2011 Study Results
November 23, 2011
Possible new treatment for Lou Gehrig's Disease
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurodegenerative disorder that produces a loss of motor function and, ultimately, results in death.
Genetic researchers at Université Laval have now discovered that two proteins are responsible for ALS, and their findings may bring new hope to those who suffer from this disease.
Led by Dr. Jean-Pierre Julien, the researchers found that a protein called TDP-43 binds to an inflammatory protein called NF-kB p65 in the spinal cords of ALS patients, but not of healthy individuals. The researchers then used an experimental inhibitor called Withaferin A to successfully control this inflammation in mice. It is hoped that this new discovery may lead to an experimental therapy for ALS patients in the future.
The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine and funded in part by CIHR.
November 14, 2011
New research shows steroid medications may slow brain development in preemies
Premature infants exposed to steroid medications after birth are at increased risk for impaired brain development, shows a new study co-authored by investigators at the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children's Hospital and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). The study was published in the October 19, 2011 issue of Science Translational Medicine.
November 4, 2011
Smoking cessation study
Researchers at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal have found that two-thirds of smokers return to smoking after suffering a heart attack.
It was believed that spending time in a hospital following a heart attack motivated smokers to quit, given the gravity of the experience. However, the study – led by principal investigator Dr. Mark Eisenberg – revealed that the majority of middle-aged smokers resume smoking within twelve months, even when treated with drugs that reduce nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
The findings were presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2011, in Vancouver. The study was supported in part by CIHR.
November 3, 2011
More work needed to encourage use of preventive drugs
Each year, around 35 million people worldwide suffer a coronary event, such as heart disease or stroke. Roughly half of these events occur in individuals with pre-existing vascular disease. While effective drugs exist to help prevent the recurrence of heart disease and stroke, a recent study shows that these drugs are not being used as much as they should.
The Prospective Urban-Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study examined the use of preventive drugs (antiplatelet drugs, β blockers, angiotensin-converting-enzyme [ACE] inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers [ARBs], and statins) in individuals with a history of heart disease or stroke. The study found that the use of these preventive medications is low worldwide – particularly in low-income countries and rural areas. As such, the researchers recommend that systematic approaches are needed to increase the use of these basic, inexpensive, and effective drugs.
The study was published in The Lancet and was funded in part by CIHR.
October 25, 2011
Structural Genomics Consortium receives continued support
The international Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) has announced that $48.9 million in new funding has been attained. This renewed investment will allow the SGC to further develop its open access research program to support drug discovery and the development of new medicines. The announcement comes as the SGC on June 30 successfully completed its second phase of funding (2007-2011).
Formed in 2004, the SGC is supported by public and private sector funding and all of its findings are made available to the global research community without restriction. Since its inception, the SGC has contributed more than 1,300 high quality three-dimensional protein structures to the public domain. The wealth of structural information generated by the SGC may impact human health by providing research reagents/protocols and robust frameworks for structure-guided discovery of new medicines for cancer and diabetes, among other diseases and disorders.
New members of the consortium are Eli Lilly Canada and Pfizer Inc. The other consortium funders comprise the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, GlaxoSmithKline, the Novartis Research Foundation, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, and the Wellcome Trust.
More information is available at the SGC website.
October 25, 2011
New Database of Genomic Variants launched
The sequencing of the human genome has brought additional discoveries regarding the differences in the DNA of individuals. These variations have been shown to influence susceptibility to disease and response to treatments. The Database of Genomic Variants (DGV), located in Toronto, has now launched a new-and-improved version of its publicly-available database, which facilitates the translation of genomic information into new diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools for improving health. Created in 2004, DGV is a collaborative effort between The Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto. The newly expanded DGV, funded in part by CIHR, will support thousands of clinical diagnostic centres around the world.
October 21, 2011
Science finding is music to the ears
Older musicians experience less age-related decline in hearing abilities than non-musicians
A study led by Canadian researchers has found the first evidence that lifelong musicians experience less age-related hearing problems than non-musicians.
While hearing studies have already shown that trained musicians have highly developed auditory abilities compared to non-musicians, this is the first study to examine hearing abilities in musicians and non-musicians across the age spectrum – from 18 to 91 years of age.
