• Weird Medical Issues for Seniors with CV Disease

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    No so weird but true – the older we get the more delicate our physiology becomes.

    Our cardiovascular system is no exception…Seniors with cardiovascular disease, especially octogenarians and older, cannot tolerate the rigorous therapies that their younger counterparts do.


    Case in point, think about stents. Classical cardiac and peripheral bare metal stents (BMS) and DES (drug-eluting stents) can cause extensive bleeding and other complications in older seniors left untreated. No organization has reported on this issue more than the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC).


    Healio, Cardiology Today’s Interventional publication (ACC), present reports from two well-known pivotal studies – the SAPPHIRE and CREST clinical trials. These studies of stents used to revascularize carotid arteries collectively lead an expert in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, to make the following conjectures:

    • Mark J. Alberts, MD, wrote that ‘it is unlikely that the symptom status of the vessel, or the skills of the interventionalist, can alone explain the high mortality because most of the deaths occurred well after the periprocedural period…'”
    • Further, “…the most likely explanation is ‘a combination of advanced age and poorly controlled CVD risk factors … [but] we should be open to other possibilities…'”

    To learn more, view this article, “Carotid artery stenting may be risky for older adults,” from this highly regarded blog publication – Healio.

    Thank you to the authors of this article at Healio and Dr. Alberts for your insights.


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  • Weird NPR…Mrs. H’s Family Haunting from the 1920’s

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    I was spellbound…

    Can you imagine?

    …a 4 year old who insists he was called by his lilting mother voice…which she denies

    …ghostly apparitions that sit at the foot of the paralyzed couple’s bed in the dark of the night

    …flying beings screeching and howling throughout the rooms of the stately mansion

    Spooky Pumpkin

    This week on National Public Radio’s “This American Life” Ira Glass and Albert Donnay stretched the imagination…what could be the explanation?

    It will surprise you…think back to the days of Orson Wells when you listen to the podcast.

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  • Weird…WebMD explains Halloween’s Medical and Psychological Oddities

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    Weirder than you can imagine…WebMD tells all about Halloween’s scariest.

    Would you like to know more about the medical and psychological oddities who are the “Top 5” characters of Halloween? And who are those monsters?

    …why they include witches, zombies, ghouls, vampires and werewolves…guess Frankenstein and the Creature from the Black Lagoon are a distant #6 and #7.

    Hm…and it appears that witches are the most savvy of all – Interesting.


    Nicely done WebMD – we’re now forewarned for All Hallows Eve!

    Check out these characters’ case files…


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  • Weird Connections between Halloween and Medicine…Porphyria

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    Halloween – the time for all those weird oddities to come out of the dark, dank woods stirring our imaginations…

    If it were not for Dr. Patrick Nesbitt, a family physician in Vancouver, B.C., this weird oddity may have never posted to this blog again. Dr. Nesbitt delves into the disease, porphyria…the need for blood.


    Porphyria is fascinating with multifacited variants that include a werewolf variant, menstrual and chemically-induced variants, and even biological variants. Vincent Van Gogh and King George III, were afflicted as were many others. One in 400 are afflicted. Hm…could someone you know be a porphyriate?

    Read more if you dare on Dr. Nesbitt’s special Halloween-edition website.

    Thank you, Dr. Nesbitt!

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  • Weird Finding about Alcohol and Arthirtis?

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    Summer is over tonight and no better proof then fall arriving on the rays of a Super Harvest Moon!

    WeirdMedical is back at work…but let’s not think too hard. The article below well help us start out slowly.

    Here’s another finding about alcohol – upon first blush it appears that anecdotal evidence is enough, but read on…

    According to Paul Taylor at The Globe and Mail:

    “The study published this week [week of July 29, 2010] in the journal Rheumatology, marks the first time that the frequency of alcohol consumption has been linked to the severity of this disease.”

    Glasses of Alcohol

    Alcohol tames Arthritis

    Taylor’s article goes onto comment about the benefit moderate alcohol consumption provides to the relief of arthritic inflammation in the joints (not as one would think with the neurological numbing of the senses)…

    “In particular, X-rays showed there was less damage to joints, blood tests showed lower levels of inflammation and there was less joint pain, swelling and disability.”

