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Health Bulletin


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  1. #1391
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    How brain focuses on relevant objects

    Ever wondered how despite the barrage of visual information on its way, the brain focuses only on important and relevant items? A unique population of shifting neurons in the brain helps it do so, says a study.

    The neurons shift in sensitivity toward different colours and directions depending on what is being attended, the findings showed.

    "Most of the objects in any given visual scene are not that important, so how does the brain select or attend to important ones?" said study senior author David Freedman, an associate professor of neurobiology at the University of Chicago in the US.

    "We have zeroed in on an area of the brain that appears central to this process. It does this in a very flexible way, changing moment by moment depending on what is being looked for," Freedman explained.

    The researchers studied the response of individual neurons during a simple task.

    They looked at neurons in the lateral intraparietal area (LIP), a region highly interconnected with brain areas involved in vision, motor control and cognitive functions.

    As participant monkeys performed the task and looked for a specific combination of colour and motion, LIP neurons became highly active.

    They did not respond, however, when the subjects passively viewed the same images without an accompanying task.

    When the team further investigated the responses of LIP neurons, they discovered that the neurons possessed a unique characteristic.

    Individual neurons shifted their sensitivity to colour and direction toward the relevant colour and motion features for that trial.

    "This is the first time that neurons in the brain have been shown to shift their selectivity depending on which features are relevant to solve a task," co-researcher Guilhem Ibos from University of Chicago noted.

    The study appeared in the journal Neuron.


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    Re: Health Bulletin

    useful information


  3. #1393
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    New blood test may offer personalised ovarian cancer treatment

    Researchers have discovered that a combination of proteins is the key to ovarian cancer treatment, leading them to come up with a blood test that would allow doctors to predict how different kinds of ovarian cancer patients would respond to particular types of treatment.

    With the new test, doctors could see which patients could benefit from blood vessel targeting drugs - such as Bevacizumab - in addition to conventional therapy.

    "We are keen to identify predictive bio-markers - measures that can indicate how well a patient will respond to treatment - so we can better target these drugs to patients most likely to benefit," said Gordon Jayson, a professor from The University of Manchester in Britain.

    Two particular proteins - Ang1 and Tie2 - could be used in combination to predict patient response to Bevacizumab, the findings showed.

    Patients with high levels of Ang1 and low levels of Tie2 were most likely to benefit from Bevacizumab.

    Both these proteins are involved in controlling the formation of new blood vessels.

    Conversely, they found that patients with high levels of both proteins did not benefit from the drug.

    For the study, the research team looked at blood samples from patients enrolled in an international trial of Bevacizumab.

    These patients received either standard chemotherapy treatment alone or chemotherapy plus the blood vessel targeting drug.

    The new blood test could be developed and used in hospitals within the next few years, the researchers said.

    The study appeared in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.


  4. #1394
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Very useful information Viji..
    thanks for sharing

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  5. #1395
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Hi Sundaram,
    good morning.
    Most welcome
    wish you a wonderful day


  6. #1396
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Bra does not increase risk of breast cancer: Study

    Wearing a bra does not increase the risk of breast cancer - even if it is underwired or worn all year long, according to new research.

    A population-based case-control study found no association between bra-wearing and increased breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women, researchers said.

    "There have been some concerns that one of the reasons why breast cancer may be more common in developed countries compared with developing countries is differences in bra-wearing patterns," said Lu Chen from the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre and doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health.

    "Given how common bra-wearing is, we thought this was an important question to address.Our study found no evidence that wearing a bra increases a woman's risk for breast cancer. The risk was similar no matter how many hours per day women wore a bra, whether they wore a %bra with an underwire, or at what age they first began we8aring it," said Chen.

    "There has been some suggestion in the lay media that bra wearing may be a risk factor for breast cancer. Some have hypothesised that drainage of waste products in and around the breast may be hampered by bra wearing. Given very limited biological evidence supporting such a link between bra wearing and breast cancer risk, our results were not surprising," Chen added.

    According to the researchers, this study characterises various bra-wearing habits in relation to breast cancer risk using a rigorous epidemiological study design.

    "The findings provide reassurance to women that wearing a bra does not appear to increase the risk for the most common histological types of postmenopausal breast cancer," researchers noted.

    Study participants were 454 women with invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and 590 women with invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), the two most common subtypes of breast cancer, from the Seattle-Puget Sound metropolitan area; 469 women who did not have breast cancer served as controls. All women were postmenopausal, ages 55 to 74.

    The researchers conducted in-person interviews and obtained information on demographics, family history, and reproductive history.

