fMRI sheds light on link between neural flexibility, stress resilience | Study evaluates cancer occurrence in polyps that appear benign | Losing weight may reduce levels of cancer-promoting proteins, study says
July 20, 2016
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Researchers using functional MRI found that people with higher levels of neural flexibility in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex during sustained exposure to stress were less likely to binge drink, engage in emotional eating and have anger outbursts, compared with those without neural flexibility in the VmPFC. The findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, based on imaging from 30 participants, suggest the VmPFC is "the area of the brain which mobilizes to regain control over our response to stress," said lead researcher Rajita Sinha.
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Pathology tests on colonoscopy-diagnosed polyps that appeared to be benign but were not suitable for colonoscopic removal showed 80% were benign, while 20% had high-grade dysplasia, a study showed. Researchers said analyses of the operative specimens showed cancer in 8.4% of patients.
A study in the journal Cancer Research found decreases in cancer risk attributed to weight loss may be linked in part to lower levels of several proteins associated with tumor growth. Researchers who studied overweight and obese postmenopausal women found decreases in weight corresponded with decreases in levels of the proteins.
Allen Institute for Brain Science researchers captured video of firing neurons in living mice, and the footage is part of a neurological database called the Allen Brain Observatory. Researchers genetically altered mice so certain neurons would fluoresce when active, then they played videos for the mice and recorded brain response. The scientists hope their work will add to knowledge about human brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and schizophrenia.
Oncternal Therapeutics' TK216 has been granted orphan drug designation by the FDA as a treatment for Ewing sarcoma. The firm is launching a first-in-human early-stage trial for the drug, which also holds fast-track status for the same indication.
NovoCure has obtained approval from the FDA for its second-generation Optune system, a battery-powered tumor-treating field device for patients with glioblastoma multiforme. The new version, which is lighter and smaller than the first-generation device, alerts patients when to replace batteries and allows them to change batteries without disrupting treatment.
Despite the increasing availability of genetic tests, the health care industry still has not come to an agreement on how to pay for the testing. Insurers want to know how test results will affect clinical practice and whether results are actionable, insurance executives and investors said at a recent conference.
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said health care systems across the US can learn from the example set by UnityPoint Health System, which in 2012 became one of the first accountable care organizations in the US. Health care providers work with community agencies to improve patients' health and prevent diseases, Burwell said.
Fears that people who know their genetic risk for disease will react poorly have not been supported by research, says geneticist Eric Topol, who leads precision medicine research at the Scripps Research Institute. Genetic information will be combined with data from biosensors as well as knowledge about risk factors and lifestyles to determine health baselines and develop prevention and treatment plans, Topol says.
The new SNMMI Virtual Poster Hall enables you to view an online version of the scientific abstracts (both oral and posters) presented at the Annual Meeting -- extending the life of the research presented. Rich content will be shown via ePosters, including audio and video capabilities. Learn more about the new Virtual Poster Hall.
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