Gum Disease – animation and Qs & As

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GUM DISEASE

Q What is gum disease?

A Gum disease describes swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Q What is gingivitis?

A Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.
Q What is periodontal disease?

A Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out.
Q Am I likely to suffer from gum disease?

A Probably. Most people suffer from some form of gum disease, and it is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. However, the disease develops very slowly in most people, and it can be slowed down to a rate that should allow you to keep most of your teeth for life.
Q What is the cause of gum disease?

A All gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a film of bacteria, which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. Many of the bacteria in plaque are completely harmless, but there are some that have been shown to be the main cause of gum disease. To prevent and treat gum disease, you need to make sure you remove all the plaque from your teeth every day. This is done by brushing and flossing.
Q What happens if gum disease is not treated?

A Unfortunately, gum disease progresses painlessly on the whole so that you do notice the damage it is doing. However, the bacteria are sometimes more active and this makes your gums sore. This can lead to gum abscesses, and pus may ooze from around the teeth. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment can become more difficult.
Q How do I know if I have gum disease?

A The first sign is blood on the toothbrush or in the rinsing water when you clean your teeth. Your gums may also bleed when you are eating, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Your breath may also become unpleasant.
Q What do I do if I think I have gum disease?

A The first thing to do is visit your dentist for a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums. The dentist can measure the ‘cuff’ of gum around each tooth to see if there is any sign that periodontal disease has started. X-rays may also be needed to see the amount of bone that has been lost. This assessment is very important, so the correct treatment can be prescribed for you.
Q What treatments are needed?

A Your dentist will usually give your teeth a thorough clean. YouÂ’ll also be shown how to remove plaque successfully yourself, cleaning all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly and effectively. This may take a number of sessions with the dentist or hygienist.
Q What else may be needed?

A Once your teeth are clean, your dentist may decide to carry out further cleaning of the roots of the teeth, to make sure that the last
pockets of bacteria are removed.

YouÂ’ll probably need the treatment area to be numbed before
anything is done. Afterwards, you may feel some discomfort for up to 48 hour.
Q Once I have had periodontal disease, can I get it again?

A Periodontal disease is never cured. But as long as you keep up the home care you have been taught, any further loss of bone will be very slow and it may stop altogether. However, you must make sure you remove plaque every day, and go for regular check ups by the dentist and hygienist.

Gum health tips from experts – join our web TV show

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London: Log on to our live web TV show to find out how you can break free from unhealthy habits Show date: 2nd June Show time: 2pm (London time).

Personal hygiene bad habits can not only be hard to kick but can also lead to serious medical problems. Take oral hygience, for example: our failure to look after our gums is implicated in a higher risk of heart disease and even miscarriage.

Nine in ten people experience gum disease in their lives – which is the main cause of lost teeth – and the thought of losing one or more teeth would distress most of us….

ItÂ’s clearly important that we get into good oral care habits – and by this we mean looking after our gums as well as our teeth – so how can we start to get into good habits?

The answer lies in training our brains to form different habit pathways. According to Dr Maxwell Maltz’s ‘21 Day Theory’, it only takes 21 days to replace old habits with new ones by repeating certain actions to strengthen the correct brain pathways. So if we start today, by the end of the month we could have eradicated our bad habits once and for all.

Join us in this live and interactive web TV show to find out how you can establish and maintain a regime that will help you keep on track. ThereÂ’s expert advice on offer from GP Dr Pixie McKenna, Professor of Flavour Technology Andy Taylor and Dr James Russell of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, who will also be answering your questions live online.

Dr Pixie McKenna, Professor of Flavour Technology Andy Taylor and Dr James Russell of the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry join us live online at Oral Health tips from the experts on 2nd June to discuss oral health care for women. If you would like to submit questions before the chat please also click on this link.
For more information visit www.gumsmart.co.uk

MS suffererers may be able to use own stem cells

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San Diego: Stem cells taken from the fat tissue of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) may help treat the disease, suggests a preliminary study of three patients.

The successful use of the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells in these patients shows that further clinical studies should be conducted into the use of SVF cells to treat multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, the researchers said.

“All three patients in our study showed dramatic improvement in their condition after the course of SVF therapy. While obviously no conclusions in terms of therapeutic efficacy can be drawn from these reports, this first clinical use of fat stem cells for treatment of MS supports further investigation into this very simple and easily-implementable treatment methodology,” Dr. Boris Minev, division of neurosurgery at the University of California, San Diego, said in a news release.

In people with MS, the immune system attacks and destroys the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerves cells. It’s believed that SVF cells, and other stem cells, may limit this immune reaction and promote the growth of new myelin.

“None of the presently available MS treatments selectively inhibit the immune attack against the nervous system, nor do they stimulate regeneration of previously damaged tissue. We’ve shown that SVF cells may fill this therapeutic gap,” Minev said.

The study was published in the Journal of Translational Medicine.

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about MS. Go to: www.ninds.nih.gov

Olive oil protects the heart, new research reveals

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Lisbon: Scientists have discovered the constituent of olive oil that gives greatest protection from heart attack and stroke.

In a study of the major antioxidants in olive oil, Portuguese researchers showed that, DHPEA-EDA, protects red blood cells from damage more than any other part of olive oil.

Lead researcher Fatima Paiva-Martins, of the University of Porto said: “These findings provide the scientific basis for the clear health benefits that have been seen in people who have olive oil in their diet.”

Although heart disease is caused by several factors, one of the main contributors is reactive oxygen, including free radicals, acting on LDL or “bad” cholesterol causing hardening of the arteries. Red blood cells are particularly susceptible to oxidative damage because they are the body’s oxygen carriers.

In the study, published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, the researchers studied the effects of four related polyphenolic compounds on red blood cells subjected to oxidative stress by a known free radical generating chemical.

DHPEA-EDA was the most effective and protected red blood cells even at low concentrations. The researchers say the study provides the first evidence that this compound is the major source of the health benefit associated with virgin olive oils, which contain increased levels of DHPEA-EDA compared to other oils. In virgin olive oils, DHPEA-EDA may make up as much as half the total antioxidant component of the oil.

