Archive | October, 2012

Loss of protective heart failure protein linked to critical limb ischemia

11 Oct

ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2012) ? Restoring diminished levels of a protein shown to prevent and reverse heart failure damage could also have therapeutic applications for patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI), suggests a new preclinical study published online Oct. 9 in Circulation Research from researchers at the Center for Translational Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University.

Low levels of the protein S100A1 have been linked to congestive heart failure and high blood pressure, and now appear to be associated with critical lower limb ischemia, a condition found in type 2 diabetic patients where blood flow to legs is cut off, often resulting in amputation.

Past studies have shown that returning the protein to normal levels or above prevented and/or reversed congestive heart failure in large animal models with gene therapy. Given these new findings, the researchers posit that S100A1 could also be a potential therapeutic target in CLI to promote revascularization.

The team was led by Patrick Most, M.D., adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, and lead author of the study who now heads the Center for Molecular and Translational Cardiology at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and Karsten Peppel, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Center for Translational Medicine at Jefferson and senior author of the study.

“In patients with CLI, this protein appears to be reduced to extremely low levels, almost non-existent,” said Dr. Peppel. “This dovetails with a finding we had when we were looking at patients with heart failure. We already know this protein has an important role in heart muscle cells. In patients who experience heart failure, there was reduced amount of the protein, down to about 40 percent of normal. Here, we showed in mice with CLI a similar defect in vascular cells and the inability to re-vascularize following arterial occlusion.”

Without successful revascularization, up to 40 percent of patients with CLI require major limb amputations within a year of diagnosis. CLI has many of the same predisposing risk factors as arteriosclerosis, such as smoking, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are over 65,000 lower limb amputations performed in the United States a year as a direct result of diabetes.

“Understanding the fundamentals of disease mechanisms is key to finding better therapies. This actually exceeds the capacity of one laboratory,” said Dr. Most. “Our integrative model of sharing expertise and resources between our laboratories in the U.S. and Germany has proven to be quite successful over the last years.”

Dr. Most’s laboratory has been working on S100A1’s role in heart disease for more than a decade, and together with a group from the Center for Translational Medicine at Jefferson, they have proven that loss of the protein causes diseased hearts to fail and that the protein is a potential target for gene therapy for heart failure.

S100A1, part of a larger family of proteins called S100, is primarily found at high levels in muscle, particularly the heart. Falling levels of S100A1 are critical in the loss of heart-pumping strength after a heart attack and play an important role in the progression to heart failure.

Dr. Most and his team have also found that loss of the protective heart failure protein causes high blood pressure.

“The mechanism is based more or less on the availability of nitric oxide,” said Dr. Most. “S100A1 also regulates calcium cycling in the endothelial cell, and calcium is needed in the endothelial cell to stimulate nitric oxide production. The loss of S100A1 impairs the calcium mobilization of the endothelial cell — that’s the link between less calcium, less nitric oxide, hypertension and endothelial dysfunction.”

“Now, we have shown a down regulation of S100A1 in patients with CLI and identified the protein as critical for endothelial cell function in ischemic angiogenesis,” he said. “This is a new therapeutic angle. Perhaps the most intriguing finding is that S100A1 stimulates directly the source enzyme of nitric oxide in endothelial cell. Without S100A1, this mechanism is simply blocked and the body’s ability to generate new small vessels severely compromised.”

The next step is to determine what causes that down regulation and look for therapeutic development, according to the researchers, adding that they will take advantage of the unique expertise and experience in developing molecular-targeted therapies at the Center.

“Our goal is to determine why these levels drop in patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease, and how we can get them back up, and if restoration of this protein makes it better,” said Dr. Peppel. “There is potential with therapeutics, mainly gene therapy, to restore levels and possibly improve revascularization, not only in patients with CLI but also in heart disease due to insufficient blood supply.”

