Researchers Discover Simple Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment

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Patients suffering from dry eye syndrome may find relief from an unexpected source. New research suggests that caffeine may help the eye produce tears, potentially relieving the uncomfortable dryness.

Most who experience dry eye syndrome simply find it uncomfortable and bothersome, though it can cause vision loss in more severe cases.

In dry eye syndrome a malfunction occurs in the rate or quality of tear production, or they tears evaporate too quickly from the eyes.

Reiko Arita, MD, PhD, from the University of Tokyo School of Medicine, initiated the study after previous research indicated frequent caffeine consumers had a reduced risk for dry eye syndrome. It was already suspected that caffeine was likely to stimulate tear glands since it was already known to increase secretions such as saliva and digestive juices.

During the randomized clinical trial, 78 participants with an average age of 34 were divided into two groups with half receiving caffeine tablets equivalent to just over four cups of coffee and the rest receiving a placebo during the first session.

Participants were asked not to consume caffeine for six days before each session began. Patients had to be free of hypertension dry eye syndrome, eye allergies, glaucoma, and other eye diseases that interfere with tear production.

They found that caffeine helped with the production of tears, but that the caffeine did not affect the tear drainage rates. The net tear meniscus height increase was .08 millimeters, an increase of about 30 percent in tear volume. The tear meniscus is along the margins of the eyelid and holds up to 90 percent of tears.

Continue reading on Caffeine reducing Dry Eyes at LaboratoryEquipment.com

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Blood-Sucking Fly Has Great Medical Potential

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Black flies drink blood and spread disease such as river blindness-creating misery with their presence. A Univ. of Georgia study, however, proves that the pesky insects can be useful.

Don Champagne, an entomology professor with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, discovered a way to use the black fly’s blood-sucking tactics for medical advancement. The results of his research were published in the journal PLoS One.

“In order to feed on blood, these insects have to contend with our natural defense agents against blood loss-like clotting,” Champagne says. “Many insects use salivary injections packed with proteins to inhibit the enzymes in our bodies from reacting the way they normally would to injury.”

In order for insects to earn a blood meal, they have to override the human body’s battery of defenses. Most of these insects have anticoagulants to fight off clotting, inhibitors to stop clumping of platelets and vasodilators to speed up blood flow at the bite site.

Continue reading about the Great Medical Potential of Blood-Sucking Flys at Laboratory Equipment.com

Prostate Cancer Treatment ‘Reduces Side Effects’

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Results of a London study shows that prostate cancer can be destroyed by a high-intensity ultrasound beam without causing any serious side effects characteristic of other treatments.

The clinical testing was done in London and in Basingstoke in southeastern England. Researchers discovered that it is possible to wipe out tumor cells without doing any damage to the fragile tissues surrounding the affected area.

The usual prostate cancer treatment methods, which are radiotherapy and conventional surgery, cause some serious side effects for patients. Many of those who have undergone these treatment methods have become impotent and some had become incontinent.

In fact, the side effects are so prevalent that a lot of men that have slow growing tumors are often advised not to undergo such treatment methods anymore.

This can change with the recent scientific discovery in England.

During the clinical trial, doctors used the procedure called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) to obliterate the tumors.

Results of the test show that of the 41 men who went through the new procedure, none of them had incontinence while only 10% had impotence. The test results were revealed in a Lancet Oncology journal report.

Dr. Hashim Ahmed of the University College London Hospital said that the results are very encouraging. He said that that his team is very optimistic that men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer may be able to go through a day-case surgical procedure in the near future. He also added that such procedure can be repeated safely once or twice, to treat their illness with only a few side effects. Dr. Ahmed said that it could mean a considerable improvement in the quality of life of prostate cancer patients.

The doctors first used high-resolution MRI scans of the prostates of the patients to map the exact place of the tumors. Once they have mapped the precise location, HIFU machines are then used to focus ultrasound waves in an area about the size of a grain of rice.

The high intensity ultrasound beams from the HIFU machine heat up the cells, killing them without damaging the surrounding tissues.

Brazil, Mexico access to expensive cancer drugs “improving”

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Patient access to premium-priced targeted cancer treatments in Brazil and Mexico is improving, creating an opportunity for developers and marketers of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors, says a new report.

