Columbia University health news articles

Dietary cocoa flavanols reverse age related memory decline
Dietary cocoa flavanols—naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa—reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, revealed by researchers in Nature Neuroscience.

Ruxolitinib and tofacitinib restore hair in patients with alopecia areata
Researchers have identified the immune cells responsible for destroying hair follicles in people with alopecia areata, a common autoimmune disease that causes hair loss, and have tested an FDA-approved drug that eliminated these immune cells and restored hair growth in a small number of patients.

Age Related Memory Loss is reversible
The researchers have identified a protein-RbAp48-that, when increased in aged wild-type mice, improves memory back to that of young wild-type mice. They have found that deficiency of a protein called RbAp48 in the hippocampus is a significant contributor to age-related memory loss and that this form of memory loss is reversible.

Folic acid in pregnancy lowers autism risk in baby
Prenatal folic acid supplements appear to reduce the risk for autistic spectrum disorders. It is estimated that about 1 in 88 children in the U.S. have been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

PEPFAR HIV AIDS programs and maternal health services
While HIV programs provide lifesaving care and treatment to millions of people in lower-income countries, there have been concerns that as these programs expand, they divert investments from other health priorities such as maternal health. Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health assessed the effect of HIV programs supported by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) on access to maternal health care in sub-Saharan Africa for women who are not infected with HIV.

Nicotine primes brain for drug abuse like cocaine
Cigarettes and alcohol serve as gateway drugs, which people use before progressing to the use of marijuana and then to cocaine and other illicit substances; this progression is called the "gateway sequence" of drug use.

65 million more obese in US and 11 million more in UK by 2030
The rising prevalence of obesity around the globe places an increasing burden on the health of populations, on healthcare systems and on overall economies. A major challenge for researchers is to quantify the effect of these burdens to inform public policies.

mChip can revolutionize medical care around the world
New low-cost diagnostics like the mChip can revolutionize medical care around the world, revealed by researcher in US. Microfluidics-the manipulation of small amounts of fluids-and nanoparticles can be successfully leveraged to produce a functional low-cost diagnostic device in extreme resource-limited settings.

Prenatal exposure to insecticide linked to decreases in cognitive functioning at age 7
Researchers from the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health report evidence of a link between prenatal exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos and deficits in IQ and working memory at age seven.

49% breast cancer patients adhere to hormonal therapy regimen
A new study of nearly 8,800 women with early-stage breast cancer found that fewer than half ? approximately 49 percent ? completed their full regimen of hormone therapy according to the prescribed schedule.

New gene in hair loss identified
A team of investigators from Columbia, Rockefeller and Stanford Universities has identified a new gene involved in hair growth, as reported in a paper in the April 15 issue of Nature.

H1N1 influenza severity linked to Streptococcus pneumoniae
The presence of the Streptococcus pneumoniae in samples that can be easily obtained in clinics and emergency rooms may predict risk of severe disease in H1N1 pandemic influenza.

Metals and diesel emissions lead to respiratory symptoms in children
Exposure shortly after birth to ambient metals from residential heating oil combustion and particles from diesel emissions are associated with respiratory symptoms in young inner city children.

Mediterranean diet and exercise lower Alzheimer's disease risk
Both being more physically active and adhering to a Mediterranean-type diet appears to be associated with reduced Alzheimer's risk, according to a new report in the August 12, 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Blood sugar level linked to cognitive aging
Maintaining blood sugar levels, even in the absence of disease, may be an important strategy for preserving cognitive health, suggests a study published by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC).

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