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Diagnosis and Investigation News

Brain Harm May Last Long After College Football Players' Final Game

Posted 1 day 15 hours ago by

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 – Brain tissue thinning is still evident in former college football players several years after they stop playing, a new study finds. University of Cincinnati researchers conducted MRI scans of 11 former college players and found they had significantly less cortical thickness in parts of the frontal and temporal cortex of the brain, compared with former track-and-field athletes. "The former football players showed, on average, lower cortical thickness across prefrontal and temporal brain regions – areas of the brain involved in sustained attention, memory and executive abilities – cognitive domains critical to long-term professional and social function," said co-principal investigator Dr. Cal Adler. He is vice chair for clinical research in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the university. In many areas of the brain, there was a link ... 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, Head Imaging

Mice May Be Key to Kids' Asthma Attacks at School

Posted 1 day 15 hours ago by

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 – Research investigating schoolchildren's asthma attacks has pointed to a tiny foe: mice. Allergens from the rodents can infiltrate the air, the study found, and may be a major cause of asthma attacks in the school environment. It's known that many different allergy triggers – from dust mites to mold to pet dander – can fuel children's asthma symptoms. But most research has focused on the triggers in kids' homes. "In this study, we've identified the school as an important factor, too," said researcher Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul, an allergy specialist at Boston Children's Hospital. That said, she stressed, the findings do not actually prove that schools' rodent problems were the cause of kids' symptoms. The next step, Phipatanakul said, is a study where schools will get air purifiers and "integrated pest management," to see if that improves students' respiratory ... Read more

Related support groups: Asthma, Symbicort, Spiriva, Asthma - Maintenance, Fluticasone, Advair HFA, Advair Diskus, Qvar, Asthma - Acute, Combivent, Budesonide, Flovent, Dulera, Entocort, Ipratropium, Mometasone, Bronchial, Atrovent, Entocort EC, Breo Ellipta

Having Trouble Hearing? Maybe It's Not Your Ears

Posted 4 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 29, 2016 – Seniors who struggle to make out what people are saying around the dinner table or on a noisy street may have perfectly "normal" hearing. The problem could actually be in the brain, a new study suggests. Trouble processing conversations in a loud setting may indicate that the brain's ability to quickly and easily process speech is diminished. The findings demonstrate that "separately from any typical hearing loss that might occur as we age, our brains also get worse at processing the sound of talking when there are other sounds at the same time," said study co-author Jonathan Simon. He's an associate professor at the University of Maryland's Institute for Systems Research. "The background noise may not even be considered especially loud by younger listeners," he noted. But "the implication is that typical older adults need to exert more effort, and take more ... Read more

Related support groups: Hearing Loss, Diagnosis and Investigation

Alzheimer's Protein Plaques May Also Harm the Heart

Posted 5 days ago by

MONDAY, Nov. 28, 2016 – Protein fragments that form plaques in the brains of Alzheimer's patients might also stiffen their heart muscle and increase their risk of heart failure, a new study reports. The protein fragments are called amyloid beta. Tests of heart tissue samples revealed that the hearts of Alzheimer's patients had increased levels of amyloid beta, the study showed. Sticky amyloid beta chunks create plaques between neurons that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Similar deposits can be found in the heart, said senior researcher Dr. Federica del Monte. She's an associate professor with Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Cardiovascular Institute, both in Boston. "We found that some forms of heart failure are basically an Alzheimer's disease in the heart," del Monte said. "They basically have the same biological defect. In one case, it ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Alzheimer's Disease, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Diagnosis and Investigation

Researchers Explore Way to Detect Brain Injury in NFL Players

Posted 6 days ago by

MONDAY, Nov. 28, 2016 – Researchers say they've discovered a new way to detect and track brain injury related to repeated concussions in National Football League (NFL) players. Brain imaging scans in 14 current or former NFL players revealed elevated levels of a protein related to the body's immune response for brain injury, said lead researcher Dr. Jennifer Coughlin. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The NFL players, who had gone an average of seven years since their last self-reported concussion, showed high levels of the protein in eight of 12 brain regions examined, Coughlin said. If this new test is proven to work, it could provide a cornerstone for tracking the effects of repeated concussions on the human brain, Coughlin and her colleagues concluded. "We anticipate this technology is going to be useful ... 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, Head Imaging

