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Herman J. Woltring
08-08-1990, 07:44 PM
Dear Biomch-L readers,

The following items were choosen from the files HICN321 NWS through HICN327 NWS
as retrieved from LISTSERV@ASUACAD.BITNET:

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Medical News Items
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Selected from Medical News for June and July, 1990
Copyright 1990: USA TODAY/Gannett National Information Network
Reproduced with Permission

MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY TREATMENT:

A new procedure, myoblast transfer, can be used to slow the progression of
muscular dystrophy. Researchers at the University of Tennessee-Memphis found
that by injecting healthy muscle cells into a child with muscular dystrophy,
impaired muscle function may be restored. The procedure helps defective muscle
cells in the big toe make a vital protein, increasing its function by about 20
percent.

ELDERLY CAN PUMP UP:

Frail elderly people can dramatically improve muscle strength and mobility
by pumping up. Researchers at the National Institute on Aging say men and
women, ages 86 to 96, who exercised their legs on a weight machines, increased
their muscle size and strength threefold. At the end of the study, the elderly
body-builders were still gaining in strength. (From the USA TODAY News
section.)

PATH OFFERS PARKINSON'S SUPPORT:

Parkinson's Disease sufferers and their families can get medical and
emotional support through the new PATH program. PATH offers a free educational
booklet series as well as the service of "Cliniscan," a personalized
assessment program. For more information: 800-874-PATH.

HIGH-TECH HELPS MEDICAL IMAGING:

New medical imaging methods have advanced due to an explosion in computer
technology. CAT scans and ultrasound became widespread in the early 1970s. The
MRI scan is moving into everyday use in community hospitals and clinics. Two
more - PET and SPECT scans -hold promise for the 1990s, although the
technology is expensive and its use is tangled in the debate about soaring
health costs.

BOARD LENIENCY PROMPTS LIST:

Leniency of the state medical boards - in charge of disciplining doctors -
prompted publication of the list, says Public Citizen Health Research Group.
Studies show 250,000 people are killed or injured every year because of
medical negligence. In 1987, state medical boards took 2,600 formal actions
against doctors nationwide, a 170 percent increase in sanctions since 1982.

MISPRESCRIBING TOPS ACTIONS:

Overprescribing or misprescribing of drugs was the reason for 16.4 percent
of all disciplining actions reported, according to a report by Public Citizen
Health Research Group. Other findings: Noncompliance with a board order or
professional rule, 11.8 percent; criminal conviction, 10 percent; drug or
alcohol abuse, 9.2 percent; and substandard care or negligence, 8.9 percent.

LIST MAY DAMAGE REPUTATIONS:

The American Medical Association says the Public Citizen list represents a
small minority of doctors and will damage the reputations of those disciplined
for minor infractions. Advice: If your doctor's name is on the list, request
a copy of the doctor's disciplinary file from the state or federal agency that
disciplined the doctor. He or she may have been cleared.


BONE MARROW LIST A SLOW HELP:

A growing donor list does not mean its now easy to find a genetically
similar stranger for a bone marrow transplant. The National Marrow Donor
Program says it's still unlikely an easy match will be found for patients
dying of leukemia and other blood diseases. Experts say the federally funded
program is only suffering growing pains as it tries to catch up with medical
progress.

HELMETS REDUCE INJURIES:

Bike riders involved in accidents dramatically reduced risk of head and
brain injuries when wearing helmets, according to a study by the Center for
Health Studies in Seattle. Researchers studied the hospital records of 776
victims of bicycle accidents and found that riders with helmets reduced their
risk of head injury by 85 percent and reduced risk of brain injury by 88
percent.

GROWTH HORMONE STALLS AGING:

Growth hormones can help stall the aging process, suggests a study in
Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Daniel Rudman of Milwaukee
gave growth hormone injections to 12 men ages 61 to 81 who had low levels of
the hormone. In six months, their skin became thicker, their body fat
decreased and the total mass of organs and muscles increased - reversing 10 to
20 years of aging.

VIRUS CLEARED IN CFS STUDY:

Epstein-Barr virus and depression were believed to be linked to the cause
of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but studies have ruled out the virus as a cause
of CFS, say researchers at the University of Washington. Among 26 patients
studied between 1985 and 1987, depression was far more common than among 18
patients who did not have the syndrome.

BONE MARROW LIST A SLOW HELP:

A growing donor list does not mean its now easy to find a genetically
similar stranger for a bone marrow transplant. The National Marrow Donor
Program says it's still unlikely an easy match will be found for patients
dying of leukemia and other blood diseases. Experts say the federally funded
program is only suffering growing pains as it tries to catch up with medical
progress.

SWIMMING REDUCES STRESS:

An excellent warm weather alternative to a regular workout program is
swimming, say fitness experts. Swimming is an aerobic exercise that burns fat
and tones the muscles, while increasing a person's level of endurance. One of
the greatest benefits of swimming is expanded lung capacity, which results in
reduced blood pressure, lower resting heart rates, and helps to reduce stress.

FREE PAMPHLET TO HELP DISABLED:

A free pamphlet about devices to help the disabled is available, called
"Extend Their Reach." To receive a copy, send a self-addressed, stamped,
envelope to: Extend Their Reach, c/o Electronic Industries Association/CEG,
P.O. Box 19100, Washington, D.C. 20036.

WATER PREVENTS HEAT ILLNESSES:

Heat-related illness is one of the hottest topics in fitness these days.
The best way for you to avoid heat-related illness is to drink water before,
during and after you exercise, says a medical expert. Recommended: at least
two glasses. You are drinking water not to quench your thirst, but to replace
the water your body loses when you exercise, through perspiration and
respiration.

OSTEOPOROSIS DRUG REBUILDS BONE:

An experimental osteoporosis drug rebuilds bone and reduces spinal
fractures by half in women with the crippling bone disease, says a study in
the New England Journal of Medicine. The drug, etidronate, could become the
physician's choice for treating osteoporosis, says a medical expert.
Osteoporosis affects up to 20 million in the USA. (From the USA TODAY News
section.)

TWO HOUR BREATH MINT CREATED:

A revolutionary breath mint which lasts for two hours has been created by
Steven DeVore. Called IntiMint, it is a time-released pill that sits between
your upper gum and cheek and slowly releases a fresh minty taste for hours.
Cost: $30 for 200 mints. For more information, call 1-800-292-MINT.

HEALTHY SNACK IDEAS OFFERED:

The Sugar Association is offering recipes for healthful snacks in a free
brochure. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Making Snacking a
Healthy Habit, c/o The Sugar Association, 1101 15th St. NW, Suite 600,
Washington, D.C., 20005.

SENATE APPROVES DISABILITY BILL:

The Senate approved 91-6 legislation guaranteeing the nation's estimated 43
million disabled people access to jobs, transportation, telephone service and
stores and other public accommodations. The action came a day after the House
approved the legislation, the culmination of two years of legislative efforts.
President Bush is expected to sign the bill next week.

RIGHTS FOR DISABLED APPROVED:

The House approved 377-28 landmark legislation guaranteeing a full range of
civil rights for disabled Americans. The vote came after House and Senate
negotiators agreed to remove an amendment from the bill that would have let
employers keep AIDS-infected workers away from food-handling duties.