Health and Fitness

Government Of Canada Invests In Research To Help Prevent Violence

Three new regional research centres that will study violence and ways to prevent it will receive almost $6 million over five years from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, made the announcement at a national roundtable that brought together leading Canadian researchers on violence, gender and health research. "Violence is a major public health and human rights problem in Canada and around the world, " said Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq. "By funding these innovative research centres, we hope to make strides in eliminating violence in our society and help Canadians overcome the devastating effects of violence on physical and mental health ." The centres were selected through a funding competition run by CIHR's Institute of Gender and Health (IGH). The successful projects were approved through a rigorous, independent peer review process. "We are proud to invest in health research directed at developing solutions to violence, particularly gender-based violence, " said Dr.

Alcohol Increases Women's Risk Of Intimate Partner Violence

Alcohol increases the risk of violence in couples - especially violence both to and by the female partner. A new study of couples found that experienced intimate partner violence found 30.2 percent reported alcohol use before or during the event. Severe partner violence was more than twice as likely when the woman drank alcohol, said study co-author Raul Caetano, M.D. The likelihood of severe male-on-female violence tripled and the likelihood of severe female-on-male violence more than doubled when the woman drank. The study, which appears online and in the April issue of the journal Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research, evaluated data from 436 U.S. couples that took part in a 1995 survey. Researchers rated violence as either moderate - such as pushing, shoving or slapping; or severe - such as hitting, beating up, threatening with a weapon or using a weapon. "The one thing that is important is that this is a random sample of couples in the U.S. When you go into general population, you pick up much more violence that is less severe and you see female involvement more clearly, " said Caetano, regional dean and epidemiology professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Dallas.

Omeros Announces National Institute On Drug Abuse's Support For Phase 2 Clinical Study In Addiction Program

Omeros Corporation (Nasdaq: OMER) announced that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is providing support for the Company's Addiction program. NIDA will fund substantially all of the costs of a Phase 2 clinical study to be conducted by New York State Psychiatric Institute researchers. In its Addiction program, Omeros is developing proprietary compositions that include peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-gamma) agonists for the prevention and treatment of addiction to substances of abuse, such as opioids, nicotine and alcohol, as well as other compulsive behaviors, including eating disorders. The Company's data from earlier European pilot clinical studies and animal models of addiction have demonstrated a previously unknown link between PPAR-gamma and addiction disorders. Under the agreement, the New York State Psychiatric Institute researchers, led by Dr. Sandra D. Comer, will conduct a Phase 2 clinical study to evaluate a PPAR-gamma agonist in the treatment of addiction to opioids, expected to begin enrollment in the first half of this year.

Nurses: Mandatory Code Needed To Tackle Alcohol Harm, UK

The Royal College of Nursing welcomed a new Department of Health campaign to combat excessive drinking as it responded to news from the Office of National Statistics that the number of deaths caused by alcohol consumption is continuing to rise. Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: "Nurses see the devastating consequences of alcohol misuse everyday, and have consistently warned about the hidden dangers of drinking too much. It is an absolute tragedy that every year more and more people are dying as a result of excessive drinking. "It is vital that people are made aware of the dangers of excessive drinking through effective and widespread education initiatives such as the new campaign launched today by the Department of Health. However, education is just part of the package needed to stop people damaging their health as a result of drinking too much. Longer term solutions are needed to change the nation's historically permissive attitude towards alcohol.

Neural Processing Differences In ADHD In Individuals With And Without Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

The adverse effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on behavioral, cognitive, and social development can lead to a range of symptoms referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Attention and cognition problems seen in individuals with a history of prenatal alcohol exposure often resemble those linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ). An assessment of these disorders has found that while children with FASD may meet the behavioral criteria for ADHD, their attention difficulties differ in subtle but important respects. Results will be published in the April 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View. "ADHD is clinically diagnosed primarily on the basis of observations by the parent, teacher, and clinician regarding the degree to which a child exhibits specific behavioral symptoms, such as difficulty sustaining attention to and completing tasks or play activities, failure to listen when spoken to directly, impulsivity, talking out of turn, or difficulty sitting still, " explained Joseph Jacobson, professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine and the study's corresponding author.

