Your healthcare news library

Archive for March, 2012

Chicken with Artichokes and Angel Hair


Pantry staples, chicken, and fast-cooking pasta add up to an impressive 25-minute meal.

  • Prep Time 25 minutes
  • Total Time 25 minutes
  • YieldServes 4


    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 8 thin chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts packed in water, rinsed, drained, and quartered
    • 2 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 8 ounces angel-hair pasta
    • 1/2 cup parsley leaves


    1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. Place flour in a shallow dish, and season with salt and pepper. Dredge cutlets, shaking off excess. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Cook chicken in batches, adding remaining oil as needed, until light golden, 1 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a dish.
    2. Add broth to skillet, and bring to a boil; cook until reduced by half. Add artichokes, capers, and the chicken with any juices. Gently swirl to combine, and bring just to a boil. Remove skillet from heat. Swirl in butter, and cover to keep warm.
    3. Add pasta to boiling water. Cook until al dente; drain. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta, topped with parsley.

Read More: MarthaStewart

Curried Lentil, Rice and Carrot Burgers

I love the Indian spices in these burgers. The turmeric offers bonus antioxidant health benefits, but even without it, they’re in abundance in this recipe, with all the carrots and ginger.

2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil

1/3 cup finely diced onion

1 cup finely diced carrots

6 ounces mushrooms, sliced or finely chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

Pinch of cayenne (or to taste)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup cooked brown rice

2 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils, drained

1 egg


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a heavy ovenproof skillet and add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until just about tender, about 3 minutes, and add the mushrooms, ginger, turmeric, cumin, curry powder, mustard seeds and cayenne and a pinch of salt. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender and fragrant and the spices aromatic. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the rice.

2. Purée the lentils with the egg and add to the vegetable and rice mixture. Stir together, season with salt and pepper, and shape into 6 patties.

3. Heat the ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and, working in batches if necessary, cook the patties for 2 minutes on one side, or until nicely browned. Carefully turn the patties over and place in the oven. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the patties are lightly browned and don’t fall apart. Remove from the heat and serve, with or without buns, chutney or ketchup and the works.

Yield: 6 burgers.

Advance preparation: These can be put together and shaped up to 3 days before browning. They can also be cooked ahead and reheated in a low oven or in a pan on top of the stove. Keep them well wrapped in the refrigerator.

Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 208 calories; 6 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 31 milligrams cholesterol; 29 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams dietary fiber; 33 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 11 grams protein

Read More: NYT

Study: 911 Dispatchers Experience PTSD Symptoms Too

It’s not just those on the front lines of disaster or war who are at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new study finds. Emergency dispatchers who respond to 911 calls also suffer a mental toll, especially when taking distressing calls involving accidental death and suicide. The new study shows that 911 dispatchers’ indirect exposure to traumatic events can result in symptoms of PTSD.

“Usually research considers links between disorders and how much emotional distress is experienced on the scene of a traumatic event,” said study author Dr. Michelle Lilly of Northern Illinois University in a statement. “However, this is the first study on emergency dispatchers, who experience the trauma indirectly.”

For the study, published in the  Journal of Traumatic Stress, researchers questioned 171 emergency dispatchers currently working in 24 U.S. states. The dispatchers — predominately white women around age 38 with more than 11 years of dispatching experience — were asked about the types of calls they answer and their corresponding emotional distress. They participants then rated the types of calls that caused great distress and were asked to recall the worst call they ever received.

About 16% of the calls dispatchers identified as their worst involved the unexpected injury or death of a child. About 13% were suicidal callers, 10% were police-officer shootings and another 10% involved the unexpected death of an adult.

The researchers report that the dispatchers experienced a high level of distress following 32% of potentially traumatic calls and that 3.5% of the dispatchers reported symptoms severe enough to be classified as PTSD.

Not knowing what happens after calls are dispatched is a significant stressor for dispatchers, ABC News reports. “We don’t know the end result. We don’t know if they made it. There is no formal communication back to us,” Monica Gavio, a coordinator for the Burlington County, New Jersey, 911 communications center, told ABC News.

“The results show the need to provide these workers with prevention and intervention support as is currently provided for their front-line colleagues. This includes briefings and training in ways to handle emotional distress,” study researcher and former 911 dispatcher Heather Pierce said in the statement.

