Can exercise replace pills?
A team of researchers contends that exercise can be as effective as pills for conditions such as heart disease, and actually should be added to a treatment plan as a prescription. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, doesn’t go so far as to suggest that people stop taking their pills, but recommends strongly that patients should add exercise and use both in tandem.
For the study, researchers looked at hundreds of trials involving nearly 340,000 patients to assess the merits of exercise and drugs in preventing death. They found that exercise rivaled some heart drugs and outperformed stroke medication.
The scientists, from the London School of Economics, Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine, analyzed medical research that compared exercise with pills as therapy. They identified 305 trials and looked at managing conditions such as heart disease, stroke rehabilitation, heart failure and pre-diabetes.
Overall, they found that exercise and drugs were comparable as treatments in terms of death rates, but they did note two exceptions: Diuretics were the best treatment in terms of increasing the life expectancy for heart failure patients, but exercise was the best treatment for stroke patients.
NEXT: Thalidomide goes on the market: Oct. 1, 1957
Sourced from: BBC, Exercise ‘can be as good as pills’
Published On: Oct 2, 2013
Waiting may make us more patient
While we live in a culture of instant gratification, waiting can actually make us more patient and help us make better decisions about our financial future, according to a new study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.
For the study, University of Chicago researchers conducted a series of experiments in the U.S., mainland China and Hong Kong. For one experiment, they asked participants to sign up to join a subject pool for online studies. In exchange for signing up, participants were invited to enter one of two lotteries; one would pay a $50 prize sooner, the other would pay a $55 prize later. Participants were also divided into three groups, and each had a different wait time before given their potential prize. The first group was told they could win $50 in three days or $55 in 23 days. The second group was told they could win $50 in 30 days or $55 in 50 days. The third group was also told they could win $50 in 30 days or $55 in 50 days, but they also had to wait to choose their potential reward.
Researchers contacted members of the third group 27 days later to ask for their decision, which like the first group, would be between waiting three days or 23 days to receive their prize.
They found that in the first group only 31 percent of participants chose to wait for the larger reward, and in the second group, 56 percent of participants chose to wait. In the third group, in which participants had to wait several weeks to make their decision, 86 percent chose to wait for the larger reward. Even though they were making the exact same choice as the people in the first group, waiting to choose increased their patience and they made a better financial decision.
Researchers say that when people wait, it makes them place a higher value on what they are waiting for, which makes them more patient.
NEXT: Can exercise replace pills?
Sourced from: Science Daily, Hey, Wait a Minute! Waiting Actually Makes People More Patient
Published On: Oct 2, 2013
Scientists erase brain tumors in mice
A cure for brain tumors may be one step closer. Scientists from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that repurposing a drug used for pre-leukemia was able to erase brain tumor cells in mice.
According to a study published in Oncotarget, the drug 5-azacytidine may now have another purpose: erasing brain tumor cells. The researchers used this drug to target a gene mutation that the team first discovered in 2008. This mutation exists in 70 to 80 percent of low-grade, progressive brain cancers.
The mutation hijacks proteins that convert glucose into energy and forces them to make a new foreign molecule called 2-hydroxyglutarate. This molecule then allows groups of atoms called “methyl groups” to attach to DNA strains. The problem is too many of these methyl groups are allowed to latch on to DNA, changing its cell biology and producing cancerous growths.
To attack the tumors, researchers targeted the methyl groups with the drug 5-azacytidine in the hopes of reversing cancer development. Tumor cells from human patients who were likely to have the IDH1 mutation were injected into the skin of mice. These cells grew into tumors a few months later. Then, researchers injected 5-azacytidine into the mice over the next 14 weeks.
The tumors rapidly decreased and seemingly had a complete relapse. Seven weeks after stopping the drug, the tumors still had not re-grown. The mice are still under close observation, but researchers believe the tumors will not grow back.
The researchers are planning a clinical trial for humans with gliomas. They noted, however, that many cancer treatments have worked in mice but failed in humans.
NEXT: Thalidomide goes on market: Oct. 1, 1957
Sourced from: medicalnewstoday.com, Scientists erase brain tumor cells in mice
Published On: Oct 2, 2013