Monthly Archives: August 2009

Use the Benefits of Hypnotherapy to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

Being at your ideal weight for your height and bone structure is very important for your overall health and well-being. Being overweight or obese can have detrimental effects on your physical health, mental health, and lifestyle. As important as losing weight is for your health, it is one of the most difficult things to accomplish. The healthiest methods for losing weight involve natural methods such as diet and exercise. Research has shown that hypnosis is an effective tool to use in order to lose weight and continue to lose weight and keep it off in the long-term.

Carrying extra pounds has a negative effect on your health and can to lead to life-threatening problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, and diabetes. Losing weight can also help improve joint health, reduce your risk of getting certain kinds of cancer, and improve your ability to sleep (Life Clinic).

Many studies have been conducted to study the effect that hypnotherapy has on a person’s ability to lose weight and their ability to keep it off in the long-term. In 1998, a study involved 60 obese participants. The patients were randomly divided into one of three groups. One group received hypnosis that focused on stress reduction; another group received hypnosis that focused on energy intake reduction, and the third group received only dietary advice.

Researchers studied the percent of body weight lost at 7 different follow-ups from 1-month to 18-months after the treatment. At the 3-month follow-up, all participants in the three groups had lost 2-3% of their baseline body weight. However, at the 18-month follow-up, the group that had received hypnotherapy and stress reduction reported continued significant weight loss compared to no change in the other two groups. This study shows that when hypnotherapy is used in combination with stress relief suggestions, weight loss is significant in the long-term (Stradling, Roberts, Wilson, & Lovelock, 1998).

In a meta-analysis of two studies involving hypnotherapy and weight loss, Kirsch (1996) found a significant difference in amount of pounds lost comparing participants who received hypnosis and those who did not receive hypnosis. The initial follow-up showed the average weight loss to be 6.00 pounds in the non-hypnosis group and 11.83 pounds in the hypnosis group. The last follow-up conducted with the studies showed that the non-hypnosis group lost an average of 6.03 pounds and the hypnosis group lost an average of 14.88 pounds. This meta-analysis showed that use of hypnotherapy greatly increased amount of weight lostover time.

These studies show that hypnotherapy is a valid form of weight loss treatment and has lasting effects in the long-term. Hypnosis takes only a few sessions and has a long-term effect that helps patients continue to lose weight. This is an effective and natural method of losing weight and keeping it off.

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Learn the Truth about Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss

We’ve all heard the claims about achieving weight loss with the help of apple cider vinegar. Some sources imply apple cider vinegar is some kind of magical substance that burns fat, but of course most of us are bright enough to see through that facade. But the claims make you wonder: can apple cider vinegar really support weight loss? Or is it just another diet sham?

In reality, the answer to both questions is yes. Apple cider vinegar itself is not a weight loss fad. It’s a traditional remedy which has been used successfully for centuries for a variety of medicinal purposes. There’s no doubt in many people’s minds that apple cider vinegar can be a useful tool in alternative medicine.

However, there is no evidence that apple cider vinegar is a miracle weight loss cure. In fact, as much as we would like to find the magic pill for weight loss, it’s extremely doubtful anyone ever will. Having said that, apple cider vinegar’s medicinal qualities may be able to support weight loss in a few different ways:

– There have been several studies which show that apple cider vinegar helps balance blood sugar levels. This may be the result of apple cider vinegar’s ability to lower the glycemic index of a meal, which prevents blood sugar spikes. This could influence weight loss, especially for people who are insulin resistant or diabetic.

– One study indicated that taking a small amount of apple cider vinegar before mealtimes helped improve satiety levels and could prevent overeating.

– Although apple cider vinegar is acidic, it actually helps balance the acidity in the body by helping it become more alkaline. Some experts suggest that this can support weight loss.

– One 2006 study suggested apple cider vinegar may have properties that lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These same properties could help you lose fat weight.

– Apple cider vinegar can fight candida. If you have candida overgrowth, you may crave more carbohydrates and sugar, which could be undermining your weight lossefforts. Eliminating candida may help you lose weight.

Aside from weight loss support, apple cider vinegar has many other health benefits. Daily apple cider vinegar intake can help with free radical damage, arthritic pain, high blood pressure, and acid reflux. It’s a decent source of potassium and calcium. Apple cider vinegar also has strong anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties.

So, even if apple cider vinegar can’t promise overnight weight loss, it can still support a healthy lifestyle conducive to weight loss. With all the associated health benefits and the possibility of weight loss, it certainly can’t hurt to add apple cider vinegar to your daily regimen.

Tips for using apple cider vinegar:

– Choose quality apple cider vinegar. Look for organic, unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar with lots of “mother” in it. Pills are a second-rate source of apple cider vinegar, so stick with the liquid for the best results.

– Start small. Try one teaspoon before meals and gradually work up to three teaspoons (or one tablespoon).

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Flu Activity Level Increases In Kentucky

The Kentucky Department for Public Health reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the flu activity level in the state has increased to regional, the second highest level of flu activity. The activity levels for states are tracked weekly as part of the CDC’s national flu surveillance system.

Regional activity is defined by CDC as outbreaks of influenza or increases in influenza-like illness and recent laboratory confirmed influenza in at least two but fewer than half the regions of the state with recent laboratory evidence of flu in those regions. The previous activity level was sporadic, the lowest level indicating activity. Nearly all flu cases at this time are due to novel H1N1 flu (swine flu), as seasonal flu has not yet begun to circulate.

“We continued to detect cases of novel H1N1 over the summer at a reduced rate of transmission. As anticipated, we are now seeing an increase in cases of H1N1 around the state with the return of students to school,” said William Hacker, M.D., commissioner of DPH. “We want to remind Kentuckians to stay aware of new developments related to the flu and to focus on practicing good health habits.”

The CDC has told states to expect an increase in the number of cases of the H1N1 flu strain first identified in the spring, and which has since been declared a worldwide pandemic. Kentucky is also planning for a potential H1N1 vaccination campaign once vaccine becomes available.

Because the flu can spread easily among people in close contact and H1N1 has been more common in young people, health officials say it is especially important for those in school, day care or similar settings to practice good hygiene habits during the coming months. Common sense precautions to prevent illness include: avoiding close contact with those who are ill; staying home when sick; covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth; and frequent hand washing.

Symptoms of H1N1 influenza include fever, chills, headache, sore throat, cough and body aches. Some people have also reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1. Individuals at higher risk for complications—such as those with chronic health conditions or who are pregnant—should contact a health care provider early, in case treatment with antiviral medication is necessary.

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Biggest health risk for Americans is inactivity

Steven Blair, PED, speaking at the 117th meeting of the American Psychological Association (APA), says the biggest health risk to Americans is inactivity, leaving 50 million sedentary people in America at increased health risk and early death. He called inactivity in America, “the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.”

Twenty five to thirty five percent of Americans have no regular exercise routine, sedentary jobs, and do not engage in household activities, according to research findings. That equates to approximately 40 million to 50 million people at risk for health problems that include obesity, diabetes, and heart disease related to inactivity.