In the study, researchers note the potential public safety concerns their findings bring to light:

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms that may be present in telecommunicators can impair decision-making abilities and functioning, which could pose significant risk to the general population that relies on them to quickly and effectively coordinate an emergency response.

The researchers also suggest that their findings could contribute to the debate over the definition of a “traumatic event,” as official guidelines are set to be published next year.

Read More: Time

Breast Cancer Risk May Be Higher With Just One Drink a Day


Consuming as little as one drink a day or less may raise a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study published this week.

European researchers analyzed data from more than 100 studies that looked at the relationship between alcohol consumption and breast cancer and found that having up to one drink per day raised women’s risk for the disease by 4 percent. Three or more drinks per day increased risk by 40 to 50 percent.

“Women should not exceed one drink [per] day, and women at elevated risk for breast cancer should avoid alcohol or consume alcohol occasionally only,” concluded the authors, led by Helmut K. Seitz of the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany.

Previous research has also found a link between light alcohol consumption and elevated breast cancer risk. A study published in November found that as few as three to six drinks per week raised risk by 15 percent.

Some experts said the findings support current recommendations for women to drink in moderation in order to minimize their risk of breast cancer as well as other health conditions. They added that while it’s important to avoid excessive drinking, women should also consider alcohol as one of numerous factors that can play a role in the development of cancer and other illnesses.

“The American Cancer Society guidelines say that for women who don’t drink, there is no reason to start drinking, and not just to prevent breast cancer. It can even prevent heart disease,” said Susan Gapstur, vice president of epidemiology research at the American Cancer Society. “For women who do drink, they should limit their consumption to no more than one drink per day. This study underscores that these guidelines are reasonable.”

Dr. Stefan Gluck, a professor at the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center, argued that although excessive drinking should absolutely be avoided, there is nothing wrong with having one drink a day. The 4 percent increased risk among women who had one drink a day is a very small increase, he said, and other factors play a bigger role.

“There are many other things that are more important,” he said. “If you look at the American Association for Cancer Research report from last year, 30 percent of all cancer deaths were attributable to smoking and another 30 percent were attributable to obesity.”

That same report found alcohol played a role in about 3 percent of cancer deaths.

Gapstur added that even though the study found light drinking elevated risk only moderately, breast cancer is a very common cancer, meaning 4 percent can add up to a lot of women.


Past Studies Contradictory?

Other studies have found that moderate alcohol intake can protect against heart disease.

“A large number of observational studies have consistently demonstrated a reduction in coronary heart disease with moderate alcohol consumption. Prohibiting alcohol consumption would deny a potentially sizable health benefit to people who would otherwise choose to drink,” the American Heart Association says on its website.

The American Heart Association recommends that women have no more than one drink per day.

While she stressed that a drink a day should be the maximum, Gapstur added that women should get an overall picture of their individual risk for different illnesses to get a better sense of what lifestyle changes to make to improve overall health.

“The message continues to be know your health, maintain your health, see your doctor regularly and understand your risk for cancer and heart disease,” she said.

Read More: ABC

Cancer: ‘Book of knowledge’ published

Cells from a cancer line known as HeLa

The first volume of a “book of cancer knowledge” has been published, which scientists say will speed up the search for new cancer drugs.

The “encyclopaedia” details how hundreds of different cancer cells respond to anti-cancer agents.

UK, US and European researchers say the data, published in Nature, is a step towards tailoring cancer medicine to a patient’s genetic profile.

A cancer charity said the work would help in testing new cancer drugs.

Cancer cells grown in the laboratory are an essential tool in cancer research.

Hundreds of different cell lines exist, allowing scientists to study the effect of new cancer drugs on the human body.

Cancer medicines linked to genetic profiles

  • A new drug called vemurafenib offers hope to malignant melanoma patients with certain genetic markers
  • Erlotinib helps some lung cancer patients by targeting a receptor found in some tumours. Another new drug, crizotinib, tackles lung cancer expressing the ALK gene
  • The breast cancer drug Herceptin is given to patients with an overactive HER2 gene
  • The cancer drug imatinib blocks cancer growth in white blood cells of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia carrying a certain gene mutation

Now, a team at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge and various cancer institutes around the world have released two papers cataloguing data on hundreds of cancer cell lines.

The UK team, working with colleagues in the US, Paris and Switzerland, screened more than 600 cancer cell lines with 130 drugs, identifying genetic signatures linked with drug sensitivity.

