Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Canadian research shows promise in Type 1 diabetes fight

New Canadian research is offering new hope for the fight against Type 1 diabetes after studies have shown a natural chemical in the body can have regenerative effects on the insulin-producing cells that are killed at the onset of the disease. The findings, based out of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, suggest treatment using GABA - a natural chemical produced by pancreatic beta cells, which are critical for the production of insulin - can have a reversal effect of the disease and allows the body to better accept the regenerated cells. Roughly 70 per cent of the insulin-producing beta cells are destroyed by the immune system in people who have Type 1 diabetes. The study, however, found that GABA - which is available as an oral dose - protects and regenerates those beta cells and had a reversal effect in diabetic mice. The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that GABA served two key functions in diabetic mice - it regenerates beta cells, but also suppresses autoimmunity, which allows them to remain active in the body

Monday, June 27, 2011

Type 2 diabetes in newly diagnosed 'can be reversed' (UK)

Type 2 diabetes in newly diagnosed 'can be reversed' (UK)An extreme eight-week diet of 600 calories a day can reverse Type 2 diabetes in people newly diagnosed with the disease, says a Diabetologia study. Newcastle University researchers found the low-calorie diet reduced fat levels in the pancreas and liver, which helped insulin production return to normal. Seven out of 11 people studied were free of diabetes three months later, say findings published in the journal. More research is needed to see whether the reversal is permanent, say experts. Type 2 diabetes affects 2.5m people in the UK. It develops when not enough insulin is produced in the body or the insulin that is made by the body doesn't work properly - BBC

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Diabetes rate 'doubles' - Imperial College and Harvard research suggests

Diabetes rate 'doubles' - Imperial College and Harvard research suggestsThe number of adults with diabetes in the world has more than doubled since 1980, a study in the Lancet says. Researchers from Imperial College London and Harvard University in the US analysed data from 2.7m people across the world, using statistical techniques to project a worldwide figure. They claim the total number of people with diabetes - which can be fatal - has risen from 153m to 347m. The authors called for better detection and treatment to combat the rise. Its authors said 70% of the rise was down to people living longer. The rise has been most pronounced in the Pacific Islands. In the Marshall Islands a third of all women have the condition - BBC

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Circulation journal to launch new series focusing on prevention of cardiovascular disease (AHA)

Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association has launched a year-long themed series that will focus on the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The series highlights the importance of preventive strategies as a first-line strategy in the fight against CVD and the impact of behavioral and complementary interventions in reducing the CVD burden. Preventive Cardiology and Lifestyle Medicine will feature monthly review papers by leading cardiology experts exploring new insights in preventive cardiology, lifestyle interventions and cardiac rehabilitation

Heart failure risk lower in women who often eat baked/broiled fish (AHA)

The risk of developing heart failure was lower for postmenopausal women who frequently ate baked or broiled fish, but higher for those who ate more fried fish, in a study reported in Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association journal. In a large-scale analysis, women who ate the most baked/broiled fish (five or more servings/week) had a 30 percent lower risk of heart failure compared to women who seldom ate it (less than one serving/month). Previous research has found that fatty acids (omega-3) in fish - EPA, DHA and ALA - may lower risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing inflammation, resisting oxidative stress and improving blood pressure, cardiac and blood vessel function. This study showed that they type of fish and cooking method may affect heart failure risk. The researchers found that dark fish (salmon, mackerel and bluefish) were associated with a significantly greater risk reduction than either tuna or white fish (sole, snapper and cod). In a similar analysis, eating fried fish was associated with increased heart failure risk. Even one serving a week was associated with a 48 percent higher heart failure risk

FDA announces new safety recommendations for high-dose simvastatin (USA)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is announcing safety label changes for the cholesterol-lowering medication simvastatin because the highest approved dose - 80 milligram (mg) - has been associated with an elevated risk of muscle injury or myopathy, particularly during the first 12 months of use. The agency is recommending that simvastatin 80 mg be used only in patients who have been taking this dose for 12 months or more and have not experienced any muscle toxicity. It should not be prescribed to new patients. There are also new contraindications and dose limitations for when simvastatin is taken with certain other medications

Stroke is Urgent - Heart and Stroke Foundation's 2011 Stroke Month Report

The Heart and Stroke Foundation's 2011 Stroke Month Report warns that awareness levels of stroke warning signs and stroke prevention is dangerously low, especially among women from Canada's two largest visible minorities - people of Chinese and South Asian descent

BHF-BACPR "Celebrating Cardiac Rehabilitation" Award 2011 (UK)

BHF-BACPR The BHF and BACPR want to Celebrate Cardiac Rehabilitation. We invited all cardiac rehabilitation (CR) programmes with an email address on Cardiacrehabilitation.net to take part in our search for comprehensive and innovative programmes. The BHF provided sponsorship to award a first prize of £2000 and two runner-up prizes of £500, to be used for service improvement. Forty programmes from across Great Britain sent in details of their programmes and the judges had a very difficult task to shortlist them to the "Top 10". The overall winner will be decided at the BACPR conference in October 2011

Nicotine treatment 'could control obesity'

Nicotine treatment 'could control obesity'Scientists have identified a group of neurons in the brain responsible for smokers' lack of appetite. In an article in the journal Science, Yale University researchers describe experiments on mice which found nicotine activates neurons to send signals the body has had enough to eat. However they are not the same neurons which trigger a craving for tobacco. As a result, the researchers say nicotine-based treatments could help control obesity. A research team from Yale University School of Medicine and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston performed a combination of molecular, pharmacological, behavioural and genetic experiments on mice. They found that nicotine influences a collection of central nervous system circuits, known as the body's hypothalamic melanocortin system, by activating certain receptors. These receptors, in turn, increase the activity of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons, known for their effects on obesity in humans and animals

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Drug makes hearts repair themselves (UK)

Drug makes hearts repair themselvesA drug that makes hearts repair themselves has been used in research on mice. The damage caused by a heart attack had previously been considered permanent. But a study in the journal Nature showed the drug, thymosin beta 4, if used in advance of a heart attack, was able to "prime" the heart for repair. The British Heart Foundation described repair as the "holy grail of heart research", but said any treatment in humans was years away. Due to advances in health care the number of people dying from coronary heart disease is falling. But those living with heart failure are on the rise - more than 750,000 people have the condition in the UK alone - BBC

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Frequent travellers have high obesity risk (USA)

A new study from Columbia University in the United States shows that you are 92% likely to be obese if you are a frequent traveller. In a study of 13,000 people which includes non-travellers as well as frequent business travellers the analysis showed that Body Mass Index (BMI), which is the accepted measurement for obesity, rises significantly if you travel for 14 days or more in a month. And these trends are also reflected in differences in blood pressure and cholesterol

Heart attack fear 'may worsen outcome', study suggests

People with an intense fear of dying during a heart attack could suffer a worse outcome, research suggests. London-led researchers asked 208 patients to rate their levels of fear following a severe cardiac event. People who reported they were most distressed during an attack had higher levels of chemical markers - linked to inflammation - in their blood. Writing in the European Heart Journal, the authors say heightened inflammation may lead to poorer long-term health. "Large inflammatory responses are known to be damaging to the heart, and to increase the risk of longer-term cardiac problems such as having another heart attack," said British Heart Foundation professor of psychology, Andrew Steptoe. The research, led by a team at Imperial College, found that patients who reported an intense fear of dying had raised levels of TNF alpha - a marker that has been linked to inflammatory processes in the body