Health

Heart Health

Electrical Energy to Treat AFib

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Among patients with untreated intermittent)atrial fibrillation, treatment with electrical energy, called radiofrequency ablation, resulted in a lower rate of abnormal atrial rhythms and episodes of AFib, according to a study in the February 19th 2014 issue of the Journal of the Americn Medical Association.

Breast Cancer

Possible: A New Treatment for Aggressive Breast Cancer

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Experts have found a process that fuels triple negative breast cancer, the most aggressive form of the illness, and that could lead to new treatments. The researchers, from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and Georgia Regents University, discovered that a protein that fuels an inflammatory pathway does not turn off in breast cancer. The failure to turn off leads to an increase in cancer stem cells. The protein, SOCS3, is highly expressed in normal cells but until now has been undetectable in triple-negative breast cancer.

Vision Health

Training Can Improve Vision

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With a little practice on a computer or tablet — 25 minutes a day, four days a week, for two months — our brains can actually learn to see better. That is the encouraging finding of research done at the University of California, Riverside and published in the journal Current Biology. Although the team did the training with baseball players at the university who had normal vision, the hope is that the same training, called perceptual learning, will help people with low vision due to cataracts, macular degeneration, or amblyopia.

Breast Cancer

New Breast Ca Surgical Guideline

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The Society of Surgical Oncology announced on February 10th 2014 the release of a comprehensive consensus guideline for physicians treating breast cancer that will reduce healthcare costs and improve the course of treatment. Developed in conjunction with the American Society of Radiation Oncology, the guideline outlines an evidence-based surgical treatment path that will save patients from unnecessary surgery.

Vision Health

Glaucoma & a Recently Discovered Eye Layer

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A layer in the human cornea recently discovered by researchers at The University of Nottingham in the UK turns out to play a vital role in the structure of the tissue that controls the flow of fluid from the eye. The findings could shed new light on glaucoma, a devastating disease caused by defective drainage of fluid from the eye and the world's second leading cause of blindness. The paper was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology,

Pain Management

Restless Sleep & Pain as You Age

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Non-restorative sleep is the strongest independent predictor of widespread pain onset among adults over the age of 50, according to a study done at Keele University in Staffordshire UK and published the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. The researchers also report that anxiety, memory impairment, and poor physical health among older adults may increase the risk of developing widespread pain.

Pain Management

Sedation Not Always Necessary Before Diagnostic Procedure

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When it comes to treating chronic pain, sedation may not always be the best choice before the actual procedure, according to new research.  “Sedation doesn’t help, but it does add expense and risk,” says study leader Steven P. Cohen, M.D., a professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “In some places, every patient is being sedated. Our research shows it should be used very sparingly.”

Vision Health

Exercise Could Help with Age-Related Macular Degeneration

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Here’s an additional benefit of being active: Moderate aerobic exercise could help slow the progression of retinal degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The results of the animal study were published in The Journal of Neuroscience. One of the leading causes of blindness in older people, AMD is caused by the death of light-sensing nerve cells in the retina called photoreceptors.

Breast Cancer

The Mammogram Controversy Continues

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Annual mammograms for women aged 40-59 don’t reduce the death rate from breast cancer, according to a new study. The study, published on bmj.com, also said that 22 percent of breast cancers detected via mammogram were over-diagnosed—meaning that the cancers that were found were ones that would not cause symptoms or death. The findings are fueling an ongoing debate about the benefits of mammograms.

Heart Health

Heart Patients Now Less Likely to Die of Heart Disease

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Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN were pleasantly surprised to find that more people who have known coronary heart disease die from other causes — such as cancer, and lung and neurological diseases — than heart disease, compared with 20 years ago. The study was published online on February 10th 2014 in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.  

Men's Health

Testosterone Therapy Not Always Good for Older Men

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Experts are calling for a full evaluation of the risks and benefits of hormone therapy for older men with declining levels of testosterone. The statement by the Endocrine Society was prompted by recent studies, one from the Veterans Health Care System and the other from the National Institutes of Health, that have raised concerns about the risks of testosterone therapy for older men with a history of heart disease.

Women's Health and Wellness

Women Fare Worse After Stroke

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Although more people survive a stroke now than 10 years ago, women have a poorer post-stroke quality of life than men do, according to a study done at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC and published in the February 7th 2014 online issue of the journal Neurology.  

Heart Health

New Guidelines for Preventing Stroke in Women

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For the first time, researchers have developed guidelines for preventing women from having strokes. "If you are a woman, you share many of the same risk factors for stroke with men, but your risk is also influenced by hormones, reproductive health, pregnancy, childbirth and other sex-related factors," said Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., M.H.S., author of the statement published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. The guidelines outline stroke risks for women women and provide recommendations on how o treat them, including:

Heart Health

Spousal Supportiveness = Better Heart Health

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Supportiveness from a spouse can help people fare better in their overall cardiovascular health, according to a new study. The findings, by researchers from the University of Utah, show that when partners perceive the support they get from each other as ambivalent – sometimes helpful, sometimes stressful – their levels of   coronary artery calcification (CAC) tend to be high. The findings were published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Women's Health and Wellness

Go Red for Women 2014

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In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute created National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about the fact that heart disease was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year. The event is held annually on the first Friday in February. Today, February 7th 2014, why not wear red to participate in the effort to make sure we realize that, especially as we age and reach postmenopause, heart to heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women?

Women's Health and Wellness

New Clues to Endometriosis

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Researchers have taken a step toward better diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis by discovering a pattern of molecules and cellular activity linked to the painful condition. Endometriosis, the invasion of uterine tissue into surrounding organs, including the peritoneal cavity and the ovaries, affects an estimated 10 percent of women. It can cause severe pain and infertility. It’s also difficult to diagnose because symptoms may disappear for years at a time, and very little is known about its cause.

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