Archive for March, 2009

MSU RESEARCHER LINKS CHOLESTEROL CRYSTALS TO CARDIOVASCULAR ATTACKS

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

For the first time ever, a Michigan State University researcher has shown cholesterol crystals can disrupt plaque in a patient’s cardiovascular system, causing a heart attack or stroke.

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The findings by a team led by George Abela, chief of the cardiology division in MSU’s College of Human Medicine, could dramatically shift the way doctors and researchers approach cardiovascular attacks. Abela’s findings appear in the April issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.”Any time there is something completely new or unique in medical research, it is met with healthy skepticism,” said Abela, who has been working with cholesterol crystals since 2001. “But we have found something that can help dramatically change how we treat heart disease.”

What Abela and his team found is that as cholesterol builds up along the wall of an artery, it crystallizes from a liquid to a solid state and then expands.

“As the cholesterol crystallizes, two things can happen,” Abela said. “If it’s a big pool of cholesterol, it will expand, causing the ‘cap’ of the deposit to tear off in the arterial wall. Or the crystals, which are sharp, needle-like structures, poke their way through the cap covering the cholesterol deposit, like nails through wood.”

Read the full news release in our HeartVigor.com News Page.

PHYSICIANS AND PATIENTS TO DISCUSS BENEFITS AND RISK OF ASPERIN

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

American College of Preventive Medicine applauds task force for improving guidelines
Washington, DC - The President of the American College of Preventive Medicine commended the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) today for its recommendations on aspirin use for primary prevention of heart attack and stroke, released in the March 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, citing its improved specificity over previous guidelines. The task force recommends aspirin use for prevention of cardiovascular disease when the benefits clearly outweigh the risks or harms. The task force found that men between the ages of 45 and 79 should use aspirin to reduce their risk for heart attacks when the benefits outweigh the harms for potential gastrointestinal bleeding; and that women between the ages of 55 and 79 should use aspirin to reduce their risk for ischemic stroke when the benefits outweigh the harms for potential gastrointestinal bleeding. The task force also recommended against the use of aspirin for stroke prevention in women younger than 55 years and for myocardial infarction prevention in men younger than 45 years.”The task force has taken positive steps to lend clarity to patients and physicians about the value of aspirin for prevention of cardiovascular events,” says ACPM President Mark B. Johnson, MD, MPH, FACPM. “The new guidelines make it clear that physicians, as a matter of routine practice, should be discussing the pros and cons of daily aspirin use with patients in the target groups.”

Read the full Press Release in our HeartVigor.com News Pages.

PATIENTS WHO WAKE UP WITH STROKE MAY BE CANDIDATES FOR CLOT-BUSTERS

Friday, March 13th, 2009

HOUSTON - Giving clot-busting drugs to patients who wake up with stroke symptoms appears to be as safe as giving it to those in the recommended three-hour window, according to researchers at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. The results of the study, “Thrombolytic Therapy for Patients Who Wake Up With Stroke,” are published in the March issue of Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.

“The results of our study serve as the only published material of patients who woke up with ischemic stroke symptoms and were treated with thrombolytic therapy,” said Andrew Barreto, M.D., lead author and assistant professor of neurology at the UT Medical School at Houston. “It stands as the only support for the safety of stroke treatment in wake-up stroke patients.”

Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blockage or a rupture in an artery, depriving brain tissue of oxygen. It is the third-leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. According to the American Stroke Association, nearly 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year - one every 40 seconds. On average, someone dies of stroke every three to four minutes.

According to protocol from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, thrombolytic medications such as intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) should be given to patients with a blockage within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms.

Read the full Press Release in our HeartVigor.com News Pages.

GREEN TEA FOR HEALTHY TEETH AND GUMS

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Recent study suggests that antioxidants in green tea may help reduce periodontal disease CHICAGO/ With origins dating back over 4,000 years, green tea has long been a popular beverage in Asian culture, and is increasingly gaining popularity in the United States. And while ancient Chinese and Japanese medicine believed green tea consumption could cure disease and heal wounds, recent scientific studies are beginning to establish the potential health benefits of drinking green tea, especially in weight loss, heart health, and cancer prevention. A study recently published in the Journal of Periodontology, the official publication of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), uncovered yet another benefit of green tea consumption. Researchers found that routine intake of green tea may also help promote healthy teeth and gums. The study analyzed the periodontal health of 940 men, and found that those who regularly drank green tea had superior periodontal health than subjects that consumed less green tea.

“It has been long speculated that green tea possesses a host of health benefits,” said study author Dr. Yoshihiro Shimazaki of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. “And since many of us enjoy green tea on a regular basis, my colleagues and I were eager to investigate the impact of green tea consumption on periodontal health, especially considering the escalating emphasis on the connection between periodontal health and overall health.”

Read the full news release in our HeartVigor.com News Section.

SIMPLE DEVICE CAN ELIMINATE FOOD BACTERIA

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind./ A Purdue University researcher has found a way to eliminate bacteria in packaged foods such as spinach and tomatoes, a process that could eliminate worries concerning some food borne illnesses. Kevin Keener designed a device consisting of a set of high voltage coils attached to a small transformer that generates a room temperature plasma field inside a package, ionizing the gases inside. The process kills harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, which have caused major public health concerns.

Keener’s process is outlined in an article released online early in LWT - Food Science and Technology, a journal for the Swiss Society of Food and Technology and the International Union of Food Science and Technology.

“Conceptually, we can put any kind of packaged food we want in there,” said Keener, an associate professor in the Department of Food Science. “So far, it has worked on spinach and tomatoes, but it could work on any type of produce or other food.”

By placing two high-voltage, low-watt coils on the outside of a sealed food package, a plasma field is formed. In the plasma field, which is a charged cloud of gas, oxygen has been ionized and turned into ozone. Treatment times range from 30 seconds to about five minutes, Keener said.

Read the full Press release in our HeartVigor.com News Page.