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Readers’ Letters – Comments & Suggestions 09-03-08

Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials
Re: "Two new experimental Alzheimer's drug trials now recruiting in the U.S. – One in 30 locations and one in 28 locations" [1]
I am currently working on a clinical research trial, conducted by EPIX Pharmaceuticals, for an experimental Alzheimer's disease drug. We are currently in our patient recruitment state… There are two clinical research trials underway evaluating the effectiveness of an investigational medication in the hope that it will improve the memory and other cognitive functions of people with Alzheimer's disease in various cities across the United States.
One is a 6-month trial evaluating PRX-03140 in patients with Alzheimer's disease who are also receiving a stable dose of Aricept® (donepezil).
The other trial is evaluating PRX-03140 in patients with Alzheimer's disease who are not taking medication for the illness. This trial will consists of a 3-month double blind treatment period and an optional 3-month extension period during which all participants will receive either PRX-03140 or Aricept® (donepezil).
Both trials are being sponsored by EPIX Pharmaceuticals. For more information about the trial, including the entry criteria and where the trial centers are located, please visit our Web site at http://www.trialforad.com [2].
The website provides a toll-free number one can call to get more information about the study and to see if they or a loved one is eligible for one of these trials. Also, there is a contact form on the website that can be filled out and submitted. A trial representative will contact those who submit a form, ask additional questions, and further assess their or their loved one's eligibility for one of these trials. – Meredith L. Reuter, MSW

Where to Find a Pain Doctor
I just wanted to post a great site to find a [pain] doctor (it’s http://www.doctorsforpain.com [3]). I found mine here, and yes he does take Medicaid and Medicare, so I’m hoping some others do too. Good luck to you all. – Annie
Note: This listing is broader than most and includes MDs, DOs, DPMs and PhDs specializing in pain management. Following are some additional resources whose databases are more limited and may also be helpful:
American Academy of Pain Medicinehttp://www.association-office.com/aapm/etools/publicdir/search.cfm [4]
American Academy of Pain Managementhttp://www.aapainmanage.org/search/MemberSearch.php [5]
Pain.com Pain Clinic Locatorhttp://www.pain.com/sections/consumers/pain_clinics/ [6]
National Pain Foundationhttp://www.nationalpainfoundation.org/MyProviders/default_search.asp [7]
American Pain Foundation Resource Locatorhttp://www.painfoundation.org/ResourceLocator.asp [8]

Thanks for the Resource
For years, I have considered this to be an excellent resource for both the published research as well as the cutting-edge articles for sake of self-education on how to attain, regain, and maintain a more robust experience of health. Thank you! – D

The Science of Smiling
I would just like to share some thoughts today with everybody whether they are pain free, healthy or sick. Six years it took me to research a book entitled [Pain Management – Learning to Live With Pain [9]] … currently available via Amazon. I wanted to give you one of the excerpts which will lift your day… written by a patient for patients, but studied and amended by two doctors, both specialists in their fields…
Smile More
The physical act of smiling releases endorphins into our brains. The endorphins are nature’s most natural opiates, they make us feel good and can be likened to pleasure producing chemicals, and because the brain cannot tell the difference between a real smile and a false smile, the endorphins are released nonetheless to give a happy feeling in the body.
One American psychologist believed it possible to cure depression simply by teaching patients to smile more. Those who subsequently followed his advice developed papers which were published in medical journals. Suffice it to say, that – using your common sense – and without the complexities of remembering their names, or pages of references, the smiling is good for you physiologically as well as emotionally. Try smiling next time you are feeling low.
Now let’s have the scientific reason for those of you interested in such data:
• Smiling works because the movement of facial muscles involved causes a pattern of constriction and the release of facial blood vessels. This changes the flow of blood to the brain, fractionally altering its temperature, which then triggers the release of the endorphins and suppresses the release of other brain chemicals.
• Smiling uses 13 facial muscles, whereas frowning uses more than 40 muscles, so smiling is an excellent anti-ageing device, as the facial skin of smilers is usually smoother than that of frowners when they are in their middle years. Quite a useful beauty tip.
• Amongst the owners of famous frowns, we have the great writer Patrick White. But do we want to concentrate on frowning or feeling happy? Frowning can indicate disdain, disapproval, and dislike. Smiling does none of those things. Even a forced smile is better than a cultivated frown.
So we go on from humour – to the smile and to this beautiful quotation about the smile itself.
“A smile costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor that he can’t be made rich by it. A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad and it is nature’s best antidote for troubles. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs to smile so much as he who has no more to give.” – Author unknown.
Go on – be happy and smile more, you will find it improves your state of health immensely. – Renee Goossens

New Mitochondrial Damage Research
Re: The abstract on "Medication-induced mitochondrial damage and disease." [10]
I'd be interested to know how one finds out more about specific medications and what damage they do to mitochondrial function. How would I find the complete article that this article is based upon? Does anyone have any other sources of information about medications and mitochondrial damage? Or, even more importantly, how to counteract the damage with supplements. Thanks! Tamsyn
Note: The full journal article that this abstract summarizes can be purchased for $29.95 from the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research [11], July 2008 issue. And sometimes the authors will share an article pdf, or answer questions if you e-mail them (there’s almost always a corresponding author e-mail link in the source info at the end of abstracts we list – as there is for this one).
Because this research is so new, we haven’t been able to find much additional information regarding specific medications that cause mitochondrial damage or specific supplements to counteract the damage. We will share further information with readers as it becomes available.
Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any condition, illness, 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.