Better Living Through Well Being
The overuse of antibiotics in human healthcare, veterinarian, and agricultural settings has created a global crisis. With ever-increasing bacterial resistance and a dire shortage of effective antibiotics, many thousands are dying every year, constituting a major public health issue. Without immediate and collaborative action, more infections are going to become impossible to treat. This is an urgent call to awareness and a crusade to action for wiser use of antibiotics in animal and human health.
“The increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria poses a major healthcare threat. In the face of an almost complete absence of new antimicrobial drugs in development, antibiotic resistance (ABR) has become one of the main public health problems of our time.” This is the opening statement of “The WAAAR declaration against antibiotic resistance,” with ten recommendations for action to safeguard the effectiveness of antibiotics and to stabilize the bacterial ecosystem. The World Alliance Against Antibiotic Resistance (WAAAR) is a nonprofit international group of key players of the healthcare sector from 55 different countries. It receives no funding from the pharmaceutical industry and is open to professionals and consumers worldwide.
Few people really grasp the dire scope of this problem. Treatment failures due to multiple drug resistant (MDR) bacteria are no longer limited to hospitals and now occur commonly in the community as well. Use of an antibiotic in a single patient can select for ABR that can spread to other people, animals, and the environment, making an antibacterial used in one patient ineffective in many others. This type of bacterial resistance can evolve rapidly. As bacteria acquire resistance mechanisms, the altered bacterial genetic material coding for resistance mechanisms can be transmitted between bacteria, extending the resistance. Antibiotic resistance is also directly related to the volume of antibiotics used. Increasing amounts of antibiotics used in healthcare and agriculture are being discharged into the environment.
According to WAAAR, safeguarding antibiotics will require a concerted effort by citizens, patients, and prescribers. They have created their declaration document with the primary goal to raise awareness about the urgency and magnitude of the threat and promote an international dialogue. Actions advocated by WAAAR include standardized monitoring of antibiotic use, rapid and appropriate use of diagnostic tests to aid in distinguishing bacterial and nonbacterial etiologies and selection of targeted therapies and duration of treatment, information and awareness campaigns directed at the public on expectations about the rational use of antibiotics, continuous education and training in the curriculum for all healthcare professionals in all settings, and education of farmers.
In order to disseminate its Declaration, WAAAR is seizing the opportunity to have a signed resolution about the program during the Annual General Meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO).
New medical treatments are needed in the fight to prevent and stop the spread of infection from flesh-eating bacteria. Many people lose limbs or even die from this necrotizing fasciitis when it is triggered by bacteria that are resistant to common antibiotics. The bacteria, typically Streptococcus, get under the skin and spread, and the toxins produced by the bacteria and the body’s own immune response eat away tissue. In the current standard of care, doctors flood the body with heavy doses of intravenous antibiotics and cut away dead tissue, but toxins continue to eat away tissue, which requires more surgery and even amputation. The mortality rate from this disease is currently over 20 percent.
Fortunately, a new treatment for this life-threatening disease has been developed that can fight the resistant bacteria that turn scratches into deadly infections. Dr. John Crew, director of the Advanced Wound Care Center at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, California, has developed a ground-breaking treatment described in a recent paper in the medial journal “Wounds.” The basic idea is to neutralize the toxins that eat away flesh by irrigating the wounds of necrotizing fasciitis patients with a substance called hypochlorous acid (HOCI), a natural chemical produced by white blood cells as a first defense against microbial invaders. Lab studies show that hypochlorous acid not only kills bacteria, but it neutralizes the toxins and appears to stop the spread of the dying tissue.
To date, all patients treated with this new irrigation method used in combination with a common vacuum technique called negative pressure wound therapy have been spared their limbs and their lives.
Other articles of interest in this Summer 2014 TMIS eNewsletter:
* Seattle Children’s Hospital discovers a mutation of the CHD8 gene that will enable intervention at three or six months of age -- a real game changer in the treatment of autism.
* Safety tips for the home and on the road to keep your family and friends safe throughout the summer season.
