Better Living Through Well Being
In a surprising pandemic, more people in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain than from heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. This significant health problem affects over 100 million people at a cost of over $600 billion annually in health care and lost productivity. Whether a person’s pain is the result of injury or disease, or it is the disease itself, as in the case of neuropathic pains or headaches, pain takes a heavy toll on a person. It adversely affects a person’s quality of life, causing him or her to have difficulty with activities of daily living, such as cooking, cleaning, and dressing. It can also cause depression and anxiety and interfere with job performance and interpersonal relationships. It is very important for people suffering from chronic pain to have an active role in its management and get help in developing coping skills. Developing coping skills can help change the way a person responds to and manages pain. Coping is a valuable step to feeling physically and emotionally better sooner.
A community hospital in Danvers, Massachusetts has designed a pain management program that aims to address the needs of the whole person – body and mind – by combining clinical and integrative therapies. The pain center’s multi-disciplinary team includes physician specialists in pain medicine, neurosurgery, and physiatry; a nurse practitioner; behavioral health and addiction/psychiatry specialists and physical therapists, as well as Reiki therapy, acupuncture and massage therapy services. Being a hospital-based program makes it possible for patients to receive a variety of services in one location. Patients who are referred to the center are thoroughly evaluated by a physician for all of their pain-related needs. Then, a personalized care plan is developed that encompasses as many or as few of the program’s offerings as appropriate. The Reiki therapist on the team believes many patients can benefit from Reiki. In Reiki, the practitioner’s goal is to induce deep relaxation and open energy channels. Many patients have reported decreased pain upon eliciting a relaxation response and increased energy flow. It is hoped this multidisciplinary, integrative program will serve as a model for more such pain management centers.
Other articles in this Summer 2012 TMIS eNewsletter:
The human microbiome is the community of microbes that live in and on the human body. Researchers of the most comprehensive study done on the human microbiome so far have just published a scientific paper in the journal Nature outlining methods and protocols by which this new and important human microbiome data can be readily accessed and used by the scientific community. Scientists have long known that uncovering the secrets of the microbes that live in our bodies will undoubtedly lead to more in-depth information about human health and disease. The human body contains trillions of microorganisms – outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1. Because of their small size, however, microorganisms make up only about 1 to 3 percent of the body’s mass but play a vital role in human health.
Using techniques to subtract the human genome sequences and analyze only the bacterial DNA, researchers were able to study the metabolic capabilities encoded in the genes of these microbial communities themselves. Researchers now calculate that more than 10,000 species occupy the human ecosystem and that they have found between 81 and 99 percent of all the genera of microorganisms in healthy adults. These microbes contribute more genes responsible for human survival than humans themselves. Where the human genome carries about 22,000 protein-carrying genes that carry out metabolic activities, researchers estimate that the microbiome contributes about 8 million unique protein-coding genes, or 360 times more bacterial genes than human genes.
In addition, the bacterial genomic contribution is critical for human survival. Genes carried by bacteria in the gastrointestinal track, for example, allow humans to digest foods and absorb nutrients that otherwise would be unavailable. These researchers look forward to continued research with larger and larger groups of patients in the hopes that one day screening of the microbiome will be a routine part of medical care.
Integrative medicine pioneer Isacc Eliaz, M.D. shared recent research advancements with other leading experts at the Second International Congress on Complementary Oncology in Munich, Germany, demonstrating how integrative therapies can boost our abilities against cancer. His first presentation outlined the case against Galectin-3, a protein that has been widely implicated in cancer, heart disease and other conditions. Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP), derived from citrus peels, is a powerful Galectin-3 antagonist. Research shows how MCP binds to Galectin-3 and blocks cancer cell aggregation, angiogenesis and metastasis.
In his second presentation, Dr. Eliaz discussed how MCP, medicinal mushrooms, honokiol (derived from magnolia bark), specific botanicals and other natural agents can bolster the immune system against prostate cancer, support hormone imbalance and in some cases act directly against the disease. He also demonstrated how mind-body medicine can result in profound health benefits for the patient on all levels.
Dr. Eliaz stressed that complementary cancer therapies, like all cancer treatments, must be part of a comprehensive, multi-layered approach against cancer. He said that as the new data demonstrates the ability of botanical formulas and natural compounds to target specific features of aggressive cancer, we must do more to integrate these agents into highly strategic treatment protocols.
Learn more about HerbClips, short summaries and critical reviews covering medicinal plant-related clinical research, regulation, market information, conservation and sustainability.
Learn about the new wireless, electric acupuncture patch technology that can reduce muscle fatigue and enhance muscle performance.
Learn how using nature as a template can lead to a healthier and richer life.
Learn how to access free, online biology seminars and short talks by leading scientists.
Learn of a new book designed to help readers with vehicle noise, and sound quality issues.
Learn about the latest data revolution for Wikipedia called Wikdata.
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From the Front Page of TMIS News
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New Comprehensive Pain Management Program Combines Clinical, Physical, and Integrative Medicine Treatment Options to Address Chronic Pain
Pain affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives, and, in the worst cases, diminishes quality of life and livelihood. In fact, pain is a significant health problem affecting more than 100 million people and costing society at least $560-$635 billion annually in both health care and lost productivity costs.* Now research shows that pain patients do better with a comprehensive approach to care that addresses the needs of the whole person, body and mind -- combining clinical and integrative therapies. That is why Beverly Hospital at Danvers Pain Management Center is launching a new integrated model of care offering not only traditional state-of-the-art pain medication and injection services, but a range of behavioral health, physical and integrative medicine treatments to help patients with acute and chronic pain.
The new care model offers a full complement of pain medicine services, including the latest pain injection therapies, medications and medication management, physical therapy, psychotherapy, and addiction counseling as well as integrative therapies, such as acupuncture, Reiki and massage therapy in a custom-designed care plan for patients.
"We have created this multi-specialty center so that our patients have the very best treatment options, since we now know that pain patients do best when treated in this kind of comprehensive treatment environment," says Dr. Kenneth Branton, medical director of the Pain Management Center. "I'm very excited about our ability to offer this level of care and services," he says.
Researchers of NIH Human Microbiome Project Consortium Publish Papers Detailing the Variety and Abundance of Microbes Living on and in the Human Body
Rockville, Maryland and La Jolla, California
Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) along with members of the National Institutes of Health-funded Human Microbiome Project Consortium (HMP), have published a scientific paper in the journal, Nature characterizing the human microbiome, the community of microbes that live in and on the human body. This research, the largest and most comprehensive study done to date on the human microbiome, has revealed an astonishing level of diversity and variety of microbes among the group of 242 healthy individuals. The researchers outlined a set of standardized methods and protocols by which these new human microbiome data and other metagenomic data sets can be readily accessed and analyzed by the scientific community.
This study is part of a large group of coordinated scientific reports published on June 14, 2012, in Nature and several journals in the Public Library of Science (PLoS), by approximately 200 members of the HMP Consortium from nearly 80 multidisciplinary research institutions who are reporting on five years of research. HMP, launched in 2007, received $153 million from the NIH Common Fund, a source of funding for high-impact, innovative, trans-NIH research.
Barbara Methe, Ph.D., JCVI professor, was one of the researchers in the Consortium who was actively involved in the Nature paper described here and is also corresponding author on this publication. JCVI researchers were also important contributors to a second HMP Consortium Nature publication describing additional analysis of human microbiome data.
The HMP Consortium also published papers in PloS journals and JCVI researchers are key contributors to these papers. JCVI's Johannes Goll is the first author on a paper in PLoS ONE describing JCVI's large-scale human microbiome analysis tool, METAREP. The key features of and improvements to METAREP are enabling larger and larger datasets to be rapidly and easily analyzed, searched and compared. METAREP was successfully used with the HMP Consortium data analysis enabling more than 400 million genes from 14 billion segments of DNA to be analyzed. METAREP is an example of standardized tools available to the scientific community for their metagenomic research that have been developed by researchers at JCVI.
