First Successful Human Gene Therapy?

There have been some recent write-ups, (Gene therapy helps counter hemophilia B,   ASH:Gene Therapy Puts Merry in ‘Christmas’ Bleeding Disease) about a new gene therapy treatment for a particular rare disease known as Hemophilia B, or Christmas Disease.  The findings were formally published just this past month in the New England Journal of Medicine.  This particular subtype of hemophilia is perhaps best known historically for having disproportionately affected the English aristocracy and notably affecting the son of Czar Nicholas of Russia.  It is caused by an inability to make Factor IV in the blood, one of a number of enzymes involved in the coagulation cascade which allows blood to clot normally. (more…)

Not a Cure for a Hangover

Well we are coming into winter time and the holidays.  One thing that can end up leading to is people drinking more than they should.  So the first piece of advice is don’t drink too much over the holidays.  But with people relaxing and enjoying themselves with friends and family this is a very common happenstance, though that may not be much comfort if one is suffering the hangover effects of the night before.  So in this post I want to pass along information to make sure a painful nuisance in a hangover does not set one up for something far more serious or tragic.  I’m never quite certain on this blog what is common knowledge and what is new.  Sometimes I will mention something I found ground breaking and stunning and the response is along the lines of, “hmmm- everyone knows that”.  Other times I will mention something in passing that I figure everyone is aware of and it gets quite the response.  So I would think most people must be aware of what I am going to mention, especially people who visit this blog, then again large numbers of people continue to get hurt from doing this so who knows. (more…)

What People are Saying about the November Medical Monograph

Hi Paul – what a wonderful “C” report worthy of an A+++  Ken says you must be the Lord Nelson of of the 21st century!  I was particularly taken with (more…)

Book Review: The World According To Monsanto

by Marie-Monique Robin

I have said on this site previously that I don’t do politics and I don’t do peoples motivations – at least as much as possible.  I have good reasons for this, for one the science is enough of a topic unto itself.  Secondly, I am not a politician or a psychiatrist.  Thirdly, let’s suppose I spend hours and hours of time and finally conclude two things 1) take 50 mg of A and 250 mg of B to be happy and healthy and 2) So and So is a jerk.  What has 2) really added, especially on the happy and healthy front?

Then again there are times when the “so-and-sos” really impact on health in a way that one can’t so easily avoid. (more…)

Other Ramblings, uh News

I have been meaning for some time to ramble on about topics I know nothing about and, as I am pressed for time to do a really focused health post at the moment, I thought this was as good a time as any to start.  Hey it works for 90% of journalists, talk show hosts and media personalities so back off, okay just back off!  I am also considering rudeness, overt condescension, belligerence and rampant egotism as a marketing ploy.  People make careers out of this in TV and Radio these days, its all the rage, yea, you heard me nitwits, shheeez.   For some reason I seem to be channeling one of the puppets from Mystery Science Theater 3000, anyways the shows starting.  (more…)

Health Around the Web

The side effects of statins on memory are beginning to be written up in the mainstream media.

The Telegraph:  Wonder drug that stole my memory,

When I read many of the comments on this story I also find myself wondering, should a first hand patient report of disease be considered more or less authoritative than a second hand write-up by a physician in the peer-reviewed literature?

Scientific American:  It’s Not Dementia, It’s Your Heart Medication: Cholesterol Drugs and Memory (more…)

November Health Journal Club Medical Monograph

One day left to pick up the Health Journal Medical Monograph at the discount price.  This issue looks at how vitamin C was discovered and the evidence in the medical literature for it use in treatment of cancer.  It also touches upon the very recent development of liposome encapsulated vitamin C and what this might mean for those looking to make use of the medicinal effects of vitamin C.

“The story of Vitamin C then begins with the disease of scurvy.  Hippocrates first described this often fatal vitamin deficiency disease some 2,500 years ago noting that it was characterized by bleeding gums, hemorrhaging and death.  While not a pretty picture, clinical scurvy is also thankfully, generally rare as vitamin C may be found in both plant and animal sources.  Nonetheless, a diet devoid of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats if eaten for extended periods will lead to disease.  One such environment historically was long ocean going voyages where scurvy sometimes took a horrendous toil.  In 1499 Vasco Da Gama lost some two thirds of his crew to scury, in 1529 Magellan lost 208 of 230 crew, primarily to scurvy.  Legend has it that the use of fresh fruit to reverse scurvy was the result of a voyage of Christopher Columbus. …”

Skeptic’s Health Journal Club Medical Monograph

 

Skin Gun: New Burn Treatment

Interesting Video on what might be a very major advance in burn care. As JustMeinT commented though when she passed it along, I wonder how long it will take to get approved?  Which is a good question another one I would add is, what business does the FDA really have approving or disapproving medical devices such as say scalpels, stethoscopes or bandages?  Is a stent or a skin gun that much different?  I’ll stop complaining this looks like a possibly significant step forward and it was developed by conventional medicine. Anyways interesting video.

One More Nail in the Coffin of the Low Salt campaign

“In my opinion, people should generally not worry about their salt intake,” Dr. Niels Graudal

I have talked a fair amount previously on this site about why I felt salt wasn’t bad for you, see (Is Salt Good for You? Part I, Is Salt Good for You? Part II, Did They Just Say Salt Cures Heart Disease?) .  In the first two articles I noted that, as with water soluble vitamins though even more so the body can easily waste excess sodium in the urine and has strong systems in place to prevent hypernatremia.  I also mentioned that the literature seemed to show people with greater sodium intake living longer and having less disease.  In the third article I mentioned a recent, massive study from Europe that found not only was salt not bad for you but astonishingly in this large study there was an 80% decrease in heart disease amongst those who took in the most salt!  Salt was found to prevent the very disease that we have always been told that salt restriction would prevent.  (more…)

Zinc and the Common Cold Part III

First off I would say I deleted some comments that I didn’t mean to, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa.  If your comment got deleted please understand that it is a casualty of the spam wars and was by no means intentionally deleted, I think I even deleted my own response to a comment.  I am getting much better at “taking out the garbage” at this point without requiring any sort of moderation or sign-up, so if you have anything to say please say it, I may not even delete it ;-)   Okay so where were we, zinc and the common cold … (more…)