Sep 10, 2018

POLIO has been confirmed in Port Moresby

POLIO has been confirmed in Port Moresby, in a six-year-old boy from the Five-Mile settlement.
According to the Health Department, this is the first case reported in the nation’s capital as findings confirmed after laboratory tests conducted by the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory a World Health Organisation (WHO) Polio Regional Reference Laboratory in Australia.
The United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that this case is linked to the ongoing polio outbreak in PNG.
In response to this recent Polio case in Port Moresby, Health Secretary Pascoe Kase said the detection of the disease in Port Moresby is a huge concern and is not just a statistic.
“Each represents a child that will be permanently paralysed,” he said. He said the Health department and its partners will start an emergency polio vaccination campaign on September 24 in NCD followed by a nationwide polio campaign starting October 1.
WHO representative Dr Luo Dapeng said the confirmation of polio in an urban area is worrisome and WHO and partners are working together to support the government to continue to actively search for all possible polio cases, rapidly scale up the response in Port Moresby with the emergency vaccination and embark on a nationwide vaccination in the succeeding rounds of the campaign. “WHO and the Health Department have jointly deployed experts to conduct surveillance and are working with partners to engage with communities on polio prevention and reporting of suspected cases,” he said. UNICEF country representative Dr David McLoughlin said UNICEF is closely working with health promotion colleagues in implementing social mobilisation and community engagement activities.
“We appeal to community and church leaders to support these activities and vaccination teams to gain access and effectively deliver the essential health service,” he said. As of Sep 6, 2018, PNG has confirmed 10 polio cases, three in Morobe, two in Eastern Highlands, two in Enga, two in Madang and one in NCD.

Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Sep 9, 2018

Multiple Sclerosis Study Reveals Possible Triggers

Multiple sclerosis, one of the most devastating neurodegenerative diseases, affects some 2.5 million people worldwide and has no known cure.
Researchers have long speculated that MS is triggered by the body’s own immune system unleashing an uncontrolled attack on myelin sheaths that protect nerve cells (neurons).
study published by Israeli scientists in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) pinpoints a structural instability in the myelin membranes, the “insulating tape” surrounding neurons.
This vulnerability seems to be what gives the immune system access to otherwise protected regions.
“We found that small modifications in the myelin sheaths create structural instabilities that may help the immune system to enter and attack neurons,” said principal investigator Prof. Roy Beck of Tel Aviv University’s School of Physics and Astronomy and Sagol School of Neurosciences.
“Current therapeutic approaches have focused on the autoimmune response without identifying a clear mechanism. Our research suggests a new avenue for multiple sclerosis therapies and diagnostics,” Beck said.
Breaking down the insulation
Axons, which carry electrical impulses in neurons, are surrounded by protective myelin sheaths. In MS, an autoimmune “error” mistakenly identifies these sheaths as hostile foreign entities and breaks them down.
The research, conducted by Rona Shaharabani, a doctoral student in Prof. Beck’s lab, pinpoints the precise alterations to the myelin sheaths that result in structural instabilities, creating “easy access” for autoimmune attacks.
“After years of research, we were amazed to discover that a possible trigger for the outbreak of the disease could be found in the membrane’s physical structure,” said Beck.
Cylindrical instead of flat
He explained that the lipid-and-protein building blocks of the myelin sheaths give the membrane a shape that is critical to their functioning.
“If the basic building blocks are straight, the membrane will be flat, which is the preferred structure for a neuron’s ‘insulating tape,’” said Beck. “However, if they exhibit a more cone-like shape, the membrane will tend to form closed round cylinders. These produce spontaneous holes in the surface of the sheath, rendering it vulnerable to attack.”
For the purpose of the research, the scientists harnessed X-ray light to examine hundreds of membrane model systems that mimicked those of healthy and diseased animal models.
In collaboration with Prof. Ruth Arnon of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, co-developer of the leading MS drug Copaxone, and Prof. Yeshayahu Talmon of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, the team also used electron microscopy to determine the different nanoscopic structures of both natural myelin sheaths and model system membranes.
“The next step is to find a way to reverse the disease progression and find new techniques for early detection,” said Beck.
(via Israel21c)
[Photo: Israel21c]

Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

Fibromyalgia and Your Sympathetic Nervous System. What You Need To Know

Researchers believe that fibromyalgia is the result of over-stimulation of the nervous system. This is the body’s typical response to a trauma or accident. Fibromyalgia causes interference in the flow of the neurotransmitters from your brain and your body- which result in chronic pain and muscle spasms.
Since fibromyalgia also prevents you from getting into that deep sleep that your body needs, you do not have normal serotonin levels. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates your mood when your levels of serotonin are decreased, it causes interference in your body’s ability to heal itself, and can cause you to experience depression and fatigue.
Fibromyalgia has been linked to a dysfunctional autonomic nervous system. Your nervous system is made up of several different components. Your central nervous system is comprised of your spine. It is your body’s primary control center. Your peripheral nervous system is the connection between your central nervous system and your tissues and organs. Your autonomic nervous system includes your sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Your sympathetic nervous system is the one that is what controls the “fight or flight” response you feel when you get into potentially dangerous situations. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for lowering your heart rate and slowing down your muscles in order to preserve your energy.
Individuals with fibromyalgia find that their sympathetic nervous system is functioning at a much higher level and their parasympathetic nervous system is functioning at a much lower level. This means that individuals with fibromyalgia are always feeling that “fight or flight” response. There have been some studies that have shown that when individuals are in a sustained hyperactive state, it can cause them to have an increased heart rate whether they are standing or lying down. Several studies have proven that women suffering from fibromyalgia also suffer with severe dysfunction of their autonomic nervous system.

