Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Further Possibilities to Ending Breast Cancer

It always seems that there's some protein or gene involved in the spread or stoppage of disease. In this case, there's another one, HSP90, which when blocked, mitigates migration inhibitory factor. What is this last long sounding factor you might ask. Well, it's function includes driving the spread of breast cancer tumors. So when HSP90 is blocked, it essentially inhibits MIF and helps to stop the spread of breast cancer tumors.

Researchers have been successful with female mice blocking this protein. They've also found that it helps in stopping the spread of leukemia as well. So there is a possible link between the two diseases. That link being HSP90. Human trials are a ways off, but it marks another possibility in the fight against these two deadly diseases.

Check out some info here:


Friday, January 27, 2012

Can Parkinson's Be Stopped at Inception?

That's what researchers may be on to with new breakthroughs. At Michigan State University, researchers think they have identified synuclein proteins as the cause of aggregation, or clumping, which is the first sign, or step, of Parkinsons.

While scientists don't know exactly how proteins are formed, they do know that as they form, they fold together. This folding can be done incorrectly and clump together, where plaques can form and lead to Parkinsons, Alzheimers, and A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

While not a cure, this is a key first step in not only identifying a cause, but also in one day stopping the disease at inception. They are now looking into ways to stop the aggregation that is the underlying cause. One day, they'll not only be able to stop the initial problem, but prevent it from ever happening in the first place.

Absorb some more of it here:


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tips For Those With Paralysis During Winter

It's been awhile, but I've been a bit under the weather so today we're getting back on track and we're also doing something a bit different. With Winter in full swing, I wanted to help those out that aren't able to move about as easily as some of us. I'm referring to those with mobility issues, including paralysis. I found an interesting article with tips to help you this Winter. There are 23 of them.

1) Invest in good quality, name brand outer wear like The North Face.
2) Wear loose, lightweight clothes in layers if you live in a cold region.
3) Avoid cotton due to it getting wet and staying wet. Wear man-made fibers or better yet, wool.
4) Wear mittens if you have a hard time moving fingers.
5) Carry 2 sets of gloves in case one gets wet.
6) If you need to warm your hands, put them in your arm pits or groin area as this will warm them fastest.
7) Wear a hat to keep heat from evaporating from your head.
8) If in outdoor sports, wear mask and neck warmer/scarf.
9) Keep calves warm with leggings. Even guys can do this; or wear long johns.
10) Use something like Grabber warmers in gloves or pockets to keep hands warm.
11) Use boot warmers such as the one by Bootronic or other equivalent.
12) Wear sunscreen. Just as you can get burned on an overcast day, down 30 feet diving, you can also burn on a Winter's day despite the rays being weaker and it taking longer.
13) Apply Vaseline to uncovered facial skin. It will insulate the moisture to keep face from drying out.
14) If skin is white or greyish-yellow, it may be frostbite. Move to warm area and cover the affected area. Never rub the skin.
15) Always check for uncovered skin from say, a shirt or jacket rolling up from the back of a wheelchair.
16) Invest in snow tires for wheelchair as well as the car if you live in snowy regions. Soft rubber works the best for grip. You  never know when this could help you sliding down a hill and keeping you out of the gutter.
17) Mountain bike tires can be used on the back of your wheelchair for optimal grip.
18) Snow tires on cars are specifically designed with special tread patterns for grip and not getting stuck. Snow chains may be needed in deeper or slick snows.
19) Don't use cruise control as it may take longer to turn it off than you actually have.
20) Keep hydrated. Dehydration helps cold to set in. Skin also dries out more in the Winter from the exposure to heat and cold as well as less humidity in the air.
21) You can become more dehydrated in drier or higher climates.
22) Carry a survival kit in your car or backpack. Include the following: Water, matches, food, shovel of some sort, flashlights, blankets, sleeping bag, and flares. I realize that is unfeasible possibly for a backpack and is more in line with your car. However, make sure you have at least some water, food, matches, flashlight, and blanket with you. The flashlight can flash for help and the rest will keep you until help arrives. If you live in an area with bad reception, then a few flares are a good idea in case you get stranded. Always let someone know where you'll be going if it's either a new area or somewhere where you could potentially get stuck.
23) Keep batteries warm with covers of some sort. When the temperature reaches 0 degrees, batteries lose 60% of their charge.

These tips are more suited for those with disabilities, but some are useful for anybody really.

Extra, Extra, Read All About IT -


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Prevention Post First Edition - Parkinson's

I'm trying to decide whether or not to begin one of these from time to time. It would be a Prevention thread that continues to run in further editions and would address things that are found to prevent certain diseases. I suppose it really has more to do with how much there is out there, rather than me just being lazy. Ha ha.

Anyway, today we're going to look at a prevention from Parkinson's Disease. While not everybody will get this disease, researchers have found ways to prevent it through diet. The research shows that eating a diet high in berries, helps men and women reduce their risk due to the flavonoids within the berries. In addition, men can eat apples, oranges, grapefruit, and chocolate along with anything else containing flavonoids.

Flavonoids are also collectively known as vitamin P and citrin. Tea and red wine also contain levels of flavonoids.

In the study, men in the top 20% who took the most flavonoids, were 40% less likely to develop Parkinson's. Women were not as affected, however, anthocyanin is a sub-type of flavonoid, and was the most effective in preventing Parkinson's.

Flavonoids are also known for their antioxidant abilities and also in prevention of heart disease and cancer.

The Big Deal here:


More on flavonoids here:


Monday, January 16, 2012

Possible Link to Stopping the Spread of Breast Cancer

First thing, Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day to all of you out there.

