The White House requested new funding for swine flu from Congress late Tuesday and also sought an additional $3.1 billion from the unspent stimulus funds in case of a pandemic emergency, according to various news s.
A combination of measures taken to improve nutrition, indoor air pollution, immunization and child pneumonia case management could reduce total child mortality worldwide by 17 percent and global pneumonia deaths by more than 90 percent, according to a study published in the June issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, UPI reports.
U.S House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday expressed skepticism that Congress would approve President Obama"s recent request for an additional $2 billion to help fight the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, Reuters/Washington Post reports.
With the U.N. Human Rights Council"s June session coming up, governments have a "chance to prove that they value women"s lives by taking concrete action" to recognize "preventable maternal death as a violation of women"s rights," Mary Robinson and Alicia Yamin, advisory council members of the International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights, write in a Boston Globe opinion piece.
"If Sonia Sotomayor is a radical activist eager to push the law leftward or to rule according to personal whims rather than constitutional commands, she"s done an impressive job of hiding it all these years," Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus writes, adding that the "amazing thing about the case against Sotomayor is how thin it is." She writes, "If Sotomayor is the judicial radical of conservative imaginings, certainly there ought to be something more in her paper trail."Marcus continues that an "examination of Sotomayor"s decisions shows a careful judge who tends to rule for the government over criminal defendants; who has been skeptical of most civil rights claims that have come before her; and who, to the extent that she has ruled on cases that touch on abortion, has come down against the abortion-rights side." According to Marcus, Sotomayor is "not apt to be David Souter in reverse -- a Democratic pick who turns out to be a close conservative." However, there also is "no evidence that she will be outside the liberal mainstream on the current court," Marcus writes. Marcus notes that Sotomayor "has ruled in favor of abortion protesters who claimed police used excessive force in removing them from outside a clinic," and she "refused to overturn the federal policy barring international family planning funds to organizations that perform or promote abortion," known as the "global gag rule." Marcus concludes, "Perhaps Sotomayor the radical has been biding her time, awaiting the day when the freedom of a Supreme Court seat would liberate her from precedent and moderation," but "the record suggests" that outcome is "unlikely" (Marcus, Washington Post, 6/3).
The first-ever national estimate among a nationally representative sample of U.S. children revealed that 3 out of every 1,000 children between the age of 6 and 17 in the United States have been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome (TS), according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
A unique research project into the highly sensitive problem of domestic violence towards older women is being carried out by researchers from The University of Nottingham"s Division of Nursing. 12 participants have already taken part since the project started last year for this valuable study aimed at helping those who have experienced abuse and health professionals deal with the problem.
More than 80 community pharmacists from the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and several patients met with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today to discuss the negative impact of the March 2007 CVS/Caremark merger and to urge the FTC to re-examine it.
Some simple changes in the design and location of staircases could help to make buildings more "physical activity friendly" and contribute to the fight against obesity, according to an article in the June Southern Medical Journal, official journal of the Southern Medical Association. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals, and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry.
Latent HIV genes can be "smoked out" of human cells. The so-called "shock and kill" technique, described in a preclinical study in BioMed Central"s open access journal Retrovirology, might represent a new milestone along the way to the discovery of a cure for HIV/AIDS.
Many children who are retained in kindergarten, first or third grade for academic reasons do not subsequently receive a document outlining the individualized special education services they should receive, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Approximately 30 percent U.S. children live more than one hour away from a pediatric trauma center by ground or by air transportation, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIVO) announced that it has received FDA clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new rapid test for Campylobacter, ImmunoCard STAT!® CAMPY. This new test provides fast and accurate detection of Campylobacter bacteria, one of the most common causes of diarrheal illness and the most common bacterial cause of foodborne illness in the United States. Approximately 20 million stool culture tests are conducted each year in the U.S. to detect the illness, known as Campylobacteriosis. Campylobacter is most often transmitted by poorly cooked poultry or person-to-person contact.
The body that represents anaesthetists in the UK and the Republic of Ireland has issued new
IMEC, Europe"s leading independent
He doesn"t care for the term "caveman therapy." But Stephen Ilardi, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas, has turned to our hunter-gatherer ancestors for clues about how to best combat major depressive disorder.
Like human infants, young apes are known to hoot and holler when you tickle them. But is it fair to say that those playful calls are really laughter? The answer to that question is yes, say researchers reporting online on June 4th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.
Cervical Cancer Awareness Week 8-14 June 2009 is a key time to remind women that it is of huge importance that they attend their screening appointment when asked. The Improvement Foundation (IF) aim to help tackle the decline in screening uptake by addressing levels of complacency among clinicians and the public through their national Cervical Screening Improvement Programme.
Bipolar disorder is misdiagnosed as depression in over a quarter of cases, a new study suggests. The research is presented today at the Royal College of Psychiatrists" 2009 Annual Meeting in Liverpool.
US researchers found that a drug made from the root of the hydrangea plant, which has for centuries been used in Chinese medicine, showed
InfoMedics, Inc., the patient feedback company, recently co-authored two posters detailing patients" experiences with the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (LDX).
The Alabama Department of Public Health has confirmed its first novel H1N1 influenza case in
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have sequenced the genome
Clinical trial results presented today at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting show that overall rates of cardiovascular hospitalization and cardiovascular death are similar in patients taking Avandia (rosiglitazone) compared to those receiving metformin and sulfonylurea.
