Tag Archives: education

JUST WEEKS AWAY – 6th INTERNATIONAL FIBROMYALGIA CONFERENCE 2015

If you have not booked for our 6th  international Fibromyalgia Conference on April 24/27 2015, at Chichester Park Hotel,  it is not too late but  do not waste time. We have a lot of interest. The hotline to book  0844 887 2512.

Once again the cost is as low as we can make it to enable folks to enjoy the education, research news, make new friends, as well as entertainment, fun and laughter. You will have a chance to talk to the speakers personally 1-2-1 – almost a private consultation as part of the conference weekend and you will be among folk who understand your aches and pains. It has been said, “Conference is a great educational and life changing experience”. We aim to please.

If finding the fee is a stumbling block, you could make payment by using your credit card. Why not add it to your Tesco shopping credit card  as a “lend” and pay off a little each month. Paypal will accept  credit cards with an additional 4% charge. If you need help with the process please ask.

When folks talk about fibromyalgia there are several symptoms most of us suffer and  live with. This includes pain 24/7, chronic fatigue, sleeplessness, cognitive behaviour, IBS, morning stiffness,  depression and many more. This conference our experts will be highlighting some of these symptoms. With a wide and varied programme around the main FM symptoms, we are aiming to help with interesting speakers from the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK.

Iris Weverman, a registered physiotherapist from Canada who specialises in FM, will talk  about chronic fatigue, stiffness and exercise  for fibromyalgia. In her second talk she will discuss trigger points versus tender points … not to be missed.

Dr. Nick Read,  a gastroenterologist psychoanalytical psychotherapist, human nutritionist, interested in FM, will talk about his active involvement in the IBS Network , and integrated medicine.  As a nutritionist we are hoping he will give us a recommended diet for those with IBS.

Andrew Pothecary, a specialist pharmacist in Rheumatology & Biologics at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, will be  lecturing at The Clinical Pharmacy Congress on the Future of Clinical Pharmacy in London on the Friday. As an old friend, he has agreed to stop over and talk to us on Saturday. We hope to learn more about the medications that our GPs prescribe for fibromites  pains.

Afifah Hamilton, MNIMH Cert Phyt ITEC, GAP practitioner and nutritionist, is an alternative medical practitioner who uses herbal remedies for wellbeing. Afifah is medically trained and a specialist in physical, psychological and conventional treatments with herbal options. She will be discussing sleeplessness  among other symptoms. If you are prone to too  many drugs, you should not miss this presentation.

An American lady with fibromyalgia and a great reputation, will be with us to talk about her commitment for FM. We hope she will include news of research, life with FM in the States and living with fibromyalgia. Jan Chambers is President of the USA National  Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association, founder of the Centre of Understanding, Research and Education of Fibromyalgia (CURE FM) and co-founder of the NFA Leaders Coalition, Executive Committee. Married for 35 years and the mother of 5 children, Jan has had a roller coaster ride with fibromyalgia since 2005. Her background really makes interesting reading and will save a lot of questions if you are coming to conference. This is a lady who commands my highest respect and I am honoured she has agreed to visit us. Try http://www.fmcpaware.org/jan-chambers. “I’ve got my life back, and I love every minute of it” she said.

Another interesting speaker with big claims is Philip Rafferty. Born in the UK he lives  in Australia and travels the world. A specialist in fibromyalgia, chronic pain and CFS he is a kinesiology ‘wizard’. He claims the corrections he teaches fibromites keeps them out of fight/flight/ freeze/survival. What he does he says is different to anything else. He  claims he achieves instant dramatic pain reduction. This I  must see!

We are again pleased to welcome Wes and John with the Benefits & Debt Clinic which will be operating Friday afternoon from 3.15pm. Look at their website – for debt and benefits http://frontlinedebtadvice.org.uk/ – you might find it interesting.

As usual there will also be other attractions. On Friday evening we have the film premier of the documentary movie made at FM Conference 2014. Called ‘Focus on Fibromyalgia’ it includes consultants’ comments as well as the views of those who live with this condition. Be sure to see the film as it is a movie you should not miss. Lasting 65 minutes, it is full of information and you will need to go back and back again to the film to see what you missed. Copies of the film will be available to purchase with a donation from sales  to fibro research.

THERE IS MORE

Jen Lee is back with us again for some light relief and with more Belly Dancing steps to learn. We hope to have all doctors on stage Sunday afternoon for discussions and questions. Do not forget the fun auction of wine and other gifts donated by delegates on Monday morning.

Simon Stuart, a leading member of the FibCon team, who works in the medical profession with the elderly, will be giving a talk about Alzheimers – a hot topic at present. You will also meet Nicki Southwell this time. A name some will know, Nicki has been working with Simon and I for several months as Assistant Co-ordinator. We were sorry to lose Teresa White towards the end of last year, due to her health problems. We understand she is on the mend but taking things slowly. We have a great team of helpers this year who will be wearing their pink badges and should be able to help delegates and answer questions.

To join us for some worthwhile education, fun, laughter,  email Simon Stuart at fibcon2015bookings@gmail.com to check availability and book or ring the HOT LINE 0844 887 2512  to book or email jeanne@follypogsfibro.org. to reserve a room and get a booking form.

This conference will be an action packed weekend as usual – Friday to Monday –from April 24th  to 27th  2015 at Chichester Park Hotel, plus evening entertainment, all included for £220 per person sharing double room – just £55 a day all found. This covers the cost of  food, accommodation,  the conference and entertainment. There are no single bookings now only a waiting list. The food is good and the staff are very helpful. The hotel has an indoor pool, jacuzzi, spa and some  exercise equipment for use of our visitors.

STOP PRESS –  We have been offered  a trial run of the new and exciting ActiPatch. We have a patch for each delegate to try.  If it works for you Boots sell the patches which  I believe is  a forerunner of a Electromagnetic Pulse Therapy device which provide 90 hours of 8 hour treatments (720 hours). We only have patches.

ActiPatch is said to be a highly effective therapy by chronic pain individuals and trials have increased purchases. This reflects the result of the reported benefits of clinically significant and sustained decreases in chronic pain, large improvements in quality of life, and decreases in the reliance of analgesic pain medications including opioid based drugs. We have had news from an American FM group where members used the patch and are excited about it. There is only have a limited number of patches for FM delegates only.

Finally it is worth mentioning the weekend conferences are sponsored by Folly Pogs Fibromyalgia Research. Every booking makes a contribution to fibromyalgia research and the raffle and other paid items contribute to FM research. No one gets paid except the bills. We survive under The Old Pal Act 1845. We beg and borrow to make ends meet.

