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Jun 19, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE DRUG HAS LASTING EFFECTS
An Indiana University study finds the drug Exelon suppresses symptoms and slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease even after patients stop taking it. Exelon, or rivastigmine tartrate, is prescribed to patients who have mild to moderate Alzheimer's. Researchers say a study of people who discontinued treatment found 26 weeks later they still showed less cognitive decline than patients who had used a placebo. Exelon is a cholinesterase inhibitor, a laboratory-produced agent designed to enhance memory and other cognitive functions by influencing chemical activities in the brain that are affected by Alzheimer's disease.
VIGOROUS BRUSHING CAN HARM TEETH
Brushing teeth longer and harder than necessary does not get them cleaner and can cause oral health problems. A University of Newcastle upon Tyne study using electric toothbrushes found increasing the duration of brushing and the pressure applied to teeth only increases bacterial removal to a point. Beyond that, researchers say, abrasion of tooth enamel or gums becomes a problem. It's easy to time how long to brush but the study points out it is difficult for people to gauge how vigorously they should brush. The study found after two minutes of brushing, at a pressure higher than 150 grams, removal of additional plaque from teeth declined.
ANDROGENS BUILD STRENGTH, NOT MUSCLE QUALITY
Androgen supplements, such as the male hormone testosterone, increase strength by adding muscle mass but do not add muscle quality. University of Southern California researchers say androgens increase lean body mass but combining the supplement with resistance training, such as weight lifting, can result in gains in strength that outpace the amount of muscle added by androgens alone. Each muscle cell packs a bigger punch, a concept known as improved muscle quality, the USC studies said. The researchers said androgen therapy alone improves strength only proportional to the muscle mass added. The findings could have implications for using androgen therapy in treating wasting among HIV-positive patients.
CHEMOEMBOLIZATION ZAPS LIVER CANCER
A minimally invasive procedure that delivers chemotherapy directly to a tumor and cuts off its blood supply is helping liver cancer patients live longer. Chemoembolization has helped patients live up to three years longer with a sustained quality of life, say researchers from Johns Hopkins. Liver cancer is one of the most deadly cancers in the world. The best treatment is surgical removal of the cancerous tumor or a liver transplant but only about 15 percent of patients are eligible for those treatments. Chemoembolization is done by directing a catheter into an artery supplying blood to the liver tumor. A high dose of chemotherapy agents are sent to the tumor, along with an embolizing material that closes the blood vessels leading to the tumor, trapping the chemotherapy drugs inside. Once the blood supply is cut off and the chemotherapy begins to work, the tissue breaks down and the tumor dies.
(EDITORS: For more information about EXELON, contact Mary Hardin at (317) 274-7722 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For TOOTHBRUSH, Peter Heasman, 44-191-222-7824 or email@example.com, for ANDROGENS, Jon Weiner, (323) 442-2830 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and for CHEMOEMBOLIZATION, Maureen Morley, (630) 590-7754 or email@example.com)
Copyright 2003 by United Press International.