Hormonal contraceptives are effective in treating menstruation- related disorders such as dysmenorrhea and heavy menstrual bleeding, as well as preventing unplanned pregnancies, according to a new Practice Bulletin issued today by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and published in the January 2010 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. In addition, combined contraceptives containing both estrogen and progesterone offer disease prevention by reducing the risk of developing endometrial, ovarian cancer, and colorectal cancer.
More than 80% of women in the US will use some form of hormonal contraception during their reproductive years. There are several different forms of hormonal contraception including pills, patches, implants, injections, vaginal rings, and the intrauterine device (IUD). Pregnancy prevention is the primary reason that most women use hormonal contraception. However, these contraceptives are also frequently prescribed specifically for non-contraceptive reasons, which is considered off-label use.
"We've known for many years that hormonal contraceptives have health advantages beyond preventing pregnancy," says Robert L. Reid, MD, of Kingston, Ontario, who led development of the document. "These recommendations examine the scientific data supporting the non-contraceptive uses of hormonal contraceptives to treat specific conditions."
January 19, 2010
Royal College of Nursing Responds to Agency Staffing Research, UK
The RCN responded to reports that the NHS is increasing its spending on agency staff. Dr Peter Carter, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said:
"Agency workers provide a valuable service and these figures should be viewed with caution as the agency receives a substantial part of the 'salary'. However, at a time when the NHS is having to make huge efficiency savings, Trusts must get a better hold on their reliance on agency staff to stop these vast sums of money being squandered. Trusts need to better manage peaks and troughs of demand, make their workplaces attractive for permanent staff, and ensure there are flexible working arrangements available. Consistently paying agencies huge sums of money to fill the gaps is not acceptable."
January 19, 2010
Canadian Medical Association Develops Panorama for Collecting Vaccination Data
The collection of individual level vaccination data when delivering vaccines is important for planning and delivery of immunization programs, to assess whether population-level coverage has been achieved and for research into vaccine safety and effectiveness, states an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Canada has been developing Panorama, a national electronic system that will "collect, analyse and disseminate public health surveillance data for the management of infectious diseases" according to Dr. Jeff Kwong and coauthors from the Public Health Agency of Canada/Canadian Institutes of Health Research Influenza Research Network Vaccine Coverage Theme Group. Panorama will include an immunization registry that will help in responding to public health emergencies and vaccination efforts.
However, not every province and territory will adopt the new system which will have a staggered rollout between 2010 and 2012. Potential barriers to collecting electronic data include funding to implement and maintain immunization registries, coordinating data collection from various health care providers, ensuring patient privacy and data security as well as human reluctance to adopt new technologies.
January 19, 2010
Inflammatory Mediator Regulates Diarrhea in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Researchers led by Dr. Terrence A. Barrett of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. Illinois have discovered that activation of NK-κB, an inflammatory mediator, results in diarrhea in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These results are presented in the January 2010 issue of the American Journal of Pathology.
IBD, which affects approximately 1 in 500 people in the United States, describes a group of diseases, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, with inflammation in the intestinal tract. Patients with IBD experience diverse symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, and weight loss.
Immune responses contribute to mucosal permeability, and hence diarrhea, in IBD; however, the mechanisms that govern this response are not completely understood. Tang et al therefore examined the role of NK-κB, an inflammatory mediator, in IBD-induced diarrhea. Following immune activation, blocking NK-κB expression in the cells lining the intestinal tract inhibited diarrhea and prevented protein changes in these cells, resulting in decreased leakiness between the cells. These findings suggest that immune cell-mediated activation of NK-κB in IBD promotes the movement of fluid into the bowel lumen, resulting in diarrhea.
January 19, 2010
NIH Awards $2.5 Million to UC for Study in Voice Production
Try to go one week without speaking. Now, imagine going months, or years, without being able to talk to friends or loved ones.
For patients with severe voice disorders, the loss of their voice often means losing their social life, self esteem or livelihood. While existing therapies can treat mild to moderate voice disorders, physicians have a harder time determining effective treatments for those with severe cases.
With a new five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers will continue interdisciplinary partnerships to study the causes behind those disorders and the most effective ways to treat them.
The grant, awarded to laryngologist Sid Khosla, MD, of UC's department of otolaryngology, includes aerospace engineer Ephraim Gutmark, PhD, of engineering, Suzanne Boyce, PhD, of communication sciences & disorders, Shanmugam Murugappan, PhD, of otolaryngology and Mihai Mihaescu, PhD, of engineering.
January 19, 2010
Physiologic Factors Linked To Image Quality Of Multidetector Computed Tomography Scans
A large multicenter international trial found that the image quality of multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) scans, used for the noninvasive detection of coronary artery disease, can be significantly affected by patient characteristics such as ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), and heart rate, according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
The large multicenter international trial study included 291 patients with coronary artery calcification and found that compared with examinations of white patients, studies of black patients had significantly poorer image quality.
