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Publication: Health Tips Weekly
Surgery may cure some diabetes cases

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       HEALTH TIPS WEEKLY - Thursday, March 13, 2008 
             "News That Keeps You Healthy"   

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          Surgery may cure some diabetes cases

NEW YORK, -- A U.S. researcher suggests gastrointestinal by-
pass operations may effectively cure Type 2 diabetes. Dr.- 
Francesco Rubino of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill 
Cornell Medical Center said rerouting the gastrointestinal 
tract through gastric bypass can cause diabetes remission 
independent of any weight loss, even in subjects who are not
obese., The findings are published in the journal Diabetes 
Care, the medical center said Wednesday in a news release.
Rubino, chief of gastrointestinal metabolic surgery, said 
gastrointestinal bypass procedures control diabetes by by-
passing the upper small intestine -- the duodenum and jej-
unum. "It should not surprise anyone that surgically alter-
ing the bowel's anatomy affects the mechanisms that regulate
blood sugar levels, eventually influencing diabetes," Rubino
said in a statement. He said the operation may work by rev-
ersing abnormalities of blood glucose regulation.           


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            Necklace helps keep track of pills

ATLANTA, -- U.S. researchers have created a sensor necklace 
that someday may help people remember the last time they 
took their pills. The MagneTrace records the exact time and
date when specially designed pills are swallowed and lets 
the user know if any doses are missed, Maysam Ghovanloo of 
the Georgia Institute of Technology said Wednesday in a news
release. The necklace contains an array of magnetic sensors 
that can detect when pills containing a tiny magnet passes 
through a person's esophagus. The sensors also can be incor-
porated into a patch attached to the chest. "Forgetfulness 
is a huge problem, especially among the elderly, but so is 
taking the medication at the wrong time, stopping too early 
or taking the wrong dose," Ghovanloo said. "Studies show 
that drug noncompliance costs the country billions of doll-
ars each year as a result of re-hospitalization, complica-
tions, disease progression and even death." The research 
was published in the IEEE Sensors Journal.
       Lab will pay to infect people with malaria

SEATTLE,  -- Scientists in Seattle plan to pay people 
to catch malaria in order to test the safety and efficacy 
of new vaccines. The Seattle Biomedical Research Institute 
and the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative are collaborating 
to build a Human Challenge Center at SBRI to test new 
interventions against the deadly malaria parasite. "This 
center will allow us to greatly increase our ability to 
evaluate whether a new vaccine formulation should advance 
to testing in clinical trials in malaria-endemic populat-
ions," Dr. Christian Loucq of MVI said Wednesday in a state-
ment. The laboratory's Malaria Clinical Trials Center will 
be one of only a handful of facilities of its kind in the 
world. Volunteers inoculated with a malaria vaccine cand-
idate will be deliberately infected with malaria through 
the bite of malaria-infected mosquitoes to assess whether 
or not the candidate vaccine can prevent or delay malaria 
infection. The Seattle Times said the strain of malaria 
used in the testing is a cloned strain that can be quickly 
cured. More than 900 people have participated in similar 
tests at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. There are 
also labs in Britain and the Netherlands, the newspaper 


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         Doctors use brain scans, ''read minds'

BERKELEY, Calif., -- U.S. scientists said researchers may 
soon be able to use brain-scanning instruments to read some-
one's mind. Dr. Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at the Uni-
versity of California in Berkeley, said his team has figured
out how to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) 
to tell what someone is looking at based on brain activity.
A report, published online in the journal Nature, said it is
the first step to being able to see the contents of some-
one's visual experiences. "When the deck of cards, or photo-
graphs, has about 120 images, we can do better than 90 per-
cent correct," Gallant said. He said the next step is to in-
terpret what someone is seeing without having the subject 
select from known images. The research team said a device 
that can read out the brain's activity could be used to 
assess damage from strokes, the effect of drug treatments 
or to help diagnose conditions such as dementia.


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      Gammagard may reduce Alzheimer's risk

CHICAGO, -- A U.S. research firm said the immune-system drug
Gammagard may reduce the risk of contracting Alzheimer's 
disease. A study of medical claims data by Surveillance Data
Inc. shows that patients treated with intravenous immunoglo-
bulin, marketed as Gammagard by Baxter International, were 
less likely to develop Alzheimer's and related disorders, 
the Chicago Tribune said Thursday. The report looked at 847 
patients who were treated with Gammagard and 84,700 who were
not. Dementia was diagnosed in 2 percent of treated cases, 
compared with 4.2 percent for the untreated control group.
The newspaper said researchers are looking at the possib-
ility that Gammagard can clear the brain of a protein frag-
ment known as beta-amyloid that is thought to be a key in 
the development and progression of Alzheimer's.

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