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Past News Items - March 2015

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In the News

New Non-Invasive Tool for Coronary Artery Disease Assesses Extent of Blockage, Impact of Blood Flow, and Need for Stenting

New Tinnitus Treatment Study Gives Hope to Millions

Global Antioxidants Market Will Be Dominated by Synthetic Antioxidants Till 2020: Transparency Market Research

Diabetes, Previous Joint Pain, and Overall Physical Health Predicts Arthritis Pain

Thorne Research Announces NSF Certification

Heart Failure Study Shows Serial Testing with Cardiac Biomarker ST2 Predicts Outcomes of Hospitalized Patients

Four Top Universities Launch Program to Train Doctors & Nurses to Become Healthcare Researchers & Leaders

Health Canada Publishes Revised Human Exposure Limits for Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy

BCM-95 Curcumin Reduces Chemoresistance in Colorectal Cancer Study


Statin Adverse Effects Much More Common than Appreciated

TAP Integrative Partners with Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine

Geneia Survey Finds 84% of Physicians Believe Quality Patient Time May Be Gone

Three Research Leaders Join Forces To Study Diet's Role In Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Tackling brain inflammation ameliorates Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Released: 03/26/15

New Non-Invasive Tool for Coronary Artery Disease Assesses Extent of Blockage, Impact of Blood Flow, and Need for Stenting

The Cardiovascular Research Foundation of Southern California (CVRF)—a nonprofit charitable organization committed to supporting and conducting innovative research and education for the advancement of the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac and vascular disease—has announced that it is the first cardiovascular facility in the Western US to adopt the HeartFlow FFRCT Analysis, a new FDA-approved non-invasive test for coronary artery disease designed to help physicians develop the right treatment plan for each patient.

The HeartFlow Analysis is the first and only non-invasive technology specifically designed to offer insight on both the extent of a coronary blockage, as well as whether it is impacting blood flow to the heart. The Cardiovascular Research Foundation is the nonprofit research and education arm of the Cardiovascular Medical Group of Southern California.

“Historically, we have been faced with an often inaccurate test or requiring a patient to endure an invasive procedure just to determine whether they need an additional procedure to restore blood flow. Now we have an accurate non-invasive procedure for acquiring that information,” says Ronald P. Karlsberg, MD, principal investigator and CEO of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Cedars Sinai Heart Institute and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Karlsberg directs the Cardiovascular Medical Group’s Advanced Imaging Center, one of the first office-based Advanced Cardiac CT centers, which was established in 2006.

Adds Dr. Karlsberg, “The HeartFlow Analysis is the first technology that bridges the gap between the non-invasive and invasive tests within one platform. The HeartFlow Analysis has the potential to completely change the way we manage coronary artery disease.”

Coronary artery disease (CAD), also called coronary heart disease, is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. CAD develops when the arteries leading to the heart muscle become diseased and clogged because of the buildup of plaque in the vessel walls. The narrowing caused by plaque cuts off vital blood flow to the heart, causing chest pain, heart attacks, and death. Additionally, CAD is one of the most costly medical conditions to the US healthcare system and the world.

Many available non-invasive diagnostic tools are designed to help clinicians assess a patient’s overall risk of having CAD. However, clinicians cannot use these tools to determine the exact extent to which a specific blockage is impeding blood flow to the heart. A diagnostic angiogram, coupled with directly placing a wire in the artery, will provide this information—but it is invasive, can be time consuming, requires hospitalization, and has risk.

The HeartFlow technology builds a digital 3D model of each patient’s cardiovascular anatomy from standard non-invasive coronary CTA scans. The technology then performs millions of complex equations simulating blood flow within the personalized coronary model to provide mathematically computed fractional flow reserve (FFRCT) values. FFRCT values represent pressure differences around a lesion, which allows physicians to identify, on a vessel-by-vessel basis, the extent to which blood flow to the heart has been reduced. The values help physicians determine the right course of action for each patient.

Clinical data from the landmark NXT study showed that the HeartFlow Analysis had a greater ability to determine which lesions have the potential to impede blood flow when compared to coronary CT angiography alone. In the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2014, the HeartFlow Analysis had higher diagnostic accuracy (86 percent) than coronary CT angiography (65 percent). Invasive angiography performed with only 71 percent accuracy in the study.

Existing non-invasive tests are widely used to diagnose CAD, but studies have shown a need to improve their accuracy. A 2014 study published in the American Heart Journal, which included data from more than 1,100 US hospitals, found that of the more than 385,000 patients with stable chest pain who were sent from guideline-recommended non-invasive tests onto elective diagnostic angiogram, only 45 percent had obstructive coronary disease.

