Saturday, April 16, 2016

Journal Watch April 2016

Freezing Technique May Ease Phantom Limb Pain for Amputees: Chronic pain that emanates from the site of a severed limb can be reduced in some cases when the remaining nerve and scar tissue is frozen in place. The minimally invasive technique, known as cryoablation therapy, may offer hope to the roughly 200,000 Americans who undergo an amputation every year. Society of Interventional Radiology

• Meditation May Help Ease Chronic Low Back Pain: Meditation may work better than painkillers when it comes to soothing chronic low back pain, a new clinical trial suggests. The study found that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) beat standard medical care for managing low back pain. JAMA 

• Mindfulness Training May Ease PTSD: Mindfulness training can trigger brain changes that help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) manage disturbing memories and thoughts, according to a new study of war veterans. This study included 23 U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who all received some form of group therapy. After four months of weekly sessions, many had reductions in their PTSD symptoms. However, some of the participants received mindfulness training, and only those veterans showed brain activity changes that could be detected on functional MRI brain scans. Depression and Anxiety 

• Mindfulness: What Works for Whom: Mindfulness meditation makes a difference for patients. Patients felt rested and in better control of their pain and its role in their life. Only older age predicted better outcome, but patients who recognized that pain is part of their life and were living under stable conditions may have been more likely to learn and put forth personal effort, which may have made change possible. More specific variables have to be developed to study good match between the specific intervention and the specific patient. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 

• Stress Management Training May Help Cardiac Rehab: Patients: he addition of stress management training can make cardiac rehabilitation programs more effective, a new study indicates. "Cardiac rehabilitation programs do not routinely offer stress management, but this may change should demand increase. And because patients may be reluctant to ask for the programs themselves, the onus is on the physicians to recognize that stress management is important for the optimal medical management of patients.” Circulation 

• Acupuncture May Ease Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Patients: Acupuncture can help alleviate the often-debilitating hot flashes that afflict many breast cancer patients, new Italian research says. Noting that hot flashes are a fact of life for many women with breast cancer, the investigators found that pairing lifestyle advice with weekly acupuncture sessions dramatically improved the women's quality of life. Journal of Clinical Oncology 

• Yoga and Chronic PTSD in Women: Yoga appears to be a useful treatment modality with the greatest long-term benefits are derived from more frequent yoga practice. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 

• Approved Cinqair for Severe Asthma
• Ordered warning labels on Prescription Narcotic Painkillers
• Approves Experimental Zika Test for Blood Donation
• Warned that diabetes drugs containing saxagliptin and alogliptin (Onglyza, Kombiglyze XR, Nesina, Kazano and Oseni) might raise the risk of heart failure, particularly in patients with heart or kidney disease.
• Suggests Limits for Arsenic in Infant Rice Cereal
• Approved first pacemaker to treat irregular heartbeat without the need for wires between the device.

• Exercise May Keep Your Brain 10 Years Younger: A study of 900 seniors found that those who got moderate to intense exercise retained more of their mental skills over the next five years, versus older adults who got light exercise or none at all. On average, those less-active seniors showed an extra 10 years of "brain aging," the researchers said. Neurology 

• PTSD May Stiffen Veterans’ Arteries, Boosting Heart Risk: Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have blood vessels that don't expand normally, a new study suggests. If vessels don't widen as they should, the risk of heart attack and stroke goes up, the researchers noted. The researchers also found that risk factors usually associated with blood vessel problems -- such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking -- didn't seem to account for why people with PTSD were more likely to have blood vessels that didn't dilate properly. Journal of the American Heart Association 

• Heavy Pot Use Tied to Social, Money Troubles in Mid Life: Middle-aged adults who've smoked a lot of pot for a long time may find themselves with lower paying, less skilled and less prestigious jobs, a new study finds. These people may also suffer more money problems and have more difficulties with both work and personal relationships than their non-marijuana-smoking peers, the researchers added. Clinical Psychological Science 

• Brain Scans Give Clues to Stress-Heart Attacks Link: A new brain study might help explain why a high level of stress is linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Increased activity in the amygdala -- the fear center of the brain -- appears to create an immune system reaction that increases inflammation in the arteries. American College of Cardiology meeting in Chicago. 

