Aging

 Benzodiazepines, the commonly prescribed sleeping pills and sedatives, may increase the risk of contracting pneumonia by as much as 50% and increase the risk of dying from it, suggests a new paper. 

Benzodiazepines have a wide range of uses and are commonly prescribed for anxiety, epilepsy, muscle spasm, and insomnia.

Benzodiazepines

are also frequently used in palliative care, as a sedative, and to help those with an alcohol problem to "dry out." Around 2 percent of the US and UK population have taken benzodiazepines for 12 months or more, and among the elderly this prevalence rises 10 percent.


We'll never cure things that shorten life span, like cancer and aging, but a roadmap to under cells at the molecular level might one day help push them to the background, and so a team of researchers at University of Wisconsin-Madison have created an "atlas" that maps more than 1,500 unique landmarks within mitochondria that could provide clues to the metabolic connections between caloric restriction and aging. 


A researcher has discovered a critical reason why women experience fertility problems as they get older. The solution could be simple — putrescine water.

Putrescine is naturally produced in mammals by an enzyme called ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and is easily absorbed and cleared by the body. In female mammals, ODC levels are known to rise during ovulation, when the egg cell matures and is released from the ovary.  Dr. Johné Liu, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and professor at the University of Ottawa, has shown that ODC levels rise very little in older females. He has also shown that inhibiting ODC levels in young mice leads to an increase in egg cells with chromosomal defects. 


The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion, recommending the granting of a marketing authorization for BETMIGA[ (mirabegron) for the symptomatic treatment of urgency, increased micturition frequency and/or urgency incontinence as may occur in adult patients with overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome. 

The opinion now needs ratification by decision of the European Commission which is expected within the next 74-90 days. If approved, mirabegron will be the first in a new class of OAB treatment, offering healthcare professionals an alternative option to antimuscarinics (currently the only licensed oral treatment option) when treating patients with OAB.


Implemented in 2006, Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D) spent $65.8 billion for prescription drugs in 2011, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But Medicare beneficiaries are overpaying by hundreds of dollars annually because of difficulties selecting the ideal prescription drug plan for their medical needs, an investigation by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health reveals.  Their work also could be useful in designing health insurance exchanges, which are state-regulated organizations created under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") to offer standardized health care plans.
Researchers have identified a key factor responsible for declining muscle repair during aging, and discovered how to halt the process in mice - using a common drug. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Boston Scientific Corporation regulatory approval for its S-ICD(R) System, the world's first and only commercially available subcutaneous implantable defibrillator (S-ICD) for the treatment of patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Sudden cardiac arrest is an abrupt loss of heart function. Most episodes are caused by the rapid and/or chaotic activity of the heart known as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Recent estimates show that approximately 850,000 people in the United States are at risk of SCA and indicated for an ICD device, but remain unprotected


It's very likely that whichever prostate cancer treatment you choose - prostatectomy surgery, hormone therapy, brachytherapy, external beam radiation, or HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound) - you will see an impact on your sex life. Exactly how depends on which method you choose and your dedication to getting back in bed.

"Once patients are assured that they will have sex after prostate removal surgery, they can shift their focus to enjoying sex as soon as possible," encourages Dr. David Samadi, creator of the SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) robotic prostate removal surgery.


I'm a big fan of stem cell technology and its future promise to do all kinds of pretty amazing things to fix up the human body.

However, at the same time, bionics is pretty freaking remarkable as well, and holds enormous potential for improving human life and treating certain injuries.

So I wonder which holds more promise: Bionics or stem cells? In the bionics vs stem cells biomedical battle, which wins say in 10 years from today?

Of course both may be instrumental or even synergistic, but for some conditions both technologies hold competing approaches.

For example?
liquid_nitrogen2011-12

When I was a kid I remember hearing about people having themselves frozen or even just their heads frozen shortly after death.

The idea was to cheat mortality by preserving oneself or critical parts of oneself until some future date when scientists and doctors would have learned how to thaw you out and save you.