Coronary CT together with the FFRCT can simultaneously totally exclude any disease and also non-invasively determine if a specific artery needs repair—a milestone in cardiac diagnostics. “With FDA approval this test is now available and potentially will have a critical impact on the care of our cardiac patients,” says Dr. Karlsberg.

Source: The Cardiovascular Research Foundation of So. CA, cvrf.net

Released: 03/25/15

New Tinnitus Treatment Study Gives Hope to Millions

The chance of an improved life for six million people in the UK living with tinnitus is offered by an extensive study published this week.

Tinnitus affects around 10 percent of the population in the UK and in its severe form can cause sleep loss, anxiety, depression and a significant reduction in their quality of life.

Now, a year-long study by independent research organisation CERES, shows that the innovative Acoustic CR Neuromodulation treatment is effective in reducing tonal tinnitus symptoms such as severity and loudness and annoyance by nearly 40 percent.

Of the 200 patients treated in 23 ENT centres across Germany, 67 percent reported that their tinnitus had improved, and 50 percent said that their tinnitus no longer had a negative influence on their quality of life.

"Patients in this study had tinnitus for more than four years, and the majority had at least two other treatments before taking the Acoustic CR Neuromodulation," said Chief Audiologist Mark Williams at the Tinnitus Clinic Ltd. in Harley Street, which is acknowledged as UK's leading private treatment centre for tinnitus.

"This peer-reviewed study shows without doubt, that in a clinical setting, Acoustic CR Neuromodulation offers both progressive and sustainable therapeutic benefit to people affected by chronic tonal tinnitus."

Robert Stanley, a patient who has recently completed his Acoustic CR Neuromodulation treatment at The Tinnitus Clinic, said, "I would say my tinnitus is 80 percent better than it was and I believe that the Acoustic Neuromodulation programme has significantly reduced my tinnitus both in frequency and volume. It has given me my quality of life back."

Released: 03/25/15

Global Antioxidants Market Will Be Dominated by Synthetic Antioxidants Till 2020: Transparency Market Research

Transparency Market Research has recently published a market study providing an in-depth analysis of the antioxidants market across the globe. According to the report, titled “Antioxidants Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020”, the global market for antioxidants was worth $2123.4 million in 2013. Increasing at a 5.6 percent CAGR during 2014-2020, the market is likely to reach a value of $3111.5 by the end of the forecast period.

“Antioxidants Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020”

Browse Report: transparencymarketresearch.com/antioxidants-market.html

The report presents a complete study of the market for antioxidants across the world, analyzing it on the basis of products and the regional markets for antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that extend the shelf life of food and dietary products by protecting them from deterioration due to oxidation. They are utilized in cosmetics, food, and animal feed additives for many purposes such as preventing cell damage and reducing singlet oxygen.

Request Sample: transparencymarketresearch.com/sample/sample.php?flag=s&rep_id=760

On the basis of product type, synthetic antioxidants and natural antioxidants are the two prime segments in this market. The market for synthetic antioxidants is larger as compared to natural antioxidants, the development of which is still nascent. Production cost of synthetic antioxidants is much lower in comparison to natural antioxidants, making it possible for them to be sold at lower prices. This factor is expected to drive the synthetic antioxidants industry, which will be dominating the global market during the period of 2014 to 2020. 

Released: 03/24/15

Diabetes, Previous Joint Pain, and Overall Physical Health Predicts Arthritis Pain

Diabetes and previous joint pain, along with a patient's overall physical health status, may predict arthritis pain with nearly 100 percent accuracy, in new research presented today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS).

An estimated 1 out of 5 adults is living with an arthritis diagnosis, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the number is expected to rise from 52.5 to 67 million by 2030. Arthritis means "inflammation of a joint." In osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, inflammation occurs when the smooth covering (articular cartilage) on the ends of bones become damaged or worn, often due to normal aging. With rheumatoid arthritis, the joint lining becomes inflamed as part of a disease process that affects the entire body.

In this study, researchers created an algorithm, based on data from the 2011-2012 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, to determine factors and patterns that contribute to pain for a national representative sample of 5,721 US adults with arthritis. The sample's mean age was 60.14 years and the average household income was $52,275. The study authors looked at more than 1,000 variables pertaining to demographics, medical claims, laboratory tests, patient-reported outcomes, employment history, health insurance, medical expenditures and socio-behavioral characteristics. Patient health status was determined through use of the SF-12 Health Component Survey, which assesses whether or not a person's pain or overall health limits him or her from completing daily activities, such as climbing stairs.

Patients were asked whether or not their pain limited normal work. Responses were divided into a "no effect" group, for those who responded "not at all" and "a little bit;" and, an "effect" group for respondents who stated that they experienced pain "moderately," "quite a bit" or "extremely."