Blair, a professor of exercise science and epidemiology at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, and 1996 senior editor of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health says, “Given that these individuals are doubling their risk of developing numerous health conditions compared with those who are even moderately active and fit, we’re looking at a major public health problem.”

Blair’s analysis comes from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study that started in 1970 and includes more than 80,000 patients. The study shows that physically fit individuals live longer. One study revealed that 16 percent of all deaths in both men and women were associated with lack of physical fitness from being inactive. Even moderate activity, including simply walking can reduce health risks associated with obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Moderately fit men in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study lived six years longer than those who were unfit. Additional findings showed that physically fit women had a 55 percent less risk of dying from breast cancer, and included 14,811 female patients.

Blair delivers a simple message –“Doing something is better than doing nothing, and doing more is better than doing less, at least up to a point”. He says, “We need numerous changes to promote more physical activity for all, including public policies, changes in the health care system, promoting activity in educational settings and worksites, and social and physical environmental changes.” He suggests communities where people feel comfortable walking, and adds “I believe psychologists can help develop better lifestyle change interventions to help people be more active via the Internet and other technological methods.”

Blair pointed out that physical activity is also good for brain health. Inactivity poses risk of early dementia, and is believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

Blair believes “We have” engineered the need for physical activity out of the daily lives of most people in industrialized societies.” He says psychologists could help Americans reduce risk factors for disease and early death from inactivity by helping them find ways to get active. The message delivered to the APA is clear – Americans need help to get moving – Steven Blair is urging psychologists to get involved in addressing what he calls the biggest health risk to Americans – inactivity.

American Psychological Association

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Be A New Running Expert Where There Are None

Running Expert

Revolutionary self transport technique (walking to sprinting), is the first movement science. It is news that everyone needs to know for their health, fitness, weight control and performance in many sports.

Being on the forefront of this news will increase your popularity. There is a huge amount of technique information involved that could keep you going for a long time.It is easy to see this as science because taking four running steps forward and four back without stopping to change direction will show you what nobody before Jack Nirenstein noticed. Your feet drop behind your body’s center on the forward run. They drop in front of your body’s center on the backward run. In both directions, your legs are slanted off balance for standing still. You will find that this running test cannot be done with any other technique. That is what makes this technique solidscience.

This is new information that people aren’t aware of. They always start a run by dropping their feet behind their body’s center to increase speed exponentially with each stride until they reach their level pace.

Joggers do it for a few steps, sprinters drop their feet more behind their body’s center and for more strides to reach their level pace.

When runners reach their level pace, their feet drop ahead of their body’s center. They continue to be off balance for standing still, because the ground distance of the stride ahead of the body’s center is shorter than the distance behind the body’s center. The drive with the legs to make you run that coaches teach doesn’t make you go forward at all. It only lifts you straight up while you are falling forward.

Gravity is the only force that can power your walking and running. The rest are used to exchange your feet and toss you up to move parallel to the ground while falling forward.

Everyone learned to fall for walking and running when they were a baby. Champions can only win by dropping their feet more towards the rear on average than anyone else in the race. You have already seen the proof of falling faster for speed.

The above technique information is a small part of Jack Nirenstein’s qualifications to be an expert on walking and running. There are no esoteric technical terms necessary to describe it. Standing on a leg that is slanted behind the body will make the leg swing forward and down. It can’t be contested. Everyone will agree just by their knowledge of gravity.

Jack Nirenstein is author of “GOD’S technique to walk run relax.” The title is a symbol for the puzzle of how did one man, coming from an unrelated field figure out all these scientific details that no researcher ever saw.

Running Expert

Revolutionary self transport technique (walking to sprinting), is the first movement science. It is news that everyone needs to know for their health, fitness, weight control and performance in many sports.

Being on the forefront of this news will increase your popularity. There is a huge amount of technique information involved that could keep you going for a long time.It is easy to see this as science because taking four running steps forward and four back without stopping to change direction will show you what nobody before Jack Nirenstein noticed. Your feet drop behind your body’s center on the forward run. They drop in front of your body’s center on the backward run. In both directions, your legs are slanted off balance for standing still. You will find that this running test cannot be done with any other technique. That is what makes this technique solidscience.

This is new information that people aren’t aware of. They always start a run by dropping their feet behind their body’s center to increase speed exponentially with each stride until they reach their level pace.

Joggers do it for a few steps, sprinters drop their feet more behind their body’s center and for more strides to reach their level pace.

When runners reach their level pace, their feet drop ahead of their body’s center. They continue to be off balance for standing still, because the ground distance of the stride ahead of the body’s center is shorter than the distance behind the body’s center. The drive with the legs to make you run that coaches teach doesn’t make you go forward at all. It only lifts you straight up while you are falling forward.

Gravity is the only force that can power your walking and running. The rest are used to exchange your feet and toss you up to move parallel to the ground while falling forward.

Everyone learned to fall for walking and running when they were a baby. Champions can only win by dropping their feet more towards the rear on average than anyone else in the race. You have already seen the proof of falling faster for speed.

The above technique information is a small part of Jack Nirenstein’s qualifications to be an expert on walking and running. There are no esoteric technical terms necessary to describe it. Standing on a leg that is slanted behind the body will make the leg swing forward and down. It can’t be contested. Everyone will agree just by their knowledge of gravity.

Jack Nirenstein is author of “GOD’S technique to walk run relax.” The title is a symbol for the puzzle of how did one man, coming from an unrelated field figure out all these scientific details that no researcher ever saw.

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Running may be Superior For Strong Bones

A new study from University of Missouri shows that running may be superior to resistance exercises for preventing bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, from decreased bone mineral density (BMD), is a public health concern that affects millions people – including men.

Resistance training is currently recommended to help men prevent bone loss, but studies have been conflicting. The current study suggests that high impact activities may be better for maintaining strong bones, compared to resistance exercise.

Pam Hinton, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences says, “The results of the study confirm that both resistance training and high-impact endurance activities increase bone mineral density. However, high-impact sports, like running, appear to have a greater beneficial effect.”

According to Hinton, exercises that stress the skeletal system helps maintain strong bones, by maintaining bone mineral density. “For example, performing upper body resistance exercises will not increase bone mineral density of the hips. The response of bone to loading is determined by the magnitude of the force, and the rate and direction(s) at which it is applied. Therefore, high-impact, dynamic, multi-directional activities, including structured jump-training (plyometrics), result in greater gains in bone strength. Playing basketball, volleyball, or soccer are also good options.”

The researchers studied men, age 19 to 45. They compared the effects of running, cycling, and resistance training on BMD. Bone mineral density tests measure how strong our bones are, and whether or not we are at risk for fractures and other disabilities, especially with aging.

The researchers found that runners had greater spine bone mineral density, compared to cyclists, after adjusting for lean body mass. Running had no effect on bone density in lean runners, but cycling and resistance exercises were associated with BMD. “…high-impact activity may override the benefits of lean body mass on BMD”, Hinton said.

Loss of bone mineral density can result in osteoporosis, placing us at risk for fractures, and other disabilities. The research shows that running may be superior for maintaining strong bones, when compared to resistance exercise.

