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Anti-aging and aesthetics industry facts may surprise you – Los Angeles Post-Examiner

Posted: August 1, 2017 at 7:50 pm

According to the Global Wellness Institute the global wellness economy is worth $3.7 trillion dollars, making the beauty, anti-aging and aesthetics industry one of the largest and fastest growing in the world. Other facts about the industry:

One of the leading providers of anti-aging and aesthetics is theBeverly Hills Rejuvenation Center, which has grown from its single location in 2005 to five locations in California, Texas and Arizona with plans to expand to 11 locations around the country. The two entrepreneurs who started BHRC, Devin Haman and Dan Holtz, found thatthe number of people looking for ways to beat the aging process as well as feel great physically and emotionally was growing.

Haman said, Weve known for a long time that the fountain of youth isnt exactly possible.The good news is that for those who want to look great and feel amazing, there are options to help them get there. We are happy that we have been and continued to be at the forefront of helping this industry grow and to help people look and feel their best.

Haman is a mechanical engineer who opened the famous Sunset Tan tanning salons in 2003 that quickly acquired famous clients like Megan Fox, Britney Spears,Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Kim Kardashian. You might also be familiar with the TV show of the same name that ran for two seasons in 2007-08 on the E! Network. Holtz is known as the Wellness Expert to the Stars. He used his health concerns to launch his career of helping others withhormone replacement therapy.

BHRC has a full menu of anti-aging and wellness options, includinglaser treatment, injectibles, hormone replacement therapy, medical-grade peels, facials, coolsculpting, feminine rejuvenation, and ultherapy. They are on the cutting age of the anti-aging and wellness industry with a long list of satisfied clients, including a number of celebrities. The BHRC website is easy to find for more information.

Top photo: Devin Haman and Joanna Krupa

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JENNIE Aug 1: Osteoarthritis more common in women – WJBF-TV

Posted: at 7:50 pm

TELEVISION PARK Dr. Monte Hunter, chair of the MCG Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Dr. Sadanand Fulzele, bone biologist in orthpaedics are working together to better treat patients with osteoarthritis, commonly known as wear and tear arthritis.

30 million Americans have osteoarthritis and females tend to get it more often and worse. It can be very debilitating and they hope their work will ideally lead to better ways to identify and treat it.

Here is the officuial release from the medical college:

Protective fluid in the knee holds clues for why osteoarthritis is more common in females, and for improved diagnosis, treatment

AUGUSTA, Ga. (June 19 , 2017) Researchers have more evidence that males and females are different, this time in the fluid that helps protect the cartilage in their knee joints.

They have found in the synovial fluid of the knee joint, clear differences in the messages cells are sending and receiving via tiny pieces of RNA, called microRNA, in males and females with the common and debilitating condition osteoarthritis.

The differences may help explain why the disease is more common in women as it points toward a more targeted way to diagnose and treat this wear and tear arthritis, said Dr. Sadanand Fulzele, bone biologist in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Osteoarthritis, which affects more than 30 million Americans, is fundamentally a destruction of the cartilage that provides padding between our bones.

Its a huge problem, says Dr. Monte Hunter, chair of the MCG Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and a coauthor of the study in the journal Scientific Reports. Todays treatment addresses symptoms, like inflammation and pain, and the bottom line for some patients is knee replacement. Clinicians like Hunter would like to provide patients additional options for diagnosing and treating this common malady of aging.

Synovial fluid is known to provide clues about joint health, so MCG researchers decided to look at what messages cells in the region were sending and receiving by looking inside traveling compartments in the fluid called exosomes, says Fulzele, corresponding author.

What we found is there is no change in the number of exosomes, but a change in the microRNA cargo they carry, Fulzele says.

They isolated the mostly round exosomes in discarded human synovial fluid from patients with and without osteoarthritis. They found in the males that 69 microRNAs were significantly downregulated and 45 were upregulated. In females, however there were 91 downregulated versus 53 upregulated.

