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Angelina Jolie Effect Has Doubled the Number of Cancer Tests

The surprise announcement by Angelina Jolie last year that she underwent a double mastectomy as a preventive measure has been influential in doubling the referrals for genetic breast cancer exams. The actress made her decision following an exam in which she tested positive for the a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, which increases greatly the risk of developing breast cancer. A recently published study shows that during June and July of 2013 the amount of referrals for the DNA tests and genetic counseling for breast cancer gene mutations across the UK... 
 

Sierra Leone Starts Controversial Shutdown for Ebola

Sierra Leone launched its controversial shutdown of three days on Friday in an attempt to contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. The Security Council of the United Nations declared the outbreak of the deadly disease a threat to world peace. Most of the population of approximately six million in Sierra Leone was confined inside their homes starting at midnight with just essential workers including security officials and health professionals exempt from the three-day lockdown. Close to 30,000 volunteers will be going door to door educating... 
 

Stroke Risk Possibly Reduce by Eating Food Rich in Potassium

For women who are older, eating foods rich in potassium might lower the risk of suffering a stroke, found a new study. Researchers studied over 90,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 for an 11-year average. They looked at the amount of potassium the women were consuming from the natural foods within their diets. In addition, they looked at whether they had suffered a stroke or if they had died, while the study was taking place. The results indicated that those women who had eaten the most potassium had a 12% less likelihood of suffering a stroke... 
 

Breeders and Chefs Unite With Researchers for Better Veggies

Vegetables could soon taste much better as breeders and chefs have teamed up with the University of Wisconsin at Madison to reach a breakthrough in the making of vegetables that are more in demand by the consumer. The university launched a number of investigations related to the processing industry of vegetables, as Wisconsin is one of three top states in producing frozen and canned vegetables. The recent research is looking to improve on the creation of different varieties for consumers to choose. One researcher said that apples were nearly the... 
 

Outbreaks, Epidemics and Pandemics: Understanding the Difference Could Save Your Life

Recent headlines have been alarming, if not outright terrifying: An outbreak of Ebola, a virus that causes internal bleeding and leads to death in 90 percent of all cases, was spreading quickly throughout West Africa, with some of the patients returning to the United States for treatment. Meanwhile, travelers returning from certain Caribbean nations were reporting cases of Chikungunya, a mosquito borne illness that, while rarely fatal, causes extreme pain and weakness for several days or weeks. This is all in addition to local reports of increased... 
 

New Drug Re-Grows Hair in Some

The first thing a patient noticed was he was growing a real beard. The patient had gone years losing hair on his face, head, legs and arms. The patient suffers from an autoimmune disease called alopecia areata that afflicts close to 1% of males and females, causing their hair to fall out and often times it is over the entire body. After using a number of treatments, the man enrolled in a Columbian University Medical Center study that tested whether a treatment that had been approved for a disorder in bone marrow could help those who suffered from... 
 

WHO Declares Global Health Emergency over Ebola Outbreak

The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is now a public health emergency internationally, said the World Health Organization. The WHO said the emergency needs a worldwide extraordinary response to bring a stop to the disease so it cannot spread any further. Margaret Chan who is the head of the WHO, announced that the often deadly disease was spreading through nations that do not have resources to deal with it and requested international solidarity. Although, Chan acknowledged that a number of countries would likely not be affected by the outbreak. The... 
 

Nearly 10% of Survivors of Cancer Still Smoke

Close to 1 out of every 10 survivors of cancer report smoking years after being diagnosed, indicates a new study done by the American Cancer Society. Researchers reviewed data on 2,940 patients 9 years after being diagnosed. More than 9% of them were smokers within the last 30 days from being surveyed. Of these patients, more than 83% smoked daily, averaging close to 15 cigarettes a day. The research included patients with the 10 types of cancer that are the most common: bladder, breast, prostate, melanoma, uterine, colorectal, kidney, lung, ovarian... 
 

Flonase Approved by FDA for OTC Use in U.S.

GlaxoSmithKline announced on Friday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its over the counter allergy medication Flonase Allergy Relief, that gives temporary relief of upper respiratory allergies or hay fever symptoms. The treatment is the first and only nasal spray that is over the counter and indicated as a relief for all nasal and eye-related allergy symptoms, including runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing, nasal congestion and watery and itchy eyes. Flonase will be available at the full prescription strength as well as providing... 
 

You Are Not Your Addiction: 5 Ways to Beat the Stigma of Substance Abuse Disorders

Even after all the progress the recovery community has made in recent years, the stigma of addiction remains strong in our society. Stigma prevents addicts from seeking the help they need, and can linger for years, even decades, after substance abuse has stopped, causing obstacles to employment, hampering access to government benefits, and more. But just because you’ve spent time in a drug and alcohol rehab center doesn’t mean you have to live with the stigma of addiction forever. Just by getting sober and staying sober, you are living proof... 
 

7 Little-Known Factors That Can Affect Your Hearing

In the United States, hearing loss affects up to 40 percent of people over the age of 65 and as many as 3 million children. While it’s a relatively common problem, most people wait years to address their hearing loss, which can affect relationships, work, quality of life and even mental health. While some reduction in the ability to hear is a natural part of aging, there are many factors that can make hearing loss progress more quickly and even worsen if it’s left untreated. From too much earwax to a rare autoimmune disease, here are seven little-known... 
 

Genome Sequencing Becomes More Affordable

Dr. Leslie Biesecker of the National Human Genome Research Institute and Dr. Robert Green of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston recently co-authored guidelines for clinical genetic testing, which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. These guidelines could help clinicians find a way to make genetic testing affordable and effective. Testing the Exome Instead of testing the entire genome, which can be expensive and time-consuming, physicians have learned that exome testing reveals mutations for many different genetic disorders.... 
 

Brain Eating Amoeba Infection Kills Girl

A Kansas girls who was just 9 years old, died after contracting a deadly infection from a brain-eating amoeba, said Kansas health department officials. The Department of Health in Kansas said a 9-year old girl likely contracted the infections while swimming in a freshwater lake over the July 4 holiday weekend. The officials said the risk of this type of infection is very low, but it is increased during summer when the temperatures of the water increases and more people are swimming. Health officials said the deadly infection usually occurs when... 
 

Antibiotics Listed as Last Resort Now in Jeopardy

The total number of antibiotics doses that were sold in pharmacies and clinics worldwide increased by 36% between 2000 and 2010, reported scientists on Wednesday. The new finding comes from a first of a kind study to look at the consumption of antibiotics on a global scale during the 21st century. More people living in poor countries are receiving drugs that are lifesaving, said the lead author of the study, and that is good news. However, the insatiable need in the world for Cipro and penicillin also has its dark side: the increase in bacteria... 
 

Bristol-Myers Squibb Treatment for Hepatitis C Approved

Japan approved the all-oral Sunvepra and Daklinzadual regimen from Bristol-Myers Squibb to treat those with hepatitis C, said the company on Monday. The combo-treatment, which is ribavirin- and interferon-free is the latest options for patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C in Japan, who have not taken or responded to more traditional treatments, said the drug makers in a prepared statement. The Ministry of Labor, Health and Welfare in Japan approved the treatment after a study that was Phase III in Japan indicated positive results. Close to 70% of... 
 

Inhaled Medication for Diabetes Approved By FDA

People who have type 1 or 2 diabetes will now have another means of taking their medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved on Friday the first inhaled treatment for diabetes. Afreeza, the new drug, is a treatment option for those patients with diabetes that require insulin at mealtime, said a doctor with a FDA’s Center for Evaluation and Research. The doctor said the approval of Afrezza broadened the options now available for receiving mealtime insulin in the daily management of diabetic patients who must have it to control their... 
 

Bacteria Test Failed by 10% of U.S. Beaches

Take heed swimmers 10% of the water samples from lake and coastal beaches in the U.S. failed to meet the safety standards that were set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, said a new report. One expert said there could be dangers that are hidden but lurking in many waterways in the U.S. in the form of viruses and bacteria that could cause a host of different illnesses including hepatitis, dysentery, stomach flu, rashes and infections. Of the nearly 3,500 water samples taken each year at beaches across the country, the beaches in... 
 

Cheese Makers Fear Wood Crackdown

For artisan cheese makers aging their cheese on boards made of wood is commonplace in both the U.S. and overseas. However, now some members of the industry have become worried that regulators might crack down on the practice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently sent a communication to regulators in New York that said wood boards and shelves cannot be cleaned as well as sanitized adequately and because of that, is not conforming to a regulation regarding plant utensils and equipment. The federal regulatory agency also wrote that proper... 
 

Eating White Bread is Reason for Increased Obesity

The consumption of white bread in daily meals was identified as a big reason for high obesity rates that have earlier been reported in a study that was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. The new research through Spain’s University of Navarra revealed that having two servings or more of white bread would increase the obesity risk by over 40%. The findings were unveiled in Belgium at the European Congress of Obesity. The study was carried out to find a relationship between the increase of weight amongst participants and white bread. The... 
 

Study Gives Hint on How Heart Protected by Mediterranean Diet

Multiple studies have shown that a diet that is Mediterranean style, which is rich in nuts, vegetables, fruits and fish seems to lower the risk of contracting heart problems. Now a recent study involving mice hints at the reason why. The lead researcher of the study, Philip Eaton a cardiovascular biochemistry professor at Kings College London said, when fatty acids, found in nuts, fish and olive oils are consumed together with a source of nitrite or nitrate, found in different vegetables such as those that have green leaves or beetroot, they develop... 
 

Measles Virus Used in Treatment of Cancer

A hematologist from the Mayo Clinic says an experiment has had promising results. Cancer researchers said they were excited about someday treating cancer of the bone marrow by using the measles virus that seems a good match for the job. Two subjects in the research, a woman who was 49 years of age and a woman aged 65, were given huge doses of the measles virus through intravenous injections to fight multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow that also can cause soft tissue and skeletal tumors. One of the patients had not responded to stem cell... 
 

Valeant’s Bid to Takeover Allergan is Rejected

Allergan Inc has rejected the unsolicited takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, saying the bid had substantially undervalued the Botox wrinkle treatment maker. The offer, which puts a value $45.7 billion for Allergan in stock and cash when announced, makes significant uncertainties and risks and is not in the shareholders best interest, the company based in Irvine, California said on Monday in a statement. Allergan expects its per share earnings to increase by 20% to 25% in 2015 with revenue growth in the double-digits, the company... 
 

New Implantable Device Treats Blood Pressure

In Germany, researchers have successfully developed a device that is implantable and able to reduce the users’ blood pressure significantly via electrical signals it sends to the brain. The device contains 24 electrodes that are all integrated into a cuff that is micro-machined. The new device is designed so it could be wrapped around the vagal nerve, which extends out form the brainstem into the abdomen and thorax, stimulating and supplying major organs including blood vessels and the heart. The new device identifies just those fibers that have... 
 

Novartis, GlaxoSmitheKline and Eli Lilly Announce Deals

Novartis will be focusing more going forward on cancer. GlaxoSmithKline will be focused on vaccines, while Eli Lilly will be looking at animal health as the three drug makers announced on Tuesday deals that could total more than $28.5 billion. The transactions, along with a plan to form a joint venture for consumer health between Novartis and Glaxo are part of the pharmaceutical industry’s overhaul that has been spurred on by the loss in sales of medicines that lose their patent protection. Pfizer Inc, the largest drug maker in the world sold... 
 

Hepatitis C New Treatment Could by Huge Breakthrough

A new drug treatment used to fight Hepatitis C has cured more than 90% of patients inflicted with the infection in just 12 weeks, said scientists. The recent study marked a major breakthrough said experts and marked a big turning point in the treatment of hepatitis C. Over 200,000 people have hepatitis in the United Kingdom and deaths from those infections have jumped threefold over the past 18 years. Only 3% of UK patients currently opt for the current treatment, which only works about 50% of the time. The Hepatitis C virus can infect as well as... 
 

FDA Approves First Hemophilia B Drug

Biogen Idec has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved ALPROLIX, the company’s drug for treating hemophilia B. Hemophilia B is a rare, genetic and chronic condition in which the clotting process in a person’s blooded is impaired. This condition can lead to recurrent as well as prolonged bleeding in those who have the condition. Treatment of the disorder is treated during regular scheduled intervals or when it is needed. Normal therapy for hemophilia B requires the use of prophylactic infusions at least twice a week. The... 
 

Ebola Scientist Frustrated by Deadly Outbreak in Guinea

Peter Piot was newly qualified to work in a microbiology lab in the Belgium city of Antwerp at 27 years of age when he was given human blood in a flask. The blood had been contaminated with an unknown pathogen that was killing people in Zaire’s forests. He did not know that inside the flask was an infectious disease that is one of the most lethal now today to humans. That was in 1976 when he and his colleagues became co-discoverers of the disease Ebola. The Belgian scientist at that time traveled to Zaire, which is now Congo, to work amongst the... 
 

Study Will Test Pills Made of Chocolate

It will not be as enjoyable as eating entire candy bars, but a large study will be launched to determine if pills that contain nutrients in dark chocolate are able to help to prevent strokes and heart attacks. The pills will be packed with a large about of nutrients that a large number of candy bars would have to be eaten to receive the amount for the study, which will have 18,000 participants both male and female. Brigham and Women’s Hospital located in Boston is heading up the study to see if there are benefits to health from ingredients in... 
 

Stem Cell Researchers from Japan Withdraw Research

The scientists from Japan behind the potentially revolutionary new stem cell technique are preparing a retraction of their widely hailed paper on producing stem cells after they confirmed the research had inappropriate points including apparently false photographic evidence. Ryoji Noyori, from the Riken science institute and a Nobel laureate, deeply bowed at a press conference and then apologized for what he said was sloppy work by authors of the research, which in January seemed to show a very simple method of making cells that are embryo-like. His... 
 

Pfizer Recalls Effexor Due to Mistake

Late last week, Pfizer announced it was recalling Effexor XR its antidepressant as well as another lot of a drug that is its generic version. The announcement followed the discovery by a pharmacist that found a bottle of Effexor contained a different drug. Inside the Effexor bottle, the pharmacist found the drug Tikosyn, which is used for a potentially dangerous yet common irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation. Pfizer said that using Tikosyn by a patient instead of Effexor XR could cause adverse consequence that might be fatal. Experts... 
 

Angry People Have Higher Heart Attack Risks

Having a temper might increase a person’s risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack according to new research. Rage often times precedes an attack and might be one of its triggers, said researchers from the United States, who perused medical research. The group identified a period that was dangerous of nearly two hours after a big outburst when people are at an elevated risk. However, researchers say that more work was needed to help understand the link, as well as finding techniques to bust stress that could avoid such dangerous complications. People... 
 

Bayer Increases Sales Forecast for Drugs

Bayer AG has raised its peak sales forecast for new drugs even though results from the fourth quarter and outlook for revenue for the upcoming year missed estimates of analysts. The five most important Bayer medications will generate a minimum of $10.3 billion in combined revenue for the year, said the company, based in Leverkusen, Germany. The new forecast highlights the way the healthcare business for Bayer has buoyed profit even though the Material Science division has struggled. Profit for the fourth quarter fell unexpectedly and Bayer announced... 
 

Younger Population Hit by Flu Says CDC

As this year’s flu season begins to wind down, officials said it was better than last year and that the vaccine had worked better. However, younger adults had been hit harder due to an increase in swine flu. The H1N1 was the biggest strain of the influenza. That strain is referred as swine flu. The virus is back however, it is not causing people to run to a pharmacy for a flu shot. The flu activity was primarily H1N1 but did not cause a pandemic as it did in 2009, as it did not mutate substantially, said doctors. However, it has returned and hit... 
 

India Drugs Coming Under U.S. Regulatory Scrutiny

Inspectors from the U.S. regulator the Food and Drug Administration have been visiting drug manufacturers in India issuing penalties, including bans on imports on certain medications that were adulterated, such as Accutane the acne drug, Neurontin the pain medication and Cipro an antibiotic. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the Food and Drug Administration’s Commissioner, who is currently in India, expressed a growing concern with the safety of medicines manufactured in India due to recent problems in the quality of some of the pharmaceutical companies in... 
 

More Children Drinking Coffee in the U.S.

The drug that is most popular amongst children in America is not alcohol, Ritalin or even marijuana. It is just plain old caffeine. However, many children today have gone from getting their caffeine fix through colas to filling up on coffee. A new study published this week found that children and younger adults between the ages of 2 and 22 are drinking coffee to get a bigger intake of their caffeine. In 2010, that share of caffeine intake reached 24%, up from only 10% ten years ago. Cola, while holding its title as the most popular caffeine source,... 
 

Subway Removing Chemical from its Bread

In some varieties of bread sold at Subway there is a chemical that might seem hard to pronounce and unfamiliar. The chemical azodicarbonamide has been receiving a great deal of attention of late. Besides in Subway bread, the chemical can also be found in shoe soles and yoga mats to give them elasticity. The chemical however will be taken out as an ingredient in Subway bread said a company official. The Subway official said the sub chain was in the process of eliminating the chemical as an ingredient in its bread. Subway said the conversion of eliminating... 
 

CVS Pulling ALL Cigarettes from Stores

CVS pharmacies are proud that they have nearly everything their customers need, including toilet paper to dog food and over the counter medicines to ice cream. However, people that want to buy tobacco will soon have to shop elsewhere. CVS has over 7,600 stores across the U.S. The pharmacy announced it would start phasing out its sales of tobacco products and would not sell any more by October 1. CVS is the first national chain of pharmacies to eliminate tobacco sales in all their locations. CVS CEO and President Larry Merlo called the company’s... 
 

Mediterranean Diet Tied to Lower Artery Disease Risk

People eating a Mediterranean diet that is high in nuts or olive oil might reduce their chances of developing clogged arteries in the leg, according to a new study in Spain. The new study’s results follows those from a trial published in 2013 that showed that sticking to a Mediterranean diet might lower a risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Spanish researchers said that now there was a strong lowering of risk for peripheral artery disease. Peripheral artery disease comes about when plaque is built up in arteries that carry blood into the... 
 

Google Developing Contact Lens to Monitor Glucose

On Thursday, Google unveiled a contact lens it says monitors the glucose levels of the wearer’s tears. It is a potential reprieve for the millions of sufferers of diabetes who must jab a finger to test their blood up to 10 times daily. The prototype, which the search engine behemoth said would take another five years before it would be available to consumers, is one of many medical devices companies are designing for glucose monitoring for patients with diabetes that are more convenient and not as invasive as the traditional prick of the finger. The... 
 

Merck Recalls Liptruzet its Cholesterol Drug

Merck & Co the huge drug maker announced this week that it was recalling its combination drug for cholesterol wiping out its entire stock in the U.S. The recall was due to defects in packaging that could lower its effectiveness. Merck announced that the recall had covered all of the dose strengths as well as every batch that had been distributed of the drug since last May when Liptruzet was launched. Both of the active ingredients in the medication are still available separately. Merck is the third largest drug maker in the world and said some... 
 

FDA Approves Farxiga for Type 2 Diabetes

Reversing a negative decision taken back in 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved on Wednesday AstraZeneca’s dapagilflozin, which will be sold as Farxiga in the U.S., to help improve the glycemic control, along with exercise and diet, in adults that have type 2 diabetes. Dapagilflozin is a SGLT2 inhibitor that AstraZeneca will have full rights to under its recent deal in diabetes with Bristol-Myers Squibb. The drug already has approval in the European Union’s 28 nations, where its brand name is Forxiga. It is also approved in... 
 

Blood Pressure: Most Dangerous Amongst Women

A new study shows that high blood pressure can be potentially more dangerous for women than for me, suggesting that physicians might have to treat the dangerous condition in females both earlier and more aggressively. This study is the first to identify differences between males and females when it has to do with mechanisms that contribute to someone having high blood pressure. The report follows a substantial decline in deaths from heart disease for males over the last 20 to 30 years. Reports that have been previously published reveal that from... 
 

GlaxoSmithKline Ending Drug Promotion Payments (NYSE:GSK)

After being criticized for years for the practice, GlaxoSmithKline has announced the end of its program to pay doctors to promote its products. Pharmaceutical companies have paid doctors to speak on their behalf for decades. Doctors are most likely to value the advice of trusted peers at conferences and other meetings of medical professionals. However, some are saying that the practice unduly influences the information doctors give each other. It can also lead to doctors prescribing drugs inappropriately to patients. The company released a statement... 
 

Reduce Hunger: Eat Slower Says Study

U.S. researchers on Monday released results of a study that said eating slower could help to lower hunger. Research previously suggested that the controlling the energy intake might be affected due to the speed in which we consume food and a high rate of eating might impair the sensory signals and processes relationship that regulates the amount we consume. To learn more concerning the link between energy intake and eating speed, University of Texas Christian researchers examined what affects eating speeds had on calories consumed during a meal... 
 

Breast Cancer Spread Triggered by Low Levels of Oxygen

Researchers discovered that conditions of low oxygen could trigger protein production that contributes to breast cancer cells spreading. This finding was recently published online. Johns Hopkins University biologists recently found that conditions of low oxygen prompted a larger production of proteins known as ROCK1 and RhoA. These proteins at high levels are known to aid cancer cells to move and spread that leads to worse outcomes for patients with breast cancer. The study’s senior author Dr. Gregg Semenza Johns Hopkins University professor of... 
 

Diet High In Fiber Linked to Less Risk of Heart Disease

This may have been said prior, but the benefit of a healthy diet that is high in fiber as well as in vegetables, lie not in just a better figure, but might contribute to better heart health, indicates new research recently publishing in the UK by the University of Leeds. The recent research links more fiber intake to less of a risk of both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Researchers claim the risk is lowered significantly with each additional 7 grams of intake of fiber daily. The Center for Disease Control estimates that over... 
 

FDA: New Policies for Antibiotics Use on Farms

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made an announcement about new policies it has implemented to curtail widespread use of powerful antibiotics in chickens, pigs and cows raised for meat. Critics point out that the move does not go far enough. The problem is quite simple and very scary. Antibiotics are indispensible for modern medicine. However, they are starting to lose effectiveness. Bacteria that are antibiotic-resistant are spreading rapidly and now cause the deaths of more than 23,000 Americans annually. One of the reasons there... 
 

Bubonic and Pneumonic Plague Hits Madagascar

Two pneumonic plague cases have been found in Madagascar, said a health official there. The pneumonic plague is deadlier than the bubonic plague. This new report comes after confirmation that there was also an outbreak of the deadly bubonic plague in the island’s northwest region in a tiny village. Pneumonic plague can be transmitted from human to human without any involvement of fleas or animals. It is also the least common and most virulent form of plague, which can kill in less than 24 hours. Bubonic plague was found in the town of Mandritsara... 
 

Breast Implant Maker Gets Four Years Behind Bars

Founder of Poly Implant Prothese, the French company, Jean-Claude Mas was sentenced on Tuesday to four years behind bars in criminal court in Marseille. Mas was found guilty of hiding the true nature of the silicone that was sub standard and used in the breast implants that were sold to more than 300,000  women across the globe. The sentence for Mas, the founder and long-time CEO of the company ended the scandal that fueled panic around the world in 2011. Panic took hold after France released a statement recommending that all women with the implants... 
 

Boy Cured of Peanut Allergy

A boy of 10 has been cured said doctors of a serious peanut allergy, which is one of the first times a child has been alleviated from such a condition, according to new research presented this week. Nearly 3 million children who are school aged are affected by peanut allergies in U.S. These allergies are the most common cause of food anaphylaxis that is fatal. Food anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that is full body that often leads to blockage in airways and to cardiac arrest. While certain children at some point outgrow conditions such as peanut... 
 
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