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Cracking the connection between pediatric obesity and cancer
Obesity and cancer risk have a mysterious relationship, with obesity increasing the risk for 13 types of cancer. For some cancers — including pediatric cancers — obesity affects survival rates, which are lower for people who are obese.With an increasing population of overweight and obese children in the United States, researchers and physicians are racing to understand this connection – and what to do about it.Dr.Steven Mittelman, chief of pediatric endocrinology atUCLA Mattel Children ’s Hospital, is among those looking for clues to improve children ’s survival and recovery from cancer. But u...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 21, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

David Geffen School Medicine at UCLA presents award for excellence in basic science research
Dr. Huda Zoghbi, a Baylor College of Medicine professor whose work holds promise for treating a range of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, received an annual award for excellence in biological and biomedical sciences research from theDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.The medical school ’s dean, Dr. Kelsey Martin, presented Zoghbi with the 2017Switzer Prize during a Feb. 16 ceremony. Zoghbi received a $25,000 honorarium and a statuette.“Her story is a beautiful illustration of the connection between medicine and science, and a lesson in the value of maintaining curiosity and open-mindedness,&rdq...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 17, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA presents award for excellence in basic science research
Dr. Huda Zoghbi, a Baylor College of Medicine professor whose work holds promise for treating a range of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, received an annual award for excellence in biological and biomedical sciences research from theDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.The medical school ’s dean, Dr. Kelsey Martin, presented Zoghbi with the 2017Switzer Prize during a Feb. 16 ceremony. Zoghbi received a $25,000 honorarium and a statuette.“Her story is a beautiful illustration of the connection between medicine and science, and a lesson in the value of maintaining curiosity and open-mindedness,&rdq...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 16, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA scientists receive $7.7 million grant to study HIV recurrence
The virus that causes AIDS is known to hide in certain rare cells. When people with HIV stop taking their medications, the virus can re-emerge and multiply, or “rebound,” from those hiding places. To better combat HIV, scientists have been working to understand how and why the virus re-emerges.“It’s the resurrection of virus that you couldn’t see in the body before,” said Jerome Zack, professor of medicine and chair of the UCLA department of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Zack, who is director of the  UCLA Center ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 16, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Public health dentists offer recommendations to better integrate oral health and primary care
In practice, policy and education, oral health care and primary health care have traditionally been considered separate. In an effort to change that, a group of public health dentists has issued recommendations on improving the integration of the two with a goal to influence policymakers, clinicians, educators and health researchers.In apaper, commissioned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine ’s Roundtable on Health Literacy, experts found that additional work is needed to integrate primary care and oral health to provide more comprehensive and improved access to care.The authors, from theU...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 15, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

For one early adopter, CAR T therapy means 18 months cancer-free and counting
For as long as he can remember, Josh Feldman has eagerly embraced the latest technology.Decades ago, his family was the first one on the block with a VCR. Years later, when television went hi-def, he acquired a big-screen TV and signed up for HD service.So after he was diagnosed with lymphoma, it was only natural that Feldman was driven to join clinical trials for a promising new treatment. He would become one of the first UCLA Health patients to receive CAR T therapy. When nothing else worked, the treatment beat back cancer and filled his life with new hope.“Years ago, while doing my own reading after my diagnosis, ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 14, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Brain scan and artificial intelligence could help predict whether OCD will improve with treatment
Washing hands needlessly dozens of times of day. Spending so much time perfecting schoolwork that it never gets turned in.These are typical behaviors for people with obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, a lifelong illness marked by repetitive thoughts and actions that can seriously impair work performance, relationships and quality of life. OCD is most commonly treated with medication and a form of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy. Unfortunately, cognitive behavioral therapy does not help everyone with OCD, and the treatment can be expensive and time-consuming.Now, UCLA researchers have developed a way t...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 14, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Newly discovered gene may protect against heart disease
Scientists have identified a gene that may play a protective role in preventing heart disease. Their research revealed that the gene, called MeXis, acts within key cells inside clogged arteries to help remove excess cholesterol from blood vessels.Published in the journal  Nature Medicine, the UCLA-led study in mice found that MeXis controls the expression of a protein that pumps cholesterol out of cells in the artery wall.MeXis is an example of a “selfish” gene, one that is presumed to have no function because it does not make a protein product. However, recent studies have suggested that these so-called &...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 13, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Device that measures cell strength could help identify drugs for asthma, hypertension and muscular dystrophy
Engineers, doctors and scientists at UCLA and Rutgers University have developed a tool that measures the physical strength of individual cells 100 times faster than current technologies.The new device could make it easier and faster to test and evaluate new drugs for diseases associated with abnormal levels of cell strength, including hypertension, asthma and muscular dystrophy. It could also open new avenues for biological research into cell force. It is the first high-throughput tool that can measure the strength of thousands of individual cells at a time.“Our tool tracks how much force individual cells exert over ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 9, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder share molecular traits, study finds
Most medical disorders have well-defined physical characteristics seen in tissues, organs and bodily fluids. Psychiatric disorders, in contrast, are not defined by such pathology, but rather by behavior.A UCLA-led study,publishedin Science, has found that autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder share some physical characteristics — and important differences — at the molecular level, specifically, patterns of gene expression in the brain. Gene expression is the process by which instructions in DNA are converted into a product, such as a protein.“These findings provide a molecular, pathological signature...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 8, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

