Stem Cell Transplant Helps Some With MS

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

A stem cell transplant may help some people with multiple sclerosis when standard drugs fail, a new clinical trial finds.

The study focused on 110 patients with aggressive cases of MS: Their symptoms had flared up at least twice in the past year despite taking standard medication, and they’d already tried an average of three of those drugs.

Researchers randomly assigned the patients to either keep trying other medications or have a stem cell transplant — using cells taken from their own blood.

Over an average of three years, MS progressed in 34 of 55 patients on medication — meaning their disabilities worsened. That compared with only three of 55 patients given a stem cell transplant.

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Tests May Help Diagnose Alzheimer’s Earlier

By Health Day – Tr-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Leaky blood vessels in the brain may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say.

They followed 161 older adults for five years and found that those with the most severe memory declines had the greatest leakage in their brain’s blood vessels, regardless of whether the Alzheimer’s-related proteins amyloid and tau were present.

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Chinese Researcher Claims First Gene-Edited Babies

By Christina Larsen – Re-Blogged From APNews

HONG KONG (AP) — A Chinese researcher claims that he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies — twin girls born this month whose DNA he said he altered with a powerful new tool capable of rewriting the very blueprint of life.

If true, it would be a profound leap of science and ethics.

A U.S. scientist said he took part in the work in China, but this kind of gene editing is banned in the United States because the DNA changes can pass to future generations and it risks harming other genes.

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Just 6 Months of Walking May Boost Aging Brains

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Walking and other types of moderate exercise might help turn back the clock for older adults who are losing their mental sharpness, a new clinical trial finds.

The study focused on older adults who had milder problems with memory and thinking skills. The researchers found that six months of moderate exercise – walking or pedaling a stationary bike – turned some of those issues around.

Specifically, exercisers saw improvements in their executive function – the brain’s ability to pay attention, regulate behavior, get organized and achieve goals. And those who also made some healthy diet changes, including eating more fruits and vegetables, showed somewhat bigger gains.

The effect was equivalent to shaving about nine years from their brain age, said lead researcher James Blumenthal, a professor at Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C.

Pancreatic Cancer Risk Soars With Obesity

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Obesity in the teen years may increase the risk of developing deadly pancreatic cancer in adulthood, researchers report.

The odds for this rare cancer can quadruple due to obesity, the Israeli research team found. Moreover, the risk rises as weight increases, even affecting men in the high normal weight range.

“It’s been known for some time that obesity can increase an individual’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer, and [this is] an important new finding suggesting that obesity and overweight in adolescence can also impact risk,” said Allison Rosenzweig, a senior manager at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

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Living in Noisy Neighborhoods Can Cause Heart Attacks

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health

Living in noise-saturated neighborhoods might be more than simply annoying – it can increase your risk factors for serious health problems including heart attack, heart disease and stroke, new research.

Chronic noise from traffic and airports appears to trigger the amygdala, a brain region critically involved in stress regulation, brain scans have revealed.

Noise is also associated with increased inflammation of the arteries, which is a risk factor for stroke, heart attack and heart disease, said lead researcher Dr. Azar Radfar. She is a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

New Drug Combination Hailed as Cystic Fibrosis Breakthrough

By Health Day – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

In what researchers are calling a “breakthrough,” two preliminary trials have found that either of two triple-drug regimens could potentially benefit 90 percent of people with cystic fibrosis.

The trials were short-term, finding that the drug combinations improved adult patients’ lung function over four weeks. But experts said they were optimistic the results will hold up in the larger, longer-term trials already underway.

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