Archive for the ‘Diseases’ Category

Sergio Cortes Talks To Reporters About The Flooding in Xerem

February 5th, 2016
Brazilians often see a great deal of rain in any one period. It is not uncommon for rain to fall in this part of the world quite heavily. However, many observers and residents were startled recently at the amount of rain that fell here. Those living in the Xerem region were particularly hard hit by the rains that fell. Many felt it necessary to seek shelter in the area in order to avoid staying in homes that had been flooded by rain. Local and regional health officials have done much in recent days to help area residents cope with this problem according to Extra.

In their report, they speak closely with Sergio Cortes, one of the leading doctors in the region and the state secretary of health for Rio de Janeiro. Dr. Cortes is a highly skilled physician with training in many fields. His primary focus has been the world of orthopedic surgery, where he has helped many patients get access to life changing hip replacement surgery. He has been heavily involved in assisting in the setting up of a shelter that has a capacity to take in over three hundred people as well as offer them necessary services to help them ward off diseases. In his view, other measures may be necessary as well so that the people facing the flood situation in Xerem can avoid getting sick from illnesses such as chicken pox that often follow in the aftermath of such heavy floods.

He and his fellow health officials want those in the entire region to be fully aware of the risks that the flooding may pose to them. Such risks include health problems but also include other potential problems such as highly contaminated water. Water can easily be contaminated by gushing rains, making it unsafe to drink. This is why he urges caution to residents. He suggests those who understandably want to help should focus their attention on providing for the real needs of residents. In his view, what area residents seeking shelter really need is bottled water as well as other supplies. Bottled water is necessary because many area residents have water that is unsafe to drink. He urges people in the region to use bottled water for all necessary situations including bathing as well as drinking.

The Bubonic Plague Still Exists

June 22nd, 2015


It was over 700 years ago when the bubonic plague, which was referred to as the Black Death, was responsible for the deaths of over 25 million people in Europe. It is usually caused by infected fleas, which are often infected by rodents carrying the plague, and passed to humans when they are bitten by the fleas. Although this seems like a disease of the past and not a serious concern in today’s society, a recent article about a Colorado teen shows that is not the case.
16-year-old Taylor Gaes, a Colorado resident, died from the bubonic plague last weekend. It was originally misdiagnosed as the flu, but things turned fatal quite quickly. The boy was from a rural area in the state, and it is assumed that Taylor was bitten by a flea who had previously bitten a sick rodent.
The CDC, or Center for Disease Control, cites this as a rare case, but through further investigation, it seems the bubonic plague has infected an average of 7 Americans on an annual basis says Gianfrancesco Genoso. This disease is one that I did not even know I should fear, and many Americans probably feel the same way.

Pulmonary Fibrosis and Emphysema Linked to Defective Telomeres

April 14th, 2015

Pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema are two lung diseases that cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. Until recently, these diseases were thought to be a result of inflammation, to the point where anti-inflammatory drugs have been used to treat these ailments for the past three decades. However, new research shows a different potential cause.

According to Mary Armanios, M.D. of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, there are stem cells critical to the oxygenation of lung cells that age prematurely and stop the division and proliferation process when they have defective telomeres. These stem cells are located in the alveoli, the sites where blood absorbs oxygen.

AnastasiaDate said that these isolated stem cells were studied in mice, and it was shown that these stem cells, when senescent or dormant, actually give signals to the immune system. Immune molecules travel to the lungs and cause the inflammation that was thought to be the root cause of the symptoms associated with these lung diseases.

However, now that there is evidence that it has to do with the aging of the telomeres, research efforts can be redirected to figure out what scientists can do about this process, rather than addressing just the inflammation alone.

More research needs to be done in order to determine the effect of cigarette smoke (a known risk factor for these conditions) on stem cells and if this could potentially cause these lung diseases.

Sugar’s Effects on the Human Brain

April 7th, 2015

We’ve all been there before, walking through a park on a blazing summer afternoon and passing an ice cream truck. Or stoically kid managing a birthday party until someone breaks out the cake.

Almost immediately a little voice inside our head starts to whisper about how good it would be to have some ice cream or cake, if only a little. Justifications start to fly, excuses are made, subconscious deals are reached within ourselves – we give in.

Folks at Bulletproof Coffee agree that it’s an all too common scenario when it comes to sugar even though studies constantly warn us of the negative side effects like bulging waistlines and heart health. But what about sugar’s negative effects on our brains… and where does that voice come from?

