Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Anxiety on March 31st, 2011

Did you know that the best treatment for panic attacks has nothing to do with a prescription medication? Panic attacks are our bodies reaction to things we think in the brain. It is a gut reaction, a fight or flight response to something our mind deems a threat; even if this threat is completely made up by our minds. Because of this, the best ways to handle a panic attack is often the simple solution of taking back control from the mind instead of turning to the pharmaceutical companies to solve your problem.

The best way to treat a panic attack is to not fight it; this may sound odd, but it is our fight of the panic that often makes it worse. There are techniques that can be learned on how to not fight it that can greatly help you to understand how and why they are happening. Resources like Panic Away and even A New Earth teach you methods on how to incorporate breathing exercises and other natural treatments into your life. Panic Away especially delves into how to go into a panic attack with full force instead of trying to retreat from it.

This brand new concept has been changing the lives of so many people who have discovered it. The idea that accepting and acknowledging an attack rather than being afraid of it is fairly new and in some people has eliminated the need for anything else to treat their anxiety symptoms.

Panic Away introduces something called the One Move technique and in this one fairly simple concept has changed how people deal with their anxiety. It isn’t necessary to constantly live with the fear of having panic attacks, and it isn’t necessary to surrender to knowing that you are an anxiety sufferer; you can learn some simple techniques from resources like this and possibly even rid yourself of attacks completely.

A New Earth is not designed specifically for treating panic attacks and anxiety, but I found that it helped me considerably as it does deal with the mind, the power of it and how the ego in us can take us over completely and basically create misery in our lives. Since panic and anxiety are often caused from the mind, it makes sense that understanding that the mind is not you would be empowering to someone who suffers from attacks on a regular basis.

This article talked about the best treatment for panic attacks and how it doesn’t come from a pill. For me and many others, the best way to treat our anxiety has come in the form of books. An e-book called Panic Away as well as A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle have helped me to realize that most of the things I feared came from my brain. They weren’t rational, most often they were completely made up by my mind and for some reason my body believed it and reacted. Now that I have learned some specific techniques from these resources I have stopped having panic attacks and anxiety; the One Move technique especially was eye opening to say the least. It is amazing what happens when you accept rather than fight back.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in News on March 30th, 2011

Medical Council plans to scrap PG exam

If the Medical Council of India (MCI) has its way, medical students may not have to sit for post-graduate exams. The proposal of the MCI, however, will only be valid for those who clear the newly proposed ‘Indian Medical Graduate Exam’ and the final MBBS/exit exam.

According to MCI president Dr S K Sarin, “50 per cent weightage each will be given for deciding ranking in the post-graduate course”.

This was one of the proposals made by the MCI on Tuesday in a meeting with about 300 experts, including vice- chancellors of medical universities, state or Union Territory directorates of medical education, principals and deans of medical colleges, heads of post-graduate institutes, management officials and key representatives from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

As part of medical education reforms, the regulatory body plans to start the national-level ‘Indian Medical Graduate Exam’ which will have credibility beyond any particular university or college. The idea behind the move is to bring uniformity. “The students will no more be classified on the basis of universities/colleges they are coming from but on the basis of this national-level exam,” said Prof Ranjit Roy Chaudhary, an MCI member.

Medical report says airport scanners pose no significant health threat

The radiation doses emitted by the most common airport scanners are extremely small and pose no significant health risk, according to a new report by a doctor at UC San Francisco.

Still, Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a doctor at the university’s radiology and biomedical imaging department, recommends more independent testing of the scanners to ensure they are operating as designed.
Online Mexican pharmacy
The report published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, comes in response to opposition from privacy groups and others to the use of full-body scanners that rely on low levels of radiation to create what looks like a nude image of a screened passenger to spot weapons or contraband hidden under clothes.

The federal Transportation Security Administration has installed more than 500 scanners at 78 airports. Just over half of the units use x-ray radiation, while the rest use radio waves to create the images.

But the report concludes that passengers who pass through the full-body scanners are exposed to “an amount of radiation equivalent to 3 to 9 minutes of the radiation received through normal daily living. Furthermore, since flying itself increases exposure to ionizing radiation, the scan will contribute less than 1% of the dose a flier will receive from exposure to cosmic rays at elevated altitudes.”

