Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDs) are classically known as compounds which exert adverse effects by interfering with hormone-related signalling pathways. The concept of endocrine disruption has recently been extended to metabolic alterations which may result in diseases such as obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease, which constitute an increasing health concern word wide.
Researchers from the University of Oulu are involved in a large-scale international study, which shows that genetic factors partly explain risk behaviour. The effect of individual genes on risk behaviour is low, but the interaction of genes is significant.
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common complication of diabetes. Its screening with fundus photography uses a lot of resources. University of Oulu is involved in a project that aims to automate retinopathy screening through machine learning.
The traditional Saami lifestyle and diet have protected the physical and mental health of the Saami people. However, according to the latest study, social and cultural changes have increased the occurrence of lifestyle diseases in the Saami people and created threats to their mental health. Many societal and lifestyle changes have also made the Saami people more vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change.
The University of Oulu’s Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH) focusses its research on the health impacts of global change. Climate change and traditional air pollutants are in a key role.
A significant 525 000 euro funding was granted by the Future Makers –program by the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation and the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation for AIDMEI project, directed by professor Miika Nieminen from the University of Oulu. The goal is to develop a novel artificial intelligence-based workflow for the radiological diagnostics process leading to an accessible, more accurate, and affordable healthcare.
Professor Lauri Eklund and doctoral student Prateek Singh from the University of Oulu together with their European partners have received nearly 3.8 million euro funding for the H2020-MSCA-ITN project called V.A. Cure. The goal is to provide doctoral education for early-stage researchers in the field of vascular biology, and to uncover the disease causing mechanisms to establish novel therapeutic strategies for vascular anomalies.
The web-based weight management program Onnikka, developed by the researchers at the University of Oulu, supports people in achieving permanent lifestyle changes by influencing their thoughts and attitudes. Persons using the program lost weight and, for most of them, their weight remained at the achieved level throughout the two-year control period.
Cardiology researchers at the University of Oulu have found a number of genetic alterations that might explain sudden deaths among young adults in Northern Finland. The observation of the hereditary nature of cardiac fibrosis helps researchers understand the mechanisms that lead to other serious cardiac diseases.
World Health Organization has redesignated the Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH) as a WHO Collaborating Centre in Global Change, Environment and Public Health for a new four-year term starting from May 20, 2018. The director of the WHO collaborating centre is the director of CERH, Professor of Public Health Jouni Jaakkola. CERH at the University of Oulu is the only university based research unit in Finland serving as a WHO collaborating centre.
Physical activity levels of young adults who were born preterm are clearly lower compared to their peers who were born at term, and those born preterm also have weaker muscles. Low levels of physical activity and fitness can increase the risk of chronic diseases later in life, so those born preterm should particularly be encouraged to be physically active.
The Kipuriihi tool developed at the University of Oulu assesses the effectiveness of treatments for lower back pain using wisdom of the crowds. In April, Kipuriihi will be introduced in Canada at the world's premier international conference of Human-Computer Interaction.
Even today, health care resources are wasted on unnecessary examinations and ineffective and even harmful treatments. These are the conclusions of 3 extensive review articles published in the respected scientific journal The Lancet, in which 31 leading experts from 13 countries have compiled research evidence on the causes, risk factors and treatment of low back pain. Professor Jaro Karppinen from the University of Oulu is one of the contributors.
People born in Northern Finland in 1966 and between July 1985 and June 1986 can consider themselves to be in a privileged position. Their health and well-being have been followed already from the foetal stage. This has continued through the present day at ten years intervals. The result has been an extensive research data referred to as the Northern Finland Birth Cohort. The collection of new information is beginning this year.
A new doctoral dissertation shows that many men carrying hereditary breast cancer gene feel that necessary support is not available to them. Despite an increased cancer risk, there is no consistent preventive cancer screening organised for these men.
Skin diseases among middle-aged people are more common than previously thought. The doctoral thesis research of Suvi-Päivikki Sinikumpu, Licentiate of Medicine, revealed that 60% of the subjects had a skin disease requiring treatment.
Before reaching fifty, Finnish smokers already show warning signs of serious cardiovascular events. Support for quitting provided by doctors is a cost-effective method of preventing the realisation of serious health risks, but Finnish doctors feel that a lack of time and inadequate treatment paths prevent them from offering sufficient support.
A unique study has been launched in Finland that will deepen our understanding about the origins of diseases and their treatment. The FinnGen study plans to tap into 500 000 unique blood samples collected by a nation-wide network of Finnish biobanks. The study is expected to continue for six years, securing funding of 59M€.
Genetics has made its way into the mainstream and is now within the reach of everyone. Currently we are already genuinely at the individual level in research, and we all have the possibility to test ourselves genetically if we wish. The increasing amount of information increases our self-knowledge, but the development also raises some fears. The opportunities and future challenges of increasing genetic information were discussed at the “Fascinating Genes” seminar at the University of Oulu in late November.
Professor Miika Nieminen has received a large funding of 1,018 M€ from Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation for the project “Structure-specific MRI characterization of articular cartilage in osteoarthritis”. This is a continued funding for a project previously supported by the same foundation.
The results of a recent study emphasize the role of cytokine Interleukin 6 (IL-6) in the pathogenesis of asthma and imply that certain IL6 genotypes increase susceptibility to the adverse effects of tobacco smoking on the risk of the asthma. The research was carried out in the University of Oulu, at the Center for Environmental and Respiratory Research (CERH) by docent Taina K. Lajunen, Professor of public health Jouni J.K. Jaakkola and Professor of pulmonary medicine Maritta S. Jaakkola.
Seventy-two new genetic variants that contribute to the risk of developing breast cancer have been identified by an extensive, international team of researchers. The findings were reported in the journals Nature and Nature Genetics. Genetic studies pave way for understanding the pathogenesis of breast cancer.
The material of the cardiology researchers from Oulu can be considered unique on the global scale. This material is used to study what factors influence development of fibrosis that leads to cardiac diseases and sudden death.