JCVI's Kelvin Li is first author on another paper in PLoS ONE describing diversity patterns, especially those of low abundant taxa, which represent the majority of genetic diversity in the human microbiome using sequences from the 16S rRNA gene as a biomarker. Li and colleagues determined that the low abundant taxa are not sufficiently quantified with standard ecological measures, which motivated the introduction of a novel statistic ("Ď„") which couples the ordering of taxonomic abundance with well-known statistical properties of standard deviation to better characterize this low abundant fraction.
JCVI scientists also participated in two additional papers that are part of the HMP Consortium PLoS virtual collection. A PLoS ONE paper (Ward et al.) describes the development of the protocol used by the HMP Consortium to sequence 16S rRNA gene sequences, and a PLoS Computational Biology paper (Abubucker et al.) describes methodology used in HMP data analysis to accurately and efficiently characterize microbial metabolic pathways and functional modules from the human microbiome directly from high-throughput sequencing reads.
The Expanding Role Of Integrative Medicine In Cancer Treatment
Cancer is an insidious disease that often finds ways to defeat the most advanced treatments. As a result, the scientific and medical communities have become increasingly aware that a multi-pronged approach is the best way to beat cancer. On June 16-17, at the Second International Congress on Complementary Oncology in Munich, Germany, integrative medicine pioneer Isaac Eliaz, M.D. joined leading experts in the field of complementary oncology. During his visit, he shared research advancements demonstrating how integrative therapies can boost our abilities against cancer.
"It was a privilege to speak to such a receptive audience at the Germany International Congress on Complementary Oncology. This conference provides a wonderful opportunity to share important information on integrative treatments and learn about new strategies to defeat cancer," says Dr. Eliaz. "Having the opportunity to give two separate presentations on each day of the congress allowed me to cover a wider array of important topics."
In his first presentation, delivered on June 16, Dr. Eliaz outlined the case against Galectin-3, a protein that has been widely implicated in cancer, heart disease and other conditions. The presentation, Galectin-3 and the Role of Modified Citrus Pectin in Cancer and Beyond, unraveled the biology of Galectin-3 and why its overabundance can so dramatically contribute to disease. Galectin-3 is a "culprit" biomarker that promotes metastasis and has additional value in predicting the outcome of disease--the more Galectin-3 in the body, the lower the overall survival rates. A new FDA approved blood test can easily measure Galectin-3 levels in the blood, serving as an important tool in determining risk and prognosis of numerous diseases related to elevated Galectin-3. In cancer, Galectin-3 plays a role in cell to cell adhesion, cancer cell aggregation, tumor growth, metastasis, angiogenesis and the inhibition of programmed cell death (apoptosis) -- a veritable perfect storm of conditions for the advancement of cancer.
Derived from citrus peels, Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) is a powerful Galectin-3 antagonist. Dr. Eliaz presented research on how MCP binds to Galectin-3 and blocks cancer cell aggregation, as well as interactions that cause angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels to the tumor) and metastasis. In addition, MCP complements chemotherapy, protects against radiation damage, and enhances the immune system. "Study after study has demonstrated that elevated Galectin-3 levels in the body fuel the formation and progression of cancer and other chronic diseases," says Dr. Eliaz. "Modified Citrus Pectin is thus earning an important reputation among doctors and researchers as a powerful natural Galectin-3 inhibitor."
The next day, Dr. Eliaz presented Integrative Approaches to Prostate Cancer, during which he outlined a wide array of diagnostic tests to detect prostate cancer early, before it can spread. He went on to discuss how MCP, medicinal mushrooms, honokiol (derived from magnolia bark), specific botanicals and other natural agents can bolster the immune system against prostate cancer, support hormone balance and, in some cases, act directly against the disease. Dr. Eliaz presented studies which showed how MCP and other natural compounds suppressed invasive prostate cancers. In this lecture, Dr. Eliaz also presented a comprehensive model of the ongoing dialogue between health and disease. He demonstrated how mind-body medicine can be integrated into such a model, resulting in profound health benefits for the patient on all levels.
American Botanical Council Announces Major Milestone: Publication of 5,000th HerbClip Research Summary
The nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) proudly announced the publication of its 5,000th HerbClip on June 29, 2012. HerbClips are two-to-three-page summaries and critical reviews of seminal articles covering medicinal plant-related clinical research, regulation, market information, and conservation and sustainability.
