The most likely causes of brain damage among low birthweight infants are prematurity and infections, not oxygen starvation, a Johns Hopkins study has found. Studying 213 babies born weighing less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces, the researchers noted that the smaller the infants were at birth and the less time they spent in the womb, the more likely they were to have some form of brain damage. Babies born with infections were more likely than those without infections to have brain complications. The report is published in the June issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
An airplane pilot’s experience is a better indication of crash risk than his or her age, Johns Hopkins researchers say. They found in a study of 3,306 commuter plane pilots that those with more than 5,000 hours of flight experience had less than half the risk of a crash than less experienced counterparts. Results are published in the May 15 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
A new study from Johns Hopkins researchers shows the multiple anti-HIV drug regimen called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) saves eyesight as well as lives. A second study led by Johns Hopkins researchers finds that among AIDS patients with longstanding vision problems, those who took HAART reported higher overall quality of life.
Interventional radiology procedures are effective in treating uterine fibroids in patients who have symptoms of the disease without causing infertility or premature menopause, a new study shows.
Uterine fibroids are nourished by blood, says Hyun S. “Kevin” Kim, MD, of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore and the lead author of the study. “We found that if we block the uterine and ovarian arteries feeding the fibroid, the patients symptoms are relieved,” he says. The arteries are blocked (embolized) using special particles or spheres of varying size, notes Dr. Kim. “Larger particles were used to stop the flow of blood. When calibrated spheres were used, there was a significant reduction in the flow of blood,” he adds.
You literally are what you eat, at least when it comes to the amount of abdominal visceral fat, Johns Hopkins researchers say. Studying the food diaries of a group of middle-age adults, they found that the more saturated fats such as butter and lard the group ate, the higher the amount of visceral fat surrounding their internal organs. By contrast, a diet of more polyunsaturated fats like vegetable oils yielded lower visceral fat.
New work by researchers in the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins may allow them to halt the smoking-induced cellular events that lead to 99 percent of all small cell lung cancers (SCLC). The research is reported in the March 5, 2003, issue of Nature. The researchers found that a primitive cellular pathway, called Sonic Hedgehog (named for the cartoon character and spiky hairs it develops on fruit flies) stays turned on long after it should be turned off in some lung cancers.
While day-to-day physical activities such as walking, housework and shopping may be good for your heart, they don’t do much for your bones, according to a Johns Hopkins study. The new report, published in the November issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine, found that neither light-intensity activities nor aerobic fitness level contributed to bone health, contrasting previous studies suggesting that aerobics could play a role. Having a few extra pounds, however, was a help. Among a group of older adults studied, those with greater muscle strength and higher body fat, especially in the abdomen, had higher bone mineral densities.
Researchers have discovered a gene mutation that causes a condition apparently identical to Huntington’s Disease, helping explain why some people with the disorder do not have a separate mutation found in most cases. The finding may help reveal why some diseases, like Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, destroy some brain cells while sparing others. “For all practical purposes this is Huntington’s Disease, yet it’s caused by a different mutation on a completely different chromosome,” said Russell L. Margolis, M.D., associate professor of Psychiatry at Hopkins and director of the Johns Hopkins Laboratory of Genetic Neurobiology. “This is a rare version of an already rare disorder, but the mutation that causes it may not only help us better understand Huntington’s Disease, but could boost our understanding of many other neurodegenerative disorders.”