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Lessons born of tragedy.

J Fam Pract. 2016 Jul;65(7):436

Authors: Hickner J

Violence and discrimination, like chronic disease, seem to be permanent fixtures on the human landscape. What can we do to prevent and mitigate these evils?

PMID: 27565093 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: What's in our arsenal?

J Fam Pract. 2016 Apr;65(4):239-44

Authors: Dasarathy J, Allampati S, Alexander C, McCullough A

Lifestyle changes and metabolic syndrome management are the best interventions for NAFLD. Less clear is which agents to use for liver-directed pharmacotherapy.

PMID: 27262247 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Dietary Pattern Is Associated with Reduced Incidence of Metabolic Syndrome in Children and Adolescents.

J Pediatr. 2016 Jul;174:178-184.e1

Authors: Asghari G, Yuzbashian E, Mirmiran P, Hooshmand F, Najafi R, Azizi F

OBJECTIVE: To assess the association of adherence to Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)-style diet with development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in children and adolescents.
STUDY DESIGN: Dietary data were collected using a valid and reliable food frequency questionnaire among 425 healthy subjects, aged 6-18 years. MetS was defined as the presence of at least 3 of the following according to the Cook criteria: waist circumference ≥90th percentile for sex and age according to national reference curves; systolic blood pressure and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥90th percentile for sex, age, and height; fasting plasma glucose ≥100 mg/dL; triglycerides ≥110 mg/dL; and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol <40 mg/dL. The DASH-style diet score was assessed based on 8 components: high intakes of whole grain, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes; moderate amounts of low-fat dairy products; and low intake of red and processed meat, sweetened beverages, and sodium. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate the OR and 95% CI after 3.6 years of follow-up for developing MetS in each quartile of DASH score after adjustment for baseline confounders.
RESULTS: Mean ± SD for age and DASH score were 13.6 ± 3.7 years and 24.1 ± 4.3, respectively, at baseline. The OR (95% CI) of developing MetS in the highest, compared with the lowest, quartile of DASH score was 0.36 (0.14-0.94) with a linear decreasing trend (P for trend = .023). Also, incidence of hypertension, high fasting plasma glucose, and abdominal obesity decreased with higher adherence to DASH diet (P < .05 for all).
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate the relationship of adherence to DASH-style diet with MetS and some of its components in both children and adolescents.

PMID: 27156186 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Serum levels of vascular dysfunction markers reflect disease severity and stage in systemic sclerosis patients.

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2016 Jun;55(6):1112-6

Authors: Cossu M, Andracco R, Santaniello A, Marchini M, Severino A, Caronni M, Radstake T, Beretta L

OBJECTIVE: To improve knowledge of vasculopathy in SSc through the assessment of serum levels of circulating angiogenetic and endothelial dysfunction markers in patients at different stages of the disease.
METHODS: Sera from 224 subjects were obtained and concentrations of angiopoietin-2, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand (CXCL)-16 (CXCL16), E-selectin, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, IL-8 (CXCL8), soluble vascular adhesion molecule-1 and VEGF were determined by a Luminex assay. Subjects included 43 healthy controls, 47 early SSc patients according to LeRoy and Medsger without other signs and symptoms of evolutive disease, 48 definitive SSc (defSSc) patients according to the 2013 ACR/EULAR criteria without skin or lung fibrosis, 51 lcSSc subjects and 35 dcSSc subjects.
RESULTS: The four groups of patients showed well-distinct clinical and laboratory characteristics, with a linear decreasing trend in forced vital capacity and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide % predicted values from early SSc to defSSc to lcSSc and to dcSSc, and a linear increasing trend in ESR, and in the prevalence of abnormal CRP, serum gamma globulins and lung fibrosis (all P < 0.0001). Highly significant linear trends pointing to an increase in angiopoietin-2 (P < 0.0001), CXCL16 (P < 0.0001), E-selectin (P = 0.001) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (P = 0.002) in relation to the different disease subsets were observed.
CONCLUSION: Markers characterizing vascular activation are found to be increased in SSc patients from the earliest stages of disease when clinical and laboratory findings of advanced disease cannot yet be detected. These abnormalities progress with the appraisal of the first sclerodermatous manifestation in defSSc and further increase with the onset of fibrotic manifestations.

PMID: 26989111 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Subcutaneous Immunoglobulin in Refractory Juvenile Dermatomyositis.

Pediatrics. 2016 Apr;137(4):

Authors: de Inocencio J, Enríquez-Merayo E, Casado R, González-Granado LI

Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is the most common form of juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathy. We report a child with steroid-dependent JDM refractory to hydroxychloroquine and subcutaneous methotrexate who experienced systemic reactions to intravenous immunoglobulin and was successfully treated with subcutaneous immunoglobulin. This form of therapy has been shown to be safe, has a very low rate of adverse effects, does not require hospital admission, reduces the number of missed school days, and decreases the costs associated with treatment.

PMID: 26966131 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Cutting the budget of the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) by 44 percent, as the US Congress has proposed, would lead to an estimated 67 million additional cases of malaria over the next four years, according to a mathematical model.
Confirmatory HIV testing can substantially reduce the number of infants in South Africa who may be falsely diagnosed as HIV-infected and started on unneeded treatment, according to a new study.
The environment surrounding a tumor can trigger metastatic behavior in cancer cells, a team of bioengineers and bioinformaticians has discovered. Specifically, when tumor cells are confined in a dense environment, the researchers found that they turn on a specific set of genes and begin to form structures that resemble blood vessels.
A novel method, developed by an economist has been created to evaluate a worker's skillset and determine its impact on wages.
In pursuit of a better imaging phantom for improved tumor measurements, scientists hit upon an effective but unconventional solution: injecting water into disposable diapers.
A study of an unusual snapping turtle with one lung found shared characteristics with humans born with one lung who survive beyond infancy. New digital 3-D anatomical models made the detailed research possible.
Scientists have engineered a mouse model to study a rare and often-fatal form of liver cancer. They've used it to clarify what drives these tumors at the molecular level, and discover new drug concepts.
Maintaining sufficient vitamin D levels may help to prevent the onset of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, research has discovered.
Communication is often mired in contradiction -- also in the brain. Neuroscientists have now resolved one such contradiction. The role of Synaptotagmin 7 has been controversial: There was a contradiction between the function it seemed to have, and the characteristics of signal transmission observed. Now, for the first time, scientists defined its functional contribution at an inhibitory GABAergic synapse: it ensures the efficiency of high-frequency inhibitory synaptic transmission.
A new study is the first to show precisely how a process in nerve cells, called the S-nitrosylation (SNO) reaction, may contribute to Parkinson's disease.
New data further illuminate how some human beings generate powerful, HIV-blocking antibodies. These results offer important insight into a potential AIDS vaccine design.
Renderings of 3-D cells in the body are traditionally displayed using 2-D media, such as on a computer screen or paper; however, the advent of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets means it is now possible to visualize and interact with scientific data in a 3-D virtual world.
When a woman chooses not to take her husband's surname after marriage, people perceive her husband as being higher in traits related to femininity and lower in traits related to masculinity. He is also perceived as having less power in the relationship.
The three-dimensional folding of DNA provides important epigenetic mechanisms in the formation of cardiac muscle cells.
While new CF drugs are life-changing for some patients, they don't work for everyone. Now, researchers present a simple test that aims to predict which treatment is most likely to work for each patient, an approach known as personalized or precision medicine.
Serious liver and heart problems can affect children with Alagille Syndrome early in life. While there is as yet no cure, researchers have discovered that the liver disease part of the syndrome is caused by specific malformations of the bile ducts. The results were discovered with the aid of a new mouse model that can now be used to develop and test new therapies.
Five distinct subgroups of eczema have been identified by researchers, a finding that helps explain how the condition can affect people at different stages of their lives.
A simple 15-minute electrocardiogram could help a physician determine whether a patient has major depression or bipolar disorder, a groundbreaking new study reports.
Researchers have found a method of identifying biological markers in small amounts of blood that they believe could be used to detect a myriad of diseases, infections and different medical conditions at early stages. The researchers have created microelectromechanical resonators, or small vibrating sensors, that can detect these biomarkers using just a drop or two of blood.
