January 28, 2014

Health Roundup: Blindness, pancreatic cancer, fish oil for Alzheimers, exercise for cancer patients and singing exercises for snorers

Gene breakthrough restores the sight of people with inherited eye disease and could save thousands from blindness

Single injection treatment helps restore sight of those with eye disease.  The procedure appears to have halted progression of choroideremia, a disease caused by a gene defect that destroys light-sensing cells.  Treatment may now be rolled out to help hundreds of thousands of people.

Professor Robert MacLaren, who led the operations at Oxford Eye Hospital, said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ with the results so far.
‘It is still too early to know if the gene therapy treatment will last indefinitely, but we can say that the vision improvements have been maintained for as long as we have been following up the patients, which is two years in one case.  In truth, we did not expect to see such dramatic improvements."

Blood Test Has Potential to Catch Pancreatic Cancer Early

Pancreatic cancer could be identified in its early stages with a test that looks for genetic material in the blood, according to preliminary research from Denmark….Researchers found that certain combinations of microRNAs, or microRNA "signatures," could somewhat distinguish between people with and without the cancer. However, many more studies are needed to determine if the test could really be useful for the early detection of pancreatic cancer, the researchers said.

Fish oil could help prevent Alzheimer's and also give you a bigger brain

Eating more fish could give you a bigger brain - and greater protection against diseases such as Alzheimer’s, claim researchers.
They found people with higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may also have larger brain volumes in old age.
This would be the equivalent to preserving one to two years of brain health, says a new study published in the journal Neurology.

The Cure For Snoring Is…Singing?  Choir director Alise Ojay's vocal exercises have been shown to work throat muscles that help silence the snorer within.

That's because these "singing exercises," she says, were formulated specifically to work out throat muscles that have weakened over time. The approach is based on the premise that firming up these muscles would allow air to pass in and out with less obstruction.

Shock Study: Some Soft Drinks Contain Cancer-Causing Chemical

Carcinogen Known As 4-MEI Has Been Found In Caramel Coloring In Colas, Others

“Coke came in at a negligible cancer level at one can of Coke. That said, we found other manufacturers — like Pepsi — really quite a lot higher than Coke,”….drinks labeled “natural” also contained caramel coloring. So make sure to read the ingredients.

Could asthma be treated with PROBIOTICS? Bug that mimics salmonella could reduce airway inflammation

Asthma could be treated with probiotics that mimic the salmonella bug, new research suggests.  A study has identified a mechanism through which the food poisoning bug reduces the lung disease in mice.  Earlier research has suggested children who have been infected with salmonella are less likely to get asthma.

A leading theory is the 'hygiene hypothesis' that reasons the surge in asthma cases has resulted from the modern world's obsession with cleanliness, which is leaving immune systems undeveloped. Dr Venkateswaran Ganesh, of Hanover Medical School in Germany, said the latest study found salmonella infection was linked with reduced airway inflammation.
The findings, published in the journal Infection and Immunity, open up new avenues of research that could lead to treatments.

Cancer patients who exercise could HALVE their risk of death, claims study

We all know exercise is good for us but now scientists have found that physical exercise significantly increases the life expectancy of cancer survivors.

Men who beat cancer and who burned more than 12,600 calories a week exercising, almost halved their risk of death, a new study found. The research supports a previous study that found the most physically active cancer survivors are much less likely to die of cancer and heart disease.

Scientists from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine studied 1,021 men with an average age of 71 who had been previously diagnosed with cancer. They found that men who burned more than 12,600 calories per week by exercising, were 48 per cent less likely to die than those that did little exercise and expended less than 2,100 calories a week, Medical Express reported.

How yoga helps breast cancer patients: Exercise shown to help reduce inflammation

Yoga can re-energise women who have battled breast cancer.
Just three months of practising postures, breathing and meditation cut fatigue in cancer survivors by more than half.
Inflammation, which is linked to health problems from heart disease to frailty, and increases the odds of cancer coming back, was also eased.

The large, U.S. based study suggests that something as cheap and gentle as yoga could be of huge benefit to breast cancer patients.
Posted by Jill Fallon at January 28, 2014 10:34 AM | Permalink