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One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers ’ hearts
A new UCLA study has found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their hearts after one electronic cigarette with nicotine.Thefindings are published in  Journal of the American Heart Association,  the open access journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.Unlike cigarettes, e-cigarettes, also known as e-cigs, have no combustion or tobacco. Instead, these electronic, handheld devices deliver nicotine with flavoring and other chemicals in a vapor rather than smoke.“While e-cigarettes typically deliver fewer carcinogens than are found in the tar of tobacc...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 20, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

National Cancer Institute designates UCLA brain cancer program a site of research excellence
The brain cancer program at UCLA ’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UCLA Brain Tumor Center has been designated a Specialized Program of Research Excellence, or SPORE, by the National Cancer Institute, making it one of only five brain cancer programs nationwide to receive this national recognition and substantial rese arch funding.The designation comes with an $11.4 million, five-year grant that recognizes UCLA ’s brain cancer program as one of the best in the country. The program supports research into the prevention, detection and treatment of one of the most lethal and deadly cancers, which often...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 20, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

How first ‘vouchers’ in UCLA kidney donation program led to 25 lifesaving transplants
In 2014 a former judge from San Diego County approached the UCLA Kidney Transplant Program with an unusual request: If the judge donated a kidney to a stranger now, could his then-4-year-old grandson, who suffered from chronic kidney disease, receive priority for a future kidney transplant if needed later in life?The suggestion from Howard Broadman, then 64 years old, initiated the kidney “voucher” program, an innovative system allowing living donors to donate a kidney now, or at some time in the near future, allowing a family member or friend to be given priority for a kidney transplant in the future if needed...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 19, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Behavioral therapy increases connectivity in brains of people with OCD
UCLA researchers report that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, when treated with a special form of talk therapy, demonstrate distinct changes in their brains as well as improvement in their symptoms.In the study, published in  Translational Psychiatry, people with OCD underwent daily cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, to learn how to better resist compulsive behaviors and to decrease distress. Within one month, they had developed extensive increases in the strength of the connections between regions of their brains — which may reflect the participants gained new non-compulsive behaviors and thought p...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 18, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA to offer free mental health screening, treatment to all incoming students
Speaking before dozens of influential business and civic leaders about mental health in the workplace, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block announced today the university will for the first time offer free mental health screening and, if appropriate, treatment, to all incoming freshmen and transfer students.“It affects about 350 million people worldwide, and yet, in my view, depression remains somewhat overlooked and understudied. That depression has not been identified as our number one health issue astounds me,” said Block during his keynote speech at the inauguralOne Mind Initiative at Work summit.The One Mind Initiat...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Superhero window washers scale hospital, bring smiles to young patients
 It was mid-morning when Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Spider-Man and the Hulk descended from the roof of UCLA Mattel Children ’s Hospital. The superheroes though weren’t there to rescue anyone; instead, they cleaned the hospital windows and waved to on-looking patients before joining them on the Chase Child Life terrace.The appearance of the window washers dressed as comic book hero icons was for the fifth annual Superhero Day at the Hospital.“Today is the most awesomest day ever,” said 7-year-old Tyrek Hanford.Rick Kincer, owner of Sunland Window Cleaning, created the event in 2013. ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Device used to close small hole in heart may protect against recurrent stroke
A device used to close a small hole in the heart may benefit certain stroke patients by providing an extra layer of protection for those facing years of ongoing stroke risk, according to the results of a large clinical trial led by UCLA researchers.“It is a major new treatment option for some people,” said Dr. Jeffrey Saver, director of theUCLA Comprehensive Stroke Center and lead author of the study. However, he added, “Using the device is going to have to be a considered clinical decision between the doctor and the patient about who’s the right person to get it.”Thefindings appear in the Sep...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Device provides scientists with clearest view of sperm ’s motion in 3-D
Scientists have been able to observe sperm cells since the invention of the optical microscope. But capturing their unique swimming motion in 3-D has been surprisingly challenging — and that information is valuable because it could help explain the key physical attributes of healthy and defective sperm.Now, a microscope developed by researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and UCLA ’s California NanoSystems Institute has made it possible to precisely track the motion of sperm heads and tails in 3-D with unprecedented accuracy and detail. The device, which uses holography a...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Consortium links experts in engineering, medicine to improve health in underserved communities
