How the power of mathematics can help assess lung function

Researchers at the University of Southampton have developed a new computational way of analysing X-ray images of lungs, which could herald a breakthrough in the diagnosis and assessment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other lung diseases. A multi-disciplinary team of mathematicians, clinicians, and image specialists from three University of Southampton faculties has devised a method for numerically describing […]

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How low is too low? Experts debate blood pressure targets in post-SPRINT era

Following the landmark SPRINT trial, there is a growing body of evidence for reducing systolic blood pressure targets, resulting in the development of new US guidelines. However, this has led to many questions about the impact of such fundamental changes in blood pressure management, and whether they should be implemented in other constituencies. Two new studies published in the Canadian […]

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How a light touch can spur severe itching

For some people, particularly those who are elderly, even a light touch of the skin or contact with clothing can lead to unbearable itching. What’s worse, anti-itch treatments, including hydrocortisone, don’t provide much relief for this type of itching. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis have discovered, in mice, why a touch can cause such […]

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How a small molecule halts the spread of a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer’s progression

Alzheimer’s disease destroys brain cells in part by promoting the formation of insoluble clumps that contain a protein called tau. Not only are these “tau aggregates” toxic for the cells that harbor them, but they also invade and destroy neighboring brain cells, or neurons, which speeds the cognitive decline associated with the Alzheimer’s. For those reasons, Alzheimer’s researchers have been […]

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New lab study reveals how breast cancer drug can accelerate cancer cell growth

The breast cancer drug lapatinib which is designed to shrink tumours can sometimes cause them to grow in the lab, according to a new study published in eLife. By understanding the molecular basis of this phenomenon, scientists hope that their findings will lead to safer treatment decision-making and drug design in the future. Lapatinib is used in combination with other […]

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Study finds COPD patients are not learning how to properly use their inhaler devices

Inhaled medications play an important role in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and it is imperative that the inhaler device be used properly to effectively treat the disease. However, in a recently released study in the Journal of the COPD Foundation, researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and other institutions found that healthcare providers and patients prioritize medication […]

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