Research Roundup >> September 9-13

9 September 2013

Research Roundup is a weekly look at the latest news from around the MSFHR community.

Terry Boyle

A healthy lifestyle can dramatically improve colorectal cancer survival rates for women, according to new research by Dr. Terry Boyle. The study examined outcomes for 879 colorectal cancer patients and found that physically active women were 60 per cent less likely to die from the disease. Women who smoked were three times as likely to die, while overweight and obese women had almost twice the risk of dying.

Teresa Liu-Ambrose

Strength training may help combat cognitive decline in older adults, according to new research led by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose. Participants in a six-month study who performed weight training twice weekly showed improved performance on tests of cognitive ability and memory compared to individuals who performed only aerobic exercise. In addition to improved performance, MRI scans of the weightlifting group revealed significant functional changes in areas of the brain associated with cognitive abilities and memory.

Wendy Norman

New research led by Dr. Wendy Norman examines the barriers to accessing abortion services faced by women in rural areas of British Columbia. The study found that around 60 per cent of abortion services in rural hospitals disappeared between 1995 and 2005, due to a variety of barriers such as operating room scheduling, high demand, professional isolation, and a sense of stigma.

Bruce Vallance

UBC researchers led by Dr. Bruce Vallance have identified a protein (SIGIRR) that helps maintain healthy gut flora by maintaining a balance between good and bad bacteria. Their research shows the protein dampens the body’s immune response to allow beneficial bacteria to populate the gut, preventing invasion by harmful bacterial pathogens.