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New hemophilia drugs, deadly pig virus, troubled sleep study and more health news

Saturday, 8 March 2014 - 9:49am IST Updated: Sunday, 9 March 2014 - 3:55am IST | Agency: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - For 33-year-old video editor and
hemophilia patient Travis Roop, being able to get life-saving
infusions of a blood clotting agent every two weeks, instead of
rushing to treat a bleeding episode, meant he could jog for the
first time. Roop was enrolled in a clinical trial testing a
long-acting treatment for hemophilia B from Denmark's Novo
Nordisk. The therapy is one of several new blood
clotting agents in development that will help hemophilia
patients cut by half, or more, the number of regular
intravenous infusions they need to prevent traumatic bleeding
in their daily lives.

U.S. deadly pig virus cases on the rise

(Reuters) - Cases of the deadly Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea
virus, a highly contagious pig disease, are increasing across
the U.S. farm belt, a group of animal health researchers said.
Confirmed cases of PEDv increased by 252 in the week ending
March 1, bringing the total number to 4,106 in 26 states,
according to data released on Thursday by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's National Animal Health Laboratory Network.

Study ties troubled sleep to lower brain volume

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who have trouble
sleeping tend to have less volume in certain regions of the
brain than those without sleep problems, a new study of Persian
Gulf War veterans suggests. "People discount the importance of
sleep. So many things seem so much more important than a few
extra hours of sleep a night," lead author Linda L. Chao told
Reuters Health.

One in 100 Americans has chronic hepatitis C infection

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - At least one percent of
Americans are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus,
which over time can severely damage the liver, according to a
new study. "Hepatitis C has a severe impact on the health and
well-being of millions of Americans, especially baby boomers
(those born from 1945 through 1965)," Dr. Scott D. Holmberg
told Reuters Health in an email. He worked on the study at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta,
Georgia.

Pretty plating can improve likability of foods

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Decorative flourishes normally
reserved for high-end restaurants can make healthy foods seem
more appealing anywhere, researchers say. They tested the same
meals presented differently to diners in a fine restaurant, and
the foods seemed to taste better to participants when arranged
in a creative pattern.

FDA probes cognitive impact of new cholesterol drugs

(Reuters) - The Food and Drug Administration has asked
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc and Sanofi SA
to assess potential neurocognitive side effects of their
experimental cholesterol drug, Sanofi said in its annual report
on Friday. Amgen Inc, which is developing a similar
drug, said it has also been in communication with the agency.

Panel recommends Northwest Bio brain-cancer trial continue

(Reuters) - Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc on
Friday said an independent monitoring board had recommended
that a late-stage study of its experimental brain-cancer
treatment be continued, based on an interim safety review. The
study involves more than 300 patients newly diagnosed with
Glioblastoma multiforme, the most serious form of brain cancer.
The main goal of the trial is to determine if the medicine,
DCVax-L, can delay progression of the disease when taken on top
of standard treatment.

Despite progress, tuberculosis persists in West European
cities

LONDON (Reuters) - Tuberculosis is becoming concentrated
among immigrants, drug addicts, and the poor and homeless in
Western Europe's big cities despite progress in reducing
national rates of the disease, experts said on Friday. The
contagious lung infection, once known as the "white plague" for
its ability to render its victims pale, skinny and feverish, is
being well tackled at national levels, they said, but is
persisting in high-risk, marginalized groups.

Novartis drug Jakavi seen as blockbuster after positive
data

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis drug Jakavi achieved
its main goal in a late-stage trial for patients suffering from
a rare blood cancer, putting it on track to become a potential
blockbuster treatment with sales of $1 billion-plus. Jakavi is
already approved to treat myelofibrosis, a form of blood
cancer, and was tested in a Phase III trial for patients with
polycythemia vera, an incurable cancer associated with the
overproduction of blood cells.

Nurse numbers, education linked to patient death rate

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Both the quality and quantity of
nurses on a hospital staff have significant influence on the
chances patients will die following even simple surgery,
according to a large new study. Researchers found the
proportion of staff nurses with a bachelor's degree and the
number of patients each nurse had to care for could add up to a
difference of 30 percent or more in mortality rates for
inpatients.




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