mice bred without a key step in their immune response wound up birthing pups that survived Zika infection, while normal mice either lost their pregnancy or produced very underweight pups, the study found. "The antiviral response generated in response to Zika infection is causing the miscarriage of the fetus, as opposed to the virus itself," according to senior researcher Akiko Iwasaki. She is a professor of immunobiology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Iwasaki and her colleagues are now investigating whether a woman's immune response also causes some or ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Viral Infection, Hydrocephalus, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

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