• By Dana Sparks

Science Saturday: Be the life [science] of the party

January 5, 2019

You can discuss these hot Top-10 medical research stories from 2018 at your next social gathering!Human alimentary track#1  ‘Gut touch?’ Mayo Clinic researchers discover important trigger for serotonin release

Researchers at Mayo Clinic have discovered an important mechanical trigger in the gut for releasing serotonin in the body. Serotonin is an important hormone and neurotransmitter in the human body, believed to help regulate digestion, appetite, mood, social behavior, sleep and other important functions.

The researchers were amazed to find that certain cells in the gut has a specific trigger that is not present in the cells around them. They were also surprised to find how effective it was to block or eliminate this trigger to improve serotonin release.  Read more.

#2  A revolution in pancreatic cancer treatment

Mark Truty, M.D., had dedicated his career to giving patients with pancreatic cancer more quality time with their loved ones. His own father died from pancreatic cancer 20 years ago at age 58.

Not content with the status quo, Dr. Truty and his colleagues are looking for ways to improve outcomes. They’ve pioneered a multidisciplinary approach—which other medical centers are copying— that includes boosting patients’ health to endure treatment, providing neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiation, and performing aggressive operations. Read more.

#3  The rising tide of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Liver disease isn’t just for alcoholics. Nonalcholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD)can affect people who drink little or no alcohol. These diseases are a significant and growing public health issue. NAFLD contribute to development of other diseases, like diabetes and double risk of death.

Mayo Clinic researchers using data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project recently found that five times as many people have this type of liver disease now, compared to 20 years ago. They suspect this is related to the rise in rates of obesity.  Read more..

Find the rest of this Top-10 list, compiled by Caitlin Doran, on the Advancing the Science blog.
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