    They also asked a series of structured questions to assess lifetime patterns of bra wearing.

    The research was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.


  7. #1397
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Overhydration in athletes can lead to death

    It was recently revealed that drinking too much water and sports drinks could be fatal for athletes.

    According to Loyola University Medical Center sports medicine physician Dr. James Winger, the recent deaths of two high school football players illustrated the dangers of Overhydration, which was rare but deadly.

    Over-hydration by athletes was called exercise-associated hyponatremia. It occurs when athletes drink even when they are not thirsty. Drinking too much during exercise could overwhelm the body's ability to remove water. The sodium content of blood would be diluted to abnormally low levels. Cells absorb excess water, which can cause swelling, most dangerously in the brain.

    Hyponatremia could cause muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, seizures, unconsciousness, and, in rare cases, death.

    Georgia football player Zyrees Oliver reportedly drank 2 gallons of water and 2 gallons of a sports drink. He collapsed at home after football practice, and died later at a hospital. In Mississippi, Walker Wilbank was taken to the hospital during the second half of a game after vomiting and complaining of a leg cramp. He had a seizure in the emergency room and later died. A doctor confirmed he had exercise-associated hyponatremia.


  8. #1398
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Nose virus may trigger middle ear infection

    A viral infection in the nose may trigger middle ear infections, which affect more than 85 percent of children under the age of three, says a study.

    Flu virus inflamed the nasal tissue and significantly increased both the number of bacteria and their propensity to travel through the Eustachian tube - linking the ear and the nose - and infect the middle ear, the researchers said.

    "Every individual has bacteria in their nose that most of the time do not cause problems," said study lead author W. Edward Swords, professor of microbiology and immunology from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in the US.

    "However, under certain conditions these bacteria can migrate to the middle ear and cause an ear infection, and now we have a better understanding of how and why that happens," Swords added.

    For the study, the researchers simultaneously infected the nose with a flu virus and a bacterium that is one of the leading causes of ear infections in children.

    The bacterium used in the animal study, Streptococcus pneumoniae, is known to exist in the noses of children in two phases, one invasive and the other benign.

    The invasive phase is more frequently found in the infected ears of children. However, the study indicated that the flu virus promoted bacterial growth and ear infection regardless of which phase of the bacterium was present in the nose.

    "These findings suggest that a flu infection modifies the response of the immune system to this particular bacterium, enabling even the type that has previously been considered benign to infect the middle ear," Swords noted.

    The study appeared in the journal Infection and Immunity.


  9. #1399
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Flour main cause of occupational asthma: Study

    German researchers have identified flour as the main cause of occupational asthma, closely followed by cleaning products.

    The research, the largest of its kind to be undertaken in France, aimed to understand who was most affected by the condition and what the main causes were.

    A team from University Hospital Strasbourg collected data over a three year period from a network of respiratory doctors specialising in occupational diseases.

    "Flour was identified as the main cause - seen in 20 percent of cases - closely followed by ammonium compounds often found in cleaning products - seen in 15 percent of cases," explained lead study author and professor Frederic De Blay from the University Hospital Strasbourg.

    Women were more likely to be diagnosed with occupational asthma compared with men.

    The highest incidence rate was seen in people working in the manufacture of food products and beverages compared with those working in agriculture.

    "It helps to show us where people are being exposed to harmful agents and who is most likely to be affected. These findings can help with future prevention methods to make sure people who are at risk of occupational asthma are protected from it," Blay concluded.

    The paper was presented Sunday at the European Respiratory Society's (ERS) International Congress in Munich, Germany.


  10. #1400
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    Re: Health Bulletin

    Doctors' new weapon: Drug that fights flu in single dose

    Doctors could soon have a new weapon to fight the flu virus as US researchers have found a single-dose influenza drug that can safely and effectively relieve influenza symptoms.

    An analysis of clinical trials shows that a single injected dose of the neuraminidase inhibitor (NAI) peramivir is safe and effective at alleviating influenza symptoms, including fever and viral shedding, when administered within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, researchers said.

    "Based on clinical data, peramivir is the first neuraminidase inhibitor (NAI) that has shown to be safe and effective as a single-dose therapy for patients with acute, uncomplicated influenza," said Rich Whitley of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    "According to a retrospective combined analysis of two clinical studies, a single dose of peramivir, administered intramuscularly (IM), alleviated flu symptoms, including fever, significantly faster than the studies' placebo arms," said Whitley.

    Influenza is a major public health problem. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, it is responsible for over 2,00,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths annually in the US. Vaccines can be effective , but changing viral strains make vaccine formulation a challenge.


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