Medical News & Information ...Researchers find drugs being tested for Alzheimer's disease work in unexpected and beneficial ways
Mayoclinic.org - June 11, 2008
"JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Researchers at Mayo Clinic, with their national and international collaborators, have discovered how a class of agents now in testing to treat Alzheimer's disease work, and say they may open up an avenue of drug discovery for this disease and others." (more ...)
Different mutations in a single gene suggests Parkinson's disease is primarily an inherited genetic disorder
"JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two new international studies by researchers at the Mayo Clinic site in Florida are rounding out the notion that Parkinson's disease is largely caused by inherited genetic mutations that pass through scores of related generations over hundreds, if not thousands of years. These genetic influences, which can be small but additive, or large and causative, overturn common beliefs that the neurodegenerative disease mostly occurs in a random fashion or is due to undetermined environmental factors." (more ...)
Seeing Alzheimer's Amyloids With Electron Microscopy For First Time
"In an important step toward demystifying the role protein clumps play in the development of neurodegenerative disease, researchers have created a stunning three-dimensional picture of an Alzheimer's peptide aggregate using electron microscopy. The study, in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reports that researchers from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., and the Leibniz Institut in Jena, Germany, have shown--for the first time--how A-beta peptide, found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, forms a spaghetti-like protein mass called an amyloid fibril." (more ...)
FAA bans anti-smoking drug Chantix for Pilots, Air Controllers
"WASHINGTON -- The Federal Aviation Administration today banned pilots and air traffic controllers from using a popular new anti-smoking drug after a medical safety group warned that the medication had apparently contributed to auto accidents and other mishaps that posed risks to both users and others." (more ...)
Treating Invasive Fungal Infections
Clopidogrel: Some Drugs May Reduce Its Effectiveness
"By careful monitoring of patients who are prescribed clopidogrel, drugs likely to reduce its effectiveness can be avoided."
"In October 2003, this column discussed the potential interaction between clopidogrel (Plavix) and atorvastatin. At that time, it was concluded that this interaction was unlikely to cause a risk to patients. Multiple studies in the past few years have confirmed that view."
"Clopidogrel represents a rather unique risk for drug interactions, however. It is a prodrug that requires metabolic conversion to a thiol metabolite that binds to the platelet adenosine diphosphate receptor and reduces the ability of platelets to aggregate. The antiplatelet effect is useful to prevent blood clots in the arterial system and in patients with coronary artery stents." (more ...)
The Facts About Blood Pressure
"High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects about 50 million Americans and almost 1 billion people worldwide. People who have normal blood pressure at 55 years of age have a 90% risk of developing high blood pressure in their lifetime. Therefore, it is likely that high blood pressure will affect you or someone closely related to you." (more ...)
Warnings, Not Ban, Urged for Diabetes Drug
"A pair of Food and Drug Administration advisory panels called yesterday for new warnings for the widely used diabetes drug Avandia because of evidence that it significantly raises the risk of heart attack, but they stopped short of recommending that the drug be pulled from the market, as some FDA officials had urged." (more ...)
Silver nasal sprays: misleading Internet marketing
"Long-term use of silver-containing products is associated with a permanent bluish-gray discoloration of the skin known as argyria, but they remain widely available despite several measures by the FDA to regulate them. Several recent case reports have described the occurrence of argyria as a result of using these "natural" products." (more ...)
Florida Prescription Drug Prices
"The Florida Prescription Drug Price website provides pricing information for the 100 most commonly used prescription drugs in Florida. The prices are the “usual and customary prices,” also known as retail prices, reported monthly by pharmacies. This is the price that an uninsured consumer, with no discount or supplemental plan, would normally pay. Prices at your local pharmacy may change daily, so this website is only meant to help you compare prices at different pharmacies and are not a guaranteed price."
Health Services Research Information Central
Web sites by other categories including: Health Economics, Rural Health, and State Resources - Federal Agencies | Associations | Data Sets and Data Sources | Epidemiology and Health Statistics | Evidence Based Medicine and Health Technology Assessment | Funding | Health Policy and Health Economics | Informatics | Public Health | Rural Health | State Resources | Disparities
Alphabetic List - All Web sites in alphabetic order.
Visual loss with erectile dysfunction medications
"Health Canada recently issued a warning that the conditon known as nonarteritic ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) has been reported in users of all the PDE5 inhibitors."
"Phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, including sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), and vardenafil (Levitra), are drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction that have long been recognized to cause temporary, minor visual changes in less than 10% of users. However concerns were raised in 2005 after a small case series was published describing several sildenafil users who experenced sudden, severe visual loss." (more ...)
National Institutes of Health - Medline Plus
Pharmacy Times - www.pharmacytimes.com
The Pharmacy Times April 2006 issue is an Asthma and Allergy Issue.
