Thursday, 25 December 2014
In this video from the seventh most-visited release, Dr. Ian Alcock describes his research on how green spaces in towns and cities create immediate and long lasting improvements in people's well-being.
Study author Arul Chinnaiyan said, "Lung cancer is quite a complex disease with many causes. Our deep sequencing analysis found new gene fusions in lung cancers that were negative for the most commonly known fusions. These new anomalies could potentially be targets for developing new treatments."
Researchers studied 753 lung cancer samples that represented both smokers and non-smokers. They found 6,348 unique fusions with an average of 13 fusions per tumor sample. Anomalies in two gene pathways were most prevalent- the Hippo pathway, which has previously been linked to some rare cancers; and NRG1, which has not previously been linked to cancer. The researchers recommend expanding lung cancer subtypes based on these molecular characteristics.
The team suggests exploring these inhibitors as potential therapeutics in lung cancer. Pharmaceutical companies are already investigating drugs that could target the Hippo pathway and NRG1. Also, the finding that the number of gene fusions was linked to prognosis suggests that a screen could be developed to help doctors determine how aggressive a patient's tumor is likely to be and to personalize treatment accordingly.
Source:The study is published in 'Nature Communications'.
Monday, 22 December 2014
Microbiologists and nutrition researchers from Tufts University reported that the extra vitamin E helped regulate the mice's immune system.
The reduced numbers of bacteria and white blood cells resulted in less lung damage in the older mice who received extra vitamin E. These mice were able to control the infection as efficiently as young mice.
A 2013 report on antibiotic resistance threats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified infections from Streptococcus pneumoniae as a serious concern that requires "prompt and sustained action."
The bacterium causes 1.2 million drug-resistant infections, 19,000 excess hospitalizations, 7,000 deaths, and 96 million dollars in excess medical costs per year. Older adults and young children are at most risk for developing these drug-resistant infections.
The study is published in the Journal of Immunology.
Indian regulatory system needs to be strengthened to improve clinical trial industry in India: Neuland labs CFO
As the clinical trial industry is facing lot of resistance in India, Industry experts are of the view that the Indian regulatory system should undergo massive reforms to contain unethical practices in clinical trials and should pave way to open up at least 10 per cent of global clinical trials in the country.
According to N S Viswanathan, chief financial officer, Neuland Laboratories limited, the Indian drug regulatory system is very weak when compared to the US FDA, particularly in the clinical trials segment, the rules and protocols should be amended and strengthened so that it should not give any chance for the unscrupulous and rouge elements to take advantage of any loopholes in the regulations.
“Unlike in the western world, in most cases the Indian researchers and clinical research organisations do not stick to their actual experimental results. They tend to manipulate it and try to match it with the standard values. Because of this kind of mindset we are not able to invent new things. We need to change our mindset and should believe in ourselves and should be able to challenge the existing systems. At the same time the Indian regulatory system should also be reformed and all loopholes should be plugged to make it more transparent and accountable,” said the CFO.
Though the country has a huge potential for clinical trial industry in India, the industry is facing lot of resistance both from rights groups and from the regulators. Not just that, because of a few rouge elements involved in the clinical trial industry and the media is also responsible for blowing the issue out of proportion, the industry has lost lot of opportunities in the drug discovery. During the past 2 years the DCGI has not even given more than 50 approvals for clinical trials in India. It is right time that India needs to streamline its regulations and should pave way to open up at least 10 per cent of global clinical trial market in the country.
“We should follow what is best in the world. Our regulations are driven by Supreme Court rather than science and its essence. The regulatory system needs to be strengthened and needs to incorporate ways and mechanisms to find black sheeps and rouges in the clinical trials. Particularly, there is a need for incorporating right compensation for the subjects on trial. Transparent regulatory system should evolve and each and every data pertaining to the subjects should be made available and should not give scope for any manipulation,” said the CFO.
In the wake of international regulators like US FDA and EU issuing warnings and blacklisting the pharmaceutical units in India, it is high time that Indian regulatory system needs to be strengthened and should bring in more regulatory reforms in the drug control administration on the lines of international standards.
Sunday, 21 December 2014
Bell's palsy affects between 11 and 40 per 100,000 people each year. Most people with Bell's palsy recover completely. Headaches are the most common disorder of the nervous system and affect about 12 percent of the US population.
"This is a very new association between migraine and Bell's palsy," said study author Shuu-Jiun Wang, MD, with National Yang-Ming University and Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. "Our study also suggests that these two conditions may share a common underlying link."
For the study, two groups of 136,704 people ages 18 and older, one group with migraine and one without, were followed for an average of three years. During that time, 671 people in the migraine group and 365 of the non-migraine group were newly diagnosed with Bell's palsy. People with migraine were twice as likely to develop Bell's palsy even after researchers accounted for other factors that could increase the risk of the condition, such as sex, high blood pressure and diabetes.
"Infection, inflammation or heart and vascular problems could be shared causes for these diseases," Wang said. "If a common link is identified and confirmed, more research may lead to better treatments for both conditions."
The study was supported by the National Science Council of Taiwan, the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, National Yang-Ming University and the Taiwan Ministry of Education.
The good news is you that don’t always have to go for prescription medicine to lower your blood pressure.
Trying lifestyle changes can suit you if you have borderline or moderate hypertension. However do consult your doctor, he or she will check your pressure and inform you if these changes can substitute or lower the medication dose for your hypertension. The recommended changes includes:
Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure.
Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper functioning of all cells of our body. Along with sodium, calcium and magnesium, potassium helps maintain the electrolyte balance of the body. Too much salt or sodium causes water retention in the body. This increases the blood volume and puts pressure on the artery walls resulting in high blood pressure.
Again, low potassium levels and high sodium levels, makes the heart and blood vessels to work harder and therefore increase pressure on the walls. So, keeping the right sodium–potassium balance is important for proper functioning of the body. Increasing the dietary consumption of potassium can help lower blood pressure.
Since our diet is normally high in sodium, it is important that we increase the intake of potassium. And if you have high blood pressure, you need to decrease the intake of sodium and increase the intake of potassium to get better effects.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet to lower high blood pressure. The DASH diet plan is high in fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products. It is also high in potassium, calcium and magnesium which are useful in controlling high blood pressure.
Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) indicated that higher dietary potassium intakes were associated with significantly lower blood pressures. The DASH trial provided further support for the beneficial effects of a potassium-rich diet on blood pressure. According to them, consumption of a diet including 8.5 servings/day of fruits and vegetables and 4,100 mg/day of potassium lowered blood pressure by an average of 2.8 /1.1 mm Hg (systolic BP/diastolic BP) in people with normal blood pressure and by an average of 7.2 /2.8 mm Hg in people with hypertension. Increasing dietary calcium intake by 800 mg/day in the DASH trial lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure still further.