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April 2013 Archives

A New Endorsement for Fish

Now a new analysis relying on blood tests and years of clinical exams confirms that higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk for heart disease and death in people over age 65. The blood tests were used to track the levels of three different types of omega-3 in 2,692 randomly selected people, average age 74 at the start of the study, for 14 years. All were generally healthy and without previous heart disease. None used fish oil supplements.
 
The lead author, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said that the most beneficial levels could be achieved by consuming an average of 400 milligrams of omega-3s a day — the equivalent of weekly consumption of about 3.5 ounces of farmed salmon, 5 ounces of anchovies or herring, or 15 to 18 ounces of cod or catfish. While greater amounts may have some additional benefits, he said, “The most bang for the buck is going from zero to some.”

Would omega-3 supplements work just as well as eating fish? “Some previous trials of supplements showed benefits,” Dr. Mozaffarian said. “Some more recent have not. So I think it’s a little uncertain what’s going on.”
In any case, he said, supplements may be the answer for some people: “If you don’t eat fish, take supplements, and if you want to take supplements in addition to eating fish, no harm in doing that.”

Read about this story in the New York Time, Health and Science Section at   http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/a-new-endorsement-for-fish/?partner=rss&emc=rss
William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
 
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Multiple Sclerosis Balloon Therapy Fails in Study

The treatment uses balloons — the type commonly employed to open blocked arteries in people with heart disease — to widen veins in the head and neck. The technique is based on the unproven theory that narrowed veins cause multiple sclerosis by stopping blood from draining out of the brain properly, which is thought to damage nerves and the fatty sheath, myelin, that insulates them. A vascular surgeon from Italy, Dr. Paolo Zamboni, is the leading proponent of the idea. 

Researchers at the University at Buffalo recruited 20 patients with the disease to test the theory. Half were picked at random to receive the treatment, and the other half underwent a “sham” procedure in which doctors did not actually use balloons. The patients did not know whether their veins had been expanded, and neither did the people who assessed them later. The patients were monitored for six months. 

There were no significant differences between the two groups in symptoms or tests used to measure the quality of life, the researchers reported last month at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in San Diego. In a few cases, brain lesions associated with the disease actually seemed to worsen after the treatment. 

Dr. Adnan Siddiqui, who led the study, said the increased lesions were a sign of potential harm from the treatment. He said the results surprised even the researchers because they thought there might be some benefit. He emphasized that the study was small and needed to be verified by more research.
But based on the findings, he said, the balloon treatment should not be used except in studies that are carefully designed to find out whether there are any patients who might be helped by it. 

Read about this in the New York Times in an article written by Denise Grady at  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/02/health/multiple-sclerosis-balloon-therapy-fails-in-study.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

William Wombacher, your Central Illinois Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and Social Security Disability Specialist. I'll help you!   www..wombacherlaw.com
 
Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Peoria Heights, Pekin, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Morton, Washington, Metamora, Canton, Galesburg, Bloomington, Normal and surrounding cites and counties of Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Fulton and  Knox Counties in Central Illinois.