Stress Hormone Key To Alcohol Dependence

A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has found that a specific stress hormone, the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), is key to the development and maintenance of alcohol dependence in animal models. Chemically blocking the stress factor also blocked the signs and symptoms of addiction, suggesting a potentially promising area for future drug development. The article, the culmination of more than six years of research, will appear in an upcoming print edition of the journal Biological Psychiatry. "I'm excited about this study, " said Associate Professor Marisa Roberto, who led the research. "It represents an important step in understanding how the brain changes when it moves from a normal to an alcohol-dependent state." The new study not only confirms the central role of CRF in alcohol addiction using a variety of different methods, but also shows that in rats the hormone can be blocked on a long-term basis to alleviate the symptoms of alcohol dependence. Previous research had implicated CRF in alcohol dependence, but had shown the effectiveness of blocking CRF only in acute single doses of an antagonist (a substance that interferes the physiological action of another).

Prisoners Benefit From NJDOC Programs But Readjustment Remains Difficult

While re-entry and skill-building programs offered by the New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) at its 11 prisons are heavily used and generally viewed favorably by inmates, many anticipate a difficult return to society due to their underlying health conditions and concerns about finances and support systems. To improve their chances for success in the community, a Rutgers researcher recommends that NJDOC adopt a policy of universal re-entry preparedness during each inmate's mandatory minimum term and a reallocation of funding to increase skill-building capacity on-site rather than in ultimately more costly halfway house programs. Rutgers Professor Nancy Wolff, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Services and Criminal Justice Research, reaches those conclusions in a new study, Re-entry Readiness of Men and Women Leaving New Jersey Prisons. "Approximately 10, 000 men and women leave New Jersey prisons each year. Many of them return to jail and prison for parole violations or new convictions within days, months or years post-release, " Wolff observed.

Teens Who Drink With Parents May Still Develop Alcohol Problems

Parents who try to teach responsible drinking by letting their teenagers have alcohol at home may be well intentioned, but they may also be wrong, according to a new study in the latest issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. In a study of 428 Dutch families, researchers found that the more teenagers were allowed to drink at home, the more they drank outside of home as well. What's more, teens who drank under their parents' watch or on their own had an elevated risk of developing alcohol-related problems. Drinking problems included trouble with school work, missed school days and getting into fights with other people, among other issues. The findings, say the researchers, put into question the advice of some experts who recommend that parents drink with their teenage children to teach them how to drink responsibly -- with the aim of limiting their drinking outside of the home. That advice is common in the Netherlands, where the study was conducted, but it is based more on experts' reasoning than on scientific evidence, according to Dr.

Alcohol Use And Cognitive Decline Among The Elderly

Studies of alcohol use and cognition among the elderly are rare and have mixed results. A study of drinking among the elderly in Brazil has found that heavy alcohol use is associated with more memory and cognitive problems than mild-to-moderate alcohol use, especially among women. Results will be published in the April 2010 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View. "There is a scarcity of information about alcohol use and the elderly, " said Marcos Antonio Lopes, corresponding author for the study and currently a visiting lecturer at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, "which needs to be resolved in order to construct a real diagnosis and promote proper health care for this population." Jerson Laks, associate professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro and a researcher with the Brazilian National Committee for Research, agrees. "Alcohol use is frequently an exclusion criterion for any study of cognition and dementia in the elderly, as well as in studies aimed at depression, " he said.

Response To Alcohol Advertising Study - The Stroke Association, UK

In response to the alcohol advertising study in the BMJ, Joe Korner, Director of Communications at The Stroke Association said: "Drinking too much alcohol is known to cause long-term harm to your health. So it is of great concern if companies are pushing against the boundaries of advertising guidelines on alcohol, as this report suggests. We know that heavy drinking can raise blood pressure, which is one of the main risk factors for stroke. People who regularly drink a large amount of alcohol have an increased risk of stroke and it's important people are more aware of the chance they are taking with their health." Source The Stroke Association

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