• Endometriosis Linked to Heart Disease: Women who have endometriosis, the abnormal growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus, may face a 60 percent higher risk of developing heart disease than women without the disorder, a new study suggests. The potential risk was especially high for women who were 40 or younger: they were three times more likely to have heart disease than women in the same age range without the gynecological condition, the researchers found. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 

• Smoking Triggers Changes in Mouth Bacteria: Smoking can dramatically change the balance of bacterial species in the mouth, which may affect the risk of mouth, lung and digestive system diseases, a new study says. The research also found that the proper mix of bacteria in the mouth is restored if people quit smoking. ISME Journal 

• Adults Don’t Need Tetanus Short Every Decade: Adults can get tetanus and diphtheria vaccine boosters every 30 years instead of the recommended 10 years, a new study suggests. Investigators examined immunity levels in over 500 adults and found that after completing the standard five-dose childhood vaccine series, adults remain protected against tetanus and diphtheria for at least 30 years without the need for further booster shots. Clinical Infectious Diseases 

• Smoking Increases Risk of Early Death for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: Smoking increases the chances of early death in people with rheumatoid arthritis, but quitting smoking significantly reduces that risk, a new study suggests. Arthritis Care and Research 

• Tanning May Limit Skin’s Ability to Produce Vitamin D: While the sun helps the body make vitamin D, a new study says that too much exposure might actually lower the levels of the essential vitamin. Tan skin may provide some protection against the sun's harmful UV rays, but this increase in pigment blocks vitamin D synthesis and limits the skin's ability to produce vitamin D. Endocrine Society 

Right Neighborhood May Mean 90 Extra Minutes Exercise a Week: People who live in bustling neighborhoods get at least 90 more minutes of exercise a week than other city dwellers, a new global study finds. The study included more than 6,800 adults, aged 18 to 66, in 14 cities in 10 countries. On average, study participants did 37 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity, such as brisk walking or more intense exercise. The Lancet 

• Exercise May Counter Harms from Too Much Sitting: Regular exercise helps counteract the harmful health effects of too much sitting, a new British study suggests. BMC Public Health 

• Increased Vitamin C in the Diet Could Protect Against Cataracts: Higher dietary intake of vitamin C (not supplements) has been found to have a potentially preventative effect on cataract progression in the first twin study of cataracts to examine to what degree genetic and environmental factors influence their progression with age. Ophthalmology 

Beans, Chick Peas May Help with Weight Loss: Beans, chickpeas, peas, lentils: Humble foods that may pack a punch for weight loss, Canadian researchers report. A new analysis of data from 21 clinical trials on these foods -- collectively known as "pulses" -- finds that they can help dieters feel full, and shed unwanted pounds. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 

• Mediterranean Diet May Help Lower Hip Fracture Risk in Older Women: Women who most closely followed a Mediterranean diet -- one high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains -- had a 20 percent lower risk for hip fractures compared to women who didn't follow this regimen, the researchers found. The study couldn't prove cause-and-effect, however. And the researchers stressed that the absolute reduction in risk of a hip fracture for any one woman was still pretty slight -- only about a third of one percent. JAMA Internal Medicine 

• Paleo Diet May Help Older Women’s Hearts, Waistlines: The so-called Paleo diet may help older women lose weight and lower their future risk of diabetes and heart disease, a new study has found. Women experienced these benefits by sticking to the guidelines of the Paleo diet, even though they were not required to restrict their calorie intake, the researchers said. The diet typically includes foods that could be obtained by hunting and gathering -- lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds -- and limits foods that became common with the advent of farming, such as dairy products, grains and legumes. Endocrine Society 

• Coffee Might Cut Colon Cancer Risk: Drinking coffee may cut your risk of colon cancer by as much as 50 percent, a new study suggests. The more you drink, the more you may reduce your risk -- and it makes no difference whether the coffee is regular or decaf, researchers said. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention 

• Fruit Every Day Might Help Heart: Adults who ate fresh fruit, such as apples and oranges, every day had about a one-third reduced risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke, compared to those who rarely or never ate fruit, researchers found. NEJM 

No Heart Risk from SSRI Antidepressants: Widely used antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)- Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft- don't appear to raise the risk for heart trouble among young and middle-age patients, a large analysis suggests. BMJ 

Antipsychotic Drugs Tied to Risk of Early Death in Parkinson’s Patients: New research suggests that Parkinson's patients who are given antipsychotics to treat dementia and psychosis may be more likely to die early. However, the medications provide important benefits and the study authors aren't suggesting that these patients stop taking them. And it's still not clear exactly why there seems to be an increased risk of early death. JAMA Neurology 

• Men, Avoid Impotence Drugs Before Surgery: Men should not take erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra and Cialis just before surgery, experts say. The drugs contain nitric oxide, which opens blood vessels and relaxes muscles. This can cause a patient's blood pressure to become dangerously low when combined with anesthesia and other drugs used during surgery, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). 

