Archive | September 2020

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“Unfortunately, there are currently no treatments for prion diseases, brain-wasting diseases that are invariably fatal. The most common human prion disease is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), better known as mad cow disease.  This disease is rare in humans.  Worldwide, there is an estimated one case of CJD diagnosed per million people each year, most often in older adults. There are 250 people who are inflicted with this in the U.S.”

The Center for Food Safety (https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org )

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“The word BSE is short but it stands for a disease with a long name, bovine spongiform encephalopathy. “Bovine” means that the disease affects cows, “spongiform” refers to the way the brain from a sick cow looks spongy under a microscope, and “encephalopathy” indicates that it is a disease of the brain. BSE is commonly called “mad cow disease.”

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (https://www.fda.gov)

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S. Nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, less than 10 percent of that eligible population actually do each year. The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O (the universal donor).”


American Red Cross (www.redcross.org)

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

When diabetes is not controlled, too much sugar remains in the blood. Over time, this can damage organs, including the brain. Scientists are finding more evidence that could link Type 2 diabetes with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia and the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.”

Alzheimer’s Association ( https://www.alz.org)

Diabetes increases your risk of Alzheimer’s dramatically.

If You Have Diabetes, Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Increases Dramatically

Diabetes is linked to a 65 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, which may be due, in part, because insulin resistance and/or diabetes appear to accelerate the development of plaque in your brain, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Separate research has found that impaired insulin response was associated with a 30 percent higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and overall dementia and cognitive risks were associated with high fasting serum insulin, insulin resistance, impaired insulin secretion and glucose intolerance.

A drop in insulin production in your brain may contribute to the degeneration of your brain cells, mainly by depriving them of glucose, and studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease (people with type 2 diabetes often wind up with low levels of insulin in their brains as well). As explained in New Scientist, which highlighted this latest research:

What’s more, it encourages the process through which neurons change shape, make new connections and strengthen others. And it is important for the function and growth of blood vessels, which supply the brain with oxygen and glucose.

As a result, reducing the level of insulin in the brain can immediately impair cognition. Spatial memory, in particular, seems to suffer when you block insulin uptake in the hippocampus… Conversely, a boost of insulin seems to improve its functioning.

When people frequently gorge on fatty, sugary food, their insulin spikes repeatedly until it sticks at a high level. Muscle, liver and fat cells then stop responding to the hormone, meaning they don’t mop up glucose and fat in the blood. As a result, the pancreas desperately works overtime to make more insulin to control the glucose – and levels of the two molecules skyrocket.

The pancreas can’t keep up with the demand indefinitely, however, and as time passes people with type 2 diabetes often end up with abnormally low levels of insulin.”

Alzheimer’s Might be “Brain Diabetes”

BBA – Molecular Basis of Disease, Accepted manuscript. doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2016.04.017

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain. As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of insulin and eventually shuts down its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, and eventually causing permanent brain damage.

Regularly consuming more than 25 grams of fructose per day will dramatically increase your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Consuming too much fructose will inevitably wreak havoc on your body’s ability to regulate proper insulin levels.

Although fructose is relatively “low glycemic” on the front end, it reduces the affinity for insulin for its receptor leading to chronic insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar on the back end. So, while you may not notice a steep increase in blood sugar immediately following fructose consumption, it is likely changing your entire endocrine system’s ability to function properly behind the scenes.

Additionally, fructose has other modes of neurotoxicity, including causing damage to the circulatory system upon which the health of your nervous system depends, as well as profoundly changing your brain’s craving mechanism, often resulting in excessive hunger and subsequent consumption of additional empty carbohydrate-based calories.

In one study from UCLA, researchers found that rats fed a fructose-rich and omega-3 fat deficient diet (similar to what is consumed by many Americans) developed both insulin resistance and impaired brain function in just six weeks.