Now on to some good news in the world of Breast Cancer research. Researchers at the McGill University Health Centre have identified a protein that plays a role in spreading breast cancer tumor cells outside of the initial tumor cells. The protein, parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP), is key in cancer initiation, progression, and metastatic spread.

Once scientists removed this hormone from tumors, they marked up to an 80 to 90 percent decrease in the size of a tumors growth. It doesn't necessarily reduce the size once it has progressed, but it does reduce the size that it can grow to, essentially preventing it from spreading or growing in size.

The researchers have produced an monoclonal antibody that eliminates the PTHrP, which has worked so far in mice. This will pave the way for future human clinical trials. Eventually, this will help those with aggressive tumors that do not respond well to radiation and/or chemotherapy.

Absorb the story at this locale:


Thursday, January 12, 2012

One Step Closer to the End of Duchenne

You may have seen them on UK's X-Factor. The Lloyd family told their story prior to the contestants singing for their charity event. Twins, Dan and Sam, and even their younger brother, Tom, have all been diagnosed with DMD, or Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Duchenne is but one type of Muscular Dystrophy that affects about 1 in 3,000 males in the world, and about 100 per year in the U.K.

The way that it debilitates is by a lack of a protein called Dystrophin. This leads to a breakdown and loss of muscle cells. Professor George Dickson of the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway and researchers have found that gene based drug treatment, drug AVI-4658, has been effective in restoring Dystrophin. Of course only 7 of 19 patients studied actually recovered the dystrophin, that 37% is huge considering there was no course of treatment prior and this is a first step towards an actual 100% cure.

Hear about it:


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Statistics of Giving Over 3 Years and Then Some

We're going to travel into the past. Not the distant past, but the somewhat immediate past. A past that encompasses times that we can all easily recall. That's right, we're talking about the past few years. We're going to cover the actual giving statistics from 2008 to February of 2011. This will give us a better look than just taking a single year and will put everything, modern giving, into a better perspective.

In 2009, the recession was in full swing, so as per logic, donations were down 6%. This can be expected as there is a correlation between giving and the stock market; giving increases at roughly 1/3 of the rate of stock growth as a whole. So, this accounted for a gross of $228.5 billion. And of that where do you think that the majority comes from. Again, if you said individuals like yourself, you would be correct again. In fact, individuals make up a majority somewhere in the neighborhood of 75%, with foundations, bequests, and corporations making up the rest in respective descending order.

As to households, 65% give to charity with the average being over $2,200. That's the average, but households with a high net worth, actually not only paid more taxes, but were the largest proponents of giving at 98%.

2011 should have been a good year, even though the statistics haven't been released as of yet in this early year. This is based on the government announcing the end of the recession after 2010 and the stock markets were predicted to rebound.

One final note, online donating has been on the rise as it rose by 5% back in 2009. That number surely increased in 2010 and 2011 due to apps arising all the time on Facebook, which was one of the largest hubs of online giving. Expect good things for funding in 2012 and beyond as there are ever increasing avenues of giving to be found if we just go online in the convenience of our home.

Findings of a secretive magic sort:


Friday, January 6, 2012

Just as Alzheimers is Debilitating, it's Debilitating to Find a Cure When Funding is Low

At least that's what the numbers state. Alzheimers affects more people than the top 2 cancers to affect each sex, breast cancer and prostate cancer, as well as HIV/AIDS as well. However, funding for the disease is less than those 3. Researchers have cited a lack of finding a cure to the low funding.

Last year, in 2011, the National Institute of Health spent billions on cancer research and HIV/AIDS, while only $480 million on Alzheimers, despite the fact that more people have been not only affected by but killed by it as well than the others.

U.S. Representative Ed Markey, whose wife succumbed to the disease, is backing the National Alzheimers Project Act (NAPA) to increase funding. One of the reasons he states for lack of attention is because those affected and those giving them care have less access to Washington due to the debilitating effects. Other reasons may include a bias towards diseases that affect younger adults, a stigma on diseases affecting the mind, and refusing to admit to having the disease, Alzheimers.

All the information you could want is right behind that link:


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Florida Mayo Clinic Receives National Accreditation

For a change of pace, today we're going to go from funding and research to actual application. The Mayo Clinic's Breast Clinic in Florida has recently gained a three year, full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. It is only for those that provide the highest quality breast care for those with breast disease such as breast cancer.

This is the first time that they have been recognized. Keep up the good work guys.

The rest of the story:


Monday, January 2, 2012

Science Fiction to Become Science Fact Shortly

For those paralyzed, life represents highly complex sets of tasks that used to be routine and often taken for granted. Things like getting around your own home and reaching for things can take on a whole new difficulty never seen before and the frustration is highly understandable for those that have enjoyed the freedom of full mobility prior or those that never have, but long to be able to be what some would consider 'normal.'

However, scientists are very close to making the dream a reality. Researchers have successfully implanted microchips into primate's brains that allow them to reach for things with robotic arms. This area of neural prosthetics was once considered science fiction but scientists still worked diligently to finding a way to make this a reality and it's almost here. "There's going to be an explosion in neural prosthetics," says Jose Carmena, a Neuro-Engineer at UC Berkeley.

While some things such as a cochlear implant and mind controlled cursors have enjoyed public success, these new devices actually allow for new prosthetic limbs attached to people, in the near future, to be moved just as if the prosthetics were part of the person; just like if they were their own limbs.

There are a few issues to be worked out such as the life of the battery and will the surface area be large enough to decoded hundreds of complex brain signals from brain neurons. Nevertheless, this is a great first step in allowing those that are physically challenged from living a fully free motion lifestyle and also feel like they're more like everyone else that enjoys those freedoms also. Now we can not only dream, but can actually envision this happening and within a timetable that's not futuristic science fiction.

Discover more in the article: