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The First Full Facial Transplant

Posted: April 26, 2010 at 8:14 am

OMG, they’ve done it! A full facial transplant, how rad. I mean, I still think it’s kinda weird that that you could be walking around looking like someone totally different (that must be a huge psychological adjustment), but if this all works out, it’s a great step for those who have severe facial deformities/disfigurements. Check out this link for an animated video of the procedure. The video is pretty cool, I wonder if more details will unfold as the patient recovers, must stay tuned.

The man, who is in his thirties but has not been identified, suffered severe disfigurement and lost his nose, jaw, and other parts of his face when he accidentally shot himself in 2005.

Despite previous surgical attempts to restore his appearance, he had severe difficulties breathing, swallowing and speaking and was left with nothing but a hole between his mouth and where his nose should have been.

The young patient originally contacted surgeons after being inspired by the case of Isobel Dinoire, the French woman who received the first partial face transplant in 2005.

[via huffingtonpost & Times online]

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Smokeless tobacco products like snuff also cause cancer

Posted: April 26, 2010 at 8:13 am

A recent study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology is urging tobacco manufacturers to reformulate a smokeless tobacco product called moist snuff. Researchers from Minnesota have found that the product contains high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are highly toxic, cancer-causing substances.

Used in between the lip and gum, moist snuff has grown in popularity over the years due to increased awareness about the dangers of smoking cigarettes. Commonly thought to be a safer alternative to cigarettes, moist snuff is turning out to have its own slew of dangers. The PAHs found in moist snuff can lead to various cancers including oral (, pancreatic (, and esophageal ( Precancerous oral lesions are typically the first symptoms to appear.

Twenty-three moist snuff products, including samples from the most popular brands, were examined by Irina Stepanov and her team from the University of Minnesota. As many as 28 different PAHs were discovered in the samples, nine of which are known carcinogens. These included naphthalene and chrysene. Read more...

Ayurstate for Prostate Care

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

FDA: High-dose simvastatin increases risk of muscle injury – caution with lower doses plus Amiodarone, Verapamil, Diltiazem

Posted: April 26, 2010 at 3:57 am

Based on review of data from a large clinical trial and data from other sources, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is informing the public about an increased risk of muscle injury in patients taking the highest approved dose of the cholesterol-lowering medication, Zocor (simvastatin) 80 mg, compared to patients taking lower doses of simvastatin and possibly other drugs in the "statin" class.

The muscle injury, also called myopathy, is a known side effect with all statin medications. The most serious form of myopathy is called rhabdomyolysis. Patients with myopathy generally have muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, and an elevation of a muscle enzyme in the blood (creatine kinase). The higher the dose of statin used, the greater the risk of developing myopathy. The risk of myopathy is also increased when simvastatin, especially at the higher doses, is used with certain drugs (see Simvastatin Dose Limitations below).

The data come from the SEARCH study, in which myopathy was seen in nearly 1% of patients taking the 80 milligram dose of Zocor but in only 0.02% of patients taking the 20 milligram dose of Zocor.

Rhabdomyolysis was rare in the SEARCH study. It happened in only 11 of 6,031 patients (0.02%) in group taking the 80 milligram dose of Zocor, but was not seen in patients taking the 20 milligram dose.

New data also suggest that people of Chinese descent should not take Zocor at the 80 milligram dose -- and should be careful even when taking lower doses -- if they also take niacin-containing products.

Simvastatin Dose Limitations

These limitations apply to ALL patients taking simvastatin.

Do not use simvastatin with these medications:

HIV protease inhibitors

Do not use more than 10mg of simvastatin with these medications:


Do not use more than 20mg of simvastatin with these medications:


Do not use more than 40mg of simvastatin with this medication:



Image source: Simvastatin. Wikipedia, public domain.

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow on Twitter, Buzz, and connect on Facebook.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Occupation may be a key factor in lung cancer

Posted: April 25, 2010 at 8:15 am

While cigarettes are by far the most important cause of lung cancer, chemicals and other on-the-job hazards "play a remarkable role" in lung cancer risk.

5% of lung cancers in men are job-related. Men in the known to be risky occupations were 74% more likely to have been diagnosed with lung cancer.

The strongest associations were seen for ceramic and pottery jobs and brick manufacturing, as well as for those working in manufacturing of non-iron metals.

A CXR shows a right upper lobe (RUL) mass due to lung cancer. Source: Finger Clubbing due to Lung Cancer. Clinical Cases and Images.


Occupation a key factor in men's lung cancer risk. Reuters, 2010.

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow on Twitter, Buzz, and connect on Facebook.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Exercise and Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted: April 25, 2010 at 8:14 am

More evidence for the benefits of exercise: “Researchers from the University of Washington conducted a six-month clinical trial with 33 participants, 17 of whom were women. All showed early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and were between the ages of 55 and 85. The experiment participants underwent a six-month intensive aerobic training program, spending 45 minutes to an hour four times each week on a stationary bicycle or treadmill. At the end of the six months, the participants saw improvement in mental agility, while the control group showed no improvement. Researchers are planning further studies to conduct larger and longer duration trials, following volunteers for years instead of months, for more conclusive data as to whether exercise can prevent full-blown cases of Alzheimer’s. … Other similar studies have been conducted, where researchers have measured the health benefits of resistance training for women between the ages of 65 and 75 who are most at risk for developing Alzheimer’s. In one study, after one year of training, women who had completed the training showed better scores on mental acuity and conflict resolution tests than those who didn’t.”

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Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Politics and Historical Aspirations to Engineered Longevity

Posted: April 25, 2010 at 8:14 am

Possibly an example of overthinking the issue at the JET, but the section on Finot illustrates that our era does not enjoy a monopoly on rational thinking about extending the healthy human life span: “The beginning of the modern period in the pursuit of radical human enhancement and longevity can be traced to fin-de-siecle/early twentieth-century scientific and technological optimism and therapeutic activism. The works of several authors of the period – Fedorov, Stephens, Bogdanov, Nietzsche and Finot – reveal conflicting ideological and social pathways toward the goals of human enhancement and life extension. Each author represents a particular existing social order, and his vision of human advancement may be seen as a continuation and extension of that order. Therefore, the pursuit of life extension may be considered a fundamentally conservative (or conservationist) enterprise. … First, these adaptations may question the claims of a particular ideology for supremacy in the promotion of life-extension and life-enhancement. The claims that atheism, capitalism or hedonism are more conducive to the pursuit of longevity, can be countered by historical examples where religion, socialism or asceticism were the foundations. No ideological system seems to have a monopoly, however strongly it asserts that it constitutes the rock-solid ground for this pursuit. It may be that, rather than providing such a foundation, political ideologies enlist the hope for life extension to increase their appeal.”

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Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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