Perhaps you’ve heard about boxing as a therapy to help with Parkinson’s patients, but if you haven’t, it’s an interesting connection. Of course, when we think of boxing we tend to think of Muhamid Ali and his Parkinson’s disease that was perpetuated by repeated blows to the head. But there is evidence that the coordination needed for boxing has a protective effect on the brain that stimulates nerve communication and increasing the chemicals (dopamine) that are depleted in Parkinson’s. Check out our patient, Steve Shenkman, and his efforts at fighting back.
We all feel a loss in the office when one of our patients passes away, and when that person is as lovely and personable as Al Golin….it’s particularly hard.
Al was an amazing individual whom we came to respect and care about. Our loss is minor compared to that of his family and friends, but his his philosophy of life and work is something we can all learn from. We are inspired by each of our patients and Al’s passion for work and life are wonderfully expressed in a tribute that can be seen at his company’s website. Don’t miss seeing and sharing his vision and ideas. Look >>>>HERE<<<
Used to be that the most dangerous trouble-makers in the country could be found on the wall of the post office. The list of the FBI ‘Ten most wanted’ was always fascinating to me. A chance to see a picture of the most heinous criminals still on the loose.
Today’s ‘Top Ten’ is actually a Top Twelve, listed by the World Health Organization(WHO) as the Superbugs that are on the highest priority hit list for focus by medical science.
What is a superbug? It is a bacteria that has become strongly resistant to our common antibiotics and which can only be defeated by multiple non-traditional antibiotics in a combination that can be toxic. These combinations are capable of beating the superbugs in most cases….but not always. Although rare, they are becoming increasingly noticeable across the US and the world and will become an increasing problem over the coming years. A future in which bacterial germs are untreatable is unlikely, but a focus on developing new treatments now is essential for a future that does not become a bacterial dystopia.
There have been recent reports of the Avian Influenza among birds in China, termed the H7N9 strain. Such outbreaks are common, and they are monitored closely by public health officials due to the potential for an epidemic starting from such outbreaks. Current human strains are much different: H1N1 and H3N2. A change to H7 would have profound consequences.
Influenza is a specific seasonal virus that has a worldwide distribution and it has been the source of deadly epidemics in the past. The last major worldwide epidemic was in 1918, 100 year ago when the population was less then 2 billion people. Now, with the population of 7 billion and billions of people living in cities with exposure to animals and birds in close quarters (particularly in the developing megacities of China, Africa, and South America, the potential for an explosive epidemic is much greater. The canary in the coal mine will be these initial avian (bird flu epidemics). If they spread widely among chickens, then if they can infection humans and transmit easily from human-to-human, we have the makings of a worldwide pandemic.
Monitoring is key to prevention, and rapid development of specific flu vaccine with stockpiling, also is critical to avoid such an outcome. So…when you hear about the initial spread of such outbreaks, it’s worthwhile keeping an eye out for such information. It will often be a false alarm, but we need to be prepared if it is more than that.
Synergy is the amplification of effect when two or more parts and forces interact. It is often the recipe for great results, and is among the reasons our office works so well. We are an ensemble case of characters, working hard to keep you, our group of patients under our care, in good health.
Although much funnier (for the most part) that our office, the ensemble from my favorite movie Young Frankenstein, demonstrates how the parts are greater than the whole. If you’ve not seen this outtake real from YF …ENJOY it >>>>>HERE<<<<<
Among my favorite movies from the 80’s was Officer and a Gentleman. In it, Richard Gere gets intimidated and inspired by Lou Gossett, Jr. in the role as his drill instructor. Gere’s last name is Mayo, but in order to ride him a bit, Gossett calls him MAYO-NAZE, and more importantly, he will not accept his excuses for his imperfect behavior.
So….with that in mind, I’m challenging myself, and all of you out there, to forgo the excuses and get exercising. Among the biggest excuses is ‘I don’t have the time’, but with the latest report from the New York Times, on short workouts, you can see that this excuse just doesn’t hold up. The 60 second work-out can make a big difference in your health…so try it and see what you find.
And remember Dr. Ben and his 15 minute work out he spoke of….check out our video interview with him >>>>HERE<<<<
KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid….and to control the symptoms of your cold/upper respiratory infection, we need to focus on the following limited list. I have picked special products for each set of associated symptoms; you can use something else if you like, but this simple list will help you make a quick pit stop at the pharmacy and then back home to your bed to rest and drink liquids.
Congestion & Drainage….Use Sudafed 30mg (little red pill that is kept behind the cash register at the pharmacy. The pharmacist has to get if for you.) &/or Chlorpheniramine (a drying antihistamine that goes by various names….Walfinate (at Walgreens), Chlortrimeton Allergy, or Coricidin HBP (the priciest version)
Cough….use Robitussin DM or Delsym (plus the congestion medications will help reduce cough by reducing drainage)
Sugar is always a topic of interest, but it will be talked about for then next few weeks with the latest release of Gary Taubes new book, The Case Against Sugar.
Gary Taubes was one of the first writers with a scientific background to cogently critique diet and weight loss research, with an eye toward the political side of the topic. In this book he goes a step farther and lays out the case against sugar, how it is detrimental to our health on a variety of levels, and also details the history of the sugar lobby in Washington, and how it adversely influenced dietary recommendations about the government and ultimately caused a general worsening of health of the american populace.
Many of his comments and criticisms are important insights that are a wake up call to us all. When he states that America’s consumption of sugar and high fructose corn syrup has played a role in the diabetes and obesity epidemic in the country he is spot on, but he goes further and claims that sugar has a major influence on dementia, heart disease, and cancer in America. This connection is more complicated and of questionable significance. There are many strong connections to these disease: for dementia, older age is clearly the greatest risk factor for developing this condition, and for heart disease and cancer, tobacco is a greater influence by far. Whether sugar has an influence on these conditions is unclear and I think it’s enough to implicate sugar in weight issues and diabetes, without confusing the commentary and connecting it to every serious chronic health condition that bedevils americans.
This is late in the season for flu to begin here in Arizona, but it it unclear if we are starting a trend, or if this is just a ‘one off’
We will keep you posted. Do wash the hands and if you have heart or lung issues, or if your diabetes is not under great control, do be conscientious about avoiding crowds and be scrupulous about hand washing right now.
See the graph >>>>HERE<<<<