Thursday, December 29, 2011

Online Health Expert Medical news Flash: Regaining Weight After Dieting Linked to Hormonal Changes and Not Lack of Willpower.

Online Health Expert Obesity and Dieting News Flash: An Interesting study done by Australian Doctors involving 50 overweight or obese patients without diabetes in a 10-week weight loss dieting program and published in the New England Journal of Medicine (October, 2011) showed elevated levels of hormones linked with hunger and obesity (ghrelin, gastric inhibitory polypeptide, and pancreatic polypeptide) and decreased levels of appetite suppressing hormones (leptin, peptide YY, cholecystokinin, insulin and amylin) compared to baseline levels over a period of one year after weight loss resulting from Dieting, suggesting that hormones result in the quick and high weight regain after dieting induced weight loss.


Anyone who has tried dieting and successfully lost weight as a result of it knows it is usually followed by a rebound weigh regain. This study shows that this weight regain is not merely a result of lack of willpower on their part, but is a result of several changes in the levels of homeostatic hormones linked with obesity. It clearly shows that the human body fights the lowering in body weight by quickly bringing the weight back with a rebound!


This understanding and long term means and strategies to counteract these homeostatic changes may hold the key to sustained weight loss by preventing rebound weight gain after a successful dieting program.


Online Health Expert urges "You" to share this story to help fight the rapidly growing Obesity epidemic.


Sources and References:


Link 1

Link 2




Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert


Sincerely, 


Dr. Harish Malik

Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: First ever Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSC) Derived Fully Functional Cultured Red Blood Cells (cRBCs) Transfused Successfully in a Human Subject.

Online Health Expert Medical News Report: According to an article published in the journal Blood, November 10, 2011 issue, for the very first time in the history of Blood Transfusion Medicine, when the American Red Cross had declared a nationwide shortage of Blood, scientists in France have been able to successfully transfuse 10 homogenized fully functional and mature Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSC) derived in-vitro cultured Red Blood Cells (cRBCs) in a Human subject and showed them to be at par in quality and functionality with the natural RBCs.


Although, we are not yet technologically advanced enough to go for full scale quick and mass production of cRBCs for clinical use, this advancement promises a life saving leap in our capabilities very soon!


Sources and References:


Link 1

Link 2

Link 3


Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert


Sincerely, 


Dr. Harish Malik

Friday, December 23, 2011

3D Organ Printer Printing a Human Kidney and more - Dr. Anthony Atala, Head of Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University, NC

Online Health Expert Major Medical News Flash: 3D Organ Printers (Computer-aided jet-based 3D tissue engineering of living human organs with human cells, patient's own cells, grown in culture medium and the use of thin layers of thermo-reversible gel as printing paper following a 3D Volumetric Imaging of the Organ needed) are here to soon eliminate the wait time and the need for immunesuppression for Organ Transplantation as there would be no Transplant Rejection.

In the video below you will see Dr. Anthony Atala, Head of Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine at Wake Forest University, NC at TED conference in Mar. 2011 printing a human kidney on stage using a 3D organ printer. The Kidney is not ready to be really transplanted just yet. In a few years this technology which uses bio-compatible scaffolding (thermo-reversible gel) and human cells either differentiated from stem cells belonging to the patient or healthy organ cells from the patient's organ cultured outside the body will be used instead of ink in 3D printers and will actually print out the needed organ layer by layer. This will eliminate the need to wait for an organ donor and any risk or organ rejection after transplantation surgery. This will also eliminate the need for any immune suppression.


Thank you for updating your Medical Knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely.

Dr. Harish Malik

Online health Expert News Report: Commonly Used Indian Spice and Food Coloring Agent Turmeric's (Haldi-in HIndi)Standardized Extract HSS-888 Shown to Inhibit or Improve Plaque Burden in Alzheimer's Transgenic Mice.

Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: Indian Spice and Food coloring agent Turmeric (called Haldi - in Hindi) Extract as a New and Promising Herbal Treatment for Alzheimer's Disease is on the Horizon.


In the Aug 30, 2011 edition of the Current Alzheimer Research journal [Epub ahead of print] researchers from the Herbal Science Group, LLC located in Naples, Florida, USA performed an in vivo study on "Alzheimer" transgenic mice (Tg2576) and showed that the Standardized Turmeric Extract (HSS-888) showed promising first step in Botanical based therapies for Alzheimer's disease by inhibiting Beta Amyloid  (soluble 40% and insoluble 20%) or improving Phosphorylated Tau Protein plaque burden (80%), and microglial inflammation leading to neuronal toxicity.


Further Reading and Sources:


Link 1
Link 2

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert. 


Sincerely, 


Dr. Harish Malik

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Online Health Expert Medical News Report: Increase in the resting heart rate over a 10-year period independently increases risk of death from all causes and from ischemic heart disease.

Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: According to a study done by Javaid Newman, PhD and colleagues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway and published in the December 21, 2001 issue of JAMA, an increase in the resting heart rate (RHR) over a 10-year period had an increased risk of death from all causes and from ischemic heart disease (IHD). The study enrolled 30,000 healthy men and women who were followed for a period of 12 years.