October 14, 2011
Researcher receives $7.4 million grant for global tobacco control
A CIHR-funded researcher from the University of Waterloo has received the largest operating grant ever awarded for his team's groundbreaking work on tobacco smoking control policies around the world. Dr. Geoffrey Fong has received $7.4 million over five years to support the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project. The ITC Project is measuring the effect of tobacco control policies in 20 countries in order to provide policy-makers with evidence to adopt stronger tobacco control policies. The World Health Organization has identified tobacco use as the world's leading preventable cause of death. Over the last decade, ITC research findings have been particularly useful in low- and middle-income countries, where the tobacco industry is aggressively moving to expand its activity, as smoking in Canada and other high-income countries has been decreasing. In 2009, Fong received a Top Canadian Achievement in Health Research Award from CIHR and the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
October 6, 2011
Memorial University researchers link income, exercise and breakfast to childhood obesity
Income levels and eating breakfast are two factors that determine if a child will be obese. This comes from a recent report released by Dr. Wendy Young, Memorial University's Canada Research Chair in Healthy Aging.
With funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Dr. Young and her team studied a large population of Grade 7 children in Halton, Ont. They looked at the association between body mass index (BMI) and modifiable individual-level risks (such as physical activity and nutrition); modifiable environmental risk factors (such as environments that are human modified, including homes, schools, workplaces and location of physical activity and nutritional environments); and neighbourhood education levels.
September 27, 2011
Powerful antioxidant resveratrol prevents metabolic syndrome in lab tests: U of A study
Researchers in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta have discovered that resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant found in common foods, preventsa syndrome in some offspring that could lead to later health issues such as diabetes.
Resveratrol is found in fruits, nuts and red wine, and has been shown to extend the lifespan of many species.
Human offspring that have trouble growing in the womb have an increased risk of developing metabolic problems later in life. But U of A medical researchers Jason Dyck and Sandra Davidge and their teams found that administering resveratrol to the young offspring of lab rats after weaning actually prevented the development of a metabolic syndrome, which is characterized by glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and higher deposits of abdominal fat.
September 26, 2011
Flu happens! – H1N1 workshop held in Ottawa
The question is not if another pandemic will occur, but when. Decision makers responsible for pandemic preparedness planning need to have access to cutting edge research on which to base their decisions. On September 19 and 20, 2011, researchers from across Canada presented their findings based on H1N1 research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Decision makers and practitioners who work at local, provincial, territorial, and national levels in Canada attended the event. The workshop objectives were to: (a) share and discuss research findings of pandemic H1N1 projects, (b) examine health equity and ethical dimensions of public health approaches to pandemic influenza, (c) consider implications of research findings for strengthening health systems and public engagement, and (d) strengthen links among funded researchers and decision makers to facilitate knowledge translation.
The workshop was sponsored by CIHR, PHAC and the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID). For more information, please contact the CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health (email@example.com).
September 19, 2011
Results of world's largest CPR study
A randomized trial on cardiac arrest has found no benefit to lengthening the duration of CPR. Led by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, the University of Ottawa, and the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium, the study examined firefighters and paramedics who administer CPR. The researchers found no difference in survival rates whether CPR was performed for one minute or three minutes. This finding resolves a worldwide controversy about the procedures for cardiac arrest care. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and was funded in part by a grant from CIHR.
September 15, 2011
School support for ADHD children may be missing the mark
New research from the University of Montreal shows that inattention, rather than hyperactivity, is the most important indicator when it comes to finishing a high school education. "Children with attention problems need preventative intervention early in their development," explained lead author Dr. Jean-Baptiste Pingault, who is also affiliated with Sainte-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital. The researchers came to their conclusion after looking at data collected from the parents and teachers of 2000 children over a period of almost twenty years.
August 26, 2011
Study shows patients less likely to renew prescriptions after hospital stays
A recent CIHR-funded study showed that as many as 19 percent of patients did not renew their prescriptions for their chronic diseases within 90 days after they are released from hospital and that number rose to nearly 23 percent among patients who spent time in the intensive care unit (ICU), The lead author Dr. Chaim Bell from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto explains that ICUs might explain part of the results since temporarily discontinuing many medications for chronic illness during a critical illness is a current practice. Nevertheless, the results of the study, which appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), show the need for better communication among caregivers, improvement of the hospitals computer systems and active patient's participation to ensure they have all their chronic illness medications when discharged.
Study suggests combining cholesterol-lowering foods is more effective than a low-saturated fat diet in reducing cholesterol
A new CIHR- unded study discovered that people with high cholesterol who received counseling regarding a diet that combined cholesterol-lowering foods over 6 months experienced a greater reduction in their lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels than individuals who received advice on a low-saturated fat diet. This study, issued in the current Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), has been conducted by Dr. David Jenkins of St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto to determine whether advice to eat a dietary portfolio consisting of foods associated with lowering serum cholesterol achieved significantly greater percentage decreases in LDL-C levels compared with a control diet at 6-month follow-up. The results indicate the potential value of using recognized cholesterol-lowering foods in combination and might lead to clinical applications' approach.
August 15, 2011
Autism risks for siblings are higher than thought
New results from a CIHR-funded research suggest that one in five children with an autistic older sibling will develop the disorder to a rate much higher than previously thought. Researchers followed 664 infants who had at least one older brother or sister with autism. Although there is no known cause for autism yet, genetics and external influences are often suggested. Dr. Sally Ozonoff, the lead author of this study, noted that siblings might be exposed to similar external influences which might partly explain the results of the study. This discovery might impact parents' decision to have another child and is an important addition to autism research since it might also help younger siblings to be diagnosed at earlier stage. They can then receive behavioral treatment which has best chance to work when started early. This study from the University of California is available online in the journal Pediatrics.
August 15, 2011
Scientists identify two distinct subgroups in common childhood brain cancer
Under the microscope, ependymoma tumours look similar, but in a new study by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University Hospital Heidelberg in Germany, researchers found they are very different. They identified two molecularly and clinically distinct groups of posterior fossa ependymomas and markers to differentiate them. The significance of the findings is underlined by the fact that in one group of patients, almost everyone survives, while in the other group, the majority of patients die from their brain tumour. The study is published in the August 16 advance online edition of Cancer Cell.
August 4, 2011
Genetics research unlocking mysteries of pain perception
Researchers at the Université de Montréal have made a discovery in the area of genetic mutations that reveals more information about how the human body senses pain. Genetic mutations are mistakes in our genetic code that can either be passed from parents to their children, or created when DNA is replicated. It is hoped that this new knowledge will lead to the development of more effective pain relief drugs. The findings were reported in a study entitled "The axonal transporter of synaptic vesicles KIF1A is mutated in hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type 2". The study was published in the American Journal of Human Genetics and was supported by a grant from CIHR.
July 27, 2011
Canadian Researchers uncover a new piece of the puzzle in the development of our nervous system
New research results from Dr. Artur Kania at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal represent a breakthrough in understanding the nervous system. This system contains networks of nerve cells, called nurons, which send signals from one to another. As the nurons develop, they send out axons (long extensions) to connect with other nurons so their signals can be received. To do so, they are guided by molecules called ligands which bind to specific receptors on the surface of the axon. Kania, who is funded by CIHR, found that when a ligand binds to a receptor, it renders the receptor unresponsive to the other ligands nearby. The research, published in the scientific journal Neuron, offers a new way to explain how ligands can produce a vast array of nerve connections.
July 22, 2011
Parasitic worms: Hidden global health threat
One third of the world's population is infected with parasitic worms. Most of these estimated two billion people live in developing countries where clean drinking water and sanitation systems are inadequate. Dr. Theresa Gyorkos, a CIHR-funded researcher, is working to find a solution to this global public health challenge. Her research program focuses on the three population groups at highest risk of worm-attributable morbidity: pregnant women, school-age and preschool-age children. As part of an international team, she is investing her efforts in the WHO Strategic Plan to control intestinal worm infections in more than 100 countries. Dr. Gyorkos received the Canadian Public Health Association's (CPHA) 2011 International Award for her contributions to global public health at the CPHA annual conference.
July 19, 2011
HIV therapies increase life expectancy for people living with HIV in Africa
Dr. Edward Mills, a CIHR-funded scientist, has shown that even in resource-limited settings HIV treatments can result in almost normal life expectancy for those infected. The findings of his analysis, which have been published in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine, demonstrate the importance of early diagnosis and wide-scale access to treatments and draw attention to the need for improved diagnosis and care for infected men. Dr. Mills hopes that the findings will provide comfort to those who are diagnosed, in that HIV no longer needs to be considered a death sentence in resource-limited settings.
Identification of genes in childhood leukemia could mean improved therapies for treatment
CIHR-funded scientists from The University of Western Ontario have been able to identify genes that may be important for preventing childhood leukemia. The discovery, published in BLOOD, the journal of the American Society of Hematology, was led by Dr. Rodney DeKoter. His team has identified two genes that appear to be essential in the prevention of B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), the most common form of ALL in children. Dekoter hopes that this discovery will ultimately lead to improved therapies for childhood leukemia.
July 12, 2011
New treatment for irregular heart beat
Researchers have made a discovery that may lead to an improved therapy for helping those who suffer from an irregular heart beat due to heart failure. Carvedilol has been regarded as one of the most effective beta blockers for preventing ventricular tachyarrhythmias in heart failure. However, the reasons underlying its effectiveness had thus far been unclear. Researchers have now discovered that Carvedilol is the only beta blocker that effectively suppresses a cellular process known as "store overload–induced Ca2+ release" (or SOICR) - a process that could lead to an irregular heart beat and sudden death. A new drug called VK-II-86 has now been developed which maximizes this benefit and has been shown highly effective in treating mice with ventricular tachyarrhythmias. It is expected that this research will lead to improved therapies that can be tailored to help individual patients. The study paper, "Carvedilol and its new analogs suppress arrhythmogenic store overload–induced Ca2+ release" was published in Nature Medicine. The research was funded in part by CIHR.
July 7, 2011
Technology to pave the way to early detection of lung cancer.
A new medical device being developed is said to lead to more rapid and accurate diagnosis of lung cancer. Drs Stephen Lam and Haishan Zeng of the BC Cancer Agency have developed a device, a fiber optic catheter which passes through the bronchioles and into the lungs that will allow for high sensitivity and specificity of diagnostics, reducing the chance of obtaining a false positive detection.
June 30, 2011
A 50-year retrospective on oral contraception
The Institute of Woman Studies from the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Social Sciences will be hosting a conference entitled "Great Expectations: A 50-year retrospective on oral contraception". Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, this event will feature keynote speaker Dr. Carl Djerassi from Stanford University, who is internationally recognized for his contribution to the development of the first oral contraceptive pill. The conference will also present expert panelists, including international scholars and local activists, who will discuss issues surrounding this milestone in reproductive health history. Dr. Christabelle Sethna, leader of this initiative, will welcome participants at the University of Ottawa on July 3, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more details, visit the event website.
June 29, 2011
University of Western Ontario researchers can predict future actions from human brain activity
CIHR funded researchers at the UWO's Centre for Brain and Mind have found a way to predict what action a subject intends to do, before it happens, by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to analyse signals from many brain regions. The study, published this week in the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience, is an important step forward in understanding how the human brain plans actions. The findings bring researchers closer to harnessing brain signals to control prosthetic limbs in movement-impaired patient populations.
Launch of websites dedicated to teens with scoliosis and their parents
AboutKidsHealth.ca announced it has launched sites dedicated to teens with scoliosis and their parents. Written in collaboration with the orthopedic experts at The Hospital for Sick Children and throughout Canada, AboutKidsHealth.ca now offers information about scoliosis in teenagers concerning the symptoms, diagnosis, complications, and treatment. The information is designed to help young people who have scoliosis understand their condition and make decisions about whether to have surgery.
June 28, 2011
Canada's first bike-friendliness index in Vancouver
A team of University of British Columbia researchers, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, have created Canada's first Bikeability Index. This innovative tool scores neighbourhoods on how bike friendly they are by measuring variables such as the street connectivity, topography, and land use. Presented in colour-coded maps, the results can help citizens to identify healthy neighbourhoods and assist urban planners in prioritizing locations that need improvement. For 2012, additional CIHR funding will allow cyclists from across Canada to benefit from this tool as it will become available in many Canadian cities.
June 24, 2011
Good bacteria for your gut: Benefits of probiotics
Your body needs a balance between different kinds of bacteria to stay healthy, and often good bacteria like probiotics are being muscled out by hard living, stress and antibiotics. A recent Journalist workshop hosted by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research brought together experts on bacteria to discuss the importance of bringing good bacteria back into our bodies. An article published on June 20, 2011 discusses how probiotics work and the benefits they have for your health.
June 21, 2011
Heart defibrillator study shows importance of timing
When a person suffers a heart attack, a defibrillator is often used to administer an electric shock to help resuscitate the patient. A new study has found a significant increase in patient survival when a defibrillator is used less than 10 seconds after a pause in CPR. Conversely, the rate of survival drops significantly if the pause between stopping CPR and using a defibrillator is longer than 20 seconds. The study was led by a team of researchers at St. Michael's Hospital, in Toronto, and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The study was funded in part by CIHR.
