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NIH Research Matters

June 2008 Archive

June 30, 2008

Photo of an older man using a laptop computer.

Online Care Helps Control Blood Pressure

Patients with high blood pressure who received Web-based care from a pharmacist showed greater improvement in controlling their condition than patients who received standard medical care, according to a new study. The finding suggests that Web-based tools may help to engage patients in their own care and lead to improved health.

Microscope image of several globular cells stained purple.

Blocking Protein Kills Myeloma Cells in Laboratory

Researchers have found that blocking the production of a single protein in cells from a blood-borne cancer called multiple myeloma eliminates the cancer cells in laboratory models. The cells rely on the activity of this protein to activate a wide range of genes responsible for cell survival and spread, highlighting it as a potentially powerful therapeutic target.

Illustration of two metal discs with spacers separating them.

Adding “Color” to MRI

MRI may be widely used, but the technology is still essentially where black and white film was in the early 20th century. Researchers have now figured out a way to add the equivalent of color to MRI. The advance could help doctors tell different structures and types of cells apart in images of your insides.

June 23, 2008

Photo of a person taking a waist measurement.

Wide Waists Boost Mortality Risk

People with excess weight have increased health risks, doctors have long known. But now a new study suggests that even people in the normal weight range for their heights have increased risks, too, if their waists are wide.

Photo of cigarettes snuffed out in a communal ashtray.

Success Quitting Smoking Based Partly on Genetics

Smokers' genetic make-up influences their chances for successful quitting. According to a new study, it may also help determine which treatment is most likely to help them quit.

Photo of a person administering a blood glucose test.

Intensive Blood Sugar Control in Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes, particularly those at risk for heart attack and stroke, need to keep their blood sugar from getting too high. But a new study of adults with type 2 diabetes at high risk for cardiovascular problems found that tighter control isn't always better. A therapeutic strategy to tightly control blood sugar not only failed to reduce their risk of major cardiovascular events; it actually raised their risk of death.

June 9, 2008

Photo of a mother of African descent with her infant.

Preventing HIV Transmission from Mother to Infant in Poor Regions

In many poor countries, mothers with HIV face a stark choice: to nurse their infants and risk passing on HIV through their breast milk, or formula feed and deprive their infants of the natural benefits of breast milk. Two new studies shed light on HIV transmission between breastfeeding mothers and their infants in resource-poor areas.

Photo of a rat.

Brain Changes Accompany Cocaine Withdrawal and Craving

Researchers have found that brain levels of a protein receptor rise, along with certain drug-seeking behaviors, after rats lose their access to cocaine. The finding may help explain why cocaine craving intensifies in the weeks and months after drug use ends. The research may also aid development of new drugs for preventing relapse.

Photo of a young girl staring away from the camera.

Researchers Find Rett Syndrome Gene is Full of Surprises

A new study has transformed scientists' understanding of Rett syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes autistic behavior and other disabling symptoms.

June 2, 2008

Photo of a crushed cigarette.

Smokers Band Together and Quit Together

When smokers kick the habit, chances are they’re in good company. A new study finds that changes in smoking behavior often spread through social networks, with spouses, friends, siblings and co-workers deciding to light up or stub out their cigarettes for good around the same time. A better understanding of how social networks affect smoking behavior may lead to more effective ways to prevent or reduce smoking.

Photo of two patients on dialysis.

Intensive Dialysis No Better Than Standard for Acute Kidney Injury

Researchers found no significant difference in death rates or other outcomes between patients with acute kidney injury that received intensive dialysis or those who received a more standard regimen of dialysis.

Panel on left shows network of long fibers.  Panel on right shows grainy material with no trace of fibers.

Molecule Dissolves Fibers Found in Alzheimer's Disease Patients

Alzheimer's disease is marked by clumps of protein fibers called amyloids that accumulate around nerve cells in the brain. There are currently no effective treatments, but researchers have recently identified several small molecules that can break up amyloids in the laboratory. A new study reveals how these small molecules affect amyloids, providing insight into potential future treatments for this devastating disease.

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About NIH Research Matters

Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Assistant Editors: Vicki Contie, Carol Torgan, Ph.D.

NIH Research Matters is a weekly update of NIH research highlights from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health.

This page last reviewed on December 3, 2012

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