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Walking Regularly is Good for PAD

A recently published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the benefits of walking in people with peripheral artery disease (PAD).

The study included 156 people with PAD who were randomized to three groups: supervised treadmill exercise, leg resistance training, or a control group. At the beginning and end of the six month study, short physical performance battery was done. This consisted of three assessments of leg strength and balance (repeated chair rises, standing balance, and four-meter walking velocity).

Those who were in the walking group improved far more than the leg resistance group. Those who were in the control group (didn’t regularly exercise) actually lost ground or worsened. Those who walked regularly had improvement in the speed and distance of their walking as well as ease in getting up from a chair.

While walking has long been a standard recommendation for people with PAD, this study reinforces it. PAD patients with or without symptoms should engage in a regular exercise program.

A recommended regimen is a 40-minute walk three times a week for at least six months. The walking can be done on a treadmill or a sidewalk. It is nice to have a trainer or to use timer. If you start to get symptoms , you can stop and then start again until you have done the 40 minutes.

Learn more about PAD from the American Heart Association.

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Endorphins and other morphine-like substances known as opioids, which are released during exercise, don’t just make you feel good — they may also protect you from heart attacks, according to University of Iowa researchers.

Endorphins and other morphine-like substances known as opioids, which are released during exercise, don’t just make you feel good — they may also protect you from heart attacks, according to University of Iowa researchers.

It has long been known that the so-called “runner’s high” is caused by natural opioids that are released during exercise. However, a UI study, which is published in the online edition of the American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, suggests that these opioids may also be responsible for some of exercise’s cardiovascular benefits.

Working with rats, UI researchers showed that blocking the receptors that bind morphine, endorphins and other opioids eliminates the cardiovascular benefits of exercise. Moreover, the UI team showed that exercise was associated with increased expression of several genes involved in opioid pathways that appear to be critical in protecting the heart.

“This is the first evidence linking the natural opioids produced during exercise to the cardio-protective effects of exercise,” said Eric Dickson, M.D., (photo, left) UI associate professor and head of emergency medicine in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the study’s lead investigator. “We have known for a long time that exercise is great for the heart. This study helps us better understand why.”

Studies have shown that regular vigorous exercise reduces the risk of having a heart attack and improves survival rates following heart attack, even in people withcardiovascular disease. In addition, exercise also decreases the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke, osteoporosis and even depression. However, despite these provenhealth benefits, much less is understood about how exercise produces these benefits.

The UI study investigated the idea that the opioids produced by exercise might have a direct role in cardio-protection. The researchers compared rats that exercised with rats that did not. As expected, exercised rats sustained significantly less heart damage from a heart attack than nonexercised rats. The researchers then showed that blocking opioid receptors completely eliminated these cardio-protective effects in exercising rats, suggesting that opioids are responsible for some of the cardiac benefits of exercise.

The UI team also showed that exercise was associated with transient increases in expression of several opioid system genes in heart muscle, and changes in expression of other genes that are involved in inflammation and cell death. The researchers plan to investigate whether these altered gene expression patterns reveal specific cardio-protective pathways.

A better understanding of how exercise protects the heart may eventually allow scientists to harness these protective effects for patients with decreased mobility.

“Hopefully this study will move us closer to developing therapies that mimic the benefits of exercise,” Dickson said. “It also serves as a reminder of how important it is to get out and exercise every day.”

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Most US Measles Cases Reported Since 1996

More measles cases have been reported in the United States since Jan. 1, 2008 than during the same period in any year since 1996, according to a report released today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Between January 1 and July 31, 2008, 131 cases were reported to CDC?s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). At least fifteen patients, including four children younger than 15 months of age, were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

In the decade before the measles vaccination program began, an estimated 3–4 million persons in the United States were infected each year. Of these, 400–500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and another 1,000 developed chronic disability from measles encephalitis.

“Measles can be a severe, life-threatening illness” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of NCIRD. “These cases and outbreaks serve as a reminder that measles can and still does occur in the United States.”

Of the 131 patients, 112 were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status. Among the 112 unvaccinated U.S. residents with measles, 16 were younger than 12 months of age and too young for vaccination, and one had presumed evidence of measles immunity because the person was born before 1957.

Of the 95 patients eligible for vaccination, 63 were unvaccinated because of their or their parents? philosophical or religious beliefs.

Although immunization coverage rates for measles vaccine remain high, unvaccinated persons are at risk for measles, and sizeable measles outbreaks can occur in communities with a high number of unvaccinated persons.

Measles is consistently one of the first diseases to reappear when immunization coverage rates fall. Increases in the proportion of the population declining vaccinationfor themselves or their children might lead to large-scale outbreaks in the U.S. Currently, Israel and a number of countries in Europe — including Switzerland,Austria, Italy, United Kingdom — are reporting sizeable measles outbreaks among populations refusing vaccination.

“These cases resulted primarily from failure to vaccinate, many because of philosophical or religious belief,” said Dr. Schuchat. “The vaccine against measles is highly effective in preventing infections, and high immunization levels in the community are effective at preventing or drastically decreasing the size of outbreaks.”

Reports include cases from Illinois (32 cases), New York (27), Washington (19), Arizona (14), California (14), Wisconsin (7), Michigan (4), Hawaii (5), Arkansas(2), and Washington, D.C., and Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Virginia (1 each).

Nine of the importations were in U.S. residents who had traveled abroad, and 8 were in foreign visitors. An additional 99 of the 131 cases had evidence of importation or were epidemiologically linked to importations. These import-related cases have largely occurred among school-aged children who are eligible forvaccination but whose parents have chosen not to vaccinate them. The source of 15 cases could not be determined.

Of the 131 cases, 17 were importations from the following countries: Switzerland (3), Italy (3), Israel (2), Belgium (2), India (2), Germany (1), The People’s Republic of China (1), Pakistan (1), The Russian Federation (1) and the Philippines (1).

There were 55 cases of measles reported during 2006; 66 cases during 2005; 37 cases during 2004; 56 cases during 2003; and 44 cases during 2002.

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Curcumin may Prevent Breast Cancer in Women Who Took Hormones

For their study, which has been accepted for future publication in the journal Menopause, the research team found that curcumin delayed the first appearance of progestin-accelerated tumors in lab animal experiments. The spice also decreased the incidence and reduced the numbers of progestin-fueled breast tumors in the animal studies. In fact, curcumin prevented the appearance of gross morphological abnormalities in the animals’ mammary glands.

In previous studies, University of Missouri researchers showed that progestin caused the accelerated development of certain tumors because the hormone increases production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF is known to spur the supply of blood to cancerous tumors, making them grow more quickly. Hyder explained in the media statement that curcumin has been found to inhibit progestin-induced secretion of VEGF from breast cancer cells. So, by blocking the production of VEGF, the proliferation of breast cancer cells should be reduced .

“Curcumin and other potential anti-angiogenic compounds should be tested further as dietary chemopreventive agents in women already exposed to hormone replacement therapy containing estrogen and progestin in an effort to decrease or delay the risk of breast cancer associated with combined hormone replacement therapy,” Hyder said.

