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Algae May Harbour SARS Cure

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A protein from algae might help in treating Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) infections, suggests a new study.

click & see the pictures
Researchers from University of Iowa have found that mice treated with the protein, Griffithsin (GRFT), had a 100 percent survival rate after exposure to the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), as compared to a 30 percent survival for untreated mice.

GRFT is believed to exert its anti-viral effects by altering the shape of the sugar molecules that line the virus‘ envelope, allowing it to attach to and invade human cells, where it takes over the cells’ reproductive machinery to replicate itself.

Without that crucial ability, the virus is unable to cause disease.

“While preliminary, these results are very exciting and indicate a possible therapeutic approach to future SARS or other coronaviral outbreaks,” said Christine Wohlford-Lenane, senior research assistant at the department of pediatrics University of Iowa and the lead author of the study.

GRFT not only stop the virus from replicating, but also prevented secondary outcomes, such as weight loss, that are associated with infection.

“We are planning future studies to investigate prophylaxis, versus treatment interventions with GRFT, in the SARS mouse model in collaboration with Barry O’Keefe at the National Cancer Institute,” she said.

“In addition, we want to learn whether mice protected from SARS by GRFT develop protective immunity against future infection,” she added.

The research was presented at the American Thoracic Society‘s 105th International Conference in San Diego.

Source: The Times Of India

 
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Stress a Trigger for Skin Disease

Researchers from University of Medicine Berlin and McMaster University in Canada have found that stress may activate immune cells in the skin, leading to inflammatory skin disease.

..CLICK & SEE

This cross talk between stress perception, which involves the brain, and the skin is mediated through the “brain-skin connection”.

The immune cells in skin can over-react, resulting in inflammatory skin diseases like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Study leader Petra Arck hypothesized that stress could exacerbate skin disease by increasing the number of immune cells in the skin.

The researcher said that the team exposed mice to sound stress, and found that the stress challenge resulted in higher numbers of mature white blood cells in the skin.

Moreover, blocking the function of two proteins that attract immune cells to the skin, LFA-1 and ICAM-1, prevented the stress-induced increase in white blood cells in the skin.

Based on their observations, the researchers came to the conclusion that stress activates immune cells, which in turn are central in initiating and perpetuating skin diseases. The study by Arck appears in the November issue of The American Journal of Pathology.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Chlamydia-a Common Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)

Definition:Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, which can damage a woman’s reproductive organs. Even though symptoms of chlamydia are usually mild or absent, serious complications that cause irreversible damage, including infertility, can occur “silently” before a woman ever recognizes a problem. Chlamydia also can cause discharge from the penis of an infected man.

CLICK & SEE

It is one of the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infections. 1 in 10 sexually active people tested have chlamydia, many do not know they have it. Having a simple test can tell you, if you have it.
Men and women can carry the infection. It is easily treated with antibiotics.

What can Chlamydia do to you?
Women: Chlamydia can spread to other reproductive organs causing pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This can lead to long term pelvic pain, blocked fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy that can develop outside the womb).

 

Men: Chlamydia can lead to painful infection in the testicles and possibly reduced fertility. It is thought that in some men it might cause the prostrate to become inflamed.

Men and Women: Inflammation or swelling to the joints can occur (reactive ARTHRITIS). This is sometimes accompanied by inflammation of the urethra (the tube from the bladder to the outside of the body) ad the eye, when it is known as Reiter’s syndrome. This is rare and occurs more in men than in women.

Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In 2006, 1,030,911 chlamydial infections were reported to CDC from 50 states and the District of Columbia. Under-reporting is substantial because most people with chlamydia are not aware of their infections and do not seek testing. Also, testing is not often done if patients are treated for their symptoms. An estimated 2,291,000 non-institutionalized U.S. civilians ages 14-39 are infected with Chlamydia based on the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Women are frequently re-infected if their sex partners are not treated.

Causes::Chlamydia can be transmitted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Chlamydia can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth.

Any sexually active person can be infected with chlamydia. The greater the number of sex partners, the greater the risk of infection. Because the cervix (opening to the uterus) of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured and is probably more susceptible to infection, they are at particularly high risk for infection if sexually active. Since chlamydia can be transmitted by oral or anal sex, men who have sex with men are also at risk for chlamydial infection.

Symptoms: Chlamydia is known as a “silent” disease because about three quarters of infected women and about half of infected men have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they usually appear within 1 to 3 weeks after exposure.

In women, the bacteria initially infect the cervix and the urethra (urine canal). Women who have symptoms might have an abnormal vaginal discharge or a burning sensation when urinating. When the infection spreads from the cervix to the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry fertilized eggs from the ovaries to the uterus), some women still have no signs or symptoms; others have lower abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, fever, pain during intercourse, or bleeding between menstrual periods.

Chlamydial infection of the cervix can spread to the rectum.

Men with signs or symptoms might have a discharge from their penis or a burning sensation when urinating. Men might also have burning and itching around the opening of the penis. Pain and swelling in the testicles are uncommon.

