Saturday, August 4, 2012

Allergy-free Cats For Sale At $3,950 Each

If you are allergic to cats, would like to have one and have $3,950 spare, this may be your lucky day. Allerca Inc., California, USA, says it has managed to breed the world's first hypoallergenic cats. People who are allergic to cats and buy one of these will not experience sneezing, red and itchy eyes or asthma - except in very acute cases.

The company says that as soon as the news got out people rushed to place orders and now there is a waiting list.

The company tested thousands of cats, looking for those tiny few that do not have glycoprotein Fel d1. Glycoprotein Fel d1 is what triggers allergic reactions in humans - it can be found in the fur, pelt, saliva, serum, urine, mucous, salivary glands, and hair roots of the cat. On finding a decent number of cats that did not carry glycoprotein Fel d1, the scientists selectively bred them.

The kittens of these selectively chosen cats do not produce human allergic reactions - they are hypoallergenic cats.

The company stressed that their cats are not the result of genetic engineering. About one in 50,000 cats do not carry Glycoprotein Fel d1 - it was a question of finding them and breeding them, there was no genetic modification.

It is estimated that about one third of all humans are allergic to cats. The market for hypoallergenic pets could be huge.

The company says its cats are friendly, playful and affectionate. They have cats in several coat colours and patterns. The coat is "medium-long, with low maintenance and minimal shedding."

Symptoms of Cat Allergy

-- eyes become red, itchy and watery, and/or swollen

-- nose may be itchy, runny and congested, the patient may sneeze a lot

-- ears can become itchy and/or plugged (blocked)

-- nasal drip may make its way down to the throat. The throat can feel sore. The patient may often clear his/her throat. He/she may also experience hoarseness.

-- skin can be itchy, with rashes or hives

-- patient may cough frequently, wheeze, experience tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, and often suffer from bronchitis
Continue to Read more ...

Crocodile Hunter's Last Moments Captured On Video

Steve Irwin's last moments, when he was fatally injured by a stingray, were captured on video, said his manager, John Stanton. A copy of the footage has been handed over to the state coroner, who will begin an examination today.

John Stanton said, "It shows that Steve came over the top of the ray and the tail came up, and spiked him here (in the chest). He pulled it out and the next minute he's gone. The cameraman had to shut down. He always pushed himself to the very limits but I thought he was invulnerable and I think he did too. It's a very hard thing to watch because you're actually witnessing somebody die - it's terrible."

John Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, said in parliament, "He was a genuine, one-off remarkable Australian individual and I am distressed at his death."

It is a sad irony that Steve Irwin, a man who has confronted some of the most dangerous animals in the world, was killed by a stingray, a generally passive creature.

An initial post-mortem examination confirmed that Steve was fatally wounded by a stingray's venomous (poisonous) barb, that pierced his heart. A police spokesperson told a packed press conference that Steve's death was the result of an extremely rare accident. He said "We're not going into the detail, but there's definitely no surprises. Everyone knows how he died."

-- Steve Irwin's Biography (Wikipedia)
Continue to Read more ...

Coenzyme Q10: Should You Take This Supplement?

You may have heard claims that the supplement coenzyme Q10 can lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and improve certain heart diseases. There are also claims it can help fight cancer, Parkinson's disease, wrinkles, diabetes, gum diseases and many other problems.

It appears that taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement should be beneficial. Coenzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like compound found in the energy-producing center of each cell in the body. It plays a vital role in producing energy in cells. It's also an antioxidant, a natural compound thought to protect against disease. And, concentrations of coenzyme Q10 decline with age and are low in people with diseases such as heart disease, Parkinson's disease, cancer and diabetes.

But according to the November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, scientific evidence doesn't support most of the health claims. So far, it's not known if low coenzyme Q10 levels cause disease or if taking supplements can prevent or treat disease. Of the many coenzyme Q10 studies, most have been small. Many have not been "controlled," where some participants take a placebo.

