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Health Highlights: Sept. 10, 2010

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Certain Imaging Drugs Pose Risk to Kidney Patients: FDA

Some imaging agents injected into patients undergoing MRI scans can cause a rare and sometimes fatal condition in people with kidney disease and should not be used in these patients, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The agency said Thursday that imaging agents with the chemical gadolinium will now have to carry a strong warning on their labels, the Associated Press reported.

There have been cases where imaging agents with gadolinium caused kidney-disease patients to develop nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy, which causes hardening of the skin and tissue growth along joints, eyes and internal organs, the FDA said.

There is no treatment for the condition, but kidney transplant has slowed or even reversed it in some patients, the AP reported.


More U.S. Children Being Raised by Grandparents: Study

A growing number of U.S. grandparents are raising their grandchildren and the recession may be a major reason for this trend.

In 2008, about seven million children lived in households that included at least one grandparent, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the Associated Press reported.

Of those seven million children, 2.9 million were being raised primarily by their grandparents, a 6 percent increase from 2007 and a 16 percent increase from 2000.

"We don't have the data to explicitly state that this is related to recession, but it's a very educated guess," analysis co-author Gretchen Livingston, a senior researcher at Pew, told the AP.


U.S. Embryonic Stem Cell Funding Can Continue for Now: Court

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that the U.S. government can continue funding embryonic stem cell research while it appeals a district court judge's ban on such funding.

The Justice Department told the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., that the ban imposed by District Judge Royce Lamberth could cause irreparable harm to researchers and scientific progress, according to a Bloomberg news report.

The appeals court said it would put a hold on Lamberth's ruling while it reviews that decision.

The lifting of the ban means that the federal government can continue providing tens of millions of dollars to scientists using embryonic stem cells in research they hope will lead to cures for a wide range of diseases and conditions, Bloomberg reported.

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Posted: September 2010