These are just a few of the articles found in this issue.
CURE is a quarterly publication for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers by CURE Media Group, LP. and combines science and humanity. It features cancer updates, research and education.
Subscriptions are free to cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. All others: Individuals - USA $20. (See Web site for other types of subscriptions.)
Herceptin in the Spotlight
Eight years after its approval, Herceptin emerges as the best weapon against HER2-positive breast cancer.
With more investigation, doctors learned that the HER2 gene can create a protein receptor that sits on the outside of cells. This HER2 receptor helps trigger the chain reactions that cause the cell to abnormally divide and grow. George Sledge, MD, an oncologist and researcher at Indiana University, says, "HER2 is involved in pretty much everything you would be interested in for cancer, including growth, invasion and metastases.” Further research on those malignant cells with extra copies of the HER2 gene revealed that not only did they have more copies of the HER2 gene, but whereas a typical breast cell has about 50,000 HER2 receptors on its surface, a breast cancer cell can have as many as 1.5 million receptors. (more ...)
Picking Up Momentum for Treating Renal Cell Carcinoma
At the end of [name deleted] annual physical in March 2002, everything seemed fine. While he was dressing, his doctor impulsively told him to get back on the table, examined his abdomen, and found that he had an enlarged spleen. Further testing revealed a tumor in his kidney that was wrapped around his pancreas, spleen and liver.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is found in the lining of the very small tubes in the kidney that filter and clean blood, remove waste products and produce urine. These cancers make up over 90 percent of all kidney cancers. RCC itself has several subtypes (see sidebar). The most common is clear-cell RCC, which accounts for around 80 percent of all RCC cases. (more ...)
Lost and Found - From mastectomy to reconstruction and beyond.
It rained the day of my mastectomy, a harsh downpour that fell from what appeared to be a huge dark hole spreading across the sky. I was glad the rain started early that morning because when I walked into the crowded hospital lobby, I was able to pretend the wet streaks rolling down my face were raindrops instead of tears.
I had cried only once before-in the surgeon’s office-a week before the operation when it all became too real. The surgeon talked in sentences but all I heard were nouns-breast cancer, mastectomy, cure. At age 41, I had accepted the fact that the complete removal of my left breast was medically necessary in order to save my life, but I couldn’t quite get over the fact that a part of me was going away for good. (more ...)
New Drug Update 2005-Part 1
Twenty new molecular entities were approved in 2005.
New Drug Update 2005-Part 2
FDA unveils new Rx drug information format
Labeling changes made for Clozaril
Liver Toxicity reported with telithromycin use
New labeling and guide for topical calcineurin inhibitors
Get free mobile Part D formulary info
Pharmacists and physicians now have free access to Medicare Part D Rx plan formularies via their mobile devices
or the Web, courtesy of Epocrates Inc. The information also includes Rx plan co-pay tiers, generic drug options,
and coverage restrictions. Go to the Web site found at:
FTC Closes Down "FREE Rx MEDICINE" Internet Scam
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigators have slammed the door on a Louisville, Ky-based company that lured lowincome consumers with no insurance into spending $199 with false claims that they would receive "free prescription medication."
In a complaint alleging fraudulent activity by MyFreeMedicine.com, the FTC charged that the company targets "low-income consumers who spend more than $100 a month for medications" and may "qualify to receive free prescription medicine through one or more of the many patient assistance programs (PAPs) operated by pharmaceutical companies." The company's television and radio ads urge consumers who are not covered by insurance to call a toll-free number to find out if they are "eligible" to receive free prescription medications.
Consumers who responded to the ads were charged $199.95 for a 6-month enrollment and were provided with PAP application forms that must be submitted to the pharmaceutical companies. According to the FTC, many who paid this fee later learned that they were not eligible to receive their prescription medications for free from a PAP, or that their prescriptions were not available from a PAP. (more...)
Dealing with the Drug Interaction Skeptic
For Dr. Hansten, it was not his best moment as a pharmacist. It was the late 1960s, and he had just started his first job as a staff pharmacist/ drug information specialist at a hospital in Berkeley, Calif. The drug order that came down in the pneumatic tube said, "Tetracycline 250 mg po every 6 hours. Give 2 oz Maalox with each dose of tetracycline." Not many drug interactions were well-documented in the 1960s, but this was certainly one of them. The young pharmacist called the physician on the phone and explained in his most tactful manner that the antacid would reduce the bioavailability of the tetracycline to nearly zero. The physician was an older man, and his response was something like, "Well sonny, I've been giving tetracycline together with antacids for quite a while now, and I have not seen any problems. So, just fill the orders exactly the way I wrote them." The physician slammed the phone down before the pharmacist could respond, and that was that. (more...)
