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Health News Archive - July 11, 2005

Imagine raising a child who stops breathing when falling asleep – and has to be reminded to visit the bathroom after drinking a Big Gulp. That's the dilemma faced by parents of children born with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS). Afflicting about 250 children in the United States, the genetic disease wreaks havoc in areas of the brain that control involuntary actions such as breathing, fluid regulation and heart function.

A molecule that helps the body's motor nerve cells grow along proper paths during embryonic development also plays a major role in inhibiting spinal-cord neurons from regenerating after injury, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Boosting levels of two critical proteins that normally shut down during Huntington's disease, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have cured fruit flies of the genetic, neurodegenerative condition.

Use of Lorenzo's Oil in young boys who have been diagnosed with but are not yet showing signs of a pediatric neurological disorder known as X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) may prevent the disease from developing in the body.

A ground-breaking new research approach to understanding the cellular processes of Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases has revealed a promising pathway to the development of new types of drugs for these diseases.

Duke University Medical Center researchers have identified a new protein that plays a critical role in enabling the heart to respond to such external stimuli as exercise or stress, as well as in the progressive loss of heart function that is heart failure, the researchers said.

Scientists have pinpointed a chemical messenger that frees some white blood cells from the body's normal constraints, allowing the cells to act like renegades that could damage nerves in the central nervous system. The work, to be published in the July 15 issue of the Journal of Immunology and just published on-line, helps explain one of the fundamental mysteries of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Doctors and paramedics who give their patients oxygen – the most commonly administered "drug" in the world – may be doing more harm than good, a Queen's University researcher contends.

As a cell moves forward, physical stress on its skeleton triggers molecular fingers and arms to grasp each other in reinforcing links that stabilize the skeleton, according to images produced by investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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By discovering a crucial piece of submicroscopic information about how the brain converts fuel into energy for neurons, Cornell University biophysicists have gleaned new insights into brain cell metabolism that will allow neurologists to better interpret data from such diagnostic tests as positron emission tomography (PET) scans and a specialized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test.

Word of the Day
zill
  • One of a pair of round metal cymbals attached to the fingers and struck together for rhythm and percussion in belly dancing.
The word 'zill' comes from a Turkish word meaning "cymbals".
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