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Family Health

Family heath research and news. Tips on how to have a happy marriage, raising children, grand parenting, home and family safety, dangers in the home and healthy meals. Our topics include a wide range of family health tips and news ranging from back to school lunches, pet ownership, family activities and exercises and meal planning.

Apple Cider Vinegar: 1 or 2 tablespoons a day and lose weight?

Apple Cider Vinegar

Fermented foods and beverages were among the first processed foods consumed by humans. Improved shelf life, safety and properties of fermented foods added to their value. Investigators have found strong associations between the consumption of fermented foods and diseases. In humans, further understanding is needed for the potential benefit of apple cider vinegar and weight loss.

Research Closer to Finding Ways to Help Patients With Hepatitis

For healthcare workers, there has been a vaccine for Hepatitis B for some time now. T-cell immunity plays a vital role in pathogen infections. MicroRNA are small, single-stranded non-coding RNAs that regulate T-cell immunity by targeting key factors, signaling and proteins and cytokines associated with T-cell activation, differentiation, and function. This study of specific immune responses can provide new therapeutic opportunities against various infectious diseases.

Novel Therapeutics for ALS: Becoming reality

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative condition that is almost always fatal; usually in three to five years after diagnosis. Most recently we have lost Steven Hawkin who was a very great scientist-he suffered from this disorder. The etiology of ALS remains unresolved and no effective treatment exists. This study looked at an area of ALS potential treatment that is understudied. Reprogramed induced pluripotent stem cells from patient cells reverse key hallmarks of cellular age. Increased recognition of cell type-specific aging paradigms underscores the importance of tipping the balance from a state of compensated dysfunction to decompensation and progression.

Could Food Additives Be Impairing the Effectiveness of Vaccines? And could there be alternative methods to boost the immune system?

Research has been done in mice that suggest that the food additive tBHQ found in many common products from frozen meat to crackers and fried foods can interfere with the immune response in the body. This was especially seen in people when fighting the flu. this effect increasing the severity of the flu symptoms and tBHQ exposure could reduce the effectiveness of the flu vaccine through its effects on T cells; a vital part of immune system.

New Proof Narcolepsy is Autoimmune

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have found autoreactive cells in people who suffer from narcolepsy. This is an important breakthrough that proves narcolepsy is indeed an autoimmune disease. For years doctors have suspected that narcolepsy had some connection between the area that controls wakefulness and the autoimmune system. They have found cytotoxic CD8 T-cells in the blood of narcoleptics. At this point, they know that the immune cells of the patient's body sees normal cells in the body as invaders and attacks them. This results in them having narcolepsy. Researchers have found a combination of genetics, autoimmune cells, and some type of trigger (like a virus) that then leads to this disease.

Update: Further Progress to Helping Patients with Interstitial Lung Disease

Breathing asbestos and dangers

Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) has many lung disorders that fall under that term. One of them Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), is the most common of these disorders. Asbestosis is diffuse pulmonary fibrosis resulting in a slowly progressing disease that can take from 15 to 40 years after exposure to be encountered physical symptoms. And while in most developing countries it has been banned, the exposure-related diagnoses are still being cared for.

Again, Vaccines Are Safe and Necessary

Vaccines and Safety

Vaccinations against many childhood diseases are much needed yet often not given. Antivaccination people are creating pockets of unvaccinated children who then spread the most contagious of childhood diseases, measles, to people who are unable to receive vaccinations. In addition, the recent influx of illegal immigrants creates a large drain on health care systems.

New Hope for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Patients and Their Families

hospice care

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is an inherited neuromuscular disorder primarily occurring in boys and caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. New treatments other than the classic glucocorticoids have started phase 2 testing. This brings hope to patients and families currently dealing with Duchennes.

Promising Research for Treatment of Glioma

Human brain scan

Glioblastoma and its variants are, at present, unable to be cured. Once diagnosed the life expectancy is only 15 months or so. They can occur at any age but most are seen in people between the ages of 50 and 70. In just the past two years studies have been moved from animal trials to human trials and are showing promise. No matter what their outcomes, further research is needed.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Need for Treatment and Cure

Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common form of muscular dystrophy. It is a sex-linked disorder residing on the X chromosome. It affects primarily boys and men and is always lethal. There are few treatments to this disorder that affects 1 in every 3500 to 5000 boys born. There are no cures and few treatments for this disorder.