However, some coenzyme Q10 studies appear to have scientific merit. There has been some evidence of benefit for people with Parkinson's disease, migraine and high blood pressure, but more studies are needed. So far, there's not enough evidence to make medical recommendations.

Talk with your doctor about the pros and cons before taking coenzyme Q10 to help treat a disease. The role for this supplement in any therapy is supportive at best. It's not a substitute for proper medical care.

Mayo Clinic
200 First St. SW
Rochester, MN 55902
United States
Continue to Read more ...

New Treatment For Post-Concussion Syndrome Pioneered At UB

Sports medicine specialists in the University at Buffalo's Sports Medicine Institute have developed a new method for treating athletes who sustain post-concussion syndrome that, unlike the conventional approach, allows athletes to maintain conditioning while recovering gradually from the injury.

For unknown reasons, 5-10 percent of people who experience a concussion have symptoms that persist beyond six weeks. These people are diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Previously there has been no treatment for the condition with proven success.

"The most common approach by physicians is to recommend no exercise and prescribe antidepressants," said Barry Willer, Ph.D., UB professor of psychiatry and rehabilitation sciences. Willer is lead author on the paper describing the new method, published in the September issue of Current Treatment Options in Neurology.

"Most people with PCS have symptoms of depression," said Willer, "so anti-depressant treatment makes sense. However, antidepressants do little more than relieve some of the depression symptoms. We were interested in a treatment that didn't just treat the symptoms, but actually improved the patient's brain function."

The researchers call their new treatment "regulated exercise." The approach consists of determining the ideal exercise program for each athlete based on a number of individual physiological indicators at baseline.

Patients are tested every two to three weeks with specialized equipment at the sports medicine clinic to determine their progress, and a new program is developed based on those results.

Willer and co-author John Leddy, M.D., clinical associate professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation sciences, indicated it is too early to call the treatment a cure, but they are optimistic about the results so far.

The researchers described the treatment method in mid-September at the 2006 Brain Injury Conference of the Americas in Miami, where the response was very favorable, according to Willer.

"Professionals at the meeting were delighted that our approach to treatment of post-concussion syndrome doesn't involve any medications and is very cost-efficient. We were surprised to learn that we are among only a few investigators interested in people with symptoms that won't go away.

"There is no other known treatment specifically for PCS, which we define as persistent symptoms of concussion past the time they should have cleared, usually around three weeks," said Willer. "As far as we can determine, there is only one other group in North America that is using regulated exercise as part of the treatment for PCS."

Willer and Leddy have used regulated exercise successfully with people who were as much as six months post-concussion. Their regimen is based on the hypothesis that the regulatory system responsible for maintaining cerebral blood flow, which may be dysfunctional in people with a concussion, can be restored to normal by controlled, graded symptom-free exercise.

"The treatment program is well tolerated by patients" Willer said. "Just being able to exercise often reduces the depressive symptoms. But it's imperative that the patient not go beyond the exercise limits.

"After the first three weeks of regulated exercise, we reassess the patient to see if there has been any change in physiology. The exercise program then is realigned successively to respond to the changes. In our experience thus far, symptoms disappear within several months for at least some of the patients," he said.

The specialists have worked with a small number of patients to date. They have included a UB soccer player who has returned to play and now is one of the team's leading scorers. Another young athlete was able to return to cross-country running and attend school full-time.

Willer, Leddy and other UB faculty members will present a half-day seminar on their treatment for concussion and post-concussion syndrome and the science behind it on Oct. 28 from 7:30 a.m. to noon in Butler Auditorium in Farber Hall on UB's South (Main Street) Campus.

The seminar, aimed primarily at physicians, also will be open to the public. Interested persons should contact the UB Office of Continuing Medical Education.

Contact: Lois Baker
University at Buffalo
Continue to Read more ...

