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Alzheimer’s group may scrap early look at coveted…

The Alzheimer’s Association may not offer an early look at highly sought clinical trial data on an experimental drug from Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) after news of the impending release led to a jump in the company’s shares.

The influential patient group had been expected to post abstracts containing detailed trial findings on its website in the coming days, ahead of a conference planned for July in Washington, D.C.

Data in the abstracts would have been subject…

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Alzheimer’s group may scrap early look at coveted Lilly data

Exercise, Diet, Or Both May Protect Against Excess Pregnancy Weight

Women who take part in exercise, diet programs or a combination of the two during pregnancy can prevent excessive weight gain, according to a fresh review of past research.

The review incorporates dozens of new studies to update a previous review that did not find enough evidence to support the use of diet and exercise during pregnancy.

After including the new studies, the new review found “high-quality evidence” to show diet, exercise or both can reduce the risk of excessive weight gain during pregnancy, write the researchers in The Cochrane Library.

Some 400 million lack healthcare worldwide: WHO and World Bank

An estimated 400 million people worldwide lack access to at least one of seven essential health services, ranging from pregnancy care to clean water, according to a report released on Friday by the World Health Organization and World Bank.

At the same time, more people have access to essential health services than ever before, the report said, though coverage gaps remain.

The report, which examined surveys from 37 nations conducted between 2002 and 2012, is the first to track progress toward universal health coverage.

The goal of universal coverage, which would mean all citizens would have access to health services without experiencing financial hardship to pay for them, is likely to be included in the United Nations’ upcoming Sustainable Development Goals.

Women with dense breasts may not need additional cancer imaging

Many women with dense breasts do not need to have additional imaging carried out for breast cancer after having a normal mammogram, according to the findings of a new study.

The authors of the study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, conclude that breast density should not be the sole criterion for deciding whether further imaging is justified, as not all women with dense breasts have high interval cancer rates.

Instead, women with specific types of dense breasts who have a high 5-year cancer risk should discuss the available options for additional screening with their doctors.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy as Good as Full Breast Removal: Study

Women with early stage breast cancer who chose to preserve the nipple during a mastectomy had similar survival or recurrence rates to women who underwent full breast removal, a new study found.

“Nipple-sparing surgery is oncologically safe in carefully selected women with early stage breast cancer,” said Dr. Lucy De La Cruz, a researcher at the University of Miami. She was scheduled to present her findings Thursday at the American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla.

Studies presented at medical meetings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

In nipple-sparing surgery, the nipple and the darkened area around the nipple—the areola—are left in place. The breast tissue is taken from underneath the nipple area, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Although the nipple area is preserved, blood flow and nerves are affected. That means the nipple usually has little to no feeling, and it’s possible the appearance of the nipple may be affected, the ACS noted.

Some Arthritis Meds Cost Seniors Thousands Annually

Arthritis medications known as biologic disease-modifying drugs can cost Medicare patients more than $2,700 in co-payments a year, a new report finds.

Researchers say the tab is an immense burden on patients with disabling conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disorder that affects an estimated 1.3 million Americans.

Biologic anti-rheumatic medications—which include drugs such as adalimumab (Humira), anakinra (Kineret) and etanercept (Enbrel)—have allowed patients to gain better control of rheumatoid arthritis when taken early in the course of disease, the researchers explained. But some of the new drugs top $20,000 annually, according to the April 21 online report in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Depression, Weapons May Be More Common for Bullied Teens

Bullied high school students have greater odds for depression and suicidal thoughts than others, and they’re also more likely to take weapons to school, according to three new studies.

“Teens can be the victim of face-to-face bullying in school, electronic bullying outside of the classroom and dating violence,” said Dr. Andrew Adesman, senior investigator of the studies. Each experience is associated with a range of serious adverse consequences, he added.

Researchers analyzed data from a 2013 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of teens in grades 9-12, and found that depression and suicidal thoughts are much more common among teens who have been bullied electronically or at school.

Phone-Focused Parents a Danger to Their Kids at Playground

Young children are more likely to suffer playground injuries when their parents are texting or talking on a cell phone, a new study shows.

Even chatting with other caregivers ups the odds your kid will get hurt, the study found.

Researchers from the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York observed 50 parent/child pairs at seven playgrounds. The children were between 18 months and 5 years old. For 10 to 20 minutes, one researcher watched the parent while another researcher watched the child.

Parents were distracted 74 percent of the time, but most of the distractions were mild, with the majority of the parent’s attention focused on the child, they found.

High-Pitched Sounds May Trigger Seizures in Cats

High-pitched sounds may trigger seizures in cats, particularly older felines, a new study says.

Although many veterinarians are unaware of this connection, the louder the sound, the more severe the seizure, British researchers contend.

Cat owners around the world were surveyed by scientists at University College London’s School of Pharmacy, to find out if their pets had seizures or involuntary jerking motions in response to certain sounds.

Very Young Kids Often Use Tablets, Smartphones, Study Finds

Up to half of very young children use smartphones and tablets in some way before their first birthday, a new study finds. But parents still worry about their children’s use of mobile media, a separate study says.

“We were not surprised to find out children were exposed to mobile devices at a young age,” said Dr. Hilda Kabali, a pediatric resident at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and the author of the study on babies’ mobile use. “Most parents now have mobile devices and children are attracted to them.”

In her group’s study, 370 parents from a mostly urban, low-income minority community answered questions about their young children’s mobile device use.

