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27 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Pet dogs may speed brain cancer trials

Pet dogs may speed brain cancer trials

Man’s best friend may help scientists learn more about a deadly brain cancer in people. Both dogs and humans can develop glioblastoma. Half of people diagnosed with this type of brain cancer live fewer than 14 months, even after treatment with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Sen. John McCain is being treated for glioblastoma and Sen. Ted Kennedy died from the disease in 2009. Dogs currently have few treatment options for the cancer. Typically, they are euthanized shortly after diagnosis. A new five-year research project at the University of Minnesota will include pet dogs with glioblastoma. The goal is to find ways to improve treatment of dogs with this type of cancer, said Dr. Liz Pluhar, a professor of veterinary surgery, and her colleagues.

That could lead to new information about glioblastoma that could prove useful in human clinical trials, according to the researchers.

Previously, this team experimented with vaccines made from a dog’s own tumor cells and with gene therapy. While both approaches prolonged survival for many dogs, the cancer eventually returned.

This new project will include at least 30 pet dogs with glioblastoma. It seeks to increase understanding of the disease and improve the effectiveness of vaccination and gene therapy.

Dogs don’t just fill your heart; they actually make it stronger. Studies show that having a canine companion is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol, and decreased triglyceride levels, which contribute to better overall cardiovascular health and fewer heart attacks. What’s more, dog owners who do have heart attacks have better survival rates following the events.

Health experts recommend that adults get about 2 hours and 30 minutes worth of moderate exercise per week. Dog owners are way more likely to hit that goal. “People love to be outside to walk their dog, and be with their dog,” says Kay Joubert, Director Companion Animal Services at PAWS, a Washington-based animal advocacy organization. “It helps them be more active.”

In turn, that activity helps us remain mobile into our 70s and 80s. Earlier this year, a study in the journal Gerontologist found that older adults who walked dogs experienced “lower body mass index, fewer activities of daily living limitations, fewer doctor visits, and more frequent moderate and vigorous exercise.”

Want to drop a few pounds? Grab Fido and get hoofing. Research has repeatedly found that daily dog walks help you lose weight, since they force you to into moderate physical activity for 10, 20, and even 30 minutes at a time.

In fact, in 2010, one small study discovered public housing residents who walked “loaner” dogs five times a week lost an average of 14.4 pounds over the course of a year. The best part: Participants considered it a responsibility to the dog, rather than exercise. (”They need us to walk them.”)

There’s a reason therapy dogs are so effective: Spending just a few minutes with a pet can lower anxiety and blood pressure, and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, two neurochemicals that play big roles in calm and wellbeing.

People performing stressful tasks do better when there’s a dog around, too, and studies show dogs ease tension both at the office and between married  couples.

HealthDay                                 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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