Saturday, October 15, 2016

Journal Watch October 2016

 Sleep is Key to Curing Chronic Pain: A ink between chronic pain and lack of sleep has been identified by a team of researchers. They also discovered that people with pain who believe they won't be able to sleep are more likely to suffer from insomnia, thus causing worse pain. A pioneering study could lead to specific cognitive therapy to cure insomnia and treat chronic pain. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 

• Ketamine May Be Useful in Migraine, Chronic Pain: Ketamine, typically thought of as a powerful sedative restricted to surgical use, is now generating a lot of interest among pain management specialists as a useful approach to refractory migraine and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). Academy of Integrative Pain Management Annual Meeting 

Tai Chi Can Help Relieve chronic neck Pain: Tai Chi, a low-impact mind-body exercise, can be as effective as neck exercises in relieving persistent neck pain, according to results of randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Pain 

 Certain alternative therapies may help patients with bowel disorders: A new review looks at the evidence behind the effectiveness of complementary or alternative therapies-including probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, fiber, and herbal medicinal products-for the treatment of bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional constipation, and ulcerative colitis. Probiotics, synbiotics, psyllium, and some herbal medicinal products (primarily peppermint oil) seem to be effective in ameliorating IBS symptoms. Synbiotics and fiber seem to be beneficial in patients with functional constipation, and the non-pathogenic strain Nissle 1917 of Escherichia coli may be effective in maintaining remission in patients with ulcerative colitis. British Journal of Pharmacology 

• Yoga May be Viable Option for People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Yoga could help reduce symptoms for people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, according to a study published by Georgia State University researchers in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy

• Acupuncture reduces hot flashes for half of women, study finds: Hot flashes – the bane of existence for many women during menopause – can be reduced in frequency by almost half for about 50 percent of women over eight weeks of acupuncture treatment, according to scientists. Menopause 

Changes in Emotional Processing with Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable changes in emotional processing. “Findings provide experimental evidence demonstrating that brief mindfulness meditation, but not deliberate engagement in state mindfulness, produces demonstrable changes in emotional processing indicative of reduced emotional reactivity," the authors write. "Importantly, these effects are akin to those observed in individuals with naturally high dispositional mindfulness, suggesting that the benefits of mindfulness can be cultivated through practice." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 

Cannabis excess linked to bone disease, fractures: People who regularly smoke large amounts of cannabis have reduced bone density and are more prone to fractures, research has found. The study also found that heavy cannabis users have a lower body weight and a reduced body mass index (BMI), which could contribute to thinning of their bones. The American Journal of Medicine 

• Approves first drug, Exondys 51, to treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
• Approved Amjevita (adalimumab-atto) as a biosimilar to Humira (adalimumab) for multiple inflammatory diseases (active rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis; moderate to severe Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis and plaque psoriasis.
• Approved three new indications for Ilaris (canakinumab). The new indications are for rare and serious auto-inflammatory diseases in adult and pediatric patients.
• Permitted marketing of a device that uses a small balloon to treat persistent Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD), a condition in which pressure, pain or clogged or muffled sensations occur in the ear.
• Approved 1st automated insulin delivery device the MiniMed 670G hybrid closed looped system
• Approves BurstDR Stimulation for chronic pain

• Exercise Not Shown to Reduce Women’s Risk of Developing MS: A large, new study shows no evidence that exercise may reduce a woman's risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). Previous small studies had shown conflicting results. Neurology 

No Evidence Activity Tracker Devices Raise Fitness Levels: There's no evidence that fitness tracking devices raise activity levels enough to improve health, even with financial rewards. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology

Anger Exertion Hikes Heart Attack Risk: If you're angry or upset, you might want to simmer down before heading out for an intense run or gym workout. A new study ties heavy exertion while stressed or mad to a tripled risk of having a heart attack within an hour. 

