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Helpful information on the world of beauty and aesthetics supplies.
Growth Hormone Boost May Not Slow Alzheimer's
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 19 -- A compound that boosts growth hormone levels in Alzheimer's patients may not slow the disease, new research suggests. The study, funded by drug giant Merck, was spurred by promising animal research that had suggested that the compound, called MK-677, might help curb Alzheimer's effect on the brain. However, "the study suggests that targeting this hormone system may not be an effective approach at slowing the rate of Alzheimer's disease progression," said study author Dr. J.J. Sevigny, associate director of clinical neuroscience at Merck Research Laboratories in North Wales, Pa. His team reported its finding in the Nov. 18 issue of Neurology. "In a similar vein, the study challenges a commonly held theory that hormones may attack beta-amyloid plaque in the brain," Sevigny added. "That was the premise of this research: that by giving this medication we'd be able to influence the beta-amyloid in the brain. And we didn't receive this result in this study." [Read more]
Nearly 1 in 3 Asthma Cases May Be Misdiagnosed
MONDAY, Nov. 17 -- Almost one in three adults who've been told they have asthma may not have the chronic airway disease, new Canadian research claims. The study, published in the Nov. 18 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, included nearly 500 adults from eight Canadian cities. Researchers found that about 30 percent of those diagnosed with asthma had been misdiagnosed. "When we evaluated these people with lung function tests and then took them off their medications, we couldn't find asthma in 29 percent of the non-obese and 32 percent of the obese," noted study author Dr. Shawn Aaron, head of the division of respiratory medicine at the Ottawa Health Research Institute at the University of Ottawa, Ontario. Aaron said the original goal of the study was to see if asthma was misdiagnosed more often in obese individuals, because the prevalence of asthma is twice as high in this group. However, he said, there was no statistical difference in the rates of overdiagnosis [Read more]
BOTOX® Offers Shot in Arm for Arthritis Sufferers
THURSDAY, Nov. 8 -- BOTOX® seems to relieve shoulder pain in arthritis sufferers, a preliminary study found. "We don't recommend people start using it until we have the definitive study," said study author Dr. Jasvinder Singh, a staff physician at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. He said his study was small, and more patients needed to be assessed before the treatment could be recommended. Singh was to present his findings Friday at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, in Boston. Singh and his colleagues randomly assigned 43 patients with moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis pain in their shoulders to one of two groups. One group received a single dose of the botulinum toxin type A and lidocaine, a local anesthetic. The other group got a dose of saline (salt water) plus the lidocaine. Neither group knew what they were receiving. Osteoarthritis is the "wear-and-tear" type of arthritis, and the risk for it increases with age, obesity and other factors. About 2 [Read more]
BOTOX® among effective new treatments for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9 -- The excessive sweating condition known as hyperhidrosis can be a debilitating and life-inhibiting disorder if left untreated. Fortunately for patients with hyperhidrosis, dermatologists are successfully using several treatments -- including local injections of BOTOX® (botulinum toxin) -- to prevent the pain of perspiration. Speaking at the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), dermatologist Dee Anna Glaser, MD, Vice Chairman, Dermatology Department, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo., discussed the safety and effectiveness of five hyperhidrosis treatments, ranging from botulinum toxin to surgery. Medical condition, not cosmetic Hyperhidrosis is a chronic medical disorder that results in the production of excessive sweat. A recent study determined that the condition -- once thought to be rare -- actually affects approximately 2.8 percent of the U.S. population, or 7.8 million people. Even more com [Read more]
Botulinum Toxin A for the Treatment of Chronic Lumbar Back Pain
One hundred sixty subjects will be randomly assigned to one of four arms (placebo/placebo, placebo/BOTOX®, BOTOX®/placebo, BOTOX®/BOTOX®). In the first of two phases, randomized subjects will blindly receive either BOTOX® (study arms BOTOX®/placebo and BOTOX®/BOTOX®) or placebo (study arms placebo/placebo and placebo/BOTOX®) injection into the lumbar paraspinal muscles. The subjects will be assessed using validated scales for pain and disability prior to injection and monthly thereafter for four months. In the second phase, a second set of lumbar injections will be administered based on the initial randomization and will blindly receive either BOTOX® (study arms placebo/BOTOX® and BOTOX®/BOTOX®) or placebo (study arms placebo/placebo and BOTOX®/placebo) injection into the lumbar paraspinal muscles. The subjects will again be assessed using the same validated scales for pain and disability, prior to injection and monthly thereafter, but for six months to extend the monitor [Read more]
BOTOX® Helps With Post Stroke Pain
Final results from a multi-center study shows that repeated treatments of botulinum toxin type A (BoNTA or BOTOX®) over one year is well tolerated and results in a significant decrease in spasticity, pain frequency and average pain intensity in upper limbs following stroke, according to research from a neurologist at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.Significant improvements in these outcome measures indicate a better quality of life for post-stroke patients suffering from spasticity-related pain, according to the researchers who presented their findings today at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Boston. Spasticity is a disabling condition that leaves the muscles and tendons permanently shortened and inhibits movement."In the clinical setting, limb stiffness and pain are the most commonly reported symptoms of spasticity following a stroke, and relief of spasticity-related pain is a priority treatment goal for many patients," said Allison Brashear, [Read more]
Health Plans Use New Strategies to Control the Soaring Costs of Oncology
The same medical advances that are transforming cancer from a life-threatening acute condition to a chronic issue are challenging health insurers and other payers struggling to pay for the soaring costs of treatment. In response, insurers are focusing on both the condition and the cure, rolling out intensive disease management (DM) programs to improve care for oncology patients while also tackling the soaring cost of cancer medications. Cancer trails only heart disease as the leading cause of death in America, and is diagnosed in more than 1 million people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health insurers bear high treatment costs for the condition. Aetna, Inc. with 14.8 million medical members as of Dec. 31, 2005, spent $978 million on 2005 oncology treatments. Physician costs accounted for the largest share, 58%, followed by hospital spending at 25%, skilled nursing and other facility care at 7% and specialty pharmacy costs, also at 7%. [Read more]
Aetna, HIP Use Specialty Rx Strategies
Although oncology medications hold great promise, costs for such treatments are rising rapidly, says Rebecca Shanahan, executive vice president and general manager of Aetna, Inc. subsidiary Aetna Specialty Pharmacy. She says that on a national basis, 50% of all specialty drug spending is on oncology medications and adjunctive therapies — and cancer medications are driving specialty spending up 20% per year. Shanahan spoke at an April 6 audioconference on "Oncology Management Strategies for Health Plans and Employers" sponsored by Atlantic Information Services, Inc. One of the key focuses of Aetna Specialty Pharmacy is medication compliance, Shanahan says. She asserts that 94% of patients receiving drugs through specialty pharmacies are compliant, compared with just 53% of retail customers. To improve compliance, the insurer provides new patient teaching and assessment, injection training and support, compliance monitoring and physician communication. Shanahan also identified se [Read more]
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