Why You Should Stop Smoking
In the first half of the 20th century, many people were not aware of the hazards of smoking. By 1950, however, there was strong evidence that smoking was a cause of lung cancer. In 1964, the Surgeon General of the United States issued a report about the negative health effects of tobacco use (Table 1). Yet, despite of all the information gathered since then, smoking still remains the leading preventable cause of death in this country. (Obesity is second.) (more...)
Common Pediatric Respiratory Illnesses
Acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) are a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide.1 These illnesses, which include bronchiolitis, croup, and pneumonia, are caused by pathogens such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza virus, and influenza virus, and account for a large portion of medically attended illnesses and hospitalizations of children younger than 5 years old.
ARIs involve the upper and/or lower respiratory tract and have an abrupt onset that can last from a few hours to a few days. Upper respiratory tract infections affect the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses, while lower respiratory tract infections affect the trachea, bronchial tubes, and lungs.2 The most common diagnoses for children with ARIs are fever, rule-out sepsis, or febrile seizure (39%), pneumonia (17%), asthma (17%), and bronchiolitis (16%). (more...)
Tips for Traveling Seniors
A large and increasing number of individuals are traveling both domestically and internationally for professional, social, recreational, and humanitarian reasons. Travelers are exposed to health risks in unfamiliar environments, and elderly individuals are among the most widely traveled members of society. While advanced age is not necessarily a contraindication for travel if a senior is in good health, several precautions may minimize or prevent the risks and negative consequences associated with traveling. The elderly should seek medical advice before embarking on a long-distance trip. An appointment with a travel medicine physician can be a valuable resource, especially for international travel. (more...)
New Approaches to Classifying Pain
Pain can be classified by duration and onset (acute or chronic and intermittent or persistent), etiology (nociceptive, neuropathic, or functional), pathology (malignant or nonmalignant), and severity (mild, moderate, or severe), and all of these systems help determine the likelihood of complicating psychosocial issues and help guide treatment selection. Many patients’ pain is classified in multiple ways. For example, postherpetic neuralgia would likely be classified as chronic persistent neuropathic pain of nonmalignant origin. What does this classification tell us? This quadruple classification by temporality, pathology, and etiology can help guide treatment. (more...) Note: PDF file.
Working Together to Manage Diabetes. (more....)
Diarrhea: Sweeping Changes in the OTC Market
Only bismuth subsalicylate and loperamide have been proven
Diarrhea is one of the more dangerous problems for which patients seek self-care advice from the pharmacist. This is because of the potentially devastating effects of dehydration coupled with severe fluid and electrolyte loss. The FDA has published several recent documents on antidiarrheals and oral rehydration solutions. (more....)
Implications of Dysphagia in the Elderly
Concepts to Consider
Colonoscopy:Spotting Abnormal Growths
Colonoscopy is an important procedure developed in the mid-1960s to allow doctors to look inside the large intestine for polyps or other growths or abnormalities without the need to perform surgery. It has been improved significantly over the last 30 years and now can be done in a doctor’s office or outpatient clinic without a hospital stay.. (more....)
Calcium Supplements: Benefits and Risks
Virtually all people should take steps to prevent the development of osteoporosis. It is the most frequently occurring bone disease in the United States, affecting 55% of those ages 50 and older. The morbidity it causes is devastating for elderly patients. The U.S. will experience an epidemic of osteoporosis in coming decades as baby boomers reach the ages of highest risk.
The Epidemiology of Osteoporosis
Preventing Medication Errors that Occur in the Home
The majority of medication safety research and published health care literature has focused on hospital or ambulatory settings where patient care is provided at a site away from the home. But many medication errors occur in the home, and these errors need to be analyzed to help develop the strategies that will improve safe medication use throughout the continuum of health care. (more....)
Douching: Perceived Benefits but Real Hazards
The risks and benefits of vaginal douching have seldom been clearly explained to the
American female. As a result, many women rely on folk wisdom or their mother's advice for
douching. Although there are perceived benefits to douching, there is growing evidence
that any potential health benefit may be outweighed by risks to the patient.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Major Entrapment Neuropathy in the Elderly
The wrist, comprising a delicate network of bones, nerves, tendons, and ligaments, allows us
to perform many hand movements often taken for granted. Routine tasks such as writing, tying
shoes, opening a jar, and waving are all possible because of the wrist's support and control
of the hand.1 Injury to the wrist may be acute, such as a sprain or fracture, or may be due
to overuse caused by activities involving repetitive motion.
Natural Aging Defenses
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Human growth hormone is a natural substance in the body that decreases substantially as people age. With lower levels, you often see fatigue, sagging skin, decreased memory, decreased muscle mass, and other changes typically associated with aging. Two doctors now offer tips on how to boost the quality and quantity of your life.