• Heavy Drinking Can Harm the Aging Brain: As people age, the harmful effects of heavy drinking can take a toll on key brain functions, such as memory, attention and learning, a new study shows. A lifetime history of alcohol dependence was also linked with worse learning, memory and motor function, the researchers reported. These people also had reductions in their attention or executive function (which includes reasoning and working memory), regardless of their age, the findings showed. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 

• Vitamin E May Prevent Pneumonia in Non Smoking Elderly Men: Administration of 50 mg per day of vitamin E decreased the risk of pneumonia in elderly male smokers by 72% after they quit smoking, according to a new article. Clinical Interventions in Aging 

Omega 3 Fatty Acid Stops Known Trigger of Lupus: Consuming an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, can stop a known trigger of lupus and potentially other autoimmune disorders, researchers have discovered. Plos One 

Excess dietary zinc worsens C.diff infection: The consumption of dietary supplements and cold therapies containing high concentrations of zinc is now being called into question, following research that suggests it may worsen Clostridium difficile infection. Nature Medicine 

Fish Oil May Help Improve Mood in Veterans: Low concentration of fish oil in the blood and lack of physical activity may contribute to the high levels of depressed mood among soldiers returning from combat, according to researchers. Military Medicine 

More Evidence for Benefit of Reduced Salt Intake on Mortality: Sodium intake has a direct relationship with total mortality, according to a report. Over 24 years, people who consumed less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day had a 25 percent lower mortality risk, compared with those who consumed 2,300 to 3,600 mg/day. Journal of the American College of Cardiology 

• Eating Oats Can Lower Cholesterol: Researchers have known for more than 50 years that eating oats can lower cholesterol levels and thus reduce a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Studies during that time have focused on the impact of oats on levels of LDL (or "lousy") cholesterol, which collects in the walls of blood vessels where it can cause blockages or blood clots. But there is growing evidence that two other markers provide an even more accurate assessment of cardiovascular risk -- non-HDL cholesterol (total cholesterol minus the "H" or "healthy cholesterol") and apolipoprotein B, or apoB, a lipoprotein that carries bad cholesterol through the blood. Science Daily 

Calcium Supplements May Damage the Heart: Taking calcium in the form of supplements may raise the risk of plaque buildup in arteries and heart damage, although a diet high in calcium-rich foods appears be protective, say researchers at conclusion of their study that analyzed 10 years of medical tests on more than 2,700 people. JAMA 

High-protein diet curbs metabolic benefits of weight loss: Dieters sometimes consume extra protein to stave off hunger and prevent loss of muscle tissue that often comes with weight loss. But in a study of 34 postmenopausal women with obesity, researchers found that eating too much protein eliminates an important health benefit of weight loss: improvement in insulin sensitivity, which is critical to lowering diabetes risk. Cell Reports 

Forty Years of Low Fat diets a failed experiment: Recent research suggests that eating a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet—which Americans were advised to do for about 40 years—is not a good idea. But Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health nutrition expert David Ludwig says that the low-fat diet remains “deeply embedded in public consciousness and food policy.” Experts now say that not all fats are bad—in fact, some are healthy and important in a balanced diet. Several recent studies found that high-fat diets actually produce greater weight loss than low-fat diets. And while the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans have now lifted the limit on dietary fat, “you’d never know it, because a full accounting of this failed experiment has not been made,” Ludwig wrote. He called for a rigorous examination of “the low-fat diet debacle” and for more government funding to test new ideas in nutrition. CNN 

Cocoa compound linked to some cardiovascular biomarker improvements: To the tantalizing delight of chocolate lovers everywhere, a number of recent studies employing various methods have suggested that compounds in cocoa called flavanols could benefit cardiovascular health. Now a systematic review and meta-analysis of 19 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of cocoa consumption reveals some further pieces of supporting evidence. Journal of Nutrition 

Arthritis Drug May Help with Alopecia: Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that causes patchy or complete hair loss, including on the head, body, eyebrows and eyelashes. Researchers found that more than 50 percent of 66 patients treated with the drug Xeljanz (tofacitinib citrate) saw hair regrowth in three months. JCI Insight 

Brain Packmaker Improves Lives of TBI Patients: Deep brain stimulation -- a technique that sends targeted electrical impulses to certain areas of the brain -- may help people who've had a traumatic brain injury gain more independence, a new study suggests. Neurosurgery 

• Oxytocin May Quiet Tinnitus: People suffering from chronic ringing in the ears -- called tinnitus -- may find some relief by spraying the hormone oxytocin in their nose, a small initial study by Brazilian researchers suggests. JAMA Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery. 

