Hepatitis B Vaccine May Be Linked to MS

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Hepatitis B Vaccine May Be Linked to MS
Findings of Threefold Increased Risk Contradict Most Previous Research
By Salynn Boyles
Source: WebMD Medical News 
Reviewed By Brunilda  Nazario, MD
September 13, 2004

Sept. 13, 2004 --The hepatitis B vaccine series has been administered to more than 20 million people in the U.S. and more than 500 million people in the world. It is more than 95% effective in preventing an infection that kills millions annually. However anecdotal evidence has linked the vaccine to an increased risk for multiple sclerosis.

Now a new study in the Sept. 14 issue of the journal Neurology offers the some of the strongest evidence supporting the link.

In the study, researchers report that vaccination with the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine is associated with a threefold increased risk of multiple sclerosis.

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Vitamin May Guard Against Mental Decline Provided
by Harder, Ben
Source: HealthWorld Online
Originally Published:20040828.

The B vitamin niacin may protect people against Alzheimer's disease and other forms of mental decline, new research suggests. Lean meats, legumes, milk, coffee, and tea are some natural sources of niacin, and flour and cereals are fortified with the nutrient. Earlier studies had suggested that several other B vitamins counter dementia (SN: 3/2/02, p. 141).

A severe dietary shortage of niacin, or vitamin B3, can lead to pellagra, a potentially fatal illness marked by rashes, diarrhea, confusion, and psychosis. Now rare, pellagra was epidemic in the southern United States in the early 20th century.

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Vitamin C May Improve Smokers' Blood Circulation
Fri Sep 10, 2004
By Amy Norton
Source: Yahoo News

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A dose of vitamin C may give a quick boost to the poorer-than-average blood circulation seen in healthy young smokers, a Japanese study suggests.

The study of 25 healthy men found that although smokers initially showed poorer results on a test of blood flow to the heart, that changed after they took a large dose -- 2 grams -- of vitamin C.

Shortly after taking the vitamin, the 13 smokers showed blood circulation on par with that of the 12 non-smokers, according to findings published in the American Heart Journal.

However, lest smokers think they can undo heart damage by chasing a cigarette with a vitamin C pill, the researchers say their findings underline the dangers of smoking.

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FDA Resisting Antidepressant Probe-Lawmakers
Sep 9, 2004
By Lisa Richwine
Source: Yahoo News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers on Thursday charged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites) with hindering a congressional probe into whether the agency suppressed a possible link between antidepressant use and suicidal behavior in youth.

Rep. Joe Barton (news, bio, voting record), chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the FDA (news - web sites) has been uncooperative during the committee's seven-month inquiry.

"Unfortunately, over the last several months, the committee has been met mostly with stonewalling, slow-rolling and plain incompetency from the FDA," said Barton, of Texas.

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Cannabis May Have Long-Term Benefit for MS
Sep 10, 8:15
By Patricia Reaney
Source: Yahoo News

EXETER, England (Reuters) - Cannabis-based treatments may have longer-term benefits for multiple sclerosis patients, scientists said on Friday.

The findings of a short, 15-week trial of MS patients published last year were inconclusive because although patients reported relief in muscle stiffness, rigidity and mobility, the findings could not be confirmed by physiotherapists.

But Dr John Zajicek, of the Peninsula Medical School at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth in southwestern England who headed the study, told a conference there seemed to be further benefits for patients who continued treatment for a year.

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Estimated 454,383 people suffered injuries from medical devices
Posted By: News-Medical in Medical Device News
10-Sep-2004

An estimated 454,383 people suffered injuries from medical devices – ranging from wheelchair accidents to careless toothbrushing – in one 12-month period from 1999-2000, say researchers from two federal regulatory agencies.

The devices were responsible for an estimated 58,000 hospitalizations, but the accidents were fatal in less than one in a thousand cases.

“A majority of the total estimate appeared to reflect incidents where an unintentional traumatic injury occurred, with no explicit malfunction or personal misuse of the device,” says Brockton J. Hefflin, M.D., the lead researcher.

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Prostate Cancer Test Is Useless, Warn Scientists
By Robin Yapp
09/12/04
Source: TechNewsWorld

Experts increasingly believe the PSA test leads to needless treatment such as radiotherapy, when men could be monitored and live with the cancer without it ever causing a problem. Researchers studied prostate tissues collected over 20 years, from the time it first became standard to remove prostates in response to high PSA levels to the present.

Thousands of men may have had needless surgery because the test commonly used to diagnose prostate cancer is flawed scientists revealed last week

They warned that the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test was "all but useless" for predicting the risk of the disease becoming serious.

But doctors still use it to test for early signs of cancer, and the discovery of raised levels of the protein PSA can lead to men having radical surgery, sometimes leaving them incontinent or impotent.

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Forced mental screening hits roadblock in House
Rep. Ron Paul seeks to yank program, decries use of drugs on children
September 9, 2004
By Ron Strom
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, plans to offer an amendment in the House of Representatives today that would remove from an appropriations bill a new mandatory mental-health screening program for America's children.

"The American tradition of parents deciding what is best for their children is, yet again, under attack," writes Kent Snyder of the Paul-founded Liberty Committee. "The pharmaceutical industry has convinced President Bush to support mandatory mental-health screening for every child in America, including preschool children, and the industry is now working to convince Congress as well."

As WorldNetDaily reported, the New Freedom Initiative recommends screening not only for children but eventually for every American. The initiative came out of the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, which President Bush established in 2002.

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Older Epilepsy Drugs Have Birth Defect Risk -Study
Tue Sep 7, 2004
Source: Yahoo News

LONDON (Reuters) - Pregnant women suffering from epilepsy need to better informed about the risks of birth defects from treatments used to control their seizures, researchers said on Tuesday.

The risk of serious birth defects such as a small head or stunted growth from anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) is about 2 to 3 percent but a study of pregnancy registers showed it can be much higher with an older treatment.

"These preliminary but very informative results clearly show that not all AEDs are equally safe for the exposed children of pregnant women of childbearing potential," said Diego Wyszynski, of Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

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Pesticides linked to child cancer

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Pesticides linked to child cancer

Pesticides and other pollutants in the environment may contribute to childhood leukaemia, say UK scientists. (Pesticides crossed the placenta)

In laboratory studies the Bristol University team showed pollutants were able to travel across the placenta to the unborn baby.

The scientists presented their findings to a conference held by the Children with Leukaemia charity in London.

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