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Sat, 06 Feb 2016
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Health

Avoiding opioids: More doctors prescribe holistic treatment for chronic pain

© istock
More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain and medical practitioners are seeking holistic alternatives to opioids.

There is a lot of talk these days about chronic pain—the body's immune response gone rogue, triggering excessive inflammation and leading to a host of ailments like asthma, heart disease, and joint pain. More than 100 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic pain and up to 8 million of those are prescribed prescription opioids, which has arguably led to a prevalent addiction problem in this country. Research is beginning to show that painkillers are not the best way to treat all forms of chronic pain—though for some cases opioids may still be necessary.

Ambulance

New study reveals teenagers on antidepressants twice as likely to be aggressive or suicidal

Depressed teenagers and adolescents who take anti-depressants are twice as likely to be aggressive or suicidal, a study has revealed.

Findings in a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Thursday indicate a link between certain anti-depressants and suicidal thoughts in young people who use them frequently.

Youngsters who take selective serotonin and serotonin-norepinephrine drugs to fight depression have a doubled risk of becoming more aggressive, the study found.

The researchers from Denmark looked at clinical trial reports and raw data relating to more than 18,500 patients.

They found that previous reports on clinical trials by pharmaceutical companies frequently downplayed the most serious side-effects of anti-depressants.

Comment: The iron grip of the pharmaceutical cartel on the fields of medicine and psychiatry insures that funding for mental health care is biased toward the use of drugs rather than comprehensive therapies that might actually work, and consequently take a bite out of the pharma revenue stream. Thus, the industry deliberately hides or misrepresents any data from clinical trials that would show the ineffectiveness and serious risks posed by these drugs.


Life Preserver

DMSO: One of the most studied, yet poorly understood, therapeutic agents of our time

DMSO has many uses, but it is known mostly as a natural pain killer and transporter. DMSO is a highly non-toxic, 100% natural product that comes from the wood industry which is also one of the most studied but least understood therapeutic agents of our time.

First synthesized in 1866, DMSO is a sulfur-containing organic compound that is derived from MSM, and can be used internally or externally. DMSO can aid injuries such as sprained ankles, sore muscles and joints, and even fractures. The process starts when DMSO enters the bloodstream by osmosis through capillary walls. Then, DMSO is distributed throughout the circulatory system. Many studies have been done on DMSO--including a Japanese study that found DMSO to be effective for rheumatoid arthritis.

Comment: For more on the benefits of DMSO see:


Beaker

Another miracle cancer cure? Researchers create drug that "melts away" cancer cells

© Pascal Lauener / Reuters
Cancer patients are finally catching a break, as Australian researchers have tested a miracle drug that leads to big improvement in a majority of cases, and total recovery in some. The drug targets a specific protein that helps cancer cells survive.

The Melbourne-based trial took place over four years and tested 116 patients. It was shown by researchers at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre that the drug Venetoclax can greatly reduce cancer blood cells.

Positive results were seen in 79 percent of cases involving patients suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Some patients who had previously undergone treatment were left as good as new after agreeing to the new pill trials.

This is indeed historic news, as it marks the first trial of a medicine that is the result of three decades of research. "Here we are a bit under 30 years later in collaboration with WEHI and pharmaceutical companies here and in the US having proved that's achievable," head of haemotology, Professor John Seymour, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Comment: Instead of pouring money into Big Pharma, people who suffer from cancer might want to try altering the dietary lifestyle in order to starve cancer cells of what they need to survive - sugar:


Health

Chronic pain changes the way DNA is marked in our brains and immune system

Chronic pain may reprogram the way genes work in the immune system, according to a new study by McGill University researchers published in the journal Scientific Reports.

"We found that chronic pain changes the way DNA is marked not only in the brain but also in T cells, a type of white blood cell essential for immunity," says Moshe Szyf, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill. "Our findings highlight the devastating impact of chronic pain on other important parts of the body such as the immune system."

Chronic pain -- pain that lasts six months or more -- is one of the most common causes of disability worldwide. Despite enormous efforts to find new therapeutic strategies, however, effective treatments for chronic pain remain elusive.

Comment: Prescription painkillers are already devastating the lives of millions. Deaths from their use are higher than those from heroin and cocaine combined. What people need are safer and effective means to combat pain:


Bulb

Health benefits of Elderberry

The elderberry and flowers are used to make wines, cordials, marmalades, jelly, syrups and medicinals. This wonderful fruit grows in many regions of North America, Europe, Asia and North Africa. The most commonly used variety is the European elderberry (Sambucus nigra), as it offers the most health benefits and is also the only variety considered to be non-toxic, even when raw.

Studies have found that elderberry helps to ease flu symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat, fatigue, cough and body aches. The greatest benefit is achieved when elderberry is started within 24 to 48 hours of the symptoms. One study found that elderberry could cut the duration of flu symptoms by more than 50%.

