Lisa Richwine and James ViciniReuters
Tue, 07 Aug 2007 23:22 UTC
Terminally ill patients do not have a constitutional right to experimental drugs not approved by regulators, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Tuesday.
In the wake of an Iraqi official last month blaming America's use of depleted uranium munitions in its 2003 "Shock and Awe" campaign for a surge in cancer there, the Defense Department is facing an October deadline for providing a comprehensive report to Congress on the health effects of such weapons.
|©US Department of Defense
|Depleted Uranium Shells
DVDs and videos that claim to help boost infants' ability to learn new words may actually hinder their language development, a new study says.
Tue, 07 Aug 2007 22:38 UTC
Millions of villagers hit by monsoon floods across northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal are ''days away from a health crisis,'' as stagnant waters become a breeding ground for disease, the United Nations said.
New research by scientists in France and Portugal suggests that drinking caffeine may help protect thinking and memory skills in older women.
The study is published in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).
The fact that a biological research laboratory was probably the source of the foot and mouth outbreak is, paradoxically, both hugely reassuring and at first sight very worrying.
Reassuring because if the multinational firm Merial Animal Health Labs was responsible for the outbreak, then scientists will know exactly which strain of the virus is responsible and will have a vaccine readily available - indeed, the cause of the outbreak would have been the very foot and mouth vaccines that the scientists are producing in huge quantities.
An Indian court on Monday rejected a challenge to the country's patent laws by Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis, a decision lauded by medical aid groups as a victory for millions of poor patients in developing countries.
Mon, 06 Aug 2007 14:31 UTC
A tiny spot in the brain triggers fever in mice, U.S. researchers said on Sunday, and understanding how it works may lead to more specific drugs to control fever and other ills in humans.
When people get sick, white blood cells send chemical signals called cytokines to marshal defenses in the body. These messengers tell blood vessels in the brain to make a second hormone, prostaglandin E2.
"This triggers the brain responses during an infection or inflammation," said Dr. Clifford Saper of Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, whose study appears in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
Researchers knew that prostaglandin E2 acted on the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that controls basic functions like eating, drinking, sex and body temperature.
How dynamic brain networks enable object recognition
Which brain processes enable humans to rapidly access their personal knowledge" What happens if humans perceive either familiar or unfamiliar objects" The answer to these questions may lie in the direction of information flow transmitted between specialized brain areas that together establish a dynamic cortical network. This finding is reported in the latest issue of the scientific journal PLoS ONE published on August 1st, 2007 [http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0000684].
Fruit or vegetable, insect or bird, familiar or unfamiliar - humans are used to classify objects in the world around them and group them into categories that have been formed and shaped constantly through every day's experience. Categorization during visual perception is exceptionally fast. Within just a fraction of a second we effortlessly access object-based knowledge, in particular if sufficient sensory information is available and the respective category is distinctly characterized by object features.
For every man with a migraine, three women are struck by the severe headaches that often come with nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and aura. That means a staggering 18 to 25 percent of women suffer from migraines, making it one of the most common disabling conditions faced by women around the globe.
This 3-to-1 ratio raises the obvious question: Why? The reason, suggest researchers at UCLA, is that women may have a faster trigger than men for activating the waves of brain activity thought to underlie migraines. If the theory is correct, this triggering mechanism may be a new target for migraine treatment.
Reporting in the Annals of Neurology, currently online, Dr. Andrew Charles, director of the Headache Research and Treatment Program in the UCLA Department of Neurology; Dr. Kevin C. Brennan, a clinical and research fellow in Charles' lab; and colleagues used a mouse model to discover a big difference between males and females with regard to a phenomenon called cortical spreading depression (CSD), which is thought to be a chief culprit in causing migraines. In a separate study, to be published in the September issue of the Journal of Headache and Pain, the researchers report preliminary success in preventing migraines using memantine, a drug that blocks CSD waves.