2009 Press Releases

  • Link Between Cardiac Deaths and the Holidays is Focus of December Life Lines

    Released December 14, 2009 - Why would heart attack deaths spike during the holidays? The researchers considered a variety of possibilities, but concluded that emotional stress associated with the holidays is a primary factor. Episode 28 of the podcast, Life Lines.
  • Five Exercises Can Reduce Neck, Shoulder Pain of Women Office Workers

    Released November 18, 2009 - Strength training exercises using dumbbells can reduce pain and improve function in the trapezius muscle, the large muscle which extends from the back of the head, down the neck and into the upper back. The exercises also improve the muscle's ability to respond quickly and forcefully among women suffering trapezius myalgia, a tenderness and tightness in the upper trapezius muscle. The results are the latest findings from an ongoing Danish study aimed at reducing repetitive strain injury caused by office work.
  • Estrogen and Stroke Risk

    Released November 3, 2009 - Stroke, also known as a brain attack, is America’s third leading cause of death. It typically occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked, usually due to a clogged artery. When a stroke occurs, brain damage can result, especially in the area known as the hippocampus, thought to be the site for memory, memory loss, and learning. Despite the possible link between estrogen and stroke many women continue to take the hormone to manage their menopausal symptoms. A new study provides support for the theory that there may be a “critical period” for beneficial protective effect of estrogen on the brain – e.g. that of estrogen replacement may need to be initiated prior to or at the time of menopause if estrogen is to protect the brain. Additional studies will need to confirm the findings.
  • APS Endorses Report on Random Source Dogs and Cats

    Released October 29, 2009 - The American Physiological Society has announced it has endorsed the recommendation of a National Academy of Sciences report calling for the identification of new suppliers to replace Class B dealers as providers of random source dogs and cats for medical research.
  • Probiotic Found to Be Effective Treatment for Colitis In Mice

    Released October 26, 2009 - The probiotic, Bacillus polyfermenticus, can help mice recover from colitis, a new study has found.
  • A Woman in Space

    Released October 6, 2009 - In the early years of the “space race” (1957-1975) two men sought to test a scientifically simple yet culturally complicated theory: that women might be innately better suited for space travel than men. In 1960 the thought of a woman in space was a radical one, and justifiably so. On the ground 75% of American women did not work outside the home and females were banned from military flight service altogether. In marriage, wives were required to have their husband’s permission to take out a bank loan, buy property, or purchase large household goods such as a refrigerator. Despite the social odds, a Harvard-educated surgeon and a U.S. Air Force General sought to determine if, from a purely practical perspective, women were suitable for space flight.
  • A Simple Way for Middle Aged & Older Adults to Assess How Stiff Their Arteries Are: Reach for their Toes

    Released October 6, 2009 - How far you can reach beyond your toes from a sitting position - normally used to define the flexibility of a person's body - may be an indicator of how stiff your arteries are.
  • APS Podcast Updates Research on Elephant Seismic Communication

    Released September 18, 2009 - In Episode 25 of the APS podcast, Life Lines, a Stanford University professor explains how elephant vocalizations travel through the ground for great distances, and how other elephants can understand them, just as they understand acoustic sound, which travels through the air.
  • The Story of The Development of Noninvasive Heart Care

    Released September 14, 2009 - Fifty-one years ago the average American home cost $30,000, Elvis Presley wooed listeners with Hard Headed Woman, and the hula hoop was introduced. That same year, 1958, a team comprised of a groundbreaking engineer -- Dean Franklin -- in concert with two exceptional physicians -- Drs. Robert Rushmer and Robert Van Citters -- was laying the foundation for what would eventually become a radical new approach to health care: the noninvasive imaging and treatment of the heart. The discoveries of these pioneers would eventually lead to a doctor's ability to see the heart without cutting open the body; allow patients to have their hearts monitored despite being miles away; and provide reassurance to parents that a fetus' heart was normal rather than waiting until the offspring was born.
  • Males May Experience Greater Physical Pain Due to Lower Levels of Key Protein, Endothelin