Men or women who have receptive anal intercourse may acquire chlamydial infection in the rectum, which can cause rectal pain, discharge, or bleeding. Chlamydia can also be found in the throats of women and men having oral sex with an infected partner.

Complications:If untreated, chlamydial infections can progress to serious reproductive and other health problems with both short-term and long-term consequences. Like the disease itself, the damage that chlamydia causes is often “silent.”

In women, untreated infection can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This happens in up to 40 percent of women with untreated chlamydia. PID can cause permanent damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, and surrounding tissues. The damage can lead to chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and potentially fatal ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus). Women infected with chlamydia are up to five times more likely to become infected with HIV, if exposed.

To help prevent the serious consequences of chlamydia, screening at least annually for chlamydia is recommended for all sexually active women age 25 years and younger. An annual screening test also is recommended for older women with risk factors for chlamydia (a new sex partner or multiple sex partners). All pregnant women should have a screening test for chlamydia.

Complications among men are rare. Infection sometimes spreads to the epididymis (the tube that carries sperm from the testis), causing pain, fever, and, rarely, sterility.

Rarely, genital chlamydial infection can cause arthritis that can be accompanied by skin lesions and inflammation of the eye and urethra (Reiter’s syndrome).In pregnant women, there is some evidence that untreated chlamydial infections can lead to premature delivery. Babies who are born to infected mothers can get chlamydial infections in their eyes and respiratory tracts. Chlamydia is a leading cause of early infant pneumonia and conjunctivitis (pink eye) in newborns.

Diagnosis:
There are laboratory tests to diagnose chlamydia. Some can be performed on urine, other tests require that a specimen be collected from a site such as the penis or cervix.

Treatment:Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. A single dose of azithromycin or a week of doxycycline (twice daily) are the most commonly used treatments. HIV-positive persons with chlamydia should receive the same treatment as those who are HIV negative.

All sex partners should be evaluated, tested, and treated. Persons with chlamydia should abstain from sexual intercourse until they and their sex partners have completed treatment, otherwise re-infection is possible.

Women whose sex partners have not been appropriately treated are at high risk for re-infection. Having multiple infections increases a woman’s risk of serious reproductive health complications, including infertility. Retesting should be encouraged for women three to four months after treatment. This is especially true if a woman does not know if her sex partner received treatment.

Herbal Treatment: YOU can fight infection causing inflammation of the genitals, vaginal or urethral discharge, difficulty urinating, painful intercourse, itching, or prostatitis with these herbs from Mother Nature’s medicine chest:

Astragalus, red clover, echinacea extract, goldenseal extract.

Quik Tip:
Red clover is a deeply nutritive herb with positive implications in the treatment of hormonal difficulties, infections and even cancer.

Prevention: The surest way to avoid transmission of STDs is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.

Latex male condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of chlamydia.

CDC recommends yearly chlamydia testing of all sexually active women age 25 or younger, older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections (those who have a new sex partner or multiple sex partners), and all pregnant women. An appropriate sexual risk assessment by a health care provider should always be conducted and may indicate more frequent screening for some women.

Any genital symptoms such as an unusual sore, discharge with odor, burning during urination, or bleeding between menstrual cycles could mean an STD infection. If a woman has any of these symptoms, she should stop having sex and consult a health care provider immediately. Treating STDs early can prevent PID. Women who are told they have an STD and are treated for it should notify all of their recent sex partners (sex partners within the preceding 60 days) so they can see a health care provider and be evaluated for STDs. Sexual activity should not resume until all sex partners have been examined and, if necessary, treated.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

For more Information You may contact:
Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
www.cdc.gov/std

Order Publication Online at www.cdc.gov/std/pubs

CDC-INFO Contact Center
1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
Email: cdcinfo@cdc.gov

CDC National Prevention Information Network (NPIN)
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849-6003
1-800-458-5231
1-888-282-7681 Fax
1-800-243-7012 TTY
E-mail: info@cdcnpin.org

American Social Health Association (ASHA)
P.O. Box 13827
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3827
1-800-783-987

Resources:
http://www.asplandsmedicalcentre.co.uk/t11013.html
http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-Chlamydia.htm#WhatIs
http://www.herbnews.org/chlamydiadone.htm

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Medical Plants ‘Face Extinction’

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Hundreds of medicinal plants are at risk of extinction, threatening the discovery of future cures for disease, according to experts.Over 50% of prescription drugs are derived from chemicals first identified in plants.
Magnolias are one of hundreds of plants under threat….CLICK & SEE

But the Botanic Gardens Conservation International said many were at risk from over-collection and deforestation.

Researchers warned the cures for things such as cancer and HIV may become “extinct before they are ever found”.

The group, which represents botanic gardens across 120 countries, surveyed over 600 of its members as well as leading university experts.

They identified 400 plants that were at risk of extinction.

MIRACLE CURES MOST AT RISK

Yew tree Cancer drug paclitaxel is derived from the bark, but it takes six trees to create a single dose so growers are struggling to keep up....…click & see

Hoodia – Plant has sparked interest for its ability to suppress appetite, but vast quantities have already been “ripped from the wild” as the search for the miracle weight drug continues……..click & see

Magnolia Has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for 5,000 years as it is believed to help fight cancer, dementia and heart disease. Half the world’s species threatened, mostly due to deforestation…....click & see

Autumn crocusRomans and Greeks used it as poison, but now one of the most effective treatments for gout. Under threat from horticulture trade…..click & see

These included yew trees, the bark of which forms the basis for one of the world’s most widely used cancer drugs, paclitaxel.

Hoodia, which originally comes from Namibia and is attracting interest from drug firms looking into developing weight loss drugs, is on the verge of extinction, the report said.

And half of the world’s species of magnolias are also under threat.

The plant contains the chemical honokiol, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cancers and slow down the onset of heart disease.

The report also said autumn crocus, which is a natural treatment for gout and has been linked to helping fight leukaemia, is at risk of over-harvest as it is popular with the horticultural trade because of its stunning petals.

Many of the chemicals from the at-risk plants are now created in the lab.

But the report said as well as future breakthroughs being put at risk, the situation was likely to have a consequence in the developing world.

It said five billion people still rely on traditional plant-based medicine as their primary form of health care.

Report author Belinda Hawkins said: “The loss of the world’s medicinal plants may not always be at the forefront of the public consciousness.

“However, it is not an overstatement to say that if the precipitous decline of these species is not halted, it could destabilise the future of global healthcare.”

And Richard Ley, of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, added: “Nature has provided us with many of our medicines.

“Scientists are always interested in what they can provide and so it is a worry that such plants may be at risk.”

Sources: BBC NEWS:Jan19,2008

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Acquired Immunodeficiency

Immunodeficiency is the term used for failure of the immune system to combat infections effectively. as a result of immunodeficiency, infections develop more frequently than normal and are greater threat to health. Infections that would not normally seriously affect a healthy person may be life-threatening in someone with immunodeficiency. They include viral infections, such as shingles and chickenpox, both of which are caused by herpes zoster and cause only mild illness if the immune system is normal.

click & see the pictures

Immunodeficiency may be present for birth, in which case it is often hereditary. More commonly, the deficiency in a person’s immune system develops later in life, and in such cases the condition is given the name acquired immunodeficiency.

Worldwide, acquired immunodeficiency is most often associated with malnutrition or with infection with the human immunodeficiency virus.

What are the causes?
In aids, the human immunodeficiency virus destroys a particular type of white blood cell, and this causes progressive immunodeficiency.

Infections such as measles influenza damage the body’s ability to fight infection.They do this partly by reducing the number white blood cells involved in fighting the infection. Usually, this type of immunodeficiency is mild, and the immune system returns to normal once the person has recovered from the infection.

A mild form of immunodeficiency may develop in some chronic disorders, including diabetes mellitus and rheumatoid arthritis. this may occur partly because these diseases put stress in the immune system, reducing its ability to resist other diseases.

Certain types of cancer, particularly tumors of the lymphatic system, may cause a more severe form of immunodeficiency by damaging the cells of the immune system and by reducing the production of normal white blood cells.

The long-term use of corticosteroids suppresses the immune system and has the inevitable effect of causing immunodeficiency. Immunosuppressant drugs, which may be given to prevent the rejection of an organ following transplant surgery, also produce immunodeficiency and affect the body’s ability to fight infections. chemotherapy can damage the bone marrow, where the majority of blood cells are made, and may also lead to acquired immunodeficiency.

Immunodeficiency may also develop after removal of the spleen, an organ in which some of the white blood cells are produced. Splenectomy may be performed if the spleen has been damaged by an injury or else it may be carried out to treat various disorders including hereditary spherocytosis, which is a type of hemolytic anemia.

There are also many rare types of acquired immunodeficiency, the causes of which are not clear. one rare type is immunoglobulin a deficiency, in which levels of immunoglobulin a antibodies are lower than normal, leading to an increased number of skin infections.

What might be done?
Your doctor may suspect immunodeficiency if you have recurrent infections. to confirm the diagnosis of acquired immunodeficiency, you may need to have blood tests that measure the levels of white blood cells and antibodies.

if immunodeficiency is due to drug treatment, it may be possible to reduce the dose or stop taking the drug. when an underlying cause cannot be eliminated, treatment is aimed at reducing risk of infection and combating infections as they occur. your doctor may suggest continual low doses of antibiotics, antiviral drugs, and/or antifungal drugs and various immunizations, such as pneumococcus vaccine to protect against pneumococcal pneumonia.

Ayurvedic Recommended Therapy: Virechan

The effects of immunodeficiency can usually be controlled by treatment, although immunodeficiency due to HIV infection tends to worsen over time.

Click to learn more about AIDS & HIV infection.…………………..(1)..……(2)……..(3)
Click for Alternative treatment of Human Immunodeficiency.……..(1).……...(2).……..(3)

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Source:

http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=240

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