The researchers found that compared with participants with a RHR of less than 70 bpm at both measurements (10 years apart), participants with a RHR of less than 70 bpm at the first measurement but greater than 85 bpm at the second measurement had a 90 percent increased risk of death from IHD. Participants with RHRs between 70-85 bpm at the first measurement and greater than 85 bpm at the second measurement had an 80 percent increased risk.


There is already some preexisting evidence that a high RHR is associated with increased cardiovascular disease and death in the general population, independent of conventional risk factors like age, smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, alcohol intake, physical inactivity etc. But this was the first time a study was done to show how the increase in the RHR over a period of time independently impacts death from all causes and IHD. A previous study involving 129,135 postmenopausal women done in 2009 was able to establish RHR as an independent predictor for coronary events in women. Women with high RHR (more than 76 bpm) were significantly more likely to suffer a coronary event compared to women with lowest RHR ( 62 bpm or less). This correlation was strongest in the ages 50-64 years and less strong for women 65 years or over. There have been similar previous studies showing the direct correlation between high RHR and increased coronary events among men.


These studies including the one done by Dr. Newman further support for the hypothesis that RHR may be an important prognostic marker for IHD and total mortality. Information on RHR and its time-related changes which are so simple to perform and pretty easy to obtain and follow-up and may be useful in identifying asymptomatic healthy people who could benefit from measures of primary prevention to reduce coronary events and all cause mortality and promote longevity through timely interventions.


More research needs to be done how the results from this study can be extrapolated to sick individuals and whether or not decreasing RHR will result in a decrease in all cause mortality.


Sources and further reading:


Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

This is yet another study along with many others which shows the importance of low RHR and keeping it low over time. An easy way to achieve it is to join Online Health Expert's Free and revolutionary "Move Movement". I encourage everyone to learn more and live a  longer and healthier life.




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Sincerely,


Dr. Harish Malik

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Online Health Expert Medical News Report: Functional MRI Brain Scans Yield Clues to Physician Decision Making.

Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: According to an Interesting study published in the journal PLoS One done on 35 experienced Physicians using 64 virtual case studies during training and 64 virtual patients in the testing phase and Functional MRI scans of their brains to elucidate their decision making process, the research team led by Dr. Jonathan Downar, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in Ontario, Canada showed that Doctors who learned mainly from their successes showed low performance and a tended to make sub-optimal decision making compared to their high performing colleagues who learned equally from their mistakes (failures) and successes (positive outcomes). 


High performing Doctors' brains achieve better outcomes by attending to informative failures during training rather than chasing the reward value of successes.


This finding, labeled as confirmation bias and success chasing was shown to hinder associative learning which together produced or solidified the false beliefs in low performing physicians in this study. 


This leads us to believe that disconfirmation learning might be more beneficial in teaching Medical students and Residents so that they will not become success chasers and would be able to learn from their mistakes in the simulated clinical case scenarios and would be worthwhile to incorporate as a part of their training to improve patient outcomes. Further testing needs to be done to find direct evidence to support this type of training and its benefits.


Online Health Expert recommends learning more from one's failures rather than successes alone. It is the key to avoid spurious learning and is true for everyone and not only Doctors.


Further Reading and Sources:


Link 1
Link 2
Link 3


Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert


Sincerely,


Dr. Harish Malik

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Online Health Expert Dr. Harish Malik uses a Revolutionary Global "Move Movement" to bring Doctors and patients together & help Health care providers improve their clinical & communication skills to safely cut Health care costs & fight disease.


I am Dr. Harish Malik and the Author of Online Health Expert. I am a Medical Doctor from India with over 10 years of Medicine, Medical Education, Teaching, Research and Public Speaking experience. Please Click here to view my complete profile. I have recently started a Global "Move Movement".
My Revolutionary Global "Move Movement" to help prevent/fight disease and promote positive health is a testimony to my dedication to improve Global Health and cut Global Medical and Health costs.
The addition of "Free Membership" to Online Health Expert provides a platform where Medical professionals as well as people can exchange ideas, knowledge and skills to improve their health and spread Health awareness and come together as a Global Family of Health Protectors and Promoters.
My launch of the "Top Medical News" section about the technologies and discoveries that are reshaping our Health care such as Nanotechnology, 3D Organ Printing for transplantation, use of Stem Cells in healing hearts, brains and many other organs.
Above all the creation of "Synthetic Life" has changed my definition of Life - Life forms are software (genes) driven dynamic organic machines (body) - and our ability to literally edit this software on a computer and to create "New Life forms" is amazing new promising technology that has already started revolutionizing our world at all levels.
My Free Links for "Clinical Skills Videos", "Allied Health care Clinical Skills Videos" and "Symptom Checkers" when properly utilized will make Medical and Health care Safer and More Cost Effective in the time of "Global Economic Crisis" and growing disconnect between Health care Providers and Patients due to our increasing reliance on technology in diagnosing and treating patients and the diminishing and declining utilization of Clinical Skills.
“To teach is to touch a life forever”. Keeping this in mind, I believe that every Medical Educator must be highly motivated, must be knowledgeable, skilled and a thorough professional who must strive for perfection.
Please Join Online Health Expert today for FREE! to Learn and to Teach and Improve Global Health and Medical Education through your contribution today. .
 "It's Never Too Late to improve and nobody is perfect and Health care needs Major Changes NOW!" Let’s Start This Change by Joining Online Health Expert and Sharing our Wealth of knowledge.

