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Saturday, 1 December 2012

How Pancreatic Cancer Begins Decoded in New Study

Pancreatic cancer is most often not detected until late stages, which means the prognosis of this cancer is very poor. 
 How Pancreatic Cancer Begins Decoded in New StudyResearch led by scientists at the University of California, San Diego and UC San Francisco Schools of Medicine examined the tumor-initiating events leading to pancreatic cancer (also called pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma or PDA) in mice. Their work, published on line November 29 in the journal Cancer Cell, may help in the search for earlier detection methods and treatments.
"Previously, it was believed that this cancer arises from the epithelial cells in pancreatic ducts," said Maike Sander, MD, professor of pediatrics and cellular and molecular medicine and director of UC San Diego's Pediatric Diabetes Research Center, co-principal investigator of the study along with Matthias Hebrok, PhD, director of the UCSF Diabetes Center. "But in this study, we show that ducts have almost no response to oncogenic mutations – mutations that give rise to cancerous tumors." 

The study revealed that another pancreatic cell type, called the acinar cell, converts into a duct-like cell that initiates tumors. The researchers also showed that inflammation of the pancreas, which is a significant risk factor for pancreatic cancer, promotes the conversion of acinar cells into duct-like tumor precursors. 
Kras is a gene that may cause cancer when it is mutated. It makes the Kras protein, which is involved in cell signaling pathways, cell growth and apoptosis, or cell death. Agents that block the activity of the mutated Kras gene or its protein may stop the growth of cancer. 
Tracing specific cell populations in the presence and absence of tissue injury in mice, the research team demonstrated that oncogenic Kras can readily induce PDA precursor – or premalignant – lesions called PanIN, from adult pancreatic acinar cells, but not from ductal cells. 
Accounting for the fact that acinar cells are more abundant than ductal cells in the adult pancreas of mice, the difference in the ability of the acinar cells to generate PanIN premalignant lesions remained more than a 100 times greater than the ability of ductal or so-called centroacinar cells. In addition, the study demonstrated that, when PanIN lesions originate in acinar cells, they activate the ductal transcription factor Sox9. The scientists show that activation of Sox9 is necessary to convert the acinar cells into premalignant lesions. Overexpression of the Sox9 gene enhances both abnormal, pancreatitis-associated changes in adult tissue cells and Kras-induced PanIN formation. 
Ductal and centroacinar cells already expressing Sox9 are dramatically resistant to Kras-induced neoplastic transformation, which is the conversion of a tissue with a normal growth pattern into a malignant tumor. The findings demonstrate a key role for acinar cells in the beginning stages of pancreatic cancer, and point to Sox9 as a potential target for preventing early tumor-initiating events. 

Source:University of California,San Diago


State Kerala torism department Focus on Ayurveda

 Kerala to Focus on AyurvedaThe Kerala Tourism department is planning to launch a campaign that will focus on ayurveda to promote medical tourism and will draw maximum advantage from the biodiversity region of Western Ghats, says Tourism Minister A.P. Anil Kumar. 
The campaign, the minister said, would focus on ayurveda owing to the rich medicinal plants' reserve in the Western Ghats, which is among the "hottest biodiversity hotspots in the world"
Kerala is naturally blessed to be the flagbearer of ayurveda because of the state's rich ecosystem in the Western Ghats," Kumar said here. 

A large number of foreign and domestic tourists come to Kerala for ayurvedic treatment. As many as 900 species of medicinal herbs are found in Kerala, he said. 
Agasthyakoodam peak in the Western Ghats, about 70 km from here, is home to some of the rarest medicinal plants. 
Kerala received about 94 lakh domestic visitors last year while about eight lakh foreign tourists visited the state during the same time, according to a tourism department official. 
A majority of foreign tourists from Germany, the Middle East and Australia joined the state's ayurveda wellness programmes, the official said. 
Kerala Tourism Secretary Suman Billa said ayurveda treatment in the state was aimed at providing vigour and health to visitors. 
"That is what the tourists are looking for. Lifestyle changes and urban pressures are increasingly affecting the people," he added. 
The ayurveda-focussed tourism campaign aims at lengthening the average stay of foreign tourists to 18 days per person from the present average of 16.2 days. 
Kerala also plans to bring about a convergence of different systems of medicine. 
Besides, the tourism department will also add new tourism destinations and diversify its tourism portfolio by including adventure activities like rock climbing and paragliding.


Fortified Milk Enriched With Omega-3 Could be An Alternative to Fish Foods

Researchers have found a way to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into milk which could serve as an alternative for those who have a dislike for fish foods. 

Food science researchers at Virginia Tech may have reeled milk into the omega-3 delivery system, showing it is possible to incorporate fish oil into milk and dairy-based beverages in amounts sufficient to promote heart health, without destroying the product's taste or limiting its lifespan.
Even better the milk,passes the sniff test. Twenty-five volunteers evaluated one-ounce cups of standard 2 percent milk alongside samples of skim milk containing 78 parts butter oil to 22 parts fish oil in institutionally approved study conditions. 

