Month: October 2017

The INTERVAL trial in the United Kingdom investigated the optimal frequency of blood donations and its effect on the donor’s health. Blood donations have saved countless lives by enabling blood transfusions for several clinical indications. However, there have been no studies investigating strategies to obtain the most blood with minimal adverse effects on donors. Consequently,
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Researchers in Italy explored whether or not the childbirth method determines the quality of breast milk. Maternal breast milk that is first secreted after giving birth is called colostrum. Colustrum is rich in various components including antibodies, mineral salts, and hormones. Colostrum provides babies with their first protective defences allowing them to adapt to the
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A new Chinese study determines whether vitamin A supplements for children with autism spectrum disorders can help alleviate autism symptoms. Autism spectrum disorders are characterized by difficulties in social communication, repetitive motions of arms, fingers, or head, unusually intense and prolonged emotional interactions, and developmental delays. A number of studies indicate altered gut microbiota in
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A review determines whether resveratrol reduces fasting glucose and insulin levels and improves insulin sensitivity in patients with type 2 diabetes. Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in the skins of red grapes, is a potent antioxidant that is being touted for its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-aging, and cardioprotective effects. Some studies have shown that resveratrol intake improves
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With outstanding clinical results, a new cancer treatment attracting attention is cancer immunotherapy using bispecific antibodies. But is this treatment really the way forward? Tumour recurrence and the development of drug resistance are just two factors which contribute to the difficulties of curing cancer. Regardless of the advancements achieved in treating cancer, the development of
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Researchers investigate the differences in asthma management and severity between different ethnic groups in Britain, in order to improve services to all groups. One million children receive treatment for asthma in the United Kingdom. Healthcare practitioners have noticed a difference in asthma management between children of different ethnicities. Children of South Asian heritage were experiencing
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An ongoing study conducted in Norway seeks to target childhood obesity by creating healthy eating habits while the child is being weaned. Childhood obesity is a global issue and negatively affects the child’s physical and mental wellbeing. The prevalence of energy-rich but nutrient-deficient foods makes it important to instill healthy eating habits in children at
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Many women elect for immediate breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Researchers investigate the timing of this surgery to ensure the least amount of complications for the patient. The rate of women choosing to have a mastectomy has steadily increased over the past few years. As an option to surgically remove the entire breast, mastectomies have
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Researchers are investigating whether genetic engineering can restore the ability of natural killer cells to locate, enter and destroy certain tumours. Natural killer (NK) cells may be an important new anti-cancer treatment option.  Natural killer cells, as a part of a healthy immune system are able to effectively kill a wide range of tumour cells. 
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The NIH has amended its definition of clinical trials to include brain studies, introducing new regulations considered unnecessary by many researchers. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has implemented its controversial decision to broaden the scope of clinical trials to include cognitive and behavioural studies. This change, which has been in discussion since at least
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Patient participation in clinical trials for cancer patients has been in decline. Researchers determine the barriers prohibiting participation. Randomized clinical trials are essential to testing whether a new treatment is better or worse than an existing one. Patients participating in clinical trials are typically randomly sorted into two groups: those receiving a new treatment under
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A study compares the safety and efficacy of rivaroxaban compared to warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation-related mild ischemic stroke. Atrial fibrillation is characterized by an irregular heartbeat and reduced blood flow. An inefficient blood flow out of the heart can lead to the pooling and clotting of the blood, putting patients with atrial fibrillation
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Plastic surgery procedures for neck rejuvenation pose risks to the patient. Doctors examine a new alternative called percutaneous radiofrequency ablation. The formation of horizontal lines and wrinkles and the loss of definition of the jaw lines are a result of the process of aging and age-related laxity over the platysmal bands, which are muscles of
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Nicholas Waglechner and Gerard D. Wright investigate the ancient origins and current state of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in a recently published review in BMC Biology. The inappropriate and widespread use of antibiotics has led to the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, capable of causing death and disease. For example, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a
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A new study examines whether cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a commonly used mental health intervention, is effective in treating health anxiety. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a mental health intervention used to improve personal coping strategies, cognitive patterns, behaviours, and emotion regulation. While originally designed to help treat depression, CBT is now used to treat
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A new study published in JAMA Surgery looked at whether individual surgeon opinions on mastectomy had a great influence on whether the patient underwent the surgery. In 2013, Angelina Jolie promoted prophylactic mastectomy, a breast removal surgery to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Prophylactic mastectomy in women who carry certain gene mutations, such
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Researchers are investigating whether the perceived link between autism and vaccines has resulted in lower vaccination rates among the siblings of those with autism. The perceived link between vaccinations and autism has been a major factor in the lower vaccination rates seen in their siblings in spite of the evidence contradicting this association. In families
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The pattern of food avoidance and restriction is cause for concern and researchers have begun to investigate ARFID among several types of patients. Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is becoming more prevalent. With the introduction of ARFID, there is an increased need to understand the prevalence and patterns of food avoidance and restriction in adults.
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Japanese researchers assessed whether L-carnosine supplements would enhance the effectiveness of computerized cognitive behaviour therapy sessions. Previous research has demonstrated the moderate effects of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) on improving mood and reducing anxiety. There has also been research indicating that the nutritional supplement L-carnosine may have positive effects on mood. L-carnosine is an essential
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A recent study examines hospital readmission risks to determine if they are affected by patient demographics or hospital quality. Hospital readmission risks are high for certain diseases and can vary greatly from hospital to hospital. The causes for the readmissions can either be due to various patient factors or due to the events at the
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