Existing medications may help treat Alzheimer's

NEW YORK, June 15 (UPI) -- Drugs used for hypertension or insomnia may also help reduce the development of amyloid plaques, which is linked to Alzheimer's, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti of the Mount Sinai Medical Center and a research team used a computer algorithm to screen 1,600 commercially available medications to assess their impact on the brain accumulation of beta-amyloid, a protein abnormally accumulated in the brain of Alzheimer's disease.

The study, published in the journal PLoS One, found currently available medications prescribed for conditions such as hypertension, depression and insomnia were found to block or to enhance the accumulation of beta-amyloid, the component of amyloid plaques.

Pasinetti and colleagues administered the drugs in mice that were genetically engineered to develop the amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. After six months of treatment with blood pressure medicines, amyloid plaques and neurodegeneration were significantly reduced in the mice.

"One very exciting finding of our study is that Carvedilol, already approved for treatment of hypertension, might immediately become a promising drug for the treatment of Alzheimer's as well," Pasinetti said in a statement.

However, the findings must be verified in human-safety studies that examine the effects of the drugs independent of the original indication, Pasinetti said.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

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Study: Too much sugar can lead to heart failure

HOUSTON, June 14 (UPI) -- A single sugar molecule stresses the heart and changes the muscle proteins, resulting in poor pump function leading to heart failure, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Heinrich Taegtmeyer, principal investigator and professor of cardiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, said the glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate could accumulate from eating too much starch and/or sugar.

Taegtmeyer performed pre-clinical trials in animal models, as well as tests on tissue taken from patients at the Texas Heart Institute who had a piece of the heart muscle removed to implant a left ventricle assist device by Dr. O.H. "Bud" Frazier and his team. Both led to the discovery of the damage caused by glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate, the study said.

"When the heart muscle is already stressed from high blood pressure or other diseases, and then takes in too much glucose, it adds insult to injury," Taegtmeyer said.

The study opened doors to possible new treatments. Two drugs, rapamycin -- an immunosuppressant -- and metformin, a diabetes medication, disrupt signaling of glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate and improved cardiac power in small animal studies.

"These drugs have a potential for treatment and this has now cleared a path to future studies with patients," Taegtmeyer said.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

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Almost 5,700 in NYC died of diabetes-related causes in 2011

NEW YORK, June 12 (UPI) -- Almost 5,700 New York City residents died from type 2 diabetes-related causes in 2011 -- an all-time high, city health officials say.

"The deaths includes those for which diabetes was classified as the underlying cause of death as well as those for which diabetes was classified as a contributing cause," a city Health Department report said.

"Even as the overall death rate in New York City continues to decline, diabetes-related deaths continue to increase. Since 1990, the proportion of all New York City deaths related to diabetes nearly doubled, from 6 percent in 1990 to 10.8 percent in 2011."

Dr. Thomas Farley, city health commissioner, said overall, one person dies of diabetes-related causes every 90 minutes, adding up to 16 deaths a day in New York City.

"Diabetes is a condition that too many people live with and die from," Farley said in a statement. "It is linked to our epidemic of obesity, and like obesity, it can be prevented."

In April, the Health Department reported nearly 650,000 adult New Yorkers reported having diabetes in 2011, an increase of 200,000 adults since 2002.

In conjunction with the release of the report, the Health Department is running a radio ad campaign educating New Yorkers about the risks of diabetes and how they can be lowered by maintaining a healthy weight by being active, eating healthy and cutting out sugary drinks. The 30-second radio spot will run by the end of June.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

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Black Men's Health: How Good is It?

Endometriosis: Heavy Periods, Killer Cramps and Back Pain

By Dr. Leonard Weather, M.D.

(TriceEdneyWire) - Needless to say, it’s extremely important to know the state of health for African-American men. If we were to look at a number of responses to the statement “What is the state of health or how good is it?”, many would unfortunately automatically come up with a negative response.

This is due in part to the contemporary display of African-American men’s lives. They are displayed in the form of adverse stereotypes, fueled by media images and at times coupled with facts that do not necessarily bare the truth. We must work to change the unfavorable images, develop positive attitudes and healthy stats.

Written by Hazel Edney

(TEWire) - “I’m 29 years old and my life feels like it’s upside down,” states Joyce who has a history of unbearable crippling cramps, low back pain and flooding with her periods that has been getting worse since she stopped taking birth control pills three years ago. Naproxen helps her but the pain is still disturbing. Most months she feels like she should stay in bed during her periods because of the pain. And some months, she actually has to. She has also been unable to get pregnant since she stopped taking the pill.
Joyce's complaints are commonly found in women with endometriosis which can affect women and teens of all ages - even those as young as 10 and as old as 70.

Health is based on a number of factors, such as diet, genetics, life style, and the environment. Most of the problems or concerns for the health of African-American people are clearly not genetic. Therefore the emphasis for improvement should be placed on lifestyle, diet and the environment in which they live.

Paul W. is a 37-year-old African-American accountant who was a star football player in high school and college with a near perfect physique at that time. Presently he works long hours, doesn’t eat breakfast, drinks at least three soft drinks per day, loves sweets and indulges in ice cream at bedtime. He also smokes a pack of cigarettes per day, doesn’t exercise and drinks occasionally.