Females just seemed more impacted: In total, they had more than 70 biological processes altered compared to males who had closer to 50, the researchers report.

Fulzele and Hunter suspect that the gender differences they found in exosome content helps explain gender differences in disease incidence and that estrogen was key to the differences.

Particularly in the females, they found microRNA turned off or otherwise altered that should be sending messages that are good for the joints, like promoting estrogen signaling and collagen-producing cells.

Lower estrogen levels, like those that occur following menopause, prompt production of more cells that destroy bone. In this environ, those bone-consuming cells also tend to live longer, which can result in a net bone loss. Conversely, reduced osteoarthritis risk is considered a benefit or hormone replacement therapy.

MCG researchers hypothesize that estrogen plays an important role in determining which microRNAs the exosomes contain. In fact, when they used aromatase inhibitors to reduce the availability of estrogen, they found a small lineup of microRNAs decreased in number. When they treated cartilage cells from healthy females with exosomes from males and females with osteoarthritis, significantly fewer healthy cartilage cells lived after exposure to the exosomes from patients with disease. Expression of genes that make the extracellular matrix that is the framework of cartilage went down while expression of genes that promote inflammation increased.

They only found one microRNA, MiR-504-3p upregulated in both male and female osteoarthritis patients. Although its unclear what MiR-504-3p does, Fulzele thinks it degenerates cartilage, which is the crux of osteoarthritis. In future studies, they will use MIR-504-3p inhibitors to remove it from the equation and try to determine the function of this tiny piece of RNA.

All cells excrete exosomes as one way to communicate. They carry cargo like protein, lipids as well as microRNA, which can impact the expression and actions of many different genes. In the case of the synovial fluid, Fulzele says the exosome source is likely cells in the synovial membrane that lines the joints and produces the fluid. Wear and tear that comes with aging and can be accelerated and aggravated by injury, can inflame the membrane, which may alter the cargo in the exosomes and the messages they carry, Fulzele says.

Knee replacement becomes the endgame for patients whose dwindling cartilage can literally translate to one bone rubbing against another.

People understand bone on bone when they hear that, Hunter says of the potentially excruciating and debilitating pain that may result. Early interventions include icing a swollen knee, taking anti-inflammatories and avoiding activities that are hard on the joints, says Hunter. They can also inject hyaluronic acid, the major component of synovial fluid, into the knee in an attempt to normalize the environment.

Today, a diagnosis is made based on the joint pain and stiffness patients report, a physical exam and X-ray. Physicians also often examine the synovial fluid, Hunter says. When a knee is swollen and warm to the touch, they will extract some of the fluid to look for problems other than wear and tear, like an infection and/or uric acid crystals, Hunter says. The crystals could be an indicator of gout, a type of arthritis that results from the bodys reaction to excessive levels of uric acid, which results from the breakdown of purines, chemicals found in meat, poultry and seafood.

Hunter hopes that soon he and his colleagues will also examine exosomes in the fluid for indicators of that patients specific instigators of cartilage destruction then devise a cocktail potentially a mix of microRNA inhibitors and joint health promoting microRNA mimics delivered in manmade exosomes that can be injected into the knee to target and help resolve the debilitating destruction.

MCG researchers already are exploring ways to block the microRNAs that are causing destruction.

Other key collaborators include Dr. Ravindra Kolhe, cancer pathologist in the MCG Department of Pathology, and Dr. Mark Hamrick, bone biologist in the MCG Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy.

While osteoarthritis is considered normal wear and tear, its multifactorial, says Hunter, the Dr. Charles Goodrich Henry and Carolyn Howell Henry Distinguished Chair at MCG. There is a genetic component. Some of us have stronger cartilage than others. Some of us are made differently so the angle of our joints puts more pressure in some places.

Risk factors include injury, overuse, increasing age, obesity, a family history, as well as being female, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sports with repetitive high impact, like running and basketball, can increase the risk.

