Lipitor – Now available online to lower your cholesterol levels

Cholesterol problems generally ignored by people can lead to serious consequences if not attended at the right time. Lipitor, including lipitor pravachol, pravachol lipitor or lipitor zetia is a perfect medication recommended by doctors to keep a check on your cholesterol levels. When a Lipitor, including lipitor pravachol, pravachol lipitor or lipitor zetia is prescribed by the doctor to a patient, he normally also provides him with a new diet that has to be followed with it. This is especially recommended to patients who have risk for heart diseases due to higher cholesterol levels and you need to follow a balanced diet for positive results. If you are confused where to buy lipitor, then just sit and relax. There is no need to worry at all as you can order lipitor online or generic lipitor at

When you buy lipitor online, its medication helps you to clear LDL cholesterol from the blood. It limits the access of the body to create fresh LDL cholesterol. It is actually the low density of lipoprotein cholesterol which is also known as LDL cholesterol. You can buy lipitor online, no matter what type it may be, whether it is the lipitor of a brand or you can also buy generic lipitor at any of the drug stores or you can also order lipitor online. As far as the lipitor cost is concerned, it is quite affordable with its price range of $28.99 to $76.99 for a lipitor for 10 mg and 80 mg respectively.

Lipitor and pravachol are the two drugs that prove to be most effective to lower the cholesterol levels of the patient. However, when both pravachol and lipitor are compared, lipitor always has come out to be more effective for lowering the cholesterol levels. Lipitor zetia is one anti-hyperlipidemic medication that is taken to bring down the cholesterol levels. If you Order lipitor online, it belongs to the drug class called as statins that is used to lower cholesterol. A combination of both lipitor pravachol and pravachol lipitor is often described by doctors to patients who have higher cholesterol levels.

However, when you buy lipitor online, it is always better to consult a doctor first as there are a certain precautions and side-effects that you may not be aware of, which can worsen your condition. Like, women who are pregnant or are expected to be pregnant should not take the medication of lipitor or buy generic lipitor. They should immediately discontinue the medication of lipitor pravachol or pravachol lipitor or lipitor zetia, in case she has been taking it already. Damage to liver, urination problem, light sensitivity, vomiting, and abdomen pain are some of the most common side effects that one may face when you take medicines like lipitor pravachol or pravachol lipitor or lipitor zetia and consume it.

So, you don’t have to worry for issues like where to buy lipitor and lipitor cost. If you are looking to order lipitor, order lipitor online, buy generic lipitor, buy lipitor online, where to buy lipitor, lipitor pravachol, pravachol lipitor, lipitor cost and lipitor zetia, log on to company’s website at

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Hepatitis C: What You Should Know

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common, chronic blood-borne infection in the United States, with nearly 4 million Americans (or 2% of the population) infected. The hepatitis C virus can result in a swelling of the liver known as hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is slightly more common among men than women, and while it affects people of all ages, it is most commonly found among those aged 20-39.

Hepatitis C infects the liver, which removes waste products and worn-out cells from the blood. If untreated, hepatitis C can lead to scarring of the liver (known as cirrhosis), cancer of the liver and, in some cases, even death.

The hepatitis C virus is spread through contaminated blood. Hepatitis C is most commonly spread through intravenous drug use, as users often share needles that are contaminated with the virus.

People who had blood transfusions before 1990, when screening blood for HCV began, are also at risk. Tattooing and body piercing may also transmit hepatitis C if dye or needles contaminated with HCV are reused.

Hepatitis C is often referred to as a “silent threat” since a majority of people have no symptoms for many years after they become infected. In fact, more than 70 percent of HCV-infected people have no idea that they are infected.

Symptoms of HCV may include:

– Fatigue

– Loss of appetite

– Dark urine

– Nausea/stomach pain

– Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes).

Hepatitis C is a serious disease, but there are many treatment options which may help infected people get rid of the virus. PEG-INTRON (Peginterferon alfa-2b) Powder for Injection combined with riba-virin is one such treatment which has been shown to clear HCV from the blood in about half of the people taking this medication. Medical, educational and emotional support are also available for HCV-infected individuals and their families. People being treated with PEG-INTRON and ribavirin, as well as those considering treatment, can enroll in a free patient support program called The Be In Charge Program. This program offers 24/7 telephone access to a live nurse, many educational materials, and counseling (decisions about medical treatment should always be discussed with a health care professional).

In addition to treatment, there are steps that people with hepatitis C can take to live healthier lives. For instance, studies have shown that avoiding heavy alcohol consumption (defined as five or more drinks per day) can reduce liver damage among people with hepatitis C. Obesity can also contribute to more advanced liver disease, and has been shown to lessen the effectiveness of certain medicines that treat HCV. While a diagnosis of hepatitis C should be taken seriously, taking control by seeking treatment, making healthy lifestyle changes, and getting appropriate support can help make HCV a manageable disease.

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Keeping a Vaccine for a Dead Disease: Life for Polio

Nigeria has discovered cases of mutated polio virus in within their borders. How can this be? There is a vaccine for polio so it should be well taken care of. If you follow that pattern of thought you would be monstrously mistaken. In actuality the mutation of the polio virus is due to the oral form that is distributed in that region coupled with the drop off of the number of people receiving the vaccine. A sixty percent of the Nigerian population is refusing to get the vaccine due to rumors that it sterilizes Muslim girls and the vaccine carries the AIDS virus. The only way to contain is to continue vaccination. The only problem is that Nigerians’ polio out break was a mutated vaccine form.

Nigerians receive an oral vaccine with a live form of the polio virus and that is what gets passed around and mutated. If Nigerians were given a shot version of the polio vaccine which is dead, or inactive, then there would be no polio outbreaks. That in essence is not the only concern.

The great cause for alarm is what is in the polio vaccination itself. The polio vaccine has SV 40 in it. SV 40 is a cancer causing virus that is tied to brain, bone and lung tumors. The polio vaccine also has more than 26 monkey viruses in it. There is no need to put these harmful agents into our body to protect a disease that outside of the vaccine would not exist. Polio was a prevalent disease in a time where sanitation was poor. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century where sewer systems were just being implemented, food storage was just developing technology, and hygiene was not as well practice. Today there have been so much advancement in water sanitation and improvement in the previous categories that it makes antiquated diseases like polio and small pox less likely to be contracted. There were various oral disease like piranha in those days that are incredibly rare today due to gained intelligence over oral health and hygiene.

So, why are people still submitting their children to the polio vaccine? Sadly, it is because the general public is so programmed. No one questions the possible dangers of vaccines and just stands in line and get their list of required vaccines checked off. The government officials of course need campaign money and therefore are owned by big money insurance companies and medical research facilities. It makes you question if trusting the people you elected is possible. It also makes you consider how heartless people can be and how they are out to make money at all costs. Even though people are dying and new diseases are being formed they need to make money off of a vaccine that is no longer needed. People need to understand that we should not have the government be our medical consultant. Dr. Ron Paul once brilliantly said, “When we give the power to government to make medical decisions for us, in essence, the state owns our bodies.” Everyone should consider that jarring thought.

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Alzheimer’s Disease, How Does the Disease Develop?

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that is typified by progressive weakening of cognitive skills, affecting all aspects of day to day activities. A person suffering from Alzheimer’s is likely to undergo severe behavioral changes


Emil Kraepelin was the first person to identify the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Alois Alzheimer, who was a German psychiatrist, studied typical neuropathology for the first time in the year 1906.

The distinct and the most striking symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is amnesia. In the early stages, a victim of Alzheimer’s is quite often found to be in a confused state, and facing problems with short-term memory. There are usually problems with  paying attention and in terms of spatial orientation.

The personality of the person affected usually undergoes a massive change coupled with frequent mood swings and the language of the patient may be affected. However, it should be noted that Alzheimer’s disease does not affect everyone in the same way,and this can make the disease quite difficult to diagnose.

In the early stages of the illness, patients tend to lose energy and their alertness of mind decreases but this change is hardly noticeable. Also, there is loss of memory and the person may become moody. Overall, the affected person becomes slow in responding to everyday stimuli. Eventually, due to the significant memory loss the patient tries to shields himself or herself from anything that they find unfamiliar, as a result the person can become highly confused and get lost easily and frequently.

In the next stage, the victim of Alzheimer’s starts seeking assistance to carry out those tasks that require heavy lifting. Their speech starts getting affected and quite frequently they stop abruptly after saying half a sentence. Depression, irritation and restlessness are some of the common traits during this stage of illness.

Slowly, the individual becomes disabled. They may remember past incidents but can’t recall the very recent ones. In the advanced stage it becomes difficult for the patient to distinguish between day and night or even recognize the faces of very near and dear ones.

In the last stage of the disease, patients merely exist. They experience total loss of memory and they are unable to eat properly and cannot control themselves to any great extent. Constant care is needed for a patient at this stage. The individual also becomes prone to other diseases such as pneumonia, infections, etc. Ultimately they become confined to bed and this fatal stage leads to death.

Alzheimer’s disease is not curable but there are treatments available that can slow its progress and there is promising research that may lead to a cure.

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Bird Flu: An Introduction To The Latest Global Health Threat

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently sounded a global health alarm in response to a new threat that has been emerging in several regions, particularly Asia. This threat is the avian influenza, more commonly known as bird flu, which is an infectious diseases that affects only birds…until recently.

What exactly is bird flu?

Bird flu is an infectious disease caused by several subtypes of the Influenza A virus, which is known to affect birds, particularly migratory birds, ducks and chickens. Bird flu is also reportedly known to affect pigs and ducks although these animals only serve as carriers and are not known to exhibit symptoms of the disease. Migratory birds, in general, are equipped to handle the virus. They do not get sick but they have the ability to contaminate other birds in areas they migrate to. This is crucial factor in the spread of disease because migratory birds travel great distances, often from one country to another.

When did bird flu start?

Bird flu is not a new disease. First discovered in Italy in 1878, it was initially called “fowl plague” because it largely affected chicken livestock. However, it was only in 1955 that the Influenza A virus is the cause of bird flu. Since then, several subtypes of the Influenza A virus has been discovered in about a hundred bird species.

According to research, wild waterfowls, particularly ducks, are the most common carriers of the disease. The ducks, however, do not get sick from it. It was discovered that gulls, waterfowls and shorebirds are natural “reservoirs” of the bird flu virus. These animals appear to have developed antibodies to fight against the virus. Other bird species, however, have not developed this immunity to the virus.

Symptoms of bird flu

Birds with mild forms of avian influenza can exhibit ruffled feathers and poor egg production. Birds with advanced or extreme forms of the disease may show signs of excessive shedding, respiratory infections and a swollen head. When the disease worsens, death usually comes within 48 hours. This is because bird flu not only affects the respiratory systems of birds but also other tissues and organs, causing major hemorrhaging.

History of bird flu outbreaks

In the 1980s, bird flu outbreaks in chickens and birds occurred in Scotland, England, Canada, Germany, United States, Australia and Ireland. Again in the 1990s the same countries, with the exception of Germany and Scotland, had outbreaks. This time, Italy, Pakistan, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Chile joined them. However, these outbreaks were small-scale; and highly pathogenic outbreaks are rare.

Then in 1997, a major outbreak of bird flu occurred in Hong Kong, which left 18 people infected and six people killed. In response to the outbreak, the Hong Kong government killed Hong Kong’s entire poultry population, which was estimated at 1.5 million. Many believe that this rapid response to the bird flu outbreak was the best solution and helped avert it from becoming a pandemic.

To determine if a bird flu virus is highly pathogenic, eight chickens between four and eight weeks old are inoculated with the infectious virus. If 75 percent of the samples (six chickens) die within eight days, the virus is considered to be very pathogenic. In addition, a highly pathogenic virus will show a distinctive sequence of amino acids located at the cleavage site, the HA part of the chain.