According to the American Cancer Society, using HRT which combines estrogen with progestin for several years increases not only the risk of developing breast cancer but also the chances of dying from the disease. HRT containing both hormones makes breasts more dense and raises the risk the cancer may be found at a more advanced stage.

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Researchers Defines XXYY Syndrome Treatment Options

Impetus to develop complete description of XXYY syndrome driven by parents’ frustration over lack of information.

Researchers at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute and The Children’s Hospital in Denver have conducted the largest study to date describing the medical and psychological characteristics of a rare genetic disorder in which males have two “X” and two “Y” chromosomes, rather than the normal one of each. The study, published in the June 15, 2008, issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A, also offers treatment recommendations for men and boys with the disorder.

“We found that there are a variety of behaviors, learning disabilities and emotional problems that are unique to patients with XXYY syndrome that may be better addressed with more targeted therapies,” said Randi Hagerman, medical director of the M.I.N.D. Institute and senior author of the study. “Our research is important because it provides an accurate picture of what patients are experiencing that can help physicians who treat patients with the disorder.”

XXYY syndrome is a sex chromosome anomaly that is thought to occur in about one in 18,000 males in the general population. Boys with XXYY syndrome usually come to the attention of physicians because of unique facial features, developmental delays, late puberty and behavioral problems. It was once thought to be a variant of Klinefelter syndrome, in which males have one extra X chromosome. While the two disorders are similar in some ways, clinicians have become increasingly aware that they are distinct in some significant ways. The current study set out to identify the unique features of patients with XXYY for the purposes of informing the medical community and improving treatment approaches.

“Until now, physicians have had to search the medical literature to patch together a treatment plan mostly based on information on Klinefelter syndrome,” said Nicole Tartaglia, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine who was a fellow at the M.I.N.D. Institute when the study was conducted. “As a result, people with XXYY weren’t being screened for the specific medical problems associated with their disorder. They weren’t receiving therapies or medications for the behavioral and neurodevelopmental issues that are more profound for them. And they weren’t receiving the types of community services that can help them live independent lives. Our research is an important resource for families and practitioners.”

For the current study, Tartaglia and Hagerman examined 95 males with XXYY syndrome between the ages of one and 55 years of age. Among their medical findings were that 19.4 percent had cardiac abnormalities such as congenital heart defects and mitral valve prolapse, 87.6 percent had dental problems such as severe dental caries and malocclusion, 15 percent had seizures and 59.8 percent had asthma or other respiratory issues. Intention tremor became more common with age and was present in 71 percent of study participants over 20 years old. 45.7 percent who underwent brain MRIs showed abnormal white matter that may explain some learning difficulties.

Psychologically, the researchers found that 72.2 percent had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and up to 28.3 percent had autism spectrum disorders. In the previous literature, mental retardation was the norm. This study, however, found that only 29.1 percent had IQ scores within the mental retardation range. Learning disabilities were the more common cognitive impairments, affecting 70.9 percent of study participants.

“Life skills are more of a struggle for these males, and they may need different medications, a broader array of behavioral therapies and more intensive community support than those with Klinefelter syndrome,” Tartaglia said.

Lack of comprehensive information about the syndrome is what drove the current study. For years, parents of boys with XXYY syndrome supported each other over the Internet, sharing stories of heartbreak and frustration. While their sons suffered everything from heart defects to learning disabilities, they could only point doctors and teachers to a 1960s scientific paper that first identified the condition along with a few outdated notes on its outcomes.

“We knew we needed a more complete description,” said Renee Beauregard, of Aurora, Col., whose 26-year-old son, Kyle, was diagnosed with XXYY syndrome at age 10. “We were tired of having our families running around the country looking for answers from people who didn’t have them,” said Beauregard, who is also a co-author on the study.

In 2003, Beauregard and other parents turned their frustration into advocacy and established the XXYY Project to support families.

“The more we talked, the more we realized our boys had things in common that were not addressed in the literature,” said Beauregard, the project’s director. “We had to do something.”

The parents had their children take part in the study, and they flew Tartaglia to the United Kingdom so that she could include XXYY boys living there in the research as well.

Now, with more concrete answers, parents like Beauregard and children like Kyle can find some peace of mind.

“Kyle knows that people don’t understand XXYY and therefore don’t understand him as a person, she said. “The study helps the world know why he is like he is. It validates what he knows about himself and what we know about him. When he can’t follow directions, it’s not because he’s stupid.”

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Viagra Enhances Sexual Performance In Depressed Women

A recent study into the use of anti depressants has confirmed the suspicion that Viagra can help improve the sex performance of women on antidepressants. The study was published in the he Journal of the American Medical Association. Developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Viagra is particularly popular in the treatment of male erectile dysfunction (impotence) and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

The study released by U.S researcher on Tuesday reveals that women who took Viagra were less likely to have sexual side effects compared to those who took placebo. Depression has been linked to sexual dysfunction in some cases. It is thought that many women abandon drugs and resort to treating depression.

The doctors who conducted the study, from the University Of New Mexico School Of Medicine acknowledge that between 30 to 70 percent of depression treatment is related to sexual dysfunction.

Whereas Viagra has always been said to help depressed women, the latest study is the first of its kind that has scientific proofs.

In a combined statement with colleagues, Dr. H. George Nurnberg of the University of Mexico said that “By treating this bothersome treatment-associated adverse effect … patients can remain antidepressant-adherent, reduce the current high rates of premature medication discontinuation, and improve depression disease management outcomes.”

Te research funded by Pfizer Inc, maker of Viagra studied a group of 98 women with an average age of 37 years who reported sexual dysfunction. All the women were all on antidepressants and had shown lack of sexual orgasm or arousal.

The researchers found that only 28% of women taking Viagra showed no improvement compared to 73% of women taking a placebo. The study also reported very minor effects.

Sexual dysfunction is commonly linked with using antidepressants, including selective and non selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

The sale of Viagra has been dwindling in recent years. Viagra has almost a Markey share of 92 percent in the year 2000.However, with the introduction of competitors like Cialis and Levitra, along with other counterfeits and clones, the market share reduced drastically to 50 percent. The recent study will no doubt increase the sale of the popular Viagra pills

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Heroin Is Serious Concern In New Mexico

Health Secretary Alfredo Vigil, MD, said the most recent drug overdose data shows that the heroin problem continues to be a serious concern in New Mexico. The New Mexico Department of Health analyzed the last decade of drug overdoses due to heroin and found that the rates have fluctuated but remained relatively steady. There was a rise in heroin-related overdoses in 2008, similar to the rate in 1998.

The rate of total unintentional drug overdose deaths was 17.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2007 and 19.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2008, according to New Mexico Office of Medical Investigator data that the Department of Health analyzed. The increase in drug overdoses was predominately due to heroin deaths. Prescription drug deaths held steady during this time, compared to a considerable increase the previous year.

“Too many New Mexicans are dying of drug overdoses, a last step in a long chain of events for people who use drugs,” Dr. Vigil said. “We must determine how we can create better interventions at earlier steps, including identifying adolescents at risk through our school based health centers and community programs.”