The study found that specific combinations of physical health, mental health, and general health status, as well as diabetes, previous joint pain and a patient's education level, predicted pain for individuals diagnosed with arthritis, with physical health status the greatest predictor of pain that limited work. The research did not find a link between arthritis pain and a body mass index (BMI) above 30kg/m² (the threshold for obesity). One of the several algorithms that the researchers developed is able to predict pain at an accuracy rate of 98.6 percent.

"Our results indicate that physical health along with a number of conditions can significantly distinguish individuals with and without pain," said Man Hung, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Operations at the University of Utah School of Medicine. "The algorithms generated in the study offer new insights into pain and should help in the development of cost-effective care management programs for those experiencing arthritis."

Released: 03/18/15

Thorne Research Announces NSF Certification

Thorne Research is proud to announce that it recently received the prestigious NSF International Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Registration for its Sandpoint, Idaho manufacturing facility.

GMPs are guidelines that assist companies in developing and maintaining proper controls in their manufacturing process so that products are processed, manufactured, and labeled in a consistent manner, and meet quality standards. Earning GMP registration from NSF International verifies that Thorne Research’s facility has the proper methods, equipment, facilities, and controls in place for producing dietary supplement products. NSF GMPs were developed in accordance with the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 21 CFR part 111 regulations for the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of dietary supplements and are listed in Section 8 of NSF/ANSI 173, the only accredited American National Standard in the nutritional supplement industry. Thorne Research’s manufacturing in Sandpoint, Idaho is also audited twice annually to verify compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices.

Additionally, Thorne Research has earned NSF Certified for Sport Certification for its EXOS Performance Nutrition Catalyte Isotonic in Lemon Lime flavor. NSF Certified for Sport certification ensures the product has been tested and certified against the only accredited American National Standard for nutritional supplements (NSF/ANSI Standard 173). This includes testing and label claim reviews to verify what’s on the label is in the bottle and that there are no harmful levels of specific contaminants in addition to screening the product for more than 200 athletic banned substances. Thorne will be working with NSF to pursue additional NSF Certified for Sport product certifications.

The NSF Certified for Sport program enables athletes, coaches, and trainers to make informed decisions when choosing nutritional supplements for sports performance. This NSF program is recognized by the National Football League (NFL), the NFL Players Association, Major League Baseball (MLB), the MLB Players Association, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, the US Ladies Professional Golf Association, and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports.


Source: Thorne Research, thorne.com; EXOS, TeamEXOS.com

Released: 03/18/15

Heart Failure Study Shows Serial Testing with Cardiac Biomarker ST2 Predicts Outcomes of Hospitalized Patients

Critical Diagnostics has reported that an abstract, “Prognostic Value of Baseline and Changes in Circulating Soluble ST2 Levels and the Effects of Nesiritide in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure,” presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions in San Diego over the weekend demonstrated in hospitalized heart failure patients that elevated levels of the cardiac biomarker ST2 were associated with an increased risk of adverse events. Authors include W.H. Wilson Tang of Cleveland Clinic, and Michael Felker and Christopher O’Connor of Duke University Medical Center and Duke Clinical Research Institute.

Part of a large multinational, multi-center, prospective randomized study (ASCEND-HF) of hospitalized patients with acute decompensated heart failure, this 858-patient cohort showed higher levels of ST2 were associated with increased risk of death. Moreover, patients whose ST2 levels failed to drop within 48 to 72 hours were more than 2.5 times as likely to die, compared to those whose ST2 levels dropped.

About 1.1 million heart failure patients will be discharged from hospital in the US this year. In fact, heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization in people older than 65 years of age. However, almost one quarter of these discharged heart failure patients will be re-hospitalized within 30 days of discharge, with an average cost per patient for re-hospitalization of $22,700. Front and center are Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s regulations on preventable readmissions. Under the Act, hospitals with rates of re-hospitalization significantly higher than expected lose 3 percent of their Medicare reimbursement across the board, meaning ALL Medicare reimbursements, not just for heart failure.

When implemented correctly, though, intensive disease management programs have been demonstrated to reduce 30-day re-hospitalization and mortality rates, but correct identification of those most likely to benefit from such intervention is challenging. Consequently, broadly implemented disease management programs have not provided a cost effective reduction in re-hospitalization rates. Because hospitals don’t have the ability to monitor all discharged patients—this would overburden staffs and obliterate budgets—using ST2 allows for the risk stratification of these patients, thus enabling more focused management for those that need it most, while keeping costs in check.

“This Cleveland Clinic study corroborates what a number of other studies have conclusively shown,” remarks David Geliebter, CEO of Critical Diagnostics, “namely that ST2 can be a valuable tool in reducing heart failure re-hospitalization and death.”

A 2013 study (“Heart Failure Therapy Induced Early ST2 Changes May Offer Long-term Therapy Guidance,” Journal of Cardiac Failure) from Basel Switzerland and Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, demonstrated ST2 values accurately predict heart failure event risk in hospitalized heart failure patients. Levels of ST2 were measured at presentation to the emergency department and after 48 hours in 207 patients with acute heart failure. In univariate analysis the percentage change of ST2 over the first 48 hours significantly predicted long-term mortality.

In multivariable analysis, the predictive potential of early ST2 changes persisted after the adjustment for ADHERE risk factors (blood urea nitrogen, systolic blood-pressure, and serum creatinine), traditional markers of inflammation (total white cell count and high- sensitive C-reactive protein), BNP, troponin T, percentage BNP changes during the first 48 hours as well as the cumulative diuretic dose administered during the first 48 hours.

Drs. Shannon M. Dunlay and Allan S. Jaffe of Mayo Clinic published a paper in 2013 in Clinical Chemistry, titled, “Are Biomarkers the Answer to the Heart Failure Readmissions Problem?” In it, ST2 was declared to be “the most potent predictor of re-hospitalization of all biomarkers assessed.” And, notably, it demonstrated that serial changes in ST2 were superior to both BNP and troponin—the two most-often used cardiac biomarkers—in the prediction of adverse events in otherwise stable chronic heart failure patients.

As the paper pointed out, the use of BNP was “no better than a flip of a coin” in predicting hospital readmissions, and therefore was no help in addressing this healthcare dilemma. Furthermore, the wide biological variation of BNP, which is affected by such confounding factors as age, body mass index, renal failure, smoking, and other comorbidities common to heart failure patients, means “marked changes are necessary with BNP measures to be sure they are not simply due to spontaneous variation.” ST2 is not affected by these confounding factors.

In another paper published last year by Drs. Lori Daniels and Tony Bayes-Genis titled, “Using ST2 in Cardiovascular Patients: A Review” in Future Cardiology, a specific recommendation made is that “serial ST2 levels can be used to identify ‘ST2 nonresponders,’ or individuals whose ST2 levels fail to drop at least 15 to 25 percent within two weeks after an acute heart failure exacerbation. Such individuals are at increased risk for adverse outcomes.”

“These studies clearly show that the change in ST2 values over the first 48 hours of acute heart failure hospitalization reflect the patients’ prognosis and response to therapy,” noted James Snider, PhD, president of Critical Diagnostics. “Importantly, then, it demonstrates that risk can be attenuated.”


Source: Critical Diagnostics, criticaldiagnostics.com

Released: 03/17/15

Four Top Universities Launch Program to Train Doctors & Nurses to Become Healthcare Researchers & Leaders

The University of Michigan, University of California Los Angeles, University of Pennsylvania and Yale University have teamed up to launch a new initiative  to educate nurses and physicians together to serve as leaders, researchers, and change agents in health care, community health and public policy.

Called the National Clinician Scholars Program, it will train scholars to lead policy-relevant research and catalyze partnerships to improve health and health care. At U-M, the program will be based in the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, and will be called the IHPI-CSP Program.

The program fills the gap left after the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced in 2014 that it will end its Clinical Scholars program for physicians. U-M has trained RWJF Clinical Scholars since 1995, and awards a master's degree in health and health care research to those who complete the program.

This new program, however, expands on the RWJF program by including nurse scientists in addition to physicians to address new and emerging issues related to health care delivery and improving the health of communities.

"For decades, Michigan has trained some of the brightest young physicians at our Medical School to study health care from many angles, and to test new ideas for care delivery," says Rodney Hayward, M.D., who directs the RWJ Clinical Scholars program at U-M and will direct the IHPI Clinician Scholar Program as well. "Now, working with the U-M School of Nursing, we'll continue this commitment together with our partners at the other three institutions."

"We're delighted to make the new Clinician Scholars program a key part of IHPI, as it fits exceptionally well with our Institute's focus on evaluating how health care works and how it can be improved through changes in practice and policy," says John Z. Ayanian, M.D., MPP, IHPI's director. "More than 45 of the 450 faculty members in IHPI are alumni of the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program, and we look forward to training the next generation of leaders in health services research."

The VA Center for Clinical Management Research, based at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, is also a partner in the U-M program.

The new National Clinician Scholars Program will partner with organizations sponsoring a number of individual scholar positions and inter-professional training between nurses and physicians.  

Consistent with the recommendations from the Institute of Medicine's "Future of Nursing" report, this new program will help to transform the health care system by providing opportunities for nurses and physicians to serve as full partners in health care redesign, improvement, and research. Fundamental elements from the RWJF program such as high-quality mentoring, a tailored curriculum, clinical work, and a national annual meeting will be retained in the new program.

