What's the buzz

What's the buzz

High BP responds better to combo therapy

A new research has found that starting treatment of blood pressure with two medicines rather than the one produces better and faster results and fewer side effects.The research, led by Cambridge in collaboration with the Universities of Dundee, Glasgow and the British Hypertension Society, challenges popular medical practice for the treatment of high blood pressure.

Doctors usually start treatment with one medicine and then add others over a period of months, if needed, to control blood pressure but this study shows that it is best to start treatment with two medicines together at the same time.

The two medicines can be incorporated into a single pill, simplifying things for patients who will still only have to take one pill. But by including two medicines in the same pill, they are taking a much more effective medicine with fewer side effects.

"This study is important and the findings could change the way we approach the treatment of high blood pressure," Prof Bryan Williams, of the British Hypertension Society, said.

The 'ACCELERATE' study of 1250 patients with hypertension shows that patients who start treatment with a single tablet containing a combination of drugs will have a 25pc better response during the first six months of treatment than patients receiving conventional treatment.

Emotional stress can change brain function

Researchers have found that a single exposure to acute stress affected information processing in the cerebellum - the area of the brain responsible for motor control and movement coordination and also involved in learning and memory formation.

The study was conducted by Iaroslav Savtchouk, a graduate student, and S. June Liu, Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans.

They found that a 5-minute exposure to the odor of a predator produced the insertion of receptors containing GluR2 at the connections (synapses) between nerve cells in the brain.

GluR2 is a subunit of a receptor in the central nervous system that regulates the transfer of electrical impulses between nerve cells, or neurons.

The presence of GluR2 changed electrical currents in the cerebellum in a way that increased activity and altered the output of the cerebella circuit in the brains of mice.
"Our results lead to the testable prediction that emotional stress could affect motor coordination and other cerebellum-dependent cognitive functions," said Liu.

Study explains ‘yo-yo effect’ of slimming diets

A new study has found that the hormones related to appetite play an important role in the likelihood of regaining weight after dieting.

The study found that people with the highest levels of leptin and lowest levels of ghrelin are more likely to put on pounds again after dieting.

This is called the 'yo-yo' effect, and it is noted in some people who follow such weight-loss programmes.

"There are patients who are susceptible to and others who are resistant to the benefits of a diet", said Ana Belen Crujeiras, a doctor at the University Hospital Complex of Santiago (CHUS).

"It seems that the way each patient responds to treatment is predetermined by their own characteristics,” she added. After eight weeks of a hypocaloric diet in 104 overweight people, the team found that the group that had regained more than 10percent of the weight lost was found to have higher levels of leptin and lower levels of ghrelin.

"Some obese or overweight patients who gain more weight following a diet could even be identified before they embark on their weight-loss therapy, just by looking at their plasma levels of these hormones", Crujeiras said. The findings will pave way for more exhaustive studies on appetite-related hormones as tools for developing individually-tailored weight-loss programmes that would guarantee success.

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