Reseach shows that vitamin D may have impact on development of uterine fibroids

Women who had sufficient amounts of vitamin D were 32 percent less likely to develop fibroids than women with insufficient vitamin D, according to a study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

Fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomata, are noncancerous tumors of the uterus. Fibroids often result in pain and bleeding in premenopausal women, and are the leading cause of hysterectomy in the United States.

Research shows US children with psoriasis have highest odds of obesity

CHICAGO --- The largest study of physician-treated children with psoriasis around the world shows children with the skin disease are about twice as likely to be overweight or obese as children who don't have the disease, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.

And US children with psoriasis have much higher odds than psoriatic children in other countries of being obese or overweight.

In the US, children with psoriasis had four times the odds of being overweight or obese as healthy controls. Within this US population, Hispanics and African American children had significantly greater rates of being obese and overweight than whites and Asians. The odds ratio of being obese were particularly high for U.S. children with more severe psoriasis (7.6).

New nanotechnology can be used for Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, food allergies and asthma

CHICAGO --- In a breakthrough for nanotechnology and multiple sclerosis, a biodegradable nanoparticle turns out to be the perfect vehicle to stealthily deliver an antigen that tricks the immune system into stopping its attack on myelin and halt a model of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) in mice, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.

The new nanotechnology also can be applied to a variety of immune-mediated diseases including Type 1 diabetes, food allergies and airway allergies such as asthma.

In MS, the immune system attacks the myelin membrane that insulates nerves cells in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. When the insulation is destroyed, electrical signals can't be effectively conducted, resulting in symptoms that range from mild limb numbness to paralysis or blindness. About 80 percent of MS patients are diagnosed with the relapsing remitting form of the disease.

Emerging evidence suggests many pregnant women are deficient in omega-3

Low levels of omega-3 may be behind postpartum depression, according to a review lead by Gabriel Shapiro of the University of Montreal and the Research Centre at the Sainte-Justine Mother and Child Hospital. Women are at the highest risk of depression during their childbearing years, and the birth of a child may trigger a depressive episode in vulnerable women. Postpartum depression is associated with diminished maternal health as well as developmental and health problems for her child. "The literature shows that there could be a link between pregnancy, omega-3 and the chemical reaction that enables serotonin, a mood regulator, to be released into our brains," Shapiro said. "Many women could bring their omega-3 intake to recommended levels." The findings were announced by the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry on November 15, 2012.

Pancreas stem cell discovery may lead to new diabetes treatments

Stem cells in the adult pancreas have been identified that can be turned into insulin producing cells, a finding that means people with type 1 diabetes might one day be able to regenerate their own insulin-producing cells.

The discovery was made by scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and provides further evidence that stem cells don’t only occur in the embryo.

Researchers discover a rare genetic mutation that increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease

Researchers from Nottingham have played their part in the discovery of a rare genetic mutation that increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease, in a study with major implications for understanding the causes of the disease.

The international team, which involved a research team led by Kevin Morgan, Professor of Human Genomics and Molecular Genetics at The University of Nottingham, used data from more than 25,000 people to link a rare variant of the TREM2 gene — which is known to play a role in the immune system — to a higher risk of Alzheimer's.

The discovery is the first so-called 'Goldilocks' variant associated with Alzheimer's Disease, because it's prevalence is 'just right — it's common enough to be identified in large populations but rare enough to point to a genetic mutation that potentially could have a significant role in identifying risk factors for the disease.

Research shows women with migraines did not appear to experience a decline in cognitive ability

Women with migraines did not appear to experience a decline in cognitive ability over time compared to those who didn’t have them, according to a nine-year follow up study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The study also showed that women with migraine had a higher likelihood of having brain changes that appeared as bright spots on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a type of imaging commonly used to evaluate tissues of the body.

"The fact that there is no evidence of cognitive loss among these women is good news," said Linda Porter, Ph.D., pain health science policy advisor in the Office of the Director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), which provided funding for the study. "We’ve known for a while that women with migraine tend to have these brain changes as seen on MRI. This nine-year study is the first of its kind to provide long-term follow-up looking for associated risk."

The use of helmets by skiers and snowboarders decreases the risk and severity of head injuries and saves lives

The use of helmets by skiers and snowboarders decreases the risk and severity of head injuries and saves lives, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests. The findings debunk long-held beliefs by some that the use of helmets gives athletes a false sense of security and promotes dangerous behavior that might increase injuries.

"There really is a great case to be made for wearing helmets," says Adil H. Haider, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the leader of the study published in the November issue of the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. "By increasing awareness and giving people scientific proof, we hope behavior changes will follow."

Research finds increased life expectency with leisure-time physical activity

Leisure-time physical activity is associated with longer life expectancy, even at relatively low levels of activity and regardless of body weight, according to a study by a team of researchers led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The study, which found that people who engaged in leisure-time physical activity had life expectancy gains of as much as 4.5 years, appeared Nov. 6, 2012, in PLoS Medicine.

In order to determine the number of years of life gained from leisure-time physical activity in adulthood, which translates directly to an increase in life expectancy, researchers examined data on more than 650,000 adults. These people, mostly age 40 and older, took part in one of six population-based studies that were designed to evaluate various aspects of cancer risk.

New bacteria Lactococcus lactis and Lactobacillus casei to fight against intestinal inflammation

This protection is provided by a human protein, Elafin, which is artificially introduced into dairy produce bacteria (Lactococcus lactis and Lactobacillus casei). In time, this discovery could be useful for individuals suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. The results of this research were published in the Science Translational Medicine review on 31 October 2012.

In France, nearly 200,000 individuals suffer from chronic inflammatory bowel disease, known as IBD, (specifically Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis). The occurrence rate of this type of disease continues to rise (8,000 new cases diagnosed per year). During inflammatory outbreaks, IBDs are chiefly characterised by abdominal pain, frequent diarrhoea (sometimes with bleeding) or even disorders in the anal area (fissure, abscesses). These symptoms mean that taboos are associated with these diseases.

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