"We couldn't find any aroma differences," said Susan E. Duncan, a professor of food science and technology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "We were concerned the fish oil would undergo a chemical process called oxidation, which would shorten the milk's shelf life, or the milk would acquire a cardboard or paint flavor by reacting with the fish oil. It appears we have a product that is stable, with no chemical taste or smell issues." The study, featured in the November issue of the Journal of Dairy Science, tested four different ratios of butter oil to fish oil in the production of pasteurized, fatty acid-fortified beverages. 
The aroma-free formulation delivered 432 milligrams of heart-healthy fatty acids per cup, close to the 500 milligram daily target for healthy people suggested by a broad range of health studies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests daily consumption of 250 milligrams per day in healthy adults. 
Research has shown omega-3 fatty acids are helpful for preventing coronary disease, reducing inflammation, assisting infant brain development, and maintaining brain function. 
Meanwhile, the American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fatty fish per week, citing research that has shown omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of potentially fatal heart arrhythmias, decrease triglyceride levels, slow growth of atherosclerotic plaque, and slightly lower blood pressure. 
But fish hasn't caught on with everyone, making room for new foods and beverages fortified with omega-3s in an expanding marketplace. Sales are expected to reach more than $3 billion in 2016, according to marketing analysts. 
"I think the dairy industry can look at our study and determine whether it is plausible to modify its products," Duncan said. "I would like to help people who love milk, yogurt, and dairy, which have intrinsic nutritional value, address an additional need in their diets, especially if they don't like to eat fish or can't afford it. One of these dairy servings a day apparently is enough to sustain enough continuous omega-3 to benefit heart health." 
If such a product catches on with consumers, Duncan said the next step for researchers is to follow groups of volunteers in an epidemiological study of whether the food improves health outcomes. 
"Milk was first fortified with Vitamin D as a way to fight rickets - a disease that leads to soft or weak bones," said Kerry E. Kaylegian, a dairy foods research and extension associate with Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, who was not involved in the research. "It was a good approach to address a dietary deficiency disease, because so many people drink milk, which is already loaded with nutrients. This study describes fortification of milk with omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. We can't say lack of those compounds definitively causes cardiac disease, but there is evidence that they protect us and contribute to heart and brain health. Milk would be a good delivery vehicle for those nutrients." 

Journal of Dairy Science

Women Ogle Other Women’s Bodies More Than Men Do

 Women Ogle Other Women’s Bodies More Than Men DoBristol University researchers are reporting that women spend more time looking over other women’s bodies than men do. 
The researchers arrived at this conclusion after asking volunteers to view various still frames including nature documentaries, classical and surrealist paintings, and freeze-frames of couples in films.
 The film part included two films; 'Love Actually,' starring Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon and ‘Breakfast at Tiffany's,' starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. 

The researchers reported that female volunteers were more interested in McCutcheon and Hepburn rather than Grant and Peppard. Women spent 61% of the time looking at the women in these pictures and only 39% of time looking at the men. 
"This is counter-intuitive from a sexual perspective if you are thinking about desire, but it's not surprising if you look at it in terms of sexual competition. The women might be checking out their sexual rivals, and comparing themselves with them,” said lead researcher Felix Mercer Mos, a computer science PhD student at the University. 
The study details are published in the journal PLoS ONE. 
 Source:Journal PLos ONE

Friday, 30 November 2012

Brain Cell Transplants in Early 2013: Study

Five patients with Parkinson's disease will undergo brain cell transplants at Skåne University Hospital in Lund, Sweden, in early 2013 as part of the European study TRANSEURO. 
The TRANSEURO study, which in Sweden is led by Lund University, is now taking a critical approach to the viability of cell therapy as a future treatment for Parkinson's disease. Can we replace cells that die as a result of our most common neurological diseases? What are the therapies of the future for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's?Under the leadership of Professor of Neurology Olle Lindvall, brain researchers in Lund had already developed a method of transplanting nerve cells in the 1980s. In 1987, brain surgeon Stig Rehncrona operated on the very first patient. That study was historic and marked the first repair of the human nervous system. The news was cabled out to all the world's media and the Swedish researchers soon graced the front page of the New York Times. 
"Since the advances made in the 1980s and 1990s, the research field has encountered many obstacles. In the early 2000s, two American studies produced negative results, which meant that cell transplants for Parkinson's disease came to a dead end", says Professor Anders Björklund, who in the 1980s was responsible for the ground-breaking discoveries in the laboratory. 
Despite the unsatisfactory results presented in the American trials, cell therapy has still been seen to have effects that are entirely unique in the history of research on Parkinson's. A third of the transplant patients have seen significant benefits of cell therapy over a very long period without medication, in some cases up to 20 years. 
"For a disease with a very demanding medication regime, and for which the effects of the standard medication begin to diminish after 5 years, cell therapy represents a hope of a different life for many Parkinson's sufferers", says Professor Håkan Widner, who is in charge of patient recruitment in Lund. 
"The results of TRANSEURO will play an important role in the immediate future of cell therapy as a viable treatment. We have scrutinized the failed American studies in an attempt to optimise the technique, improve patient selection and conduct more personalised follow-up. We are hopeful that the results will be different this time", says Professor Widner. 

India on track to attain Millennium Development Goals, claims Health Ministry

Indian efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are making results and the country is 'on track' to attain the goals, according to Health Ministry.As per the Millennium Development Goal 4, under five mortality rate (U-5 MR) has to be reduced by two thirds between the years 1990 and 2015. Target for U-5 MR is less than 38 per thousand live births and as per latest data available from Sample Registration System of the Registrar General of India, it stands at 59 per thousand live births (SRS 2010). “It has shown five points decline from 2008 to 2009 and 2009 to 2010, if this rate of decline is sustained, India is on track to achieve MDG 4 goal,” the ministry said.
The indicator pertaining to immunization is proportion of one year old children immunized against measles. Target for MDG is to achieve more than 80 per cent immunization coverage by 2015. As per District Level Household Survey (DLHS-3), the coverage for first dose of measles vaccine in the country was 69.5 per cent which further improved to 74.1 per cent in 2009 (Coverage Evaluation Survey, 2009). Also, a catch-up campaign has been initiated in 14 States to provide second opportunity for measles immunization, sources said.
“As per MDG 5, Maternal Mortality Ratio has to be reduced by three quarters between the years 1990 and 2015. Target for MMR is less than 109 per one lakh live births and as per latest data available it stands at 212 (SRS 2007-09). As per the Maternal Mortality Estimation Inter-Agency Group report 2010 (MMEIG), India has shown an average annual decline of 5.2 per cent between 1990 and 2010 and is one of the 50 countries that are making progress towards improving maternal health,” the ministry disclosed.
Detailing the interventions under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), the ministry said several programmes were initiated. Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) and Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram (JSSK) aim at promoting institutional delivery as a key step to reduce both maternal and neo-natal mortality.
Newborn care corners (NBCC) are being set up at all health facilities where deliveries take place to provide essential newborn care at birth to all new born babies. Special New Born Care Units (SNCUs) at District Hospitals and New Born Stabilization Units (NBSUs) at FRUs are being set up for the care of sick newborn. As on date 399 SNCUs, 1542 NBSUs and 11508 NBCCs are functional across the country.
Home Based Newborn Care (HBNC) through ASHA has recently been initiated to improve new born care practices at the community level and for early detection and referral of sick new born babies. Various trainings are being conducted under NRHM to build and upgrade the skills of doctors, nurses and ANM for early diagnosis and case management of common ailments of children and care of newborn at time of birth.
Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) targets to immunize 2.7 crore infants against seven vaccine preventable diseases every year. 21 states with more than 80 per cent coverage have incorporated second dose of Measles in their immunization programme. Pentavalent vaccine has been introduced in two states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and proposed to be scaled up in six more states. Year 2012-13 has been declared as ‘Year of intensification of Routine Immunization’. India has achieved a historic milestone by remaining polio free for one full year now. WHO has taken India off the list of polio endemic countries, the ministry said.


