Posts Tagged ‘research’

Dementia: Are Some Cases Preventable.

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Recent research published in Lancet and reported by the first Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention and Care stated that managing lifestyle factors such as hearing loss, smoking, hypertension, and depression could prevent one-third of the world’s dementia cases. They also said nonpharmacological interventions such as social contact and exercise for people with dementia are beneficial. Researchers said “There’s been a great deal of focus on developing medicines to prevent dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.” ” But we can’t lose sight of the real major advances we’ve already made in treating dementia, including preventive approaches.”

Twenty four international experts were brought together to systematically review existing research and provide evidence=based recommendations for treating and preventing dementia. Nine risk factors were identified in early, mid and late life that increase the likelihood of developing dementia. They said by increasing education in early life and addressing hearing loss, hypertension, and obesity dementia could be reduced by up to 20 percent. In late life stopping smoking, treating depression, increasing physical activity, increasing social activities, and managing diabetes could reduce dementia by another 15 percent. Evaluating medications they said “Antipsychotic drugs are commonly used to treat agitation and aggression. but there are substantial concern about these drugs because of an increased risk of death, cardiovascular adverse events and infections, not to mention excessive sedation.”

Colorectal Cancer Impacted by High Fat Diets

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Cancer stem cell growth in the colon is enhanced by a high fat western diet according to new research in Stem Cell Research. It has been known that 80% of colorectal cancers are associated with poor diet but until now the mechanism was unknown. In their pre-clinical model the cancer stem cell growth in the colon, believed to be partially responsible for the spread and recurrence of cancer, was enhanced by a high-fat Western diet  when researchers blocked the JAK2-STAT3 cellular signaling pathway, a pathway known to promote tumor growth, the spike in cancer stem cell growth caused by the high fat diet declined.

Researchers said “We have known the influence of diet on colorectal cancer. However, these new findings are the first to show the connection between high-fat intake and colon cancer via a specific molecular pathway.” “We can now build upon this knowledge to develop new treatments aimed at blocking this pathway and reducing the negative impact of a high-fat diet on colon cancer risk.”

Liquid Biopsy/ Evaluating Cancer Treatment

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Liquid Biopsy, a blood test that detects circulating DNA tumor DNA, may not only sound an early alert that a treatment effect is diminishing but may also may offer clues about what to do next according to a new study published   Researchers say “We have shown that integrating regular liquid biopsy into our patient routine care is feasible and easily incorporated into clinical practice.” ” This technology can precisely help us understand each patient’s individual disease course and allows us to tailor care based on an understanding of their significant disease biology.”

In the study 40 patients with various forms of gastro-intestinal (GI) cancers who had previously responded to treatment that stopped were included. Liquid biopsies were done when their disease began to progress and circulating tumor DNA in the blood was analyzed for genetic mutation that might be making patients resistant to treatment. Thirty one of the 40 patients had at least one mutation, and 14 had more than 1 mutation. It was interesting that about two thirds of patients  had traditional biopsies taken at the same time and the liquid biopsy picked up extra mutations that could not be seen in the tissue biopsy. Researchers said “Identifying what specific mutations are responsible for treatment resistance is very important in helping clinicians choosing what treatment path  a patient should try next, whether it be another drug or prehaps radiation.”

Although liquid biopsies are not widely used outside the research setting, the researchers believe they are about to transform cancer treatment. The researchers say “We have shown this approach to be feasible across different GI cancers.” “Thew next step is to study how best to use this technology in daily practice.”

NB>I came across liquid biopsies a couple months ago while working on content for my cancer website .  I will have the test information on the site within the next month  as it is used to detect cancer and can do so before many other tests. However, the major problem now is that the cost can be up to $4,500.

Does the Presence of a Smart Phone Reduce Brain Smarts.

Friday, June 30th, 2017

A new study discussed on CBS news  concluded that participants in the study with smart phones in another room significantly outperformed those with  their smartphones on their desk so that your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach–even if it is off. Studies were conducted with about 800 smartphone users in an attempt to measure how well people can complete tasks when they have their smartphones nearby even though turned off.

