Sunday, February 28, 2010

Effects of homeopathy in mice experimentally infected with Trypanosoma cruzi

Luciana Rodrigues de Almeida1, , , Mônica Caroline de Oliveira Campos2, Heitor Miraglia Herrera2, Leoni Villano Bonamin3 and Adivaldo Henrique da Fonseca1
1Department of Animal Parasitology, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Department of Protozoology, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, RJ, Brazil
3Pathology Laboratory, Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, UNIP, SP, Brazil
Received 23 January 2007; revised 18 February 2008; accepted 18 February 2008. Available online 24 April 2008.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the action of homeopathic treatment on mice experimentally infected with Trypanosoma cruzi.
Eighty adult male C57BL/6 inbred mice were randomly allocated to five groups treated with biotherapy (nosode) of T. cruzi 12dH (12×) pre- and post-infection; Phosphorus 12dH post-infection; infected control treated with control solution and uninfected control. The biotherapy was prepared by the Costa method from the blood of mice experimentally infected with the Y strain of T. cruzi. Phosphorus was used because of its clinical and reportorial similarity to Chagas disease. T. cruzi (104) sanguineous forms were inoculated intraperitoneally per animal. Parasitaemia was monitored, leukocyte and serological responses were evaluated at 0, 7, 14 and 42 days after infection. The prepatent and patent periods of parasitaemia, maximum of parasitaemia, day of maximum parasitaemia and mortality rates were compared between groups.
A significantly shorter period of patent parasitaemia was observed in the group treated with the biotherapy before infection (p < 0.05) than in the other groups. This group also had the lowest parasitaemias values at 9, 13, 15 (p < 0.05), 17 (p < 0.05), 22, 24 and 28 days, a lower rate of mortality and a significant increase of lymphocytes compared to the infected control group. The Phosphorus group had the longest period of patent parasitaemia, higher maximum parasitaemia, and a significant reduction of lymphocyte numbers, but no mortality. The infected control group had the highest mortality rate (not statistically significant), and the highest IgG titres at 42 days post-infection (p < 0.05).
The results suggest that pre-treatment with biotherapy modulates host immune response to T. cruzi, mainly during the acute phase of the infection. Phosphorus shows an action on the pathogenicity by T. cruzi infection. Homeopathic treatment of T. cruzi infection should be further investigated.
Keywords: Chagas disease; Trypanosoma cruzi; Mice; Homeopathy; Biotherapy; Nosode; Phosphorus

Monday, February 22, 2010

H:MC21 - Homeopathy Worked For Me!
Tuesday, 09 February 2010

Homeopaths, Patients, Supporters!

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Wednesday 24th February 2010 at 2.30 p.m.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Anti-Homeopathy Letter Writers Sponsored By Large Pharmaceutical Companies

Posted on September 11, 2009 by homeopathyresource
Anti-homeopathy letters and emails from Voice of Young Science innundated officials at the World Health Organization complaining about the few homeopaths treating patients in Africa. It prompted an unofficial response by some individuals in W.H.O.
Voice of Young Science as part of Sense about Science is directly sponsored by pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer Plc who have joined together to deal with the emerging African HIV drug market. Sense about Science also has links to a number of prominent online blogs, magazines and other media outlets.
Many of the directors and workers in this “non-profit” Sense about Science organization previously worked or consulted as public relations representatives for drug companies.One of the directors was a specialist in what is called “reputation risk management” and “crisis management” public relations and has been involved in “countering campaigns by environmental, health and development NGOs”. Her public relations company’s clients “were previously nearly all pharmaceutical, oil or biotechnology companies”.(SourceWatch)
Sense about Science is also a lobbying organization for the pro-genetically modified food lobby in the UK. They are currently attempting to inundate UK Members of Parliament with anti-homeopathy letters in a similar fashion to their WHO anti-homeopathy campaign. This is also similar to the Sense about Science pro-genetically modified food and anti-environmental campaigns.