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Acid Reflux – Treating it with Diet and Lifestyle Changes

It seems that one of the major culprits causing acid reflux is alcohol. Not good news for the drinkers amongst us. Take heart though, it is probably only excessive drinking that’s to blame – perceived wisdom is that a couple of glasses of wine with your dinner won’t hurt you, although there is some argument as to whether red or white is better. Personally, I find white wine more acidic and therefore assumed that it would be more likely to cause acid reflux. However, as alcohol prevents the oesophageal sphincter from working properly and thus allows stomach acid to reflux into the oesophagus, the acidity of the alcohol may be irrelevant. Notwithstanding that, when drinking alcohol, limit quantities and dilute spirits with water or a mixer. Wine may also be diluted with water or lemonade. Gassy drinks like champagne and beer should be avoided if possible.

Alcohol is not the only culprit – chocolate, peppermint, coffee, tea, caffeinated soft drinks such as colas and citrus fruit juices also inhibit the normal workings of the oesophageal sphincter so keep intake of these to an absolute minimum, if you can’t give them up completely.

Chewing gum and eating hard sweets cause excessive air to be swallowed, thus causing wind and reflux.

Fatty and fried foods also delay the emptying of the stomach so steer clear of any fatty meat, particularly those found on the delicatessen counter, such as salamis, sausages and patйs. “Fatty” includes full fat milk and other dairy products (cheese, cream, butter, margarine). Tomatoes can aggravate the condition in some people, as can spices such as chillies (powdered, fresh or dried) and any derivatives like Tabasco. Condiments such as Worcestershire and soy sauces and any sort of horseradish or mustard should also be taken with care.

Now for the good news – you can eat, with some freedom, vegetables (not tomatoes), chicken and turkey (without skin), fish, apples, peaches, melons, pears and berries. You can eat, in moderation, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, low fat spreads and cottage cheese. Oh, and you can drink water until you float!

A few other things you can do to avoid or alleviate acid reflux are:

Avoid eating large meals – little and often is better.

Avoid eating too late at night.

Don’t lie down or bend over when you’ve just eaten a meal.

Put blocks of wood under the head of the bed to raise it by six inches or so.

Try not to wear tight clothing around the area of the abdomen and stomach.

Nicotine weakens the lower oesophageal muscle – give it up – it’s not good for you anyway!

Lose weight if you need to. Obesity is not only usually caused by eating all the foods that you should be avoiding, but leads to worsened acid reflux.

Ultimately, everyone is different and foods that some people can tolerate cause incredibly painful indigestion for others. Only you can tell, so be sensible and avoid those foods that have an adverse effect.

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Sleep Apnea – The Facts About This Important Sleep Disorder

Sleep apnea is a common problem in the adult population, and is characterised by a reduction or stoppage of breathing when someone is asleep.

There are 2 main types – obstructive (which is more common) and central,but also a mixed type which is a combination of both obstructive and central.

Treatment for sleep apnea can be nonsurgical or surgical.

What is apnea? In layman’s terms it means that someone has stopped breathing for about 10 seconds or perhaps more. These episodes of apnea have a tendency to occur more often when a person is asleep, thus disrupting the sleep, and often wakening the sleeper up.

Doctors use various indexes which measure the severity of the sleep apnea to decide on their treatment options.

What causes sleep apnea? In the case of central sleep apnea it happens when the brain fails to send signals to the respiratory muscles. This is most common in babies, and in adults with heart problems, but can also be caused by some medicines.

In obstructive sleep apnea the message from the brain to the respiratory muscles gets through but breathing fails through an obstruction preventing the flow of air.

Mixed sleep apnea is caused by a combination of these failures.

Obstructive sleep apnea affects more men than women,and is more common and has increased severity in obese people.

What are the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea? Not only does it disrupt sleep, it also causes heart problems and high blood pressure, and increased risk of stroke. Sufferers are also more likley no have accidents at work and on the road through lack of concentration related to not getting enough sleep.

How is obstructive sleep apnea treated? There are several non surgical options varying from behavioral changes to medications and dental appliances.

Behavioral changes may simply involve getting the sufferer to change their sleeping position, as most apneas seem to occur whilst sleeping on the back. A change in diet and lifestyle with consequent reduction in obesity can also markedly reduce the severity of symptoms. However, these changes are easier to talk about than to implement.

Dental appliances are sometimes used for mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea – these work by holding the jaw and tongue forward and the palate up to prevent airway closure.

One of the best non surgical treatments is called CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure. This is a machine which delivers heated and humidified air under pressure through a mask to the sufferer whilst they sleep. The machine is light and portable, and most people quickly get used to the noise the machine makes, and to wearing a mask.

Surgical options for obstructive sleep apnea include palate implants, reducing the size of the tongue, procedures on the jaws, and surgery of the nasal passages. Surgery should not be undertaken lightly because of the underlying risks of anesthesia and complications from the surgery itself.

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea or know anyone who does, then it is important that you seek qualified medical advice as soon as possible. Continuing your life without recourse to treatment leaves you open to much higher risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and even sudden death.

Seek specialist help today.

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Look no further than A-1perfection for disaster management services

If you look at A-1perfection, you will be pleased to know that the company specializes in providing total reconstruction services in case disaster strikes. A disaster can cause damage and ruin property worth millions of dollars and it becomes important to choose a professional team of experts to stop the damage from spreading and to minimize losses.

At A-1perfection you get the best advice and service from a professional team of experts from different fields who are capable of handling the whole reconstruction operation. No matter what the cause of damage is, the company will take care of everything in great detail. The company specializes in water and fire damage reconstruction as well as carpet cleaning, duct cleaning, and even a complete commercial move out.

A-1perfection has a team of carpenters, electricians, plumbers, architects, etc. to have your property up and running again. Each professional has a highly specialized job thereby making reconstruction quick. The full team can reach the site within a maximum of two hours and start its work. In case of water damage restoration, the team can quickly drain the water from the affected area and also disinfect the area. In case of fire damage restoration the team will do its best to slow down and kill the spreading fire. It will then proceed to reducing the spread of damage and make the area smoke and odor free.

A-1perfection has advanced tools and equipment to handle any type of disaster. Even in case of a bio-hazard, the company can return your unsafe home or office to normal condition in a short period of time. In case of duct cleaning, the professionals can quickly remove the debris, pollutants, and dirt from the air ducts. For move outs the company can help you decide whether to relocate, restore, or repair the contents.

Each employee at A-1perfection goes through a rigorous program of hands-on training before he is introduced to the permanent team. The natural catastrophe team is always on its toes and ready for any type of damage caused due to natural phenomena like storms, hurricanes and torrential rains. The company has tie ups with major insurance companies and can help you evaluate your loss and then claim the insurance amount.

No matter what type of damage has been cased to property, A-1perfection is always there for you 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Help is now just a call away. You will be greeted by a professional who will direct you to the right department. A-1perfection will also help you with disaster preparation plan. Service is 100% guaranteed at A-1perfection.

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RSV: What Parents of Preemies Should Know

With premature births at a record high, more babies are facing serious health challenges during their first year of life. These problems may include respiratory infections that can compromise infants’ lung function, making them more immediately susceptible to serious respiratory problems.

According to a new survey conducted by the National Perinatal Association, nearly one-half of parents of premature infants are not aware of the preventive measures they can take to help protect their babies from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common respiratory ailment that can lead to serious illness in preemies. In addition, almost 58 percent of parents whose babies have been hospitalized with RSV said they did not know about medication that could have helped prevent their child’s hospitalization.

RSV is a virus that causes infection of the lungs and breathing passages. In most infants, RSV causes only minor symptoms that resemble those of the common cold. But in premature babies, RSV can lead to lower-respiratory-tract infections, such as pneumonia, which can be serious and sometimes life-threatening. In most parts of the country, RSV season lasts from November through April.

RSV often starts with a runny nose, coughing and low-grade fever, but as the infection progresses, it may cause breathing problems or wheezing, irritability or restlessness and poor appetite.

Reducing the risk

Preventing infection is the best way to protect preemies and high-risk babies, such as those with congenital heart or lung disease or a compromised immune system, from the potentially dangerous effects of RSV and other respiratory illnesses.

To reduce the risk of severe RSV infection, parents can decrease their babies’ exposure to respiratory viruses by:

– Always washing their hands before holding their child, and insisting that others do, too;

– Washing babies’ toys, clothes, play areas and bedding often;

– Not sharing personal items (pacifiers, cups, forks, spoons, towels, washcloths);

– Keeping babies away from anyone with a cold or the flu, and avoiding crowded areas and day care during RSV season; and

– Never letting anyone smoke around the baby.

A pediatrician can provide medicine that may help protect babies against severe RSV infection. Many high-risk infants are first treated with such preventive medicine in the neonatal intensive care unit and then get additional monthly doses throughout the RSV season as coordinated by their primary care physician or pediatrician.

The NPA survey results represent a national sample of 500 parents of premature children age 5 years or younger. The survey was underwritten by MedImmune, Inc.

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Acute Infectious Anthrax

Anthrax is an acute infectious disease that exists in animals and can by transmitted to humans. Caused by Bacillus anthracis, Anthrax, primarily affects farm animals such as goats, hogs, sheep, horses. In the majority of these cases the disease is fatal. To simply how the disease works: Bacillus anthracis creates toxins that cause fluid to accumulate in the body’s tissues and kill cells.

Found in the soil,Anthrax spores have been been discovered to be able to survive for decades. It is most common for an animal to contract the disease while grazing in a field. Although you can become sick from eating the meat of an infected animal, it is most common that infected individuals have come in direct contact with an infected animal. This characteristic of Anthrax makes it almost completely restricted to certain occupations that handle animals first hand, such as veterinarians, and farmers.

In it’s simple state, Anthrax is not generally fatal to humans. However, if not treated, the disease can work it’s way through the blood vessels causing posoining of the blodd and death. Another type of Anthrax is, Gastrointestinal anthrax, which is much more fatal. Typically Gastrointestinal anthrax will begin with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and fever, and can then be followed by abdominal bleeding, tissue death, and septicemia.

Anthrax is a very well known, disease that ages back to ancient history. Most recently, in 2001, Anthrax was raised to a top concern when letters containing the Anthrax bacteria were mailed to several individuals, killing 5. These events were part of the growing terrorist problems in the United States, such as the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

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Allergies – Antihistamines and Their Side Effects

In this article we’re going to discuss the possible dangers and side effects of antihistamines and what people should be aware of when taking antihistamines to treat their allergies.

For the most part, antihistamines are safe.  Having said that, antihistamines can have side effects which, if the antihistamine is not properly administered, can be serious.

The truth is, all medications have side effects.  Some are mild, as in the case of an aspirin, unless you have stomach ulcers or aspirin sensitivity and others are more serious such as the side effects from chemotherapy, but for the most part, antihistamine side effects are fairly mild.  The newest antihistamines are probably about the safest medications that there are.  But there are differences between the various antihistamines and their side effects.

The older antihistamines have the most serious side effects.  Because technology wasn’t where it is now, older antihistamines can make you very sleepy, even to the point of falling asleep behind the wheel of a car.  The harsh truth is, antihistamines have the same effect on your brain as alcohol.  If you’ve been keeping up with the latest news you’ll notice that people seem to be driving around in a drug induced haze.  This is becoming a very serious problem in itself as there are no laws against driving while under the influence of prescription medication.  That is most likely going to change very soon.  According to experts, there is no doubt in their mind that older antihistamines can cause traffic accidents.

But that isn’t where the effect of older antihistamines ends.  They also affect learning and exam performance.  Studies show that children with allergies who go to school after taking an antihistamine have poorer test scores than children who are not on antihistamines.

Another problem with older antihistamines is that one of the side effects is that people who use them sometimes have difficulty in passing water.  or have increased pressure in their eyes.  These symptoms, however, are very rare.

