Friday, October 2, 2009
The cardiac complications of influenza infection, such as myocarditis, are well known, but the role of influenza as a trigger of heart attacks is less clear. It has been suggested that influenza might cause acute and severe inflammation, which in some patients may destabilize atherosclerotic plaques and cause clots in coronary arteries leading to heart attacks....
The AP (10/2, Cheng) reports, "Most babies born in rich countries this century will eventually make it to their 100th birthday," according to research published in The Lancet. Researchers say "that since the 20th century, people in developed countries are living about three decades longer than in the past," and that "trend shows little sign of slowing down." For the study, researchers "examined studies published globally in 2004-2005 on numerous issues related to aging."
The study showed that "without any further improvement in longevity, three-quarters of babies will mark their 75th birthdays," Bloomberg News (10/2, Hallam) reports. The researchers noted that "better healthcare for the elderly, particularly in the US, has extended lives by making illnesses...manageable over time and allowing earlier detection and intervention."
WebMD (10/1, Hitti) reported that the researchers speculated that "societies will stop looking at life as consisting of three phases -- childhood, adulthood, and old age -- and start dividing 'old age' into a 'third age (young old)' and a 'fourth age (oldest old).'" They added, however, that "it remains to be seen if obesity, which has also been rising, will put the brakes on rising life expectancies."
ABC World News (10/1, story 8, 1:45, Gibson) reported, "Federal health officials are expressing new concern about pregnant women and the H1N1 swine flu, releasing what they call, quote, 'upsetting numbers.' The CDC says at least 28 pregnant women have died from H1N1."
In a front-page story, the New York Times (10/2, A1, McNeil) reports that the CDC announced Thursday that "swine flu is now widespread across the entire country," with the CDC director of immunization and respiratory disease Dr. Anne Schuchat saying there is "significant flu activity in virtually all states," which is "quite unusual for this time of year." The Times also notes that, "as anecdotal reports and at least one poll showed that many Americans are nervous about the vaccine, officials emphasized that the new shots were nearly identical to seasonal ones, and said they were doing what they could to debunk myths about the vaccine."
The Washington Post (10/2, Brown) notes that Dr. Schuchat warned pregnant women in particular, noting that "100 pregnant women infected with the virus were hospitalized in intensive care units in the first four months of the outbreak, and 28 have died." Schuchat said, "What we are seeing is quite striking. ... The obstetric caregivers here, and the ones that we're speaking with [around the country], have rarely seen this kind of thing in practice."
McClatchy (10/2, Pugh) reports, "Because of their high-risk designation, pregnant women with respiratory illnesses and flu-like symptoms should be treated with anti-viral medications in addition to receiving both flu vaccinations, which now are becoming available nationwide."
Regarding "anecdotal reports and polling" that "suggest widespread hesitancy about getting" vaccinated, "Schuchat said the public should not fear the flu shot," CQ HealthBeat (10/2, Reichard) reports. She said that "it is being produced in exactly the same way as seasonal flu vaccine," adding, "As a public health worker I'm really looking forward to getting that vaccine."
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
THE MORAL SIDE OF MURDER
THE CASE FOR CANNIBALISM
PUTTING A PRICE TAG ON LIFE
HOW TO MEASURE PLEASURE
Expand your brain....think serious thoughts....have reasonable reasons for your beliefs....DM
Comments: Remember you do not have to be knocked out to have mild traumatic brain injury....repetitive head trauma....like in soccer....may result in problems as well. Consult you optometrist if you noticed eye problems as a result of TBI. Go to http://www.covd.org to find a doc. DM
Comments: Unfortunately, it doesn't look as if they investigated visual problems as an etiology for the headaches. I wonder how many of these children had undiagnosed binocular vision problems. DM
Comments: After reading this article.....you also want to check out these articles from Optometry & Vision Development...DM
Subitizing and Visual Counting in Children with Problems in Acquiring Basic Arithmetic Skills
by Burkhart Fischer, Dipl. Phys., Christine Gebhardt, Dipl. Phys., and Klaus Hartnegg, Dipl. Phys.
Effects of Daily Practice on Subitizing, Visual Counting, and Basic Arithmetic Skills
by Burkhart Fischer, Dipl. Phys., Christine Gebhardt, Dipl. Phys., and Klaus Hartnegg, Dipl. Phys.
Comments: I've recently acquired a task for red wine.....Very good, inexpensive wines can now be found on any grocery shelf in the US....if you like wine like I do....now you even have more reasons to have a sip with dinner! DM
Low-frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy in Fibromyalgia: A Randomized, Double-blind, Sham-controlled Clinical Study
Comments: I have several patients with firbomyalgia. I hope this treatment continues to show that it can decrease pain. DM
The CBS Evening News (9/29, story 2, 2:35, Smith) reported that "the first doses of H1N1 vaccine were shipped out [Tuesday] and not a moment too soon. Every state but Vermont has already seen a flu outbreak, some, the seasonal strain, some, H1N1, and now that the H1N1 vaccine is ready, the next challenge is getting it to where it is needed most." Still, "many states are far from figuring out how they'll distribute the 251 million doses headed their way." Dr. Jesse Goodman, FDA Chief Scientist & Deputy Commissioner, said, "We believe the vaccine is likely to be highly effective."
The New York Times (9/30, A21, McNeil) reports, "Until recently, nearly all the first vaccine batches were expected to be of the nasal spray form," but on Tuesday, Sanofi-Aventis shipped its first batch of injectable swine flu shots.
The company warned that the vaccines would need to be distributed by government channels, so would not be available immediately, according to the Wall Street Journal (9/30, Loftus).
CNN (9/30) notes that, due to security concerns, the company would not divulge which HHS distribution center is receiving the first shipment of vaccine. "MedImmune shipped its first batch of 5 million doses to regional distribution centers last Tuesday," CNN adds, while "Novartis began its shipments on Sunday."
CQ HealthBeat (9/30, Attias) reports that at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday, CDC Director Thomas Frieden said that the CDC "expects initial shipments of the 2009 H1N1 vaccine to be sent from the central distributor to sites where it will be administered as early as the end of this week."
Doctors find most common H1N1 death due to loss of lung function. Bloomberg News (9/30, Gale) reports that researchers in Australia and New Zealand have found that H1N1 "is most dangerous when it causes the lungs to become inflamed, flood with fluid and fail to function." Doctors Steven Webb and Ian Seppelt have dubbed that set of symptoms "flu A-associated acute respiratory disease syndrome, or 'flaards.'" Webb and Seppelt, intensive care specialists, wrote in an editorial in the September issue of the journal Critical Care and Resuscitation, that the severe cases of the disease provide the most insight to its real impact. Thus, intensive care units are "canary in the coal mine."
Comment: Please seriously consider having all family members vaccinated. This flu could be deadly. DM
Visual and accommodative outcomes 1 year after implantation of an accommodating intraocular lens based on a new concept
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
When Charles Brittingham, President of the Wilmington, DE Branch of the NAACP, went for his yearly eye exam, he was amazed to learn how vision problems can impact academic performance, contribute to high school dropout rates, juvenile delinquency and prison recidivism. Once he learned how these vision problems can be treated, and read what parents and children had to say about how their lives were changed academically, behaviorally and even emotionally by receiving optometric vision therapy, he knew he had to do something.
Working together with his optometrist and life NAACP member, Dr. Alton A. Williams, Brittingham wrote a resolution that was passed unanimously by the NAACP Delaware branch. The resolution acknowledged the role that vision therapy can play in reducing the high rate of recidivism and encouraged members to "take aggressive action to have Vision Therapy included in all re-entry programs for formerly incarcerated persons." But that wasn't enough for Brittingham, he wanted to make sure that this issue received national attention.
Unfortunately, due to his daughter's passing, Brittingham was unable to attend the NAACP 100th Anniversary Convention, but he was thrilled to learn that the resolution was passed unanimously.
Christine Waters, Education Committee Chairperson, NAACP Freeport Roosevelt, Long Island, NY, spoke in support of this resolution, "...current research indicates that approximately 1 in 4 children has vision disorders that interfere with their ability to learn. The problems can exist and yet teachers and parents are not aware of them. The symptoms mimic attention deficit disorder, and so I move that... we adopt this resolution." In addition, Waters proposed amendments that focused on prevention, which were also passed unanimously.
Waters, a teacher at Barnum Woods in East Meadow, NY with 30 years of experience in elementary education, knows firsthand the impact that vision problems can have on a child's education. Nine years ago vision therapy changed her son's life. He used to complain about headaches, and struggle with completing classwork and homework. She had no idea that he was seeing double images when he tried to read. Like most children, he had no idea that wasn't normal vision. Once his vision problem was corrected through vision therapy he became more confident and was able to complete required tests, classwork and homework. This past May he graduated from the University of Hartford with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts and Music Education. Without vision therapy this would not have been possible.
The NAACP resolution calls for its members and units to educate the community, elected officials and correctional facilities about the merits of optometric vision therapy in helping to reduce the recidivism rate in some prisoners thereby increasing opportunities for persons reentering society.
According to the American Optometric Association, over 60% of children who have difficulty with learning have undiagnosed vision problems which are not detectable by routine vision screenings. Dr. Carol Scott, a developmental optometrist from Springfield Missouri and President of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), shares, "Considering that 85 percent of all juvenile delinquents nationwide have reading difficulties, it is vital that everyone support the NAACP and ensure that not only are juvenile delinquents and prisoners screened for learning related vision problems, but all children who have any difficulty with learning; even the bright underachievers."
"I applaud the NAACP for acknowledging vision therapy as a valid treatment for the outcomes it is able to achieve," said ophthalmologist and NAACP member from Delaware, Dr. Bruce Sumlin, "Optometric vision therapy makes sense. It is very similar to other kinds of treatment and therapies we provide in the medical disciplines which help to develop neural connections in the brain."