Today, the average life expectancy is pushing 80 years. With more years to live, people are exploring ways to add more life to their years. Karlis Ullis, M.D., medical director at Sports Medicine and Anti-Aging Medical Group in Santa Monica, Calif., says raising your human growth hormone levels could help. "When you put somebody on a growth hormone that's really deficient, their heart will work better, their muscles will work better, their memory will work better, their sleep will be better, and their mood will be better." (more....)
Got Vitamin D? Ivanhoe.com - June 7, 2004
Got Vitamin D? -- Full-Length Doctor's Interview In this full-length doctor's interview, Kerry Burnstein, Ph.D., explains the risks of vitamin D deficiency. (more....)
FDA Works to Reduce Preventable Medical Device Injuries
"Medical devices help to alleviate pain, overcome disability, and sustain life. They also, on occasion, fail to operate properly or are misused in ways that are associated with injuries and deaths. Betty Davis' wheelchair, for example, caught fire, badly burning over 25 percent of her body in January 1999. A quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair since 1976, the 65-year-old Tucson, Ariz., resident knows the importance of a well-maintained machine that works as intended. "I'm a very active quad," she says, but when the fire started, "all I could do was sit there and watch my arms and legs burn." Faulty wiring short-circuited the battery charger in Davis' wheelchair. Davis says she put the chair on charge after a blinking light indicated the battery was running low. But Davis detected a spark, and immediately disconnected the charger. The spark, however, turned into a flame. Though authorities don't know why, Davis' attempt to reach 911 through her emergency medical pendant failed. Fortunately, a neighbor was nearby at the time and threw water on her to extinguish the fire." (more....)
Alzheimer's: Searching for a Cure
"It was 1997 when an alarm went off in Vivian Freed's head. She knew something was wrong with her 85-year old mother, who had always planned her trip to celebrate Thanksgiving with her children down to the last detail. But that year, she got the airline tickets for the wrong days. Freed also found out that her mother had been missing doctors' appointments and social engagements, so she flew from her home in Rockville, Md., to her mother's home in Florida to check on her.
'Everything that she had done perfectly before was a mess,' says Freed. The bills weren't paid, and the medications that her mother had been giving to her ailing father weren't right. 'We realized we needed to do something,' says Freed, after a doctor diagnosed her mother with Alzheimer's disease." (more....)
Isotretinoin - Accutane
The Power of Accutane: The Benefits and Risks of a Breakthrough Acne Drug
"Acne plagued Julie Harper throughout high school and college. She depended
on makeup and wore her hair down over the side of her face. She gave up
chocolate and french fries, only to find that neither made a difference.
And she went through medicine after medicine, from over-the-counter creams
to oral antibiotics.
Why Acne Forms, and How Accutane Knocks It Out
"Substances that invade your body live everywhere - in the air, on food and plants, on and in animals, in the soil and water, and on just about every other surface. They range in size from microscopic single-cell organisms to parasitic worms that can grow to several feet in length. Hardly any of these organisms produce disease because they're kept under control by your immune system. But if this system is weakened or you encounter an organism that you haven't built resistance to, illness may result." (more....)
Swimming Pool Chlorine Linked to Asthma
"BRUSSELS, Belgium (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new study demonstrates an association between chlorine used to disinfect indoor swimming pools and the surge of childhood asthma in developed countries.
Researchers say trichloramine -- or nitrogen trichloride, a highly concentrated volatile by-product of chlorination -- seems to be the culprit. It is readily generated and inhaled during contact between chlorine and organic matter such as urine and sweat." (more....)
Brain Temperature Tunnel Discovered
"NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Yale physician and scientist M. Marc Abreu, M.D., says he has uncovered an area of the brain called the brain temperature tunnel. In what he calls a remarkable discovery, he says this precise area of the brain controls the key function and critical factor for life preservation and human performance -- brain temperature." (more....)
Wound Care Product Selection
"Patients manage most cases of wound care themselves, and the pharmacist may well be the only professional called upon for professional advice. The selection of a wound care product involves many factors, such as effectiveness, cosmetic appearance, patient acceptability, and cost. This article will help the pharmacist understand the factors involved in selecting a particular product based on wound type. A section on burn care is also included.
The Healing Process
Drug [Ibuprofen] 'Stops Aspirin Heart Benefit'
"Taking ibuprofen counteracts the benefits of taking aspirin to prevent heart disease, increasing the risk of fatal illness, researchers have found.
Researchers from the University of Dundee have found those taking both aspirin and ibuprofen have a 75% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those just taking aspirin.
They also had a doubling of risk of dying from any cause, the study published in the Lancet found."
[The article continues at...] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2756611.stm
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