With the newer antihistamines, most, if not all of these side effects are a thing of the past.  We have certainly come a long way.  Therefore it is no longer necessary to use the older antihistamines.

Many people ask, how do we know the newer antihistamines are better? Actually, there are studies that clinically show that they are.

For starters, road safety studies were done.  Two control groups were used.  The one group was given older antihistamines and the other group was given the newer improved antihistamines.  The results were staggering.  The reaction time of the old antihistamine group was slower, their turning was more erratic, their attention was poor and in general they did not drive as skilfully.  In some cases their driving was so bad and so dangerous that the test itself had to be stopped.

Another study was done on children going to school.  Two control groups were again set up.  The group that was given the older antihistamines had much lower test scores, sometimes as much as 20 to 30 points lower.  Many of the students couldn’t even finish their exams.

The only downside of the newer antihistamines, and for that matter any treatment of this sort for allergies, is that they are not a cure and over time a person can build up a resistance to a particular antihistamine where it no longer works.  A new one then has to be given.  The average length of time that a person can take a particular antihistamine before they have to move on to a new one is between 3 and 6 months.

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Mental Exercises For Alzheimer’s: Boost Your Brain And Maximize Your Memory

Use it or lose it! Mental exercises for Alzheimer’s are not only a powerful preventative measure, they can tone and build the brain and memory of an Alzheimer’s sufferer the way physical exercise tones and builds the body.

Mental exercises can slow down, halt, or even help to reverse the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  Unfortunately, normal day to day living usually doesn’t give the neuron sharpening exercise you need.

The good news is that you’re never too old to start boosting your brainpower, and it can be fun.

The fact that mental exercises can bolster your brain has even been discovered by the press. The Daily Mail in England reports that volunteers aged 65 and over who did just ten hours of training their memory, problem solving and reaction times had mental abilities similar to people seven to fourteen years younger who hadn’t done such exercises.

Studies show that staying mentally active can slash the chance of getting Alzheimer’s by fifty percent. Even the schoolwork that you did when you were young has an effect. A study carried out in China showed that those with no schooling were five times more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease than those who graduated from high school. A Swedish study showed that those with schooling below grade eight were two and a half times more likely to get AD.

So just what sort of mental exercises tunes up the brain and gets it firing on all cylinders?

Luckily you don’t have to do the mental equivalent of sit-ups and push-ups. Mental exercises for Alzheimer’s can be fun and enjoyable. You can even play games to fire up the neurons. Here are some ideas to get you started.

–   Playing cards is good mental exercise, and bridge is often touted as an exceptionally good card game to get you thinking.

–   Sudoku is a Japanese number game that takes concentration. The local newspaper will often have a game of Sudoku in it near the crossword puzzle, and books of games are easy to find in shops.

–   Scrabble, crossword puzzles and jigsaws are all good for the grey matter.

–   The solitaire games of FreeCell and Spider are good too, and you can play them on your computer.

–  Keep learning!   If you’re still working then continuing education not only helps keep Alzheimer’s at bay, it’s a good way to keep at the top in your job or profession.

–   Learning new computer programs can be good mental exercise, and there lots to choose from. Go to your favorite computer store and check out the titles. You could learn a photo editing program and turn your snapshots into masterpieces, or get a genealogy program and research your family tree for example.

–   Learn a challenging computer game. Once again there are lots to try out. You can become an entrepreneur running your own virtual reality railway, airline, zoo or much more. You can learn to fly with a flight simulator and fly almost anywhere in the world right in your own lounge room. You can battle anything from the ancient Romans to intergalactic warriors. There are lots of online games too, where you can compete against other players anywhere in the world any time of the night or day.

–   Build your own website. Share your hobbies, interests or expertise with the rest of the world. You can even make money with this one. Click on over to my website and I’ll tell you the best place to get started, even for complete website building newbies.

–   Do a course. Have you ever wanted to learn something but just haven’t done it yet? It could be photography, cooking or advanced calculus. Academic courses will really get your brain working. You’ll feel as though you’re cleaning all the rust off your brain, bit by bit getting it operating more freely until finally it’s running smoothly again.

–   Here’s something to do less of. Don’t watch too much television unless it’s something mentally stimulating. Passively watching sitcoms and soapies dulls the brain you’re trying to sharpen.

Mental exercises can make a big difference to your life, whether you’re trying to prevent Alzheimer’s or already have it. You can gain years of life that could otherwise be lost. Get started now, and keep challenging your brain. It’s worth the effort. And remember that there are a lot more things you can do to fight this terrible disease. Of course, of you suspect you have Alzheimer’s, see your doctor!

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Tips To Manage ADHD In Adults

ADHD in adults is usually better managed with acceptance, understanding and appropriate education as to what to do and what not to do when treating ADHD. The following tips will hopefully help in making ADHD less of a problem but more of a challenge that – with support and awareness – could easily be overcome.

First things first, learn adhd

The best weapon against adhd is education. A better informed adhd person is a person that well understands what adhd is and what are the possible treatments available for adhd.

Read up on adhd. Better yet, ask around those who have worked with adhd or those who may have adhd themselves. It would be best to converse with professionals. You yourself may be able to design a treatment that suits your personal needs.

It is also best that you help involve other people especially those you live or interact with constantly. Once they understand the adhd concept, they will also find it easier to know how to relate with you as well.

Learn to listen

It would help adhd sufferers if they listen to the feedback they receive from the persons they trust. It has been known that children and adult suffers of adhd observe themselves very poorly that they are usually in self-denial.

Join adhd support groups

Believe it or not, most of the information that pertains to adhd are not usually found in books but are actually stored inside the minds of adhd sufferers. When adhd groups come together, their experiences could be considered as valid information that could help each adhd adult.

Do not be afraid to be yourself

Adhd sufferers would feel happy to know that they need not feel imprisoned by careers or any other traditional manners of living with this disorder.

As much as possible, try to allow yourself the freedom to just be your honest self. It would do you good to surrender whatever is the image of yourself you think you “expect’ or should just be.  Be it the model employee, or organized corporate executive. Let you be the you in which you really are.

Do not hate yourself

Try to remember that adhd is primarily caused by genetics and not by any failure in your part because you are particularly weak in will or because of a moral flaw. Having adhd does not also mean that your character needs to be improved because it is weak. It does not also mean that you are immature.

Adhd is a condition that is neuropsychiatric in origin. Accepting this fact and acknowledging this issue is a major and first step to the process of healing.

Make structure your friend

Treatment of adhd is helped more by establishing a structured environment. This is because an environment that is structured – like a slide bobsled that helps keep the ball from going off the track – helps keep the adhd adult similarly on track.

It would also help if there are color-coded files, schedules, texts or memoranda as most adhd people are oriented visually and arresting.

Expect the inevitable

It would be best to anticipate a possible success and failure of a project, a relationship or obligation. Acknowledging the good and bad of an incident is a good way to help face challenges whatever they may be.

All in all, adhd is totally treatable once adhd adult sufferers acknowledge that they have adhd and it is possible to live with it but not to totally surrender to it.

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Countries Unite Against Bird Flu

The people of the world are so scared right now of the threat of the H5N1 strain. The focus of the world seems to have transferred from terrorism to bird flu.

If the H5N1 strain mutates and joins with a human virus, the situation will become worse. This is because the transmission rate from one person to another will become a possibility. Then the spread rate will become faster and causing a whole lot of people to get infected.

The severe effects of the virus will eventually lead the victim to have lung damage. The affected person will have lungs filled with water and causing complications with breathing problems. Eventually, death follows. This all happens within the span of a few days.

That scary situation has been a major concern and has caused bird flu experts to meet in Beijing. They are worried about the 80 deaths that have occurred since 2003. They are also worried about the spread of the disease on Europe, Middle East and currently Africa. They have a great concern about the disease in Africa, because the experts feel the outbreak might start at Africa.

The World Bank is hoping that the meeting held would be able to raise at least $1.2 billion dollars. This money is to be used for health improvement and added veterinary services for developing countries struggling with the virus. The budget also aims to help surveillance of countries that have potential to develop the virus.

The disease started out at East Asia but is concern is growing because it is going westward.

The $1.2-1.4 billion dollars will be just enough to prepare in case an outbreak occurs. That money still does not include the money needed for human vaccines. The money needed for vaccines will be handled by WHO separately.

The meeting will be attended by 89 countries. People who will attend include donors and also delegates of more than 20 international organizations.

The creator of the tamiflu vaccine, Roche, has pledged a second donation of Tamiflu. They already made a donation of 3 million pills and plan to donate 2 million more. The donation is for preparation in case a pandemic does occur.

It has been estimated that a year long pandemic of bird flu will cost the global economy $800 billion. The World Bank itself has helped, approving $500 million to help reach the $1.2 billion goal.

This threat may or may not materialize. But we should just be thankful for the people who gives a concern of the potential threat this virus has. It does not only affect us in terms of mortality rate but you can see how much expensive it is for the world.

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Allergies – What Causes Them?

In this article we’re going to discuss what causes allergies and why some people are more prone to suffer from allergies than others.

The first thing we need to understand is what an allergy is.  An allergy is a reaction to something outside the body that the body itself feels is a threat to it.  More specifically, this is the immune system.

The truth of the matter is, everybody has allergies in as much as the body is always going to view outside agents such as pollen, grass, weeds, and even foods as invaders.  The difference between someone who “suffers” from allergies and someone who doesn’t is the degree to which the body reacts or in the case of sufferers, overreacts to the allergen.

For example, let’s take hay fever season where the pollen count is especially high and have two people walk out into the street.  The person who has a normal immune system and doesn’t overreact to every outside allergen will probably not even notice that the pollen count is high.  There will be no itching, sneezing, watering of the eyes or any symptoms whatsoever.  The person who has an overactive immune system, at least to this particular type of allergen, will begin to sneeze.  Maybe the eyes will start to water.  In severe cases the person may even have trouble breathing, all because their immune system is viewing the pollen as a great threat.

So the question is, why do some people have immune systems that behave normally and others have immune systems that overreact? Studies show that in most cases this is because these people are genetically disposed to reacting in such a manner.  Maybe they inherited this particular predisposition from their mother or father.  Maybe it even skipped a generation, but in most cases this is simply inherited.

In other cases, allergies are not inherited.  In these cases the person’s immune system does not work correctly or is weakened because of some other condition.  Maybe they are a poor eater and thus aren’t getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy.  This can weaken the immune system and cause it to behave erratically.  In other cases the weakened immune system is caused by another underlying problem such as an inability of the body to absorb a certain protein or amino acid.

In either case, the immune system becomes what we call “hyperactive”.  This results in the immune system identifying quite harmless substances as enemies and then reacts totally out of proportion to the threat itself.  In some cases the reaction can be severe enough to cause some serious health problems.  Yes, people can die from allergies so this is not something to be taken lightly.

Many people believe that if there is a genetic disposition to allergies then there is nothing that can do to solve the problem.  This is actually not so.  There are many things a person can naturally do to build up their immune system so that allergies are no longer a problem.  These will be covered in future articles.

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Vitiligo: Beware of white patches on your skin

Vitiligo (often called as leucoderma) is a disorder where the skin loses its color in patches of irregular shapes and sizes. This is a pigmentation disorder which means that melanocytes (the pigment-producing cells) in the skin get destroyed. This results in the development of white patches on the skin. The hairs which are growing in that area may lose their color and turn grey.

The causes:

The cause for vitiligo is not very clear, but doctors and researchers are beginning to believe that vitiligo resembles an autoimmune disorder. Which means that the pigment (the matter that gives colour to our skin) producing cells of the skin are destroyed by the body’s own antibodies (defense cells).

