Health Newsbrief
April 11, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 13
ISSN 1530-3616
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Bruce Maxwell, Editor - bmax@silverhammerpub.com
Silver Hammer Publishing - http://silverhammerpub.com

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The News
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GENE THERAPY IS PERFORMED IN BID TO
HALT ALZHEIMER'S
Doctors at the University of California at San Diego have
performed the first gene therapy operation on an Alzheimer's
patient. The woman, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's,
had millions of her own cells injected into one side of her
brain. Doctors hope to learn within three months whether the
operation helped the woman. In tests with elderly monkeys, the
same surgery revived atrophied brain cells.
Source: New York Times - April 11, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/11/health/11GENE.html


NURSING SHORTAGE IS RAISING WORRIES ON
PATIENTS' CARE
Everyone agrees the United States faces a huge nursing shortage.
Hospitals say they'd be happy to hire more nurses if they could
find them. Nurses say hospitals can't find nurses because working
conditions are becoming unbearable, and their claims are
supported by statistics regarding the number of nurses leaving
the profession. Stuck in the middle are patients, who are
receiving less and less care as the situation continues to
worsen.
Source: New York Times - April 8, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/08/business/08NURS.html


WHITE HOUSE PLANS TO REVISE NEW
MEDICAL PRIVACY RULES
Remember the rules that the Clinton administration issued in its
final days to protect the privacy of your medical records? The
Bush folks claim they're too burdensome and disruptive, and plan
to revise them. The health care industry, which has lobbied hard
against the rules, thinks that's a fine idea.
Source: New York Times - April 8, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/08/politics/08PRIV.html


FAT MAY BE THE ANSWER FOR MANY ILLNESSES
Scientists may have finally found a use for the fat cells that
many of us have in abundance. Researchers from UCLA and the
University of Pittsburgh have managed to isolate stem cells from
fat cells, and converted them into bone, cartilage, and muscle.
The procedure potentially has a huge range of applications, from
repairing knees to rewiring the brains of people who suffer from
Parkinson's disease or a stroke.
Source: Los Angeles Times - April 10, 2001
http://www.latimes.com/news/state/updates/lat_stem010410.htm


A NEW DRUG SHOWS PROMISE IN BATTLING FORM OF
LEUKEMIA
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports
that a new drug is remarkably effective in keeping chronic
myeloid leukemia in check. Researchers are now studying whether
the drug might work against other cancers or whether the
technique it employs might be useful in other cancer drugs.
Source: Washington Post - April 5, 2001
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40525-2001Apr4.html


CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE PREVENTION: WHAT'S
DIFFERENT FOR WOMEN
Many people believe that breast cancer is the leading cause of
death in women, but cardiovascular disease actually ranks first.
This article, which is aimed at doctors, discusses various
methods for preventing cardiovascular disease in women. The
patient handout briefly explains how women can prevent heart
attacks, and the editorial urges better treatment for women.
Source: American Family Physician - April 1, 2001
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010401/1393.html
Patient handout: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010401/1405ph.html
Editorial: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010401/editorials.html


WELCOMING OR WARY? DRUG REPS INCREASING
That nicely dressed person sitting next to you in your doctor's
office may not be a fellow patient. He or she may be a
representative from a drug company, there to sell your doctor on
the company's latest products. Some doctors consider the reps,
who are rapidly increasing in number, to be helpful sources of
information about new drugs. But some doctors refuse to see them,
saying the reps provide biased information, waste their time, and
too often engage in conduct that pushes the ethical envelope.
Source: American Medical News - April 16, 2001
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/bisa0416.htm


DIAGNOSIS AND MANAGEMENT OF
MALIGNANT MELANOMA
Just in time for the summer tanning season, this article for
doctors discusses how to diagnose and treat malignant melanoma,
which is the eighth most common cancer in the United States. The
patient handout briefly explains how to avoid melanoma, discusses
when patients should have moles or other skin growths checked by
doctors, and lists a few Web sites about skin cancer.
Source: American Family Physician - April 1, 2001
http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010401/1359.html
Patient handout: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20010401/1374ph.html


RAW SOPHISTICATION: THE GREAT COOKS
DISCOVER NONCOOKING
The latest trend among vegetarians in California (where else?) is
only eating vegetables and other foods that have not been cooked.
Chefs are concocting elaborate raw dishes, and the trend
threatens to spread across the country (but then again, maybe
not). Raw food advocates claim that cooking food destroys its
nutrients.
Source: New York Times - April 11, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/11/living/11RAW.html


COMPLIANCE, SATISFACTION, AND QUALITY OF LIFE OF
PATIENTS WITH COLORECTAL CANCER RECEIVING HOME
CHEMOTHERAPY OR OUTPATIENT TREATMENT: A
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
Spanish researchers have found that treating colorectal cancer
patients with chemotherapy at home is just as effective as
treating them on an outpatient basis - and patients like it
better. The accompanying editorial praises the study, but says
more research needs to be conducted before home treatment is
expanded.
Source: British Medical Journal - April 7, 2001
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/322/7290/826
Editorial: http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/322/7290/809


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