The Department is a member of the New Mexico Behavioral Health Collaborative, a multi-agency effort to improve mental health and substance abuse services in New Mexico. The Department provides a needle-free form of Narcan, a prescription drug that reverses a heroin overdose. Narcan is available in a nasal spray to people who use drugs and their friends and families. The Harm Reduction Program has trained more than 5,100 people on how to use Narcan. Eighteen facilities train people in multiple sites across New Mexico, and the Department continues to expand the program.

The Department’s Turquoise Lodge in Albuquerque and Yucca Lodge in Grant County provide treatment for people with addictions. The Department offers methadone and buprenorphine to help people who are addicted to heroin or narcotic medications.

“It is reasonable to believe our rates would be worse if we didn’t have programs in place that prevent overdoses and provide substance abuse treatment and prevention to people who need it,” Dr. Vigil said. “Programs like buprenorphine can keep people functional so they can reverse the poverty cycle that tends to lead to substance abuse.”

While prescription drug deaths were stable from 2007 to 2008, the rate is still high. Across the country, there has been a rise in the number of pain killers being prescribed and used, which has

also led to an increase in prescription drug overdoses. “This increases the possibility that teenagers will experiment with drugs found in their medicine cabinet at home and also raises the issue of how we educate society about using those drugs safely,” Dr. Vigil said.

The Department of Health is conducting a study in collaboration with the Office of Medical Investigator, Board of Pharmacy and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify factors that lead to drug overdose death among people who have been prescribed controlled substances.

Overdose death data from 2007 to 2008 (all rates are per 100,000 people and none of the changes were statistically significant):

* Overdose deaths from prescription drugs remained relatively stable, from 11.1 in 2007 to 10.8 in 2008.

* Deaths from any illicit drug slightly increased from 10.1 in 2007 to 10.8 in 2008.

* Heroin overdoses increased from 5.4 in 2007 to 7.4 in 2008.

* Cocaine overdoses dropped from 5.8 in 2007 to 5.0 in 2008 and methadone deaths decreased from 2.9 to 2.6.

* Death rates from opioids other than methadone increased from 6.7 in 2007 to 7.2 in 2008, tranquilizers/muscle relaxants death rates increased from 4.4 to 5.0 and antidepressants increased from 2.8 to 2.9.

* Methamphetamine overdoses decreased from 1.7 in 2007 to 1.1 in 2008.

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FDA Requires Label Changes for Testosterone Gels

Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the requirement of boxed warnings to topical testosterone gel products due to safety concerns. The two prescription topical testosterone gel products, AndroGel 1% and Testim 1%, have bee connected to adverse effects in children who were inadvertently exposed to testosterone through contact with another person being treated with these products (secondary exposure).

Both testosterone gels are approved for use in men who either no longer produce testosterone or produce it in very low amounts. Both gels are used by applying to the shoulder or upper arm skin once daily. AndroGel 1% may also be used by applying to the abdominal skin. Precautions in the current labels instruct users to wash their hands after using the product and to cover the treated skin with clothing.

With 1.4 million prescriptions for AndroGel and 370,000 prescriptions for Testim dispensed in 2007, if the current or new labeled precautions aren’t followed there is great risk for secondary exposure of the testosterone to children. As of Dec. 1, 2008, the FDA had received reports of eight cases of secondary exposure to testosterone in children ranging in age from nine months to five years. Since that time, additional reports of secondary exposure have been received by the agency and are presently under review.

When infants and young children are exposed to testosterone, there can be inappropriate enlargement of the genitalia (penis or clitoris), premature development of pubic hair, advanced bone age, increased libido, and aggressive behavior.

In most cases, these signs and symptoms regressed when the child is no longer exposed to the testosterone source. However, in a few cases, enlarged genitalia did not fully return to age-appropriate size and bone age remained modestly greater than the child’s chronological age.

In many cases, children had to undergo invasive diagnostic procedures. Signs of inappropriate virilization (development of male secondary sexual characteristics) in children and the possibility of secondary testosterone exposure should be brought to a health care provider’s attention.

The labeling states that treated areas should be covered with clothing and that hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and water after application. The new warning will highlight these directions.

The FDA recommends the following precautions be taken to minimize the potential for secondary exposure:

* Adults who use testosterone gels should wash their hands with soap and warm water after every application;

* Adults should cover the application site with clothing once the gel has dried;

* Adults should wash the application site thoroughly with soap and warm water prior to any situation where skin-to-skin contact with another person is anticipated;

* Children and women should avoid contact with testosterone application sites on the skin of men who use these products; and

* Adults should note that use of any similar, but unapproved, products from the marketplace –including the Internet– that can result in the same serious adverse effects should be avoided.

Any adverse events associated with testosterone gels or other drugs should be communicated to the FDA’s MedWatch reporting program by telephone at 1-800-FDA-1088, by fax at 1-800-FDA-0178, online at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch, or by mail to 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20852-9787.

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New Evidence On Alcohol Treatment

Professor Gerhard Gmel, a world leading expert on alcohol problems, and a newly appointed Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England, will give a free public lecture on Monday 2 November 2009 on: ‘The Impact of Brief Treatments for Problem Drinkers’.

The lecture will take place in Room 1F11, Glenside Campus, Blackberry Hill, Bristol BS16 1DD at 19.00.

Professor Gmel is Senior Scientist and Head of the Department of Statistics and Epidemiology at the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and other Drug Problems based in Lausanne. He has an impressive record of scientific achievement and played a major role in producing the World Health Organisation’s calculations of the burden of disease related to alcohol. He has produced over 300 scientific publications and is widely respected within the field of alcohol and drug research.

Professor Gmel is a leading investigator and analyst for a number of major international comparative studies in which UWE’s Alcohol and Health Research Unit is also participating. These include studies of teenage drinking, smoking and drug use across Europe and a worldwide study of gender, culture and alcohol use.

The lecture on 2 November will review evidence of the impact on health of ‘brief alcohol interventions’ (BAIs) for problem drinkers. These interventions are shorter, less intensive and cheaper than some alternative approaches to the treatment of problems drinking/alcohol dependence. They have been examined under controlled but artificial research conditions.

Professor Gmel commented: “We need to know how it works in normal practice. We have had enough trials, but can BAIs enhance health and wellbeing in the real world?”

In particular Professor Gmel will consider:

•Do BAIs work in all situations and for all kinds of people (such as young adults and “alcoholics”?

•How long do their effects last?

•Is there any evidence that BAIs are effective in relation to all types of drinking patterns, including ‘binge’ drinking?

In addition to reviewing these issues, Professor Gmel will describe the latest results of his own clinical research to analyse client-therapist interactions regarding styles of Minimal Interventions (MI). He will clarify what it is that ‘really works’ – Is it the MI style or components of it or just the therapist’s overall characteristics and style?

Moira Plant, Professor of Alcohol Studies at UWE commented, “The United Kingdom is experiencing an epidemic of alcohol problems. These affect millions of people and ruin many lives. No country has all the answers to how best to help people who have serious alcohol problems. Professor Gmel’s lecture will provide a rare opportunity to hear a world expert share his experience on an important (and relatively inexpensive) approach to helping people whose drinking is damaging their lives as well as those of their relatives and friends.”