* A new campaign aims to break the silence around an often-neglected area of women’s health -- sex after menopause.
* British Prime Minister David Cameron warns many countries about the increasing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria; says new weapons are needed to fight resistant bacteria and avoid being “cast back into the dark ages of medicine.”
* Tips for skin cancer prevention while in your car.
* National chain begins rollout of shops to dispense legal sales of marijuana.
* Biobalance Integrated Wellness revolutionizes care for veterans with PTSD and TBI using neurofeedback with BrainPaint EEG.
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From the Front Page of TMIS News
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The "World Alliance Against Antibiotic Resistance" (WAAAR) Launches Its Declaration
Antibiotics, which have saved so many human lives, are now in grave danger. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is ever-increasing. It is estimated that this resistance, largely due to the amount of antibiotics used, is now responsible for more than 25,000 deaths in Europe, and 23,000 in the USA every year. Yet the consumption rate of antibiotics is ever-increasing in most countries.
Furthermore, very few new antibiotics have come onto the market in the past few years, and very few are expected to in the near future. This dire shortage of effective antibiotics is therefore a major public health issue.
Urgent action is needed to try to safeguard antibiotics which are currently effective, as well as to try to find new ones. Without immediate and collaborative action, some infections are quickly going to become impossible to treat, and some procedures (transplants, treatment which lowers immunity, major surgery, etc.) will become too risky to undertake. Some nosocomial and urban infections are already linked to multi-resistant bacteria, and thus treatment being unsuccessful.
Headed by Dr Jean Carlet (a former therapist specialising in nosocomial infections and antibiotic resistance), the "World Alliance Against Antibiotic Resistance" (WAAAR) was founded two-and-a-half years ago to raise as much awareness as possible about the urgency and serious risk posed, as well as to co-ordinate European and international dialogue about implementing effective solutions.
The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation Says Current Standard of Care for Flesh-eating Bacteria is "Tragically Inadequate"
The National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation (NNFF) today announced a campaign to raise awareness of the tragic inadequacy of the current standard of care for necrotizing fasciitis, or 'flesh-eating' infection -- and to push for the adoption of new treatments for this deadly condition. "Too many people are losing their lives or their limbs because the current standard of care simply doesn't work," said Jacqueline Roemmele, executive director of the NNFF. "But there is a promising new treatment that doctors can adopt."
NNFF calls on medical associations like the Association for the Advancement of Wound Care and the American Professional Wound Care Association, to review the evidence supporting the use of new approaches to treatment, and then work with the NNFF on guidelines for their members to improve the standard of care. It also asks the federal government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to evaluate new treatments for necrotizing fasciitis and to approve their reimbursement under Medicare and Medicaid. "These steps will help reduce the tremendous toll that necrotizing fasciitis is taking on patients and their families," said Roemmele.
Necrotizing fasciitis can start with just a minor cut or a scrape. What happens is that bacteria, typically Streptococcus, get under the skin and begin to spread. Then, toxins produced by the bacteria and the body's own immune response eat away tissue. Even with aggressive treatment with antibiotics, the mortality rate is as high as 20 percent. Surviving victims usually lose feet, legs, hands, arms or other body parts. The Centers for Disease Control estimates there are hundreds of cases a year in the U.S. But based on reports to the NNFF and on other evidence, many experts believe the incidence is far higher.
In the current standard of care, doctors flood the body with heavy doses of intravenous antibiotics, while cutting away the dead tissue. The problem is that the toxins typically keep eating away tissue, requiring more and more surgery. That's why so many limbs end up being amputated. "We founded the NNFF in 1997 to provide information and support to patients and their families," said Roemmele, herself a victim of the disease. "But it's been heartbreaking and frustrating that the long-time standard of care has been so tragically inadequate. Every single day I get calls and emails from yet another missed or misdiagnosis. A metaphor used often by medical professionals in regard to making a diagnosis is: 'If you hear hoofbeats outside your window; chances are it is a horse and not a zebra.' A deadly case of NF is often dismissed as the zebra, which should not be the case when faced with patients presenting with classic symptoms -- pain out of proportion to the injury, fever, or severe flulike symptoms."