There is always someone to  talk to at conference if you come alone. You will soon make new friends and meet others at our Friday ‘onesie’ meeting for those who are alone.

We hope it will be another smash hit conference with entertainment, fun and laughter with educational and helpful tips. For more information about this and the last conference  –  see http://fibromyalgiaconference.weebly.com. Hope to see you at conference. Jeanne

car anf flag 4

Advertisements

NEW POLL: BLINDNESS FEARED MORE THAN LOSS OF OTHER SENSES, STRONGLY SUPPORT MORE FUNDING FOR RESEARCH

NEW POLL: BLINDNESS FEARED MORE THAN LOSS OF OTHER SENSES, STRONGLY SUPPORT MORE FUNDING FOR RESEARCH

 From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 18-Sep-2014
Source Newsroom: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)

 

Newswise — Washington, D.C.—According to a new poll, Americans across racial and ethnic groups describe losing eyesight as potentially having the greatest impact on their day-to-day life — more so than other conditions, including loss of memory, hearing and speech. A higher percentage of African-Americans (57%) cite this concern compared to non-Hispanic whites (49%), Asians (43%) and Hispanics (38%).

Blindness ranked among the top four “worst things that could happen to you” for all respondents, alongside cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and HIV/AIDS. More African-Americans cited blindness as their top fear.

The poll generated another key finding: A large majority of respondents strongly consider research to improve the prevention and treatment of vision disorders a priority (83% of African-Americans and non-Hispanic whites, 80% of Asians and 79% of Hispanics).

When told that the federal government spends on average $2.10 per person each year on such research, half of African-Americans (51%) and Hispanics (50%) say this is not enough followed by non-Hispanic whites (47%) and Asian-Americans (35%).

About half of all groups believe that non-governmental sectors — industry, patient groups and philanthropies — should also increase funding for eye and vision research (57% of Hispanics, 51% of African-Americans, 49% of Asians and 47% of non-Hispanic whites).

These and other findings are from a national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America and the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR). The poll, which was carried out by Zogby Analytics, was funded by a grant from Research to Prevent Blindness and released at a National Press Club event in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18.

Leaders from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) played a role in both the development of the poll and the release event, which featured a panel discussion with Neil Bressler, MD (Wilmer Eye Institute), Paul Sieving, MD, PhD (National Eye Institute), James Tsai, MD (New York Eye and Ear Infirmary) and Karla Zadnik, OD, PhD (Ohio State University College of Optometry). The panel discussion was moderated by Michelle Miller of CBS News.

The Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include nearly 12,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders.

 

SCRIPPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE CHEMISTS MODIFY ANTIBIOTIC TO VANQUISH RESISTANT BACTERIA

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 17-Sep-2014
Source: Scripps Research Institute Citations Journal of the American Chemical Society

ESISTANT BACERIA PIC.1.boger_takanori

Professor Dale Boger (right) and Assistant Professor Akinori Okano led the research.

 

Newswise — LA JOLLA, CA—September 17, 2014—Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have devised a new antibiotic based on vancomycin that is powerfully effective against vancomycin-resistant strains of MRSA and other disease-causing bacteria.

The new vancomycin analog appears to have not one but two distinct mechanisms of anti-microbial action, against which bacteria probably cannot evolve resistance quickly.

“This is the prototype of analogues that once introduced will still be in clinical use a generation or maybe even two generations from now,” said Dale L. Boger, the Richard and Alice Cramer Professor of Chemistry at TSRI.

The report by Boger and members of his laboratory was published recently online ahead of print by the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Increasing Reports of Resistance

Vancomycin entered clinical use in 1958, five years after its isolation from microbes in a soil sample gathered by an American missionary in Borneo. For nearly six decades it has been useful against a wide range of bacteria, and it remains a standard weapon against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a major cause of hospital-acquired infections. A compound closely related to vancomycin also has been widely used to protect livestock.

Since the late 1980s, there have been increasing reports of vancomycin resistance in classes of bacteria that usually succumb to the antibiotic, including MRSA. Although vancomycin remains useful, scientists have been looking for new drugs to replace it in cases—often life-threatening—where it no longer can help patients.

The Boger laboratory has focused on inventing improved versions of vancomycin rather than entirely new compounds. “Vancomycin has lasted in clinical use for more than 50 years, in part because it isn’t very vulnerable to antibiotic resistance,” Boger said. “Our thought has been that if we find a vancomycin analog that addresses this current source of resistance we’ll get another 50 years of use out of it.”

Vancomycin works by binding to the building blocks of bacterial cell walls, in a way that prevents their proper assembly and leaves bacteria too leaky to live and replicate. The resistance comes from a single amino-acid alteration that some bacteria make to those building blocks, so that the antibiotic molecule can no longer get a firm grip. That drops vancomycin’s potency by a factor of about 1,000.

‘Incredibly Potent’

In 2012, Boger and his team reported making a vancomycin analog—informally termed vancomycin amidine—with a subtly altered binding pocket that fastens about equally well to the original and resistant sites on bacterial cell wall subunits. To get the precise structural modification they needed, they had to come up with a method for the “total synthesis” of this vancomycin-based compound—a controlled, step-by-step construction using organic chemistry reactions in the lab, rather than a natural enzyme-mediated production within cells.

“Years of work in this lab culminated in a total synthesis strategy that not only allowed us access to this target compound, but also gave us the ability to perform almost any other chemical modification of vancomycin that we wished,” said Akinori Okano, first author of the new report, who is an assistant professor of chemistry at TSRI.

Vancomycin amidine turned out to have acceptable level of activity against vancomycin-resistant and -sensitive bacteria, yet there was room for improvement. Thus in the new study, Okano, Boger and their colleagues used their vancomycin synthesis methods to add an additional feature to the molecule—a peripheral chlorobiphenyl (CBP), long known as a general booster of vancomycin’s potency.

“To our delight, the combination of these modifications led to an incredibly potent molecule, well beyond anything we had expected,” said Okano.

In lab dish tests, the new vancomycin analog proved highly effective against the usual vancomycin-sensitive bacteria as well as vancomycin-resistant MRSA and enterococcal bacteria.

The tests also suggested that the CBP modification, whose boost to potency has been thought to come from some broad enhancement of vancomycin’s activity, might in fact work via its own distinct attack on bacterial cell wall synthesis.