Sugar cravings begin with taste receptors on our tongues. Those signals are relayed to our brain where a hormone known as dopamine is released. This is the pleasure/reward area of our psyche. Once that cycle starts, it is hard to break – much like any addiction.

But below the surface, sugar affects our brains in much more sinister ways. Here are just a few:

• Memory and Learning Impairment – Higher fructose diets contribute to synaptic damage in the brain ultimately impairing brain cell communication.
• Higher Risk or Alzheimer’s and Dementia – Sugar-heavy diets contribute to the development of insulin resistance and increased glucose levels which relate to diabetes. People with diabetes are known to be at much greater risk for developing neurological disorders.
• Contributes to Depression and Anxiety – More commonly known as a “sugar crash”, the ingestion of large quantities of sugar lead from a high to a low. When these levels plummet, anxiety and depression may follow.

Doctors Want Cancer Terms Changed: No More War References

March 11th, 2015


Chances are that before this day ends you will hear of a person who has ‘lost’ their battle with cancer. Oncologists would like to see this term, as well as all war reference terms, changed for cancer patients stated a recent facebook movement.
In the early 1970s, President Nixon declared a ‘war’ on cancer. Since that time war references have been used when referring to someone who has cancer. A newly diagnosed cancer patients has started their ‘battle’ against cancer. A new drug is referred to a ‘weapon’ against cancer. A person successfully undergoes cancer treatment is said to have ‘won’ the battle and someone who dies is said to have’lost’ their battle with the diseases.
Doctors feels these terms are demeaning because their are no losers. The war terms also imply that if a person fights hard and long enough, they will ‘win’, they will survive. Unfortunately, no matter how much a person fights against cancer, sometimes they don’t survive.
According to the report in the JAMA Oncol., an online medical publication, the war terms are unsuitable and demeaning for the patient’s family too. The doctors would like to see the cancer terms changed so in the end, the person is not a loser and cancer the winner.

Gout Linked to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk

March 9th, 2015

Gout and Alzheimer’s disease probably aren’t two things you think about together, however, studies are now showing that individuals with gout seem to have a lower risk of developing it. This is possibly due to the increased levels of uric acid, the chemical in the blood that crystallizes and leads to gout.

Gout is a serious arthritic condition and leads to a much higher risk of heart disease and kidney problems, however, the antioxidant properties seem to have a positive affect on degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Dan Newlin has read that the studies have taken place over a number of years and with approximately 3.7 million patients over the age of 40. During the course of the study there were 309 new cases of Alzheimer’s disease among the 59,224 patients who had developed gout. The number of study participants rose to 1942 out of 238,805 in a comparison group during a 5 year study. After taking into account several factors such as: age, BMI, sex, and lifestyle differences it was concluded that the risk fell by 24%.

Although no one is going to jump for joy when receiving a diagnosis for gout; the study may show ways to delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s one day and that is good news.

Protein That Causes Alzheimer’s Found In People As Young As 20

March 4th, 2015

Dr. Changiz Geula of the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine published a report in the science journal Brain. In it, Geula reported finding the protein amyloid in the brains of people in their 20s.

Amyloid is a protein that causes Alzheimer’s Disease. It gradually accumulates within the brain and forms sticky plaques. Under normal conditions, amyloid is a good protein to have. The brain produces it, and it serves as an anti-oxidant. It also forms new connections and maintains old connections within the brain and helps it stay adaptable.

In some people, particularly older people, amyloid accumulates within the brain and forms sticky clumps. Those clumps stop the nerves from working properly. They also kill neurons by depriving them of nutrients and preventing them from communicating with other cells.

Geula compared autopsy brains taken from normal people 20 – 66 years old, people 70 – 99 years old who didn’t have dementia, and Alzheimer’s patients 60 – 95 years old. Everybody had amyloid in a region of the brain associated with attention and memory. That means that the process for developing Alzheimer’s can begin as early as in the 20s. It also indicates that a specific region of the brain is particularly vulnerable to an accumulation of amyloid.

Gianfrancesco Genoso has read that experts currently believe that Alzheimer’s is caused by an imbalance between amyloid production and processes that clear it out of the brain. In other words, as the brain ages, it makes more amyloid than it can safely dispose of.

