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Training your brain to prefer healthy foods

Training your brain to prefer healthy foods

It may be possible to train the brain to prefer healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods, according to new research by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and at Massachusetts General Hospital. Published online today in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes , a brain scan study in adult men and women suggests that it is possible to reverse the addictive power of unhealthy food while also increasing preference for healthy foods. “We don’t start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta,” said senior and co-corresponding author Susan B Continue reading

New way to diagnose malaria by detecting parasite’s waste in infected blood cells

New way to diagnose malaria by detecting parasite’s waste in infected blood cells

Over the past several decades, malaria diagnosis has changed very little. After taking a blood sample from a patient, a technician smears the blood across a glass slide, stains it with a special dye, and looks under a microscope for the Plasmodium parasite, which causes the disease. Continue reading

New horizon in heart failure: Investigational drug poised to change cardiology?

New horizon in heart failure: Investigational drug poised to change cardiology?

An investigational new heart failure drug could be poised to change the face of cardiology based on Hot Line results presented today at ESC Congress 2014. Findings from the PARADIGM-HF trial, published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine , “are extraordinarily powerful and compelling; they are destined to change the management of patients with chronic heart failure for years to come,” said Milton Packer, MD, co-primary author of the study from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas, Texas USA Continue reading

Antidepressants show potential for postoperative pain

Antidepressants show potential for postoperative pain

After a systematic review of clinical trials based on administering antidepressants for acute and chronic postsurgical pain, researchers have concluded that more trials are needed to determine whether these drugs should be prescribed for postsurgical pain on a regular basis. Dr. Ian Gilron, a professor and director of clinical pain research in the Department of Anesthesiology, and his team of seven researchers reviewed 15 trials to determine whether the use of antidepressants for pain relief post-surgery would work more effectively than painkillers such as opioids, local anesthetics, or acetaminophen. Continue reading

Preventing cancer from forming ‘tentacles’ stops dangerous spread

Preventing cancer from forming ‘tentacles’ stops dangerous spread

A new study from the research group of Dr. John Lewis at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB) and the Lawson Health Research Institute (London, ON) has confirmed that “invadopodia” play a key role in the spread of cancer. The study, published in Cell Reports , shows preventing these tentacle-like structures from forming can stop the spread of cancer entirely Continue reading

Options for weight loss your primary care doctor might not know about

Options for weight loss your primary care doctor might not know about

Despite US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for screening and treating obesity, there are many barriers, several of which may be ameliorated through technological approaches according to a new study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center published online August 21, 2014 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM). David Levine, MD, MA, a third year resident in the Department of Internal Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, and colleagues found that compared to usual care, technology-assisted interventions specifically in the primary care setting help patients achieve weight loss. Continue reading

Efficacy of new gene therapy approach for toxin exposures shown in mouse study

Efficacy of new gene therapy approach for toxin exposures shown in mouse study

The current method to treat acute toxin poisoning is to inject antibodies, commonly produced in animals, to neutralize the toxin. But this method has challenges ranging from safety to difficulties in developing, producing and maintaining the anti-serums in large quantities. New research led by Charles Shoemaker, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, shows that gene therapy may offer significant advantages in prevention and treatment of botulism exposure over current methods. Continue reading

Vaccine for Ebola? Experts answer questions

Vaccine for Ebola? Experts answer questions

Vermont Medicine: What is Ebola virus and where are Ebola infections most commonly seen? Continue reading

Revealing novel mode of action for osteoporosis drug

Revealing novel mode of action for osteoporosis drug

Raloxifene is a U.S. Continue reading

Exit strategy: Is it time to rethink the VA healthcare system?

Exit strategy: Is it time to rethink the VA healthcare system?

As the federal government plans its exit strategy from the war, now may be the time for it to rethink its role in providing health care to veterans, says a Perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine. “To simply go on doing more of the same is to fail to recognize the challenge that the Veterans Health Administration’s cost and population structure pose in the longer run,” said William Weeks, from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, and David Auerbach, from the RAND Corporation, in the August issue of NEJM . The VA incurs high fixed costs of a brick-and-mortar health care system, the largest salaried workforce in the federal government, and a large administration.To sustain this system, the VA has pursued a strategy of increasing enrollment among veterans — about two-thirds of enrollees use VA services — which has led to calls for expanding and building more facilities. Continue reading