“This is probably the clearest depiction to date of the fact that for the CBP derivatives there must be a second mechanism of action, independent of vancomycin’s main mechanism of action,” Boger said. “[Such analogs] are likely to display especially durable antibiotic activity—that is, they won’t be prone to rapidly acquired clinical resistance.”

Boger and his colleagues now will try to optimize the synthesis process for the new analog, to provide quantities suitable for preclinical testing in animals.

Other co-authors of the paper, “Total Synthesis of [Ψ[C(=NH)NH]Tpg4] Vancomycin and its (4-Chlorobiphenyl) methyl Derivative: Impact of Peripheral Modifications on Vancomycin Analogs Redesigned for Dual D-Ala-D-Ala and D-Ala-D-Lac Binding,” were Atsushi Nakayama and Alex Schammel of the Boger Laboratory.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant CA041101).

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) is one of the world’s largest independent, not-for-profit organizations focusing on research in the biomedical sciences. TSRI is internationally recognized for its contributions to science and health, including its role in laying the foundation for new treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, and other diseases. An institution that evolved from the Scripps Metabolic Clinic founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps in 1924, the institute now employs about 3,000 people on its campuses in La Jolla, CA, and Jupiter, FL, where its renowned scientists—including three Nobel laureates—work toward their next discoveries. The institute’s graduate program, which awards PhD degrees in biology and chemistry, ranks among the top ten of its kind in the nation.

 

ENTOMOLOGIST SAYS EXPECT MORE SPIDERS INSIDE AS WEATHER TURNS COOLER

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 16-Sep-2014
Source Newsroom: Kansas State University

Brown recluse spiderBrown recluse spider PIC. -1

I always keep a clean jam jar and a sheet of paper ready to collect invading spider and let them out at the window.

 

Newswise — MANHATTAN, Kansas — This is the time of year when the Kansas State University entomology department receives a lot of calls. The question most asked: Why am I getting so many spiders in my house?

“Insects move inside the house seeking warmer temperatures,” said Jeff Whitworth, assistant professor of entomology. “Just like humans, insects prefer a climate around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Spiders are seeking those warmers environments as well as searching for food.”

Tennessee medical officials have reported an increase in brown recluse bites this year. However, Whitworth says there is no indication there are more spiders this year compared to previous years. The brown recluse, most common in the central and southeast regions, is the most feared spider in the Midwest because of its hemotoxic venom. But Whitworth says the brown recluse isn’t as scary as you think.

“The nice thing about the brown recluse spider, as its name implies, is it is reclusive,” he said. “We have reared spiders now for approximately two to three years and we have found the brown recluse to be non-aggressive.”

Whitworth; Holly Schwarting, research associate in entomology; and J.R. Ewing, master’s student in entomology, are researching the most reliable method of managing brown recluse spiders. Pest control operators are divided on whether sticky traps, pesticide or a combination of the two are a better way to kill spiders in your home.

Whichever form of removal you choose to use, Whitworth says to wait until March. Brown recluse spiders become inactive from mid-October until March.

Back tomorrw. Jeanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIGH-DOSE FLU VACCINE MORE EFFECTIVE IN ELDERLY

HIGH-DOSE FLU VACCINE MORE EFFECTIVE IN ELDERLY

From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton 13-Aug-2014                                                 Source: Vanderbilt University Medical Center Citations New England Journal of Medicine

 

Newswise — High-dose influenza vaccine is 24 percent more effective than the standard-dose vaccine in protecting persons ages 65 and over against influenza illness and its complications, according to a Vanderbilt-led study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The multi-center study enrolled 31,989 participants from 126 research centers in the U.S. and Canada during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 influenza seasons in the Northern Hemisphere in order to compare the high-dose trivalent vaccine versus the standard-dose trivalent vaccine in adults over 65 years of age.

“The study was done to see if using a high-dose vaccine protected older adults better than the usual vaccine. Until this trial came out we did not know if it was going to be clinically better or not and now we know it is better,” said lead author Keipp Talbot, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine, who served as coordinating investigator for the more than 100 study sites.

“Older adults are the most vulnerable to influenza; they become the sickest and have the most hospitalizations. This vaccine works better than the standard dose and hence I would tell my patients to get the high-dose vaccine every year. In the meantime, we will continue to work to find newer and better vaccines for older adults.”

Researchers concluded that the high-dose vaccine is safe, induces significantly higher antibody responses, and provides superior protection against laboratory-confirmed influenza illness compared to standard dose among persons over 65 years of age.

Study data also indicated that the high-dose vaccine may provide clinical benefit for the prevention of hospitalizations, pneumonia, cardio-respiratory conditions, non-routine medical visits, and medication use.

Between 1990 and 1999, seasonal influenza caused an average of 36,000 deaths and 226,000 hospitalizations per year in the U.S. Adults over 65 years old are particularly vulnerable to influenza complications, accounting for most seasonal influenza-related hospitalizations and deaths.

“Prevention of influenza should lower hospitalizations, deaths, heart attacks, and pneumonia,” Talbot said.

“This vaccine does have some more arm soreness than the usual vaccine because it is a higher dose. With this increased soreness comes greater protection.”

Known as the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine, and made by Sanofi Pasteur, the inactivated influenza vaccine contains four times the amount of antigen that is contained in the standard-dose Fluzone vaccine.

“Fluzone High-Dose vaccine is the only influenza vaccine in the U.S. that is designed specifically to address the age-related decline of the immune system in older adults,” said David P. Greenberg, M.D., vice president, Scientific & Medical Affairs, and chief medical officer, Sanofi Pasteur U.S.

Study authors said about one-in-four breakthrough cases of influenza could be prevented if the high-dose vaccine were used instead of the standard-dose vaccine.

“I see older adults hospitalized every year with influenza and many of them come into the hospital with pneumonias and heart failure because they had influenza,” Talbot said.

“But I have to say our seniors in Nashville are very good at getting vaccinated. Locally they are very good and they do much better than their counterparts who are less than 65 years old. About 76 percent of this community of older adults are vaccinated for influenza each year.”

SLOW TO MATURE, QUICK TO DISTRACT: ADHD BRAIN STUDY FINDS SLOWER DEVELOPMENT OF KEY CONNECTIONS

Brain networks to handle internal & external tasks mature more slowly in ADHD

From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Embargoed: 15-Sep-2014
Source: University of Michigan Health System   Citations Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 15 Early Edition

ADHD

By examining hundreds of fMRI brain scans of children with ADHD and those without, the researchers identified key connections between brain networks that matured more slowly in ADHD brains.

