High price of chronic disease
PEOPLE with chronic diseases face serious economic hardship, according to an article published in the MJA today. The authors said significant numbers of Australians were catastrophically affected by illness. Disability had also been found to be associated with more acute measures of economic hardship, and Australia’s out-of-pocket medical costs were higher than many other high-income countries.

Hormone triggers weight loss
A META-analysis has found that treating overweight people with agonists of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) results in weight loss. The research, published in the BMJ, found that the people taking GLP-1R lost an average of 2.9 kg more than those in control groups, regardless of whether they had diabetes. The research was reported by the Herald Sun.

Cancer drug shortage
AN American drug manufacturer has halted production of Doxil, a drug used to treat ovarian cancer and used in the treatment of multiple myeloma, according to a story reported by The Age. The company, which stopped manufacturing the drug because of production problems, expects the drug to be in short supply until late this year. The Medical Oncology Group of Australia says the shortage could affect up to 500 Australian cancer patients.

Embryo transfer trade-offs
A PROSPECTIVE study of more than 120 000 IVF cycles has found that transfer of three embryos does not increase the livebirth rate in women of any age, but increases the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes. The researchers, writing in The Lancet, said the transfer of two embryos led to a better livebirth rate than the transfer of one embryo in all age groups. However, in older women the transfer of two embryos was associated with lower risks of preterm and low birthweight than in younger women, mostly due to older women being less likely to maintain twin pregnancies. The research was reported by ABC Science.

Drink and be happy
DRINKING alcohol induces an endorphin release in areas of the brain that produce feelings of pleasure and reward, according to research from the University of California San Francisco. The research, published in Science Translational Medicine, studied the immediate effects of alcohol on the brains of 13 heavy drinkers and 12 others. The study found that heavy drinkers responded to endorphin release in the orbitofrontal cortex, which suggested that their brains were changed in such a way that it contributed to excessive alcohol consumption. The research, which contributes to the search for new ways to treat alcoholism, was reported by The Canberra Times.

Posted 16 January 2012

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