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Sincerely,

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chew Gum - Lose Weight - Coming Soon: Scientist Uses Vitamin B12 To Deliver Appetite-Suppressing Hormone PYY (Peptide YY) Via Chewing Gum or Oral Tablets.

Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: Soon, losing weight might mean chewing a stick of gum after eating a well balanced meal to suppress your appetite.

In an exciting new study, a chemist at Syracuse University, Robert Doyle and his team, demonstrated, for the first time, that a critical hormone PYY (Peptide YY) which is a short (36-amino acid) protein released by cells in the ileum and colon in response to feeding.that helps people feel "full" after eating can be delivered into the bloodstream orally.

Doyle's team is working on  incorporating B12-PYY in chewing gum or oral tablets in trials and hoping to deliver PYY without being degraded in the GI system to cause appetite suppression in obese individuals.

If they will be successful, PYY-laced gum would be a natural way to help people lose weight in the near future.

Robert Doyle's study was published online in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. He collaborated on the study with researchers from Murdoch University in Australia.


Further Reading and Sources:

Link 1


Link 2


Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely,

Dr. Harish Malik

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Inexpensive Diabetes Drug Metformin Shows Promise in Reducing Risk of Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer and Possibly Other Cancers.


Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: Previous epidemiological association of decreased Breast cancer in women on long term Metformin therapy for type 2 Diabetes Mellitus was experimentally shown to be true by researchers from Michigan State University and their colleagues from Seoul University.


Using culture dishes (Link 1), these researchers grew miniature human breast tumors, or mammospheres, that activated a certain stem cell gene (Oct4A). Then the mammospheres were exposed to natural estrogen - a known growth factor and potential breast tumor promoter - and man-made chemicals that are known to promote tumors or disrupt the endocrine system. 

They found that estrogen and the chemicals caused the mammospheres to increase in numbers and size. However, when metformin was added, the numbers and size of the mammospheres were dramatically reduced. While each of the chemicals enhanced growth by different means, metformin seemed to be able to inhibit their stimulated growth in all cases.

In another study done last year at the National Cancer Institute regarding metformin and Lung cancer prevention in mice (Link 2) when the researchers administered metformin to mice by injection, the drug levels were higher and the anticancer effects were even stronger—the drug reduced lung tumors by 72 percent compared with no treatment. Although this method of administration is not feasible for cancer prevention in humans, analogs of metformin that are more potent may well be more effective than the drug itself, Dr. Dennis noted. With any chemopreventive agent, however, minimal toxicity is critical, and metformin was well tolerated in the mice. In fact, the livers of the treated mice not only showed no signs of toxicity, but they actually appeared healthier than those of untreated mice.

Further research will be done to see if metformin can reduce the risk of Pancreatic and Liver cancers as well.


Further Reading and References:





Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely,

Dr. Harish Malik

What’s New in Chemotherapy? Johns Hopkins Professor Marc Ostermeier and His Team Has Devised Protein “Switches” That Could Turn Human Cancer Cells into Tiny Chemotherapy Factories Causing Them to Self-destruct While Sparing Healthy Tissue.


Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: This novel cancer-fighting strategy and promising early lab test results from Johns Hopkins Department of Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering were reported in the online early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Abstract).

Marc Ostermeier’s team made this novel weapon, cancer-fighting protein “switch”, by fusing together two different proteins and successfully tested it on human colon and breast cancer cells. One protein detects a marker that cancer cells produce. The other protein, derived from yeast, can turn an inactive prodrug (drug that is in its inactive form) into a cancer-cell killer (active chemotherapy drug). “When the first part of the switch detects cancer, it tells its partner to activate the chemotherapy drug, destroying the cell,” Ostermeier said.

Normal healthy cells will also receive the prodrug but would not be able to convert it to active chemotherapy drug and thus would be spared.

Animal testing is expected to start within a year.

Source and further reading:

Wright, C., Wright, R., Eshleman, J., and Ostermeier, M. (2011) A protein therapeutic modality founded on molecular regulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved on November 27, 2011 from http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/09/12/1102803108.abstract
This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1102803108/-/DCSupplemental.


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Sincerely,

Dr. Harish Malik

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Online Health Expert: Free Symptom Checker Links

Online Health Expert: Free Symptom Checker Links: Join Online Health Expert today for Free!


Free Online Symptom Checkers are here for Health Providers and Patients. My links to the best ones around Online and available for everyone...


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Dr. Harish Malik

Online Health Expert: Clinical Skills Video Links

Online Health Expert: Clinical Skills Video Links: Frequently updated page! Join Online Health Expert today to stay updated.


Online Health Expert presents Free Video Links to Learn, Review, Update and Master Clinical Skills for Medical and Nursing Students, Reside...


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Dr. Harish Malik

Online Health Expert: "Move Movement"

Online Health Expert: "Move Movement": Dear Online Health Expert Reader, Welcome to the my revolutionary "MOVE MOVEMENT". This movement is a revolutionary new idea that will ch...

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.Sincerely,Dr. Harish Malik

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Diseased Hearts to Heal Themselves in the Future! Thanks to the discovery of Oncostatin M which Helps in the Dedifferentiation of the Healthy Heart Cells into Precursor Cells that Regenerate the Damaged Heart Tisssue.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim and the Sch├╝chtermann Klinik in Bad Rothenfelde have identified the protein Oncostatin M which fulfils a central task in the dedifferentiation (reversal) process by stimulating the regression of individual heart muscle cells into their precursor cells after Myocardial Infarction and Cardiomyopathy that limits the fatal consequences.

They now plan to improve the self-healing powers of the heart with the help of this protein and are looking for the correct time frame to use it in humans after such insults so as to minimize its adverse effects.

Further Reading and References:

Link1
Link2
Link3

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely,

Dr. Harish Malik

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ectrodactyly or Split-Hand/Split-Foot Malformation (SHFM) or sometimes called the Lobster-Claw Syndrome or Ectodermal Dysplasia-Clefting Syndrome:- A Rare Congenital Medical Mystery.

Ectrodactyly (SHFM or ECC) is a relatively rare (1/90,000 births) congenital genetic (long arm of chromosome7; 7q22 - Arg304 of p63 gene is most commonly seen defect) birth defect with limb malformation involving the central rays of the autopod and presenting with syndactyly, median clefts of the hands and feet and aplasia/or hypoplasia of the phalanges, metacarpals and metatarsals.

It can be seen either with hand and/or feet deformities (the middle finger or middle toe is missing - giving them the appearance of a Lobster claw) without any other malformations or as a ECC (Ectodermal Dysplasia-Clefting) Syndrome in which a combination of other anomalies may be seen - including - tibial aplasia, cranio-facial defects, and genitourinary abnormalities. Sometimes sensorineural hearing loss is also seen.

It is a genetic disorder which in the autosomal dominant (gene on chromosome 7) disorder is characterized by (SHFM) Split-Hand/Split-Foot Malformation; urogenital defects; skin, hair, teeth, and nail anomalies; nasolacrymal anomalies and cleft palate with or without cleft lip. Hydronephrosis is not seen prominently in ECC. Inter- and intrafamilial expression in seen to be highly variable. In mildly affected patients, SHFM may be limited to syndactyly and several instances of non-penetrance have been documented. Clinical variability not only exists between patients, but also between limbs of a single individual. There are some case reports of autosomal recessive inheritance.

Currently there are several treatments, which can normalize the appearance of the hands, yet they will not function precisely the same way as regularly formed hands. The prognosis for the non-syndromic Ectrodactyly is very good and that of the ECC syndrome depends on the organs involved and the penetrance level. Some people with ectrodactyly use prosthetic hands to avoid the rude stares of others. Early physical and occupational therapy can help those with ectrodactyly adapt, and learn to write, pick things up, and be fully functional.

Further Reading and References:

Link1
Link2
Link3
Link4


Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely,

Dr. Harish Malik

Monday, November 7, 2011

Oncotype DX (Breast Cancer Gene test) Marketed by Genomics Health May Result in False negatives for HER2.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a widely used breast cancer test (oncotype DX) may not be accurate in identifying the HER2 gene that is critical in determining if the patient recieves Herceptin (trastuzumab) which may be life saving in HER2 positive Breast cancer patients.

According to Dr. Lori J. Goldstein, director of Breast Evaluation Center at Fox Chase cancer Center in Philadelphia, the Oncotype DX test, which actually measures 21 different genes, was not designed to specifically test for HER2 and is not intended as a substitute for two other widely used and accepted lab tests.

The Inform Dual ISH test is manufactured by Ventana Medical Systems of Tucson, Arizona was recently approved by the FDA to test for HER2 gene. It has a 96% sensitivity in identifying HER2-positive tumor samples and 92.3% specificity in ruling out HER2 positivity in tumor samples that had the normal number of copies of the HER2 gene. Patients with more than the normal number of copies of the HER2 gene are considered candidates for trastuzumab therapy, whereas those with the normal number are not.

Further reading and references:

Link1
Link2

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely,

Dr. Harish Malik

Free Online Medical News at Online Health Expert: Embryonic Stem Cell Transplants in Mice Reverse Diabetes.

Getting the embryonic stem cells to develop into beta cells properly (at the right time, in just the right amounts, that secrete insulin) has been challenging.

Recently, scientists have been successful in nudging human embryonic stem cells to become precursors to beta cells. Transplanting these cells into mice has yielded promising results.

