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Past News Items - August 2014


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In the News

Holistic Healthcare College Offers Advantage for Certified Case Managers

Researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Report Autologous Natural Killer Cells Can Battle Pediatric Leukemia

Human Brain Deficits of PKCe: Targeted for Alzheimer's Disease Therapeutic and Diagnostic Trials

Gaia Herbs Welcomes Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, to Scientific Advisory Board

Rallying for Change: Top Docs Advocate More Nutrition Education During Medical Training

Free Education Pioneer Launches Course on "Understanding the Ebola Virus"

The Future of Cancer Testing

Cognitive-Enhancing Citicoline Found to Improve Motor Speed and Attention in Adolescents




Released: 08/22/14


Holistic Healthcare College Offers Advantage for Certified Case Managers

Case management is a rapidly growing occupation in the United States. According to the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC), there are more than 35,000 board-certified case managers working in the US and abroad, and nearly 50,000 case managers have earned their certification since 1992. As advocates and coordinators of client services and healthcare strategies, case managers require knowledge of many modalities—including alternative wellness support modalities such as aromatherapy. Continuing education exploring these alternative wellness modalities is one avenue for case managers to achieve a significant advantage in this expanding profession.

American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS), an accredited online holistic health college, was recently granted approval from CCMC to award 60 Continuing Education hours to students who complete all requirements for ACHS’s Certificate in Aromatherapy. Visit achs.edu/academics/aromatherapy/programs/certificate-aromatherapy-online-cert-aroma for additional information.

“Case management is a challenging and rewarding career option for those looking to work with clients in the health and wellness industry. Today’s professional case managers require 80 hours of continuing education to maintain their certification, and we are very pleased that our approval as an aromatherapy CE provider will improve access to a broader range of holistic health education for case managers,” says Dorene Petersen, ACHS president and founder.

Although case managers do not perform clinical work with clients, it is their responsibility to coordinate services as well as serve as clients’ primary advocate. “An Aromatherapy Certificate is an excellent continuing education option for case management professionals,” Petersen says. “The focus of the certificate is holistic aromatology: the restoration of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health through the application of essential oils. This whole-person approach helps case managers to make educated, informed, and individualized recommendations to clients about how aromatherapy can support optimal health and wellness.”

Employed in a range of healthcare settings and in independent practice, case management is swiftly gaining popularity in the United States for its versatility within the healthcare industry. As a quickly growing profession, an extensive knowledge of diverse healthcare modalities—such as aromatherapy—is crucial for success in managing client cases, and continuing education programs are excellent options for achieving this success.

For more information, prospective students may contact ACHS Admissions at (800) 487-8839 or visit achs.edu/about.

 

Released: 08/21/14


Researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Report Autologous Natural Killer Cells Can Battle Pediatric Leukemia

Researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have shown that a select team of immune-system cells from patients with leukemia can be multiplied in the lab, creating an army of natural killer cells that can be used to destroy the cancer cells. Results of their in vitro study, published August 19 in the journal Leukemia, could one day provide a less toxic and more effective way to battle this cancer in children.

“We anticipate additional pre-clinical testing and then, a clinical trial to evaluate the therapy in children with leukemia.”

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer of childhood. This disease hinders the development of healthy blood cells while cancer cells proliferate. Currently, children with ALL receive chemotherapy for two to three years, exposing them to significant side effects including changes in normal development and future fertility.

As a way to avoid these adverse effects, investigators have been researching how to supercharge the body’s innate cancer-fighting ability — a technique called immunotherapy. One branch of the immune system — and a possible component of immunotherapy — includes a class of cells called natural killer (NK) cells. These specialized white blood cells police the body and destroy abnormal cells before they turn cancerous.

Using NK cells as immunotherapy presents challenges. If the cells come from a donor, the patient might reject the cells or worse, be at risk for graft-versus-host disease — where contaminating donor cells regard the patient’s body as foreign and attack it. To avoid these problems, the researchers wondered if they could enlist the help of the patients’ own, or autologous, NK cells. Using autologous cells would remove the risks associated with donor cells.

But using autologous cells raised other issues. Would it be possible to multiply NK cells from patients with leukemia, even though they had very few to start with? Also, could the patient’s own NK cells attack their leukemia… and win?

“In this study, we used NK cells and ALL cells from the same pediatric patients. We found that autologous natural killer cells will destroy the patient’s leukemia cells,” said Nora Heisterkamp, PhD, of The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and one of the co-lead investigators.

