• Aging May Worsen the Effects of a High-Salt Diet:  Age significantly impaired the ability of rats to get rid of excess sodium when exposed to a high-salt diet, according to research published in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. Findings could have implications for salt consumption in the elderly; suggest older people could be at greater risk for the negative consequences of eating a high-salt diet.
  • Rat Study Shows that Renal Denervation Helps to Bring Drug-Resistant Hypertension under Control:  Most clinical studies have shown that renal denervation—a procedure that disrupts the nerves in the kidneys and prevents them from relaying signals—can treat drug-resistant hypertension, although a number have shown the procedure to be ineffective. A new study in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology supports that renal denervation can treat hypertension and suggests that failures may be due to incomplete procedure. This research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.
  • Small Reduction in Food Intake May Be Enough to Slow Polycystic Kidney Disease:  A small reduction in food intake—less than required to cause weight loss—dramatically slowed the development of a common genetic disorder called autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) in mice, a new study in the American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology reports. There are no approved treatments for ADPKD in the U.S., and food reduction would be an ideal therapy because it most likely does not have side effects and is cost-effective, says the lead author.
  • Study May Explain Why Stroke Risk in Women Changes after Menopause:  Overactive microglia—the brain’s immune cells—may worsen the damage from brain injury after stroke or head impact. A new study in the American Journal of Physiology—Endocrinology and Metabolism reports that a compound produced from estrogen called 2-methoxyestradiol calms overactive microglia. The findings offer an explanation for why stroke risk in women changes after menopause and point to potential treatments for treating brain injuries in men and women.
  • Not the Weaker Sex: Estrogen Protects Women against the Flu, Study Finds:  A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology—Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology finds that the female sex hormone estrogen has anti-viral effects against the influenza A virus, commonly known as the flu. The study supports why the flu may hit men harder than women.
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