Further Reading and References:

Link1
Link2

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely,

Dr. Harish Malik

Free Online Medical News at Online Health Expert: Human Embryonic Stem Cells Used to Treat Parkinson Disease in Mice, Rats and Rhesus Monkeys.

Astudy published in the journal Nature descibes how scientists were able to differentiate human embryonic stem cells into dopamine-producing neurons and transplant them into lab mice, rats and rhesus mokeys' brains and were able to treat their Parkinson symptoms over a period of months.

If long term experiments which are underway are successful, then human trials may begin in 3-4 years.

Further Reading and References:

Link1
Link2

To read more about stem cells, their origin and current applications and clinical trials please click on the link below:

Stem Cells


Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.


Sincerely,

Dr. Harish Malik

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Free Online Medical News at Online Health Expert: Embryonic Signal (Stem cell) Drives Pancreatic Cancer and Will Offer a Way to Kill It.


Pancreatic cancer that took away Apple's CEO Mr. Steve Jobs (Mr. Steven Paul Jobs) is a particularly difficult cancer to beat. It’s been shown to harbor Stem Cells that utilize the embryonic pathway (Nodal/Activin Pathway) that is absent in the adult cells.

This pathway's embryonic ties and their absence in other tissues have presented a real opportunity to kill pancreatic cancer cells. It suggests that one could target the molecular pathway without harming other adult cells. Heeschen's team has already shown that this approach to therapy does work in mice.

"I don't think the cancer stem cells have any direct link to embryonic development, rather they are using this developmental pathway for their uncontrolled self-renewal capacity”, said Christopher Heeschen of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid. 

This approach to treat Pancreatic cancer is being developed for human use and there are hints that this pathway might have important role in other forms of cancer such as Breast, Lung and Colorectal cancers.

"The concept that you can hit cancer stem cells and tumors will melt away must be abandoned”, Heeschen said. "You have to treat the entire cancer - the stroma, cancer stem cells and differentiated cells - as a complex". 

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely, 
Dr. Harish Malik

Free Online Medical News at Online Health Expert: Skin's Melanocytes "see" (via Rhodopsin - previously only thought to exist in the eyes) Sun's UVA Light and Start Making Melanin Within Hours to Prevent Skin Damage.

Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: Scientists are learning more about how the skin cells respond to and protect themselves against the Sun's UV (Ultraviolet) radiation. This will shed more light on the prevention of and management of Skin cancer in the future. In a recent study done by Elena Oancea, Assistant Professor of Biology in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology at Brown University, graduate student Nadine Wicks, and their team and published in the journal Current Biology discovered that the melanocytes (cells that make and store melanin) contain rhodopsin protein, a photosensitive receptor used by the eye’s Rods in the Retina to “see” or detect light and the RNA to transcribe it. As soon as the Skin’s melanocytes “see” the UVA (Ultraviolet A – longer wavelength and less damaging) it triggers a calcium signaling response that stimulates melanin production, which is known to protect the Skin cells’ DNA from damage due mainly to the UVB (shorter wavelength and more damaging) long before the effects of tanning are noticeable.



It is quite fascinating to learn that our skin has eyes to protect itself against the damaging effects of UV radiation.

Further reading and References:


Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely, 

Dr. Harish Malik

Does HIV Infection and AIDS Result in an Increased Risk of Cancer?

The answer to this question is Yes. The people with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection have been seen to develop more cancers compared to those uninfected. In fact, according to NCI (National Cancer Institute), people infected with HIV have a substantially higher risk of developing some types of cancer compared to uninfected people of same age. The three AIDS defining cancers (Diagnosis of any of these 3 cancers marks the point at which HIV infection has progressed to AIDS) include  Kaposi sarcoma, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Cervical cancer.

Compared to uninfected individuals, HIV positive individuals are:
  • several thousand times more likely to be diagnosed with Kaposi sarcoma,
  • at least 70 times more likely to be diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma,
  • and among women, at least 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with Cervical cancer.
HIV infected people are also at increased risk of the following cancers in comparison to the uninfected people:
  • Anal cancer (25 times more likely to be diagnosed),
  • Liver cancer (5 times more likely to be diagnosed),
  • Lung cancer (3 times more likely to be diagnosed),
  • Hodgkin Lymphoma (at least 10 times more likely to be diagnosed)

HIV infected individuals do NOT have an increased risk of the following cancers: (Screening for the following cancers should follow the same guidelines as the ones for general population)
  • Breast cancer,
  • Colorectal cancer,
  • Prostate cancer,
  • and many other common cancers.


The reason for this increased risk is due to the weakened immune system that leads to reduced ability of the HIV infected person's body to fight infections that may lead to cancer.

  • HHV-8 (Human Herpes Virus type 8) also known as KSAH (Kaposi Sarcoma Associated Herpesvirus) is the causative agent for Kaposi Sarcoma.
  • EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) causes Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
  • HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) causes cervical cancer, anal, penile, vulvar, vaginal, and head and neck cancers.
  • HBV (Hepatitis B Virus) and HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) are both known causes for liver cancer.


Another reason is that many HIV positive persons are also infected with these other viruses (mentioned above) that may cause cancer.

