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Human enzyme may be key to unraveling Alzheimer's disease
Abnormal protein buildups are involved in a number of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer's disease. New research, published in the journal PLOS Biology, examines a human enzyme that unravels these disruptive plaques. These diseases include Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's disease, and Huntington's disease. For instance, the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease develop aggregates of tau proteins, and those of people with Parkinson's disease develop collections of alpha-synuclein.
Arthritis drug does not cross placenta in pregnancy, study finds
Researchers say that they have found minimal to no placental transfer of the anti-inflammatory drug certolizumab pegol from mother to infant during the third trimester of pregnancy. The results were released at the 2017 Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism. Dr Xavier Mariette, of the Bicetre Hospital in Paris, France, and colleagues used a sensitive immunoassay that was developed to detect certolizumab pegol. Most anti-TNF agents have been found to cross the placenta and are usually withdrawn during pregnancy.
Asthma history linked to risk factor for heart failure
Researchers have associated a history of asthma with greater risk of left ventricular hypertrophy. A new study has become the first to uncover a link between a history of asthma and an increased likelihood of left ventricular hypertrophy, a risk factor for heart failure. Previous studies have associated asthma with an increased risk of cardiovascular conditions, including heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
Hibiscus tea: Health benefits and risks
Hibiscus tea, made from dried parts of the hibiscus plant, is deep red in color. This article explores the potential health benefits and risks of drinking hibiscus tea. In many countries, herbal tea cannot be called tea since it does not come from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Although not as popular as black and green teas, herbal tea sales continue to rise, in part due to their potential health benefits.
Illinois retailers sue Cook County to halt sugary drink tax
A group of retailers Tuesday sued Cook County, Illinois, to try to block the sweetened beverage tax scheduled to go into effect in the Chicago area on Saturday, arguing it is unconstitutional and too vague for stores to implement. As part of the Cook County Circuit Court lawsuit, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association is seeking an injunction preventing enforcement of the law and a declaration that it is invalid. The Cook County Board of Commissioners passed the tax last November.
Study: Medibio's objective test diagnoses PTSD 80% of the time
PTSD affects 3.5% of the US adult population, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. In order to be diagnosed with PTSD, a patient must experience four different types of symptoms for at least one month. Medibio seeks to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of mental health with noninvasive, quick, and objective diagnostic tests for PTSD and other disorders. The Melbourne-based company initially partnered with Emory University in January to develop and test its algorithms for the diagnosis of PTSD using heart rate data.
Fewer admissions for heart failure, but blacks still fare worse than whites
When adjusted for age, heart failure hospitalization rates fell by 30.8 percent, an average of 3.3 percent per year, during this period. Hispanics experienced a greater decrease in heart failure hospitalization rates, which dropped by 48.4 percent, narrowing their rates relative to whites to within a few percentage points. The time to intensify equitable efforts to prevent and optimize the treatment of heart failure is now, he said.
NYC Mayor de Blasio puts up first cash for ambitious life sciences project
New York City's bid to become a life sciences hotspot took another step forward this week with the help of a $5 million grant from the mayor's office. The grant is the first tranche from Mayor Bill de Blasio's $500 million LifeSci NYC program, which was launched last December with the aim of helping life science startups with cash boosts and tax incentives. Companies that claim space in the incubator will start with a package of tailored laboratory equipment and supplies, according to BioLabs.
Vaccination may be curbing ER visits for shingles
Emergency room (ER) visits for shingles fell in the past decade for people aged 60 and older but rose for most younger age groups. The decrease among older people may be due to more of them getting the shingles vaccine, US researchers suggest. Mostaghimi and his colleagues analyzed trends in emergency room visits among various age groups between 2006, when the shingles vaccine first became available in the US, to 2013.
Vote Delayed as Republicans Struggle to Marshal Support for Health Care Bill
Adding still more waivers, including one that could allow insurers to price the sick out of the health care market, could deprive even more people of health care. Doctors, hospitals and other health care provider groups came out strongly against the Senate bill, as did patient advocacy groups like the American Heart Association. In a letter on Tuesday, the US Chamber of Commerce endorsed the Senate bill and urged senators to vote for it.
