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Old Health and Medicine Articles from 2007 and Before

What Are You Doing To Grandma?

Is Grandma’s doctor slowly harming her by over-medication? I’m being facetious here, as no doctor wants to injure patients. But remember, today is not the horse-and-buggy era of medical practice. Today, rushed doctor visits and potent drugs can be a hazardous combination. So can you protect a beloved grandparent?

First, keep an eye on what grandparents are consuming. Studies show that 60 percent of those over 65 are taking five or more prescription drugs. This includes one in five who are taking 10 or more drugs and one in 20 using 15 or more. “Pillitis” has reached staggering levels in 2017 and it’s potentially harmful. Especially when natural remedies may treat Grandma better.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - Full Story

First dual-targeting nanoparticles lower cancer’s defenses and attack tumors

Cancer immunotherapy has emerged as one of the most exciting directions in cancer treatment.  But the approach only works in a fraction of patients and can cause nasty side effects. Now, in the journal ACS Nano, scientists report the development of the first dual-cell targeting immunotherapy nanoparticle that slows tumor growth in mice with different cancers. In their study, up to half the mice in one cancer group went into full remission after the treatment.

Immunotherapy works by giving the body’s own immune system a boost in its fight against disease. In cancer patients, there are two main lines of immunotherapy: One disables cancer cells’ ability to hide from the immune system, and the other recruits the body’s T cells to destroy tumors. Jonathan P. Schneck and colleagues wanted to see if they could combine these two tactics with one nanoparticle-based platform.

 

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - Full Story

Multiple sclerosis study reveals possible trigger

Multiple sclerosis, one of the most devastating neurodegenerative diseases, affects some 2.5 million people worldwide and has no known cure.

Researchers have long speculated that MS is triggered by the body’s own immune system unleashing an uncontrolled attack on myelin sheaths that protect nerve cells (neurons).

A study published by Israeli scientists in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) pinpoints a structural instability in the myelin membranes, the “insulating tape” surrounding neurons.

This vulnerability seems to be what gives the immune system access to otherwise protected regions.—More…

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - Full Story

Over the Edge: An Experience I‘ll Never Forget

Why would anyone in their 94th year, without consulting a psychiatrist, agree to descend from the top of Toronto’s City Hall on a rope? My wife thought I had gone mad. Surreptitiously, I momentarily agreed with her! So what was it like descending (rappelling) from the top of a 30 story high building? And why did I do it?

My son is one of many volunteer WISH Grantors for Make-A-Wish Canada. It grants wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses. Since 1983 it fulfilled all kinds of requests for 6,800 children. And each year 600 more are granted the wish of their dreams. I discovered that my son was rappelling not only for a great cause but also for his current wish child, Kyle.  It occurred that I might join him in this worthy cause.

So what wishes do these children seek? You may have guessed that many young children want to go to Disneyland and meet Mickey Mouse. Some ask for the experience of meeting a fire-fighter. Others who hope to become a ballerina want to meet one.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, June 19, 2017 - Full Story

Bacteria from cystic fibrosis patient could help thwart antibiotic-resistant TB

The number of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) cases is rising globally. But a newly discovered natural antibiotic — produced by bacteria from the lung infection in a cystic fibrosis patient — could help fight these infections. Lab testing reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society shows that the compound is active against multi-drug resistant strains.

By American Chemical Society - Thursday, June 15, 2017 - Full Story

Israeli scientists find vital key to fixing damaged heart tissue

Researchers in Israel report they have discovered a molecule in newborn hearts that appears to control the process of renewing heart muscle.

When injected into adult mouse hearts injured by heart attacks, this molecule, called Agrin, seems to “unlock” that renewal process and enable heart muscle repair – something never seen in human heart tissue outside of the womb.

These findings, published June 5 in Nature,  point to new directions for research on restoring the function of damaged hearts. Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.

The healing process following a human heart attack is long and inefficient, explained Prof. Eldad Tzahor of the Weizmann Institute of Science, who led the study together with doctoral student Elad Bassat, research student Alex Genzelinakh and other Weizmann molecular cell biologists.

Once damaged, muscle cells called cardiomyocytes are replaced by scar tissue, which cannot pump blood and therefore place a burden on the remaining cardiomyocytes.—More…

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - Full Story

Do anti-wrinkle creams work? (video)

WASHINGTON,  — Want a younger, more perfect-looking you? Skin can stay firm and stretchy thanks to protein fibers called collagen and elastin in the tissue beneath the surface. But environmental factors like smoking or ultraviolet rays from the sun can produce antioxidants that damage skin cells’ ability to make more of these supports. Anti-wrinkle treatments claim they keep the skin surface fresh and rejuvenate these cells, but do they work? To find out whether an over-the-counter jar of cream could make 40 the new 20, we dive into the science:

By American Chemical Society - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - Full Story

“I Was Married By a Judge, I Should Have Asked For a Jury”

Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, remarked, “There are no boy philosophers”. Fortunately, most of us do get wiser as we age. However, it’s never been a top priority of mine to rush into old age so I could be a wise, elderly, medical journalist philosopher. Could I be wrong?  Consumer Reports on Health says there are several good things about aging. So I had to read on.

It appears I was wrong on one point. I’ve always believed that the elderly suffered from more depression than younger people. After all, they see old friends die, illnesses become more frequent, their wife runs away with the local preacher, and it’s not as much fun to look in the mirror. But according to the prestigious Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rates of depression actually go down after age 60.

This fact is confirmed by several other sources. For instance, a study of 340,000 people, published by the National Academy of Science, reports that those in their 60s and 70s were less troubled by negative emotions.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, June 12, 2017 - Full Story

Imaging technique could be game changer for pharma

In drug development, the body can be something of a black box. We take medicine and observe the overall effects, but what happens inside the body largely remains a mystery. To help clear up this picture, researchers are turning to imaging techniques in tissue and animal testing. The step has gained ground in the drug industry, according to a story in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

By American Chemical Society - Saturday, June 10, 2017 - Full Story

Patient safety is our highest concern

Last February, Dr. Bérard and her colleagues published an updated analysis of the Quebec Pregnancy Cohort data. Between 1998 and 2009, the rate of antidepressant use during pregnancy for the study population doubled, from 2.1% to 4.3%. During that same period, the rate of major congenital malformations increased by more than 50%, and the rate of maternal depression went up slightly as well.

In addition, the study once again confirmed the link between paroxetine and heart defects, finding that the drug was associated with a nearly 50% rise in the rate of major cardiac malformations. The study also showed that venlafaxine, the active ingredient in Effexor (the drug that Christiane took during her pregnancies) more than doubled the incidence of major respiratory defects (which two of Christiane and Amery’s children suffered from).

Part I: “Please don’t forget about me”: Antidepressants and birth defects
Part II: A gigantic uncontrolled experiment
Part III: I was Absolutely Distraught
Part IV: Patient safety is our highest concern

By Patrick D Hahn - Saturday, June 10, 2017 - Full Story