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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.

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).

Is it possible for enterovirus to be the next acute flaccid myelitis?

Bacteria

Enterovirus D68 has historically been a rare sporadic disease-causing occasional small outbreaks and a generally mild infection. Mostly these were respiratory in nature like a runny nose, cough and muscle aches. Recently the illness and caused more severe disease and has been focusing more in children. The first large-scale outbreak of EVD68 was reported in the US and Canada. From August 2014 to January 2015 a total of 1153 cases in 49 states with 10.4% cases of acute flaccid myelitis in the US and five cases of EVD68 in Canada. Several clusters of acute flaccid myelitis have been noted in recent years associated with EVD68 and EVA71. further investigation into the relationship is important because of the severity of acute flaccid myelitis and because there currently is no treatment for acute flaccid myelitis related to EVD68 or vaccines to prevent it (Dyda et al, 2018).

Influenza: Are We Ready or Does The Shot Do Any Good?

Influenza

Influenza activity in the US began to increase in early November 2017 and rose sharply from December through February 3, 2018. From October 2017 to January 1, 2018, the weekly percentage of deaths from pneumonia and flu ranged from 5.8% to 10.1% and has exceeded the epidemic threshold for five consecutive weeks. During seasons with increased severity of influenza, antiviral medications are an important adjunct to vaccinations. Additional study is needed to see if this year's virus will mutate and develop resistance to the four antiviral medications available. In addition to seeing just how effective the current influenza vaccination will be in controlling influenza transmission (Budd et al, 2018).

COPD: Treatments, Non-Compliance, and Outcomes

COPD Treatment

Optimal pharmacological treatment for COPD patients reduces symptoms, reduces the frequency and severity of exacerbations, improve health status and increases exercise tolerance. Unfortunately, despite frequent changes in COPD classification systems and the emergence of new inhaled therapies recommended from evidence-based guidelines, poor adherence to treatment due to the cost of medication and lack of availability of medications create a gap in real-life prescribing patterns (Cases et al, 2018).

Probiotics: Are They as Good as is Claimed

Probiotics

In childhood, recurrent abdominal pain in children is a common complaint. The reason behind it is what needs further investigation as it affects approximately 10% of children. It is a descriptive umbrella term and accounts for many visits to primary, secondary, and emergency care facilities. It is now referred to as one of four functional abdominal pain disorders; dyspepsia, abdominal migraine, irritable, bowel syndrome and functional abdominal pain. One thing most parents need to keep in mind is when was the last time the child had a bowel movement. This author pointed out that there are many conditions of abdominal pain that require no intervention. Routine use of pharmacotherapy for functional abdominal pain is not well supported or suggested. In fact, in some cases, medications can mask the signs and symptoms needed to monitor for a more serious condition. It is felt some doctors will prescribe probiotics just so the parents will feel something is being done in a condition that needs no treatment at the time and will be sell limiting (Edwards, 2018).

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Issues Impairing Employment

Autism mind

Autistic Spectrum Disorders are a complex pervasive neurodevelopmental condition associated with lifelong difficulties. these difficulties cross social, emotional and behavioral domains. The lastest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) finally put all aspects of autism under one umbrella of autistic spectrum disorder. Since this happened questions have been raised if this has helped by moving toward a broader categorization of the disorder is clinically useful (Montgomery et al, 2016).

Strides Made in Renal Cell Cancer

People sitting

Metastatic renal cell carcinomas still are the most lethal in the US. In 2015 alone there were 14,080 deaths attributed to it. Removal of the involved kidney continues to be the mainstay treatment for localized disease. Even with all our advancements in treatment, it continues to have a poor prognosis. Chemotherapy is considered a standard therapy for patients with some renal cell variants. The role in treating clear cell renal cell carcinoma is poorly defined. What exactly causes this resistance is currently undefined. Ideally, doctors should be able to characterize tumors according to DNA. In reality, this method has been largely limited by varying gene expression signatures. For years development of treatment has been largely unsuccessful. Better understanding disease biology and treatment resistance patterns have led to emerging therapies with a better understanding in pathogensis and mechanisms of treatment resistance there are hope treatments will continue to expand (Tsao et al, 2017).

Significant Steps Made In Determining Susceptibility to Ovarian Cancer

mother and daughter

Ovarian cancer is the most lethal of all gynecological malignancies. This is in part because of the symptomology of the disease until it is at a late stage. Because of the five-year survival rate is only 45% while the actual cause of epithelial cancer of the ovary or fallopian tube is not known, studies have found about 15% are shown to be connected with the inherited genetic factors such as BRCA 1&2 mutations. The standard line of defense is surgery and treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy. Unfortunately, recurrence is high with the recurring disease resistant to further chemotherapy. Recently olaparib has shown some promise in treating BRCA 1&2 mutations that have led to ovarian cancer. It is thought this occurs along the DNA repair pathways that make the cancer cells sensitive to olaparib. The validity of the study's data was confirmed by repeated tests across different fields (Fleury et al. 2017).

Skepticism of Flu and Other Vaccinations

Flu shots and other vaccines

Families and societies have faced cycles of deadly diseases, including pandemics, for centuries with profound effects on the perceptions and realities of unseen threats. Since the 16th century, influenza pandemics have occurred at intervals ranging from 10 to 50 years. In the 20th and 21st centuries, three outbreaks of pandemic flu happened. In 1918 it was Spanish Flu with 20% to 40% of worldwide population ill and estimated 50 million people died. In 1957 an influenza virus originated in East Asia that killed between one and two million. Then in 1968, a similar flu virus originated in Hong Kong that resulted in between one and four million deaths. More recently, in the spring of 2009, spreading fast in Mexico and US, the world was rocked with another health crisis; H1N1 (Swine Flu). This study proved that there is limited benefit from flu vaccination given each year but it is better than no help at all (Aylesworth-Spink, 2017).

Pancreatic Cancer: The Silent Killer

Big City Environment Related To Pancreatic Cancer

It is estimated that there are over 338,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer worldwide. in 2012, 331,000 people died from pancreatic cancer. Because the therapies for other cancers have been showing more advancement the researchers feel that pancreatic cancer is liable to become the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, to survive more than a year is only slightly improved due to use of systemic chemotherapy and the combining use of other chemotherapies already available. This trial that adjuvant therapy using gemcitabine is the standard of care based on similar survival to and less toxicity than paired with 5-fluorouracil/folinic acid in patients with resected pancreatic cancer (meaning they have had all or part of the tumor removed surgically). In addition, other trials have shown better survival and tumor response with gemcitabine and capecitabine as opposed to gemcitabine used alone in advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. The outcome of the study found promise with the use of gemcitabine and capecitabine resulting in an increase in survival times to between two and five years without relapse (Neoptolemos et al, 2017)

Ovarian Cancer: The Forgotten Killer

ribbon for ovarian cancer

In high-income countries, cancer remains the commonest cause of disease-related death in adolescent and young adults despite survival improvements. With more than one million new diagnoses of cancer in adolescents and young adults annually worldwide, and their number of life-years affected by cancer being greatest of all ages, the global burden of cancer in adolescents and young adults exceeds all other ages. In low- and middle-income countries, where the great majority of the worlds adolescents and young adults reside the needs of those with cancer have been identified and demand attention. Unique to this age group, the psychosocial challenges they face are the utmost across life's spectrum (Brunet et al, 2018)

Insurance Denial for Emergency Room Care: Fallout from Anthem, Inc Policy

emergency room car fleet in a garage

Financial concerns are often cited by doctors as a barrier to administering routinely recommended vaccines to adults. Survey respondents answered questions on payment and profit for various public and private payer types. Over half of respondents reported losing money vaccinating adult Medicaid beneficiaries. Few respondents reported negotiation with manufacturers or insurance plans on vaccine purchase prices or payments for vaccinations. Claim denial is a major reason many adults don't inquire about vaccinations or seek them out with their doctors (Lindley et al, 2018; Potter et al, 2018).

Adolescence cannabis use: Risk for Schizophrenia

girl smoking cigarette

Drug addiction is a serious socioeconomic problem associated with significant mortality and morbidity. this study highlighted the complex relationship between drug-induced neuroadaptations in the brain and addictive behaviors using examples from both human studies and animal models. these neuroadaptations thought to be responsible for the transition to a persistent state of addiction. addiction is a highly integrated process complicated by differing profiles the drug themselves. this, of course, includes the use of cannabis by youngsters. it has been shown to open the adolescents up to not only addiction but mental illnesses as well (Duncan, 2012).

Artificial Sweeteners: Helpful or Harmful

icing sugar with artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners were first introduced as a tactic to combat the shortage of sugar. Lately, it has been utilized as a way to help deal with obesity but research has been found that they actually may be making the issue worse. With all the issues noted in studies of the side effects of non-caloric artificial sweeteners, it may be better for a person to stick to a more natural diet (Brown, 2018). Artificial sweeteners are low cost and having a sweetness greater than that of normal table sugar they are commonly used in the baking industry. In spite of their beneficial effects, these sweeteners have documented health issues. In some cases, long-term exposure can lead to enforcer. A careful review of the literature by consumers and health professionals is necessary in an effort to make well-informed decisions about their health (Nisa et al, 2016).

Optimizing Outcomes in Melanoma

skin blemish monitor for melanoma

Melanoma is a malignant tumor derived from melanocytes (the cells that give skin its color) and is the deadliest form of skin cancer risk factors for melanoma include family history, sex, age, skin pigmentation, sunburn susceptibility, tanning ability, nevus (moles) count and freckling and psychological health. In addition, socioeconomic features, occupation, access to health, and preventive measures, latitude have been demonstrated to impact the morbidity of melanoma (Helgadottir et al, 2018). Shared success and progress of the pigment cell research community in the understanding of cellular and immunological homeostasis of pigment cells but also clinical challenges and hurdles in the treatment of melanoma and dermatological disorders continue to drive further research activities. Investigators in the pigment cell research community have diverse but complementary backgrounds. The cross-disciplinary nature of the field is unique, unified around the passion of understanding normal pigmentation and benign or malignant pigmentary diseases (Filipp et al, 2018).

Sextortion, Sexting, and Human Trafficking

human trafficing

The online world can be a dangerous environment especially if we are not aware of its danger. it has become a powerful weapon in the hands of criminals and the technology developments have created an unlimited market for them. Unfortunately, without geographical limits, human trafficking can develop at ease in different, new forms. this makes it harder for perpetrators to be identified and prosecuted. The forms of exploration are more and more diverse and recruitment methods are also subtle and intelligent. Up to now, traffickers use brutal force to recruit their victims. Now this force has changed to manipulation and persuasive tactics advanced marketing and management strategies with superior informatics. The criminals constantly update their methods and so should we. We need to start incorporating the changes in the online world and use them as a basis to protect ourselves and our families. We are the solution if you suspect trafficking don't turn your head get involved (Humelnicu, 2017).

Ever Growing Price of Medications: Reasons Why

It has been reported by the GAO-government accountability office, that prices on drugs doubled between 2000 and 2008. The rise was attributed to industry consolidations and price hikes by third-party providers who repackage drugs. And while generics can lower the prices after branded patents expire, branded manufacturers lose approximately 80% of their market share. It should also be noted, that in the US it takes an average of 12 years for a drug to pass through all the trials as it moves from test tube to patent. And the patent protection starts when the molecule is first registered with the patent office. So once it is released for sale the companies often only have 8 years on average to recover the costs of research and productions of the medication and turn a profit (Dooney & Hunter, 2014).

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Preventable With Simple Precautions

Hurricane Harvey was catastrophic causing over 80 deaths and numerous injuries. Hurricane Irma then struck the FL Everglades with many people spending days in ten feet of mud and toxic stormwater. Power outages caused great concern as gas portable generators were used leading to concern of carbon monoxide. Warnings were not well followed with a family of six found drowned in their car. Flood warnings and the use of gas-powered generators are both a growing concern with these summer storms bringing more and more rain (Smith, 2018). three powerful and devastating hurricanes resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people. Power outages led to deaths from carbon monoxide poisonings that could have been prevented if people just followed the advice given by officials (Issa, 2017).

Study finds indoor HEPA filters significantly reduce pollution indoors.

Outdoor air pollution is a major contribution to air pollution. This study found high-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) used in the home significantly reduces fine particulate matter in the air compared to non-HEPA air filters. In this study, researchers monitored air quality for 12 weeks in homes enrolled patients who have respiratory issues. HEPA filters were found to reduce fine particulate matter by 55% and outside pollution coming inside reduced by 23%. Fine particulate matter is defined as small airborne particles often found in areas with heavy air pollution. When inhaled they can lead to respiratory difficulty, heart attacks, or exacerbate symptoms of COPD or asthma. The study was partially done in response to patients who had asked their doctor what they could do to protect their lungs during poor air quality days (Carlton, 2018).

Gender Non-conformity (GNC) Creates Mental Distress in Youth

GNC or gender non-conformity has become a real issue in our schools today. A study conducted of 6082 high school students said GNC was associated with feeling sad and hopeless as well as suicidal. This leads to an increase in peer harassment and violence as well as increase exposure to child abuse. this exposure also has led to an increase in substance abuse as well as an increase experience of mental distress (Lowry et al, 2018).

Researchers Make Progress in Treatment of Glioblastoma

Technological advances have increased tremendously our understanding of molecular characteristics and genetic drivers for a variety of brain tumors. Although targeted therapies have had a considerable impact on patients outcomes, GBM remains an exception. the identification of targetable driven mutations in GBM has opened new potential treatment options for affected patients. On the basis of these findings, the efficacy of new targeted agents is currently being investigated in clinical trials (Ippen et al, 2018).

Lyme Disease: Cause, Transmission, and Geography of Concern

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria of the genus Borrelia transmitted by the bite of a tick of the genus Ixodes. the is transmitted by ticks infected with various diseases in both Europe and North America. Both places are affected by a similar species of genus of bacteria. It is a spirochete belonging to B. burgdorferi sensu stricto are primarily found in America while in Europe it is Ixodes ricinus. the time needed to transmit the disease is usually within 12 hours of attachment. This is why it is so important to remove ticks as soon as found and to treat our pets with flea and tick preventative (Sertour, 2018).

Even the Best Facilities Need to do More to Prevent Hospital Acquired Infections

Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) can be reduced by up to 55% by systematically implementing evidence-based infection prevention and control strategies. HAI come at a considerable expense to patient and families but also cost the US healthcare system an estimated $9.8 billion each year. This study found healthcare institutions have a responsibility to improve the quality of patient care and reduced infection rates by effectively implementing customized multifaceted strategies and improved patient outcomes (Schreiber et al, 2018).

Probiotics: Uses to Treat Intestinal, Immune, and Other disorders

Cocktail with probiotics yogurt

Important factors that may contribute to both etiology and treatment and are increasingly being explored as targets for alternative treatment development. Diet and nutrition are important factors of disease. Many dietary compounds are transformed by the microbiome that can change the etiology of illness. Thus, the use of targeted probiotics has shown promise in the treatment of illnesses in humans.

Looking for Genetic Link to Autism

In some cases of ASD, the birth order makes no difference. It has been suggested that children who have ASD who are not first born may experience reduced access to resources because their parents' attention might be split between a child with ASD and their older sibling. In addition, the older sibling may overcompensate for a younger sibling with ASD and that may, in turn, hinder development.

Novel Tools in an Effort to Increase Treatment for Asthma

Breathing treatment for asthma

RSI out of Dublin Ireland, Stanford University, and Oregon Health Sciences University have located a marker that can help tell which asthma patients are likely to benefit from a new treatment that targets inflammatory cells. Asthma affects approximately 470,000 people in Ireland. thus finding a novel treatment is now available and it is important to match the treatment to the patient who will benefit the most

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