Paiva-Martins says the findings could lead to the production of “functional” olive oils specifically designed to reduce the risk of heart disease. “Now we have identified the importance of these compounds, producers can start to care more about the polyphenolic composition of their oils,” she says.

How diet and exercise cut cancer risk – new statistics

Positive changes to diet, physical activity and body weight can substantially decrease your risk for most types of cancer, according to the latest information from the World Cancer Research Fund.

Commenting on the research the British Nutrition Foundation says:
“This research shows the value of focussing on cancer prevention – over a third of cancers can be prevented by improving diet, physical activity and weight management.

“As so many of us are affected by cancer, we hope that these statistics will motivate people to make changes to their lifestyle to allow them to live free from the burden of cancer. It is notoriously difficult to change peopleÂ’s diets and activity levels, but these figures show that lifestyle really can make a measurable difference, so improving diet and physical activity habits is certainly worth the effort.”
Lisa Miles, Senior Nutrition Scientist

Press release from World Cancer Research Fund:

Landmark report: many cancers could be prevented across the globe

Over 40 per cent of bowel and breast cancer cases in the UK are preventable through healthy patterns of diet, physical activity and weight maintenance, according to estimates in a landmark report that has set out recommendations for policies and actions to reduce the global number of cancer cases.

The report, Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention, published today by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), has estimated that about 43 per cent of bowel cancer cases and 42 per cent of breast cancer cases in the UK could be prevented in this way.

The overall message of the report is that all sections of society from governments to households should make public health, and cancer prevention in particular, a higher priority. And it includes estimates on the proportion of cancer cases that could be prevented through diet, physical activity and weight that demonstrate how important the issue is.

The estimates for the US are that 45 per cent of bowel cancer cases and 38 per cent of breast cancer cases are preventable by these means. The report has also estimated the preventability of cancer in China and Brazil, which represent low and middle-income countries, respectively.

The overall estimate is that about a third of the most common cancers in high-income countries and a quarter in lower-income countries could be prevented. These figures do not include smoking, which alone accounts for about a third of cancers.

As well as breast and colon cancers, across the world many cases of other cancers, such as those of the kidney and stomach, are preventable (see table below).

As part of the evidence-based report, thought to be the most comprehensive ever published on the subject, two independent teams of scientists systematically looked at the evidence for how policy changes and interventions influence the behaviours that affect cancer risk.

Following this, a panel of 23 world-renowned experts made 48 recommendations spread across different groups in society to follow. These groups are: multinational bodies; civil society organisations; government; industry; media; schools; workplaces and institutions; health and other professionals; and people. The recommendations include:

* Schools should actively encourage physical activity and provide healthy food for children.
* Schools, workplaces and institutions should not have unhealthy foods available in vending machines.
* Governments should require widespread walking and cycling routes to encourage physical activity.
* Governments should incorporate UN recommendations on breastfeeding into law.
* The food and drinks industry should make public health an explicit priority at all stages of production.
* Industry should give a higher priority for goods and services that encourage people to be active, particularly young people.
* Health professionals should take a lead in giving the public information about public health, including cancer prevention.
* People should use independent nutrition guides and food labels to make sure the food they buy for their family is healthy.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Chair of the WCRF Panel, said: “This report shows that by making relatively straightforward changes, we could significantly reduce the number of cancer cases around the world.

“When people think of policy reports, they often think they are only relevant to governments. But while governments are important in this, the evidence shows that when it comes to cancer prevention, all groups in society have a role to play. This report is relevant to everyone from heads of government to the people who do the weekly food shopping for their family.

“We have been fairly specific about what different groups need to do. But the Report’s overall message is that everyone needs to make public health in general, and cancer prevention in particular, more of a priority.”

Professor Martin Wiseman, Project Director of the Report, said: “Making estimates on the proportion of cancer cases that are preventable is complex and challenging.

“The figures in this report have been agreed by the most eminent of scientists and they are as accurate as they can be with the available data.

“On a global level every year, there are millions of cancer cases that could have been prevented and this is why we need to act now before the situation gets even worse.

“We are expecting a substantial increase in cancer rates with the ageing population, obesity rates soaring, and with people becoming less active and increasingly consuming highly processed and energy dense foods and drinks. The good news is that this is not inevitable and we still have the chance to avert a crisis before it is too late.”

Professor Mike Richards, National Clinical Director for Cancer, has welcomed the report. He said: “The evidence linking diet, physical activity, obesity and cancer has become stronger over the last decade and this report can play a part in people adopting healthier lifestyles.

“I welcome this report, which has been produced by leading scientists in the field. After not smoking, it is clear that diet, physical activity and weight are the most important things people can do to reduce their cancer risk.”

ESTIMATED PERCENTAGE OF CANCERS THAT COULD BE PREVENTED

US UK Brazil China

Mouth, pharynx & larynx 63 67 63 44
Oesophagus 69 75 60 44
Lung 36 33 36 38
Stomach 47 45 41 33
Pancreas 39 41 34 14
Gallbladder 21 16 10 6
Bowel 45 43 37 17
Liver 15 17 6 6
Breast 38 42 28 20
Endometrium (womb) 70 56 52 34
Prostate 11 20 n/a n/a
Kidney 24 19 13 8
12 cancers combined 34 39 30 27

The report is available for download at www.dietandcancerreport.org
More Information

The preventability estimates are about a third of the most common cancers in high-income countries and about a quarter in lower income countries.
Because of the way that different lifestyle factors are inter-linked, it is not possible to simply add the preventability estimates from smoking and other lifestyle factors together to get a total.

The British Nutrition Foundation is a registered charity. It promotes the wellbeing of society through the impartial interpretation and effective dissemination of scientifically based knowledge and advice on the relationship between diet, physical activity and health. Web: www.nutrition.org.uk

Top Tips for quitting smoking – watch the video

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Listen to an expert on why you should quite smoking to save your health and beauty.

As the number of people quitting smoking last year falls by 24% in the UK, No Smoking Day, on March 11, challenges 12 million people to kick the habit

ItÂ’s national No Smoking Day again, a day when a quarter of the UK population – thatÂ’s 12 million smokers – are encouraged to kick their habit. In fact, every year more than a million people quit smoking on No Smoking Day. The campaign will also highlight the benefits of stopping smoking and how to get help.

