Health Updates 6 June 2011

  • Bomb blast damage found in brain scans of GIs: Neuron damage in explosion-related ‘mild’ traumatic brain injuries can be more extensive than previously thought; this damage is not necessarily related to the severity of the clinical symptoms.  “Among 63 US soldiers evacuated from Iraq or Afghanistan and diagnosed clinically with blast-related mild traumatic brain injury, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) revealed significant damage to neuronal  axons that was not evident on CT or conventional MRI scans, according to David L. Brody, MD, PhD, of Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues.”  DTI could be included in triage and treatment planning in future if utility is established. (John Gever, MedPage Today)
  • Florida’s health care suit moves to Atlanta appeals court: “A three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Wednesday on whether to reverse a Florida judge’s ruling that struck down vast portions of the law…The court is expecting a crush of people for the arguments, and is opening an adjoining courtroom for the spillover crowd.  It also plans to sell $26 audiotapes of the arguments to those who want recordings of the court sessions”. (Associated Press)
  • Wrinkles may reveal something about skeleton: “A woman’s worry lines could make her clinician fret about her bone health, researchers said in Boston.  In a cross-sectional analysis, having more wrinkles was associated with having lower bone mineral density…Lubna Pal, MBBS, of Yale, and colleagues reported during a press briefing at the Endocrine Society meeting.  ‘For the older patient, her bigger concern is what is happening to skin.  The clinician’s concern is what is happening to her bones’.” (Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today)
  • Drug can reduce risk of breast cancer, study says: “A drug now used to prevent recurrences of breast cancer can also reduce the risk of it occurring in the first place, providing a new option for women at high risk of getting the disease, researchers reported.  ‘There’s a very safe therapy that looks highly effective in preventing breast cancer’, Dr. Paul E. Goss, professor of medicine at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital, said at a news conference…Exemestane, also known by the brand name Aromasin, is one of a class of compounds known as aromatase inhibitors.  These drugs stop the production of estrogen, which fuels tumor growth.  They have proven superior to tamoxifen in preventing recurrence of cancer after a breast tumor is removed.” (NY Times)

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