New Research Uncovers Genetic Identifier, Common Physical Traits for Autism; May Allow Clinicians to Determine Risk for Babies Still in Utero
A researcher at Seattle Children's Hospital and Research Institute has found a genetic identifier for autism that includes physical features that may eventually allow clinicians to identify babies who are at risk for autism before they are born. This is the first time a genetic mutation has been linked to autism.
Dr. Raphael Bernier, clinical director of Seattle Children's Autism Center and Associate Professor at the University of Washington, who led the research in collaboration with 13 institutions worldwide, has discovered a mutation of the CHD8 gene that, in addition to significantly increasing a child's risk of developing a specific subtype of autism, also causes several physical traits and symptoms that are unique to children with the same subtype of autism.
The physical traits -- subtle facial features, such as larger heads and prominent foreheads -- are features that, combined with confirmation of a CHD8 gene mutation, could allow clinicians to screen babies still in utero for a higher risk of developing autism, much like clinicians now screen for physical and genetic indicators of disorders like Down's Syndrome.
"This is a big leap forward in our insight into the causes of autism," said Bernier, who led the study published today in the scientific journal Cell. "It's possible we may be able to look at features in utero and determine a higher risk of autism, possibly even early detection."
Early detection is critical in the treatment of autism symptoms, Bernier said. Research studies of behavioral therapies used with younger siblings of kids with autism, who are at higher risk for developing autism themselves, suggest that intervention between three to six months of age can lessen or even prevent symptoms from developing. The goal, Bernier said, is to be able to use these same exercises on babies with a higher risk of autism who have been identified before birth.
Summertime Safety Tips For The Home And On The Road
Los Angeles, California
With the official start of summer many will plan fun activities like outdoor barbeques and road trips with family and friends. Farmers Insurance wants to help keep summer a joyful time of year for America's families by providing a few helpful tips to keep safe.
"Families across the nation will enjoy lots of opportunities to have outdoor fun and occasions to visit family and exciting destinations this summer," said Paul Quinn, assistant vice president for Farmers Insurance. "Whatever their plans, staying safe, whether at home or on the road, will help keep the experiences and memories happy ones."
Here are some tips for keeping safe on the road and for keeping safe at home.
It's Time to Talk about Sex After Menopause, A New Campaign To Free Women From The Silence Around An Often-Neglected Area Of Women's Health
Women, men and health care providers are encouraged to lend their social voices to an often-neglected area of women's health by committing to have a conversation about sex after menopause in the doctor's office, at home or with friends.
"For millions of women in America, sex after menopause is not a pleasurable, fun activity. Common gynecological problems can make it uncomfortable and medical issues can cause it to become downright painful," said Lauren Streicher, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school, The Feinberg School of Medicine and author of the new book, Love Sex Again. "Unfortunately, many women and their doctors are unwilling or afraid to bring these issues up."
It's Time to Talk about Sex After Menopause is sponsored by the Women's Health Foundation in partnership with Shionogi Inc., and will be spread through Thunderclap, a crowd amplification website.
"When it comes to talking about sex after menopause, women and their doctors pull back and are reluctant to have any earnest dialogue about what is really going on," said Missy Lavender, Founder and Executive Director, Women's Health Foundation. "When we compared this silence for women to how men's sexual health is a socially acceptable part of the vernacular today, we realized something needed to be done."
British Prime Minister David Cameron Warns of Growing Crisis of Antibiotic-Resistant
Daly City, California
Dr. John Crew, director of the Advanced Wound Care Center at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, California, today reacted to British Prime Minister David Cameron's warning about the increasing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. "This is indeed a huge and growing problem for all countries," said Dr. Crew. "As the Prime Minister said, without new weapons to fight resistant bacteria, the world could soon be 'cast back into the dark ages of medicine.' A simple scratch would suddenly be deadly."
