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Diagnosis and Investigation News

Blacks, Elderly Missing From U.S. Cancer Clinical Trials

Posted 39 minutes ago by

MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2017 – Four out of five participants in cancer clinical trials are white, a discrepancy that calls into question whether other races and ethnicities are receiving good cancer treatment, researchers say. Women and the elderly also are underrepresented in clinical trials, according to the new findings. Prior studies have shown that the effectiveness of cancer treatment can vary based on a person's race, gender and age, said lead researcher Dr. Narjust Duma. Despite this, clinical trials have failed to successfully recruit a diverse patient population upon whom to test new drugs and therapies, said Duma, a hematology/oncology fellow at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. "All the data we're using to guide cancer treatment is for one type of patient," she said. Duma undertook this study after a conversation with a black lung cancer patient about possible chemotherapy ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Diagnosis and Investigation

Nerve Stimulation Pulls Patient From 15-Year Vegetative State

Posted 41 minutes ago by

MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2017 – By stimulating a nerve that stretches from the abdomen to the brain, French researchers have restored a significant measure of consciousness to a brain-damaged 35-year-old car accident victim who had spent 15 years in a vegetative state. This case may change conventional thinking about vegetative states. Currently, it is generally believed that if someone is in a vegetative state for more than a year, it's irreversible, the study authors noted. After implanting a nerve stimulator into the patient's chest, investigators spent a month stimulating the vagus nerve. This nerve is a key pathway in brain-body circuitry. It plays a central role in a number of essential functions, including waking and alertness. "After one month of vagal nerve stimulation [VNS], the patient's attention, movements and brain activity significantly improved," said study author Angela ... Read more

Related support groups: Spinal Cord Trauma, Diagnosis and Investigation

Mexican-Americans at Higher Risk for Liver Cancer

Posted 44 minutes ago by

MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2017 – Mexican-Americans have more risk factors for liver cancer than residents of Mexico do, a new study finds. Researchers compared data on almost 9,500 Mexicans living in Mexico; just over 2,300 U.S.-born Mexican-Americans living in the United States; and close to 2,000 Mexican-Americans who were born in Mexico and now live in the United States. Mexican-Americans were more likely than those living in Mexico to have liver cancer risk factors such as obesity, diabetes and heavy drinking. But they were less likely to have hepatitis B or C infections. "Liver cancer incidence and mortality have been on the rise in the United States, despite a steady decline in overall cancer incidence and mortality over the past 15 years," said study author Yvonne Flores. She is an associate professor at UCLA's Cancer Prevention and Control Research Center in Los Angeles. "Chronic liver ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Diagnosis and Investigation, Hepatic Tumor

Genetics a Cause of Autism in Most Cases: Study

Posted 3 hours 11 minutes ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 – Heredity contributes to about 83 percent of the risk of autism in children with the disorder, a new study suggests. The estimate, from a re-analysis of a previous study, adds a new wrinkle to the ongoing debate over how much autism is inherited from parents. Essentially, the findings suggest that rare genetic traits combine in parents and explain about eight in 10 cases of the neurodevelopmental disorder in children. However, study author Sven Sandin cautioned that "our results do not give any information about specific genes or other direct causes. It only informs us that genes are important." Sandin, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, noted that the findings also don't reflect anything about the reported increases in autism rates in recent years. The higher rates must have something to do ... Read more

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

Drone Sets New Record for Transporting Blood Samples

Posted 6 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 – A new distance record for delivery of blood samples by a medical drone has been set. A Johns Hopkins University drone transported dozens of human blood samples across 161 miles of Arizona desert. Throughout the three-hour flight, proper temperature control was maintained and the samples were usable for laboratory testing after reaching their destination. "We expect that in many cases, drone transport will be the quickest, safest and most efficient option to deliver some biological samples to a laboratory from rural or urban settings," senior study author Dr. Timothy Amukele said in a university news release. Amukele is an assistant professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins. He noted that drones can operate where there are no roads and overcome obstacles to timely diagnosis and care. "Drones are likely to be the 21st century's best medical sample delivery ... Read more

Related support groups: Blood Disorders, Diagnosis and Investigation, Coagulation Defects and Disorders