According to a recent study, disordered eating among young adults has long-term effects on their health. Disordered eating among 24-year-old women and men was an indicator of higher body weight, larger waist circumference and lower psychological well-being as well as a lower self-evaluation of general health both at age 24 and ten years later.
A team of researchers examined the factors that put older adults at higher risk for developing physical limitations as they age. Findings suggest that reducing heart disease risk factors with appropriate treatments might help 'younger' older adults maintain their physical function.
Anticholinergic burden assessed with the Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden Scale consistently shows dose-response relationships with a variety of adverse outcomes.
Researchers have discovered a potent, drug-like compound that could someday revolutionize treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
Competitive male triathletes face a higher risk of a potentially harmful heart condition called myocardial fibrosis, according to new research. The increased risk, which was not evident in female triathletes, was directly associated with the athletes' amount of exercise.
A new method to predict human mobility - which can be used to chart the potential spread of disease or determine rush hour bottlenecks -- has been developed.
The mouth-watering aroma of juicy burgers and crispy fries, and the eye-catching menu signs with delicious food pictures can tempt many hungry patrons to stop at fast-food restaurants.
A new nanomapping technology could transform the way disease-causing genetic mutations are diagnosed and discovered.
In a comprehensive analysis of samples from 107 aged human brains, researchers have discovered details that will help researchers better understand the biological bases for Alzheimer's disease and dementia in older populations.
New research has determined how a common holiday spice -- cinnamon -- might be enlisted in the fight against obesity.
Spending too much time alone can be unhealthy and there is growing evidence that the psychosocial effects of too much solitude can last a lifetime. But newly published research suggests that not all forms of social withdrawal are detrimental. In fact, the research findings suggest that one form of social withdrawal, referred to as unsociability, is not only unrelated to negative outcomes, but linked positively to creativity.
A new discovery is providing scientists a better understanding of how rainfall is shared beneficially by the plant community and the human population, in addition to the effects of climate change.
Cancer researchers seeking non-toxic alternatives to harmful chemotherapy are reporting a highly significant result for a humble cold remedy.
Researchers are learning more about undergraduates' experience in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes and sharing a set of survey questions that will help researchers and educators at other universities do the same.
Researchers have led a preclinical study demonstrating that the drug palovarotene suppresses the formation of bony tumors (osteochondromas) in models of multiple hereditary exostoses (MHE). The research is an important step toward an effective pharmacological treatment for MHE, a rare genetic condition that affects about 1 in 50,000 people worldwide.
Researchers have shown how to write any magnetic pattern desired onto nanowires, which could help computers mimic how the brain processes information.
Women who have had gastric sleeve surgery to lose weight may want to consider limiting the number of alcoholic drinks they consume post-surgery. A new study found that after undergoing sleeve gastrectomy, women could be legally intoxicated after drinking half the number of drinks than women who did not have this surgery.
Researchers have proven it is possible to increase or decrease our enjoyment of music, and our craving for more of it, by enhancement or disruption of certain brain circuits.
Data from more than 800 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) primary care clinics revealed that national implementation of a patient-centered medical home model was effective at improving several chronic disease outcomes over time.
In your bloodstream, there are immune cells called neutrophils that, when faced with a pathogenic threat, will expel their DNA like a net to contain it. These DNA snares are called neutrophil extracellular traps or NETs. Researchers describe an important step in how these NETs are released and how they stop a fungus from establishing an infection in mice and human cells.
If you're materialistic, you're likely to use Facebook more frequently and intensely. A new article reveals that materialistic people see and treat their Facebook friends as 'digital objects,' and have significantly more friends than people who are less interested in possessions. It also shows that materialists have a greater need to compare themselves with others on Facebook.
A simple blood test is allowing researchers to determine which patients should be prescribed varenicline (Chantix) to stop smoking and which patients could do just as well, and avoid side effects, by using a nicotine patch.
Researchers have discovered the importance of a well-known protein, myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88), in the development and regeneration of muscles. Researchers have described the protein's critical role in the growth and repair of skeletal muscles, both in post-natal development and in the regeneration of injured adult muscles.
Gold nanoparticles could help make drugs act more quickly and effectively, according to new research.
Despite loss of life and economic devastation worldwide due to increasingly frequent natural and human-made disasters, scientific research on disasters represents a small percentage of scholarly output.
The immune system's response to the Zika virus, rather than the virus itself, may be responsible for nerve-related complications of infection, according to a Yale study. This insight could lead to new ways of treating patients with Zika-related complications, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, the researchers said.
A unique model for the biology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is now being described by researchers, which may lead to an entirely novel approach for treating the disease.
A significant proportion of children and young adults with treatment-resistant B-cell leukemia who participated in a small study achieved remission with the help of a new form of gene therapy, according to researchers.
Diagnosing a concussion can sometimes be a guessing game, but clues taken from small molecules in saliva may be able to help diagnose and predict the duration of concussions in children, according to researchers.
By analyzing data from randomized clinical trials comparing blood transfusion approaches, experts endorse recommendations for blood transfusions that reduce blood use to improve patient safety and outcomes. The report also provides a how-to guide for launching a patient blood management program.
Scientists have developed a new system to study Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the laboratory, paving the way for research to find treatments for the fatal brain disorder.
Harmful microbes and toxic micromolecules in food and drinking water can cause serious health problems around the world. Now a researcher has developed a disposable optical test substrate for use in microbial detection. The aim is to enable cost-effective detection of harmful microbes and toxins.
Researchers found that oxytocin made dogs interested in smiling human faces. It also made them see angry faces as less threatening. Associated with affection and trust, the hormone oxytocin is probably a key factor in the interaction between dogs and humans.
A new technique may force the centromere -- the mysterious stretch of DNA in the center of every chromosome -- to give up its secrets at last. The first test of the approach has yielded clues about the role of centromeres in Down syndrome, and further use may accelerate research on other conditions that may have roots in centromere-related problems.
Investigators report on the results from a pilot study of 15 individuals who received a prescription to take oxycodone digital pills as needed following treatment for acute fractures. The team found that the opioid-naïve patients self-administered opioids to manage pain for only a brief period and only took a fraction of the number of pills they were given.
Scientists have demonstrated that an enterovirus vaccine can protect against virus-induced diabetes in a mouse model for Type 1 diabetes.
The severe and debilitating genetic disease Xeroderma pigmentosum impedes cells to repair UV-induced DNA damage. Scientists found a drug approved for diabetes treatment to alleviate the impact of the gene defect in cell culture, which led to the discovery of a previously unknown DNA repair mechanism.
Biomedical engineers have leveraged a unique combination of properties of methacrylated collagen to demonstrate its potential as a bioink capable of simple, photolithographic printing of 3D scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Type-I collagen is the most ubiquitous protein in the human body. Chief among the fibril forming collagens, type-I collagen gives many soft tissues strength and structure. Type-I collagen is also easily extracted from tissues, and it is frequently used as a 2D or 3D substrate for in vitro studies. Its ability to self-assemble hierarchically into strong and flexible fibers and its excellent biocompatibility across species also make it a popular biomaterial for applications in tissue engineering. However, its fibrillar, higher order structure also complicates collagen's use as a bioink for 3D printing, which would otherwise be an increasingly popular approach to regenerative medicine.
Benzodiazepine and related drug use is associated with a 40 percent increase in mortality among persons with Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.
Researchers have found a way to boost the cancer-destroying ability of the immune system's T-cells, offering new hope in the fight against a wide range of cancers.
The breastmilk of mothers exposed to egg during pregnancy and breastfeeding has been found to protect nursing newborns against egg allergy symptoms. This research in mice reinforces recent guidance that women should not avoid allergenic foods while they are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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