Teen survival: a self-fulfilling prophecy
YOUNG people’s expectations that they will not live long, healthy lives may well predict this outcome, according to research published in PLoS ONE. Using the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, researchers found that adolescents who expressed expectations of early death in the first waves of the study were more likely than others to engage in risky behaviour more than a decade later, independent of depressive symptoms. The researchers said their findings might help to identify at-risk youth.

Predicting pain after knee replacement
RESEARCHERS have identified significant preoperative predictors of pain after total knee replacement, according to a study published in Pain. Higher levels of preoperative movement pain, von Frey pain intensity and heat pain threshold predicted moderate or severe movement pain postoperatively. Predictors for moderate-to-severe pain at rest after knee replacement were higher levels of resting pain before surgery, depression and younger age. Aggressive management of pain and depression before surgery may help recovery after surgery, the authors said.

One in five take glucosamine
MORE than 20% of Australians aged 45 years and over regularly take glucosamine supplements for osteoarthritis, a study of more than 250 000 people has found. The research from the 45 and Up study, published in PLoS ONE, found that glucosamine use was higher in women. The researchers urged health care practitioners to ask patients about their use of glucosamine, and to provide good-quality information because of concerns over potential interactions with common medications such as warfarin.

Resistance to rabies found
THERE is strong evidence that some humans can survive exposure to rabies virus without treatment, researchers say. They tested people in remote communities in the Peruvian Amazon who were exposed to vampire bats and found 10% appeared to have survived exposure to the virus without any medical intervention. According to the study, which was published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the results open the door to the idea that there may be some type of natural resistance. An accompanying editorial said the discovery showed the potential for the use of whole genome sequencing to help develop new, life-saving treatments for rabies infections.

New treatment for leg ulcers
A NOVEL spray-applied cell therapy has shown promise in treating venous leg ulcers. Researchers tested the treatment, which contained allogeneic neonatal keratinocytes and fibroblasts, on 228 patients with venous leg ulcers. All patients were also treated with compression bandages. Those who received the new treatment healed faster and had greater likelihood of wound closure than those in the control group, according to the study, which was published in The Lancet. The authors said the treatment could vastly improve recovery times without the need for a skin graft.

Posted 6 August 2012

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