"But the sliver of good news is that we are creating some important new weapons to fight this problem," Dr. Crew added. "Now we need to make sure these new approaches are more widely used." One of those weapons is a new treatment that Dr. Crew has developed that has proven its effectiveness against deadly necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating disease -- even when the disease is triggered by bacteria resistant to common antibiotics. As Dr. Crew has reported in journals like Wounds, the approach has so far saved the lives and limbs of every patient treated. That's a dramatic improvement from the normal mortality rate of about 20 percent, with surviving victims usually losing feet, legs, hands, arms or other body parts.
Summer Sun Safety: Tips for Skin Cancer Prevention in Your Car
St. Louis, Missouri
Summer is here and when you think about sun exposure, the first thing that comes to mind is the beach or the pool. But millions of Americans receive a large portion of their sun exposure where they don't even realize it -- in their cars.
Many people are unaware the sun's harmful rays can penetrate glass both in cars and buildings. Scientific research shows drivers are especially vulnerable on the left side of their bodies, where they are exposed to harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) rays from side windows in cars, which are typically unprotected. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually.
"Damage from certain kinds of ultraviolet rays is cumulative," says Dr. Luciann Hruza, a dermatologist in St. Louis, Missouri. "These rays, called UVA rays, penetrate deep into the skin and can silently accelerate the aging process, cause wrinkles and even skin cancer." Unlike UVB rays, which create immediate effects like blistering and burns, UVA rays create long-term damage that is not immediately noticeable. "That's why many people don't realize their skin is getting damaged from sitting near windows in cars or even at their desks at work," says Dr. Hruza.
Below are some tips on how you can protect yourself while in your car this summer.
AFAI's Marijuana Holdings Americas Announces Grand Opening Of First "Kaya Shack" Marijuana Store
Alternative Fuels Americas, Inc. (AFAI) has announced that its majority owned subsidiary Marijuana Holdings Americas, Inc. opened the first Kaya Shack on July 3, 2014 and commenced sale of marijuana to licensed medical marijuana cardholders in Portland, Oregon. The first Kaya Shack marijuana dispensary is the beginning of a planned rollout of a national chain. The opening places AFAI as the first US publicly traded company to own a majority interest in a marijuana dispensary conducting legal sales of marijuana in the United States.
"We are very excited to be opening the first Kaya Shack," states CEO Craig Frank. "We believe our brand is unique and inviting, and our staff is well trained to provide a friendly and knowledgeable consumer experience. Our wide selection, sharp appearance, friendly service and highest quality standards will make our MMFs the first choice for medical marijuana patients in Portland, Oregon, and will lay the foundation for a nationally recognized brand."
This grand opening marks the further implementation of the Company's business plan that calls for activity in the legal marijuana sector in select states and coincides with great interest in marijuana companies. The Company has targeted adding an additional 4-6 Kaya Shacks in Oregon and has plans to place Kaya Shacks in other states once pending legislation passes (including its home state of Florida where a referendum on medical marijuana will be on the ballot in November).
Biobalance Integrated Wellness Revolutionizes Care for Veterans Suffering from PTSD and TBI with Neurofeedback Recovery Program
A unique new program designed by a Southeastern Arizona company, Biobalance Integrated Wellness, may revolutionize care for veterans with symptoms of neurological injury such as post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The small business is implementing a new program titled: Trauma Resiliency and Integrated Neurotrainer (TRAIN) combining an established Brain Paint EEG neurofeedback system with peer recovery support Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM) methods.
Tina Buck, PhD, President of Biobalance stated: "Our company plans to recruit & train a workforce of former military trained medics/corpsmen to carry out the services offered. Because these men and women are already respected by military and veterans they are better equipped to process and debrief using TRM skills. Extensive clinical research has demonstrated that neurofeedback is very effective."