Already clues are emerging that could be of benefit to patients, including the discovery that a rare bone cancer in children (Ewing’s sarcoma) appears to be vulnerable to certain drugs.

Personalised medicine

Dr Mathew Garnett of the Sanger Institute is lead researcher on one of the two papers published in the journal Nature.

We’re trying to get smarter about understanding what the right drug is using the genetic profile in each tumour”

Dr Levi Garraway Oncologist

He told the BBC: “It’s bringing together two very large and very powerful data sets and asking which cell line is the most sensitive and what is behind that sensitivity.

“This is the largest study of its kind linking drug response with genetic markers. You need these very large studies to identify small subsets of cells that are sensitive to drugs.”

Dr Levi Garraway of The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge, US, is a senior member of the research team behind the second paper, which profiled 24 drugs across nearly 500 cell lines.

He told the BBC: “Developing this large cell-line resource with all the associated genetic details is another piece in the pie to get us to our goal of personalised cancer medicine.

“We’re trying to get smarter about understanding what the right drug is using the genetic information in each tumour. This is a stepping stone along the way.”

The next step is use the information to help decide on tailored treatments for cancer patients.

This would involve getting a genetic “fingerprint” of their tumour, which could be matched to information in the database.

Some cancer drugs are already available for individuals with a certain genetic makeup.

The best known is Herceptin, a breast cancer drug that works in patients with an overactive HER2 gene.

Professor Charles Swanton, based at Cancer Research UK’s London Research Institute, said the papers were “an invaluable resource” that provided “extremely useful intelligence” for cancer researchers.

He added: “This new resource will help speed up cancer research and may well begin to guide further developments in personalised cancer medicine.”

Read More: BBC

New MRSA bacteria test developed by Edinburgh University scientists

Current techniques for detecting MRSA can take a full day


New MRSA bacteria test developed by Edinburgh University scientists

It works by taking swabs from a wound or sores, which are then analysed using a strip with electrical sensors that can detect MRSA.

It is hoped the tests will allow almost immediate detection of the bacteria.

This would allow patients to be given more effective drugs straight away.

The swab samples are currently processed in the laboratory to increase the amount of bacteria present before they are tested with the strips.

But the researchers hope to avoid the need for this in the future by improving the strip’s sensitivity in order to allow the tests to be used in GP practices and people’s homes.

Laboratory tests to confirm whether MRSA is present in a wound can take a full day using conventional techniques.

The new test was developed using swabs from diabetic foot ulcers taken from patients attending NHS Lothian’s Diabetic Foot Clinic at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Detection of MRSA in these patients is important to prevent the spread of infection, which can lead to the amputation of limbs and increase the risk of mortality.

Dr Till Bachman, from the University of Edinburgh’s Division of Pathway Medicine, will present the research behind the test at the Advances in Biodetection and Biosensors conference in the city on Thursday.

He said: “Current tests for MRSA tend to be expensive and not very fast. By developing a rapid and cost-effective test, we would know what kind of infection is present straight away, which will improve the chance of success in treating it.”

Edinburgh scientists are using similar technology to monitor signals that bacteria send to each other to spread infections, and chemicals that patients produce that indicate the wound’s response to the infecting bacteria.

Understanding why bacteria release certain molecules as part of this process will help scientists identify the start of an infection and so treat it promptly.

Read More : BBC

手術加復健 掌握黃金治療期 全身癱瘓進步神速 可寫字、走路






陳 子勇建議急診先注射高單位類固醇,降低發炎反應對神經造成的傷害,當晚轉診至慈濟醫院台中分院,照頸椎核磁共振掃描證實為「外傷性頸椎椎間盤突出合併完全 性脊髓損傷」,手腳不能動、肛門周圍也無知覺,依美國脊髓損傷協會「脊髓損傷嚴重度分級」,傷勢屬於最嚴重的完全損傷。



陳 子勇指出,全身癱瘓要恢復行走功能極不容易。根據文獻報告,脊髓完全損傷的人要恢復到扶助行器走路,機率僅10%,重點在掌握治療黃金期,一受傷應先固定 好頸椎,再搬運送醫,受傷初期注射類固醇,避免神經發炎,並在48小時內進行減壓、固定手術,接下來就要靠家人陪伴,鼓勵他努力不中斷復健。






Tag Cloud