Medical Problems Leading to Bankruptcy: Little Has Changed with ACA

ACA, medical problems and bankruptcy

ACA has had little effect on the financial burden of households with chronic health conditions. The rise in treatment costs and associated cost sharing for individuals and families are causing medical debt that often has caused these families to deplete their savings. It often also causes these families to forgo necessities like food, heat or rent in order to pay their medical bills. In these cases, the families are forced to file for bankruptcy in order to have a roof over their heads.

Quality of care: Related to reimbursement?

Quality elder care

Despite numerous national programs intended to ensure patients receive the best quality care, it is limited by how best to define quality. It is also dependent on your insurance. Those with government-sponsored programs such as Medicaid or Medicare are often given the barest minimum of care while those with private insurance are provided every option possible.

E-cigarettes: Are they a safe alternative to smoking?

e-cigarette safety

Electronic cigarettes are an increasingly popular device that produces an aerosol by heating a liquid containing solvents, flavorings, and nicotine. The effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a way to stop smoking or reducing the number smoked is uncertain. The chance of this device becoming attractive to the youth of our country is very high. The limited scientific data about the safety of e-cigarettes is a trend that must be remedied and soon.

Autism and Theory of Mind: Possibly Another Way to Understand Autism

Autism mind

Being able to reach a reasonable conclusion of the internal states of others is called mentalization and is critical for successful social interactions. The main components of this system are the medial prefrontal cortex and the temporal-parietal junction. These areas show similar patterns during both the performance and observations of actions. People with autism have trouble mentalizing. This is important as difficulties with this in adults with autism; this is evident in tasks involving action processing. In addition, this issue can impair the understanding of the social intentions of others and this can lead to inappropriate social decisions. These decisions then can lead to maltreatment by others. This study was done to see if there was connectivity between regions of mentalization system when inferring the social intention of others from their actions. Adults with autism are significantly impaired on tasks that involve integrating information regarding others’ intended states with the surrounding context.

Does Price Disclosure Make a Difference in High Drug Prices?

Drug prices and disclosure

Medication prices continue to rise faster than many people can keep up with. Long told that pharmaceutical companies needed to recoup their costs from research and development, recent studies have found this is not true. The price of research and development are often covered within the first few years the medication is released to the public. The companies, however, rarely lower the retail price they charge the patients who are in need of the medicine.

When Shameless Husband Tells His Wife He Is Not Attracted To Her Because of Her Weight

Low carb weight loss salad

A few days ago I read a Facebook post by a young woman who wrote that her husband no longer wants to be married to her because he is not attracted to her and her weight is the issue. The woman had her picture posted and she looked slightly overweight. If the weight is the only issue then this is called shameless and irresponsible behavior. Let's call things by their proper names.

Fructose Connection with Kidney Function

Kidney doctor

With a rise in kidney illnesses, it is more important than ever to look for the underlying causes to slow its occurrence. One of the easiest ways we can influence our kidney function is to be mindful of how much sugary drinks like soda (soft drinks) we consume on a daily basis. This can decrease our propensity for obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders that can place undue stress on our kidneys.

Attempts to Find New Treatments and Better Understanding of Schizophrenia

Human brain

A large group of researchers have uncovered a novel mechanism of neurotransmitters is released in the brain during schizophrenia. This elevated protein was noted not only schizophrenia but also other mental illnesses. the study was the first to study the relationship between mental illness and the level of protein. This is important as schizophrenia affects nearly one in 100 American adults and remains poorly understood.

Brain size and Schizophrenia

Human brain

In the picture above, the different lobes of the brain are color coded. According to the studies found concerning brain volume and schizophrenia, there are two main areas affected. These areas are colored green and the blue lobe that borders on the green. This illustrates why it is so important for research to continue in order to help those afflicted with schizophrenia as it is a lifelong disorder.

Autophagy: Potential target for treating neurodegenerative disorders

Neurodegenerative disorders targeting

Autophagy is a dynamic cellular pathway involved in the turn over of proteins, protein complexes, and organelles through lysosomal degradation. Defects in autophagy affect the intercellular communication and subsequently contributing to neurodegeneration. The presence of abnormal autophagy activity is frequently observed in selective neuronal populations in neurodegeneration seen in diseases like ALS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's disease.

