Saturday, January 30, 2010

Risk of multiple sclerosis highest for indviduals born in spring

New research shows that risk for multiple sclerosis is highest for individuals born in the springtime. The study suggests a strong link between environmental risk factors that could be responsible for the development of Multiple Sclerosis.

Emmanuelle Waubant and Ellen Mowry carried out the study that suggests multiple sclerosis development is influenced by the gene HLA-DRB1 and linked to a seasonal influence that is more common among individuals born in spring.

Waubant and Mowry call the study "unique in its attempt to understand how genes and environment interact in MS", though scientists do not have a clear understanding about birth month, genes and risk for multiple sclerosis.

The researchers say vitamin D deficiency that flucuates seasonally and could be present during pregnancy may be a factor that increases the chances of multiple sclerosis developing for those born in the spring.

Lack of vitamin D early in life, combined with a variant of the gene HLA-DRB1*15 could also be a factor that leads to multiple sclerosis. Too little vitamin D in early life might lead to impaired ability of the thymus to eliminate rogue T cells, that attack the body and lead to a loss of myelin on the nerve fibres.

The study authors say the findings that multiple sclerosis risk is higher for those born in the spring could lead to interventions once the role of genes and environmental risk for MS are more thoroughly understood. Past studies have also shown that individuals born in spring are at highest risk for the development of multiple sclerosis. Researchers now find it may be due to expression of the HLA-DRB1*15 allele that is influenced by vitamin D. ◦

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Morphine delays wound healing and increases infection risk

Morphine use and abuse is now found to delay wound healing in the presence of infection because it blocks the release of immune cells. Patients who use morphine for treatment of chronic pain or those abuse opiods are also at increased risk for developing infection from the effect of morphine on delayed healing

Researchers studied the effect of morphine on wound closure in a mouse model of chronic morphine use and abuse, finding that morphine inhibited the release of immune cells, and suppressed the formation of new blood vessels at the wound site. The result of the effect of morphine was inadequate wound healing and increased risk of infection from lack of clearance of bacteria from the site.

Chronic morphine users have been found to have wounds that don’t heal. The reasons are now clearer, and also have implications for evaluating the use of morphine for pain relief among specific populations as well as changes in care practices in individuals who abuse opiods.

The research was led by led by Dr. Sabita Roy at the University of Minnesota. The team of researchers concluded, that “these studies provide an in vivo tool by which further mechanistic experiments can be performed to address why, clinically, heroin-addicted patients often present with infected non-healing wounds. Understanding these underlying mechanisms affords improved treatment options not only for chronic morphine users and abusers, but can also have translational implications for immuno-compromised populations such as the elderly or those who are chronically stressed."

Morphine acts on the central nervous system and can provide analgesia and comfort. It is also frequently abused. The new finding, published February 2010 in The American Journal of Pathology shows that morphine delays wound healing and increases the risk of infection.

Am J Pathol 2010, 176: 786-799


Thursday, January 21, 2010

How obesity leads to cancer found by researchers and other news

Scientists uncover link between obesity and cancer
New research has uncovered the link between obesity and the development of cancer. The new study published, January 22 in the journal Cell, calls obesity a "bona fide tumor promoter", especially when it comes to liver cancer.

The findings show that liver cancer is fueled by inflammation that is also present with obesity. Reducing inflammation might also reduce cancer risk that are already taken by millions of individuals with arthritis and Crohn's disease. Anti inflammatory drugs might also reduce cancer risk for obese individuals. Read more

Too many choices may not foster health and happiness
A new study due for publication in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that freedom of choice does not always foster health and happiness. For some, unlimited choice can paralyze, leading to unhealthy psychological functioning.

Authors Hazel Rose Markus from Stanford University and Barry Schwartz from Swarthmore College say, "Americans live in a political, social, and historical context that advances personal freedom, choice, and self-determination above all else. Contemporary psychology has proliferated this emphasis on choice and self-determination as the key to healthy psychological functioning."Read more

Diabetics with sleep apnea risk more complications
New findings show that diabetics with sleep apnea risk complications from diabetes from poor blood sugar control. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) that can remain undiagnosed places Type 2 diabetics at more risk for poor outcomes and may even negate the effects of diabetic medications.

University of Chicago researcher Renee S. Aronsohn, M.D., instructor of medicine says the study "demonstrates for the first time that there is a clear, graded, inverse relationship between OSA severity and glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes." Read more

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Celexicob (Celebrex) study shows promise for skin cancer prevention and treatment

Skin cancer may have a new foe. In a study of individuals prone to the development of basal cell carcinoma, the drug celexicob (Celebrex), a non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID), was found to reduce the number of basal cell skin cancers in a comparison of two groups of study participants.

The study was developed to find out if the celexicob could help individuals with a rare disorder known as Gorlin syndrome - a hereditary disorder that typically leads to hundreds and even thousands of basal skin cell cancers in individuals diagnosed with the disease. The scientists found "some benefit" from Celebrex for reducing the number of basal cell carcinomas, one of the most common types of cancer that occurs in the general population.

Ervin H. Epstein Jr., M.D., senior scientist at the Children's Hospital of Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California says, "The underlying idea is if we can find something in these high-risk patients that could be translatable to the 'normal' population, then we could ultimately use that form of chemoprevention to reduce the numbers of skin cancer in all people." The findings that celexicob inhibits the growth of skin cancer has public health implications, though there is some concern about the cardiovascular side effects of the medication that include heart attack and stroke.

The researchers examined 60 patients with basal cell carcinoma to receive either 200 mg of oral celecoxib two times a day or placebo. After about two years, the two groups were compared. The scientists found that patients given placebo had a 50 percent increase in basal cell cancer per year compared with a 20 percent increase for those who received celecoxib.

The potential for a therapy that would impact the incidence of this would be huge," said Charles Rudin, MD associate director for clinical research at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins. The anti inflammatory drug celexicob, combined with other agents could also lead to the development of new treatments for basal cell carcinoma.

Cancer Prevention Research