HerbClip summaries and critical reviews are typically based upon human clinical trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses of such clinical trials, and other articles dealing with ethnobotany, conservation and sustainability, and regulation of herbs and medicinal botanical products. These articles are drawn from a wide variety of peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals, monographs, government documents, special reports, trade journals, and the mainstream media. In addition to summarizing the original article, an HerbClip may include insights, perspectives, criticism, and/or links to other articles and issues. HerbClip summaries and reviews are examined by consulting editors and peer reviewers before they are published to help ensure their accuracy.
HerbClip's roots stretch back to 1993, just five years after ABC was created. At the time, Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal would often copy and then share relevant news articles with numerous friends and professional colleagues. When the cost of toner for ABC's copier reached what at that time was a prohibitive $200 per month, inspiration struck. Blumenthal called two close friends in the herb industry and asked if they would be willing to pay for a service to send them articles related to herb research, regulation, etc. The friends agreed and HerbClip was born.
Wireless Electric Acupuncture Patch Will Increase Muscle Performance in Addition to Alleviating Pain Formerly Resolved by Acupuncture Needles
New York, New York
Lisa Pamintuan, President of New York College of Health Professions, announced that the College's Chairman, Donald Spector, a well-known serial entrepreneur inventor, has filed a groundbreaking patent on wireless acupuncture patches under the Intellectual Properties Policy of the College. The patches will cause electrical stimulation, either directly or by remote control, to specific acupuncture points and muscles. This stimulation will increase the muscle performance, as well as reducing lactic acid buildup and consequently reducing fatigue. Spector stated, "While the patch provides benefits to athletes, it can also be used by patients suffering from pain and other ailments, for which acupuncture has been effective."
Dr. Mohammad Hashemipour, MD, PhD, Dean of Academic Affairs and former Olympic Team doctor, believes the new wireless electric acupuncture patch technology can reduce muscle fatigue and subsequently enhance muscle performance. "Patients often forget or do not use acupuncture in a consistent way," stated Hashemipour. "While duplicating the advantages of leads that are temporarily connected to a patient, these patches can be left on for a prolonged period of time, including between visitations to an acupuncture specialist, during which time the chips can be programmed to stimulate at predetermined times or when needed."
There has yet to be a formal ruling on whether these patches, which may enhance sports performance, will be regulated by boxing commissions, team sports, individual sports or doping commissions. Based on current Olympic regulations, Hashemipour feels it will not be banned. "Even though these patches will provide a significant advantage in muscle strength and endurance, I do not believe they should be outlawed under doping regulations. There are no drugs involved, except by the release of the wearer's own natural chemicals and neurotransmitters. While acupuncture has been used in the Far East for thousands of years, this patent simply makes it possible for an athlete to use electrical stimulation - often cumbersome - as a self-contained patch that can be made as a disposable product," added Hashemipour.
Dr. Andrew Weil and Innate Response Co-Develop the First Seasonal Therapeutic Program
Derry, New Hampshire
Andrew Weil, MD, the father of integrative medicine and botanist by training, believes that nature holds many of the answers for leading healthier and richer lives. Using nature as a template, he has developed, along with his colleague and Scientific Advisor, Dr. Tieraona Low Dog and the team at Innate Response, a leading line of professional nutritional supplements, a seasonal approach for maintaining health and wellness.
"Just as our dietary choices should be influenced by seasonal changes - more fruit in summer, for example, and more root vegetables in winter - so should our choices of dietary supplements and natural remedies," said Dr. Weil. "Our unique Seasonal Therapeutics program makes it easy, providing patients with formulations tailored to the particular needs of their body in each season of the year."
Dr. Andrew Weil's Seasonal Therapeutics is the first program of its kind in the integrative health care industry, blending cutting edge science and integrative medicine together with the change of the seasons. "Seasonal Therapeutics" focuses on achieving emotional wellness through lifestyle, behavioral and dietary changes based on an array of holistic and modern therapies and the time of year.
