#Diabetes, #BloodSugar, #VitaminD; #North American Menopause Society; #DrJoAnnPinkerton; #Diabetesstudies; #type2diabetes
New York, Jan 30 (Canadian-Media): Apart from the well-known benefits of vitamin D in promoting bone health, a new study from Brazil -- a vast South American country -- suggests that vitamin D also promotes greater insulin sensitivity and lowers glucose levels as well as the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, media reports said.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the insulin sensitivity of the body decreases.
Type 2 Diabetes Studies/Facebook
680 Brazilian women aged 35 to 74 years participated in this crosssectional study, with a goal to evaluate the possible association between vitamin D deficiency and increased glycemia.
Of the women interviewed, 3.5 percent of them (24) reported using vitamin D supplements, which was found to be negatively associated with high glucose levels.
Study results appeared in the article “Higher serum levels of vitamin D are associated with lower blood glucose levels” published online today today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
A clear relationship between vitamin D and glycemic control, has been shown in other recent studies, suggesting that vitamin D increases insulin sensitivity and improves pancreatic beta-cell function.
“Although a causal relationship has not been proven, low levels of vitamin D may play a significant role in type 2 diabetes mellitus,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of NAMS. “Vitamin D supplementation may help improve blood sugar control, but intervention studies are still needed.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Alzheimer, #SleepDeprivation, #PoorSleep
New York, Jan 28 (Canadian-Media): Poor sleep has long been linked with Alzheimer’s disease, but researchers have understood little about how sleep disruptions drive the disease, media reports said.
Now, studying mice and people, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of the key Alzheimer’s protein tau. And, in follow-up studies in the mice, the research team has shown that sleeplessness accelerates the spread through the brain of toxic clumps of tau – a harbinger of brain damage and decisive step along the path to dementia.
These findings, published online Jan. 24 in the journal Science, indicate that lack of sleep alone helps drive the disease, and suggests that good sleep habits may help preserve brain health.
“The interesting thing about this study is that it suggests that real-life factors such as sleep might affect how fast the disease spreads through the brain,” said senior author David Holtzman, MD, the Andrew B. and Gretchen P. Jones Professor and head of the Department of Neurology. “We’ve known that sleep problems and Alzheimer’s are associated in part via a different Alzheimer’s protein – amyloid beta – but this study shows that sleep disruption causes the damaging protein tau to increase rapidly and to spread over time.”
Tau is normally found in the brain – even in healthy people – but under certain conditions it can clump together into tangles that injure nearby tissue and presage cognitive decline. Recent research at the School of Medicine has shown that tau is high in older people who sleep poorly. But it wasn’t clear whether lack of sleep was directly forcing tau levels upward, or if the two were associated in some other way. To find out, Holtzman and colleagues including first authors Jerrah Holth, PhD, a staff scientist, and Sarah Fritschi, PhD, a former postdoctoral scholar in Holtzman’s lab, measured tau levels in mice and people with normal and disrupted sleep.
Mice are nocturnal creatures. The researchers found that tau levels in the fluid surrounding brain cells were about twice as high at night, when the animals were more awake and active, than during the day, when the mice dozed more frequently. Disturbing the mice’s rest during the day caused daytime tau levels to double.
Much the same effect was seen in people. Brendan Lucey, MD, an assistant professor of neurology, obtained cerebrospinal fluid – which bathes the brain and spinal cord – from eight people after a normal night of sleep and again after they were kept awake all night. A sleepless night caused tau levels to rise by about 50 percent, the researchers discovered.
Staying up all night makes people stressed and cranky and likely to sleep in the next chance they get. While it’s hard to judge the moods of mice, they, too, rebounded from a sleepless day by sleeping more later. To rule out the possibility that stress or behavioral changes accounted for the changes in tau levels, Fritschi created genetically modified mice that could be kept awake for hours at a time by injecting them with a harmless compound. When the compound wears off, the mice return to their normal sleep-wake cycle – without any signs of stress or apparent desire for extra sleep.