One of the enduring problems in America ’s health care landscape is managing chronic disease among people who live in low-income communities. Because access to health care services is so often a challenge, many who have serious illnesses and live in these neighborhoods aren’t diagnosed until their health worsens — and when the cost of treating their diseases are higher.To address that need, experts from UCLA, Texas A&M University, Rice University and Florida International University are joining forces to develop technologies to help people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, two of the leading c...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 12, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

New University of California Cancer Consortium to tackle state ’s second leading cause of death
The University of California ’s five academic cancer centers, home to some of the world’s leading scientists and physicians, have formed a consortium to better address California’s most pressing cancer-related problems and opportunities, UC President Janet Napolitano and Dr. John Stobo, executive vice president of UC Heal th, announced today.Despite steady declines in cancer rates over the past 20 years, cancer is soon expected to overtake heart disease as California ’s leading cause of death. This year alone, 176,000 state residents will be diagnosed with cancer and nearly 60,000 will die from it. ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 11, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA faculty voice: A healthy lifestyle can help prevent dementia
UCLAJonathan FieldingDr. Jonathan Fielding is a distinguished professor of public health and pediatrics at UCLA. This column appeared in U.S. News and World Report.Does behavior have a significant impact on your risk of developing dementia? That ’s what a wealth of new data is suggesting, and the evidence, gathered from different research teams around the globe, is pointing in the same intriguing direction.A suite of new studies came to a common finding — that our own behavior could partially stave off the effects of dementia, including dementia-related to Alzheimer’s, which accounts for up to 7...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 8, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Adding modified herpes virus to immunotherapy shows promise for treating advanced melanoma
FINDINGSIn a two-year study at UCLA, nearly two-thirds of people with advanced melanoma responded positively to a treatment that combines the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab with a herpes virus called talimogene laherpareovec, or T-VEC. Researchers led by Dr. Antoni Ribas found that the treatment ’s side effects were manageable, and comparable to side effects for people who took either pembrolizumab or T-VEC as a standalone treatment.BACKGROUNDUCLA scientists are testing the combination of pembrolizumab (marketed as Keytruda) and T-VEC (marketed as Imlygic) as a treatment option for people with advanced melanoma tha...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 7, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA receives $8.4 million NIH grant to help liver transplant recipients stay healthier longer
UCLA has received an $8.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to research ways to help donated livers last longer and improve outcomes for transplant recipients.The five-year grant is the fourth in a series from the NIH to the Dumont –UCLA Transplant Center to develop medications to prevent the body from rejecting a transplanted liver and help patients live longer, healthier lives. The grants have totaled more than $13 million.The initiative is headed by Dr. Jerzy Kupiec-Weglinski, the Paul I. Terasaki Chair in Surgery and vice chair of research at the Department of Surgery at the David Gef...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 6, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA study challenges common theories on how heart disease develops
This study tells us that simply changing the way genes are packed together — even by a little bit — can have a widespread effect on the functioning of cells,” Vondriska said. This observation suggests treatments that restore the right arrangement of the chromatin might be able to restore pr oper genome-wide functioning, he said.“This is startling and quite exciting because it allows us to challenge assumptions about how cells work and about what causes disease — in this case, heart failure, which affects over 5 million Americans,” Vondriska said.The protein that investigators deleted is ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 6, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

New technique gives a clearer image of immunotherapy results in advanced brain cancer
FINDINGSResearchers led by Robert Prins, a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, have developed a new approach for brain imaging that can better distinguish immune responses from tumor growth in both preclinical studies and in people with glioblastoma.BACKGROUNDDespite clinical advances in immunotherapy for cancer, non-invasive monitoring of tumor growth (especially in people with brain tumors) has been a significant problem. When clinicians use traditional medical imaging processes, the inflammation that sometimes results from immunotherapies can resemble neurological decline and tumor growth.METHODPrins...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 5, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Brief primary care intervention cut risky drug use among Latinos by 40 percent
FINDINGSNew research finds that brief interventions in a primary care clinic can reduce patients ’ risky substance use by 4.5 days per month — a 40 percent decline among the Latino patients surveyed — compared with people who did not receive the brief intervention. This corresponds to two fewer weekends of drug use per month, or one less day of use per weekend, or a shorter monthly binge period.BACKGROUNDThe findings duplicate those of the Quit  Using Drugs Intervention Trial, or Project QUIT — conducted by the same research team in 2011 and 2012 — which is aimed at reducing ris...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - September 1, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Neuroscientist harnesses the power of virtual reality to unlock the mysteries of memory
We ’re all familiar with the image of someone donning virtual reality goggles to enter a new environment while seated at their computer.At UCLA,  Nanthia Suthana is one of the first neuroscientists in the world to harness the power of VR to unravel how someone’s brain encodes and retrieves memories while the person explores a new virtual setting on foot.Her work recently captured the attention of the popular digital network, Mashable, which profiled her in its “How She Works” video series.“Without our memories, each of us would be lost in time and c...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 30, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Why one teenager may need more — or less — sleep than another