Autonomic Nervous System

Your autonomic nervous system is a vital part of your central nervous system, or CNS. It automatically works to get your body through daily life. Your autonomic nervous system works with the natural neurotransmitters and hormones in your body so that you can be sure your body is working properly. It is in control of several of your bodily organs as well as bodily systems. The autonomic nervous system has several responsibilities including the following:
  • Body temperature regulation
  • Bowel/bladder function maintenance
  • Heart rate maintenance

Two Autonomic System Branches

As mentioned previously, your autonomic nervous system is comprised of two different parts, called branches. They work together by sending messages through the neurotransmitters in your body. The two branches are as follows:
  • Sympathetic: this helps you respond to stressful conditions- such as emergencies.
  • Parasympathetic: this is responsible for regulating your digestion process and sleep.

What are Neurotransmitters?

In order to be able to communicate with each other, these two branches of your autonomic nervous system use hormones, known as neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are vehicles that carry information between your brain and the rest of your body. When something happens that interferes with this communication, your autonomic nervous system can become very confused. There are a few specific neurotransmitters that are thought to be part of the cause of fibromyalgia. These are as follows:
Substance P: this is a neurotransmitter that is found to be present in your spinal fluid. It facilitates communication of pain sensations to your brain and your body. There have been several studies that have shown that individuals with fibromyalgia actually have around three times more of this neurotransmitter in their spinal fluid than healthy ones do. This results in an enhanced perception of pain, which can cause a typically mild stimulus extremely painful.
Endorphins: these neurotransmitters are secreted by your body as a reaction to physical stressors such as fear or exercise. These are considered to be a natural opioid and help your body to be able to deal with fatigue and pain. Beta-endorphin is a neurotransmitter that is very involved in suppression of pain. Individuals suffering from fibromyalgia usually only have about half of the levels of this neurotransmitter that healthy individuals do. This could be an explanation as to why fibromyalgia patients are always in so much pain.
Serotonin: this is a neurotransmitter that helps with regulation of your mood. Serotonin keeps you from becoming overly excited or extremely depressed. There have been numerous studies that report low levels of serotonin in the brains of individuals with fibromyalgia. These lowered levels of serotonin are linked to chronic headaches, depression, and anxiety. Antidepressants can be used to regulate these levels to alleviate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

What are Hormones?

In addition to the neurotransmitters, your autonomic nervous system also relies heavily on hormones to contribute to specific bodily functions. Hormones are specialized chemicals that are secreted by glands in your body. They help to cause growth, assist with fertility, and a variety of other functions. The hormones that are necessary for the functioning of your autonomic nervous system are as follows:
Cortisol: this is a hormone that is secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol is released when your body feels threatened or under stress. It is commonly referred to as the “stress hormone.” In individuals with fibromyalgia, the levels of cortisol are abnormal. The bodies of individuals with fibromyalgia are in a constant stressed state, which means that their cortisol levels are much higher. This leaves them in a constantly drained, tired state.
Growth Hormone: this is a hormone that is released in your body during deep sleep and exercise. The primary function of this hormone is to facilitate muscle/tissue growth and metabolism. It facilitates the healing of injuries or wounds. Individuals with fibromyalgia have lowered levels of this hormone. Their autonomic nervous system just doesn’t trigger the release of enough of this hormone to repair their tissues and muscles. To add insult to injury- individuals with fibromyalgia don’t sleep enough- which also limits the release of this hormone.
Norepinephrine: this is a hormone that is controlled by your sympathetic nervous system and released by the adrenal gland. It controls responses such as an increased heart rate, muscle contraction, and sweating. Individuals with fibromyalgia have lowered levels of this hormone, which causes fatigue and pain.

Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

FDA Approves Country’s First Medicine made from Marijuana

The country’s first drug derived from marijuana, a medicine that treats two uncommon and destructive forms of epilepsy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The country’s first marijuana-based prescription medication was announced on Monday June 25 by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Epidiolex is a plant derivative, oral suspension of cannabidiol (CBD)—a chemical constituent of marijuana that does not cause intoxication or ecstatic “high.” Patients aged two and grown-up who undergo unusual and severe forms of epilepsies known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome are treated by this drug, which can develop early in infancy. Epidiolex’s authorization also marks the foremost time the FDA has permitted a drug to treat Dravet syndrome.
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said “This consent serves as a cue that advancing sound development programs that appropriately assess active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to significant medical therapies,”. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the building block of the drug Epidiolex, one of the hundreds of molecules found in the marijuana plant, and contains less than 0.1 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive constituent that makes people feel elevated.
The patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome practice “The difficult-to-control seizures that have an intense affect on these patients’ quality of life,” said Billy Dunn, M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug assessment and Research. People with both syndromes suffer frequent, different types of seizures and typically experience developmental difficulties including poor development of motor skills and intellectual disability and Epidiolex represents the first FDA-approved treatment for Dravet syndrome.
Dravet syndrome appears during the first year of life with recurrent (febrile seizures) fever-related seizures and it is an unusual genetic disease. Other types of seizures characteristically occur afterwards, including myoclonic seizures (spontaneous muscle spasms). Additionally, status epilepticus, a potentially life-threatening state of continuous seizure activity requiring emergency medical care, may occur.
Poor development of language and motor skills are typically experienced by Children with Dravet syndrome, hyperactivity and trouble involving others. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome begins in childhood. It is characterized by multiple types of seizures. Patients suffering from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome begin having recurrent seizures in early infancy, generally between ages 3 and 5.
Tonic seizures affect more than three-quarters of individuals, which cause the muscles to contract wildly. Almost all children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome develop learning problems and intellectual disability. Belated development of motor skills for instance sitting and crawling occurs in many patients. Most people with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome require help with usual activities of daily living.
Post Polio Litaff, Association A.C _APPLAC Mexico

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