Awards Honor Mental Health Professionals

Many people with severe mental illness are able to contribute to their communities as working, active individuals – if they’re given the opportunity. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding many mental health conditions can prevent patients from fully reintegrating into society through competitive jobs, independent living and the ability to function within social circles.

Eli Lilly and Company, a corporation with a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products, is sympathetic to the difficulties these individuals face. For this reason, the company created the Lilly Reintegration Awards, which honor treatment teams, programs and services that assist those with severe mental illness as they re-enter the community, as well as individuals with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia who provide hope and support to their peers. The awards are now in their 14th year.

Yoga, Acupuncture and Massage: All Can Help Relieve Chronic Pain

<b>Yoga, Acupuncture and Massage: All Can Help Relieve Chronic Pain</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Many people who take medications for chronic pain sometimes wonder whether there is more they can do to manage their condition better. More and more, medical research is showing that the answer is a resounding yes.

While prescription and over-the-counter medications can be useful in treating chronic pain, efforts to manage pain can often be enhanced by using an integrative approach to care that combines traditional medicine with complementary and alternative therapies.

Integrative care can include a variety of methods such as yoga, acupuncture, massage, physical therapy, biofeedback, tai chi and meditation. Many experts agree that integrative care must be tailored to the patient, as not every treatment will be effective or appropriate for everyone. Each patient should have a plan that meets his or her individual needs.

“A pain management plan that utilizes an integrative approach yields the best results for many people with pain. In combination with medication, alternative and complementary therapies can help patients better manage their pain and lead more fulfilling lives,” says Robert Bonakdar, M.D., of the American Academy of Pain Management. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so people with chronic pain may need to try different therapies to find the best approach to pain management. Communicating openly and honestly with your healthcare provider is essential to finding the right approach.”

Today, integrative care is becoming an increasingly popular pain management strategy. In fact, the National Institutes of Health reports that 38 percent of adults in the United States (about four out of 10) use some form of complementary or alternative medicine to treat common problems such as back, neck or joint pain.

People with pain should ask their doctor if an integrative approach to pain management is right for them. Additionally, Partners Against Pain, a national educational program provided by Purdue Pharma L.P. at www.partnersagainstpain.com, contains an array of information on pain conditions and pain management.

Hip and Knee Pain: When is it Time to Consider Surgery?

<b>Hip and Knee Pain: When is it Time to Consider Surgery?</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Chronic joint aches and pains caused by arthritis can interfere with everyday life, limiting mobility and function.

In early stages of arthritis, pain relief can be obtained from acetaminophen and anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen or, for some, injections into the joint (intra-articular injections). However, when arthritis progresses, the cartilage between the bones disappears, and the joint is “bone on bone.” At this stage, these conservative measures may not be enough.

“As the progression of arthritis cannot be stopped, patients should consider joint replacement surgery when the pain in an arthritic joint is severe and disabling,” says Alejandro González Della Valle, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

The criteria used for recommending joint replacement surgery include disabling pain associated with limp, loss of function and mobility. The best candidates for surgery are people who have seen deterioration in their quality of life or impairment in their activities of daily living due to arthritic pain. Activities such as going for a walk or performing some non-impact recreational sports should not be difficult for people without major health problems.

Before arthritic pain is severe enough to consider surgery, some simple measures can be implemented to diminish pain and promote joint health.

* Respect the pain you feel. Perform activities only to the point of discomfort.

* Plan ahead and be realistic about what you can do.

* Learn how to pick things up properly. Bend from the knees when lifting and carrying weights more than 30-40 pounds.

* Reduce repetitive impact on joints, and distribute weight among them to protect joints.

* When walking more than four or five miles, wear well-padded shoes with rubber soles.

* Think about your weight. The impact on your joints will be less detrimental if you are not carrying extra weight.

“No one is too young or too old for joint replacement,” says Douglas E. Padgett, M.D., chief of the Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service at Hospital for Special Surgery. “Every condition can be addressed, even when compounded by other medical conditions.”

The Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Service at Hospital for Special Surgery is the world leader in hip, knee and surgical arthritis patient treatment, education, innovation and research. For more information, visit www.hss.edu.

Kids Take Gum Disease to Heart

<b>Kids Take Gum Disease to Heart</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Teaching your kids to care for their teeth will do more than ensure a healthy smile — it may also help them avoid health problems later in life.

Many parents consider cavities a normal part of childhood — after all, children eat more sweet foods than adults and often neglect brushing and flossing. But research links cavities and gum disease with serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease.

Research suggests that there is a relationship between gum disease and heart health. The American Academy of Periodontology reports that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. Likewise, in a study of 657 heart-disease patients published in “Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association,” lead researcher Moise Desvarieux, M.D., Ph.D. of Columbia University discovered that patients with harmful bacteria in their mouths were more likely to have a clogged artery in their neck, a precursor to stroke.

Researchers believe that, when the harmful bacteria that cause gum disease invade the gum line, they also access the bloodstream. Once they enter the circulatory system, these harmful bacteria can cause disease in other parts of the body.

But kids will be kids, and some may stop brushing their teeth before they finish singing “The Star Spangled Banner” or forget to floss after eating that ice cream cone. Even if kids are excellent brushers and flossers, they can’t get rid of the harmful bacteria living in every part of their mouths.

Parents can skip the risk by giving their kids probiotics for oral care, like EvoraKids (www.myevorakids.com), a chewable that contains beneficial bacteria that are normally found in healthy mouths. When these good bacteria adhere to the teeth, they leave less room for harmful bacteria to grow, helping to support tooth health.

“Daily use of a product such as EvoraKids is an easy way to naturally maintain oral health,” says Dr. Jeffrey Hillman, D.M.D., Ph.D. and chief medical officer for Oragenics. “The good bacteria inhibit the growth of the damaging bad bacteria, leading to better health and breath.”

For more information, visit www.myevorakids.com.

Popularity of Neti Pots Leads to a Clear Change – 1,000 Years Later

<b>Popularity of Neti Pots Leads to a Clear Change – 1,000 Years Later</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – With a growing consumer interest in safe, natural and effective ways to treat sinus problems associated with colds, flu and allergies, neti pots, which date back more than a thousand years to Ayurvedic medicine, have soared in popularity.

According to a recent survey published in the Wisconsin Medical Journal, 87 percent of family physicians reported recommending neti pots, which are used for nasal washing with a saline solution, to their patients for one or more conditions.

But despite their long history, neti pots, which look like tea pots with a long spout, have remained virtually unchanged. Now, with daily nasal washing becoming commonplace, a clear change is being made to neti pots to help make them not only more user-friendly, but visually appealing.

Usually made from a solid colored ceramic or plastic, neti pots are now available in a clear, lightly tinted blue version. SinuCleanse is the first brand to introduce this innovation in a version of its best-selling neti pot.

In addition to enabling the user to see if the saline solution in the neti pot is completely mixed and pure, the clear design allows for better monitoring of the flow and volume of saline solution during nasal washing.

Initial reaction to the new neti pots has indicated that they are proving very popular among consumers. A recent market research study conducted by Robert Hale and Associates (www.roberthaleassociates.com) shows that the new clear blue Neti Pot is preferred seven to one over competitor’s neti pots, such as Neilmeds.

“The new SinuCleanse neti pot gives consumers a clear choice that allows them to monitor the solution, while the

‘purity’ of the design enhances

ease of use and motivates daily compliance,” says Diane G. Heatley, M.D., developer of the SinuCleanse nasal wash system and Associate Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in Madison, where she practices pediatric otolaryngology. “And studies on long-term daily usage have shown the distinct health benefits of regular nasal washing, in addition to the documented benefits for treating a range of sinus issues such as cold, flu and allergies and reducing the frequency and duration of colds and flu.”

For more information, please visit www.sinucleanse.com.

In Heart Attacks, Faster Treatments Save Lives

<b>In Heart Attacks, Faster Treatments Save Lives</b> (NewsUSA) – Studies show that fast treatment makes patients more likely to survive certain types of heart attacks. According to national guidelines, heart attack patients should go from hospital door to “balloon” treatment within 90 minutes.

In 2005, only half of America’s hospitals managed 90-minute door-to-balloon (D2B) times. To ensure faster treatment for more patients, the American College of Cardiology (ACC), along with 38 partner organizations, started its Door-to-Balloon Alliance to help participating hospitals lower their D2B times.

The program recently achieved its original ambition — 75 percent of patients now receive treatment within 90 minutes of entering a hospital. A more recent analysis showed that, with an average D2B time of 80 minutes, hospitals participating in the program surpassed its goals.