This study contributes to the empirical basis for pediatric sleep recommendations,” said the study’s lead author, Andrew Fuligni, a professor in residence at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. “Rather than just say ‘more sleep is better’ and ‘everyone should get more sleep,’ we also want to know about individual needs for sleep.”To study the relationship between sleep duration and next-day mood, researchers recruited 419 Los Angeles ninth- and 10th-graders. For 14 days, the teens completed three-page-long daily checklists before going to bed and...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 29, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Gene therapy using ‘junk DNA’ could lower risk for heart disease
FINDINGSScientists from UCLA and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute successfully used a gene that suppresses cholesterol levels as part of a treatment to reduce plaque in mice with a disorder called familial hypercholesterolemia. In a preclinical study, researchers found that the gene, LeXis, lowered cholesterol and blockages in the arteries, and the treatment appeared to reduce the build-up of fat in liver cells.BACKGROUND                    Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited condition characterized by extremely high...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 28, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Leprosy hijacks immune system, similar to autoimmune diseases
Leprosy hijacks the immune system, turning an important repair mechanism into one that causes potentially irreparable damage to our nerve cells, UCLA researchers have discovered. The new findings,published online today in the journal  Cell, suggest that leprosy shares underlying characteristics with some autoimmune diseases.Courtesy of Cressida MadiganCressida Madigan“We discovered that the mechanism of nerve damage in leprosy is very similar to what happens in diseases like multiple sclerosis,” said Cressida Madigan, a postdoctoral research fellow at UCLA and first author of the paper. “That means w...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 25, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Team led by UCLA, UCSF receives $8 million to study virus that often strikes after kidney transplants
UCLA, UC San Francisco and City of Hope have received a five-year, $8 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study how a common virus called cytomegalovirus may provoke the immune system to reject transplanted kidneys.The 14-member interdisciplinary team is co-led by Elaine Reed, who holds the Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Endowed Chair in Diagnostic Medicine at UCLA and is director of the UCLA Immunogenetics Center.  “Nearly 70 percent of people around the world carry antibodies to the cytomegalovirus infection, yet healthy people rarely display symptoms,” said Ree...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 24, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Don ’t multitask while you read this
“In a world of computers and iPhones, it’s rare that we’re fully focused,” said Alan Castel, a UCLA professor of psychology.But how much do all of those distractions diminish our ability to remember? A new study led by Castel and Catherine Middlebrooks, a UCLA graduate student, found that while divided attention does impair memory, people can still selectively focus on what is most important — even while they’re multitasking.In one experiment, the researchers showed 192 students 120 words, divided into six groups of 20 words each.  Each word was visible on a computer screen for thre...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 23, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Parks After Dark turns Los Angeles County parks into safe havens for communities
A Los Angeles County recreational program created stronger ties within communities, improved relations between the community and law enforcement officers, and decreased crime,  according to a report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The study also found that the program, called Parks After Dark, saved millions of dollars in policing and health care costs.The program was intended to make specific Los Angeles parks safer through positive community engagement by the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department, while providing wider access to free recreation, health and wellness programs. The eff...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 22, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study provides insight into link between two rare tumor syndromes
FINDINGSUCLA researchers have discovered that timing is everything when it comes to preventing a specific gene mutation in mice from developing rare and fast-growing cancerous tumors, which also affects young children. This mutation can also cause a benign tumor condition in humans in adulthood.The scientists found that when one tumor suppressor gene is turned off or inactivated during early stages of a developing mouse embryo, it induces the formation of a malignant tumor. The research demonstrates that this type of malignant tumor will not form if the gene is inactivated during later stages of nerve development. However,...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 21, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
UCLA HealthDr. Christopher ChildersOf the nearly 4 million women in the United States who have had either breast cancer or ovarian cancer, at least 1.5 million have a high risk of carrying certain types of genetic mutations that could increase their risk for additional cancers in the future.And although the mutations, including those that affect the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, can be identified through a simple blood or saliva test, more than 80 percent of those women have not taken the test or even discussed it with a health care provider, according to a new study from the  UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.The study ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 19, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

For post-menopausal women, vaginal estrogens do not raise risk of cancer, other diseases