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Jiffy Lube and MDA Launch 6th Annual MUSCLE UP! Campaign for Kids and Adults Fighting Muscular Dystrophy – PR Newswire (press release)

Posted: at 7:49 pm

CHICAGO, Aug. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Jiffy Lube and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) are excited to announce that they will again join together for the annual MUSCLE UP! campaign to give kids and adults with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases the opportunity to live unlimited.

Each August, Jiffy Lube customers are invited to make a donation of $3 or more to MDA at participating locations in support of MDA programs and families. In return, donors receive a MUSCLE UP! savings book containing more than $100 in savings from Jiffy Lube and other national retailers including Aeropostale, Enterprise, FTD, Office Depot and Office Max and Redbox.

In its sixth year, the MUSCLE UP! campaign has raised more than $5 million in support of MDA research and services.

“Jiffy Lube and our franchisees are passionate about giving back to the community in which we live and work and we are proud of our relationship with MDA,” said Denny Reiner, Director of Marketing for Jiffy Lube International. “Participating in an MDA summer camp or spending time with families affected by neuromuscular disease is truly an impactful experience. We are glad to be a part of giving families a break while their child enjoys a week at Summer Camp.”

Funds from the annual campaign help provide services for MDA families nationwide, including a free week-long summer camp which creates opportunities for kids living with muscular dystrophy and related life-threatening diseases to discover new interests, gain self-confidence and experience the independence of being away from home in an environment where barriers do not exist.

The MUSCLE UP! campaign draws a parallel between the body’s muscular system and a vehicle’s engine structure both require care and maintenance to optimize their performance and ensure safety and comfort.

“Support from partners like Jiffy Lube makes it possible to accelerate research to find urgently needed treatments and cures for muscle-debilitating diseases,” said MDA Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Karen Lewis Alexander. “In the past year, four new drugs have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). These are milestones that would not have been possible without the generosity of loyal Jiffy Lube franchisees, service center employees and customers. We are so grateful for the partnership.”

Contributions from the campaign also helps MDA fund groundbreaking research across diseases and provide individuals with life-enhancing programs and support services, including state-of-the-art multidisciplinary care at a nationwide network of more than 150 MDA Care Centers.

About Jiffy LubeJiffy Lube International, Inc. (“Jiffy Lube”), with more than 2,000 franchised service centers in North America, serves approximately 20 million customers each year. Jiffy Lube pioneered the fast oil change industry in 1979, providing customers with fast, professional service for their vehicles. Headquartered in Houston, Jiffy Lube is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Shell Oil Company. Visit to learn more about Jiffy Lube and vehicle care.

About MDAMDA is leading the fight to free individuals and the families who love them from the harm of muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases that take away physical strength, independence and life.We use our collective strength to help kids and adults live longer and grow stronger by finding research breakthroughs across diseases; caring for individuals from day one; and empowering families with services and support in hometowns across America. Learn how you can fund cures, find care and champion the cause at

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SOURCE Muscular Dystrophy Association

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U. of Missouri-led scientists improve gene transfer in Duchenne therapy – FierceBiotech

Posted: at 7:49 pm

The idea of treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy by replacing defective dystrophin genes with normal ones is not new, but previous approaches have been limited by the gene’s size. A University of Missouri-led team has developed a new gene transfer method to solve this problem.

Duchenne is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, which codes for a protein of the same name. Without the stabilizing dystrophin protein, muscle fibers, including those in the heart, eventually weaken and die.

Gene therapy seeks to treat DMD by restoring dystrophin production. Adeno-associated viruses (AAV) are usedto deliver the gene, as they do not cause disease in humans. But because the dystrophin gene is too large for the virus to carry, researchers had to developmodified versions of the gene, dubbed mini- or microdystrophin, for gene therapy.

Problem is, editing the gene can leave out a binding site for the enzyme nNos, which is important for blood flow during muscle contraction, the researchers said. So the team, which also includes scientists from the University of Washington, developed a new AAV microdystrophin vector that has an nNos binding site and a component that promotes dystrophin expression in muscle cells.