In some cases, it has been observed that the onset of vitiligo is related to a psychologically stressful event in the patient’s life. People with a family history of vitiligo are more prone to developing these white patches. Ninety-five per cent of all those who develop vitiligo start developing symptoms before the 40th year of their life.

The symptoms:

People with vitiligo develop white patches on their skin of irregular shapes and sizes. Vitiligo is more common on the exposed areas, for example, hands, face, neck and arms. It also occurs on covered areas too like genitals, breast and legs. In some patients, the hair may also turn grey early and in the inside of the mouth, white discoloration may occur.

The spread of vitiligo cannot be determined. It may stop completely after the first patch, but often these patches do spread. For some patients, further development may take years and for others the large areas can be covered in months. In some patients, mental stress has been seen to increase the growth of these white patches.

According to homoeopathic philosophy, vitiligo is not a disease in itself but an expression of an inner disturbed state of the body. Thus, the cure should occur at a level where things have gone wrong. In order to achieve this, the problem is analyzed keeping in view various aspects of mental, physical and familial attributes, and also a complete study is done on the psychological environment of the patient. The prescription is then based at the deepest level of understanding of the patient’s disturbed inner force.

Although many homoeopathic medicines like Arsenic Sulph Falvus, Arsenic Album, Baryta Mur and Baryta Carb are known to give good results in vitiligo, the fact is that the real cure of vitiligo occurs when the prescription is made according to the true principles of homoeopathic philosophy – treating that “deep causative factor” behind this inner disturbance. Also remember that vitiligo is a chronic disorder and can take considerable time, even with the best of the homoeopathic treatment, to be completely cured.

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Understanding The Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease

A person’s mental and physical abilities deteriorate as he progresses through various stages of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the way the disease manifests can vary quite widely from one person to another.

Knowing about Alzheimer’s stages can help the caregivers plan for and cope with the disease better. The following is based on Dr. Reisberg’s study which divides the disease into seven stages.

Stage 1: This is when no symptom of the disease is manifest and full mental and physical functions are retained.

Stage 2: At this stage, there is some loss of memory and the person may forget names of friends and family at times. The person is full aware that his mental functions are declining. This is often mistaken to be the result of normal ageing processes rather than as the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease.

Stage 3: This is still an early stage of the disease, but the symptoms are more noticeable now. The sufferer may go into denial. There is an inability to concentrate on tasks and performance at work may deteriorate.

The person becomes more anxious. They get lost quite easily in unfamiliar territory. Misplacing objects is quite common at this stage. Their ability to remember recently acquired information deteriorates.

Stage 4: At this stage, the person can’t perform complex tasks on his own. Examples include filing tax returns or handling finances in general. As a way out, they may want to avoid such situations altogether.

The ability to concentrate deteriorates further and so does memory. They may not be able to remember some events in their lives. Mood swings are common.

Stage 5: Now the patients will need assistance in ordinary tasks like picking appropriate clothes to wear. They may be unable to remember parts of their lives, although they will still remember basic information about themselves, their family and some friends.

Their sense of time begins to deteriorate as well.

Stage 6: This is a moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Forgetfulness accelerates and they may not even remember the name of their spouse. Large chunks of their lives are forgotten.

They definitely need help to cope with routine activities like bathing, dressing, etc. Incontinence may set in at this stage. Their sleep patterns may be disturbed.

Their personality will likely undergo a complete change. They may become violent or exhibit obsessive behaviour.

Stage 7: This is severe Alzheimer’s disease. The ability to speak is limited to less than a dozen words. They may lose the ability to walk, sit up or even hold their head up. This is a stage where the brain is apparently incapable of directing the body.

These stages of Alzheimer’s disease may occur differently in various individuals. What is described above is a composite picture that can help to understand how a person’s faculties diminish with the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Chronic Fatigue vs. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Fatigue is an ongoing part of life for many individuals today.  Lack of sleep for busy parents, students, and others trying to find ways to fit all of their “to do’s” into one twenty four hour period is simply something that modern man learns to deal with.  However, for some people, fatigue cannot be remedied by a good night’s sleep.

Chronic fatigue can be an early warning sign that something has gone awry with one or more bodily systems.  Diseases and disorders such as depression, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and even certain cancers count fatigue as a primary symptom.  For individuals who suffer from one of these diseases, fatigue is a result of the disease or disorder – fatigue is caused by the disease.  For an even smaller group of individuals, chronic fatigue is an illness unto itself.

Unlike Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) IS the illness, not merely a symptom.  Although characterized by, and having extreme fatigue as its hallmark symptom, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome includes many other frustrating symptoms.  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome sufferers find that they can include multiple mysterious symptoms such as flu-like symptoms and unexplained brain fog among their woes.  For some individuals, the symptoms become incredibly disabling.  Many individuals cannot function normally – at least for a period of time.

Because the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are non-specific, medical professionals have difficulty diagnosing the illness.  Even more frustrating for sufferers, many medical professionals continue to hold the belief that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not a valid illness, but is a psychosomatic disorder instead.  Even with this built in prejudice, it is still wise for an individual who believes he or she suffers from CFS to undergo a complete medical examination to rule out one of the underlying medical conditions mentioned above before receiving treatment for CFS.

Individuals who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are not merely depressed, overtired, or crazy.  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a valid medical illness.  Research into the causes, and ultimately cure, of CFS is still in its infancy, but medical professionals have determined that CFS does in fact exist and that sufferers may be able to find relief – if not yet a cure.  With continued research and medical intervention, CFS sufferers may one day realize a life without symptoms.

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Encouraging News For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

For the more than 2.1 million Americans affected by rheumatoid arthritis, there is encouraging news about how antibiotic therapy can be a safe, low-cost way to manage many of the symptoms of the disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, stiffness, warmth, redness and swelling, affecting many different joints.

A recent survey of nearly 200 people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or scleroderma, another disabling rheumatic condition, revealed that by taking antibiotic therapy for their disease, they experienced a number of positive benefits over traditional prescription medications. These patients reported a reduction in pain and improved quality of life, and their overall condition was reported to be less severe.

These survey results suggest antibiotics such as minocycline may offer an effective option for patients newly diagnosed or patients who either fail with or cannot tolerate conventional medications commonly prescribed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Minocycline is a low-cost and commonly prescribed antibiotic with minimal side effects. The study was conducted by Harris Interactive.

“We know that a growing number of RA and other rheumatic patients are turning to antibiotic therapy to successfully manage their disease. These results suggest that others, too, could possibly benefit from this type of treatment,” said David Trentham, M.D., a noted rheumatologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Medical Director for the Road Back Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing support and education to people suffering from rheumatic diseases.

Patients responding to the survey who were on antibiotic therapy and had also taken traditional prescription medication were asked to compare the two types of treatments. They overwhelmingly reported improvements in slowing the progression of the disease, decreased levels of pain, and reduced stiffness, swelling and fatigue, all commonly reported symptoms. Patients also found that antibiotic treatment improved their overall quality of life and was better tolerated than traditional therapies.

The Road Back Foundation encourages patients to talk with their doctors about their treatment and, if appropriate or needed, discuss the use of antibiotic therapy in the management of their disease.

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Cymbalta Fibromyalgia Treatments For Depression

Cymbalta, which is an antidepressant, is believed to reduce depression and is also considered to be a possible benefit to women suffering from Fibromyalgia. This illness, which is still considered rare even though it affects millions of Americans, affects more women and men. Even though the cause of it remains unknown, Fibromyalgia is a growing problem that many are forced to cope with on a daily basis. A Cymbalta Fibromyalgia treatment is designed to help treat both the emotional and physical symptoms of depression. In general, individuals who are dealing with a chronic illness often become depressed and sometimes turn to the world of medicine for assistance.

It is important to note that Cymbalta is not approved for the treatment of Fibromyalgia, but studies have found that it could be beneficial in depression. Because it is thought to help treat depression, which is often the result of a chronic illness, some experts believe that there are benefits that coincide with this illness and a Cymbalta Fibromyalgia treatment.

Cymbalta Fibromyalgia treatments can cause various side effects with the most common being nausea, constipation, dry mouth, decreased appetite, etc. Cymbalta is not for everyone, especially to those who are allergic to it’s ingredients. In addition, individuals with liver or kidney problems, have been diagnosed with glaucoma or consume large amounts of alcohol should speak with their physician prior to taking Cymbalta. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take Cymbalta and should make their physician aware of any conditions prior to accepting any type of prescription.

Prior to accepting any type of prescription medication, individuals must make sure that their physician is made fully aware of any medicines that are currently being consumed and/or any current illnesses. In order to safely provide treatments, a physician must be made fully aware of the circumstances surrounding the patient’s health.

Patients who are being treated for depression should be monitored closely in order to ensure that the depression does not worsen or become increasingly dangerous to the patient. Individuals who are severely depressed may require hospitalization and extended care beyond that which a prescription-based medicine can offer. Anyone who feels that their depression is worsening should consult their physician for a proper diagnosis and a recommended treatment course.

The information in this article is to be used for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of, or in conjunction with, professional medical advice. Anyone with questions regarding a Cymbalta Fibromyalgia treatment must consult their physician for further information.

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Home Treatment For Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel syndrome is a common problem with the intestines. Doctor will likely to start listing a bunch of medications you can take to help control Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), when you visit your doctor to talk about it.

However, you may want to seek out other therapy options, if you don’t feel comfortable taking medication daily. You have the control over your Irritable bowel syndrome and ultimately make all decisions about what treatment you need.

The great thing is that whether you are on medication or not, there are several things you can do at home to help with irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.


You might want to think about hypnosis for your IBS symptoms, if you are more into alternative medicine and other more natural treatments. There are usually three types of people when it comes to hypnosis: those that don’t believe in it at all, those that love it, and those that have never tried it.

However, you too might see the positive effects it can have on your mind and body, once you try hypnosis. When it comes to how hypnosis relates to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the answer lies in the patient’s stress level.

Hypnosis works to lessen overall stress and when it is effective in doing so, irritable bowel syndrome patients will experience fewer IBS symptoms. Mainly, a hypnotist can help get you to a deep relaxed state where you can learn to endorse positive thoughts about your overall health.

There are ways to practice this at home as well. You can learn to use self-hypnotherapy while you are on your own at home, or in between hypnosis treatments.

Basically, irritable bowel treatment hypnosis is much like a deep meditation. You will have less stress and will be able to cope with IBS much easier, if you take the time to work on your mind as well as your body.


You probably understand already why people are drawn to it, if you have ever tried yoga. It is not only a way to get in shape, but also a way to unwind and clear your mind of stress. It is very effective in helping with irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.

The idea of yoga deals with the body and the mind, which is what an IBS sufferer needs to focus on. There are many yoga positions that are specifically designed to help promote better digestion and to ease digestive symptoms.

You can do yoga in the comfort of your own home. Get a DVD with basic yoga moves on it and get started right away!


For an IBS syndrome sufferer, exercise is important for a variety of reasons. First, exercise generally makes your body stronger. It is usually a good idea to be on a regular exercise program, no matter what disease or disorder you might be suffering from.

Exercise boosts the immune system, making other diseases and disorders less likely to occur.

Second, exercise is an excellent stress-reliever. Some medical practitioners believe that IBS syndrome has psychological roots. This means that IBS syndrome might have its beginnings in a mental state.

A highly-stressed mind is prone to mental problems; mental problems lead to physical problems. IBS syndrome symptoms have often been observed to occur when a person is under unusual amounts of stress.

So it has not been proved that stress is a cause of IBS syndrome, but it certainly worsens the situation. Every effort to reduce undue stress must be made. Exercising is one of the best ways to do this.

Good Sleep Habits

One of the biggest factors in your overall Irritable Bowel Syndrome treatment is getting enough sleep. Studies show that Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers who don’t get at least 8 hours of sleep a night have a higher frequency of symptoms.

