Has Yale University finally found a cure for vitiligo?

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A common arthritis drug which is already prescribed on the NHS appears to stop the loss or pigmentation caused by vitiligo

The skin condition vitiligo could be cured with a common arthritis drug already being prescribed on the NHS, scientists at Yale believe.

The condition, which leads to the loss of pigmentation on the skin, affects around 650,000 people in Britain including presenter Richard Hammond, comedian Graham Norton and Kara Tointon, the actress.

But Yale University has shown that the drug tofacitinib, which is currently prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis, can clear up the problem.

A 53-year-old patient with prominent white spots covering her face, hands, and body was given the drug for five months and found the condition virtually disappeared. Only a few spots remained on her body, and all had gone from her face and hands.

“While it’s one case, we anticipated the successful treatment of this patient based on our current understanding of the disease and how the drug works,” said Dr Brett King, assistant professor of dermatology and principal investigator of the research at Yale University, US.

“It’s a first, and it could revolutionize treatment of an awful disease.

“This may be a huge step forward in the treatment of patients with this condition.”

A 53-year-old woman before and after five months of treatment Credit: Dr Brett King

Dr King is now hoping to begin a wider clinical trial into the effectiveness of using tofacitinib or a similar medicine, ruxolitinib, for the treatment of vitiligo.

Vitiligo is a common, psychologically devastating condition that causes skin to lose its pigmentation and current treatments, such as steroid creams and light therapy, are only partially effective in reverse the problem.

Last year Dr King showed that tofacitinib could be used to treat alopecia which is caused when the body’s own immune system becomes confused and starts to attack hair follicles. However tofacitinib stops the chemical pathway that triggers that immune response allowing hair to grow back.

Because vitiligo is caused by a similar immune response, which destroys pigment-forming cells known as melanocytes, researchers speculated that the same treatment should work to restore colour.

“This case exemplifies the ways by which advances in basic science can guide treatment decisions and ultimately benefit patients,” added Dr King.

“As we better understand the mechanisms of different diseases, targeted therapy becomes possible, and existing medications can be repurposed and/or new medications created for diseases with limited, if any, treatment options.”

The most well-known sufferer of the condition was Michael Jackson, but actor Jon Hamm has also spoken about developing the skin condition due to the stress of filming Mad Men.

Professor David Gawkrodger, a spokesman for the British Skin Foundation Spokesperson, said the research was ‘promising’ but warned it was too soon for patients to be demanding Tofacitinib from their doctors.

“In vitiligo immune and cell growth factors are involved hence it is not surprising that the vitiligo in the patient described has improved.

“The janus kinase inhibitor group of drugs are still being evaluated and may have significant side-effects so, although this is a promising observation therapeutically, that may also tell us something about the causation of vitiligo, it is too soon for patient to demand these drugs from their dermatologists.

“The drugs may well be a pointer to how vitiligo will be managed in the future, but further evaluation by dermatologists, the pharmaceutical industry and regulators is needed.”

World’s first dengue vaccine could be good news for Costa Rica, Central America

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December 23rd, 2015 (VOA) The Philippines has granted approval for the sales of a new dengue vaccine, following Mexico as the first two countries to allow a treatment that could prevent the flu-like illness that threatens half the world’s population, including Costa Rica, where an average 3,500 cases are confirmed annually in country of 4.8 million where the mosquito-transmitted virus is common.

The recombinant, live, attenuated tetravalent vaccine (CYD-TDV) is the first to hit the market targeting dengue, which is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito and can cause crippling fevers, along with muscle and joint pain.

Dengvaxia, as it has been named by its maker France-based Sanofi Pasteur, comes at a time when a “safe and effective vaccine is urgently needed,” according to the World Health Organization.

While Costa Rican officials have not indicated when – or if – the new vaccine may be made available here, it “has demonstrated clinical efficacy and a good safety profile,” according to medical researchers at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok in a paper recently published in the Southeast Asia Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health.

Sanofi Pasteur said the vaccine has been demonstrated effective against all four dengue virus types.

“The vaccine actually is given in three dose schedules with a six-month interval. It is being given (to people) from nine years of age up to 45 years of age. This is the age range wherein most of the dengue cases are being reported, particularly in endemic countries here in Asia,” according to Dr. Joselito Santa Ana, head of dengue vaccine operations in the region for Sanofi Pasteur.

Hopes for dramatic reductions by 2020

The vaccine’s maker is hailing it as an important tool to reach the World Health Organization’s objective on dengue, a potentially deadly disease for which children are at particular risk.

“Together with vector control it will form an integrated approach in reducing dengue mortality by 50 percent and reducing the dengue morbidity by more than 25 percent by 2020,” Dr. Santa Ana, speaking from Manila, told VOA on Wednesday.

Clinical tests were carried out on 40,000 people from 15 countries.

Some two-thirds of those over the age of nine were deemed to be protected and the vaccine was found to be 93 percent effective against the most severe form of disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever.

While being hailed as a breakthrough, there is concern about vaccinating younger children and an unanswered question about the new vaccine’s long-term efficacy.

A higher incidence of hospitalization in the third year after vaccination among children younger than nine years of age naturally infected with dengue raises a “critical question” whether this is a short-term or long-term phenomenon” noted an editorial in the September 24 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine which suggested booster doses of the vaccine might reduce this risk.

The journal praised the trials as “superbly conducted” while noting, due to traditional concerns about partial, waning immunities the “bumpy road to a vaccine-based solution for dengue continues.”

“As with all new vaccines, it is unknown how long the measured protection against dengue will last,” the WHO also cautioned in November, 2014.

Pharmaceutical companies in Japan, Britain and the United States are also developing dengue vaccines.

Vaccine price still unclear

Another question mark is cost.

Newly developed pharmaceutical products are frequently very expensive when they initially go on sale and not affordable for many patients.

But Dr. Santa Ana said the maker of the dengue vaccine wants to maximize the access to all populations, while acknowledging the market price of Dengvaxia has not yet been established.

“We are committed to offering a fair and equitable price for the vaccine that is sustainable both for the company and the government whose going to implement it in the public program,” he said.

The CYD-TDV vaccine, in development for 25 years, has been submitted for licensing in 18 other countries in Asia and Latin America where dengue is endemic.

India may exempt Dengvaxia from large-scale clinical trials in order to expedite clinical trials, the Economic Times reported Tuesday, quoting health industry sources.

More than 90,000 dengue cases with 181 deaths were reported in India through the end of November for this year.

Dengue was traditionally a disease primarily confined to the tropics. Now, about half of the world’s population is considered at risk due to urbanization, jet travel and climate change.

Dengue cases have soared 30-fold in the last half century, according to the WHO, with an estimated 400 million people now infected annually.

The first doses of Dengvaxia, which utilizes a yellow fever virus with substitutions of two genes encoding dengue proteins, are already being produced in France where manufacturing of 100 million doses annually are planned, according to Sanofi Pasteur.

Heroin’s Destructive Effects on Vital Organs: Brain, Kidneys and Intestines

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Brain and Ability to Think

It’s not well-known that heroin abuse damages the brains of users. A 2007 study noted that “brain disintegration becomes apparent very soon after an onset of chronic heroin abuse.” Brain damage also results from non-fatal overdoses and head injuries that are more likely to occur in an impaired person (especially polydrug abusers). Remnants of injuries that trace back to a lack of oxygen to the brain, either from these overdoses or injuries, are commonly found in long-term heroin addicts.

A study from the University of Edinburgh autopsied the brains of 34 opiate abusers (they were using heroin or methadone). None of them had a history of head injuries. But the brains showed brain damage similar to the early stages of Alzheimer’s. The average age of the drug users was 26.

There are many other studies that show brain damage and deterioration from injected or smoked heroin abuse, including the deterioration of the brain into a spongy state, resulting in overall weakness, spastic attacks and permanent hand tremor.

Short oxygen deprivation from opiate overdoses that are survived can still cause cognitive decline. Research shows that even when a person injects heroin in quantities too low to cause overdose, they tend to cause a brief (five to thirty minute) drop in blood oxygen levels that are sufficient to cause brain and organ damage after repetitive occurrences.

The sleep apnea (breathing that repeatedly starts and stops during sleep) that is suffered by some heroin addicts can further contribute to a lack of oxygen reaching the brain.



This is another type of injury that is not well known. Heroin abuse has been associated with high levels of protein in the urine, a condition that can lead to kidney failure. Causes are thought to be bacteria or viral contaminants in heroin, or toxins in the substances used to dilute the drug. The presence of hepatitis C or HIV in some drug-abusing patients was also considered to be a possible factor.

When a person becomes comatose after a non-fatal overdose of heroin, the muscles that experienced the unmoving weight of the body may begin to break down. This is called rhabdomyolysis. The chemicals released by this breakdown are destructive to the kidneys. Recovery usually requires dialysis and may require a kidney transplant.


Heroin and other opiates reduce the action of muscles in the intestines, making constipation a constant problem. This can result in hemorrhoids, anal fissures or damage to the rectum that may require surgery to repair.

Heroin addicts are intimately familiar with this problem and the rupturing that can occur when bowel movements stop. Some of them let themselves go into the early stages of withdrawal every few days, just so their bodies will trigger the diarrhea that is typical during withdrawal. In that way, they avoid the impactions that build up over the ten days to two weeks between bowel movements.

Heroin also threatens one’s life by spreading deadly diseases, by setting up the right conditions for gangrene, through triggering an impulse toward suicide, and other effects. Those effects will be covered in the last section of this report.

Robin Williams Did Not Die From “Suicide”, Wake Up People

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“Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide.

When people die from cancer, their cause of death can be various horrible things – seizure, stroke, pneumonia – and when someone dies after battling cancer, and people ask “How did they die?”, you never hear anyone say “pulmonary embolism”, the answer is always “cancer”. A Pulmonary Embolism can be the final cause of death with some cancers, but when a friend of mine died from cancer, he died from cancer. That was it. And when I asked my wife what Robin Williams died from, she, very wisely, replied “Depression”.

The word “suicide” gives many people the impression that “it was his own decision,” or “he chose to die, whereas most people with cancer fight to live.” And, because Depression is still such a misunderstood condition, you can hardly blame people for not really understanding. Just a quick search on Twitter will show how many people have little sympathy for those who commit suicide.

But, just as a Pulmonary Embolism is a fatal symptom of cancer, suicide is a fatal symptom of Depression. Depression is an illness, not a choice of lifestyle. You can’t just “cheer up” with depression, just as you can’t choose not to have cancer. When someone commits suicide as a result of Depression, they die from Depression – an illness that kills millions each year. It is hard to know exactly how many people actually die from Depression each year because the figures and statistics only seem to show how many people die from “suicide” each year (and you don’t necessarily have to suffer Depression to commit suicide, it’s usually just implied). But considering that one person commits suicide every 14 minutes in the US alone, we clearly need to do more to battle this illness, and the stigmas that continue to surround it. Perhaps Depression might lose some its “it was his own fault” stigma, if we start focussing on the illness, rather than the symptom. Robin Williams didn’t die from suicide. He died from Depression*. It wasn’t his choice to suffer that.”

We need to talk more about depression. Please, share this with your friends. Help the world understand that depression is NOT a choice.

Diseases and Conditions Autonomic neuropathy Treatments and drugs

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Treatment of autonomic neuropathy includes:

  • Treating the underlying disease.The first goal of treating autonomic neuropathy is to manage the disease or condition damaging your nerves. For example, if the underlying cause is diabetes, you’ll need to tightly control blood sugar to prevent autonomic neuropathy from progressing.
  • Managing specific symptoms.Some treatments can relieve the symptoms of autonomic neuropathy. Treatment is based on what part of your body is most affected by nerve damage

Digestive (gastrointestinal) symptoms

Your doctor may recommend:

  • Modifying your diet. You may need to increase dietary fiber and fluids. Fiber supplements, such as Metamucil or Citrucel, also may help. Slowly increase fiber to avoid gas and bloating.
  • Medication to help your stomach empty. A prescription drug called metoclopramide (Reglan) helps your stomach empty faster by increasing the contractions of the digestive tract. This medication may cause drowsiness, and its effectiveness wears off over time.
  • Medications to ease constipation. Over-the-counter laxatives may help ease constipation. Ask your doctor how often you should use these medications. Increasing dietary fiber also may help relieve constipation.
  • Medications to ease diarrhea. Antibiotics can help treat diarrhea by preventing excess bacterial growth in the intestines. Medications usually used to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol may also be prescribed for managing diarrhea.
  • Antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants, such as imipramine (Tofranil), can help treat nerve-related abdominal pain. Dry mouth and urine retention are possible side effects of these medications.

Urinary symptoms

Your doctor may suggest:

  • Retraining your bladder. Following a schedule of when to drink fluids and when to urinate can help increase your bladder’s capacity and retrain your bladder to empty completely at the appropriate times.
  • Medication to help empty the bladder. Bethanechol is a medication that helps ensure complete emptying of the bladder. Possible side effects include headache, abdominal cramping, bloating, nausea and flushing.
  • Urinary assistance (catheterization). During this procedure, a tube is guided through your urethra to empty your bladder.
  • Medications that decrease overactive bladder. These include tolterodine (Detrol) or oxybutynin (Ditropan XL). Possible side effects include dry mouth, headache, fatigue, constipation and abdominal pain.

For men with erectile dysfunction, your doctor may recommend:

  • Medications that enable erections. Drugs such as sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra) or tadalafil (Cialis) can help you achieve and maintain an erection. Possible side effects include mild headache, flushing, upset stomach and changes in color vision.If you have a history of heart disease, arrhythmia, stroke or high blood pressure, use these medications with caution and medical discretion. Also avoid taking these medications if you are taking any type of organic nitrates. Seek immediate medical assistance if you have an erection that lasts longer than four hours.
  • An external vacuum pump. This device helps pull blood into the penis using a hand pump. A tension ring helps keep the blood in place, maintaining the erection for up to 30 minutes.

For women with sexual symptoms, your doctor may recommend:

  • Vaginal lubricants. Vaginal lubricants may decrease dryness and make sexual intercourse more comfortable and enjoyable.

Heart rhythm and blood pressure symptoms

Autonomic neuropathy can cause a number of heart rate and blood pressure problems. Your doctor may prescribe:

  • Medications that help raise your blood pressure. If you feel faint or dizzy when you stand up, your doctor may suggest a drug called fludrocortisone. This medication helps your body retain salt, which helps regulate your blood pressure.Other drugs that can help raise your blood pressure include midodrine and pyridostigmine (Mestinon). Midodrine may cause high blood pressure when lying down.
  • Medication that helps regulate your heart rate. A class of medications called beta blockers helps to regulate your heart rate if it goes too high with an activity level.
  • A high-salt, high-fluid diet. If your blood pressure drops when you stand up, a high-salt, high fluid diet may help maintain your blood pressure. This is generally only recommended for very severe cases of blood pressure problems, as this treatment may cause blood pressure that is too high or swelling of the feet, ankles or legs.


If you experience excessive sweating, your doctor may prescribe:

  • A medication that decreases perspiration. The drug glycopyrrolate (Robinul, Robinul Forte) can decrease sweating. Side effects may include diarrhea, dry mouth, urinary retention, blurred vision, changes in heart rate, headaches, loss of taste and drowsiness. Glycopyrrolate may also increase the risk of heat-related illness (such as heatstroke) from a reduced ability to sweat.

10 Things I Wish My Loved Ones Knew About Living With Bipolar Disorder

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It’s been a year since I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The past year, through my hard times, my recovery and my new found strength, some people have struggled to understand me and what I’m going through. This is me trying. This is me telling you what I wish you understood about my mental illness.

1. Bipolar disorder is not something I’ve made up.

I didn’t not make up bipolar disorder to excuse my bad decisions. Bipolar disorder has a medical definition, and it’s very real.

2. It’s not fun when I’m manic.

I’m a young adult who takes pride in being able to get good grades, run a business and pay my bills. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming out of a manic episode to find my credit card has several hundred charges to it, or that I missed some major deadlines for school.

3. I’m not giving up. 

I want you to know no matter how far I fall, I’ll always climb back up. I’m determined to live a successful life. I won’t give up, so please, don’t give up on me.

4. When I forget things I’m not just being neglectful.

When I say I can’t remember something, it’s not me being neglectful or choosing not to remember. Sometimes things are harder to remember. I don’t know why, but believe me, it’s not by choice.

5. When I cry, I’m not looking for attention. 

I’m not even looking for sympathy. I cry because I’m tired of fighting with myself. I cry to release the stress, anger and frustration I carry within. I cry because I know when I’m done, I’ll get back up and keep pushing through.

6. I’m sincerely sorry when I snap at you. 

It’s not on purpose and it isn’t a choice. I wish I could control my outbursts, but when I’m in a bad place I lose control of those things. Know I will come back to you to apologize every single time.

7. There are days when the stress of life is just too much. 

This doesn’t make me weak. Please understand my disorder makes dealing with stress much more difficult. I might need help with things you feel are simple.

8. I’m trying. 

You might not see it on the days it’s 4 in the afternoon and I’m still in my pajamas, but if I’m out of bed and being semi-productive, I’ve won a huge inward battle.

9. I still look for your approval.

Despite my disorder, I’m constantly trying to be the girl you once knew.

10. I will always love you. 

Even if you don’t understand my disorder, what I’m going through or why I am the way I am, I will always love you. You have been there for me since the day I was born, and I cannot imagine how my life would be without you.

27 Ridiculous Things People With Eczema Are Tired of Hearing

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In the United States, an estimated 31.6 million people have symptoms of eczema, according to the National Eczema Association. Of that number, an estimated 17.8 million people have atopic dermatitis, a more severe and chronic form of the skin disease. Eczema’s symptoms include dry, itchy, scaly skin, cracks behind the ears and rashes on the cheeks, arms and legs.

The symptoms of eczema are different for each person, and they can be mild, moderate or severe. The rash may affect different parts of the body from time to time, and the itch can so bad that people will scratch themselves until they bleed, which leads to even more inflammation and itching. This is referred to as the itch-scratch cycle.

It’s not contagious, an exact cause isn’t known and no cure currently exists, but for many people, it’s a manageable condition. Still, misconceptions surround it.

So The Mighty teamed up with the National Eczema Association to ask those affected by the disease what they wish others would stop saying to them or their loved ones with eczema.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Stop scratching!” — Laura McMurrey McNamara


2. “You’re bleeding!” — Adam Simpson

3. “Have you tried ______?” (Especially if they suggest something stupid like essential oils, coconut oil, breastmilk, etc.) — Katie McGregory


4. “Did your son get bitten by a bunch of mosquitos?” — Sandy Austin

5. “Just ignore it and it will go away.” — Lucy Mercer

6. “Is it contagious?” — Kyle K. Wooten


7. “Why don’t you ever wear shorts or dresses?” — Melissa Falls

8. “People ask me what funny stuff I ate during my pregnancy that caused my kid to have eczema.” — Ummi Hanee

9. “What’s wrong with your face?” — Rachel Elliott-Golema


10. “[People say] I’m ‘fussy’ or ‘high maintenance’ because I use so many different cleansers and moisturizers and have to be careful about chemicals and fragrances.” — Becca Arm

11. “Whatever you do, don’t use steroids. You’ll get addicted and there’s a bunch of side effects!” — Jeff Kastner

12. “It’s just a rash, how bad could it be?” — Bethany Lynn Gorham


13. “I was once approached by one of my son’s classmates at a sporting event and told, ‘I know why he looks like that. He doesn’t take baths.’” — Joanna Dobos

14. “Do you have poison ivy?” — Olivia Lynn


15. “Oh, I have a wonderful (cream, lotion, essential oil, magic potion, fill-in-the-blank) that will clear that right up. Here, try some.” — Vicky Leedy Barrios

16. “Were you in a fire or something?” (Yes, or something.) — Sand Rizzle


17. “You must have an unhealthy gut, your diet is the reason.” — Sigrid Abel

18. “Have you tried moisturizing?” (I want to reply, no, it never crossed my mind.) — Maya Bewsher

19. “Why is your face red?” — Jeannie Delisi


21. “Well… what did you do to make your skin flare up?” — Amber Dobbins

22. “You need to put some lotion on that.” — Samantha Merryfield


23. “Your skin is so scaly.” — Essence Tillery

24. “Did you get sunburnt? Use sunscreen.” — Jeannie Delisi

25. “You know they have medicine for that.” — Jean Marie Leach


26. “Does she have chicken pox?” — Robyn Goodson Strickland

27. “You’ll grow out of it eventually.” — Melissa Troup Nichols

10 Essential Facts About Lyme Disease

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Every year, U.S. state health departments report about 30,000 cases of Lyme disease to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the CDC says the true number of cases in the United States could be ten times as high.

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans from tick bites. The ticks that transmit the disease are most active from April to September, which means spring and summer are the prime times for infection. With the right steps, and regular tick checks, however, you can prevent Lyme disease.

Here are 10 things you should know about this tickborne disease:

1. You can only get Lyme disease from a tick bite.

There is no evidence that Lyme disease can be transmitted from person-to-person, according to the CDC. You also can’t get Lyme disease from your dog, but your furry friend can bring ticks into your home or yard, so check your pet for ticks before letting him in the house.

2. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease.

Blacklegged ticks are the ones you need to avoid. Also known as deer ticks, these parasites spread the disease in northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central states, while western blacklegged ticks transmit infection on the Pacific Coast. According to CDC data, in 2013, 95 percent of Lyme disease cases occurred in 14 states, most of which were on the East Coast.

3. You can probably remove the tick by yourself if you notice it in time.

To remove a tick before it’s too late, you can purchase a tick removal device, but a pair of fine-tipped tweezers will do the trick. The CDC recommends that you avoid “folklore remedies,” such as painting the tick with nail polish or using heat to detach it. The goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible after you notice it.

4. In most cases, it takes 36 to 48 hours for an infected tick to transmit Lyme disease after it attaches itself to you.

Nymphs, which are immature ticks that measure less than 2 mm in size, are the primary transmitters of Lyme disease. Because they’re so small, nymphs can go unnoticed in difficult-to-see areas such as the scalp, armpits, and groin. Adult ticks can also transmit the disease, but because they’re bigger, many are noticed and removed before they can transmit the infection.

5. There used to be a Lyme disease vaccine, but it was discontinued in 2002.

The vaccine manufacturer said demand was insufficient, so production stopped. Because the protection given by the vaccine lessens over time, even people who received the vaccine in 2002 are no longer immune to Lyme disease.

6. The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a bullseye rash.

In 70 percent to 80 percent of infected people, the bullseye rash, also known by its technical name, erythema migrans, will appear 3 to 30 days after becoming infected. The CDC says the average time for the rash to show up is a week. As the rash spreads, parts of it might clear up, which is how the bullseye becomes evident.

But, says Phillip J. Baker, executive director of the American Lyme Disease Foundation, not all patients notice the rash, and a significant percentage will not develop a “textbook case” of the rash at all. He says other symptoms can be described as “flu-like,” and include fatigue, headache, joint swelling, and dizziness, to name a few.

7. Lyme disease is officially diagnosed with a blood test.

If done in the early stages of infection, however, most tests will come out negative. Baker says it usually takes four to five weeks for antibodies that fight Lyme disease to appear in the bloodstream, which means that anyone tested sooner may not get will not receive an accurate diagnosis.

8. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics.

Marina Makous, MD, a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University’s Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center, said antibiotics are effective for most cases of early Lyme disease if started in time, and the earlier the better. “It’s best if they’re started within the first two weeks,” Dr. Makous says. “But that can be difficult because tests won’t pick up on Lyme disease that early.”

9. There is controversy surrounding Lyme disease.

The CDC’s criteria for Lyme disease was established to make it easy for state departments to report cases back to the agency, Makous said. But she says it is too narrow, and doesn’t include an accurate representation of “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome,” which the CDC says affects 10 to 20 percent of Lyme disease patients. Symptoms of post-treatment Lyme disease include extended fatigue, pain, and joint and muscle aches, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). “It can be hard to make a correct diagnosis because the symptoms are too similar to other diseases,” Baker says. However, “if people continue to have symptoms, they should persist and not give up,” says Makous, who is opening her own clinic in Exton, Pennsylvania, specifically to treat post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.

10. You can take precautions to prevent Lyme disease.

If you’re going outdoors in a shady grassland or densely wooded area, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease recommends wearing light-colored long-sleeved pants and shirtsto make ticks easier to spot. Spray clothing with permethrin repellent, and spray DEET directly on your skin. Once inside, you should check for ticks in hairy areas of your body, and be sure to wash all clothing.

Parent of drug addict help: Top 10 truths to help parents

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I Am The Mother Of An Addict

I am the mother of an addict who is currently incarcerated.  He is a 22 year old young man that I know for a fact is sweet, kind and intelligent, musical and sensitive. Yet he is now a convicted felon who will spend the next 4 years in prison on a felony conviction for possession of a controlled substance.

Beginning when he was 19, my son has been in long-term rehab on four different occasions, for a total of almost a full year of days. He has embraced sobriety, only to lose it again several months later. He has done this multiple times. He has been rushed by ambulance to the hospital more than once. He almost bled to death and he has had overdoses and seizures. He spent a few days in a psychiatric hospital when he became suicidal. He has been saved by Jesus and lost his faith, joined a church, attended AA, NA, MA, and CA and seen psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors in an effort to understand his behaviors. He has been arrested multiple times. He has fallen down, and gotten up, over and over and over again.

Parent of drug addict help: Top 10 truths to help parents

As a single parent who left an alcoholic and drug addict husband when my two children were young, I vowed to myself that I would make a better life for them, and I didn’t drink at all as they grew up. I tried so hard to be a good parent, making their well being my number one concern. My daughter has matured into adulthood and is happily married with a child on the way. She seldom drinks at all, doesn’t use drugs at all, and has a stable and healthy lifestyle.

My Son’s Addiction

My son’s addiction started in high school, with what at the time I considered to be “normal” experimentation with alcohol and marijuana.  I never expected then that his alcohol and drug use would escalate into full blown addiction and that it would progress over the years all the way to intravenous heroin and meth use.

As my son’s descent into serious addiction took over and his life became a roller coast ride, I jumped on the ride too, and have been through all the ups and downs right alongside him. I have cried, yelled, talked, prayed, pleaded and begged. I have had more sleepless nights than I can count, and I have put myself in perilous circumstances more than once on his behalf. I have spent countless hours, almost all my money and all my energy into trying to save him from himself. I have attended Al-Anon and rehab family sessions galore. I have spent my weekends driving to visitations and embraced new thinking along with him. I have read and read and read every book and article on the subject I could get my hands on. I have considered at length every approach to recovery, from AA to Rational Recovery, from faith-based to non-secular, to medically-assisted to pure self will and determination, in an effort to find the key to my son’s condition and to his recovery.

Parents, Trust Your Instincts

I would advise any parent of teens, if you are beginning to suspect a problem, trust your instincts. Pay attention to what your child does more than what they say. Trust is important between a child and parent, but don’t let your love for your child dissuade you from ignoring the facts. If a problem becomes evident and your child is still a minor or under your roof, address it immediately. This is the time to be the parent your child needs with rules, expectations and consequences. If they are a young adult and out on their own, your approach will be different, but be upfront with your concerns. As much as you want your young adult children to consider you a friend, it is more important that they are made aware that their addictive behavior has become noticeable to others.

10 Truths For The Parent Of An Addict Child

You may find yourself reading here today because you are just at the start of that roller coaster ride, or maybe you are already deep into it, looking for answers. I don’t have the answers. But after all of it, I have learned a few hard lessons. From these lessons, I have compiled a list of truths. I wish I had read this list a few years back and taken it to heart. Maybe things could have turned out differently.

    1. Your actions and parenting are not what caused your child to become an addict. Perhaps there are things that you would do differently if you had it to do over. But keep in mind, at the time you made what you thought were the right decisions. Don’t waste your energy and affect your own morale by going over and over the past and endlessly second-guessing yourself.
    2. You can’t fix your child’s addiction. Only your child can find the answers to their sobriety. You may provide your child with self-help books, spend every dime you have sending them to rehab, find support groups for them within your community or much more. But none of that will get them clean and sober and on the path to recovery, until they have hit their own personal rock bottom and are ready to recover.
    3. What you believe your child’s rock bottom to be and what they believe their rock bottom to be can be very different. For you, their dropping out of school or college may seem a tragedy. For them, especially when they are actively using, it may be but a blip on the radar. For you, one trip to the hospital due to an OD may seem a nightmare that you never want to endure again. For them, it may take even more severe consequences for them to reach bottom.
    4. Telling a child that “if they loved you” they would get clean and sober “for you” will never, ever work. It’s not that they don’t love you, it’s that they are an addict.
    5. And along those lines, don’t for a moment believe that your child, who surely does love you, is not capable of lying to you, stealing from you and more when in the grips of their addiction.
    6. Bailing your child out of trouble caused by their addiction is not protecting them. It is enabling them to continue their addiction without consequences. Facing consequences for their addictive behavior early in their addictive behavior, for example, the loss of a job, an eviction, or a bad credit score, could be an effective lesson for them, and help them face that they have a problem.  Yes, they eventually will have a mess to clean up. Let them learn that.
    7. Bailing your child out of jail if they should be arrested is not always the right thing to do, even if every fiber of your being is in torment at the thought of them being incarcerated. Chances are very strong they will survive the experience, even if you leave them there for quite a long time, and the reality of spending days or even weeks in jail may be just the hard slap they need. Likewise, hiring expensive lawyers may or may not minimize the impact of criminal charges but it will not increase your child’s likelihood of recovering from their addiction.
    8. Telling your child you love them unconditionally is always right. Telling them you don’t like and won’t condone or support their behavior when they are actively using is also right. Addicts can be more manipulative and cunning in their drug seeking behavior than you would like to believe your child capable of. It’s OK and appropriate to tell your child that they cannot use your car, take your money, or jeopardize your home, health, or well being in any way. You may even reach a point when you need to tell your addict child they are not allowed or welcome in your home any longer. Protect yourself, your health, your finances, and your assets.
    9. Loving your child isn’t always enough.  Your addict child will hurt themselves, harm themselves, and cause themselves more pain that you can imagine, and all the love you have for them can’t prevent it or stop it. They may lose friendships and relationships with other family members and with you and alienate everybody. They may lose everything they have and cause irreparable havoc from their drug use. You will still love them, even when they are at their worst. In their own guilt and shame they may have a hard time believing that you love them and they may push you away. Always let them know you believe they have the ability to recover.
    10. There is always hope. In your child’s darkest hour, they may find what they need. Never give up on your child.

Doctor’s son dies of SIDS after vaccines – wants to start researching.

Published by:

Dr. Brandon Perry. I’m an Internal Medicine Doctor, scientist, loving husband, and father. My wife and I are also one of the many unfortunate couples who have lost an infant to SIDS.

Nash Brandon Perry was born on 10/26/2015 and taken from us on 1/17/16. Nash was put down on his back for a nap, when I checked on him about an hour later I found my son face down, arms straight down at his sides and legs straight out. I knew something was wrong. I ran, picked him up and immediately saw the horror that was my precious baby boy dead, blue in the face, with blood coming out of his nose. I attempted CPR until EMS arrived but it was too late.
Now, maybe it is my grief just looking for answers or something to blame, but there are so many things that just don’t add up. My son never rolled over except twice while throwing a fit and throwing himself around, never while sleeping. I was one room away, he never screamed or cried. Although he was only 2.5 months he had a strong neck. He could hold it up and he could definitely turn it to the side. He had slept the same way many times with no problems. He had no underlying medical problems. My research has found dozens of similar, horrible stories from other parents.

Now, I could just write it off as God’s will or bad luck. But like I said, I’m a scientist, I’m a doctor. There are some very disconcerning similarities between my son’s death and a lot of the SIDS deaths I have read about. A lot of those people were told, “well that’s just coincidence because the highest incidence of SIDS is between 2 and 6 months.” But what if it’s not coincidence? What if we (doctors) are doing routine things to our babies that put them at higher risk that could easily be adjusted to lower the risk, i.e. not giving 8-12 vaccines at one doctors visit to infants. What if Nash, and some other SIDS victims, had some predisposition that made them susceptible to reacting badly to that much vaccine at one time. I am in no way anti-vaccine because they have saved millions of lives, but what if giving them the way we do is contributing to SIDS (our son had his days before). This is just one hypothesis that I want to be able to research. I also want to reach out to other victim’s families, listen to their stories and their hypotheses. During my time as a doctor, I’ve found if you ask the right questions and actually listen to the patient a lot of times they know exactly what is going on or at least have come up with good theories.
What we are asking of you all, those who have shown desire to send us flowers or gifts, instead donate a little money to my new journey. I’m a doctor and now I know my purpose. My purpose is to search for causal relationships between things we are doing that are putting babies at risk of SIDS. To make sure fewer and fewer families have to suffer this horrible tragedy that we are going through . I live in Bexar County which has the highest SIDS rates in all of Texas, so I am confident I am in the right place to gather great data and do good research.
Money donated will be used to fund my research and any money left over will be invested in the companies that are making great innovations /technology to help monitor our babies while they are sleeping and alert us of dangers.
Thank you in advance for your support. I would also like to ask my colleagues from med school, clinical rotations, residency and current co-workers to please reach out to me if you want to help with research or any contribution.
In the name of our beautiful Nash, lets Mash Out SIDS!