Showing posts with label health news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health news. Show all posts

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Mexican man gets double arm transplant

double arm transplant of mexican man
Gabriel Granados Vergara, 52, center, gestures to the press after he received a double arm transplant at the National Institute of Medical Science and Nutrition (INCMN) in Mexico City, Thursday, June 7, 2012.

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A Mexican man whose arms were severely burned by electricity became the first patient in Latin America to receive a double arm transplant, doctors said Thursday.

Gabriel Granados, a 52-year-old father of two whose arms were amputated just below the elbow, received the arms of a 34-year-old shooting victim, said Dr. Martin Iglesias, head of the surgical team that performed the operation.

Granados told a news conference that the transplant was "terrific" and that he has begun to feel his new hands.

"This is wonderful that after being without hands for some time, all of a sudden I see new hands," said Granados, who is an agent in the financial unit of Mexico City's prosecutors' office.

The surgery was in early May, but Granados was discharged from the hospital on Thursday. Doctors said he has recovered well.

Granados' arms were amputated after they were badly burned in January 2011, when he received an electrical shock while giving instructions to a group of construction workers building a fence.

Before the surgery, doctors say they practiced the procedure on corpses.

"This is a very special day for Mexico from a scientific point of view," said Dr. Fernando Gabilondo, director of Mexico City's National Institute of Medical Science and Nutrition Salvador Zubiran, where the surgery was performed.

Mexican doctors say there are other 23 patients waiting for arms transplant although only six could be successfully done.

News by AP

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Add kidneys to list of things that can be recycled

Kidney (inner view)
CHICAGO (AP) -- It turns out you can recycle just about anything these days - even kidneys and other organs donated for transplants.

Recently in Chicago, in what is believed to be the first documented case of its kind in the U.S., a transplanted kidney that was failing was removed from a patient while he was still alive and given to somebody else.

There have been other cases since the 1980s of transplant organs being used more than once, but they were rare and involved instances in which the first recipient died.

Typically when transplanted organs fail in living patients, doctors throw them away. But with more than 73,000 people awaiting transplants nationwide, some specialists say doctors should consider trying to reuse more organs to ease the severe shortage.

"The need for kidney transplantation doesn't match our capacity," said Dr. Lorenzo Gallon, a Northwestern University transplant specialist who oversaw the kidney recycling operation in Chicago. "People die on dialysis" while awaiting kidneys.

That was the possible fate awaiting two strangers. A research letter describing the unusual case was published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

The donated kidney lasted just two weeks in the first patient, a 27-year-old Illinois man. The same disease that ruined his kidneys started to damage the new kidney, given to him by his sister. He was getting sicker, and doctors needed to act fast if they were going to save the organ. With permission from the man and his sister, they removed it last July and retransplanted it into a 67-year-old Indiana man.

The Illinois man is back on dialysis and will probably get another transplant eventually.

Still, reusing a transplanted organ can be tricky - and riskier - because surgeons have to deal with scar tissue that typically forms around an organ as the body heals from the operation.

Also, Wayne Shelton, a bioethicist at Albany Medical College in New York, said the practice may raise ethical questions. He said doctors need to make sure patients who are offered reused parts understand all the risks and are not made to feel coerced into accepting such organs. And because these cases are so rare, there is little data on how patients with recycled parts fare, Shelton noted.

Dr. Jonathan Bromberg, director of transplantation at the University of Maryland Medical Center, praised the Northwestern doctors but said organ recycling is unlikely to become commonplace because it would be rare for an already transplanted organ to be healthy enough to be reused.

In Boston in 2009, a man died shortly after a getting a new heart, and the organ was in good enough shape to be transplanted into someone else. A 2005 medical journal report detailed three U.S. cases involving donor livers reused after the initial recipients died, and said they were among 11 similar cases between 1987 and 2005. Medical literature also includes reports from the 1990s about a kidney retransplant in Spain and a heart retransplant in Switzerland.

In the Chicago case, Ray Fearing of Arlington Heights, Ill., received a new kidney that was later reused by Erwin Gomez of Valparaiso, Ind., a surgeon familiar with the medical complexities involved.

Joel Newman, a spokesman for the United Network for Organ Sharing, said previous retransplants in the U.S. "have occurred when the original recipient has died soon after a transplant but the organ is still able to function. To our knowledge, this is the first publicly reported instance where a kidney has been removed from a living person due to the risk of organ failure and retransplanted."

