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Old Health and Medicine Articles from 2007 and Before

I Hated Picking Peaches

Do you remember the line in the musical “Showboat”, the one that says, “It’s summertime and the living is easy”? Maybe it is for some people. But the worst summer I ever endured was during World War II. We all had to contribute to the war effort and my job was to pick peaches on a farm. But for years I had suffered from Hay Fever! Peaches and their fuzz were a Perfect Storm! Could I have avoided this allergy today?

It’s estimated that 40 million North Americans now suffer from mild to severe allergies. Worse still, for some people, the allergy season never ends. And although there are several factors that trigger these allergic reactions, the main cause is pollen.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, April 24, 2017 - Full Story

Programmed proteins may make malaria vaccine possible

A malaria vaccine based on stabilized proteins could be used in tropical places where there is no refrigeration.

Despite decades of malaria research, the disease still afflicts hundreds of millions and kills around half a million people each year – most of them children in tropical regions.

The best deterrent would be a vaccine composed of some of the parasite’s own proteins. However, those proteins identified as most promising for a malaria vaccine are unstable at tropical temperatures and require complicated, expensive cellular systems to produce them in large quantities.

Yet the vaccines are most needed in areas where refrigeration is lacking and funds to buy vaccines are scarce.—More…

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - Full Story

Can Six Million Readers Answer This Question?

This week, would readers help me answer a perplexing question? Their answers could be helpful to millions of people. I’m sure that very few in Canada and the U.S. have not witnessed a friend or loved one develop Alzheimer’s disease (AD). First, some of the facts about this crippling malady. Then I’d appreciate my readers’ response.

Fact # 1- Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Center in Oakland, California, and the University of Kuopio in Finland, followed the health of 10,000 people for 40 years. They found that high blood cholesterol was associated with a 66 percent higher risk of AD. And even those with borderline levels of cholesterol, were 52 percent more likely to develop AD.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, April 17, 2017 - Full Story

Listeria Pathogen Can Be Fatal

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can cause a potentially fatal disease in people with vulnerable immune systems. Listeria infection is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the United States. About 1,600 people get sick from Listeria each year and about 260 die. 1

A number of food borne outbreaks in recent years have been attributed to Listeria. In 2016, a total of 358 frozen food products were recalled amid a Listeria outbreak that hit at least three states. 2

In 2011 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 146 people in 28 states were infected, 30 people died, and one person miscarried from cantaloupes contaminated with Listeria. It was the deadliest food borne illness outbreak in over 25 years. FDA officials concluded that new processing equipment and the decision to use a packing and washing technology involving non-chlorinated water were two probable causes of the outbreak. 3

By Jack Dini - Monday, April 10, 2017 - Full Story

Strokes; Not Just For the Elderly

How could it happen to Kris Letang, the Pittsburgh Penguin hockey player? He was young, in excellent physical condition, yet a victim of stroke. Today, stroke is not just a senior problem. So, why don’t learned professors know why this is happening?

Professor Valery Feigin is Director of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences at Auckland University, in New Zealand. He reports in the   journal, The Lancet, that every year over 80,000 children and youth are affected by this sudden medical crisis.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, April 10, 2017 - Full Story

Informed Consent: Are You Really Informed?

If I were a patient, what would I want to know about the risk of treatment? Since I’ve been one a few times, let me tell you what I worried about before past medical procedures. And will there ever be truly informed patients?

Let’s start with the major fear, death. Never forget that death lurks in the background, ready to strike. Surely, anyone who is scheduled for coronary bypass surgery realizes there’s a greater risk of dying in this case than when treated for an ingrown toenail.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, April 3, 2017 - Full Story

Are Your Eyes Mismatched?

Leo Durocher, the fiery win-at-all-costs baseball player, and later manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, once remarked, “I never question the integrity of umpires. Their eyesight? Yes!” Durocher would have questioned their eyesight more if he had known they were suffering from aniseikonia. So, should anyone care about this condition? And why do so many suffer this visual problem when it can be corrected? 

To find out about aniseikonia I interviewed Dr. Peter Shaw who has been researching this condition for over 25 years. He mentioned one thing we know, that we are all born with a number of anatomical mismatches. For instance, one ear may be larger than the other. Or, one foot longer than its counterpart. But shouldn’t   our eyes be 100 percent in tune? The point is they often do have minor differences, and this frequently causes the condition called aniseikonia.

By News on the Net - Monday, March 27, 2017 - Full Story

Sea urchin spines could fix bones

More than 2 million procedures every year take place around the world to heal bone fractures and defects from trauma or disease, making bone the second most commonly transplanted tissue after blood. To help improve the outcomes of these surgeries, scientists have developed a new grafting material from sea urchin spines. They report their degradable bone scaffold, which they tested in animals, in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

By American Chemical Society - Saturday, March 25, 2017 - Full Story

Fighting MRSA with new membrane-busting compound

Public health officials are increasingly concerned over methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The bacteria have developed resistance to a number of treatments, even antibiotics of last resort in some cases. Now researchers report in ACS’ journal Bioconjugate Chemistry that a new class of compounds can treat MRSA skin infections in mice with no signs of acute toxicity, and no signs that the bacteria would develop resistance to them after many applications.

By American Chemical Society - Saturday, March 25, 2017 - Full Story

There’s More to Constipation than Grunting.

      You think constipation isn’t important? If so, an article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology suggests you’d better think again. Annually, in the U.S., 700,000 people are seen in hospital emergency wards for this problem. Since 2006 there’s been a shocking 42 percent increase in constipation, costing 1.6 billion dollars. So what’s gone wrong, and what are the medical consequences other than grunting? 

      Constipation can be merely a chronic annoyance affecting quality of life. But Dr. John R. Hyatt, gastroenterologist at the Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano in Texas, says, “It can also result in hemorrhoids, anal tears, fissures, rectal prolapse and fecal impaction”.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, March 13, 2017 - Full Story