Researchers are reporting development of a new method that could improve the safety and efficacy of bone marrow transplants used for treating advanced blood cancers. In the new study using mouse models of lymphoma (a type of blood cancer), the researchers genetically engineered immune cells (T cells) from a donor in a way that made the cells less likely to cause graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD is a potentially deadly complication in which donor white blood cells attack healthy tissues in the recipient. The study, published in Nature Medicine, was partly funded by NHLBI.
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Most parents would be surprised to learn how much their exercise habits are followed by their young children. Literally followed. That was a key finding of an NHLBI-funded study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Researchers found a direct correlation between the physical activity of parents and their preschool-age children in underserved populations. Read the release.
Complications from asthma, including death, are more likely for African Americans. A group of NHLBI-funded researchers found that a unique type of inflammation of the airways might be partly to blame, as it makes black patients less responsive to asthma treatment. The findings, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, are the result of one of the largest and most diverse U.S. clinical trials on race and asthma.
As we pledge to, this year definitely, follow through with the “lose-weight resolution,” the U.S. News & World Report annual diet rankings come not a minute too soon. And, the NHLBI-developed DASH Diet wins the top spot for the seventh consecutive year as the “best overall” diet.
Scientists have known for years that patients with psoriasis are at increased risk for developing heart disease. Now, researchers are reporting that they have identified a group of molecules that may help explain this link. In a pair of studies in mice, researchers showed how the inflammatory response to psoriasis can lead to altered levels of certain immune system molecules, increasing the risk of fatal blood clots. The studies could lead to novel treatments to lower the risk of heart disease in people with psoriasis, the researchers say. One of the studies, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight, was partly funded by NHLBI.
Go ahead, sleep in on a weekend; but don’t think you are making up for lost hours of sleep over the work week, says an NHLBI-funded study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. The researchers, while noting that this was a small study, stress two key findings. First, sleeping in on weekends does not appear to restore the body’s stress responses down to normal levels. Second, the habit of deprivation during the week and “binging” on sleep on weekends is very hard to break the longer it continues, as people are less likely to realize they are sleepy and have more trouble doing everyday tasks.
Hospitalized patients tend to have a higher risk of cardiac arrest and transfers to an intensive care unit if they are in wards when other patients have experienced similar emergencies, a new study suggests. The observational study followed about 84,000 patients over a four-year span. After one patient on a ward experienced a “critical event” (such as cardiac arrest, death, or transfer to ICU), the likelihood that a second patient on the ward might do so within the next six hours rose by nearly 18 percent, the study found. The findings underscore the need for hospital-based physicians to pay closer scrutiny to other patients who share the same unit as critically ill patients being treated on hospital wards, the researchers say. The study, which is funded by NHLBI, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
After more than four decades of progress in prevention and treatment, NHLBI researchers say the 0.9 percent increase in deaths from heart disease in 2015 should be a wake-up call. More research is needed regarding treatment of cardiovascular disease, but the researchers warn about complacency and call for redoubling the efforts to do what is known to work, particularly in the prevention side by focusing of risk factors such as obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and blood glucose.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute explains the steps it has taken to create an ecosystem to help small businesses turn basic discoveries into commercial products that can benefit patients as well as public health, according to an article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Researchers are reporting new insights into protein expression, the fundamental process that determines how proteins are formed by cells, that could lead to novel approaches for treating cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other conditions where abnormal amounts of proteins can form. One of the ongoing puzzles in molecular biology is how the amount of protein generated from messenger RNA (mRNA), molecules that help transcribe genes into proteins, is determined. In lab studies, scientists demonstrated that chemicals called methyl groups attach to the beginning of mRNA molecules and influence their stability, which in turn affects protein production. They showed that more methyl groups appear to increase protein production, while fewer methyl groups appear to lower protein levels. Thus, designing drugs to control how methyl levels affect mRNA may provide a way to regulate abnormal protein levels underlying certain disease processes, the researchers suggest. The study, funded partly by NHLBI, appeared in Nature.