Experimental Therapy May Lead To Macular Degeneration

December 31, 2008

Having discovered a genetic trigger for age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50, researchers report that an experimental state-of-the-art therapy for treating eye disease could adversely affect the vision of some patients with the “wrong” genetic makeup.

In the August 28 online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a multi-institutional team, including an interdisciplinary contingent from Johns Hopkins, reports that a mutation in toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), a protein known to help cells fight some types of infection, is associated with protection from geographic atrophy. Geographic atrophy, also known as the “dry” form of macular degeneration, is the progressive shriveling of retinal cells in the central part of the tissue called the macula where cell loss equates to irreversible vision loss.
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For More Quality Time With Patients, Some Physicians Fire Insurance Companies

December 31, 2008

A type of old-fashioned medical practice is making a comeback in some corners: While most physicians contract with one or more insurance companies, some are no longer accepting health insurance at all. They want to increase their quality time with each patient, reduce hassles, and return to their passion – healing people.

In medicine’s past, the physician – little black bag in hand – had more time with each patient to listen to his or her concerns and develop a treatment plan for care together. With no insurance copays or deductibles, the patient paid for his or her care, sometimes even in chickens or other livestock.
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Magnesium Sulphate May Reduce Cerebral Palsy

December 31, 2008

Giving magnesium sulphate to stop women from going into premature labour could reduce the chances of babies later being diagnosed with moderate to severe cerebral palsy, said researchers in the US.

The multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial was the work of Dr Dwight Rouse, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues, and is published in the 28 August online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM Read the rest of this entry »


Wake Forest Baptist Is Renewed As A ‘Pepper Center’

December 31, 2008

The J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center will remain one of 11 nationwide Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Centers (OAIC) for a fourth consecutive five-year cycle.

The center has received notice that its competitive OAIC application was successful, providing Wake Forest Baptist with almost $1 million each year to support and promote clinical research in aging, with a particular focus on the maintenance of functional independence of older adults.
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Rheb’s Role In Cancer

December 31, 2008

Two independent papers in the August 15th issue of G&D identify the Rheb GTPase as a novel oncogene and a promising new chemotherapeutic target.

The first paper, from Dr. Pier Paolo Pandolfi (BIDMC and Harvard Medical School) and colleagues, demonstrates that the Ras-like small GTPase, Rheb, is directly involved in prostate tumorigenesis.

Through the overexpression of Rheb specifically in prostate tissue of live mice, the researchers were able to show that increased Rheb signaling activity is sufficient to induce low-grade prostate neoplasias. Furthermore, in combination with decreased PTEN activity, Rheb overexpression can stimulate aggressive prostate tumor formation.
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Skeleton Summer Staff May Lead To Businesses Falling Foul Of Health And Safety Guidelines, UK

December 31, 2008

The British Red Cross is warning that low staffing levels over the summer period may lead to businesses falling foul of health and safety guidelines.

Many businesses operate on almost skeleton staffing levels over the summer period as employees’ annual leave reaches its peak season. During this time, many businesses leave themselves at risk through lack of preparation and lack of awareness of health and safety regulations stating that somebody responsible for first aid arrangements must be on site at all times.
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224,000 Californians Sign Petition Urging The Governor And Legislature To Rescind Medi-Cal Cuts

December 31, 2008

The ten percent Medi-Cal provider cuts that went into effect on July 1, 2008 have already created hardships throughout California for pharmacists and the patients they serve. More and more pharmacies have been forced to stop filling Medi-Cal prescriptions because pharmacies lose money on nearly every prescription filled. To date, 224,281 Californians have signed petitions urging the Governor and Legislature to rescind the cuts to ensure that patients receive the medications they need to live healthy lives.
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