Health Newsbrief
June 14, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 9
ISSN 1530-3616
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Bruce Maxwell, Editor <bmax@silverhammerpub.com>
Silver Hammer Publishing <http://silverhammerpub.com>

Instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing are provided at
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The News
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PROGRAMMING THE BRAIN TO REORGANIZE AFTER A
STROKE
A small study of stroke patients who lost movement in one arm has
found that their brains can be reprogrammed to restore at least
some use of the injured arm. The intense therapy, which lasts two
or three weeks, involves immobilizing the good limb so that
patients are forced to use the bad arm. The therapy apparently
causes reprogramming of the brain section that controls movement
on the injured side of the body. The researchers now are
expanding the study to see if the same therapy works with
disabled legs.
Source: New York Times - June 13, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/
061300hth-stroke-paralysis.html



WHO ISSUES ANTIBIOTIC ALERT
Almost all major infectious diseases are becoming resistant to
existing medicines, according to a report from the World Health
Organization, raising the possibility that common diseases will
become untreatable. Much of the problem occurs because of the
massive overuse of antibiotic drugs, causing bugs to become
stronger. One culprit: farms, which use half the world's
antibiotics - not primarily to treat illness, but to make healthy
animals grow bigger.
Source: Associated Press - June 12, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000612/hl/
drug_resistance_1.html



INSULIN-MAKING CELLS MAY BE GROWN IN THE LAB
Preliminary research has found that cells grown in a laboratory
could be transplanted into diabetics and either reverse the
disease or delay its complications. Researchers from the
University of California at San Diego reported their findings at
the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association.
Source: MSNBC - June 11, 2000
http://www.msnbc.com/news/417490.asp


CHINESE HERB IS SUSPECTED IN CANCER
The Chinese herb Aristolochia fangchi may cause cancer in
addition to kidney failure, according to an article published in
the New England Journal of Medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration will soon issue an import alert that effectively
bans importation of the herb.
Source: New York Times - June 8, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/
060800hth-alternative-herb.html



CONQUERING PAIN: TREATMENTS FOR BODY AND MIND
BREAK A CYCLE OF AGONY
Some 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. But there may
be hope with new treatments that focus on the mind-body
connection. Sidebars examine how to pick a pain doctor and how to
ease pain in children.
Source: U.S. News & World Report - June 12, 2000
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/000612/nycu/pain.htm


THE DOCTOR YOU DON'T KNOW
Patients often lack the full information they need when choosing
a doctor. Washington Post reporter Sandra G. Boodman examines
this issue in an extensive profile of a urologist whose seemingly
impeccable credentials hide problems ranging from a felony
conviction for income tax evasion to the termination of his
privileges at numerous hospitals for negligence or incompetence.
The article also raises serious questions about the current
system of medical oversight.
Source: Washington Post - June 13, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46999-2000Jun13.html


STATE INITIATIVES SEEK OVERHAUL OF HEALTH CARE
A flurry of ballot initiatives seeking improvements in health
care will appear on ballots in various states in November.
Massachusetts, where an initiative would provide universal health
insurance coverage and expand patient rights, is one of the key
battlegrounds.
Source: New York Times - June 10, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/politics/
061100healthcare-reform.html



PROZAC: SCIENCE, MONEY DRIVE A MAKEOVER
For years, there have been claims that the antidepressant Prozac
causes suicidal or violent behaviors in a small portion of the
people who take the drug. Those claims have been fiercely denied
by Eli Lilly and Co., the drug's manufacturer. Now a new version
of Prozac is being developed that eliminates the side effect of
suicidal and violent impulses. Ironically, it was developed by
the scientist who first raised questions about Prozac - and its
patent has been purchased by Eli Lilly and Co.
Source: Boston Globe - June 11, 2000
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/163/nation/
Science_money_drive_a_makeover+.shtml



SWALLOWING EPHEDRA
More than 40 deaths associated with dietary supplements
containing the herb ephedra have been reported to the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration, and another 900 reports to the agency
have described harmful side effects ranging from nausea to heart
attacks. Why is the herb still on the market? Because there are
few standards for dietary supplements, caused in part by Congress
tying the FDA's hands.
Source: Salon - June 7, 2000
http://www.salon.com/health/feature/2000/06/07/ephedra


TARGET FOR ALZHEIMER'S THERAPY IDENTIFIED
Scientists have identified an enzyme that they believe is
connected to the development of Alzheimer's disease. They hope
the finding will lead to treatments to stop Alzheimer's, although
any new treatments are likely years away and researchers are also
following many other avenues for drug development.
Source: Reuters - June 7, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000607/hl/
alzheimers_1.html


KIDS AT RISK
The number of children with problems such as autism, aggression,
dyslexia, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is
skyrocketing in the United States. Some experts think the
increase results from better diagnostic methods, but others now
believe the culprit is a wide range of chemicals in the
environment.
Source: U.S. News & World Report - June 19, 2000
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/000619/poison.htm


NIH CENTER BACKS RESEARCH INTO ALTERNATIVE
THERAPIES
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine,
which is part of the National Institutes of Health, will spend
$70 million this year on studies aimed at scientifically proving
which alternative therapies really work. Some of the clinical
trials currently in progress are examining the use of St. John's
wort to treat depression and the use of ginkgo biloba to treat
dementia.
Source: Reuters - June 13, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000613/hl/therapy_1.html


A Quick Plug
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