How brain ’s reward system lessened distress over 2016 election results
Some people disturbed by the 2016 presidential election have suffered a loss of appetite, trouble sleeping and concentrating, and have become easily annoyed, while others equally disturbed by the election result have not experienced such symptoms of depression. A new study by UCLA psychologists explains the differences between these two groups.Those who had no symptoms of depression had either strong family support or heightened activity in two key regions of the brain ’s reward system: the nucleus accumbens and the medial prefrontal cortex.“This is the first study to show this buffering effect of the brain wor...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 5, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

A dose of inspiration – ‘Black Men in White Coats’ – is just what the doctor ordered
​The nation ’s medical schools have too few black male medical students. That’s the cold, hard reality according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, which found that the number of black men enrolled in U.S. medical schools declined from 1978 to 2014 — from 542 to just 515.Now, theDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a handful of other medical schools are aiming to change that dismal reality with an unprecedented video outreach campaign.“We have a responsibility as a medical school to welcome the best and brightest young people from an array of ethnicities and social backgrounds...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 2, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA faculty voice: Defeating depression
Gene Block is the chancellor of UCLA. This column appeared in the January 2018 issue of UCLA Magazine.Years ago, as a young neuroscientist studying crayfish, I developed an incredible respect for the brain ’s complexities. I found that even a simple reflex — one that allows the animal to flip its tail when in danger — was regulated by the brain. When the crayfish moved voluntarily, I learned, the reflex was disabled, preventing an unintended tail flip. Clearly, nothing is simple when it comes to the brain.In humans, brain science poses arguably the greatest challenge of any field in contemporary science. ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - February 1, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA scientists use stem cells to study genetics of germ cell tumors
UCLA researchers have made new inroads into understanding germ cell tumors, a diverse and rare group of cancers that begin in germ cells — the cells that develop into sperm and eggs. The researchers developed a protocol to recreate germ cell tumor cells from stem cells and used the new model to study the genetics of the cancer.Their findings could point the way toward new drugs to treat germ cell tumors, which account for around 3 percent of all cases of childhood and adolescent cancer.The study, published in Stem Cell Research, was led by Amander Clark, a UCLA professor of molecular cell and developmental biology an...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 29, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Fielding School of Public Health to start program to increase diversity in the workforce
The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has a received a five-year, $2.7 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Minority Health and Health Equity to launch a training program for undergraduate students to pursue careers in public health.TheUCLA Public Health Scholars Training Program will be part of the larger CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars program network. The UCLA program provides undergraduate students committed to working with populations that are underserved and underrepresented the opportunity to explore the field of public health through hands-on training, struct...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 26, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Gene therapy using CAR T cells could provide long-term protection against HIV
FINDINGSA UCLA-led research team has created blood-forming stem cells that can carry a gene that allows the body to produce cells that can detect and destroy HIV-infected cells. The blood-forming cells, called hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, or HSPCs, have been engineered to carry chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, genes that allows the production of immune cells that target cells infected with HIV.After being transplanted into the body, the engineered cells formed immune cells that not only destroyed the infected cells, but also lived for more than two years. This suggests that they have the potential to give peo...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 25, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA study could explain link between high-cholesterol diet and colon cancer
New UCLA research could help explain the link between a high-cholesterol diet and an elevated risk for colon cancer.In a study of mice, scientists from theDavid Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA discovered that boosting the animals ’ cholesterol levels spurred intestinal stem cells to divide more quickly, enabling tumors to form significantly faster. Published online in Cell Stem Cell, the study identifies a new target for colon cancer treatment.“We were excited to find that cholesterol influences the growth of stem cells in the intestines, which in turn accelerates the rate of tumor formation by more than 100-...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 25, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Public mental health care for older Californians is lacking as need grows
California ’s older adult population will increase 64 percent by 2035, and with it the need for more mental health services. Yet the state’s public mental health system lacks adequate services specifically tailored to older adults, according to a study and other documents released today by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.Notably, the state has no systematic record of which local agencies used state mental health care funds to provide services for older adults or data to measure whether treatments worked.This is the state ’s first evaluation of mental health services for adults 60...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 25, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study shows stigma around mental health on campus correlates with students not seeking treatment
College students who experience suicidal thoughts are less likely to seek treatment if they go to school where there is a high level of stigma around mental health issues, a UCLA-led study found.In astudy published in Social Science and Medicine, UCLA sociology professor S. Michael Gaddis examined data from theHealthy Minds Study, an online survey conducted annually that examines mental health, service utilization and related issues among undergraduate and graduate students in the United States. Since its launch in 2007, the survey has been conducted at more than 150 colleges and universities, with more than 175,000 people...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 23, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Curcumin improves memory and mood, new UCLA study says
Lovers of Indian food, give yourselves a second helping: Daily consumption of a certain form of curcumin — the substance that gives Indian curry its bright color — improved memory and mood in people with mild, age-related memory loss, according to the results of a study conducted by UCLA researchers.The research, published online Jan. 19 in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, examined the effects of an easily absorbed curcumin supplement on memory performance in people without dementia, as well as curcumin ’s potential impact on the microscopic plaques and tangles in the brains of peop...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 23, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA study describes structure of tumor herpes virus associated with Kaposi ’s sarcoma
UCLA researchers have provided the first description of the structure of the herpes virus associated with Kaposi ’s sarcoma, a type of cancer.The discovery answers important questions about how the virus spreads and provides a potential roadmap for the development of antiviral drugs to combat both that virus and the more common Epstein-Barr virus, which is present in more than 90 percent of the adult population and is believed to have a nearly identical structure.In the study, published in the journal  Nature, the UCLA team showed in the laboratory that an inhibitor could be developed to break down the herpes vi...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 20, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Brave toddler meets 24 strangers who saved her life
It took a team of UCLA medical professionals and the generosity of 71 strangers to save 2-year-old Skye Savren-McCormick ’s life.The toddler from Ventura, California, required frequent blood and platelet transfusions, often on a daily basis, while undergoing  three grueling bone-marrow transplants, surgery to remove her swollen spleen and seven rounds of chemotherapy for leukemia and lymphoma. She received 77 units of blood and platelets during a 10-month stay at UCLA Mattel Children ’s Hospital.  Recently Skye ’s family got to meet and thank two dozen of the 71 strangers whose blood a...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 19, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

