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Neural Stem Cells Could Let Us Replace Brain Cells and Restore Memory

Submitted by: Odio @ 11:52 AM | Monday, June 20, 2016 | (url: http://futurism.c...)

Scientists may have found a way for humans to avoid age-related brain illnesses by regenerating memory through neural stem cells.

Research findings showed that it may actually be possible to replace aging brain cells and restore memory through a new technique that involves taking donor neural stem cells and grafting them into an aged brain.

Lead scientist Ashok K. Shetty and his team implanted neural stem cell into the hippocampus a part of the brain that makes new memories and connects them to emotions of an animal model to enable them to regenerate tissue.

We chose the hippocampus because its so important in learning, memory and mood function, Shetty said. Were interested in understanding aging in the brain, especially in the hippocampus, which seems particularly vulnerable to age-related changes.

THE SCIENCE

For this latest research, the team found that the neural stem cells engrafted well onto the hippocampus in the young animal models (which was expected) as well as the older ones that would be, in human terms, about 70 years old. Not only did these implanted cells survive, they divided several times to make new cells.

Scientists say the fact that an aged hippocampus can accept grafted neural stem cells as good as the young hippocampus does means there is hope in treating age-related neurodegenerative disorders.

They are still producing new neurons at least three months after implantation, and these neurons are capable of migrating to different parts of the brain, the team notes.

If this research proves successful, it could have a significant effect on ways to rejuvenate the aged brain to combat the impact of aging. But, as is true of most scientific experiments on the human body, coming up with conclusive results might take a while, and even then, FDA approval is often a decade long process. Still, there is new hope.


Very hot drinks 'probably' cause cancer: UN body

Submitted by: Odio @ 05:58 AM | Wednesday, June 15, 2016 | (url: http://medicalxpr...)

Drinking very hot beverages "probably" causes cancer of the oesophagus, the UN's cancer agency said Wednesday, while lifting suspicion from coffee if consumed at "normal serving temperatures".

"These results suggest that drinking very hot beverages is one probable cause of oesophageal cancer and that it is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible," said Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

The agency reviewed more than 1,000 scientific studies on the possible cancer-causing properties of coffee and the popular South American herbal infusion mate.
Both had been classified as "possibly cancerogenic to humans" since 1991, when the last evaluation was conducted.

Evidence gathered since then suggested that neither drink could be linked to a higher cancer risk, said the agency.
However, there was some evidence that drinking these and other beverages at temperatures above 65 degrees Celsius (150 degrees Fahrenheit)may cause cancer of the gullet.
"Studies in places such as China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey and South America, where tea or mate is traditionally drunk very hot (at about 70 C) found that the risk of oesophageal cancer increased with the temperature at which the beverage was drunk," said the IARC.

"Drinking very hot beverages at above 65 C was classified as 'probably' carcinogenic to humans."

The studies took into account factors that could have skewed assessment of the cancer risk, such alcohol and tobacco use.


Stroke patients are walking again after being injected with stem cells

Submitted by: Odio @ 12:38 AM | Friday, June 3, 2016 | (url: http://www.scienc...)

People who've experienced a stroke have seen "remarkable" improvements in speech, strength, and mobility after having stem cells injected into their brains - with some even regaining the ability to walk.

It's still very early days, but the success of this small trial suggests that we've seriously underestimated the brain's ability to heal itself, and might one day be able to trigger it into regaining lost functionality.

"One 71-year-old woman could only move her left thumb at the start of the trial," neurosurgeon and lead researcher, Gary Steinberg from Stanford University, told Andy Coghlan at New Scientist. "She can now walk and lift her arm above her head."

This is the second trial that's looked into how stem cell injections into patient's brain can improve stroke recovery - a study carried out in the UK last year also showed similarly promising results in patients, more than a year after treatment.

The latest trial was based in California, and was run by a company called SanBio. The team only tested the procedure on 18 patients, but all of them reported some improvements in mobility, and seven of them reported "significant" progress.
Everyone involved in the trial had suffered a stroke between six months and three years before the study, and their progress had plateaued - which meant they were unlikely to get any better without treatment.

Before and up to a year afterwards, the researchers measured their mobility on a scale of 1 to 100 - with 100 being totally mobile - and found that, on average, people had improved by 11.4 points, which is considered clinically meaningful. Or, in other words, it had a real affect on the patients' lives.

So how does it work? The technique involves injecting stem cells through a borehole in the skull into regions of the brain that are known to control motor movements, and which have been damaged by stroke.

Category: Technology | 16 Comments
Tags: medicine

There's hope for Ender yet!

Submitted by: Odio @ 08:21 PM | Monday, March 14, 2016 | (url: http://medicalxpr...)

Today, there is only one class of antiviral medicines against herpesvirusesa family of viruses that cause mononucleosis, herpes, and shingles, among other illnesses - meaning options for treating these infections are limited. If viruses become resistant to these frontline treatments, a growing problem particularly in clinical settings, there are no alternative drugs to serve as backup.
In a search for new drugs to treat viral infections, scientists from the University of Utah School of Medicine found that a medicine routinely used to treat heart failure, spironolactone, has an unexpected ability to block infection by Epstein Barr virus (EBV), a herpesvirus that causes mono and is associated with several human cancers. They find that the drug's antiviral properties stem from its ability to block a key step in viral infection that is common to all herpesviruses. Spironolactone's target is distinct from that of existing drugs, revealing that it could be developed into a new class of anti-herpesvirus drug.
"It's remarkable that a drug we have used safely in the clinic for over 50 years is also an effective EBV inhibitor," says senior author Sankar Swaminathan, M.D., chief of infections disease at University of Utah Health Care and professor of internal medicine. "It goes to show how basic research can reveal things we would never have found otherwise." In collaboration with research assistant professor of internal medicine Dinesh Virma, Ph.D., and Jacob Thompson, he published the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


think your kid has adhd? think again!

Submitted by: Goshin @ 04:50 PM | Thursday, August 15, 2013 | (url: http://well.blogs...)

Many children are given a diagnosis of A.D.H.D., researchers say, when in fact they have another problem: a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea. The confusion may account for a significant number of A.D.H.D. cases in children, and the drugs used to treat them may only be exacerbating the problem.

The symptoms of sleep deprivation in children resemble those of A.D.H.D. While adults experience sleep deprivation as drowsiness and sluggishness, sleepless children often become wired, moody and obstinate; they may have trouble focusing, sitting still and getting along with peers.

Her research builds on earlier, smaller studies showing that children with nighttime breathing problems did better with cognitive and attention-directed tasks and had fewer behavioral issues after their adenoids and tonsils were removed. The children were significantly less likely than untreated children with sleep-disordered breathing to be given an A.D.H.D. diagnosis in the ensuing months and years.

Most important, perhaps, those already found to have A.D.H.D. before surgery subsequently behaved so much better in many cases that they no longer fit the criteria. The National Institutes of Health has begun a study, called the Childhood Adenotonsillectomy Study, to understand the effect of surgically removing adenoids and tonsils on the health and behavior of 400 children. Results are expected this year.

Not only is a misdiagnosis stigmatizing, but treatment of A.D.H.D. can exacerbate sleeplessness, the real problem. The drugs used to treat A.D.H.D., like Ritalin, Adderall or Concerta, can cause insomnia.

Sleep deprivation is difficult to spot in children. Of the 10,000 members of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, only 500 have specialty training in pediatric sleep issues

i know i didnt sleep soundly a lot of the time as a kid
and i rarely wake up gasping for breath even now (few times a year)

interesting stuff though

tonsils, for or against them?

Category: Random | 22 Comments
Tags: medicine