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NEWS:

Women Who Clean At Home Or Work Face Increased Lung Function Decline

Women who work as cleaners or regularly use cleaning sprays or other cleaning products at home appear to experience a greater decline in lung function over time than women who do not clean, according to new research published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

In “Cleaning at Home and at Work in Relation to Lung Function Decline and Airway Obstruction,” researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway analyzed data from 6,235 participants in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. The participants, whose average age was 34 when they enrolled, were followed for more than 20 years.

“While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well documented, we lack knowledge of the long-term impact,” said senior study author Cecile Svanes, MD, PhD, a professor at the university’s Ce

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Device That Measures Cell Strength Could Help Identify Drugs For Asthma, Hypertension

Engineers, doctors and scientists at UCLA and Rutgers University have developed a tool that measures the physical strength of individual cells 100 times faster than current technologies.

The new device could make it easier and faster to test and evaluate new drugs for diseases associated with abnormal levels of cell strength, including hypertension, asthma and muscular dystrophy. It could also open new avenues for biological research into cell force. It is the first high-throughput tool that can measure the strength of thousands of individual cells at a time.

"We took a fresh approach to identify molecules that could serve as drugs to meet an unmet need for new treatments to treat or cure chronic disease," said Dr. Reynold A. Panettieri Jr., study coauthor and professor of medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

"Our new experimental platforms are capable of screening

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Poor Fitness Linked To Weaker Brain Fiber, Higher Dementia Risk

Scientists have more evidence that exercise improves brain health and could be a lifesaving ingredient that prevents Alzheimer’s disease.

In particular, a new study from UT Southwestern’s O’Donnell Brain Institute suggests that the lower the fitness level, the faster the deterioration of vital nerve fibers in the brain. This deterioration results in cognitive decline, including memory issues characteristic of dementia patients.

“This research supports the hypothesis that improving people’s fitness may improve their brain health and slow down the aging process,” said Dr. Kan Ding, a neurologist from the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute who authored the study.

White matter
The study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease focused on a type of brain tissue called white matter, which is comprised of millions of bundles of nerve fibers used by neurons to communicate across the

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Opioid Use Increases Risk Of Serious Infections

Opioid users have a significantly increased risk of infections severe enough to require treatment at the hospital, such as pneumonia and meningitis, as compared to people who don’t use opioids.

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center study, released today by the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that people who use opioids have a 1.62 times higher risk of invasive pneumococcal diseases.

Invasive pneumococcal diseases are serious infections caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, with mortality ranging from 5 to 20 percent. These invasive diseases include a range of illnesses such as meningitis, bacteremia and invasive pneumonia.

“The association between opioid use and the risk of invasive pneumococcal diseases was strongest for opioids used at high doses, those classified as high potency and long-acting, which would be the extended release or controlled release formulations

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