The flu vaccine could get a much-needed boost
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014 –15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help lower that figure for future flu seasons.The scientists used leading-edge genomics to identify and eliminate the virus ’s defense mechanisms, enabling them to develop a vaccine “candidate” — meaning that it must still undergo evaluation and approval by the FDA — that in animals has been proven to be safe and highly effective against influenza.In the study, which was pu...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 19, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study shows doctors record better notes after using best-practices program
FINDINGSThe quality and efficiency of notes doctors took about their patients improved when they received education and guidelines that emphasized best practices. In a study led by UCLA researchers, physicians were instructed to document only what was relevant for that day and were discouraged from using some common tools that are intended to make note-taking more efficient. During the study period, physicians produced shorter, higher quality notes and completed the notes earlier in the day. By limiting the efficiency tools, note writing actually became more efficient.BACKGROUNDThe widespread adoption of electronic health ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 17, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Voluntary mental health screening program identifying at-risk students at UCLA
Since September, when all of UCLA ’s incoming students were offered free screening for depression, more than 2,600 students have opted to complete a volunteer online screening. Those whose results showed they were at risk of suicide, severe depression or other serious mental health problems were offered access to treatment at UCLA .The screenings are an important part of the  Depression Grand Challenge, an ambitious effort launched by UCLA in 2015 to reduce the burden of depression worldwide by developing better methods of detecting, evaluating and treating depression. The initiative is led by  Dr. Nelson F...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 17, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Can being too social take years off your life?
Large ground squirrels called yellow-bellied marmots live much longer, on average, if they are less social and more isolated than if they are more social and less isolated, a UCLA-led long-term study has found.A team of biologists studied 66 adult female marmots from 2002 to 2015 at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in western Colorado. The researchers observed them through binoculars up to six hours a day, from mid-April through mid-September, from a distance of about a football field away to avoid influencing their behavior.Marmots are hunted by foxes, coyotes and, to a lesser extent, bears; about 50 percent of ma...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 17, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Everyone ’s talking about the flu. Here’s what to do about it
H3N2: If you ’ve had it, you know how bad it can be. If you don’t, you’ve heard about it and are afraid. Very afraid.We ’re talking about the flu, specifically this flu season’s dominant strain.Others are taking about the flu as well. Physicians at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, have been featured in the media, and sought by patients and the public for advice on flu care and prevention — and for good reason.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that flu activity is widespread across the country. The California Department of Publi...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 13, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA School of Dentistry receives $1.5 million for community-based education
The UCLA School of Dentistry has received a $1.5 million grant from the state ’s largest dental benefits provider, Delta Dental of California, to support launching a community-based clinical education program. The award, which will support UCLA student dentists to care for some of the most vulnerable patients in California, is the largest that Delta Dental has ever given a dental school.Many Californians face inadequate access to oral health care services for many reasons. The biggest challenges are the uneven distribution of providers, underfunded public health programs, lack of understanding of the importance of or...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 12, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Immunotherapy highly effective in treatment of rare skin cancer, study finds
FINDINGSIn a UCLA-led study, more than two-thirds of people with a rare type of melanoma responded positively to treatment with anti-PD-1 immunotherapies. The findings, which counter the conventional wisdom that a cancer which is highly fibrotic could not respond to immunotherapy, have the potential to help scientists identify those patients most likely to benefit from treatment.BACKGROUNDDesmoplastic melanoma is an uncommon subtype of melanoma that has proven highly resistant to traditional treatment approaches, such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Desmoplastic melanoma tumors have a very dense tissue thought to l...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 12, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA scientists make cells that enable the sense of touch
Researchers at the  Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have, for the first time, coaxed human stem cells to become sensory interneurons — the cells that give us our sense of touch. The new protocol could be a step toward stem cell–based therapies to restore sensation in paralyzed people who have lost feeling in parts of their body.The study, which was led by Samantha Butler, a UCLA associate professor of neurobiology and member of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center, was published today in the journal Stem Cell Reports.Sensory interneurons, a class of n...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 12, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Researchers map genetic ‘switches’ behind human brain evolution
FINDINGSUCLA researchers have developed the first map of gene regulation in human neurogenesis, the process by which neural stem cells turn into brain cells and the cerebral cortex expands in size. The scientists identified factors that govern the growth of our brains and, in some cases, set the stage for several brain disorders that appear later in life.BACKGROUNDThe human brain differs from that of mice and monkeys because of its large cerebral cortex. The organ ’s most highly developed part, the cerebral cortex is responsible for thinking, perceiving and sophisticated communication. Scientists are just beginning t...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 11, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Suicides by drugs in U.S. are undercounted, new study suggests
