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HEALTH BEAT.

Have you ever tried to say a tongue twister as fast as you can? At the University of Missouri, Columbia, these linguistic games are more than just fun: they are being used to diagnose disease, as Mili Kuruvilla-Dugdale --assistant professor of speech, language, and hearing sciences--and her team "have been looking at speech production in individuals with ALS and Parkinson's disease. It currently takes 12 to 18 months for a definite diagnosis but, by asking patients to say complex words or sentences, we can detect breakdowns in speech earlier, which will lead to faster diagnoses."

When comparing standard-of-care surgical options for women with early-stage cervical cancer, two studies led by researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, discovered that minimally invasive radical hysterectomy is associated with higher recurrence rates and worse overall survival compared to abdominal radical hysterectomy. According to the authors, the findings already have changed care at MD Anderson and could impact the surgical management of all women with early-stage disease, which accounts for nearly half of the 13,240 cervical cancers expected to be diagnosed this year.

A signature pattern of brain activity when people are experiencing anxiety and depressed mood has been identified by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, who used newly developed computational algorithms to match patterns of brain activity to changes in the reported moods of study participants. The researchers found a pattern characterized by beta waves in the hippocampus and amygdala, brain regions usually associated with memory and negative emotions, respectively.

In preparing for the possibility of an antibiotic onslaught, some bacterial cultures adopt an all-for-one/one-for-all strategy that would make a socialist proud, researchers at the University of Vermont, Burlington, have found. This finding could have application for how persistent infections like those associated with cystic fibrosis, are treated. The conclusions are based on a series of time-lapse videos showing that single cells within a community of bacteria randomly use a cascade of proteins to become more or less antibiotic resistant, even when the community is not threatened by an antibiotic. A bacterial colony can regenerate even if only a few cells survive antibiotic treatment.

To the list of reasons that chemotherapy sometimes does not work, we now can add one more--bacteria. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, describe how certain bacteria can be found inside human pancreatic tumors--and that some of these bacteria contain an enzyme that inactivates a common drug used to treat various cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Working with animal models, the scientists demonstrated how treatment with antibiotics on top of chemotherapy may be significantly superior to treatment with chemotherapy alone.

It already is common knowledge that exercise is beneficial, but a study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society shows that exercise can be linked to a reduction in the risk of developing 13 types of cancer--even in those with a high body mass index and/or poor diet, along with other harmful factors like smoking. The cancers include esophageal adenocarcinoma (42% lower risk), liver (27%), lung (26%), kidney (23%), and stomach (22%).
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Title Annotation:central nervous system diseases, hysterectomy and brain waves
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Date:Feb 1, 2019
Words:522
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