So this home treatment is very inexpensive, but it can be difficult when you are on a set schedule. Just try to get yourself into the bed fifteen to thirty minutes earlier each night. Before you know it, you will work yourself up to getting those 8 hours you need, without feeling like you are missing out on anything.

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New Technology Breaks Through Cancer Pain

Cancer patients fraught with painful flare-ups, or breakthrough pain, may soon receive assistance in the form of a new, easy-to-use oral adhesive disc.

Chronic cancer patients frequently experience two types of pain: persistent and breakthrough. Persistent cancer pain is defined as continuous pain present for long periods of time.

Breakthrough pain is brief and often severe, and can afflict patients already taking medication for persistent pain. In fact, the American Cancer Society reports that it’s common for people with persistent pain to also experience breakthrough episodes. For some patients, the pain is connected to certain activities, such as walking or dressing. For others, it occurs unexpectedly, and can be caused by the cancer itself, or the cancer treatment. It is called “breakthrough” because it “breaks through” a regular pain medicine schedule.

The best treatments for such pain flare-ups are fast-acting medicines that remain in the body for a short period of time. Taken “as needed,” these medications are used at the onset of the pain breakthrough. One breakthrough pain medication is the opiate fentanyl.

The next generation of fentanyl is a patient-friendly, small oral adhesive disc from BioDelivery Sciences, known as BEMA Fentanyl. The small disc is composed of an adhesive layer and a nonadhesive backing layer, with both layers capable of holding the medicine. The disc adheres to the inside cheeks and delivers the dose of medication. And instead of requiring removal upon completion of the drug delivery, the BEMA patch disintegrates in the mouth and leaves no drug residue. This novel medication is now undergoing Phase III clinical trials.

In a crossover study comparing BEMA Fentanyl and Actiq, the lozenge formulation of fentanyl that is the current market leader in fast-dissolving fentanyl products for breakthrough cancer pain, results showed that the BEMA Fentanyl formulation provided for faster absorption and greater concentration of the drug.

“The results of our study demonstrated that fentanyl could be delivered more effectively and easily using the BEMA technology,” said BioDelivery CEO Mark Sirgo. “Besides allowing greater absorption of fentanyl, the BEMA disc was easier to use, as it only required seconds to apply.”

According to the World Health Organization, pain is a prevalent symptom in cancer patients, affecting up to 50 percent of those undergoing active cancer treatment and up to 90 percent of those with advanced disease.

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Fibromyalgia Q&A: Understanding Fibromyalgia

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, also sometimes called Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Fibromyositis, Fibrositis, or Myofascial pain syndrome, is a continual disorder characterized by extensive musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, tenderness in contained areas of the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips sometimes referred to as multiple tender points or pressure points. It may cause sleep disorders, morning firmness, irritable bowel syndrome and nervousness.

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Though the symptoms of fibromyalgia can be unbearable, they are not serious. Symptoms may differ, depending on stress level, physical action, time of day, and the weather.

Pain is the main symptom, found in almost 100 percent of cases, particularly, pain and tenderness in some areas of the body when pressure is applied.

Fibromyalgia is a constant condition and symptoms may be continuous or irregular for years. Some of the most common symptoms of fibromyalgia consist of:

• Sleep problems

• Gastrointestinal such as abdominal pain, bloating and constipation

• Lack of feeling or irritations

• Unrelieved headaches

• Sharp sensitivity to odors, noises, bright lights, different foods, medication and

• Dysmenorrhea and painful sexual contact

• Repeated urination, strong urge to urinate, and painful urination

• Fast or irregular heart rate, and breathlessness

• Bulging sensation in the hands and feet, although swelling is not visible

Are there different forms of fibromyalgia?

Yes, there are actually different forms of fibromyaligia. These forms are categorized according to the symptoms a person experiences. They are:

•Post traumatic – there is a record of a single incident such as a car accident the pre-dates the pain syndrome. The accident commonly is an effect of an intense tremor and wounding of spinal muscles. Patients first complain of headaches and afterwards complain of arm or leg stiffness or itchiness or pain.

•Repetitive Traumatic – The idea of this is that a repeated injury can add up to the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

•Mood related fibromyalgia –  usually, most fibromyalgics suffer this syndrome especially if they are suffering from extreme anxiety and pain. As a result, to this, fibromyalgics develop mood disorders such as depression.

•Hormonal abnormalities such as hyperthyroidism – this commonly cause enlarged muscle tension, anxiety and sleep disorder (a perfect ingredient indicative of fibromyalgia).

What causes fibromyalgia?

The causes for fibromyalgia are not identified. The condition creates unclear signs and symptoms connected with reduced blood flow to some parts of the brain and improved amounts of substance P believed to be a sensory neurotransmitter included in the message of pain, touch and temperature from the body to brain.

However, researches have found some other potential causes, includes the:

• Autonomic malfunctioning of the nervous system

• Constant sleep problems

• Psychological strain or distress

• Malfunctioning of the immune or endocrine system

• Upper spinal cord damage

• Viral or bacterial infection underwent

Is fibromyalgia a real disease or just in my head?

Patients with fibromyalgias know that the pain is real and not just a fake. Fibromyalgia specialits also know their patients are experiencing real symptoms.

In addition, there is now evidence that fibromyalgia patients’ intense feeling of pain is not just an illusion or imagination.

It is now probable to look at the brain and see accurately where it is active. This thorough brain scan is referred to as functional magnetic resonance imaging. There is no escaping the fact that there is malfunctioning sensory activity going on in the brain when Fibromyalgics undergo this series of brain scans.

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Support Needed For People With Breathing Problems. Emotional Burden Of Chronic Bronchitis And Emphysema May Make Some Patients Reluctant To Seek Treat

Imagine how you’d feel if walking up even a few stairs made you so winded that you gasped for air and had to sit down to catch your breath. For millions of Americans with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, that scenario is part of their everyday lives, and the simple act of breathing can be a constant struggle.

COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a progressive respiratory disease characterized by a loss of lung function over time. Primarily triggered by cigarette smoking, COPD is the second-leading cause of disability and the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease. Beyond COPD’s physical symptoms lies a range of troubling emotions-frustration, anxiety and depression-which, according to a national survey conducted by Efforts (Emphysema Foundation For Our Right to Survive), may affect the way patients manage their disease. Efforts is a nonprofit patient organization dedicated to supporting and educating COPD patients.

“I’d wake up in the middle of the night scared and anxious because I couldn’t breathe,” says COPD sufferer Jacquie Bossert, 72, from San Diego. “To me, this disease meant I would have to give up all the important things in my life. But with the right resources, I’ve learned to manage my disease, so instead of feeling frustrated, I now feel empowered to get back to doing some of the things I enjoy.”

Overall, the 649 COPD patients in the survey, which was supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Pfizer Inc., said that they most frequently felt uncomfortable, tired and frustrated. More than half reported more extreme emotions, saying that they “always” or “very frequently” felt troubling emotions. These included feeling burdened, overwhelmed, depressed, isolated, defeated, embarrassed or ashamed because of their disease. Nearly all said that they think about their condition at least once a day; are concerned about experiencing an exacerbation, a worsening of symptoms; and believe that other people think that they caused their condition themselves.

Importantly, patients who experienced extreme emotions were more likely to be very concerned about their condition worsening, think that there is nothing they can do to control it or were uncomfortable or reluctant to seek treatment. This group was also more likely to consider immediate symptom relief important and use short-term medications, often called rescue medications, at least once a day.

“These findings illustrate the fear and hopelessness that many patients feel, along with a possible emotional attachment to rescue medications,” says Dennis E. Doherty, M.D., Professor of Medicine and head of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center and Chairman of the National Lung Health Education Program, which is dedicated to the identification and treatment of patients in the early stages of emphysema and related chronic bronchitis. “Maintenance therapies are more effective in managing COPD over time, but many patients are confused about the role of short – and long-term treatments in managing symptoms. Physicians need to recognize the emotional aspect of this disease and better educate patients on the value of maintenance therapy so they can get the treatment they want and need.”

To help address the issues found in this survey and the need for better disease education, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Pfizer Inc., in conjunction with COPD Foundation, NLHEP (National Lung Health Education Program) and Efforts, have launched The Breathing Room, a nationwide COPD education program. The Breathing Room gives patients and the public the opportunity to learn more about COPD through innovative tools such as interactive disease animation. The program will also offer information about COPD from medical experts and will provide lifestyle and disease management tools and treatment options to help patients manage their disease more effectively.

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Practical Tips to manage Food Allergy

Allergies are so common for which 20% of Americans have some kind of allergic reaction or another to certain external stimuli whether food, water, or air. This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard of them.

Allergy is categorized as different types, but perhaps the most common is food allergy. As its name suggests, this type of allergy is triggered when a reaction occurs after contact with a particular food to which you are sensitized. ‘Sensitized’ means that you have taken this food before. As the food enters the body, your immune system – your body’s natural defense – sees the food substance as harmful foreign substance and mounts an attack against the protein. It produces a specific type of antibodies called IgE to “fight off” the proteins. This action of your own body’s immune system is what triggers an allergic response.

Allergy caused from allergic response can range from mild or moderate to severe, including symptoms like swelling of the face and tongue, rash called “hives” (like nettle rash), breathing difficulties, runny nose and eyes, swelling of the throat, abdominal pain and bowel disturbances, nausea and vomiting and could to life threatening collapse (anaphylaxis).

Practical Tips to help & manage Food Allergy

1.    Plan ahead. If you can, write a list of foods that you can tolerate and try to get some recipes that incorporate these. You may also consult your dietician and discuss or ask for any advice/help about special dietary alternatives or recipes that won’t trigger your allergy. Also, try your local libraries for recipes or contact allergy specialists for more information on sensitivities or recipes.

2.    If you are eating out, telephone the host or chef in advance and explain your needs. See if they will allow you to supply your own food. If not, perhaps they can adapt the menu for you. Always make it a point to discuss everything beforehand so you won’t get tempted to eat anything you shouldn’t.

3.    Take extra supplies whenever you go out. You might take longer than you originally planned so carrying a spare packed lunch or goodies with you can be a big help not only to stave off your hunger but also to keep you away from restaurants selling foods that may trigger your food allergy.

4.    It helps if you keep a food and symptom diary so when you have a reaction, you can pinpoint what triggered your symptoms. This also helps when you make your list of tolerable foods.

5.    Make everyone aware if you have a life-threatening allergy. That way, you don’t have to rely on yourself whenever you find yourself in a situation where you extremely tempted to eat foods you’re allergic to. Also, in case you unknowingly ingest foods that trigger your allergy, there would be someone there to help you.

6.    Freeze and bake so you have stocks of allowed foods and don’t have to bake every few days. This will make a wider selection of choice, too.

7.    If you’re going abroad, obtain some Allergy translation cards so you are able to show them in different countries. Also, one of the first things you ought to do in a foreign place is to find out where the nearest hospital or doctor is in case of an emergency.

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10 Most Likely Cancers You Are Going To Get

One of the greatest concerns America has today is cancer. The figures are alarming according to the National Cancer Institute studies a total of 1,372,910 new cases of cancer and 570, 280 deaths were predicted for the year 2005. Approximately one in every four deaths is due to cancer.

Research indicates that the lifetime probability of developing cancer is higher for men at 46% while for women it is 36%. The National Cancer Institute has   put in place a challenge to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer by 2015. To meet this, the nation is tackling the problem on a war footing. And, to this end the creation of awareness has become a priority. To conquer cancer you must know what the risks are, how lifestyle changes can help, about intervention and preventive care, and where help is available.

The most common cancers are:


1.    Prostrate. This accounts for approximately 33%.

2.    Lung and bronchus. Accounts for 13%

3.    Colon and Rectal. Accounts for 10%

4.    Urinary and Bladder –7%.

5.    Melanoma of skin—5%.

6.    Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma—4%.