June 16, 2011
Summary of Pharmaceutical Survey Findings on R&D Spending and Investments by Rx&D Members - 2010
In Canada, pharmaceutical R&D is measured and reported by both Statistics Canada and the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB). Each agency applies a somewhat different methodology and analyzes different target populations in an effort to fulfill their mandates.
While these agencies capture a large part of Canadian pharmaceutical R&D activities, not all R&D investments in the pharmaceutical industry are captured comprehensively by the existing measurement and reporting models.
In January 2011, a collaborative project involving Rx&D, Industry Canada , PMPRB, and CIHR, was launched to identify the nature and size of the pharmaceutical industry's investment spending in Canada. A Steering Committee chaired by Industry Canada guided the project and a survey of Rx&D members was conducted, leading to this report.
Developing comprehensive data on R&D investments is critical to gaining a better understanding of the full spectrum of Canadian R&D in the life sciences sector and ensuring its future competitiveness. This report, based on the survey of Rx&D members, is a starting point in developing this fuller picture.
June 3, 2011
New discovery in autism research
Scientists have now discovered consistent differences in gene expression between normal and autistic brains. A team of researchers from UCLA, the University of Toronto, and King's College London analyzed healthy and autistic brain tissue samples and found that those with autism had a different gene expression pattern, in part because of gene splicing abnormalities. These findings will lead to a better understanding of the underlying causes of the disorder. The study, entitled "Transcriptomic analysis of autistic brain reveals convergent molecular pathology," was published in the journal Nature and was funded in part by CIHR.
June 2, 2011
Speaking the Unspoken: Masculinity and Body Image in Health Education
From June 6-8, 2011, a CIHR-funded international symposium will be held in Ottawa on the relationship between masculinity and body image and health education. The forum will examine the impact that school physical activities have on the concepts of masculinity and competitiveness. While the impacts of body image on young women have been well studied, recent trends with adolescent males dropping physical education indicate a need to study the male side of the equation as well. This symposium will bring together international researchers, educators, health partners, and policy makers with the aim of building a community of individuals interested in this topic.
Research at McMaster identifies key protein in prostate cancer development
One in 6 men develop prostate cancer in their lifetime, and if diagnosed and treated early enough, many types are treatable. Dr. Damu Tang and his team at McMaster University have recently discovered the role of protein - MAN2C1 - in prostate cancer development, which is associated with a more aggressive form of the disease. According to this CIHR funded research, the protein is reducing the function of the protein PTEN, a powerful tumor suppressor. With the reduction of PTEN, the risks of cancer recurrence increases. Therefore, the identification of patients with high levels of MAN2C1 may help identify those that require more aggressive forms of treatment, and future studies could lead to the development of novel therapies.
Researchers discover gene linked to heart aging
A gene has been identified inside the nucleus of muscle and brain cells that affects heart development and its aging process. Discovered by researchers at the Ottawa Heart Institute, the finding may lead to new treatments for heart disease. The gene has been named Muscle-enriched A-type Lamin Interacting Protein (or MLIP). The researchers are continuing to study the gene to learn how it works and better understand how people lose cardiac function. The research was funded by CIHR and the findings have been published electronically in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
May 16, 2011
Study reveals that dogs help their owner remain physically active year-round
Researchers at the University of Calgary published study results showing that man's best friend plays a positive role in the maintenance of a healthy, active lifestyle. A total of 428 participants contributed to this CIHR funded study, of which 115 indicated owning dogs at the time of both surveys. Dog-owners reported more walking for recreation in their neighborhoods than did non-owners. Melanie Rock, director of the University of Calgary's Population Health Intervention Research Centre (PHIRC), and medical student and lead author Prabh Lail published this study where 63% of the dog-owners reported walking their dog in both summer and winter similarly. PHIRC is a CIHR Centre for Research Development in Population Health.
Dog-ownership may provide a social support that encourages walking. By acting as cues for physical activity, dogs may help their owners remain active across seasons. Health professionals should discuss dog-ownership as a way to promote physical and mental health via regular physical activity. Also, initiatives such as dog-sharing programs and pet-friendly housing may help increase physical activity and may assist in enhancing population health.