Attention

Zika virus spreading across Europe as first person tests positive in Denmark

© Jim Young / Reuters
One person has tested positive in Denmark for the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has caused severe birth defects in Latin America, Danish media has reported. The new case comes after Italy, Spain, the UK and Switzerland registered several people infected with the disease.

A Danish tourist contracted the virus while traveling through South and Central America, where Zika is spreading now. The patient is now being treated at the University hospital in Aarhus, Denmark's second-largest city.

The Dane arrived at the Department of Infectious Diseases with flu-like symptoms including fever, headache and muscle pain, but later tests revealed that the patient had been infected with the Zika virus.

Comment: This virus is really spreading fast so be on alert:

CDC adds two more destinations on Zika virus travel warning list


Attention

Time for a heavy metal detox protocol: Mercury levels from rainfall are increasing in North America

An analysis of long-term trends in the amount of mercury in rainfall and other forms of precipitation in North America found recent increases at many sites, mostly in the center of the continent. At other sites, including those along the East Coast, mercury levels in rainfall have been trending steadily downward over the past 20 years.

The findings are consistent with increased emissions of mercury from coal-burning power plants in Asia and decreased emissions in North America, according to Peter Weiss-Penzias, an environmental toxicologist at UC Santa Cruz. Weiss-Penzias is first author of a paper on the findings published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

Mercury is a toxic element released into the environment through a variety of human activities, including the burning of coal, as well as by natural processes. Rainfall washes mercury out of the atmosphere and into soils and surface waters. Bacteria convert elemental mercury into a more toxic form, methyl mercury, which becomes increasingly concentrated in organisms higher up the food chain. Mercury concentrations in some predatory fish are high enough to raise health concerns.

Comment: Mercury pollution released into the environment becomes a serious threat when it settles into oceans and waterways, where it is converted to methyl mercury. This transition is particularly significant for humans, who absorb methyl mercury easily and are especially vulnerable to its effects. Instead of dissolving or breaking down, mercury accumulates at ever-increasing levels. In adults, mercury poisoning can adversely affect fertility and blood pressure regulation and can cause memory loss, tremors, vision loss and numbness of the fingers and toes. A growing body of evidence suggests that exposure to mercury may also lead to heart disease.


Syringe

Lies and half-truths: Doctor selectively uses statistics to validate pertussis vaccine agenda

Although 2015 seemed to have a non-stop barrage of pro-vaccine propaganda, January 2016 brings with it the annual winter fear-fest regarding the lack of vaccination and the "anti-vaccine movement." One such example is a small article in the KATV Little Rock, Arkansas ABC7 website.

The article is essentially an interview with Dr. Steve Thompson who told channel 7 that the "anti-vaccine movement" is a growing problem. Thompson states that the most difficult obstacle to vaccination is the parents' fear and "claims made on the Internet" that are untrue.

"I've seen cases of whooping cough, I've seen cases that were so serious that we had to put the children in the hospital and it was very frightening, those parents were scared to death," he says.

Thompson argues that between 1970 and 1985 the U.S. had an average of only 2,000 whooping cough cases while in 2014 he says there were nearly 33,000. It is noteworthy to point out that Thompson does not mention how many children he has seen die of whooping cough. Chances are, he hasn't seen any. Why? Because those numbers are very low.

Of course, whooping cough is very dangerous and can indeed be a life-threatening illness, but what Thompson also fails to mention, is that vaccines are incredibly dangerous themselves and that the evidence that the pertussis vaccine would actually protect any of the children he encountered is scant at best.

Comment:


Health

Research suggests Alzheimer's could be transmitted to people through medical treatments like surgical grafts


Deposits of amyloid-β protein (brown) in the frontal cortex of patients who developed CJD after surgery.
For the second time in four months, researchers have reported autopsy results that suggest Alzheimer's disease might occasionally be transmitted to people during certain medical treatments — although scientists say that neither set of findings is conclusive.

The latest autopsies, described in the Swiss Medical Weekly1 on 26 January, were conducted on the brains of seven people who died of the rare, brain-wasting Creutzfeldt - Jakob disease (CJD). Decades before their deaths, the individuals had all received surgical grafts of dura mater — the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. These grafts had been prepared from human cadavers and were contaminated with the prion protein that causes CJD.

But in addition to the damage caused by the prions, five of the brains displayed some of the pathological signs that are associated with Alzheimer's disease, researchers from Switzerland and Austria report. Plaques formed from amyloid-β protein were discovered in the grey matter and blood vessels. The individuals, aged between 28 and 63, were unusually young to have developed such plaques. A set of 21 controls, who had not had surgical grafts of dura mater but died of sporadic CJD at similar ages, did not have this amyloid signature.