FDA Approves YAZ(R), The First Oral Contraceptive To Offer Drospirenone In A 24-Day, Active-Pill Regimen

Berlex, Inc., a U.S. affiliate of Schering AG, Germany (FSE: SCH; NYSE: SHR), announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved YAZ(R) (3 mg drospirenone/20 mcg ethinyl estradiol), a new monophasic oral contraceptive (OC) and the first pill to combine 20 mcg of ethinyl estradiol with the innovative progestin drospirenone (drsp). The 24-day, active hormone pill regimen of YAZ results in less hormonal fluctuation than traditional OCs that provide 21 days of active pills. YAZ will be available in the U.S. by prescription in April, 2006.

"YAZ represents a clear advancement in oral contraception, and underscores the Berlex commitment to provide novel and innovative options in birth control to allow for individual choice," said Reinhard Franzen, President and CEO of Berlex Laboratories. "We are continuing our dialogue with the FDA in order to take YAZ even further by bringing women the first oral contraceptive for the treatment of the emotional and physical symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD."

As with YASMIN(R), the number one brand of birth control in the United States and worldwide, YAZ contains the innovative progestin drospirenone, a spironolactone analogue with antimineralocorticoid properties. The 24-day active hormone pill regimen of YAZ combined with the 30-hour half life of drospirenone results in less hormonal fluctuation between cycles, compared to traditional oral contraceptives with 21 days of active pills and seven days of placebo. Preclinical studies indicate that drospirenone also provides an antiandrogenic effect, which means that it counteracts the effects of male hormones in the body.

Oral contraceptives have evolved dramatically since their introduction in the 1960s. The traditional dosing regimen, which includes 21 days of active pills and seven days of placebo, was an attempt to simulate the natural menstrual cycle. A longer (seven day) placebo interval was used at the time to help counteract higher estrogen-dose oral contraceptives and enable monthly withdrawal bleeding. Today's birth control pills now have appreciably lower estrogen doses, thus allowing for shorter pill-free intervals. In addition to lower estrogen doses, a variety of progestins have been introduced, and the regimens have been altered to provide women with dosing schedules that may better fit their needs. In YAZ, each of these advancements are available in one product.

Data Demonstrate Safety, Efficacy and Tolerability

A large clinical trial involving 1,027 women, who completed 11,480 treatment cycles, established the safety of YAZ and demonstrated 99 percent contraceptive efficacy. The clinical trial also found that YAZ provides women with predictable monthly withdrawal bleeding (periods), with breakthrough bleeding rates comparable to other low dose oral contraceptives. Only 0.7 percent (7 out of 1,027) of women participating in the clinical trial discontinued YAZ because of irregular bleeding.

YAZ was well tolerated by the majority of women in the clinical trial. The most common side effects were similar to other OCs and include upper respiratory infection, headache, breast pain, vaginal moniliasis (yeast infection), leukorrhea (vaginal discharge), diarrhea, and nausea.

Important Information about YAZ

YAZ contains 3 mg of the progestin drospirenone that has antimineralocorticoid activity, including the potential for hyperkalemia in high-risk patients, comparable to a 25-mg dose of spironolactone. YAZ should not be used in patients with conditions that predispose to hyperkalemia (i.e., renal insufficiency, hepatic dysfunction, or adrenal insufficiency). Women receiving daily, long-term treatment for chronic conditions or diseases with medications that may increase serum potassium should have their serum potassium levels checked during the first treatment cycle. Medications that may increase serum potassium include ACE inhibitors, angiotensin-ll receptor antagonists, potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplementation medications, aldosterone antagonists and NSAIDs.

OCs do not protect against HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. The use of OCs is associated with increased risks of several serious side effects. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of serious cardiovascular side effects; women who take OCs are strongly advised not to smoke.

Information for Consumers

Women who would like to learn more about YAZ should call the toll-free number 1-888-BERLEX-4 or visit

About Berlex

Berlex, a U.S. affiliate of Schering AG, Germany (FSE: SCH; NYSE: SHR), is committed to addressing unmet medical needs through research and development in the areas of oncology, gastroenterology, women's health, diagnostics and neurology. Berlex also markets diagnostic imaging agents, innovative treatments in the areas of female health care and oncology, as well as specialized therapeutics for life-threatening and disabling diseases of the central nervous system and cardiovascular system. Berlex has business operations in New Jersey, California and Washington. For more information, please visit

Certain statements in this press release that are neither reported financial results nor other historical information are forward-looking statements, including but not limited to, statements that are predictions of or indicate future events, trends, plans or objectives. Undue reliance should not be placed on such statements because, by their nature, they are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and can be affected by other factors that could cause actual results and Schering AG's plans and objectives to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Certain factors that may cause such differences are discussed in our Form 20-F and Form 6-K reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Schering AG undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any of these forward-looking statements, whether to reflect new information or future events or circumstances or otherwise.

Berlex, Inc.
Continue to Read more ...

Fentanyl-laced Heroin Kills Hundreds Of Addicts In USA

Fentanyl-laced herion has killed hundreds of addicts from Chicago to Philadelphia. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic drug, a prescription painkiller. It is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and can kill humans in small doses. Most likely, the fentanyl is not pharmaceutical grade - it is probably made in illicit labs. Just 125 micrograms is enough to kill an adult - the equivalent of a few grains of salt.

According to Chicago police, a West Side gang member has been arrested. The police say the arrest will hopefully lead them to the main supplier of the deadly heroin cocktail.

More than 100 alleged drug dealers have been arrested over the last two months in an attempt to get the main dealer. None of the arrests helped the investigators get any nearer to their objective. Hopefully, this West Side arrest will. The gang member was selling fentanyl-laced heroin, lab tests showed.

Police say the killer heroin is also being sold in Ohio. Over the last month three cases of heroin with fentanyl have been found.

Of more concern is that addicts are not heeding the police warnings. When laced heroin was found in one street corner, the police warned all the addicts in the area. Rather than move elsewhere, many stayed in the hope of getting some free giveaways.
Continue to Read more ...

Alcohol Bad For Lungs As Well As Liver

Chronic alcohol abuse disrupts the proteins that keep fluids out of the lung, lowers a protective antioxidant, disrupts immune defenses and can lead to a condition known as 'alcoholic lung,' according to research to be presented at the conference, "Physiological Genomics and Proteomics of Lung Disease." The findings give insight into how excessive drinking can harm the molecular life of the lung and lead to serious illness, including pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

The study "Chronic alcohol ingestion renders the lung epithelium susceptible to acute injury by alteration in granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor signaling and alveolar epithelial permeability," was carried out by David Guidot, Pratibha Joshi, Jesse Roman, Lou Ann Brown and Michael Koval of Emory University in Atlanta. Guidot and Joshi are also associated with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Atlanta.

"We're trying to understand what's happening with the alcoholic lung at the molecular level," said Koval, who presented the findings at The American Physiological Society lung disease conference on Nov. 2-5 in Fort Lauderdale.

Beyond the liver

Although chronic alcohol abuse is closely associated with liver disease, the condition affects many of the body's organs. In recent years, researchers have turned their attention to the 'alcoholic lung.'

Alcoholics are more susceptible to pneumonia and more than twice as likely to develop ARDS compared to non-alcoholics, Koval said. The alcoholic lung has been found to have lower levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that helps protect the lung from oxidative stress.

The Emory research team has found that alcohol disrupts claudins, a family of proteins that helps maintain a tight air-fluid barrier. This barrier allows air into the lung, while keeping blood and other potentially smothering fluids out.

When the claudin proteins are disrupted, the lung leaks more, the researchers have found. The lung can usually pump out this excess fluid, but when the lung suffers an injury or infection it is unable to handle the greater volume, Koval explained. And that's when pneumonia or ARDS may develop.

The researchers also previously found that the alcoholic lung has fewer granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) receptors and a dampened response to signaling by GM-CSF in the epithelial cells, which form the lining inside the lung. GM-CSF is a hormone that plays a role in immunity within the lung.