    Okay, so the research finding isn’t so obvious. Read on and enjoy…

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  • Weird Hormonal Affects on Neonates

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    March 19, 2010 /  Biological Wonders, Weird Babies

    Obstetricians will not find this weird but those in other medical specialties may…

    Mother’s hormonal balance during gestation can have a weird affect on their newborns. An over-production of estrogen can cause neonates, male or female, to present with enlarged breasts.

    MedlinePlus Encyclopedia: Hormonal effects in newborns

    MedlinePlus Encyclopedia: Hormonal effects in newborns

    In fact, these neonates can experience a type of milk production with the white discharge called, “witch’s milk.” This witch’s milk or colostrum is just like mother’s initial fluid before breast milk production is established. For more on this condition, visit the iVillage website.

    But not to worry…this condition usually disappears within 2-3 weeks…a relief for already nervous new mom’s!

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  • Not so Weird for Parents…

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    Ah…soon to be springtime! That marvelous time of year when those lovely little darlings throw their hats and coats into piles in the playground at school…

    …and bring home head lice, followed by traumatic visits to drug stores and at least one weekend shot to heck fumigating their heads, toys, clothes and entire bedrooms!

    (Source WebMD)

    And worse yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the first line of defense is a neurotoxin that is losing its effectiveness. Despite being an FDA approved over-the-counter (OTC) active ingredient, pediculicides containing neurotoxic pesticides are creating a strain of lice that is resistant.

    So if  neurochemistry does not work, how about “biomechanical topical science?” Good old home remedies such as  mayonnaise, olive oil, and petroleum jelly seem to work initially. But lice cannot be asphyxiated easily so they bounce back to life within the next shampooing.

    Clinical research to the rescue! –> In a study published online February 23, 2010 in Pediatric Dermatology, three (3) recent clinical trials studying 700 subjects showed that Benzyl alcohol lotion 5% (BAL 5%), a non-neurotoxic topical treatment successfully kills head lice by suffocating them. According to MedScape Today, “BAL 5% is safe and effective in children as young as 6 months and is the first non-neurotoxic compound to win approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    Downsides? BAL 5% is:

    • Only available by prescription – so you first need to see your pediatrician
    • Non-ovicidal (does not kill nits) – requiring a second treatment 7 days later (plan on tying-up 2 weekends in a row!)
    • Expensive – requiring multiple bottles for longer hair times two applications

    So if your insurance covers it, fret no longer, moms and dads!

    BAL 5% is on its way to a drugstore near you to “head lice off at the pass!

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  • Weird Traditions – Anti-Heart Holidays

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    February 16, 2010 /  More Yummy than Weird, Weird Holidays

    Here’s a heart stopper – bad for you but oh so yummy…

    Today is good ol’ Pennsylvania Dutch Fastnacht Day or Shrove Tuesday. The PA Dutch ladies could sure cook and bake even better! And just less than 2 weeks after Go Red for Women Day, February 5. But these lovely ladies of German decent came long before the American Heart Association,  the American College of Cardiology and our First Ladies of our nation teamed up to make us feel guilty… or worse being scared out of our whits… for being a few pounds over-weight.

    But that’s fine – we Americans can endure. So let’s take February, this month of dichotomies, and throw caution to the wind…let’s eat a fastnacht or three…

    This Fastnachts image was taken from the website – BellaOnline –
    Sandy Moyer, BellaOnline’s Home Cooking Editor.
    …then let’s go for a 10-mile run!

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  • Weird Biochemical Links: Silicon -> Beer -> Bones?

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    Who would have thought that avoiding osteoporosis would be such yummy fun?

    We now have new evidence that beer is more of a health food than originally thought. It’s been discovered that silicon found in commercially produced beer promotes strong bone development.

    Researchers from the Department of Food Science & Technology at the University of California, Davis have proven there is a relationship between commercial beer production methods and producing a final end product rich in silicon essential for greater bone mineral density.