Plus, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol , an essential building block of your brain crucial to its health. This is yet another important facet that explains how and why excessive fructose consumption is so detrimental to your health.  Decreasing fructose intake is one of the most important moves you can take in decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in your lifetime.

 

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with the disease—those with the late-onset type—symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s occurs between a person’s 30s and mid-60s and is very rare. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.”

National Institute on Aging    (https://www.nia.nih.gov)

What is actually Alzheimer’s Disease?

What structurally happens to the brain and what happens to the individual in brain thinking diagnosed with this disease:

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with the disease—those with the late-onset type—symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s occurs between a person’s 30s and mid-60s and is very rare. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.

The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After she died, he examined her brain and found many abnormal clumps (now called amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (now called neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles).

These plaques and tangles in the brain are still considered some of the main features of Alzheimer’s disease. Another feature is the loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. Neurons transmit messages between different parts of the brain, and from the brain to muscles and organs in the body. Many other complex brain changes are thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s, too.

This damage initially appears to take place in the hippocampus, the part of the brain essential in forming memories. As neurons die, additional parts of the brain are affected. By the final stage of Alzheimer’s, damage is widespread, and brain tissue has shrunk significantly.

How many affected in the United States by Alzheimer’s Disease:

Estimates vary, but experts suggest that as many as 5.5 million Americans age 65 and older may have Alzheimer’s. Many more under age 65 also have the disease. Unless Alzheimer’s can be effectively treated or prevented, the number of people with it will increase significantly if current population trends continue. This is because increasing age is the most important known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

Symptoms:

Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s, though initial symptoms may vary from person to person. A decline in other aspects of thinking, such as finding the right words, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition that can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s, but not everyone with MCI will develop the disease.

People with Alzheimer’s have trouble doing everyday things like driving a car, cooking a meal, or paying bills. They may ask the same questions over and over, get lost easily, lose things or put them in odd places, and find even simple things confusing. As the disease progresses, some people become worried, angry, or violent.

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging.

Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of cognitive loss.

According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may experience one or more of the following signs:

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Misplaces things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
  • Changes in mood, personality, or behavioral.

 

 

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“There is no clear cause for ovarian cancer, but certain factors can definitely increase your risk. These factors from age (older more likely to develop the disease), genetics (presence of a specific gene mutation), family history of ovarian or breast cancer, and previous medical conditions in the reproductive system. Additionally, the use of fertility treatments, estrogen hormone replacement therapy, and lack of pregnancy.  Ovarian cancer is often called a silent killer and for that reason that awareness and education about ovarian cancer needs to be a major priority.”

National Women’s Health Network (https://nwhn.org) 

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

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Most people are aware that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but how many of you are also aware that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month? This cancer is the more silent sister to breast cancer which takes over the month of October with a worldwide pink party and numerous product promotions, some tasteful and some less so. Maybe people and product promoters are just drawn to pink versus the more reserved teal blue color for ovarian cancer. More likely it’s because breasts are visual and ovaries are invisible to the eye. But ovarian cancer is very visible to those diagnosed and to their loved ones.

We need to make more noise about ovarian cancer awareness. But first you have to listen… to your body. Ovarian cancer can be sneaky. Symptoms, such as indigestion, bloating, painful intercourse, menstrual irregularities and back pain, can point to other less invasive conditions. While breast cancer has screening protocols like mammograms and breast self-examination, there is no reliable screening for ovarian cancer. Unfortunately for many women the disease is often detected at an advanced stage. Both breast and ovarian cancer are diagnosed in women of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.

Ovarian cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the ovaries. Women have two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. The ovaries — each about the size of an almond — produce eggs (ova) as well as the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread within the pelvis and abdomen. At this late stage, ovarian cancer is more difficult to treat and is frequently fatal. Early-stage ovarian cancer, in which the disease is confined to the ovary, is more likely to be treated successfully.

Surgery and chemotherapy are generally used to treat ovarian cancer.

Early-stage ovarian cancer rarely causes any symptoms. Advanced-stage ovarian cancer may cause few and nonspecific symptoms that are often mistaken for more common benign conditions, such as constipation or irritable bowel.

Signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include and don’t ever ignore them:

  • Abdominal bloating or swelling
  • Quickly feeling full when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvis area
  • Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea
  • A frequent need to urinate (urgency including difficulty to void)
  • Increased Abdominal Size
  • Painful Sex
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • ***When to see a doctorIf you have a family history of ovarian cancer or breast cancer, talk to your doctor about your risk of ovarian cancer. Your doctor may refer you to a genetic counselor to discuss testing for certain gene mutations that increase your risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Only a small number of women are found to have genetic mutations that can lead to ovarian cancer.Certain factors may increase your risk of ovarian cancer.     Look at  Risk Factors:
  • Age. Ovarian cancer can occur at any age but is most common in women ages 50 to 60 years.
  • Inherited gene mutation. A small percentage of ovarian cancers are caused by an inherited gene mutation. The genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer are called breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). These genes were originally identified in families with multiple cases of breast cancer, which is how they got their names, but women with these mutations also have a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer.
  • The gene mutations that cause Lynch syndrome, which is associated with colon cancer, also increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Estrogen hormone replacement therapy, especially with long-term use and in large doses.
  • Age when menstruation started and ended. If you began menstruating before age 12 or underwent menopause after age 52, or both, your risk of ovarian cancer may be higher.
  • Never being pregnant.
  • Fertility treatment.
  • Smoking.
  • Use of an intrauterine device.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome.

How is ovarian cancer diagnosed?

Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose. Screening tests, such as ultrasounds and computed tomography (CT) scans, show masses around the pelvis, which can suggest ovarian cancer. Removing part of the tumor for testing is the only way to officially diagnose ovarian cancer.

Finding ovarian cancer before it spreads is critical—when found early, about 94% of women live longer than 5 years after diagnosis. While there are currently no effective screening tests for ovarian cancer, there are scientific studies in progress to help determine ways to detect ovarian cancer.

What are the treatments?

1-Surgery is the first course of treatment for most women with ovarian cancer. Surgery to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible is called debulking. Its purpose is to remove all of the cancer that can be seen.

2-Chemotherapy is a drug that enters the bloodstream to kill cancer cells. This type of treatment works by killing cells in the body that divide frequently. The drawback of chemotherapy is that it also kills healthy cells, resulting in harsh side effects.

Chemotherapy can be injected into a vein, injected into the abdomen, or given by mouth. Ovarian cancer is usually treated with 2 or more types of drugs every 1 to 4 weeks.

The first group contains a platinum-based medicine and is thought to interfere with the DNA structure of the cancer cells, which stops them from making new cells, thus causing cancer cell death

Than a non platinum based medicine as another choice, collectively called taxanes. These disrupt cancer cell division.

3-Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. This type of treatment can be useful in areas where the cancer has spread.  This treatment is not used as a primary treatment.

4-Targeted therapy uses a type of drug that can target cancer cells.

DNA damage that is not repaired can lead to cell death, which can be a good thing in cancer cells.  When someone with a BRCA mutation uses certain types of targeted therapy, DNA damage in cancer cells is less likely to be repaired, leading to cancer cell death.

5- Hormone therapy uses hormones or hormone-blocking drugs to attempt in killing cancer cells. It works by blocking hormones from working or lowering hormone levels to slow tumor growth.

6-There are also clinical trials provide the opportunity to study promising new treatments and procedures just like many other cancers.

 

 

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“Pros High success rate, relieving pain, improving mobility and hip function, 80% to 86% of hip replacements are still working after 20 years since the it was inserted.

Cons An artificial hip isn’t as good as a natural hip. It has some limitations.      It can occur on some occasions that after total hip replacement one leg may feel longer or shorter than the other.”

Raleigh Orthopaedic  (https://www.raleighortho.com)