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Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - This Week -

TARGETTED THER­APY: A team of sci­en­tists, in­clud­ing eight Irish re­searchers, have de­vel­oped a min­i­mally-in­va­sive de­vice that can in­crease heart func­tion af­ter a heart at­tack. The de­vice, called Therepi — a reser­voir for drugs or cells that can be re­filled mul­ti­ple times from a port un­der the skin — can be placed di­rectly on the heart. This al­lows lo­calised, re­fill­able, heart tar­geted ther­apy de­liv­ery. The re­searchers showed in a pre-clin­i­cal model of my­ocar­dial in­farc­tion (heart at­tack) that this de­vice can in­crease heart func­tion over four weeks when stem cells are re­peat­edly de­liv­ered to the reser­voir. This sys­tem has po­ten­tial for ad­vanc­ing re­search as a tool to char­ac­terise op­ti­mal tar­geted drug dos­ing. The study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Na­ture Biomed­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing, was the re­sult of a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween re­searchers in the US and NUI Gal­way, RCSI, TCD and AMBER, the Sci­ence Foun­da­tion Ire­land funded ma­te­ri­als sci­ence cen­tre.

RISKY FIFTY: Fifty-year-olds with slightly raised blood pres­sure are at an in­creased risk of get­ting de­men­tia in later life, a study has sug­gested. Study par­tic­i­pants had a greater risk even if they didn’t have other heart-re­lated prob­lems, the re­search pub­lished in the Euro­pean Heart Jour­nal said. The as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween blood pres­sure and de­men­tia risk was seen at aged 50, but not 60 or 70, the study found.

PROSTATE PILOT: A new saliva test that can iden­tify men at high risk of prostate can­cer is un­der­go­ing pilot tri­als at GP prac­tices in Lon­don. Sci­en­tists will as­sess whether ad­vice or pre­ven­ta­tive treat­ment can re­duce cases of the disease among those men who are sin­gled out. The study fol­lows re­search link­ing sin­gle-let­ter changes in the ge­netic code with a six-fold in­creased like­li­hood of de­vel­op­ing prostate can­cer. By look­ing for these DNA de­fects, sci­en­tists were able to iden­tify the 1% of men at high­est risk. Lead re­searcher Pro­fes­sor Ros Ee­les, from the In­sti­tute of Can­cer Re­search in Lon­don, said: “If we can tell from test­ing DNA how likely it is that a man will de­velop prostate can­cer, the next step is to see if we can use that in­for­ma­tion to help pre­vent the disease.”

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