The researchers keyed into GM-CSF after a clinical study found that GM-CSF treatment appeared to decrease acute lung injury in patients with septic shock. They have found that lung epithelial cells depend on GM-CSF signaling to maintain the tight barrier that is critical for gas exchange. They have also found that the air-fluid barrier is enhanced when the alcoholic lung is treated with GM-CSF.

GM-CSF connection strengthened

With these findings in mind, the researchers fed rats an alcohol-containing liquid diet for six weeks to mimic chronic alcohol abuse. They then applied GM-CSF to epithelial cells impaired by the rats' alcohol ingestion. They found that GM-CSF restores claudin protein function and the cells' air-fluid barrier function improved. These findings complement their recently published study showing that this same GM-CSF treatment restores immune function in alcohol-fed rats.

"These findings suggest that alcohol abuse dampens GM-CSF signaling, which, in turn, contributes to the alcoholic lung phenotype and renders the lung susceptible to edematous injury," the authors wrote. Treating lung epithelial cells with GM-CSF can reverse the deleterious effects of alcohol, the authors concluded. "GM-CSF treatment, in part by restoring tight junction protein assembly, may decrease the risk of acute lung injury in susceptible patients."

These results are sufficiently intriguing that a clinical study in which ARDS patients are being treated with GM-CSF is now taking place, Koval said. An important next step is to understand how different elements of the lung respond to GM-CSF at the molecular level, to better optimize treatment of alcoholic lung disease.



The research was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health.

The American Physiological Society was founded in 1887 to foster basic and applied bioscience. The Bethesda, Maryland-based society has 10,500 members and publishes 14 peer-reviewed journals containing almost 4,000 articles annually.

APS provides a wide range of research, educational and career support and programming to further the contributions of physiology to understanding the mechanisms of diseased and healthy states. In 2004, APS received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Contact: Christine Guilfoy
American Physiological Society
Continue to Read more ...

Ranbaxy Launches Volix (Voglibose) For Treatment Of Diabetes, First Time In India

Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited (Ranbaxy) today announced the launch of its branded product Volix (Voglibose), for the treatment of diabetes. The product, a novel Alpha-Glucosidase inhibitor introduced for the first time in India, will be available in dosages of 0.2 mg & 0.3 mg tablets.

Voglibose is indicated for improvement of postprandial hyperglycemia in diabetes mellitus only when diet and/or exercise or oral hyperglycemic drug or Insulin preparation in addition to diet and/or exercise, does not result in adequate glycemic (Glycemic) control. The avoidance of high postprandial (aftermeals) blood glucose level is one of the main advantages of drug.

Commenting on the launch of Volix, Dr. S.K.Wagnoo, MD, DM, Sr. Consultant Diabetologist & Endocrinologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi said, "Volix (Voglibose) will provide Indian doctors with an efficacious medicine which is a strong and selective inhibitor as compared to the available 'Alpha-Glucosidase' - Acarbose. The effect of Voglibose as an inhibitor of sucrase and maltase is 190-270 times greater than that of Acarbose."

Presently there are about 150 million diabetic patients worldwide, out of which 33 million are in India alone. As per WHO estimates, the number of diabetics worldwide would increase to 300 million by 2025, with India becoming the Diabetes capital of the world.

Speaking of the launch, Sanjeev Dani, Regional Director, India & Middle East, Ranbaxy, said, "Volix further expands Ranbaxy's strategic diabetes portfolio and reiterates the Company's commitment to strengthen and build on its existing diabetes franchise."

In July 2005, Nihon Pharmaceutical Industry Ltd. (NPI), a Joint Venture between Ranbaxy and Nippon Chemiphar Limited (NC), launched Voglibose tablets under the brand name, Vogseal in Japan. This is Ranbaxy's first generic product in the Japanese pharmaceutical market to have gained market leadership amongst competing generic products, with a market share of 36%.

Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited, headquartered in India, is an integrated, research based, international pharmaceutical company producing a wide range of quality, affordable generic medicines, trusted by healthcare professionals and patients across geographies. Ranbaxy's continued focus on R&D has resulted in several approvals in developed markets and significant progress in New Drug Discovery Research. The Company's foray into Novel Drug Delivery Systems has led to proprietary "platform technologies", resulting in a number of products under development. The Company is serving its customers in over 125 countries and has an expanding international portfolio of affiliates, joint ventures and alliances, ground operations in 46 countries and manufacturing operations in 7 countries.
Continue to Read more ...

Branded Fish Oil Supplement Reduces Anxiety In Adults With History Of Substance Abuse

A branded fish oil supplement has been shown to reduce anxiety measures in men with a history of substance abuse. Deficiencies in omega-3 are associated with a variety of psychiatric conditions, including depression, aggression, attention deficit, and others. This double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial published in this month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology (vol 26(6), pages 661-665) is one of the first to demonstrate benefits from fish oil in adults with anxiety.

Thirteen men were given 5 capsules per day of Nordic Naturals ProEPA(TM)/EPA(TM) for 3 months. Eleven men received placebo capsules. A subgroup of men who had taken either fish oil or placebo was followed for an additional 3 months.

Each purified lemon-flavored fish oil capsule provided 450 mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), 100 mg of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and 50 mg of other omega-3 fatty acids. A modified version of the Profiles of Mood States (POMS) was used to measure changes in anxiety. The POMS was administered at baseline and monthly to all subjects.

A progressive and significant decline in anxiety scores was observed among the subjects who were supplemented with the Nordic Naturals ProEPA/EPA. No changes were seen among the placebo group patients. Furthermore, anxiety scores remained low in the sub-group who had taken the fish oil when followed for the additional 3 months.

Dr. Laure Buydens-Branchey, psychiatrist, at the DVA New York Harbor Healthcare System in Brooklyn, NY, completed this study. These preliminary data indicate that long chain omega-3 supplementation may have additional benefits for mental health.

Nordic Naturals is the leader in omega-3 fish oils and EFA blends with over 50 different fish oil products known for their exceptional taste, freshness, and purity. The company offers over 50 different fish oil products and EFA blends, including liquids, capsules, and children's chewables.

Nordic Naturals
Continue to Read more ...

Tonsil, Adenoid Removal Results In Better Sleep, Behavior For Children With Sleep Disordered Breathing

An adenotonsillectomy, or surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids, leads to an improvement in behavior and sleep for pediatric patients diagnosed with sleep disordered breathing has been revealed in a study from the University of Kansas Medical Center and School of medicine.

Sleep disordered breathing (SDB), is usually caused by enlarged tonsils causing upper airway obstruction during sleep. In children, the terms "obstructive sleep disorders" (OSD) and "sleep disordered breathing" (SDB) are more widely used as opposed to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) because the former two terms recognized that SDB is a spectrum of sleep-related breathing disorders including primary snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, obstructive hypoventilation, and OSAS (the most severe aspect of the spectrum). Traditionally, OSAS is identified only by a sleep study, and while the prevalence of OSAS has been reported to range from 0.7 to three percent, the prevalence of snoring and clinical suspicion of SDB in children may be high as 11 percent.

How SDB affects childhood development and behavior, specifically hyperactivity and inattention, has been addressed in past research. Using sleep studies or polysomnograph, and parental surveys, one study showed that while SDB was not more likely to occur among children with significant ADHD symptoms, it is significantly highly prevalent among children with mild hyperactive behavior. Habitual snoring and SDB have been associated with ADHD as well as neurocognitive impairment and poor school performance, leading to a suggestion that treating SDB and habitual snoring may eliminate ADHD in a subset of children. Unlike OSAS which is defined by specific apnea-hypopnea index based on polysomnography, SDB may be diagnosed clinically and not consistently meet PSG criteria for an obstructive sleep breathing disorder.

