Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 25, 2007
Chemotherapy and tamoxifen reduce risk of second breast cancer
Among breast cancer patients, both chemotherapy and tamoxifen independently reduced the risk of developing a second cancer in the other breast, according to a study published online Dec.

Breast cancer gene mutation more common in Hispanic, young black women, Stanford/NCCC study finds
A genetic mutation already known to be more common in Ashkenazi Jewish breast cancer patients is also prevalent in Hispanic and young African-American women with breast cancer, according to one of the largest, multiracial studies of the mutation to date.

Neglected tropical diseases burden those overseas, but travelers also at risk
A new paper by NIAID scientist Thomas Nutman, M.D., and colleagues reviews network data collected between 1997 and 2004 to determine demographic and travel characteristics of travelers diagnosed with parasitic worm (filarial) infections.

Health improves for previously uninsured adults after receiving Medicare coverage
Previously uninsured adults who received Medicare coverage reported improvements in health, especially those with cardiovascular disease or diabetes, according to a study in the Dec.

Cognitive, genetic clues identified in imaging study of alcohol addiction
fMRI studies identified cognitive differences in people with a history of alcoholism during decision-making tasks, and a variant of the COMT gene was associated with impulsive decisions in alcoholics.

Mutation may cause inherited neuropathy
Mutations in a protein called dynein, required for the proper functioning of sensory nerve cells, can cause defects in mice that may provide crucial clues leading to better treatments for a human nerve disorder known as peripheral neuropathy, which affects about three percent of all those over age 60.

Some types of temporary neurological problems associated with increased risk for stroke, dementia
Patients who experience symptoms described as transient neurological attacks, such as temporary amnesia or confusion, may have a higher risk for stroke and dementia, according to a study in the Dec.

Health coverage improves health and reduces major heart complications
A 12-year study of over 7,000 Americans shows that individuals without health insurance experience a dramatic improvement in their subsequent health trends when they become eligible for Medicare at age 65.

New screening strategy for detection of chagas disease in children
A new targeted screening strategy could make the diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease more feasible in low-resource settings, concludes a new study, publishing on Dec.

Brain imaging and genetic studies link thinking patterns to addiction
Scientists have for the first time identified brain sites that fire up more when people make impulsive decisions.

Anthracyclines improve survival in HER2-positive breast cancer patients
Treatment with the class of chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines improves survival in women with HER2-positive breast cancer who have previously had surgery, but it may not offer any benefit for women with HER2-negative tumors, according to a study published online Dec.

Poor Americans in the United States suffer hidden burden of parasitic and other neglected diseases
In an article titled

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Varying prevalence among ethnic groups of gene mutation that increases risk of breast cancer
Among several US racial/ethnic groups examined, Hispanic women were found to have the highest prevalence of the cancer-associated gene mutation BRCA1 at 3.5 percent, with Asian Americans having the lowest prevalence (0.5 percent), according to a study in the Dec.

Other highlights in the Dec. 25 JNCI
Also in the Dec. 25 JNCI are studies on cancer care in nursing homes, a possible link between testicular cancer and environmental exposures early in life, the suppression of cancer cell invasion by cannabinoids, and a new method for classifying new and recurrent cancers.

Why fish oil is good for you
UCLA researchers report that omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid, found in fish oil, increases the production of LR11, a protein that is found at reduced levels in Alzheimer's patients and which is known to destroy the the
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