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  • March 22, 2017
    A new review addresses the mysteries behind “good” HDL cholesterol and why boosting its levels does not necessarily provide protection from cardiovascular risk for patients. It appears that augmenting the function of HDL cholesterol, rather than its concentration, is key.The review details the manner in which tissue and systemic inflammation affects the metabolism of HDL cholesterol via several pathways, pointing to ways to improve its production and function. “Our own clinical studies as...
  • March 22, 2017
    A new study challenges the widely accepted but oversimplified description of airway inflammation in smokers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).   By analyzing airway wall tissue from individuals, investigators found that there are significantly fewer cells in the airway wall of smokers and mild to moderate COPD patients than in healthy controls, with a surprising decrease in some key inflammatory cells.   “Airway inflammation in COPD is a true paradox,”...
  • March 22, 2017
    Although anti-inflammatory treatments are quite effective at reducing symptoms in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the mucosal lining of the intestine often remains ulcerated, and many patients still ultimately require surgery. Because of this, the goal of treatment is shifting towards mucosal healing rather than just symptom relief.A recent analysis of clinical trials shows that anti-tumour necrosis factor a (anti-TNF) agents such as infliximab and adalimumab are much...
  • March 22, 2017
    A new study indicates that early experiences of environmental harshness, in combination with a child’s temperament, can influence later problem-solving abilities. Following early exposure to harsh environments, children with higher levels of hawk traits at age 2—meaning that they exhibited heightened levels of aggressiveness, boldness, activity, and approach—developed enhanced problem-solving for rewards by age 4. Furthermore, these children displayed worse performance on a standardized...
  • March 21, 2017
    Zinc is a vital micronutrient involved in many cellular processes: For example, in learning and memory processes, it plays a role that is not yet understood. By using nanoelectrochemical measurements, Swedish researchers have made progress toward understanding by demonstrating that zinc influences the release of messenger molecules. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, zinc changes the number of messenger molecules stored in vesicles and the dynamics of their release from the cell....
  • March 20, 2017
    A new study indicates that the social difficulties faced by many adolescent and young adult cancer survivors often persist for years after their diagnosis. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that though these patients may see some improvement in their social lives during the first year following diagnosis, their social functioning tends to remain constant after that, leaving them socially impaired relative to their...
  • March 17, 2017
    A new study provides reassuring information about the short-term and long-term safety of denosumab, a monoclonal antibody that is used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis.Adverse events that had been noted in a pivotal clinical trial in women age 60 to 90 years old treated for 3 years showed no tendency to increase after a further 3 years of treatment, the study showed.In addition, women who crossed over from 3 years of placebo to 3 years of denosumab experienced no increase in adverse...
  • March 16, 2017
    A new article explores how the double burden of malnutrition and the global obesity epidemic may be reshaping obstetrical difficulties experienced by women.Malnutrition in socioeconomically challenged populations can alter growth and reduce both stature and the dimensions of the pelvis in women while in these very same populations the obesity epidemic is resulting in excessively large newborns. This combination may be resulting in more difficult and dangerous birth conditions than previously...
  • March 14, 2017
    Researchers have uncovered a mechanism that helps block the accumulation of proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Tapping into this natural process may therefore help prevent or treat the condition. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the build-up of amyloid-beta fragments in the brain. There is hope that reducing levels of the enzyme BACE-1, which cleaves larger proteins into these fragments, might help treat the disease. “We have found that a type of nucleic acid found in brains of...
  • March 13, 2017
    Exercise-induced obstruction of the larynx, or voice box, is often a cause of respiratory symptoms in athletes and is particularly prevalent in swimmers. A new report reveals a method to accurately diagnose this condition, using a flexible laryngoscope.Confirming a diagnosis of exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO) requires visualizing movement of the larynx during intense exercise. In this latest report, investigators used waterproof tape to secure a laryngoscope to the nose, along...