“This ambitious effort to improve timeliness of heart attack care has reported marked improvements with the vast majority of patients receiving life-saving care within 90 minutes of hospital arrival, as recommended by clinical guidelines,” said Elizabeth H. Bradley, Ph.D., professor at Yale School of Public Health, and lead author of the study.

Hospitals adopted several strategies to reduce D2B times, including creating real-time feedback between emergency departments and cardiologists, encouraging senior management to commit to the cause and creating a team-based approach to patient care.

“The incredible success of the Door-to-Balloon Alliance represents aspects of the best of healthcare delivery in the United States; the integration of the highest medical science, technology and our medical community through the organization and integration of systems of care leading to seamless translation of evidence based medicine into clinical practice,” said Ralph Brindis, M.D., president-elect of the ACC. “The ACC and the National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) are proud to have played a role in this key accomplishment for our nation.”

For more information, visit www.acc.org.

America Faces Cardiologist Shortage

<b>America Faces Cardiologist Shortage</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Heart disease remains the number-one killer in the United States. There is no shortage of patients needing cardiologists — and yet there aren’t enough doctors to go around.

According to a new report released by the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the number of practicing cardiologists will need to double between 2000 and 2050 to accommodate aging baby boomers, and a growing population of heart disease patients.

“We have a significant shortage of 3,000 cardiologists in the workplace today, and all indicators are that it’s going to get worse if we don’t do something,” said George P. Rodgers, M.D., F.A.C.C., chair of the ACC Board of Trustees Workforce Task Force.

The ongoing obesity epidemic and new treatments, which allow patients to live longer with heart disease, are increasing the demand for cardiologists. At the same time, more than 40 percent of cardiologists in the current workforce are over the age of 55, and nearing retirement.

Training opportunities for cardiologists are limited — in the 1990s, policymakers wrongly assumed that family practitioners would treat heart disease, resulting in a 25 percent cut in the number of cardiologist training spots. While other medical fields have a growing number of women and minorities, they remain underrepresented in cardiology. African Americans and Hispanics form only 6 percent of all cardiologists, women only 12 percent.

In its report, the ACC recommends solutions, including expanding the number of fellowship positions, reducing known factors that may encourage early retirement and creating incentives for underrepresented minorities to consider cardiology, as well as encouraging a team-based approach to cardiology care that leverages the skills and expertise of nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

“We need to advocate for more training spots and funding for cardiovascular specialists and, in the meantime, find creative and more effective ways of delivering care,” said Alfred A. Bove, M.D., F.A.C.C., president of the ACC. “Team-based care is a major opportunity for improving the current and future workforce crisis.”

For more information, visit www.acc.org.

New Guidelines Include Medications For Treatment of Alcohol Dependence

<b>New Guidelines Include Medications For Treatment of Alcohol Dependence</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Well-established ways to overcome alcoholism include counseling, 12-step recovery programs and addiction treatment centers. But government statistics show that 75 percent of people receiving conventional treatment for alcohol dependence relapse to heavy drinking within the first year of beginning treatment.

A division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has recently issued best-practice guidelines for the treatment of alcohol dependence. The guidelines, entitled “Incorporating Alcohol Pharmacotherapies Into Medical Practice,” include for the first time the two most recent FDA-approved medications for alcohol dependence, naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension and acamprosate calcium.

FDA-Approved Medications

The FDA has approved medications for the treatment of alcohol dependence that offer treatment options in addition to traditional 12-step and counseling programs. Medications can act by blocking or interacting with certain receptors or biochemical effects in the brain of a person with alcohol dependence.

Medications are used along with counseling to help a person stop drinking. One of the newly added medications in the HHS guidelines is an extended-release injection taken once a month.

When medications are part of the treatment program along with counseling, a physician must consider whether the patient can reliably adhere to a daily pill regimen. A recent study analyzed the magnitude of challenges faced when prescribing oral pharmacotherapy for alcohol dependence. Over a six-month period, more than 85 percent of patients were non-persistent with oral therapy. Oral therapy has been successful for some patients. However, in many cases in which adherence is a challenge, an extended-release injection that is given once a month can be a helpful treatment option.

“We now know that alcohol dependence is a chronic disease with a potentially life-threatening course,” said Harold C. Urschel III, M.D., chief of medical strategy, EnterHealth LLC. “These new guidelines increase awareness and information about the new medications available for alcohol dependence so that patients and their doctors can consider all the available tools for each individual case.”

