Hot Topics & Readers’ Notes – 10-17-12

Beta-Blocker Drugs Don’t Deliver as Suggested

According to a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, beta-blocker drugs don’t provide many of the cardiovascular benefits for which they are so popularly prescribed. Beta-blockers block adrenaline to slow and weaken the force of the heartbeat and/or relax the blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. Their use is not associated with a lower risk of a composite of cardiovascular events, including cardiovascular death, nonfatal heart attack or nonfatal stroke. A caution, however: Abruptly stopping a beta blocker drug can increase risk of a heart attack or other heart problems.


Curcumin – Study Adds to Immune Support Rep

As announced to the press Oct 12, a research team at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich led by Dr. Beatrice Bachmeier “has been studying the mode of action of a natural product that inhibits the formation of metastases. The compound is found in turmeric, a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and is a major ingredient of curry.”  Their finding, based on a previous breast cancer study and the current prostate cancer trial, are that, “due to the action of curcumin, the tumor cells synthesize smaller amounts of cytokines that promote metastasis.” See full report here.


Lipkin’s ME/CFS Specimens Available for Research

Virus hunter Ian Lipkin, leader of the recently completed XMRV virus study, has announced the availability to other research projects of de-identified specimens from validated ME/CFS cases and well matched controls. See the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Notice of Availability NOT-AI-13-005 for details.


Average Medicare Advantage Overspending $368 per Year

For Medicare participants, choosing a prescription drug plan is confusing and often leads to seniors picking plans that cost them hundreds of dollars more a year than they need to spend for the same drugs (the average overpayment is $368 a year), a new study finds. See “Many Seniors Overpaying for Medicare Drug Plans.” Two suggested solutions are to: 1) let the govt calculate & tell you which three Part D plans in your area best fit your needs, based on your medication history, or 2) use free online help which is offered, for example, by the National Council on Aging or the AARP.


CFIDS Association Announces Two Surveys

The CFIDS Association is announcing two surveys for people with CFIDS (ME/CFS) – to scope out potential interest in two projects they’re working out with partner organizations.

• One for your thoughts on using a cell phone app to track your symptoms

• And one for your thoughts on biobanking of patient biological samples


Majority of European Docs Need FM Education

Fibromyalgia remains largely unknown territory for European physicians. An interview survey led by eminent French rheumatologist Serge Perrot finds that of more than 1,600 physicians in 8 countries found that more than half were at a los when it came to ability to diagnose FM and manage patients. The surveyed physicians included PCPs, but also rheumatologists, neurologists and pain specialists. Notably none of the medications for FM available in the US were licensed in these countries. See “Survey of physician experiences and perceptions about the diagnosis and treatment of fibromyalgia.”


Pick Analgesics Carefully to Protect Hearing

The OTC pain relievers ibuprofen and acetaminophen (not aspirin) present an increased risk of hearing loss among those who take them often for aches and pains, according to the Nurses Health Study II. Earlier research identified the risk for men, and this study – “Analgesic Use and the Risk of Hearing Loss in Women” – found risk of hearing losses increased by up to 24% for regular analgesic users.


Physical Therapists Play Crucial Role in ME/CFS Diagnosis 

Some 9,000 members of the American Physical Therapy Association will have an opportunity on Jan 22 to learn about the important role they can play in flagging patients with possible ME/CFS – and in helping to make sure they’re properly managed.  Several co-authors of the IACFS/ME’s free new ME/CFS Primer for Clinical Practitioners will be featured speakers at the APTA annual conference in San Diego. will review its relevance for physical therapy and rehab professionals. The 42-page Primer is available for download or printing at Your donation welcomed at


Talking with Your Employer About Symptoms

Re: “Talking with Your Employer About IC” 

People with IBS, Interstitial Cystitis (bladder-related symptoms), and other chronic, unpredictable symptoms can appreciate these insights as to whether and how to approach your employer about special considerations or accommodations. The article, featured on the Intersitital Cystitis Association website, suggests “telling your employer” and having some suggestions is one of the most important things you can do to maximize job productivity.


All CFSAC Talks & Testimonies on YouTube

The entire Fall 2012 CFS Advisory Committee meeting is on YouTube in a series of video segments at – including public comments, presentations and discussions.


Flu Shot 2012 – To Do, or Not to Do?

Dr. Charles Lapp, director of the Hunter-Hopkins Center, makes a special point of laying out the pros & cons of flu shots for people with ME/CFS/FM and other chronic illnesses. And what to do if you get the flu. See “Should You Get a Flu Shot?”


Note: This information has not been reviewed by the FDA. It is general information, not intended 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 in collaboration with your professional healthcare team.

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One thought on “Hot Topics & Readers’ Notes – 10-17-12”

  1. IanH says:

    A great list of topics and references. Thank you ProHealth

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