In one study participants were asked to sit at the computer and take a series of tests that required full concentration to score well. The tests measured the available cognitive ability of participants. Before beginning participants were randomly instructed on their desk with the face down, in their pocket or personal bag, or in another room. All were instructed to turn the phones to silence. Researchers found that those with their smartphone in another room significantly outperformed those with it on the desk, and slightly outperformed those with it in a pocket or bag.

In another study researchers looked at how a person’s self reported smartphone dependence or the strength of their reported need for a smartphone to get through a typical day– affected cognitive capacity.  Subjects performed the same series of computer-based tests as the first group and were randomly assigned to either keep their smart phones either in sight on the desk face up, in a pocket or bag, or in another room. In this study, some subjects were also asked to turn off the smartphones. Researchers found that subjects who were the most dependent on their smartphones performed worse compared with their less-dependent peers, but only when their smartphones were on the desk or in their pocket or bag. Researchers also found that it did not matter whether smartphones were turned off or on, or whether it was face down or faced up. But having a smartphone within sight or easy reach reduced a persons ability to focus and perform tasks because part of their brain was active working to not pick up the phone.

Cannabis Health Risk Lowered with Public Health Guidelines

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health reported that Canada’s Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines that were released with the endorsement of key public health and medical organizations provide ten science-based recommendations to enable cannabis users to reduce their health risk. Canada has one of the highest cannabis use rates in the world and related problems range from memory and physical coordination problems, to motor vehicle accidents and mental health or dependence problems.

Researchers noted that as Canada moves toward legalization with the federal Cannabis Act it was a good time to educate and inform cannabis users on order to reduce or prevent cannabis-related health issues. They said “Factual, science-based information can provide guidance to cannabis users to make choices that reduce both immediate and long-term risks top their health.” They continue “Cannabis use carries with it real health risks, and mitigating those risks for Canadians–particularly young Canadians–must be the first priority.” “The CMA (Canadian Medical Association) continues to recommend a broad policy approach focused in preventing problematic drug use, ensuring the availability of assessment and treatment services for those who wish to stop using, and harm reduction to increase the safety for those who are using.”

Guidelines include abstaining, and the elevated potential of  risk related to initiating use at an young age, using high potency products, alternative delivery system, heavy use and driving, and identifying people at higher risks of problems with concrete recommendations for risk reduction in each case.

Meditation/Yoga Reverse DNA Response Underlying Stress

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

 

A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology reviewed over a decade of studies  analyzing how our genes are affected by different Mind-Body Interventions and and concluded meditation, yoga and Tai Chi don’t simply relax us, they can reverse the molecular reactions in our DNA which cause ill-health and depression. Researchers reviewed 18 studies with 846 participants over 11 years and found a pattern of molecular changes that happened in the body as a result of the mind-body interventions.  Those changes benefited the mental and physical health of the participants.

When a person is exposed to a stressful situation, their sympathetic nervous system is triggered  that in turn increases production of af a molecule called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) that regulates how the genes are expressed. KF-kB translates stress by activating genes to produce protein called cytokines that cause inflammation at the cellular level-a reaction that is useful for short term fight or flight reactions. But if this persists it lead to a higher risk of cancer. accelerated aging, and psychiatric disorders like depression.  Researchers found, however, that people who practice mind-body interventions exhibit the opposite effect-that is, a decrease in production of NF-kB and cytolines, leading to a reversal of the pro-inflammatory gene expression pattern and a reduction in the risk of inflammation-related diseases and conditions.

Researchers said “These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverse the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed. Put simply, MBIs cause the brain to steer our DNA processes along a path which improves our well-being.” “More needs to be done to understand these effects in greater depth, for example how they compare with other healthy interventions like exercise or nutrition. But this is an important foundation to build on to help future researchers explain the benefits of increasingly popular mind-body activities.”