Council study presented in 25th Clinical Virology Symposium

The Pan American Society for Clinical Virology organised the 25th Clinical Virology Symposium from 19th to 22nd April, 2009 at Daytona Beach, Florida, USA. Sponsored by the University of South Florida, the symposium was held to foster the development of new techniques for rapid viral diagnosis, to disseminate relevant information, to coordinate activities with other organizations and to encourage collaborative research.
Dr. Baswati Bandopadhyay, Head, Dept. of Virology, School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata, made a poster presentation on the collaborative research study funded and coordinated by Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, New Delhi. Altogether, about 250 scientific papers on virology from different countries of the world were presented in the symposium in the form of posters. Many physicians and scientists were interested in Dr. Bandopadhyay’s poster, as it was the only one that talked of Homoeopathy and its action on the JE virus. That the medicines were ultradiluted, also kept the delegates intrigued about the paper.
The presentation was based on the ongoing study on ‘Effect of homoeopathic medicines on Japanese Encephalitis (J.E.) virus infection on chorioallantoic membrane and in sucking mice’, started by Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, New Delhi, in collaboration with the School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata,
in the year 2007. Dr. Bandopadhyay is the Principal Investigator of the study. The research is being conducted to observe the action of homeopathic medicines in different potencies in J.E. virus infection. In the study presented at the symposium, ultradiluted Belladonna extract (10-6, 10-12), prepared as per homoeopathic pharmacopoeia, was applied on the chorio-allantoic membranes of the chick. Following that, they were exposed to standardised viral inoculum. A control set was also kept in parallel to validate the results. After incubation, the pock count was made and statistically evaluated to find out the effect of the medicine on Japanese Encephalitis virus. The result showed that ultradiluted Belladonna extract (10-12) was highly effective on JE virus and it diminished pock count significantly (70%).
14 • Vol.No. 50 • April - June, 2009

Benefits and risks of Homoeopathy: a rejoinder to the article published in the Lancet

Prof. Chaturbhuja Nayak
Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy
New Delhi, INDIA

The Lancet has recently published a comment entitled “Benefits and risks of
homoeopathy”1. The commentator Ben Goldacre has denigrated Homoeopathy by citing
the results of five studies2-6 which have not produced statistically significant benefit over placebo. But, he has taken a partial view of the results of some of the studies, referred by him, where the authors have not totally branded homoeopathy as placebo response. Rather the authors have admitted that there was some evidence that homoeopathic treatments are more effective than placebo, that the evidence of clinical trials is positive.
However, they have suggested to undertake further high quality studies to confirm these results. While many high quality trials with proven efficacy of homoeopathy have been done, Ben Goldacre has cherry-picked five only to suit his own conclusions.

ii. Goldacre has rightly cited that during the Cholera epidemic in the 19th century, death rate at London Homoeopathic Hospital was three times lower than those at Middlesex hospital. While admitting that the then contemporary treatments were harmful, he is not ready to accept the credibility of London Homoeopathic Hospital, where the mortality rate was three times less than an allopathic hospital. On the other hand, he jokes, “the homoeopathic treatments were at least inert”. How could the inert homoeopathic medicines result in 3 times less mortality than the conventional medicine?

iii. The homoeopathic doctor knows that the medicine he is administering to his patient is surely more effective than placebo. As such, the question of violating the informed consent and autonomy of the patient, as stated by Goldacre, does not arise.
iv. Goldacre’s comment that “ a routine feature of homoeopathy marketing practice is to denigrate mainstream medicine” is quite malicious and aims at widening the rift between the Allopathy and Homoeopathy practitioners. Most of the qualified homoeopathic doctors usually do not criticise the Allopathic treatment, nor do they advocate against the established prophylactic programmes, as alleged by the commentator. Rather, most of the Indian qualified homoeopathic doctors advise the patients to follow the immunization programmes which are universally accepted. They also do not undermine public health campaign, do not leave their patients exposed to fatal diseases, nor disregard fatal diagnoses, as commented. To the chronic patients who have been under Allopathy treatment for a long time, whenever switch over to homoeopathy for the reasons best known to them, the conscientious and qualified homoeopathic doctors usually do not advise to stop the previous treatment abruptly, particularly in conditions like Diabetes Mellitus, Bronchial Asthma, Epilepsy, High BP, mental illnesses etc. Rather they advise to continue the previous therapy along with the homoeopathic treatment, for certain period. On the basis of further response, the patient is advised either to continue the previous one as such or in tapering doses or to stop. Goldacre should remember that, there are negligent, incompetent and irresponsible doctors in every medical stream. If a surgeon leaves an instrument inside the chest or abdomen, after completing the operation, should we undermine Surgery or Allopathy? For the fault of a few homoeopathic doctors, the entire system should not be crucified.

v. Ben Goldacre has opined that publication bias in alternative therapy journals is high. But he has referred to an article7 where the authors have observed that the publication bias in alternative medicine has come down in 2000 when compared to 1995. The commentator’s criticism of ‘lack of a culture of critical self-appraisal in alternative medicine’ is quite unfortunate and far from reality.