Using these mice, the researchers found that staying awake for prolonged periods causes tau levels to rise. Altogether, the findings suggest that tau is routinely released during waking hours by the normal business of thinking and doing, and then this release is decreased during sleep allowing tau to be cleared away. Sleep deprivation interrupts this cycle, allowing tau to build up and making it more likely that the protein will start accumulating into harmful tangles.
In people with Alzheimer’s disease, tau tangles tend to emerge in parts of the brain important for memory – the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex – and then spread to other brain regions. As tau tangles mushroom and more areas become affected, people increasingly struggle to think clearly.
To study whether the spread of tau tangles is affected by sleep, the researchers seeded the hippocampi of mice with tiny clumps of tau and then kept the animals awake for long periods each day. A separate group of mice also was injected with tau tangles but was allowed to sleep whenever they liked. After four weeks, tau tangles had spread further in the sleep-deprived mice than their rested counterparts. Notably, the new tangles appeared in the same areas of the brain affected in people with Alzheimer’s.
“Getting a good night’s sleep is something we should all try to do,” Holtzman said. “Our brains need time to recover from the stresses of the day. We don’t know yet whether getting adequate sleep as people age will protect against Alzheimer’s disease. But it can’t hurt, and this and other data suggest that it may even help delay and slow down the disease process if it has begun.”
The researchers also found that disrupted sleep increased release of synuclein protein, a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. People with Parkinson’s – like those with Alzheimer’s – often have sleep problems.
#GlobalHealth; FrenchStudy; disposablediapersharmful; carcinogen; Anes; Europe; #WorldHealthOrganization; #TheGuardian; #AgnèsBuzyn
Toronto, Jan 28 (Canadian-Media): A new French study, conducted by Anses and published last week reported diapers contain harmful substances including carcinogen, as classified by the World Health Organization, media reports said.
Anes, a French agency in charge of food, environmental, and occupation health and safety, reported disposable diapers being one-quarter plastic, are undesirable to be in contact of child's bare skin for extended periods.
After examining 23 diaper brands between 2016 and 2018, the agency concluded “a number of hazardous chemicals in disposable nappies that could migrate through urine, for example, and enter into prolonged contact with babies’ skin”, reported in The Guardian.
More than 60 chemicals including some banned in Europe for over 15 years and other substances, some found in cigarette smoke or diesel fumes were found in the diapers by the researchers.
15 days have been given to the diaper manufacturers by the French Ministry of Health to get rid of these chemicals.
Although these disposable diapers may not pose immediate health risk to babies wearing them, reported Agnès Buzyn, the Health Secretary, but not to ignore the concerns of risk for children’s health in the long term.
The report also said that extended use of diapers overheats baby boys’ testicles resulting in low sperm count and also poses problems with potty-training as kids can’t easily feel when they’re wet.
The report recommended the elimination or minimizing the use of named substances in disposable nappies and that parents should consider other alternatives.
The report concluded: “There is no epidemiological research allowing us to prove the health effects linked to the wearing of nappies. That said, dangerous chemical substances have been found in the nappies… At the current time and from what we know at the moment, it is not possible to exclude a health risk linked to the wearing of disposable nappies.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#VirtualReality; #OculusGodevice; #VRHealth; #Oculus
San Jose (Cal), Sep 28 (Canadian-Media): An announcement was made yesterday by the the two Virtual reality (VR) companies RHealth and Oculus at the Oculus Connect event in San Jose, California, that they have partnered on a range of healthcare-focused virtual reality applications, which would be delivered via Oculus' hardware, media reports said.
