Wednesday, July 30, 2008
These tangles destroy nerve cells linked to memory, causing forgetfulness. Professor Claude Wischik of Aberdeen University in northeast Scotland, who co-founded the company which created the drug, hailed the results as "the most significant development in the treatment of the tangles since Alois Alzheimer discovered them in 1907".
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
After adjusting for known risk factors for age-related mental decline, such as education level, smoking status, and history of stroke or diabetes, the researchers found that study participants that had used statins were about half as likely to show evidence of cognitive decline.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Perhaps the writer was overly influenced by total- replacement surgeons trying to protect their livelihood, but she unfortunately missed many of the advantages that resurfacing has over total replacement.
Sorry, but the gold standard in hip repair is clearly resurfacing, not replacement.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
This is the first of a five-part special report on Alzheimer’s. Check back next week for breaking news from the international conference on Alzheimer's.
Dimebon—a new drug for Alzheimer’s disease whose promising test results were reported with great fanfare earlier this month will make even more news next week at an international Alzheimer’s conference in Chicago.
To some scientists and doctors, fish is a miracle food, a treasure trove of heart-healthy fatty acids and disease-fighting vitamins. To others, it’s a culinary curse, the carrier of health-endangering toxins. Which is it? The confusion is enough to make you go off the deep end.
If you’re 50 or older, dive in, say experts: The benefits—and there are many, among them a lower risk of dementia, vision loss and dying from heart disease—far outweigh the risks. “There is plenty of nutrition in fish, but most of the evidence points to omega-3s as the big-ticket benefit,” says Harvard Medical School cardiologist Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., who as the author of several major medical studies may be the nation’s most prolific researcher on the health impact of seafood.
Most trans fats are created when vegetable oil is treated with hydrogen to create baked and fried goods with a longer shelf life. Stephen Joseph, a Tiburon attorney who was a consultant to New York City in developing its ban, said trans fat is a larger health risk than saturated fat because it reduces so-called good cholesterol.
A 2006 review of trans fat studies by the New England Journal of Medicine concluded there was a strong connection between consumption of trans fats and heart disease. Studies also have linked trans fats to diabetes, obesity, infertility in women and some types of cancer.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
A plan to create the world's largest online medical encyclopedia was announced today. Known as Medpedia, the site will be free and available to the public when it launches at the end of this year. Physicians, medical schools, hospitals and health organizations are volunteering to build a comprehensive clearinghouse for information about health, medicine and the body.
The goal is to create Web pages with easy-to-understand information on 30,000 diseases, more than 10,000 prescription drugs and thousands of medical procedures. People can get a sneak preview of the site at www.medpedia.com.
Participants include the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Stanford School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Drug Administration and many other organizations.
If physicians do not recognize and treat pre-diabetes, diabetes will continue to inflate at great personal health and financial cost, says Daniel Einhorn, vice president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. The group is meeting in Oxon Hill, Md., near Washington, D.C.
In an early release of the new recommendations, members of the endocrinologist group agreed that diagnosing pre-diabetes should be based on more than the results of blood glucose tests, such as history of diabetes during pregnancy and family history of the disease. The group also decided that changes in ways of living, not medication, should be the first line of treatment in staving off diabetes.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Experts gathered by the National Institutes of Health recently urged testing heart pumps on patients who aren't quite as sick, instead of reserving them for the near-dead like doctors do today.
"There is a general sense in the prostate cancer community that this agent is extremely promising and is very likely to have an important role in the management of prostate cancer patients," said Dr. Howard Sandler, a radiation oncologist at the University of Michigan who is a spokesman for the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Experts expect the new drug, called abiraterone, to be widely available by 2011. It could find use among most of the 28,000 U.S. men diagnosed each year with the most aggressive and almost always fatal type of prostate cancer.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Q. What is medigap insurance? Do I need it?
A. Medicare supplementary insurance is not part of the Medicare program. It is private insurance you can purchase separately, for an additional premium, to cover some of your out-of-pocket costs in Medicare. That’s why it’s often called “medigap.”
You can buy one of 12 standardized medigap policies. Each policy is labeled with a letter of the alphabet—A through L—and offers a different range of benefits from the others. For example, plan J (which has the most benefits) pays the full cost of the Medicare Part A hospital deductible and copayments, the Part B deductible and copays for doctors and other outpatient services, plus all or part of the costs of a few services that Medicare doesn’t cover. The greater the number of benefits, the more expensive the plan usually is.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
But the vast majority of children will never in their pre-pubescence or teens pop a pill to lower cholesterol. Nor will their parents want them to. "I hear it every time I see parents," says Dr. Alan Lewis, a pediatric cardiologist and director of the lipid clinic at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. " 'I don't want my kid taking a pill.' "
A. Your good HDL cholesterol is extremely high, which is great for your heart. The ratio of total to HDL cholesterol is an important measure of heart risk. Your ratio, 2.5, is excellent. Your bad LDL also is high. You might be able to get it down with the soluble fiber psyllium, walnuts or fish oil.
Q. I would like to take red yeast rice to lower my cholesterol. I heard that the Food and Drug Administration restricted sales of red yeast rice if it contained lovastatin, the ingredient in Mevacor.