To help the NK cells identify their target as leukemia cells, the researchers also added a monoclonal antibody. Antibodies are normally made by cells of the immune system to identify and neutralize foreign material. Researchers can design and produce antibodies, called monoclonal antibodies (mAb) that specifically target a certain protein like the ones found on cancer cells. In a previous paper, Heisterkamp showed that a mAb targeted to a specific receptor (BAFF-R) on the leukemia cells stimulated the NK cells to attack and kill the cancer. The BAFF-R mAb was also used in this study.

“These results are very promising — with potential as a part of first line therapy and also as a treatment for eliminating any remaining cancer cells, known as minimal residual disease, following standard chemotherapy,” said Hisham Abdel-Azim, MD, of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and co-lead investigator on the study. “We anticipate additional pre-clinical testing and then, a clinical trial to evaluate the therapy in children with leukemia.”

Additional contributors include first author Fei Fei, Min Lim, Aswathi A. George, Jonathan Kirzner, Robert Seeger, and John Groffen of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; and Dean Lee of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston TX.

Funding for the study was provided in part by grants from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the V-Foundation and Public Health Service grant CA090321.

 

Released: 08/19/14


Human Brain Deficits of PKCe: Targeted for Alzheimer's Disease Therapeutic and Diagnostic Trials

Today, researchers at the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI) announced findings from a new study entitled, "PKCe Deficits in Alzheimer's Disease Brains and Skin Fibroblasts."  These new findings offer significant promise for a new therapeutic and diagnostic approach to Alzheimer's disease (AD) that has remained so refractory to effective and early drug treatment. This approach is now the major focus of ongoing clinical trials being conducted by at BRNI/Neurotrope, Inc. collaboration. In contrast to past strategies, this new therapeutic strategy now being clinically tested, not only removes the precursors to amyloid plaques and tangles, it also induces the growth of new synapses and prevents neuronal death.

The results of this study, co-authored by Tapan K. Khan, PhD; Abhik Sen, PhD; Jarin Hongpaisan, Ph.D; Chol S. Lim, PhD; Thomas J. Nelson, PhD; and Daniel L. Alkon, MD can be found in an early online edition of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (volume 43, issue 2).

In this study, brain samples, provided under blinded conditions by the Harvard Brain Bank, PKC epsilon were found to be deficient in areas of the brain known to be affected early in AD. In these same brain areas, this new report also shows that the A Beta oligomers levels rise when PKC epsilon is reduced. The study also compared the skin cells of AD patients with age-matched controls and patients with non-AD dementias. This comparison found consistent changes in the skin cells of AD patients. Thus, these PKC epsilon deficits in the brain support their potential value both as an early therapeutic target in AD, and as an early diagnostic biomarker in skin cells that are easily obtained in a minimally invasive sample.

BRNI, in collaboration with its private sector partner, Neurotrope, Inc. recently launched clinical trials of a drug, Bryostatin, that activates PKC epsilon now discovered to be deficient in AD brains - as well as in skin fibroblasts.  This enzyme, PKC epsilon, not only regulates the formation and degradation of the AD toxic proteins, A Beta oligomers, it also reduces the precursor to another AD hallmark, neurofibrillary tangles. This same enzyme, PKC epsilon, stimulates the formation of new synaptic connections that are lost even early in AD. PKC epsilon activation by this highly potent BRNI/Therapeutic, Bryostatin, also stimulates pathways to prevent the death of neurons.

Importantly, the PKC epsilon deficits in the skin cells were strongly correlated with disease progression.   The longer the patients had AD, the greater the PKC epsilon deficits.  Furthermore, the deficits in the brain were significantly correlated with an accepted measure of disease severity known as the "Braak" score.

"The results of this study demonstrates strong evidence that a peripheral Alzheimer's biomarker in skin cells, even early in the disease progression, provides a direct window into the the Alzheimer's brain which show PKC epsilon deficits that could account for the early loss of synaptic connections and dementia," says Dr. Alkon, Scientific Director of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences

SOURCE Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute

 

Released: 08/19/14


Gaia Herbs Welcomes Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, to Scientific Advisory Board

Gaia Herbs has announced that Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, has joined the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Alschuler is board certified in naturopathic oncology and has been in practice since 1994. Earlier this month, she was named “Physician of the Year” by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Dr. Alschuler graduated from Brown University with an undergraduate degree in Medical Anthropology and received a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University. She is a past president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and a founder and the current President of the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Previously, she was the department head of naturopathic medicine at Midwestern Regional Medical Center – Cancer Treatment Centers of America. She was also the clinic medical director and botanical medicine chair at Bastyr, and was on the faculty of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.

