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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Walking Around House may Help Cut Arthritis Disability Risk by Third

 Walking Around House may Help Cut Arthritis Disability Risk by ThirdThe risk of becoming disabled by osteoarthritis is cut to nearly a third with the help of an hour's gentle exercise as said by researchers.

Professor Dorothy Dunlop, of Northwestern University, Chicago, who studied nearly 2,000 patients with arthritis in their knees, said: "It is known that the more time people spend in moderate or vigorous activities, the less likely they are to develop disability, Daily Express reported. 

The researchers looked at 1,680 people aged 49 to 83, who were free of disability but either had, or were at risk of developing, osteoarthritis in their knees. 

Patients wore an accelerometer around their hips to check their daily activity levels, and as expected, people engaging in moderate or vigorous activity had less disability two years later. 

However, the team also found that people who did light physical activity also had fewer disabilities. 

Source:The research has been published in the British Medical Journal.


Reduction in Cardiovascular Diseases and Cancer Risks With Edible Chinese Flowers

 Reduction in Cardiovascular Diseases and Cancer Risks With Edible Chinese FlowersCommon edible flowers in China are rich in phenolics, having excellent antioxidant capacity and can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, finds a new study.

The researchers have found that common edible flowers common edible flowers have the potential to be used as an additive in food to prevent chronic disease, help health promotion and prevent food oxidization. 

However, the researchers said that the antioxidant mechanisms, the anti-tumor, anti-inflammation and anti-aging activity of the edible flower extracts should be further studied to develop more applications as natural antioxidants. 

Source:The study was published in the Journal of Food Science.

Yoga Program Could Help Women With Urinary Incontinence

 Yoga Program Could Help Women With Urinary IncontinenceYoga training program could help women who suffer from urinary incontinence, finds new study.


In a study scheduled to be published on April 25, 2014 in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, the official journal of the American Urogynecologic Society, UCSF researchers discovered that a yoga training program, designed to improve pelvic health, can help women gain more control over their urination and avoid accidental urine leakage. 

"Yoga is often directed at mindful awareness, increasing relaxation, and relieving anxiety and stress," said first author Alison Huang, MD, assistant professor in the UCSF School of Medicine. "For these reasons, yoga has been directed at a variety of other conditions - metabolic syndrome or pain syndromes - but there's also a reason to think that it could help for incontinence as well." 

Huang and her colleagues recruited 20 women from the Bay Area who were 40 years and older and who suffered from urinary incontinence on a daily basis. Half were randomly assigned to take part in a six-week yoga therapy program and the other half were not. The women who took part in the yoga program experienced an overall 70 percent improvement - or reduction - in the frequency of their urine leakage compared to the baseline. The control group - or the group that did not start yoga therapy - only had 13 percent improvement. Most of the observed improvement in incontinence was in stress incontinence, or urine leakage brought on by activities that increase abdominal pressure such as coughing, sneezing, and bending over. 

Huang and her colleagues believe that yoga can improve urinary incontinence through more than one mechanism. Because incontinence is associated with anxiety and depression, women suffering from incontinence may benefit from yoga's emphasis on mindful meditation and relaxation. But regular practice of yoga may also help women strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor that support the bladder and protect against incontinence. 

"We thought this would be a good opportunity for women to use yoga to become more aware of and have more control over their pelvic floor muscles," Huang said. 

Approximately 25 million adults in America suffer from some form of urinary incontinence, according to the National Association for Continence. Up to 80 percent of them are women. Urinary incontinence becomes more common as women age, although many younger women also suffer from it. 

"We specifically developed a yoga therapy program that would be safe for older women, including women with minor mobility limitations," Huang said. "So we were partially assessing safety of this program for older women who are at highest risk for having incontinence in the first place." 

Not all types of yoga may help with urinary incontinence. The yoga program used in the study was specially designed with input from yoga consultants Leslie Howard and Judith Hanson Lasater, who have experience teaching women to practice yoga in ways that will improve their pelvic health. Still Huang and her colleagues believe that many women in the community can be taught to preserve pelvic muscle strength and prevent incontinence. 

"It would be a way for women to gain more control over their pelvic floor muscles without having to go through traditional costly and time-intensive rehabilitation therapy," Huang said. 

Men were not included in this study because urinary incontinence in men is often related to problems related to the prostate, which may be less likely to improve with yoga. Huang and her colleagues hope to eventually build on this study and double the length of the study to 12 weeks.