Research* shows that that 24% fewer people quit smoking (April 2008 to September 2008), compared to the same period in 2007 – the months straddling the introduction of the smoking ban in July 2007 – when the number of quitters was exceptionally high. Worryingly, the number of smokers who managed to stay off cigarettes four weeks after quitting fell to 133,704 2008, a 24% fall compared to the same period in 2007 when 176,277 successfully quit. So how can you quit for good?

Visiting a local pharmacy should be the first step for smokers who want to quit for good on No Smoking Day. Pharmacists are at the front line of helping people to stop smoking, and can provide expert advice and support. They are also among the most accessible of healthcare professionals, with branches open in the high street at convenient times, often when GP surgeries are closed. 99% of people can reach a pharmacy within 20 minutes of their home and many offer private consultation rooms.

*NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care

Web: www.rpsgb.org.uk

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Stem cell hope for MS sufferers

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Chicago: Stem cell injections may be able to help reverse the crippling effects of multiple sclerosis, a study published today says.

Four out of five adults in the early stages of MS who were injected with stem cells taken from their bone marrow saw an improvement in symptoms after three years, while the condition of the remainer stabalised.

MS is one of the most common disabling neurological conditions,and caused by damage to the myelin – a protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres and results in problems with sensation and muscle control.

The study, at the Feinberg School of Medicine, was designed to see whether injections of stem cells from bone marrow would migrate to parts of the nervous system damaged by MS and repair them.

Among the 21 men and women in the trial,who were aged between 20 and 53, 17 had improved on a scale of disability after three years. None of them reported a worse score.
The report in The Lancet Neurology medical journal today says the technique suppresses cells that cause damage and effectively ‘resets’ the immune system.
Study leader Dr Richard Burt of Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, said: ‘It is a feasible procedure that not only seems to prevent neurological progression, but also appears to reverse neurological disability.’
And a further trial involving 100 patients is to get under way soon.

Stem stell advance voted scientific discovery of 2008

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London: A new advance in harvesting stem cells from adults which has the potential to cure many of the diseases of ageing, has been hailed as the scientific discovery of the year.

The advance, which involves turning back the clock on adult tissue and “reprogramming” it with the properties of stem cells, could lead to new treatments for diseases including Parkinson’s and diabetes.

The process allows for a potentially limitless numbers of “induced pluripotent stem” (IPS) cells to be made to order from a sick patient’s cells, meaning they do not risk rejection from the immune system when transplanted.

The technique does not require stem calls to be harvested from embryos, making it more acceptable to religious groups.

Dr Robert Coontz of the journal Science, which placed cellular reprogramming top of its list of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of 2008, said it “opened a new field of biology almost overnight and holds out hope of life-saving medical advances”.

Three teams working in Japan and the United States made major advances with the technique over the last 12 months.

“When Science’s writers and editors set out to pick this year’s biggest advances, we looked for research that answers major questions about how the universe works and that paves the way for future discoveries,” Dr Coontz said.

Runner-up was the first direct observation of planets in distant star systems, which required complex measures to blot out the light from their parent stars.

Other advances on the list included improved technology to map the genome – the human genetic code – and new calculations of the weight of the world.

Science’s Top 10 breakthroughs of 2008

1) Cellular reprogramming

2) Observation of planets around stars

3) Insights into “good” fat

4) Expanding the catalogue of cancer genes

5) Most detailed video of a developing embryo

6) Faster, cheaper genome sequencing

7) Watching proteins at work

8) Industrial-scale energy storage

9) High-temperature superconductors

10) Calculating the weight of the world

Vitamin B1protects against kidney disease

Recent study results suggest that taking a high-dose vitamin B1 supplement each day may help diabetics reduce their risk of kidney damage.

Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney disease, is a common complication of type 2 diabetes. An early indicator of kidney disease is microalbuminuria, where the kidney leaks albumin into the urine.

New research examined whether vitamin B1 would effect microalbuminuria and the results sugest it can reverse the onset of early diabetic kidney disease.

In the trial type 2 diabetics were given 300 milligrams of vitamin B1 (thiamine) each day for three months. Results showed that the vitamin supplement reduced the rate of albumin excretion by 41%. Furthermore, 35% of patients with microalbuminuria saw their urine albumin excretion return to normal after being treated with the vitamin.

The research is published online at Diabetologia

Exercise helps prevent brain shrinkage

New research in AlzheimerÂ’s prevention shows the important relationship between exercise and preventing AlzheimerÂ’s disease.

A new study has found that people with early Alzheimer’s disease who were less physically fit had four times more brain shrinkage than those who were more physically fit.

(Researchers think that exercise has a direct effect on preserving brain volume, says lead author Jeffrey M. Burns, MD. Preserving brain volume also aids brain function.

“People with early Alzheimer’s disease may be able to preserve their brain function for a longer period of time by exercising regularly and potentially reducing the amount of brain volume lost,” Dr. Burns writes. “Evidence shows decreasing brain volume is tied to poorer cognitive performance, so preserving more brain volume may translate into better cognitive performance.”

The people were tested with treadmill walking, oxygen consumption (a measure of aerobic fitness), mental tests and brain imaging. The results strongly indicated the positive benefits of exercise and a correlation with the prevention of AlzheimerÂ’s disease.

Exercise isnÂ’t the only thing that can help your brain resist the ravages of this disease. There are many proven natural ways to prevent Alzheimer’s. Research supports the use of fish oil, ginkgo, vitamin D, vitamin E, folic acid, green tea and curcumin as effective steps towards AlzheimerÂ’s prevention.

Japanese scientists create brain tissue

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Tokyo: Japanese researchers have succeeded in creating a cerebral cortex, the part of the brain involved in thinking and motion, from embryonic stem cells, giving hope for future treatment of brain-related diseases.

The process using embryonic stem cells, which can change into various other types of cells, was successfully carried out by Yoshiki Sasai and Mototsugu Eiraku, of the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe.