“We are honored to have Dr. Alschuler as a member of our Scientific Advisory Board,” said Tammy McIver-Gay, Vice President of Business Development at Gaia Herbs. “She will provide insight, leadership and distinction as a presenter and lecturer for webinars and educational events, and as an author of scientific papers and articles.

Dr. Alschuler is the co-author of The Definitive Guide to Cancer: An Integrative Approach to Prevention, Treatment and Healing, and The Definitive Guide to Thriving After Cancer: A Five-Step Integrative Plan to Reduce the Risk of Recurrence and Build Lifelong Health.   

She co-created FiveToThrivePlan.com, and co-hosts a radio show, “Five To Thrive Live!” on the Cancer Support Network which is rebroadcast on iHeartRadio Talk. “Five To Thrive Live!” provides the public with information about living more healthfully in the face of cancer.

“I believe that my job as a naturopathic physician and educator is to stimulate and support healing and wellness by utilizing the most natural and scientifically sound strategies possible,” said Dr. Alschuler. “I believe that every person has the innate capacity to experience greater health and an exuberant life.”

 

Released: 08/15/14


Rallying for Change: Top Docs Advocate More Nutrition Education During Medical Training

Doctors often lack adequate training in nutrition to give patients the care they need, concludes a group of the nation's leading physicians in the September 2014 issue of The American Journal of Medicine

Diet is the top risk factor for disability and premature death in America, yet physician accreditation standards don't even mention the word "nutrition," despite very specific requirements in other areas, including procedures.

"Nutrition is the low-hanging fruit in medicine—a low cost intervention with untapped potential for optimizing health," says cardiologist Stephen Devries, MD, lead author of "A Deficiency of Nutrition Education in Medical Training" and executive director of The Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology in Deerfield, Illinois. The Gaples Institute is an educational nonprofit that advocates for greater emphasis on nutrition and lifestyle in medicine.

The paper is a statement from leading physicians and educators, including James Dalen, MD, MPH; David Eisenberg, MD; Victoria Maizes, MD; Dean Ornish, MD; Arti Prasad, MD; Victor Sierpina, MD; Andrew Weil, MD; and Walter Willett, MD, DrPH. 

It is estimated that at least one-third of the $315 billion spent annually in the United States on cardiovascular disease could be cut if Americans embraced modest dietary changes.

Physicians need adequate training to effectively help counsel patients to make needed changes. The experts prescribe a requirement for nutrition education in all phases of medical training—with a focus on the link between food, lifestyle, and common disease. They also recommend considering nutrition as a pre-med requirement. "Certifying examinations need to be modified to emphasize that nutrition education is no longer a garnish but is now served as the main course," the authors say.

 

Source: Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology, GaplesInstitute.org

 

Released: 08/13/14


Free Education Pioneer Launches Course on "Understanding the Ebola Virus"

A Free Online Certificate Course has been launched to help spread awareness and knowledge of the Ebola Virus, its dangers and threat, and information on how to avoid contracting the deadly disease. The course is aimed at individual learners, as well as schools, colleges and workplaces in Africa and worldwide. On August 8th, 2014, the World Health Organization declared the Ebola Outbreak an international public health emergency.

ALISON is one of Africa's largest educators, approaching 1 million learners across the continent. With learners in every country worldwide, the ALISON free learning platform can be used as an efficient way of getting timely health literacy information and training to millions. Mobile enabled, ALISON has significant student numbers in the most affected countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. It has more than 100,000 learners in neighboring Nigeria and 50,000 learners in Ghana.  

ALISON is offering free online access to the course, free online groups, free assessment, and certification for schools, colleges, and workplaces that wish to make sure all of their students and employees properly understand the course instruction. These organizations can print off Certificates of Completion for each individual learner as proof of learning. 