The report also calculated the potential cancer risk to all fliers, frequent fliers and 5-year-old girls, who are more sensitive to the effects of radiation. Still the report concluded that “passengers should not fear going through the scans for health reasons, as the risks are truly trivial.”

UCSF Medical Center Named Best Metro-Area Hospital

UCSF Medical Center is the best hospital in the San Francisco-Oakland area according to U.S. News & World Report’s first-ever Best Hospitals metro area rankings.

The new rankings recognize 622 hospitals in or near major cities with a record of high performance in key medical specialties, including 132 of the 152 hospitals already identified as the best in the nation. There are nearly 5,000 hospitals nationwide.

UCSF Medical Center also has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the nation’s top 10 premier hospitals for 10 consecutive years.

In a set of pediatric specialty rankings released in June 2010, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital was ranked among the nation’s best in eight pediatric specialties, making it one of the top-ranked facilities in California. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital is the only state-designated children’s medical center in San Francisco.

“As a vital member of the San Francisco community for nearly 150 years, UCSF is focused on providing our neighbors access to the safest, highest-quality health care,” said Mark Laret, chief executive officer of the UCSF Medical Center and the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. “It is an honor to be recognized along with our colleagues in the San Francisco-Oakland area.”

U.S. News created Best Hospitals more than 20 years ago to identify hospitals across the nation that are exceptionally skilled in handling the most difficult cases, such as brain tumors typically considered inoperable and delicate pancreatic procedures.

To be ranked in its metro area, a hospital had to score in the top 25 percent among its peers in at least one of 16 medical specialties.

“All of these hospitals provide first-rate care for the majority of patients, even those with serious conditions or who need demanding procedures,” says Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow. “The new Best Hospitals metro rankings can tell you which hospitals are worth considering for most medical problems if you live in or near a major metro area.”

online mexican pharmacy
Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Allergies on March 29th, 2011

There are numerous sinusitis remedies in the market today, both herbal and chemical. Chemical related remedies are prevalent in the market, but it may also have some side effects. Since everybody contracts sinusitis at one point or another, as this usually follows the common cold, this article is all about natural sinusitis remedies that you can try to minimize the inflammation and help you get better soon.

Herbal Medication

Some herbal medication work great as great remedies. Some examples include:

1. Brolemain – this is an enzyme derived from pineapples. It assists in breaking down mucus, relieves some symptoms of sinusitis, and also helps with fighting infections.

2. Echinacea – Echinacea is an anti inflammatory and leads the list of immunostimulators. This inhibits the production of an enzyme in bacteria whose job is to attack and penetrate the mucus membrane.

3. Olive leaf extract and goldenseal – these two are very effective in fighting bacterial and fungal infections.
Viagra pills Australia
4. Vitamin C – known for boosting the immune system, vitamin C is also a great sinusitis remedy because it helps reduce the level of histamine, which causes inflammation.

5. Zinc – this is a nutrient that can kill the common cold virus. It’s beneficial because since it shortens the span of a cold, it also reduces the possibility that your cold will turn into sinusitis. This is also essential to reduce pain and prevent inflammation.

6. Quercetin – this is a flavonoid that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables. This aids vitamin C and assists in the reduction of histamine as well.

Other than these herbal options, here are also some home sinusitis remedies that you can try.

1. Mangoes – mangoes contribute to the creation of healthy epithelium because of a healthy dose of vitamin A found in the fruit. This helps prevent frequent attacks of common infections.

2. Garlic and onion – pungent foods can assist in opening the nasal passages and promote expelling mucus. You may also add these in small amounts to regular meals.

3. Cumin seeds – a teaspoon of black cumin seeds tied in a light cloth can provide relief when inhaled.

4. Vegetable juice – there’s no limit of vegetables that you can use to combat sinusitis. The most common vegetables include carrots and spinach.

5. Vitamins A and C – vitamins A and C are known to be great sinusitis remedies. This helps build healthy mucus membrane in the nose and throat and boosts your immune system.