RELATED: Shortened telomeres linked to heart damage in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

They injected the vector into mouse models that resemble DMD.Fifteen weeks later, they foundall 10 of the treated mice had high levels of the microdystrophin protein in all of their skeletal muscles. The treatment reduced inflammation, scarring and hardening in the mices muscles and restored their muscle strength.

The research, published in Molecular TherapyMethods & Clinical Development, is encouraging, but a new treatment is a few years off.

“There is still a lot to learn about the dystrophin gene, the dystrophin protein, Duchenne muscular dystrophy disease mechanisms, and gene transfer vectors,” said senior author Dongsheng Duan, of the University of Missouri, in a press release. “Future studies will hopefully allow us to develop a more effective therapy to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the coming years.”

Most of the recent attention in DMD has gone to Sarepta, which gotits controversial Duchenne drug past the FDAafter much debate. Now the company is chasing other treatments for the disease. In January, Sarepta penned a microdystrophin research deal with Nationwide Childrens Hospital and in June, it inked a deal that gave it the option to co-develop France-based Genethons microdystrophin program.

Sareptas drug, Exondys 51, only works in patients with a particular mutation, about 13% of the total DMD patient population. Its new research partnerships could yield gene therapies that would treat many morepatients.

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Advice on Landing the Perfect Job – Cerebral Palsy News Today

Posted: at 7:48 pm

Finding a job is a normal activity for most adults, because its essential to earn an income and be productive in society. When you have a disability, especially cerebral palsy, finding an employer to hire you isnt easy. Hiding a physical disability is nearly impossible, and a physical difference is the first attribute someone notices.

How does someone with a disability find employment? When does a person with a disability tell the potential employer about their disability? Hopefully, this column will help you do your absolute best to try to get that employer to give you an opportunity.

Do you have a rsum? To find a job, the first thing youll need is an attractive one-page rsum. Some might ask if you can have two pages, and the answer is yes, but only if you have a really outstanding reason to do so. I advise you not to put your disability anywhere on the rsum. You dont want to give anyone an opportunity to discriminate before even meeting you. I learned this through my own rsum, and I noticed that I get many more responses without any indication of my disability on it.

List as many credentials and as much proof of education as you have. Employers want to see that you are capable of handling the job. But, most importantly, you want to display any advantage over other applicants. The more educatedyou are, the better your hiring potential will be. Bring or send professional reference letters from people who confirm that you can accomplish what youre saying youll accomplish.

Before going to an interview, dont forget to practice. Interviews can be extremely nerve-racking and intimidating. At interviews, you are basically selling yourself and what you have to offer. When youre on the spot, you might not remember all of the amazing qualities that you have. Practice really does make perfect, and youll feel less stressed when you go for the actual interview.

Sooner or later, your potential employer will find out about your disability. Only after you secure an interview should you disclose your disability, if needed. For example, if you use a wheelchair, its important to know if the job location is wheelchair-accessible. Now is the time to ask, and it gives you a gentle way to prepare them that you have a disability.

During the interview, youll want to be prepared to discuss how you can perform your job with your disability. Be honest and direct and give solid answers so that they have no reason to use your disability against hiring you. Educate yourself on laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, which requires reasonable accommodations in hiring and employment. Always speak professionally and be polite.

Dress for the interview with success in mind. Appearances mean almost everything in a job interview, so wear your best professional outfit. Make sure the outfit fits properly, looks good, feels comfortable, and has suitable colors. Make sure your hair and body are clean and you look your absolute best. Remember the key is to give the potential employer no reason to not to hire you.

After an interview, follow up with a thank-you card by email and regular mail. Being grateful shows the employer how much you want the job. As you wait to hear about the job, keep applying and going on interviews. Going on interviews helps you to find the perfect job for you, and, hopefully, the employer who will say yes!


Note:Cerebral Palsy News Todayis strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician orother qualified health providerwith any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those ofCerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.