The cortex remained undeveloped, equivalent to that of a fetus, but it’s the first time that researchers have ever created brain tissue involving different cell types, rather than single brain cells. The research is published in the US magazine Cell Stem Cell.

Researchers hope that the process will shed light on the how illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease work and how they can be cured, as well as leading to treatments to lessen the aftereffects of strokes.

The researchers placed about 3,000 embryonic stem cells in a culture solution, and had the cells gather together naturally to form a solid, and, after 46 days, a sphere of tissue measuring two millimeters in diameter, with a hollow at its center, was formed.

The self-organized tissue uses four types of neurons in four layers, and is identical to the cerebral cortex of a fetus seven to eight weeks after conception. The researchers confirmed that the neurons formed a network, and the cells were able to activate simultaneously.

An adult cerebral cortex has six layers. Accordingly, the stage of development of the cortex in the experiment could be presumed to be at about “40 or 50 percent,” according to Mr Sassi.

Women ignore heart dangers

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London: Three out of four women are ignorant of the risks to heart health as they age, according to new research by food manufacturer Benecol.

The risk of heart health problems increases after the menopause but 78% of women are unaware of the danger.

More than two thirds of the women, aged between 25 and 65 years, did not know that heart disease is the main cause of death in women or that it can be caused by high levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Nearly 50% did not realise that cholesterol levels rise after the menopause because of the fall in levels of the hormone oestrogen.

The survey carried out by Consumer Analysis for Benecol concluded that the majority of women are confused about the symptoms of heart disease and the risk factors which include high blood pressure, obesity and smoking.

Cigarette poison kills anti-ageing gene, new research reveals

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New York: Scientists have discovered one of the ways in which smoking cigarettes makes you age faster and puts you at risk of diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer.

Researchers at the University of Rochester in the US found that the toxins in cigarette smoke wipe out a gene that protects the body against premature ageing.

Dr Irfan Rahman, associate professor of environmental medicine and an investigator in the University of Rochester’s Lung Biology and Disease Programme, noted: “You can be 45 years old and look great on the outside, but if you are a smoker or former smoker, your lungs can easily be 60 years old because of the chemical assault.”

Cigarettes contain around 4,700 toxic chemical compounds which decrease the lungs’ production of SIRT1, a protein that helps to regulate chronic inflammation, cancer and ageing.

The University of Rochester team, in collaboration with Finland’s Helsinki University Hospital, confirmed that levels of SIRT1 are significantly lower in smokers than in non-smokers.

This in turn affects genes that help to detoxify the airways, speeding up the ageing process of the lungs.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine and in the American Journal of Physiology.

Chocolate may increase bone health risk

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Sydney: Scientists have discovered that chocolate may increase the likelihood of osteoporosis and bone fractures in women.

In a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition women who ate chocolate every day were found to have less dense bones than those who ate it less than once a week. according to scientists at the University of Western Australia.

Chocolate containing high levels of flavanols has recently been found to have beneficial health effects, particularly on the cardivascular system. But most chocolates do not contain high levels of this substance and manufacturers rarely label their products with health information.

In the Australian study, scientists monitored the amount of chocolate eaten over several weeks by 1,001 women aged 70 to 85. They then measured the bone density and strength of each woman using X-rays. The researchers found the women who ate chocolate less than once a week had significantly stronger bones than those who consumed the treat on a daily basis. Low bone density was found in the hips, neck, tibia and heel bones of the women surveyed.

The researchers believe the findings may be because chocolate contains oxalate, which can reduce calcium absorption, and sugar, which is linked to calcium excretion. Calcium is vital for maintaining healthy bones.

Couples who row live longer

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Michigan: Couples who row over their differences are more likely to live longer than those who bottle up stress.

This is the conclusion of reserach at the University of Michigan School of Public Health where scientists studied 192 couples over 17 years, placing them into four categories.

The first consisted of couples where both partners communicated their anger and the second of couples where the husband showed anger while the wife suppressed it.

The third comprised couples where only the wife showed anger; and the fourth relationships where both parties suppressed it. The researchers found that death during the period of the study was twice as likely in the final group than in all other types.

The trend was evident even when other factors such as age, smoking, weight, blood pressure, bronchial problems and cardiovascular risk were taken into account.

Longevity experts have long said that stress is one of the biggest killers and leads to inflammation and diseases of ageing such as heart disease.

Within the 26 couples where both suppressed their anger, there were 13 deaths.

However, in the remaining three groups, 166 couples in total, there were only 41 deaths combined, half the rate.

Ernest Harburg, professor emeritus at the University said: ‘When couples get together, one of their main jobs is reconciliation about conflict.

Professor Harburg stressed that the preliminary figures are small, and that researchers are now collecting follow-up data spread over 30 years.

Millions die of cancer around the globe – latest statistics

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New York: Cancer deaths continue to increase, with the American Cancer Society reporting 12 million new cases of malignancy diagnosed worldwide in 2007, with 7.6 million people dying from the disease.

The report, Global Cancer Facts & Figures, finds that 5.4 million of those cancers and 2.9 million deaths are in more affluent, developed nations, while 6.7 million new cancer cases and 4.7 million deaths hit people in developing countries.

“The point of the report is to promote cancer control worldwide, and increase awareness worldwide,” said report co-author Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, director of the society’s Cancer Occurrence Office.

The number of cancers and cancer deaths around the world is on the rise, Jemal said, mostly due to an aging population. “There is increasing life expectancy, and cancer occurs more frequently in older age groups,” he noted.

Lifestyle may be another reason for the rise in malignancies in developing countries, Jemal said, as people adopt Western behaviors such as smoking, high-fat diets and less physical activity.

The best way to stem the increasing number of cancer cases and deaths is prevention, especially in poorer countries, the expert said. In many developing nations, the health-care infrastructure simply isn’t there to offer cancer screening and treatment for most people, Jemal added.

In developed countries, the most common cancers among men are prostate, lung and colorectal cancer. Among women, the most common cancers are breast, colorectal and lung cancer, according to the report.

However, in developing countries the three most common cancers among men are lung, stomach and liver, and among women, breast, cervix uteri and stomach.