As with other complex chronic diseases, like depression, asthma or diabetes, patients, along with their physicians and family members, work together to determine the best treatment option for each person with alcohol dependence.

A copy of the HHS guidelines can be found at www.alcoholanswers.org/TIP49.pdf.

To find a physician in your area, please visit www.alcoholanswers.org/local/.

Calculator Helps Those With Allergies, Asthma Take Control

<b>Calculator Helps Those With Allergies, Asthma Take Control</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – If you’re one of the 40 million Americans with allergies or asthma, your sniffling, sneezing and wheezing that may seem like just a nuisance can add up to unnecessary years of not feeling well.

Nearly half, or 43 percent, of people with allergy and asthma symptoms who participated in a recent survey conducted on behalf of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) reported that they experience breathing difficulties or other asthma and allergy symptoms for two months to six months a year -; which can total 12 years to 36 years of suffering during a lifetime.

To find out how much you could be suffering, plug your stuffy stats into the ACAAI’s new allergy and asthma symptom calculator at www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org/Calculator.

An allergy is an overreaction to a typically harmless substance. Certain foods, medicines, pollen from trees and grasses, dust mites, pet dander, molds and insect stings are common allergens. Allergy symptoms range from minor to severe and include sniffling, sneezing, itching, watery eyes, congestion or coughing. Asthma is a condition that inflames and narrows the airways. Common asthma symptoms include wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing.

“Allergy and asthma symptoms keep millions of people from feeling their best every day,” said allergist Richard Gower, M.D., ACAAI president. “But there’s no need to suffer. An allergist can work with you to find the cause of your symptoms and help you find allergy and asthma relief with effective treatment.”

Eight in 10 patients in another recent ACAAI survey said taking matters into their own hands with self-medication falls short of being “very effective.” The survey found that those who had seen an allergist were nearly three times more likely to say their allergy and asthma treatment was effective than those who took over-the-counter medicine.

In addition to the Lifetime Symptom Calculator, AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org offers information about allergies and asthma, including real patient stories, an e-newsletter, an Allergist Locator and a free, personalized Relief Plan to help visitors better understand their conditions.

Considering Back Pain Options? Know Fact From Fiction

<b>Considering Back Pain Options? Know Fact From Fiction</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Back pain is the most common complaint brought to doctors in the U.S. Over 6 million cases are seen annually. For those who suffer from chronic back pain, medical advances now make it possible for those individuals to enjoy their lives once again. Knowing the difference between fact and fiction when considering back pain treatment options is key to a successful outcome.

Fact: Conservative back treatment should be the first option when treating back pain. In as many as 50 percent of all cases, back pain will greatly diminish or disappear within a month with supportive treatments. When conservative measures don’t alleviate pain within a few months, surgery may be considered.

Fiction: A diagnosis on what is specifically causing back pain can always be made. A booklet from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases states, “Only with a medical history and exam — and sometimes medical tests — can a doctor diagnose the cause of back pain. Many times, the precise cause of back pain is never known.”

Fiction: All laser spine surgery centers will be able to achieve the same results. While the United States offers the highest standard of health care in the world, a vast treatment variation exists based on the doctor’s experience with minimally invasive laser spine surgery and the spine center that you choose.

Fiction: All minimally invasive laser spine surgery is

the same. Minimally invasive surgery is a name given to a wide range of procedures with a common goal: treatment that is less traumatic to the patient, allowing a faster return to a normal lifestyle. All spine surgery has a significant degree of patient risk, but true minimally invasive surgery performed only by a skilled, experienced surgeon, dramatically affects whether you have a chance of being free of back pain.

Fact: The Bonati Procedures are performed only at The Bonati Institute. The Bonati Procedures are advanced laser spine surgeries developed, patented and perfected by Alfred Bonati, M.D. In an incision no longer than a half inch, these procedures employ a series of arthroscopic dilating tubes, a laser and other specially designed instruments to access the targeted area. Over 35,000 of The Bonati Procedures have been performed — only at The Bonati Institute.

Fiction: If you are experiencing pain from failed back surgery, there are no other options to relieve pain. While most statistics claim a success rate of approximately 80 percent for open spine surgery, physician practice reports that the actual rate is closer to 50 percent. However, with The Bonati Procedures, even patients who are still experiencing pain after having had “open” laminectomy or fusion surgeries performed at other medical facilities, now have renewed hope.

Visit www.bonati.com to learn more about The Bonati Procedures.