Thursday, May 29, 2008

Health Care Survey - Win an iPod Nano

Here's an opportunity to get your chance to win an iPod nano for simply filling out a brief online survey. Development Dimensions International is conducting their annual "Quest for Health Care Excellence" survey and need participants who are executives in the health care industry. The survey takes about ten minutes. At the end of the survey participants will be asked for their contact information - name, organization and email. A drawing will be held on Monday, June 23, 2008, to randomly select a winner from among the participants completing the survey.

If you're an HR executive in a hospital or health care delivery system, DDI would appreciate your input. To take the survey, click here.

HRT Declared Safe for Women 50-59

The newest reports on HRT advise that for women aged 50 to 59 in the early years of the menopause, HRT is safe and effective.

A panel of international experts now advises that women should be given HRT in the earlier stages of menopause to reduce serious menopausal symptoms without fear of increasing the risk of heart attack.

The study concluded that there could be a slight increase in the risk for breast cancer but that the effect of HRT was dwarfed by other risk factors.

The current advice to health professionals is that HRT should only be offered to women with serious menopausal symptoms for the shortest time possible. After five years doctors are not expected to continue prescribing the treatment without thoroughly discussing the potential risks with the patient.

According to the scientists conducting the study, the risks of HRT were blown out of proportion by the Women's Health Initiative study in 2002.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Choosing a Drug Rehab

What if someone you loved had a problem with drug or alcohol addiction? Addiction not only destroys the life of the addict, but affects his or her family and friends. If loved ones are privileged enough to be able to intervene and help, they may be confused as to where they can obtain the treatment that the addict needs to get over the addiction and build a new life. If your loved one needed help, where would you find effective and professional Drug Rehab treatment?

When looking for a drug and alcohol rehab facility, you need to take many things into consideration. In order to be effective, a program must address all the needs of the patient. A facility like Cliffside Malibu incorporates a variety of clinical components to offer comprehensive Addiction Treatment. Adults suffering from drug addiction, alcohol addiction and other disorders are first detoxed and then assigned an individual therapist who oversees their treatment program. Additional treatments include group therapy, extended care and even alternative medicine for a complete and effective program.

Clifside Malibu offers a comprehensive program for drug and Alcohol Treatment in a beautiful natural setting. When you choose a drug rehab center, you want all the advantages that a facility like Cliffside Malibu can offer.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Physical Activity Lowers Risk of Breast Cancer

Physical activity in leisure time during teen and adult years can cut the risk of premenopausal breast cancer in women. Previous studies linked physical activity with a reduction in postmenopausal breast cancer, but a new study,"A Prospective Study of Age-Specific Physical Activity and Premenopausal Breast Cancer", published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, proves that it holds true for premenopausal breast cancer as well.

One reason that exercise could have a beneficial effect in lowering the risk for younger women, is that being active reduces levels of estrogen. High levels of estrogen have been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.

"Leisure-time physical activity was associated with a reduced risk for premenopausal breast cancer in this cohort. Premenopausal women regularly engaging in high amounts of physical activity during both adolescence and adulthood may derive the most benefit."

High levels of physical activity from age 12 to 22 contributed most strongly to the association between physical activity and the reduced risk of breast cancer.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Black Cohosh May Impair Chemotherapy Effects

Breast cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy should not take black cohosh, according to a new Yale University study. Black cohosh is an herbal remedy for hot flashes and has become increasingly popular amongst menopausal women over the last few years. Because black cohosh is not a prescription drug, many women may not tell their doctors that they are taking it. But if they are receiving treatment for breast cancer, they should

However it appears that black cohosh can impair the effectiveness of certain chemotherapy medications. The black cohosh had no effect on normal breast cancer cells nor on breast cancer cells that had been treated with radiation. However, on breast cancer cells that had been treated with certain chemotherapy drugs, there were significant effects noted at 2 1/2 times the recommended dose. Doctors feel some women may well be taking that amount to treat menopause symptoms.

Our studies caution that black cohosh should not be considered to be a harmless herb that is inconsequential to the health of cancer patients or to the outcome of conventional cancer therapy. Until the effects of black cohosh are better defined, the use of this and similar herbal preparations by breast cancer patients should be avoided.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Is Brain Molecule the Key to Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is an often misunderstood and mis-diagnosed condition that can cause severe, debilitating pain and disability for sufferers. Until now, a definite cause of fibromyalgia has been a mystery, although it has been linked to trauma, stress, depression and co-morbidity with other diseases.

But now researchers at the University of Michigan Health System have discovered a link between fibromyalgia and a specific brain molecule. The molecule is glutamate, which is a neurotransmitter. Researchers found that when glutamate levels decreased, so did the severity of pain.

Previous studies have shown that fibromyalgia sufferers had increased activity in some brain regions, namely the insula. Neurons in these patients are more active in this part of the brain and researchers hypothesize that more activity among these neurons might be related to the level of glutamate in this region.

To gauge the linkage between pain and glutamate, the researchers used a non-invasive brain imaging techinique called proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H-MRS). H-MRS was performed once before and once following a four-week course of acupuncture or “sham” acupuncture.

Researchers used either acupuncture or sham acupuncture to reduce pain symptoms. The sham procedure involved using a sharp device to prick the skin in order to mimic real acupuncture sensations.

Following the four weeks of treatment, both clinical and experimental pain reported were reduced significantly. More importantly the reduction in both pain outcomes was linked with reductions in glutamate levels in the insula: patients with greater reductions in pain showed greater reductions in glutamate. This suggests that glutamate may play a role in this disease and that it could potentially be used as a biomarker of disease severity.

University of Michigan - Pain in fibromyalgia is linked to changes in brain molecule

Monday, May 5, 2008

Milk and Dairy Do Not Promote Weight Loss

A new review of clinical trials conducted between 1966 and 2007 that assessed the effect of milk and dairy products on body weight indicates that dairy intake does not necesarily help roduce weight loss as has been recently reported.

Evidence from the trials showed that neither dairy products nor calcium supplements helped people lose weight. Of the 49 clinical trials, 41 showed no effect, two demonstrated weight gain, one showed a lower rate of weight gain, and only five showed weight loss.

The milk industry has used the trials that showed weight loss to promote dairy products as beneficial to dieters and producing weight loss. These findings indicate that increasing dairy intake does not consistently produce weight loss and that some weight loss may be attributed to a reduction in the consumption of some other products, like soda.

This study is published in the May 2008 issue of Nutrition Reviews.

How Dangerous are Bedbugs?

There are many types of insects that inhabit spaces we consider our own. One particularly nasty specimen is the bedbug, an insect you will want to evict from your home if ever you discover its presence.

Bedbugs live in your mattress and emerge just before dawn to feed on your blood. These creatures leave small bites that you may not notice right away but can become itchy after time. Seeing the bite mark evidence on your body may be your only way of knowing that you have a bedbug infestation.

If you have questions regarding how to identify a bedbug infestation, how to rid your home of bedbugs or have other concerns or questions, such as whether you can get diseases from bedbugs, you can get all this information and more at

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Prozac May Help Reduce Inflammation in MS Patients

A new study suggests that Prozac may have an inhibiting effect on relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis. In a double blind study, participants taking Prozac showed fewer new areas of inflammation than those treated with placebo.

The effects of the Prozac were detectable after 8 weeks, the same amount of time it takes for Prozac to begin to have an effect on depression. Prozac is a popular SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitor) used to treat depression.

"Results of our exploratory trial are sufficiently encouraging to justify further studies with fluoxetine in patients with MS. Higher doses of fluoxetine and combination treatment with immunomodulatory drugs should be considered."

The study was published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.