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  • July 21, 2017
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of disability and death globally, but medications have generally failed to benefit patients. A new study found that memantine, a drug that is used to treat dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease, may be a promising therapy.  The study examined the effect of memantine on blood levels of neuron-specific enolase (NSE), a marker of neuronal damage, and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) in patients with moderate TBI. The GCS is the most common...
  • July 20, 2017
    Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that affects the health of birds and other wild animals. Two varieties of songbird—zebra finch and European starling—were found to shed mercury accumulation with their feathers in a recent study.During a molt, both species quickly eliminated mercury from their blood and significantly reduced mercury concentrations in other tissues. This, coupled with a migration out of contaminated sites, may help birds deal with exposure to environmental...
  • July 20, 2017
    Scientists have untangled the competing influences of water and gravity on plant roots—by growing cucumbers during spaceflight.Plant roots grow to find water, according to a process known as hydrotropism. Roots are also influenced by gravity and tend to grow downwards, called gravitropism. To find out whether gravity or water had the greater influence on root growth, investigators grew cucumber plants in the microgravity environment on board the International Space Station. In their...
  • July 20, 2017
    A new study indicates that a child’s temperament may be influenced by maternal postpartum depression, maternal sensitivity, and family functioning. Maternal depression was associated with difficult temperaments in infants when maternal sensitivity was low, but not when maternal sensitivity was high. Family functioning similarly moderated these links.The findings suggest that family factors play a critical role in shaping the trajectory of an infant’s behavioral style as it unfolds over...
  • July 20, 2017
    Factors such as low bone density and previous fractures are commonly used to predict an individual’s risk of experiencing a fracture over the next 10 years. A new analysis has found that a single bone density measurement and an assessment of fracture history in postmenopausal women can predict fracture risk over a much longer period, up to 25 years.The findings come from an analysis of data from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures that assessed bone mineral density and risk factors in 7,959...
  • July 19, 2017
    A review of published studies suggests that infants who have siblings with autism spectrum disorder may have less advanced linguistic and motor skills than siblings of children with typical development.These differences were detectable when infants were 12 months old and seemed to be sustained until they were 3 years old. Differences in language skills were larger than those in motor skills.The findings are published in Autism Research.Additional InformationLink to Study: http://onlinelibrary....
  • July 19, 2017
    Organs respond to injuries with the formation of new fibrous tissue, which can result in scarring. This process called fibrogenesis can now be monitored noninvasively on a molecular level, as American scientists report in the journal Angewandte Chemie. They have created a new gadolinium-based probe for magnetic resonance imaging that specifically reports the proteins involved in fibrogenesis. The imaging method may provide a quantitative assessment of the formation of the potentially...
  • July 19, 2017
    A new study indicates that bone strength may be inherited and that its genetic determinants are to some extent shared with bone mineral density.The findings may be used to help inform other studies seeking to identify specific genetic variants underlying susceptibility to fractures. Knowledge of molecular mechanisms underlying bone strength is important for predicting individuals’ fracture risk and for developing effective prevention and treatment strategies. “Having high resolution three...
  • July 19, 2017
    A review of the published literature indicates that erectile dysfunction is common in males with diabetes, affecting more than half of men with the condition and with a prevalence of approximately 3.6-times higher than in non-diabetics.The analysis included 145 studies with a total of 88,577 men.“The findings suggest that clinicians should routinely screen for erectile dysfunction in men with diabetes,” said Dr. Damiano Pizzol, co-author of the Diabetic Medicine analysis. Both conditions are...
  • July 19, 2017
    A new study has found links between certain antibiotics during pregnancy and major congenital malformations in newborns.The study included an analysis of information on 139,938 live births in Quebec, Canada, between 1998 and 2008. Clindamycin, doxycycline, quinolones, macrolides, and phenoxymethylpenicillin were linked to organ-specific malformations. Amoxicillin, cephalosporins, and nitrofurantoin were not associated with birth defects.Although the absolute risks for birth defects were small...