New Skin Patch Analyzes Your Sweat During Exercise

Posted 11 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23, 2016 – How much are you really sweating when you exercise? You may not need to wring yourself dry to find out. Researchers say they've developed a flexible device that sticks to the skin, analyzes your sweat and sends the results to your smartphone. That's not all. Researchers say the device – about the size of a quarter – offers insight into whether you need to drink more water or down an energy drink to boost electrolyte levels. "The intimate skin interface created by this wearable, skin-like ... system enables new measurement capabilities not possible with the kinds of absorbent pads and sponges currently used in sweat collection," said John Rogers, lead author of a study reporting development of the "lab on the skin." Rogers is a professor of materials science and engineering, biomedical engineering and neurological surgery at Northwestern University's ... Read more

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Researchers Put Embryo Development 'On Hold' in Mice

Posted 11 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23, 2016 – Scientists say they were able to halt development of early mouse embryos for up to a month in the lab before they resumed normal growth. This research could prove important in areas such as assisted reproduction, regenerative medicine, aging and even cancer, according to the team from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The investigators used drugs that dampen the activity of a cell growth regulator called mTOR to put these early mouse embryos (blastocysts) into a stable and reversible state of suspended animation for up to four weeks. When no longer exposed to the mTOR inhibitors, the embryos quickly resumed normal growth and developed into healthy mice when implanted back into adult female mice, the study authors said. "Normally, blastocysts only last a day or two, max, in the lab. But blastocysts treated with mTOR inhibitors could survive ... Read more

Related support groups: Female Infertility, Ovulation Induction, Diagnosis and Investigation, Primary Ovarian Failure

Hearts of Healthy People With Gene Mutations May Be 'Primed to Fail'

Posted 11 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23, 2016 – Certain gene mutations can increase the risk of heart failure in healthy people, researchers report. It had been believed that gene mutations in a protein called titin affect only people with dilated cardiomyopathy, one of the most common forms of inherited heart disease. But this study of more than 1,400 adults found that the hearts of healthy people with mutations in this gene may be "primed to fail" if affected by other genetic or environmental factors. About 35 million people worldwide may be at risk, the researchers said. "Our previous work showed that mutations in the titin gene are very common in people diagnosed with heart failure. Around 1 percent of the general population also carry these mutations, but until now it wasn't known if these are 'silent' gene changes or changes that can adversely affect the heart," said co-author Dr. Antonio de Marvao ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Cardiomyopathy, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Diagnosis and Investigation, Ischemic Heart Disease, Cardiomyopathy Prophylaxis

No Benefit From Routine Thyroid Cancer Screening: Task Force

Posted 12 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – Doctors should not screen for thyroid cancer in patients who have no symptoms of the disease, according to a U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft recommendation. It reaffirms a recommendation issued 20 years ago. Thyroid cancer is rare in the United States. In 2016, an estimated 64,300 new cases will be diagnosed, representing 3.8 percent of all new cancers. The thyroid is a small gland in the neck that play a key role in controlling metabolism. "While there is very little evidence of the benefits of screening for thyroid cancer, there is considerable evidence of the significant harms of treatment," said task force member Karina Davidson. She is director of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "And in the places where universal screening has been tried, it hasn't helped people live longer, ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Thyroid Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation

Imaging Studies Shed Light on Zika's Effects

Posted 12 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 – More details on how the Zika virus affects infants and adults will be presented to international researchers meeting in Chicago next week. Three studies scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America attempt to shed light on the mosquito-borne virus that's linked to severe birth defects in babies. Most cases to date have occurred in Latin American countries. In one study, researchers used CT imaging to examine the central nervous system of 16 newborns whose mothers were infected with Zika during pregnancy. The babies were found to have a number of brain abnormalities. "Our study proves that Zika virus infection can cause congenital brain damage in babies with and without microcephaly," study author Dr. Natacha Calheiros de Lima Petribu said in a society news release. She's with the department of radiology at Barao ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Zika Virus Infection, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

FDA Scientists Develop Mouse Model for Zika Research

Posted 16 days ago by

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 – A mouse strain developed by U.S. government scientists could help speed up research into vaccines and treatments for the Zika virus, researchers report. Newborn mice of the new strain created by U.S. Food and Drug Administration researchers are susceptible to Zika and develop neurological symptoms within 12 days after infection. But the mice eventually recover from the infection, so they provide an opportunity to study Zika's long-term effects as well as another way to assess experimental vaccines and treatments, the scientists said. "There are many unanswered and essential questions about how the Zika virus works, including the long-term impact," Daniela Verthelyi, chief of the FDA's Laboratory of Immunology, said in an agency news release. "This mouse model gives researchers a new tool to study and understand how the Zika virus replicates and spreads in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection

Hi-Tech Skin Patch Might Someday Track Your Health

Posted 17 days ago by

THURSDAY, Nov. 17, 2016 – A new type of acoustic sensor that resembles a small Band-Aid on the skin can monitor your heartbeat and other health measures, researchers say. The sensor may one day offer a way to painlessly and wirelessly track an individual's health. The patch, which weighs less than one-hundredth of an ounce, can help doctors monitor heart health, stomach condition, vocal cord activity, lung performance and potentially many other bodily functions, researchers say. "We've developed a soft, skin-like device that can listen to internal sounds created by function of internal organs," explained study co-author John Rogers. He was a professor of materials science and engineering and a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign during the study and is currently at Northwestern University. "Think of the device as a wearable, skin-mounted ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Ventricular Fibrillation, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Diagnosis and Investigation, Sinus Node Dysfunction, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Moms' Rheumatoid Arthritis May Be Linked to Epilepsy Risk in Kids

Posted 17 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – Some children born to mothers with rheumatoid arthritis may have higher-than-average odds of developing epilepsy, a new study suggests. Children born to mothers with rheumatoid arthritis were one-third more likely to develop epilepsy by age 4 than other children. The risk of epilepsy later in childhood was one-quarter higher for those born to moms with rheumatoid arthritis, the study found. But, experts stressed that the findings don't prove that a mother's rheumatoid arthritis causes epilepsy. So far, only an association has been found. And even if children of women with rheumatoid arthritis have a higher epilepsy risk than other kids do, the odds are still low. In the study of nearly 2 million children, the vast majority of those born to moms with rheumatoid arthritis did not develop epilepsy, said lead researcher Ane Lilleore Rom, of Copenhagen University ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Seizures, Epilepsy, Seizure Prevention, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Seizure Prophylaxis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Diagnosis and Investigation, Still's Disease, Rheumatoid Lung, Felty's Syndrome

Poor Sense of Smell May Signal Alzheimer's Risk

Posted 18 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 – A person's sense of smell may help predict their risk for Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. The researchers included 183 older people, and 10 had possible or probable Alzheimer's disease, the researchers said. Study volunteers were tested on their ability to recognize, remember and distinguish between odors. These odors included menthol, clove, leather, strawberry, lilac, pineapple, smoke, soap, grape or lemon. The study participants were then asked to complete another test of odors. The second test included 10 new odors in addition to those from the original test. These tests were developed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The participants also underwent genetic, imaging and memory tests. Those with a reduced sense of smell seemed to be at increased risk of Alzheimer's, the researchers said. "There is increasing evidence that the ... Read more

Related support groups: Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Diagnosis and Investigation

Some Ebola Infections May Be Symptomless

Posted 19 days ago by

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Researchers have discovered cases of symptom-free Ebola infection in West Africa, which suggests that the number of people who had the virus during the recent epidemic was higher than thought. There were 28,000 reported cases of Ebola in West Africa between 2013 and 2016. That total included only people with symptoms. Researchers took blood samples from 187 people in a village in Sierra Leone that was a major hotspot of Ebola infection. None of these people was previously known to have Ebola. Still, 14 of them had Ebola antibodies in their blood. "The findings provide further evidence that Ebola, like many other viral infections, presents with a spectrum of clinical manifestations, including minimally symptomatic infection," Dr. Eugene Richardson, a research scientist at Partners in Health in Boston, and colleagues wrote in the study. "These data also suggest ... Read more

Related support groups: Diagnosis and Investigation, Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

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