Tag Archives: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Epilobium glabellum

Botanical Name : Epilobium glabellum
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Epilobium
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Myrtales

Synonyms:
*Boisduvalia
*Chamaenerion
*Pyrogennema
*Zauschneria

Common Names: Willowherbs;

Habitat : Epilobium glabellum is native to Australia, New Zealand.It grows on the loamy soils, flats and hillsides in eastern Australia.

Description:
Epilobium glabellum is an evergreen Perennial flowering plant, growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in). It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES:

Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position or in partial shade. Succeeds in most soils. Possibly hardy to about -15°c. Plants are semi-evergreen.

Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in situ or as soon as the seed is ripe. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Edible Uses: Young leaves and shoots – cooked and eaten.

Medicinal Uses: The herb is used is as a herbal supplement in the treatment of prostate, bladder (incontinence) and hormone disorders.

Other Uses: A useful ground cover plant.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilobium
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Epilobium+glabellum

Advertisements

Should Statins be Available for Everyone?

They lower cholesterol and heart attack risk and may hold promise against other diseases, including cancer. Doctors consider broadening their use.
CLICK & SEE
Should statin drugs be put in the water, or what? ¶ More than 13 million Americans are taking these medications to lower their cholesterol and hopefully stave off heart disease — a job the drugs appear to excel at. Statins can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol by 20% to 60%. Over time, this can lower the risk of having a heart attack by about the same amount. ¶ For many years, it was believed that statins worked solely by reducing blood cholesterol, which can build up in sticky plaques in the arteries that supply blood to the heart, potentially blocking blood flow and causing heart attacks. But evidence is mounting that the drugs reduce heart disease risk through more than just their cholesterol-lowering effects. New research suggests they may be beneficial even for people with cholesterol in the normal range. ¶ This has doctors and medical researchers debating whether many more people should be on statins than currently fall under treatment guidelines. Some drug companies and doctors have even argued that low doses of the drugs should be available over the counter, as they are in the United Kingdom.

At the same time, other studies are reporting that statins might help prevent or treat a number of noncardiovascular conditions — including multiple sclerosis, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. With all this news, many may be wondering, “Should I take a statin, just in case?”

Experts, for the most part, will say only, “Maybe.”

Most of the people at high risk of cardiovascular disease “are going to be safer and live longer if they’re on a statin than if they’re not,” says Nathan Wong, director of the UC Irvine Heart Disease Prevention Program. But that doesn’t hold for people whose risk for heart attacks is very low to begin with, he adds. “I’m not saying that everyone is going to be better on a statin. They need to be used with discretion.”

All six statins available today — atorvastatin (Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor), simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol) and fluvastatin (Lescol) — work by blocking an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase.

In the liver, blocking this enzyme shuts down cholesterol production and increases the amount of cholesterol the liver takes out of the bloodstream.

But statins also block HMG-CoA reductase in the cells lining blood vessels, where, among other things, they can reduce inflammation.

Dramatic results
The anti-inflammatory effect of statins has been on many heart experts’ minds since the Nov. 9 announcement of the results of a clinical trial called JUPITER. The trial showed that statin treatment can reduce the risk of heart disease in people with normal cholesterol levels but high levels of inflammation as measured by blood levels of a marker called C-reactive protein (CRP).

A team led by Dr. Paul Ridker of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School found that in 8,901 people with high blood CRP levels, rosuvastatin (Crestor) reduced the risk of a heart attack by 54% and the need for bypass surgery or angioplasty by 46% compared with an equal number of people taking a placebo.

There were 68 heart attacks and 131 bypass surgeries/angioplasties in the placebo group, but only 31 and 71, respectively, in the group taking the statin. There were 48% fewer strokes — 64 versus 33. These effects were so dramatic that regulators stopped the trial, slated to go for four years, after less than two. AstraZeneca, the company that makes Crestor, funded the JUPITER trial.

The results raise an obvious question: Are the cholesterol-lowering effects or the inflammation-reducing effects of statins more important?

Dr. Christopher Cannon, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s, says they both play a part: “You have to have some cholesterol get into the arteries [and cause damage]. And if you have inflammation that damages the lining of the arteries, the cholesterol gets in more easily.”

Inflammation can also encourage plaques to rupture, causing clots that block blood flow. “Both [cholesterol buildup and inflammation] are happening simultaneously, and both are inhibited simultaneously with statins,” Cannon says.

Currently, more than 13 million people take statin drugs for elevated LDL cholesterol, and at least 47 million more have cholesterol levels high enough to make them eligible by current National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute cholesterol guidelines.