These are just some examples of herbal and home sinusitis remedies you can try. Of course, you may also want to use traditional remedies like steam inhalation and nasal irrigation. Whichever remedy you choose, just make sure that you take the proper dosage and do not overdo it – your nasal cavity also needs time to heal and overdoing the herbal medication may cause it to dry up even more, resulting in inflammation.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Skin Care Treatments on March 26th, 2011

Acne is a general term that pertains to skin problems like blemishes, blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. This skin condition can affect people regardless of age but it is more common to teenagers because of the hormonal changes that they are going through. There are many ways to prevent acne from striking. However, it can be quite difficult to get rid of one that already exists. Here are tips on how to get rid of acne.

  • Acne happens when skin pores are clogged with keratin and sebum. This usually happens if you over-exfoliate or if you wash your face too often. You can unplug your pores using salicylic acid which is a well known keratolytic, thus, making it capable of removing keratin and sebum by softening it. Using salicylic acid requires you to use sun block especially when you need to go out of the house. Salicylic makes your skin more sensitive to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
  • Pimples are caused by bacteria called propionibacterium acnes. These bacteria are harmless but it tends to grow more on clogged pores. This then starts to affect the walls of the pores, thus, causing pimples to form. It is important to get rid of these bacteria and to prevent them from growing back. You can do this by using products that contain benzoyl peroxide. This should be used with a moisturizer because it tends to dry facial skin. If this is too strong for your skin, you can use a gentler, but less effective alternative that contains triclosan.

Patience plays a big role when treating acne. Medication usually requires 2 up to 8 weeks of continuous use before any improvement can be noticed. It is important to use acne treatments religiously according to the doctor’s instructions to make sure it works consistently. Breaking your routine might only worsen acne.

Popping pimples can result to ugly scars or skin infections. This is the main reason why it is not advisable to pop them. But if a pimple grows in an unpleasant area on your face and you really want to pop it to get rid of it, learn how to pop it the right way. Make sure that your hands are clean and that you do not expose the popped pimple to bacteria. You might want to rub the pimple for a minute or two with a cloth that has a bit of acne treatment cream. This will help remove dead skin cells that might cause skin irritation. Use an antiseptic to clean it afterwards to prevent infection.

It is important to consult a dermatologist especially if your acne problem is severe. This will also help ensure that the product you will be using is appropriate for you. Some medications are only available through a doctor’s prescription. Make sure that you follow doctor’s instructions. Some severe cases of acne may require an oral drug but dosage should be followed strictly to prevent improper use which may result to a more stubborn case of acne.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Hair Loss on March 24th, 2011

Hair loss is a problem that has been a nightmare for both men and women for hundreds of years now. In comparison though, men tend to suffer from this problem more than women. Men would go bald or have patchy areas on their head even before they reach their 50’s while women could only suffer from hair thinning usually after their menopausal period. These days, good looks and a person’s overall appearance becomes the top priority for both men and women. Without a doubt, men have become more particular of their physical attributes which includes their crowning glory. They are constantly in the lookout for tips that will keep their hair in the best shape and health. When hair loss starts to show they would make it a point to use a hair loss treatment or two to stop the process and encourage the growth of new hair.

Apart from the simple hair care routine, there are several products that are available for hair care nowadays. From shampoos, ointments, gels, mousse and others- the products promise to keep the hair damage-free from the environmental hazards and other problems that could occur. Of course, there are also these products that promise the growth of new hair and halting of hair loss.

The market is overflowing of hair products for men and one can simply choose from a wide variety of these products to keep the locks on his head.

Here are some of the product types which could be used by anyone who is struggling with hair loss:

Shampoos and Conditioners

Perhaps, these are the most popular of all hair loss solutions. These do not just make claims to produce excellent results when used as directed but this also comes in a complete kit packed with some impressive research background. Many would love this kind of hair loss treatment because this could simply be integrated in their daily routine without so much hassle.

Gels and Mousse

Men like to be well-groomed and what better way to groom but through application of gels and mousses? Now, there are available products that also carry hair regrowth properties for those with crucial hair loss.

Clinical Treatments

Hair clinics also have available hair loss treatment options for those with extreme hair loss cases. Usually, these would require laser therapy or operations. These are proven effective but the only drawback of these procedures is the price that would have to be paid.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Asthma on March 20th, 2011

Asthma is a common medical condition that affects more than 300 million people worldwide. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that is characterized by sudden constriction of the muscles in the bronchial walls, reversible obstruction of airflow and recurring symptoms of shortness of breath, tightness of the chest, coughing and wheezing.