Commenting on the launch, ALISON CEO and founder Mike Feerick stated that "as one of Africa's largest educators, we have a responsibility, as well as the opportunity, to spread awareness and knowledge about the Ebola virus and help the global effort to contain the spread of this deadly disease." Dr. Eric Corbett, Head of Content at ALISON, stated that the fact that online courses can be updated instantly as new information appears make it a dynamic and an especially useful and effective communication tool. The course was developed using World Health Organization and the US-based CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines. 

Click here to access "Understanding the Ebola Virus"

Source: ALISON, alison.com

 

Released: 08/13/14


The Future of Cancer Testing

New science in molecular and genetic testing for  breast, colon, and prostate cancer, as well as leukemia, will be among the special features at the College of American Pathologists’ annual scientific and education meeting, CAP’14—THE Pathologists’ Meeting, Sept. 7-10 at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago.

“More accurate diagnoses and precise treatments through molecular diagnostics offer new hope for the millions of patients battling cancer each year,” said CAP President Gene N. Herbek, MD, FCAP. “As the doctors who diagnose disease and guide treatment, pathologists want to keep current on the new diagnostic procedures that can enhance patient care. CAP’14 brings together the leading experts in laboratory medicine to share the latest information to benefit patients.”

World-renowned experts in pathology and laboratory medicine will examine the clinical and economic impact of genomic-based testing, as well as share insights on the pathologist’s role in coordinated care models and appropriate test selection to reduce medical costs and unnecessary testing.

Highlighted scientific and educations courses to be covered include:

>>Special Scientific Plenary Session: “Molecular Medicine—Can We Afford It?” lead by national thought leaders Debra G.B. Leonard, MD, PhD, FCAP, chair of pathology at the University of Vermont; David O. Meltzer, MD, PhD, a health economist at the University of Chicago; and Adam C. Berger, PhD, director of the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health

>>Beyond the microscope, emerging technologies, and new ways to guide clinical decision-making

>>The use clinical informatics in an era of meaningful use

Highlighted events to be featured at CAP’14 include:

>>“The Next 20 Years: How Science Will Revolutionize Medicine,” featuring futurist and celebrated author, Michio Kaku, PhD

>>The top five Junior member-submitted abstracts, representing original pathology research

>>The “Path to a Future in Medicine” program honoring six of the best and brightest high school science students from the Chicago Public Schools.

 

View a complete list of CAP’14 media “hot topics” by day and by subject.

Source: College of American Pathologists, cap.org.

 

Released: 08/01/14


Cognitive-Enhancing Citicoline Found to Improve Motor Speed and Attention in Adolescents

Recently unveiled at the annual American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology conference in Hollywood, FL, a new randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled human clinical trial conducted by The Brain Institute, at the University of Utah, found that adolescent males experienced increased motor speed and attention after supplementation of citicoline. The trial involved 75 adolescent males over a 28-day period in which the citicoline, a known cognitive-enhancing nutrient, was administered. The research reported that the individuals who were administered citicoline showed multiple improved cognitive domains, which includes measures of attention and motor speed.

Although citicoline has been the subject of previous trials, the nutrient has undergone limited research dedicated to healthy adolescent populations. Lead researcher, Dr. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Utah, said, "The study finally sheds a light on the cognitive-enhancing effects of citicoline in healthy, adolescent individuals," she continued, "which is something we at The Brain Institute have never done before." (Typically, research around citicoline involves adults with neurological deficits.) Furthermore, the research found that self-reported side effects of administration were not greater as compared to participants in the placebo-controlled group.

Participants included 75 healthy adolescent males divided into treatment (n=51) and placebo groups (n=24) after completing a screening visit including a medical exam and clinical measures.

Individuals were then randomly assigned to a 250 mg or 500 mg Cognizin citicoline treatment group or placebo group. To test the group, researchers conducted the "Finger Tap Test", a motor function assessment during which participants are required to press a lever attached to a mechanical counter as many times as possible during discrete time periods. Additionally, the "Ruff 2 & 7 Selective Attention Test" was also administered, which tests a timed cancellation task in which participants cross out 2's and 7's embedded in blocks of distractor numbers or letters. Those who were given the citicoline scored higher in both tests after the 28-day period.

"The work that Dr. Yurgelun-Todd and The Brain Institute has done with citicoline and adolescent males is outstanding," said Danielle Citrolo, PharmD, Kyowa Hakko USA. "We're continuing to learn amazing things about the positive effects that Cognizin citicoline has on the human brain."

 

SOURCE Kyowa Hakko USA

 

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