"We feel that there is a missing piece in health care, that it's not just about what dietary changes or nutritional supplements to recommend, but also when to recommend them," says newly appointed Director of Product Development of Innate Response Formulas, Dr. Adam Killpartrick. "We are incredibly passionate about education and thrilled to be able to work with Dr. Weil and Dr. Low Dog to share this powerful message. Our aim is to empower practitioners with outstanding programs and products so they can better serve their patients and change lives."
iBioSeminars and iBioMagazine: Free, Online Biology Seminars and Short Talks by Leading Scientists
San Francisco, California
Learn biology from a Nobel Laureate. Find out how major discoveries were made. Watch as scientists discuss career options, science policy, education, and research in other countries. The iBioSeminars and iBioMagazine video series offer all of these possibilities online, on-demand, and for free.
iBioSeminars (http://www.ibioseminars.org) is a collection of over 75 biology seminars given by the world's leading researchers. The seminars range in topics from chemical and molecular biology to ecology and evolution. The lectures are typically 90 minutes and are divided into several, stand-alone parts. The first part of the talk is an extended introduction to the field and is suitable for students and non-experts, while the other parts are more detailed research lectures. Currently the speaker list includes 5 Nobel Laureates and 42 National Academy of Sciences members.
While iBioSeminars are full-length seminars, iBioMagazine (http://www.ibiomagazine.org) presents ~10 minute talks that go behind the science. iBioMagazine videos feature topics as diverse as science policy, careers, education, advice, science and society, how major scientific discoveries were made, and a series on "how I became a scientist." iBioMagazine is released in quarterly issues, each consisting of 10 talks. Currently, there are 6 issues available and these include talks by 8 Nobel Laureates and 24 National Academy of Sciences members.
SAE International Offers Book on Vehicle Noise, Vibration and Sound Quality
SAE International offers a book that gives readers a working knowledge of vehicle vibration, noise and sound quality. The knowledge it imparts can be applied to analyze real-world problems and devise solutions that reduce vibration, control noise, and improve sound quality in all vehicles - ground, aerospace, rail, and marine.
The book, "Vehicle Noise, Vibration, and Sound Quality" also describes and illustrates fundamental principles, analytical formulations, design approaches, and testing techniques. Whole vehicle systems are discussed, as are individual components. The latest measurement and computation tools are presented to help readers with vehicle noise, vibration, and sound quality issues.
The book opens with a presentation of the fundamentals of vibrations and basic acoustic concepts, as well as how to analyze, test, and control noise and vibrations. The next two chapters delve into noise and vibrations that emanate from powertrains, bodies, and chassis. The book finishes with an in-depth discussion on evaluating noise, vibration, and sound quality, giving readers a solid grounding in the fundamentals of the subject, as well as information they can apply to situations in their day-to-day work.
Data Revolution for Wikipedia in Wikidata
The German chapter of the international Wikimedia movement, Wikimedia Deutschland, is starting the development of a new Wikimedia project, called Wikidata. Wikidata will provide a collaboratively edited database of the world's knowledge. Its first goal is to support the more than 280 language editions of Wikipedia with one common source of structured data that can be used in all articles of the free encyclopedia. For example, with Wikidata the birth date of a person of public interest can be used in all Wikipedias and only needs to be maintained in one place. Moreover, like all of Wikidata's information, the birth date will also be freely usable outside of Wikipedia.
The common-source principle behind Wikidata is expected to lead to a higher consistency and quality within Wikipedia articles, as well as increased availability of information in the smaller language editions. At the same time, Wikidata will decrease the maintenance effort for the tens of thousands of volunteers working on Wikipedia. The CEO of Wikimedia Deutschland, Pavel Richter, points out the pioneering spirit of Wikidata: "It is ground-breaking. Wikidata is the largest technical project ever undertaken by one of the 40 international Wikimedia chapters. Wikimedia Deutschland is thrilled and dedicated to improving data management of the world's largest encyclopedia significantly with this project."
Besides the Wikimedia projects, the data is expected to be beneficial for numerous external applications, especially for annotating and connecting data in the sciences, in e-Government, and for applications using data in very different ways. The data will be published under a free Creative Commons license.
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