May 9, 2011
Study suggests bodychecking increases brain injuries in minor hockey
While professional hockey players, coaches and team owners grapple with how to handle the rise in head injuries in the big leagues, a new study suggests that we need to pay attention to the same injuries caused by body checking in minor hockey. The study, led by Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, found that body checking is the most common cause of all injuries among minor hockey players in Ontario. It also showed that body checking increased the risk of brain injury among players of all ages. The most vulnerable were atom hockey players (9 and 10 year-olds) whose risk of brain injury has increased 10 times since body checking was first allowed at that level ten years ago. "While hockey is fun and a good form of exercise, we need to be pay serious attention to the injuries being suffered by kids who play the game," said Dr. Jane Aubin, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis. "This study provides clear evidence that we need to find ways of improving the safety of hockey while preserving the enjoyment and health benefits that kids get from the game." The study was published online in the journal Open Medicine. Dr. Cusimano leads the CIHR Team in Traumatic Brain Injury and Violence.
February 24, 2011
New study by Canadian researchers says alcohol cuts heart risk. Let's drink to that (in moderation).
We already know that having a drink or two every day can be beneficial to our health. However, when we get to heavier drinking, the benefits stop and can be reversed. But where is the line?
CIHR-funded researchers studied the question more in depth. Their work, published in the British Medical Journal, showed a showed a 14% to 25% reduction in heart disease in moderate drinkers compared with people who had never drunk alcohol. They recommend limiting one's daily consumption of alcohol to two glasses a day.
Mobile lab takes to Ontario streets to study addictions and mental health (Mobile-Lab)
Help is on the way for people in rural Ontario who have to endure long wait times for psychiatric care. Canada's largest mental health and addiction hospital is launching a mobile research lab devoted to studying addictions and psychiatric care. Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's hospital on wheels features computers, breathalyzers, a scale to measure body fat and another to measure brain activity. It will allow the organization to analyze the needs of drug addicts and people with mental illness in hard-to-reach communities. The organization hopes to find out where the needs are greatest and is looking into getting a second truck to then deliver services. The truck's first stop will be Port Colborne in southern Ontario to study how high unemployment relates to long wait times for psychiatric care.
February 16, 2011
Exercise training may improve post-thrombotic syndrome
Chronic post-thrombotic syndrome develops in up to 50% of patients with deep vein thrombosis (blood clots). It can cause leg pain, heaviness, swelling, water retention, hyper-pigmentation, varicose veins, and leg ulcers. This condition affects about 45,000 Canadians each year.
A CIHR-funded pilot study has shown great promise in helping to alleviate these symptoms. The six-month exercise program is designed to increase leg strength, leg flexibility, and overall cardiovascular fitness and may be an effective treatment for post-thrombotic syndrome. "Given that effective treatments are lacking, new approaches to managing post-thrombotic syndrome are needed," says lead researcher Dr. Susan Kahn. "These results provide the rationale to move forward with a larger, definitive trial of exercise training to treat post-thrombotic syndrome."
February 14, 2011
Heart patients should be referred to cardiac rehabilitation
Referring heart patients to a cardiac rehabilitation program - before they leave the hospital - can reduce their risk of dying and improve their quality of life. Researchers at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, in Ontario, have found a way to increase these referrals.
The CIHR-funded study, entitled "Effect of Cardiac Rehabilitation Referral Strategies on Utilization Rates," was published in the February 14 edition of the Journal Archives of Internal Medicine. The study found that a checklist or electronic referral, coupled with talking to their patients can increase referrals by 45%. By targeting both healthcare providers and patients, over 70% of the patients in this study enrolled in cardiac rehab.
February 3, 2011
Diabetes drug may advance Alzheimer's research
CIHR funded scientists have found that a drug originally intended for diabetes may hold great importance for Alzheimer's research. Dr. Jack Jhamandas of the University of Alberta has discovered that the drug AC253 blocks a protein that is deposited in large quantities in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. This beta amyloid protein, which is linked to the cause of Alzheimer's, makes brain cells toxic and eventually causes them to die. This study was published in the prestigious peer-reviewed American Journal of Pathology.
January 13, 2011
Why does music give you the chills?
Scientists have found that the pleasurable experience of listening to music releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain important for more tangible pleasures associated with rewards such as food and sex. The new study from The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro at McGill University also reveals that even the anticipation of pleasurable music induces dopamine release [as is the case with food and sex cues]. Published in the prestigious journal Nature Neuroscience, the results suggest why music, which has no obvious survival value, is so significant across human society. CIHR partly supported this research.