Dr Sandra Goodman/Positive Health/Nutrition & Cancer

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health PH Online, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the USA. Sandra was born and grew up in Montreal, Canada, a highly cosmopolitan city in Quebec, subject to the political tensions of the Canadian French and English divide. In addition to focusing upon her academic studies in the arts and sciences, Sandra was also a talented pianist and athlete, particularly in gymnastics. Having qualified as a Red Cross swimming instructor and Royal Lifesaving Society lifeguard, she greatly enjoyed teaching young adults and children to swim and overcome their fear of the water.

Sandra graduated with her PhD in Molecular Biology from McGill University with her Thesis: Expression of host genes in soybean root nodules, research attempting to identify nitrogen fixation genes in a legume, with an ultimate goal of being able to transfer such genes to non-legumes and reduce the requirement for fertilizer. Dr Goodman worked for a Multi-National Corporation in the USA as a Biotechnology Scientist until the mid-1980s, eventually traveling and settling in the UK focusing upon health issues. Author of 4 books regarding the role of Nutrition in empowering optimum health, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document: Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993.

The catastrophic but flawed research paper in The Lancet in the early 1990s alleging that women with breast cancer attending the Bristol Cancer Help Centre (BCHC) were more likely to die than those undergoing conventional treatment almost led to the closure of BCHC. Having authored a scholarly article Nutritional and Lifestyle Guidelines for People with Cancer, Dr Goodman was then commissioned in the early 1990s to set up a Cancer and Nutrition database which would identify the published research papers in this field.

During the compilation of this database, drawn from some 5000 peer-reviewed research papers, it was suggested by Sandra’s long-term partner Mike Howell that there was a lack of communication of this type of research both to health professionals and the serious general reader of health information. Thus was born Positive Health magazine PH Online, which has now published over 237 issues (the print magazine ceased after Issue 150); the entire archive is exclusively online at www.positivehealth.com

Dr Goodman has worked for the past 22+ years as a co-founder and Editor of Positive Health PH Online in attempting to show that there is no divide between different types of healthcare, just different approaches, i.e. Integrated Medicine. She is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer,  research information and clinical expertise in the areas of Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. She has been a member of the Therapy Advisory Panel of the Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Scientific Expert Committee member of the Alliance for Natural Health and a Patron of the Avalon Complementary Medicine Trust in Wells, Somerset. Her recent (Oct 2014) Research Proposal: Cancer Patients’ Outcomes: Comparing Integrated Alternative Therapies and Chemotherapy / Radiotherapy Treatment reviews the scientific literature regarding chemotherapy toxicity.

Dr Goodman and her long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with the resources, structural organization and interest to continue and expand the legacy of Positive Health PH Online forward into the 21st century, adding facilities to conduct online seminars, fundraising for alternative cancer research, as well as to promote leading holistic organizations and businesses internationally. Follow her Blog and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art. Dr S Goodman may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:  sandra@positivehealth.com   www.positivehealth.com   sandra@drsgoodman.com  www.drsgoodman.com

Enjoy the Interview below:

 

 

 

Cause of and Pain Relief for Cancer Patients

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Pain Relief is important for cancer patients because metastatic bone pain is the single most common form of cancer pain and cancer induced bone pain (CIBP) accounts for 30 to 50 percent of cancer pain and for 75 to 90 percent of all late stage cancer patients. In a new study reported in the journal Pain researchers reported discovering a key molecular pathway that drives cancer related bone pain and a potential solution.

In previous work the researcher discovered the pain pathway (molecular series of events leading to pain) including the S1PR1 (sphingosine 1 phosphate receptor subtype 1) that could be modulated to block and reverse pain using a drug already on the market. In the current animal study of breast cancer that had metastasized to the femur they observed spinal cord changes to key pathways that suggested increases in spjingosine 1-phosphate are a key component of developing pain and blocking the signal limits pain. Thus, targeting S1PR1 mitigates pain and neuroinflammation and identifies S1PR1 as a potential therapeutic target alone or as a secondary therapy to address cancer-induced bone pain.

Low dose THC relieves stress, but more has opposite effect.