• Randomized Trial of Longer-Term Therapy for Symptoms Attributed to Lyme Disease In patients with persistent symptoms attributed to Lyme disease, longer-term antibiotic treatment did not have additional beneficial effects on health-related quality of life beyond those with shorter-term treatment. NEJM  

Anti Addiction May Help Curb Painkiller Heroin Dependence: The newer anti-addiction drug naltrexone may become an important weapon in the country's escalating addiction to opioid painkillers and heroin, a new study suggests. Researchers found that monthly injections of extended-release naltrexone -- which blocks the euphoric effects of opioids -- resulted in a significantly lower relapse rate among treated addicts compared to a similar group that didn't receive the drug. Additionally, during the six-month study there were no overdoses in the naltrexone group compared to five in the other group. NEJM 

Could Low Risk Surgery Help Chronic Heartburn: A minimally invasive surgery to treat chronic heartburn is safer than generally believed, and could be a desirable alternative to long-term use of acid reflux medications, new research indicates. Scientists found the death rate following so-called laparoscopic fundoplication surgery for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, was far lower than the 1 percent often quoted. British Journal of Surgery 

More Evidence Diabetes Drug Actos Raises Bladder Cancer Risk a Bit: Actos (pioglitazone) appears to increase risk of bladder cancer by 63 percent, Canadian researchers say. The findings, published March 30 in The BMJ, stem from an analysis of nearly 146,000 patients treated between 2000 and 2013. 

• Brain Stimulation May Help with Anorexia: Brain stimulation may ease major symptoms of the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, a typically hard-to-treat condition, a new study suggests. British researchers evaluated anorexia patients before and after they underwent repetitive transcranial stimulation (rTMS), a treatment approved for depression. PLoS One 

• Cost of Insulin Rises Threefold in a Decade: A new study finds the price of insulin has tripled in only 10 years. Moreover, since 2010, per-person spending on insulin in the United States was more than spending on all other diabetes drugs, the study found. One reason for the price climb, he said, is a switch from human insulins to analog insulins, which cost more but may offer additional benefits. Also, doctors are more apt to prescribe insulin for people with type 2 diabetes now. JAMA 

• Weight Loss Surgery May Help Control Type 2 Diabetes in Long Run: New research adds to growing evidence that weight-loss surgery helps patients with type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar levels for at least five years. The Lancet 

• Common Heartburn Drugs Linked to Kidney Disease: The research is the latest to highlight potential risks from drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)-Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium. PPI users were more likely than people on other heartburn medications to develop chronic kidney disease or kidney failure over five years. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 

• Additional benefits of type 2 diabetes treatment found for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients: A type 2 diabetes treatment has been found to also have 'off-label' benefits for glucose control in the liver and in fatty cells known as adipose. The study shows that exenatide, a treatment that targets the pancreas to improve glucose absorption, enhances glucose uptake and reduces insulin resistance in the liver and in adipose tissue. The International Liver Congress 

• Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis B Linked to Increased Cancer Risk: A new study demonstrates a potential link between treatment of long-term oral nucleos(t)ide analogues and an increased risk of colorectal and cervical cancer in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV). The International Liver Congress 

 Expert Panel Reaffirms Daily Aspirin's Use Against Heart Disease, Colon Cancer: People in their 50s who are at increased risk of heart disease should take a low-dose aspirin (81 Milligrams) each day to reduce their risk of both heart disease and colon cancer, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends. Americans in their 60s who are at increased risk of heart disease can also benefit from taking aspirin, the influential expert panel said, but the benefit is somewhat smaller for this age group. Therefore, the decision to take low-dose aspirin between age 60 to 69 should be made with a doctor, based on the patients' risk of heart disease and gastrointestinal bleeding, as well as their overall health and personal preferences. The USPSTF said that there is not enough evidence to determine the risks or benefits of daily low-dose aspirin in adults who are either younger than 50, or older than 70. 

• Caregivers Often Give Up Necessities to Cover Alzheimer’s Costs: Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease means caregivers often skimp on their own food and medical care, and even sell their belongings to support their loved one, according to the Alzheimer’s Association Annual Report. According to the survey, caregivers were 28 percent more likely to eat less or go hungry, and one-fifth cut back on doctor visits. Nearly half of them cut back on their own expenses to afford dementia-related care. And more than one-third reduced their hours at work or quit their job to care for a loved one, losing an average of $15,000 in income. 

Anti Vaxxers are Officially to Blame for the Rise in Preventable disease: A new NIH study has found a correlation between vaccine refusal and the rise of measles and whooping cough, two common vaccine-preventable conditions. Huffington Post 

Less Than 3% of Americans Live a Healthy Lifestyle: The study looked at data on more than 4,700 people who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Survey. The researchers assessed how many people followed four general "principles of healthy living" -- a good diet, moderate exercise, not smoking and keeping body fat under control. Overall, 71 percent of the adults surveyed did not smoke, 38 percent ate a healthy diet, 10 percent had a normal body fat percentage and 46 percent got sufficient amounts of physical activity. Sixteen percent had three of the healthy lifestyle behaviors, 37 percent had two, 34 percent had one and 11 percent had none. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 

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