Both he and his wife eat their share of fast foods at home and work. In addition, most of the vegetables he eats are on his hamburgers and fruits are rarely ever eaten. Paul lost his near perfect physique some years ago and is extremely overweight (obese) and has not seen a doctor in 10 years. He also lives down the street from an oil refinery.

Paul’s story is extremely disturbing because he’s doing too many of the wrong things; namely, lack of exercise, minimal fruits and vegetables, excessive sweets, smokes and no recent doctor visit. His weight problem (obesity) is due to his diet and lifestyle. Obesity is associated with diabetes, heart disease, HBP, stroke, cancer and premature death.

He also lives near a refinery - most of which produce toxins that are associated with various cancers. If he doesn’t change his habits, his story will not have a happy ending.

Quick Facts:

- In 2005 African-American men were 2.4 times as likely to die from prostate cancer as White men. They also had a lower 5-year cancer survival rate for lung and pancreatic cancer.

- African-American men are twice as likely to develop diabetes as compared to White men. -

- African-American men were 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease as compared to White Men.

- African-American men had more than seven times the AIDS rate and were nine times as likely to die from HIV/AIDS as White men.

- African-American men are 60 percent more likely to die from a stroke than White men.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' leading causes of death for Black men in the U. S. are: heart disease; diabetes; cancer; HIV Disease; unintentional injuries; chroinic lower respiratory disease; homicide; kidney disease; stroke; and perinatal conditions.

Simply put, there are some African-American men that have great health, there are many with good health and too many with inadequate health. However, all would welcome even more superior health. It’s imperative that those with inadequate or of a lower rank move quickly to lift themselves to better their health. Here are some steps to better health for Black men:

- Be physically-active. Exercise daily and make healthy food choices.

- Eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

- Get a healthy weight and stay there.

- Be tobacco free.

- If you drink alcohol, have no more than two drinks per day.

- Have your blood pressure checked at least yearly.

- Talk to your doctor about prostate cancer screening, PSA test and digital rectal examination (DRE).

- Talk to your doctor about HIV screening.

- Know what toxins are in your community. There’s a connection with cancer and other diseases from paper mills, refineries and factories.

For more information about health and Black men:

- The Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has a web site for men on staying healthy. Go to http://www.ahrq.gov/healthymen/.

- The 100 Black Men of America, Inc. acts to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African-Americans. Their health and wellness programs may be accessed at http://www.100blackmen.org.

- Centers for Disease Control - Men’s Health, contains quality information on men’s health. Go to http://www.cdc.gov/men/.

Dr. Leonard Weather Jr., President of the National Medical Association can be reached at dr_weather@msn.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or president@nmanet.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , the National Medical Association’s website is: www.nmanet.org.

Endometriosis is a condition where the lining of the uterus is displaced to other part of the body. In these locations outside the uterus the endometrial tissue develops into what are called lesions, implants or growths. The most common locations of the growths are in the abdomen, involving the ovaries, fallopian tubes, outer surface of the uterus and lining of the pelvic cavity. These growths can cause infertility, painful intercourse, irregular or heavy periods. In addition abdominal pain, low back pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and leg pains that coincides with the menstrual cycle.

The cause of endometriosis is not known with certainty however research spearheaded by the Endometriosis Association has shown that environmental toxins such as dioxin from paper mills, refineries, factories and PCB, which act like hormones in the body and damage the immune system, can cause endometriosis.

The diagnosis of endometriosis is generally considered uncertain until proven by laparoscopy. Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive or band-aid surgical procedure done under anesthesia. Whereby the abdomen is distended with carbon dioxide gas to make the organs easier to see and a laparoscope (telescope with a light in it) is inserted into a tiny incision in the abdomen. This is generally done as an outpatient procedure.

In regards to diagnosis many women are either misdiagnosed or not diagnosed. According to the Endometriosis Association it takes five physicians a number of surgeries and 10 years before the diagnosis is made. This is probably worse with women of color.

Treatment for endometriosis has varied over the years, hysterectomy, is not a cure; in fact there is no definitive cure. Painkillers are usually prescribed for pain. Treatment is usually initiated at surgery. Which consists of burning, or cutting out the lesions. Hormonal medication can be given after surgery. The aim is to stop ovulation for as long as possible and force the disease into remission. Hormonal treatment includes danazol, GnRH drugs, progesterone and aromatase inhibitors. Nutritional approaches have also been used, along with herbs, vitamins, and traditional Chinese medicine.

If you or someone that you know have heavy menstrual periods, severe cramps, low back or leg pains, nausea and other bothersome symptoms that coincide with your menstrual. Read about endometriosis and see a physician.

Learn more about endometriosis.

The Endometriosis Association has tons of information as well as local support groups. http://www.endometriosisassn.org/

National Institute of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/Endometriosis.cfm

National Women’s Health Information Center, US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health

www.womenshealth.gov/faq/endometriosis.cfm

Dr Leonard Weather Jr. President of the National Medical Association can be reached dr_weather@msn.com

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it, or president@nmanet.org

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , the National Medical Association’s website is: www.nmanet.org.


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