Tag Archives: risk factor

Texas Perspectives: Let’s Build a Culture of Safety in Texas

Someone I know was in a minor car crash recently. The car was hit from behind by a driver who was using a cellphone, causing damage to both vehicles, but nobody was hurt. The police were called, and though the officer was told that the driver who caused the crash was using a cellphone, no tickets were issued. The officer left without filing any kind of accident report. (more…)

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Drug tests on mothers’ hair links recreational drug use to birth defects

Drug tests on 517 mothers in English inner city hospitals found that nearly 15% had taken recreational drugs during pregnancy and that mothers of babies with birth defects of the brain were significantly more likely to have taken drugs than mothers with normal babies. The study found no significant links between recreational drug use and any other type of birth defect.

The study was led by a team of UCL researchers co-ordinating data collection from hospitals across London, Bristol and Birmingham and the results are published in the journal PLOS ONE. The study included 213 women whose baby had a type of birth defect with potential links to recreational drug use, 143 women whose baby had a birth defect with no previously reported links to drug use and 161 women whose baby was normally formed. (more…)

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How age opens the gates for Alzheimer’s

With advancing age, highly-evolved brain circuits become susceptible to molecular changes that can lead to neurofibrillary tangles — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s Disease, Yale researchers report the week of March 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The findings not only help to explain why age is such a large risk factor for Alzheimer’s, but why the higher brain circuits regulating cognition are so vulnerable to degeneration while the sensory cortex remains unaffected. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Angel Byrd, Cell Biologist

For years, Brown University M.D./Ph.D. student Angel Byrd had dedicated herself to studying how immune system cells capture invading fungal pathogens. Like those cells, called neutrophils, she had seized on seemingly every opportunity that had come her way.

In high school she was the valedictorian and won a 10-year Gates Millennium Scholarship. As an undergrad at Tougaloo College she earned the opportunity to do summer research in China on gene expression and was named a Leadership Alliance scholar. Later at Brown she earned a research internship at drug giant Eli Lilly, and has piled up awards for research posters. Twice she met with senators and representatives on Capitol Hill on behalf of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. And after she won a coveted United Negro College Fund/Merck Graduate Fellowship in 2011, she sparkled on televisions around the country in a segment featuring her on BET.

Recently we spoke with Miss Byrd to know more about her research work, why this is important, and how life as a research scientist is. But before proceeding with our questions to Miss Byrd, let us learn on her childhood from her own words: (more…)

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UCLA brain-imaging tool and stroke risk test help identify cognitive decline early

UCLA researchers have used a brain-imaging tool and stroke risk assessment to identify signs of cognitive decline early on in individuals who don’t yet show symptoms of dementia.

The connection between stroke risk and cognitive decline has been well established by previous research. Individuals with higher stroke risk, as measured by factors like high blood pressure, have traditionally performed worse on tests of memory, attention and abstract reasoning. (more…)

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Samoan Obesity Epidemic Starts at Birth

Born slightly heavy on average, a sample of hundreds of infants in American Samoa continued to gain weight quickly after birth, achieving high rates of obesity within 15 months. Breastfeeding slowed weight gain in boys. Findings may presage infant obesity in other populations where obesity is increasing population wide.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — As some Pacific island cultures have “westernized” over the last several decades, among the changes has been a dramatic increase in obesity. Researchers don’t understand all the reasons why, but even a decade ago in American Samoa 59 percent of men and 71 percent of women were obese. A new Brown University study finds that the Samoan epidemic of obesity may start with rapid weight gain in early infancy. (more…)

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Chronic Worriers at Higher Risk for PTSD

People who worry constantly are at greater risk for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to new Michigan State University research published in the journal Psychological Medicine.

Many people experience traumatic events such as the death of a loved one, being assaulted or witnessing violence, but only a small minority develop PTSD, said study author Naomi Breslau, a professor of epidemiology at MSU. (more…)

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Fiscal Cliff, Slow Progress Darken Housing Forecast: UMD Expert

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – After its greatest collapse in 80 years, the housing market appears to be bottoming out with stabilizing home prices and many markets experiencing price gains. Still, “it may be premature to call this a ‘real recovery,’” says Cliff Rossi, Tyser Teaching Fellow and executive-in-residence for the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “Looking into 2013, the ‘fiscal cliff,’ regulatory reform and other factors could put a drag on markets through the year.”

Despite historically low interest rates, potential buyers face a lot of questions before jumping in on what is their largest investment. For sellers, conditions continue to build on 2012’s nascent recovery. But will credit be readily available for first-time and repeat homebuyers? Will there be additional efforts to help struggling homeowners under water on an existing mortgage? (more…)

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