 

Newswise — ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A peek inside the brains of more than 750 children and teens reveals a key difference in brain architecture between those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and those without.

Kids and teens with ADHD, a new study finds, lag behind others of the same age in how quickly their brains form connections within, and between, key brain networks.

The result: less-mature connections between a brain network that controls internally-directed thought (such as daydreaming) and networks that allow a person to focus on externally-directed tasks. That lag in connection development may help explain why people with ADHD get easily distracted or struggle to stay focused.

What is more, the new findings, and the methods used to make them, may one day allow doctors to use brain scans to diagnose ADHD — and track how well someone responds to treatment. This kind of neuroimaging “biomarker” does not yet exist for ADHD, or any psychiatric condition for that matter.

The new findings come from a team in the University of Michigan Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry. They used highly advanced computing techniques to analyze a large pool of detailed brain scans that were publicly shared for scientists to study. Their results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead author Chandra Sripada, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues looked at the brain scans of 275 kids and teens with ADHD, and 481others without it, using “connectomic” methods that can map interconnectivity between networks in the brain.

The scans, made using function magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners, show brain activity during a resting state. This allows researchers to see how a number of different brain networks, each specialized for certain types of functions, were “talking” within and amongst themselves.

The researchers found lags in development of connection within the internally-focused network, called the default mode network or DMN, and in development of connections between DMN and two networks that process externally-focused tasks, often called task-positive networks, or TPNs. They could even see that the lags in connection development with the two task-related networks — the frontoparietal and ventral attention networks — were located primarily in two specific areas of the brain.

The new findings mesh well with what other researchers have found by examining the physical structure of the brains of people with and without ADHD in other ways.

Such research has already shown alterations in regions within DMN and TPNs. So, the new findings build on that understanding and add to it.

The findings are also relevant to thinking about the longitudinal course of ADHD from childhood to adulthood. For instance, some children and teens “grow out” of the disorder, while for others the disorder persists throughout adulthood. Future studies of brain network maturation in ADHD could shed light into the neural basis for this difference.

“We and others are interested in understanding the neural mechanisms of ADHD in hopes that we can contribute to better diagnosis and treatment,” says Sripada, an assistant professor and psychiatrist who holds a joint appointment in the U-M Philosophy department and is a member of the U-M Center for Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics.

“But without the database of fMRI images, and the spirit of collaboration that allowed them to be compiled and shared, we would never have reached this point.”

Sripada (shown above)  explains that in the last decade, functional medical imaging has revealed that the human brain is functionally organized into large-scale connectivity networks. These networks, and the connections between them, mature throughout early childhood all the way to young adulthood.

“It is particularly noteworthy that the networks we found to have lagging maturation in ADHD are linked to the very behaviors that are the symptoms of ADHD,” he says.

Studying the vast array of connections in the brain, a field called connectomics, requires scientists to be able to parse through not just the one-to-one communications between two specific brain regions, but the patterns of communication among thousands of nodes within the brain. This requires major computing power and access to massive amounts of data – which makes the open sharing of fMRI images so important.

“The results of this study set the stage for the next phase of this research, which is to examine individual components of the networks that have the maturational lag,” he says. “This study provides a coarse-grained understanding, and now we want to examine this phenomenon in a more fine-grained way that might lead us to a true biological marker, or neuromarker, for ADHD.”

Sripada also notes that connectomics could be used to examine other disorders with roots in brain connectivity – including autism, which some evidence has suggested stems from over-maturation of some brain networks, and schizophrenia, which may arise from abnormal connections. Pooling more fMRI data from people with these conditions, and depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and more could boost connectomics studies in those fields.

Volunteers needed for research:

To develop such a neuromarker, Sripada has embarked on follow-up research. One study is enrolling children between the ages of 7 and 17 who have ADHD and a comparison group of those without it; information is at http://umhealth.me/adhdchild. Another study is enrolling adults between the ages of 18 and 35 who have ADHD and a comparison group of those without it; information is at http://umhealth.me/adhdadult. Of note, fMRI scans do not expose a person to radiation. Anyone interested in these studies can email Psych-study@med.umich.edu or call (734) 232-0353; for the study of children, parents should make the contact and consent to research on behalf of their children.

Besides Sripada, the study’s authors are Psychiatry computer specialists Daniel Kessler and Mike Angstadt. Kessler, a graduate of U-M with a degree in neuroscience and statistics, helped develop the key connectomic methods used in the study and plans to pursue this research further in a graduate program starting in 2015.

The research was funded by a National Institutes of Health grant (AA020297), a UMCCMB pilot grant, and the John Templeton Foundation. It used fMRI scans from the ADHD-200 and ABIDE projects.

 

STUDY FIRST TO USE BRAIN SCANS TO FORECAST EARLY READING DIFFICULTIES

Brain’s White Matter Highly Predictive of Reading Acquisition Beyond Effects of Genetic Predisposition

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 15-Sep-2014
Source Newsroom: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)                                       Citations Psychological Science, September 15, 2014

 

Newswise — UC San Francisco researchers have used brain scans to predict how young children learn to read, giving clinicians a possible tool to spot children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties before they experience reading challenges.

In the United States, children usually learn to read for the first time in kindergarten and become proficient readers by third grade, according to the authors. In the study, researchers examined brain scans of 38 kindergarteners as they were learning to read formally at school and tracked their white matter development until third grade. The brain’s white matter is essential for perceiving, thinking and learning.

The researchers found that the developmental course of the children’s white matter volume predicted the kindergarteners’ abilities to read.

“We show that white matter development during a critical period in a child’s life, when they start school and learn to read for the very first time, predicts how well the child ends up reading,” said Fumiko Hoeft, MD, PhD, senior author and an associate professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at UCSF, and member of the UCSF Dyslexia Center.

The research is published online in Psychological Science.

Doctors commonly use behavioral measures of reading readiness for assessments of ability. Other measures such as cognitive (i.e. IQ) ability, early linguistic skills, measures of the environment such as socio-economic status, and whether there is a family member with reading problems or dyslexia are all common early factors used to assess risk of developing reading difficulties.

“What was intriguing in this study was that brain development in regions important to reading predicted above and beyond all of these measures,” said Hoeft.

