Saturday, July 15, 2017

Journal Watch July 2017


• Applying electric current to nerve for chronic low back pain does not provide clinically important improvement: Treatment of chronic low back pain with radiofrequency denervation, a procedure that can be performed with different techniques including the application of an electric current to the pain-conducting nerve, resulted in either no improvement or no clinically important improvement in chronic low back pain, according to a study. JAMA Network Journals

Reaching Beyond the Prescription Pad to Treat Pain: Teaching coping skills may help reduce the risk that patients with chronic pain will become addicted to opioid painkillers, a new study suggests. Canadian Journal of Pain

Cognitive behavioral therapy improves functioning for people with chronic pain, study shows: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the most frequently used psychological intervention for people with chronic pain, and new approaches for improving CBT outcomes may be found in the psychological flexibility model and Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), according to research. The Journal of Pain

New, oral treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis: Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are treated for around six months with the standard anti-rheumatic agent methotrexate, to which many patients respond very well. However, if they do not respond and no remission or at least reduction in the activity of the disease can be achieved, they are given a combined treatment of methotrexate and a biologic agent if risk factors are present. An international research group has now shown that there is another, equally effective oral treatment option. The Lancet

• Controlled temperature change inside ear can prevent migraines: The application of gentle cooling and warming currents inside the ear canal can provide relief for migraine sufferers, new research has shown. The Journal of Head and Face Pain



Acupuncture relieves pain in emergency patients: The world's largest randomized controlled trial of acupuncture in emergency departments has found the treatment is a safe and effective alternative to pain-relieving drugs for some patients. The study found acupuncture was as effective as pain medicine in providing long-term relief for patients who came to emergency in considerable pain. But the trial, conducted in the emergency departments of four hospitals, showed pain management remains a critical issue. he Medical Journal of Australia

• Antibiotic Resistance Linked to Common Household disinfectant triclosan: Scientists have discovered a link between a major mechanism of antibiotic resistance and resistance to the disinfectant triclosan which is commonly found in domestic products. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy


• Closing medical marijuana dispensaries increases crime, according to new study: Contrary to popular belief, medical marijuana dispensaries (MMDs) reduce crime in their immediate areas, suggests a new report. Journal of Urban Economics


• Yoga more risky for causing musculoskeletal pain than you might think: Yoga causes musculoskeletal pain in 10 percent of people and exacerbates 21 percent of existing injuries, research shows. The findings come from the first prospective study to investigate injuries caused from recreational participation in yoga. The injury rate is up to 10 times higher than has previously been reported. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies


• Guided self-help approach to graded exercise program is safe, may reduce fatigue for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome: A self-help approach to a graded exercise program, supervised by a specialist physiotherapist, is safe and may reduce fatigue for some people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), according to a new trial of 200 people. The Lancet

Warns diabetics against use of secondhand test strips
• Approves new Sickle Cell Drug Endari (L-glutamine oral powder)
• Advisory Committee Approves CAR-T cell immunotherapy (CTL019 or tisagenlecleucel) “living drug” approach for children and youth with a common form of leukemia

Interventions to prevent cognitive decline, dementia: Evidence supporting three interventions-cognitive training, blood pressure management, and increased physical activity- that might slow cognitive decline and the onset of dementia is encouraging but insufficient to justify a public health campaign focused on their adoption. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Breast-Feeding Tied to Lower Heart, Stroke Risk for Mom:Women who breast-feed their babies may have a slightly lower risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke decades later, a large new study suggests. The study pointed out that women who breast-feed for a longer time tend to have lower odds of high blood pressure and diabetes. Journal of the American Heart Association

Frequent sexual activity can boost brain power in older adults: More frequent sexual activity has been linked to improved brain function in older adults, according to a new study. Researchers found that people who engaged in more regular sexual activity scored higher on tests that measured their verbal fluency and their ability to visually perceive objects and the spaces between them. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological and Social Science h


Regular brisk walks and a daily longer one help lower office workers' blood lipids: Taking 2-minute brisk walks every 30 minutes and a half-hour walk each day reduces blood lipid levels when measured in response to a meal consumed around 24 hours after starting the activity, research shows for the first time. Journal of Clinical Lipidology

For Many, Friends Are Key to Happiness in Old Age: These relationships may even outstrip family when it comes to well-being, study suggests. Personal Relationships 

Sinus disease symptoms improve 10 years after patients quit smoking: Patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) who quit smoking will see their condition improve over a period of about 10 years, according to the results of a new study. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 

• Elderly yoginis have greater cortical thickness: Scientists in Brazil have imaged elderly female yoga practitioners' brains and found they have greater cortical thickness in the left prefrontal cortex, in brain areas associated with cognitive functions like attention and memory. The results suggest that yoga could be a way to protect against cognitive decline in old age. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience


Fish Eaters Report Less Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain: Eating fish at least twice a week may significantly reduce the pain and swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis, a new study says. Arthritis Care & Research

Many Americans May Be Taking Too Much Vitamin D: Study finds more people are exceeding the upper daily limit of what is considered safe. The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is only 600 IUs for adults aged 70 and younger. For those over 70, the recommendation is 800 IUs a day.

• Extra-virgin olive oil preserves memory, protects brain against Alzheimer's: The Mediterranean diet is associated with a variety of health benefits, including a lower incidence of dementia. Now, researchers have identified a specific ingredient that protects against cognitive decline: extra-virgin olive oil. In a new study, the researchers show that consumption of extra-virgin olive oil protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain -- classic markers of Alzheimer's disease. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology

• Zoning in on specifics of Mediterranean diet for colorectal health: The benefits of a "Mediterranean diet" (MD) are well-known when it comes to colorectal protection, but it's hard to know specifically what elements of the diet are the healthiest. Now a new study, presented today at the ESMO 19th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer suggests loading up on fish and fruit, and cutting back on soft drinks are the three most important things. 

