Apr 24 2011
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The earlier babies are born, the more likely they are to later get a prescription for ADHD medication, according to a new study from Sweden.
Researchers found that babies born as little as three weeks before their due dates had an elevated risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The findings suggest that mothers considering scheduling cesarean births a few weeks early reconsider and deliver as close to term as possible, the authors say.
People with ADHD have trouble paying attention or controlling impulsive behaviors, and can be treated with behavioral therapy or medication.
The condition is diagnosed in about three to five percent of school-aged children in the United States.
In the new study, the researchers analyzed a Swedish database of more than a million children aged 6 to 19 years; 7,506 of them had received a prescription for ADHD medication.
The children born extremely prematurely -- between 23 and 28 weeks of pregnancy -- were most at risk of later developing ADHD, with their chances being two and a half times greater than a baby born at full term (after 39 weeks).
Fifteen out of every 1,000 babies born at this extremely premature age later received a prescription for ADHD medication, compared to six out of every 1,000 babies born between 39 and 41 weeks of pregnancy.
Low birth-weight and severe prematurity were already known to be risk factors for developing ADHD.
This study confirms those findings and reveals that even babies born very close to full term - between 37 and 38 weeks of pregnancy - are still 20 percent more likely to develop ADHD, said Dr. Anders Hjern, the lead author.
Seven out of every 1,000 children born moderately premature (37-38 ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
The sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea is increasingly developing resistance to all of the antibiotics we have to treat it in the United States, researchers warn.
In 2009, nearly a quarter of strains tested in a nationwide surveillance project of gonorrhea were resistant to penicillin, tetracycline, fluoroquinolones, or a combination of these antibiotics that are typically used to treat the STD. And early data from 2010 indicate resistance to another type of antibiotic, cephalosporin, is emerging. That's concerning because cephalosporins are the only class of antibiotic left that doctors recommend to treat the disease.
"This may be the harbinger of things to come," Dr. Kimberly Workowski, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of STD Prevention, said of the early 2010 data. "The resistance may be getting worse," Workowski told MyHealthNewsDaily.
If resistance to cephalosporins develops, gonorrhea could develop into a superbug, and have a catastrophic effect on our ability to control the disease in the country, researchers say. A superbug is a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics and is very difficult to kill. Other examples of superbugs include methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA ) and some strains of tuberculosis.
Experts are working on strategies to prevent antibiotic resistance, including treating the disease with several antibiotics at once. They also advocate protected sex and STD screening as ways to reduce the acquisition of gonorrhea.
Emerging antibiotic resistance
Gonorrhea is caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea and is spread through sexual activity. Individuals with gonorrhea often show no symptoms, but the disease can lead to serious complications, including infertility and chronic pelvic pain in women, and in men epididymitis, a painful condition of the ducts attached to the testicles that may cause infertility if left untreated, according to the CDC. If ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Apr 24 2011
NEW YORK – For years, teenagers across the U.S. could call a toll-free hotline if they had embarrassing questions about AIDS and safe sex. Dial the same number now and you get a recording of giggling women offering to talk dirty to you.
"We both have big appetites for sex," they purr. "Pinch us and poke us. Spank us and tease us. We love it all. ... Enter your credit card number now."
Those naughty misdials, and countless others like them, appear to be no accident.
Records obtained by The Associated Press show that over the past 13 years, a little-known Philadelphia company called PrimeTel Communications has quietly gained control over nearly a quarter of all the 1-800 numbers in the U.S. and Canada, often by grabbing them the moment they are relinquished by previous users. As of March, it administered more 800 numbers than any other company, including Verizon and AT&T.
And many, if not most, of those 1.7 million numbers appear to be used for one thing: redirecting callers to a phone-sex service.
Dial 1-800-Chicago and instead of reaching a tourism hotline for the Windy City, you will hear a woman offering "one-on-one talk with a nasty girl" for $2.99 per minute. A similar thing happens if you punch in the initial digits of 1-800-Metallica, 1-800-Cadillac, 1-800-Minolta, 1-800-Cameras, 1-800-Worship or 1-800-Whirlpool.
All those numbers contain messages redirecting callers to erotic chat lines operated by National A-1 Advertising, a company that shares an office building with PrimeTel, has common ownership and lists many of the same people as executives or business contacts.
Many people who mistakenly dial a phone-sex line probably just get red-faced and hang up as quickly as possible. Others apparently respond to the come-on and supply their credit card ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
TUESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- A 39-year-old woman is referred to Washington University's Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis with suspected acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a cancer that can be treated relatively simply with medication, or not so simply with a high-risk stem cell transplant, depending on the tumor subtype.