Ridker estimates an additional 4 million to 6 million people would be added to the mix if everyone who would have qualified for the JUPITER trial (men over 50, women over 60, LDL cholesterol below 130 mg/dL and CRP above 2 mg/L) started taking a statin.

Anti-inflammatory:

Statins may be good for more than just fighting heart disease.

Very preliminary studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory effects of statins could help treat autoimmune diseases. A small, nine-month study of 36 patients with multiple sclerosis published in April in the journal PLoS One showed that statin treatment, either alone or combined with standard MS treatment, reduced the number of brain lesions characteristic of the disease by 24% and reduced their size by about 12%.

Another pilot study of just seven people, published in September 2007 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, showed that a statin reduced the severity of the skin disease psoriasis

A combined analysis of 19 studies, published in August in the International Journal of Cancer, found that statin use reduced the risk of advanced prostate cancer by 23%.

And a study published in November in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that men prescribed statins had a 4.1% decline in their blood levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a marker of prostate cancer.

There is some evidence that statins can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. An October study of almost 7,000 people in Rotterdam, Netherlands, found that people taking a statin had about a 50% lower risk of Alzheimer’s compared with those who had never used cholesterol-lowering medication. Other studies, however, have failed to find an effect of statins on the risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

As the benefits of these drugs are experienced by more people, the risks will be too. Though statins are generally considered safe, they do have side effects.

Drugs’ side effects:-
The most commonly reported adverse event associated with statins is muscle pain. A 2006 analysis of seven clinical trials published in Medscape General Medicine found that 2.5% to 6% of patients taking statins reported aches and pains related to their drugs.

Rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of skeletal muscle that can lead to kidney failure and sometimes death, has also been linked to statins. According to the 2006 Medscape report, less than 0.1% of patients taking statins reported rhabdomyolysis. There was only 0.15 death from rhabdomyolysis per 1 million prescriptions.

Liver effects are also seen in some patients taking statins. In less than 1% of patients taking moderate doses of statins, and in about 2% to 3% of those taking high doses, liver enzyme levels are abnormally high. But the enzyme changes usually subside after discontinuing statin use or switching to a different statin, says Dr. Antonio Gotto, dean of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration conducted an investigation into whether statins increase the risk of the fatal neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, when the agency received a higher than expected number of reports of the disease in people taking statins. Although an analysis of 41 long-term controlled clinical trials reported in September detected no such link, the FDA has said it plans to continue studying the issue.

Dr. Scott Grundy, a professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says he thinks the drugs, on balance, are safe. But he adds that caution is still warranted, especially when it comes to considering a broad expansion of their use or prescribing them earlier in people’s lives.

Statins have been in use only since the late 1980s, he notes, and so there hasn’t been enough time yet to learn what might happen if someone were to be on the drugs for 30 or 40 years. “It is possible that some of these rare side effects might turn out to be quite important if [statins are] started early in life and continued for years and years,” he says.

Whether statin use is substantially expanded may depend on how the results of the JUPITER trial and other recent research are incorporated into new cholesterol guidelines slated to be released next year by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

If CRP testing becomes part of the standard battery of tests that guide risk assessment and statin treatment decisions, millions more Americans could find themselves filling a prescription.

Currently, most doctors use CRP testing as a sort of tie-breaker when they are on the fence as to whether a patient is at high enough risk of heart disease to warrant statin therapy. Patients might, for example, have intermediate cholesterol levels but a family history of heart attacks or some other risk factor.

Dr. Mary Malloy, co-director of the adult lipid clinic and director of the pediatric lipid clinic at the UCSF Medical Center, does not think this should change, even though she characterizes the JUPITER results as “very impressive.”

“I am personally not ready to corral everyone over 35 and do CRP testing,” she says.

Wong says it’s important that people take into account a person’s absolute risk when judging whether or not a patient needs a statin.

Of the JUPITER trial, he says, “There was a 44% reduction in cardiovascular events. This sounds very dramatic, and it is.” But the risk of heart attack in those patients was pretty tiny to begin with — 2.8%. The 44% drop took it down to 1.6%.

The bottom line is that monetary cost as well as potential side effects of statins must be weighed against the potential benefits.

Wong’s biggest concern is that people will get the idea that statins are a cure-all — and they’ll stop bothering about habits that could affect their heart health just as much.

“People think statins are magic pills,” he says. “You can’t forget about other risk factors like smoking, diabetes and blood pressure. . . . you have to make sure all these things are adequately controlled.”