These two VR companies are planning to offer pain management designed for mothers experiencing pain in labor and for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
“Virtual reality has the power to ease the pain of chemotherapy treatment, create a seamless environment for physical therapy exercises, and train children with ADHD to focus their attention,” VRHealth CEO Eran Orr said in a statement. “It used to be that when people thought of virtual reality entertainment and games were the first application that came to mind, but we see that applying the effects of VR to the healthcare industry has the potential to improve many lives and aid doctors in providing personalized and comfortable experiences for their patients.”
Besides, these companies would also offer general anxiety management before and after surgeries.
These two offerings would be built for the full-size Oculus Rift headset, as well as the company’s scaled down and portable Oculus Go device.
Oculus, is one of the leaders in consumer-grade VR devices with established hardware maker and software publisher provides a useful substantial platform for VRHealth in its healthcare-targeted offerings.
VR-based distraction therapies offering published evidence of efficacy across certain patient groups and yesterday’s deal could play a role in their wider adoption.
VRHealth has deployed its products to a number of hospitals and sports medicine centers, and previously partnered with AARP on an application that allows seniors to receive therapist-guided physical therapy without needing to leave their home.
Beyond VRHealth, a number of tech companies, hospitals, and healthcare systems have joined efforts to investigate the efficacy of VR-based pain management. Other researchers are also looking to the ways clinical VR can move beyond distraction therapy.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Washingtonstate, #cannabis, #RickGarza; #LarryWolk
Ottawa, May 29 (Canadian-Media): Washington state in 2014 became the world's first system for legally growing, processing and retailing cannabis, media reports said.
As Canada prepares to go live with pot sales in a few months, there is a looming fear in the minds of the parents of the harmful impact of cannabis can have on children.
But according to official reports it was revealed that even after the legalization of cannabis in Washington state in 2014, the percentage of the youth using cannabis remained the same as it was before cannabis was legalized.
Before legalization, 17 percent of Grade 10 students in Washington State said they had smoked pot in the previous month. Four years after legalisation also only 17 percent of Grade 10 students reported that they have smoked pot in the previous month.
“We thought we would see a significant increase in teen use,” said Rick Garza, director of the Washington State Liquor Control and Cannabis Board. “But what the kids will tell you is that they didn’t need adults to legalize it to get their hands on cannabis.”
This four years of practical, hands-on experience in the western United States reportedly throws light that parents should not worry about the impact of cannabis on children and teens.
Many teens experiment with marijuana, as they do with alcohol, but only a minority use them semi-regularly.
The of legal age for purchase (21 in Washington State, 18-19 in Canada) doesn’t make much difference.
“It was really easy to get a medical card,” Mr. Garza noted. “We estimate that only about 20 per cent of medical users were using for medical reasons.”
Larry Wolk, Colorado’s Chief Medical Officer, made a similar observation. “About 97 per cent of medical cannabis users are 20-year-old snowboarders with chronic debilitating pain,” he said with a laugh.
Dr Larry Wolk/Facebook
At the same time, Wolk pointed the many legitimate uses for medical cannabis, but more research is needed to determine effective strains and doses.
Wolk said that the most reassuring news for lawmakers in Canada is that legalization of cannabis has had virtually no impact on public health in Colorado or other states.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#TheLancetGlobalHealth; #WorldHealthOrganization; #GlobalActionPlanonPhysicalActivity
Geneva, WHO, 5 Sep (Canadian-Media): More than one in four adults globally (28 percent or 1.4 billion people), sometimes as high as one in three adults, are inactive in some counties, according to new data published today in The Lancet Global Health, media reports said.
The report also pointed out that women were less active than men, with an over 8 percent difference at the global level (32 percent men vs 23 percent women).
Inactivity rises with high income countries (37 percenrt) compared with middle income (26 percemt) and low income countries (16 percent).
Four World Health Organization (WHO) experts who are the authors of this reports, updated 2008 estimates on levels of activity.
It was found, for the first time, that overall global level of inactivity in adults remains largely unchanged since 2001.
These data support physical activity and increase the opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, to be active every day.
