By jeremyc | January 20, 2017
Acute lymphocytic leukemia affects children more than any other leukemia. It is estimated that this form of leukemia accounts for no less than 3-4 percent of all leukemia cases in the U.S. A recent research shows that a compound derived from baker’s yeast can prove helpful in treating this disease.
Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL for short) is also known as acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This cancer starts from lymphoblasts, which are early versions of lymphocyte, a form of white blood cell.
In people who have ALL, the count of lymphoblasts (immature lymphocytes) is extremely high. Too many lymphoblasts in the bone marrow, in turn, mean less-than-normal mature lymphocytes, platelets, and red blood cells. Because of this, people with ALL are more susceptible to infections and anaemia.
Children who are under 5 years are more likely to develop ALL than others; however, more adults die from ALL than children. It is expected that nearly 5,900 new cases of this disease will be diagnosed in 2017 and nearly 1,400 people will die from it.
Chemotherapy is often the first line of treatment for ALL. Radiation therapy, targeted drugs, stem cell transplantation, and surgery are other treatment options.
By jeremyc | January 19, 2017
The FDA has given approval to Trulance for treating Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC) in patients who are above 18 years.
With Trulance getting FDA’s approval, the patients will have one more treatment option which they can try. Having more treatment options is good news, because when it comes to gastrointestinal disorders, no single medication proves effective in all cases.
It is estimated that constipation affects almost 42 million individuals in America. When constipation is persistent but without any biochemical or structural explanation, the condition is diagnosed as Chronic Idiopathic Constipation.
Trulance is indicated for oral use. It is to be taken once a day. The drug provides relief from CIC by supporting normal bowel function and stimulating release of intestinal fluid. Trulance works in upper gastrointestinal tract.
The safety as well as effectiveness of this oral drug was proved in two clinical trials, each lasting for 12 weeks and controlled with placebo. The frequency of bowel movement improved in patients taking Trulance compared to those who were on a placebo.
Trulance should not be given to patients under 18 years. The drug’s safety and effectiveness for patients under 18 has not been established.
Diarrhoea can occur because of Trulance use. In some cases, diarrhoea can be serious. If that happens to you, stop Trulance and consult your doctor.
By jeremyc | January 18, 2017
Hundreds of thousands of individuals in the U.S. are affected by chronic kidney disease. Recent research suggests that a protein that circulates in the blood might be the main cause behind deterioration of kidney function.
The protein in question is klotho protein. Actually there are two types of klotho proteins and only one of them is believed to negatively affect kidney function. One type of klotho protein is membrane-bound and the other is soluble, that is, it circulates through blood. The latter causes kidney function to decline.
In chronic kidney disease, the patient’s kidneys are unable to properly filter blood. It is estimated that no fewer than 20 million Americans suffer from this disease.
In this research, the scientists aimed to find out the connection, if any, between kidney function and soluble klotho levels. The main reason for this study was lack of previous research on how soluble klotho levels affect the kidney function.
For this study, the researchers enrolled 2,496 participants. The average of the participants was 75 years and the follow-up period of the study was 10 years.
The researchers found that soluble klotho protein levels tend to be low in people with chronic kidney disease.
By jeremyc | January 17, 2017
Statins are prescribed to help lower blood cholesterol levels. Lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood, in turn, prevents heart attacks and strokes. However, latest research states that benefits of statins might extend beyond cardiovascular health. The study suggests that statins might also be effective at preventing venous thromboembolism (or VTE for short).
In VTE, blood clots form in the vein. This condition is life-threatening and it is one of the most common causes of disability and death worldwide. When it’s a deep vein where blood clot is formed, the condition is known as deep vein thrombosis. Whereas, pulmonary embolism refers to the condition in which clots break free and enters the lungs.
Statins are prescribed by doctors to reduce the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), which is also commonly called bad cholesterol. When the levels of LDL are high, there’s a greater risk to cardiovascular disease like heart attacks, heart disease and stroke.
For this study, the researchers conducted a meta-analysis of previous observational studies as well as randomised trials. The researchers found that use of statins lowered the risk of VTE by 15 to 25 percent.
By jeremyc | January 16, 2017
There’s much literature on negative health effects of living a sedentary life. Moreover, it’s not only the young people who are affected by a sedentary lifestyle. New research on the effect of lack of exercise on elderly women reveals that ageing speeds up because of sedentary lifestyle.
Our cells age just as we. As a matter of fact, cellular ageing, (that is, ageing of cells) is ageing itself. This is because each organ in our body is made of cells. The rate of cellular ageing, however, is different in different individuals. The rate at which the cells die depends on many factors, some of which are easily controllable like smoking, alcohol, exercise, and stress.
Our cells contain many things, one of which is telomeres, situated at the end of chromosomes. Just like the tip of a shoelace protect, a telomere offers protection to chromosomes. The length of telomere has been linked to ageing as well as disease. The length of telomere decrease gradually as we age, until the death of cells. Short telomere increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
For this study, the researchers monitored the association between telomere length, sedentary time, and exercise in elderly women. The researchers found that the rate of cellular ageing was significantly faster in women with low physical activity.
By jeremyc | January 15, 2017
Older adults having a sedentary lifestyle have the same risk of developing dementia as older adults with a genetic predisposition to this neurodegenerative disorder.
