Friday, January 30, 2009
Stanford develops imaging technique to catch arthritis early in onset
STANFORD, Calif. — You come into a doctor’s office with severe knee pain. The physician orders an MRI, which reveals substantial loss of cartilage — osteoarthritis, that is—in your knee joint. At this point, not much can be done beyond gulping down palliatives and trying to keep your weight off the joint. But the damage may have started building as much as 20 years earlier, possibly due to a traumatic injury to the affected joint.
Just ask Garry Gold, MD, an associate professor of radiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Now 45, Gold sustained a knee injury 20 years ago while playing in a pickup basketball game. These days, he’s starting to wish his house, currently being remodeled, didn’t have any stairs.
Gold, who has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, is working with an imaging technology called sodium MRI to diagnose osteoarthritis as long as decades before the onset of physical symptoms. That may spawn new therapies that could possibly have blocked his disease before it put an end to his basketball days.
Using the new imaging technology, Gold and colleagues have been able to spot, soon after such an injury, telltale signs of cartilage deterioration consistent with the development of osteoarthritis.Sodium MRI has been around for years, but until recently it couldn’t be used in clinical settings. For one thing, the magnets employed to excite sodium atoms were too puny, making crisp resolution possible only with tiny creatures such as mice. Gold and his colleague Brian Hargreaves, PhD, assistant professor of radiology, have designed improved magnets and software to scale up the technology for human application.
Gold and Hargreaves’ project is being conducted with funding from the National Institutes of Health and GlaxoSmithKline, an international pharmaceutical company. Neither researcher owns stock in, or receives consulting fees from, the company.
Catching osteoarthritis during its stealth phase may spur clinical trials that would be prohibitively time-consuming and costly if standard MRI were employed, because of the huge lag from the time of an ACL injury until the time cartilage deterioration can be detected by that old method.
With sodium MRI, cohorts of treated vs. untreated at-risk patients could be imaged over time to see if, within a few years of the injury, a drug or a lifestyle change is reducing or arresting the loss of glycosaminoglycan from the ligament. Once promising drugs or lifestyle changes are identified, they could then be administered to at-risk patients long before symptoms surface, Gold said.
As for Gold himself, he has yet to see what his own damaged knee looks like under sodium MRI. The 6-foot-6 once-avid amateur basketball center’s knee is too big for even his improved new experimental apparatus to fit. It’s probably too late for any kind of imaging to do Gold much good now, anyway. He already knows he’s got arthritis. “I don’t even want to look,” he said.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
News & Video: Diets May Improve Memory
Reducing Calorie Intake May Be Good for Memory
Click here for article and video: ABCNews
Sunday, January 25, 2009
VIDEO - HERSTORY: Dear Abby Shares What Her Alzheimer's Mother's Life Is Like Today
The original Dear Abby, now living with Alzheimer's disease, once positively impacted millions of lives. Her daughter, the current Dear Abby, shares what her life is like now.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Personality and lifestyle in relation to dementia incidence
High neuroticism has been associated with a greater risk of dementia, and an active/socially integrated lifestyle with a lower risk of dementia. The aim of the current study was to explore the separate and combined effects of neuroticism and extraversion on the risk of dementia, and to examine whether lifestyle factors may modify this association.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Testes stem cell can change into other body tissues, Stanford/UCSF study shows
STANFORD, Calif. — Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and at UC-San Francisco have succeeded in isolating stem cells from human testes. The cells bear a striking resemblance to embryonic stem cells — they can differentiate into each of the three main types of tissues of the body — but the researchers caution against viewing them as one and the same....full story in Stanford School of Medicine Medical News
Deep Brain Stimulation Bests Medical Therapy for Advanced Parkinson's Disease
January 8, 2009 — Results of a randomized trial show that compared with best medical therapy, deep brain stimulation (DBS) increased "on" time without dyskinesias and improved motor function as well as quality of life at 6 months in patients with moderate to severe Parkinson's disease (PD), but at the cost of increased serious adverse events (SAEs)........full story
Antipsychotics Lower Long-Term Survival in Alzheimer's Disease
LONDON, Jan. 8 -- For patients with , substantially increase one-year mortality risk, researchers found. Patients who continued on their antipsychotic regimen were 42% more likely to die over a one-year... full story
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Slide show: Exercises for osteoporosis
Don't let osteoporosis rob your bones of their strength. Here are some exercises to prevent or treat this common bone disease.
The Mayo Clinic
Osteoporosis treatment puts brakes on bone loss
Osteoporosis treatment may involve medication along with lifestyle change. A Mayo Clinic specialist answers some of the most common questions about osteoporosis treatment.
The Mayo Clinic
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
10 Techie Ways to Fight the Flu
Technologies like a flu-tracking app and phone wipes could help you get through flu season unscathed.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
MRIs May Damage Cochlear Implants
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Dec 29 - Tests show that certain MRI machines may demagnetize magnets used in cochlear implants to couple external and implanted components, according to a report in the December issue of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery.
Age-Related Memory Decline Linked to Increased Glucose Levels
December 30, 2008 — Memory decline with age appears partly explained by increased blood glucose levels that cause decreased activity in the dentate gyrus, a new study published in the December issue of the Annals of Neurology suggests.
Since blood glucose levels tend to rise with age, this study suggests that improving blood glucose regulation may be a good way to ameliorate age-related memory decline, said Dr. Small.
"Whether through physical exercise, diet, or drugs, this research suggests that improving glucose metabolism could help some people avert the cognitive slide that occurs in many of us as we age," he said.
Their study suggests that moderating blood glucose levels, through physical exercise, diet, or medication, may aid in preventing cognitive decline, he added.
Nevertheless, "the results showed a clear difference in cognitive performance as a function of diet . . . [and] the data suggest that diet can affect more than just weight," Dr. Taylor said in a statement. "The brain needs glucose for energy, and diets low in carbohydrates can be detrimental to learning, memory and thinking."