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Kudzu May Help Control Alcoholism

The rapidly growing vine kudzu may put a strangle hold on alcoholism, according to a report to be published in the November issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. Recent investigations show that kudzu contains compounds that decreases alcohol intake in laboratory animals.

Kudzu extracts and flowers have been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for alcoholism and intoxication for about a millennium. Given the apparent success of this folk remedy and the serious alcoholism problem in the United States and around the world, scientists have been eager to determine if kudzu is really effective and if so, why.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 17.6 million Americans – one in 12 adults – abuses alcohol or is alcohol dependent. Currently about 80 percent of alcoholics relapse within one year of becoming abstinent.

The current study, which included investigators from across the country, has identified several compounds in kudzu extract – namely, the isoflavones puerarin, daidzin, and daidzein—that decrease the intake of alcohol is animals. More specificially, daidzin is the most potent of the isoflavones, and its ability to inhibit alcohol consumption is attributed to the fact that it is a selective inhibitor of ALDH-2.

Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH-2) breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde. When kudzu is consumed, the daidzin inhibits ALDH-2 and allows acetaldehyde to accumulate. An excess of acetaldehyde causes flushing and an ill feeling, which makes people much less likely to want to drink alcohol.

The investigators then synthesized a drug based on daidzin and produced a kudzu-like compound called CVT-10216 and tested the ALDH-2 inhibitor on rats that had been bred to drink moderate to high levels of alcohol. The researchers found that CVT-10216 increases levels of acetaldehyde in living animals, decreases drinking under various conditions, prevents binge drinking that typically occurs within five days of abstinence, and prevents relapse to drinking.

Ivan Diamond, an investigator with the study and Professor Emeritus of neurology, cellular and molecular pharmacology and neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco, believes the new synthetic derivative of kudzu, CVT-10216, may be better tolerated than disulfiram (Antabuse™), and become an effective treatment option for alcoholism.

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FDA: Clarcon products linked to unsanitary conditions

The FDA has warned consumers to toss Clarcon products, used for protection against skin germs. The skin care products consist of hand sanitizers and antimicrobials used to treat wounds. According to the FDA, consumers should toss Clarcon products in the rubbish. The bacteria found, though not specifically identified is associated with “unsanitary condition”, leaving questions and concerns about the source of contamination found by the FDA.

The Clarcon product list containing harmful bacteria includes Citrushield Lotion, Dermasentials, DermaBarrier, Dermassentials by Clarcon Antimicrobial Hand Sanitizer, Iron Fist Barrier Hand Treatment, Skin Shield Restaurant, Skin Shield Industrial, Skin Shield Beauty Salon Lotion, Total Skin Care Beauty, and Total Skin Care Work. High levels of bacteria that can cause permanent damage were found in the products warns the FDA.

So far, there have been no reported infections from using Clarcon products, but they have been produced and distributed in the United States since 2007. Clarcon also has an affiliate marketing program, and the products are widely sold and marketed by bloggers and webmasters.

Signs of skin infection that might be associated with Clarcon products include boils, pimples, red painful skin and other lesions that appear from unknown causes. A cut or break in the skin could provide an entry point for bacteria that cause systemic infection and fever.

The FDA voices concern over the products because they are specifically designed to prevent infection. US Marshals reportedly have seized Clarcon products and ingredients from Clarcon Biological Chemistry Laboratory’s Roy, Utah.

Clarcon claims to use strict quality control measures in their manufacturing process. In this instance, consumers are warned to discard the products, and do not use them under any circumstances because of risk of serious infection and complications that could cause permanent damage. The bacteria found in the products are only identified as thosefound in unsanitary conditions per the FDA. Consumers will await news from the FDA with more information about bacteria found in Clarcon products, marketed under various names. In the meantime, healthcare providers should report suspected adverse events to the FDA’s MedWatch.

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Toronto Declared Heat Alert

Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has issued a Heat Alert for today. The Heat Alert will be in effect until further notice.

During a Heat Alert, the public is encouraged to call or visit family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated adults and seniors who are at greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness, to make sure they are all right. Other groups at risk include people with chronic and pre-existing illnesses, infants and young children, people on certain medications and those who are marginally housed or homeless.

The public is advised to “Beat the Heat” by taking these precautions:

• Drink lots of water and natural fruit juices.

• Go to air conditioned places, including shopping malls or one of many local libraries or community centres located in each neighbourhood.

• Stay out of the sun.

• Reduce strenuous physical outdoor activity, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

• Never leave the elderly, children or pets unattended in a car.

Landlords of buildings without air conditioning are encouraged to provide a dedicated cooling room for residents to escape the heat. Community agencies are encouraged to educate clients on the risks of heat-related illness and to call or check those clients at increased risk of heat-related illness during alerts

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HotStop Scald Protection Faucet Prevent Hot Water Burns

This is how HotStop Scald Protection Faucet prevents hot water burns. When hot water reaches an unsafe temperature HotStop quickly reduces the water flow to a trickle to avoid scalding. Once the water in the line cools the flow re-starts automatically -usually in less than 30 seconds.

HotStop showerheads and tub spouts are UL listed and ASSE 1062 approved. HotStop installs in minutes and requires no special tools or plumbing expertise.

The HotStop Scald Protection Faucet a product that the American Valve product development team wishes they never had to design. Several days before her first birthday, little Leah McCammon was taking a bath when she attempted to pull herself up using the hot water faucet handle. The force of 140°F water knocked her down and in seconds caused 3rd degree burns over most of her body – she died several days later.

Unfortunately reports of scalding injuries like this are repeated too often nationally. Each year thousands of children and adults are severely injured by scalding tap water. In fact, tap water scalds are the second most common cause of severe burn injuries among people of all ages.

However, now a new product line from American Valve called HotStop Scald Prevention Faucets, Tub Spouts & Showerheads are aiming to decrease those numbers worldwide.

While we are discussing protection from hot water, you may also want to learn Shower Curtain Safety and How To Protect Your Family.

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Individual Planning Key To H1N1 Preparedness

The H1N1 flu virus is widespread around the world, but a state health official tells South Dakotans it’s not too late to make basic preparations for a likely increase in cases this fall.

“Currently the H1N1 flu virus doesn’t appear to be any more severe than seasonal flu but that could certainly change as the virus continues to spread and adapt,” said Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of Health. “That’s why we want South Dakotans to stay informed about H1N1 flu and to make common sense preparations.”

Hollingsworth encouraged individuals to stay informed about H1N1 and to make the following basic preparations:

* Keep a stock of essential supplies at home, such as food, water, medicine and a thermometer.

* Keep a supply of personal items such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and activities for the kids to make extended time at home more comfortable.

* Make sure you have a plan to check in with elderly parents and friends, that children know who to contact in an emergency; and that you know your family’s medical histories, social security numbers, and other basic information.

* Check www.bReadySD.com for more information about putting together an emergency kit.