Worldwide, some 15 percent of all cancers are thought to be related to infections, including hepatitis (liver cancer) and human papilloma virus (cervical cancer). But the incidence of infection-related cancers remains three times higher in developing countries compared with developed countries (26 percent vs. 8 percent), according to the report.

In addition, cancer survival rates in many developing countries are far below those in developed countries. This is mostly due to the lack of early detection and treatment services. For example, in North America five-year childhood cancer survival rates are about 75 percent compared with three-year survival rates of 48 percent to 62 percent in Central America, the report notes. The report estimates that 60 percent of the world’s children who develop cancer have little or no access to treatment.

The report also includes a section on the toll tobacco use takes around the world. In 2000, some 5 million people worldwide died from tobacco use. Of these, about 30 percent (1.42 million) died from cancer — 850,000 from lung cancer alone.

Jemal believes smoking is a key culprit.

“Smoking prevalence is decreasing in developed countries. So, as tobacco companies are losing market in developed countries they are trying to expand their market in developing countries,” he said.

In China alone, more than 350 million people smoke. “That’s more than the entire population of the United States,” Jemal said. “If these current patterns continue, there will be 2 billion smokers worldwide by the year 2030, half of whom will die of smoking-related diseases if they do not quit,” he added.

In the 20th century, tobacco use caused about 100 million deaths around the world. In this century, that figure is expected to rise to over 1 billion people. Most of these will occur in developing countries.

One expert agreed that many cancer deaths can be avoided through lifestyle changes.

“What is most provocative here is not the total global burden of suffering and death cancer causes, dramatic though that may be, but the variations in cancer occurrence around the world, and the insights provided about how much of the cancer burden need not occur at all,” said Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine.

In developing countries, cancer of the uterine cervix is a leading cause of death in women, Katz noted.

“Yet this infection-related cancer is now preventable by vaccine, and long treatable when detected early using the Pap smear. As a result, death from cervical cancer in developed countries is dramatically lower. Its toll in the developing world is testimony to missed opportunities to apply our resources effectively, and equitably,” he said.

Cancer of the liver, often related to hepatitis infection, is a leading cause of death in developing countries, but not so in developed countries. “Again, an infection preventable with vaccine is causing death because of inequities in the distribution and use of existing resources,” Katz said.

Prostate and colon cancers are more common in wealthier countries, where they are likely related to poor diet and obesity, Katz said. “Unnecessary suffering and death are occurring in affluent countries due to dietary excesses,” he said.

Katz also noted that tobacco-related cancer is largely preventable. “The toll of tobacco-related disease, including lung cancer, is an appalling example of a global willingness to tolerate preventable suffering and death for the sake of profit,” he said.

These data show both developed and developing countries how to move toward the lower rates of specific cancers, Katz said.

“It will be a tragic failure for public health if instead of applying these lessons developed countries continue to export tobacco and dietary transgressions so that the developing world adds to its current cancer burden ours as well,” he said.

How to get healthier gums and teeth – The Orbit Complete Guide

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The temptations of the festive season usually leave many of us in need of some New Year revitalisation. All the excesses of the party season often means starting a diet and exercise plan to help us look and feel slimmer, fitter and healthier.

But it’s not just a fitter and healthier body we should be concerned with – our teeth may also need some TLC. A month of consuming seasonal specialities means they may spend more time exposed to the consequences of sugar and carbohydrates, which is worsened by occasionally falling into bed after many a Christmas party without cleaning our teeth.

The good news is, by following our guide; both your mouth and midriff can get into great shape.

Top Tips for a healthy body and smile

A healthy mouth means a healthy body – doctors have already established link between gum disease and other medical problems. So a clean and healthy mouth can therefore improve your overall health.

When eating for a healthy mouth, there are important considerations – like eating nutritious meals, being aware of the amount and timing of consuming sugars and carbohydrates, and maintaining good oral hygiene after meals and snacks.

The key to a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle are eating the right amounts of a variety of foods, and being physically active. To help us eat well, the Food Standards Agency recommends that we choose foods from each of the five major food groups: breads, cereals, and other grains; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and milk, cheese and yogurt. An adequate supply of nutrients from all five food groups promotes healthy teeth and gums as well as a healthy body.

Eating foods that contain sugars and carbohydrates of any kind can contribute to tooth decay, if left unchecked. And foods you least expect contain sugar, however, they shouldnÂ’t be removed from our diets because many of them contain key nutrients and these foods also add pleasure to eating.

Healthy foods for teeth

Get some juicy gossip – drinking fruit juices and smoothies as part of a New Year ‘renewal” can help to boost vitamins, and are okay for your teeth if you pay attention to your oral care – check out our mouth and teeth MOT tips below.

Protective foods – some foods help protect against tooth decay. For example, hard cheese increases the flow of saliva. Cheese also contains calcium, phosphate and casein, a milk protein, which protects against demineralization. Finishing a meal with a piece of cheese helps counteract acids produced from carbohydrate foods eaten at the same meal. Milk also contains calcium, phosphate and casein, and the milk sugar, lactose, is less cariogenic than other sugars.

Know your carbs – most nutrition panels on food labels give values for carbohydrates, including a breakdown of sugars and starches. Read the labels and choose wisely to meet your energy and nutrient needs.

Chew on it

After a meal or snack, one of the easiest ways to help prevent the build up of plaque and eventual tooth decay is to chew sugarfree gum such as Orbit Complete™ after eating and drinking. That’s because the action of chewing stimulates saliva production – nature’s very own ingredient for getting rid of harmful acids in the mouth.

Saliva works its magic in three ways. First, it helps to dilute and wash away food and other debris left in the teeth and mouth after eating. Then it helps to neutralise the acids in the mouth. And as if that wasnÂ’t enough, the calcium, phosphate fluoride, and hydroxyl ions in saliva helps to protect against early damage of tooth enamel.

Plus, chewing sugarfree gum is a great way to freshen your breath after eating, and as an added bonus, chewing also keeps your mouth busy so you won’t be tempted to go back for seconds, or snack on your favourite nibble after your main meal – all good news if you’re trying to manage your weight and keep teeth healthy.

Mouth and teeth MOT

§ Choose your toothpaste wisely – Always make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride to help to strengthen and help protect the teeth

§ Use a new toothbrush – Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if the tufts have become worn or splayed

§ Make a dentist appointment – If you do not visit your dentist regularly, make an appointment -the dentist can tell you how often you should have a check-up.

§ Chew sugarfree gum– Chewing sugarfree gum such as Orbit Complete™ as recommended by the British Dental Health Foundation has been clinically proven to help prevent the build up of plaque on teeth and to help to keep your teeth healthy, clean and fresh after meals and snacks

§ Floss and use mouthwash – To clean the areas that your brush may not be able to reach, dental floss and special brushes clean in-between your teeth. Using mouthwash can also help to freshen breath and kill bacteria.

For further information British Dental Association www.bdasmile.org; British Dental Health Foundation www.dentalhealth.org.uk; British Dental Hygientists’ Associationwww.bdha.org.uk; WrigleyÂ’s Orbit Complete™ www.betteroralhealth.info; Wrigley www.wrigley.com/Wrigley

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Support Prostate Cancer Awareness Week

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Prostate cancer is now the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK – every hour at least one man dies from this disease.

It is a cause that has suffered from years of neglect, so plan NOW for Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, 10-16 March 2008 – it’s your chance to make a difference.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Week 2008 aims to raise the profile of prostate cancer among the public and in the media. Hundreds of individuals and groups across the UK will join forces to help raise awareness of prostate cancer and raise vital funds to improve research, information and support services for men and their families who are affected by this disease

An early diagnosis of prostate cancer could improve a man’s chances of finding a successful treatment, yet 90% of adults in the UK do not know what the prostate gland does and the crucial role it plays in a man’s sexual function.

About Prostate Cancer Awareness Week

Prostate Cancer Awareness Week is an annual health awareness campaign organised by The Prostate Cancer Charity.

Every year nearly 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United Kingdom and 10,000 men die from it.

African Caribbean men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than their white counterparts.

The Prostate Cancer Charity is striving for a world where lives are no longer limited by prostate cancer. The Charity is fighting prostate cancer on every front – through research, support, information and campaigning.

If you have any queries about prostate cancer call The Prostate Cancer Charity’s confidential helpline 0800 074 8383 which is staffed by specialist nurses and open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and Wednesdays from 7 – 9pm.

If you want to make a donation to The Prostate Cancer Charity call 0208 222 7622 or visit www.prostate-cancer.org.uk

For further information contact: Lilas Allen or Nikki Nagler on 020 8222 7653/7670. Out of hours contact: 0798 432 5001. Email: or Email Nicola.Nagler@prostate-cancer.org.uk

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What they say: “The Harley Dental Implant & Cosmetic Centre is a clinic dedicated to providing the best in dental implantology and cosmetic dentistry. We are internationally renowned for our exceptionally high standard of implant and general dentistry.

We are committed to providing the ultimate standard of quality service in restoring and maintaining your dental health in an atmosphere of professionalism and clinical confidence.

Our aim is to create results for our patients, which enhance the quality of their lives through our dedication to understanding their fundamental needs by means of precise and clear communication.

We treat the person, not just their teeth.”

New over the counter test for coeliac disease

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London: Four out of five people with coeliac disease remain undiagnosed in the UK – that’s almost 500,000 people.

Left undiagnosed, coeliac disease can increase the risk of serious health problems including osteoporosis, infertility and cancer. An even more shocking statistic is that members of the awareness organisation Coeliac UK state that waiting times between their initial visit to the doctor and correct diagnosis can be anything up to 13.1 years.

According to experts, coeliac disease affects neither one gender more than the other. However, membership of Coeliac UK comprises a just one third male to two thirds female ratio. A spokesperson for Coeliac UK says that this is due to the fact that not enough men are putting themselves forward for diagnosis.

Neil Dorman, a 44-year-old carpenter from Twickenham, Middlesex, has his step-daughter Charlotte to thank for saving his life.

“People thought I was dying, but were too polite to say so,” says Neil.

Up until five years ago, Neil had been relatively healthy. He had never been ill but suddenly found himself going through a deep, dark depression, and with falling energy levels he decided to take himself off to his GP where he had his blood levels checked and was found to be woefully lacking in iron.

“I felt tired all the time and people kept saying that I looked really ill, tired, and that I had lost a lot of weight – which I had. It was a gradual thing but by the end of the year I was gaunt-faced, and looked almost
ghostly with wide sunken eyes.

“A full six months went by from my osteopath finding low levels of iron in my blood before I was sent to a bowel specialist and being diagnosed as a coeliac at the end of July this year.”

Now following a completely gluten-free diet, Neil says he is feeling much better. However, because he lived so many years oblivious of his gluten-intolerant condition, the downside is he is left with a chronic
condition to manage and has to have regular endoscopies every six months. He therefore urges other people to get tested, if they think they are at risk.

Average age of diagnosis is between 40 -60 and it is a genetic disease – studies show that if a family member has coeliac disease there is an increased risk of one in 10 to other family members (Ref 1).

The Biocard Celiac Test, which is designed to be taken at home, analyses a drop of blood for the presence of substances called tissue transglutaminase antibodies. In an independent trial (Makki, 2006), the test proved 96% accurate compared with hospital-based tests. People who receive a positive result are advised to ask their GP for further tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Commenting on the new Biocard Celiac Test, Professor David Van Heel, consultant gastroenterologist, Barts & The London, says: “This test is one of the most accurate we currently have in UK medicine and by making it available to the general public in this easy to use format it will not only support earlier diagnosis but also increase the number of sufferers correctly identified.

“When you identify a sufferer you know their family is in a higher risk group – as immediate relatives are around ten times more likely to also have the condition. Close family members might also benefit from taking this simple test to rule out the condition.”

Coeliac disease is caused by an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. When a coeliac sufferer eats something containing gluten, their digestive system becomes inflamed and they are unable to absorb food properly, which means they can become deficient in essential nutrients such as calcium and iron. The only treatment for coeliac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet.