But finding out which type of cancer she has proves trickier than expected.
While the pathologist sees a type of leukemia known as M3AML, which generally has a good outcome and can be treated with the drug ATRA, the cytogeneticist sees something entirely different. In his analysis, the woman has a type of leukemia with poor long-term survival that is usually treated with stem cell transplantation -- a risky therapy that sometimes leads to death.
Fortunately, in this case study, documented in the April 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the woman's oncologist is aware of a clinical trial and, deferring treatment for six weeks, refers her there so the researchers can do a full scan of her genome -- and come up with an answer.
Full-genome sequencing involves scanning all the thousand of genes on the human genome to try to find a mistake. It's different from the more common gene testing these days, which looks only for specific DNA that might or might not be responsible for a particular problem.
In the St. Louis case, the more in-depth sequencing, done in only seven weeks, uncovered a new genetic "mistake" that showed the woman could be treated with ATRA and not the more-complicated, risky stem cell transplantation.
"A small portion of chromosome 15 had popped into chromosome 17," explained Richard K. Wilson, co-author of two case studies on full-genome sequencing in the ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Researchers have found that kidney cancer is not only more common among heavy smokers, it also appears to be more aggressive.
According to a study out Monday, more than one in four smokers undergoing kidney cancer surgery had advanced stages of the disease, compared to only one in five patients who didn't light up.
Researchers say about 70 percent of people with early-stage tumors survive at least five years, whereas that number plummets to just eight percent after the cancer has begun spreading.
About one in 70 Americans, most of them elderly, develop kidney cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
But the findings aren't all bad news. Indeed, former smokers who'd kicked the habit had a smaller chance of turning up with advanced cancer.
While the study wasn't designed to prove that quitting can slow tumor growth, Dr. Thomas J. Polascik, who led the work, said he believes that to be the case.
"It can't bring you down to the risk of a nonsmoker, but it can get you almost there," Polascik, a surgeon at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, told Reuters Health. His findings appear in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Polascik and his colleagues looked at data for 845 people who'd had surgery for kidney cancer at their hospital. A quarter of the patients had advanced disease, defined as cancer spreading beyond the kidney.
The odds of finding late-stage cancer were 60 percent higher in smokers -- about a fifth of the patients -- than non-smokers, even after taking age and other factors into account. And the more cigarettes they had smoked, the higher the odds.
Former smokers also had higher odds of advanced disease. But the odds fell by nine percent ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Genome-sequencing is getting cheaper and faster, and can eliminate the guesswork in treating cancer by offering personalized clues on how to best attack tumors, US doctors said on Tuesday.
The human genome was first sequenced in 2003, followed by the first cancer tumor in 2008, intriguing doctors with a new and unparalleled potential for targeting care.
However, controversy lingers over the ethical questions that arise as people begin to learn more about their genetic maps, from concerns over medical privacy to decisions about childbearing and scanning offspring for genetic flaws.
Two studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association detail how one patient's genome led doctors to a different, life-saving leukemia treatment, while a second patient died but left her three children with potentially valuable information about their genetic future.
The study authors said these cases offer hope that as technology gets cheaper and researchers build up more data about cancer and its various mutations, the oncology field will be transformed in the next five to 10 years.
What used to cost tens of millions of dollars and took months, now costs about $40,000 and can offer detailed results in about six weeks, said senior author Richard Wilson, director of Washington University's Genome Institute.
"It has been very eye opening for me in the 10 years that I have been working on cancer genomics," Wilson told AFP.
"We think about leukemia or lung cancer or breast cancer as all sort of being the same disease across all patients, but that's really not the way it is," he said.
"It is a complex genetic disease... for the great majority of the cases you are going to want to know exactly what is going on in the genome to cause ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Apr 24 2011
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US researchers have recreated the process by which ovarian cancer forms in the lab, providing solid evidence that the tumors start in the fallopian tubes, not the ovaries, a study said Monday.
The finding could provide clues on how to attack ovarian cancer, which often causes no early symptoms and by the time it is found has spread so much that the tumors are impossible to stop.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth deadliest cancer among women, affecting 200,000 women worldwide annually and killing 115,000 women on average each year.
Several studies have theorized that the cancer may originate elsewhere, but the latest research by scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston shows how the cancer takes root first in fallopian tissue.
The fallopian tubes are the pathways by which a woman's egg travels from the ovary to the uterus as part of her reproductive cycle.
Ronny Drapkin, senior author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said previous examinations of fallopian tissue taken from women genetically predisposed to ovarian cancer have shown "patches of cells that were predecessors of serious cancers."
