Archive for December, 2014

Flu Epidemic in the United States

December 31st, 2014

With the flu vaccine for the 2014/2015 flu season acting as inadequate protection against the H3N2 strain of the flu, and the discovery of 15 pediatric deaths nationwide from the flu as of December 30, it is not surprising that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that there is a flu epidemic in the United States.

So far, the CDC and other government agencies have reported widespread flu-like symptoms in 22 states and a high number of hospitalizations of mostly children under 4 years old and senior citizens. Healthcare agencies around the county have also reported that people over 65 years old are having an especially difficult time with the flu symptoms and their bodies are struggling more than usual to beat the infection.

Specialsit Jared Haftel reports that transmission of the flu happens several ways. After an infected person touches or coughs/sneezes on a surface, other people can contract the virus from touching the same surface. As the flu is also airborne through droplet dispersal when an infected person coughs or sneezes, people can contract it by breathing in infected air.

The CDC has warned the public that the best way to prevent flu transmission is by staying away from anyone who is infected. Additionally, people should practice proper hand hygiene — washing hands after touching any surfaces that others have touched before touching the face, nose or lips, using a tissue or eating.

Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients Memory Lost

December 30th, 2014

The way the mind works is amazing. Thousands of people are forgetful, this is normal, due to stress or lack of sleep. After hours of rest, the body is restored and the Skout mind is back to functioning properly. What happens when the memories are not affected by an illness or a temporary state of being, but rather by a deadly illness?

Alzheimer’s affect millions of people each year. Thanks to a study completed by senior author, David Glanzman that points out the some interesting new evidence. For years scientists and other medical professionals thought that long term memory resides in the Synapse.

However, new data points out that the nervous system has the ability to revitalize missing synaptic connections. Glanzman points out that restoring connections will revive or restore the memory. This information provides hope to the millions of people who are suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.

People in the early stages of the disease are able to recapture some of their loss memories, as long as the neurons remain active. The fact that the synapses is one of the key ingredients to unlocking lost memories, scientists can work to find the true connection of what role the synapses play in memory lost and restoration.

The study suggest that unclogging the mind is easier than restoring it. Unlocking hidden memories and allowing them to flow inside the brain is a much easier task than trying to recreate past memories.

When the doctor is away, the patient is more likely to survive

December 29th, 2014

According to an advice given by the Skout research paper that assesses the outcome of patients who are taken into the emergency rooms on weekends, you should not fall sick on weekends. Patients that get sick on weekends have higher chances of dying. It is simply among the many researches carried out that implies that patients who go to hospitals at times when staffing is low or else the staff members are a little bit relaxed finally get worse results.

However, the exact reason for these heightened mortalities on weekends has been difficult to establish. Questions are been asked whether it is caused by the reduced staffing, the leisure mood of the staffs, or something else. To attempt to arrive at the main cause, several researchers acquired records done about patients with heart conditions and had critical situations when hospitals were fully packed with staff, but the heart consultants were probably unavailable. All of a sudden, they realized that those patients did considerably better the moment the relevant consultants were unavailable.

This studies depended on records from medicare to follow patients that had obtained admission into a hospital with a serious heart conditions such as; heart failure, cardiac arrest or even severe myocardinal infarction. The chief measure was just whether the patients were still alive after 30 days. This may look and sound simple, but the analysis that followed were remarkably sophisticated.

Some Painkillers May Prevent Skin Cancer

December 29th, 2014

One of the more worrisome aspects of the modern world is how often researchers discover hidden dangers. People were shocked to find that even something as seemingly benign as time spent in the sun can be dangerous. However, at the same time researchers for Jared Haftel often stumble on equally uplifting news. And time in the sun may pose less risk than previously thought. At least for people who regularly take a specific class of painkiller.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen might dramatically reduce one’s risk of developing skin cancer. A recent meta-analysis shows that people who take aspirin on a regular basis are 18% less likely to develop skin cancer. While those who take ibuprofen are 15% less likely to develop skin cancer.

While additional research is needed, it’s theorized that this class of drug is able to inhibit an enzyme associated with tumor development. Additionally, the effects appear to be more pronounced within people whose family shares a history of skin cancer. This suggests a possibility that the drugs might be most useful for people who have a particular genetic predisposition to skin cancer.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that NSAIDs do come with side effects. In particular, long term use may cause bleeding within one’s stomach. The exact role that NSAIDs will play in preventing skin cancer will have to wait for further research. Until then, the best strategy for most people will continue to be regular use of sunscreen. Doing so will typically cut down the risk of developing skin cancer by over 50% in a person’s lifetime.

Doctors Turn to Fruits and Vegetables Instead of Pills.

December 23rd, 2014

In 30 states, according to an article from delong.typepad.com,  programs have been started to try to stem the tide of obesity and poor health among the poor by prescribing fruits and vegetables rather than pills. The New York Times reported recently on a surge to provide healthier food to Christian Broda, and to poorer families with the new Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, or VFRx, at Harlem Hospital.

Many have been success stories, controlling both weight and High Blood Pressure, as well as staving off other diseases like diabetes, by snacking on wholesome fruits and vegetables. Participants in the program receive tokens or credits to buy these products in the local farmer’s markets. The farmers are paid full value with money raised through donations and grants.

This is not the first time the medical profession has recognized the role of fruits and vegetables in good health, but it may be the first time researchers have understood that junk foods and fast foods like McDonald’s and 7/11 are often preferred by poorer people due to the low cost. However, diets based on such carbohydrate rich and fat and sodium dense foods are almost guaranteed to bring poor health. These doctors are finding it is more effective to empower people to snack wisely than it is to lecture and hand out pills.