Can a patient be awake and communicating with the anesthesiologist and surgeon during general anesthesia? With a new "cooperative patient" anesthesia technique, the answer is yes, according to a study in the June issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).
Ultrasound examination of the carotid artery is a patient-friendly and inexpensive method for assessing atherosclerosis and thereby predicting the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Peter Holdfeldt, who recently defended his doctoral thesis at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, has developed new analytical methods for ultrasound images that can provide more reliable and more exact assessments of atherosclerosis.
New research offers prospect of watching the brain as it learns. Scientists at the University of Leicester are developing new ways of studying how brain cells work -thanks to jellyfish!
Both blood pressure and serum lipid levels have improved in Swedish middle-aged women during the past 30 years. Levels of perceived mental stress, however, have increased significantly. These are the of a thesis presented at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
The Senate Judiciary Committee"s vetting of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama"s nominee for the Supreme Court, officially began Thursday when the White House delivered her written responses to a comprehensive questionnaire designed by the committee"s leadership, Roll Call reports. The questionnaire -- developed by Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) -- will be used as part of preparations for Sotomayor"s as-yet-unscheduled round of confirmation hearings (Stanton, Roll Call, 6/4).Sotomayor disclosed a large amount of information in the questionnaire, such as her net worth and a timeline for when she learned that she was under consideration by the White House as a potential replacement to retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter (Perine, CQ Today, 6/4). According to Roll Call, Sotomayor"s responses might offer members of both parties "fodder to support or oppose her nomination."Leahy, who has the authority to schedule the confirmation hearings, said in a statement that Sotomayor "has advanced the confirmation process by promptly complying with this Senate requirement, and now the Senate should promptly schedule hearings to fairly consider her nomination to our highest court," adding, "The unfair attacks that have been leveled at her from outside the Senate are all the more reason to give her the chance to respond." Earlier this week, he said that he would announce a start date for the hearings after Sotomayor"s responses were received (Roll Call, 6/4). Meanwhile, Sotomayor on Thursday continued another round of private meetings with senators on Capitol Hill, including a few GOP senators who earlier had expressed concerns about her past comments and actions, CQ Today reports (CQ Today, 6/4).Questions Over Sotomayor"s Position on Abortion-Rights Issue RemainIn related news, USA Today on Friday examined how Sotomayor in the past 17 years as a federal judge "has left no clear footprints revealing" her position on abortion-rights issues. This week, some Democratic senators in private meetings with Sotomayor attempted to seek answers, while advocates on both sides of the debate are urging senators to question her about her views on Roe v. Wade during the expected confirmation hearings. On Wednesday, following a meeting with Sotomayor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that she believes Sotomayor has respect for judicial precedent. Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said, "I don"t have concerns about this nominee in the sense that I think there is something on the record (against abortion rights)," adding, "We just think it"s important for Supreme Court nominees to say where they stand." Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, agreed, noting the lack of a definitive position on abortion rights in Sotomayor"s record. Feinstein also said that she will persist on abortion-rights issues. "I remember what it was like when abortion was illegal, and the lives of young, desperate women were in jeopardy," she said, adding that she is concerned "Americans no longer appreciate what it would mean if (abortion rights) were taken away" (Biskupic, USA Today, 6/5).
The following summarizes selected women"s health-related blog entries.~ "Dr. Tiller -- A Gynecological Superhero," Frances Irwin, Below the Waist: Kansas abortion provider George Tiller, who was shot to death on Sunday, was "a superhero" who "never failed to serve his patients regardless of the level of property damage, physical injury and intimidation he was subjected to as a result of his service," Irwin, who works for a Wisconsin-based family planning agency, writes. Irwin notes that, for nearly a year, the clinic she works at has been targeted by "pro-life" demonstrators. At various points they"ve carried signs reading, "Family planners promote child promiscuity," "Stop ALL Abortion," "Birth Control Leads to Abortion," and that new signs mention her by name. In the wake of Tiller"s death, Irwin writes that she "realize[s] that I could be intentionally injured by someone who opposes my work." She concludes, "To some extent allowing myself to worry about this feels like cowardice because Dr. Tiller was a superhero. And that"s a lot to aspire to" (Irwin, Below the Waist, 6/4).~ "Let"s Make an Abortion Deal," William Saletan, Slate"s "Human Nature": Some participants in the White House meetings to discuss abortion in the U.S. "aren"t trying hard enough" to find "common ground" and are "refusing the simplest concessions," Saletan writes. Saletan offers four recommendations to advocates on both side of the debate, including removing the distinction between reducing the number of abortions versus reducing the need for abortions. He writes, "No ordinary person sees a difference" between the two,"[s]o let"s focus on reduction through voluntary means and stop quibbling over how it"s described." His other recommendations include antiabortion-rights advocates conceding to increased access to contraception and both sides giving up "extremism." Saletan"s final recommendation is that abortion-rights opponents allow federal funding for reproductive health groups that offer abortion information or services. He writes that a ban on direct funding for abortions is "fine, " but the "indirect funding Obama restored is hardly radical," adding, "You might even discover that the most efficient way to prevent abortions in the long term is to fund the family planning organizations you keep trying to defund" (Saletan, "Human Nature," Slate, 6/4).~ "The ABCs of Antiabortion Activism," Tracy Clark-Flory, Salon"s "Broadsheet": Tiller"s murder "has opened up a Pandora"s box for pro-lifers, giving rise to all sorts of troublesome questions about the culpability of lenient law enforcement and the movement itself," Clark-Flory writes. She continues, "They certainly won"t find salvation from Pandagon"s Amanda Marcotte, who got her mitts on a disturbing antiabortion activist handbook" now online from Justice for All "that lays bare some of the lies, deception and cynical manipulation that might have led to Tiller"s assassination." According to Clark-Flory, "The single justifiable situation for an abortion is ectopic pregnancy, the manual explains," adding, "Deception of that sort is found throughout the handbook." She writes, "Activists are instructed that when confronting targets they are to pretend that they"re A-OK with contraception" so that "their mark will let his or her guard down and think that, you know, there"s actually a rational, fact-based discussion to be had." Clark-Flory continues, "The truth, of course, is that the manual goes on to arm activists with medical misinformation that they can spread about birth control." She concludes that Marcotte "puts this tactical deceit in perfect context: "It shows one face to the initiated and another to the public, especially on the topic of contraception. Once you realize this, the movement"s half-hearted denunciations of Dr. Tiller"s murder, coupled with the enthusiastic return to calling Dr. Tiller a monster, become all the more chilling"" (Clark-Flory, "Broadsheet," Salon, 6/4).~ "Late-Term Abortions: Facts
Health care supplier Johnson & Johnson will focus on new treatments and improved tests for cancer and other diseases for which company perceives unmet needs, like diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV, as well as using new, Washington-supported research techniques to gauge their effectiveness, researchers and executives said at a briefing with analysts, BusinessWeek reports.