Linde's Lincare settles U.S. whistleblower case for $20 million
Linde AG's Lincare unit has agreed to pay $20 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit accusing the company of fraudulently billing the US government for oxygen and respiratory care equipment. Lincare, one of the largest US providers of oxygen and respiratory therapy services and equipment, did not admit wrongdoing. Germany's Linde, which acquired Florida-based Lincare in 2012, did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
AstraZeneca cancer drug trial prompts investors to take options cover
Investors in drugmaker AstraZeneca have taken defensive positions in the options market ahead of eagerly awaited results of a major trial of a lung cancer treatment, which are due any day now. The outcome of the so-called MYSTIC trial may not be clear cut, given the complex nature of the experiment. Immunotherapies, which boost the immune system's ability to fight tumors, promise to revolutionize cancer care, prompting a race among companies to develop rival treatments.
Scientists may have found a way to stop cancer from metastasizing
New research may have found a way to stop cancer cells from creeping to other locations. Metastasis is the main cause of death in cancer, and current treatments against it are ineffective. New research may have found a way to slow down, and perhaps even halt, the spread of cancer cells. During this process, cancer cells may either invade nearby healthy tissue, penetrate the walls of lymph nodes, or enter the surrounding blood vessels.
Rib cage pain: Six possible causes
Rib cage pain is a common complaint that can be caused by factors, ranging from a fractured rib to lung cancer. Injury to the chest from falls, traffic collisions, and sports-related contact is the most common cause of rib cage pain. Rib cage pain that begins, following injury, is typically diagnosed with an X-ray to highlight bone breaks and fractures. One of the symptoms of lung cancer is rib cage pain or chest pain that gets worse upon breathing deeply, coughing, or laughing.
Can electroacupuncture decrease stress incontinence?
All of the 504 women in the study had stress incontinence, which happens when the pelvic muscles are too weak to prevent urinary leakage when women do things like cough, sneeze or exercise. Women who received electroacupuncture had a greater decrease in urine leakage after treatment and after six months than the participants who got the sham intervention, researchers report in JAMA.
With Obamacare, More Breast Cancers Diagnosed at Earlier Stages
More breast cancers have been found at earlier - and potentially more treatable - stages since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. About 85 percent of the women were white, 10 percent black and 4 percent Latina. Both before and after Obamacare, minority women were more likely than white women to be given diagnoses at a younger age and at a later stage.
WHO hopes Yemeni cholera outbreak is half done at 218,000 cases
Soon after the outbreak began, the WHO saw a risk that it could affect 300,000 people within six months. We have never seen something so explosive in Yemen, Ahmed Zouiten, WHO's senior emergency adviser for Yemen, told Reuters. The bigger impact is being made by oral rehydration points with about 10 staff, whose job is to catch cholera cases before they become severe and need hospitalization. A map of the outbreak shows that the worst hit areas are largely controlled by the Houthi rebels.
Despite claims of 'looting,' Soon-Shiong’s NantCell set to buy Altor
This comes amid legal claims that the low-ball deal should never have gone through. The deal is set be done by Q3. NantCell is part of the umbrella of companies owned and run by Soon-Shiong, which includes NantHealth, NantWorks and NantKwest, with a focus on early cancer work. Its shares dropped around 20% after the report, and a few months back reported a $184 million loss for 2016.
Merck may file CETP candidate anacetrapib in unexpected turnaround
Hit by trial setbacks and failures that have blighted the entire class, Merck is mulling whether to file its cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) medication anacetrapib after posting some surprising positive topline data from the Reveal test. The test was conducted with patients that have a risk for cardiac events who are on a lipid-lowering statin. Anacetrapib is designed to ward off heart attacks and strokes by blocking the protein CETP and thus boosting HDL, or good, cholesterol.
A-fib patients at lower stroke, death risk with early cardiology care
Researchers say that early cardiology care could lower stroke and death risk for A-fib patients. Patients who receive cardiology care within 3 months of being diagnosed with atrial fibrillation may be at much lower risk of stroke and premature death, compared with patients who receive primary care, a new study finds.

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