Advice on Landing the Perfect Job – Cerebral Palsy News Today

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InVivo halts trial of spine injury treatment after third patient dies – Boston Business Journal

Posted: at 7:47 pm

Boston Business Journal
InVivo halts trial of spine injury treatment after third patient dies
Boston Business Journal
InVivo (Nasdaq: NVIV) announced that it would temporarily stop enrolling patients in the trial of its Neuro-Spinal Scaffold, a biodegradable device invented in part by MIT professor Bob Langer designed to help patients heal after spinal cord injuries.
InVivo Therapeutics Announces Updates on the INSPIRE Study …Business Wire (press release)
Invivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp – Receive News & Ratings DailyTheOlympiaReport
InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp. (NVIV) Plunges 5.56% on August
Investing News Update –Highland Mirror
all 39 news articles »

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Spinal cord injury: Baffour’s story – GhanaWeb

Posted: at 7:47 pm

General News of Monday, 31 July 2017

Source: Arthur Krampah

Spinal cord injury renders the patient indisposed.

For a Ghanaian who is currently indisposed with no degree certification (as I couldnt graduate due to the incident), producing 1.4 billion old Ghana Cedis was like flying to the moon.

My family (my mum especially) having spent over 2 billion old cedis on my treatment, they did their best to gather the said $32, 000 to fund my bills. Their efforts were like a grain of sand at the beach. The more they tried, the more we realized how hopeless it is to produce the money. Luckily, one of my friends from Adisadel College proposed that I come out to the public through the Media, hoping that my fellow countrymen or a Good Samaritan will locate us and come to our aid.

A friend indeed

Through the support of my friend and friends, I was able to use the platforms of some broadcasting companies in the country like the Daily Graphic, TV3 , TV Africa, Coastal TV and Adom TV in to tell the world my story, appeal for funds and assistance. However, the feedback was not as I thought initially.

My friends went the extra mile by putting a petition before my year group at Adisadel College (2001 year group) to help one of their own. They replied positively by gathering funds for me. However, there was a large margin left that needed to be covered.

Thereafter, another friend helped me develop my story (which was published on Facebook) with pictures of my state of being as well as my contact and the necessary monetary accounts. We also added a snapshot of the Daily Graphic publication on my story to back the article published on Facebook (it is still on my Timeline).

The Article that was Published on the Daily Graphic in 2015

The road to recovery

One lecturer at the University of Cape Coast together with some of the students on campus came together to establish a project named BAFFOUR MUST WALK abbreviated BMW raised funds and convinced the student representative council of UCC to help, which they did.

Other anonymous individuals also helped and with the collaborative support of all the sources mentioned above, I was able to take my first trip to India for treatment. In India, I was treated at the NEUROGEN BRAIN AND SPINE INSTITUTE (i.e. STEM ASIA HOSPITAL AND RESEARCH CENTRE) in the third month of the year 2016.

After I had undergone a successful treatment, I was asked to further the treatment in China as what happened in India was the first phase of the required treatment. The treatment was to be done at the STEM CELL DEPARTMENT OF THE GENERAL HOSPITAL of the PEOPLES ARMED POLICE FORCE.

Luckily, I was able to gather funds for the trip a year after (March, 2017) for the next treatment at the hospital and later at the GENERAL HOSPITAL OF GUANGZHOU MILITARY COMMAND in Guangzhou China, after a recommendation from the Stem Cell Hospital had been made. The treatments in China was aimed at improving on what the Indians did, that is help restore my lower limbs functions, sense of touch, my urine and bowel control. The treatment in Guangzhou also went well by Gods grace with no implications whatsoever.

The final hurdle

After the treatment, a tests was run to confirm that I was eligible next treatment which was requirement from a Spinal Cord Injured Rehabilitation Center in USA as the Chinese referred me there. The results came out positive, ready for the final treatment.

The result of my test were mailed to a spinal cord injured rehabilitation center in the United States of America called NextStep Orlando in Orlando Florida USA to confirm if I was eligible for the final treatments. I received a personal email from NextStep Orlando and the content of the email was that I was eligible for the treatments (to undergo the treatments) and the bill for the treatments. The final treatment is Intensive Physiotherapy which consists of Locomotor Training, Functional Electronic Simulation Therapy, Balance Training, and Weight Bearing Training among the lot.


An appeal for funds

The bill for the final treatment is budgeted $19,200 (GH83,520 or 835 million old Ghana Cedis). I will like to use this platform on to appeal to His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Former Presidents – John Mahama, John Agyekum Kuffour and Jerry John Rawlings and the government of Ghana for support, also support from churches, companies, NGO’s and individuals.

Moreover, it is quite tragic that patients going through my condition are not administered with the best treatments (as I discovered from the doctors in China and India) as well as the lack of the resources and facilities to help spinal cord injured patients undergo treatment in our hospitals and rehabilitation centers. I humbly request the president to take a bold step to help people with spinal cord injuries and establish facilities equipped with the necessary equipments and personnel to help us in our treatment and rehabilitation. On my own have started creating awareness on spinal cord injury through a foundation am trying to fully establish,BAFFOUR AWUAH TABURY SPINAL CORD INJURY FOUNDATION (BATSCIF) which is on Facebook and hoping to get other platforms to talk about it.

I need the help of my brothers and sisters once again as well as youre my beacon of hope. Please help a brother walk on his feet again with the little you can give. Nothing is too small and little drops of water makes a mighty ocean. Below is the list of my contact details and monetary donation accounts;

CONTACT: O543791384

FACEBOOK ACCOUNT: Baffour Awura Tabury




PayPal ACCOUNT: [emailprotected]


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My Republica – Over 17,000 receive medical treatment under PCMTP – Republica

Posted: at 7:47 pm

KATHMANDU, August 1: More than 17,000 people received medical treatment in the past one year under the government’s poor citizens’ medical treatment program (PCMTP), officials said.

Altogether 17,218 new and old patients suffering from various diseases like cancer, kidney, heart and spinal cord complications among others received treatment from various 52 health institutions across the country, said the Logistics Management Division of the Department of Health Services.

Of the total Rs 1.5 billion spent in their treatment, Rs 1 billion has already been released while the remaining Rs 500 million is yet to be released, the Division said. For the current fiscal year, Rs 1.18 billion has been set aside for the same programme.

The government has been providing monetary assistance for the treatment of patients suffering from various eight major diseases like kidney, heart, cancer, spinal cord injury and head injuries, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and sickle-cell.

Under this programme, a maximum of Rs 820,000 is provided for each patient with the aforementioned diseases requiring dialysis, transplant and medicines, while in cases of other disease, treatment worth maximum of Rs 100,000 is provided.

The beneficiaries include the highest number of 8,646 cancer patients followed by 3,342 suffering from heart disease, 568 with sickle-cell, 176 with spinal cord injury, 67 suffering from head injury, 17 living with Parkinson’s and nine with Alzheimer’s disease.A total of 131 patients underwent kidney transplant while 4,168 received dialysis and 88 peritoneal dialysis. RSS

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A bold vision – UMN News

Posted: at 7:47 pm

School of Public Health (SPH) student Jake Maxon (Burnsville, MN) became interested in policy while working among microscopes and petri dishes. After getting his neuroscience degree from Brown University, Maxon researched spinal cord injuries, which involved stem cell research.

Policy around stem cells brought a different kind of challenge to our research, and I wanted to know more about how policies are created and implemented, he says.

So Maxon enrolled in SPHs Public Health Administration and Policy program, where hes been able to work with many Twin Cities policy organizations, including as a grant reviewer for the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program and as a policy intern for Hennepin County.

