Doctors call for change in painkiller labels
By Anna Yukhananov
U.S. health regulators should change the prescription guidelines for opioid painkillers to prevent more people abusing the powerful and addictive medicines, urged a group of medical and public health experts.
Thirty-seven health experts signed a petition to the Food and Drug Administration, asking it to revise the prescription label for opioid painkillers. They want to prohibit use of the drugs for moderate pain, add a maximum daily dose, and only allow patients to take them for up to 90 days unless they are being treated for cancer-related pain.
Changing the label would not limit how doctors prescribe painkillers. But it would stop pharmaceutical companies like Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions Inc and Pfizer Inc from promoting the drugs for non-approved uses.
Some researchers say aggressive marketing by drug companies has fueled overprescribing of opioids like oxycodone and methadone, synthetic versions of opium that are currently used to treat moderate or severe pain but are also highly addictive.
Overdose from prescription drugs is now the leading cause of accidental death in the country, eclipsing car crashes and the combined impact of cocaine and heroin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the problem has become an epidemic.
The government has tried a multitude of strategies to combat the problem, from targeting “pill mills” and pharmacies like CVS Caremark Corp that are accused of peddling painkillers to addicts, to asking drugmakers to pay for training courses that show doctors how to properly prescribe the medicines.
But some researchers say the government has done little to address drug companies’ marketing, which often encourages doctors to prescribe the pills for chronic pain.
Dr. Andrew Kolodny, chair of the psychiatry department at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn and one of the petitioners, said he has many patients who started off taking opioids for legitimate medical reasons, but then became addicted when they stayed on them for too long.
“We don’t think drug companies should be allowed to advertise these drugs as safe and effective for long-term pain, if we know very well that they’re not,” said Kolodny, who is also president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.
“The FDA has said there’s nothing they can do about this problem (of painkiller abuse). But there is, and that’s a label change.”
Expanding Medicaid cuts death rates, study finds
By Lewis Krauskopf
State expansions of the Medicaid health insurance program for poor Americans reduced adult mortality rates by more than 6 percent compared with states that did not broaden eligibility for their plans, according to a study released on Wednesday.
- The findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine could fuel a political furor over new plans for a nationwide expansion of Medicaid that erupted after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold President Barack Obama’s healthcare law in late June.
In an unexpected move, the high court ruling also left it up to states to decide whether to participate in the law’s broader eligibility criteria for Medicaid that would extend insurance coverage to as many as 16 million more Americans starting in 2014. At least five Republican governors who opposed the healthcare law have vowed to opt out of the expansion, saying the program will pose a huge financial burden.
The lead author of the study was Benjamin Sommers, an assistant professor in health policy and economics at the Harvard School of Public Health who is temporarily working as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to a disclosure note in the study, the paper was conceived and drafted while Sommers was employed at Harvard and the findings do not reflect official U.S. government policy.
The study examined three states that substantially broadened Medicaid eligibility for adults since 2000 — New York, Maine and Arizona. They were compared to neighboring states that did not implement expansions — Pennsylvania (for New York), New Hampshire (for Maine) and Nevada and New Mexico (for Arizona).
By Maggie Fox
Two men unlucky enough to get both HIV and cancer have been seemingly cleared of the virus, raising hope that science may yet find a way to cure for the infection that causes AIDS, 30 years into the epidemic.
The researchers are cautious in declaring the two men cured, but more than two years after receiving bone marrow transplants, HIV can’t be detected anywhere in their bodies. These two new cases are reminiscent of the so-called “Berlin patient,” the only person known to have been cured of infection from the human immunodeficiency virus.
These two cases, presented as a “late-breaker” finding on Thursday at the 19th annual International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., are among the reasons that scientists have been speaking so openly at the event about their hopes of finding a cure.
“Everyone knows about this ‘Berlin patient’. We wanted to see if a simpler treatment would do the same thing”, said Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who oversaw the study. The widely publicized patient, Timothy Brown, was treated for leukemia with a bone marrow transplant that happened to come from a donor with a genetic mutation that makes immune cells resist HIV infection. The transplant replaced his own infected cells with healthy, AIDS-resistant cells. He is HIV-free five years later.
AIDS patients are susceptible to cancers, but they usually stop taking HIV drugs before receiving cancer treatment. “That allows the virus to come back and it infects their donor cells,” Kuritzkes said.
About 34 million people are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, globally; 25 million have died from it. While there’s no vaccine, cocktails of powerful antiviral drugs called antiretroviral therapy (ART) can keep the virus suppressed and keep patients healthy. No matter how long patients take ART, however, they are never cured. The virus lurks in the body and comes back if the drugs are stopped. Scientists want to flush out these so-called reservoirs and find a way to kill the virus for good.
