- Aspirin May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk: Study
- Patients in Vegetative State Able to Learn: Study
- Delinquents Misinterpret Facial Expressions: Study
- FDA Approves New AIDS Test
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Aspirin May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk: Study
Taking aspirin daily can reduce the risk of colon cancer in people with a genetic susceptibility to the disease, according to European researchers who studied more than 1,000 people.
The participants had Lynch syndrome, a genetic mutation that puts them at increased risk for colon and other types of cancers. The syndrome causes about 5 percent of all colon cancer cases, the Associated Press reported.
For about four years, half the participants took aspirin daily while the others took a placebo. Six people in the aspirin group developed colon cancer, compared with 16 in the placebo group. The findings were presented Monday at a meeting of the European Cancer Organization.
"We are delighted" with the results, study leader John Burn of Newcastle University in Britain said in a news release, the AP reported. "All the more so because we stopped giving the aspirin after four years, yet the effect is continuing."
Further research to determine how aspirin fights colon cancer might lead to new treatments, the researchers said.
Patients in Vegetative State Able to Learn: Study
Patients in a persistent vegetative state may still be able to learn, according to British scientists who studied 22 patients with severe brain damage who didn't appear to have any signs of consciousness.
The researchers played a noise prior to delivering a puff of air to the patients' eyes and found that some of the patients learned to anticipate the puff, causing their eye muscles to twitch, BBC News reported.
"They were clearly anticipating the stimulus would come, so there is some kind of perception and from the point of view of the patient who is allegedly unconscious this could have profound implications," said study leader Dr. Tristan Bekinschtein of Cambridge University.
He said it had been believed that learning to link one stimulus with another was dependent on explicit awareness of the association, BBC News reported.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, may lead to tests to identify severely brain damaged patients who could recover, the researchers said.
Delinquents Misinterpret Facial Expressions: Study
Teen boys who run afoul of the law appear to have difficulty interpreting other peoples' facial expressions, Japanese researchers say.
The researchers showed photos of faces expressing six basic emotions to 24 young male offenders and found that they were more likely to mistake disgust for anger than peers who hadn't been in trouble with the law, BBC News reported.
The findings offer the first real evidence that young offenders may have difficulty telling the difference between disgust and anger in others. This type of misinterpretation may cause them to regard a situation as more hostile than it actually is, the researchers said.
"This bias towards misrecognising other emotions as anger is particularly significant because anger appears to play an important role in delinquency," said study leader Wataru Sato of Kyoto University, BBC News reported. "Taken together the data suggest that delinquents might be projecting their own heightened angry emotions onto others when they misperceive others' negative, but not hostile, emotional states as anger."
The study was published in the journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health.
FDA Approves New AIDS Test
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new test that detects both types of the virus that causes AIDS.
The FDA said Friday that Abbott Laboratories' Abbott Prism HIV O Plus test can detect HIV types 1 and 2. HIV type 2 is mostly found in West Africa, while HIV type 1 is made up of various virus subgroups found in both the United States and West Africa, the Associated Press reported.