Aromatherapy May Reduce The Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

A new study has found that short-term exposure to the aromatic essential oils can lower the blood pressure and heart rate. 
The essential oils which form the basis of aromatherapy for stress relief may also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, on the downside, those beneficial effects were reversed when exposure to essential oils lasted more than an hour.The study was performed in men and women working in various spa centers in the city of Taipei in Taiwan, where the traditions of ancient Chinese civilizations are maintained in religious ceremonies and healing therapies. Aromatherapy, as practiced today, is still presented as natural healing with essential oils extracted by infusion from aromatic plants. 
One hundred young, healthy non-smoking spa workers taking part in the study visited the study center on three occasions (about once a week), when each volunteer was exposed to vapors of essential oils released from an ultrasonic ionizer for two hours. During this time and on each visit three repeated measurements – resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure (SBP), and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) – were taken from each spa worker in the study room, a small space measuring 4 meters in height by 3.5 m in length and 3.2 m in width. Before each participant entered the study room, 100% pure bergamot essential oil was vaporized for 1 hour. 
Essential oils are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) composed of hundreds of aromatic chemicals, and VOC levels in the room were also measured throughout the study period. 
Results showed (after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, day of the week, and visit order) that the room's VOC level was significantly associated with reduced blood pressure and heart rate for between 15 and 60 minutes after the start of exposure. These associations were statistically significant. For example, after 45 minutes exposure 15-minute SBP had reduced by a mean of 2.10 mmHg and heart rate by 2.21 beats per minute. 
However, after exposure for more than 1 hour - from 75 to 120 minutes after the start of exposure - VOC levels became associated with an increased 15-minute mean blood pressure and heart rate. After 120 minutes, for example, mean SBP had risen from baseline by 2.19 mmHg, and heart rate by 1.70 beats per minutes. Thus, say the authors, "prolonged exposure for longer than 1 hour to essential oils may be harmful to cardiovascular health in young, healthy subjects". 
As background to the study the authors note that aromatherapy has long been used for stress relief and associated with some healing properties. Even exposure to the essential oil vapors from fragrant candles has been found to reduce test-taking anxiety among nursing school students in the USA. 
However, says investigator Dr Kai-Jen Chuang from Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, it is still unknown if exposure to essential oil increases the risk of cardiovascular events through a partial effect on blood pressure and heart rate. 
"Our results suggest that exposure to essential oil for 1 hour would be effective in reducing heart rate and blood pressure," said Dr Chuang. "However, the most interesting finding of our study is that exposure to essential oil for over an hour was associated with elevated blood pressure and heart rate." 
Dr Chuang explained that, although the effect of essential oils on stress reduction has been well documented, epidemiological studies have reported an association between VOCs and cardiopulmonary effects - asthma among hairdressers, for example. Studies by Chuang's own group in Taiwan have already shown that exposure to VOCs for over an hour in hair salons can lead to increased serum levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) and 8-OHdG (a marker of oxidative stress). Overexposure to essential oils, he suggested, may in such ways be harmful to cardiovascular health in young, healthy subjects. 
He also noted the opinion of the American Heart Association on air pollution in the development of cardiovascular disease. This acknowledges the direct effects of air pollution on the lung and cardiovascular system through neural and central mechanisms to cause a systemic inflammatory response. "These potential biological processes may also be applied to the adverse effects of VOC exposure on cardiovascular health, although at this time there is no proof available for this hypothesis," said Dr Chuang. 


Five Crazy Fad Diets to Avoid

Better nutrition along with exercise can help you lose extra calories effectively and avoid obesity. But the scientists recommended that it is the diet which plays a crucial role. 
According to the British Dietetic Association, the Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition diet is gaining popularity among models.
But the million dollar question is whether such diets are really effective and healthy? 
While trying to get rid of extra weight, we often ignore the importance of right food. It is essential to develop healthy eating habits and avoid eating wrong type of foods that increase just the calories in the body. 
The Dukan Diet is very popular among the celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Kate Middleton and Gisele Bundchen. However, the scientists from the British Dietetic Association (BDA) have indicated Dukan Diet to be the worst offender that should be stringently avoided if you wish to lose weight. 
Here, are the five fad diets you should not take while trying to lose weight. 

Party Girl IV Drip Diet 

It contains vitamins B and C, calcium and magnesium and this cocktail mixture is injected intravenously into the body. It is supposed to give you energy for sustenance and activities and celebrities like Simon Cowell and Rihanna follow this diet. 
But the British Dietician Association caution that side effects such as dizziness, inflammation of veins, anaphylactic shock and infection are associated with this unhealthy diet. 

Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition Diet 
KEN or Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition Diet contains liquid proteins and nutrients dripped directly in your stomach through a plastic tube going up to the patient’s nose. 
Two liters of the diet formula is delivered by the electric pump in about 24 hours. The Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition Diet keeps the body in a state of starvation thereby making the body utilize its fat deposits for energy production. 
It is surprising to see people using nasogastric tubes to lose weight! Moreover, an important flaw of this diet is the absolute absence of fiber in the diet, so, laxatives have to be taken as supplement 

Alcorexia /Drunkorexia Diet 
This fad diet involves restricting the intake of calories and banking on alcohol intake. FDA is strictly against this diet as the body is deprived of the vital nutrients and alcohol alone cannot meet the calorie and other crucial requirements of the body. 
Say the scientists, “Alcohol has little nutrition other than calories and this diet could easily result in alcohol-poisoning or death.” 