The researchers removed the effects of these commonly used assessments when doing the statistical analyses in order to assess how the white matter directly predicted future reading ability. They found that left hemisphere white matter in the temporo-parietal region just behind and above the left ear — thought to be important for language, reading and speech — was highly predictive of reading acquisition beyond effects of genetic predisposition, cognitive abilities, and environment at the outset of kindergarten. Brain scans improved prediction accuracy by 60 percent better at predicting reading difficulties than the compared to traditional assessments alone.

“Early identification and interventions are extremely important in children with dyslexia as well as most neurodevelopmental disorders,” said Hoeft. “Accumulation of research evidence such as ours may one day help us identify kids who might be at risk for dyslexia, rather than waiting for children to become poor readers and experience failure.”

According to the National Institute of Child and Human Development, as many as 15 percent of Americans have major trouble reading.

“Examining developmental changes in the brain over a critical period of reading appears to be a unique sensitive measure of variation and may add insight to our understanding of reading development in ways that brain data from one time point, and behavioral and environmental measures, cannot,” said Chelsea Myers, BS, lead author and lab manager in UCSF’s Laboratory for Educational NeuroScience.

“The hope is that understanding each child’s neurocognitive profiles will help educators provide targeted and personalized education and intervention, particularly in those with special needs.”

Co-authors include Maaike Vandermosten, PhD of KU Leuven; Emily Farris, PhD of University of Texas Permian Basin; Roeland Hancock, PhD, Paul Gimenez, BA, Brandi Casto, MS, Miroslav Drahos, MS, Mandeep Tumber, MS, and Robert Hendren, DO, all of the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF; Jessica Black, PhD of School of Social Work at Boston College; and Charles Hulme, DPhil of Department of Psychology at University College London.

The study was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (K23 HD054720), Flora Family Foundation, UCSF Catalyst Award, UCSF Resource Allocation Program, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Award, Stanford University Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, Spectrum Child Health & Clinical and Translational Science Award and the Extraordinary Brain Series of the Dyslexia Foundation.

UC San Francisco (UCSF), now celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding, is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences, as well as a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco

See you Wednesday. Jeanne

 

 

 

 

RESEARCH HINTS AT WHY STRESS IS MORE DEVASTATING FOR SOME

RESEARCH HINTS AT WHY STRESS IS MORE DEVASTATING FOR SOME

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 3-Sep-2014                 Source Newsroom: Rockefeller University

 

Newswise — Some people take stress in stride; others are done in by it. New research at Rockefeller University has identified the molecular mechanisms of this so-called stress gap in mice with very similar genetic backgrounds — a finding that could lead researchers to better understand the development of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression.

“Like people, each animal has unique experiences as it goes through its life. And we suspect that these life experiences can alter the expression of genes, and as a result, affect an animal’s susceptibility to stress,” says senior author Bruce McEwen, Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology.

“We have taken an important step toward explaining the molecular origins of this stress gap by showing that inbred mice react differently to stress, with some developing behaviors that resemble anxiety and depression, and others remaining resilient.”

The results, published September 2 in Molecular Psychiatry, point toward potential new markers to aid the diagnosis of stress-related disorders, such as anxiety and depression, and a promising route to the development of new treatments for these devastating disorders.

In experiments, researchers stressed the mice by exposing them to daily, unpredictable bouts of cage tilting, altered dark-light cycles, confinement in tight spaces and other conditions mice dislike with the goal of reproducing the sort of stressful experiences thought to be a primary cause of depression in humans. Afterward, in tests to see if the mice displayed the rodent equivalent of anxiety and depression symptoms, they found about 40 per cent showed high levels of behaviours that included a preference for a dark compartment over a brightly lit one, or a loss of interest in sugar water. The remaining 60 per cent recovered well from the stress. This distinction between the susceptible mice and the resilient ones was so fundamental that it emerged even before the mice were subjected to stress; some unstressed mice showed an anxiety-like preference for a dark compartment over a lighted one.

The researchers found that the highly stress-susceptible mice had less of an important molecule known as mGlu2 in a stress-involved region of the brain known as the hippocampus. The mGlu2 decrease, they determined, resulted from an epigenetic change, which affects the expression of genes, in this case the gene that codes for mGlu2.

“If you think of the genetic code as words in a book, the book must be opened in order for you to read it. These epigenetic changes, which affect histone proteins associated with DNA, effectively close the book, so the code for mGlu2 cannot be read,” says first author Carla Nasca, a postdoc in the lab and a fellow of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Previously, she and colleagues implicated mGlu2 in depression when they showed that a promising potential treatment known as acetyl carnitine rapidly alleviated depression-like symptoms in rats and mice by reversing these epigenetic changes to mGlu2 and causing its levels to increase.

“Currently, depression is diagnosed only by its symptoms,” Nasca says. “But these results put us on track to discover molecular signatures in humans that may have the potential to serve as markers for certain types of depression. Our work could also lead to a new generation of rapidly acting antidepressants, such as the candidate acetyl carnitine, which would be particularly important to reduce the risk of suicide.”

A reduction in mGlu2 matters because this molecule regulates the neurotransmitter glutamate. While glutamate plays a crucial role relaying messages between neurons as part of many important processes, too much can lead to harmful structural changes in the brain.

“The brain is constantly changing. When stressful experiences lead to anxiety and depressive disorders the brain becomes locked in a state it cannot spontaneously escape,” McEwen says.

“Studies like this one are increasingly focusing on the regulation of glutamate as an underlying mechanism in depression and, we hope, opening promising new avenues for the diagnosis and treatment of this devastating disorder.”

The Hope for Depression Research Foundation and the American Society for Suicide Prevention sponsored this research.

 

REACTING TO PERSONAL SETBACKS: DO YOU BOUNCE BACK OR GIVE UP?

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Embargoed: 4-Sep-2014        Citations Neuron 10.1016/j.neuron.2014.08.012Source Newsroom: Rutgers University

 

Newswise — Sometimes when people get upsetting news – such as a failing exam grade or a negative job review – they decide instantly to do better the next time. In other situations that are equally disappointing, the same people may feel inclined to just give up.

How can similar setbacks produce such different reactions? It may come down to how much control we feel we have over what happened, according to new research from Rutgers University-Newark. The study, published in the journal Neuron, also finds that when these setbacks occur, the level of control we perceive may even determine which of two distinct parts of the brain will handle the crisis.

“Think of the student who failed an exam,” says Jamil Bhanji, a postdoctoral fellow at Rutgers and one of the study’s co-authors.

“They might feel they would not have failed if they had studied harder, studied differently – something under their control.” That student, Bhanji says, resolves to try new study habits and work hard toward acing the next exam. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) used in the study showed activity in a part of the brain called the ventral striatum – which has been shown to guide goals based on prior experiences.

