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Prez Bush gives thumbs down to expanded child health insurance

President Bush has vowed to veto a bipartisan plan to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program to include coverage for 4.1 million non-poor children who are currently uninsured. The cost would about double the total current expense, over a 5-year period, to a total of about $75 billion… Read more

Promise for chronic pain relief without cognative impairment

The Holy Grail of chronic pain is to eliminate the pain without impairing thinking, alertness, coordination, or other vital functions of the nervous system. A study using a combination of capsaicin—the substance that makes chili peppers hot—and a drug called QX-314, was successful in blocking pain-sensing neurons in rats without impairing movement or other sensations… Read more

Bipolar child has 30% chance of having a parent with the disorder

The American Journal of Psychiatry reports that a child diagnosed with bipolar disorder has a 30% probability of a blood parent having the same disorder. Researchers were curious to determine if bipolar children were getting medical attention sooner and more often due to at least one parent having the disorder. Researchers decided to determine if a high correlation existed between children diagnosed… Read more

World Fibromyalgia Day – May 12, 2008

Heanne Hambleton lives in England and has found what so many other Fibromyalgia patients have experienced world wide–that it is difficult for friends, family, and neighbors to understand and appreciate the pain and suffering. It is sometimes difficult to comprehend how someone can look so normal, but be in constant pain. In a recent post… Read more

Alzheimer’s risks differs by sex

Men and women differ on their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. French researchers studied nearly 7,000 people over 65 years from the general population of 3 French cities. None of the subjects had dementia, but 4 out of 10 had mild cognitive impairment at the onset of the study. At 2 and 4 years the… Read more

Are Alzheimer’s patients better off knowing their diagnosis?

Physicians often have to grapple with the question if their patients are better off knowing their diagnosis of a life-changing disease or should the information be kept from them so what time they have left will be lived as fully as possible. A 2004 review of research found about half of all physicians were reluctant… Read more

Early sign of Alzheimer’s disease—loss of smell

If you, or a loved one, have difficulty identifying common smells such as banana, cinnamon, or lemon, it might be a sign for the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Robert S. Wilson, Rush University Medical Center, tested the sniffers of 589 adults (average age 80-years-old) who, at the time, showed no cognitive impairments. For… Read more

Early onset of Parkinson’s disease may include depression

University of Alberta research indicates that depression is common with early Parkinson’s disease (PD), but is often untreated or diagnosed. They found that 27% of PD patients screened positive for depression, while 40% of those patients were not treated for depression. The researchers suspect that one of the reasons that symptoms of depression go undiagnosed… Read more

Antidepressant effect faster with ketamine, but there are drawbacks

One of the difficulties in treating depressed patients is that drug treatments can take weeks before the beneficial effects are seen. Sungho Maeng, affiliated with the Laboratory of Molecular Pathophysiology and Experimental Therapeutics, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Health & Human Services, Bethesda… Read more

Increased bone fractures with diabetes drugs

A relatively new and effective class of oral antidiabetic agents, thiazolidinediones, have gained in popularity and widely used to treat diabetic patients with insulin resistance. Two of the more popular drugs from this class are prioglitazone and rosiglitazone, which account for 21% of oral diabetes medications prescribed in the United States and 5% of those… Read more

Antidepressant studies overly optimistic

An examination of published studies of 12 widely prescribed antidepressant drugs, approved between 1981 and 2004, showed a discrepancy in results from FDA studies. Erick Turner, M.D., Medical Director of the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center’s Mood Disorders Program, reviewed the FDA’s trials for 12 widely prescribed antidepressant drugs and compared the result with the literature… Read more

Rheumatoid arthritis medications most effective when combined

A new report funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), compares the benefits and harms of 3 classes of medications: Synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), which includes hydroxychloroquine, leflunomide, methotrexate, and sulfasalzine. Biologic DMARDs, which inclues abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, etanercept, infliximab, and rituximab. And corticosteroids, including drugs such as predinsone. The report… Read more