 Imprecise iron supplementation can spur increase in Salmonella: Individuals who do not produce enough iron are anemic, and often experience fatigue. One common remedy is for physicians to prescribe an iron infusion to their anemic patients. This makes sense, but can lead to unexpected consequences like increasing the risk of food poisons such as Salmonella. These types of poisons depend on abundant access to iron. Physicians should be attuned to this dynamic when determining the strength of iron infusions for their anemic patients. Frontiers

• With health care cuts looming, low-cost magnesium a welcome option for treating depression: The cost of depression is great -- 350 million people worldwide suffer from this disorder and costs for traditional SSRI treatments are high. New clinical research results show magnesium is effective at addressing symptoms and is safer and easier on the wallet than prescription therapies. Science Daily

 High fat diet reduces gut bacteria, Crohn's disease symptoms: A high fat diet may lead to specific changes in gut bacteria that could fight harmful inflammation -- a major discovery for patients suffering from Crohn's disease, research indicates. Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel syndrome, causes debilitating intestinal swelling, cramping, and diarrhea. The disease affects half a million people in the United States, but its cause is yet unclear. Science Daily

Drinking coffee could lead to a longer life, scientist says: Whether it's caffeinated or decaffeinated, coffee is associated with lower mortality, which suggests the association is not tied to caffeine Scientists have found that people who drink coffee appear to live longer. Drinking coffee was associated with lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and kidney disease. People who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12 percent less likely to die compared to those who didn't drink coffee. This association was even stronger for those who drank two to three cups a day -- 18 percent reduced chance of death. Annals of Internal Medicine 

Better Diet, Longer Life: Study is the first to show that sustained diet changes -- even later in life -- might extend people's lives. NEJM


NSAIDs improve survival for certain colorectal cancer patients, study shows: Among long-term colorectal cancer survivors, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, is associated with about a 25 percent reduction in all-cause mortality. The study further suggests that NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen have a particularly advantageous effect when taken after diagnosis by colorectal, or CRC, patients without tumor mutation in the KRAS gene (KRAS wild-type tumors): The study shows that NSAID use by this group is associated with a survival benefit of 40 percent.  Journal of Clinical Oncology

Study Hints at Link Between Some Statins, Parkinson's Risk: People on cholesterol-lowering statins may have a slightly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. Researchers said the finding doesn't prove statins are to blame. But, they added, the findings undercut the notion that statins might help protect against Parkinson's. Movement Disorders

Transcranial stimulation and/or physical therapy improves walking speed in Parkinson's disease: Noninvasive brain stimulation and physical therapy -- alone or in combination -- improve some measures of walking ability in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), concludes a clinical trial. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

• Combining antibiotics proves more effective against common infection: The common and highly resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium is a fatal threat to weakened and ill patients. A new study now shows that a combination treatment using two different types of antibiotics can reduce mortality up to five times. Science Daily

• 'Brain training' app found to improve memory in people with mild cognitive impairment: A 'brain training' game could help improve the memory of patients in the very earliest stages of dementia, suggests a new study. The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology

• Readily available drug cocktail can help prevent sepsis shock and death Vitamin C, corticosteroids, and thiamine administered together may help prevent progressive organ failure caused by sepsis, according to a new study. Chest 

Popular Heartburn Drugs Linked to Higher Early Death Risk: Popular heartburn drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)- Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium- have been linked to a variety of health problems, including serious kidney damage, bone fractures and dementia. Now, a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that longtime use of the drugs also is associated with an increased risk of death. BMJ

•  Repurposed asthma drug shows blood sugar improvement among some diabetics: After 12 weeks of taking an anti-asthma drug, a subset of patients with type 2 diabetes showed a clinically significant reduction in blood glucose during a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, report researchers. Cell Metabolism  

Steroids may do more harm than good in some cases of severe asthma: Corticosteroids, the main treatment for asthma, may worsen the disease in this group of patients, new findings suggest. This will have important clinical implications, say the researchers. JCI Insight 

• Observation Best Option for Most Low-Risk Prostate Cancer: Men with early stage prostate cancer who have surgery to remove their tumor do not live longer than those who receive no treatment at all, a 20 year clinical trial has concluded. At the same time, nearly one in three men who had the surgery wound up with long-term complications, such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction, NEJM

• CPAP Mask Not a Prescription for Heart Troubles: Using a breathing device to treat sleep apnea may help you get a good night's rest, but it might not lower your risk of dying from a stroke or heart condition, a new analysis suggests. JAMA

Depression May Worsen Health for Cancer Caregivers: Depression is known to be linked to worsening physical health, and a new study finds this may be especially true for cancer caregivers. American Cancer Society

• Many Chronic Illnesses Linked to Suicide: People with chronic health problems seem to have a higher risk of suicide, a new study suggests. The investigators identified 17 medical conditions linked to increased odds of suicide including asthma, back pain, brain injury, cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disorder, migraine, Parkinson's disease, psychogenic pain, sleep disorders and stroke. The risk was nine times higher among people with a traumatic brain injury and two times higher among those with sleep disorders and HIV/AIDS. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 

Older Americans Struggling with Drug Costs: A national poll of more than 2,100 adults aged 50 to 80 found that 27 percent said their prescription drug costs were a financial burden. Among the respondents who said their medication costs were a burden, 49 percent had not talked to their doctors about the issue. But doing so was effective, because 67 percent of those who talked to their doctor received a recommendation for a less expensive drug, as did 37 percent of those who talked to their pharmacists. Health Day

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