High, Low Levels of Magnesium Linked to Dementia Risk

Posted 6 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 20, 2017 – Having magnesium levels that are too high or too low may put you at risk for Alzheimer's and other dementias, Dutch researchers report. In a study of more than 9,500 men and women, the highest or lowest levels of magnesium appeared to increase the chances for dementia by as much as 30 percent. "At this moment, magnesium levels are not routinely measured in daily clinical practice," said lead researcher Dr. Brenda Kieboom, of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam. "If our study results are replicated, magnesium levels could be used to screen for dementia, especially in people at risk for low magnesium levels." But she cautioned that "we cannot prove that low or high magnesium causes dementia on the basis of our data. For that, we need studies to see if supplements will reduce the risk." Kieboom said she also wants to study whether low magnesium ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Dementia with Depressive Features, Lewy Body Dementia, Alcoholic Dementia

Prostate Cancer Symptoms Aren't Always Obvious

Posted 6 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 20, 2017 – Although about 1 in 7 men will be eventually be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, the warning signs of the disease are often vague and may be confused with other conditions, experts at Fox Chase Cancer Center say. Prostate cancer can be serious but it's often not fatal. Men should talk to their doctor about the risks and benefits of getting screened for the disease, advised Dr. Alexander Kutikov, chief of the division of urologic oncology at Fox Chase in Philadelphia. "Considering how often prostate cancer occurs in men, every man should familiarize himself with its signs and risk factors," Kutikov said in a center news release. "Yet, not all men should be screened for prostate cancer. Ultimately, the decision to get screened needs to be weighed in terms of the advantages and disadvantages of screening. Men should familiarize themselves with ... Read more

Related support groups: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), Prostate Cancer, Prostatitis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Prostate Tumor - Benign

Increasing Salt Intake Tied to Diabetes Risk

Posted 12 days ago by

THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 2017 – High levels of salt consumption may increase an adult's risk of developing diabetes, researchers say. The new study included data from a few thousand people in Sweden. The findings showed that salt intake was associated with an average 65 percent increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for each 2.5 extra grams of salt (slightly less than half a teaspoon) consumed per day. People with the highest salt intake (about 1.25 teaspoons of salt or higher) were 72 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest intake, the investigators found. The study, led by Bahareh Rasouli of the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, was scheduled for presentation Thursday at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Lisbon, Portugal. The current study didn't look ... Read more

Related support groups: Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Sodium Chloride, Diabetes Mellitus, Diagnosis and Investigation, HalfLytely and Bisacodyl, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Rhinaris, Hyper-Sal, Dextrose/Sodium Chloride, Saline Nasal Mist, Thermotabs, Potassium Chloride/Sodium Chloride, Ayr Saline Nasal, ENTsol, Pediamist, Little Noses, Sea Soft, Nasal Moist, Normal Saline Flush

Vision Problems Common in Babies Infected With Zika

Posted 12 days ago by

THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 2017 – When Zika infections strike in the womb, babies' eyes likely suffer, researchers say. Two studies of Brazilian infants with confirmed and suspected Zika virus infection in the womb found that all of them had vision problems. These problems included scarring, misalignment of the eyes, repetitive movement of the eye, and low vision. Of the 102 infants studied, about 40 percent had eye abnormalities and all had visual impairments, the study authors said. The findings were published online in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Because all infants had with visual impairment, these findings suggest "that the visual impairment is most likely related to the extensive damage to the central nervous system," said Dr. Liana Ventura, of HOPE Eye Hospital in Recife, Brazil. She was the lead investigator of one of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Diagnosis and Investigation, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Zika Virus Infection

Could Swine Flu Be Linked to Type 1 Diabetes?

Posted 13 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 13, 2017 – Young people who've been infected with the H1N1 swine flu virus may be at increased risk for type 1 diabetes, a new study suggests. Researchers examined data from all the 2.28 million people aged 30 and younger in Norway between June 2009 (when pandemic H1N1 flu struck the country) and June 2014. People who reported flu symptoms during the pandemic were 18 percent more likely to later be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes than those who did not get the flu, the investigators found. This association was even stronger in children aged 15 or younger. Among that age group, those who were infected with H1N1 flu virus had a 25 percent increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes, according to the study. However, the association seen in the study doesn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship. The study findings were scheduled to be presented Wednesday at the annual ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Diabetes, Type 1, Swine Influenza, Influenza A, Diagnosis and Investigation, Influenza with Pneumonia

New Guideline Aims to Help Doctors Diagnose Head, Neck Masses

Posted 14 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 – Neck masses are common in adults, but the cause is often hard to pinpoint. Now, doctors have a new guideline to help them make that call. The guideline from the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery dovetails with a rise in head and neck cancers related to the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV). "A neck mass may indicate a serious medical problem. It does not mean the patient has cancer, but it does mean they need more medical evaluation to make a diagnosis," said Dr. M. Boyd Gillespie, assistant chairman of the group that developed the guideline. In an academy news release, he called the new guideline "an important instrument for the early diagnosis and treatment." A neck mass – an abnormal lump – can be any size and can be due to a number of reasons. It can be a sign of viral or bacterial infection. A neck mass could ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Human Papilloma Virus, Gardasil, Viral Infection, Head and Neck Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Deep Neck Infection, Cervarix, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Salivary Gland Cancer, Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis, Solid Tumors, Gardasil 9

Clues to MS May Lurk in Gut Bacteria

Posted 14 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 – Certain types of bacteria in the gut may play a role in the progression of multiple sclerosis, according to researchers working with mice. The research, the study authors believe, could lead to new ways to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune neurodegenerative disease that affects about 2.5 million people worldwide. "The [gut] microbiome is very malleable," study senior author Sergio Baranzini said. "You could relatively easily change it in an adult who has MS or is susceptible – something you cannot do with their genetics. This is not a magical approach, but it is hopeful." MS occurs when the immune system attacks the insulation (myelin) around nerve cells. This can lead to vision loss, weakness, problems with coordination and balance and, in some cases, paralysis. The study included 71 MS patients and a "control" group of 71 healthy people. Specific ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Spasticity, Central Nervous System Disorders, Spasticity, Diagnosis and Investigation, Upper Limb Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity

HPV Test Alone OK for Cervical Cancer Screening Over 30: Expert Panel

Posted 14 days ago by

TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 – An influential U.S. panel of health experts is boosting support for the HPV test as a routine part of cervical cancer screening. The independent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) – which issues closely heeded guidelines on a range of medical issues – says the test for the human papillomavirus (HPV) can be used once every five years for women aged 30 to 65, in lieu of the once every three-year Pap test. Prior guidelines had called for the use of both tests together. For younger women, aged 21 to 29, a Pap test once every three years is still the recommended screen, the panel said. Certain strains of sexually transmitted HPV are thought to cause the vast majority of cervical cancer cases. "One of the biggest differences between these guidelines and the former guidelines is that the new guidelines recommend against co-testing – HPV test and a Pap ... Read more

Related support groups: Human Papilloma Virus, Condylomata Acuminata, Gardasil, Cervical Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Cervical Dysplasia, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Cervarix, Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis, Gardasil 9

Heath Tip: Myths About the Aging Brain

Posted 15 days ago by

-- Scientists are uncovering new information about the human brain every day. But misinformation still abounds. The Global Council on Brain Health recently examined and disproved these myths about the aging brain: MYTH: Older people can't learn new things. TRUTH: Something as simple as meeting new friends and remembering their names is enough to simulate the brain and keep it active. Going back to school or trying a new hobby are other ways to improve brain health. MYTH: You're stuck with the brain you were born with. TRUTH: While many pathways for learning are created before birth, new pathways can be created in the parts of the brain that handle memory and learning. MYTH: Experts don't have a clue about how the brain works. TRUTH: The brain is one of the human body's most complicated organs. But scientists are learning a tremendous amount about the brain all the time. New treatments ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Lewy Body Dementia, Dementia with Depressive Features

Lupus Hits Certain Groups Harder

Posted 15 days ago by

MONDAY, Sept. 11, 2017 – There are significant ethnic and racial disparities in the rates of lupus in the United States, two new studies report. Researchers reviewed registries of people living in San Francisco and New York City with the autoimmune disease. They found that the prevalence of lupus was higher in San Francisco than in Manhattan – 85 people versus 62 people per every 100,000. Women had higher rates than men, and there were significant racial and ethnic differences. The prevalence of lupus was higher in Hispanics and Asians than whites, but not as high as in blacks, the studies found. The prevalence per 100,000 people was: 458 black women in California and 211 black women in New York; 178 Hispanic women in California and 138 Hispanic women in New York; and 150 Asian women in California and 91 Asian women in New York, compared to 110 white women in California and 64 white ... Read more

Related support groups: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Lupus Erythematosus, Diagnosis and Investigation

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