Genetic Links Found for Autism and Schizophrenia

Mental health and human brain

Since the completion of the human genome project, researchers have been discovering changes to hundreds of places in the DNA. Some of these variants have been associated with psychiatric diseases such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. Researchers have found a roadmap for the development of new generation therapy for psychiatric conditions. In the last decade, scientists have conducted genetic studies of people with a psychiatric disease, comparing results to healthy individuals to find genes that have different sequencing in those diseases. This paper helps to explain the roles of tens of thousands of sections of regulatory DNA and proteins in the brain. Once again this study is but a jumping off place for further studies (Geschwind et al, 2018). Dendritic structure (dendrite is a short branched extension of a nerve cell along which impulses received from other cells at synapses are transmitted to the cell body) is tightly coupled with synaptic function in basal conditions. Many brain disorders are associated with an aberrant regulation of F-actin and impaired signaling. These alterations likely underlie the aberrant spine morphology found in these disorders. Further studies on the mechanism of structural plasticity of dendritic spines will provide new therapeutic targets and methods for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders (Borovac et al, 2018).

Wasp and Bee venom to fight antibiotic resistant organisms

Bee

Venomous animals are widely spread all over the globe. Several terrestrial vertebrates (reptiles, birds, insects, and mammals) are also venomous. Major arthropods (scorpions, bees, and wasps) have multicellular glands attached to the stinging apparatus. Bee venom obtained from stepwise fractionation has been reported to contain peptides (Prasasty et al, 2018). It has been known for many years that venom of insects like wasps and bees have compounds that can fight bacteria. Along with that, however, for many humans, these same insect venoms cause toxic reactions so without some kind of refinement was needed. researchers at MIT took the toxin from a South American wasp and created variants of the peptide that are potents against bacterial while nontoxic to human cells. As part of their immune defenses, many organisms produce peptides that can kill bacteria. To help fight the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, many scientists have been trying to adapt these peptides as potential drugs. The study found that the peptide from the venom is believed to kill microbes by disrupting the cell membranes on bacteria (Torres et al, 2018)

Connection between Vitamin D deficiency and neurological conditions

Vitamin D

Dementia is a syndrome usually progressive and chronic in nature. Global incidences of dementia is increasing at a rate of one new case every three seconds with associated medical social and health care costs far exceeding the capacity of most countries. Because of the degenerative nature of the disease sufferers lose their ability to perform routine tasks, experience poor quality of life and loss of autonomy. The role of vitamin D in the etiology of cognitive impairment and dementia is plausible and has been supported substantial mechanistic and epidemiological data. As people age, they tend to spend less and less time outdoors in the sun. It is of great importance as vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide pandemic and is seen most commonly in older adults residing in northerly latitudes, particularly during winter months. Further research needs to be done to see if increasing vitamin D level will improve cognitive health (Aspell, Lawlor, O'Sullivan, 2018).

Parkinson’s disease: What it is and possible treatment

Parkinson's disease is a prevalent disorder that affects approximately 40-1000 people per 100,000 with increased occurrence in older individuals. It is characterized by progressive neurodegeneration that can manifest in early stages as mild cognitive impairment and moderate motor dysfunction, rigidity and tremor. As the disease progresses, the severity escalates as well. This then includes falls, difficulty swallowing and neuropsychiatric complications including psychosis. this psychosis can occur in up to 75% of cases of this disease (Kitten et al, 2018).

Sickle Cell Anemia: Effects of the disease and potential treatment

human blood cells

This study found that a daily hydroxyurea pill may finally bring some relief for young children living with sickle cell anemia. This could be a big game changer for resource-challenged sub-Saharan Africa where the disease is prevalent and health care is suboptimal (Ware et al, 2018). Few studies had been done where the burden is greatest. The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found treatment was feasible and safe in children living in the area of Africa most affected. It proved to reduce vaso-occlusive events, infections, malaria, transfusions, and death. These results illustrate a need for more access to treatments. In the US and Europe early identification of children with sickle cell by means of neonatal screening. This allows these children to be given simple effective, and lifesaving interventions (Tshilolo et al, 2018).

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