Brown, and now these two other men, offer some real hope.
Dr. Timothy Henrich and colleagues at Brigham and Women’s Hospital launched a search about a year ago for HIV patients with leukemia or lymphoma who had received bone marrow stem cell transplants. Bone marrow is the body’s source of immune system cells that HIV infects and it’s a likely place to look for HIV’s reservoirs.
“If you took an HIV patient getting treated for various cancers, you can check the effect on the viral reservoirs of various cancer treatments,” Kuritzkes, who works with Henrich, said. They found the two patients by asking colleagues at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston which, like Brigham and Women’s, is associated with Harvard Medical School.
Both men had endured multiple rounds of treatment for lymphoma, both had stem cell treatments and both had stayed on their HIV drugs throughout. “They went through the transplants on therapy,” Kuritzkes said.
It turns out that was key.
“We found that immediately before the transplant and after the transplant, HIV DNA was in the cells. As the patients’ cells were replaced by the donor cells, the HIV DNA disappeared,” Kuritzkes said. The donor cells, it appears, killed off and replaced the infected cells. And the HIV drugs protected the donor cells while they did it.
One patient is HIV-free two years later, and the other is seemingly uninfected three-and-a-half years later.
“They still have no detectable HIV DNA in their T-cells,” Kuritzkes said. In fact, doctors can’t find any trace of HIV in their bodies — not in their blood plasma, not when they grow cells in the lab dishes, not by the most sensitive tests.
Can the patients be told they are cured?
“We’re being very careful not to do that,” Kuritzkes said.
Big uptick in scheduled births before due dates, Aussie study finds
By Kerry Grens
Expectant mothers in Australia are increasingly having their babies’ births scheduled weeks before their due date, according to a new study.
But that hasn’t lowered the risk of stillbirth, as some had hoped. In fact, researchers found that babies born even just a few weeks before their due date were slightly more likely to suffer from complications such as respiratory distress and feeding issues.
“Without a medical indication that is strong and clear right now, a planned delivery is not supported due to the fact that consequences after birth are likely to be relevant and severe,” said Dr. Karna Murthy, a pediatrics professor at Chicago’s Northwestern University, who was not involved in the study.
A baby’s due date is 40 weeks after the first day of the mother’s last period. For scheduled births, moms can be induced by medications and deliver vaginally or have their babies via Cesarean section.
In some cases, there are good reasons to stop a pregnancy short and deliver the baby early, such as if the mother has severe preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
The condition is risky for the health of the mom, and delivering the baby early is considered a safer option than letting the pregnancy go on.
In other cases, such as if the mom has diabetes or there are low fluid levels around the baby, it’s not clear whether scheduling a birth early is less risky than letting the mother go into labor on her own, said Murthy.
“There is a widely held perception of a change in obstetric decision making that has lowered the threshold at which and for which planned birth occurs,” the researchers write in their report in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The result is that preterm births have become more popular around the world, with increases seen in both C-sections and inductions. In the U.S., for example, about one of every three babies is now born through a C-section.
To see whether planned births have also increased in Australia, and if there are health benefits to planning births, Jonathan Morris at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney and colleagues collected information on all births in New South Wales, Australia, from 2001 and 2009. The study included only single births.
Births that were planned between 33 and 39 weeks of pregnancy rose during the study period, from 19 percent of all births in 2001 to 26 percent in 2009.
Both inductions and C-sections became more popular; inductions rose from nine percent of all births in 2001 to 11 percent in 2009, while early, planned C-sections rose from 10 to 15 percent.
At the same time, severe health problems among newborns increased slightly, from three percent of all births in 2001 to 3.2 percent in 2009.
Among the babies whose births were scheduled between 33 and 39 weeks, 4.5 percent had a major health complication and 43 out of every 10,000 died.
In comparison, 3.3 percent of babies whose moms went into labor naturally and delivered between 33 and 39 weeks had a severe health problem and 40 out of every 10,000 died.
Why married men are happier
Getty Images / Image Source
By Kristen Domonell
Think bachelors have it made? It turns out married men are actually happier after marriage than they would be if they stayed single, according to researchers at Michigan State University.
The study looked at 1,366 people who weren’t married before participating in the survey, got married at some point during, and stayed married. Researchers compared the subjects to a control group who was demographically alike in every way other than being married.
The results: “People, on average, aren’t happier following marriage than they were before marriage, but they are happier than they would have been if they stayed single,” says Stevie C. Y. Yap, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology at MSU and one of the study authors.
“Just being in a well-adjusted, long-term romantic partnership with someone may be the underlying mechanism,” says Yap. “It may not have to do with the marriage itself, the fact that you step up to the altar and say, ‘I do.’” (Want to know the secret to long-lasting love? Discover What Every Woman Wants.)