But he wanted to understand policy on a federal level. So he applied to the White House Internship Program. After a six-month selection and vetting process, he was assigned to work alongside the three-person team in the Office of National AIDS Policy, which works to create an integrated approach to the prevention, care, and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Weve advanced medical care for HIV/AIDS patients, so many people in our country forget that HIV is still an epidemic and its still a public health crisis, says Maxon. More than 4,300 residents in Hennepin County alone are currently living with HIV/AIDS.

While in Washington, D.C., Maxon continued working on his degree and now, nearly finished, finds himself in a new role as coordinator for Hennepin Countys HIV Positively Hennepin strategybased off of the national strategy he helped implement at the White House.

The vision is to create a county where all residents living with HIV/AIDS have healthy, vibrant lives, where there is equitable access to HIV prevention and care, and where there are no new HIV infections.

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NFL open to medical marijuana discussion – SFGate

Posted: at 7:46 pm

Photo: J. Patric Schneider, For The Chronicle

NFL open to medical marijuana discussion

Is the NFL softening its stance on marijuana? Looks that way.

In the wake of a report published by the Washington Post Tuesday, the NFL confirmed to The Chronicle that it has sent a letter to the players union saying it would like to join together in the study of marijuana as a possible substitute for pain relief treatment. The NFL players association (NFLPA) has been investigating the issue since late 2016.

We did reach out to the NFLPA in early July proposing we work together on some research on the impact of marijuana and pain management, said NFL spokersperson Brian McCarthy, in an e-mail to The Chronicle. While theyve acknowledged our letter, we dont yet have a commitment from them to work together on this.

The players union did not respond to The Chronicles request for comment Tuesday.

But Kyle Turley did. The long-time league standout and rebel, who is now advocating for the use of medical marijuana in the NFL, was ecstatic about the news.

Thats a huge deal. Its massive, said Turley, a former offensive lineman who struggled with post-career opioid addiction and who is now working with the non-profit group Doctors for Cannabis Regulation. We just want them to get to work. This could be the greatest day in the history of the NFL. That the league finally acknowledged they will research marijuana is a huge deal. … Now the media just needs to hold them accountable to it.

That will be a tough job, given the NFLs relative lack of transparency when it comes to investigating the medical impact of football. But you have to like Turleys enthusiasm. He was truly happy to hear the league had taken a step in the right direction.

Currently, any use of marijuana is banned by the NFLs collective bargaining agreement, although a growing chorus of voices have called for reconsideration, citing studies that show cannabis could be a useful treatment for not only pain relief, but for brain injury, as well.

The arguments for cannabis in treating both pain relief and brain injuries have been well-documented in this column, as recently as last weekend. But the long-term prognosis for the league adopting a more reasonable, and forward-thinking, approach to medicinal cannabis could still be far off.

According to the Posts story, league officials want to make the marijuana discussion part of the next collective bargaining agreement. The current contract expires in 2020.

Theres a chance the marijuana issue could be negotiated separately, outside the overall contract, but those types of side deals are usually unsuccessful, according to The Post.

But, in this case, sooner would certainly be better.

The abuse of pain medication is clearly an issue. You see the players and their later problems. You also see how the league responds to this in their drug policy, said Dr. David Nathan, a New Jersey physician who works with Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, in a 2016 interview with The Chronicle. Marijuana as a complimentary alternative to opioids really solves a lot of that problem by decreasing the lethality of pain management in the NFL.

So, where does this leave NFL players, who have actively voiced their concerns over opioid addiction and long-term brain damage? Pretty much in the same, dark room, with a little ray of sunshine peaking in through the door frame.

But, where there is sunshine, there is hope.

The only gateway drug I ever participated in was the sport of football, which led to 20 years of pharmaceutical use, which turned out to be abuse. I shouldve never been given certain drugs, said Turley, in a previous interview with The Chronicle. The science behind cannabis speaks loudly to the need for us to understand if it works. Its imperative to find that out immediately.

Why should cannabis have an opportunity? The pharmaceutical industry hasnt met the mark.

Al Saracevic is Sports Editor of The San Francisco Chronicle. E-mail: [email protected] Twitter: @alsaracevic

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