To reduce an estimated half million deaths and two million hospitalizations from diarrhea caused by rotavirus each year, the WHO on Friday recommended that oral rotavirus vaccines be added to national childhood immunization programs, broadening access to the vaccine in the developing world,
Neighborhoods with restaurants, entertainment, cultural facilities and ethnic diversity have lower asthma rates in the city of Chicago than neighborhoods where residents are less likely to move, and where there are more churches and not-for-profit facilities.
In a new study, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists disprove a century-old theory about why cancer cells often have too many or too few chromosomes, and show that the actual reason may hold the key to a novel approach to cancer therapy.
UroToday.com - The prevailing view is that MRI has a limited role in the management of prostate cancer. Currently, the threshold for requesting a pre-treatment staging MRI is variable with most advocating this for only those classified as high risk localized prostate cancer, although some also advocate men with intermediate risk disease.
Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SOMX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the in-licensing, development and commercialization of proprietary branded pharmaceutical products and late-stage product candidates for the treatment of diseases and disorders in the central nervous system therapeutic area, today announced that it has resubmitted its New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Silenor® (doxepin) for the treatment of insomnia.
Avexa Limited (ASX:AVX) announced that the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) met today to review the 16 week data from Avexa"s apricitabine (ATC) Phase III clinical trial. The DSMB reviewed the data and recommended continuation of the study with the 800mg dose. Patients taking the 1200mg dose will be transitioned to the optimum 800mg dose to continue their therapy.
Health professionals need to look no further than their iPhone to support them at the point of care. Wave Medical, who provides clinical decision support applications to general practitioners, nurses, emergency doctors and medical students has recently expanded its mobile platform offering to include the iPhone™ and iPod® Touch. Now all healthcare professionals can easily access any of Wave Medical"s specialty-focused clinical decision support applications through iPhone"s innovative platform.
HCL, the UK"s largest specialist health and social care recruiter, said that the rising proportion of women doctors will lead to a greater emphasis on flexible working and the use of locums in the medical workforce.
The long-awaited results of the Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Investigation in Type 2 Diabetes (BARI 2D) study, a multicenter trial led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, were reported at a symposium here today at the American Diabetes Association"s 69th Scientific Sessions.
When pouches begin to protrude outwards from the colon wall the person has diverticular disease or diverticulosis. When one of these pouches becomes infected and inflamed, that infection is called diverticulitis. People may have lots of protruding pouches and feel fine. However, when one of them becomes infected it can be very painful.
Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) today released the results of a new study comparing Nplate(R) (romiplostim) to the medical standard of care (SOC) in non-splenectomised adult patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Chronic ITP is a serious autoimmune disorder characterised by low platelet counts in the blood (thrombocytopenia), which can lead to serious bleeding events. The study results show Nplate significantly reduced the incidences of splenectomy and treatment failures in non-splenectomised adult patients with chronic ITP when compared to medical SOC. The results were presented today as an oral presentation at the 14th congress of the European Hematology Association (EHA abstract #1672).
Patient-provider communication influences quality of care, but black and Asian patients were more likely than white patients to report communication difficulties with their doctors in 2005, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
More than one million Americans are living in nursing homes, but many would prefer to receive the services they need in their own homes, where they would be more comfortable and potentially save the health care system money in the long run. Unfortunately, many Americans who want to be cared for at home can"t because of a costly institutional bias in Medicaid, which pays for nearly two-thirds of the country"s nursing home residents. While state Medicaid programs are required to provide nursing home care, home and community-based services that are often less expensive are optional, leaving them first in line to be cut in a poor economy.