It is estimated than no fewer than 47 million people in the world have dementia. In another thirteen years, the number is expected to increase to about 75 million.
The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which affects 60 to 80 percent of dementia patients. It is estimated that nearly 5 million people in the US alone are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists proclaim a particular gene, called APOE e4 gene, is a big risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Data suggests the risk of developing Alzheimer’s is three times more in people having one copy of this gene compared to people who don’t have this gene. In people whom two copies of APOE e4 gene are present, the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is 8 to 12 times greater.
The latest study, carried out by Canadian researchers, show that older adults who don’t exercise are just as likely to develop dementia as people who have APOE e4 gene.
By jeremyc | January 14, 2017
Multiple sclerosis (MS for short) is an auto-immune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the central nervous system. Scientists have not been able to yet find the exact cause of this chronic disease. However, it is believed that many factors, genetic as well as environmental, affect this condition.
A diet rich in fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics can prove beneficial for multiple sclerosis patients. Vitamin B is also believed to be important for MS patients. Vitamin B plays a vital role in many functions, like converting food into energy, maintaining liver and eye health, and supporting the nervous system.
Biotin is a vitamin B complex and foods rich in it include brewer’s yeast, egg yolk, liver, nuts, and Swiss chard.
A substance called myelin protects our nerve cells. When this protective coating is damaged, multiple sclerosis occurs. Biotin helps increase the production of myelin and consequently provides relief from MS.
Some studies have found taking biotin in high dosages, up to ten times the daily intake, can provide relief from symptoms of progressive multiple sclerosis. These studies also show that taking biotin in high dosage didn’t result in any severe adverse reactions.
In one study, the patients experienced less pain and higher energy levels upon taking biotin in high dosages. One more study noted that patients who took high dosages of biotin reported improvement in their vision.
Benefits of biotin for progressive multiple sclerosis patients were noted in other studies as well. However, all of these are initial studies. Moreover, improvement varied from person to person. Therefore, you should consult your doctor before taking high doses of biotin.
By jeremyc | January 13, 2017
In multiple sclerosis, the immune system perceives its own nervous system as a threat and starts attacking it.
Nerve fibres have a coating of myelin over them. This substance lends nerve fibers protection and facilitates the transfer of electrical signals. However, in case of multiple sclerosis patients, this protective coating is not robust at certain places. Wherever myelin is thin, signals from the brain reaches the target muscles late.
Many factors affect multiple sclerosis, with diet being one of them. A recent study has found that the risk of immune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, is greater when the gut flora is not as healthy as it should be. Therefore, people suffering from multiple sclerosis benefit from a diet that promotes healthy gut flora.
Probiotics and prebiotics are useful for multiple sclerosis patients because both promote healthy gut flora, which in turn strengthens the immune system. Foods that are rich in prebiotics include leeks, garlic, onions, artichoke, chicory, and asparagus. Consuming 5-7 g of prebiotic fiber daily is recommended.
For healthy gut flora eating sufficient amount of fiber is necessary. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds are rich in fiber.
Apart from these foods, obtaining sufficient amount of vitamin D is helpful for multiple sclerosis patients. Recent studies hint that taking biotin (a type of vitamin B found naturally in yeast, eggs, kidney, and liver) supplements in high dose might also be beneficial. However, you are recommended to consult your doctor first.
By jeremyc | January 12, 2017
Regular exercise improves health in many ways. Now latest research proves that even a 20-minute exercise session can help bring inflammation down. Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury. However, too much of it is bad and can cause disease. Long-term, persistent inflammation is linked to several health conditions, like diabetes, arthritis, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and fibromyalgia.
If the finding of this study is any indication, people with chronic inflammation or high risk to chronic inflammation should exercise regularly. What’s more, they don’t have to exercise a lot. Even a 20-minute exercise session daily will reduce inflammation. They will benefit in other ways as well. Studies show that regular physical activity reduces blood pressure, lowers the risk of cancer and diabetes type 2.
Researchers hypothesised that physical activity will activate the sympathetic nervous system, which plays a vital role in increasing the heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure, and in turn lower inflammation. To test if this really is the case or not, the researchers enrolled 47 subjects, all of whom were asked to walk on the treadmill for a span of 20 minutes.
The researchers found that one exercise session of 20 minutes decreased the number of immune cells that produce TNF by 5 percent. TNF helps the body in its inflammatory response, so less number of cells producing TNF means less inflammation.
By jeremyc | January 11, 2017
Many believe the risk of developing dementia increases with the diagnoses of hypertension or high blood pressure. However, latest research has put forward a contrarian result. It suggests high blood pressure in older patients might in fact lower the risk of dementia.
Dementia is an umbrella term used for describing various symptoms of cognitive decline. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Nearly 5 million people in the US alone have Alzheimer’s.
More than one study in the past has hinted a link between the diagnoses of high blood pressure in midlife and increased risk of developing dementia in old age. A new study claims this is not so. In fact the researchers say the opposite might be true.
For this study, a team of US researchers analysed how high blood pressure and dementia are correlated. The researchers analysed data of 559 patients over 90 years.
The researchers noted that the incidence of dementia was considerably less in adults who developed high blood pressure in their 80s than elderly subjects who didn’t have hypertension. Moreover, participants who developed high blood pressure in their 90s were least likely to develop dementia.