    Released September 10, 2009 - How vaso-occulsion leads to pain, and its impact on males and females are still unknown. A University of South Carolina research team suggests that a naturally occurring chemical in the body, endothelin, may play a role. Presentation is part of the American Physiological Society's 11th International Conference on Endothelin.
  • Endothelin-Related Drugs Benefit Patients With Pulmonary Hypertension

    Released September 10, 2009 - The usefulness of endothelin drugs to treat congestive heart failure is not clear, according to Professor Matthias Barton, M.D., who provided an update on endothelin research at the American Physiological Society's 11th International Conference on Endothelin.
  • Leading Expert Examines Status, Promise of Key Human Protein - Endothelin - at APS Conference

    Released September 10, 2009 - As the scientific and medical communities involved in endothelin move towards 25 years of understanding the protein, which future developments hold potential? At what risk? Do medicinal compounds look promising? These are among the topics being discussed at the American Physiological Society's 11th International Conference on Endothelin.
  • Exercise Minimizes Weight Regain by Reducing Appetite, Burning Fat, Lowering "Defended" Body Weight

    Released September 2, 2009 - Exercise helps prevent weight regain after dieting by reducing appetite and by burning fat before burning carbohydrates, according to a new study with rats.
  • How Alcohol Blunts the Ability Of Hamsters to "Rise And Shine"

    Released September 1, 2009 - Chronic alcohol consumption blunts the biological clock's ability to synchronize daily activities to light, disrupts natural activity patterns and continues to affect the body's clock (circadian rhythm), even days after the drinking ends, according to a new study using an animal model.
  • Holding Breath for Several Minutes Elevates Marker for Brain Damage

    Released August 4, 2009 - Divers who held their breath for several minutes had elevated levels of a protein that can signal brain damage, according to a new study from the Journal of Applied Physiology. However, the appearance of the protein, S100B, was transient and leaves open the question of whether lengthy apnea (breath-holding) can damage the brain over the long term.
  • One Disease, Two Effects: Stroke

    Released July 16, 2009 - When the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, brain cells die and long-term brain damage results. It is an illness that affects male and female brains differently although scientists are not sure why. Dr. Patricia Hurn, a renowned expert in stroke and sex differences, discusses the current state of gender research and stroke at a scientific conference sponsored by the American Physiological Society.
  • Army Study Improves Ability to Predict Drinking Water Needs

    Released July 8, 2009 - When soldiers leave base for a 3-day mission, how much water should they bring? Military planners and others have long wrestled with that question, but new research may now provide them an accurate answer.
  • APS's Physiological Reviews Ranked Number One Physiology Journal

    Released July 7, 2009 - The quarterly review journal, Physiological Reviews, published by the American Physiological Society has been again ranked the number one journal in physiology and is now number five of all cited journals by the annual Journal Citation Reports issued by the Health and Science Business Section of the Thomson Reuters organization.
  • For Women With PCOS, Acupuncture And Exercise May Bring Relief, Reduce Risks

    Released June 29, 2009 - Exercise and electro-acupuncture treatments can reduce sympathetic nerve activity in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome, according to a new study. The finding is important because women with PCOS often have elevated sympathetic nerve activity, which plays a role in hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
  • Research Shows How a Stroke Affects Hand Function; Provides Roadmap for Rehabilitation

    Released June 15, 2009 - A person whose hand function has been affected by a stroke can release an object more quickly when the affected arm is supported on a platform, but the support does not make it easier to grip the object, according to a new study.
  • Babies Born to Native High-Altitude Mothers Have Decreased Risk of Low Birth Weight

    Released May 18, 2009 - Pregnant women who are indigenous to the Andes Mountains deliver more blood and oxygen to their fetuses at high altitude than do women of European descent. A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, helps explain why babies of Andean descent born at high altitude weigh more than European babies born at altitude.
  • Chemical Used in Production of IV Bags, Other Medical Equipment, Reproduce Complications in Patients After EC Support

