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Health Cambridge MA

The following articles contain information about health, healthy living practices, and health trends. Learn about a variety of topics and issues, including but not limited to symptoms of illness or disease, treatments for disorders, new trends in the medical world, health care plans and more.
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Yoga for the Back Cambridge MA

As we boomers age, back issues may be more common. Back pain is the primary cause of great suffering and disability. It is said that there are yearly 70,000 visits to the doctor due to back pain. Yoga can reduce back pain and even heal it. Read on for more detailed information in the following article.

Winter Exercise Cambridge MA

Sticking to your exercise program throughout the colder months is beneficial for multiple reasons, experts say. Not only can physical activity lift your spirits during days of limited sunlight, it can help make sure you're in good shape when it's time to pull out those shorts and bathing suits again.

Wider Use for Statins Cambridge MA

Statins could be as beneficial for people with acceptable cholesterol readings but high levels of inflammation as they are for those with high cholesterol levels, a new analysis finds. An earlier study of more than 17,000 participants, known as the JUPITER trial, found that rosuvastatin (Crestor) cut the risk for serious vascular problems in people whose cholesterol levels were not high while high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels were.

Two Genes Work Together in Deadliest Cancer Cambridge MA

Two genes working in concert seem to spur the deadliest form of brain tumor, glioblastoma, the disease that took Sen. Ted Kennedy's life last August. Scientists reporting in the Dec. 23 online edition of Nature said that the dynamic duo of genes are turned on in about 60 percent of patients with glioblastoma, and that those patients have an especially bad prognosis.

Treatment for Respiratory Virus Cambridge MA

A lipid found in the lungs appears to have the ability to prevent infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is a major cause of infection in babies and can also be dangerous for adults with chronic lung diseases and conditions such as HIV, researchers report.

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Airbags for Pregnant Women Cambridge MA

Air bags save lives in car crashes; that's been established. But now researchers report that the lifesaving quality makes no exception for pregnant women and the babies they're carrying. Because air bag deployment has been shown to injure children and infants, there's been a lingering question whether the devices might also injure unborn children, noted the researchers, from the University of Washington.

Allergens Worsen Sinusitis Cambridge MA

A new Dutch study provides solid proof that allergies can trigger the sinus problems that afflict millions of Americans. When allergy-causing substances were dripped into the noses of people with chronic sinusitis, almost all of them developed significant sinus responses, such as inflammation, evident on X-ray and ultrasound images, according to a report in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery by physicians at the Allergy Research Foundation in Breda, the Netherlands.

Alzheimer's Disease Cambridge MA

Researchers have uncovered a bittersweet relationship between two major illnesses: cancer and Alzheimer's disease. People who have had cancer are less likely to get Alzheimer's disease, just as having Alzheimer's disease reduces the risk for cancer, their study found.

Amino Acid for Strong Teeth Cambridge MA

Scientists have identified the way a simple amino acid makes human teeth strong and resilient. Proline is repeated in the center of proteins found in tooth enamel. When the repeats are long, such as in humans, they contract groups of molecules that help enamel crystals grow. When the repeats are short, such as in frogs, teeth don't have the enamel prisms that provide strength, the researchers explained.

Aspirin during Pregnancy Cambridge MA

Obstetricians sometimes give low-dose aspirin to pregnant women who are apt to have such complications as fetal growth restriction (when a fetus doesn't grow properly in the womb) or preeclampsia (high blood pressure that's dangerous to both mother and the fetus), said Dr. Ashley Roman, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center. Roman was not involved in the research.

Breast Cancer Cambridge MA

An analysis of breast cancer genomes has provided insight into how the human genome is rearranged when the disease strikes, researchers report. "We have looked at the level of the DNA sequence at just how splintered and reorganized the genome is in many breast cancers. We were, frankly, astounded at the number and complexity of rearrangements in some cancers," Mike Stratton of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, U.K., said in a news release from the institute.

Breast MRI for Women Cambridge MA

For women at high risk of breast cancer, an MRI can help detect malignancies early and is often suggested in addition to annual mammograms. Yet, 42 percent of such women in a new study said no to the test.

Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart Cambridge MA

Although many women choose to breast-feed because of the numerous health benefits it offers their offspring, new research suggests that breast-feeding may also help the health of the mothers' hearts later in life.

Cardiac Disease Study Cambridge MA

Cardiac rehabilitation sessions for elderly people with heart disease can lower their risk of heart attack and help them live longer, new research finds, but fewer than one in five eligible patients bothers to go. Researchers looked at medical records of more than 30,000 Medicare patients aged 65 and older who attended at least one cardiac rehabilitation session from 2000 to 2005. The findings: More sessions are better.

