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GnRH replacement shown to improve cognitive deficits in people with Down syndrome

A new study shows GnRH therapy may be an effective treatment for improving cognitive deficits associated with Down syndrome. (Image: Down syndrome karyotype, Wikimedia/Josef Reischig) Down syndrome is a genetic condition where a child inherits an extra chromosome from their parents, resulting in the acquisition of three (3) copies of chromosome 21. This condition is commonly referred to as trisomy 21. The onset of puberty in people with Down syndrome is often accompanied by decreased cognitive and olfactory function, including…

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Artificial sweeteners shown to alter gut microbiome leading to elevated glycemic response 

A recently published study demonstrates the effect non-nutritive sweeteners have on gut microbiota and glucose intolerance. (Image: Clostridia, Flickr/Argonne National Laboratory) Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is a medical condition that can cause serious health complications if left unmanaged. Several lifestyle factors, including an unbalanced diet, can contribute to hyperglycemia. Non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) are commonly used to combat obesity and are often included in dietary strategies for weight loss. These sweeteners provide a similar sweet taste to sugar but…

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One hour of weekly aerobic exercise associated with 15% reduction in all-cause mortality

A new study has identified the amounts of time spent performing physical activity that are associated with significant reductions in all-cause mortality. A large body of evidence supports the association between regular physical exercise and many positive health outcomes, including the reduction of chronic disease risk and improvements in cognitive function. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity each week for proper maintenance or improvement of overall health. According to a 2018 CDC report, only 23% of…

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Removal of asymptomatic kidney stones found to significantly decrease risk of relapse

When compared to patients who had small, asymptomatic kidney stones removed while undergoing surgery to remove larger kidney stones, patients who did not have the smaller kidney stones removed had a significantly increased risk of relapse. Hard mineral deposits that develop in the kidneys are known as kidney stones. One in ten people are expected to experience kidney stones at some point in their lives. A kidney stone the size of a grain of sand might travel through your…

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New review suggests there is “no convincing evidence” that low serotonin levels cause depression

A widely held belief about the relationship between serotonin and depression is being contested by a University College London research group. (Credit: Bryan Bruno/MidCityTMS) The serotonin theory of depression postulates serotonin deficiency as the underlying reason for depression. Although a recently debated topic, the idea that this neurotransmitter imbalance is responsible for depression is still a widely held belief. In a recently published review, a group of researchers from University College London (UCL) assessed 17 studies— including meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and…

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CRISPR-based diagnostic test capable of identifying heart attacks and certain cancer types

A research group has developed a new diagnostic test that improves on current CRISPR-based testing methods and is capable of identifying various diseases. (Credit: Dean Calma, Flickr) Innovation in diagnostic testing is important for combating disease around the world. Accurate diagnostic testing allows for healthcare providers to create effective treatment plans as efficiently as possible. Rapid improvements in this technology have occurred in the last few years due to the large research efforts dedicated to improving COVID-19 testing. According…

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Tirzepatide shown to be effective weight loss drug in phase III clinical trial

A clinical trial assessing the efficacy of tirzepatide showed the drug to be effective in significantly reducing body weight in obese patients when compared to patients who received a placebo treatment (-16.1kg .vs. -2.4kg). Obesity is one of the leading public health issues in the United States. Recent studies estimate that nearly 42% of American adults, which accounts for over 70 million people, are considered obese. Obesity, or the accumulation of excessive amounts of body fat, can be attributed…

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New blood test uses circulating tumor DNA to help develop personalized cancer treatments

A novel blood test developed at the Vancouver Prostate Center utilizes the DNA of metastatic cancer to help with developing patient-specific treatment plans. DNA from malignant cells and tumors is known as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). DNA is mostly found in a cell’s nucleus, but when a tumor grows and damaged cells are replaced by new ones, this DNA is released into the blood along with other components of the decomposing dead cells. In a new study, researchers assessed…

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease linked to increased risk of dementia

A Swedish research team has found that patients with NAFLD have an associated 44% increased risk of developing vascular dementia. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition describing the build up of fat within the liver, not attributed to alcohol. It is the most prevalent liver disease in the world, affecting about 24% of the global population, and is frequently linked to metabolic syndrome. According to a research study out of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, researchers found…

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Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 associated with increased croup virus in children

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have identified a link between increased prevalence of croup among children and the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. (Credit: Olga Siletskaya/Moment via Getty Images) The underlying SARS-CoV-2 has changed during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Early forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection in children largely affected the lower respiratory system, although later variations had varied effects. The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, in contrast, favors the upper respiratory tract. Although it is well recognized that common coronaviruses may…

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Researchers develop graphene tattoo that can continuously monitor blood pressure

A group of researchers have developed an ultra-thin, continuous blood pressure monitoring tattoo that can be worn directly on the skin. The researchers believe that this innovation will help aid in the effort to creating more personalized healthcare. (Credit: University of Texas at Austin, UT News) A collaborative effort between University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University researchers has led to the development of a novel electronic “tattoo” that can continually monitor a patient’s blood pressure. Better…

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Memory impairment and difficulties focusing among the symptoms COVID ‘long-haulers’ continue to face

A UC San Diego research team has revealed the neurological conditions that many people face months following infection by SARS-CoV-2. The first batch of data from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine’s longitudinal research study on post-COVID conditions has been released. Their data showed the incidence of a variety of short- and long-term symptoms. Additionally, they reported that while many patients improved, the majority still had neurological issues after six months. A minority of people also…

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Cancer drug shows 100% efficacy in clinical trial involving a dozen patients

A clinical trial assessing the efficacy of drug, Dostarlimab, on a subtype of colorectal cancer was shown to be effective in eliminating cancer in all of the trial’s patients. (Credit: Dr_Microbe, Getty Images/iStockphoto) A study reporting on a phase II clinical trial consisting of 12 patients revealed that all of its patient’s were in remission following the use of immunotherapy drug, Dostarlimab, also sold under the brand name, Jemperli. The clincal trial participants all had a particular type rectal…

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Researchers develop artificial muscle fibers capable of mimicking human muscles

When compared to present actuators, the proposed copolymer muscle fibers outperform them in various areas, including efficiency (75.5%), actuation strain (80%), and mechanical characteristics (strain-at-break of up to 900%). (Credit: istockphoto; CreVis) According to a new study published in Nature Nanotechnology, a research group from the University of Texas at Austin has developed a new type of fiber that can operate like an artificial muscle and is far superior than current alternatives. All the more impressive, these muscle-like fibers…

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Age-related cognitive decline shown to be accelerated by type 2 diabetes

According to a newly published study, age-related cognitive decline occurs at an increased rate of 26% in those with type 2 diabetes (T2D) compared to people without the disease. (Credit: Goldsmiths, University of London) The researchers looked at the association between regular brain aging and T2D, finding that T2D has a similar neurodegenerative pattern to normal aging, but it proceeds faster. This study has several major implications, one of which is that even normal brain aging might reflect changes…

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