Lastly, HIV positive individuals are more prone to harbor some of the traditional risk factors of cancer like smoking (associated with lung, oral, laryngeal, esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, colorectal, kidney, bladder, and other urinary cancers, cervical cancer, and poorer AML outcomes) and heavy alcohol use (liver cancer, breast cancer, oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, esophageal cancer).

HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) has been able to decrease the incidence of Kaposi sarcoma and NHL in HIV positive individuals. Cervical cancer incidence has not reduced. The incidence of Anal cancer and Hodgkin Lymphoma is on the rise since the induction of HAART. The use of HAART in the treatment of HIV positive individuals has led to more of these patients living past their 40s and they are increasingly being diagnosed with the other non AIDS related cancers but not at earlier ages than the general population as discussed earlier.

Taking HAART as prescribed, quitting smoking and alcohol, managing Hepatitis B and C, screening for Cervical and Anal cancer with a PAP test are some recommendations to prevent, screen for and manage the above discussed cancers in HIV positive and AIDS patients.

Further reading and References:

Link1 (NCI at NIH)
Link2 (CDC study)

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.
Sincerely,
Dr. Harish Malik

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weight Loss May Boost Sex Life of Obese, Diabetic Men.

Something Positive to lift up your spirits and more if you are an Obese man with Type 2 Diabetes and are suffering from decreased libido (sexual desire) and/ or E.D. (erectile dysfunction).

Australian researchers found weight loss improves the sexual health of obese men with type 2 diabetes. Cutting calories can also have positive effects on urinary tract function, researchers say.

The study showed that a modest weight loss of 5 percent led to an easing of erectile dysfunction and improved sexual desire within eight weeks, and these improvements continued for 12 months.

Lose Weight and  Boost your Sex Life for FREE!

Source: The Journal of Sexual Medicine, news release, Aug. 5, 2011

Recently The Support for Breast-Feeding Found Lacking in Many U.S. Hospitals.

The U.S. CDC study found that only 4% of U.S. Hospitals offered full range of services for new moms and found that only 14% of hospitals have a written breast-feeding policy.
Breast-feeding helps babies grow up healthy and reduces health-care costs. Low rates of breast-feeding in the United States result in $2.2 billion in additional medical costs per year.
According to CDC, babies who are fed formula and stop breast-feeding early have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, respiratory and ear infections. They also require more doctor visits, hospitalizations and prescriptions.
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Aug. 2, 2011
References:

Fight Weight and Hunger by Thoroughly Chewing Your Food!

An age old saying about eating your food slower and chewing 32 times to attain and maintain healthy weight was recently shown to be correct. More studies are needed to show how it will impact diabetics and people diagnosed with borderline diabetes. For the time being what can be said is Chewing your food more might just be the right think for your waistline, pocket and help fight that urge for the goodies!

(Lisbon, Portugal) Thorough chewing of food stimulates the release of 2 intestinal peptides that reduce appetite and food intake in obese individuals, according to the results of a study presented here at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 47th Annual Meeting.

Research was done in Japan, led by M. Saito from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Medicine at Ohu University in Fukushima, Japan. They reported that their study is the first to show that thorough chewing stimulates postprandial increases of glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and peptide YY (PYY), both of which are secreted by intestinal L cells.

Chew more thoroughly, Eat slower and Savour the Flavour! and Watch your Weight twice daily to see Positive Results.

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely,

Dr. Harish Malik

Taller people at greater risk of cancer!


A study done in UK and published in the journal Lancet Oncology found that for every 10 cm increase in height over 5 feet in women raises their risk of  developing cancer by 16%. Somehow, smoking was inversely related to height. taller women who were smokers actually had a slightly lower risk of cancer than shorter women who smoked cigarettes.

References:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

IBM's Dr. Watson (Watson Supercomputer) to bring Automation to Healthcare. Are you Ready?


Star Trek’s unnamed computer capabilities are coming to Healthcare. IBM's Supercomputer Watson (Dr. Watson) has been under development since 2006. It is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language. It utilizes workload optimized system design based on IBM's DeepQA software and POWER7® based 90 servers. It first made headlines earlier this year in February when IBM’s Watson won the popular TV Quiz show “Jeopardy” against humans.
The first commercial venture for IBM’s Watson supercomputer is Healthcare Industry. To excel at healthcare Dr.Watson is presently being uploaded with medical data from all over the world and it constantly updates its data sources. IBM and Nuance Communications Inc. have partnered for the research project to develop a commercial product during the next few months that will exploit Dr.Watson’s capabilities as a “clinical decision support system” to aid the diagnosis and treatment of patients. Physicians at Columbia University Medical Center are working with IBM to identify critical issues in the practice of medicine where the Watson technology may be able to contribute and physicians at the University of Maryland Medical System are working to identify the best way that a technology like Watson could interact with medical practitioners to provide the maximum assistance in healthcare.
IBM announced its agreement (September 2011) with health insurer WellPoint to jointly commercialize Watson. IBM’s Big Blue has developed the application to help the health care industry reduce hospital admissions. The company announced the new software on October 25, 2011. IBM “Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare” (Dr. Watson) would enable doctors and healthcare professionals to go far beyond traditional search and analysis of unstructured data. They can advance diagnosis and treatment by accurately extracting medical facts and understanding relationships buried in large volumes of clinical and operational data. The IBM solution transforms raw information into healthcare insight quickly by revealing trends, patterns, deviations and predicting the probability of outcomes, allowing organizations to derive insight in minutes versus weeks or months, or not at all. As a result, healthcare professionals can find more effective ways to care for high-risk patients, provide safer patient care, and develop new models for reimbursement for quality care.
Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was recently authorized by the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program to start penalizing for excess readmissions for 3 Disease conditions, namely, congestive heart failure (CHF), pneumonia, and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) starting on October 1, 2012 and Dr. Watson will be more than glad to help.