A different student might have failed the same test, but believes it happened because the questions were unfair or the professor was mean, things that he could not control. The negative emotions produced by this uncontrollable setback may cause the student to drop the course.

Overcoming those negative emotions and refocusing on doing well in the class may require a more complicated thought process. In cases like this, fMRI revealed that activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), a part of the brain that regulates emotions in more flexible ways, is necessary to promote persistence.

Mauricio Delgado, an associate professor of psychology at Rutgers’ Newark College of Arts and Sciences and the study’s other co-author, says people whose jobs include delivering bad news should pay attention to these results, because their actions might influence how the news is received.

“You may deliver the news to the student – no sugar coating, here’s your setback,” says Delgado. “But then you make an offer – ‘would you like to review those study habits with me? I would be happy to do it.’ This puts the student in a situation where they may experience control and be more likely to improve the next time.” This approach, Delgado says, may be far more constructive than curtly delivering a bad grade.

Bhanji says lessons from the study may even guide certain people toward giving up too soon on careers where they could do well. “We wonder why there are fewer women and minorities in the sciences, for example,” he explains.

“Maybe in cases like that it is fair to say there are things we can do to promote reactions to negative feedback that encourage persistence.”

That is not to say everyone should persist. “There are times,” Delgado adds, “when you should not be persistent with your goals. That is where the striatal system in the brain, which can be a source of more habitual responses, may be a detriment. You keep thinking ‘I can do it, I can do it.’ But maybe you should not do it. During these times, interpreting the setback more flexibly, via the vmPFC, may be more helpful.”

As research continues, adds Bhanji, important areas to explore will include “figuring out when it’s worth continuing to keep trying and when it is not.”

 

PROFESSORS PROVIDE MOST UPDATED INFORMATION ON ASPIRIN IN THE PREVENTION OF A FIRST HEART ATTACK

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 2-Sep-2014   Citations Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine    Source : Florida Atlantic University

 

Newswise — The first researcher in the world to discover that aspirin prevents a first attack, Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Dr.P.H., the first Sir Richard Doll professor and senior academic advisor to the dean in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, has published a comprehensive review in the current issue of the journal Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine.

Hennekens and his coauthor James E. Dalen, M.D., M.P.H., executive director of the Weil Foundation and dean emeritus, University of Arizona College of Medicine, provide the most updated information on aspirin in the prevention of a first heart attack.

Hennekens also presented these findings from the article titled “Aspirin in the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Current Knowledge and Future Research Needs,” on Saturday, Aug. 30 at a “Meet the Experts” lecture at the European Society of Cardiology meetings in Barcelona, Spain. Serving as chair of a symposium on Sunday, Aug. 31, he also delivered a lecture on “Evolving Concepts in Cardiovascular Prevention: Aspirin Then and Now.”

In the article, Hennekens and Dalen emphasize that the evidence in treatment indicates that all patients having a heart attack or who have survived a prior event should be given aspirin. In healthy individuals, however, they state that any decision to prescribe aspirin should be an individual clinical judgment by the healthcare provider that weighs the absolute benefit in reducing the risk of a first heart against the absolute risk of major bleeding.

“The crucial role of therapeutic lifestyle changes and other drugs of life saving benefit such as statins should be considered with aspirin as an adjunct, not alternative,” said Hennekens. “The benefits of statins and aspirin are, at the very least, additive. The more widespread and appropriate use of aspirin in primary prevention is particularly attractive, especially in developing countries where cardiovascular disease is emerging as the leading cause of death.”

Hennekens also notes that aspirin is generally widely available over the counter and is extremely inexpensive. He cautions, however, that more evidence is necessary in intermediate risk subjects before general guidelines should be made.

Among the numerous honors and recognition Hennekens has received include the 2013 Fries Prize for Improving Health for his seminal contributions to the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease, the 2013 Presidential Award from his alma mater, Queens College for his distinguished contributions to society, the 2013 honoree as part of FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine from the American Heart Association for reducing deaths from heart attacks and strokes, and the 2014 honoree from the Ochsner Foundation for his seminal research on smoking and disease.

From 1995 to 2005, Science Watch ranked Hennekens as the third most widely cited medical researcher in the world and five of the top 20 were his former trainees and/or fellows. In 2012, Science Heroes ranked Hennekens No. 81 in the history of the world for having saved more than 1.1 million lives.

– FAU –

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship..

Back soon. Jeanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARENTS TO FUEL KIDS RIGHT WITH A HEALTHY BREAKFAST

AS CHILDREN HEAD BACK TO SCHOOL, ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS ENCOURAGES PARENTS TO FUEL KIDS RIGHT WITH A HEALTHY BREAKFAST

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 12-Aug-2014
Source Newsroom: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

 

Newswise — CHICAGO – The back-to-school movement is in full swing. As parents scour stores for the year’s school supplies, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages them to stock up on healthy breakfast foods, too. August is Kids Eat Right Month, the perfect time to emphasize how a healthy breakfast is crucial in providing children the nutrients and energy they need to succeed in school.

“Studies show that breakfast eaters tend to have higher school attendance, less tardiness and fewer hunger-induced stomachaches in the morning, which means fewer trips to the school nurse,” says registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy Spokesperson Toby Smithson.

“Their overall test scores are better, they concentrate better, solve problems more easily and have better muscle coordination. Children who eat breakfast are also less likely to be overweight and more likely to get enough calcium.”

But too often and for a variety of reasons, children do not eat this fundamental meal. The Academy’s Family Nutrition and Physical Activity Report revealed that breakfast is not eaten all of the time by 42 percent of white and Hispanic children and 59 percent of black children. Additionally, 12 percent of white, 18 percent of black and 12 percent of Hispanic children reported never or rarely having breakfast.

“For most people, time is the biggest obstacle to eating in the morning, but a healthy meal does not need to take a lot of time to prepare,” Smithson says. “Getting organized the night before, keeping meals simple and even taking breakfast to go are three easy steps parents can take to make sure breakfast is eaten every day.”

Smithson offers quick, easy and balanced breakfast ideas for children:
• Cheese slices served on whole-grain toast
• Iron-fortified, whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk and banana slices
• Nut or sunflower butter spread on whole-grain toast or waffles or rolled inside a    whole-wheat tortilla
• Fruit like peaches, strawberries or raisins in instant oatmeal made with low-fat milk
• Apple slices and low-fat yogurt topped with crumbled graham crackers
• Lean turkey on a toasted whole-wheat English muffin

“These options are all loaded with protein and carbohydrates, two important nutrients that help energize the body and keep stomachs full for longer,” Smithson says.

