16 April 2014

Sleep Apnea Increases Risk of Osteoporosis Especially Among Older Women

Researchers have found a link between an increased risk of osteoporosis and sleep apnea. They published a study about it in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

The study notes that sleep apnea deprives the body of oxygen, weakens bones, and raises the risk of osteoporosis. It also cites that women and older individuals with sleep apnea are most likely to experience weakening of bones.

Sleep Apnea is a sleep related chronic condition where a person suffers shallow, obstructed or paused breathing during sleep. The duration of these pauses last from a few seconds to a few minutes, occurring five to more than thirty times in an hour.

Osteoporosis is the most common type of bone disease with one out of five American women over the age of 50, suffering from it. It is a disease of the bones where the body's bone density is low which leads to an increased risk of bone fracture. It occurs when the body fails to form enough new bone, when too much old bone is reabsorbed by the body, or both.

11 April 2014

Transcription Factor Discovery Opens Up New Therapies For Glioblastoma Multiforme

Researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have identified four transcription factors that distinguishes glioblastoma cells.

The four transcription factors identified were POU3F2, SOX2, SALL2 and OLIG2.

Transcription factors are proteins that regulates the expression of other genes. In this case, the transcription factors can zero in on a small ratio of glioblastoma cells responsible for the aggressiveness and treatment resistance of the deadly brain tumor.

A glioma is a tumor that commonly starts in the brain but can also manifest in the spine. These gliomas are categorized into grades from Grade I to Grade IV. Glioblastoma Multiforme is the most aggressive and deadly and is classified as a Grade IV Glioma.

Glioblastoma multiforme or GBM is the deadliest brain cancer around. It is also the most common. A patient diagnosed with GBM usually has one to two years to live.

By knowing the transcription factors responsible for the glioblastoma cells, therapies can be modeled that would target these factors. This discovery opens up the opportunity of finding new and alternative ways of treating this extremely difficult disease.