Results released this week from a Loyola University Chicago study suggest that vitamin D supplements can help decrease pain in women suffering from type-2 diabetes and depression. Mary Byrn, assistant professor of nursing at Saint Mary’s, was a member of the study’s original research team and said she has been involved in research since graduate school. “I got involved in that study as a graduate research assistant,” Byrn said. “My area of work is [obstetrics] – labor and delivery – so since it’s women, it fit into my area.” Byrn said the study was originally looking at the impact of vitamin D supplements on moods. The subjects, women with type-2 diabetes and depression whose blood showed vitamin D deficiencies, were examined twice over the six-month supplement intake period, she said. Todd Doyle, a chemical psychology fellow at Loyola, conducted the analysis of the data Byrn and her colleagues gathered, she said. “In the original study we were really focused on depression, weight and blood pressure,” she said. “We found that the vitamin D for women with type-2 diabetes improved mood, improved depression, improved weight and also decreased pain.” Byrn said vitamin supplements could have a huge impact on daily health. She said the results of this study could significantly improve the lives of women currently suffering from the symptoms of type-2 diabetes. “People seem more willing to take a vitamin than a medication, so I think if we can find this to be an effective treatment, people will be more likely to stick to that treatment,” she said. Loyola researcher Sue Penckofer has been given a $1.49 million grant to conduct further studies into the effects of vitamin D. According to a Loyola press release, the vitamin D supplements in the study were provided in doses of 50,000 International Units (IU) per week, which averages out to about 7,000 IU per day. Compared to the normal recommendation of 600 IU a day, Byrn said this is a significant increase. “We work with an endocrinologist and a cardiologist and [50,000 IU is] something they’ll use with their patients when their patients come in with insufficient vitamin D levels,” she said. “They’ll use this 50,000 to get them up into normal levels.” Since the study will only involve women who meet the requirements, which includes having a demonstrable vitamin D deficiency, Byrn said there is little risk of incurring the negative side affects of too-high levels of vitamin D. She said Penckofer’s new study would examine the impact of different amounts of supplementary vitamin D, to validate and further the results from the previous study. “The new study is going to be randomized, so half of the people will get 50,000 IU [of vitamin D] and half of the people will get a normal vitamin D dose [of 4,200 IU],” Byrn said. “Hopefully, since there will be two groups, we’ll be able to see if it’s really the high-dose vitamin D that’s contributing to these results.” Although these studies have included only a small subset of the population, she said she believes the results may end up being applicable to people across the board. “With the next study, we’ll have more validated findings,” Byrns said. “Then our conclusions of the effects of vitamin D will be stronger, and then we will hopefully be able to get general practice physicians to start checking people’s vitamin D levels when they come in for their regular check up.” She said she sees the results of this study as providing a cost-effective treatment for a healthier population. Contact Tabitha Ricketts at [email protected]
Attorney General William H Sorrell announced today that Vermont has joined with other states and the federal government and reached an agreement in principle with AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, to settle allegations it engaged in an off-label marketing campaign that improperly promoted the antipsychotic drug, Seroquel. AstraZeneca will pay the states and the federal government a total of $520 million in damages and penalties to compensate Medicaid and various federal healthcare programs for harm suffered as a result of this conduct. Vermont s federal and state share of the settlement is approximately a half million dollars.Since Vermont s Medicaid program is paid with both state and federal dollars, the Medicaid program will receive a check for approximately $200,000 after the federal share is deducted. Attorney General William Sorrell hailed the settlement as “a significant victory for Vermont and its consumers.” The improper marketing practices in this case were particularly egregious given the fact that the unapproved uses of these powerful medications were often targeted at our most vulnerable citizens.Seroquel is one of a newer generation of antipsychotic medications (called atypical antipsychotics) used to treat certain psychological disorders. From January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2006, AstraZeneca promoted the sale and use of Seroquel for certain uses that the Food and Drug Administration had not approved. The settlement resolves a government investigation into promotional activities undertaken by AstraZeneca that were directed not only to psychiatrists but also to primary care physicians and other health care professionals for unapproved uses in the treatment of medical conditions such as aggression, Alzheimer s disorder, anger management, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dementia and sleeplessness.In implementing its marketing campaign, AstraZeneca was also alleged to have made illegal payments to physicians, paying their way to travel to resort locations to advise AstraZeneca about marketing messages for unapproved uses, to serve as authors of articles written by AstraZeneca and its agents, and to conduct studies for unapproved uses of Seroquel. The settlement resolves claims that, as a result of these promotional activities, AstraZeneca caused physicians to prescribe Seroquel for children, adolescents and dementia patients in long term care facilities, which are uses that were not medically accepted indications for which state Medicaid programs would approve reimbursement.As part of the settlement, AstraZeneca will enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, which will closely monitor the company s future marketing and sales practices.This settlement is based on qui tam cases that were filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by relators private parties who filed actions under state and federal false claims statutes.A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team participated in the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with AstraZeneca on behalf of the settling states. Team members included representatives from New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, Texas and California.Source: Vermont AG. 5.5.2010
