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Past News Items - Nov 2015


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In the News

Can Aromatherapy Help Neonatal Babies Get Through Opioid Withdrawal?

Crucial Cause of Eczema During Childhood Discovered

The Impact of UV Light on Flu Virus

Public Misunderstanding about Antibiotic Resistance

National Congress of American Indians Supports Inclusion of Chiropractic Physicians in the Indian Health Service

Breakthrough Fibromyalgia and CRPS treatment with IV Ketamine

Blood-Brain Barrier Opened Non-Invasively with Focused Ultrasound for the First Time




Released: 11/20/15


Can Aromatherapy Help Neonatal Babies Get Through Opioid Withdrawal?

With the increasing prevalence of opiate dependency and medically assisted treatment for opiate dependency, the number of infants born at risk for withdrawal is growing nationwide. 

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, also known as NAS, is when a fetus exposed to opioid-based drugs during pregnancy goes through withdrawal symptoms after birth. Treatment of NAS can require opiate replacement therapy and result in long hospital stays.  A team of physicians, Dr. Lori Shook and Dr. John Daniel at the Neonatology division of the Kentucky Children's Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky are researching the effects of aromatherapy in the treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).  Existing small studies on the use of lavender aromatherapy have shown promise in decreasing neonatal and maternal stress in normal populations.  This team of physicians at the Kentucky Children's Hospital are studying the effectiveness of a lavender and chamomile inhalation patch from Bioesse for improving stress and sleep in infants undergoing treatment for NAS.

Drs. Shook and Daniel filed an investigational new drug application (IND) with the FDA to study the Bioesse patch in infants with NAS.  After receiving FDA and IRB approval the team has started enrolling infants with NAS in a randomized study and expect to enroll infants for 12-18 months.

The Bioesse Inhalation Patch is a patented delivery system for providing essential oil therapy through inhalation.  Medical professionals now have a clean and simple alternative for administering aromatherapy without any oils having dermal contact.  It only takes seconds to open and apply, will last 6-8 hours, and there is no mess to clean up. The patch is pre-filled with a controlled dosage of 100-percent premium therapeutic quality essential oils for ease of use in facilities such as hospitals. Its cost effectiveness makes it practical to use in many different settings.  

The patented inhalation patches are manufactured in Minnesota by Bioesse Technologies LLC in Minnetonka, MN. // www.bioessetech.com.

Released: 11/20/15


Crucial Cause of Eczema During Childhood Discovered

New research from Leiden University, St. Antonius Hospital Nieuwegein and Winclove Probiotics found Butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced by bacteria in the intestine, plays a crucial role in the development of infant eczema.

Differences before eczema 

The differences in amounts of SCFA's were already present at the age of 3 months, but eczema did not develop in the majority of children before the age of 1 year. These results highlight the role bacterial metabolites may play in development of the immune system, even before clinical manifestations of allergic disease arise. The findings are in line with other studies that have shown the potential role of SCFA's and butyrate in eczema (Bottcher et al 2000, Nylund et al 2014).

Butyrate 

Butyrate plays an important role in the differentiation of regulating immune cells. Butyrate can be stimulated by prebiotics (non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria) or indirectly by probiotics (live micro-organisms contained in food).

Biological mechanisms 

Earlier, the researchers showed that clinical supplementation of a probiotic mixture (Ecologic®PANDA) had a significant preventive effect on the development of eczema in high-risk children within the first three months of life (PandA study, Niers et al 2009). The effect lasted until the age of 2.

To explain the underlying mechanisms, the researchers measured metabolites in fecal samples of these 3 month old children. They found higher concentrations of fecal butyrate in healthy children, compared to those children that did develop eczema later in life. The researchers conclude that lower levels of SCFA seem to precede the clinical manifestation of eczema.

The researchers think that supplementation of multispecies probiotics induce higher levels of lactate and SCFAs, and lower levels of lactose and succinate. This might explain the temporary preventive effect of probiotics on the development of eczema. It gives a possible explanation for the biological mechanisms underlying the clinical found effects of probiotic bacteria in the PandA-project.