South African President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday said he wants to have 80 percent of HIV-positive South Africans who need antiretrovirals (ARVs) on them by 2011, BuaNews reports (BuaNews/allAfrica.com, 6/3). The announcement was part of Zuma"s first state-of-the-nation address, when he discussed ways the government would strive to "step up measures to improve health care in Africa"s strongest economy," Reuters writes. "We have set ourselves the goals of reducing inequalities in health care ... and step up the fight against the scourge of HIV and AIDS, TB and other diseases," Zuma said (Roelf, Reuters, 6/4).
More than 350 leading women donors from across the country will gather at the American Red Cross national headquarters in Washington, D.C., on June 8 for a two-day summit on philanthropy and service.
Obama"s Health Cost Illusion Wall Street Journal
Antiabortion-rights legislators in Kansas plan to push for harsher restrictions on abortion when the next legislative session begins in January 2010, despite increased tensions following the murder of abortion provider George Tiller, the AP/Indianapolis Star reports.According to state House Judiciary Committee Chair Lance Kinzer (R), the debate over abortion rights should continue in the state because some laws aimed at restricting abortion access are not being enforced properly. This year, Kinzer pushed legislation (S.B. 218) to strengthen the state"s restrictions on abortions performed later in pregnancy, but the bill was vetoed by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D). Gov. Mark Parkinson (D) has said his views are "very similar" to those of Sebelius on abortion rights. On Monday, he called on advocates on both sides of the issue to tone down their rhetoric. Parkinson also has said that Kansas should aim to reduce unplanned pregnancies.State Rep. Tom Sawyer (D), who supports abortion rights, said he would like to see legislators take one year off of debating the issue, adding that he thinks this is unlikely. He said, "It"d be nice to have one session where we didn"t have to debate it," adding, "People who are adamant, who keep bringing up these issues, are going to keep bringing them up. I don"t think [Tiller"s murder] is going to slow them down."However, state House Speaker Mike O"Neal (R) said tensions over abortion rights "will calm down a great deal" in the coming months. He added, "All those issues are still there. As long as the parties on both sides behave themselves and not let the rhetoric get out [of] hand, I think we can stay focused on the issues." State Sen. Tim Huelskamp (R) said that abortion-rights opponents likely will focus in the short term on the Board of Healing Arts, which licenses and regulates physicians, and the courts. A criminal case against a Planned Parenthood clinic in Johnson County, Kan., is pending (Hanna, AP/Indianapolis Star, 6/5).
According to a research abstract presented on June 8, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, race significantly influences the risk of obesity conferred by short sleep duration, with blacks having a greater risk than whites.
Today in Parliament, an all-party resolution was unanimously passed renewing Canada"s commitment to reducing maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality both at home and abroad. Support was expressed for Canadian leadership within government and civil society to work within the G-8 and as partners with UN agencies and appropriate global initiatives to achieve this goal.
Computer/console gamers who play for more than seven hours a week and who identify their gaming as an addiction sleep less during the weekdays and experience greater sleepiness than casual or non-gamers, according to a research abstract presented on June 8 at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies
Martin Simon Hickman, a 49-year-old unlicensed and counterfeit medicines dealer, was sentenced to two years imprisonment at the Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to six counts of selling and supplying fake and unlicensed medicines, and money laundering to the sum of ÷£1.4m.
Six scientists from The University of Queensland have received Smart Future Fellowships to help further their research into areas such as disease detection and clean energy.
- Nearly two thirds (59%) of the British public are neglecting
New data presented at the EHA (European
Children and especially boys diagnosed with intermittent exotropia, a condition in which the eye turns outward (away from the nose) only some of the time, appear more likely to develop mental illness by young adulthood than children without strabismus (when the eyes deviate or are misaligned when looking at an object), according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
CSIRO Food Futures National Research Flagship and Australian company Stadvis Pty Ltd have signed a worldwide license agreement to commercialise an automated instrument that accurately predicts glycemic index (GI) and resistant starch (RS) in food products.
Researchers have been seeking a safe and effective way to treat cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia by enhancing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors. Functional deficits in NMDA receptors may contribute to the underlying neurobiology of this disorder. The first generation of studies trying to stimulate NMDA receptors administered large amounts of substances, like glycine or D-serine, which indirectly enhance NMDA receptor function. While there were some positive reports of efficacy, findings across studies were more inconsistent than was hoped.
The UK"s longest established meningitis charity - the Meningitis Trust - is encouraging carers across the UK to speak out and earn the recognition that they deserve, as part of Carer"s Week (June 8 - 14).
An over-the-counter prostate cancer test kit
Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: JAZZ) announced that data from the company"s first Phase III clinical trial of sodium oxybate (JZP-6) for the treatment of fibromyalgia will be presented this week during the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) 2009 Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington and also during the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Roche announced it will start Phase III clinical investigations for aleglitazar, its innovative PPAR co-agonist R1439 which is uniquely designed to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in high risk patients with type 2 diabetes. This decision is supported by data from the Phase II SYNCHRONY study published today in The Lancet(1) and announced at the American Diabetes Association meeting in New Orleans. The Phase III program is anticipated to start in the second half of 2009.
Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISIS) announced that Isis" antisense drugs were highlighted with eight presentations (including three oral talks and two late-breaking posters) during the American Diabetes Association"s (ADA) 69th Scientific Sessions in New Orleans by Isis and its collaborators. Isis" scientists presented new preclinical data on ISIS-SGLT2Rx showing a robust and sustained reduction in sodium dependent glucose co-transporter type 2 (SGLT2) levels that resulted in a significant reduction in blood glucose levels in multiple animal species. Isis and its collaborators also presented data on a number of other promising new targets demonstrating that reducing levels of these targets with antisense drugs can significantly lower blood glucose levels and increase the body"s sensitivity to insulin. Additionally, data was presented from Isis" anti-obesity drug discovery program showing antisense drugs reduced fat mass and body weight in animals by reducing levels of targets in peripheral tissues such as liver and fat without affecting the central nervous system, further validating Isis" anti-obesity therapeutic strategy.
ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISTA), announced positive results from a proof-of-concept Phase 2 clinical study in subjects with dry eye disease (keratoconjuctivitis sicca) using a new, proprietary, low-dose formulation of bromfenac, the active ingredient in Xibrom(R) (bromfenac ophthalmic solution) 0.09%. The study achieved statistical significance in the primary endpoint of the objective sign of conjunctival staining (Lissamine Green test) as compared to baseline. The study also achieved statistical significance on the objective sign of corneal staining (Fluorescein test) as compared to baseline. Patients also achieved statistically significant improvements in subjective symptoms measured by the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) and improvement in patients" most bothersome ocular symptoms.
Mental Health America, celebrating its 100th Anniversary as the founder of the organized mental health movement, will honor Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Pete Domenici for their legendary work on behalf of individuals with mental health conditions at its Centennial Gala on Thursday, June 11, in Washington, D.C.
The World Health Organization announced today that swine flu, or influenza A(H1N1) has now infected humans in 36 cases, making a total of 8,451 people ill, and causing the deaths of 66 people in Mexico, 4 deaths in the USA, and 1 death in Canada. All data indicate the virus strain is not a virulent one (an aggressive and dangerous one).
Protesting what they call a "dangerous and frightening" reduction in medical res, Registered Nurses from UCSF will picket their hospital this Wednesday, calling on administrators to immediately withdraw their proposal to increase patient loads for nurses by 25 to 100 percent.
Researchers at the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center have found a way to stop the damage caused by Type 1 diabetes with the combination of insulin and a common vitamin found in most medicine cabinets.
On Monday, HIV/AIDS advocates staged a rally in Fresno, Calif., to protest a budget proposal by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) that would cut an estimated $80 million statewide in HIV/AIDS services, KMPH.com reports. The proposed cuts would eliminate or reduce funding for HIV testing services, financial assistance for people living with HIV and other programs, according to KMPH.com. A larger rally at the state capitol is planned for Wednesday (KMPH.com. 6/9).
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that seeks to encourage state and local governments, as well as media organizations, to recognize June 8th as National Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, the American Chronicle reports. The legislation also supports the development of a national AIDS strategy that aims to reduce new HIV infections in the U.S., particularly among minorities (American Chronicle 6/9).
"Black, Latino and Asian lawmakers want President Barack Obama to focus more on racial disparities reported in medical treatment as the White House works toward overhauling the nation"s health care system," the Associated Press reports. "Members of the Congressional Black Caucus sent Obama a letter last week calling for more attention to minority health problems" and are "expected to join lawmakers from Hispanic and Asian caucuses Tuesday at a news conference on Capitol Hill." They plan to "introduce an alternative health care proposal soon that would improve services in low-income areas, eliminate language barriers and improve data collection to help detect gaps in care for various racial and ethnic groups" (Evans, 6/9).
Factors affecting whether intensive glucose control is likely to reduce or increase the risk of cardiovascular events, including death, based on evidence in the VA Diabetes Trial, were reported in a symposium here today at the American Diabetes Association"s 69th Scientific Sessions.
The family of murdered Kansas abortion provider George Tiller is expected to decide this week whether his Wichita clinic will reopen, NPR"s "Morning Edition" reports. Tiller"s clinic is one of the few in the U.S. that performs abortions later in pregnancy, and many abortion-rights advocates are concerned whether women in need of abortions in the second and third trimester would be able to obtain care if it were not reopened. LeRoy Carhart, a Nebraska abortion provider who worked with Tiller at his clinic for four years, said that although it is a difficult time for abortion providers, he hopes that the family will reopen the clinic. "This is a job that we took, and we were well-aware of the risks when we started, as was Dr. Tiller," he said. Providing abortion services in the second and third trimester is "a service that"s so needed that it"s worth the risks," he added (Lohr, "Morning Edition," NPR, 6/9). Carhart also said that although no decision on Tiller"s clinic has been made, he "want[s] to assure the press and the women of America ... that we will somehow, somewhere continue to provide abortions later in gestation" (Duin, Washington Times, 6/9).According to Carhart, there are only about 10 providers in the U.S. who perform abortions in the second and third trimesters, including a few hospitals that do not advertise the services. "Morning Edition" reports that most women"s health care providers either are not trained or do not want to receive training to perform the procedure later in pregnancy. Providers who do tend to be older and face extreme pressure from antiabortion-rights advocates. Data from the Guttmacher Institute show that about 1% of all abortions performed in the U.S. occur after 21 weeks" gestation. Elizabeth Nash of Guttmacher said that 37 states have laws that limit access to abortion after a certain point in pregnancy, "usually around 24 weeks, which is at the end of the second trimester." She added that most of those states only allow abortions to save the life of the woman or if her physical health is in jeopardy. Pratima Gupta, an ob-gyn in California, said that she is concerned about what will happen to Tiller"s patients. Gupta said Tiller "had patients that were scheduled for Monday morning. What happened to those patients for the rest of the week, the rest of the month? Those patients are the ones who need us" ("Morning Edition," NPR, 6/9).