continue reading » Yes, ladies and gents, it’s another installment of Words Mean Things! On today’s show, we’ll be talking about the differences between charismatic leaders and transformational leaders, because let me assure you — they’re different. The two terms — charismatic leadership and transformational leadership — are used interchangeably an awful lot, and there are certainly some similarities and overlap; but again, there are some differences.Charismatic LeadershipThe basic idea with charisma is that it’s attributed to leaders by followers who perceive those leaders to posses qualities or traits that are exceptional or extraordinary in some way. Perhaps they’re visionaries or something. Whatever it is, people are drawn to it. Those leaders are…well…charismatic.There are three or four theories on charisma and how it works, but the short version is this. They usually do some combination of the following:Appeal to a big vision or ideaUse really strong and/or expressive forms and methods of communicating that vision or ideaTake risks to make progress toward that idea 20SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
Oct 28, 2009WHO experts tackle H1N1 vaccine questionsThe World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) immunization experts today discussed issues related to the H1N1 vaccine, according to its agenda. The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) was asked if epidemiologic or vaccine-availability issues would alter SAGE’s recommendations, how many doses per person are needed, if seasonal and pandemic doses can be co-administered, and if obesity is a risk factor. A WHO spokesman said results of the meeting may be available tomorrow.http://www.who.int/entity/immunization/sage/DRAFT_AGENDA_Oct_SAGE_meeting_9_Oct.pdfOct 27-29 WHO SAGE agendaVaccine production reaches 23.2 million dosesThe cumulative total of H1N1 vaccine doses available reached 23.2 million today, up about 800,000 from yesterday’s 22.4 million, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said at a press conference today. She said about 9 million doses were added to the total in the past week. All 50 states have ordered supplies of vaccine, she reported.http://www.flu.gov/live/?date=102809Oct 28 HHS press conference recordingLack of prioritization cited for LA vaccine shortageIn the early stages of Los Angeles County’s free H1N1 vaccination clinics, overwhelmed staff members vaccinated many people who were not in the vaccination priority groups, the Los Angeles Times reported today. As of yesterday, the county had only enough doses to last through Nov 4 instead of the planned Nov 8, said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, public health director. He said officials didn’t want to turn away people who had traveled and stood in line to get vaccinated.http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-me-swine-flu28-2009oct28,0,3322926.storyOct 28 Los Angeles Times reportFormer FDA official says policy has slowed vaccineOverly cautious policy decisions by the US government are partly to blame for shortages of the pandemic H1N1 vaccine, according to a former Food and Drug Administration official who wrote an editorial for the Wall Street Journal. Scott Gottlieb, MD, said the use of adjuvants could have stretched supplies. He said a focus on single-dose vials has slowed vaccine delivery, as has reliance on outdated egg-based production.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704335904574497324151841690.htmlOct 27 Wall Street Journal articleOman launches H1N1 vaccine campaignHealth authorities in Oman said yesterday that they have started the country’s pandemic H1N1 vaccine campaign after receiving the first 100,000 doses of its 2.6 million dose order, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. For now, priority groups include older people, pregnant women, health workers, and Mecca pilgrims. The vaccine is free for all citizens. To address concerns about vaccine safety, media outlets showed senior officials receiving flu shots.http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?col=§ion=middleeast&xfile=data/middleeast/2009/October/middleeast_October743.xmlOct 27 AFP storyIceland finds pandemic virus in pigsVeterinary officials in Iceland confirmed the pandemic H1N1 virus in a pig herd after 10 of the animals started showing symptoms such as poor appetite, fever, and coughing, according to a report yesterday to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Investigators are exploring the possibility that humans spread the virus to the pigs; two workers had flulike symptoms before the pigs got sick. The 4,500-pig farm is under quarantine.http://www.oie.int/wahis/reports/en_imm_0000008594_20091027_152635.pdfOct 27 OIE reportGender-based vaccine doses suggested to boost supplyTwo commentators writing in the New York Times say that using lower doses of flu vaccine in women could improve the vaccine supply without sacrificing protection. Sarah L. Klein, a Johns Hopkins immunologist, and Phyllis Greenbrier, president of the Society for Women’s Health Research, point to studies in which women had a significantly stronger immune response to flu vaccines than men did. They say that besides stretching the supply, the step would reduce side effects for women.http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/opinion/28klein.html?_r=1&ref=opinionOct 28 New York Times commentarySen Collins asks HHS to explain vaccine delaysSen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) wrote a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius yesterday asking why there are fewer pandemic H1N1 vaccine doses than officials originally projected. Her letter appeared on the Web site of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. Collins said shortages are alarming because not all high-risk groups can be vaccinated and the vaccine could arrive too late to prevent infections in many Americans. She asked the HHS to share its latest projections.http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineNews/tabid/181/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3483/ItemId/9533/Default.aspxOct 27 letter from Collins to Sebelius
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThere ought to be a law that prohibits naming public spaces after living politicians. Those spaces belong to all of us — not just to the political party that happens to be in power at that particular time. Turning public spaces into advertisements for a political brand is reprehensible and undemocratic.For a case in point, consider the actions of the all-Democrat Niskayuna Town Board after Democrat Supervisor Joe Landry, a 10-year incumbent, was booted out of office last November by Republican Yasmine Syed, a political newcomer. She left him in the dust more than 500 votes behind. Yet, the Town Board’s reaction was to vote to rename the town’s ball fields after him. What a travesty. That land is community property — not Democrat (or Republican) property.Syed swamped Landry by an official tally (provided by the Schenectady County Board of Elections — a very helpful outfit) of 3,774 to 3,021. These results are even more impressive when you consider the fact that registered Democrats in Niskayuna outnumber registered Republicans by 6,287 to 4,044.The fact that Landry’s two running mates on the Democratic ticket won re-election to the Niskayuna Town Board makes it clear that voter dissatisfaction was aimed directly at him. So the vote was not against a particular party. It was a vote against a particular person (and for a strong opponent). To then affix his name to a public space defies logic and fair play.Peter Van AveryNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Niskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?