At the heart of the program, partners at each institution work directly with each Scholar to identify and develop projects to solve current real world problems and to cultivate the Scholar's unique research and leadership skills. Integration of physician and nurse researchers in training to advance the field of healthcare from different perspectives will shape the future of health and healthcare in ways not seen before.  

The program will include those who have completed their medical degree and residency training, Doctor of Nursing Practice training, or Ph.D. in nursing. Individuals selected for Cohort 2016-18 will begin the program on July 1, 2016.

The new national program website at nationalcsp.org includes information for interested applicants. Applications will be accepted via ncspapp.org/login.php.

Additionally, the program will distribute a call for applications for new sites to join the consortium after this initial year.


SOURCE University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation

Released: 03/16/15

Health Canada Publishes Revised Human Exposure Limits for Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Energy

Health Canada has published its revised Safety Code 6, Health Canada's guideline for recommended human exposure limits to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy, the kind of energy given off by various electronic devices such as cell phones and wi-fi, as well as broadcasting and cell phone towers.

Health Canada has updated Safety Code 6 based on the latest available scientific evidence, including improved modeling of the interaction of radiofrequency fields with the human body. The revised Safety Code takes into consideration recommendations from the Royal Society of Canada's Expert Panel on Safety Code 6, as well as the scientific and technical feedback received by Health Canada during the public consultation on the proposed guideline. The updated Safety Code includes slightly more restrictive reference levels in some frequency ranges to ensure even larger safety margins to protect all Canadians, including newborns and children.

Health Canada reminds all Canadians that their health has always been protected from radiofrequency electromagnetic energy by the exposure limits in Safety Code 6.  Safety Code 6 has always established human exposure limits that are far below the established, scientific threshold for potentially harmful health effects. The limits in Safety Code 6 are based on established, scientific evidence, and provide protection against all known harmful health effects for all individuals.

Quick Facts

>>Health Canada's updated Safety Code 6 makes Canada's limits among the most rigorous science-based limits in the world.

>>The Safety Code 6 limits for human exposure to RF fields are designed to provide protection for all age groups, including infants and children, on a continuous basis.

>>Safety Code 6 is reviewed on a regular basis to verify that it provides protection against all known potentially harmful health effects.

Associated Links
Understanding Safety Code 6 
Busting Myths on Safety Code 6
Health Canada Consultation on the Revised Safety Code 6 
Health Canada's Statement on the Royal Society of Canada's Expert Panel Report on Safety Code 6

Source: Health Canada

Released: 03/13/15

BCM-95 Curcumin Reduces Chemoresistance in Colorectal Cancer Study

Cancer cell resistance to chemotherapy is a major cause of death in patients with colorectal cancer. In a first-of-its-kind study, BCM-95 Curcumin was found to improve chemotherapy’s effectiveness in killing chemoresistant cells via a mechanism not previously identified. [Toden S, Okugawa Y, Jascur T, Wodarz D, Komarova N, Buhrmann C, Shakibaei M, Boland R, and Goel A. Curcumin mediates chemosensitization to 5-flurouracil through miRNA-induced suppression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in chemoresistant colorectal cancer. Carcinogenesis. 2015; 1-13. Doi:10.1093/carcin/bvg006]

“Chemoresistance occurs when the cancer cell is no longer responding to the cancer-killing effects of chemotherapy. The cancer cell ‘learns’ how to survive the chemo. It is a huge problem,” states Ajay Goel, PhD, Director of Center for Gastrointestinal Research, and Director of Epigenetics, Cancer Prevention and Genomics, Baylor Research Institute, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, the lead author of the study.

“In this study, we showed that by adding a high-absorption curcumin (BCM-95 Curcumin) to the chemotherapy treatment (5-flurouracil or 5-FU), the cells lost their chemoresistance and the 5-FU was once again effective. Cell studies have shown that curcumin boosts the effectiveness of chemotherapy, but in this study, we demonstrated this ability using a mouse model, which adds further evidence to curcumin’s effectiveness. We were also for the first time able to identify a unique mechanism of action, which is via curcumin’s influence on micro-RNA or miRNA.”

MiRNAs are small molecules in the body that greatly influence patterns of gene expression. By targeting miRNAs, systems of many genes are controlled or modulated, which can play a crucialrole in killing cancer cells, and preventing its recurrence and spread.

