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Drug shows promise for Down syndrome

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          HEALTH TIPS - Friday, March 2, 2007
               "News That Keeps You Healthy"

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          Drug shows promise for Down syndrome

LOS ANGELES, -- Researchers at California's Stanford 
University report a drug known as PTZ can improve the 
learning and memory of lab mice with Down syndrome.
After receiving once-daily doses of PTZ, or pentylene-
tetrazole, researchers found the Down syndrome mice 
could recognize objects and navigate mazes as well as 
normal mice, The Los Angeles Times reported. The im-
provements lasted up to two months after the drug was 
discontinued according to a report by the researchers 
in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Lead author Craig 
C. Garner, a professor at the Stanford School of 
Medicine, told the Times that after more preliminary 
studies his lab will prepare for conducting human 
trials. Down syndrome is the leading cause of mental 
retardation. It results from an extra copy of chromo-
some 21.

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              Older adults admit plastic surgery

NEW YORK, -- Young U.S. adults might be more embarrassed 
than older Americans to admit they've had plastic surgery 
than older adults, a study found. The study of 1,000 
Americans age 18 years and older, commissioned by the 
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, found 79 
percent of men and 82 percent of women would not be 
embarrassed to admit to family and friends they've had 
plastic surgery. Twenty-one percent of men and women aged 
18 to 24 said they would be self-conscious about revealing 
they'd had work done, while 89 percent of those in the 55 
to 64 age bracket said they would have no misgivings what-
soever -- up 7 percent from a 2005 survey. Marital status 
has little effect on whether a man or a woman would con-
sider having cosmetic surgery, the survey found. 

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       New treatment for type 1 diabetes studied

ATLANTA, -- Emory University and University of Alberta 
scientists say islet cell xenotransplantation presents a 
promising near-term diabetes treatment. The researchers 
transplanted and engrafted insulin-producing neonatal 
porcine islet cells to correct critically low islet cell 
supplies created by type 1 diabetes. The scientists from 
the Emory Transplant Center, the Yerkes National Primate 
Research Center and the University of Alberta col-
laborated to successfully transplant the porcine islet 
cells into diabetic rhesus macaque monkeys. The trans-
plantation restored the monkeys' glucose control and 
sustained insulin independence, the researchers said. 
Islet cell transplantation has been successful in rever-
sing type 1 diabetes in humans, but the limited avail-
ability of islet cells has been problematic. "To meet the 
needs of millions of people suffering from type 1 diabetes, 
we must find new donor sources to allow large-scale 
application of islet cell transplantation in humans," said 
Dr. Christian Larsen, director of the Emory Transplant 
Center and affiliate scientist at the Yerkes Research 
Center. "While there is much work to be done, these studies 
suggest the rejection response to porcine islets can be 

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