More Cancer Patients Gaining from Immune Based Treatments: The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) says more Americans are benefiting from immunotherapy -- a relatively new treatment approach that helps the immune system target and destroy cancer cells. 2016 Cancer Progress Report 

Light for Low Male Libido: Light therapy, commonly used to treat seasonal depression, may restore a measure of libido to men who struggle with a low sex drive, a small study suggests. Italian researchers said they found that men exposed to just two weeks of daily doses of bright light saw their testosterone levels increase more than 50 percent, and their sexual satisfaction levels more than triple. European College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting 

Vasectomy May Not Raise Prostate Cancer Risk: A large, new study challenges previous research that suggested vasectomies might increase the risk of prostate cancer or dying from it. The American Cancer Society epidemiologists reviewed more than 7,000 prostate cancer deaths, as opposed to the just over 800 prostate cancer deaths that were studied by Harvard scientists in a 2014 study. In the latest finding, researchers found no connection between vasectomies and overall risk of prostate cancer, or of dying from the disease. Journal of Clinical Oncology

  Could Prescribed NSAID Painkillers Raise Heart Failure Risk?: Use of prescription-strength ibuprofen, naproxen and other commonly used pain relievers may be tied to a higher risk of heart failure, researchers report. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These medications may raise a person's relative risk of heart failure by nearly 20 percent, according to the analysis of medical records for nearly 10 million patients. That risk increases with the amount of NSAIDs a person is taking. A person's risk of hospitalization for heart failure doubles for some NSAIDs used at very high doses, including diclofenac (Cataflam or Voltaren), etoricoxib (Arcoxia), indomethacin (Indocin), and piroxicam (Feldene). BMJ 

Long Term Tamoxifen Lowers Contralateral Breast Cancer Risk: Treatment with tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors does cut breast cancer patients' risk of developing cancer in their other breast, according to findings published online Oct. 6 in JAMA Oncology 

• Common Prostate Cancer Treatment Linked to Later Dementia: Men with prostate cancer who are treated with testosterone-lowering drugs are twice as likely to develop dementia within five years as prostate cancer patients whose testosterone levels are not tampered with, research shows. JAMA Oncology 

Inhaled Version of Parkinson's Drug May Help Keep Symptoms at Bay An inhaled version of the Parkinson's drug levodopa can help when patients experience symptoms between doses of the pill form of the medication, a new, small study finds. Science Translational Medicine 

Health Insurance Hikes Ease But Workers Pay a Price: Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose modestly in 2016, but more workers must meet higher deductibles before their coverage kicks in, a new nationwide survey shows. On average, the annual premium for employer-sponsored family health coverage rose 3 percent to $18,142 this year. The modest rise continues a slowdown in annual premium increases over the past 15 years, according to the report. The average deductible jumped 12 percent (about $159) to $1,478 this year. Kaiser Family Foundation 

 US Health Care System is One of the Least Efficient Worldwide: The U.S. health care system is one of the least efficient worldwide based on a Bloomberg index that assesses life expectancy, health care spending per capita, and relative spending as a share of gross domestic product, according to a report published by Bloomberg

Docs Much Better than Internet or Apps for Diagnosis: Hundreds of millions of people rely on Internet or app-based symptom checkers to help make sense of symptoms or self-diagnose diseases. The first direct comparison shows human doctors outperform digital ones in diagnostic accuracy. JAMA Internal Medicine 

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