Two studies with combat veterans resulted in 100% of subjects no longer meeting criteria for diagnosis of PTSD. A researcher from Harvard Medical School analyzed non-identified data from 699 subjects with PTSD who used BrainPaint software: "Progress in PTSD symptoms was rapid among the population studied. After seven sessions, 84% report improvement in their symptoms, and after twenty sessions, 93% report improvement in their symptoms. As BrainPaint is effective, relatively inexpensive, and with a negligible side-effect profile, it represents an important, innovative intervention."
Alternative Medicine Psychotherapist Launches Groundbreaking Alternative Guide for Mental Health
The year 2014 is poised to bring a sigh of relief to the 450 million people around the world with mental and emotional issues and diagnoses, thanks to Amelia Kemp, Ph.D., LMHC. Dr. Kemp, a licensed psychotherapist, metaphysician and board certified alternative medical practitioner, has released a groundbreaking self-help book, "From Psychotherapy to Sacretherapy - Alternative Holistic Descriptions & Healing Processes for 170 Mental & Emotional Diagnoses Worldwide." The book is the first to offer alternative holistic ways to describe, interpret and treat all 170 mental and emotional diagnoses in an attempt to remove the stigma and pathology associated with mental and emotional issues and restore sufferers' sense of value and worth, while bringing them back into alignment with their inherent wellness.
Dr. Kemp, a psychotherapist for 18 years, believes traditional interventions are "fragmented" and they label people with "disorders" the label itself causing them to feel sick and defective. She boldly breaks the mold, exchanging the stigmatized word "disorder" with "reaction" and prescribes holistic treatments that honor the whole person - mind, body and spirit. Dr. Kemp tells sufferers, "You're not sick, you're sacred." The book addresses mental health through universal spiritual principles that are metaphysical in nature in order to get to the essence of the matter. It offers eight steps to mental and emotional well-being, along with a chapter specifically devoted to healing suicidal thoughts and behaviors since hopelessness is often the result of stigma and reduced self esteem. The book also honors other alternative healing modalities including herbal remedies, which are usually minimized in the American mental health community.
Online Therapy: Healing Your Memories Doesn't Have to Be Painful
Woodbine, New Jersey
Who said that therapy had to be painful? "Heal Your Memories, Change Your Life," a new book, is written with humor, inspirational stories, and exercises that will leave readers feeling free to enjoy their lives and move on to happy and successful futures.
"Are there memories that keep popping into your head?" said author Frank Healy, a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of New Jersey who counsels people with depression and anxiety. He is also a medical miracle who remembers every day of his life since he was six years old. "Maybe you suffer from depression or anxiety because there is a traumatic memory that you can't seem to recover from. Or you may wish that you remember more of a happy memory."
"Heal Your Memories, Change Your Life" takes readers on an adventurous journey through their own memories, and gives them tools to heal from past hurts. The book uses exercises to help readers remember more of the good times, and let go of the pain from past hurts, said Healy, who is known as the "Memory Healer." Readers also will be able to join a memory support group on his website.
New SharpBrains Book Offers Groundbreaking Guidance to Help Consumers Improve Brain Health
Just days after the White House's launch of its new BRAIN Initiative, a new how-to guide is shedding much-needed light on a practical approach to preserving and optimizing brain health and performance at any age, tackling this complex topic with refreshing new guidance and personalized lifestyle and brain training tips.
Featuring a foreword by Misha Pavel, Ph.D., Program Director at the National Science Foundation, the new "The Sharpbrains Guide to Brain Fitness: How to Optimize Brain Health and Performance at Any Age," cuts through the misconceptions, superficial and conflicting media coverage, and aggressive marketing claims with a common sense approach that empowers readers to take control of their own brain health. The book is available today in paperback and e-book in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
"In today's increasingly high-demand, fast-paced world, we all need to process information faster, boost working memory and resilience and delay age-related problems," said Alvaro Fernandez, CEO of SharpBrains and co-author of the guide, who was also named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012. "Instead of waiting for the elusive 'magic pill' for cognitive enhancement or Alzheimer's treatment, we need to pay more attention to lifestyle and research-based brain training tools. This book provides an easy-to-follow guide to understanding and harnessing the natural properties of the brain so that more readers can thrive in the 21st century."
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