7.    Kidney and Renal Pelvis—3%.

8.    Leukemia—3%.

9.    Oral Cavity and Pharynx-3%.

10.   Pancreas—3%.


1.    Breast –32%.

2.    Lung and Bronchus—12%.

3.    Colon and rectum—11%.

4.    Uterine Corpus—6%.

5.    Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma—4%.

6.    Melanoma of the skin—4%

7.    Ovary—3%.

8.    Thyroid—3%.

9.    Urinary Bladder—2%.

10.   Pancreas –2%.

An organization called the CDC is taking giant strides in the field of cancer prevention and control. They advocate adoption of a healthy life style, eating nutritious and well balanced food, regular health checks, and screening for cancer. Screenings are quite often lifesaving as problems can be nipped in the bud.  Many cancers are curable if detected in the early stages.

It is important to know that a cancer is a disease where healthy cells in the body divide uncontrolled to form tumors. This could happen anywhere in the body and some tumors are benign while others are malignant.  Most cancers have different symptoms but to give you an idea, symptoms can include an unexplained lump in any part of the body may feel like a small marble; perceptible growth of a wart or mole; wounds and sores that do not heal; a persistent cough; changes in bowel or bladder habits; indigestion; weight loss or gain; unusual bleeding or discharge. These are symptoms that are caused by not just cancer but many other diseases. And, early cancer does not manifest itself in any outward signs so the only way is to undergo health checks. So, you need the help of a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.

Screening will include routine physical examinations, lab tests, x-rays, and specialized tests like mammograms, CT scans, MRIs, sonography or  laparoscopy. The physician will, after giving you a general check and noting down the history recommend any special tests if he finds anything that requires further investigation.

In depth information on cancer, prevention, cures, treatment, counseling and more can be found at: ; ; and .

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Blood Pressure Drugs May Lengthen Lives Of Melanoma Patients

Beta-blocker drugs, commonly used to treat high blood pressure, may also play a major role in slowing the progression of certain serious cancers, based on a new study.

A review of thousands of medical records in the Danish Cancer Registry showed that patients with the skin cancer melanoma, and who also were taking a specific beta-blocker, had much lower mortality rates than did patients not taking the drug.

The report, published in the current issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, summarized the work of a team of researchers at Ohio State University’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research (IBMR) and the Comprehensive Cancer Center.

If the results are confirmed in a planned clinical trial, this might be an additional adjunct treatment for cancer patients facing a poor prognosis.

At the center of this research is the fact that certain molecules that play important roles in the immune system also appear to promote both tumor growth and metastasis, the shedding and spreading of tumor tissue to other parts of the body.

“The work started with some earlier studies where we discovered that certain tumor cells had receptors to two specific catecholamine stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine,” explained Ron Glaser, professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and director of the IBMR.

“When either of these hormones bind to the tumor cell receptors, it stimulates the production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and certain matrix metalloproteins all molecules known to stimulate blood flow to tumors, enhancing their growth, and promoting metastasis.”

The earlier studies first used tissue from a nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line, and later from both multiple myeloma and melanoma cell lines. When treated with the beta-blocker propranol, all cells stopped producing the tumor-enhancing molecules. Similar work by other scientists showed similar results with ovarian cancer tissues.

Then the team turned to Stanley Lemeshow, a professor and dean of the College of Public Health at Ohio State. Lemeshow had previously partnered with colleagues in Denmark and knew that country had a vast database of patient information, including records of all Danish cancer patients for decades, as well as pharmacy records of all drugs prescribed for those patients.

“These databases can be linked together and by doing so, you have the ability to find patients with melanoma who had previously been prescribed beta-blockers,” Lemeshow said.

The researchers looked at melanoma patients who had taken beta-blockers and at those who hadn’t to determine whether the former group exhibited longer survival.

“Among patients diagnosed with melanoma, those who were taking beta-blockers when their cancer was diagnosed experienced longer survival than those patients who weren’t taking the drug,” Lemeshow said.

“Their chance of surviving for a specified number of years improved by 13 percent.”

When the researcher looked at all causes of death among melanoma patients not just melanoma their chances of survival were improved by 19 percent.

“We’re talking about survival time, here. They simply lived longer.”

Eric Yang, an associate member of the IBMR and assistant research professor of internal medicine, said that epinephrine and norepinephrine may stimulate, or induce, the production of these tumor-promoting molecules.

“The idea is that if you treat a patient with beta-blockers, then you can counteract ‘epi’ and ‘norepi’ and lower the amounts of those molecules that induce tumor progression, perhaps halting it,” Yang said.

That’s the idea behind the clinical trial the researchers hope to begin soon.

“That’s what has us so excited,” Glaser explained. “This drug is relatively inexpensive. It isn’t chemotherapy so you don’t lose your hair or get sick. It doesn’t kill the cancer cells, but it may slow the disease.

“This would be adjunct therapy that could be provided in addition to the normal chemotherapy patients receive.”

“So far, we’ve found an association between beta-blocker use and survival time for melanoma patients,” Lemeshow said. “The clinical trial should give us even stronger evidence.”

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Flu Is Preventable, Expert Says Protect Yourself Now

As temperatures begin to cool, coughing and sneezing inevitably follow. So begins flu season in the United States and preventable deaths, says David Kimberlin, M.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham professor of pediatrics and president-elect of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

“Each year, an average of 24,000 people in the United States start the flu season alive and by the end of it have been killed by it; that is enormous,” says Kimberlin, who co-directs the UAB Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Kimberlin says it is too early to forecast the extent of this flu season, but he cautions people to protect themselves.

“Regardless how severe a flu season is predicted to be, people should be concerned every year. They should get their annual flu shot anytime the flu vaccine is available. If you haven’t yet done so, stop and get it,” Kimberlin says.

“The strains that are circulating in the 2011-12 season are the same strains circulating this past year,” Kimberlin says. “That’s the first time that has happened in a very long time.”

That means there is no shortage of the flu vaccine. “We have a good supply already, so we have the best opportunity to protect the U.S. population from this deadly disease,” Kimberlin explains.

One of the strains included in this year’s influenza vaccine is H1N1, a pandemic strain that infected about 61 million people in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the 2010-11 flu season, 115 children died of flu-related causes, according to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report; less than a quarter of them had received the flu vaccine, and nearly half of them were age 5 and younger.

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Living In Poor Neighborhood A Risk For Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Death

People living in poor neighborhoods are at higher risk of dying of heart disease outside a hospital than are people who live in wealthier neighborhoods, research suggests.

The researchers analyzed the association between neighborhoods of differing socioeconomic status and out-of-hospital deaths caused by coronary heart disease in four U.S. communities between 1992 and 2002. In each community, and among whites and African Americans, those living in the poorer neighborhoods had a higher risk for these deaths.

Neighborhood socioeconomic status can be determined by a number of measures, generally including residents’ household or family income, education levels and occupations.

The data were obtained from a national study monitoring the risk of heart disease in four communities: Washington County, Md.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Jackson, Miss.; and Forsyth County, N.C.

According to the American Heart Association, almost 80 percent of cardiac arrests that take place outside a hospital occur at home and are witnessed by a family member. Yet only 6.4 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims survive. Almost 60 percent of the deaths examined in this study were classified as sudden cardiac deaths.

Though the study did not examine the reasons for the differing levels of risk, previous research has suggested that health disparities based on socioeconomic status typically relate to differing levels of access to health care, the presence or absence of environmental stressors, and the level of social support among neighborhood residents.

“From a public health perspective, it’s useful to monitor these associations over time to see what’s happening,” said Randi Foraker, an assistant professor of epidemiology and cardiovascular medicine at Ohio State University and lead author of the study. “Perhaps there’s something on a community level that could be done to help reverse those trends and take those inequities away.”

The study is published in a recent issue of the journal Annals of Epidemiology.

The researchers obtained data on 3,743 out-of-hospital deaths from death certificates that had been classified as fatal coronary heart disease events. Of those, 2,191 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths, meaning death occurred within one hour after symptoms began.

The data came from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The addresses from the death certificates were used to determine where the people had lived in each community.

The scientists used a number of measures to determine whether the neighborhoods delineated by the 2000 U.S. Census were considered of low, medium or high socioeconomic status. These measures included median household income, the percentage of residents below the poverty level, the percentage of female-headed households and the percentage of college-educated and high school-educated residents. An additional composite index took into account six indicators of socioeconomic status.

“No matter what study community they were in, persons living in lower socioeconomic status neighborhoods were dying outside the hospital at a greater rate compared to those living in higher socioeconomic status neighborhoods,” Foraker said.

The magnitude of this effect was greater among women in all cases, she noted. A statistical analysis indicated that no matter what measure was used to define the level of socioeconomic status, black women and white women were more strongly affected than were black men and white men, respectively, by the association between lower socioeconomic status and higher risk for coronary heart disease death outside a hospital.

“Socioeconomic status appears to exert a stronger influence on these out-of-hospital deaths on women than on men,” Foraker said. “This might mean that women could be more susceptible to problems with access to care and a lack of social support than are men, given those findings.”

By using multiple measures of socioeconomic status in this study, Foraker said she and colleagues have settled a research question for further monitoring of health disparities.

“No matter what measure we used, the analysis told the same story. That’s important for monitoring these disparities over time. So we captured 10 years of data, but those who want to take a look at a different span of 10 years could use just one of these measures rather than a complicated index,” she said.

Foraker plans to shift her research focus to examine heart failure hospitalizations among patients living in lower socioeconomic status neighborhoods, and whether better use of outpatient care might reduce these hospitalizations. “I’m predicting that better utilization of the system could keep people healthier and out of the hospital,” she said.

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Continued Treatment For Lupus May Boost Survival Of Those Patients With End-Stage Kidney Disease

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have shown that close supervision by rheumatologists and the use of immunosuppressant drugs improve the survival of lupus patients with end-stage kidney disease a finding that could reverse long-standing clinical practice. Their study appeared in the September 1 online edition of the Journal of Rheumatology.

At least 1.5 million Americans (more than 90 percent of them women) have lupus (officially known as lupus erythematosus), a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage many organs of the body. Treatment usually involves using immunosuppressive drugs to blunt the immune system’s attack on the body. Kidney disease is a common complication of lupus, and up to 30 percent of patients with lupus-related kidney disease ultimately develop end-stage renal failure.

“The lupus disease process was thought to become inactive once kidney failure develops,” said lead author Anna Broder, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Einstein. “As a result, patients generally haven’t been encouraged to continue with immunosuppressant medications or to follow up with their rheumatologists after developing end-stage kidney disease. But recent studies have suggested that lupus can indeed remain active after patients start dialysis or receive a kidney transplant.”

“Our research shows for the first time that under-supervising and under-treating these lupus patients was associated with an increased risk of death,” said Dr. Broder.

The Einstein researchers reviewed the charts of 80 lupus patients with end-stage renal disease who had been started on renal replacement therapy (i.e., either kidney dialysis or kidney transplant). Twenty-two of the patients had been seen frequently in rheumatology clinics (two or more visits per year), while the other 58 patients had been followed infrequently (fewer than two visits per year).

Four years after beginning renal replacement therapy, patients who continued to be treated with immunosuppressive medications were less likely to have died compared with patients who took only low doses of prednisone or no medication. (In fact, patients receiving no medication were 13 times more likely to have died compared with patients treated with a combination of immunosuppressive therapies.) The study also found that lupus patients who visited their rheumatologist at least twice a year after starting dialysis had significantly higher four-year survival rates compared with patients who went for fewer follow-up visits.

“If these findings are confirmed by future studies,” said Dr. Broder, “they may significantly change the way lupus patients with end-stage renal failure are managed while on dialysis or after receiving kidney transplants.”

