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Archive for  April 2009

Tuesday 28, Apr 2009

Estrogen Produce Restless Legs Syndrome during Pregnancy

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Estrogen Produce Restless Legs Syndrome during PregnancyGerman researchers in a study, published in the journal Sleep, stated that estrogen plays vital role in producing restless legs syndrome (RLS) during pregnancy.

Principal investigator of the study, Dr. Thomas Pollmächer said that for the first time they got evidence of RLS having direct relation with estrogen change during pregancy.

In the research, ten pregnant women with RLS and nine pregnant healthy females were examined. Their blood samples were studied and they underwent overnight sleep-lab studies during the third trimester of pregnancy and again three months after delivery.

According to the findings, higher level of estrogen was reported in women with RLS in comparison to the control or healthy group. However, no significant difference was found between other pregnancy-related hormone levels in both the groups. Eight out of 10 examined women with RLS reported restless-legs symptoms before pregnancy while all the 10 described worsening of existing symptoms during pregnancy.

Pollmacher stated at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich that estrogens are neuroactive steroid hormones and play an important role in conception and pregnancy. This new study might help us in understanding RLS general features and would ultimately lead to an additional route for the development of treatment,” he added.

Monday 27, Apr 2009

Former Olympian Shared Scandalous Steroid Past

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Former Olympian Shared Scandalous Steroid PastSteroids have been a continuing issue in the world of sports. It created numerous headlines involving famous athletes like Marion Jones. She admitted that steroids indeed changed her outlook in life.

Marion Jones, the first black-American millionaire female athlete, told the press that her poor judgment and reaction shattered all that she had worked hard for.

In October 2007, Marion Jones, now 33, pleaded guilty of lying to federal investigators regarding her usage of performance-enhancing drugs. She was sentenced to six months of imprisonment in Federal Medical Center-Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.

Jones shared her steroid past in a lecture of the Wharton’s Sports Business Initiative series on race at the University of Pennsylvania. However, she didn’t tackle her life in prison.

The former sprinter said that she had disappointed fans and supporters because she did not live up to their expectation of being a role model. She was forced to return all the medals she won during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, where she won two gold and three bronze medals.

Jones reminisced how the Title IX legislation, enacted 37 years ago had opened many opportunities for women, especially to her and the rest of female athletes. Finally, she cited that she will share her story to keep the Title IX legislation alive. Marion Jones was once part of the North Carolina’s team in 1994 women’s NCAA basketball championship before she concentrated on track.

Monday 27, Apr 2009

Female Teenagers use steroids for other purposes too, besides athletes, Study says

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Female Teenagers use steroids for other purposes too, besides athletes, Study saysA study published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA/Archives journal, stated that steroid usage by female teenage girls was not limited to athletes only. A team of researchers from the Division of Health Promotion & Sports Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University had found that female teenagers use steroids in various other unhealthy choices, including smoking and taking diet pills.

The study was analyzed on the survey findings of the Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior. In survey around 7,544 girls of 9 to 12th grades were studied from throughout the country. The questionnaires include sports participation, anabolic steroid and drug use, as well as other illegal or unhealthy behaviors. Among the studied girls, approximately 5 percent of participants reported prior or ongoing anabolic steroid use.

Along with greater substance use, young female steroid users were also reported to have had sexual intercourse before age 13; have been pregnant; drink and drive; carry a weapon; have been in a fight on school property; have feelings of sadness or hopelessness almost every day for at least two weeks; and have even attempted suicide. Among the studied ones, those, who reported anabolic steroid use, took less participation in team athletics. Even girls who used steroids were more likely try extreme weight-loss techniques, such as vomiting and laxative use.

From Science Daily:

Researchers from the Division of Health Promotion & Sports Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University have found steroid use among teen girls is not limited to athletes and often goes hand in hand with other unhealthy choices, including smoking and taking diet pills. The study will be published in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA/Archives journal.

Diane Elliot, M.D., professor of medicine (health promotion and sports medicine), OHSU School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed findings from the Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 7,544 ninth- through 12th-grade girls from around the country. The questionnaire asked about sports participation, anabolic steroid and drug use, and other illegal or unhealthy behaviors. Approximately 5 percent of participants reported prior or ongoing anabolic steroid use.

Diane Elliot, professor of medicine in OHSU School of Medicine, said that adolescent girls reporting anabolic steroid use had significantly more health-harming behaviors than others. He also said, “They were much more likely to use other unhealthy substances, including cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and cocaine.”

Elliot further added that across all grades, those seem to be the most troubled adolescent female group with health-compromising activities in the domains of substance use, sexual behavior, violence and mental health. However, further study was needed to develop effective interventions for these young women.

