Health Highlights: July 30, 201307/30/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Scientists Use Urine to Create New 'Teeth'
Scientists who grew tooth-like structures in mice using cells
collected from human urine say their research could lead to a new
way of replacing teeth lost due to age or poor dental hygiene.
The Chinese team gathered cells -- such as those that line the
urinary tract -- found in urine and coaxed the cells into becoming
stem cells, which are cells that can grow into any type of tissue.
A mixture of the cells and other material were implanted in mice,
Within three weeks, there were tooth-like structures. However,
they were not as hard as natural teeth, according to the study in
Cell Regeneration Journal.
This research won't immediately lead to the regeneration of
teeth for patients, but could be a step in that direction, said the
scientists at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and
One expert wasn't impressed with the study, saying that urine
was a poor starting point for creating new teeth.
"It is probably one of the worst sources, there are very few cells in the first place and the efficiency of turning them into stem cells is very low," Professor Chris Mason, a stem cell scientist at University College London in the U.K., told BBC News. "You just wouldn't do it in this way."
NYC Ban on Large Sodas Struck Down by Appeals Court
New York City's ban on large sodas has been struck down by an
In a unanimous decision, the four-judge panel of the state
Supreme Court Appellate Division said that the city's Board of
Health exceeded its legal authority and acted unconstitutionally
when it moved to limit the size of sodas and other sugary beverages
served in restaurants and other food outlets,
CBS News/Associated Pressreported.
While the health board has the power to ban "inherently harmful"
food and beverage products from being served to the public, sugary
drinks don't fall into that category, the judges said.
The city plans a quick appeal.
"Today's decision is a temporary setback, and we plan to appeal this decision as we continue the fight against the obesity epidemic," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement, CBS News/APreported.
Arkansas Girl Infected With Deadly Brain Parasite
A 12-year-old Arkansas girl infected with a rare but deadly
brain-eating parasite is in critical condition eight days after
being admitted to Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Kali Hardig's infection was caused by an amoeba called
Naegleria fowleri, which enters the body through the nose
and travels to the brain. The infection typically occurs in people
who have been swimming in warm freshwater,
"This infection is one of the most severe infections that we know of. Ninety-nine percent of people who get it die," Dr. Dirk Haselow, of the Arkansas Department of Health, told CNNaffiliate WMCTC.
The most likely source of Hardig's infection is Willow Springs
Water Park in Little Rock, according to the department of health.
Another case involving the same parasite reported in 2010 was also
linked to Willow Springs,
"Based on the occurrence of two cases of this rare infection in association with the same body of water and the unique features of the park, the ADH has asked the owner of Willow Springs to voluntarily close the water park to ensure the health and safety of the public," a department of health news release said.
N. fowleriinfection are extremely rare,
CNNreported. Between 2001 and 2010, there were 32 reported
cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Most of the cases occurred in the Southeast.
Malaria Drug Gets Stronger Warning Label
Strengthened and updated warnings about the serious psychiatric
and neurologic side effects that can be caused by the malaria drug
mefloquine hydrochloride have been added to the drug's label, the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
The neurologic side effects can include dizziness, loss of
balance or ringing in the ears. Psychiatric side effects can
include feeling anxious, mistrustful, depressed or having
The neurologic side effects can occur at any time while taking
the drug and can last for months to years after patients have
stopped taking the drug, or can even be permanent, the FDA
The drug now carries a boxed warning, the most serious kind of
caution. In addition, the medication guide and wallet card for the
drug have been updated to include the new information.
Mefloquine hydrochloride is prescribed for mild to moderate
acute malaria transmitted by certain types of mosquitoes and for
the prevention of malaria infections caused by those mosquitoes.
The drug was previously marketed under the brand name Lariam, but
it is no longer marketed in the United States. However generic
versions are available in the U.S.
Patients, caregivers and health care providers should watch for
these side effects, the FDA said. If a patient develops neurologic
or psychiatric symptoms, treatment with mefloquine hydrochloride
should be stopped and another medicine should be used. Patients
should not stop using the drug before consulting with a health care
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.