Open Reading Frame brings together a selection of recent publication highlights from elsewhere in the open access ecosystem. This week we take a look at the past few weeks in medicine.
Genetic variant protects against ulcer development
Infection with Helicobacter pylori causes gastric ulcers in some patients and is also linked to stomach cancer but a proportion of patients never have any symptoms. A genetic variant has now been identified in patients that protects against ulcer development but increases cancer risk after infection with H.pylori, providing insights into how an individual’s genetics can affect the outcome of infection.
Mattar et al. Clinical and Experimental Gastroenterology
Could bone therapies be used to treat cardiovascular disease?
Bisphosphonates are traditionally used to treat osteoporosis but new evidence suggests they can also prevent atherosclerosis. A systematic review of the evidence shows that while larger studies are required to confirm the link, bisphosphonates reduce plaque progression, indicating their therapeutic potential for cardiovascular disease.
Santos et al. Clinical Medical Insights: Endocrinology and Diabetes
Does bed sharing increase the risk of SIDS?
A systematic review aimed to resolve the ongoing controversy surrounding bed sharing and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The study found that bed sharing does increase SIDS risk, even in households where parents do not smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs, indicating that baby deaths could be prevented if parents avoided bed sharing altogether.
Carpenter et al. BMJ Open
Surgery for osteoarthritis: promising results from knee implants
Surgical implantation of a partial load absorber to reduce pressure on the knee leads to improved joint function and reduced pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis, suggesting this surgical option could be used to aid recovery in these patients.
London et al. Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders
Improving blood transfusion services in Sub-Saharan Africa
External aid has brought benefits but also negative consequences for blood transfusion services in Sub-Saharan Africa, where many deaths occur due to the lack of blood. In an opinion piece, Fereydoun Ala and colleagues discuss the issues with preparation of blood in this setting, arguing that new initiatives should be better adapted to the local context in order to limit the cost of transfusion.
Ala et al. PLoS Medicine
The dangers of sleeping too much or too little
Getting too little or too much sleep is thought to be bad for you. A recent study showed that the risk of developing metabolic syndrome could also be linked to sleep. The researchers found that people with short and long sleep durations have an increased risk of developing the condition, which in turn increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Ju and Choi. Nutrition and Diabetes
Desensitizing asthma: Rush immunotherapy
Rush immunotherapy, a technique in which patients are given many exposures to an allergen over a short period of time, is an experimental therapy for allergic asthma. A safety study found that rush immunotherapy is well-tolerated by most patients and can be given more quickly than traditional immunotherapy regimens. It could therefore be used to treat allergic asthma following further refinement.
Seema et al. The Internet Journal of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology
miRNA profiling of prostate cancer unveils new biomarkers
A panel of micro RNAs (miRNAs) are differentially expressed in prostate cancer compared with normal tissue, and could provide much-needed novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers to identify patients with more aggressive tumors.
Walter et al. Journal of Cancer
Written by Claire Barnard, Senior Editor for BMC Medicine.