vi. Goldacre has referred to the article6 published in the Lancet (2005, vol-366) which denigrated homoeopathy as placebo response. In the said article, the authors have analysed 110 homoeopathy trials and 110 matched conventional medicine trials. Table-2 of the article shows that they have screened 21 (19%) Homoeopathy trials and 9 (8%)Allopathy trials as the high quality trials (double blind, with adequate generation of allocation sequence and adequate concealment of allocation). In reality, they have framed their opinion by analyzing the outcomes of 08 homoeopathic trials and 06 conventional medicine trials, on the plea of considering large trials of higher quality. Instead of identifying 12 more allopathy trials of high quality to match 21 homoeopathic trials, it is not known, why they have come down to the unmatching ratio of 8:6. Did the authors fail to procure the additional high quality Allopathy trials to match the homoeopathic numbers?

vii. Homoeopaths never routinely respond to negative meta-analyses by cherry-picking
positive studies, as alleged by the author. But, if the meta-analysis is designed to serve the malicious intention of the votaries of a particular system to belittle others and is not based on actual facts and truth, then the best option is to ignore it.
It is established beyond doubt that randomized placebo control trial (RCT) is not a fitting
research tool to test homoeopathy, where the medicine is tailored to each individual
patient, but not to the medical diagnosis. Besides considering the complaints of each
patient and their variation at different times and under varying circumstances, his/her
physical attributes and mental state are also taken into account to choose the most
appropriate medicine. It is therefore, difficult to conduct double blind placebo control
trials with homoeopathic medicines. Masking the therapeutic intervention from the
therapists can not be conceived for in-vivo trials in homoeopathy and if done, results in
inappropriate conclusions in outcome assessments. But the authors of the most of the
meta-analyses whose results went against Homoeopathy, have wrongly come to
conclusion by advocating that homoeopathy trials were of poor/low quality, on the
pretext that those did not follow the tenets of RCT. Is it not irrational to judge a therapy by the bench mark which is not appropriate to that system, and compare two medical streams which are based on quite distinct and different doctrines and philosophies?

viii. The homoeopaths do not promote the only observational study8, as cited by Goldacre.There are a large number of human9-13 clinical trials, in vitro and in vivo studies on animal14-22 and plant23-27 models, which have been published in the internationally reputed journals and have been authored by the scientists of other disciplines. How could the diseased plants and animals respond favourably to homoeopathic treatment, had it been a placebo response!

ix. It is derogatory on the part of the Goldacre to comment that “Homoeopaths can
misrepresent scientific evidence freely to an unsuspecting and scientifically illiterate public”. The people have been attracted towards homoeopathy, not by the advertisements made by a few homoeopaths, but by its effectiveness, absence of side effects, simple way of application of medicines and cost-effectiveness. The author’s criticism of “society’s eagerness to endorse the healing claims of homoeopaths” has no base since the society is bound to acknowledge the people’s satisfaction obtained through homoeopathic treatment. The Govt.’s recognition of homoeopathy, particularly in India, is based on the demand of the people owing to the success of homoeopathy in addressing the health problems of the people, but certainly not due to the healing claims of homoeopaths. Rather, the Govt. of India has enacted ‘Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements)’ Act, 1995 which prevents the practitioners from making unethical claims.

x. Goldacre’s observation that “homoeopaths have worked themselves off from academic
medicine and critique has been all too often met with avoidance rather than argument”
might be his own experience in his own country, but certainly does not hold good for all places, particularly for India. The reputed institutions and research scholars have their own portals and people can easily access to their academic and research activities. If his comment that “placebo could have a clinical role” is true, then the effect of medicine of any system could be told as placebo effect? Why is Homoeopathy alone targeted?

Homoeopathy has thrived on the basis of patients’ benefit and public acceptance due to its efficacy. It will never perish by the heinous propaganda of a few critics having bias and jaundiced views against Homoeopathy.