This study, the first to examine potential adverse health effects in users of vaginal estrogen compared with non-users, suggests that vaginal estrogen therapy is a safe treatment for genitourinary symptoms such as burning, discomfort, and pain during intercourse associated with menopause.AUTHORSThe paper ’s authors are Dr. Carolyn Crandall of UCLA; Kathleen Hovey of the State University of New York at Buffalo; Christopher Andrews of the University of Michigan; Dr. Rowan Chlebowski of City of Hope; Marcia Stefanick of Stanford University; Dr. Dorothy Lane of the State University of New York at Ston y Brook; Dr. Jan Sh...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 16, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA researchers demonstrate new material that could aid body ’s cellular repair process
A research team led by UCLA biomolecular engineers and doctors has demonstrated a therapeutic material that could one day promote better tissue regeneration following a wound or a stroke.During the body ’s typical healing process, when tissues like skin are damaged the body grows replacement cells. Integrins are class of proteins that are important in the cellular processes critical to creating new tissue. One of the processes is cell adhesion, when new cells “stick” to the materials between cells, called the extracellular matrix. Another is cell migration, where at the cell’s surface, integrins hel...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 15, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA scientists identify a new way to activate stem cells to make hair grow
In this study, Christofk and Lowry, ofEli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, found that hair follicle stem cell metabolism is different from other cells of the skin. Cellular metabolism involves the breakdown of the nutrients needed for cells to divide, make energy and respond to their environment. The process of metabolism uses enzymes that alter these nutrients to produce “metabolites.” As hair follicle stem cells consume the nutrient glucose — a form of sugar — from the bloodstream, they process the glucose to eventually produce a metabolite called py...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

System creates 3-D images of tissue samples without conventional lenses
A new system developed by UCLA researchers could make it easier and less expensive to diagnose chronic diseases, particularly in remote areas without expensive lab equipment.The technology uses extremely simple optical hardware and a lens-free microscope, as well as sophisticated algorithms that help reconstruct the images of tissue samples. It could make much-needed diagnostic testing available and affordable for people in developing countries and remote areas that lack the expensive lab equipment currently used to perform tissue biopsies.The system for making biological samples transparent, also known as “tissue cl...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 12, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Michael Teitell named director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Dr. Michael Teitell, a renowned molecular immunologist and biochemist, has been named director of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and president of the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation.Teitell, who was chosen after a national search, has been a member of the faculty at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA since 1999. He is the Latta Endowed Professor of Pathology and holds joint appointments in the departments of pediatrics and bioengineering. He serves currently as chief of the division of pediatric and neonatal pathology, with board certification in anatomic, clinical and pediatric pathology.His appoin...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 10, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Sleep biology discovery could lead to new insomnia treatments that don ’t target the brain
UCLA scientists report the first evidence that a gene outside the brain controls the ability to rebound from sleep deprivation — a surprising discovery that could eventually lead to greatly improved treatments for insomnia and other sleep disorders that do not involve getting a drug into the brain.The scientists report that increasing the level of Bmal1 — a critical master gene that regulates sleep patterns — in skeletal muscle makes mice resistant to sleep deprivation.“When we first saw the importance of the muscle, we were surprised,” said senior author Ketema Paul, UCLA associate professor ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 10, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Summer program at UCLA helps build more diverse pipeline for health care field
For many college students, the summer break means basking at the beach, traveling to exotic locales or just hanging out with friends. But this summer meant something quite different to a dedicated group of college students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Thanks to a free program offered by the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, these students took part in a six-week summer program to further their dreams of becoming health care professionals.“I was ecstatic about this opportunity and couldn’t wait to get involved,” said Nahun Flores, a 29-year-old who attends Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, abo...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 9, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA Health hospitals place No. 1 in Los Angeles, No. 7 nationally in prominent ranking
UCLA Health hospitals in Westwood and Santa Monica placed No. 1 in Los Angeles, No. 2 in California and No. 7 in the nation in the 2017 –18 U.S. News and World Report rankings.“UCLA Health is proud to be recognized for providing world-class treatment to patients from greater Los Angeles, across the state and around the globe,” said Johnese Spisso, president ofUCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences. “Our long-standing commitment to excellence ensures that our patients and their families receive the most compassionate, comprehensive care possible...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 8, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA Health and AccentCare create joint venture for post-acute care services