In Brazil, the Health Secretariat is developing measures to facilitate public patient access to the most commonly-requested targeted agents, and a number of private insurers which have traditionally often failed to cover oral antineoplastic agents are starting to change their policies to include them, says the study, from Decision Resources.

In Mexico, the inclusion of targeted therapies in national formularies has increased in recent years, and the public Seguro Popular programme, which covers a vast proportion of Mexico’s population, is set to expand its oncology coverage to include colorectal cancer in addition to breast cancer, which is already covered, the report notes.

As a result, new drugs that offer clear clinical advantages are well-positioned for market access, and efforts by marketers to ensure that oncologists and payers are aware of the benefits offered by their drugs are expected to bear dividends, it says.

The majority of Mexican oncologists surveyed for the study say that the number of patients for whom they can prescribe EFGR inhibitors is limited by the hospital reimbursement budget, and that in the social security sector, which covers around 45% of the population, healthcare programmes frequently run out of funds to pay for targeted agents. This leads to patients being denied treatment with EGFR inhibitors.

Continue reading this story and more at PharmaTimes.com

‘Chinplants’ Fastest-Growing Plastic Surgery Trend

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More Americans looking to improve their looks are taking it on the chin.

Chin augmentations, or “chin-plants,” were the fastest-growing plastic surgery trend of 2011, more than breast augmentation, Botox and liposuction combined, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The procedure, also known as mentoplasty, may also go hand in hand with a nose job, or rhinoplasty, in order to obtain a more perfect profile.

“The chin and jaw line are among the first areas to show signs of aging,” said ASPS President Malcolm Z. Roth. “Chin implants can make a dramatic difference.”

The silhouette-boosting procedure experienced growing popularity in both men and women in nearly all age groups.

The procedure is done under general or local anesthesia.

Most often, an incision is made inside the lower lip or under the chin. An implant of the desired size and shape is then placed inside the chin.

The ASPS believes the increased usage of video chat technology, an aging baby boomer population and a desire for success in the workplace are key factors in the rise of the procedure.

The cost for chin augmentation ranges from $2,500 to $5,000, including anesthesia and other additional charges, according to the ASPS.

A total of 10,593 men had the operation done in 2011, a 76 percent increase over the prior year, and 10,087 women had the procedure, a 66 percent rise — for a combined total of 71 percent.

Look Great and Save Money with Plastic Surgery in Mexico

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Mexico may not be the first place one would consider for plastic surgery, but as an up-and-coming medical tourism destination, it might be worth considering.

The cost of plastic surgery in the US is practically unaffordable, which inspires patients to seek alternative options across the border. Plastic surgery in Mexico is a smart option because it’s close, safe, and has some of the lowest prices in the Western Hemisphere.

As the medical tourism industry grows in Mexico, health care standards have been set very high, which means JCI Accredited hospitals and board-certified plastic surgeons.

The only catch is that the patients have to do their research beforehand, as it is the only way to have a safe and satisfying experience.

Learn more about Plastic Surgery in Mexico: Plastic Surgery in Mexico – An Option Worth Considering

Bizarre Science Could Lead to Breast Cancer Cure

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You gotta give science kudos when it comes to breast cancer. They’re all over looking for treatments that might prevent or actually kill cancer cells. And thankfully, they’re not just sticking to the book on this one. Researchers all over the world are looking into some seriously quirky cures. For instance, baking soda and spider venom.

At the University of Arizona, scientists have won a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to check out baking soda as a possible way to reduce the size of tumors. Well, they actually showed it to be effective in mice, at least.

Apparently it works by counteracting the lactic acid the growths produce when they expand. Plus, just by drinking a baking soda solution, cancer patients might actually change their body’s pH, in turn making their cancer-fighting drugs more effective. The only drawback is that this might have a toxic effect on other organs in the body, like the kidneys or the bladder. But I’m sure if there’s enough potential, they’ll be able to figure out a way to circumnavigate that issue.

While baking soda may not be that bizarre, how about spider venom? I wouldn’t be so quick to judge that one either, because the Australian government is giving $200K to researchers there to check it out as a way to kill cancer cells. In their studies, they’ll mix cancer cells with spider venom and try to figure out if they can prevent the cancer from spreading, while removing it as well.