Sources: Los Angles Times

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

In cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS), people experience bouts or cycles of severe nausea and vomiting that last for hours or even days and alternate with longer periods of no symptoms. CVS occurs mostly in children, but the disorder can affect adults, too.

CLICK & SEE

CVS has no known cause. Each episode is similar to the previous ones. The episodes tend to start at about the same time of day, last the same length of time, and present the same symptoms at the same level of intensity. Although CVS can begin at any age in children and adults, it usually starts between the ages of 3 and 7. In adults, episodes tend to occur less often than they do in children, but they last longer. Furthermore, the events or situations that trigger episodes in adults cannot always be pinpointed as easily as they can in children.

Episodes can be so severe that a person may have to stay in bed for days, unable to go to school or work. No one knows for sure how many people have CVS, but medical researchers believe that more people may have the disorder than is commonly thought (as many as 1 in 50 children in one study). Because other more common diseases and disorders also cause cycles of vomiting, many people with CVS are initially misdiagnosed until the other disorders can be ruled out. What is known is that CVS can be disruptive and frightening not just to people who have it, but to the entire family as well.

The Four Phases of CVS

CVS has four phases:

  • prodrome
  • episode
  • recovery
  • symptom-free interval

The prodrome phase signals that an episode of nausea and vomiting is about to begin. This phase, which is often marked by abdominal pain, can last from just a few minutes to several hours. Sometimes taking medicine early in the prodrome phase can stop an episode in progress. However, sometimes there is no warning: A person may simply wake up in the morning and begin vomiting.

The episode phase consists of nausea and vomiting; inability to eat, drink, or take medicines without vomiting; paleness; drowsiness; and exhaustion.

The recovery phase begins when the nausea and vomiting stop. Healthy color, appetite, and energy return.

The symptom-free interval phase is the period between episodes when no symptoms are present.

Triggers

Most people can identify a specific condition or event that triggered an episode. The most common trigger is an infection. Another, often found in children, is emotional stress or excitement, often from a birthday or vacation, for example. Colds, allergies, sinus problems, and the flu can also set off episodes in some people.

Other reported triggers include eating certain foods (such as chocolate or cheese), eating too much, or eating just before going to bed. Hot weather, physical exhaustion, menstruation, and motion sickness can also trigger episodes.

Symptoms

The main symptoms of CVS are severe vomiting, nausea, and retching (gagging). Episodes usually begin at night or first thing in the morning and may include vomiting or retching as often as six to 12 times an hour during the worst of the episode. Episodes usually last anywhere from 1 to 5 days, though they can last for up to 10 days.

Other symptoms include pallor, exhaustion, and listlessness. Sometimes the nausea and vomiting are so severe that a person appears to be almost unconscious. Sensitivity to light, headache, fever, dizziness, diarrhea, and abdominal pain may also accompany an episode.

In addition, the vomiting may cause drooling and excessive thirst. Drinking water usually leads to more vomiting, though the water can dilute the acid in the vomit, making the episode a little less painful. Continuous vomiting can lead to dehydration, which means that the body has lost excessive water and salts.

Diagnosis

CVS is hard to diagnose because no clear tests—such as a blood test or x ray—exist to identify it. A doctor must diagnose CVS by looking at symptoms and medical history and by excluding more common diseases or disorders that can also cause nausea and vomiting. Also, diagnosis takes time because doctors need to identify a pattern or cycle to the vomiting.

CVS and Migraine

The relationship between migraine and CVS is still unclear, but medical researchers believe that the two are related. First, migraine headaches, which cause severe pain in the head; abdominal migraine, which causes stomach pain; and CVS are all marked by severe symptoms that start quickly and end abruptly, followed by longer periods without pain or other symptoms.

Second, many of the situations that trigger CVS also trigger migraines. Those triggers include stress and excitement.

Third, research has shown that many children with CVS either have a family history of migraine or develop migraines as they grow older.

Because of the similarities between migraine and CVS, doctors treat some people with severe CVS with drugs that are also used for migraine headaches. The drugs are designed to prevent episodes, reduce their frequency, or lessen their severity.

Treatment

CVS cannot be cured. Treatment varies, but people with CVS are generally advised to get plenty of rest; sleep; and take medications that prevent a vomiting episode, stop or alleviate one that has already started, or relieve other symptoms.

Once a vomiting episode begins, treatment is supportive. It helps to stay in bed and sleep in a dark, quiet room. Severe nausea and vomiting may require hospitalization and intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. Sedatives may help if the nausea continues.