“The miRNA target is extremely interesting,” Dr. Goel continues, “this mechanism can control the expression of several hundreds of genes simultaneously. These small genes or miRNAs are like control centers for specific cellular processes. In the past, we have tried to treat cancer by focusing on single genes, but it is never as simple as that because cancer is a chronic illness that is not controlled by one, but several genes. This is fascinating, because by influencing specific miRNAs, one can influence a wide array of genes that impact cancer instead of just one. The miRNAs that were affected by curcumin treatment in our study control a process called epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), a process by which cancer cells metastasize. The BCM-95 Curcumin used in the study influenced the expression of miRNA to prevent EMT, which may have a profound impact in our fight against cancer.”


It is important to note that the form of curcumin used in the study, BCM-95 Curcumin, has unique specifications, including high absorption and inclusion of turmeric essential oil. Therefore, results may not apply to other forms of curcumin. 

Released: 03/11/15


New treatment options based on integrative health mean better life for cancer survivors 

March 10, 2015:  Cancer treatments continue to improve: there are more and more cancer survivors – an estimated 18 million in the U.S. by 2022. 

But what happens after treatment?  Many survivors report continued symptoms ranging from depression, fatigue, listlessness, to memory trouble and difficulty concentrating - symptoms which conventional oncology has no treatments for. 

 This often leaves cancer survivors feeling lost and abandoned:  even though treatment has ended, the impact of cancer on their lives has not.

A group of researchers affiliated with Saybrook University are using integrative medicine to change that, and change what it means to be a cancer survivor with no costly pills, no surgical interventions – just a simple treatment technique that connects the mind, body and spirit in a way that cancer survivors desperately need.

  • Dr. Lyn Freeman, a Saybrook alumna and faculty member, has received a National Institutes of Health grant to study the impact of integrative health techniques like visualizations on the impact of cancer treatments, and whose studies have been so successful that the National Cancer Institute has directed her to make her program, called Envision, available to cancer patients and survivors in Alaska and Seattle. 
  • Francinne Lawrence, a doctoral candidate at Saybrook, has created a new center for cancer survivors in Louisiana, called THRIVE.   Based on a health and wellness coaching model and supported by an array of complementary health services, the program addresses the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual concerns of cancer survivors, their families, and caregivers.
  • Dr. Lynne Shaner, a Saybrook alumna, works with Hope Connections, a community cancer center in the Washington D.C. area.  Shaner has written movingly about her use of techniques like acupressure, psychodynamic counseling, and meditation to help alleviate the health problems cancer survivors bring to her.  
  • Dr. Jeanne Wallace, a Saybrook alumna, leads a consulting group that provides nutritional consulting to cancer patients, and has found that cancer cells are highly influenced by the foods one eats.


All of them have moving personal stories to tell:  Dr. Freeman’s husband was diagnosed with cancer during her clinical studies, while Lawrence began her career as a hospital chaplain and discovered that cancer survivors had an ongoing need for a kind of ministry that simply wasn’t provided by conventional medicine. 

Dr. Shaner was using a treatment called EFT (“Emotional Freedom Technique) that combines touch and talk therapy, with “Lisa,” a cancer survivor who suffered from significant chest pain.  Normally EFT works exceedingly well, but Lisa’s pain was resistant.  But when Dr. Shaner asked, “Does the pain have a face?” Lisa immediately named her daughter.  She not only visualized the pain as carrying her daughter’s face, but also could go through a list of recent experiences with her daughter that had brought her fear, frustration, and anger.  Dr. Shaner went through the treatment again, but this time, including the daughter’s name and a discussion of the emotions it brought up with each touch – and the pain was gradually eliminated. 

All these researchers, health administrators, and practitioners are centered around Saybrook University’s School of Mind-Body Medicine.  It is a community that is fast becoming known in medical circles for offering rigorously tested, evidence-based, solutions to intractable contemporary health problems ranging from cancer treatment symptoms to high blood pressure to depression – and all firmly grounded in an integrative approach to health-care that requires no expensive drugs or invasive surgeries.

That’s the new shape of medicine in the 21st century:  more effective, more patient-centered, and even less expensive, as it’s integrated with everything we know about the mind-body (and even spirit) connection.  It focuses on things patients and communities can do themselves, and sees health care practitioners as partners with patients, rather than bosses giving them instructions they have to follow.

Released: 03/10/15

Statin Adverse Effects Much More Common than Appreciated

Family physician Duane Graveline, MD, a former astronaut, used to prescribe statin drugs enthusiastically to lower cholesterol. Then he took them as a patient. When he published his experience with transient global amnesia in Peoples Pharmacy, he received some 30,000 emails reporting statin adverse effects. After FDA's MedWatch database became available, Graveline compiled reports. His results appear in the spring 2015 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Physicians are often dismissive of patients' reports of weakness or cognitive decline, states Graveline. They may attribute complaints to aging, or say "statins don't do that."

recent FDA posting downplays the risk of cognitive impairment as "generally not serious" and reversible within a few weeks of stopping the drug.

