Vaccine study focuses on C. diff bacteria

By: Barbara Ruben

The bacteria Clostridium difficile (C. diff for short) exists throughout the environment, and can often be found inside people’s intestines. While it frequently causes no or few symptoms, it can cause a range of intestinal woes, including frequent diarrhea, inflammation of the colon, fever, nausea and abdominal pain. In severe cases, it can be life-threatening. Those most at risk of ... READ MORE

Studying if fasting protects your brain

By: Barbara Ruben

The equation to lose weight is simple: Burn more calories than you take in each day. But a popular recent diet trend goes beyond this, promoting fasting two days a week to not just lose weight but gain other benefits, like less inflammation and insulin resistance. Doctors with the National Institute of Aging in Baltimore are conducting a study to see if this intermittent fasting may... READ MORE

Studying if weight loss can help with COPD

By: Barbara Ruben

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) refers to a group of illnesses that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In people with COPD, the airways in the lungs become partly blocked, which makes it more difficult to breathe. COPD is a progressive disease, and is primarily caused by long-term smoking. It is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. Symptoms of... READ MORE

Healthy men 55+ sought for paid research

By: Barbara Ruben

Some studies show that when you get cold, you burn more calories to keep your body warm. A kind of body fat called brown fat may be especially good at burning calories. Brown fat is a special kind of fat, typically having a greater number of blood vessels, that can quickly generate warmth. For many years, hibernating animals and infants have been known to have brown fat. Recently, it has ... READ MORE

Why is ‘more study’ so often needed?

By: Dr. Robert Shmerling

Q: Why is it that I so often hear about medical news with a wishy-washy conclusion and the last words being “more study needed”? A: It’s true. When medical research is described in the news — no matter how promising — the last line is usually a disclaimer about how more research is needed. That may seem surprising given the positive results and often dramatic implications of ... READ MORE

Tailored treatments for hard-to-treat cancer

By: Barbara Ruben

Perhaps chemotherapy was successful at first, but now the cancer is back and growing quickly. Or radiation failed to obliterate all of a tumor. Patients who may have been told that there is nothing else doctors can do are now being sought for a trial of targeted drugs matched to their genetic profiles. A study launched last fall, the Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry... READ MORE