Courtesy of WHO
The target to reduce physical inactivity by 10 percent by 2025 and 15 percent by 2030 was set by the new Global Action Plan on Physical Activity.
Regular physical inactivity increases risk of poor health, including cardiovascular disease, several types of cancer and diabetes, falls, as well as mental health conditions.
Publication of levels of participation in children and young people are forthcoming.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#EpiPen; #DrStacyDorris; #Patientadvocacygroup#; #DavidMaris; #FoodAllergyResearch&Education; #WellsFargo; #DavidMaris
Ottawa, Aug 17 (Canadian-Media): Manufacturing disruptions of EpiPen, a lifesaving allergy medicine, since May, there is a great shortage of it in and allergy sufferers and caregivers find it especially at the present time now, as parents try to stock up to send their kids back to school, media reports said.
EpiPen prescriptions rise in August, when parents buy multiple packs for their kids.
"In my busy pediatric clinic, we've noticed there are a number of patients calling in wondering where they can procure their EpiPens, since most pharmacies are having trouble keeping them in stock," said Dr. Stacy Dorris, of the department of pediatric allergy and immunology at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
It's a problem across the country and the pharmacies said they were unsure of its availability.
Food Allergy Research Education/Facebook
The survey conducted by Patient advocacy group Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) from 600 people in 43 states about EpiPen availability, revealed more than 80 percent of pharmacies said they either couldn't fill or could only partially fill their prescriptions.
"We've heard there are widespread shortages of EpiPen," said Wells Fargo analyst David Maris, who estimates the product drew $1 billion in revenue in 2016 for drugmaker Mylan.
"It's clearly a headwind," Maris said. "And no one's talking about how soon it will be cleared up."
While EpiPen is marketed by Mylan, it's manufactured by a subsidiary of Pfizer.
There is an identical authorized generic version of EpiPen, also sold by Mylan sold at half the price, but it too was facing manufacturing issues.
Spokesman Mark Donohue of New Jerseay based Amneal Pharmaceuticals,which makes the Adrenaclick, a similar epinephrine auto-injector, made by Pfizer, said epinephrine auto-injectors are available
"While we experienced intermittent supply of products from our third-party manufacturer throughout the second quarter and during the month of July, we are receiving shipments," Donohue said.
Mylan supplies EpiPens to schools through its EpiPen4Schools program. But even that system may face delays in supply, Mylan spokeswoman Lauren Kashtan said.
Official reports also said that recently expired EpiPens can be used in an emergency situation.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#Ebolaoutbreak; #Kinshasa; #DrMatshidisoMoeti; #DrTedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus; #DrOlyIlunga; #Geneva;
#World Health Organization
Geneva, Jul 27 (Canadian-Media): 24th of July, 2018 marked the end of the ninth outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulates the country and all those involved in ending the outbreak, while urging them to extend this success to combatting other diseases in DRC, media reports said.
Ebola outbreak in DRC ends
WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, joined Minister of Health, Dr Oly Ilunga for the announcement in Kinshasa.
“The outbreak was contained due to the tireless efforts of local teams, the support of partners, the generosity of donors, and the effective leadership of the Ministry of Health. That kind of leadership, allied with strong collaboration between partners, saves lives,” said Dr Tedros.
Unlike previous Ebola outbreaks in the country, this one involved four separate locations, including an urban centre with river connections to the capital and to neighbouring countries, as well as remote rainforest villages. There were initial concerns that the disease could spread to other parts of DRC, and to neighbouring countries.
Within hours of the outbreak being declared on 8 May, WHO released US$2 million from its Contingency Fund for Emergencies, deployed a team to augment capacity in the field, and activated an emergency incident management system.
“WHO moved quickly and efficiently,” said Dr Moeti, “We also demonstrated the tremendous capacity of the African region. More than three-quarters of the 360 people deployed to respond came from within the region. Dozens of experts from Guinea spent weeks leading Ebola vaccination efforts here, transferring expertise which will enable the DRC to mount an effective response both within its borders and beyond.”
Dr Tedros urged the DRC Government and the international community to build on the positive momentum generated by the quick containment of the Ebola outbreak.
“This effective response to Ebola should make the Government and partners confident that other major outbreaks affecting the country such as cholera and polio can also be tackled,” said Dr Tedros. “We must continue to work together, investing in strengthened preparedness and access to healthcare for the most vulnerable.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#WorldHealthOrganization; #MSDforMothers; #FerringPharmaceuticals, #DrTedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus;
Ottawa, Jun 29 (Canadian-Media): According to a study led by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with MSD for Mothers and Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a new formulation of a drug can prevent excessive bleeding following childbirth and could save thousands of women’s lives in low- and lower-middle-income countries, media reports said.
Oxytocin as the first-choice drug has been recommended by WHO recently for preventing excessive bleeding after childbirth.
But Oxytocin must be stored and transported at 2–8 degrees Celsius, which is hard to do, in many countries, depriving many women of access to this lifesaving drug.
The drug, when available to these countries, loses its efficacy due to heat exposure.
The study, published June 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine, has shown an alternative drug to be as safe and effective as oxytocin in preventing postpartum haemorrhage.
This new formulation of carbetocin is heat-stable and does not require refrigeration and retains its efficacy for at least 3 years stored even at high temperatures of 30 degrees celsius and 75 percent relative humidity.
“This is a truly encouraging new development that can revolutionize our ability to keep mothers and babies alive,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus/Wikipedia
Approximately 70 000 women die every year because of post-partum haemorrhage – increasing the risk that their babies also die within one month.
The clinical trial, the largest of its kind, studied close to 30 000 women who gave birth vaginally in 10 countries: Argentina, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda and the United Kingdom.
Each woman was randomly given a single injection of either heat-stable carbetocin or oxytocin immediately following the birth of her baby. The study found that both drugs were equally effective at preventing excessive bleeding after birth.
Since both drugs in the study were kept in at the temperatures required to ensure maximum efficacy of oxytocin, the trial may underestimate the benefit expected with heat-stable carbetocin use in real-life settings where oxytocin may have degraded due to exposure to higher temperatures.
“The development of a drug to prevent postpartum haemorrhage that continues to remain effective in hot and humid conditions is very good news for the millions of women who give birth in parts of the world without access to reliable refrigeration,” says Dr Metin Gülmezoglu, from the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO.
The next step is regulatory review and approval by countries.
WHO will ask its Guideline Development Group to consider whether heat-stable carbetocin should be a recommended drug for the prevention of postpartum haemorrhage.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#InternationalClassificationofDiseases; #WorldHealthOrganisation; #mappinghumancondition; #traditionalmedicine, #sexualhealth; #gamingdisorder
Ottawa, Jun 22 (Canadian-Media): A new version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) has been released this week by World Health Organisation (WHO), media reports said.
The ICD maps the human condition from birth to death and codes any injury or disease we encounter in life including anything we might die of.
The ICD is made up of thousands of codes that are used around the world to classify diseases and conditions, and generate statistics.
These statistics are used to monitor health trends, plan how services are delivered and make financing decisions about health systems.
The importance of ICD for global health can be clearly demonstrated from the following video:
It had taken over a decade for this electronic version of the ICD to be completed and this version of the ICD reflects progress in medicine and advances in scientific understanding.
New chapters on traditional medicine and sexual health has been added to this electronic version of the ICD and “gaming disorder” has been added to the section on addictive disorders.
The ICD provides a common vocabulary for recording, reporting and monitoring health problems in a world of 7.4 billion people speaking nearly 7000 languages.
Fifty years ago, it would be reportedly unlikely that a disease such as schizophrenia would be diagnosed similarly in Japan, Kenya and Brazil.
Now, however, if a doctor in another country cannot read a person’s medical records, they will know what the ICD code means.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)