So they decided to try and replicate the process of cancer formation in the lab.
Researchers took fallopian cells and altered their genetic programming so they would divide much like cancer cells.
"Like true tumor cells, these 'artificial' cancer cells proliferated rapidly and were able to leave their home tissue and grow elsewhere," said the study.
"When implanted in laboratory animals, they also gave rise to tumors that were structurally, behaviorally, and genomically similar to human HGSOC (high-grade serious ovarian cancer)."
Drapkin said the findings demonstrate that fallopian cells are the source of ovarian cancer, and offer clues for future ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
MUMBAI (AFP) – Indian housewife Sujata Budarapu was shocked when she was told that her two sons were on the verge of developing Type 2 diabetes.
"It had never even occurred to me that this could happen. I had heard that outside India this happens to other people's kids but I never thought it would happen to my own," the 38-year-old from Mumbai told AFP.
Sujata's children are not exceptional cases, even in a country more traditionally associated with malnourishment and chronic food shortages than overeating and weight-related illness.
India still struggles to feed all of its 1.2 billion population but childhood obesity and diabetes have become an increasing problem among the middle classes, who have largely benefited from a decade of rapid economic growth.
"Childhood obesity has definitely increased in the last couple of years," said Dr Paula Goel, from the Fayth Clinic in Mumbai, which runs a weight loss programme for adolescents.
"This is mainly because... they're not playing on the fields and they're spending so much time on sedentary activities that come with the affluent lifestyle.
"Visiting the malls over the weekends, eating junk food, it's bound to cause obesity."
At 12 years old, Sujata's youngest son, Saiprasad, watches three hours of television every day and weighs 66 kilograms (145 pounds) when he should be between 52 and 58kg.
Her eldest boy, Sairaj, 15, tips the scales at 89 kilograms -- more than 30kg overweight.
Both boys love eating oil-rich and fast food and are on medication to control their sugar levels. They have been attending Goel's clinic for the last three months.
Anoop Misra, president of the Center for Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Disorders in New Delhi, says India has the highest number of diabetics in ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
MONDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid weight loss in the days before a wrestling match can increase confusion but has no effect on strength, a new study finds.
U.S. researchers examined the physical and mental effects of "weight cutting" in 16 collegiate wrestlers. Ten days before competing, the wrestlers were weighed and underwent psychological and strength tests. They could then choose a desired amount of weight to lose before the match, using methods such as exercise, calorie restriction and fluid deprivation.
The wrestlers were weighed again in the days before the match, and the psychological and strength tests were repeated on the day of the competition.
The wrestlers lost up to 8 percent of their body mass, and the average weight loss was about six pounds. Even though they had 10 days to lose weight, they lost nearly all their weight in the two days before the match.
The researchers found that wrestlers who lost 4 percent or more of their body mass had significantly higher levels of confusion on the day of the competition. There was no increased confusion for those who lost less than 4 percent of their body mass.
Body mass reduction had no effect on other psychological functions or on grip strength or lower body power, said the researchers at California State University, Fullerton.
The study is published in the April issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
It's common for wrestlers to reduce body mass before a meet in an attempt to gain a competitive edge in their weight class, but in "a sport which requires split-second decision making, a higher state of confusion and tension can detrimentally affect the wrestler's performance," the researchers noted in a journal news release.
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WASHINGTON (AFP) – Kidney failure is a main complication of diabetes, but a lab study on mice showed that a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet could reverse that in eight weeks, US researchers said Wednesday.
The extreme food plan is known as a ketogenic diet and is often used to treat children with drug-resistant epilepsy. It starves the body of carbs and sugars, thereby tricking the body into burning fat for fuel instead of glucose.
The diet is so restrictive it must be devised with an expert's help. Meal options may include scrambled eggs with cream, a bacon and butter omelet, or lettuce doused in mayonnaise.
Doctors theorized the diet might work for diabetics by blocking the toxic effects of glucose, a simple sugar made as the body metabolizes food but that can become harmful in diabetics who lack enough insulin to regulate it.
So the team at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York took two groups of mice that were genetically predisposed to having Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Half were fed a standard, high-carb diet while the other half received a ketogenic diet.
After eight weeks, kidney failure was reversed in the ketogenic-fed mice, said the study published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE.
"Our study is the first to show that a dietary intervention alone is enough to reverse this serious complication of diabetes," said lead author Charles Mobbs at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
"This finding has significant implications for the tens of thousands of Americans diagnosed with diabetic kidney failure, and possibly other complications, each year."
According to the National Institutes of Health, 24 million people in the United States have diabetes, and close to 180,000 people are living with kidney failure linked to their diabetes.
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