The most common trigger of an asthma attack is the inhalation of unclean air, such as the airborne irritants and allergens. With the kind of pollution that we have today, we cannot even guarantee that the air inside our house is one hundred percent allergen and dust-free. Even your own room can pose a threat to you or to any of your family members who are prone to asthma attacks.

Other known causes of asthma are certain respiratory infections during childhood. Infants and young children are more prone to develop respiratory issues compared to older children or adults because their immune system is still not that strong. If an infant or a child develops a respiratory illness due to an unhealthy air or environment, there is a big chance that she or he will develop asthma in later years.

Fortunately, with today’s advanced technology, it is now possible to clean or purify the air inside the house. Installing a home air purification system inside your house can help eliminate not only the irritants and allergens (such as dander, pet hair, pollen, dust) that can trigger an asthma attack, but also airborne bacteria that can cause other health related problems. With air purifiers, you are rest assured that your young ones are breathing in fresh air and are not exposed to harmful components in the air.

Cleaning the air inside your house is almost impossible without the aid of a home air purification system or air filters. Dusting or frequent cleaning is never enough because the minute dust particles are still there, just not visible enough to be seen by the naked eye. These minute particles may still be in the pillows, furniture, bed and carpet. Also, you may not have the needed time to clean your house frequently enough especially if you are always on a hectic schedule, which may leave your family members vulnerable to health issues.

There are now home air purification systems available which are made especially to filter asthma-causing airborne particles. Studies have shown that the right home air purification system can remove up to 99.7% of suspended particles found in the ambient air – from dust, allergens and even bacteria. Thus, if you are looking for air purifiers that will not only filter the air inside your homes from dust but also from asthma-causing particles, then be ready to invest in a little more time, effort and perhaps even money in looking for the right unit to use.

So can clean air really help prevent asthma?

Yes, clean air can help a lot in preventing asthma in infant and young children and in preventing asthma attacks in people who are already suffering from asthma.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Hair Loss on March 19th, 2011

A person should always start early to treat hair thinning because this can escalate into a real problem later on down the road. While there are a number of medical remedies for hair loss that can be prescribed, there are also natural remedies that have been found to slow or stop hair loss in many women.

1. People suffering from extreme stress will usually experience hair loss, albeit a temporary one. Still, it would be better if you try to de-stress your life in order to prevent hair. You can start by making sure that you get enough sleep or eating the right diet. Exercise will also help you get rid of work-related stress.

2. amla can be dried and then boiled in coconut oil to create a natural loss tonic that should be applied to the balding area of the head daily. Amla juice can also be created by crushing up these berries, or buying the juice pre-made, and when mixed with lime juice, can also create a tonic which can be used as a shampoo to help prevent hair loss. This should also be applied daily.

3. This is an age old remedy. Your grandmother must have been prescribing you this remedy for a long time. You can massage your scalp for a couple of minutes in a day. It will increase the flow of blood to the hair follicles. In some cases, this ritual will stimulate hair growth and also prevent hair loss. These days, you get different types of electric massagers on the market for scalp massage. You can purchase one of these to improve blood flow to hair follicles and prevent hair loss.

4. Never sleep in a tight braid or ponytail. Never brush wet hair too. It is always advisable to let your hair dry naturally than to use any heating equipment. These practices can cause hair breakage or loss of hair over time.

5. If you must know, your hair can be damaged by hair products that contain harmful ingredients. Getting your hair dyed frequently or having it permed can also result to hair loss. Even the use of shampoos and other styling products such as hair spray, gel or mousse can damage your hair, leading to hair loss. If possible, choose hair products that are made from natural ingredients such as aloe vera, rosemary and sage.

6. Aloe is also helpful in preventing hair loss in women. Applying aloe gel to the scalp every night before going to sleep will help. Taking two tablespoons of aloe juice daily is also recommended, according to

7. This therapy works better to prevent hair loss and also helps in improving hair growth. It is an amalgamation of six drops, each of lavender and bay essential oils blended in to a base of four ounces of either almond, sesame oil or Soybean in to the scalp. Once you apply it to the scalp, wait for twenty minutes and stimulate the scalp. It soothes your mind.

8. Use of Olive oil could hinder balding in men, which can be just one of all the all-natural methods for you to hinder thinning hair. Olive oil penetrates deeply into your hair follicle roots thus removing the dirt that might be trapped in the follicles and also any oil.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Alternative on March 18th, 2011

Back discomfort is frequent to all people primarily to those whose positions involve sitting down and standing up for a really lengthy time. Naturally, this problem is also typical to people who carry luggage and heavy stuff for income. See, all of us are aware that these positions can lead to back pain but we can’t get away the fact that we have to do these tasks as a way to have money and live. We really don’t must quit our positions truly. What we will need are the proper treatments and remedies to alleviate the discomfort that we’re feeling.

Listed below are some treatments and remedies that you simply could need to have to ease the extreme discomfort on your back.

1. Aroma Treatment

Although it may perhaps seem unusual, aroma treatment is one of the best treatments to handle back pains. See, back pains are occasionally caused by tension. And also to unwind the mind and physique, aroma therapy is certainly useful. Invigorate your mind and purify your body with this soothing therapy.

2. Massage

The best plus the most necessary remedy to manage your back pain is always to have a superb massage therapy. But you ought to know that you simply must only have a therapeutic massage from a professional, from the 1 who seriously knows ways to do it correctly. See, specialist had their classes and they’re pros. You cannot just let any one provide you with a therapeutic massage. It really should be executed by the authorities. Or else, the situation may well become aggravated.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the ideal non therapeutic treatment options to any sorts of discomfort. Back discomfort, getting probably the most frequent body aches, can unquestionably be treated by an acupuncture procedure. Acupuncture could only be executed by experts.

These are generally a few of the useful strategies which can alleviate your back discomfort. Apart from these, it’s best to also make certain that you just are certain to get enough relaxation. After a lengthy day of function, you should be certain that you simply have a minimum of 8 hours of sleep to loosen up your body and mind. It can be also vital to consume nourishing food and also to drink lots of liquid to help your physical well being. Apart from that you simply ought to also have a common physical exercise; this can ensure that your body is in a good situation. And last but not the least, usually remain optimistic. A lot of the time body pains are just indicators and signs and symptoms of anxiety.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in Diabetes on March 16th, 2011

According to Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) researchers, testicular tissues from type 1 diabetics could provide the answer in finding cure for growing their own insulin-producing cells. The researchers shared their finding on an annual meeting at the American Society of Cell Biology 50th anniversary.

The studies prove that human stem cells (SSCs) coming from tissues of testicles can form into an insulin-secreting beta islet that can be found inside the pancreas. The researcher are able to accomplish this even without the use of the extra genes that is used on any lab to change the appearance of adult stem cells to any tissue they would want.

According to G. Ian Gallicano, Ph.D., who leads the study and an associate professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Director of the Transgenic Core Facility at GUMC. There are no stem cells that are able to produce enough insulin yet to treat diabetes. However they do know how those stem cells has the capability to produce the tissue they want and they have is resourceful enough to improve the results.

Galicano believes that his finding could provide the way to cure type 1 diabetes permanently. The patients have already undergone several therapies but produce nothing. Transplanted cells coming from dead people could result into rejection by the new body. Researchers are able to use induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells or reprogrammed stem cells to act like embryonic stem cells to cure diabetes from mice but the method produces problems like tumors.

The researchers later tried using readily existing source of stems cells that comes from deceased human organ donors. SSCs have the ready genes to become embryonic stem cells. It is not needed to add other genes to form new cells.

They found that out that once that they have taken the cells from the testicles, the cells gets mix up and they are going to form three germ layers within a matter of weeks.

1 gram of tissue from human testes can yield to 1 million stem cells.

Afterwards, they transplanted the newly develop cells into the back of the diabetic mice and it reduces the blood sugar level of the mice in a week. The test shows that the cells are able to decrease hyperglycemia.

The effects only lasted for a week but Galicano firmly believes that further study could increase the time frame of the beneficial effect of the cells.

Posted by: Alyssa Morris in News on March 15th, 2011

Majority of U.S. Children Have a Medical Home

More than 50 percent of children in the United States have access to all components of health care in a pediatric medical home, but there are substantial socioeconomic, racial or ethnic, and health-related disparities, according to a study published online March 14 in Pediatrics.

MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) — More than 50 percent of children in the United States have access to all components of health care in a pediatric medical home, but there are substantial socioeconomic, racial or ethnic, and health-related disparities, according to a study published online March 14 in Pediatrics.

Bonnie B. Strickland, Ph.D., from the Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health to study the characteristics of 83,448 children aged 1 to 17 years with medical homes and the impact of these homes on selected health care outcomes. A medical home measure was based on five components: having a usual source of care, a personal physician or nurse, access to referrals for specialty care and care coordination, as necessary, and receiving family-centered care.

The investigators found that, in 2007, 56.9 percent of U.S. children were cared for in medical homes. Younger children were more likely to receive this care than their older counterparts. Children with medical homes were more likely to have annual preventive medical visits and less likely to have unmet medical and dental needs. There were socioeconomic, racial or ethnic, and health-related disparities between children who did and did not have access to medical homes.

“Overall, slightly more than half of U.S. children receive their care in medical homes,” the authors write. “Given the presence of socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and health disparities in receipt of care in medical homes, targeted initiatives addressing disadvantaged segments of the child population are needed.”

“Camden Ripper” pathologist found guilty of incompetence

The General Medical Council finds Dr Freddie Patel guilty of incompetence over his findings surrounding his post-mortem on the “Camden Ripper” Anthony Hardy’s first victim, Sally White.

The forensic pathologist involved in the “Camden Ripper” case has been found guilty of acting irresponsibly, incompetently and dishonestly.

The General Medical Council (GMC) ruled that Dr Freddie Patel failures brought the profession into disrepute.

Dr Patel decided the Ripper’s first victim, prostitute Sally White died of natural causes. However, the GMC hearing found that Dr Patel’s findings did not properly take into account the location and position of the victims body in a locked room owned by a man recently arrested by police, nor did he consider the presence of blood on the deceased’s clothing and why a bucket of warm water was located next to the body.

“Ripper” Anthony Hardy subsequently went on to kill another two prostitutes, Brigitte MacClellan and Elizabeth Valad whose dismembered bodies were found in a dustbin. After being caught he was tried and jailed for life after pleading guilty to all three murders, despite Dr Patel’s findings.

29 allegations against Dr Patel were being investigated by the GMC at the hearing including the validity of one concerning a CV entry. It was also found that he had not considered a range of other potential raesons for death, including asphyxia. A number of the other allegations however, were found to be not proved.

The GMC will now hear submissions as to whether, in light of the proven facts against him, Dr Patel’s ability to practice has been impaired and what sanctions will be taken against him.

Dr Patel was the pathologist blamed for the decision not to prosceute the police officer involved in the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests in April 2009. Once again the pathologist decided that Tomlinson had been a victim of a heart attack despite two further examinations suggesting he had actually died of an abdominal haemorrhage.

Investigations into Dr Patel’s professional work stretch back 12 years. In 1999 he was disciplined for discussing a patients medical history with reporters. He was suspended from his Home Office duties in July 2009 and In the last decade a number of other actions have been brought against him for questions raised after other post-mortems. He was supended from all practice in September 2010 for three months after specific findings surrounding three examinations he had conducted.

City hospital to host three-year pilot project

Medical researchers in Saskatchewan will have more opportunities to conduct studies in the province with the creation of a special unit at Saskatoon City Hospital.

“We are the only province in Western Canada that doesn’t have dedicated in-hospital space where we can see patients as part of the research process,” said Beth Horsburgh, vice-president of research and innovation for Saskatoon Health Region.

“We really need this facility and we’ve been disadvantaged for quite some time at not having such a facility.”

At its regular meeting last week, the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority approved a three-year pilot project called the Saskatoon Centre for Patient-Oriented Research.

The health region will provide space for the eight-bed unit at City Hospital and will arrange for physician coverage and emergency backup for the patients admitted to the unit. The cost will be about $183,000 a year. The University of Saskatchewan’s college of medicine will pay for a medical director, research nurses, the administration of the unit and some equipment at a cost of about $455,000 a year. The third partner is the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, which will contribute $30,000 a year to pay for staff education and establishing credentials as well as auditing of the research studies.

Medical research often requires that patients involved in studies stay overnight for regular monitoring.

“Sometimes there will be blood draws as frequent as every 15 minutes during a trial. You have to control what (the patients) eat, when they go to bed. And you have protocols that have to be followed as well as very meticulous record keeping, which has to be capable of withstanding audit by Health Canada and the FDA in the U.S.,” Horsburgh said.

