Month: December 2017

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and confused thinking. A new study published in JAMA Psychiatry assessed whether inflammation was associated with an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder affecting approximately 0.7% of the population. Individuals with schizophrenia often experience hallucinations and delusions and fail to understand
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In a recently published review, researchers examine the relationship between parenting behaviours and childhood snacking. Childhood overweight and obesity have drastically increased over the past several decades. There are many factors that have likely contributed to this pattern, including activity levels, food availability, parenting practices and others. Research has shown that snacking can be a
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A recent study examines if a high-dose vitamin D3 supplement could replenish vitamin D stores in deficient heart failure patients. Roughly 600,000 Canadians currently live with heart failure and 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. The cost of the disease burden amounts to $2.8 billion annually.1 Prognosis is generally poor with an average one-year
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Scientists have discovered a molecule that blocks a tumor cell’s ability to repair DNA, which could help devise treatments for pediatric cancer. Despite the tremendous strides made in the treatment of cancer, the cure rates for pediatric and adult solid tumors are less than optimal. Often, tumors become resistant to chemotherapy as a consequence of
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A study is investigating whether resistance training exercises or yoga has more beneficial effects on the wellbeing of patients with Parkinson’s. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease which now affects more than ten million people globally. Whilst physical symptoms of this chronic illness are typically treated with medications which replace dopamine to
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Childhood obesity prevention is increasingly becoming a public health priority. This study examines parent experiences as they relate to childhood obesity. The obesity prevalence found among Latino children has been reported to be extremely high. The parents of these children are often of low income and living in urban communities, but even if educated they
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A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine assessed changes in brain anatomy and structure of astronauts after short and long spaceflight. During spaceflight, astronauts experience a phenomenon called microgravity, which is the feeling of weightlessness. It has been shown that microgravity can lead to the ‘visual impairment and intracranial pressure’ (VIIP) syndrome,
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Researchers recently investigated the long-term effectiveness of diabetes prevention approaches on the incidence of diabetes-related mortality and morbidity. Currently, diabetes affects over 415 million adults worldwide and this is expected to increase to as many as 642 million adults by the year 2040. Since diabetes treatment cost the US healthcare system over $245 billion in
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Research attempts to unpack the attitudes of patients in adopting active surveillance as a treatment option for slow-growing prostate cancer. Over 20,000 Canadians were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. A patient receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer is a frightening position, and understandably they may
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Clinicians review the availability and potential misuse of prescription-strength topical steroids in the United States. Topical steroids are used to treat inflammatory conditions of the skin, such as eczema. They are available in varying potencies. Low potency topical steroids may be available for purchase without a prescription. Topical steroids can cause systemic side effects such
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A study investigates the potential relationship between whole-grain and fruit and vegetable food groups with healthy kidney function. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a global public health problem that is typically associated with high blood pressure and diabetes. CKD can lead to cardiovascular disease and consequently result in death. Consumption of whole grains, fruits, and
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Researchers investigated whether extremely high levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with increased mortality in men and women. HDL cholesterol, often known as “good” cholesterol, is known to have an inverse relationship with cardiovascular disease and mortality—higher HDL cholesterol levels are associated with lower cardiovascular disease. Randomized clinical trials, however, have failed to prove that
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Diabetes is a common metabolic disorder. Researchers recently examined if diabetes is also associated with higher cancer incidence. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that is estimated to affect 7% of Canadians (approximately 2.1 million) according to Statistics Canada. Diabetics suffer from uncontrolled blood glucose levels due to complications releasing insulin, a blood glucose regulating hormone.
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Researchers recently looked at whether using iodine supplements during pregnancy could benefit the offspring’s neurocognitive development. Iodine is a vital component of thyroid hormones, which are essential for many aspects of fetal growth and development. Its role in fetal brain development is particularly important, with some studies implying that maternal iodine deficiency may be associated
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A recent study assessed the association between chronic conditions, physical multi-morbidity, and sedentary behaviour among adults in six countries. Sedentary behaviour is associated with a wide range of deleterious outcomes such as diabetes, stroke, and premature mortality, irrespective of a person’s physical activity levels. There have been no studies that are nationally representative, multi-national, or
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Current guidelines in the United States recommend cervical screening until 65 years. Researchers investigate the effectiveness of screening in older women. The high rate of cervical cancer in older women continues to be a concern for countries that have long-established cervical screening practices. By these measures, countries have seen a significant reduction in cervical cancer
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A randomized trial investigated the effects of brain surgery on the risk of recurrent seizures in children with drug-resistant epilepsy. Drug-resistant epilepsy carries significant health burdens. In addition to the risk of recurrent seizures, young people with this condition are at a higher risk of poor intellectual and psychosocial development. A common treatment for this
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Researchers find that new CRISPR genome editing modifications increase the precision and safety for treating certain genetic diseases. Since its debut in 2012, CRISPR genome editing has been a transformative tool for researchers to solve complex genetic disorders. CRISPR, which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, is a genome editor that acts as
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A recent study investigated whether there is a link between consuming high glycemic foods and the accumulation of amyloid-β plaques in older adults. More than one in eight Americans aged over 65 years is affected by Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. The hallmark characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease is the formation and accumulation
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An article published in the British Medical Journal discusses a study on the long-term use of statins for patients with high cholesterol. A recent study explored the long-term use of statins in patients with high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol transports fat to cells, where they can build up and cause atherosclerosis.
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There has been growing interest in the health benefits of nature therapy. Researchers recently reviewed the scientific evidence for these benefits. Poets and other writers have long expounded the spiritual and health benefits of nature. Now, there is increasing interest from clinical and scientific circles in whether there are quantifiable health benefits to going outdoors,
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A research group evaluated whether higher e-cigarette nicotine levels contribute to increased frequency and intensity of cigarette smoking and vaping. Last year, a worrisome 11% of American 10th-grade students reported using e-cigarettes (vaping) in the past month. Prior research has proven that teens who vape are at a higher risk of starting and consequently progressing
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In a recently published review, researchers summarize the effects of paternal obesity on male fertility — specifically sperm quality and progeny health. Obesity, defined as the excessive accumulation of adipose tissue, is a well-established risk factor for many pathologies, including hypertension, kidney and cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes. Recent studies have shown that obesity
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