Are you ready as a Health Care Provider or a Patient?

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely,

Harish Malik, M.D.

Regular Coffee Drinking Has Been Linked To Many Health Benefits.

Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug used worldwide [1]. Regular Coffee Drinking has been recently in the NEWS several times and has been linked with the following Health Benefits:

4) They are less likely to suffer from the following Cancers:

[1]James, J. E. (1991). Caffeine and Health (pp. 430). London: Academic Press.

Please click on each link enjoy reading it with a hot cup of Coffee!!

Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at Online Health Expert.

Sincerely,

Harish Malik, M.D.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Is Picosecond LASER And What Is Its Latest Role In The World Of Medicine?

A brief overview of Picosecond Laser:

Pico- (p) is a prefix used in metric system of measurement to denote the size which is one-trillionth of a meter. This size is a thousand times smaller than nano- which is a billionth of a meter.

PS: If you are interested in learning about the advances in Nanotechnology and its applications in the World of Medicine, please refer to my earlier Nanotechnology post.

Picosecond (ps) LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) refers to a Laser that emits optical pulses with duration between 1 ps and (usually) some tens of ps.

To learn more about Picosecond Laser please click on the link below:


Latest role of Picosecond Laser technique in the World of  Medicine has been in the production of  synthetic scaffolds in the field of Regenerative Medicine which is a rapidly growing field which is already rapidly changing the medical world.

Please see my earlier post on 3-D organ printing where you can see Dr. Anthony Atala, a urologist, who is the head of Department of Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, U.S.A. printing out a 3-D kidney using biomimetic synthetic scaffold and cultured human kidney cells using a 3-D organ printer.

The researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT; Aachen, Germany) and other Fraunhofer Institutes developed a picosecond laser technique process for producing these biomimetic scaffolds utilizing Picosecond Laser. These scaffolds closely resemble endogenous tissue and assist in the study of 3-D cell growth. They combine organic substances with polymers and produce 3-D structures suitable for building artificial tissue.

For more details, please click on the following link to read the article posted by Lee Mather on 09/02/2011:


Thank you for updating your medical knowledge at http://www.onlinehealthexpert.blogspot.com

Sincerely,

Harish Malik, M.D.




Women Infected With Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) May Have Increased (2-3 times) Heart Attack, Stroke Risk.

According to a report published in the Journal of the American College of cardiology "Women infected with human papillomavirus or HPV, are two to three times as likely as uninfected women to have had a heart attack or stroke".

Wall Street journal "Health Blog" reported that HPV suppresses the action of retinoblastoma protein, a tumor suppressor protein that has been linked to the development of atherosclerosis (deposition of fibro-fatty plaques) that leads to increased risk of heart attack and strokes.

Further study is needed to see if similar association or a cause and effect relationship can be shown between HPV and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease in both sexes. It also reemphasizes the potential roles that other infectious agents in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.

This might, in the future, lead to vaccination and anti-microbial therapy becoming a part of prevention and routine management of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular or peripheral arterial disease patients.

Thank you for reading,

Sincerely,

Harish Malik, M.D.

Increased Morbidity And Mortality On Weekends And In July In U.S. Hospitals.

Lots of data is accumulating that shows avoidable deaths, injuries and medication errors occur at teaching hospitals in U.S. in the month of July every year when fresh and inexperienced PGY-1 Resident doctors start their residencies and are eager to use their medical knowledge and skills on their first patients. This is now commonly known as the "July effect"!

David P. Phillips, Ph.D., and Gwendolyn E. C. Barker, B.A. published a study (2010) in the Journal Of General Internal Medicine.
They found “the greater the concentration of teaching hospitals in a region, the greater the July Effect for the intra-institutional medication errors in that region”.
Three key themes reportedly emerged during the study:
1)      Fatal medication errors spiked in July and no other month.
2)      July spike appeared only in counties containing teaching hospitals, and
3)      July mortality from medication errors was 10% above the expected level in these counties.




Another interesting finding shows (so called "Weekend effect") that there is increased mortality in patients who go or are taken to the ER during the weekends when the Attending and the senior faculty is sometimes not available and the burden of care falls on the less experienced Resident doctors and Hospitalists who find it more difficult to reach the patients’ primary care doctors on weekends versus weekdays and have to unravel the medical mysteries from the scratch which is unfair and frustrating for the patients. This leads to the loss of valuable time, in re-diagnosing the patients, which could have been utilized to treat and save their lives. Hospital staffing levels tend to be lower on the weekends than on weekdays. Because of this, weekend ER patients may be less likely to receive invasive procedures and more likely to experience longer in-hospital delays. These invasive procedures have been shown to save more lives when performed early.

Recent studies from Canada, Taiwan, and the United States have reported increased risk of mortality in acute stroke patients arriving to the hospital on the weekend compared to those arriving during the week.

A study published by David J Becker, Ph.D., in the Health Services research in 2007 titled “Do Hospitals Provide Lower Quality Care on Weekends?” concluded:
1)      Patients admitted on the weekend are significantly less likely to receive the primary intensive treatments associated with AMI within the first days of their admission.

2)      Weekend admission with AMI leads to lower subsequent expenditures, but higher 1-year mortality and a higher rate of one major cardiac complication, readmission with CHF.

3)      The effects of weekend admission do vary with patient health status. While weekend admission leads to delays in invasive treatments for all patients, sicker patients (defined by inpatient admission in the prior year) are less likely to experience such delays.


Therefore, weekends and the month of July are not a good time to get hospitalized!

Thank you for reading,

Sincerely,

Harish Malik, M.D.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Vitamin E Supplementation Does Not Protect Men Against Prostate Cancer But Might Increase Risk.

Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) found that neither selenium nor vitamin E supplements reduced the risk for prostate cancer in men. An updated version in JAMA went on to further state that Vitamin E supplementation can significantly increase the risk for Prostate cancer.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Learn While You Sleep. Good Sleep Habbits Improves Memory And Potentially Academic Performance.


According to a study done by Michigan State University researchers, and published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: General People may be learning while they are asleep. The team of researchers who studied 250 people is speculating that this is a different form of memory that is formed unconsciously during sleep and contributes to dramatically improving the waking memory and potentially the academic performance for some individuals.

Simply getting a better sleep might lead to improved performance in the classroom!

Further Reading:

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Monkeys Use Their Brains, Not Hands, to 'Move' Virtual Objects

According to a study done Dr. Miguel Nicolelisat and his team at Duke University Medical Center and funded by the U.S. NIH, monkeys were trained to move virtual hands of an "Avtar" and to identify texture of virtual objects.
This study, with further development, will enable quadriplegic patients to be more independent through the use of this demonstration of a brain-machine-brain interface (BMBI) that establishes a direct, bidirectional link between a brain and a virtual body.

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Boys With Autism May Grow Faster as Babies.

According to a study published in Archives of General Psychiatry "Overgrowth" in length, weight and head circumference may signal a problem in male babies. The boy babies with Autism grow faster than their non-autistic counterparts.
 
Prior research had found an association between accelerated head growth and autism. This study adds to that by showing that boys with autism have a tendency toward accelerated growth throughout the rest of the body.

Researchers are next planning on doing a similar study in girls.

RNA (Ribonucleic acid) more important than DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) in encoding and decoding of information and origin of life.

The Central Dogma of Biology where DNA makes RNA which further makes Proteins has been much revered in the past by Biologists. It has plagued many evolutionary and origin of life scientists for almost 40 years as to which among these three came first and created the other two. According to current research and understanding (RNA first world) the RNA has been deemed as the candidate of choice that formed first and was able to work as catalyst (ribozyme) in creating first proteins in accordance with the codon sequences in the RNA. Some scientists have been able to create portions of RNA in the lab by recreating conditions that are thought to be present during the possible origin of life in the so called "primordial soup of life". RNA's were then able to pair up and create DNA through changes in the bases and hydrogen bonding to secure the information for the synthesis of evolving pre-life forms. RNA's are also thought to be the first large molecular life forms, so to say in that they could evolve into DNA Virions) and back to RNA (virions) and help synthesize proteins (prions) to evolve into first membrane (proteins) enveloped viruses and later prokaryotic and eukaryotic life forms. Intelligence as we understand is the ability to encode, decode, retrieve and reproduce information needed to build structures that could reproduce and adapt (learn and survive) making RNA as a stronger candidate thean DNA as the central molecule thought to be the first intelligent living chemical evolving from less complex unintelligent matter.

Further Reading:

Link 1
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Link 5

I encourage you to read more, learn more and to ask more questions.

Thank you,

Dr. Harish Malik

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Diabetes found to be an independent risk fact for colon and rectal cancers.

According to a study reported in American Journal of Gastroenterology, the researchers from University of California, Berkeley diabetes is an independent risk fact for colon and rectal cancers. A person with diabetes has a 38% higher risk of developing colon cancer compared to other people. Male diabetes patients were found to have a 20% higher risk of developing rectal cancer.

The authors stressed that they took into account variables which might affect the results, such as smoking, obesity and levels of physical activity. They could not point out as to what causes the link between diabetes and colon and rectal cancer.

For more detals, please click on the links below:

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