Released: 11/17/15


The Impact of UV Light on Flu Virus

Everyone does their best to avoid the pesky flu virus during flu season. Now, if you’re one of the unlucky ones to catch it, there could be an effective new treatment.

According to the CDC, 200,000 people are hospitalized each year for the flu and nearly 20 percent of the US population suffers from the virus over the course of flu season. Dr. Kristi Wrightson, ND, founder of Nest Integrative Medicine Spa in Santa Barbara, is looking toward the light to fight this malicious winter bug.

Wrightson has launched an influenza study to assess the ability of an investigational light-based medical device by UVLrx Therapeutics™ to reduce the severity and duration of influenza symptoms, both systemic and upper respiratory.

The treatment device uses specific wavelengths of light to target the influenza virus while supporting the body's immune system to help combat or fight the viral infection. The study aims at assessing the effectiveness and safety of this application.

"Influenza commonly causes both systemic and upper respiratory symptoms, which include nasal congestion, cough, body aches, malaise, and fever," said Dr. Wrightson. “These symptoms can last between 7 to 14 days and can greatly alter a person's quality of life and ability to work. We're hoping the use of specific wavelengths of light will prove effective in getting people over the flu and back to their daily routine more quickly."

Study participants will undergo four sixty-minute treatments in one week in a medical clinic at no cost to the patient. Additionally, participants will return to the clinic for two more evaluations to assess symptom resolution.

To participate in the study, please call (805) 770-2607 or visit Nest Spa SB at 523 Chapala St. #2, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

About UVLrx Therapeutics

Based in Oldsmar, Florida, UVLrx Therapeutics is dedicated to evidence-based medicine in the field of light therapy and offers the first intravenous, concurrent delivery of ultraviolet-A (UVA) and multiple visible light wavelengths for treating a variety of medical issues. In addition to two Nobel Prizes and NASA-backed research, hundreds of international clinical trials have verified the health benefits of UV and other wavelengths of light utilized in the UVLrx™ Treatment System. // www.uvlrx.com

Released: 11/17/15


Public Misunderstanding about Antibiotic Resistance

As WHO ramps up its fight against antibiotic resistance, a new multi-country survey shows people are confused about this major threat to public health and do not understand how to prevent it from growing.

Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria change and become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause. Over-use and misuse of antibiotics increase the development of resistant bacteria, and this survey points out some of the practices, gaps in understanding and misconceptions which contribute to this phenomenon.

Almost two thirds (64 percent) of some 10,000 people who were surveyed across 12 countries say they know antibiotic resistance is an issue that could affect them and their families, but how it affects them and what they can do to address it are not well understood. For example, 64 percent of respondents believe antibiotics can be used to treat colds and flu, despite the fact that antibiotics have no impact on viruses. Close to one third (32 percent) of people surveyed believe they should stop taking antibiotics when they feel better, rather than completing the prescribed course of treatment.

“The rise of antibiotic resistance is a global health crisis, and governments now recognize it as one of the greatest challenges for public health today. It is reaching dangerously high levels in all parts of the world,” says Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, in launching the survey findings today. “Antibiotic resistance is compromising our ability to treat infectious diseases and undermining many advances in medicine.”

The survey findings coincide with the launch of a new WHO campaign ‘Antibiotics: Handle with care’—a global initiative to improve understanding of the problem and change the way antibiotics are used.

“The findings of this survey point to the urgent need to improve understanding around antibiotic resistance,” says Dr Keiji Fukuda, Special Representative of the Director-General for Antimicrobial Resistance. “This campaign is just one of the ways we are working with governments, health authorities, and other partners to reduce antibiotic resistance. One of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century will require global behavior change by individuals and societies.”