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Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University, via Newswise.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Journal Reference:

  1. P. Most, C. Lerchenmuller, G. Rengo, A. Mahlmann, J. Ritterhoff, D. Rohde, C. Goodman, C. J. Busch, F. Laube, J. Heissenberg, S. T. Pleger, N. Weiss, H. A. Katus, W. J. Koch, K. Peppel. S100A1 Deficiency Impairs Post-Ischemic Angiogenesis via Compromised Proangiogenic Endothelial Cell Function and Nitric Oxide Synthase Regulation. Circulation Research, 2012; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.275156

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/health_medicine/heart_disease/~3/bDJHwBIwBOg/121010101908.htm

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Say Goodbye to Debt ? The Financial Fairy Tales Blog

11 Oct

Anyone who is in debt knows that it?s a depressing place to be. Debt can cause sleepless nights, feelings of guilt and stress.

The more you owe, the worse those feelings will be, and the longer you remain in debt the more the interest mounts up on those individual debts ? be they credit or store card debts, overdraft debts or other debts such as non-payment of council tax and household bills.

Debt can begin to feel insurmountable, but there is always a way out of debt. Depending on your personal circumstances, there will be different options available to you. You may be able to structure your household budget so that your outgoings stay below your income, and any excess you have left over, you use to gradually pay back the money you owe. But if you feel that you will never get on top of your debt situation, then it?s probably best to seek expert financial advice from a debt management company.

Depending on the level of debt, it may be suggested that you work to a debt management plan or take out a debt consolidation loan.

A debt management plan is where the debt management company deals with your various creditors and negotiates repayments on your behalf. The company charges you a fee to do this, but it can take a lot of the stress out of your debt situation, as you won?t have to deal with the individual creditors directly and you only need to make one monthly payment to the debt management company which then redistributes that payment among your creditors. Creditors are usually willing to work with debt management companies as it is more likely that they will recover their money this way than by dealing directly with the people who are in debt.

Some people in debt may be wondering what is debt consolidation. A debt management plan is a form of debt consolidation ? but it can also be where you take out a new loan to pay off all your existing debts. You end up borrowing more money to pay money you already owe, but the debt consolidation loan is usually at a lower interest rate than the interest you will be being charged for the various credit cards, overdraft facilities and other debts outstanding. Most debt consolidation loans are structured over a longer payback period, so you will probably end up paying more in the end, but you have the peace of mind of knowing that your existing debts are cleared and you only have one monthly payment to make.

The danger for some people with a debt consolidation loan is that they are then tempted to spend again, before they have paid that loan back. Going down the debt consolidation loan route requires self-discipline to avoid making a bad situation worse.

Source: http://www.thefinancialfairytales.com/blog/2012/10/say-goodbye-to-debt/

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Colorado ‘ground zero’ of White House race (CNN)

10 Oct
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Source: http://news.feedzilla.com/en_us/stories/politics/top-stories/254081898?client_source=feed&format=rss

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EU finance chiefs to discuss debt crisis, Greece

10 Oct

Greece’s Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras arrives at the Finance Ministry prior a meeting with debt inspectors from the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, known as the troika in Athens, on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Greece’s Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras arrives at the Finance Ministry prior a meeting with debt inspectors from the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund, known as the troika in Athens, on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012.(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

(AP) ? EU finance ministers are in Luxembourg to take stock of the debt crisis before a summit of EU leaders later this month.

The 17 eurozone ministers will look Monday at Greece’s budget proposals. They will hear from the troika ? the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund ? about its negotiations with the Greek government. No final troika report will be submitted, so no decision on a new payout of aid will be made.

Finance ministers from all 27 EU countries meet Tuesday and are expected to grant Portugal an extra year, until 2014, to correct its excessive budget deficit. They will also see how many countries want to institute a financial transaction tax among just themselves, rather than all EU countries.

Associated Press

Source: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/f70471f764144b2fab526d39972d37b3/Article_2012-10-08-Europe-Financial%20Crisis/id-544f3f031c5b4a46a704385eb9d0787d

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Local Eye Clinic is Providing Free Vision Screening For Young …

10 Oct
getty images

For the entire month of October, the optometrists at Central Washington Eye Clinic are providing FREE VISION SCREENINGS to children from 6 months to 5 years old.

Why?? Because by the time children reach preschool there may be vision problems that could easily have been detected and helped far earlier.? Parents seem to be very attuned to the fact that vision is a key factor in successful learning ; that children squinting , headaches and poor reading scores may all be signs of? needing glasses.? However, parents are less aware that children as young as 6 months old can be screened for? eye health, as well as the functioning of the pupils (reflex) , binocularity, and clarity even if the child cannot read.

Pediatricians and pediatric ophthalmologists recommend regular screenings; once by 6 months, again by 3 years and again by 5 years.

Doctors David Moon and John McGiffin at Central Washington Eye Clinic want? to? offer their services? in order to educate parents about what to look for and to ease their minds when it comes to their child?s vision. In actuality 90-9% of all children have no vision issues at a young age, but given the opportunity most parents still would like to know.

Appointments must be made for the free screenings.

Source: http://newstalkkit.com/local-eye-clinic-is-providing-free-vision-screening-for-young-children/

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Sony Xperia TX launches in Hong Kong

10 Oct

Android Central

Sony has released the Asian variant of its international flagship, the Xperia TX, starting in Hong Kong. The Xperia TX, which we saw for the first time at IFA 2012 in Berlin, is almost identical to its more worldly sibling, the Xperia T. The main differences in the TX include the lack of a microSD card slot, a slightly thinner, lighter chassis and a smaller battery (1750mAh versus 1850). Besides that, it's the same 4.6-inch IPS HD Reality Display, same ICS-based Sony interface, and same Snapdragon S4 dual-core CPU (though previously it's been erroneously reported that the TX was running an S3).

Hong Kong buyers looking to pick up an Xperia TX will find it for sale for HK$4,698 (£375, €465, $606), according to XperiaBlog. As the Xperia T and TX are very similar handsets, Sony says it doesn't plan on releasing both in the same market.

Source: XperiaBlog

More: Hands-on with the Xperia TX

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/dG0s_d3AE1I/story01.htm

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Nurses’ assessment of hospital quality often on the button

9 Oct

ScienceDaily (Oct. 8, 2012) ? A new study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing affirms a straightforward premise: Nurses are accurate barometers of hospital quality.

Perceptions from nurses — the healthcare providers most familiar with the patient experience — about hospital quality of care closely matches the quality indicated by patient outcomes and other long-standing measurements.

“For a complete picture of hospital performance, data from nurses is essential,” said lead author Matthew D. McHugh, a public health policy expert at Penn Nursing. “Their assessments of quality are built on more than an isolated encounter or single process — they are developed over time through a series of interactions and direct observations of care.”

Nurse-reported quality accurately correlated with outcome measures including death and life-threatening post-surgical complications, and patients’ reports of the care experience, wrote Dr. McHugh.

This study, published online in Research in Nursing and Health, included more than 16,000 nurses in nearly 400 hospitals in California, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, four of the nation’s largest states accounting for more than 20 percent of hospitalizations annually. The researchers examined the relationship between nurses’ reports of quality and hospitals known for nursing excellence. Higher proportions of nurses working in hospitals with good practice environments and in Magnet-recognized hospitals (nationally noted for outstanding nursing care) reported that the quality of care in their workplace was excellent.

“Obtaining information from nurses takes advantage of their unique perspective within the caregiving context,” said Dr. McHugh. “Nurses have insights — patient-provider interactions, integration of technology, patient and family education — that are not always documented in the medical record but often make the difference between good and bad outcomes.”

Healthcare quality measures are integral to decision-making among regulators, consumers, and purchasers, with the potential to affect policy, quality improvement, efforts, and insurance. “Although the patient’s perspective is the most relevant quality-of-care indicator,” said Dr. McHugh, “nurse-reported quality-of-care is clearly a valuable indicator of hospital quality.”

The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholars program and the National Institute of Nursing Research. Dr. McHugh is an RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar, and was one of only 12 nurse educators across the country selected last year to participate in the program and to receive a three-year $350,000 grant to conduct research.

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Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, via Newswise.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/most_popular/~3/Zdos0TbYVX8/121008091450.htm

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