Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a significant public health problem and may result in a wide range of adverse outcomes for the child. Many Fetal Alcohol Syndrome patients have problems coping with stress; they have learning disabilities, infections, and increased susceptibility to diseases.
New research published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons suggests that pregnant women suspected of having appendicitis are often misdiagnosed and undergo unnecessary appendectomies (removal of the appendix) that can result in early delivery or loss of the fetus. The study points to the need to require more accurate diagnosis to avoid unnecessary operations and the potential for fetal loss.
Researchers have discovered a key protein that controls how stem cells “choose” to become either skeletal muscle cells that move limbs, or smooth muscle cells that support blood vessels, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
In a study of the maternity records of more than 6,000 women, David J.P. Barker, M.D., Ph.D., and Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., of Oregon Health & Science University discovered a strong correlation between the size and shape of a woman’s hips and her daughter’s risk of breast cancer. Wide, round hips, the researchers postulated, represent markers of high sex hormone concentrations in the mother, which increase her daughter’s vulnerability to breast cancer.
Last month a collaboration of European and Asian researchers launched a new attack against the deadly bird flu virus, harnessing the combined power of more than 40,000 computers across 45 countries to boost the pace of antiviral drug discovery.
The benefits of motherhood: Fetal Cell “Transplant” could be a hidden link between childbirth and reduced risk of breast cancer. Some benefits of motherhood are intangible, but one has been validated through biostatistical research: women who bear children have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer.
Some 20 to 40 percent of extremely premature infants suffer abnormal lung development leading to bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a chronic lung disease that can cause long-term breathing problems. Little is known about how to predict whether a premature infant will develop BPD in the weeks after birth, much less how to prevent or treat it. Now, gene-chip studies of these tiny babies’ umbilical cords provide unexpected, much-needed leads into predicting and treating this debilitating condition.
In response to a debate over whether all pregnant women should be screened for subclinical hypothyroid disease, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended against routine screening in a Committee Opinion in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Avian influenza H5N1 virus affects much more than respiratory system: disseminates to gastrointestinal tract, immune and central nervous systems, and can be transmitted mother to fetus through placenta.
H5N1 influenza, also known as avian influenza, is considered a major global threat to human health, with high fatality rates. While little had been known about the specific effects of H5N1 on organs and cells targeted by the virus, researchers at Beijing University, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and SUNY Downstate report in the September 29, 2007 issue of the Lancet detailed studies of human H5N1 victims that shed light on the anatomic distribution of the virus and its pathogenesis.