Causes of Birth Defects Cambridge MA

Among working women in the United States, teachers seem to have the lowest risk of having babies with birth defects, while those who work as janitors, scientists and electronic-equipment operators appear most at risk, researchers say.

Cervarix Proving Effective against HPV Cambridge MA

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Cervarix protects women from infection for longer than six years, new research has found. The vaccine guards against the two types of HPV (HPV-16 and HPV-18) most commonly associated with cervical cancer.

Chicken Pox Shot Protecting against Shingles Cambridge MA

Children who are vaccinated against chicken pox may also have increased protection against shingles, new findings suggest. U.S. researchers looked at the health records of 172,163 children in southern California who were vaccinated with the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine between 2002 and 2008.

Child Food Allergies Cambridge MA

Pediatric food allergies, which can sometimes be life-threatening, are increasing at a dramatic rate in the United States, new research shows. But the study authors aren't sure if the rise in reports of food allergies reflects an increase in actual prevalence or if better awareness has led more people to seek treatment for their symptoms.

Childhood Lead Exposure Causing Permanent Damage Cambridge MA

Childhood exposure to lead can cause permanent brain damage, a new study has found. The study included 33 adults, mean age 21, who were enrolled as infants in the long-term Cincinnati Lead Study, which looked at prenatal and early childhood exposure in 376 infants from high-risk areas of Cincinnati between 1979 and 1987.

Clues to Cancer That Could Wipe Out Tasmanian Devils Cambridge MA

Researchers are gaining a better understanding of an outbreak of cancerous tumors that is killing many of Australia's Tasmanian devils, according to a new report.

Diabetes Insight Could Lead to Better Treatments Cambridge MA

Scientists have identified a protein that may be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes, a finding that could lead to new drugs to fight this growing worldwide scourge. This same group of researchers recently showed that inhibiting this pathway worked to block pain associated with gout, an inflammatory condition affecting the joints.

Disinfectant Misuse Helping Germs Resist Antibiotics Cambridge MA

The incorrect use of a disinfectant could cause some germs to develop resistance to antibiotics, new research suggests. However, the findings haven't been proven outside of the laboratory and they don't suggest that there's anything wrong with disinfectants that are used properly.

Elderly Treated Less Aggressively for Heart Attack Cambridge MA

While overall care of heart attack patients in the United States is good, gaps remain in the treatment of patients 80 and older, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed 2000-2009 data on 156,677 heart attack patients treated at 416 centers enrolled in the American Heart Association's "Get With the Guidelines -- Coronary Artery Disease" program.

Emphysema in Nonsmoking Adults Cambridge MA

Children who are around smokers face a higher risk of early emphysema when they become nonsmoking adults, perhaps because their lungs never totally recovered from secondhand smoke exposure, new research suggests.

Exercise Guarding White Blood Cells against Aging Cambridge MA

Studies have shown that exercise can help ward off heart disease and cancer, and now new research shows that the reason why may be found within cells themselves. Endurance athletes had longer telomeres -- DNA at the tips of chromosomes that protect the cell -- in their white blood cells than healthy, nonsmoking adults who did not exercise regularly.

Experimental Treatment and Muscular Dystrophy Cambridge MA

Injecting a therapeutic molecule into muscle appears to jump-start the production of a crucial protein that's missing in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, British researchers report. The treatment so far is only applicable to about 13 percent of people with the debilitating and ultimately fatal disease, but scientists are hopeful that similar molecules might expand the treatment to a wider range of patients.

Flu Vaccine for Seniors Approved Cambridge MA

Seniors are at highest risk for complications of seasonal flu, including hospitalization and death. The Fluzone High-Dose vaccine, designed to prevent infection with influenza subtypes A and B, was given accelerated approval as a product designed to prevent serious or life-threatening disease.

Gene Mutations Behind Brain Reduction Cambridge MA

Scientists who identified gene mutations that influence human brain size say their findings may help explain differences in brain size in healthy people and those with neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Gene 'Signature' and Lung Cancer Cambridge MA

In a finding that could lead to a simple blood test to screen for lung cancer, U.S. researchers have identified immune system markers that indicate early-stage lung tumors in people at high risk for lung cancer.

Gene Tests in Sudden Cardiac Death Victims Cambridge MA

Genetic testing of people who've suffered sudden unexplained death is an effective and cost-efficient way of identifying genetic mutations that may put surviving relatives at increased risk for potentially deadly heart rhythm disturbances, a new study suggests.

Gene Therapy and Emphysema Cambridge MA

A single treatment with a new method of gene therapy may offer lifetime protection against the progression of the lung disease emphysema, according to the results of a study in mice. The most common form of emphysema in young people is Alpha-1 Anti-trypsin Deficiency, caused by a mutation in the alpha-1 anti-trypsin gene, the authors of the study pointed out.