While money spent on medical research is down in Canada, it’s up in Alberta and British Columbia. Horsburgh hopes the new unit will allow Saskatchewan researchers to develop more partnerships with researchers in Alberta and British Columbia and attract medical research dollars to this province.

The City Hospital unit would come at a cost for researchers, but Horsburgh said the fees will depend on what kind of organization is involved in the research.

“For investigator-driven research that’s initiated here in Saskatchewan, we would have a lower fee or nominal fee. For local contract organizations that are based in Saskatchewan, we would have a fee that enables us to recoup our costs and pay our staff. For people external to the province, and we believe there will be some who will want to come and do work here, there will be a market rate that will be charged,” she said.

The benefits of the unit include opportunities to improve drugs and medical procedures, to enhance medical education of Saskatchewan students and health-care professionals, and to recruit and retain world-class researchers and clinicians.

The unit will be ready for its first patients in April.

Hearing Today on Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana in Connecticut (WEB EXCLUSIVE)

Penny Bacchiochi doesn’t want anyone to have to go through what she did to ease the suffering of a loved one dying of cancer.

“Twenty years later, I still remember the fear I felt. It is not right to put someone through that, who is only acting on the advice of a doctor,” Ms. Bacchiochi said of her illegal purchase of marijuana to ease her husband’s nausea.

When all other medications had failed, the marijuana helped his appetite and stabilized his weight after he had lost 80 pounds from chemotherapy treatments.

Her husband succumbed to the disease, but Ms. Bacchiochi, the Republican state representative from Somers, has been campaigning for the past seven years for the state to allow the medical use of marijuana, a measure that cleared the General Assembly in 2007, only to be vetoed by then-Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

This year, with the support of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the leadership of state Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney, D-New Haven, it has a better chance of passing.

Lawmakers will also take up separate legislation to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and to allow judges the option of home arrest for certain nonviolent drug offenses involving less than 4 ounces of marijuana.

The bills are offered as an update of the state’s marijuana laws that proponents say will save money and bring Connecticut into line with 15 other states on the use of medical marijuana and a growing number that have decriminalized personal use of less than an ounce of marijuana, including Massachusetts. That state passed it overwhelmingly two years ago by referendum.

“It takes away the specter of arrest for otherwise law-abiding people,” said Michael Lawlor, referring to the medical marijuana bill. Mr. Lawlor, the former longtime representative from East Haven and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is now Governor Malloy’s criminal policy adviser in the Office of Policy and Management.

A poll released by the Quinnipiac Polling Institute this month found 79 percent of voters were in favor of the medical marijuana bill, while 65 percent felt it was time to stop treating possession of small amounts of pot as a crime.

Ken, 61, a stage four pancreatic cancer patient who lives in the Danbury area, was always trim, but after aggressive amounts of chemotherapy, his weight dropped precipitously from 160 pounds to 136 pounds.

“This is not curable. I’ll be on chemotherapy for life,” Ken said of the two-weeks-on, two-weeks-off routine he has been undergoing since his diagnosis in September. “My appetite was my biggest problem. It was painful to eat food,” he said, and medications for nausea weren’t working.

It wasn’t until he started to smoke marijuana before meals that he was able to keep his food down. “Now I can eat a regular meal and enjoy it. I can get some nourishment in me,” said Ken, whose weight has climbed back to 144 pounds.

“I definitely hope this law passes. I think it is ridiculous that it (marijuana) is not available to people with cancer,” he said.

Ken, who continues to work from home as a health care advocate when his cancer treatments are not too tiring, said he is only interested in using the drug for medical purposes.

“I’m not looking to get high,” he said.

The legislation protects patients and their caregivers who have a certificate from a physician attesting to their need for the drug. This gets around federal prohibitions against doctors writing prescriptions for marijuana.

The debilitating conditions listed in the bill include cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and glaucoma.

Mr. Lawlor said the law would allow patients to grow four marijuana plants no taller than four feet high for their own use. Connecticut however, wouldn’t be like California, which has a system of dispensaries for medical pot, and the proposed bill leaves unanswered how patients would obtain the seeds to grow these plants.

