From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 04-07-10

New Suspect in Gulf War Syndrome – the “Other Brain”

The Huffington Post ran an article on a new Gulf War Syndrome theory (“New Suspect in Gulf War Syndrome”).  The thinking is, “One of the reasons the Gulf War Syndrome may have been so difficult to understand is that glia – the other brain – has itself been such a mystery until recently.” The way I read it, the damage may be done to glial cells, not the “electric” part of the brain (which is the neurons/nerve fibers). Wikipedia says these glia or “glue cells” are non-nerve cells that surround, support, protect and supply the brain’s neurons.

The Huff Post article says: “An initial exposure to some toxin ‘primes’ the microglia in the brain to make them hyper alert. Then when a second infection, injury, or toxin is experienced, the brain’s immune cells over-react, releasing too much of the chemical signals that cause the ‘sickness response’, and they do not stop releasing the substances after the body heals. In the case of Gulf War veterans, the ‘initial trigger’ could have been a reaction to an immunization, stress, or exposure to low-level toxins.” – R


Collision Sensor for Scooters Can Enhance Mobility

I wanted to put info up because the company that makes my electric scooter has now come out with a “sensor” that can be put on many of their models and is helpful in nursing homes/assisted living/at home. Many nursing homes and assisted living were not allowing scooters/power chairs because of residents running into other residents and hurting them and thus they were restricted to only wheelchairs. Here is an innovation to help and is being accepted in nursing homes/assisted living.

I am not connected with the company in any way, except that I bought my scooter from them ( [The sensor is an attachment that] “detects objects up to 30 inches ahead… and gently slows forward speed bringing driver to gradual stop.” I am always interested in new technology that may help disabled and help with independence for our loved ones that are able to drive a scooter.  – J


Natural Alternative to Statin Drugs?

Q: Can you tell me if red yeast rice could be a natural alternative to statin drugs?

A: See “Red Yeast Rice – Natural Option for Supporting Healthy Cholesterol”  It concludes, “The collective research strongly suggests that supplemental red yeast rice may be considered part of an effective and safe approach to cholesterol management for those seeking an alternative to use of prescription statin drugs.”

Researchers tend to believe there’s a genetic factor involved in differentiating people who tolerate statin drugs well from those who do not. Two recent articles on statin drugs are:

“Statin Drug Appears to Weaken Body’s Immune Defenses”

“Cholesterol Lowering Statin Drugs Cause Muscle Pain, Destroy Muscle in Many Patients”


“What About ME” Video

This is a good short video ( made in the UK.  I think it dramatizes how RIDICULOUS and wrong it is to say ME/CFS is psychological. They point out that people said that about diabetes & MS once too. – K


Curcumin & Colon Cancer

Re: “Curcumin: A Golden Gift of Nature”

See the following study: “Curcumin: a novel nutritionally derived ligand of the vitamin D receptor with implications for colon cancer chemoprevention.” [Explains research indicating that dietary curcumin “facilitates chemoprevention via direct binding to, and activation of, vitamin D receptors” in the small intestine and colon.]  – M


This is Your Brain on the Internet!

Take a look at these (MRI brain scans of middle aged & older people) from UCLA. They compare the brain centers that get triggered (light up) when you’re just reading a book compared with when you’re searching the Net. Yikes! They say this ‘brain exercise’ actually improves brain circuity in older people. – D


Linaclotide for IBS, constipation

Re: “Linaclotide Is Effective for Patients with Chronic Constipation”

Q: Where can one get this? Is it by prescription only?

A: So far linaclotide is an investigational drug – a ‘first-in-class’ compound in phase III evaluation and likely to become a prescription medication. (The drug stimulates a specific receptor in the intestinal lining, causing an increase in fluid within the intestine.) US-based Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and Forest Laboratories are 50-50 partners in Linaclotide’s development and promotion. They have already enlisted international partners for development & commercialization in Europe, Japan, and other Asian countries.