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Research published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence concluded that low levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) , the main psychoactive compound in Marijuana does reduce stress, but in a highly dose-dependent manner. They found very low doses lessened the anxiety of a public speaking task but slightly higher doses actually increased anxiety. Researchers said “We found that THC at low doses reduce stress, while higher doses had the opposite effect, underscoring the importance of dose when it comes to THC and its effect.”  They pointed out that few studies previously looked at the effects of THC on stress and the differences related to dose because of the difficulty of obtaining samples and the regulation of the category 1 substance.

Healthy volunteers age 18 to 40 who had some experience with cannabis use but not daily users  were recruited for the study. They were randomly divided into 3 groups: 1) the low dose group received one capsule of 7.5 mg THC daily: 2) the moderate group received a capsule of 12.5 mg daily: and 3) the placebo group received a capsule containing none. Neither researchers or group members knew who was receiving what dose. Researchers said: The doses used in the study produce effects that are equivalent to only a few puffs of a cannabis cigarette.” Researchers further said it is difficult to compare doses of smoked cannabis to doses of engested THC. “We didn’t want to include larger doses because we wanted to avoid potential adverse effects or cardiovascular effects that can result from higher doses of THC.”

Subjects attended  two four hour sessions with researchers five days apart. At each session they took their capsules  and then relaxed for two hours to allow the RHC to be absorbed. During one session subjects were asked ro spend 10 minutes preparing for a mock job interview. This was followed by a 5 minute interview with a lab assistant who did not offer feedback. They were then asked to count backwards from a five digit number by subtracting 13 for 5 minutes. According to the researcher this task is very stress producing.

In their second visit subjects were asked to talk with lab assistants about a favorite book or movie for five minutes and then play solitaire for five minutes.  Before, during and after each activity subjects were asked to rate their stress levels and feelings about the tasks. In addition, blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels  (a key stress hormone) were measured. Those who received 7.5mg of THC reported less stress after the psycho-social test than those given a placebo and their stress levels dissipated faster after the test.  Subjects who received 12.5 mg of THC reported greater negative mood before and throughout the task, and were more likely to rate the psychosocial task as challenging and threatening beforehand and had more pauses during the mock interview compared to those in the placebo group. Researchers concluded “Our findings provide some support for the common claim that cannabis is used to reduce stress and relieve tension and anxiety.” “At the same time, our findings our finding that participants in the higher THC group reported smaller but significant increases in anxiety and negative mood   throughout the test  supports the idea that  THC can also produce the opposite effect.?

One alcohol drink daily raises breast cancer risk!

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

One alcohol drink a day (small glass wine or beer-10 gms alcohol) increases pre-menopausal breast cancer risk by 5 percent and post-menopausal breast cancer risk by 9 percent according to new research reported by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. Researchers also found that vigorous exercise such as running or fast bicycling decreases the risk of both pre and post-menopausal breast cancer ,They also confirmed earlier findings that moderate exercises decrease the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer that is the most comm,on type of breast cancer. Researchers said “With this comprehensive and up to date report  the evidence is clear, Having as physically active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life and limiting alcohol–these are all steps women can take to lower their risk.”

This report analyzed 119 studies, including data on 12 million women and 260,000 cases of breast cancer. The study found the equivalent of 10 gm of alcohol a day increased the risk and the standard drink is 14 gm of alcohol. specifics of exercise and cancer risk found follow: pre-menopausal women who were the most active had a 17 percent lower risk and post-menopausal women had a 10 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer compared to those who were the least active. Moderate activity such as walking and gardening gave a 13 percent lower risk when compared to the most vs least active women for developing cancer.

Other findings included: being overweight or obese increases the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer; women who breast fed were are lower risk of breast cancer; and the great adult weight gain  the greater the post-menopausal breast cancer risk.  There was limited evidence for the following findings that must be repeated, 1) non-starchy vegetables lower the risk for estrogen-receptor (ER) negative breast cancer that is a less common but a more challenging type to treat. ) 2) dairy, diets high in calcium and foods containing carotenoids seemed to lower risk of breast cancer. Carrots, apricots, spinach and kale are all foods high in carotenoids and should be studied for their health value;