Researchers make discovery after shuttle flight

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas have discovered the mechanism that causes lightheadedness and a brief loss of consciousness in astronauts following their missions, according to a recent press release.

In research conducted aboard a 16-day space shuttle mission, researchers found that orthostatic intolerance, the condition responsible for dizziness, is due to the heart stiffening and shrinking.

Two-thirds of astronauts experience this condition in the upright posture after their flight, as well as 500,000 other Americans.

Drugs can prevent and potentially reverse the condition. An increase in salt and water consumption and exercise can have the same effect.

The study examined the blood pressure and cardiovascular system of six male astronauts at various times before and throughout the day that the Neurolab space shuttle mission landed.

Results of this study appear in this month”s issue of The Journal of Physiology.

Antibiotics better for inflammation in stomach lining

Rather than reducing the amount of acid in the stomach to calm down the burning sensation caused by lining inflammation, University Medical School researchers suggest people take antibiotics, according to a recent press release.

In two experiments using laboratory mice, researchers found that antibiotics killed the bacteria that cause gastritis most effectively and eliminated stomach inflammation.

The antibiotic used, called omeprazole, was a proton pump inhibitor, which blocks acid production.

Researchers also examined the role of gastrin in acid production, using a strain of transgenic mice that could not produce it.

Gastritis develops from people eating food or drinking water contaminated with a number of bacteria, including Helicobacter pylori, which infects 75 percent of people with gastritis.

Because H. pylori cannot be killed by hydrochloric acid, researchers excluded its presence to better study the relationship between other bacteria and gastric acid.

Untreated gastritis can lead to peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.

Early diagnosis for aortic dissection can save lives

Aortic dissection, which is a surging of blood from the heart into its main artery, causing a rip in the lining, kills one of every three patients who enter the hospital for the condition. But University Cardiovascular Center researchers have discovered new techniques to identify sufferers who are likely to die quickly, according to a recent press release.

The findings of the study will help physicians to make speedy treatment decisions on surgical procedures and to lessen complications.

The research examined 547 patients who were treated at 18 hospitals across the world for type A acute aortic dissections, the most common and serious type of this condition. Variables included age, gender, blood pressure and previous medical history.

The mean age of the patients was 62, and 65.5 percent of the patients were male. Eighty percent of the people had surgery, of which 27 percent died during their hospital stay.

Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter Lisa Hoffman.

Fewer negative consequences face Chinese-American smokers

Chinese-American smokers inhale less nicotine per cigarette, metabolize nicotine more slowly, have relatively low occurrence of lung cancer, and tend to smoke less than Caucasians and Latinos, according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco.

Chinese smokers metabolize nicotine at a rate two-thirds lower than other ethnic groups, which keeps a larger amount of nicotine in their systems to satisfy their cravings.

Ninety percent of lung cancers are due to smoking, and Chinese are five times less likely to develop lung cancer from smoking then Caucasians in the United States.

Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter Lisa Hoffman.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.