"Physiologic factors such as high heart rate, arrhythmia, obesity, and high coronary calcium burden with motion continue to limit the diagnostic accuracy of MDCT as compared with conventional invasive coronary angiography. Our study is significant because we found a relevant influence of BMI, heart rate, ethnicity, and breathing artifact on the degradation of image quality," said Melvin E. Clouse, MD, lead author of the study. Read more
January 04, 2010
Growing Evidence Suggests Progesterone Should Be Considered A Treatment Option For Traumatic Brain Injuries
Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, recommend that progesterone (PROG), a naturally occurring hormone found in both males and females that can protect damaged cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems, be considered a viable treatment option for traumatic brain injuries, according to a clinical perspective published in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
"Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important clinical problem in the United States and around the world," said Donald G. Stein, PhD, lead author of the paper. "TBI has received more attention recently because of its high incidence among combat casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Current Department of Defense statistics indicated that as many as 30 percent of wounded soldiers seen at Walter Reed Army Hospital have suffered a TBI, a finding that has stimulated government interest in developing a safe and effective treatment for this complex disorder," said Stein.
"Growing evidence indicates that post-injury administration of PROG in a variety of brain damage models can have beneficial effects, leading to substantial and sustained improvements in brain functionality. PROG given to both males and females can cross the blood-brain barrier and reduce edema (swelling) levels after TBI; in different models of cerebral ischemia (restriction of blood supply), significantly reduce the area of necrotic cell death and improve behavioral outcomes; and protect neurons distal to the injury that would normally die," said Stein. Read more
January 04, 2010
D-Pharm (TASE: DPRM) Announces Enrollment Of First Patient In DP-b99 Phase III Efficacy Study, MACSI
D-Pharm Ltd (TASE: DPRM) announced enrollment of patients with acute ischemic stroke into its Phase III clinical study of DP-b99 (MACSI). The first patient has been enrolled at the Wolfson Medical Center, Israel. The MACSI trial involves numerous medical centers in the US, Canada, Europe, Israel, South Africa, South Korea and Brazil. DP-b99 is D-Pharm's most advanced product developed for protection of brain cells suffering from restricted blood and oxygen supply (ischemia).
The MACSI study is as international, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III clinical trial. The trial will compare the stroke outcome in a group of patients treated with placebo (an inactive substance) to patients treated with 1 mg/kg/day of DP-b99 for 4 consecutive days. The study is expected to enroll, in total, 770 patients at 120 - 140 clinical sites worldwide.
Recently D-Pharm met with the FDA to discuss the Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) and will continue the dialog with the FDA towards the final agreement.
Dr. Gilad Rosenberg, D-Pharm's V.P. Clinical Development stated, "We're very pleased that this important clinical milestone has been achieved on schedule. The challenge is now to effectively activate the additional clinical sites to ensure a patient recruitment rate sufficient to complete the study on time, as planned." Read more
January 04, 2010
Study Finds Talking Aloud Helps To Solve Mathematical Problems More Quickly
Those students who think aloud while solving a mathematical problem can solve it faster and have more possibilities of finding the right solution that those who do not do it. Likewise, drawing or making a pictorial representation relating to the also contributed to its solution.
Those are the conclusions of a study carried out at the University of Granada (Spain), which has been recently published in the journal Revista de investigación psicoeductiva and the Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology.
To conduct this research, the authors analysed in depth the work of three last-year students of the degree in Mathematics of the UGR, who were isolated separately to solve a problem and were recorded in video to study their speeches aloud later.
January 04, 2010
Minority Elders Continue To Face Health Care, Employment Disparities
The premiere issue of an aging-focused newsletter deals with two pressing societal concerns - the economic downturn and health care reform - from the perspective of older minority adults.
WHAT'S HOT is the newest publication from The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the country's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging. Support for this issue was provided by sanofi-aventis.
Based on presentation highlights from GSA's 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting in November 2009, the first issue of WHAT'S HOT covers topics such as the impact of the economic crisis on older workers' health; the perceived prevalence of job discrimination among older workers; and health care utilization patterns among older Asian minorities.
"To fully resolve barriers that minorities face in seeking health care, we need research that is broader than access to care," said Toni Miles, MD, PhD, of the University of Louisville, who served as an advisor for the issue. "The studies in this newsletter reflect this need. Readers will be enlightened by this collection. As a whole, GSA researchers are a valuable resource for policymakers and should be sought out when seeking effective approaches to reducing health disparities."
Baby boomers make up a considerable proportion of the adult population among all racial and ethnic groups in the United States. A central challenge related to managing the health needs of this age group is that they are approaching a stage of life often marked by increasing prevalence of chronic disease and disability. Read more
Biofilms: Researchers Discover New Ways to Treat Chronic Infections
Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York, have identified three key regulators required for the formation and development of biofilms. The discovery could lead to new ways of treating chronic infections.
Biofilms -- commu... more
April 07, 2010
Keeping Hepatitis C Virus at Bay After a Liver Transplant
One of the most common reasons for needing a liver transplant is liver failure or liver cancer caused by liver cell infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, in nearly all patients the new liver becomes infected with HCV almost immediately.