FDA's deputy director for safety, Amy Egan, MD, MPH, advises patients not to stop the drugs if they experience "cloudy thinking."

Graveline notes, however, that an amnesic state so brief that the patient doesn't notice it can be very dangerous in an airline pilot or heavy equipment operator. He counted almost 9,000 MedWatch reports in the category of severe cognitive disturbance for atorvastatin and rosuvastatin alone between 2006 and 2013.

Statins block an essential metabolic pathway, Graveline explains, leading to a deficiency in coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 or ubiquinone) and dolichols. These factors are critical to the function of mitochondria, the body's energy producers. Additionally, cholesterol itself is considered by many to be the most important biochemical in the body, as it is especially vital for cognitive function.

Accelerated aging seems to be a common feature of statin adverse effects.

The most commonly reported effect is muscle pain and weakness. There were nearly 11,000 cases in MedWatch of rhabdomyolysis, the breakdown of muscle fibers, with about 1,000 deaths from kidney failure as the breakdown products clog the kidneys.

Patients and physicians need to be better informed about potential adverse effects of statin drugs, with a careful assessment of risks and benefits, and attention to achieving the inflammation-reducing effects of statins with lower doses or alternate means, Graveline concludes.

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943. The Journal is committed to "promoting open debate and scientific integrity." Articles represent the views of the author, and do not necessarily reflect an official position of AAPS or the Journal.


Source: Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), aapsonline.org


Released: 03/05/15

TAP Integrative Partners with Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine

TAP Integrative and Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) just announced their partnership to help further the exchange of evidence-informed and experiencebased knowledge between integrative practitioners. Members of tapintegrative.org will now have access to fulltext copies of published articles made available through SCNM’s extensive library.

TAPintegrative.org is a membership site designed for “on-demand” access to clinically reviewed and sciencebased clinical practice topics and research, leading clinical experts and to a community of integrative healthcareprofessionals. In keeping with their mission to promote and foster the exchange and validation of professional knowledge in integrative medicine, TAP’s partnership with SCNM offers members the ability to access published research. This partnership benefits SCNM faculty and students by granting them complimentary membership to TAP Integrative.

“The partnership with SCNM provides TAP members with an additional resource for learning and collaboration,” said Dr. Lise Alschuler, Executive Director or TAP, “We’re very excited to welcome SCNM faculty and students to TAP. We plan to continue supporting opportunities which open dialogue between communities invested in the development and progress of integrative medicine.”

In addition to SCNM research, TAP Integrative membership also includes access to peer-reviewed, expert led clinical topics and case discussions, summarized research in audio and video format, and updates on published clinical research in the area of integrative healthcare. For more information on TAP membership, please visit www.tapintegrative.org/Membership. You can also learn more about TAP by visiting Welcome to TAP Integrative.


Released: 03/05/15

Geneia Survey Finds 84% of Physicians Believe Quality Patient Time May Be Gone

Invites Physicians to Compete in the Joy of Medicine Challenge

BOSTON, March 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Geneia today revealed the striking findings of its Physician Misery Index, and in response to these results, invited physicians to share their ideas to restore the Joy of Medicine.

A Google Hangout featuring Heather Lavoie of Geneia, Dr. Jennifer Joe of Medstro, and Dr. Bryan Vartabedian will be held at 2:00 pm Eastern on Thursday, March 5th.  To participate in the Google Hangout, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-dYZiQjIN8.

In a nationwide survey among more than 400 physicians who practice medicine full time, Geneia found:

  • Two-thirds (67%) of all surveyed doctors know a physician who is likely to stop practicing medicine in the next five years, as the result of physician burnout. This includes both younger and more experienced doctors.
  • Despite their education and skill, a majority of doctors (51%) say they have considered career options outside of clinical practice. That percentage is even higher among those who have been practicing medicine for less than 10 years – 62% say they have considered other options.
  • 78% of doctors say they frequently feel rushed when seeing patients.
  • An overwhelming majority – 87% - say that the "business and regulation of healthcare" has changed the practice of medicine for the worse.
  • Overall, the nationwide Physician Misery Index is 3.7 out of 5, indicating that scales are tipping from satisfaction to misery.

"We found that most physicians still love medicine, but increasingly are frustrated by the business of medicine.  For most physicians, the ability to create meaningful relationships with their patients and truly impact health outcomes is why they entered the practice of medicine in the first place, and is critical to experiencing joy in their work.  Yet 84% of respondents believe that quality patient time may be a thing of the past," said Heather Lavoie, Geneia's Chief Operating Officer.  "At Geneia, we're deeply concerned about physician dissatisfaction and the implications for doctors and their patients, and that's why we created the Joy of Medicine Challenge."

