Archive for the 'Chronic Illness' Category

Kitchen Health: Cinnamon

This Toast Can Lower Your Cholesterol!

I love cinnamon and have ever since I was small. The scent is so warm, inviting, and has even been found to boost memory, along with cognitive function! I guess that’s why remember Grandma’s cookies so well. Ok, maybe not, but they were so tasty.

I add cinnamon into different dishes you probably wouldn’t normally think of dumping it into. The spice has a wonderful way of bringing out the flavor of other ingredients, especially pork. Try a dash in spaghetti sauce or meatloaf.

Cinnamon has so many benefits to the body. A recent study found cinnamon in a ½ teaspoon dose daily can lower LDL cholesterol. It can also help regulate blood sugar in diabetics. Another great benefit is the ability cinnamon has in stopping yeast infections that are resistant to medication. Here is a short list of some other great things about cinnamon:

1. It’s full of manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber.
2. It’s an anti-clotting agent for blood.
3. Mixing cinnamon with one tablespoon of honey and taken every morning can give relief in sufferers of arthritis.
4. At Copenhagen University, a study has shown cinnamon reduced the growth of leukemia and lymphoma.

Wow. So many more reasons to love one of our most popular kitchen spices!

Posted in Uncategorized, Health, Arthritis, Chronic Illness, Cold and Flu Remedies, Diabetes, Healthy Eating, Herbs and Natural Remedies | 3 Comments »

The Power of Music

Many people enjoy listening to music, because it can affect or enhance an emotional state. For example, if someone wants to relax, they will often listen to music that’s soft. The same goes for people who are in a high energy mood and want to maintain it — listening to techno music can help any jogger maintain a good pace.

Now new research is suggesting that listening to music can help reduce pain and depression. RINF Alternative News reported:

Listening to music can reduce chronic pain by up to 21 per cent and depression by up to 25 per cent, according to a paper in the latest UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing.

It can also make people feel more in control of their pain and less disabled by their condition.

Researchers carried out a controlled clinical trial with sixty people, dividing them into two music groups and a control group.

Read the full story: Listening To Music Can Reduce Pain And Depression

Posted in Chronic Illness, Mental Health, Stress Management | No Comments »

New Study Suggests Adult Sickle Cell Drug Can Help Children Too

A drug used for the treatment of sickle cell anemia in adults has now been shown to cause significant improvements in very young children with the disorder. The finding is an important one as these young patients are especially vulnerable to serious organ failure and even death at an early age. The study results will be published in the October 1, 2005, issue of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Sickle cell anemia is a genetic blood disorder that can cause severe pain, fatigue, and organ damage to the kidneys, spleen, and liver. It occurs in about one in every 500 African-Americans. In the new study, 21 children from two to four years old who had sickle cell anemia were given the drug hydroxyurea orally as a flavored liquid formula. A majority of the children took the drug for at least four years and more than half of the participants completed all six years of the study.

The treatment was well-tolerated in the patients, with only one child’s dosage permanently reduced during the study due to adverse effects. The drug’s primary function, to counteract the effects of the disease by increasing and sustaining fetal hemoglobin production, was achieved in all study participants. Patients treated with hydroxyurea also weighed more and were taller than untreated children with the disorder – their growth rates were even comparable to those of normal children.

Another measure of success of the therapy was that the study patients had improved spleen function, an important finding as many children with sickle cell anemia lose spleen function by two years of age. Participants also experienced significantly fewer incidents of acute chest syndrome, a potentially life-threatening disorder associated with sickle cell disease. During the study, one four-year-old girl died of sepsis, a toxic bacterial infection, though no increased risk of sepsis was found among the hydroxyurea-treated patients.

“This study demonstrates that hydroxyurea is an efficient and safe treatment option for young children with sickle cell anemia,” said Jane Hankins, M.D., M.S., of St. Jude Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center and lead study author. “As sickle cell anemia is a chronic disorder, having a drug that can be started early and continued long-term with few adverse effects is of significant importance to the way we treat this debilitating disease.”

This work was supported by the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities and by General Clinical Research Center grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Posted in Health, Chronic Illness | 1 Comment »

Alzheimer’s Disease - New Approach, New Possibilities?

Antwerp, Belgium - Scientists from the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) associated with the University of Antwerp have achieved a new breakthrough in their research on the origins of Alzheimer’s disease. Their alternative approach opens up new prospects for developing a treatment which can slow the disease’s progress. The researchers have shown that ‘the plaques’ which form in the brain of patients are linked to damage to nearby blood vessels. Leakage appears to occur between the blood vessels and the brain, as a result of which the plaques develop and the disease manifests itself. This research is published today in the ‘American Journal of Pathology’. Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative disease that gradually and progressively destroys brain cells, affects between 50% and 70% of all dementia patients and is therefore the major form of dementia. About 100,000 people suffer from this disease in Belgium. The damage caused to memory and mental functioning makes it one of today’s most frightening syndromes. In particular, the first realization of the loss of any sense of reality is extremely difficult to accept. So, science continues to search feverishly for ways to treat the disease.

The formation of plaques plays a key role

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by an increasing deposit of the amyloid-β protein in the brain. The accumulation of this protein results in ‘plaques’; deposits which settle in the brain cells responsible for memory and observation. How the plaques develop is the key in the search for a treatment. Samir Kumar-Singh and his colleagues on a team headed by Christine Van Broeckhoven have unraveled how certain plaques are formed. In various mouse models, they demonstrate that the plaques attach primarily onto the blood vessels. The vessels show clear structural damage, so that the strictly-controlled separation between blood vessels and brain is compromised and leakage occurs.

A new model as a first step towards a treatment?

Under normal circumstances, the blood vessels transport the excess amyloid-β protein away from the brain. However, the protein has a harmful effect on blood vessel walls. This effect is perhaps strengthened as a result of ageing, which causes the protein to be removed less efficiently. The blood vessel loses strength and in its immediate vicinity the accumulation of the amyloid-β protein increases and plaques develop. Finally, the damage to the blood vessel is so great that it is no longer functional and other blood vessels take over its tasks.

The results of the research of Samir Kumar-Singh opens up alternatives for developing new treatments. For example, a treatment which promotes the removal of the amyloid-β protein from the brain can significantly impede the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. A new approach which might have far-reaching consequences. Additional research should make it possible to verify this in greater detail.

Contact: Ann Van Gysel
ann.vangysel@vib.be
32-92-446-611
VIB, Flanders Interuniversity Institute of Biotechnology

Posted in Chronic Illness | No Comments »

            



Google