“While some prepackaged foods may seem convenient, parents should be cautious, as many contain excess sugar and fat. Donuts, toaster pastries, pork bacon or sausage sandwiches, chips, fruit drinks and some cereals can be laden with extra calories and have little nutritional value. Read the nutrition label to find lower-fat items and the ingredients label for products that do not list sugar as one of the first ingredients,” Smithson says.

“Most importantly, parents need to be positive role models: Eat breakfast yourselves,” Smithson says.

“If your children see you making excuses, they are likely to do the same. But if they see you making time to eat a healthy meal, they will follow your good example. Your whole family will be better off.”

Visit http://www.KidsEatRight.org for a library of healthy breakfast ideas and for more information about Kids Eat Right Month, including the Kids Eat Right Month press kit. For help developing a healthful eating plan that fits the needs and tastes of your family, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area.

All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy’s Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use “registered dietitian nutritionist” (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at http://www.eatright.org

 

TIPS FOR PACKING HEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCHES FROM NUTRITION EXPERTS AT MONROE CARELL JR. CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL AT VANDERBILT OFFER

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton  Released: 12-Aug-2014
Source Newsroom: Vanderbilt University Medical Center

 

Newswise — Children are back in school making it a good time to start the school year off right with healthy eating habits. Nutrition experts at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt are offering parents tips for packing healthy school lunches.

Today, in America, one in three children is considered overweight or obese. Obesity increases a child’s risk of developing serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure or cholesterol. Lunches should be well balanced, include a protein, and lean more heavily on grains, fruits and vegetables. Sweets and fats should be kept to a minimum.

“Healthier eating habits have well-documented health benefits such as helping to prevent obesity and other diseases, but healthier eating habits also help to fuel children’s brains for academics, their bodies for athletic performance, and also promote healthy skin and body weight,” said Children’s Hospital nutritionist Martha Upchurch.

“Teaching children healthy eating habits when they are young will help to set the stage for a healthy teenage and adult life,” added Upchurch. “Children discover they love certain healthy foods. When they realize this, they are more likely to make smart choices when a parent is not present.”

Healthy Lunch Tips

  • A healthy lunch contains at least three food groups. Anything else is a bonus!
  • Switch to whole grains. Whole gains compared to refined grains contain more nutrients.
  • Sneak veggies into a sandwich by adding spinach, avocado or carrots.
  • Liven it up with hummus, ranch, yogurt or peanut butter for dipping fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep it fresh – fresh fruits and veggies are preferable to canned or jarred.
  • Try to avoid sugary drinks such as sodas, sports drinks and flavored milks.
  • Make sweets a special treat, not an everyday indulgence.
  • Be mindful of portion sizes.

COULD PROTECTING YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN BE AS EASY AS POPPING A PILL?

Dermatologist addresses sunscreen pills, drinkable sunscreen and UV monitoring bracelets

 

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton                                          Released: 7-Aug-2014  Chicago
Source Newsroom: American Academy of Dermatology

 

Newswise — From lotions to sprays to sticks, consumers already have a myriad of options to choose from when selecting a sunscreen. Now, several additional sun protection tools have become available, including sunscreen pills, drinkable sunscreen, and ultraviolet (UV) monitoring bracelets.

To help consumers make smart decisions when protecting their skin from the sun, board-certified dermatologist Henry W. Lim, MD, FAAD, C.S. Livingood Chair and chairman of the department of dermatology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, answers questions about these emerging sun protection products.

Can sunscreen pills be used in place of topical sunscreens?

“One in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime, and sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer,” said Dr. Lim.

“While taking a pill sounds like a more convenient way to protect the skin, seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 are still the most reliable methods of sun protection.”

Of the ingredients found in sunscreen pills, Dr. Lim said the strongest research is linked to Polypodium leucotomos, an extract of a Central American fern plant. Studies have shown the fern extract increases the amount of time it takes for skin to burn when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light.

“We’re not completely sure how sunscreen pills work, but the main understanding is that Polypodium leucotomos acts as an antioxidant, so it protects the skin from oxidative damage caused by sun exposure,” said Dr. Lim.

In addition, Dr. Lim said European studies have shown Polypodium leucotomos can reduce sun sensitivity in people with polymorphous light eruption, a condition that causes an itchy rash when skin is exposed to the sun.

While pills with Polypodium leucotomos cannot be given a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating because the product is not applied to the skin, Dr. Lim said studies comparing the level of protection with that of a traditional sunscreen show the fern extract pill provides the equivalent to an SPF of 3 to 5. The level of protection is significantly less than the American Academy of Dermatology’s (Academy) recommendation to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Other antioxidants, such as green tea extracts and vitamins C and E, also have been shown to offer protective effect from sun damage. Studies have been done on green tea extracts applied to the skin, while vitamin C and E have been studied when taken orally.

Dr. Lim is cautious about a pill that combines multiple antioxidants. Dr. Lim noted that each individual extract may have data behind it, but as a pill, there is no research to support their effectiveness when combined. The amount of each extract would have to be at reduced levels in order to be ingested in combination, which would then make each of the ingredients less effective.

“If someone wants to take a sunscreen pill, they should continue protecting their skin by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunscreen,” said Dr. Lim.

“While there have been promising results, more research needs to be done to know the optimal way of using these pills and their long-term safety.”

Can drinkable sunscreen be used in place of topical sunscreens?
With regard to “drinkable” sunscreen – water that claims to be infused with electromagnetic waves as a way of protecting the skin – Dr. Lim is very skeptical.

“There is absolutely no scientific research published anywhere to support the use of drinkable sunscreen,” said Dr. Lim. “It just does not make any scientific sense.”

What role can a person’s diet have on their level of sun protection?
Dr. Lim said it is not known the effect a person’s diet has on their sun protection.

“While studies have looked at the sun protection effects of green tea extracts when applied to the skin, no study has been done to show whether there are any protective effects of drinking green tea,” said Dr. Lim.

“Green tea has a lot of good research behind it, but to translate it from theory into something that can be practiced is very difficult.”

While vitamins C and E have also shown an ability to protect the skin from sun damage, Dr. Lim does not recommend these supplements to his patients as a sun protection method.