The multi-country survey included 14 questions on the use of antibiotics, knowledge of antibiotics and of antibiotic resistance, and used a mix of online and face-to-face interviews. It was conducted in 12 countries: Barbados, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Serbia, South Africa, Sudan, and Vietnam. While not claiming to be exhaustive, this and other surveys will help WHO and partners to determine the key gaps in public understanding of the problem and misconceptions about how to use antibiotics to be addressed through the campaign.

Some common misconceptions revealed by the survey include:

·         Three quarters (76 percent) of respondents think that antibiotic resistance happens when the body becomes resistant to antibiotics. In fact bacteria—not humans or animals—become resistant to antibiotics and their spread causes hard-to-treat infections.

·         Two thirds (66 percent) of respondents believe that individuals are not at risk of a drug-resistant infection if they personally take their antibiotics as prescribed. Nearly half (44 percent) of people surveyed think antibiotic resistance is only a problem for people who take antibiotics regularly. In fact, anyone, of any age, in any country can get an antibiotic-resistant infection.

·         More than half (57 percent) of respondents feel there is not much they can do to stop antibiotic resistance, while nearly two thirds (64 percent) believe medical experts will solve the problem before it becomes too serious.

Another key finding of the survey was that almost three quarters (73 percent) of respondents say farmers should give fewer antibiotics to food-producing animals.

To address this growing problem, a global action plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance was endorsed at the World Health Assembly in May 2015. One of the plan’s 5 objectives is to improve awareness and understanding of antibiotic resistance through effective communication, education and training.

About the survey

The multi-country survey was limited to 2 countries per WHO Region, 12 countries overall. Data cannot be considered to be representative of each Region, nor of the global situation. Fieldwork was carried out by research agency 2CV between 14 September and 16 October 2015. A total of 9772 respondents completed the 14 question survey either online or during a face-to-face street interview. Document with key findings: Multi-Country Public Awareness Survey on Antibiotic Resistance

About the Antibiotics: Handle with care campaign

WHO is launching a global campaign, Antibiotics: Handle with care, during the first World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 16-22 November 2015. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and encourage best practices among the public, policymakers, health and agriculture professionals to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. For more information and to download campaign materials: World Antibiotic Awareness Week

Released: 11/09/15


National Congress of American Indians Supports Inclusion of Chiropractic Physicians in the Indian Health Service

The National Congress of American Indians of the United States (NCAI), the nation’s largest and oldest native advocacy organization, recently passed a resolution supporting the inclusion of doctors of chiropractic (DCs) in the Indian Health Service (IHS) and tribal health care facilities. NCAI, which is organized as a representative congress of Native Americans and Alaska Natives, adopted the resolution at its 72nd annual convention in San Diego in October.

“Members of the American Indian community deserve access to the best health care available, which includes the services provided by chiropractic physicians,” said ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC. “I am grateful that NCAI has made a significant enhancement in providing top-notch care to various American Indian tribes by strengthening its ties to the chiropractic profession. This resolution is a great first step in expanding access to DCs and should help in future federal efforts with the IHS and other native agencies.”

NCAI’s resolution notes that IHS, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and tribal health care programs incur higher costs than average health care programs in the country, increasing the urgency and need to integrate services such as chiropractic care, naturopathic medicine and acupuncture that improve patient outcomes and reduces cost. IHS provides health care to approximately 2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives through a system of programs and facilities located on or near American Indian reservations and, in some cases, through contractors in certain urban areas.

According to a 2009 study in Spine (Martin B et al.), Native Americans have more than double the rate of activity limitations due to chronic back conditions compared to the general population (6.8 percent vs. 3.2 percent). Chiropractic physicians represent a primary care approach for the prevention, diagnosis, and conservative management of back pain and spinal disorders that can often enable patients to reduce or avoid the need for risker treatments such as drugs and surgery.

About ACA
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. // www.acatoday.org.

Released: 11/09/15


Breakthrough Fibromyalgia and CRPS treatment with IV Ketamine

The Florida Spine Institute announces today, Dr. Ashraf Hanna will be appearing on the first week of each month on the CBS 10NEWS LIVE TV show in the Tampa Bay area at 9:00 am EST to discuss his treatments, procedures, and to spread awareness of chronic pain conditions along with patient interviews.

Dr. Hanna is a board certified physician and is the director of pain management at the Florida Spine Institute in Clearwater, Florida.

"I have been practicing pain management at the Florida Spine Institute for the last 20 years. I have seen and treated many patients who suffer from back, neck, hip, knee pain as well as chronic pain associated with Fibromyalgia, CRPS/RSD, Lyme, Peripheral Neuropathy, Phantom Pain, and many other conditions." Stated Dr. Hanna.

Dr. Hanna continues: "The Florida Spine Institute offers multi-disciplinary treatment modalities from simple acupuncture, physical therapy, a comprehensive wellness program, medication management, psychiatric care, and interventional pain management procedures such as steroid injections and minimally-invasive surgery. We can customize the right treatment for each patient, instead of being limited to only one minimally-invasive procedure like laser spine surgery." 

"Our Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant has helped a lot of patients by basically using a small, implantable device to replace pain with a more pleasant sensation. We use it to treat patients with intractable back pain and have had failed back surgery as well as peripheral neuropathy and CRPS."

"Radiofrequency Ablation or RFA is a cutting edge treatment we offer our patients. RFA is better than laser spine surgery, in the sense that it uses smaller needles, so it is less invasive and is covered by insurance. We use it to treat not only neck and back pain, but also hip and knee pain."

"IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy is the latest breakthrough treatment that is having extraordinary results. This is an excellent treatment for patients suffering from CRPS/RSD, which is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. CRPS/RSD is a devastating disease and one of the most painful of conditions. The pain is complex and the patient has a lot of hypersensitivity- even touching the bed sheets can result in excruciating pain. The pain is out of proportion to the original injury. There is also swelling, temperature changes, skin color changes, as well as weakness and atrophy of the muscles.

"IV Ketamine blocks receptors in the brain that are responsible for releasing chemicals that cause inflammation of the nervous system, which in turn cause these symptoms. It is very effective in treating CRPS, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease and Treatment-Resistant Depression with excellent results."

Charles Mattocks' mom, who is the sister of the late Bob Marley, has been suffering from CRPS for nearly 8 years. She began seeing Dr. Hanna at the Florida Spine Institute and is steadily improving. Throughout her treatment, Charles has been filming a CRPS documentary, Trial By Fire.

About Florida Spine Institute
Florida Spine Institute is the leading, and one of most trusted, medical facilities specializing in pain management, neurology, and surgery in Tampa Bay. Florida Spine Institute has a multi-disciplinary spine care team, with board certified diagnostic, medical, and surgical specialists that provide the most advanced care available.

About Charles Mattocks and Trial By Fire      
Charles Mattocks is a celebrity chef, author, director, filmmaker, and is also the nephew of Bob Marley. Charles' new documentary, Trial By Fire, is a movie about his mother's struggle with CRPS.

Released: 11/09/15


Blood-Brain Barrier Opened Non-Invasively with Focused Ultrasound for the First Time

The blood-brain barrier has been non-invasively opened in a patient for the first time. A team at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto used focused ultrasound to enable temporary and targeted opening of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), allowing the more effective delivery of chemotherapy into a patient’s malignant brain tumor.

The team, led by neurosurgeon Todd Mainprize, MD, and physicist Kullervo Hynynen, PhD, infused the chemotherapy agent doxorubicin, along with tiny gas-filled bubbles, into the bloodstream of a patient with a brain tumor. They then applied focused ultrasound to areas in the tumor and surrounding brain, causing the bubbles to vibrate, loosening the tight junctions of the cells comprising the blood-brain barrier and allowing high concentrations of the chemotherapy to enter targeted tissues.

“The blood-brain barrier has been a persistent impediment to delivering valuable therapies to treat tumors,” said Dr. Mainprize. “We are encouraged that we were able to open this barrier to deliver chemotherapy directly into the brain, and we look forward to more opportunities to apply this revolutionary approach.”

This patient treatment is part of a pilot study of up to 10 patients to establish the feasibility, safety, and preliminary efficacy of focused ultrasound to temporarily open the blood-brain barrier to deliver chemotherapy to brain tumors. The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is currently funding this trial through their Cornelia Flagg Keller Memorial Fund for Brain Research.
“Breaching this barrier opens up a new frontier in treating brain disorders,” said Neal Kassell, MD, Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “We are encouraged by the momentum building for the use of focused ultrasound to non-invasively deliver therapies for a number of brain disorders.”

Opening the blood-brain barrier in a localized region to deliver chemotherapy to a tumor is a predicate for utilizing focused ultrasound for the delivery of other drugs, DNA-loaded nanoparticles, viral vectors, and antibodies to the brain to treat a range of neurological conditions, including various types of brain tumors, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and some psychiatric diseases.
The procedure was conducted using Insightec’s ExAblate Neuro system. “This first patient treatment is a technological breakthrough that may lead to many clinical applications,” said Eyal Zadicario, Vice President for R&D and Director of Neuro Programs, Insightec.
While the current trial is a first-in-human achievement, Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, senior scientist at the Sunnybrook Research Institute, has been performing similar pre-clinical studies for about a decade. His research has shown that the combination of focused ultrasound and microbubbles may not only enable drug delivery, but might also stimulate the brain’s natural responses to fight disease. For example, the temporary opening of the blood-brain barrier appears to facilitate the brain’s clearance of a key pathologic protein related to Alzheimer’s and improves cognitive function.
A
recent study by Gerhard Leinenga and Jürgen Götz from the Queensland Brain Institute in Australia further corroborated Hynynen’s research, demonstrating opening the blood-brain barrier with focused ultrasound reduced brain plaques and improved memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
Based on these two pre-clinical studies, a pilot clinical trial using focused ultrasound to treat Alzheimer’s is being organized.


About The Blood-Brain Barrier
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a protective layer of tightly joined cells that lines the blood vessels of the brain and keeps harmful substances, such as toxins and infectious agents, from entering the surrounding tissue. Unfortunately, this barrier also prevents certain drugs from reaching their targets within the brain in adequate concentrations. Safely and temporarily opening the barrier in a well-defined area to deliver drugs at therapeutic levels is a long-sought goal for treatment of a wide variety of neurological conditions including brain tumors, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.
Currently, there are limited options to circumvent the blood-brain barrier and deliver drugs. Drugs can be directly injected into the brain, with the risk of hemorrhage, infection or damage to normal brain tissue from the needle or catheter. The pharmacological agent mannitol has been used to disrupt the barrier when injected into the blood supply, but this approach is uncontrolled and non-selective and can further be associated with significant effects on blood pressure and the body’s fluid balance.

About Focused Ultrasound
Focused ultrasound uses ultrasonic energy guided by magnetic resonance or ultrasound imaging to treat tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. Multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound are directed and concentrated on a target, much like a magnifying glass can focus multiple beams of light on a single point. Where each individual beam passes through the tissue, there is no effect. But, at the focal point, the convergence of the multiple beams of focused ultrasound energy results in many important biological effects depending on the nature of the tissue and the ultrasound parameters.
There are currently 18 known
mechanisms of focused ultrasound, including several methods of drug delivery, such as disrupting the blood-brain barrier.
There are focused ultrasound systems currently approved in the U.S. to treat uterine fibroids, ablate prostate tissue and alleviate pain from bone metastases. There are a growing number of
clinical applications in various stages of research and development around the world, including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, breast cancer, liver cancer, and hypertension.

About the Focused Ultrasound Foundation
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was created to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide by accelerating the development of focused ultrasound. Since its establishment in 2006, the Foundation has become the largest non-governmental source of funding for focused ultrasound research. More information can be found at
www.fusfoundation.org.

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