The Six Weeks to OMG Diet 
This diet consists of drinking black coffee followed by exercising immediately after getting up in the morning and not eating anything for at least three hours in order to burn the stored fats in the body. OMG diet also involves taking a cold bath, avoiding fruits, and encouraging protein intake even with cold drinks. 
OMG (Oh My God) diet is not at all a healthy alternative to lose weight. Skipping breakfast should not be encouraged; instead a healthy breakfast devoid of excess calories should be recommended. 

Dukan Diet 
Dukan diet regime comprises a four phase diet consisting of no-carbohydrates-and-protein-rich approach for first ten days. It is believed that this regime facilitates fat loss. Gisele Bundchen, Katherine Jenkins and Carole Middleton are staunch followers of this diet. 
The scientists believe that this diet regime is not at all scientific in its approach. Relying on proteins and avoiding other vital ingredients is bound to lead to health problems such as kidney damage, osteoporosis, foul mouth odor, constipation, and host of other disorders. 


Thursday, 29 November 2012

People Don't Remember Things They Have Seen Hundreds of Times Before: Study

A new UCLA psychology study has revealed that people often do not recall things they have seen - or at least walked by - hundreds of times. 
For the study, 54 people who work in the same building were asked if they knew the location of the fire extinguisher nearest their office. While many of the participants had worked in their offices for years and had passed the bright red extinguishers several times a day, only 13 out of the 54 - 24 percent - knew the location.
 When asked to find a fire extinguisher, however, everyone was able to do so within a few seconds; most were surprised they had never noticed them. The researchers found no significant differences between men and women, or between older and younger adults. 

"Just because we've seen something many times doesn't mean we remember it or even notice it," said Alan Castel, an associate professor of psychology at UCLA and lead author of the study. 
Castel said that not noticing things isn't necessarily bad, particularly when those things are not important in your daily life. 
"It might be a good thing not to burden your memory with information that is not relevant to you," he said. 
But with safety information, such as knowing where fire extinguishers are or what to do in an emergency, being prepared can, of course, be very useful, he stated. 
"We don't notice something if we're attending to something else. Fire extinguishers are bright red and very conspicuous, but we're almost blind to them until they become relevant," Castel said. 
Castel stresses that making errors during training is useful. 
"It's good if errors happen during training and not during an event where you need the information. That's part of the learning process," he said. 
The study has been published in the journal Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics.


Use Of Social Media as Preventive Method for Infectious Diseases Explored By Researchers

 Use Of Social Media as Preventive Method for Infectious Diseases Explored By ResearchersWhen it comes to stopping illness, social media posts and tweets may be just what the doctor ordered. A Kansas State University-led research team is looking at social media as a tool to reduce and prevent diseases from spreading. Researchers are studying whether a well-timed post from a public authority or trustworthy person could be as beneficial as flu shots, hand-washing or sneezing into an elbow."Infectious diseases are a serious problem and historically have been a major cause of death," said Faryad Sahneh, Kansas State University doctoral candidate in electrical engineering who is modeling the spread of epidemics in an effort to reduce them. "During the last decades there has been a huge advancement in medication and vaccination, which has helped save many peoples' lives. But now there also has been a revolution in communication and information technology that we think could be used to develop an even more robust preventative society against infectious diseases." 
Sahneh is working on the project with Kansas State University researchers Caterina Scoglio, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and expert in complex network modeling; Gary Brase, associate professor of psychology who studies how people make decisions; and Walter Schumm, professor of family studies and human services who studies family dynamics. Collaborators also include Daniel J. Kruger, a public health scientist at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health; Fahmida N. Chowdhury, an expert in dynamical systems theory and control at the National Science Foundation; and Michael L. Parchman, director of the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation. 
According to Scoglio, having research collaborators from a wide range of relevant disciplines helps the team develop more comprehensive and accurate models that account for realistic human behavior. 
Brase, for example, is collecting data by surveying college-age students about social media and what preventative measures they use against illness. 
Results indicate that a majority of participants get their information predominately from Facebook and a few other social media sites. Moreover, the majority of participants stated they would be willing to increase preventative behaviors such as washing their hands more, taking vitamins or getting a flu shot if asked to do so. 
"However, we also saw that restricting contact with family and friends is something that people are not willing to do," Brase said. "If you think about how diseases are spread, one of the best things you can do is to not interact with other people. But we've seen that this is one thing that people are not very excited about doing." 
As well as gathering information about human behavior, the team is identifying the various groups that need to be reached with social media. 
One critical group is individuals such as teachers or public officials who regularly interact with a large number of the public, Scoglio said. If exposed to a disease, these individuals can potentially infect everyone they interact with throughout the day. Reaching that group, though, could help suppress the disease spreading. 
"If 30 people in that group get a flu vaccine, they will have less probability of getting the flu," Sahneh said. "But, by being vaccinated, it's also benefiting all who come into contact with those 30 people because there is now a reduced chance of the flu being transmitted by those 30 individuals. So reaching that group is pretty important." 
Researchers are also exploring who is the most effective or influential at distributing information through social media. 
"One thing we're discussing is whether it would be better to receive recommendations or advice from someone people know and trust personally, like a friend or the university president, or from someone like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is an authority on the subject but has no personal connection to most people," Scoglio said. "It may be something where a best friend has more influence than a public health official." 
The team's first study, "On the existence of a threshold for preventative behavioral responses to contain epidemic spreading," was recently published in the open-source Scientific Reports journal. Sahneh was the lead author. The study found that if individuals quickly adopt the appropriate preventative behavior, a growing infection can be contained.  
In December, Sahneh is presenting new findings on an optimal dissemination network of health information to the scientific community at the 51st IEEE Conference on Decision and Control. Results suggest that not only vaccinating critical individuals, but also facilitating the circulation of health information to and from those critical individuals greatly helps in suppressing infectious diseases. 




