POSSIBLE NEW CURE FOR TENNIS ELBOW A study from Stanford University suggests a potential new treatment for elbow tendinitis -- sometimes called "tennis elbow" or "golfer's elbow" -- that would allow longtime sufferers to avoid surgery. The small study, published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, describes how patients with elbow tendinitis who had not responded to other treatments had some blood taken out of their healthy arm. This blood was treated in the lab to turn it into a half-teaspoon of blood rich in platelets. After that, 15 of the patients had their platelet-rich blood reinjected, this time into the injured arm. Five patients got a placebo injection and served as the control group. After six months, treated patients had an 81 percent reduction in pain. The control patients mostly left the study to pursue other treatments. After two years, 93 percent of the patients who had injections reported "complete satisfaction." With further study this treatment might become a viable alternative for patients who do not respond to other treatments for elbow tendinitis.
VEGGIES, NOT FRUIT, TO FIGHT MEMORY PROBLEMS A study on more than 3,700 Chicago-area seniors finds that it's vegetables, not fruits, that are associated with a slower decline in memory in old age. People who ate at least three servings of vegetables per day, especially green leafy vegetables, had about a 40 percent slower decline in memory compared to people who didn't eat as many vegetables. Eating fruit was not associated with any benefit. These findings were published in the most recent issue of Neurology by researchers from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Ill.
DRUG COMBO CUTS DEATH RISK FOR EMPHYSEMA PATIENTS The combination of two common medications appears to cut the risk of death by up to 18 percent in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, formerly called emphysema. A large study of more than 6,000 patients in 42 countries finds that the combination of Serevent and Flonase cut the risk of death by 18 percent over three years. Researchers say these results are "clinically significant," and this could be important for the more than 13 million Americans with COPD. These findings were presented this week at the CHEST meeting in Salt Lake City.
MODERATE DRINK MAY REDUCE HEART ATTACK RISK IN MEN For men who follow a healthy lifestyle with good diet and exercise, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may reduce the risk of heart attack, according to new research from the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center examined the relationship between drinking and heart attack in more than 8,800 men. At the beginning of the study, men reported their lifestyle habits such as exercise, diet and alcohol consumption. After 16 years of follow-up, researchers found that men who drank about two drinks a day had the lowest risk of heart attack. Those who did not drink at all had the highest risk. Research on alcohol consumption is complex, however, because studies finding either a health benefit or health risk to alcohol often define "moderate consumption" differently. Experts advise talking to your physician before altering your alcohol consumption for health purposes.
STAT is a brief look at the latest medical research and is compiled by Joanna Schaffhausen, who holds a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience. She works in the ABC News Medical Unit, evaluating medical studies, abstracts and news releases.