Fearing had a disease that caused scarring that prevented the kidneys from filtering waste from blood. He had to quit his industrial machinery job and went on dialysis a year ago. His sister donated a kidney last June in what was "probably the happiest moment of my life," Fearing said. The worst, he said, was a few days later, when doctors told him the kidney was damaged and had to be removed.

Gallon, medical director of Northwestern's kidney transplant program, thought the kidney could be reused in somebody else if it was removed quickly, before it became irreversibly damaged.

Gallon needed Fearing's permission, and also asked the young man's sister, Cera Fearing.

Fearing said he was heartbroken and reluctant to abandon an organ that had been his only hope for a normal life. But he decided it was the only option that made sense. His sister, too, was crushed but said she didn't hesitate when told her kidney might help someone else.

"I just assumed it's damaged, it's garbage," she said. "The fact that they were able to give it to someone that somehow was able to benefit from it was great."

Gomez was selected because he was a good match. But Gallon said doctors also thought Gomez's medical background would help him understand the complexities. Gomez said he had never heard of reusing transplant organs, and he worried about taking what seemed like damaged goods. But he agreed after the Northwestern team explained the risks and possible benefits.

The removal and retransplant operations took place July 1. Within two days, the transplanted kidney had regained function. Gallon said he is convinced the damage is reversed.

Gomez is taking anti-rejection drugs and is off dialysis. "I finally feel normal," he said. Fearing is back on dialysis and said he is doing OK.

Gallon said it is not uncommon for patients with Fearing's disease to go through more than one transplanted kidney, and he expects Fearing will eventually get another one.

Despite his own misfortune, Fearing said he is "extremely happy about being a part of this medical breakthrough" that might end up helping others.

News by AP

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

10 Foods That Can Lower Your Cholesterol

Lose Weight
Low cholesterol foods
Had your annual physical lately? Here's a reason why you should: Even if you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, your cholesterol might be higher than you'd like.

Janis Jilbrin, R.D., co-author of The Life You Want! Get Motivated, Lose Weight and Be Happy (Simon & Schuster 2011, co-authored with Bob Greene and psychologist Anne Kearney-Cooke), explains the deal with cholesterol and what foods you can eat to help keep yours down.

What would cause your cholesterol to be high in the first place? "Sometimes having high LDL -- the "bad" cholesterol -- is genetic," says Jilbrin. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein, and it's considered the "bad" cholesterol, Jilbrin explains, because it takes fat and deposits it into your arteries. That's the cholesterol you want to keep "down."

Then there's the "good" cholesterol, called HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which travels in your bloodstream and removes the bad cholesterol. You can also be genetically predisposed to having low levels of HDL; other causes, according to Jilbrin, include being overweight or obese, being sedentary, smoking, a high carb intake, having type 2 diabetes and certain drugs, including beta blockers and steroids.

And why should you be worried about any of this? Heart disease -- which, no, you're not too young to worry about. According to Jilbrin, "Arterial plaque can start forming in young adulthood, even in childhood."

Uh oh. She continues: "And trying to fix it once you've had a heart attack or show signs of heart disease never reduces your risk like you would have if you'd taken care of the problem earlier."

Jilbrin says that the most important type of foods to eat to keep your cholesterol levels healthy are "viscous fibers." Sounds ... gross? Don't worry, they're actually tasty. Here's a list of some yummy viscous fibers:

    * Barley
    * Oatmeal
    * Oat bran
    * Ground psyllium seeds
    * Apples
    * Oranges
    * Prunes
    * Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
    * Brussels sprouts

Viscous fibers work, Jilbrin explains, for two reasons: First, they trap some of the fat and cholesterol from your diet, sending it out of the body before it can be absorbed.

Second: "Your body uses bile acids, made from cholesterol, to break down the fat you eat, so it can be absorbed in the intestines," Jilbrin explains. "Once the bile acid is secreted in the intestine and does its work breaking down fat, most of the bile acids are reabsorbed." Are you with us so far? "But viscous fibers block some of that reabsorption, so, in order to create more bile acid, the body draws from cholesterol in the blood, thus lowering LDL (the "bad" cholesterol)."

Almonds, while not viscous fibers, are also good to eat, notes Jilbrin, because they contain a monounsaturated fat and a plant sterol, both of which lower LDL.

Of course -- it's not just what you eat. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding saturated fats and staying active, says Jilbrin, are also super important to keeping your cholesterol levels -- and your heart -- healthy.

Article by Youbeauty

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Thursday, January 05, 2012

5 Surprising Causes of Acne

acne solutions
Acne free face
Can't determine what's triggering your breakouts? Check out these sneaky pimple producers — and find out which acne remedies will clear your complexion.

Solve Your Breakout Mysteries

It’s easy to blame your breakouts on stress or those three slices of pizza you ate last weekend, but that parade of pimples might instead be due to some lesser-known causes of acne.

You probably already know that there are several culprits behind acne: a collection of skin bacteria called P. acnes; overactive oil glands; and pores that get blocked by dead skin cells, according to dermatologist Bruce Katz, MD, director of the Juva Skin & Laser Center in Manhattan. But what brings on this breakout storm isn’t always so obvious.

Here, we identify undercover pimple triggers — and show you the best ways to zap those zits.

Your Cellphone

Taking too many calls on your iPhone could cause a pimple big enough to become a topic of conversation all its own. Pressing your cheek and chin against your phone causes pimple-producing oils to collect. Those oils, as well as acne-causing bacteria, build up along with any bacteria already on your mobile.

“It’s called ‘acne mechanica,’ ” explains dermatologist Eric Schweiger, MD, clinical instructor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. “It happens to violinists around the chin and football players with the chin strap — it’s [caused by] not letting the pores breathe, and the repetitive motion causes friction. Now we’re seeing it with cellphones.”

Redness relief: Clean your phone regularly by wiping it with the same cleansers you use for computer and TV screens. “When you talk on your cellphone, try not to keep it against your face or on the same side each time,” Dr. Katz suggests. Or simply keep clear by using a hands-free device.

Your Hairstyling Products

Styling products may fight frizz and leave your locks silky soft, but they can also cause breakouts, called “pomade acne,” along your hairline. “The acne comes from oil-based products and cosmetics,” Dr. Katz explains. “A lot of women don’t realize it’s not always their cosmetics causing the breakouts, but their hair product that rubs against their face when they’re asleep. It’s comedogenic, and is like putting oil on your skin.”

Redness relief: Look for oil-free pomades and gels (even natural oils can block pores, Dr. Katz notes). Also, scan the ingredients label for other acne-triggering additives, including the emulsifier Laureth-23, silicone and petrolatum. When applying styling products, be sure to avoid your hairline and skin, then wash your hands before touching your face, Dr. Schweiger suggests. Another smart move: Wash your pillowcases regularly. They absorb oil, hair products and dirt, all of which can activate acne.

Your Makeout Partner

If you can’t pin down what’s triggering your pimples, being cheek-to-cheek with your partner might be to blame. There’s even a name for breaking out after making out — “consort acne.” If your guy is wearing hair gel and you cuddle up, the gel can get on your face and cause acne, according to Dr. Katz. “Or, if someone has a lot of oils in their hair and you’re sharing a pillow, the oils can get on your skin and cause breakouts,” he says.

Redness relief: Ask your partner to use non-comedogenic products and oil-free hairstyling products. That will help keep the pimple-producing ingredients from rubbing off on your skin.

Your Toothpaste

Although a dab of toothpaste is often recommended as an on-the-spot pimple fighter, some people find that fluoride toothpaste actually triggers zits. “We see this when patients switch toothpastes and notice that they’re breaking out,” Dr. Schweiger says. Ingredients such as fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate may cause irritation and produce pimples.

Your Water

Hard water often leaves a mineral residue on skin. This film can clog pores and bring on breakouts. “There are certain minerals in high concentrations in hard water, which may cause irritation like acne or eczema,” Dr. Schweiger says.

Redness relief: Save face by installing water filters or purifiers, such as Jonathan Product Beauty Water Shower Purification System ($95). Filters reduce the concentration of heavy metals in water, which can help prevent pimple-causing residue and irritation. (Bonus: The filtered, pH-balanced water will also leave your hair silky smooth.)

News by dailyglow

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Breast Cancer Facts and Figures

Breast Cancer
  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women
  • The risk of breast cancer increases with age and if you live to 90 years your risk of developing this cancer is almost 14%
  • 1.7 million breast cancers were diagnosed worldwide in 2007
  •  465,000 (approx.) women died due to breast cancer in 2007
  • North America, Australia, Europe have the highest incidence of breast cancer
  •  Large parts of Africa and Asia have the lowest rates
  • In the last 25 years it incidence has gone up by 30% in the western world
  •  Increased risk of developing breast cancer include -
  • Start of menstrual period at an early age
  •  Menopause later in life 
  • Having a first or second degree relative with breast cancer
  • Obesity
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Never having children
  • Using contraceptives
  • Using hormone replacement therapy during post-menopausal years
  • Certain inherited genetic mutations for breast cancer (BRCA1 and/or BRCA2)
  • Decreased Breast cancer Risk -
  • Breast feeding
  • Moderate Physical activity
  • Maintaining normal weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Breast cancer can be prevented by screening
  • Early treatment can increase chances of 5 years survival to 98%
  • Women with a BRCA mutation who get their ovaries surgically removed can reduce their risk of breast cancer by over 50%.
  • A study from North Carolina State University indicated that Women who performed the act of fellatio and swallow semen regularly (one to two times a week) may reduce their risk of breast cancer by up to 40 percent !!
News By Medindia

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Eating less keeps the brain young

A team of Italian researchers at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome have discovered that this molecule, called CREB1, is triggered by "caloric restriction" (low caloric diet) in the brain of mice. They found that CREB1 activates many genes linked to longevity and to the proper functioning of the brain.

This work was led by Giovambattista Pani, researcher at the Institute of General Pathology, Faculty of Medicine at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Rome, directed by Professor Achille Cittadini, in collaboration with Professor Claudio Grassi of the Institute of Human Physiology. The research appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"Our hope is to find a way to activate CREB1, for example through new drugs, so to keep the brain young without the need of a strict diet," Dr Pani said.

Caloric restriction means the animals can only eat up to 70 percent of the food they consume normally, and is a known experimental way to extend life, as seen in many experimental models. Typically, caloric-restricted mice do not become obese and don't develop diabetes; moreover they show greater cognitive performance and memory, are less aggressive. Furthermore they do not develop, if not much later, Alzheimer's disease and with less severe symptoms than in overfed animals.

Many studies suggest that obesity is bad for our brain, slows it down, causes early brain aging, making it susceptible to diseases typical of older people as the Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. In contrast, caloric restriction keeps the brain young. Nevertheless, the precise molecular mechanism behind the positive effects of an hypocaloric diet on the brain remained unknown till now.

The Italian team discovered that CREB1 is the molecule activated by caloric restriction and that it mediates the beneficial effects of the diet on the brain by turning on another group of molecules linked to longevity, the "sirtuins". This finding is consistent with the fact that CREB1 is known to regulate important brain functions as memory, learning and anxiety control, and its activity is reduced or physiologically compromised by aging.

Moreover, Italian researchers have discovered that the action of CREB1 can be dramatically increased by simply reducing caloric intake, and have shown that CREB is absolutely essential to make caloric restriction work on the brain. In fact, if mice lack CREB1 the benefits of caloric restriction on the brain (improving memory, etc.) disappear. So the animals without CREB1 show the same brain disabilities typical of overfed and/or old animals.

"Thus, our findings identify for the first time an important mediator of the effects of diet on the brain," Dr. Pani said. "This discovery has important implications to develop future therapies to keep our brain young and prevent brain degeneration and the aging process. In addition, our study shed light on the correlation among metabolic diseases as diabetes and obesity and the decline in cognitive activities."

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Soaring BPA Levels Found in People Who Eat Canned Foods

Woman in Shopping Mall
Eating canned food every day may raise the levels of the compound bisphenol A (BPA) in a person's urine more than previously suspected, a new study suggests.

People who ate a serving of canned soup every day for five days had BPA levels of 20.8 micrograms per liter of urine, whereas people who instead ate fresh soup had levels of 1.1 micrograms per liter, according to the study. BPA is found in many canned foods — it is a byproduct of the chemicals used to prevent corrosion.

When the researchers looked at the rise in BPA levels seen in the average participant who ate canned soup compared with those who ate fresh soup, they found a 1,221 percent jump.

"To see an increase in this magnitude was quite surprising," said study leader Karin Michels, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The levels of BPA seen in the study participants "are among the most extreme reported in a nonoccupational setting," the researchers wrote in their study. In the general population, levels have been found to be around 1 to 2 micrograms per liter, Michels said.