Sometimes, during the prodrome phase, it is possible to stop an episode from happening altogether. For example, people who feel abdominal pain before an episode can ask their doctor about taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) to try to stop it. Other medications that may be helpful are ranitidine (Zantac) or omeprazole (Prilosec), which help calm the stomach by lowering the amount of acid it makes.

During the recovery phase, drinking water and replacing lost electrolytes are very important. Electrolytes are salts that the body needs to function well and stay healthy. Symptoms during the recovery phase can vary: Some people find that their appetites return to normal immediately, while others need to begin by drinking clear liquids and then move slowly to solid food.

People whose episodes are frequent and long-lasting may be treated during the symptom-free intervals in an effort to prevent or ease future episodes. Medications that help people with migraine headaches—propranolol, cyproheptadine, and amitriptyline—are sometimes used during this phase, but they do not work for everyone. Taking the medicine daily for 1 to 2 months may be necessary to see if it helps.

In addition, the symptom-free phase is a good time to eliminate anything known to trigger an episode. For example, if episodes are brought on by stress or excitement, this period is the time to find ways to reduce stress and stay calm. If sinus problems or allergies cause episodes, those conditions should be treated.

Homeopathic Treatment Suits well for Cyclic vomiting syndrome

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome: Alternative treatment

Medical Acupuncture as Treatment For Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

Complications

The severe vomiting that defines CVS is a risk factor for several complications:

  • Dehydration. Vomiting causes the body to lose water quickly.
  • Electrolyte imbalance. Vomiting also causes the body to lose the important salts it needs to keep working properly.
  • Peptic esophagitis. The esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach) becomes injured from the stomach acid that comes up with the vomit.
  • Hematemesis. The esophagus becomes irritated and bleeds, so blood mixes with the vomit.
  • Mallory-Weiss tear. The lower end of the esophagus may tear open or the stomach may bruise from vomiting or retching.
  • Tooth decay. The acid in the vomit can hurt the teeth by corroding the tooth enamel.

Points to Remember

  • People with CVS have severe nausea and vomiting that come in cycles.
  • CVS occurs mostly in children, but adults can have it, too.
  • CVS has four phases: prodrome, episode, recovery, and symptom-free interval.
  • Most people can identify a condition or event that triggers an episode of nausea and vomiting. Infections and emotional stress are two common triggers.
  • The main symptoms of CVS are severe vomiting, nausea, and retching. Other symptoms include pallor and exhaustion.
  • The only way a doctor can diagnose CVS is by looking at symptoms and medical history to rule out any other possible causes for the nausea and vomiting. Then the doctor must identify a pattern or cycle to the symptoms.
  • CVS has no cure. Treatment varies by person, but people with CVS generally need to get plenty of rest and sleep. They may also be given drugs that may prevent an episode, stop one in progress, speed up recovery, or relieve symptoms.
  • Complications include dehydration, loss of electrolytes, peptic esophagitis, hematemesis, Mallory-Weiss tear, and tooth decay

For More Information

Information about cyclic vomiting syndrome is also available from

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association
3585 Cedar Hill Road, NW.
Canal Winchester, OH 43110
Phone: 614–837–2586
Fax: 614–837–2586
Email: waitesd@cvsaonline.org
Internet: www.cvsaonline.org

National Organization for Rare Disorders Inc. (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
P.O. Box 1968
Danbury, CT 06813–1968
Phone: 1–800–999–6673 or 203–744–0100
Fax: 203–798–2291
Email: orphan@rarediseases.org
Internet: www.rarediseases.org

Sources:http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/cvs/index.htm

Tubs Of Ice Cream Help Women Make Babies

Having trouble getting pregnant? Maybe you  are not eating enough ice cream, say researchers who found that a low-fat dairy diet can cause infertility, by preventing ovulation.

click & see

This type of infertility, known as anovulatory infertility, was far more common in women who ate low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurt, the study found.

Jorge Chavarro at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, US, and colleagues tracked more than 18,000 women aged between 24 and 42 with no history of infertility. Every two years over an eight-year period, the women were asked if they had tried to become pregnant, whether they had been trying for more than a year without success, and the medical reasons for any fertility problems. The women also supplied detailed information about what they consumed during this time.

Women who ate two or more servings of low-fat dairy foods a day increased their risk of ovulation-related infertility by 85% compared with those who ate less than one serving of low-fat dairy food a week. Conversely, women who ate at least one serving of high-fat dairy food a day, such as ice cream or full-fat milk, reduced their risk of anovulatory infertility by more than 25% compared with women who consumed up to one serving a week.