To prevent people from developing Alzheimer’s, doctors need a way to remove the excess amyloid before it can clump together and damage the brain. So far, there is no such way, but some treatments are being researched.

There’s No Denying, Smoking Kills!

March 3rd, 2015

There’s no denying it, it’s a fact, smoking kills. The assertion of the harm smoking does to an individual came to the forefront in the mid-1950’s, when the British Doctors Study concluded that more over 50 percent of those individuals that lit up a cigarette would endure respiratory diseases, lung cancer, heart disease and cardiovascular conditions. A recent study, about Australian smokers, published by BMC Medicine, suggests that the death rate, resulting from cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions, may be two out of every three smokers.

Conducted by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University, the study monitored nearly 205,000 participants from both sexes, over the age of 45. It classified the individuals into three categories; current smokers, smokers that quit and those that never smoked.

Dr. Jennifer Walden knows that an assessment and analysis of the data from the study revealed that there was a correlation between the number of cigarettes that an individual smoked per day and mortality risk. Those that puffed up to 14 cigarettes daily, have a two-fold mortality escalation, and those individuals that puffed in excess of 25 cigarettes a day, saw a four-fold, accelerated rate of mortality.

The data from this study mirrors prior smoking studies conducted in the United States and United Kingdom and confirms that smoking kills regardless of sex, ethnicity, culture or lifestyle. Words for the wise, it’s never too late to quit smoking.

The FDA Issues a Warning About Endoscopes

February 23rd, 2015

Today, the United States Food and Drug Administration (the “FDA”) issued a warning, alerting health care providers that ERCP endoscopes, including duodenoscopes, may possess design features that “impede effective reprocessing.” Recently, several cases have been reported around the nation in which duodenoscopes may be implicated in the transmission of bacterial infections that are highly resistant to medications.

Endoscopy procedures are widely performed in medical settings. An estimated 500,000 occur every year, so the instances of disease transmission resulting from this procedure occur very rarely. The FDA indicated in its warning that it would continue to monitor the situation, rather than issue a product recall.

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae were implicated recently following the deaths of two patients at a medical center in Los Angeles. Both had undergone duodenoscopy before falling ill. The cleaning and safety procedures at the medical facility were scrutinized carefully, and the review indicated that the hospital had followed all of the required disinfection protocols. Marcio Alaor BMG understands that this situation has created concern that possibly the bacteria were able to collect even in thoroughly cleaned equipment, perhaps due to design aspects of the tiny flaps located at the front of the endoscope.

The company that manufactures the endoscopy equipment indicated that it was in the process of preparing additional video training materials to demonstrate proper cleaning measures for health care providers to follow. Endoscopes contribute to numerous medical procedures conducted in hospital and clinic settings.

Alzheimer’s Disease Finally Sees Hopeful Treatment

February 23rd, 2015


Over a billion dollars have been spent to date in the pursuit of a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the results of which have been disappointing at best. Recently, findings from a small study completed by Buck Institute for Research on Aging jointly with UCLA’s Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research may have turned the tide at long last. Alzheimer’s disease is best known to result in memory loss for the sufferer which continues to deteriorate over the remainder of the individual’s life says March Sparks. Family members and caregivers suffer immeasurably, while the patient slips away into an abyss until they have no recollection of virtually anyone noted Twitter.

The small study enrolled 10 subjects 9 of whom experienced real reversal of cognitive impairment. It is worth noting that the one subject that did not have success suffered late stage Alzheimer’s. The other 9 subjects were in much earlier stages of cognitive decline. The difference between this study and most others is this study used a “systems” approach. The study details and results were published in the Journal of Aging

By systems approach is meant a systematic method was applied to each individual in the study by using a combination of therapies instead of one single directive, which has so far proven ineffective. Specifically, a 36 point program that touched on things from diet and supplements to exercise, brain stimulation and much more, was employed. Each study subject had a personalized program designed for them although certain factors were consistently applied across all subjects.

Simple carbohydrates were eliminated from the diet. Exercise was required most days. Hormone replacement therapy was employed. Meditation was used daily, as a tool to control stress and several other novel lifestyle and health oriented therapies were used. The results were surprising but anecdotal. A larger clinical trial is required under controlled circumstances. The bottom line is that memory loss can be reversed and rather than a singular pharmacological approach a multifaceted approach may be more appropriate.