The rate of suicides by drug intoxication in the United States may be vastly underreported and misclassified, according to a new study co-written by  Mark Kaplan, professor of social welfare at the  UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.The study waspublished online Jan. 10 in the journal PLOS ONE. The researchers report that the drug suicide rate in the United States rose nearly one-quarter (24 percent) between 2000 and 2016, and the accidental opioid and other drug intoxication death rate increased by 312 percent. This rate gap suggests an increase in suicide undercounting, according to the multidisciplinary int...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 10, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Effects of estrogen treatment combat multiple sclerosis in mice
FINDINGSA study by UCLA researchers reveals the cellular basis for how the hormone estrogen protects against damage to the central nervous system in women with multiple sclerosis, or MS. The researchers found that estrogen treatment exerts positive effects on two types of cells during disease — immune cells in the brain as well as cells called oligodendrocytes.BACKGROUNDUCLADr. Rhonda VoskuhlMultiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune, neurodegenerative disease marked by visual impairment, weakness and sensory loss, as well as cognitive decline. These symptoms emerge when inflammatory immune cells destroy the myelin s...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 10, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Researchers find potential path to repair nerves damaged by multiple sclerosis
FINDINGSA UCLA study found that gene expression in specific cells and in specific regions of the body can provide a more precise, neuroprotective approach than traditional treatments for neurological diseases. Gene expression is the process by which genetic instructions are used to synthesize gene products, such as proteins, which go on to perform essential functions.For multiple sclerosis, specifically, increasing cholesterol synthesis gene expression in astrocytes of the spinal cord can be a pathway to repair nerves that affect walking.BACKGROUNDMultiple sclerosis is an autoimmune, neurodegenerative disease characterized...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 9, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Received an at-home DNA test as a holiday gift? Proceed with caution
If you or a family member received a consumer genetic testing kit as a holiday gift, you probably weren ’t alone. Sales of at-home DNA testing kits reportedly soared in 2017, as people sought clues to their ancestry or future health. Some genetic-testing companies encouraged the purchase of kits as holiday gifts — even offering free gift wrapping.However, the results from at-home DNA tests are proving problematic for some people, even as the tests ’ growing popularity helps to raise public awareness of the link between one’s genetic make-up and their health.“We’ve definitely seen a stead...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 5, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Mirror neuron activity predicts people ’s decision-making in moral dilemmas, UCLA study finds
It is wartime. You and your fellow refugees are hiding from enemy soldiers, when a baby begins to cry. You cover her mouth to block the sound. If you remove your hand, her crying will draw the attention of the soldiers, who will kill everyone. If you smother the child, you ’ll save yourself and the others.If you were in that situation, which was dramatized in the final episode of the ’70s and ’80s TV series “M.A.S.H.,” what would you do?The results of a new UCLA study suggest that scientists could make a good guess based on how the brain responds when people watch someone else experience pain....
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 5, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA volunteers provide free health care at downtown L.A. mega clinic
With the strongly held belief that access to health care should be available to everyone — not just the insured — nearly 200 volunteers from UCLA joined an effort to provide free services to more than 2,000 people at a three-day Care Harbor community clinic.“Los Angeles is still one of the leading areas of people without insurance or access to care and it’s a problem for the community,” said Dr. Patrick Dowling, professor and chair of the  UCLA Department of Family Medicine, who led the UCLA volunteer contingent at Care Harbor ’s seventh health care mega clinic. “I’...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 4, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA faculty voice: What thin people don ’t understand about dieting
UCLAA. Janet TomiyamaA. Janet Tomiyama is an assistant professor of psychology at UCLA. Traci Mann is a professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota. Thiscolumn appeared on the Conversation.Diets do not work.The scientific evidence is clear as can be that cutting calories simply doesn ’t lead to long-term weight loss or health gains.We suspect most dieters have realized this by now too. And yet, here they are again, setting the same weight loss goal this year that they set last year.The only people who don ’t seem to appreciate this are people who have never dieted. It’s particula...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 3, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Study reveals reversibility of Friedreich ’s ataxia in mice
Friedreich ’s ataxia is an inherited disease that causes damage to the nervous system and a loss of coordination that typically progresses to muscle weakness. It can begin causing symptoms in childhood or early adulthood and, over time, it can also lead to vision loss and diabetes.Scientists seeking a better understanding of the disease have tried for years to replicate the disease ’s symptoms and progression in laboratory mice, but until recently have been largely unsuccessful.Now, a team of UCLA researchers has recreated aspects of Friedreich ’s ataxia in mice and shown that many early symptoms of the d...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 2, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Imaging technique could be ‘new ballgame’ in drug development
Biochemistry and structural biology are surprisingly — at least to the uninitiated — visual fields. This is especially true in the study of proteins. Scientists like to see the structure of proteins within cells to help them truly understand how they work, how they don’t work or how they can be modified to work as they should. That is, how the y can be targeted with drugs to cure disease.Current methods, however, have their downsides. Many widely used techniques require large amounts of protein for analysis, even though many diseases are caused by proteins that are far from abundant or that are ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 2, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

