Major New Papers on Big Data for Health Published in IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics

London, UK, 24th July 2015 – A major collection of papers exploring the very latest research and key developments in Big Data for health informatics has been published by the IEEE’s Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics (J-BHI). Authored by research teams from the world’s leading institutions, the papers of the Special Issue on “Big Data for Health” are available to download now via the IEEE Xplore® Digital Library at

Scientists correlate binge-drinking behavior to a brain protein

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered that a brain protein has a key role in controlling binge drinking in animal models. They found that deleting the gene for this protein in mice ramped up alcohol consumption and prevented the brain from signaling the rewarding properties of alcohol.

"Alcohol hits a lot of different targets in our brain, which makes disentangling the in vivo effects of alcohol quite complicated," said TSRI biologist Candice Contet, senior author of the study. "Our study sheds light on the molecular mechanisms implicated in binge drinking."

Research shows link between high blood sugar levels and Alzheime's disease.

Researchers have uncovered a unique connection between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, providing further evidence that a disease that robs people of their memories may be affected by elevated blood sugar, according to scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

While many earlier studies have pointed to diabetes as a possible contributor to Alzheimer's, the new study - in mice - shows that elevated glucose in the blood can rapidly increase levels of amyloid beta, a key component of brain plaques in Alzheimer's patients. The buildup of plaques is thought to be an early driver of the complex set of changes that Alzheimer's causes in the brain. The research is published May 4 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Study found Generic tacrolimus is as good as brand name version

A University of Cincinnati (UC)-led research team has found that generic formulations of tacrolimus, a drug used post-transplant to lower the risk of organ rejection, are just as good as the name-brand version.

The findings were presented Sunday, May 3, by lead investigator Rita Alloway, PharmD, UC research professor of medicine and director of transplant clinical research within the UC Department of Internal Medicine, and her study collaborators at the 2015 American Transplant Congress annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Behavioral problems in children with autism could be reduced with parent training, research finds.

Young children with autism spectrum disorder, who also have serious behavioral problems, showed improved behavior when their parents were trained with specific, structured strategies to manage tantrums, aggression, self-injury, and non-compliance. The findings from this parent training study by Yale and Emory University researchers were published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

This 24-week, multisite, randomized trial was conducted by the Research Units on Behavioral Intervention (RUBI) Autism Network, a six-site National Institute of Mental Health-funded consortium dedicated to developing and testing behavioral treatments for children with ASD.

Research finds possible reduction in lung cancer death in patients using Simvastatin

Lung cancer patients who used statins in the year prior to a lung cancer diagnosis or after a lung cancer diagnosis had a reduction in the risk of death from the disease.

Recently there has been much interest in the potential for exploring new therapeutic uses for existing drugs, in part, because existing medications are relatively inexpensive and have known side effect profiles, according to Cardwell. This study investigated whether lung cancer patients who received statins had improved cancer outcomes.Cardwell and colleagues used data from nearly 14,000 patients newly diagnosed with lung cancer between 1998 and 2009 from English cancer registry data. They gathered the patients' prescription records from the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink and mortality data up to 2012 from the Office of National Statistics.

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