Heart Risk Tied to Inflammatory Protein Cambridge MA

Researchers are linking levels of a protein that indicates tissue inflammation in the body to future risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and chronic lung disease. But the association may be the result of other risk factors related to heart disease, such as smoking, rather than the protein itself, researchers said.

High Lipoprotein Levels and Heart Disease Cambridge MA

A genetic study proves that high blood levels of the fat-carrying molecule called lipoprotein(a) can cause heart disease. "The case for lipoprotein(a) as a direct cause of coronary artery disease is now firm," said Martin Farrall, a professor of cardiovascular genetics at the University of Oxford in England and senior author of a report in the Dec. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

HIV Drugs for Breast-Fed Babies Cambridge MA

Antiretroviral drugs appear safe and effective in helping prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child through breast milk.

Huntington's Disease Cambridge MA

Researchers are reporting that they've discovered a molecular switch that appears to play a role in whether Huntington's disease develops in mice. An estimated one out of every 10,000 Americans suffer from Huntington's disease, which is hereditary and disrupts a person's ability to walk, talk, think clearly and even swallow. There's currently no way to prevent the disease, which typically leads to death within 10 years of diagnosis, or to keep it from worsening, the study authors noted.

Indoor Allergies Common in Winter Cambridge MA

Colder temperatures can bring some relief to those allergic to mold and pollen. But winter doesn't mean the end of runny noses, itchy eyes and wheezing for asthma and allergy sufferers.

Ingredient in Botanicals Tied to Urinary Cancer Cambridge MA

New research links a carcinogen known as aristolochic acid, which is found in some Chinese herbal products, including guan mu-tong, to a higher risk of urinary tract cancer. The findings were reported online Dec. 21 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Kids Can Pass Pneumonia Bug to Older Relatives During Holidays Cambridge MA

A new study suggests that family get-togethers during the holidays can have a dark side, with asymptomatic children passing potentially deadly pneumonia germs to older relatives. "Kids get colonized by strep and pneumococcus, and they are carrying it -- they may not get sick from it, but the elderly are more susceptible to it," noted Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine in New York City.

Laser Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy Cambridge MA

Steroid injections into the eye slowed diabetes-related eye disease, though lasers remain the treatment of choice because of side effects related to the steroids, new research shows.

Long-Term Bipolar Therapy Cambridge MA

People with bipolar I disorder will do best over the long term with lithium treatment alone or a combination of lithium and valproate compared to valproate alone, new research suggests. Patients who underwent the lithium or lithium/valproate treatments were less likely to relapse regardless of how severe their conditions were at the beginning of treatment, the study authors reported in the Dec. 22 online edition of The Lancet.

Molecule Helps Leukemia Cells Hide from Immune System Cambridge MA

The cells co-opt a protective molecular badge that is used by normal blood stem cells, and this badge helps them travel throughout the body undetected, the investigators found.

Multi-Detector CT Scans Cambridge MA

A type of computed tomography scan used to detect coronary artery disease can be affected by factors such as a patient's ethnicity, height/weight ratio and heart rate, researchers have found. The scanning technology at issue is known as multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT). In the new international study, researchers looked at scans of 291 patients with clogged arteries and found that images from black patients had poorer quality than those from white patients.

Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol Cambridge MA

The resin of trees in the Middle East -- known as myrrh -- may help lower "bad" cholesterol, new research suggests. The study author explained that myrrh resin could be used in conjunction with other plant materials to boost heart health, although it's not clear yet how people might consume it, and more research is needed.

Natural Heart Drugs and Colon Cancer Cambridge MA

A family of naturally derived heart drugs called cardiac glycosides shows promise in fighting colon cancer, new research has found.

Pneumonia Risk for Seniors Cambridge MA

Seniors who are exposed to significant levels of air pollution for more than a year face double the risk of pneumonia, Canadian researchers report. "We postulate that long-term exposure to air pollution may have increased individuals' susceptibility to pneumonia by interfering with innate immune defenses designed to protect the lung from pathogens," lead investigator Dr. Mark Loeb, of McMaster University in Ontario, said in a news release from the American Thoracic Society.

Precautions Allow for Smooth Travel While Pregnant Cambridge MA

Traveling during the holidays can be difficult, even more so when you're pregnant. Hauling luggage, navigating crowded airports and sitting for hours in cramped seats can make you wish you stayed home.

Procedure for Implantable Defibrillator Patients Cambridge MA

Heart patients with a dangerous rapid heartbeat called ventricular tachycardia often get implantable cardiac defibrillators to help control the condition, and a new study suggests that they will have fewer recurrences of the abnormality if they undergo a procedure called catheter ablation before they receive the device.

Regenerating Blood Vessels Cambridge MA

Researchers say they've stimulated the growth of blood vessels by using artificial polymers -- a process that could lead to improvements in regenerative medicine, which aims to help damaged body tissue heal itself and create new tissue.