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American Association For Cancer Research Report Asks Congress To Increase Federal Funding Of Biomedical And Cancer Research

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), will release its AACR Cancer Progress Report 2011, in which its calls on Congress to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The report urges Congress to provide the NIH and NCI with sustained budget increases of at least 5 percent above the biomedical inflation rate. AACR says this level of support will ensure the future scientific advances needed to capitalize on past research investments, spur innovation, and make a difference in the lives of people worldwide.

“At this defining moment in cancer research, we hope that the AACR’s landmark Cancer Progress Report 2011 will help everyone to recognize the tremendous progress that has been made in our understanding of cancer and the enormous opportunities that now exist to stem the tide of this disease, which is diagnosed in one out of two men, and one out of three women in their lifetimes,” said AACR President Judy E. Garber, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “The value of cancer research and biomedical research to the economic health and well-being of this nation cannot be overestimated,”.

According to the AACR, its Cancer Progress Report 2011 comes at a critical time when decades of fundamental knowledge about cancer have led to incredible scientific and technological breakthroughs. However, the relatively flat funding of the NIH and the NCI since 2003 threatens both the momentum gained and future progress of cancer research, contends the AACR, which is the world’s oldest and largest association dedicated to the acceleration of advances in cancer research for the prevention and cure of cancer.

“Today, more than any time in history, cancer researchers are maximizing the impact of the fundamental discoveries made over the past 40 years and are translating them into improved patient care. Sustained funding increases for the NIH and NCI are an urgent national priority that will improve the health of Americans and strengthen America’s innovation and economy,” said AACR Immediate Past President Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate and Morris Herzstein professor of biology and physiology at the University of California, San Francisco.

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More Focus Needed On Early Markers Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Results of a new study at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that people in midlife who are at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease might show subtle differences in the speed at which they process information compared to those who do not have particular genetic risk. These differences might be associated with changes in brain volume and could serve as markers to allow earlier detection and enhance chances for treatment.

Lead researcher Rebecca Ready, associate professor of psychology at UMass Amherst, says, “Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease in which neuropathology begins to accumulate decades before clinical symptoms are noticeable. In order to maximize the opportunity for preventive interventions and treatment, it’s crucial that we identify early markers. Recent research is consistent with our results showing that a broader focus on early, preclinical markers for this disease is needed.”

“Our data suggest that investigators consider the possibility of subtle changes in processing speed even before clinical symptoms of mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease become apparent. The most valuable data about early Alzheimer’s disease will come from long-term studies among high-risk populations, and we hope to expand our current sample and follow them over time to determine which neuropsychological and brain volume measures are related to future cognitive decline.”

Ready and colleagues’ report appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias.

In this investigation supported by the UMass Amherst Research Development Office, she and colleagues used parental diagnosis of Alzheimer’s to recruit a genetically-enriched sample of 23 healthy, non-smoking adults (14 women, 9 men) with an average age of 55.8 years. As children of a parent with likely Alzheimer’s, they were considered to be at higher-than-average genetic risk. They agreed to genotyping and participated in several learning and memory, cognitive, motor and visual tests, a mood survey, a saliva assay for the stress hormone cortisol and an MRI.

The selection strategy yielded eight participants, or 35 percent of the original 23, who had the e4 variant of the genetic marker apolipoprotein (ApoE). ApoE e4 is associated with a three- to four-fold greater risk for Alzheimer’s than the estimated 14 to 25 per 100 rate in the wider population. The other 15 subjects had non-E4 variants or alleles of the Apo E gene.

Overall, ApoE e4 participants had similar education levels, verbal IQ scores, marital status, alcohol use, exercise habits, mood, stress levels, and good and bad life experiences over the previous year as participants who were not ApoE e4 positive, the authors say.

Participants attended two laboratory sessions. At the first, they took cognitive tests and were instructed how to collect and store cortisol samples by saliva swab at home over the next two days. Cognitive tests included measures of working memory, long-term memory storage, processing speed and visual scanning, among others. They also completed mood assessment, life events and personality tests. The second session, a few weeks after the first, was for MRI volumetric brain imaging.

Ready and colleagues compared measures for the eight participants in the ApoE e4 subgroup with results of the 15 participants who did not carry the e4 gene. They found that participants with the ApoE e4 marker performed significantly more slowly on an executive function test and had slower processing speed.

ApoE e4 subjects also had less brain volume in white matter. This lower white matter volume was significantly correlated with slower processing speed. “Processing speed and changes in white matter volume are candidate indicators of preclinical decline in Alzheimer’s disease,” Ready explains.

Finally, the ApoE e4 group had significantly greater morning rise in the stress marker cortisol as measured at waking and 30 minutes later, than the non-e4 group, but cortisol level was not associated with cognitive or brain volume measures. More research into associations between ApoE and cortisol is needed, the investigators note.

This study marks a break with past research by studying healthy people in midlife assumed to be at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than people who do not have a parent with the disease. “The vast majority of research on the effects of ApoE e4 on cognition and brain volume has been conducted on healthy, nondemented groups of older adults,” Ready notes. “We extended this line of research to a genetically-enriched, healthy sample of mid-life adults.”

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Weiss Smith, Sharfstein; Door Is Open At FDA For Drug Safety And Review

Too often, people think of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a huge wall of regulations and don’t consider there’s an open door in that wall, drug safety scientist Sheila Weiss Smith said Sept. 16 at “Inside the FDA,” a panel critique of one of America’s most pervasive and often controversial regulating agencies.

Weiss Smith, PhD, a professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, encouraged faculty and company executives in attendance to prepare themselves well in advance of FDA officials reviewing their product for approval by engaging in constructive dialogues with the review division.

Weiss Smith and Joshua Sharfstein, MD, Maryland’s secretary of health and mental hygiene, were featured speakers at the Greater Baltimore Committee panel, which was held at the University of Maryland BioPark. Weiss Smith is often consulted by FDA regulators and the pharmaceutical industry on issues of drug safety. Sharfstein formerly served as principal deputy commissioner at the FDA.

Along with moderator Steven Grossman, JD, author of the blog FDA Matters, the two speakers offered advice on working with a “new FDA” they said has become far more transparent in recent years.

“FDA is people, too,” said Grossman, who is president of Health Policy Solutions Group, LLC. “FDA is a lot more committed to working with you than you might expect. They are people who want to help you with your own development plan. That has been strengthened in recent years,” he said. He is a former deputy assistant secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Inside the FDA” was Sharfstein’s first public discussion of the FDA since he left the agency earlier this year to become the chief Maryland health official. He said, “The industry is very interested in getting guidance on technical matters, but the FDA doesn’t have the time to consider all of those.” Companies need to come to the FDA with “some general plan” at least, he said. The company may not have the wherewithal to check into all the questions of competitive drugs out there. And the FDA may not have the funding for all the questions, he advised. Sharfstein, however, added, “I was very impressed when I was with the agency of the broad expertise there.”

Weiss Smith broadened the point, saying, “Yes, there are published guidance documents on many topics, but it is good to know going in what the current thoughts are within the review division [at the FDA] that might apply to your product, so you can anticipate key concerns and questions.”

Grossman said the agency has been criticized at different times as being both too slow and too fast for drug approval. “It’s a tremendous responsibility to regulate food and drugs. When you stop and think about it, that’s one quarter of every consumer dollar spent.”

“In the past, I had described FDA as too lax in certain areas of drug safety. But now I think they are a lot more savvy,” said Weiss Smith. In a widely quoted editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007, Weiss Smith denounced the FDA’s response to a September 2006 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), “The Future of Drug Safety,” writing that the agency’s response demonstrated “a lack of understanding of the magnitude of the changes required to create a culture of safety.” The IOM report had identified weaknesses in the laws, regulations, resources, and practice of ensuring drug safety.

She advocates that whether one believes the FDA is emphasizing approvals or safety, the agency needs to balance both to make wise decisions. “There are a lot of different connotations to drug safety,” she explained to the BioPark audience. “They include making sure the drug is the right chemical and not counterfeit. Making sure it is not contaminated. Does it dissolve right [in the body]? Plus, you need to know and clearly articulate the risks of a drug, because once it is on the market it becomes a public health issue, particularly for drugs which are widely used.”

Weiss Smith is currently working with the National Cancer Institute to study safety issues for medicines used in cancer therapy and the potential cancer risk among some commonly used prescription medications.

Sharfstein and Weiss Smith also advocated more funding for little appreciated “regulatory sciences,” Sharfstein said, “Sometimes we need more research on the tools of regulation.” The two said such tools are the “how tos” of the many connotations of drug safety. Weiss-Smith said that ranges from “designing tests to rapidly identify counterfeit drugs to developing and testing new statistical techniques to study rare adverse events.”

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Rare Toe-to-Thumb Transplant Lets Young Patient Resume An Active Life

Cary Ramey has the word Carpe tattooed on the underside of his right wrist and Diem tattooed on the left. He loves extreme sports, especially mountain biking and “rock climbing without the ropes.”

He is in one word fearless.

The life of the energetic 24-year-old from Sneed, in Northeast Alabama, almost ended two summers ago in an August car crash. Ramey was left lying on his stomach in his upside-down car; his left hand was outside the vehicle, pinned under the roof. He didn’t know his thumb was crushed and half his index finger was gone. Ramey was rushed to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, but his thumb was not salvageable.

In the days immediately following the accident, Ramey didn’t care that his thumb was missing; he was alive. But as time passed, he thought about an option UAB plastic surgeon James Long, M.D., had mentioned in the hospital he could get a new thumb by transplanting the second toe from one of his feet, a new twist, with fewer drawbacks, to an older procedure that transplanted a big toe.

“Before this happened, if someone had told me, ‘If you ever lose your thumb, we can use one of your toes to replace it,’ I probably would have said I’d never have that surgery,” Ramey says. “Most people don’t want a toe on their hand. After it happens, though, everything changes.”

After several consultations with Long and much deliberation, Ramey decided to have the rare surgery. Long, associate professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery, transplanted the second toe from Ramey’s right foot into the thumb position on his left hand in a 13-hour surgery Aug. 24 two years and nine days after Ramey had lain in the wreckage of his Subaru Baja.

Two days after surgery, even with his hand heavily wrapped, Ramey was moving his new thumb ever so slightly. One week later, Long unwrapped his left hand for the first time, giving Ramey the first glimpse of his new appendage.

“It’s beyond what I imagined,” Ramey says. “I can’t believe how incredible everything looks and that I can move my thumb even a little bit. It’s fantastic.”

Ramey was even more impressed with his foot. He assumed there would be a gap between his big toe and the next; instead, he saw four toes spaced equally.

“I had no idea my foot was going to look that good,” Ramey says. “I don’t even have a gap. Unless you sit there and look at my toes and count them, it’s hard to tell I even had one removed.”

Rare surgery

Long says UAB is one of the few hospitals in the country and the only one in Alabama to perform toe-to-thumb transplants. Ramey is only the second UAB patient to have the surgery in the past two years.

The majority of publicized toe-to-thumb transplants involve the surgeon relocating the big toe to the hand. The drawbacks, Long says, are that the new thumb isn’t proportioned like a regular thumb, and the lack of a big toe can affect balance significantly.

Though aesthetics play a role in the decision to transplant, Long prefers that not be the primary reason for the surgery.

“I always emphasize to patients that function comes before appearance,” Long says. “However, when it’s feasible for us to achieve both goals, we always aim for that.”

For Ramey, who likes to scamper up and over boulders, removing his big toe was not an option. He favored the transplant only if it could be done using his second toe.

“Cary’s goal was to return to the things he was doing before he got hurt,” Long says. “He never would have been able to do them if his big toe had been used to replace his thumb.”

“I was thinking more about functionality than what it would look like,” Ramey says.

Transplant planning and mechanics

Long and his team used specialized angiograms of Ramey’s left hand and right foot to examine the blood vessels and map the toe-to-thumb transplant. X-rays of the foot and hand enabled Long to structure the bones at the time of the transplant.

