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Drug companies declare war on “Sicko”

Release of Michael Moore's, Sicko is a week away and drug companies prepare to counter attack claims made in the film. They feel the American health care system has been unjustly characterized as 'sick.' One issue they have with the film is that Moore doesn't pin down what works and what needs to be improved… Read More

Widely-used numeric rating for pain found to be flawed

A common practice among health-care professionals is to determine the severity of a patient's pain by asking them to rate their pain from 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain). It's a quick and easy way, but research indicates it may not be reliable. Until now no one has bothered to evaluate the accuracy of… Read More

Modafinil reduces chemo treatment ‘fogginess’

Chemo treatment sometimes causes 'foggy' thinking. A recent double-blind study of women being treated for breast cancer were given modafinil (Provigil). Those women taking modafinil reported major memory improvements, concentration, and learning. Modafinil, originally used for narcolepsy, was found to promote wakefulness and seemed to increase brainpower without the 'jittery' side-effects associated with amphetamines. The… Read More

Parkinson’s dyskinesias has new hopeful treatment

A characteristic often associated with Parkinson's disease is dyskinesias, which is a spastic (or repetitive) motion. Dyskinesia is sometimes caused by the long-term use of medication to help control the disease like levodopa, or L-dopa. The drug dextromethorphan is currently used to treat dyskinesias. Dextromethorphan is a drug used in to suppress coughs in cold and flu… Read More

Depression causes decreased immune efficiency

Researchers Ronald Glaser and Janice Kiecolt-Glaser have spent 3 decades trying to understand the role psychological stress plays in weakening the immune system. Of keen interest was the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is one of 8 different herpesvirusus that can remain dormant in the body for a lifetime. The Glasers estimate that more than 90%… Read More

Dementia psychotic symptoms might be better treated with safer antidepressant

The first-line of pharmacological treatment for the alleviation of severe agitation and psychotic symptoms of dementia is currently the second generation of antipsychotics, despite mounting scientific evidence that they can be associated with serious side effects--including death. Currently the psychosis and agitation of younger patients with schizophrenia are treated with the same medications (antipsychotics) as older patients… Read More

Alzheimer’s – diabetes link found

Why diabetic patients are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease has not been understood. Researchers believe they may have identified the diabetes - Alzheimer's connection. David R. Schubert, PhD, professor Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, reports that blood vessels in the brain of young diabetic mice are damaged by the interaction of elevated… Read More

Formaldehyde linked to ALS

Scientist have shown that there is no apparent connection between common chemicals, like pesticides and herbicides, and developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's disease). However, there is one exception. Marc Weisskopf, PhD, Harvard University, Boston, reported at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, Chicago, that people reporting a ten year or greater… Read More

Disabled American Veterans benefits short-changed

Three major law firms have joined the battle with Disabled American Veterans in the fight to assure injured troops (many returning from Iraq and Afghanistan) receive all of the benefits they are entitled to under federal law. Currently the DAV feels that the troops are shortchanged and are only receiving a fraction of entitled benefits… Read More

Parkinson’s treated with therapeutic cloning

Parkinson's disease is thought to be caused by missing dopamine neurons. Stem cell research has sought a way to restore the missing dopamine neurons, but often the immune system rejects the transplanted cells. Lorenz Studer, MD, Head of Stem Cell and Tumor Biology Laboratory, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, feels that their latest study reduces the chances that… Read More

Isradipine first sign of hope for Parkinson’s in 30 years

According to an article presented by PhysOrg, isradipine is the first promising major advancement in the treatment for Parkinson's disease in 30 years. For the past 3 decades, Parkinson's has been treated principally with L-DOPA, which is used because it converts into dopamine. Studies of Parkinson's patients have shown that they have insufficient dopamine, which… Read More

Traumatic event can make permanent changes in stress hormone level

What is already known is that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or depression, can change how a person responds to stress. What is not known is how a traumatic event effects a person even though they may not develop clinical symptoms. Normally, when a person experiences stress their is a boost in cortisol output. After the stressful… Read More