Priced ÂŁ19.99, the Biocard Coeliac Test is distributed by Xtritica Medical and is now available from Boots pharmacies in the UK and online at www.xtritica.com or on +44 (0)870 777 9404.

Mouth cancer moves up the death league table

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London: Cancer of the mouth is on the increase as a result of poor oral hygiene, according to the latest statistics issued during Mouth Cancer Awareness Week.

More than 1700 people die of mouth cancer in the UK each year – obviously the figure worldwide is far larger.

Dentyl pH®, the mouthwash experts, are providing an education grant to support this yearÂ’s British Dental Health FoundationÂ’s – Mouth Cancer Awareness Week – 11-17th November 2007. On average mouth cancer now kills one sufferer every five hours, making it one of the fastest growing cancers.

Commenting on the need to raise awareness among the public and professionals of this little-known disease, mouth cancer, Professor Robin Seymour of Newcastle Dental School and spokesperson for Dentyl pH said: “In the UK, more than 4,750 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed and 1,700 patients die of this cancer every year. Tobacco smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are the main risk factors for the development of oral cancer. Frequently these two risk factors act together.”

“Oral cancer often arises as an ulcer in any part of the mouth, with the tongue and floor of mouth being the common sites. The ulcer is often painless, although it can bleed, but most importantly it does not show signs of healing over two to three weeks. Some oral cancers also develop in white or red patches. Such patches are termed precancerous lesions, and if present they should be closely monitored for any change in size or colour.”

In summary Professor Seymour notes: “Regular dental checkups and good dental care are important factors in recognising and preventing oral cancer. Dentists, hygienists and therapists are used to examining the mouth and associated structures, and hence can recognise any abnormality. All suspicious lesions should be referred for further investigations. Patients at high risk from oral cancer, such as heavy smokers and drinkers, should always be carefully examined for, and questioned about, any lesion that may be recognised as precancerous or potentially malignant.”

This is the first year that Dentyl pH has sponsored the annual Mouth Cancer Awareness Week campaign. Dentyl pH was created as an alcohol-free mouthwash by people who care about mouths; that is, by dentists themselves. As a result, itÂ’s very appropriate that Dentyl pH should be part of a campaign that encourages people to be more aware of their dental health. Mouth cancer is avoidable and early detection can massively increase the chances of survival.

The Dentyl pH is a clinically proven, alcohol free mouthwash. Using groundbreaking technology, Dentyl pH works like no other mouthwash. This is because it is a two-phase mouthwash, which has to be shaken before use. This action causes the essential oils and the antibacterial water phases to mix, creating a special solution, which makes the ‘bad’ bacteria and food debris adhere to the mouthwash solution. As a result, when the mouthwash is expelled from the mouth, bacteria, debris and other dental deposits are all visible in the sink, proving that Dentyl pH really works.

Details of the Mouth Cancer Awareness campaign can be found online at www.mouthcancer.org

Mouth hygiene horror facts:

In the UK we still fail to take good care of our teeth and mouths. A recent Adult Dental Health Survey found that:

* only three-quarters of adults (75%) claim to brush their teeth twice a day as recommended

* the average time spent brushing teeth is 46 seconds, far short of the recommended two minutes

* only 2-10% of people floss regularly

* around half of British adults have plaque-related periodontal disease (gum disease)

* more than half of all teenagers and three out of four adults over the age of 35 suffer from gum disease.

Bacterial plaque plays an essential causative role in gum disease, yet it can be removed easily from the teeth by brushing the teeth for two minutes, twice a day, followed by rinsing with a proven mouthwash such as Dentyl pH. Flossing is recommended once a day between brushing and rinsing.

UK’s first public debate on genetic screening to be held in London

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London: Genetic screening for common diseasesÂ…Â…..Fact or fiction?

The UK’s first public debate on genetic screening is being held at The Wellcome Institute, London, Thursday 8th November 6.30pm – 8.30pm. For more information go to www.geneticconference.com

There has been so much in the press this year about the use of genetic screening as a powerful new diagnostic tool for predicting risk in areas such as:

Heart disease, thrombosis, hypertension, metabolism and obesity, osteoporosis, drug metabolism, and cancer predisposition, especially prostate, breast and ovarian cancers.

But is it really what it is cracked up to be? Is there a proven link between some gene polymorphisms and the onset of age related diseases.

Here for the first time an eminent group of doctors and scientists discuss the facts, the scientific evidence, and the potential application in the physicianÂ’s surgery.

For two hours on Thursday evening you can have a unique opportunity to hear, not only from leading researchers and clinicians, but also from doctors who have been using this exciting new tool for over two years in the UK.

The excellent speakers: Prof Stephen Bustin (Barts and The London), Prof Mark McCarthy (Oxford), Dr Paul Jenkins (Barts), Dr Lobo (Barts), Dr Brull (The Whittington).

This is the first event of its kind in the UK and a unique opportunity to learn about this powerful new diagnostic tool.

Places will be limited as the lecture hall only holds 150. So please book your place online as soon as you can, to be assured of your place. There will be a small exhibition alongside the meeting, a good opportunity to network and enjoy a glass of wine afterwards.

To register please call + 44 (0)20 8742 3789 so we can register you. For more information to www.geneticconference.com or email a.misplan@geneticconference.com

This event is sponored by the UK’s Genetic Health, Roche and the magazine Body Language.

Starchy foods may damage liver

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Boston: A diet rich in potatoes, white bread and white rice may be contributing to a “silent epidemic” of a dangerous liver condition.

“High-glycaemic” foods – rapidly digested by the body – could be causing “fatty liver”, increasing the risk of serious illness.

Boston-based researchers, writing in the journal Obesity, found mice fed starchy foods developed the disease. Those fed a similar quantity of other foods did not.

One obesity expert said fatty liver in today’s children was “a tragedy of the future”.

High GI foods: include Mashed potato, White bread, Chips, Some breakfast cereals (eg Cornflakes, Rice Krispies, Coco Pops), Steamed white rice

Moderate GI foods:Muesli (non-toasted), Boiled potatoes, Pitta bread, Basmati rice, Honey, Wholemeal bread

Low GI foods:Roasted salted peanuts, Rye and granary bread, Whole and skimmed milk, Spaghetti, Boiled carrots, Baked beans

Fatty liver is exactly as it sounds – a build-up over time of fat deposits around the organ.