A search of turned up two large current Phase III studies in the US:

• No longer recruiting. A 6-month placebo-controlled Phase III trial involving about 800 patients at 118 locations in the US. Data collection should be completed in July. (

• Still recruiting. A 114-location study aiming to include 1,300 chronic constipation and IBS-with-constipation patients across the US. It is an open label Phase III study (in which every participant knows he/she is taking the drug & the objective is to observe patients taking it for an extended time). For more information, see the listing (


SecondLife Virtual ME/CFS Centre Helps the Isolated Mingle

At this free website ME/CFS patients can chat via their avatars in small or larger discussion groups in lovely settings including a tropical beach. Through your avatar you can also attend special presentations, do guided relaxation, participate in lobbying groups, arrange your own get-togethers and special events, get e-mail notices of events you’re interested in, and more. To take a virtual tour and sign up, go to the ME/CFS Centre in Second Life. – Z


US Ampligen Study Still Recruiting, Reminds Dr. Lapp Newsletter

“Hunter-Hopkins Center is one of two sites in the USA currently participating in an open label study of Ampligen. Persons with CFS may qualify to receive Ampligen therapy. Details are available on the US government Clinical Trials website (ID NCT00215813). The Hunter-Hopkins program is described at If you are interested in joining the Ampligen Study or you have more questions, contact Wendy Fallick (Research Coordinator) or Dr. Black at Hunter-Hopkins.”


Cortisone Can Cause Moodiness

…My husband has Cushings Disease, which is an excess of cortisol. And believe me – cortisone can cause moodiness! The loved ones of people with Cushings fondly call it “roid rage!” Cortisone is a hormone. You know how we feel when we’re premenstrual and our hormones are out of whack? It can be like that!

I have a cyst on my kidney which I am having removed in April. My husband and I think that it is probably impinging on my adrenal gland (a producer of hormones) somewhat because I’ve been incredibly moody! Fine one minute… ready to tear my hair out the next! Can’t wait to get the pesky thing taken out! – H


Cooling Ideas when the Temp Gets Above 70

Gel freezer packs really help.

•  I have several that I put in soft cotton covers and use them all over my body – the pulses above collarbones, back of knees, insides of elbows, feet, etc.

•  Roll one up in a bandanna and wear it around your neck when you have to go out in the heat.

•  Lie down and rest one over your eyes when you come in from the heat.

•  Use them as wrist rests when you’re on the computer. This works well to prevent carpal tunnel fatigue. Also because the veins in your wrists are so close to the surface, this method cools your whole body.

•  Keep gel insoles for your shoes in a bag in the fridge. Slip em into your shoes just before you leave the house, or into light sandals as soon as you get home hot and tired.

•  When you’re out and about, keep a mini ice-chest in your car with you – stocked with iced gelpacs, cool gel insoles for your shoes, and fresh pure water etc. – R

[Note: ProHealth’s store has added some handy items that you can heat when it’s cold and chill when it’s hot – search on “wrap.”]


Secure Free Site for Keeping Medical Records

I like to use Google Health to store and update my health history, records, tests/results, etc. When I had to go to the ER before Christmas, they could get all the important info they needed from my online records fast, including my doctor’s phone #, what meds I’m taking, and my allergies. You can ask doctors, hospitals, labs, and pharmacies to add copies of their records for you to your Google profile. You can also sign up for some nice services like medication price comparisons. – L


If Your Blood Pressure Tends to Be Higher in the Doctor’s Office

Many people who suffer white coat syndrome (even though not afraid of docs, the BP spikes) will take in their daily home measurements to reassure the doc. Doc may want to calibrate your machine (if you do automated not manual) against the office readings.

I often find that in the med office you are hurried through weighing & measuring & taking shoes off & putting them back on & then expected to talk to the nurse while she’s pumping up the BP cuff. I’ve found that insisting on 5 min. of “rest” after the initial stuff & not talking for a minute before & during the reading, does take the numbers down. – S

[Note: See also the article in MEDSURG Nursing, “Need Blood Pressure Checked? You may want to sit down for this news.”

Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and anecdotal and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any illness, condition, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your healthcare plan or health support regimen without researching and discussing it with your professional healthcare team.

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One thought on “From Our Readers – Comments & Suggestions 04-07-10”

  1. AuntTammie says:

    They did not show up on the store site when searching the search bar or on the A-Z search.

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