Happiness in a marriage might not always seem as exciting as when you first meet your wife, says Marsha Lucas, Ph.D., a psychologist in Washington, D.C. That’s because, as research proves, many people have a baseline level of happiness they tend to return to after a positive life event.
“During early romance, we’re getting all kinds of great, pleasurable experiences that are giving us a bit of a hit of dopamine, stimulating the brain areas involved with reward—even euphoria—as well as the motivation to seek out and return over and over to that same source to get some more,” she says. “After you’re married and the thrill has settled, those big, constant hits of dopamine taper off, and like coming down from a high, it can feel like a huge letdown.” (For more must-have relationship advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our free Girl Next Door newsletter.)
Sorry, But What We Told You Is Wrong
|- Dr. Gifford Jones Sunday|
Winston Churchill, Britain’s wartime Prime Minister, once remarked, “To every question there is a clear, concise, coherent answer that is wrong”. In medicine there are also many questions, and all too often the answers from experts are found years later to be wrong, sometimes with devastating consequences.
A report in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that 13 percent of research articles published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 2009 reported reversals in medical findings involving drugs, screening tests and invasive procedures!
For example, for years we’ve been told that increasing good cholesterol is a prudent move. But new research shows it does nothing to protect against heart attack, strokes and early death.
Here’s another hummer. Doctors have urged men to have regular PSA testing. Now, it’s reported that routine prostate-cancer screening is less likely to save lives and more likely to cause substantial harm from the treatment.
Do you ever cringe when you’re with a friend who has a knuckle-cracking habit? Since we’ve been told this leads to arthritis, why not bite the bullet and bluntly tell them to stop it. But in a research study that reviewed hand X-rays of 215 people aged 50 to 59 the incidence of arthritis was about the same in those who did or did not crack their knuckles.
We’ve also been warned by health nuts, and everyone else, that for good health we must drink at least eight glasses of water a day. This feeling persists in spite of the fact that there’s never been any scientific evidence of its benefit. The Institute of Medicine reports that most people get the water they need by letting thirst guide them.
Smokers produce unusually large amounts of two proteins that foster production of bone-resorbing osteoclasts compared to non-smokers.
|- American Chemical Society By Gary Guishan Xiao, Ph.D.|
Almost 20 years after scientists first identified cigarette smoking as a risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures, a new study is shedding light on exactly how cigarette smoke weakens bones. The report, in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research, concludes that cigarette smoke makes people produce excessive amounts of two proteins that trigger a natural body process that breaks down bone.
Gary Guishan Xiao and colleagues point out that previous studies suggested toxins in cigarette smoke weakened bones by affecting the activity of osteoblasts, cells which build new bone, and osteoclasts, which resorb, or break down, old bone. Weakening of the bones, known as osteoporosis, can increase the risk of fractures and is a major cause of disability among older people. To shed light on how cigarette smoking weakens bones, the scientists analyzed differences in genetic activity in bone marrow cells of smokers and non-smokers.
They discovered that human smokers produce unusually large amounts of two proteins that foster production of bone-resorbing osteoclasts compared to non-smokers. Experiments with laboratory mice confirmed the finding.
The authors acknowledge funding from the Cancer and Smoking Related Disease Research Program and the Nebraska Tobacco Settlement Biomedical Research Program.