Good personal hygiene is also important. Basic hygiene can help prevent seasonal influenza, colds, and other respiratory diseases, including H1N1 flu:

* Get vaccinated for seasonal flu.

* Wash your hands often with soap and water and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

* Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you’re sick.

* Practice other good health habits – get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritious foods, and avoid smoking.

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iRobot Scooba Washing Your Floor While You Exercise

iRobot Scooba may be many parents’ home cleaning dreams come true. Would you like to exercise, or have more time for your children while your floor washing is done? Or would you like to have someone who could wash your floor constantly keeping your house clean and good hygiene for your children.

These smart, efficient robots prep, wash, scrub and squeegee tile, linoleum and sealed hardwood floors so you don’t have to!

iRobot’s award-winning floor washing robot gets floors reliably clean every time! Scooba cleans up to four average size rooms on a single battery charge and washes an average size kitchen using one tank of cleaning solution. Scooba navigates throughout each room and uses a 4-stage cleaning system to prep, wash, scrub and squeegee sealed hardwood, tile and linoleum floors.

iRobot Scooba uses only clean solution to wash floors (conventional mopping just pushes dirty water around) and it even washes beneath cabinet edges, tables, chairs and other hard-to-reach places. Why settle for kind-of clean floors the old fashioned way when you can get floors brilliantly clean with the touch of a button?

Preps, washes, scrubs and squeegees sealed hardwood, tile and
linoleum floors.

Knows where to clean and avoids rugs, carpets and cliffs.

Cleans beneath cabinet edges, tables, chairs and other.
hard-to-reach places.

Washes floors with only clean solution and deposits grime into the
dirty water tank.

Patented cleaning system covers each area of the floor an average
of 5 times.

Virtual Wall® creates an invisible barrier to block off-limit areas

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Alcohol Advertising Reaching Teens

A new study from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, in collaboration with UCLA, has found a striking correlation between teenage viewership and the frequency of alcohol advertising on cable television. The findings show that ads for beer, spirits and “alcopop” aired much more frequently when more teens werewatching.

While previous studies have shown that the average adolescent is exposed to well over 200 alcohol ads on television each year, this is the first to demonstrate an association between ad placement and teen cable TV viewership. Cable TV attracts about 95 percent of all nationally televised alcohol ads.

The study will be published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health and is currently available online by subscription.

“Alcohol advertisers have pledged to avoid audiences made up of more than 30 percent underage viewers – such as children’s programming,” said David H. Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth and an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “However, many other shows have adolescent appeal. This research suggests that ads are aimed at groups that include a disproportionate number of teens and that the alcohol industry’s voluntary self-monitoring is not working to reduce adolescent exposure to ads.”

Using advertising industry data from Nielsen Media Research, researchers examined all 600,000 national cable alcohol ads shown from 2001 through 2006 to audiences with less than 30 percent of viewers between the ages of 12 and 20. Among the findings:

* Audiences with a higher percentage of youth between the ages of 12 and 20 were exposed to a higher frequency of alcohol ads, even after accounting for other factors that might explain ad placement decisions.

* Each 1-percentage-point increase in adolescent viewership was associated with a 7-percent increase in beer ads, a 15-percent increase in spirits ads and a 22-percent increase in ads for low-alcohol refreshers/alcopops – flavored alcoholic beverages that taste similar to juice or soda.

* In contrast, wine ads decreased by 8 percent with each 1-percentage-point increase in adolescent viewership; this finding suggests that alcohol advertisers can, in fact, successfully avoid adolescent audiences.

“This study did not examine whether alcohol advertisers are intentionally overexposing adolescents,” said lead study author Dr. Paul J. Chung, assistant professor of pediatrics at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and a senior natural scientist at the RAND Corp. “The alcohol industry has consistently denied actively targeting teens, and our study isn’t designed to test that claim. However, the ultimate effect of their advertising strategies, intentional or not, appears to be greater exposure than might be expected if adults were the sole targets of ads.”

For years, alcohol has been the substance of abuse most commonly used by teens in the United States, and the public health consequences of underage drinking are considerable. Numerous studies and national statistics report that adolescents are involved in a significant proportion of the injuries, violence and crime that stem from binge drinking and other forms of alcohol abuse. Moreover, studies have shown that starting to drink as an adolescent has been linked with much greater risks of lifelong problem drinking.

Multiple studies suggest that alcohol ads can have substantial influence on underage drinking attitudes and behaviors.

“It’s difficult to document experimentally,” said Chung, who also directs the UCLA-RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion. “But there’s not too much doubt that advertising and marketing affect the behavior of both children and adults. Common sense tells us that if it didn’t work, companies probably wouldn’t be spending so much money on it. So, it’s a lot harder for parents, teachers and clinicians to successfully encourage kids to delay drinking when so many things they’re seeing – on television, on billboards, on movie screens, on the Internet – are telling them otherwise.”

Source:

UCLA HealthcareA new study from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, in collaboration with UCLA, has found a striking correlation between teenage viewership and the frequency of alcohol advertising on cable television. The findings show that ads for beer, spirits and “alcopop” aired much more frequently when more teens were watching.

While previous studies have shown that the average adolescent is exposed to well over 200 alcohol ads on television each year, this is the first to demonstrate an association between ad placement and teen cable TV viewership. Cable TV attracts about 95 percent of all nationally televised alcohol ads.

The study will be published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health and is currently available online by subscription.

“Alcohol advertisers have pledged to avoid audiences made up of more than 30 percent underage viewers – such as children’s programming,” said David H. Jernigan, director of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth and an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “However, many other shows have adolescent appeal. This research suggests that ads are aimed at groups that include a disproportionate number of teens and that the alcohol industry’s voluntary self-monitoring is not working to reduce adolescent exposure to ads.”

Using advertising industry data from Nielsen Media Research, researchers examined all 600,000 national cable alcohol ads shown from 2001 through 2006 to audiences with less than 30 percent of viewers between the ages of 12 and 20. Among the findings:

* Audiences with a higher percentage of youth between the ages of 12 and 20 were exposed to a higher frequency of alcohol ads, even after accounting for other factors that might explain ad placement decisions.

* Each 1-percentage-point increase in adolescent viewership was associated with a 7-percent increase in beer ads, a 15-percent increase in spirits ads and a 22-percent increase in ads for low-alcohol refreshers/alcopops – flavored alcoholic beverages that taste similar to juice or soda.

* In contrast, wine ads decreased by 8 percent with each 1-percentage-point increase in adolescent viewership; this finding suggests that alcohol advertisers can, in fact, successfully avoid adolescent audiences.

“This study did not examine whether alcohol advertisers are intentionally overexposing adolescents,” said lead study author Dr. Paul J. Chung, assistant professor of pediatrics at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and a senior natural scientist at the RAND Corp. “The alcohol industry has consistently denied actively targeting teens, and our study isn’t designed to test that claim. However, the ultimate effect of their advertising strategies, intentional or not, appears to be greater exposure than might be expected if adults were the sole targets of ads.”