AccentCare Inc. and UCLA Health are creating a jointly owned home health services agency, AccentCare UCLA Health, to serve patients in Los Angeles and surrounding communities. The new agency is designed to provide a comprehensive continuum of care after patients have been discharged from the hospital to facilitate efficient provider network communication, improved safety and faster healing.Under the agreement,UCLA Health will be responsible for clinical oversight of post-acute services provided by the new joint venture agency, whileAccentCare will provide day-to-day operational management, including patient intake, staffin...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 7, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Faced with many options, men with prostate cancer get help choosing the right treatments
Like many men diagnosed with prostate cancer, Bill Pickett faced a tough question when he came to UCLA for treatment: how to fight it?Prostate cancer is one of the more curable cancers — it has a 96 percent survival rate 15 years after diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society. The options men have after a diagnosis have different side effects and trade-offs. So choosing, for example, between radiation therapy or surgery, can be complicated for a person.“When you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer, you realize that each treatment can have very different side effects,” said Pickett, who...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - August 4, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Community health centers form partnerships to increase capacity, improve service
Community health centers, the leading providers of primary health care to the nation ’s poor and uninsured populations, need strong partnerships and effective strategies to strengthen the current health care safety net, and to prepare for what may happen in the future, according to a new policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.The brief looks at a selection of Federally Qualified Health Centers, referred to as community health centers, in Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles and New York state that collaborate with other regional centers, local hospitals and health departments to improve an...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 31, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

To honor his uncle ’s memory, young doctor wants to offer hope to those with cancer
When Razmik Ghukasyan received his acceptance letter to the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, he and his family were ecstatic. But their celebration was cut short days later when his uncle was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.During his first year of medical school, Ghukasyan frequently accompanied his uncle, Partev Kolanjian, to oncology appointments at another hospital. He was disturbed by the impersonal way his uncle ’s doctors treated him, which differed sharply from what Ghukasyan was learning at UCLA about the importance of a compassionate doctor-patient relationship.“In school, I was taug...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 28, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

In assessing risk of hormone therapy for menopause, dose — not form — matters
FINDINGSWhen it comes to assessing the risk of estrogen therapy for menopause, how the therapy is delivered — taking a pill versus wearing a patch on one’s skin — doesn’t affect risk or benefit, researchers at UCLA and elsewhere have found. But with the commonly used conjugated equine estrogen, plus progestogen, the dosage does. Higher doses, especially over time, are associated with greater risk of problems, including heart disease and some types of cancer, especially among obese women.BACKGROUNDThe Women ’s Health Initiative established the potential of estrogen therapy to increase or decrea...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 27, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA researchers reveal unusual chemistry of protein with role in neurodegenerative disorders
A common feature of neurodegenerative diseases is the formation of permanent tangles of insoluble proteins in cells. The beta-amyloid plaques found in people with Alzheimer ’s disease and the inclusion bodies in motor neurons in the brains of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are two examples. Those aggregates, and others like them, can kill cells and lead to debilitating and progressive neurodegenerative diseases.A study by Douglas Black and colleagues in UCLA ’s department of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics, reveals that not all protein aggregates in brain cells are toxic. Their paper,...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 26, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Understanding the constant dialogue that goes on between our gut and our brain
Just past midnight on Sept. 26, 1983, Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov, a member of the Soviet Air Defense Forces serving as the command-center duty officer for a nuclear early-warning system, faced a decision with unimaginable consequences.Cold War tensions were running hot. The Soviet Union had recently shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, killing all 269 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 747. The Soviets claimed the plane was on a spy mission and represented a deliberate provocation by the United States.Now, in a bunker outside of Moscow where Petrov was stationed, alarm bells blared as Soviet satellites detected five...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 26, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Brain activity test detects autism severity, UCLA study finds
FINDINGSUCLA researchers have discovered that children with autism have a tell-tale difference on brain tests compared with other children. Specifically, the researchers found that the lower a child ’s peak alpha frequency — a number reflecting the frequency of certain brain waves — the lower their non-verbal IQ was. This is the first study to highlight peak alpha frequency as a promising biomarker to not only differentiate children with autism from typically developing children, but  also to detect the variability in cognitive function among children with autism. BACKGR...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 25, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study examines effects of stopping psychiatric medication
