Alzheimer’s Patients Experience Marked Improvement With New Drug – Really?

This is supposed to be good news but is it? According to mainstream medicine there is currently no drug treatments on the market that can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease but the pharmaceutical company making aducanumab believes that their new medication could soon be a groundbreaking treatment for dementia patients. Continue reading

Why This Form of Cancer is On the Rise

Over the past decades there have been a number of great steps taken in cancer research and treatment. Doctors are now able to improve the quality and length of life for patients at rates that were unimaginable only years ago. This increased knowledge leads to greater education for the masses, offering preventative strategies and ways to Continue reading

Genetic Mutation Makes Some People to Rid hepatitis C

A collaborative study led by Johns Hopkins researchers has uncovered a genetic mutation that gives a person the ability to get rid of Hepatitis C without any treatment.

While some of the people with Hepatitis C suffer throughout the life and develop serious liver disease, including cancer, others are able to defeat the infection and get rid of the virus with no treatment.

“If we knew why some people got rid of the disease on their own, then maybe we could figure out ways to help other people who didn’t. Or maybe even help prevent infections entirely,” Nature quoted Dr. David Thomas as saying.

In a previous study, researchers had found a variation in a single chemical of DNA, known as a single-nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP, near the IL28B gene, which while poorly understood, is thought to help the immune response to Hepatitis C viral infection.

People infected with Hepatitis C, who carried the C/C variation SNP near their IL28B gene, were found more likely to respond to hepatitis C treatment, which can rid some patients of the virus.

Thus, the researchers in the current study wondered if the C/C variation-as opposed to the C/T or T/T alternatives-also played a role in some peoples’ ability to get rid of the virus without the help of medication.

So, they assembled information from six different studies that had over many years collected DNA and Hepatitis C infection information from people all over the world.

Then, the team analysed DNA at the IL28B gene from a total of 1008 patients- 620 persistently infected and 388 who had been infected but no longer carried any virus.

DNA analysis revealed that of the 388 patients who no longer carried virus, 264 have the C/C variation.

“This is the strongest clue to date to understanding what would constitute a successful immune response. We don’t yet know the significance of this C variant, but we know we need to do more work to find out what it means and whether it might be helpful to halting the disease,” said Thomas.

The researchers also noticed an intriguing trend- the C/C variant does not appear equally in all populations.

“We wonder if this SNP also explains some of the genetic basis for the population difference of Hepatitis C clearance. It’s been reported that African-Americans are less

Introducing – Yohimbe

Introducing – Yohimbe

Alternate Names: Pausinystalia yohimbe

Yohimbe is an evergreen tree that grows in western Africa in Nigeria, Cameroon, the Congo and Gabon.

The bark of the tree contains the active compounds called alkaloids. The principal alkaloid is called yohimbine.

Yohimbine is a prescription drug in the United States for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Its popularity has waned since the introduction of Viagra.

Yohimbe bark extracts are also sold in health food stores and online. In Germany, it is not approved for use. Yohimbe can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure, as well as anxiety and other side effects.

Why Do People Use Yohimbe?

Traditionally, yohimbe was used in Africa for fever, coughs, leprosy, and as an aphrodisiac. Today, yohimbe is promoted for the following conditions:

    * Erectile dysfunction

      Yohimbe bark extracts are widely promoted online and in health food stores as a natural aphrodisiac to increase libido and treat erectile dysfunction. However, there is no evidence to show that the herbal supplements work. Most clinical studies have looked at the drug yohimbine and not the herbal extract yohimbe.

      Yohimbine has been found to relax and dilate blood vessels in the penis, resulting in increased blood flow and erection. It may also stimulate areas in the brain involved in sexual desire.

      Studies on the effectiveness of yohimbine have had conflicting findings. For organic erectile dysfunction (erectile dysfunction caused by a physical problem), one small uncontrolled study found that yohimbine was beneficial for men with organic erectile dysfunction. Another study found it was no more effective than a placebo.

      Yohimbine appears to work better for erectile dysfunction not caused by a physical problem. A German study examined whether 30 mg/day of yohimbine for 4 weeks would help men with erectile dysfunction not due to a physical problem. Yohimbine was found to be more effective than placebo (71% vs 45%).

      To date, there have been no studies comparing yohimbine to newer drugs such as Viagra.

    * Weight Loss

      Yohimbine has been found to increase lipolysis by increasing the release of norepinephrine available to fat cells and blocking alpha-2 receptor activation. However, a controlled study found that 43 mg/day yohimbe had no effect on body weight, body mass index, body fat, fat distribution, and cholesterol levels.

    * Depression

      Yohimbe has been promoted as a herbal remedy for depression, because it blocks an enzyme called monoamine oxidase. However, this is only found in higher doses (over 50 mg/day), which is potentially unsafe.

Safety

In Germany, yohimbe is on the Commission E (the country’s herbal regulatory agency). list of unapproved herbs because of concerns about the herb’s safety and effectiveness. In the United States, the FDA has had a number of reports of seizures and kidney failure following the use of yohimbe.

Yohimbe is not recommended because it has a very narrow therapeutic index. There is a relatively small dosing range–below it, the herb doesn’t work and above it the herb is toxic. Side effects of normal dosages may include dizziness, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, and increased blood pressure. As little as 40 mg a day can cause severe side effects, such as dangerous changes in blood pressure, hallucinations, paralysis. Overdose can be fatal.

Because yohimbe blocks the enzyme monoamine oxidase, people taking yohimbe must avoid all tyramine-containing foods (e.g., liver, cheeses, red wine) and over-the-counter products that contain the ingredient phenylpropanolamine, such as nasal decongestants.

People with kidney or liver disease, stomach ulcers, heart disease, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder should not take yohimbe.

Yohimbe should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women, children, or elderly people.

Yohimbe should not be combined with antidepressant drugs unless under the supervision of a physician.

Males Experience Loss of Libido During Hepatitis-C Therapy

WASHINGTON – Loss of libido and impaired sex is common among those undergoing antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis C, according to a new study.

This is the first time a study evaluating the combination therapy, peginterferon and ribavirin, has identified sexual dysfunction (inability to fully enjoy sexual intercourse) as a side effect.

The therapy has the potential to affect all three components of sexual health: desire, function and satisfaction.

Before therapy, 37 percent of men reported at least some degree of diminished desire, while 44 percent reported dissatisfaction with their sexual life. Besides, 22 percent reported poor erection and 26 percent reported poor ejaculation.

The average onset of sexual dysfunction appeared to be within four weeks of starting antiviral therapy, and many patients reported a gradual worsening over time.

At the end of therapy (24 or 48 weeks), an estimated 38 percent to 48 percent of men reported that overall sexual function was worse than before treatment.

As part of the Study of Viral Resistance to Antiviral Therapy of Chronic Hepatitis C (VIRAHEP-C), 260 men treated with peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin completed self-administered questionnaires concerning sexual desire, sexual function – including erectile and ejaculatory function – and sexual satisfaction before, during and after treatment.

These findings were presented in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.

Coffee May Stop Liver Disease

Coffee May Stop Liver Disease

Researchers have found another good reason to go to the local espresso bar: Several cups of coffee a day could halt the progression of liver disease, a study showed Wednesday.

Sufferers of chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease who drank three or more cups of coffee per day slashed their risk of the disease progressing by 53 percent compared to patients who drank no coffee, according to the study, led by Neal Freedman of the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

For the study, 766 participants enrolled in the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-Term Treatment against Cirrhosis (HALT-C) trial  all of whom had hepatitis C which had not responded to treatment with anti-viral drugs  were asked to report how many cups of coffee they drank every day.

The patients were seen every three months during the 3.8-year study, and liver biopsies were taken periodically to determine the progression of liver disease.

“We observed an inverse association between coffee intake and liver disease progression,” meaning patients who drank three or more cups of java were less likely to see their liver disease worsen than non-drinkers, wrote the authors of the study, which will be published in the November issue of Hepatology.

The researchers put forward several ways in which coffee intake might protect against liver disease, including reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, which has been associated with liver illness; or by reducing inflammation, which is thought to cause fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver.

Even caffeine, the chemical that gives a cup of coffee its oomph, came under the spotlight, having been found in previous studies to inhibit liver cancer in rats.

But drinking black or green tea, which also contain caffeine, had little impact on the progression of liver disease, although there were few tea drinkers in the study.

According to the World Health Organization, 3 million to 4 million people contract hepatitis C each year.

Seventy percent of cases become chronic and can cause cirrhosis or liver cancer.