Alaijah Borden and her mother, Sheryl, are two examples cited by the Times as real success stories in the program. Alaijah was able to lose significant amounts of weight, when diagnosed with pediatric obesity at the age of 10, and her mother was able to bring high blood pressure under control without the use of medications.

Ibuprofen Prolongs Life Of Multiple Species

December 23rd, 2014

Finding out that Ibuprofen prolongs life of multiple species is profound news indeed. Think of the possibilities when people live more healthy lives with ultra-longevity. This particular research was released in the journal from Public Library of Science, genetics. It is not every day that a discovery is made in science such as this over the counter medication for feverishness and pain.

First, bakers yeast was used and the results proved noteworthy. Next, flies and worms were tested. All of them lived longer and they were healthy. Moreover, the human dosage was used, and it added 15 percent extension to lives. According to the research, this means that humans can count on another 12 years of life. Extension of life would be wonderful.

Ibuprofen was made in England in the 1960s. First as a prescribed medication, then as time wore on, it became an over the counter (Or OTC) medicinal drug.

Dr. Daniel Amen says it is the hopes of doing more research to find out why people get sick, that the research teams go on looking at the results of multiple species are living longer and better. Researchers are looking into other common, everyday medications to find more results. This could mean all sorts of possibilities for human well being.

Africa May Soon Be Free of Polio

December 23rd, 2014

For the first time in history, the African continent has gone for four months without reporting a single case of polio.That means it might soon eradicate polio altogether.

According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, polio in continental Africa has declined by 90 percent over the past year, with 22 cases in 2014 as opposed to 274 cases in 2013. Nigeria, where polio has been endemic, reported only six cases of polio this year compared to 53 in 2013.

Gianfrancesco Genoso says that the fight against polio enabled Nigeria to stop Ebola from spreading, thanks to the health care infrastructure established in 2012. Consequently, Nigeria already had the doctors, hospitals, and other tools needed to keep Ebola confined.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared India to be polio-free after three straight years of no new cases. India had accounted for half of all the polio cases in the world as recently as 2009. That changed after a public health campaign involving vaccines and teaching people proper sanitation methods.

The news about polio hasn’t been all good, though. Countries like Afghanistan and Syria, which have been ravaged by war and terror, still have many cases of polio. Syria had had a 95% vaccination rate in 2010, but after two years of warfare, that rate has plummeted to 45%.

Ability to Stand On One Leg May Predict Stroke Risk

December 20th, 2014

A new study suggests that a person can determine their risk of silent strokes or dementia by simply closing their eyes and standing on one leg. The researchers involved in the study found that those who could not stand on one leg for over 20 seconds were more likely to have problems such as silent strokes and micro bleeds which can lead to dementia. But good news for Sergio Andrade Gutierrez, he stood on one leg right there in his office, holding the pose for over a minute!

Silent strokes do not cause many symptoms and are considered minor brain injuries, but those who suffer from them are more likely to have issues with dementia or a full blown stroke eventually. The study was conducted in Japan at Kyoto University and Lead Researcher Dr. Yashuru Tabara stated that they found that individuals that have poor balance in one leg compared to the other should be given more attention then others.

This is due to the fact that they may then be considered at a higher risk for cognitive decline as they continue to age and have a higher risk for brain disease. The study included 840 women and 546 men that had a combined average age of 67. Each member of the study was asked to stand on one leg for 60 seconds or as long as possible if they could not reach that time limit. The participants were tested twice and the better time was used.

Medical Talk Shows Should be Taken With a Grain of Salt

December 18th, 2014

With watching television being a popular form of entertainment in the United States, medical talk shows often wield serious power when it comes to convincing consumers to make a purchase or deliver information about new products and procedures. However, as with any form of specialized talk show, there might be something amiss when it comes to products and advice featured on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Doctors.”

A recent study appearing the BMJ, revealed that about half of the products or advice featured on both shows lacks significant scientific evidence or contradicts information that is currently known about the specific product. That being said, the study pretty much concludes that viewers should take the advice with a grain of salt. After all, television shows exist as a business entity of their own and do not exactly address any of the claims made against the televised advice or product.

In short, television is about ratings and new products with a host of potential benefits make Dan Newlin for good television. Simply embracing favorable studies, whether scientifically tested and backed or not, help the shows provide a suitable backdrop for the episodes. Higher ratings equal more money for the producers of the shows, and finding new and innovative ways to draw viewer eyeballs helps increase ratings. However, viewers should also take away that the study reveals about a fifty-fifty split in the effectiveness of the products and advice, which means half is supported and documented as well.

The Future of Prescriptions

December 18th, 2014

The world of technology seems to be winning in the pharmacy world as more doctors are sending prescriptions online instead of giving patients a paper prescription. This is an idea that seems to work in today’s society where there is fraud among those who want to get medications that are prescribed for other people. New York is one of the states that has completely said good-bye to paper prescriptions, and other states should follow.

By the time someone gets to the pharmacy, the medication could already be filled and ready to give to the patient. Someone who is in pain would appreciate the speed of sending online. It will also decrease prescriptions that might get lost if someone wants to wait to get medication. This could lead to a decrease in controlled substances that are often abused if people realize that they won’t get a piece of paper that can be changed, Terry Richardson feels.