A questionnaire specific for predicting SDB and improvement after surgery, would bridge the gap between objective sleep study data on every child with nocturnal airway obstructions on one hand and clinical suspicion of SDB in children at the other end of the spectrum. Such a questionnaire is the Pediatric Sleep Questionnaire (PSQ), previously developed by Dr. Chervin and colleagues at the University of Michigan, uses subscales in SDB, snoring, sleepiness, and behavioral problems which has shown good validity and reliability for predicting SDB when compared with polysomnography. The PSQ may be used as a tool in clinical research when polysomnography may not be feasible.

The Connor's Parent Rating Scale-Revised Short (CPRS-RS) survey has been proved effective to assess behavior in subjects before and after treatment intervention. Both the CPRS-RS and PSQ were used by Kansas otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons to determine change in sleep and behavior before surgery and again at six months after adenotonsillectomy, as well as to identify any correlations between sleep and behavior pre and post surgical intervention in children with SDB, without using sleep study or polysomnography. The authors of "Improved Behavior and Sleep After Adenotonsillectomy in Children with Sleep Disordered Breathing," are Julie L. Wei MD, and Robert A. Weatherly MD, both from the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Kansas School of Medicine; Matthew S. Mayo PhD, and Holly J. Smith, at the Center for Biostatistics and Advanced Informatics, University of Kansas Medical Center; and Matt Reese PhD, with the Developmental Disabilities Center, University of Kansas Medical Center. Their findings will be presented at the 21st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, being held May 20-22, 2006, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago, IL.

Methodology: Within a pediatric otolaryngology practice, 117 consecutive children clinically diagnosed with sleep disordered breathing and scheduled for surgical removal of the adenoids and tonsils were enrolled as the research subjects. A convenience sample of caregivers of patients, age two to 17, undergoing adenotonsillectomy for SDB were eligible and asked to participate. Patients were excluded if the primary reason for adenotonsillectomy was recurrent infections. Data were collected on the day of the surgery and at six months following the surgery date. This study was modeled after previous studies examining the quality of life (QOL) improvement after adenotonsillectomy. Caregivers completed two questionnaires at both time intervals: the CPRS-RS as well as the PSQ.

Changes in age appropriate T-scores for all four CPRS-RS behavior categories (oppositional, cognitive problems/inattention, hyperactivity, and Conner's ADHD index) were determined for each subject pre- and post-operatively. Changes in PSQ scores from select 22-item sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD) subscale were also determined.

Results: The results offered evidence that before surgery, the mean PSQ score for the 117 patient was 0.56, the scale is between 0 and 1, with scores approaching 1 representing the most severe disturbance in sleep. 112/117 (95.73 percent) had a PSQ score of >0.33, which suggests high risk for SDB, and 5/117 (4.27 percent) had a PSQ score of < 0.33. At six-months after adenotonsillectomy, the mean PSQ score for the 71 patients who completed the study was 0.12[0.14]. Of these 71 patients, 7(9.86 percent) still had a PSQ score of >0.33, while 64 (90.14 percent) had a PSQ score of < 0.33. For the CPRS-RS scores, a reduction was noted in aged and sexed norm T-scores for all four behavior categories (oppositional, cognitive problems/inattention, hyperactivity, and ADHD index), close to one standard deviation from their preoperative score which is clinically significant. Also, the researchers found that the higher the baseline T-score, the greater the reduction in T-score after surgery. Correlations were found between behavior and sleep both before and after adenotonsillectomy.

Conclusions: The study supports associations between adenotonsillectomy to alleviate upper airway obstruction and changes in both sleep and behavior, as evidenced by results in the PSQ and CPRS-RS surveys. At six months after adenotonsillectomy, patients experience improvement in both sleep and various behavior categories as measured by these instruments.

American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology
Continue to Read more ...