1. Goldacre Ben. The Lancet, Vol-370 November 17, 2007.
2. Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of homoeopathy. BMJ 1991; 302:
3. Boissel JP, Cucherat M, Haugh M, Gauthier E. Critical literature review on the
effectiveness of homoeopathy: overview of data from homoeopathic medicine trials.
Brussels, Belgium: Homoeopathic Medicine Research Group. Report to the European
Commission. 1996: 195–210.
4. Linde K, Melchart D. Randomized controlled trials of individualized homeopathy: a
state-of-the-art review. J Alter Complement Med 1998; 4: 371–88.
5. Cucherat M, Haugh MC, Gooch M, Boissel JP. Evidence of clinical efficacy of
homeopathy: a meta-analysis of clinical trials. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2000; 56: 27–33.
6. Shang A, Huwiler-Muntener K, Nartey L, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy
placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and
allopathy. Lancet 2005; 366: 726–32.
7. Schmidt K, Pittler M, Ernst E. Bias in alternative medicine is still rife but is
diminishing. BMJ 2001; 323: 1071.
8. Spence DS, Thompson EA, Barron SJ. Homeopathic treatment for chronic disease: a 6-
year, university-hospital outpatient observational study. J Altern Complement Med 2005;
11: 793–98.
9. Fisher P et al. “Effect of homeopathic treatment on fibrositis (primary fibromyalgia).”
BMJ. 1989Vol 299 (6695): 365-6.
10. Morrell P et al. Homoeopathy versus placebo in perennial allergic rhinitis. BMJ, 2001
11. Ferley, JP. A controlled evaluation of a homoeopathic preparation in the treatment of
influenza-like syndromes. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 27:329-35,
12. Carey H. Double blind clinical trial of Borax and Candida in the treatment of vaginal
discharge. Comm Br. Homoeopath Res Grp, 1986 Vol.15:12-4,
13. Bissuel F Cotte et al. Trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole rechallenge in 20 previously
allergic HIV-infected patients after homoeopathic desensitization. Biomed Ther, 1998
Vol.16(3): 233-4.
14. L.M. Singh and G. Gupta “Anti-viral Efficacy of Homoeopathic Drugs Against Animal
Viruses” British Homoeopathic Journal, vol-74, July 1985.
15. J.C.Cazin “A Study of the Effect of Decimal and Centesimal Dilutions of Arsenic
on the Retention and Mobilization of Arsenic in the Rat” Human Toxicology, 1987.
16. V.Baumans, C.J. Bol, W.M.T.W. Luttikhuis, and A.C. Beynen. :Does Chelidonium 3X
Lower Serum Cholesterol? “The British Homoeopathic Journal, 76 (Jan.1987).
17. Christopher Day “Control of Stillbirths in Pigs Using Homoeopathy.” Veterinary
Record, 114 (March 3, 1984): 216; reprinted in Journal of American Institute of
Homoeopathy, 779 (Dec. 1986).
18. Christopher Day “Clinical Trials in Bovine Mastitis: Use of Nosodes for Prevention”
The British Homoeopathic Journal, 75 (Jan.1986).
19. Lobreiro J. Pulsatilla nigracans 200 can treat infertility in Nelore bull; Homoeopathic
treatment for infertility in a prize Nelore bull; Homeopathy; 2007; 96, 49-51.
20. Varshney JP, Naresh R.; Comparative efficacy of homeopathic and allopathic systems of
medicine in the management of clinical mastitis of Indian dairy cows; Homeopathy;
94(2):81-5; 2005 Apr.
21. Rajkumar R, Srivastava SK, Yadav MC, Varshney VP, Varshney JP, Kumar H; Effect of
a Homeopathic complex on oestrus induction and hormonal profile in anoestrus cows;
Homeopathy ; 2006 Jul;95(3):131-5.
22. Khudabuksh, AR et al. Assessment of cytogenetical damages in x-irradated mice and
their alteration by the oral administration of a potentized homoeopathic drug, Ginseng
200. Perspective in Cytology and Genetics. 1992 Vol.7: 1217-1231.
23. Gupta G., B.P. Singh “Homoeopathy Drugs as Inhibitors of Tobacco Mosaic Virus”.
Indian Journal of Homoeopathy, 1980 Oct.
24. Khanna K. K., and S.Chandra (1976a), Effect of Some Homoeopathic Drugs on the
Spore Germination of Four Isolates oif Alternaria Alternata. Ind.Phytopathol., 29,
25. Khanna KK et al. Control of tomato fruit rot caused by fusarium roseum with
homoeopathic drugs. Indian Phytopathology, 1976; 269-272.
26. Koffler AH. Effect on the growth, weight and composition of onions due to
dynamization of sulfur. J am Inst Homeopath, 1965, Vol.58 (11-12):345-349.
27. Gangar H.U. Management and Control of Genetic Processes in Cotton Plants through
Homoeopathy; Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy;vol-1 (1); 2007

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meditation may be the Future of Anti-Aging

According to the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, 90% of all adult illness is due to the degenerative processes of aging. Anti-aging medicine, aiming for longevity and optimal health, is most certainly the 'specialty' of the future and is based on the early detection, prevention and reversal of age-related disease. While science continues to search for answers, research has already revealed that meditation is a potent anti-aging practice that can take years off your physiological age.