Monday 27, Apr 2009

New Policy Soon to Determine Drug Users in Japanese Sumo

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New Policy Soon to Determine Drug Users in Japanese SumoThe world of sumo wrestling is now being bombarded by several drug-related scandals. This was due to a previous issue involving a Japanese wrestler who was sentenced to a 10-month imprisonment after being caught with an approximate amount of six grams of marijuana.

Japanese anti-doping officers conducted random tests among 100 wrestlers and officials to determine who is using recreational drugs including marijuana. Collecting urine samples is not a common practice in sumo wrestling but veteran sumo Kyokutenho has showed his support over this new policy.

This effort; however does not only concentrate on determining marijuana residue since it will soon be used to check steroid metabolites among sumo wrestlers and officials.

According to Mr. Musashigawa of the Japan Sumo Association, everyone will be obliged to submit urine sample. He also said that this new policy will continue, and nobody will be spared. Those who underwent urine test were grateful to have the new regulation so they can prove the public that Japanese sumo wrestling is clean.

Monday 27, Apr 2009

Blocking of Hunger Regulation Hormone can limit Cocaine Addiction

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Blocking of Hunger Regulation Hormone can limit Cocaine AddictionIn a recent study, UC Irvine pharmacological researchers have discovered that cocaine desire can be controlled by blocking a hormone related to hunger regulation. This new finding can bring a new approach to the treatments of addiction.

Led by Shinjae Chung and Olivier Civelli, the study focused on the work relationship of melanin-concentrating hormone and dopamine in the brain’s “pleasure center” for creating an addictive response to cocaine use. The investigators found that blocking of MCH in these brain cells could limit cocaine cravings.

The study is first of its kind that highlights the interaction of MCH and dopamine in cocaine addiction and shows that it occurs in the nucleus accumbens, a part of forebrain and is believed to play an important role in addiction and feelings of pleasure and fear.

Civelli, the Eric L. and Lila D. Nelson Professor of Neuropharmacology said that the discovery indicated MCH as a key regulator of dopamine in a brain area associated with both pleasure and addiction. He also said that they believed that efforts to target MCH might lead to new treatments that would help in breaking cocaine addiction and possibly for other drugs, like amphetamines and nicotine too.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is very important for the normal functioning of the central nervous system. It is associated with feelings of pleasure and is released in the brain during eating, sex and drug use. Increased levels of the neurotransmitter were detected in the nucleus accumbens of drug addicts.

In mammals, MCH is involved in the regulation process of feeding behavior and energy balance. Worlwide researchers are in search of compounds that can lower MCH level for potential use in the treatment of obesity. Chung and Civelli believed that MCH works in the nucleus accumbens to increase the pleasure of eating. During the study they found that signal of dopamine rose sharply when MCH amounts increased in those brain cells.

The UCI researchers discovered that test mice, when conditioned to develop cocaine cravings, had increased amounts of MCH and dopamine in their nucleus accumbens and when experimental compounds jamming MCH proteins were administered, those hunger signs disappeared. In addition, Chung and Civelli discovered that mice lacking key receptors for MCH exhibited significantly fewer cocaine cravings.

Whatever the ultimate result will occur, but the team hopes to learn whether modulating MCH might be beneficial in treating other dopamine-related disorders as well.

Sunday 26, Apr 2009

Baseball Fan Urged MLB Boycott

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Baseball Fan Urged MLB BoycottLucas Swineford of Secaucus and leader of the Baseball Fan Give Back, pleaded to Major League Baseball fans to boycott the game last April 17. He asked fans to donate $13, which is equivalent to half of the MLB games ticket to a charity, and volunteer for three hours, the average time spent watching a game. This effort shows a protest on the prevalent steroid issue on baseball.

The Baseball Fan Give Back brainchild stated that he felt disappointed when Alex Rodriguez of New York Yankees admitted that he was pressured to use steroid. Rodriguez admitted his steroid past during an ESPN interview.

Lucas Swineford admitted that he’s a baseball fan but he felt frustrated that steroid has been a continuing issue in the sport. He preferred April 17 to execute the protest in commemoration of the late Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburg Pirates. He said that he always honors Clemente for his humanitarian efforts. Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash when he was about to deliver goods and supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. He believes that athletes can be good role models to kids.

Swineford stated that what he did was not a negative endeavor. He said that he just wanted to encourage baseball fans to spend at least a day in charity and volunteer work.

Sunday 26, Apr 2009

Steroid is Addictive – Research Revealed

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Steroid is Addictive - Research RevealedA research conducted by Dr. Michael Irwig shows that using steroids can be as addictive as cocaine and other habit-forming drugs. Steroids, unlike any other drugs, do not create a “high feeling” but users tend to be dependent on it. Some of the famous athletes like the former Olympian Marion Jones, Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, and New York Yankee’s Alex Rodriguez had the same history on steroids.