Sinus Surgery Cambridge MA

Three-quarters of patients undergoing surgery for stubborn sinusitis saw significant improvements in their quality of life, new research shows. Most of the remaining 25 percent also saw some improvement, just not as dramatic, said Dr. Timothy Smith, lead author of a study appearing in the January issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

Skin Care Tips Cambridge MA

Smoking, being overweight and not using sunscreen all take an additional toll on sun-damaged skin, a new study of twins shows. The findings, from researchers at Case Western Reserve Medical School in Cleveland, suggest that "people with the same genetic composition are more likely to have the same sort of sun damage," said Dr. Jonette Keri, an assistant professor of dermatology at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Skin Protection from Winter Weather Cambridge MA

When the air outside is chilly and low on humidity, and the air inside is heated and dry, you have a recipe for chapped skin and cracked lips, dermatologists say.

Sleep Apnea and Nighttime Urination Cambridge MA

A new study suggests that nighttime urination, or nocturia, is comparable to loud snoring as a marker for obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which soft tissue in the throat blocks the flow of air into the lungs, disrupting sleep.

Smokers' Cars Loaded with Nicotine Cambridge MA

Passengers riding in the cars of smokers are exposed to nicotine levels nearly twice those found in restaurants and bars that permit smoking, a new study suggests. The dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke are well known, including the risk for heart and respiratory disease, and have led to laws banning smoking in many public places. Many anti-smoking advocates believe the next frontier in the fight against secondhand smoke is in cars in Cambridge.

Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers Cambridge MA

One study found that long-term smokers have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer, a finding that factored into the recent decision by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to assert that there is "sufficient" evidence to link the two, up from its previous "limited" evidence.

Sun Protection Advised Year-Round Cambridge MA

If you're like many people, you slather on sunscreen during hot summer days, then in winter, not so much. Short, cold days make it easy to forget that the sun doesn't go into hibernation.

Survival in Head and Neck Cancer Virus Attacks Cambridge MA

Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) may improve survival in patients with head and neck cancer, U.S. researchers report.

Taxol Boosts Odds of Chronic Pain Cambridge MA

The chemotherapy drug paclitaxel (Taxol) increases the risk of chronic neuropathic pain in breast cancer survivors, a new study shows. It included 240 women who took part in clinical trials of Taxol between 1994 and 2001. Those who experienced chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy during their treatment with Taxol were three times more likely to eventually be diagnosed with chronic neuropathic pain.

Testosterone and Women's Career Moves Cambridge MA

Higher testosterone levels may make some women more likely to choose high-risk financial careers, a U.S. study suggests. "In general, women are more risk-averse than men when it comes to making important financial decisions, which in turn can affect their career choices," Paola Sapienza, an associate professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, said in a news release.

Tips for Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer Cambridge MA

Worries about side effects are a major reason why only 6 percent of American women at high risk for breast cancer are willing to take the drug tamoxifen to prevent the disease, a new study finds.

Treatment for Ewing's Sarcoma Cambridge MA

Preliminary research suggests that the anticancer drug figitumumab might be an effective treatment for Ewing's sarcoma, a cancer that affects the areas in and near the bone, mainly in teenage boys.

Treatment for Respiratory Virus Cambridge MA

A lipid found in the lungs appears to have the ability to prevent infection with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is a major cause of infection in babies and can also be dangerous for adults with chronic lung diseases and conditions such as HIV, researchers report.

Two Genes Work Together in Deadliest Cancer Cambridge MA

Two genes working in concert seem to spur the deadliest form of brain tumor, glioblastoma, the disease that took Sen. Ted Kennedy's life last August. Scientists reporting in the Dec. 23 online edition of Nature said that the dynamic duo of genes are turned on in about 60 percent of patients with glioblastoma, and that those patients have an especially bad prognosis.

Wider Use for Statins Cambridge MA

Statins could be as beneficial for people with acceptable cholesterol readings but high levels of inflammation as they are for those with high cholesterol levels, a new analysis finds. An earlier study of more than 17,000 participants, known as the JUPITER trial, found that rosuvastatin (Crestor) cut the risk for serious vascular problems in people whose cholesterol levels were not high while high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels were.

Winter Exercise Cambridge MA

Sticking to your exercise program throughout the colder months is beneficial for multiple reasons, experts say. Not only can physical activity lift your spirits during days of limited sunlight, it can help make sure you're in good shape when it's time to pull out those shorts and bathing suits again.

Yoga for the Back Cambridge MA

As we boomers age, back issues may be more common. Back pain is the primary cause of great suffering and disability. It is said that there are yearly 70,000 visits to the doctor due to back pain. Yoga can reduce back pain and even heal it. Read on for more detailed information in the following article.