Beware of Skin Lotions Tainted with Mercury

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Some skin lotions and antiseptic soaps claim to clean and lighten skin while removing freckles and wrinkles. Instead, these illegally imported cosmetic products make consumers ill from exposure to high levels of mercury.

The U.S. Government is warning consumers about these products after dozens of people in at least seven states were diagnosed with mercury poisoning. Victims include a woman in California who was hospitalized after using an unlabeled skin lotion for three years. Several members of her family also had high levels of mercury in their bodies, even though they didn’t use the lotion.

People who buy these products are not putting only their own health at risk, small children can also be exposed to mercury by breathing in the vapors of a skin lotion or by touching someone who has used the cream and then putting their fingers in their mouth.

How to Avoid These Products
The FDA prohibits the use of mercury in skin lotions and cosmetic soaps manufactured abroad. To avoid skin lightening and anti-aging products tainted with mercury, stay away from products that:

  • Do not clearly list ingredients on the label.
  • Include the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” in their labels.
  • Have labels written in other languages unless they also include a clear description in English.

What to Do If Exposed to Mercury
Be alert for signs of mercury poisoning, which include irritability, changes in vision and hearing, memory loss, depression and numbness in the hands, feet or mouth.

If you suspect you have been using products tainted with mercury, stop using them immediately and do the following:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly as well as any other part of the body that might have come into contact with the product.
  • Contact your doctor or health clinic.

(VIA Fox News Latino)

Obesity in Mothers Linked to Autism in Children,Study says

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April is National Autism Awareness Month, and it’s been marked by a steady stream of research about the causes of the disorder.

Pregnant women now have one more reason to watch their diet and exercise.

A new study shows the obesity epidemic may be contributing to the rising number of children diagnosed with autism.

The study released Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows that compared to non-obese mothers those who were obese before pregnancy had a 60-percent increase in the likelihood of having a child with autism.

The average risk of birthing an autistic child is approximately one in 88, but this risk increased to one in 53 for obese mothers.

The reason is unclear, but researchers believe excess blood sugar and inflammation-related substances in the mothers blood maybe to blame.

Based on the results, the researchers suggest increasing obesity rates in the United States could be playing a role in the rapidly increasing rate of autism.

However, scientists say more research is needed to confirm the results, which only indicate a correlation between obesity and autism, and not causation.

Surgeons in Mexico

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Advantages of Choosing a Surgeon in Mexico

  • According to the World Health Organization, the Mexican healthcare system is ranked 61 in the world, and is considered one of the fastest-growing medical markets in the globe.
  • Surgeons in Mexico charge a lot less than what their counterparts in the United States, Canada and Europe charge.
  • Doctors in Mexico are highly-specialized, reputable professionals, most of whom have been trained in the US due to Mexico’s geographical proximity. Doctors in Tijuana have a large number of Californians as clients.
  • One can avail discount surgeries in Mexico. Living expenses in Mexico are quite low as compared to those in the first world countries. This is the primary reason behind the massive cost difference of surgeries in Mexico and in the developed other countries.
  • Pharmacies in Mexico charge a lot less for medications produced by internationally-recognized companies. This factor additionally contributes to decreasing patients’ medical costs.
  • Americans and Canadians can further cut down on their travel costs by choosing to get treated by doctors in Mexico.
  • Mexico is home to numerous world class hospitals. The best Mexican hospitals are equipped with sophisticated technologies and offer personalized care.
  • Even the top hospitals in Mexico don’t require patients to get enrolled in long waiting list before being able to get an appointment with a Mexican medical specialist. Be it knee replacement in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua or facelift surgery in Cancun, irrespective of the procedure and place, patients get timely medical attention in Mexico.
  • Medical tourism in Mexico has been growing in leaps and bounds in the past years, with many patients remaining highly satisfied with the expertise and attention of Mexican surgeons.
  • Mexico is an exotic travel destination known for its warm climate and a friendly population. Combining an affordable medical solution with a fascinating travel adventure may be an appealing option for the seekers of both practical solutions and pleasant travel experiences.