President Obama"s appointment of Alexia Kelley, founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, as director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships at HHS "took the pro-choice movement by surprise," Salon contributor Frances Kissling, a former president of Catholics for Choice, writes in an opinion piece. According to Kissling, abortion-rights supporters "want to know ... why the post, which includes oversight of the department"s faith-based grant-making in family planning, HIV and AIDS and in small-scale research into the effect of religion and spirituality on early sexual behavior, has gone to someone who both believes abortion should be illegal and opposes contraception." She adds that Kelley and CACG have "sought to narrow the interpretation of common ground on abortion to efforts to reduce the number of abortions by providing women who are already pregnant with economic support for continuing the pregnancy and making adoption easier."Kissling notes that the "HHS budget for family-planning services grants to faith-based and community groups is more than $20 million." She asks, "Can pro-family-planning religious groups expect a fair deal from a director who believes that birth control, even for married couples, is immoral? Will programs that provide contraception to adolescents get funded?" Kissling continues that Obama"s February executive order on the office directed it to work to prevent teen pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion. She says of Kelley, "How can an opponent of the single most effective way to do both -- contraception -- lead that effort in HHS enthusiastically and effectively?"Kissling also notes Kelley"s accomplishments, writing that she "has much to offer in government -- but not at HHS." There are "10 other government agencies that have faith-based offices," and a "far less controversial placement could have been found at Labor, Housing and Urban Development, or the Department of Education," according to Kissling.Kissling continues that some leaders in the abortion-rights movement "have not yet commented on the Kelley appointment; most are still reeling from Dr. Tiller"s murder." However, "One hopes they will turn their attention to this appointment and demand a review of Kelley"s qualifications for this post," Kissling writes. She continues, "Pro-choice groups also contributed to the president"s election. They deserve appointees who agree with the platform on which the president ran. The pro-choice movement"s recommendations for pro-choice appointees to the faith-based office"s advisory council were ignored."Kissling adds that the "mission going forward must be to ensure that any additional staff members appointed to faith-based centers in Cabinet-level agencies reflect the pro-choice, pro-family-planning values of the administration." She concludes that as abortion-rights supporters "try to get to the bottom of the Kelley appointment, greater oversight of, and consultation on, future appointments need to be secured" (Kissling, Salon, 6/7).
The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post recently published opinion pieces responding to the shooting death of Kansas abortion provider George Tiller. Summaries appear below.~ Suzanne Poppema, Los Angeles Times: "We must turn [Tiller"s] terrifying end into the beginning of a new era when doctors can save lives without risking their own," Poppema, a former abortion provider and current board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, writes in a Times opinion piece. Poppema, a friend and colleague of Tiller"s, writes that the state and local police, the FBI, the state of Kansas and the federal government all "should have done more to protect" Tiller, who since the 1970s had endured bombings, a nonlethal shooting, harassment of his family and other threats. "We can all pay tribute to [Tiller"s] legacy by treating abortion providers as physicians, not pariahs, and by explaining and openly supporting their work as doctors," Poppema writes, adding, "Wherever women"s access to abortion is in danger, our government, our medical institutions and the public must step forward to protect it." She continues, "A show of strength and support will give courage to doctors who have the training to provide abortions but are afraid to use it." Poppema writes that Tiller "trained hundreds of doctors in abortion procedures," concluding, "We must erase fear as the reason young physicians won"t enter the field that George found so rewarding. ... We owe it to George to let them practice" (Poppema, Los Angeles Times, 6/6).~ Rozalyn Farmer Love, Washington Post: Deciding to terminate a pregnancy is "a very private, intensely personal decision," Farmer Love -- a University of Alabama-Birmingham third-year medical student studying obstetrics and gynecology -- writes in a Post opinion piece. Farmer Love writes that she was raised in a conservative Christian household and used to "believe that abortion is wrong," but now supports abortion rights and hopes to eventually provide abortion services as part of her ob-gyn practice. She adds that she formerly felt that abortion in the third trimester of pregnancy "crossed a line," but she "began to see late-trimester abortions in a very different light" while working in a research job in graduate school. In a case involving a fetus with a lethal congenital abnormality, Farmer Love says she learned how the woman and her partner "needed a caring and compassionate physician to help them through this dark moment, and if they chose not to continue the pregnancy, they also needed a physician who was both skilled enough and brave enough to provide them with the care they needed. They needed Dr. Tiller" (Farmer Love, Washington Post, 6/7).