    Released May 1, 2009 - Medical science took a giant leap forward with the development of techniques that, at least temporarily, perform the function of vital organs, including the use of extracorporeal circulation (EC). But EC is not without its own risks. A new study sheds new light on the potential causes of EC-related disorders.
  • Celiac Disease Update on Episode 20 of Life Lines Podcast

    Released April 22, 2009 - Three years ago, a group of Dutch researchers published a study showing that prolyl endoprotease (PEP), might break down gluten in the stomach before it ever reached the small intestine, where it causes damage. Episode 20 of Life Lines updates this research on PEP, which is now being tested clinically.
  • Translating the Conversation Between the Brain and Blood Vessels

    Released April 21, 2009 - Does hypertension occur because the brain loses its ability to sense that the blood vessels are stretching under high pressure? In a study with obese rats, researchers found the animals’ brains could sense the stretch but still became hypertensive, eliminating that mechanism as a possibility.
  • Exercise Protects Against Damage Causing Leakage in the Blood Brain Barrier

    Released April 17, 2009 - Regular exercise can prevent the disruption of the blood brain barrier that normally occurs with a dose of methamphetamine comparable to that used by heavy meth users. A University of Kentucky study is the first to look at the protective effects of exercise on the vascular effects of methamphetamine, effects that have been found clinically to contribute to serious, lasting, and sometimes fatal cardiovascular and neurological problems.
  • Risk of Vibration-Induced Vascular Injuries Linked to Vibration Frequency Differences

    Released April 17, 2009 - Read the results from the first study to directly link the different physical responses of tissue that occur with exposure to different vibration frequencies with biological mechanisms underlying the development of vascular dysfunction. The study, along with results of other studies conducted by NIOSH, supports the importance of reducing job-related exposure to vibration.
  • Smoke From Cigarettes, Cooking Oil, Wood, Shift Male Cardiovascular System Into Overdrive

    Released April 17, 2009 - Secondhand tobacco smoke, and smoke from cooking oil and wood smoke, affected cardiovascular function of men and women who were exposed to small doses of the smoke for as little as 10 minutes, according to a study from the University of Kentucky.
  • Exercise-Exposed Fetuses Have Improved Breathing Movements In Utero

    Released April 17, 2009 - Now that scientists have determined that, generally speaking, maternal exercise poses no significant risk to a fetus, studies are underway to examine the mother/fetus/exercise/health connection.
  • Differences Among Exercisers And Non-Exercisers During Pregnancy

    Released April 17, 2009 - A survey examining daily activities of moms-to-be will soon be released as part of a larger study looking at the effect of maternal exercise on fetal development. The results suggest, among other things, that exercising during pregnancy does not require "stealing" time from other activities.
  • Low Lead Levels In Children Can Affect Cardiovascular Responses To Stress

    Released April 17, 2009 - Even low levels of lead found in the blood during early childhood can adversely affect how the child's cardiovascular system responds to stress and could possibly lead to hypertension later in life, according to a study from the State University of New York at Oswego.
  • Stress of Isolation Early in Life Linked to Enhanced Juvenile Response to Cocaine

    Released April 17, 2009 - A new study examines the impact of social isolation on the animal's response to cocaine.
  • Oral Contraceptives Impair Muscle Gains In Young Women

    Released April 17, 2009 - Many active young women use oral contraceptives (OC) yet its effect on their body composition and exercise performance has not been thoroughly studied. A team of researchers has examined the effects of OC on female muscle mass and found that oral contraceptive use impairs muscle gains in young women, and is associated with lower hormone levels.
  • Computational Model Examines Pathways of Alzheimer's That Strikes at the Young

    Released April 17, 2009 - Contrary to popular belief, Alzheimer's does not only affect the elderly. Familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD), an offshoot of the disease, affects those as young as 30.
  • "Mirthful Laughter," With Standard Diabetic Treatment, Raises Good Cholesterol, May Lower Heart Attack Risk

    Released April 17, 2009 - A new study reports on the mind-emotion-disease model. “Mirthful laughter,” with standard diabetic treatment, was found to raise good cholesterol and may lower heart attack risk, according to the researchers.
  • "ANTEDRUGS": A Safer Approach To Drug Therapy

    Released April 17, 2009 - One lab's groundbreaking approach to tailoring drugs that meet only a specific target within the body has focused on anti-inflammatory, anti-AIDS and anti-cancer drugs since 1982.
  • Caffeine Appears To Be Beneficial In Males-But Not Females-With Lou Gehrig's Disease

    Released April 17, 2009 - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a fatal disease that damages key neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The disease causes progressive paralysis of voluntary muscles and often death within five years of symptoms. A new study examined the effect of coffee, caffeine and chlorogenic acid supplementation on markers of oxidative stress, antioxidant enzyme protein content, and cell death in male and female mice models of ALS.
  • Drugs for Male Sexual Dysfunction Show Promise in Lab for Treating Female Sexual Disorders

    Released April 17, 2009 - Female sexual disorders (FSD) is a complex and multi-layered problem. A team of researchers has undertaken a new approach in the lab to understanding how and why FSD occurs in general, and the impact of the vasculature (the vessels in the body that carry blood, such as arteries and veins) in particular. The findings of their latest study suggest that the drugs that help men may someday also address some forms of female sexual dysfunction.
  • Astronauts May Need More Intense Workouts To Maintain Muscle Fitness In Space

    Released April 2, 2009 - A new study suggests that astronauts need to modify their workouts to avoid extensive muscle loss during missions onboard the International Space Station.
  • As Good As It Gets: Octogenarian Muscles Don't Get Stronger With Exercise

    Released March 31, 2009 - Octogenarian women were unable to increase muscle mass after a 3-month weight lifting program targeted at strengthening the thigh muscle, according to a new study.
  • Inhaling A Heart Attack: How Air Pollution Can Cause Heart Disease

    Released March 18, 2009 - Accumulating evidence indicates that an increase in particulate air pollution is associated with an increase in heart attacks and deaths. Research has begun in the relatively new field of environmental cardiology -- a field that examines the relationship between air pollution and heart disease.
  • Symposium to Look at Genetic Basis of Exercise

    Released March 18, 2009 - Research into the role genes play in exercise has been gaining steam over the past few decades and is the topic of a symposium at the APS’s annual gathering at the Experimental Biology meeting.
  • Mental Fatigue Can Affect Physical Endurance

    Released February 24, 2009 - When participants performed a mentally fatiguing task prior to a difficult exercise test, they reached exhaustion more quickly than when they did the same exercise when mentally rested, a new study finds.
  • Tip Sheet for Valentine's Day: Love is in the Brain

    Released February 11, 2009 - Dr. Lucy Brown, a neuroscientist at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, has studied the brain during various stages of romantic love using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). She describes these studies in an episode of the APS podcast, Life Lines.
  • Patients With Cirrhosis, Inflammation May Be Common Thread Behind Nervous & Heart Rhythm Problems

    Released February 10, 2009 - Liver cirrhosis is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. It is often the result of alcohol overconsumption or exposure to hepatitis C, either of which can damage the liver and prevent it from filtering toxins. These toxins then accumulate in the blood stream and eventually reach the brain where they disrupt neurological and mental performance, a condition known as hepatic encephalopathy. People with cirrhosis are also susceptible to a change in heart rhythm (decreased heart rate variability). Since cirrhosis, hepatic encephalopathy, and heart rate variability are known to be associated with inflammation, researchers have examined what role cytokines (inflammatory molecules) play.
  • Research Model May One Day "Inoculate" Elderly Against Slip-Related Falls

    Released February 4, 2009 - Training people to avoid falls by repeatedly exposing them to unstable situations in the laboratory helped them to later maintain their balance on a slippery floor, according to new research from the Journal of Neurophysiology.
  • Study Helps Explain Connection Between Sleep Apnea, Stroke and Death

    Released January 6, 2009 - Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) decreases blood flow to the brain, elevates blood pressure within the brain, and eventually harms the brain's ability to modulate these changes and prevent damage to itself, according to a new study.