Samples of U.S. Pork Found to Contain Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

 Samples of U.S. Pork Found to Contain Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Recent consumer reports have revealed the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria contamination in many pork chops and ground pork products in the U.S. The study also found some traces of a drug which is banned in many countries. The study showed that antibiotic resistant bacteria were present in nearly 69% of pork chops. Ground pork samples were found to be positive for Yersinia enterocolitica, known to have caused infections in many Americans, mainly children.Some of the bacteria found in the pork were also resistant to antibiotics. The bacteria present in pork samples were listeria, staph, salmonella, and enterococcus. 
In nearly one-fifth of 240 additional pork products, researchers found reduced levels of the drug ractopamine, generally used to enhance lean muscle growth in pigs. 
This drug is permitted in the U.S and some other countries, but is banned in several other nations due to its alleged connection to causing anxiety, rapid heart beat and restlessness.

High Self Esteem and Emotional Wellness Among Female Porn Stars

 High Self Esteem and Emotional Wellness Among Female Porn StarsA study that compared 177 adult entertainment actresses aged from 18 to 50 with women of the same age, ethnicity, marital status but  not part of the porn industry, found that most of our opinion about porn stars, thought of as ‘damaged goods’ ,is highly untrue. 
Most of the porn stars are assumed to be people who suffer from low self esteem or are victims of childhood sexual abuse.A study published this week has criticized the stereotypical portrayal of porn actresses as 'damaged goods’. 
The study found that porn stars are just as much likely as other women to experience common problems.
On the contrary, the study found that those in the sex entertainment industry carried a positive outlook in life with  self-confidence and a better body image.  

'In terms of psychological characteristics, porn actresses had higher levels of self-esteem, positive feelings, social support, sexual satisfaction and spirituality compared to the matched group,' the report stated.
It is wrong to think that they have entered the business because of extreme poverty or homelessness or have been victims of child sexual abuse.
Their levels of spirituality were also much higher and they seemed to have a better quality of life, the report revealed.


Immune system could play a central role in AMD: Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) investigators has conducted preliminary research in how genes in the immune system function may result in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of visual impairment in older adults.
"Our findings are epigenetic in nature, meaning that the underlying DNA is normal but gene expression has been modified, likely by environmental factors, in an adverse way," said Dr Robert Nussenblatt, chief of the National Eye Institute (NEI) Laboratory of Immunology. Environmental factors associated with AMD include smoking, diet, and aging. "This is the first epigenetic study revealing the molecular mechanisms for any eye disease."
The study identified decreased levels of DNA methylation, a chemical reaction that switches off genes, on the interleukin-17 receptor C gene (IL17RC). The lack of DNA methylation led to increased gene activity and, in turn, increased levels of IL17RC proteins in patients with AMD. IL17RC is a protein that promotes immune responses to infections, such as fungal attacks.
The study, conducted by research teams from the NEI and other NIH institutes, including the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; the University of Melbourne, Australia; and Oregon Health and Science University.
"Our study also suggests IL17- and IL17RC-mediated immune responses can be crucial in causing AMD," added Dr Lai Wei, also of NEI's Laboratory of Immunology and first author on the paper. "By measuring IL17RC gene activity in at-risk patients, we have also potentially identified an early method to detect AMD."
AMD damages the light-sensitive cells of the macula, the central part of the retina that allows us to see fine visual detail. As the disease progresses, patients encounter great difficulty reading, driving, or performing hobbies and tasks that require hand-eye coordination. Treatments exist to prevent severe vision loss in certain types of advanced AMD but none prevent or cure the disease. Currently, two million Americans have advanced AMD and another seven million have intermediate stages.
Recent studies have identified several genes with alterations that increase the risk of developing the disease. In addition, environmental risk factors have also been suggested as possible causes of the disease. One explanation may be that environmental exposures influence DNA methylation, which regulates gene expression. Changes in this process may result in the production of too much or too little of a gene’s protein, leading to cellular dysfunction and disease. Changes in DNA methylation have been implicated in cancer, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and many other diseases.
To test whether changes in DNA methylation might play a role in AMD, the investigators evaluated three pairs of twins — one pair identical and two pairs fraternal — where only one of the siblings had AMD. Identical twins have the same genetic makeup while fraternal twins share about half of their DNA. Because of their similar genetic backgrounds, identical and fraternal twins can be helpful in studying the differences between the effects of genetics and the environment. When compared with the unaffected twins, methylation patterns were altered in 231 genes of affected twins. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that environmental exposures may epigenetically regulate expression of many genes and lead to AMD.
Among the 231 genes, the investigators found that DNA methylation was absent in a region of the IL17RC gene in twins with AMD. The lack of methylation in the IL17RC gene led to increased gene activity and, in turn, increased levels of its protein in circulating blood. The investigators further validated these findings by comparing seven siblings with and without AMD as well as 202 AMD patients and 96 control subjects without the disease. These studies also found increased IL17RC levels in circulating blood and, most importantly, in the retina of patients with AMD but not controls.
Based on these results, the authors propose that chronic increased levels of the IL17RC protein in the retina likely promote inflammation and recruitment of immune cells that damage the retina and lead to AMD.
“This study strongly implicates epigenetic DNA methylation as another crucial biological pathway for understanding the molecular basis of AMD,” according to Nussenblatt.
The investigators next plan to evaluate what environmental factors may be responsible for the regulation of IL17RC and how the epigenetic regulation leading to the chronic inflammation in AMD patients can be reversed by novel therapies. They will also evaluate the role of epigenetics in other eye diseases.

Multi-Tasking May Not Be as Good as It Seems

The overachieving world admires people who tackle many tasks at once, but researchers say that devoting attention to one thing at a time is more productive and better for your health and safety. The human capacity for simultaneously handling multiple tasks has been discussed and studied for centuries. With anything and everything needed to be accomplished in 20- minute span, this is what most of us end up doing throughout the day. 
Modern humans may be called super humans, with their incredible capability of doing the laundry, sending emails, helping kids with the homework and eating at the same time. We are the masters of multitasking, and some of these routines become a habit over time.
However, this may be more of a risk than a boon. You may be impressed at yourself for handling quite a lot of tasks at once, but this bubble is about to burst. 