State Medicaid expansions from 1996 to 2011 led to more prenatal care for low-income mothers
FINDINGSThe Medicaid expansions for low-income parents that took place in 34 states between 1996 and 2011 led to a 2.3 percent decrease in the uninsured rate among women who already had a child and became pregnant again, and a 7.9 percent decrease in the number of mothers who didn ’t have insurance while they were pregnant.The expansions also led to 0.4 percent more pregnant mothers beginning prenatal care earlier in their pregnancies. And pregnant mothers with lower levels of education were 1.7 percent more likely to receive adequate prenatal care as a result of the expansions.BACKGROUNDThe U.S. has one of the highe...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - January 1, 2018 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Just 4,000 steps a day can lead to better brain health
Walking more than 4,000 steps a day can improve attention and mental skills in adults 60 and older, according toUCLA research published December 12 in a preprint edition of the Journal of Alzheimer ’s Disease.Various studies have found that physical activity is important in preventing cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. Cognitive decline occurs when people start having difficulty reasoning, processing and remembering.Brain volume and brain thickness — both measured by neuroimaging methods — are different ways of quantifying the health of the brain. Previous research shows physical activity cor...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 19, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA grant program funds interdisciplinary brain cancer research
When a neurosurgeon looks at a glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, she sees a dark mass bullying its way through the brain. When an oncologist talks to a patient with glioblastoma, he tempers expectations, talking in months rather than years. When a molecular biologist thinks about glioblastoma, she thinks about the tumor ’s sweet tooth — the sugar it consumes to fuel its frenetic growth. And when you put all these people together — you get a plan to fight cancer.Armed with new research tools and a grant from the David Geffen School of Medicine ’s newSeed Grant Program, a team of UCLA ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 18, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA senior delivers digital health monitoring to fight disease in Cameroon
As Vikash Singh looks forward to 2018 he is also looking forward to witnessing his education in action. Specifically how his background in medical research, artificial intelligence and machine learning — along with a $5,000UCLA Global Citizens Fellowship award and some innovative thinking — may potentially help save lives in Cameroon.Doctors at the HSPC Polyclinic in Kumba, a city located in the country ’s southwest region, will soon begin uploading patient information to a software application designed by Singh and a team of student programmers through Project DataReach, a company Singh launched in 2015 ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 18, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

