Body

Closing a critical gap in knowledge, Harvard Medical School scientists have unraveled the immune cascade that fuels tissue damage and disease development in chlamydia infection--the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States.

Physicians have long known that complications of chlamydia are not caused by the bacterium itself but instead arise from inflammation in the reproductive organs. However, up until now, it remained unclear what drives this damaging inflammation.

People who inherit a mutated version of the ATF6 gene are born with a malformed or missing fovea, the eye region responsible for sharp, detailed vision. From birth, their vision is severely limited, and there is no cure. Jonathan Lin, MD, PhD, associate professor of pathology at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Shiley Eye Institute, and team were the first to link ATF6 to this type of inherited vision impairment.

Slowing down the speed at which you eat, along with cutting out after dinner snacks and not eating within 2 hours of going to sleep may all help to shed the pounds, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Changes in these eating habits were strongly associated with lower obesity and weight (BMI), and smaller waist circumference, the researchers found.

They base their findings on health insurance data for nearly 60,000 people with diabetes In Japan who submitted claims and had regular health check-ups between 2008 and 2013.

A short, sharp, cold water swim may offer an alternative to strong painkillers and physiotherapy to relieve severe persistent pain after surgery, suggest doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

They reached their conclusions after carrying out a surgical procedure (endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy) on a 28 year old man to curb his excessive facial flushing.

Obese patients with metastatic melanoma who are treated with targeted or immune therapies live significantly longer than those with a normal body mass index (BMI), investigators report in a study published in Lancet Oncology of 1,918 patients in six independent clinical cohorts.

This effect, referred to as the "Obesity Paradox", principally manifested itself in men, said Jennifer McQuade, M.D., lead author and instructor of Melanoma Medical Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

OAK BROOK, Ill. - Patients and their caregivers desire information about upcoming imaging examinations, but many are not getting it, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology. The researchers found that half of all patients and caregivers end up seeking information on their own.

A growing demand exists for nutraceuticals, which seem to reside in the grey area between pharmaceuticals and food. The products are thought to provide medical or health benefits "beyond the diet, but before the drugs". A new review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology looks at the potential of nutraceuticals, stressing the need for a proper definition of nutraceuticals and clear regulations to ensure their safety.

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Kidney stones are a painful health condition, often requiring multiple procedures at great discomfort to the patient. Growing evidence suggests that the incidence of kidney stones is increasing steadily, especially in women. Using data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, Mayo Clinic researchers investigated the rise in stone formers to determine if this is a new trend, or simply an improvement in the way kidney stones are detected. Their findings appear in the March issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Levetiracetam, the most commonly prescribed drug for U.S. infants with epilepsy, may be significantly more effective than the second-choice drug phenobarbital, according to a new study by scientists from Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian and 16 other research institutions. The findings provide the first evidence to favor levetiracetam in infants.

Cold Spring Harbor, NY -- About 10 years ago, several labs discovered that a gene called MELK is overexpressed, or turned on to a high degree, in many cancer cell types. This evidence has prompted multiple ongoing clinical trials to test whether drugs that inhibit MELK can treat cancer in patients. Now, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) researchers, led by CSHL Fellow Jason Sheltzer, report that MELK is not actually involved in cancer.