Health Highlights: July 20, 201107/20/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Sales Resume of Frogs Linked to Salmonella
Sales have resumed of African dwarf frogs linked to a salmonella
outbreak that made more than 240 people sick, officials from the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
Blue Lobster Farms, based in Madera County, Calif., voluntarily
suspended sales of the frogs after the illnesses. Most of those
sickened were children, some younger than age 5, the
Associated Press reported. No one died, although some victims
The CDC said it wasn't happy about the resumption of sales of
the frogs, which could still pose a serious health risk.
The agency warned that young children, pregnant women and people
with weak immune systems should avoid contact with water frogs and
The wire service reported it could not reach the company for
Missing Sperm Protein May Lead to Infertility
A protein that normally coats sperm that swim to an egg may
contribute to infertility if the protein is missing, California
researchers said Wednesday.
About 20 percent of men may have a gene mutation that leads to
an absence of the key protein, University of California, Davis,
researchers said. Of 500 Chinese couples they interviewed who were
attempting to bear a child, birth rates were 30 percent lower among
couples in which the male had the gene mutation, the
Associated Press reported.
The finding could lead to a test that screens for the problem,
which could be resolved by methods such as having sperm implanted
directly into the uterus, the wire service said.
FDA Experts Reject New Diabetes Drug
The new diabetes drug dapaglifozin should not be approved in the
United States because it might increase users' risk of breast and
bladder cancers, among other safety concerns, a panel of experts
advising the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended.
The advisory panel voted 9 to 6 on Tuesday against recommending
that the FDA approve the drug, which was developed by Bristol-Myers
Squibb and AstraZeneca. It's the first among a new class of
medications designed to lower blood sugar by having type 2
diabetics excrete excess sugar in urine,
The New York Times reported.
The full agency is supposed to make a decision on the drug by
Oct. 28, and usually heeds the advice of its expert panels.
Most of the more than 25 million Americans with diabetes have
type 2, formerly called adult onset diabetes, the
In clinical testing, some 0.4 percent of women who took the drug
developed breast cancer, compared with 0.1 percent among
participants who didn't take the drug. About 0.3 percent of men who
took dapaglifozin developed bladder cancer, compared with 0.05
percent of male participants who didn't take the drug, the
Panel members also evaluated concerns that the drug could cause
liver or kidney problems, the
Alzheimer's Blood Test Moving Closer to Reality
A blood test to screen people for brain plaques that are
telltale signs of Alzheimer's disease appears closer to reality,
Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Clinical results found an experimental test was successful in
detecting the sticky clumps of beta amyloid protein on the brain
that indicated the potential onset of Alzheimer's before memory and
cognitive problems became apparent, the wire service said.
The test appears to offer a way to screen out people with memory
problems who are candidates for more definitive testing, the
Results on the test, developed by Australia's national science
agency CSIRO, were reported at Wednesday's Alzheimer's Association
International Conference in Paris.
While brain scans may also reveal the presence of these plaques,
the scans "are too expensive and impractical for routine use," the
wire service reported.
A clinical study of more than 1,100 people found that the test
correctly identified 83 percent of people with high amyloid levels
and correctly ruled out 85 percent of people who didn't have this
More than 5.4 million Americans and 35 million globally have
Alzheimer's, which has no cure, the
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