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy

In four years, 50 million American women will be in menopause. The federal government's decision in 2002 to suspend the use of synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in a large scale clinic trial of the effects of HRT, left many women and physicians uncertain about the safety of synthetic hormones and searching for alternatives.

Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (nBHRT) has been proposed by some doctors as a reasonable alternative, although it is not commonly prescribed. nBHRT, like its synthetic counterpart, requires a physician's prescription for the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The hormones differ in that nBHRT is derived from plants rather than synthetic chemicals. They also differ in that the synthetic formulations are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and packaged into specific, standard doses. Conversely, nBHRT is prescribed in person-specific doses and compounded (i.e., assembled) by a pharmacist.

In a release issued last October, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) stated that there was "no scientific evidence to support claims of increased efficacy or safety for individualized estrogen or progesterone regimens prepared by compounding pharmacies." It also noted the "lack of well-designed and well-conducted clinical trials of these compounded hormones."

In an attempt to develop data and add to the dialogue, a Wisconsin team undertook a time sequenced, cohort study of 50 women. The study, entitled Management of Menopause-related Symptoms Using Natural Bio-Identical Hormones, A Time Sequenced, Cohort Trial, was conducted by Jan M. Seibert, ND, Seibert Health and Wellness, Inc., Pleasant Prairie, WI and Jeffery S. Garland, MD, SM, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-St. Joseph, Milwaukee, WI. Dr. Seibert will present their findings at the 21st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (, being held August 9-12, 2006 at the Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR.


To assess the efficacy of nBHRT treatment of estrogen deficiency symptoms, progesterone-related symptoms, and the effects of hypothyroidism, 50 perimenopausal/menopausal women (PMPW) with low concentrations of progesterone and estradiol (blood and salivary tests), a body mass index (BMI)> 24, a low basal body temperature (<98.2) and menopausal symptoms volunteered to be included in a time-sequenced cohort. Women who had had surgical menopause, a history of long-term clinical depression, were taking synthetic ovarian hormones or who had had any estrogen-related cancers were excluded.

The group was subdivided into menopausal (n=30) and perimenopausal (n=20) women. During the baseline clinic visit, weight and basal temperature were recorded, and PMPW subjectively scored (0=none, 1=mild, 2=moderate 3=severe) the following:

-- Estrogen-related symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness)

-- Progesterone-related symptoms (mood swings, increased irritability, water retention)

-- Hypothyroid-related symptoms (depression, weight gain in waist, weight gain in hips, scalp hair loss).

The PMPW were then treated daily with (1) individualized, dose-specific nBHRT transdermal (cream) or drops of estradiol/estriol; (2) individualized, dose-specific transdermal progesterone; and (3) a multivitamin. Patients were also encouraged to eat a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables. They were seen in follow-up at 90-day intervals for one year. Weight, basal temperature and a subjective score of menopausal symptoms were obtained at each visit. Hormone dosing was then adjusted based on patient's symptoms.

Baseline scores for estrogen-, progesterone-, and hypothyroidism-related symptoms, as well as weight and basal temperatures, were compared to those obtained at six and 12 months post-nBHRT.


-- Median scores assessing estrogen- and progesterone-related symptoms, as well as symptoms of hypothyroidism, were significantly lower (p< 0.0001) in PMPW at six and 12 months after initiating nBHRT.

-- Of the 50 women, 82 percent showed improvement in their estrogen-related symptoms.

-- Of the 50 women, 74 percent showed improvement in progesterone-related symptoms.


This study is limited by the fact that it is not a randomized placebo-controlled study and did not include a standardized diet plan or depression scale survey. In spite of these limitations, the study demonstrates that for this cohort of PMPW the nBHRT significantly reduced perimenopausal- and postmenopausal-related symptoms. These findings support the need for a large randomized trial of nBHRT.

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) was founded in 1985 to provide alternative methods for healing human diseases and disorders than have been traditionally offered in the United States. Members of the AANP must have graduated from one of North America's six accredited graduate schools of naturopathic medicine.
Continue to Read more ...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts