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Mon, 25 May 2020
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Genetics Journal Thimerosal-Autism Study the 'Best Science Drug Company Money Can Buy'

An analysis released today critically examined a recent industry-sponsored study ruling out a link between autism and Rh immune globulin (RhIg) injections, some of which contained the mercury-based preservative thimerosal. Besides extensive design flaws, the analysis uncovered manipulation of the study sample, so that earlier data revealing a positive autism-RhIg association was concealed.

Health

Elderly patients who take anti-depressants run a higher risk of getting osteoporosis

Elderly patients who take anti-depressants run a higher risk of getting osteoporosis, it has emerged.

Two studies found that patients who used drugs such as Prozac and Seroxat developed thinner bones.

Evil Rays

Ultrasound proves safe alternative to biopsy in some breast masses

Researchers have reported that breast masses shown on ultrasound that are diagnosed as "probably benign" can be safely managed with imaging follow-up rather than biopsy, according to a study appearing in the July issue of Radiology.

"These findings indicate that ultrasound follow-up can spare women from unnecessary, invasive biopsies," said Oswald Graf, M.D., from the Department of Radiology, Ambulatory Care Center in Steyr, Austria.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that 212,920 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year. Early detection through screening is the best way to combat cancer at its early, most treatable stage. While mammography is the standard breast cancer screening exam, the sensitivity of mammography for identifying breast cancer decreases in women with dense breast tissue. Some studies have shown that ultrasound may provide useful information in detecting cancer in women with dense breasts. However, screening with ultrasound also identifies a large number of breast lesions that are suspicious but may or may not be cancerous. Often, these masses are recommended for biopsy. ACS reports that 80 percent of breast lesions biopsied are found to be benign.

Attention

Among youth in US, whites have highest incidence of diabetes

Non-Hispanic white youth have the highest rate of diabetes of all racial/ethnic groups for children in the U.S., with type 1 being the predominant kind of diabetes among youth, according to a study in the June 27 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on chronic diseases of children.

Dana Dabelea, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, presented the findings of the study at a JAMA media briefing in New York.

Estimates of the incidence of type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) show an increase in incidence worldwide during the past two decades, according to background information in the article. Type 2 DM has traditionally been viewed as a disorder of adults, most likely persons who are middle-age or elderly. But as the prevalence of obesity has increased in recent decades, some studies have reported an increasing proportion of youth with type 2 DM, especially among racial/ethnic minority populations. However, data are limited regarding the types and incidence of DM among U.S. youth of different racial/ethnic backgrounds.

Magic Wand

More than 80% of patients manage to stop discomfort from tinnitus and can lead a normal life again

It is estimated that between 10 and 17% of the population has suffered tinnitus at some time in their lives, according to a number of international studies. Tinnitus is understood as the perception of noise in the ears or inside the head although there is no external source of sound, without any vibratory cochlear activity taking place (which occurs when an external noise is produced). Depending on the intensity of the symptom, the patient may have their everyday life affected. In extreme cases the discomforts may make working routines impossible or negatively affect normal daily life.

Doctor Heitzmann has recommended TRT (Tinnitus Retraining Therapy) treatment - based on the neurophysiological model - for those suffering from tinnitus. She points out that it is a treatment the aim of which is to get the patient to become accustomed to the "noise". To achieve this, therapeutic advice and sound therapy are used. The father of TRT is professor Pawel J. Jastreboff, who has defined tinnitus as a phantom auditory perception perceived only by the person. On applying the neurophysiological model in the University Hospital (of Navarre), Ms Heitzmann concluded that getting used to the tinnitus and thereby, achieving the cessation of discomfort, occurred in between 80 and 84% of patients, including, at times, a higher proportion. It is the treatment that has the highest success rate currently.

Magic Wand

Adding folic acid to bread could help in the fight against depression

A unique study by researchers at the University of York and Hull York Medical School has confirmed a link between depression and low levels of folate, a vitamin which comes from vegetables.

In research published in the July edition of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the York team led by Dr Simon Gilbody, concluded that there was a link between depression and low folate levels, following a review of 11 previous studies involving 15,315 participants.

Coffee

Strange but True: Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill

Liquid H2O is the sine qua non of life. Making up about 66 percent of the human body, water runs through the blood, inhabits the cells, and lurks in the spaces between. At every moment water escapes the body through sweat, urination, defecation or exhaled breath, among other routes. Replacing these lost stores is essential but rehydration can be overdone. There is such a thing as a fatal water overdose.

Earlier this year, a 28-year-old California woman died after competing in a radio station's on-air water-drinking contest. After downing some six liters of water in three hours in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" (Nintendo game console) contest, Jennifer Strange vomited, went home with a splitting headache, and died from so-called water intoxication.

Light Sabers

Study finds connection between teenage violence and domestic violence

Researchers tracing the development of violent behavior have found a link between teenage violence and domestic violence.

Adolescents who engaged in violent behavior at a relatively steady rate through their teenage years and those whose violence began in their mid teens and increased over the years are significantly more likely to engage in domestic violence in their mid 20s than other young adults, according to a new University of Washington study.

"Most people think youth violence and domestic violence are separate problems, but this study shows that they are intertwined," said Todd Herrenkohl, lead author of the study and a UW associate professor of social work.

The study also found no independent link between an individual's use of alcohol or drugs and committing domestic violence. In addition it showed that nearly twice as many women as men said they perpetrated domestic violence in the past year including kicking, biting or punching their partner, threatening to hit or throw something at their partner, and pushing, grabbing or shoving their partner.

Data from the study came from the on-going Seattle Social Development Project which has been tracing youth development and the social and antisocial behavior of more than 800 participants. It began when they were in the fifth grade and continues to follow them into adulthood.

Magic Wand

Meditate...to Concentrate: Penn Researchers Demonstrate Improved Attention With Mindfulness Training

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say that practicing even small doses of daily meditation may improve focus and performance.

Meditation, according to Penn neuroscientist Amishi Jha and Michael Baime, director of Penn's Stress Management Program, is an active and effortful process that literally changes the way the brain works. Their study is the first to examine how meditation may modify the three subcomponents of attention, including the ability to prioritize and manage tasks and goals, the ability to voluntarily focus on specific information and the ability to stay alert to the environment.

In the Penn study, subjects were split into two categories. Those new to meditation, or "mindfulness training," took part in an eight-week course that included up to 30 minutes of daily meditation. The second group was more experienced with meditation and attended an intensive full-time, one-month retreat.

Health

Number of victims in Moscow food poisoning hits 433

The number of foreign workers sickened by food poisoning at the construction of a new terminal at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport has risen to 433, a food safety watchdog spokesperson said Monday.

The mass food poisoning hit the Turkish construction company Enka's summer camp near Moscow last week. Local food safety officials said earlier that all patients, mainly nationals of Georgia, Uzbekistan and other former Soviet states, had been diagnosed with salmonella infection.

"Three hundred and seventeen people are in hospital in [nearby] Solnechnogorsk, and another 116 are being treated at the Morozovka holiday center, where they have been accommodated," Olga Gavrilenko said.

Gavrilenko said all the patients were receiving appropriate treatment and food, and that none of them had been released from hospital yet.