“Only extremely high doses have been shown to provide some level of protection, but these doses are significantly higher than what is recommended in a vitamin supplement, and the safety of long term consumption of high doses of vitamin C and E is not known,” said Dr. Lim.

Are UV-monitoring bracelets and apps helpful sun protection tools?
New UV-monitoring bracelets have been developed to help people track their sun exposure and monitor the intensity of UV rays.

“Personal UV-monitoring is an interesting development. It could help increase awareness of the need for sun protection by the general public,” said Dr. Lim. However, Dr. Lim questions the reliability of the product.

“Are UV levels constantly measured? How reliable is it if a person is in an area without cellular or Internet access? Is the product ready for prime time? It is promising, but I am not sure we are at that stage yet.”

Dr. Lim said personal UV monitors may be a nice tool to remind people to reapply sunscreen or seek shade. Still, when people are in the sun he recommends reapplying sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

For additional ways to protect your skin from the sun and reduce your risk of skin cancer, visit the Academy’s SpotSkinCancer.org. Visitors can learn how to perform a skin self-exam, download a body mole map for tracking changes in their skin, and find free SPOT meTM skin cancer screenings in their area. SPOT Skin Cancer™ is the Academy’s campaign to create a world without skin cancer through public awareness, community outreach programs and services, and advocacy that promote the prevention, detection, and care of skin cancer.

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails.

Back tomorrow Jeanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fibromyalgia myths: The truth about nine common myths

From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton

Courtesy of Mayo Clinic.com

By Mayo Clinic Staff


Fibromyalgia is a widely misunderstood condition that causes widespread pain and fatigue. If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and are trying to learn all you can about the condition, you may come across some of the many common myths and misconceptions about fibromyalgia. Do not let these myths confuse you or discourage you from seeking help for your fibromyalgia symptoms. Here is a look at nine common myths about fibromyalgia and why each is wrong.

Myth: Most doctors do not believe fibromyalgia is a real condition.

Truth: This myth may come from a misunderstanding. Since fibromyalgia is defined by a list of symptoms, claiming that fibromyalgia is not real is essentially saying that your symptoms aren’t real. That does not make sense. Most doctors believe your symptoms are real.

The controversy comes when deciding whether fibromyalgia is a disease process that can be reversed or cured. Most doctors believe fibromyalgia is a set of symptoms that are not caused by an underlying disease. Most doctors believe that fibromyalgia symptoms can be managed, but there is no underlying disease to “cure.”

In some cases, a doctor may not be familiar with fibromyalgia. He or she can refer you to someone who knows more about the condition.

Finding a compassionate doctor can be a frustrating part of living with fibromyalgia. But do not give up if you haven not found the perfect doctor. Focus on finding a doctor who is willing to listen to you and take you seriously.

Finding a doctor who is an expert on fibromyalgia may not be practical, for instance, if there are not many specialists in your area. But a doctor who is willing to learn more about fibromyalgia and listen to your concerns can be an invaluable ally.

Myth: Fibromyalgia damages your joints.

Truth: Though fibromyalgia pain can be severe at times, it does not damage your bones, joints or muscles. Some people worry that when pain worsens, it means that fibromyalgia is progressing. But that is  not the case. While increasing fibromyalgia pain can make it difficult to go about your daily activities, it is not damaging your body.

Myth: You look fine, so there’s nothing wrong with you.

Truth: You know this is a myth, but friends, family and co-workers who do not understand fibromyalgia may sometimes hold this belief. It can cause tension when others wonder if you are faking your pain because they think you do not look sick. Resist the urge to get angry and withdraw rather than explain how you are feeling.

Open and honest communication can help others better understand fibromyalgia. Be honest about how you feel and let others know that if they have questions, you are willing to listen and explain.

Myth: You were diagnosed with fibromyalgia because your doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with you.

Truth: Fibromyalgia is a specific diagnosis based on your symptoms, not a diagnosis you are given when there is nothing wrong with you. The American College of Rheumatology developed a set of criteria to help doctors diagnose fibromyalgia.

Diagnosing fibromyalgia often takes time. Since there is no single test that can confirm you have fibromyalgia, your doctor will often run tests and procedures to rule out other conditions. Enduring repeated tests can be frustrating, but it is an important part of determining whether your symptoms are caused by fibromyalgia or something else. The results will guide your treatment.

Myth: Fibromyalgia causes pain. Those other symptoms you are experiencing must be caused by something else.

Truth: Fibromyalgia can cause symptoms in addition to pain. Many people with fibromyalgia also experience fatigue and difficulty sleeping. Other fibromyalgia symptoms may include headaches, sensitivity to light, dizziness, memory problems, and numbness and tingling in your arms and legs. A number of other conditions commonly accompany fibromyalgia, including irritable bowel syndrome, bladder control problems and mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Myth: No treatments for fibromyalgia exist, so it is no use going to the doctor.

Truth: There is no standard treatment for fibromyalgia, and the Food and Drug Administration has approved just one drug for treating fibromyalgia. But you have many options for controlling fibromyalgia pain, including medications, lifestyle changes, and complementary and alternative treatments. Often you will need to try a few treatments in different combinations to determine what works best.

Myth: On days when you are feeling good, you should try to do as much as you can since you may be unable to accomplish everything you want on other days.

Truth: Overdoing it on the good days may catch up with you. You may feel exhausted the next day and your fibromyalgia symptoms could worsen. But that does not mean you should keep your activity to a minimum. Doing very little could weaken your muscles and increase your pain.

Cope with the good days and the not-so-good days by finding a balance. Pace yourself. Set goals for each day. Your goals should be reasonable. And they should include daily exercise and time for yourself, such as time to relax or listen to music.

Myth: Fibromyalgia is a life-threatening disease.

Truth: Fibromyalgia is not fatal and it does not damage your body. Fibromyalgia symptoms fluctuate over time, sometimes getting worse and sometimes becoming milder. Fibromyalgia pain rarely disappears completely, but you can learn to gain some control over it.

Myth: You cannot have a productive life with fibromyalgia.

Truth: Learning to control your fibromyalgia pain takes time. It is likely that the pain will never completely go away and you will have to accept that your life might never be the same. But that does not mean your life cannot be satisfying and productive.

Work with your doctor to adapt your daily activities so that you can have time and energy for what is important to you. Your strategy may include a number of approaches, such as setting goals, for instance, making time for relaxation exercises every day, or making lifestyle changes, such as walking most days of the week.

 

© 1998-2009 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All rights reserved. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fibromyalgia/AR00056)