Thursday, 28 April 2011

Macular Degeneration 2000 dollars vs 50 dollars a treatment: Same Results

Bevacizumab versus Ranibizumab — The Verdict
Philip J. Rosenfeld, M.D., Ph.D.
April 28, 2011 (10.1056/NEJMe1103334)
For 5 years, patients and clinicians have wrestled with the choice between two drugs for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common cause of irreversible blindness among the elderly worldwide. Vision loss results from the abnormal growth and leakage of blood vessels in the macula, a specialized portion of the retina responsible for the best visual acuity. Without this macular vision, patients become legally blind. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the cytokine primarily responsible for blood-vessel growth, is inhibited when anti-VEGF drugs are injected repeatedly into the eye, and blindness is prevented in most patients. The majority of treated patients go on to have some improvement in vision.
A well planned study comparing the effects of these two drugs : Bevacizumab vs Ranizumab (50 dollars per month vs 2000 dollars per month for one injection into the eye) showed that the produce the same results.
This is not the first time that expensive medications have proved not to do what they were advertised to do.
In the field of Diabetes: no drug has been, in practical terms, shown to be superior to the old fashioned METFORMIN.. all the new drugs sometimes ten times more expensive, are no better than METFORMIN and Change in the Quality of LIFE

All that Glitters is not God has never been so true... in the introduction of newer medications for chronic diseases.
Dont be the first to use a new medication, and at the same time dont be the last one either, said a professor of mine at University of Miami.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Atherosclerosis An Old Disease

Egypt mummy recorded with world's oldest case of clogged arteries: study

Photo shows Egypt's antiquities chief Dr Zahi Hawass (2nd R) as he supervises the removal of the mummy of Pharaoh Tutankhamun from his stone sarcophagus in his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt. The world's first known case of clogged arteries has been found in the mummy of an Egyptian princessPicture: EPA

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

THE first known case of clogged arteries, or atherosclerosis, has been found in the mummy of an Egyptian princess, said a study presented on Sunday at a major US cardiology conference.

Researchers have long known that ancient Egyptians suffered from plaque build-up in the arteries that supply the heart, but the latest finding suggests that the syndrome may be more prevalent, and mysterious, than previously thought.

"Commonly, we think of coronary artery or heart disease as a consequence of modern lifestyles, mainly because it has increased in developing countries as they become more westernised," said Gregory Thomas of the University of California, Irvine.

"These data point to a missing link in our understanding of heart disease, and we may not be so different from our ancestors," he said.

Researchers performed computerised tomography (CT) scans on 52 Egyptian mummies to determine whether they had atherosclerosis.

Of the 44 that had detectable arteries or hearts, 45 per cent of them had calcium build-ups in their vessel walls.

The oldest among them was an Egyptian princess who likely lived between 1580 and 1550 BC, and probably died when she was in her early 40s, researchers believe.

Even though ancient Egyptians ate a leaner diet, including less meat, and did not smoke cigarettes, they ended up with the same disease as modern humans.

But that does not mean people should disregard modern research, said co-author of the study Adel Allam of Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

"Recent studies have shown that by not smoking, having a lower blood pressure and a lower cholesterol level, calcification of our arteries is delayed," said Allam.

"On the other hand, from what we can tell from this study, humans are predisposed to atherosclerosis, so it behooves us to take the proper measures necessary to delay it as long as we can.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Sleep vs Switch off your laptop..Conserve Battery..

some good piece of advice here...not from me but a maven on computers... gracias..

Q: Does putting my computer to sleep help extend the battery life? What else can I do to save energy and make my new computer last?

A: We’ve all heard stories about what's best for a computer’s battery. That’s why I was excited to make friends with Fred Peters, president of Huntington Beach IT Services.

In addition to teaching computing courses in Orange County, Calif., Peters happily makes house calls to revive frazzled computers and the people who rely on them.

Here are his expert tips on how to keep your new laptop running smoothly.

Sleep mode vs. shutting down

Peters notes that your work process will determine whether it’s more efficient to use “Sleep” mode or simply shut down the computer. “It is never fun to have to consistently wait any amount of time if the shut downs are too frequent,” he says. "‘Sleep’ requires more power, but it boots up faster, while ‘Hibernate’ uses less power, but takes longer to come online.” That same logic applies to shutting off your computer completely.

“Your computer will become obsolete before you wear out your computer by turning it on and off a lot,” he adds. “It also doesn't take more energy to start a computer than to keep it running.”

Sleep mode requires a constant, though reduced use of power (0-6 watts). Peters also notes that colorful screensavers do nothing to conserve energy. Accessing your computer remotely with the Wake on LAN feature also can drain the power.

To get the most for your money, Peters advises adjusting power settings so that it automatically goes into Sleep/Standby mode after about 15 minutes of inactivity, and then shut it down at the end of your day.

Bionic battery life

To get the most out of your computer battery, Peters says to you have to give it a workout. Don’t keep your machine plugged in to an outlet. Instead, discharge the battery daily.

Size does matter

By purchasing a laptop, Peters says that you are ahead in the energy-saving game. Laptops use about 15-60 watts, while desktops use 65-250 watts — plus another 15-80 watts for a monitor.

He also adds that you can further conserve energy by using an LCD monitor and ditching the high-end video card unless it’s absolutely necessary. Also, turn off printers and other peripherals when they are not in use.

To kill “vampire power,” suggests purchasing a power strip. With all peripherals connected to one source, it’s easy to simply flip the switch on power hogs any time.

Establish a backup process

In addition to Peters’ great advice about conserving energy, I discovered the hard way that it also pays to save backup versions of your work. Invest in an external hard drive to hold your digital music library, special photos, and other key documents. Frequent backups ensure that your data doesn’t die with your laptop.

While you are in the process of backing things up, create an emergency file (on good old-fashioned paper) that contains your computer’s serial number along with other key data such as your credit card numbers and phone numbers to reach each company, along with contact info to your insurance company. Access to that information is vital, particularly in the event of an accident, fire, computer theft, or other catastrophe.

Peters warns that those key pieces of information are not safe on your computer. If you are like me and absolutely need a digital holding space for those nuggets of information, he suggests sites like LastPass as your online vault.