According to Dr. Irwig, an endocrinologist at George Washington University, many of the patients he had met were recreational athletes and trainers in the gyms. He added that some youngsters use steroids not merely to enhance strength and performance but rather to improve physical image. In the Harvard affiliated study showed that almost 30% of the male weight lifters acknowledged that they used and get addicted to steroids.

Since steroid is illegal, it is unlikely to determine the exact number of users and the specific long-term health hazards. Dr. Irwig also stated the there should be more studies to be conducted to know the long-term effects of steroid, reasons for its addiction and how it can be treated.

Saturday 25, Apr 2009


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PREDNISOLONE USELESS IN THE TREATMENT OF WHEEZING IN PRESCHOOL CHILDRENIn another study related to steroids, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry stated that a common treatment used for wheezing in preschool children was ineffective. This new study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, bring national guidelines for the treatment of viral-induced wheezing under cirle of questions and doubts.

Wheezing caused due to viral infections in the upper respiratory tract is a common problem in preschool children, aged between ten months to six years. Usually they are treated with a short course of prednisolone, which is a steroid used for reducing inflammation in the airway and is prescribed in the treatments of allergic asthma attacks in older children and adults.

But, it has recently been recognised that wheezing in preschool children occurred due to viral colds and is a different condition from ‘allergic asthma‘. There is conflicting evidence whether a short course of oral prednisone is effective or not in this age group.

Professor Jonathan Grigg, a paediatrician at Barts and The London’s Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, along with other researchers studied a group of 700 children between the ages of 10 and 60 months, who were admitted to hospital with an attack of wheezing by viral infection. Half of them were treated with oral prednisolone and half with a placebo, and symptoms were monitored by health care professionals.

As result, the team did not found any significant difference in the length of time the two groups spent in a hospital. The findings were consistent with a previous study conducted by the team in which the oral steroid was administered by parents in the home.

Professor Grigg explains, “The result of this large trial suggests that oral prednisolone should not be routinely given to preschool children presenting to the hospital with virus-induced wheezing.”

Saturday 25, Apr 2009


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ADOLESCENT BOYS WITH ASPERGER SYNDROME SHOW NO CORTISOL RESPONSEIn a recent study, UK researchers reported that adolescent boys suffering from Asperger syndrome did not show any response linked with cortisol flow. Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland and released in response to stress. Upon awakening there is a surge to cortisol, which can explain some of the symptoms of Asperger syndrome.

The research team explained in an article published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology that along with other functions, the ability to adapt changes is controlled by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which controls increase of cortisol during awakening period and this is referred as “the cortisol awakening response.”

“The cortisol awakening response is a robust and reproducible neuroendocrine phenomenon which has been positively correlated with psychological and physical well-being,” they added.

Dr. Mark Brosnan from University of Bath and his colleagues said that their study focused on the lack of response in individuals with Asperger syndrome. They also said that the research might help in explaining why such people face difficulties if even minor changes happened in their routine or environment.

During the research, the investigators measured cortisol amount in saliva of 20 adolescent males with the problem and 18 normal control individual at the time of awakening and 30 minutes later. A significant cortisol awakening response was evident in the control group while in the Asperger group the response was absent.

Brosnan and colleagues write in the article that in the study, the typical marked rise in cortisol peaks around 30 minutes after waking and was found of required level only in developing control group. Therefore, Asperger syndrome, at least in adolescent males, appeared to be characterized by an impaired cortisol awakening response. However, they also said that further research would be required to address this “intriguing phenomenon” in Asperger syndrome.

Friday 24, Apr 2009


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STEROID KILLED A ROYAL MARINE ASPIRANTA would-be marine, Mathew Dear, died recently at Southend University Hospital, few days after being critically ill. His death is believed to be caused by taking steroids days before the tragedy.

The 17-year old from Southend, Essex has been preparing himself for being a part of the Royal Marines. His attempt to bulk himself led him to take this regulated drug and eventually caused the collapse of his brain and kidney.

According to Mr. Chris Dear, Matthew’s father, two weeks after the family had a barbecue, they rushed the boy to the hospital with the thought that Matthew had been food poisoned.

Forensic experts did some tests on his body to identify the tablets that he had taken. During the investigation, a 17-year-old boy, and two other men, all from Essex were arrested for allegedly supplying Matthew of this steroid.

Anabolic steroid is known for increasing muscle build-up and strength due to its ability to efficiently synthesize protein in the cells. Illegal possession and using anabolic steroid has been banned by most sporting agencies because of its high health risks and adverse side effects.

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