At the time, no ill-effects are felt, but it has been linked with a higher risk of potentially fatal liver failure later in life.

The study, carried out at Boston Children’s Hospital, looked at the effect of diets with precisely the same calorific content, but very different ingredients when measured using the glycaemic index (GI).

This is a measure of how quickly the energy in the food is absorbed by the body, producing a rise in blood sugar levels – high GI foods lead to sharper rises in blood sugar, and similar rises in insulin levels, as the body releases the chemical in response.

High GI foods include many breakfast cereals and processed foods such as white bread and white rice.

Low GI foods include unprocessed fruit, nuts, pulses and grains, including rye or granary bread, spaghetti, apples and oranges.

After six months on the diet, the mice weighed the same, but those on the high GI diet had twice the normal amount of fat in their bodies, blood and livers.

The researchers say that because the processed carbohydrates are absorbed so quickly, they trigger the release of more of the chemical insulin, which tells the body to lay down more fat.

Dr David Ludwig, who led the research, said that the results would also apply to humans, and even children, in whom fatty liver is becoming far more common.

Between a quarter and half of all overweight American children are thought to have the condition, he said.

“This is a silent but dangerous epidemic,” he said.

“Just as type 2 diabetes exploded into our consciousness in the 1990s, so we think fatty liver will in the coming decade.”

Stem cells found in male testicles

New York: United States researchers have come up with a novel use for men’s testicles, which they say are a rich source of stem cells and so could be transformed into a wide range of tissue types to help fight disease.

The scientists say they have managed to isolate stem cells from the testes of male
mice, extract them and reprogram them into blood vessels, heart cells and tissue.

If the results are reproduced in humans, the technology could help get around the ethical concerns associated with the use of embryonic stem cells and could be used to help treat Parkinson’s, heart disease, strokes and cancer.

Shahin Rafii from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York whose research has been pubished in the journal Nature said: “Testes are designed to generate a lot of sperm and they have these germ cells.

“So germ cells are designed also in a way to give us two different tissues as well so we were able to get a germ cell from testes and instruct them to become other tissues.”

So it is a possible breakthrough, albeit somewhere down the track, for men. But Dr Rafii says women need not give up hope.

“In women also this stem cell exists but the number is very, very low and we hope that eventually we can be able to get these stem cells from their ovaries as well,” he said.

“Also another point – some men can give stem cells to compatible, genetically compatible females so it still can be applied for women as well.”

Scientists create cells that disolve Alzheimer’s plaque

Genetically engineered cells, that produce an enzyme that disolves the toxic plaques associated with AlzheimerÂ’s disease, have been produced by scientists.

The researchers used mice which they infected with a human gene that caused them to develop, at an accelerated rate, the disease that robs millions of elderly people of their memories. After receiving the doctored cells, the brain-muddling plaques melted away. If this works in humans, old age could be a much happier time of life.

AlzheimerÂ’s involves a protein called amyloid-beta, which makes up gooey clots or plaques that form in the brain. These toxic clumps, along with accessory tangled fibers, kill brain cells and interfere with memory and thinking. The situation has been compared to a build-up of cholesterol in coronary arteries.

“Delivery of genes that led to production of an enzyme that breaks up amyloid showed robust clearance of plaques in the brains of the mice,” notes Dennis Selkoe, Vincent and Stella Coates Professor of Neurologic Diseases at Harvard Medical School. “These results support and encourage further investigation of gene therapy for treatment of this common and devastating disease in humans.”

The first published report of the experiments, done by Selkoe and other researchers from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and WomenÂ’s and McLean hospitals, appeared Aug. 27 on the Web site of the Public Library of Science.

The gene delivery technique employed by the research team has been used in several other trials with animals that model human diseases, including cancers. The procedure involves removing cells from patients, making genetic changes, and then putting back the modified cells, which should treat a disease or disability. So far, this approach has produced encouraging results for cancers, blood, muscle, and eye diseases, spinal cord injuries, stroke, Parkinson’s and Huntington diseases, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). “Several of these potential treatments have advanced to human trials, with encouraging outcomes for patients,” says Matthew Hemming, lead author of the report and a graduate student in Selkoe’s lab.

Another way to do gene therapy involves using a virus to carry the curative gene to target cells. However, two people have died and three contracted leukemia in experiments using this method. The drawback of using viruses this way is that the added gene often mixes with the patientÂ’s genome in ways that can lead to unwanted side effects, including cancer and, possibly, death.

The Harvard team used skin cells from the animal’s own body to introduce a gene for an amyloid-busting enzyme known as neprilysin. The skin cells, also known as fibroblasts, “do not form tumors or move from the implantation site,” Hemming notes. “They cause no detectable adverse side effects and can easily be taken from a patient’s skin.” In addition, other genes can be added to the fibroblast-neprilysin combo, which will eliminate the implants if something starts to go wrong.
Will it work in humans?

This method worked well in the Alzheimer’s experiments. “The gene that removed the amyloid-beta may not only prevent brain cells from dying, but will also remove the toxic protein that drives the disease progression,” Hemming comments.

The experiments proved that the technique works, but will it work in humans? One major obstacle, Selkoe says, is the larger size of a human brain compared to that of a mouse. That difference will require an increase of amyloid-busting activity throughout a much larger space.

One solution might involve implanting the genes and fibroblasts where they have the best access to amyloid-beta, in the spinal fluid for example, instead of trying to inject them into a small target. The amyloid-killing combo might be put into capsules that would secrete neprilysin into the blood circulating in the brain, eliminating the need to hit an exact spot.

This or some other clever maneuver that does not require surgery might eliminate the gooey plaques, but will that improve a person’s memory? And will the change be long-lasting? “Further work is needed to determine if reducing the plaque burden has cognitive benefits over a long period,” notes Hemming, “but there’s a wealth of evidence arguing that it will.”

More information at www.news.harvard.edu