Serial tasking 

While you may consider yourself efficient at multitasking and even brag about it, the fact is, not everyone can multitask. In fact, you may be actually doing what’s called ‘serial tasking’. Instead of doing many things at a time, you’re actually carrying out many tasks, one at a time, in rapid succession. 
A study on multi-tasking published in the American Psychological Association’s website describes how this type of multitasking is not efficient, rather, it is harmful at times. 
Similarly, another study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed shocking results on how the greatest multitaskers are in fact, the worst multitaskers. It showed how those who regarded themselves as great multitaskers were more likely to make mistakes and had difficulty concentrating and took longer time to finish tasks than those who did one thing at a time. 
It is thus very clear that trading accuracy for speed can have disastrous consequences on both, your mental health and your work efficiency

Focal Pointers 

The best way to focus on your task is to avoid distractions. Here are a few tips that will put you in a clear frame of mind, stay focused, and help you perform better at work. 

 Close your cabin door and turn off your cell phone. 

 Schedule meeting times to avoid people popping into your office every now and then. 

 Check your voice mails only at scheduled timings. 

 Prioritize. Plan your day well ahead of time to make sure you have the time for everything. 

 Delegate. Get your kids to help with the dishes so that Mom and Dad don’t have to juggle with too many tasks. 

 Set your email program that lets you check your mails every hour, instead of every minute.

 A quick test 

Still think you’re good at multitasking? Take this quick test to see how your brain deals when too many things are done at once. 
Time yourself as you create 2 separate lists - the letters of the alphabet and the numbers from 1 to 26. 
Now, alternate the numbers with the characters (A1, B2, C3…..) and so on. Then again, create the lists as done previously (viz. the alphabets and the numbers from 1-26). Most people find that switching between the numbers and letters takes nearly twice as long and the work is more likely to be riddled with errors. 


Prenatal exposure to testosterone leads to verbal aggressive behavior

Relative length of adults' fingers an indicator of verbal aggression

A new study in the Journal of Communication links verbal aggression to prenatal testosterone exposure. The lead researcher, at University at Buffalo – The State University of New York, used the 2D:4D measure to predict verbal aggression. This study is the first to use this method to examine prenatal testosterone exposure as a determinant of a communication trait.
Allison Z. Shaw, University at Buffalo – The State University of New York, Michael R. Kotowski, University of Tennessee, and Franklin J. Boster and Timothy R. Levine, Michigan State University, predicted that a neuroendocrine factor, prenatal testosterone, would lead to more verbal aggression. In order to investigate this, Shaw and colleagues used the 2D:4D measure, which is the ratio of the length of the second digit (index finger) to the length of the fourth digit (ring finger), to measure prenatal testosterone exposure. This method involved measuring each finger from where it meets the palm of the hand to the tip. In addition, each hand was photocopied individually with the palm flat, facing downward, with the fingers splayed naturally, and the same measures were made from the photocopy. Subjects then filled out the Verbal Aggression scale as well as the HEXACO Personality Inventory and the Argumentativeness scale.
The findings suggested that both men and women with smaller 2D:4D ratios self-reported themselves to be more verbally aggressive. Although a small degree of verbal aggression may be beneficial for a person (e.g., being able to stand up for yourself if attacked), higher degrees of verbal aggression have been shown to be detrimental to one's personal life (e.g., problems maintaining close personal relationships, loss of job).
"Understanding the causes of verbal aggression, both biological and social, will allow therapists to have a greater understanding of how to work with individuals who may be more prone to use verbal aggression. What the findings of the current study suggest is that verbal aggression may result from a number of cognitive and affective decisions that are made throughout an interaction," Shaw said.
"This research is the future of communication science where studies examine biological bases of behavior to understand and predict fundamental human communication processes, such as verbal aggressiveness." Said Thomas Feeley, professor and chair of the Department of Communication at the University at Buffalo – The State University of New York. "With multiple observations of a given relationship, there is greater external validity and confidence in the study findings."
Source:International Communication Association 

Musical duets lock brains as well as rhythms

Study shows networking properties between brains when guitarists play together

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin have shown that synchronization emerges between brains when making music together, and even when musicians play different voices. In a study published November 29th inFrontiers in Neuroscience, Johanna Sänger and her team used electrodes to record the brain waves of guitarists while they played different voices of the same duet. The results point to brain synchronicity that cannot be explained away by similitudes in external stimulation but can be attributed to a more profound interpersonal coordination.

Scientists working with Ulman Lindenberger at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin already discovered synchronous brain activity between musicians playing the same piece in 2009. The current study goes one step further by examining the brain activity of guitar players performing a piece of music with two different parts. Their aim was to find out whether musicians' brains would synchronize if the two guitarists were not playing exactly the same notes, but instead played different voices of the same song.
To test their hypothesis, the psychologists arranged 32 experienced guitarists in duet pairs, and recorded electrical activity in different brain regions of each musician. They were then asked to play a sequence from the "Sonata in G Major" by Christian Gottlieb Scheidler a total of 60 times, and the duet partners were given slightly different tasks: each musician had to play a different voice, and one of the two was responsible for ensuring that they started at the same time and held the same tempo. Thus, one person took the lead and the other followed.
The duet's brain activities showed coordinated brain oscillations, even when playing different voices of the same duet. Called phase coherence, this synchronous activity suggests a direct neural basis for interpersonal coordination.
"When people coordinate their own actions, small networks between brain regions are formed. But we also observed similar network properties between the brains of the individual players, especially when mutual coordination is very important; for example at the joint onset of a piece of music," says Johanna Sänger. The difference between leader and follower was also reflected in the results of the measurement of electrical activity captured by electrodes: "In the player taking the lead, the internal synchronization of an individual's brain waves was stronger and, importantly, was present already before the duet started to play," says Johanna Sänger. "This could be a reflection of the leading player's decision to begin playing at a certain moment in time," she added.
The current data indicate that synchronization between individuals occurs in brain regions associated with social cognition and music production. And such interbrain networks are expected to occur not only while performing music. "We think that different people's brain waves also synchronise when people mutually coordinate their actions in other ways, such as during sport, or when they communicate with one another," Sänger says.
Source-Original study:
Johanna Sänger, Viktor Müller and Ulman Lindenberger:
Intra- and interbrain synchronization and network properties when playing guitar in duets. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2012, doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00312

The hard truth about male private part size around the world:Times Report

South African men rank sixth in the world in average private part size, according to research.

The scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences has recently published research on the average erect penis lengths of men around the world, and according to the study, the men of the Republic of Congo are the biggest at an average penis length of 18 cm.The study ranked 113 nationalities.British men were ranked 78th with an average length of 13.9 cm, and Americans were behind the Brits (and the Canadians, Spaniards, French, Australians and Russians,) at 12.9 cm.By continent, African men were found to have the largest penises, while north-east Asians are the smallest.Among European countries, the men of Iceland were deemed the biggest.North Korean men fell short, with the average being 9.6 cm.The research was carried out by Dr Richard Lynn, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Ulster University.Though the study may have peaked people’s interest, it’s raised many eyebrows too with critics claiming that the study is flawed, as he used some data from websites.Although the recent survey plays directly into ethnic stereotypes, sexuality researchers Masters and Johnson explained that penis size really has no effect on female satisfaction, according to The Inquisitor.The Telegraph reported that Professor of methodology at Holland’s Tilburg University Jelte Wicherts said: “This is a brave paper in a controversial area but the data has no methodology.”Medical Daily says penis size seems to be a bit of a preoccupation for men, causing a healthy industry that claims to have various methods of enlarging the male organ. There is a significant number of men who claim to have small penises but are in fact quite normally endowed, the report says.It says penile enhancements can come with a host of complications and side effects.
Here are a few of the average penis sizes by country in centimetres:
Republic of Congo, 18
Ecuador, 17.7
Ghana, 17.2
Colombia 17
Iceland 16.5
Italy 15.7
South Africa 15.2
Sweden 14.9
Greece 14.7
Germany 14.4
New Zealand 13.9
UK 13.9
Canada 13.9
Spain 13.9
France 13.4
Australia 13.2
Russia 13.2
USA 12.9
Ireland 12.7
Romania 12.7
China 10.9
India 10
Thailand 10
South Korea 9.6
North Korea 9.6
Source:Times Live

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Thalictrum foliolosum:Wonder Herb

Habitat of the herb: 

Forests and shrubberies at elevations of 1300 - 3400 metres from Kashmir to S.E. Tibet and Burma, especially in Nepal.
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. The seed can also be sown in an outdoor seedbed in spring. Plant them into their permanent positions the following spring. Division in spring as new growth commences or in the autumn. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.The root is antiperiodic, diuretic, febrifuge, ophthalmic, purgative, salve, stomachic and tonic. It is considered to be a good remedy for atonic dyspepsia and is also useful in treating peptic ulcers, indigestion, fevers, toothache, haemorrhoids and for convalescence after acute diseases. It is a valuable remedy for ophthalmia. The juice of the leaves is applied to boils and pimples.Although no records of toxicity have been found for this plant, it belongs to a family that includes many poisonous plants so some caution is advised.


The plants have been used as a source of medicines by man from ancient times to the present day. Initially these were the main parts of folk or ethno medicine practiced in India and other parts of the world like China, Middle East Africa and South America. Later a considerable part of this indigenous knowledge was formulated, documented and eventually passed into the organized systems of medicines such as Ayurveda, Yunani, Siddha or other systems. A large number of medicinal plants of great commercial value grow spontaneously in the study area. The present study is based on a field survey of the district of Almora, to find out the plants of medicinal values. The researcher investigates “The peoples of study area specified like to use ethno-medicine or not in their cases of ailments?” Researcher also wanted to authenticate hypothesis “There is differences of sex in the belief/ use of ethno –medicine in their diseases?” The present study deals with the indigenous uses of  Taxus baccata Linn., Thalictrum foliolosum DC., Berberis aristataDC., Baliospermum montanum Will., Thymus serpyllum Linn., Coleus forskohli Will., Bergenia ciliata(Haworth) Sternb., Clerodendrum serratum Linn., Oroxylum indicum Linn., Valeriana hardwickii Wall.Valeriana jatamansii Jones., Celastrus paniculatus Will., Malaxis acuminata D. Don, Habenaria intermedia D. Don., Habenaria edgeworthii Hook. f. ex .Collett., Costus speciosus (Koenig ex Retz.) Smith,Dioscorea deltoidea Wall., Curculigo orchioides Gaerth, Gloriosa superba Linn., Polygonatum cirrhifoliumWall. Royl., Polygonatum verticillatum Linn. Total fifty-two different diseases have been cured by the reported species. Out of fifty-two diseases, twenty-eight diseases (54%) cured by single plants, nine diseases cured by two (17%) species, seven diseases cured by three (14%), seven diseases cured by four (13%) species and one diseases cured by six (2%) species.
For Details of this Research download PDF file
Source:Priti kumari, Girish C Joshi

Anti-Obesity Day 2012: Spreading Awareness on Obesity Control Measures

November 26 is observed as Anti-Obesity Day in India and various other parts of the world to spread awareness on measures to control obesity. Obesity and overweight has become a major health issue across the world. It was once considered a problem only in developed countries but now it has dramatically risen even in the developing and underdeveloped nations, especially in urban settings. According to the WHO projections, at least one third of the world’s population is overweight and one-fifth of the world’s people are obese.he prevalence of obesity in India has also risen significantly. The National Family Health Survey 2006 data revealed that more than 11 percent of urban population in India was overweight and about 3 percent was obese. The number has risen significantly since then, no doubt. 
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines overweight and obesity as ‘the abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health’. Obesity is roughly measured by the body mass index (BMI), calculated as the person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in meters). A BMI of 25 is considered overweight and a BMI of 30 is obese. Obesity is a consequence of complex interaction of genetics, diet metabolism and physical activity levels and a major health risk factor for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis and even certain cancers. 
What affects the weight status and who is affected? Several studies have shown that women tend to put on more weight as compared to that of men. In women, the extra energy (from excess calorie consumption and low level of physical activity) gets converted into fat. 
Similarly, the older you grow, the more you tend to become overweight. The highest increase is generally in the age group of 50 to 60 years after which it declines. Despite the higher prevalence of overweight and obesity in the older age group, preventive measures should be directed in the younger age group, say the scientists, so that later the impact of overweight and obesity could be mitigated. 
Overweight and obesity is one disorder that is largely preventable. The key is to have an energy balance between calories consumed on one hand and calories expended on the other hand. Not only the calories, but the pattern of food consumption should also be paid attention to. So, avoid fried foods and red meats, and limit eating out. 
The WHO recommends the following for energy balance: 

- Shift from consuming saturated fats to consuming unsaturated fats. 