For years, alcohol has been the substance of abuse most commonly used by teens in the United States, and the public health consequences of underage drinking are considerable. Numerous studies and national statistics report that adolescents are involved in a significant proportion of the injuries, violence and crime that stem from binge drinking and other forms of alcohol abuse. Moreover, studies have shown that starting to drink as an adolescent has been linked with much greater risks of lifelong problem drinking.

Multiple studies suggest that alcohol ads can have substantial influence on underage drinking attitudes and behaviors.

“It’s difficult to document experimentally,” said Chung, who also directs the UCLA-RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion. “But there’s not too much doubt that advertising and marketing affect the behavior of both children and adults. Common sense tells us that if it didn’t work, companies probably wouldn’t be spending so much money on it. So, it’s a lot harder for parents, teachers and clinicians to successfully encourage kids to delay drinking when so many things they’re seeing – on television, on billboards, on movie screens, on the Internet – are telling them otherwise.”

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Cause of Itchy Skin Discovered

Who hasn’t had itchy skin that drives them crazy? People who suffer with psoriasis, eczema, allergies, and other irritating skin conditions have often known the agony of scratching themselves until their skin is raw, or worse. Now researchers say they have found specific nerve cells that cause itchiness, a find that could eventually lead to effective treatments for a wide variety of itchy skin conditions.

Scientists had long thought that itchiness and pain were closely related, which complicated their efforts to find an effective way to treat both sensations. Now investigators have discovered that there are certain neurons (nerve cells) that can cause itchy skin but not pain.

According to Zhou-Feng Chen, the study’s lead researcher, this finding is significant because “those cells may contain several itch-specific receptors or signaling molecules that can be explored or identified as targets for future treatment or management of chronic itching,” as noted in a August 6, 2009, Science Daily report.

Zhou-Feng Chen has been on the trail of what causes itchiness and itchy skin for some time. In 2007, he and his team of scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis identified the first gene for the itch sensation in the central nervous system. It was their hope at that time that their discovery would soon lead to new treatments for chronic and severe itchy skin conditions. This latest study brings them much closer to that goal.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, the itchy skin condition is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the United States. Approximately 7.5 million Americans (2.2% of the population) has the disease, with about 125 million people worldwide suffering with the condition.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reports that 10 to 20 percent of children and 1 to 3 percent of adults have atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema). Acute hives will affect up to 24 percent of people in the United States at some point in their lives. Contact dermatitis (an itchy skin condition caused by contact with an irritant or allergen) leads to approximately 5.7 million doctor visits each year, putting a tremendous strain on the health care system. More than 3,700 substances have been identified as contact allergens.

The itchy skin gene, called gastrin-releasing peptide receptor, or GRPR, was first identified in the spinal cord of mice. The researchers first took mice and destroyed the nerve cells that had active GRPR, then exposed the mice to things that cause itching. The mice did not itch but they did feel pain.

The researchers proved that neurons with GRPR are necessary for normal itchiness and by extension, itchy skin conditions. Their findings also indicate that itch and pain signals are transmitted along different pathways in the spinal cord, and that they can stop the itch response in mice without affecting their ability to sense and avoid pain. The scientists emphasize that they “still have a lot of questions” and so it is uncertain how long it will be before effective treatments for psoriasis, eczema, and other itchy skin conditions are available.

Sources:
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
National Psoriasis Foundation
Science Daily 8/6/09
Sun YG et al. Science August 7, 2009
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Experts warn against hasty H1N1 flu vaccine

According to ABC Australia, infectious disease experts in Australia warn that hasty dissemination of H1N1 flu vaccine could spread infection from the use of multi-dose vials. The Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases says multi dose vials carry risk of contamination that could spread HIV, hepatitis, and even result in deaths. The body of physicians warns that H1N1 flu vaccine is being distributed too quickly, and that waiting for single dose H1N1 vaccine would be safer.

The experts say there are too many risks to the public. Now that H1N1 (swine flu) cases have diminished, there is no need to rush H1N1 flu vaccine.

ABC Australia’s, Dina Rosendorff interviewed Dr. Tom Gottleib who said, “To rush to a massive vaccination using multi-dose vials that have been associated with problems in the past, seems too hasty and perhaps not measured enough for our society”. Gottleib is the President of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases. H1N1 flu vaccination program will start in a few weeks, but the concern is bacteria in the multi-dose vials that could lead to spread of infection.

Concern among the infectious disease experts is so deep, the group wrote a letter to Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Jim Bishop, urging him to reconsider mass vaccination against H1N1 influenza.

Single dose vials that would reduce risk of spreading infection would take too long to manufacture. The plan is to go ahead using multi-dose vials to deliver H1N1 flu vaccine to large numbers of the population.

Dr. Gottleib explained, “Our society, all the members are strong advocates of vaccinations, so in no way do we want to undermine vaccination as a very effective strategy. But in this particular influenza season, we have to determine which are the risk groups that need vaccination, and the probable urgency is no longer there as it was perhaps a few months ago. And we would caution for a more measured approach and for single dose vaccines to be used preferably to multi-dose vials”.

Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon says two million dose of H1N1 vaccine are expected by the end of next week. The plan is to go ahead with mass H1N1 flu vaccination, using multi dose vials, that experts warn could pose risks by spreading infection.

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New Drug Approach May Relieve Menstrual Pain

There could be a long line of women waiting for this new way to treat menstrual pain and cramps that can often interfere with everyday activities. Results of a Phase I clinical trial show that tampons treated with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug is more effective than oral medication.

Many women experience some menstrual cramping and pain as part of their monthly menstrual cycle, and the symptoms may or may not require some mild anti-inflammatory or pain relief medications. Other women have dysmenorrhea, or painful menstruation, that disrupts their daily activities and can cause them to lose time at work, school, or at home. Painful uterine cramping may be accompanied by pain in the abdomen or back, along with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, weakness, or fainting.

The purpose of the recent trial, the results of which will be presented at the 2009 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Meeting and Exposition in November, was to determine if a new approach to treatment of severe menstrual pain and cramping could be effective. Because oral medications for menstrual pain are associated with significant gastrointestinal adverse effects, the investigators turned to a vaginal delivery system.

The study included 18 women ages 18 to 45 years who experienced menstrual cycles between 25 and 30 days. During days 7 through 11, nine of the women received an oral dose of 10 mg of ketorolac (Toradol®), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication that is prescribed for moderate to severe pain. The other nine women received a tampon coated with 10 mg of ketorolac. During the subsequent menstrual cycle, each of the women received the opposite treatment.

The results showed that the medication delivered via the tampon not only did not cause significant side effects but it also provided at least ten times more drug to the uterine tissue than the same dose of the oral form. This indicates that a vaginal treatment approach for menstrual pain and cramping may be both more effective and safer than oral dosing.

Since this was only a Phase I trial, women with menstrual pain and cramping should not be lining up at their pharmacies just yet. The promising results from this study, however, pave the way for Phase II clinical trials, which will assess whether the vaginal delivery approach and drug concentration can effectively reduce menstrual pain.

SOURCES:
American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists news release September 21, 2009
Mayo Clinic website

Written by Deborah Mitchell
Tucson, Arizona
Exclusive to eMaxHealth

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