Alcohol – not marijuana – is the gateway drug, study shows
By J. D. Heyes, July 21 2012
(NaturalNews) For years Americans have been told that marijuana should remain illegal because it is the ultimate “gateway” drug – that is, the drug that most often leads to the abuse of other, more potent drugs. Not so, according to a new study which says alcohol – not marijuana – is the true gateway drug. Of three drugs or drug-containing substances – alcohol, tobacco and marijuana – the study found that the former, not the latter, led to more drug use. In examining a nationally representative…
Chocolate can improve blood circulation, EFSA rules
By PF Louis, July 21 2012
(NaturalNews) The EFSA is the European Food Safety Authority, and it considers it okay for a food to promote health benefits based on scientific proof. This is not the attitude of USA’s Food and Drug Administration. Our militantly aggressive FDA has the viewpoint that only large pharmaceutical corporations can promote health benefits for their toxic formulas that harm more than they help. Look out for the FDA if any food group, such as walnut growers, cherry producers, and others who have promoted…
Essential Fatty Acids and the sun
By John McKiernan, July 21 2012
(NaturalNews) Most of us are now aware of the importance of Essential Fatty Acids to our overall health and well being. What isn’t so commonly discussed; however, is the relationship between EFAs and the sun. Don’t be afraid of the sun It seems many people are so concerned with covering themselves up from any sun exposure that they are missing out on the important benefits of sunlight. Dr. Robert S. Stern, chair of the Department of Dermatology at Harvard Affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical…
Why virgin coconut oil is superior to highly refined, processed coconut oil
By Donna Earnest Pravel, July 23 2012
(NaturalNews) Many people in the natural health community have been well aware of the health benefits of coconut oil and other coconut products for decades. More recently, “clean eaters” and people following an ancestral diet have been replacing canola oil and other cooking oils with coconut oil. Unfortunately, some people do not realize that certain brands of coconut oil pose serious health risks. Innocent health seekers may be consuming a product that makes them sick. Not all coconut oil is…
Dr. Becker Interviews Dr. Michael W. Fox (Part 1 of 3)
Published on May 22, 2012 by MercolaHealthyPets
http://healthypets.mercola.com/ Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian interviews Dr. Michael W. Fox about the book Healing Animals & The Vision of One Health. (Part 1 of 3)
Dr. Becker Interviews Dr. Michael W. Fox (Part 2 of 3)
Published on May 22, 2012 by MercolaHealthyPets
http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/07/09/dr-becker… Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian interviews Dr. Michael W. Fox about the book Healing Animals & The Vision of One Health. (Part 2 of 3)
Dr. Becker Interviews Dr. Michael W. Fox (Part 3 of 3)
Published on May 22, 2012 by MercolaHealthyPets
http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/07/16/dr-michae… Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian interviews Dr. Michael W. Fox about the book Healing Animals & The Vision of One Health. (Part 3 of 3)
BANG!!!! You’re a DEAD dog
Uploaded by vulneratum on Feb 24, 2009
My Dog… Playing dead… over and over again….This is how I did it…
My dog already knew now to sit and wait for food… if you don’t know how to teach that… just wait till your dog stops moving (in the seated position) and give him a treat. Do that about 30 times and he’ll understand pretty quick.
Then what I would do is get the dog and lay him down by hand…the first 20 or so time it was kinda tough and the dog would not cooperate…but as you hold the dog down and after he stops resisting…say “bang!” and give him a treat…. Keep doing that and the dog will “die” the second you show him a treat..or when you say “BANG!” LOL…
10 Steps to a Housetrained Dog
- The first rule of housetraining any puppy or dog is: never leave your little guy or gal unattended. Consider crate training. Despite how many people feel about “caging” their pet, crates actually work with a dog’s natural instinct to be a den dweller. And that’s only one of the benefits of crate training.
- Consistent feeding times are very important during housetraining and even afterwards. It’s much easier to predict when your dog needs to go outside if he eats at specific times each day.
- Another rule of housetraining: reward and reinforce good behavior, and do not punish your pet for mistakes. If your dog goes potty indoors, consider it your mistake – not hers. The goal of housetraining is to set your pet up for success. She can’t be successful without your consistent and patient guidance.
Positivity Mind and Body
Tom Campbell & Anthony Peake – Consciousness Creates Reality
Uploaded by illskamsarchive on Nov 3, 2011
Henrik Palmgren In Conversation With Tom Campbell And Anthony Peake. For More Information Check out
Articles of Interest
Big Pharma’s Oxycontin addicts being forced to heroin; war on drugs is complete failure
By J. D. Heyes, July 21 2012
(NaturalNews) Is the suggestion that the so-called “War on Drugs,” begun in the early 1980s, has turned out to be a complete failure? Not really, when you consider the connection between Big Pharma and the illicit drug trade. What? You didn’t know there even was a connection? Well, there is, and if anything, maybe it could even be said that current Big Pharma and other accepted medical practices have worsened the illicit drug industry. It stems from a concerted effort within the medical community…
New strategies for raising veggie-loving kids discovered via research
By PF Louis, July 21 2012
(NaturalNews) In addition to the normal aversions to fresh fruits and vegetables displayed by many young children, there are the pervasive TV and peer pressure enticements for sweet cereals, beverages, and stuff the cookie monster liked. TV advertising, especially, attempts to con parents into thinking those delightfully tasty items with cartoon figures displayed on their packaging contain healthy nutrients as well. Unless you consider food coloring and other toxic additives healthy, that’s totally…
Australian woman wins multi-million dollar payout from Thalidomide drug distributor Diageo
By J. D. Heyes, July 23 2012
(NaturalNews) A woman in Australia won a multi-million dollar settlement recently from a British Big Pharma firm, Diageo Plc., a local distributor for the drug Thalidomide, which caused birth defects in thousands of babies around the world in the 1960s, according to her attorneys. Lynette Rowe, 50, was born without any limbs – no arms and no legs – after her mother, Wendy, took the medication for just a single month when she was pregnant. At the time she took it, Thalidomide, a sedative, was being…
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