By age 1 year, more than one-third of their babies had touched or scrolled the screen of a mobile device such as a smartphone. And by age 2, more than half had scrolled screens, called someone, watched a TV show on the device, played video games or used an app, Kabali found.

Gene Discoveries Could Help Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Genetic variations may hold clues to rheumatoid arthritis—suggesting not only who will develop the painful condition, but also predicting its severity and even who might die from it, a new study says.

“Genetic factors predisposing to disease, to disease severity, and response to treatment will allow tailoring treatment to individual patients’ needs,” said lead researcher Dr. Sebastien Viatte, a research fellow at the University of Manchester in England.

Using data from several sources on thousands of patients in the United Kingdom, researchers found that gene mutations at a location on a chromosome called HLA-DRBl were associated with rheumatoid arthritis severity and the response to treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor drugs.

Study Supports HPV Vaccination Guidelines

New research finds that young women who get the HPV vaccine gain significant protection against infection in three parts of the body if they haven’t already been exposed to the human papillomavirus.

“HPV is a local infection that can separately infect the cervical, anal, or oral sites, where it can occasionally lead to cancer,” said Daniel Beachler, a postdoctoral fellow at the U.S. National Cancer Institute. “This study demonstrates that the HPV 16/18 vaccine provides protection at all three sites, particularly among women without evidence of HPV exposure prior to vaccination.”

Beachler also said that even those previously exposed to the virus may gain a benefit. “While the HPV vaccine is not therapeutic and cannot help clear current infections, we did observe that it may help protect some women previously exposed to HPV against subsequent infection at their non-infected sites,” he said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). 

Breast-Feeding May Lower Breast Cancer Recurrence, Death: Study

Women who breast-feed their babies and later develop breast cancer are less likely to have the cancer return or to die from it than women who do not breast-feed, new research shows.

“We found in this study of over 1,600 women with breast cancer that those who previously breast-fed had a 30 percent overall decreased risk of their breast cancer recurring,” said study leader Marilyn Kwan, a research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente division of research in Oakland, Calif. “We also found those who previously breast-fed had a 28 percent reduced risk of dying from their breast cancer.”

The study was published online April 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Previous research has found that breast-feeding is linked with a lower risk of developing breast cancer in the first place, the researchers said.

Knowledge Is Power for Patients With Heart Failure

Heart failure patients may be more likely to die following hospitalization if they have a hard time reading, understanding and using health information, a new study suggests.

People with low “health literacy” who wound up in the hospital with acute heart failure ran a 34 percent greater risk of dying during the study period if they didn’t grasp the information that doctors and nurses provided them about their condition, said lead author Dr. Candace McNaughton. She is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

“Patients with lower health literacy skills may have difficulty communicating with health care providers, navigating the health care system, recognizing signs of health decline, and knowing when and who to contact when they do become ill,” McNaughton said.

Treating Sleep Apnea May Help Those With Heart Rhythm Disorder

People with both atrial fibrillation and obstructive sleep apnea are less likely to have a recurrence of the heart rhythm disorder if they use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, a new report says.

Researchers from New York University Langone Medical Center reviewed seven studies that included more than 1,000 people with sleep apnea. They found that CPAP use was associated with a 58 percent reduction in the recurrence of atrial fibrillation, an irregular, often rapid, heart rate.

“Active screening for obstructive sleep apnea in all patients who undergo treatment for atrial fibrillation is imperative as the use of CPAP will influence the outcome of therapy and likely reduce some of the cardiovascular morbidity associated with atrial fibrillation,” said Dr. Larry Chinitz, a professor of medicine and cardiac electrophysiology.

Study Challenges Salt Guidelines for Kids

U.S. health officials warned last year that nine out of 10 American kids eat more salt than they should, raising their lifelong risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

But a new study finds that consuming higher-than-recommended amounts of salt appears to have no ill effect on teenage girls’ blood pressure.

The study, which followed more than 2,000 girls from ages 9 and 10 into early adulthood, also indicates that potassium-rich diets help lower blood pressure.

The study findings—considered potentially dangerous by at least one outside expert—contradict current salt guidelines, said study lead author Lynn Moore, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. 

Latest news

Alzheimer’s group may scrap early…

The Alzheimer’s Association may not offer an early look at highly sought clinical trial data on an experimental drug from Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) after news of the impending release led to a jump in the company’s…

look more

Exercise, Diet, Or Both May…

Women who take part in exercise, diet programs or a combination of the two during pregnancy can prevent excessive weight gain, according to a fresh review of past research.

The review incorporates dozens of new…

look more

Upcoming Events

Legal Study Presentation: The Rights of Persons with…

On June 12, 2014, the American University of Armenia (AUA)’s LL.M. program, in cooperation with the Civil Society Institute, is holding a presentation of the Legal Study on the Rights of Persons with Mental Disorders in…

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Call for the training “Human rights in patient…

The “Center for rights development” NGO is pleased to announce a call for the training “Human rights in patient care”, designed for the lawyers. The latter will take place on June 9th , at 13:00, in the Legal clinic…

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Laws and Health

Council of Europe: Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine.


Informed consent is the process by which a fully informed patient can participate in choices about her health care. It originates from the legal and ethical right the patient has to direct what…

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Measles has become relatively rare in the United States, thanks to very effective vaccine. A recent outbreak tied to Disneyland has shown that even among some doctors, knowledge of the once-common illness is…


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