A. Red yeast rice was introduced to the U.S. in the mid-1990s under the name Cholestin. A standard dose contained a little lovastatin (less than half that in a 20 mg Mevacor pill). The FDA challenged Cholestin on the grounds that it was an unapproved drug. Cholestin has since been reformulated, but there are many other red yeast rice products on the market. The FDA has warned consumers to avoid this compound, even though it lowers cholesterol.
But like a growing number of young, active people, Stewart eschewed the gold-standard treatment -- total hip replacement surgery -- in favor of a new procedure that, propelled by aggressive marketing featuring vigorous, youngish athletes, is sweeping the U.S.: hip resurfacing. The main claim for hip resurfacing is that it can preserve more of the thigh bone, making any subsequent surgery more feasible if the initial repair wears out.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
But the mice didn't get any plumper when that diet was supplemented with folic acid, vitamin B-12, choline and betaine, according to a study published Tuesday in the International Journal of Obesity. Because the genetic makeup of the mice was the same, the scientists concluded that the diet supplements had managed to suppress the activity of key genes related to obesity.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Almost as quickly as President Bush vetoed a controversial Medicare reform bill, Congress overwhelmingly overrode it early Tuesday evening, preventing a 10.6 percent cut in payments to 600,000 doctors serving Medicare patients.
Bush vetoed the legislation early Tuesday afternoon. At 4:48 p.m., Democratic members of the House of Representatives and 153 Republican members voted 383-41 to override. Senate Democrats were joined by 21 Republicans and voted 70-26 to override.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The cancellation was highlighted by Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo as an example of the allegedly abusive practices at the heart of a lawsuit he filed Wednesday against Blue Shield. The suit contends that Blue Shield has illegally canceled the coverage of more than 850 policyholders including people like the Simoeses since 2002.
Monday, July 14, 2008
A. Think of a big park. Every path you go down leads to a different section, offering a choice of activities—but whichever path you pick, you’re still in the park. That’s how it is in Medicare. You can choose different kinds of health care coverage within the program. And you can choose how you want your medical services delivered—the traditional way or through a private health plan. Whichever you choose, you’re still in Medicare.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
He served just 17 months as press secretary, a tenure interrupted by his second bout with cancer. In 2005 doctors had removed his colon and he began six months of chemotherapy. In March 2007 a cancerous growth was removed from his abdominal area and he spent five weeks recuperating before returning to the White House.
There was likely no reason for this if he had gotten a regular colon exam. It is not painful and needs to be done regularly. - Bill
Friday, July 11, 2008
The automated, wearable artificial kidney, or AWAK, would help avoid complications that often accompany traditional dialysis. "What's really new about it is the patient's freedom," said Roberts.
The design for the peritoneal-based artificial kidney is "bloodless" and reduces or eliminates loss and other dialysis-related problems. According to Martin Roberts, an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the new technique is based on the principles of an artificial kidney machine developed in 1980.
His story is all too familiar to Anna McCourt, supervisor of the American Cancer Society’s National Cancer Information Center, which helps patients 24 hours a day. “We’ve seen this for quite some time, but it’s now happening more and more. Requests from hospitals for tens of thousands of dollars upfront are not uncommon,” she says, “and there are occasions where patients have been asked for hundreds of thousands before they can access the care they need.”
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
"This study suggests that physicians who recommend hormonal therapy for localized tumors are not doing their patients any favors," said Dr. Howard M. Sandler, a radiation oncologist at the University of Michigan Medical School who spoke as a representative of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Users run the gamut: There are people like Beckett with celiac disease who must be on the diet; others who believe the diet can alleviate chronic intestinal complaints and boost energy; still others who believe the gluten-free diet may help in the treatment of autism and a host of other disorders, including schizophrenia, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, attention deficit disorder, migraine and even fertility problems.
The hospitals sued after scores of their patients contended in their own lawsuits that Blue Cross had illegally dropped them. The patients said Blue Cross had improperly investigated their medical histories after they submitted expensive bills in an effort to use purported preexisting conditions as an excuse for canceling their policies.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
On Wednesday night, a KTLA reporter stood in front of the HDPC office on Hesperia Road while doing a report on Dr. Sukalpa Dutta, who allegedly threw a chair and punched a man after he called the doctor a “monkey,” according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials.
Balginy said Dutta does not work for the medical group and that his office is across the street from High Desert Primary Care, apparently leading to the confusion. After an attorney for High Desert Primary Care contacted KTLA Thursday, the station removed an online video of the TV report.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The Department of Managed Health Care, in a lawsuit filed Friday in Orange County Superior Court, is seeking to bar Prime Healthcare Services Inc. of Victorville from billing insured patients for unpaid medical bills that the hospital chain contends it is owed from insurers and is seeking from patients as a last resort.
"Prime Healthcare's ongoing practice of putting consumers in the middle of billing disputes between providers and health plans is the largest example of this egregious practice we've seen to date, and it must be stopped," said Cindy Ehnes, director of the state agency. "Consumers who have purchased health coverage in good faith deserve to know that it will cover them in a medical emergency and not result in crushing medical debt," she said.
Primecare Healthcare Services owns Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville