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Dollar

Anger over 'cash for diagnoses' dementia plan in England

Cash for Diagnosis
© Alamy
Ministers have pledged to dramatically improve rates of dementia diagnosis, which has led to the new scheme.
Family doctors will be paid £55 for every patient they diagnose with dementia under a new NHS England scheme which has been condemned as an "ethical travesty".

Leading GPs said the national project amounted to "cash for diagnoses" - allowing doctors to make a direct profit if they classify patients as suffering from dementia.

In some parts of the country, NHS authorities have gone still further - offering family doctors £200 for each new diagnosis made, The Telegraph can reveal.

Patients groups and doctors have condemned the schemes, saying they amounted to a "bounty on the head" of the most vulnerable, which could cloud the judgements of those making diagnoses.

Under the national scheme, doctors can receive the £55 payment for every extra patient given a diagnosis of dementia in the six months ending in March.

GPs qualify for payment if they diagnose the patients themselves - with no checks on whether their assessment is correct - or if they update their records when their patients receive a diagnosis in hospital.

Family doctors are already financially rewarded for carrying a host of medical checks, with a portion of their pay related to tasks such as taking blood pressure, measuring cholesterol and carrying out tests for conditions such as diabetes.

But the scheme is understood to be the first national initiative to offer doctors financial rewards for diagnosing patients with any condition.

It follows pledges by ministers to dramatically improve rates of dementia diagnosis.
Bandaid

World Health Organization declares Nigeria is Ebola-free, holds lessons for others

© REUTERS/Stringer
Students of Goverment Secondary School Garki wash their hands, as school resumes in Abuja September 22, 2014.
Nigeria was declared free of the deadly Ebola virus on Monday after a determined doctor and thousands of officials and volunteers helped end an outbreak still ravaging other parts of West Africa and threatening the United States and Spain.

Caught unawares when a diplomat arrived with the disease from Liberia, authorities were alerted by Doctor Ameyo Adadevoh, who diagnosed it, kept him in hospital despite protests from him and his government and later died from Ebola herself.

They then set about trying to contain it in an overcrowded city of 21 million where it could easily have turned a doomsday scenario if about 300 people who had been in direct or indirect contact with him not been traced and isolated.

"This is a spectacular success story," Rui Gama Vaz from the World Health Organization (WHO) told a news conference in the capital Abuja, where officials broke into applause when he announced that Nigeria had shaken off the disease.

"It shows that Ebola can be contained, but we must be clear that we have only won a battle, the war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola."

This year's outbreak of the highly infectious hemorrhagic fever thought to have originated in forest bats is the worst on record.
Magnify

Research shows bitter melon kills cancer and stops diabetes

bitter melon
© Healthy Hobbit
According to Dr. Frank Shallenberger, when it comes to fighting cancer, he's always looking for natural substances that interrupt the odd metabolism of cancer cells. Some of his discoveries include resveratrol, green tea, Seanol, and others. Most recently, he found a fruit that was effective in killing pancreatic cancer cells. The fruit is called "bitter melon" and is popular in Okinawa, Japan.

When bitter melon juice is diluted to 5% in water, it proved itself to be incredibly damaging to pancreatic cancer cell lines. According to researchers, bitter melon juice reduced the viability of two cancer cell lines by 90% and killed the remaining two lines at a rate of 98%.

So, great, these studies work in cancer cells in a dish. But do they work in animals? Will they work in people? Apparently yes. University of Colorado researchers administered bitter melon doses to mice and found a 64% reduction in pancreatic tumor size without any kind of side effect.
Bacon n Eggs

Breakfast rich in protein boosts dopamine and diminishes food cravings

egg_sausage_bacon
© www.samscornerdeli.com
New research shows that eating a good breakfast - particularly one rich in protein - boosts a critical neurotransmitter, which may lower food cravings later in the day.

The research comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that many teens skip breakfast and adolescent obesity has quadrupled in the last 30 years.

Dr. Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology who led the study, said:

"Our research showed that people experience a dramatic decline in cravings for sweet foods when they eat breakfast.

However, breakfasts that are high in protein also reduced cravings for savory - or high-fat - foods.

On the other hand, if breakfast is skipped, these cravings continue to rise throughout the day."

Comment: Many people skip breakfast or load up on high-carb foods. Skipping the first meal of the day causes you to eat more at lunch and primes your brain to seek out unhealthier, higher-calorie foods. Carbohydrates cause insulin levels to spike, then precipitously drop, which sets up a roller-coaster of food cravings. One of the best ways to improve health and metabolism is to switch to a ketogenic diet, which is rich in saturated fat, with moderate protein intake and minimal carbohydrates. This diet also helps to alleviate and prevent a host of diseases. See:

High-fat low-carb ketogenic diets beginning to earn mainstream respect

The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview

The art and science of nutritional ketosis Stephen Phinney

Hearts

How yoga heals the diseased heart

What if the simple act of doing yoga could heal your diseased heart?

A new study titled, "Effects of Yoga in Patients with Chronic Heart Failure: A Meta-Analysis," reveals that this ancient practice, ever-increasing in popularity in the West, has profound benefits to those who are suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Previous to this study, the idea that yoga could heal a diseased heart was considered strictly theoretical, which is what motivated a team of Portuguese researchers to put the concept to the test.

The team performed a meta-analysis of the published research on the topic of how yoga might improve exercise capacity and health-related quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure.

Comment: Why Yoga? Healing research:

Whistle

Dr. Huber's brave crusade against Biotech

Dr. Don Huber was hit by a car last night. He is a whistle blower in the food world and someone I have had the honor of knowing.

Dr. Huber is Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, a land grant institution, and has been studying plants for 55 years. He has received various awards for his scientific accomplishments and contributions to government.

He was Cereal Pathologist at the University of Idaho for 8 years before joining the Department of Botany & Plant Pathology at Purdue University in 1971.

His agricultural research the past 50 years has focused on the epidemiology and control of soil borne plant pathogens with emphasis on microbial ecology, cultural and biological controls, and physiology of host parasite relationships.

He's in his 80s, and he is also a father, a grandfather and has had a 41-year military career as a retired Colonel.

He is someone I have turned to in this work when I read,"Pesticides may be putting young children at risk of cancer." Other headlines have suggested that pesticides are linked to Parkinson's, autism and other conditions.

Comment: Read more about Dr. Huber's extensive research: Toxicology expert speaks out about Roundup and GMOs:

Magnify

Experts questioned the validity of Ebola testing way back in 1977

lab
© photopin cc
The experts were expressing grave doubts all the way back in 1977. Right at the beginning.

They were questioning the validity of standard tests used to diagnose Ebola - tests being the only way to say the virus is present in humans.

Of course, if the tests are unreliable, the whole premise of an epidemic caused by a single virus has no value. It's an unwarranted assumption.

At that point, you can look for illness and death stemming from a number of causes. And you're driven to the fact that, in Africa, large numbers of people have been dying for a very long time, for reasons that have nothing to do with germs:

Grinding poverty, war, starvation and severe malnutrition, contaminated water, pesticides, lack of basic sanitation, extreme overcrowding, stolen farm land, toxic medicines, and so on.

Not a viral epidemic.
Health

Cold sores increase risk of dementia


Infection with herpes simplex virus increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease, researchers claim.
Infection with herpes simplex virus increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers at Umeå University, Sweden, claim this in two studies in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia.

"Our results clearly show that there is a link between infections of herpes simplex virus and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. This also means that we have new opportunities to develop treatment forms to stop the disease," says Hugo Lövheim, associate professor at the Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine, Umeå University, who is one of the researchers behind the study.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common among the dementia diseases. In recent years research has increasingly indicated that there is a possible connection between infection with a common herpes virus, herpes simplex virus type 1, and Alzheimer's disease. A majority of the population carries this virus. After the first infection the body carries the virus throughout your lifetime, and it can reactivate now and then and cause typical mouth ulcer. The hypothesis which links the herpes virus and Alzheimer's disease is based on that a weakened immune system among the elderly creates opportunities for the virus to spread further to the brain. There this can in turn start the process which results in Alzheimer's disease.

Comment: Some helpful articles on Alzheimer's disease:

Food for thought: Eat your way to dementia - sugar and carbs cause Alzheimer's Disease

Ketogenic Diet Reduces Symptoms of Alzheimer's

The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview

Ketogenic Diet (high-fat, low-carb) Has Neuroprotective and Disease-modifying Effects

Health

Sport in old age can stimulate brain fitness, but effect decreases with advancing age

© DZNE
Neuroscientists studied older adults exercising on the treadmill.
Physical exercise in old age can improve brain perfusion as well as certain memory skills. This is the finding of Magdeburg neuroscientists who studied men and women aged between 60 and 77. In younger individuals regular training on a treadmill tended to improve cerebral blood flow and visual memory. However, trial participants who were older than 70 years of age tended to show no benefit of exercise. Thus, the study also indicates that the benefits of exercise may be limited by advancing age. Researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the University of Magdeburg and the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology have published these results in the current edition of the journal Molecular Psychiatry. Scientists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development were also involved in the study.

The 40 test volunteers were healthy for their age, sedentary when the study commenced and divided into two groups. About half of the study participants exercised regularly on a treadmill for 3 months. The other individuals merely performed muscle relaxation sessions. In 7 out of 9 members of the exercise group who were not more than 70 years old, the training improved physical fitness and also tended to increase perfusion in the hippocampus -- an area of the brain which is important for memory function. The increased perfusion was accompanied by improved visual memory: at the end of the study, these individuals found it easier to memorize abstract images than at the beginning of the training program. These effects were largely absent in older volunteers who participated in the workout as well as in the members of the control group.

The study included extensive tests of the volunteers' physical condition and memory. Furthermore, the study participants were examined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This technique enables detailed insights into the interior of the brain.
Health

New study charts the fate of chemicals affecting health, environment


The trajectory of chemicals appearing as emergent threats to human or environmental health has been recently studied through a meta-analysis of 143,000 peer-reviewed research papers. The work tracks the progress of these chemicals of emerging concern, revealing patters of emergence from obscurity to peak concern and eventual decline, over a span of 30 years.
Looking forward in science often requires looking back, evaluating trends to extrapolate future outcomes. A classic case is Moore's Law, which predicts that the density of components on an integrated circuit will double every 24 months. The estimate has helped guide many developments in the computer industry.

In a new study, Rolf Halden, PhD, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, examines the trajectory of chemicals appearing as emergent threats to human or environmental health.

Halden's meta-analysis of 143,000 peer-reviewed research papers tracks the progress of these chemicals of emerging concern or CECs, revealing patters of emergence from obscurity to peak concern and eventual decline, over a span of 30 years.

The study reveals that around 14 years typically elapse from the onset of initial safety concerns about a given chemical to the height of concern and appropriate action. This extended timeline implies protracted exposure to CECs for a large number of people.

The research results appear in the current issue of the Journal of Hazardous Materials.

"To better protect human health and the environment, it is desirable to decrease both the number of CECs entering commerce and the time required to take action," says the study's author.

Halden is the director of Biodesign's Center for Environmental Security, whose primary focus is "to protect human health and critical ecosystems by detecting, minimizing and ultimately eliminating harmful chemical and biological agents through early detection and engineering interventions."

In past research, his group has evaluated a broad range of common chemicals and assessed their human and environmental impact, including antimicrobial chemicals in personal care products, plastics (and chemicals involved in their fabrication), tobacco, brominated flame retardants and fluorinated synthetic chemicals on prenatal and postnatal health.
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