“It doesn’t seem to be a big problem to get your hands on it,” Mr. Lawlor said of marijuana in general, although sellers would still be subject to prosecution and actually legalizing marijuana is not in the cards.

Outside of medical needs, a separate bill would decriminalize possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana. It would treat it as an infraction, similar to a parking ticket, where people 18 years of age and over would pay a $100 fine.

Mr. Looney said prosecution for small amounts of marijuana “is a misappropriation of criminal justice policy,” which brands offenders with a record and consumes court resources that could be put to better use.

“At the end of the day, cases are usually concluded with some kind of dismissal, but the process to get there is elaborate,” Mr. Lawlor said, referring to court time, record keeping and personnel from the public defender’s office.

A study by the legislature’s Office of Fiscal Analysis of a similar bill proposed in 2009 that would have decriminalized possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana found that the Superior Court handles 2,700 cases each year for minor drug possession, with three-quarters of them involving marijuana, at an estimated cost of $970,000 in court resources.

The total number of marijuana arrests for persons over age 18 in 2007 was 8,118, representing 5.7 percent of total arrests statewide, with 76 percent involving less than half an ounce of the drug. Assuming an equivalency of resources allocated to each arrest regardless of type, the cases represented $3.8 million in state costs and $26.2 million for local law enforcement, according to OFA.

“Our drug policies have been flawed for a long time. I’d like to think there is growing support for the bills. This is all related to finding cost efficiencies in the criminal justice system,” Looney said.

Governor Malloy, in his budget message last month, said he hopes to save millions with new incarceration policies for some nonviolent offenders.

The third bill under consideration would give judges the option of house arrest for those now serving mandatory time for second and third offenses involving possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana. About 50 individuals are incarcerated at Bergin Correctional Institution in Somers for these offenses.

“Despite the reforms of the past decade, we are still spending money we don’t need to spend imprisoning people who, if given access to the treatment they need, would pose no threat to any of us. And who can eventually become productive members of our society. This new policy will save us millions of dollars, which is a benefit of a more enlightened policy whose time I think has come,” Governor Malloy said in the address.

The bill would also apply to the 300 individuals at Bergin who are serving mandatory prison time related to multiple arrests for driving under the influence.

The medical marijuana bill, decriminalization of possession of small amounts of the drug and the option of house arrest for some minor drug offenses are all the subject of a public hearing at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Monday.

While the use of pot for medical purposes passed the state Senate 32-13 and the state House 89-58 in 2007, opposition remains to that bill, as well as the decriminalization effort, and will again be led by state Sen. Antoniette Boucher, R-Wilton, who is convinced more than ever that they are bad ideas.

“I call it the get-soft-on-crime program. It’s the get-out-of-jail-free state and puts us in exactly the opposite direction than we should be going,” Ms. Boucher said.

She opposes decriminalization on health grounds, as well as calling it bad criminal policy, and cited numerous studies that point to memory, heart, lung and immune-suppression problems tied to marijuana.

Ms. Boucher said states that had approved medical marijuana are now reconsidering it, with the Montana state House voting last month to rescind it. Approved in 2004 by 64 percent of the vote, there is a split between those who want reforms of the law, where medical usage has exploded through a Wild West approach to marketing, versus those who want it repealed.

“This is not your 1970s pot. It’s 10 times greater in strength,” she said, and it is making a comeback among high school students with numerous studies being conducted on the effect on teenagers.

“We are in the business of protecting health and safety. Why go in the opposite direction?” she asked.

Support for allowing patients access to medical marijuana has supporters of all ages. Lindsay, 26, who lives in northeastern Connecticut, suffers from Crohn’s disease, as well as post-traumatic stress syndrome from an abusive relationship.

Permanently disabled, she said the pain medication prescribed for her had left her housebound and made it difficult for her to care for her young son. Weaning herself off those medications and using marijuana for pain and to stimulate her appetite, she feels in control of her life. She is back in college and close to getting her degree.

“The law is outdated. If it improves someone’s life and doesn’t hurt anyone, why make it illegal? I’m not using it as a form of entertainment,” she said. She would like to see the state go one step further so it is controlled, both in terms of purity and cost.

If the Crohn’s symptoms are acting up, she said she needs it more than other days. On the most basic level, “it helps me get up in the morning and make my kid’s breakfast.”

Older Posts »