- Increase fruit and vegetable intake. 

- Consume plenty of legumes, whole grains and nuts. 

- Limit sugar intake. 

- Boost your levels of physical activity to at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days. 

Reduce fat, be fit, be healthy! 


Compound found in rosemary protects against macular degeneration in laboratory model

Sanford-Burnham researchers discover that carnosic acid, a component of the herb rosemary, promotes eye health in rodents—providing a possible new approach for treating conditions such as age-related macular degeneration

Herbs widely used throughout history in Asian and early European cultures have received renewed attention by Western medicine in recent years. Scientists are now isolating the active compounds in many medicinal herbs and documenting their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. In a study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D. and colleagues at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) report that carnosic acid, a component of the herb rosemary, promotes eye health.
Lipton's team found that carnosic acid protects retinas from degeneration and toxicity in cell culture and in rodent models of light-induced retinal damage. Their findings suggest that carnosic acid may have clinical applications for diseases affecting the outer retina, including age-related macular degeneration, the most common eye disease in the U.S.
Age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration likely has many underlying causes. Yet previous studies suggest that the disease might be slowed or improved by chemicals that fight free radicals—reactive compounds related to oxygen and nitrogen that damage membranes and other cell processes.
Lipton's team first discovered a few years ago that carnosic acid fights off free radical damage in the brain. In their latest study, Lipton and colleagues, including Tayebeh Rezaie, Ph.D. and Takumi Satoh, Ph.D., initially investigated carnosic acid's protective mechanism in laboratory cultures of retinal cells.
The researchers exposed the cells growing in the dish to hydrogen peroxide in order to induce oxidative stress, a factor thought to contribute to disease progression in eye conditions such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. They found that cells treated with carnosic acid triggered antioxidant enzyme production in the cells, which in turn lowered levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (cell-damaging free radicals and peroxides).
Rosemary's therapeutic potential
Lipton, Rezaie, Satoh and colleagues next tested carnosic acid in an animal model of light-induced damage to photoreceptors—the part of the eye that converts light to electrical signals, enabling visual perception. As compared to the untreated group, rodents pre-treated with carnosic acid retained a thicker outer nuclear layer in the eye, indicating that their photoreceptors were protected. The carnosic acid-treated rodents also exhibited better electroretinogram activity, a measure of healthy photoreceptor function.
What's next for carnosic acid? "We're now developing improved derivatives of carnosic acid and related compounds to protect the retina and other brain areas from a number of degenerative conditions, including age-related macular degeneration and various forms of dementia," said Lipton, director of Sanford-Burnham's Del E. Webb Neuroscience, Aging, and Stem Cell Research Center and an active clinical neurologist.
Source:Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute 

Heart failure drug less effective in real world

A large study addressing the effectiveness and safety of aldosterone antagonist therapy for older heart failure patients has found notable differences between the drug's results in clinical trial vs. what occurs in actual practice, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
Those differences have been noted anecdotally by doctors, and likely contributed to the slow adoption of aldosterone antagonists in clinical practice, but they had not been confirmed in a large study examining the drugs in real-world situations.
The Duke-led research, published Nov. 28, 2012, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests that doctors should more closely model the types of patients and the procedures followed in clinical trials when prescribing drugs in practice.
"Understanding whether real-world effectiveness matches the efficacy of clinical trials is important to assure that we are implementing and providing the best care possible," said lead author Adrian F. Hernandez, M.D., MHS, a cardiologist and member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. "We are in an era where drugs can be efficacious, and the question is can they be effective and safe in clinical practice as they're being used. That's where we find differences and need more comparative effectiveness studies."
Key efficacy trials decades ago reported impressive benefits of aldosterone antagonist therapy, but doctors have long had questions about its safety for older and sicker patients who may be at risk for retaining high levels of potassium in their blood – a potentially fatal condition known as hyperkalemia.
Hernandez and colleagues used Medicare data to identify older patients who had been hospitalized for heart failure or weak pumping action called reduced ejection fraction. Among more than 5,880 eligible patients, 1,070 were discharged with prescriptions for aldosterone antagonist drugs, which inhibit sodium reabsorption in the kidneys to lower fluid retention and, as a result, improve heart function.
The research team found fewer benefits associated with the drugs than had originally been reported. There was no difference in deaths or hospital readmissions for cardiovascular events between the patients who went on the aldosterone antagonists and patients who did not. Patients taking the drugs were, however, less likely to be readmitted to the hospital for heart failure. At the same time, they were at significantly higher risk of readmission for hyperkalemia.
The study suggests that aldosterone antagonists might have limited success in reducing deaths among older patients. Potential reasons include a lack of adherence to therapy, and improper dosing and monitoring in practical use.
"Patient populations, monitoring, and procedures in clinical trials are different than in normal practice," Hernandez said. "High-risk patients, women and members of minority groups are typically underrepresented in clinical trials, while clinical trial participants tend to adhere to therapy and follow-up tests."
Hernandez said the study's findings highlight the importance of conducting clinical trials that can be easily generalized to real-world practice. At the same time, better protocols for aldosterone antagonist therapy could be established for doctors to ensure appropriate patient selection, correct dosing, medication adherence and early follow-up visits to screen for hyperkalemia.
"We can't have a paradigm where we give a pill and say come back in three months," Hernandez said. "Developing systems that encourage optimal use and monitoring of aldosterone antagonist therapy may help ensure that the effectiveness of this therapy in clinical practice approaches what was achieved in clinical trials."
Source:Duke University Medical Center 

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