    According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Charles Bamforth, “The factors in brewing that influence silicon levels in beer have not been extensively studied. We have examined a wide range of beer styles for their silicon content and have also studied the impact of raw materials and the brewing process on the quantities of silicon that enter wort and beer.”

    “Beers containing high levels of malted barley and hops are richest in silicon,” Dr. Bamforth concluded.   [See February 2010 issue – Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Society of Chemical Industry.]

    So beer once again is king...and ounce-for-ounce it’s easier on our budgets than wine!

    http://www.sirtified.com/images/product/winestein3.gifpicture courtesy Sirtified’s Blog

    No more wine for our cardiovascular systems…let’s drink a few beers to our skeletal health!

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  • Weird Feelings After Your New Year’s Celebrations?…Avoid ’em!

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    ‘Tis the season for merriment!

    One of the most popular consumables used for bringing in the New Year is alcoholic beverages. As we all know, the effects of alcohol are governed by metabolism and drink composition. However, many of us are more concerned about the morning after a night of heavy drinking than the caloric effect.

    To the rescue!…a toxicology expert and professor, Wayne Jones, of the University of Health Sciences in Linkˆping, Sweden. In this article he details all the pros and cons of drink options. Some of his suggestions may seem a bit weird but a little preplanning can not only help you remember Dec 31, 2009 but enjoy January 1, 2010…

    Source: Daily Mail, UK

    Source: Daily Mail, UK

    So if you plan to imbibe on December 31, try one of professor’s remedies!

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  • Weird…”Back to the Future” Medicine

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    Time to take notes from your great grandma!

    In these troubled times people will find that they are required to be more resourceful with their lives. Home remedies offer an economical option for many ailments. From Netty pots to Epsom salt soaks there are many weird options that can save a trip to the doctor, and may also protect you from MRSA or H1N1. Who wouldn’t want a peppermint oil rub for a headache?

    Here’ are some from the blog “Forgotten Medical Cures” to improve the iron deficiencies in your blood…

    Wish to try:

    — iron nails soaked in water?
    — using iron utensils as well as skillets and pans?
    — even viscous black strap molasses?

    And only for the bold…spinach cooked with ox blood and silver beets…an acquired taste! Read more…

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  • Wet but Weird Drinking Water?

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    August 12, 2009 /  Biological Wonders

    Something’s causing twins in a remote Indian village…

    In Kodinji, a small village in India with about 15,00 people, there are 230 sets of twins. This is four times the the standard rate of twins occurring naturally. It’s no wonder the village has been dubbed “twin village” by locals.

    A local doctor has hypothesized that increased rate of twins could be caused by the water near the village, although no formal studies have been performed.  According to current knowledge, there are no pollutants, toxins or other unnatural chemicals that the villagers interact with.

    Two Twins

    Two Twins from Kodinji Village (Source: Reuters)

    While it remains to be seen what the cause of this is, we do know that just growing up there can sometimes be difficult. Twins can have difficult lives with people often confusing one person with another. And at least one boy, not a twin, feels a little left out in a village that makes twins trendy. (Source: Reuters “Doctors baffled by Indian village of over 200 sets of twins“).

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  • A Spoonful of Licorice Helps the Anesthesia Go Down

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    July 7, 2009 /  Amazing Foods

    In a 40 patient study of patients undergoing spinal operations and split into two groups, researchers found that those in a group who gargled a solution with licorice five minutes prior to receiving anesthesia reported lower rates of sore throat than those in the non-licorice group. Patients were split into two groups of 20 and only four patients in the licorice group had a sore throat due to anesthesia compared to 15 in the non-licorice group. At 24-hours, two licorice-garglers still had a sore throat compared to seven in the non-licorice group. (Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/07/health/research/07regi.html?_r=1&ref=health)

    The soothing properties of licorice make it appealing for coughs and sore throats and it has been used for thousands years – now it is again resurfacing as a useful treatment for new medical problems (Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/licorice-000262.htm).

    Source: http://www.licoricecandytwist.com/

    Source: http://www.licoricecandytwist.com/