New Protein in the Neurological Disorder Dystonia Discovered

 New Protein in the Neurological Disorder Dystonia DiscoveredKansas State University researchers have identified a novel protein linked to dystonia, a neurological disorder that affects nearly half a million Americans.Michal Zolkiewski, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Kansas State University, and Jeffrey Brodsky at the University at Pittsburgh co-led a study that focused on a mutated protein associated with early onset torsion dystonia, or EOTD, the most severe type of dystonia that typically affects adolescents before the age of 20. Dystonia causes involuntary and sustained muscle contractions that can lead to paralysis and abnormal postures. 

"It's a painful and debilitating disease for which there is no cure or treatment that would be effective for all patients," Zolkiewski said. "There are some treatments that are being tested, but nothing is really available to those patients that would cure the symptoms completely." 

In addition to Zolkiewski and Brodsky, researchers involved in the study included Hui-Chuan Wu, Kansas State University doctoral student in biochemistry and molecular biophysics, Taiwan, and colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Adelaide in Australia. 

The Journal of Biological Chemistry recently published the team's study, "The BiP molecular chaperone plays multiple roles during the biogenesis of TorsinA, a AAA+ ATPase associated with the neurological disease Early-Onset Torsion Dystonia." The study was funded by the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation. 

Researchers built the study on a decade-old discovery that patients with early onset torsion dystonia typically have a mutated gene that encodes the protein TorsionA. 

"TorsinA is a protein that all people have in their bodies," Zolkiewski said. "It appears to perform an important role in the nervous system, but currently nobody knows what that role is. There also is no understanding of the link between the mutation and dystonia." 

In order to study protein expression in a living organism, researchers used yeast — one of the simplest living systems. The yeast was engineered to produce the human protein TorsionA. 

Observations revealed that a second protein named BiP — pronounced "dip" — helps process the TorsinA protein and maintain its active form. Additionally, researchers found that BiP also guides TorsinA to being destroyed by cells if the protein is defective. Humans carry the BiP protein as well as the TorsinA protein. 

"BiP is a molecular chaperone that assists other proteins in maintaining their function," Zolkiewski said. "In this study we found that BiP really has a dual role. On one hand it's helping TorsinA and on the other it's leading to its degradation." 

Future studies may focus on BiP as a target for treating dystonia, as modulating BiP in human cells would affect TorsinA, Zolkiewski said. 

"Because we don't know what exactly the function of TorsinA is, we may not be able to design a treatment based on that protein," Zolkiewski said. "We know what BiP does, however. It is a pretty well-studied chaperone, which makes it much easier to work with." 

Source:Dystonia Medical Research Foundation


Study Shows Why Phosphate Rich Food Lead to BP and Heart Disease

High phosphate diet can increase blood pressure and promote vascular calcifications, say researchers.
When the level of FGF23 is raised, as through a high phosphate diet, calcium and sodium accumulate, putting strain on the cardiovascular system. Phosphate rich foods include processed cheese, Parmesan, cola, baking powder and most processed foods. 

Phosphates are widely used in the food industry as preservatives and pH stabilizers. When large quantities of phosphates are consumed, production of the FGF23 hormone is stimulated, which has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. 

Reinhold Erben, the head of the Unit of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Biophysics at the Vetmeduni Vienna, warns that "our phosphate consumption is relevant for our state of health." 

The researchers showed that FGF23 has a so called sodium conserving effect, meaning it controls the reabsorption of filtered sodium in the kidneys. Mice lacking FGF23 excrete higher amounts of sodium in their urine, resulting in low blood pressure. Animals with high FGF23 levels show high levels of sodium in their blood, and in turn, high blood pressure. 

A raised level of FGF23 puts increased strain on the heart. Reinhold Erben explains that, "In patients with chronic renal disease, both the phosphate levels and the levels of FGF23 are chronically high. This often leads to cardiovascular disease." 

A second study, published by Erben's group in mid-January in EMBO, showed that FGF23 also controls calcium levels. As with sodium, the calcium is filtered in the kidneys and reabsorbed back into the body. If this reabsorption does not take place, the body loses calcium. 

Too much FGF23 leads to increased take up of calcium by the kidneys, and results in vascular calcification. 

The study has been published on the journal, EMBO Molecular Medicine.
Source: journal, EMBO Molecular Medicine.


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