Geneia and Physicians are Partnering to Restore the Joy

The Geneia Joy of Medicine Challenge is an online competition to solicit ideas from U.S. licensed physicians on how to best restore the meaning behind the practice of medicine.  Judging will be done by a panel of physician judges in combination with peer-sourced, online voting.  The winner in each of the three categories – the EHR of the Future, Population Health, and Joy of Medicine - will receive a $1,000 cash prize and one winner will receive in-kind Geneia consulting resources valued at $5,000 to help refine their idea.  The Challenge is being managed by Medstro, a social professional networking and career development community by physicians for physicians.

"Today's physician is juggling increasing demands, and the level of stress and burnout is escalating," said Dr. Jennifer Joe, CEO of Medstro.  "It's high time we involve physicians in creating solutions to restore their joy in practicing medicine."

"As one who has been talking about the intersection of medicine and technology for nearly a decade, I believe wholeheartedly in the potential for technology to improve the practice of medicine and the professional lives of physicians. But we're not there yet.  That's why I'm eager to hear the ideas that physicians have for restoring the joy of medicine," said Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, a pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children's Hospital, one of healthcare's influential voices on technology and medicine, and a judge for the Joy of Medicine Challenge.

Physicians interested in joining the challenge can submit their ideas until April 29th by visiting https://medstro.com/groups/joy.  Finalists will be announced in May and invited to a live pitch off later this year. 


Released: 03/03/15

Three Research Leaders Join Forces To Study Diet's Role In Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

 The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) today announced that it has entered into a research partnership with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Nestlé Health Science, to study the effects of diet on gut bacteria. The study is part of a major CCFA effort to develop new treatments targeting the gut microbiome—the "ecosystem" of microbes populating the intestines—linked to the development of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Partnerships such as these are extremely beneficial in moving the research forward at a much faster pace.

"We are delighted to be working with such esteemed partners on this important work. Determining how diet affects the microbiome—and in turn affects the course of IBD—has major implications for efforts to improve the quality of life for patients and families affected by IBD," comments Caren A. Heller, MD, MBA, CCFA's Chief Scientific Officer.  "This study has tremendous potential to inform the development of novel and alternative therapies that address the cause of IBD, as well as the symptoms."

Part of CCFA's Microbiome Initiative, the Food and Resulting Microbial Metabolites (FARMM) study aims to understand how different diets—including a vegan diet and a defined formula diet sometimes used in treating IBD—influence the bacteria and bacterial products in the intestine.

In the FARMM study, healthy volunteers will follow a defined "Western" diet, vegan diet, or formula diet for two weeks.  The researchers will look at how the three diets affect the population of microbes present in the gut, as well as the individual's metabolomic profile.  Cutting-edge tools and techniques will be used to identify microbial, metabolomic, and immune system "signatures" that may be involved in the development or treatment of IBD.

The findings will be an important first step toward understanding how a formula diet (exclusive enteral nutrition) works to induce remission in patients with Crohn's disease. The study will also provide new information on how antibiotics affect the gut microbiome and the metabolites produced by these organisms.

"We hope this research will advance our understanding of the complex relationship between our diet, the microrganisms that live in our gut, and the small molecules they produce that end up circulating throughout our body," comments one of the principal investigators on the study, Gary Wu, MD, the Ferdinand G. Weisbrod Professor in Gastroenterology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and co-director of the Penn-Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Microbiome Program. 

Along with other factors, diet and the gut microbiome may play an important role in the development and progression of IBD.  Studies have linked a diet high in total fats and meat to an increased risk for IBD, while high fiber, fruit, and vegetable intake are associated with a decreased risk.  Co-principal investigator James Lewis, MD, MSCE, professor of Gastroenterology at the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn and director of Penn's Gastroenterology and Hepatology Clinical Research Program, noted that, "We hope that these discoveries will provide a launch pad for developing novel interventions aimed at manipulating microbial targets with the goal of treating or even preventing IBD without suppressing the immune system."

Both Lewis and Wu are being compensated for their involvement in this study. Funding for the study is provided by the CCFA and Nestlé Health Science. Drs. Wu and Lewis both report receiving honoraria from the Nestlé Nutrition Institute.

"This research partnership with top scientists and clinicians at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the CCFA, is a high priority for Nestlé Health Science.  It will not only allow for a better understanding of the role of nutrition in chronic disease, but also pave the way to develop safe and effective nutritional therapeutic approaches to improve patient's quality of life," comments Irène Corthésy, Head of R&D at Nestlé Health Science. 

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere along the digestive track, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, fatigue and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Some 1.6 million American adults and children suffer

SOURCE Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America


Released: 03/02/15

Tackling brain inflammation ameliorates Alzheimer's disease (AD), according to a study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.


AD is characterized by the toxic build-up

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