The study noted that levels higher than 13 micrograms per liter were found in only the top 5 percent of participants in the National Health and Examination Survey, which is an ongoing study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are concerned about the influence of [hormone-disrupting] chemicals on health in general, and BPA is one of them," Michels told MyHealthNewsDaily.

The study is published online today (Nov. 22) in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Soup for lunch

The study included 75 people, whose average age was 27. One group of participants ate 12 ounces of fresh soup every day at lunchtime, while the other ate the same amount of canned soup each day. Urine samples were collected from the participants on the fourth and fifth days of the study.

BPA was detected in 77 percent of people who ate the fresh soup, and all of the people who ate the canned soup, according to the study.

Only a few studies had previously looked at BPA levels from eating canned foods, and those relied on asking people how much of the food they usually eat comes from cans, Michels said. The new study was the first in which researchers randomized participants to eat a small serving of canned food or fresh food, and measured the resulting difference in their urine BPA levels, she said.

"We've known for a while that drinking beverages that have been stored in certain hard plastics can increase the amount of BPA in your body. This study suggests that canned foods may be an even greater concern, especially given their wide use," said study researcher Jenny Carwile, a doctoral student at Harvard.

BPA and health

A 2008 study of 1,455 people showed that higher urinary BPA levels were linked with higher risks of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and abnormal concentrations of certain liver enzymes, even after factors such as age, body mass index and smoking were taken into account.

And other studies have linked BPA levels in a woman's urine during her pregnancy to health problems in her child.

It is not known how long the levels of BPA might remain high, according to the study. However, it is also not known whether such a spike, even if it isn't sustained for very long, may affect health, the researchers wrote.

The study was limited in that all of the participants were students or staff at one school, and a single soup brand (Progresso) was tested, but the researchers wrote that they expected the results to apply to canned foods with a similar BPA content.

"Reducing canned food consumption may be a good idea, especially for people consuming foods from cans regularly," Michels said. "Maybe manufacturers can take the step of taking BPA out of the lining of cans — some have already done this, but only a few."

The study was funded by the Allen Foundation, which advocates nutrition research.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Burmese python, perhaps the key to healthy human heart

Burmese Python
AFP - The Burmese python, one of the largest snakes in the world, could hold the key to new treatments to prevent or combat human heart disease, U.S. researchers hope that the study was published Thursday. This reptile, which can measure up to nine meters long with a weight of 90 pounds, able to swallow a deer or an alligator, secretes fatty acids whose properties seem to work wonders on the heart, the work on show These pythons and mice by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder (west). They found that the amounts of triglycerides - the main element forming natural fats and oils - fivefold increase in blood pythons one day after swallowed prey.

Despite the strong increase of fat in the body of snakes, the authors of the study, published in the journal Science dated October 28, found no fatty deposits in their heart. In addition, they measured the increase of an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, well known for its powerful protective effects on cardiac muscle, including humans. After determining the chemical composition of blood plasma (the liquid component of blood) of pythons in full digestion, the researchers injected the liquid or a similar substance reconstituted in pythons that had an empty stomach. After these injections, these snakes have shown a marked increase in the heart and signs of a healthy heart. The researchers repeated the experiment with mice and found the same beneficial effects on the heart of rodents which increased in size.

"We discovered that a certain combination of fatty acids can have beneficial effects on cardiac growth of living organisms," said Cecilia Riquelme, lead author of the study. "Now we try to understand the molecular mechanism behind this process and hope that the results lead to new therapies to better treat human heart disease," she adds. Previous studies have shown that the mass of the heart of Burmese pythons increased by 40% within 24 to 72 hours after a large meal and the activity of their metabolism quadrupled immediately after swallowing their prey. The pythons, which can fast for a year with few adverse effects on their health, their hearts are almost double in size after a meal.

Since this increase in mass of the heart muscle is similar in athletes like cycling champion Lance Armstrong or the swimmer Michael Phelps, explore the heart of pythons could help researchers to improve the heart health of humans, the scientists believe. They note that there are also bad enlarged hearts due to hypertrophy, the leading cause of sudden death in young athletes. If disease can cause thickening of the heart muscle and lower chambers of the heart caused by his work more to pump blood, an expansion resulting from strenuous exercise, however, is a good thing, said Leslie Leinwand, Professor of biology at the University of Colorado who led the work.

"There are many people who are not able to exercise since suffering from heart disease," said the biologist, adding that "it would be" well to develop a treatment capable of inducing growth of cardiac cells "in these patients.