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Severe scoliosis linked to rare mutations

Severe scoliosis linked to rare mutations

Children with rare mutations in two genes are about four times more likely to develop severe scoliosis than their peers with normal versions of the genes, scientists have found. The research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Continue reading

MRI brain scans detect people with early Parkinson’s

MRI brain scans detect people with early Parkinson’s

Oxford University researchers funded by Parkinson’s UK have developed a simple and quick MRI technique that offers promise for early diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The team demonstrated that their new MRI approach can detect people who have early-stage Parkinson’s disease with 85% accuracy, according to research published in Neurology , the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Continue reading

Diet higher in protein may be linked to lower risk of stroke

Diet higher in protein may be linked to lower risk of stroke

People with diets higher in protein, especially from fish, may be less likely to have a stroke than those with diets lower in protein, according to a meta-analysis published in the June 11, 2014, online issue of Neurology ®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “The amount of protein that led to the reduced risk was moderate — equal to 20 grams per day,” said study author Xinfeng Liu, MD, PhD, of Nanjing University School of Medicine in Nanjing, China Continue reading

Risk factors for hospital readmissions identified

Risk factors for hospital readmissions identified

Hospital readmission, an important measure of quality care, costs the United States an estimated $17 billion each year. And according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), about half of those readmissions could be avoided Continue reading

Prostate-cancer surgery prices are elusive

Prostate-cancer surgery prices are elusive

Let’s say you’re buying a car. You have a wealth of data at your fingertips, from safety information to performance, to guide your decision. The same is not as true in health care, especially if you’re pricing procedures. Continue reading

Ability to identify source of pain varies across body

Ability to identify source of pain varies across body

“Where does it hurt?” is the first question asked to any person in pain. A new UCL study defines for the first time how our ability to identify where it hurts, called “spatial acuity,” varies across the body, being most sensitive at the forehead and fingertips. Using lasers to cause pain to 26 healthy volunteers without any touch, the researchers produced the first systematic map of how acuity for pain is distributed across the body. Continue reading

Ability to identify source of pain varies across body

Ability to identify source of pain varies across body

“Where does it hurt?” is the first question asked to any person in pain. A new UCL study defines for the first time how our ability to identify where it hurts, called “spatial acuity,” varies across the body, being most sensitive at the forehead and fingertips. Using lasers to cause pain to 26 healthy volunteers without any touch, the researchers produced the first systematic map of how acuity for pain is distributed across the body. Continue reading

Short nanotubes target pancreatic cancer

Short nanotubes target pancreatic cancer

Short, customized carbon nanotubes have the potential to deliver drugs to pancreatic cancer cells and destroy them from within, according to researchers at Rice University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Pristine nanotubes produced through a new process developed at Rice can be modified to carry drugs to tumors through gaps in blood-vessel walls that larger particles cannot fit through Continue reading

Quest for the bionic arm: Advancements and challenges

Quest for the bionic arm: Advancements and challenges

In the past 13 years, nearly 2,000 veterans returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with injuries requiring amputations; 14 percent of those injured veterans required upper extremity amputations. To treat veterans with upper extremity amputations, scientists continue to pursue research and development of bionic arms and hands with full motor and sensory function Continue reading

Surgeons report fewer postoperative blood clots using risk-based preventive measures

Surgeons report fewer postoperative blood clots using risk-based preventive measures

Surgery patients are much less likely to get a blood clot in the lower extremities or lungs if they receive preventive treatment based on their individual clotting risk, in addition to walking soon after the operation. Results from a surgical quality improvement study, appearing in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, indicate that the odds of this common and potentially life-threatening postoperative complication steadily declined after the implementation of a multicomponent prevention program in a hospital’s department of surgery. Researchers at Boston Medical Center, Boston, Mass., reported that they lowered the frequency of deep venous thromboses — blood clots in a deep vein, usually in a lower extremity — by 84 percent two years after the prevention efforts began, compared with the results two years before the program Continue reading