Temporary indulgence
Women trying to conceive should adjust their diet, if only temporarily, Chavarro says. “They should consider changing low-fat dairy foods for high-fat dairy foods,” he says, noting that the rest of the diet could be adjusted to achieve the same overall calorific intake. “Once you are pregnant, you can always switch back.”

Chavarro does not know why dairy fat affects fertility in this way. Other types of fat that he and others have studied do not have the same effect. “It’s either something specific to dairy fat, or a fat-soluble substance present in dairy foods that reduces the risks of infertility,” Chavarro says.

Processing whole milk into low-fat milk may not only strip away the fertility benefits of dairy fat, but may also raise levels of hormones that interfere with female sex organs. To turn whole-fat milk into skimmed milk, whey protein is often added back for taste and colouring. The protein has been found to produce testosterone-like effects in mice, Chavarro says.

It may simply be the over-processing of low-fat foods that is causing increased infertility, says Nanette Santoro, director of the reproductive endocrinology division at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, US.

But Santoro adds that the most important factor of all may be maintaining a healthy body weight. There is a clear relationship between increasing weight and infertility,   she says, pointing out that women with very low body fat risk infertility.   One of the best self-help things women can do is maintaining an optimal body weight   neither too thin nor too large.

Journal reference: Human Reproduction doi:10.1093/humrep/dem019

Being Fat Starts Early

When you think of a 3-year-old, the words “obese” and “overweight” probably do not come to mind.
But this may be the age when many children’s problems with weight begin, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study by Rachel Kimbro and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin in Madison looked at nearly 2,300 urban low-income families.
They found that 35 percent of the 3-year-olds studied were overweight or obese. In addition, Hispanic children were twice as likely as either black or white children to be overweight or obese, suggesting ethnic differences play a big part in childhood obesity.
“There are very few studies of obesity in children this young,” said Gary Foster, director of the obesity research center at Temple University School of Medicine. “This study is very important.”
Foster said the study addresses some of the factors that put children at risk for obesity at such a young age. “We have known for a long time that obesity is disproportionately related to income,” he said. “The poorer you are, the more likely that you are obese.”

Among the other child obesity risk factors suggested by the study are high birth weight, taking a bottle to bed and whether or not a child’s mother is obese.

But researchers were not able to fully explain all of the differences. For example, the differences in childhood obesity rates between racial groups could not be entirely blamed on economic status, overall health or parenting habits, the study said.

No Need for Alarm, Some Experts Say
Other experts argue that the study results are not new and just confirm previous data.
“The finding that we can identify different prevalence rate of obesity in different ethnic groups is not particularly surprising,” said Dr. Darwin Deen, professor of family and social medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “It correlates well with other data that have shown the same thing.
“The bigger question is whether 3-year-olds in certain ethnic groups are more likely to remain obese as they get older.”

While the idea of overweight and obese 3-year-olds is a concern, experts said a majority of children who are overweight at this age outgrow it.

“The 3 to 5 age group is not predictive of being obese as an adult,” said Deen. “It’s more the older group such as adolescents [that predicts adult obesity].”

But while parents should not necessarily be alarmed if their child is on the heavy side, they should realize the need to change the way they are feeding their child.

Many Parents Overfeed Their Children
“The bottom line is that you can’t become overweight without an energy imbalance,” said Foster. “And the easiest way is by an imbalance on the intake side.
“It’s much easier to increase intake by 500 calories than it is to increase your activity by that much.”
Foster said the study findings suggest parents should pay more attention to both the quantity and the quality of food they feed their kids.

And at the earliest ages, breast-feeding seems to be of utmost importance.
“Breast-feeding is extraordinarily important,” Deen said. “It’s one of the things that plays an important role in preventing obesity.
“This does not mean that most formula-fed babies will become obese or that formula shouldn’t be used, but breast-feeding is sort of tailor-made for the child.”
Monitoring the child’s calorie intake, whether from breast milk or formula, is also important to maintain a healthy weight.
Deen explained that while the study also raises some important concerns about racial differences, it does not change the overall approach to obesity.
“What we are talking about are moderate prevalence rate differences among different ethnic groups,” he said. “I don’t think it helps me much as a practitioner if I know that one group of my patients has more obesity than another group.
“When I have a patient in front of me, my advice about healthy choices remains the same, regardless of what their race is.”
Deen added that as rates of childhood obesity rise, changing kids’ behavior towards food will become more and more crucial.

“I think we need to worry because there clearly is an epidemic of childhood obesity in the country,” said Deen.
The take-home message from this study should be that what we do with children, even in the early years of life, has an impact on their future.”

Source:ABC News