This study is novel because it asks questions about stopping to take medications from the consumer’s point of view.”Many industry-funded studies have asked patients why they stop taking their medications, but typically with a view to increase compliance, according to Cohen. By contrast, this study asks consumers what they experienced while coming off drugs, who helped them make and carry out their decision, and whether they were satisfied with their attempted or completed discontinuation.“Over 70 percent of our study sample had taken medication for more than a decade; however, these individuals reported h...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 19, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Less invasive treatment for blocked artery in the leg is safe, review finds
This study shows that the orbital atherectomy treatment can offer patients a safe and effective alternative to surgery.AUTHORSThe authors of the study are Dr. Michael Lee and Dr. Daniel Heikali of UCLA; Dr. Jihad Mustapha of Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming, Mich.; Dr. George Adams of Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, N.C.; and Dr. Ehtisham Mahmud of UC San Diego.JOURNALThis  study was published  by the peer-reviewed journal Vascular Medicine.FUNDINGThis research was funded Cardiovascular Systems Inc., the makers of the orbital atherectomy device.DISCLOSURES​Drs. Lee, Mustapha and Adams received funding from Cardiovas...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 19, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Genetic sequencing unravels rare disease mysteries
When Audrey Lapidus ’ 10-month old son, Calvin, didn’t reach normal milestones like rolling over or crawling, she knew something was wrong.“He was certainly different from our first child,” said Lapidus, of Los Angeles. “He had a lot of gastrointestinal issues and we were taking him to the doctor quite a bit.”Four specialists saw Calvin and batteries of tests proved inconclusive. Still, Lapidus persisted.“I was pushing for even more testing, and our geneticist at UCLA said, ‘If you can wait one more month, we’re going to be launching a brand new test called exome sequen...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 18, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Separating food facts from fiction
UCLA Broadcast Studio As a nutritional epidemiologist devoted to prevention, Karin Michels has spent much of her career studying how health can be optimized through a proper diet.“People think it all comes down to their genes, but there is so much we can control by not smoking or being overweight, eating right and exercising at least moderately,” says Michels, professor and chair of the epidemiology department in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.What constitutes healthy eating? Michels, who frequently gives public talks on the topic, has found there are many widely held misconceptions that le...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Not all astrocytes in the brain are the same, study finds
From afar, the billions of stars in our galaxy look indistinguishable, just as the billions of star-shaped astrocytes in our brains appear the same as each other. But UCLA researchers have now revealed that astrocytes, a type of brain cell that supports and protects neurons, aren ’t all the same. While stars might be categorized by their size, age and heat, the supportive brain cells vary when it comes to shape, molecular machinery and functioning.The findings,published today in the journal  Neuron, should make it easier for researchers to study how astrocytes relate to disease, or to develop drugs that aim...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Electrical stimulation of brain may help people with schizophrenia learn to communicate better
FINDINGSUCLA researchers have found that people with schizophrenia were able to more accurately determine whether two auditory tones matched or differed, after receiving a type of electrical brain stimulation. Being able to distinguish tones is essential for verbal communication.BACKGROUNDPeople with schizophrenia have difficulty discriminating between tones of differing frequencies.  This is thought to impair their ability to interpret tone of voice, resulting in social difficulties. Transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, is a non-invasive neural stimulation technique that passes a weak electrical current ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 12, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Memory of social interactions impaired in all phases of schizophrenia
FINDINGSPeople with schizophrenia have trouble remembering the details of social interactions in all phases of the illness, researchers report. However, in the early stages of schizophrenia, patients can remember more about these interactions if given hints about context. This finding suggests a potential strategy for memory training.BACKGROUNDEpisodic memory is the way we remember life events, big and small. What did I have for lunch? Where do I know that person from? It ’s key for social functioning: Poor episodic memory, a common feature of schizophrenia, limits the ability to form relationships with others.METHOD...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 12, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Changes in brain regions may explain why some prefer order and certainty, UCLA behavioral neuroscientists report
Why do some people prefer stable, predictable lives while others prefer frequent changes? Why do some people make rational decisions and others, impulsive and reckless ones? UCLA behavioral neuroscientists have identified changes in two brain regions that may hold answers to these questions.The research — reported by Alicia Izquierdo, UCLA associate professor of psychology and a member of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute, and her psychology graduate student, Alexandra Stolyarova —is published today in the open-access online science journal eLife.The new experiments, which involved studying t...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 7, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Semel Institute ’s Mindful Music program plans 40 recitals for 2017–18
Mindful Music, a program developed by UCLA ’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, brings live performances to UCLA’s campus and health system, with concerts in courtyards and patient care areas.For the 2017 –18 academic year, the program is planning more than 40 recitals — with performances on piano, guitar, saxophone, string bass, flute and other instruments — at the Semel Institute, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica.Thomas NeerkenDalida Arakelian“There is so much talent all around us that I wanted to create a way to break the barri...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - July 3, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news