The mechanics of the transplant include joining the arteries at the original thumb position and at the donor site so that blood flow can be reestablished. This is done using vessels that typically are only about two millimeters in diameter with sutures that are less than the width of a human hair. Additionally, the bone from the foot must be stabilized onto the recipient bone of the thumb. Surgeons also must ensure adequate venous drainage, which means they have to reconstruct veins and connect them to others. Sensory nerves across the surfaces of the toe are connected to ensure sensation at the tip of the toe-thumb.

The tendons that supported the thumb are repaired and connected across the joints of its replacement to provide range of motion to the new appendage.

“It is a challenging task,” Long says.

Transplanting the second toe is technically more demanding a fact that proved to be true in Ramey’s case.

Long says Ramey had an unusual arterial architecture in his foot that added significant complexity.

“It probably added four hours to the surgery,” Long says. “This was an interesting case because it involves all of the super-specialized disciplines that fall within the purview of plastic surgery bringing tiny nerves, arteries and veins together, fixing bones and repairing tendons. And then there exists the additional puzzle of designing the toe harvest so that it seamlessly takes its place as the new thumb.”

The future is bright for limb transplantation

Long says the future of plastic surgery is in transplanting hands, faces and other body parts for patients with amputations and severe injuries due to accidents and battlefield wounds.

“This toe-to-thumb transplant surgery is fascinating to me because it is a technical proof of concept for all the surgeries we have yet to devise in the replacement of lost limbs,” Long says. “As of today, we are limited by the medicine side of the equation; health problems from lifelong immunosuppression tend to offset the benefits of limb transplantation. I believe we are approaching the ability to minimize the negative effects of immunosuppression at which point the emerging field of limb transplantation will explode.”

Patients like Ramey provide the key technical foundation for these future endeavors.

Ramey still has several weeks of physical therapy ahead some of which will be on his Xbox video game console. Meanwhile, he anticipates a better grasp on the handlebars of his bike and finding another rock wall to conquer.

“I can’t wait,” Ramey says. “I’m confident about what’s to come. I think I’ll be able to do all the things I did before, and it’s going to be so much better.”

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New European Pharmacovigilance Legislation In Use

New Pharmacovigilance legislation that was adopted by the European Union in December 2010 is coming to full application in July 2012. This new legislation promises a lot of changes that should increase patient safety and decrease industry spendings by almost 150 million Euros. The 2nd Annual Pharmacovigilance & Risk Management Strategies meeting organized by Fleming Europe brings to Rome a Member of the European Parliament responsible for the new PV legislation, 10 major Pharma companies (such as Sanofi-Aventis, Genzyme, BMS, Abbott, Novartis, etc.) and other key Pharma players. They are coming to share the first hand experience on successful implementation of the new PV rules. But this two-day meeting will cover also other important topics that will be shaping the PV market in 2012, such as:
Case studies from 5 different continents on how to create a successful and cost-effective PV system
Overview of PV activities in special populations
Industry experiences on how to pass PV inspections
Risk Management best practices from the EU and the US

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Health 2.0 Europe: Over 35 Speakers From 15 Countries Already Confirmed – And Counting!

Over 35 speakers confirmed from more than 15 countries represented Showcasing the latest and greatest in health 2.0 technologies in Europe! October 27-28, 2011 in Berlin, Germany Following the success of our first event in Paris in April 2010, we are excited to bring the 2nd annual Health 2.0 Europe to hip Berlin on October 27-28, 2011. The 2010 event gathered over 500 delegates in its first year and showcased the best of Europe’s Health 2.0 offering.

The 2nd edition will reconvene all the leaders and stakeholders in web 2.0 for health: IT solution providers, health professionals, patient organizations, health authorities, public and private insurance organizations, medical devices and pharmaceutical companies, telecom groups, VC and financiers, policy makers, academics and more…

Health investor Esther Dyson to present on ‘From Health to Wellness 2.0’

An active investor in technology start-ups with a keen interest in the potential of internet technology to change healthcare, Esther Dyson from EDventure Holdings will present on ‘From Health to Wellness 2.0’. Her health technology investments include Medstory, sold to Microsoft in 2007, 23andMe, Habit Labs, Medscape, OrganizedWisdom, PatientsLikeMe and ReliefInsite.

Over 35 speakers already confirmed

Confirmed speakers also include: Roberto ASCIONE (Publicis Healthware International – Italy), Alberto SANNA (Fondazione Centro San Raffaele- Italy), Gábor GYARMATI (Szinapszis Group- Hungary), Anna GYARMATI (KamaszPanasz – Hungary), Emma STANTON (Department of Health- UK), Chris COOPER (EPG Health Media- UK), Matt JAMESON EVANS (HealthUnlocked- UK), Tim RINGROSE (Networks in Health/ UK), Howard LAST (Active Medicine Ltd- UK), Jonathan BLOOR (DocCom- UK), Anatole MENON-JOHANSSON (SXT Health CIC- UK), Frank ANTWERPES (DocCheck- Germany), Michael ALVERS (Transinsight GmbH- Germany), Britta LANG (Cochrane Collaboration- Germany), Jorge Juan FERNANDEZ (Hospital Sant Joan de Déu- Spain), Frederic LLORDACHS (Doctoralia- Spain), Miguel CABRER (Medting- Spain), Bartho HENGST (KWF Kankerbestrijding- The Netherlands), René SIELHORST (Intenz- The Netherlands), Joris MOOLENAAR (IPPZ- The Netherlands), Robert HALKES (Drimpy- The Netherlands), Jasper TEN DAM (my Jellinek- The Netherlands), Marco VITULA (Diagnosia- Austria), Stephen COOK (23 Gears Web Systems- Sweden), Anna OMSTEDT LINDGREN (MedUniverse- Sweden), Greg BIGGERS (Genomera- US), Pablo GRAIVER (TrialReach- UK/Israel), Dennis VAN ROOIJ (medCrowd- UK/The Netherlands), Laurent COUSSIRAT (The Mood Institute- France), Ulrich SCHULZE-ALTHOFF (Medisana Space Technologies GmbH- Germany), Roman SCHENK (Protegia GmbH- Germany), Rachel IREDALE (Cancer Genetics Story Bank, UK), Wouter TUIL (MijnZorgnet, NL), Roman RITTWEGER (Advisors in Healthcare), David Clifford (PatientsLikeMe, USA), Kai Sostmann (Charité University Hospital, Germany), Topi Hanhela (Pharmaceutical Information Centre, Finland).

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Preterm Birth Linked To Higher Risk Of Death In Early Childhood Or Young Adulthood

According to an investigation in the September 21 issue of JAMA, an investigation that consisted of over 600,000 infants born in Sweden between 1973 and 1976, revealed that those who were born prematurely (less that 37 weeks gestation) had an increased risk of death during early childhood and young adulthood in comparison to those born full term.

In developed countries, premature birth is the leading cause of perinatal (pertaining to the period immediately before and after birth) illness and death. The authors explain: “Although the early effects of preterm birth are well documented, less is known about the longer-term outcomes in adulthood. These outcomes have a growing clinical and public health importance because of the high prevalence of preterm birth and improved early survival.” In the U.S. the frequency of premature births has increased to over 12%. “As a result, large numbers of individuals who were born preterm are now surviving to adulthood. A comprehensive understanding of their outcomes in adulthood is needed to enable earlier prevention, detection, and treatment of the long-term health sequelae.”

Casey Crump, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., and colleagues carried out an investigation in order to analyze the connection between gestational age of birth and mortality in young adulthood. The investigation involved a national cohort of 674,820 people born in Sweden between the years 1973-1979 who survived to one years old, including 27,979 (4.1%) who were born prematurely, who were followed up to 2008. In total 7,095 deaths occurred during follow-up from the age of one year to the maximum attained ages of 29 to 36 years.

They discovered a strong inverse connection between gestational age at birth and mortality in early childhood (ages 1-5 years). In late childhood (ages 6-12) and adolescence (13-17 years) no connection was observed, however, in young adulthood (18-36 years) an inverse connection returned. Premature birth was linked with increased mortality in early childhood and young adulthood, even among those who were born late preterm (34-36 weeks), in comparison to individuals born full-term.

The authors said:

“In young adulthood, gestational age at birth had the strongest inverse association with mortality from congenital anomalies and respiratory, endocrine, and cardiovascular disorders and was not associated with mortality from neurological disorders, cancer, or injury.”

To their knowledge, they write that this is the first investigation to report the specific contribution of gestational age at birth on mortality in adulthood:

“The underlying mechanisms are still largely unknown but may involve a complex interplay of fetal and postnatal nutritional abnormalities; other intrauterine exposures, including glucocorticoid (a steroid hormone) and sex hormone alterations; and common genetic factors.

Although most survivors have a high level of function and self-reported quality of life in young adulthood, our previous and current findings demonstrate the increased long-term morbidities and mortality that may also be expected. Clinicians will increasingly encounter the health sequelae of preterm birth throughout the life course and will need to be aware of the long-term effects on the survivors, their families, and society.”

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Polio In China Genetically Linked To Pakistan Strain, WHO

The strain of polio isolated in the outbreak in China reported earlier this month is genetically linked to the wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) currently circulating in Pakistan, according to a Global Alert and Response (GAR) warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday, 20 September. The organization says this confirms that the wild poliovirus is spreading internationally from Pakistan.

WHO blames inadequate immunization in Pakistan for the spread:

“In 2011, supplementary immunization activities (SIAs) in Pakistan have been inadequate in quality in key high-risk areas,” states their GAR.

Parts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan, where security is weak, and particularly in the Khyber region, 200,000 children and more have not received the polio vaccine in the last two years. There are also “significant operational challenges” affecting immunization in other key transmission areas such as the provinces of Balochistan, which neighbours Iran and Afghanistan to the west, and Sindh, which neighbours India to the east. Also, undetected circulation cannot be ruled out because surveillance itself is patchy.

Compared with last year, the spread of polio appears to be increasing in Pakistan, reports WHO. As of last week, the Pakistan authorities had reported 84 cases of polio, compared to 48 cases for the same period in 2010.

The country is now affected nationwide by transmission of the WPV1 strain, and is also the only country in Asia in 2011 to have the only wild type 3 polio virus, WPV3, which is on the verge of elimination elsewhere on the continent.

Given the spread of WPV1, the fact the country appears to be the only one in Asia where WPV3 remains in 2011, WHO rates the risk of further international spread of WPV from Pakistan as “high”. In giving this rating they also took into consideration the large-scale population movements that are expected to take place with the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages to Mecca in Saudi Arabia in the next few months.

Earlier this year the government of Pakistan lauched a National Polio Emergency Action Plan. The impact of this plan is not yet visible on the ground, or the “critical programme implementation level”, say the WHO.

To build up immunity to both circulating strains of polio, immunization days are taking place this week, to be closely followed by further activities in high-risk union councils in 54 districts of Pakistan.

But WHO says this will only succeed if there is “full and consistent engagement and accountability at provincial, district and union-council level”.

The organization also urges all countries in Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean to strengthen monitoring of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) to spot early any signs of polio being imported and to respond fast should this happen. They should also boost routine immunization coverage against all strains of polio just to keep in check any possible imported spread.

Travellers to and from Pakistan should also be fully vaccinated, and travellers to the country who in the past have had three or more doses of oral polio vaccine (OPV) should have another one before they travel.

Some countries require travellers from Pakistan to be fully immunized against polio before they grant an entry visa.

In line with WHO’s International travel and health recommendations, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued vaccination requirements for travellers of all ages undertaking the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages. As well as the WHO recommendations, they require that all travellers entering the Kingdom from countries where polio is endemic show proof of having received OPV six weeks before travel, and they will also be given a further dose when they arrive.

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