The following summarizes selected women"s health-related blog entries. ~ "Obama"s True Colors: Appointee Opposes Abortion and Birth Control," Bonnie Erbe, U.S. News & World Report"s "Thomas Jefferson Street": President Obama"s appointment of Alexia Kelley, founder of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, as director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships at HHS "doesn"t surprise me at all," Erbe writes, adding that Obama is "merely feeling comfortable enough to show his true self, rather than staying true to promises he made to his supporters prior to being elected." Erbe includes an excerpt from Frances Kissling"s Salon opinion piece in which Kissling questions whether Kelley will follow through with the Obama administration"s pledges to implement policies that help prevent teenage pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion. Erbe concludes, "[A]s the evidence mounts that winning re-election is more important to this president than anything else, his supporters should re-examine their votes in 2012" (Erbe, "Thomas Jefferson Street," U.S. News & World Report, 6/8).~ "This Weekend is the International Demonstration Against Birth Control," Cristina Page, Birth Control Watch: "This weekend marks the second year of "The Pill Kills" campaign," which its antiabortion-rights organizers are calling the ""International Demonstration Against Birth Control"" that they say will ""expose the tragic effects"" hormonal contraception has on women, Page writes. She writes that while last year"s campaign focused on convincing women that birth control pills and other common contraceptives "were really abortion methods," this year"s campaign "is trying to scare women" from using birth control "by claiming it will kill them." The campaign "targets the regular birth control pill in particular," Page says, adding that "it appears impossible to find a single instance in which any pro-life group has anything good to say about any birth control method except natural family planning -- a technique most notable for its high failure rate." She notes, "Even the lowly condom disturbs them." According to Page, David Grimes, "one of the world"s leading experts on contraception," said that ""some antiabortion groups describe a subtle blend of fake claims and real, but exaggerated, risks to frighten women,"" and only ""those very knowledgeable can tease out which are which."" Grimes also noted, ""Ironically, the net effect of this campaign to discredit contraception is more unplanned pregnancies and, of course, more abortions."" Page writes, "One can safely say" that the American Life League -- lead organizer of "The Pill Kills" campaign -- has a "desire to ban birth control [that] is equally intense as its campaign against legal abortion." As evidence of this, she cites the group"s efforts to defeat legislation offering contraception coverage for federal employees and its distribution of anti-contraception literature. She adds, "Not only does ALL promote" that "birth control is abortion," but it "also put[s] forth that any attempt to prevent pregnancy during sex is tantamount to having an abortion." Page concludes, "In actuality," efforts by ALL and similar groups "punish people for having the type of sex they define as contrary to God"s wishes. Pregnancy is, according to them, what sex is for" (Page, "Birth Control Watch," 6/5).~ "The Next Generation of Providers: One Doctor Shows the Way," Sheila Bapat, RH Reality Check: The recent murder of Kansas abortion provider George Tiller "brings into sharp relief the gravity" of women"s health care providers" decision to perform abortions, Bapat writes. She profiles an ob-gyn -- a "young woman in her early 30s" -- who holds a faculty position at a university hospital in a southern, conservative state and also is "one of just a handful of abortion providers in the South." Bapat writes that the "low number of abortion providers" in the U.S. is the result of several factors, including fear o
Boys who carry a particular variation of the gene Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA), sometimes called the "warrior gene," are more likely not only to join gangs but also to be among the most violent members and to use weapons, according to a new study from The Florida State University that is the first to confirm an MAOA link specifically to gangs and guns.
According to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, people with chronic stress report shorter sleep duration, worse sleep quality, and more daytime functioning impairments. Conversely, daytime functioning impairments and shorter sleep duration demonstrated a predictive relationship with habitual stress complaints.
A new self administered cognitive screening test for detecting Alzheimer"s disease has been developed by researchers at Addenbrooke"s Hospital in Cambridge, according to a study in bmj.com.
In places where young women outnumber young men, research shows the hemlines rise but the marriage rates don"t because the young men feel less pressure to settle down as more women compete for their affections.
New data on bowel cancer screening released today highlights the urgent need to fully implement screening for all Australians over 50, according to Cancer Council Australia.
U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a new report on health disparities in America and participated in a White House Health Care Stakeholder Discussion on the importance of reform that reduces disparities that exist in our current health care system. The new report Health Disparities: A Case for Closing the Gap is available at http://www.HealthReform.gov.
UK charity the Blood Pressure Association has responded to the American Medical Association CARDIA Sleep Study - "Association Between Sleep and Blood Pressure in Midlife", published in Archives of Internal Medicines (volume 169, no. 11)
CPD4Health Innovation is facilitating a ground breaking event, The Missing Expertise, which will bring together service users, carers, health technology companies, NHS staff and higher education representatives.
Campaigning to tackle the massive problem of head lice.
A leading anxiety charity has today criticised Veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman for using Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder as an excuse for, by his own admittance "bizarre and daft" MP expense claims.
To grow and spread, tumors need new blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis. One growth factor that causes angiogenesis has been identified - vascular endothelial growth factor or VEGF - and drugs to inhibit VEGF are already in use. But not all tumors respond to the therapy initially or over the long term. Thus new growth factors need to be identified to aid in developing the next generation of angiogenesis inhibitors.
Earlier parental-mandated bedtimes could help protect teens from depression and suicidal thoughts by lengthening sleep duration, according to a research abstract presented at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.
Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) will present new findings and strategies for combating childhood obesity at the 5th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference being held June 9-12 in Los Angeles.
The virus that causes winter vomiting disease invades cells by attaching to particular sugar molecules on the surface of the cells. This is the conclusion of a thesis presented at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. This result may be an important step in the development of a drug against the regular hospital-based epidemics caused by the virus.
The Automation Partnership (TAP), a world leader in the design and development of innovative advanced automation for life science applications, announced it is collaborating with world leading academics on the prestigious, Technology Strategy Board funded, RAFT (Rapid Automated Fabrication of Tissues) Project to develop and commercialise novel technology for rapid production of 3D tissues, which have the potential to transform drug discovery and regenerative medicine.
