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Health Updates 13 September 2011

  • Insulin may slow onset of Alzheimer’s, study finds: “Inhaling a concentrated cloud of insulin through the nose twice a day appears to slow – and in some cases, reverse – symptoms of memory loss in people with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, a new pilot study has found.  The study involved only 104 people and is considered very preliminary.  But it suggests that a safe, simple and cheap measure that boosts flagging metabolism in key areas of the brain could hold off or possibly derail the progression of the devastating neurological disorder in its early stages.” (LA Times)
  • Doubts on adenoids surgery as prevention: “Children with recurrent upper respiratory infections often undergo surgery to remove their adenoids, but new research suggests that surgery is no more effective than waiting to see if the frequency of infections decreases on its own.  In a randomized trial, published online last week in the medical journal BMJ, Dutch researchers studied 111 children ages 1 to 6 with chronic infections, assigning half of them to surgery and half to watchful waiting.  During a two-year follow-up, parents kept a diary recording specific symptoms of infection – cold, cough, sinusitis and others – and took temperatures daily with a device that recorded the readings.  Children in the group who had surgery averaged 7.9 respiratory infections per year, compared with 7.8 infections in the watchful waiting group – an insignificant difference.”  (Nicholas Bakalar, NY Times)
  • Research in feline AIDS may provide clues to fighting AIDS in humans: Mayo Clinic researchers have developed a genome-based immunization strategy to fight feline AIDS and illuminate ways to combat human HIV/AIDS and other diseases.  The goal is to create cats with intrinsic immunity to the feline AIDS virus.” (USA Today)
  • What works in relief of pain after surgery?  “For relief after surgery, some commonly used pain relievers work well for a large proportion of people, but some barely work at all, according to a new report.”  After extensive study and trials involving more than 45,000 patients, researchers found good results for 46 drug doses and combinations.  An effective drug or combination is defined as one providing 50 percent pain relief for four to six hours after a single dose, compared with placebos.  The most effective drugs were ketoprofen (sold as Orudis); 600 milligrams of ibuprofen; 1,200 milligrams of aspirin; and combinations of Tylenol with either ibuprofen, oxycodone and codeine.  The best over-the-counter pain remedy is a combination of ibuprofen and Tylenol.  (Nicholas Bakalar, NY Times)
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