ErinPharm Gazette May 2007
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This month reveals that research work on the neurodegenerative diseases of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are at last leading to potential vaccine and drug treatments. The beginning of genomewide association scans to look for gene variants implicated in disease makes its first significant success with the work from DeCode Genetics and Ottawa. Statins are now found to have protective effects against lung cancer.
In the meantime while major steps forward are being made for the early detection of cancer and newer cancer treatments for such early stages, and recent studies on lowering LDL-cholesterol show regression of coronary artery plaque, the increasing incidence of unhealthy lifestyles, obesity, and self-destructive behaviours threatens to divide society into those who are aware, motivated, and financially able to access strategies for optimal healthy longevity and those who are becoming increasingly a section of society with diminished expectations for health and length of life.
That such divisions are being observed in the United States demands a much needed overhaul of the national health care system. A comprehensive focus on prevention, wellness, and disease prevention must become a national priority.
A beginning of global health for all begins with us, here, now. This is a bold new century. By 2050 may we be judged to have been worthy of the task.
This web page is one of a number of ErinPharm web pages designed by me as a synopsis of topics that interest me as well as being a quick reference page for my newsletter subscribers and myself. I have no affiliation of any kind to any pharmaceutical company or medical group. The opinions expressed are my own. I welcome communication and debate. I am an optimist. I look forward to the future with wonder.
The Life Extension Foundation
Keep up to date with advances in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of colorectal cancer.
Know about the latest treatment guidelines for addiction.
Patients should know everything there is to know about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Advances in lung cancer therapies are moving ahead. Keep up to date.
University of Kansas research scientist, Dr. Ann Manzardo, is exploring the link between thiamine deficiency and a genetic predisposition to alcoholism.
The first comprehensive map of Genomic copy number variations has been developed. Such copy numbers influence genetic diversity and susceptibility to disease.
Are you trying to lose weight and have been misled by the multi-billion dollar industry selling pills, potions, and 'magic cures'? You are not alone. A survey backed by a commercial drug company reports that approximately 70% of American dieters have tried scientifically unproven methods to lose weight. That's an astounding number of people who have tried dietary supplements in the form of pills and powders. About half of survey respondents incorrectly think supplements are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration, while about two-thirds believe such products must carry warning labels for side effects. All that happens is maybe temporary loss of weight and the emptying of your pocket. Resist the temptation to believe in those seductive commercials. The only way you can lose weight and keep it off is by a commitment to a change in lifestyle. I recommend lifestyle changes.
The American Cancer Society is your main source of information in the ongoing battle against cancer.
After decades of scientific research scientists are now confident that with more than four dozen vaccines and drugs in human clinical trials a point is about to be reached that offers hope to those with mild to moderate forms of Alzheimer's disease. Flurizan, from Myriad Genetics, should complete trials in the next 18 months with more than nine new treatments in Phase III clinical trials.
The biannual Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease meeting this year, Progress and New Perspectives, represented mainly the two topics of Modeling Neurodegenerative Diseases in Vivo and a Clinical Drug Trial Section. Sections were divided into the Amyloid Hypothesis, Vaccination Strategies in Developing New Treatments for Parkinson's Disease, Biomarkers for Early Disease Detection and Diagnosis, Vascular risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease, Vascular Dementia, and the Current Status of Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease to Disease Modification.
The world's first eye operations using gene therapy has occurred at Moorfields Eye Hospital and University College London. The British team of physicians are working with Seattle, Washington, biotech firm Targeted Genetics Corporation. Progress will be followed over the next few months.
Two groups have independently used genomewide association scans to determine that a genetic variant in a region of chromosome-9 is implicated in 20% of the incidence of heart attack in populations of European origin and a third of cases of early-onset heart attack, making it one of the most significant genetic risk factors for heart attack identified to date. Dr. Kari Stefansson, senior author of the paper from Decode Genetics, says this work has huge implications. The research teams, led by Dr. Anna Helgadottir of DeCode Genetics, Reykyavik, Icfeland, and Dr. Ruth McPherson at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute reported their work May 3, 2007 in Science.
The very substantial reduction of triglyceride levels that can be achieved with EPA/DHA omega-3 fish oils has once again been shown to be effective.
Consumer reports has given a useful and comprehensive evaluation and comparison of the various popular methods of dietary weight loss strategies.
A suprising retrospective study of 483,733 patients from eight south central states who were enrolled in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System evaluating data from 1998 to 2004 found that patients with statin use of more than six months were associated with a 55% reduced risk of lung cancer. This protective benefit of statins occurred across different age and racial groups, independent of the presence of diabetes, smoking status, or alcohol use. This remarkable conclusion demands well designed clinical studies to validate the results since no effective chemopreventative has yet been identified to substantially reduce incidence although some case controls studies have shown a 20% overall lowering of cancer risk.