Major grant aids research into I.B.D among Hispanics

MIAMI – South Florida researchers are part of a nationwide effort to better understand the impact of inflammatory bowel disease in Hispanics.

Dr. Maria Abreu, gastroenterologist and director of UHealth’s Crohn’s and Colitis Center, received nearly $3 million from the National Institutes of Health to collect and analyze the genes of more than 3,000 Hispanics with I.B.D. over the next five years.

“This is a big opportunity for us as a site. It really leverages all of the investment we’ve made over a decade of seeing patients here in South Florida, of engaging the community, of engaging the community of patients but also the community of gastroenterologists who share their patients with us for specialized opinions related to Crohn’s disease and colitis,” Abreu said.

Abreu said other sites participating in the research are in Puerto Rico and Los Angeles.

The next time you plan to get a vaccine you’ll want to make sure you get a good night’s rest first.

According to a new study, poor sleep may limit your body’s response to the vaccine, decreasing protection against the virus or bacteria.

The finding suggests you’ll want to get more than six hours of sleep the night you get your shot. The study says the impact of poor sleep on immune response was more significant in men than women.

And while fasting has been linked to many health benefits, a new study in mice suggests that there may be a cost in terms of reduced immunity.

The study found that immune cells migrated from the animals’ blood to their bone marrow during fasting and surged back when feeding re-started.

Hunger triggers a hormonal stress response in the brain, which may compel the immune system to conserve resources when food is scarce.

The research hints that regularly skipping breakfast could compromise immune defenses in humans, though this has yet to be established.

About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.