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Archive - Apr 1, 2014

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Low-Intensity Vibrations May Speed Wound Healing in Diabetics

Wounds may heal more quickly if exposed to low-intensity vibration, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The finding, in mice, may hold promise for the 18 million Americans who have type 2 diabetes, and especially the quarter of them who will eventually suffer from foot ulcers. Their wounds tend to heal slowly and can become chronic or worsen rapidly. Dr. Timothy Koh, UIC professor of kinesiology and nutrition in the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences, was intrigued by studies at Stony Brook University in New York that used very low-intensity signals to accelerate bone regeneration. "This technique is already in clinical trials to see if vibration can improve bone health and prevent osteoporosis," Dr. Koh said. Dr. Koh and his coworkers at UIC collaborated with Dr. Stefan Judex of Stony Brook to investigate whether the same technique might improve wound healing in diabetes. The new study, using an experimental mouse model of diabetes, is published online on March 11, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. The low-amplitude vibrations are barely perceptible to touch. "It's more like a buzz than an earthquake," said Dr. Eileen Weinheimer-Haus, UIC postdoctoral fellow in kinesiology and nutrition, the first author of the study. The researchers found that wounds exposed to vibration five times a week for 30 minutes healed more quickly than wounds in mice of a control group. Wounds exposed to vibration formed more granulation tissue, a type of tissue important early in the wound-healing process. Vibration helped tissue to form new blood vessels -- a process called angiogenesis -- and also led to increased expression of pro-healing growth factors and signaling molecules called chemokines, Dr. Weinheimer-Haus said.

Attention Changes in the Course of a Dog's Life Found Similar to Those in Humans

Dogs are known to be man's best friend. No other pet has adjusted to man's lifestyle as has this four-legged animal. Scientists at the Messerli Research Institute at the Vetmeduni Vienna, in Austria, have been the first to investigate the evolution of dogs' attentiveness in the course of their lives and to what extent they resemble man in this regard. The outcome: dogs' attentional and sensorimotor control developmental trajectories are very similar to those found in humans. The results were published on February 7, 2014 in an open-access article in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Dogs are individual personalities, possess awareness, and are particularly known for their learning capabilities, or trainability. To learn successfully, they must display a sufficient quantity of attention and concentration. However, the attentiveness of dogs' changes in the course of their lives, as it does in humans. The lead author Dr. Lisa Wallis and her colleagues investigated 145 border collies aged 6 months to 14 years in the Clever Dog Lab at the Vetmeduni Vienna and determined, for the first time, how attentiveness changes in the entire course of a dog's life using a cross-sectional study design. To determine how rapidly dogs of various age groups pay attention to objects or humans, the scientists performed two tests. In the first situation, the dogs were confronted with a child's toy suspended suddenly from the ceiling. The scientists measured how rapidly each dog reacted to this occurrence and how quickly the dogs became accustomed to it. Initially all dogs reacted with similar speed to the stimulus, but older dogs lost interest in the toy more rapidly than younger ones did. In the second test situation, a person known to the dog entered the room and pretended to paint the wall.