Older women with healthy bones may not need frequent bone scans
The Los Angeles Times
Medical experts say women, beginning in their mid-60s, should be screened for osteoporosis on a regular basis. ...Dr. Margaret L. Gourlay of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, looked at data from 5,035 women age 67 and older who were part of the long-running osteoporosis study called the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Women 65 and older who did not have osteoporosis at the time were enrolled in the study from 1986 to 1988 and had bone-mineral-density testing at least twice during the study.
Taking the 'ouch' out of shots
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
..."If it could be used, it could provide a faster, less painful way to do a shot," said (Dr. Roger) Narayan, a professor in the joint biomedical engineering department of NCSU's College of Engineering and the medical school at UNC Chapel Hill. ...Dr. Harold Pillsbury, a UNC surgeon who has worked with Narayan on several projects, said the widespread use of microneedles is eagerly anticipated in medical circles. "I think this is going to be the new way we do a lot of things," said Pillsbury, chairman of the head and neck surgery department at UNC.
Fewer Bone Screens May Be OK for Some Older Women
Older women may be able to safely avoid getting bone density tests for 10 years if their previous screening scores didn't show signs of problems, a new study suggests. "If a woman's bone density at age 67 is very good, then she doesn't need to be re-screened in two years or three years, because we're not likely to see much change," study lead author Dr. Margaret L. Gourlay of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, said in a university news release.
13 everyday ways to avoid cancer
...Don't forget to put on a hat: Though melanoma can appear anywhere on the body, it's more common in areas the sun hits, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have found that people with melanomas on the scalp or neck die at almost twice the rate of people with the cancer on other areas of the body.
Gene variant protects against alcoholism
United Press International
Many people who get drunk on just a few drinks have a gene variant that may protect them from becoming alcoholics, U.S. researchers say. Dr. Kirk Wilhelmsen of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine says up to 20 percent of people, who react more strongly to alcohol in the first few drinks, may have the gene variant, called CYP2E1.
'Tipsy' alcohol gene 'could help curb alcoholism'
Experts say they have found a "tipsy" gene that explains why some people feel alcohol's effects quicker than others. The US researchers believe 10% to 20% of people have a version of the gene that may offer some protection against alcoholism. That is because people who react strongly to alcohol are less likely to become addicted, studies show. The University of North Carolina said the study aims to help fight addiction, not pave the way for a cheap night out.
Gene has 'big effect' on alcoholism, how quickly you get drunk
You probably know people who get tipsy after a drink or two. Maybe you're one yourself. Over the past several decades, studies of college students have shown that such individuals are one-third to one-half as likely to develop alcoholism as those who drink and drink and drink before they feel drunk. ...The CYP2E1 enzyme works in the brain, which is not the major player in alcohol metabolism, says (Kirk) Wilhelmsen, a genetics professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
Alcohol sensitivity tied to gene
People who feel drunk after relatively few drinks may carry a different version of a gene than others who react less strongly to alcohol, a new study suggests. Researchers at the University of North Carolina estimate 10 per cent to 20 per cent of people have a version of a gene that makes them more sensitive to alcohol. These people feel more inebriated than others after the first few drinks.
Some can delay bone density test 10 years
United Press International
Older women with good bone density at 65 may delay re-testing, U.S. researchers say. Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine suggest the two-year screening interval -- now used for older women over age 65 -- may be extended to 10 years if a woman has a normal bone mineral density score.
Gene may protect against alcoholism
The Los Angeles Times
Some people possess genetic characteristics that give them a low level of response to alcohol. That means they have relatively little reaction to booze and need a lot of drinks to begin feeling an effect. ...The study advances the understanding of why some people become addicted and others do not. But genes aren't the whole story, said the lead author of the study Dr. Kirk Wilhelmsen, a professor of genetics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Doctors urge 'cocooning' for those who can't get flu shot
...That’s why UNC Hospitals is targeting parents and caregivers of children like Adela to get the vaccine themselves. The strategy is called developing a “cocoon of flu protection.” “Since the flu is passed from person to person, if we can protect the people around Adela from getting the flu, then we can also protect the flu from ever getting to Adela,” said UNC pediatrician Dr. Michael Steiner.
Keeping Young Minds Healthy
...About one in five children in the U.S. suffers from some sort of emotional or behavioral condition, according to a new study led by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Among adults with confirmed ills, 50% were diagnosed before the age of 14 and 75% before 24. ..."Childhood is a canary-in-the-coal-mine time," says Dr. Lynn Wegner, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina. "If early signs of mental-health problems aren't correctly managed, they may stay with kids for life."
Gene to protect against alcoholism? (Blog)
Feeling more drunk after a few drinks than your friends? It might not just be in your head. It could be your genes, and understanding it could help prevent alcoholism. Dr. Kirk Wilhelmsen, professor of genetics and neurology with the University of North Carolina, spoke with John Roberts this morning about his new study that identified an alcoholism gene that could protect someone from developing the disease.
Disabilities building opens today
The Chapel Hill Herald
The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities of the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine will celebrate the opening of a new building at 4:30 p.m. today, at 101 Renee Lynne Court. ...Joseph Piven, director of the institute, said that the new building "will facilitate the institute's overarching aim to translate basic science and clinical research findings into real-world interventions in the community. It is our hope that with this new building, the Carolina Institute will be able to expand its contributions to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families throughout the state of North Carolina."
Camera detects early signs of blindness in diabetics
Diabetes is the leading cause of adult blindness, but less than half of diabetics in the United States get the recommended annual vision screening. Physicians at UNC Family Medicine believe that doing vision tests during visits to primary care doctors could be the key to catching retinopathy – a diabetes-related disease that causes blindness – when it's most treatable.