UCLA researchers create skeletal muscle from stem cells
UCLA scientists have developed a new strategy to efficiently isolate, mature and transplant skeletal muscle cells created from human pluripotent stem cells, which can produce all cell types of the body. The findings are a major step toward  the development of a stem cell replacement therapy for muscle diseases including Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which affects approximately 1 in 5,000 boys in the U.S. and is the most common fatal childhood genetic disease.The study, which was published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, was led by senior author April Pyle, associate professor of microbiology, immunology and molecul...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 18, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

More students pass California physical fitness test after 8 weeks in exercise program
One in five school-age children are obese, which raises their risk for diabetes, heart disease and other health problems. But many communities simply don ’t have the resources to combat this public health epidemic.Fortunately, a long-running UCLA program continues to help schools provide much-needed training and facilities for their students. TheUCLA Health Sound Body Sound Mind program has installed fitness centers at more than 130 underserved middle schools and high schools in California, Colorado, Florida and Massachusetts.During the 2016 –17 school year, 12 Los Angeles schools were among the newest sites to...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 18, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

40 years after first Ebola outbreak, survivors show signs they can stave off new infection
Survivors of the first known Ebola outbreak, which occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, may be key to development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs to treat future outbreaks, according to a new study led by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.UCLA researchers located the 14 Ebola survivors of the 1976 outbreak who, in January 2016, were still living in the same small, remote villages in the forests of the Équateur Province of northwestern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The researchers obtained blood samples and health history reports from them. The data revealed evidence ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

Genomic blood test predicts survival rates after surgery for advanced heart failure
UCLA HealthDr. Mario DengFINDINGSAn experimental blood test developed at UCLA that uses gene activity data from immune cells was 93 percent accurate in predicting survival rates for people with advanced heart failure who had surgery to implant mechanical circulatory support devices.BACKGROUNDMechanical circulatory support devices, such as ventricular assist devices and temporary total artificial hearts, can be surgically implanted in people with advanced heart failure to help the heart ’s pumping function.But people with advanced heart failure often also suffer from multi-organ dysfunction syndrome, which can lead to...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 14, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

27% of California adolescents are gender nonconforming, study finds
A new UCLA study finds that 27 percent, or 796,000, of California ’s youth, ages 12 to 17, report they are viewed by others as gender nonconforming at school.The study also assessed differences in mental health among gender nonconforming youth and gender conforming youth in the state, and found no significant difference in the rates of lifetime suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts between gender nonconforming youth and their gender conforming peers. However, gender nonconforming youth were more than twice as likely to have experienced psychological distress in the past year.“The data show that more than one i...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

27% of California adolescents say they are viewed as gender nonconforming, study finds
A new UCLA study finds that 27 percent, or 796,000, of California ’s youth, ages 12 to 17, report they are viewed by others as gender nonconforming at school.The study also assessed differences in mental health among gender nonconforming youth and gender conforming youth in the state, and found no significant difference in the rates of lifetime suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts between gender nonconforming youth and their gender conforming peers. However, gender nonconforming youth were more than twice as likely to have experienced psychological distress in the past year.“The data show that more than one i...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - December 13, 2017 Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news