Over 100,000 people suffer from multiple sclerosis in Germany alone. Despite intensive research, the factors that trigger the disease and influence its progress remain unclear. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried and an international research team have succeeded in attaining three important new insights into the disease. It would appear that B cells play an unexpected role in the spontaneous development of multiple sclerosis and that particularly aggressive T cells are activated by different proteins. Furthermore, a new animal model is helping the scientists to understand the emergence of the most common form of the disease in Germany. (Nature Medicine, May 31, 2009 & Journal of Experimental Medicine, June 1, 2009)
Strativa Pharmaceuticals, the proprietary products division of a wholly owned subsidiary of Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. (NYSE: PRX), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted its New Drug Application (NDA) for ondansetron orally dissolving film strip (ODFS). Strativa is seeking approval of ondansetron ODFS for the prevention of nausea and vomiting associated with highly- and moderately-emetogenic chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.
"Immigrant and health-care advocacy groups" are calling on New Jersey to "restore $1 million in funding that has been eliminated in the latest round of budget tightening," the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "The money was earmarked for community-outreach efforts to educate legal immigrants on available state health programs." A report released yesterday by Rutgers University concluded that "New Jersey"s percentage of uninsured immigrant children is higher than the national average, and the state has a poor track record of making sure those children receive health coverage."
The health care industry funded "8,700 trips by Department of Defense personnel" from 1998 to 2007, at a cost of more than $10 million, the Center for Public Integrity reports. "In a joint project with Northwestern University"s Medill School of Journalism, the Center examined 22,000 travel disclosure forms filed by DOD personnel, and found that the medical industry was by far the biggest sponsor of free travel, accounting for about 40 percent of all trips. The sponsors included not only drug and device makers but also health foundations and trade groups often funded by those companies."
Good decision-making helps us to achieve our goals in a complicated world. Understanding which decisions are successful and which ones fail is important, and learning how other people make decisions is an important way of refining this ability. What happens in the brain when this useful information is withheld? Brain imaging researchers from Royal Holloway University of London (UK) investigated activity in the human brain at the time that volunteers interpreted the successes and failures of their own decisions, or the successes and failures of others" decisions. Crucially, when this important information was withheld, a region of the brain called the Anterior Cingulate Cortex became active in different ways depending on whether the information withheld related to decisions of the person in the scanner, or whether it related to the person that they were monitoring during the experiment. This tells us that this area works in different ways depending on whether gaps in important information relate to ourselves, or whether they relate to others".
Three faculty members from the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing will be inducted as fellows into the American Academy of Nursing.
Kansas State University once again is host to a noted microbiology workshop that helps the scientists who test food and other samples for microorganisms. K-State"s 29th annual Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology workshop will be June 19-26.
The latest issue of the online journal Diabetic Hypoglycemia features an authoritative review on sulfonylureas by Professor Ian Campbell, a leading expert in oral hypoglycemia therapy.
DrugScope has welcomed the publication of the Association of Public Health Observatories report into drug use in England.
According to a research abstract presented at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a link exists between the severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and weight gain.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) eagerly awaits the imminent debate prompted by the Affordable Health Choices Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA). ANA views the bill as a critical first step toward ANA"s goal of ensuring guaranteed, affordable, high-quality health care for all.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain"s incumbent President, Steve Churton has
Scientists have identified for the first time a mechanism by which nanoparticles cause lung damage and have demonstrated that it can be combated by blocking the process involved, taking a step toward addressing the growing concerns over the safety of nanotechnology.
Cocaine and heroin increase permeability of the placenta. Researchers writing in BioMed Central"s open access journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology have shown that exposure to the drugs causes an increase in the passage of some chemicals into the fetus.
Cegedim Dendrite announced the launch of COUNTERxFEIT DETECT, a new offering that will assist pharmaceutical companies in identifying counterfeit product and determining where it entered their United States supply chains. Cegedim Dendrite is the leading provider of compliance technology solutions and services in the pharmaceutical industry.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common malignancy worldwide and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Type 2 diabetes mellitus has been associated with HCC. However, the relationship between type 2 diabetes mellitus and the underlying liver cirrhosis, and the effects of antidiabetic therapy on HCC risk have not yet been fully evaluated.
The Arizona AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) has reduced the number of medications it will cover - antiretrovirals and drugs that treat opportunistic infections will not be affected, the Arizona Daily Star reports. The program relies heavily on federal funding. Judy Norton, chief of the state"s Office of HIV, STD and Hepatitis C Services, said the state received $2.3 million less than what it requested from the federal government, requiring the program to make cuts. According to the Daily Star, federal ADAP funds are "drying up as drug costs rise and as more" people living with HIV/AIDS are enrolling in the program. The Arizona ADAP has been serving about 1,100 patients statewide, although the number has gone up in recent months, Laura Oxley, Arizona Department of Health Services spokesperson, said. A letter explaining the changes to the program was sent to clients and providers earlier this week (Innes, Arizona Daily Star, 6/11).
WHO has declared that the spread of the H1N1 (swine) flu virus has reached pandemic level, the AP/Google.com reports (AP/Google.com, 6/11). The Phase 6 pandemic alert indicates that two regions of the world are experiencing significant outbreaks, according to the Wall Street Journal. The declaration came after WHO held an emergency meeting Thursday about raising the threat level. The Wall Street Journal writes that the WHO wants to "eliminate misunderstandings about the virus to prevent overreactions in some countries" (Esterl, Wall Street Journal, 6/11).