John B. Ferguson III, MD, a Delaware ophthalmologist who has been in practice for over 34 years, was not always a strong believer in vision therapy. When asked what made him change his mind, Dr. Ferguson shared, "Among ophthalmologists, vision therapy has been thought to be reserved for certain eye muscle disorders. I was unaware, and I believe many other ophthalmologists are also unaware, of the significant effects that these eye muscle disorders have on the attitude and behavior of some children. I thought that at the most these children, if left untreated, might experience headaches or read less efficiently. However, I had the opportunity to speak with children and the parents of children who went through vision therapy and I was very impressed by the dramatic and positive academic and behavioral changes they experienced."
Arizona Cardinals 2008 NFC West Champions' wide-receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, has freely shared that the vision therapy that he received as a child helped him tremendously not only with school but in his football career. His grandfather, Dr. Robert Johnson, a developmental optometrist from Chicago received the G.N. Getman Award from COVD in 1977 for his role in bringing behavioral vision services to the disadvantaged youth in Chicago. Dr. Johnson was also the first African-American to achieve Fellowship in COVD.
"We would like to thank Mr. Brittingham and the NAACP for their appreciation of the impact that vision problems can have on juvenile delinquents and prisoners. And for taking a stand to help educate our leaders in government that help is available for those in need of vision therapy." said COVD President, Dr. Scott, "We invite everyone to visit our website at www.covd.org to learn more about the critical link between vision, learning and behavior."
Vision therapy is a specialty service provided by developmental optometrists. To find a developmental optometrist near you, visit http://www.covd.org.
The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is an international, non-profit optometric membership organization that provides education, evaluation and board certification programs in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy and visual rehabilitation. The organization is comprised of doctors of optometry, vision therapists and other vision specialists. For more information on learning-related vision problems, vision therapy and COVD, please visit http://www.covd.org or call 888.268.3770.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Additional opera videos with me singing tenor can be found at
USA Today (9/25, Weise, Stenberg) reports that on Wednesday, the CDC will bring its secure H1N1 vaccine ordering site online, and that is when "states are expected to begin ordering their share of the nation's" vaccine supply. "Distribution of the vaccine is expected to start in the first two weeks of October, starting with six....to seven million doses of the nasal spray vaccine, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday. Forty million doses of injectable vaccine are due to arrive soon after, with another 10 million to 20 million doses due weekly."
Sebelius also noted that the up to seven million doses available in October is "roughly double earlier predictions, and most will be the nasal spray version called FluMist," the AP (9/25) reports. "The vaccine itself will be free -- the government bought it with taxpayer dollars. However, some providers may charge a fee to administer it; administration fees for regular flu vaccine often are in the $20 range."
The Chicago Tribune (9/25) reports that "officials say there eventually will be enough vaccine for everyone, [but] they urged that healthy adults wait, so targeted groups of people most at risk from the flu -- totaling 159 million -- can go first." Officials also said, however, that "pregnant women and children under two shouldn't get the nasal spray," so "many of the high-risk groups will need to watch for the shot version."
"Sebelius said the vaccine will work better and faster than originally thought," McClatchy (9/25) reports. "It will immunize most people against the flu in eight to 10 days, she said, and people will need to get only one dose of the H1N1 vaccine."
Reuters (9/25, Morgan) reports that Sebelius stressed H1N1's risk, saying, "We really need to get the message out." She said, "Taking the risk and getting sick is probably not a wise roll of the dice. ... People can die, and the people who are going to be ill and die are much more likely to be children and young adults." CNN (9/25) also covers the story.
CDC study finds many false-negatives in swine flu testing. In its coverage of national vaccine availability, the New York Times (9/25, A19, McNeil) reports that a study "of the rapid flu tests used in many doctors' offices" released by the CDC Thursday "found that they missed many cases of swine flu by giving false-negative results." The CDC "already advises doctors to treat all cold and flu patients based on the severity of their symptoms without waiting for results of flu tests."
US parents show reluctance to get H1N1 vaccine for children. The Los Angeles Times (9/25, Healy) reports a poll of 1,678 US parents conducted by the CS Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan found that only 40 percent of respondents said they would have their children vaccinated against swine flu. However, "54 percent indicated they will get their kids vaccinated against regular seasonal flu." Nearly half of the parents who said they would not have their children immunized for H1N1 "indicated they're not worried about their children becoming ill with the pandemic virus," and a fifth "said they do not believe the H1N1 flu is a serious disease."
Comments: Have you child get the vaccine. Otherwise your little one may infect another...that person could die. Protect your child. Protect yourself. Get vaccinated. DM
In many cases, kids with vision related learning problems actually have 20-20 eyesight.
85 percent of people are visual learners, they learn from what they see.
But for Anna Mishio of McFarland, much of what she saw didn't make sense, until she underwent vision therapy. ...
The brain first perceives changes in visual input (local motion) in the primary visual cortex. The local motion signals are then integrated in the later visual processing stages and interpreted as global motion in the higher-level processes.
But when subjects in a recent experiment using moving dots were asked to detect global motion (the overall direction of the dots moving together), the results show that their learning relied on more local motion processes (the movement of dots in small areas) than global motion areas....