Aging is most certainly a complex issue with many factors coming into play, but one thing that researchers do agree on is that stress (mental, emotional, and physical) causes us to age.

Eva Selhub, MD, Medical Director of the Mind/Body Medical Institute says, "If we can affect the stress response, we can affect the aging process." She says "There`s a reason why experienced meditators live so long and look so young." (The Anti-Aging Effects of Meditation;

In a recent interview with CNN, Dan Buettner, author of "The Blue Zones" and researcher into longevity hotspots around the world, suggests small lifestyle changes can add up to 10 years to most people`s lives. He says aging is 10% genetic and 90% lifestyle. Buettner stated that having mechanisms to shed stress, like prayer and meditation, was of high importance in the longevity hotspots he studied and a major factor in long-term health and aging.

Dr. Robert Keith Wallace was one of the first scientists to study the effects of meditation on aging and he published his findings in the International Journal of Neuroscience (16: 53 58, 1982). His research was based on the practice of Transcendental Meditation.

Dr. Wallace found that subjects with an average chronological age of 50 years, who had been practicing Transcendental Meditation for over 5 years, had a biological age 12 years younger than their chronological age. That means a 55-year-old meditator had the physiology of a 43-year-old.

Several of the subjects in the study were found to have a biological age 27 years younger than their chronological age. This study has since been replicated several times. Other studies have also shown the beneficial effects of Transcendental Meditation on the aging process. (The Transcendental Meditation Program; )

History reveals many examples of seemingly `ageless` saints, dedicated to the practice of meditation, whose lives have demonstrated the enormous capacity of the human body to live much longer than today`s average life span.

Yes, these `ageless` saints and yogis practically dedicated their whole lives to meditation but even we, as average householders, can potentially live much longer, healthier lives. Meditation has revealed itself to be one of the most beneficial practices to relieve some of the stress related to aging.

Bernard Siegel, M.D., Professor, Yale University School of Medicine, wrote in Love, Medicine and Miracles (New York: Harper and Row, 1986): "Other doctors` scientific research and my own day-to-day clinical experience have convinced me that the state of the mind changes the state of the body by working through the central nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system. Peace of mind sends the body a `live` message, while depression, fear and unresolved conflict give it a `die` message."

"The physical benefits of meditation have recently been well documented by Western medical researchers," says Dr. Siegel. "Meditation also raises the pain threshold and reduces one`s biological age... In short, it reduces wear and tear on both body and mind, helping people live longer and better." (Paramahansa Yogananda. 1995. The Bhagavad Gita, p 379-380)

Paramanhansa Yogananda. 1995. The Bhagavad Gita, p. 379-380. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship

Increase Magnesium Levels for Optimum Brain Functioning

Magnesium is a vital mineral for our overall health, and now a Chinese study has discovered that higher magnesium levels dramatically improve brain health. Guosong Liu, Director of the Center for Learning and Memory at Tsinghua University in Beijing stated, "[E]levating brain magnesium content via increasing magnesium intake might be a useful new strategy to enhance cognitive abilities."

The Effect On The Brain

Byron Richards,CCN and author of Fight for Your Health, explains that the Chinese study showed magnesium's effect on the brain cell's synaptic plasticity: "... a key feature of nerve architecture that enables your brain to tolerate stress, recover from trauma, and make actual changes. Synaptic plasticity is based on having well-nourished and properly energized brain cells - compared to inflamed brain cells that have become damaged and 'stuck in their ways'."

Due to topsoil depletion from improper farming practices, most of the population is magnesium deficient. As we get older, less magnesium is present in our cells. Yet it takes around twice the amount of magnesium recommended for body health to enhance and preserve the brain's optimum cognitive and memory functions.

While consuming 400 mg of magnesium is considered adequate for most general health purposes, nutritionist Richards recommends up to 1000 mg for optimum brain health.

About You and Magnesium

Within the cells is where 80 percent of magnesium's activity as a catalyst and synthesizing agent occurs. That's why Dr. Otis Woodward, MD, a holistic physician who calls magnesium "the master mineral" recommends a red blood cell (RBC) test over a simple blood test to determine magnesium levels. "It can look good in your blood, but if it is not in your cells you won't get the benefits."

If RBC testing is not available or within your budget, kinesiology or muscle testing could also help determine your magnesium needs. So many symptoms of magnesium deficiency resemble so many others, fatigue, muscular tension, and irritability among others, that it's difficult to determine by symptoms alone. It's important to realize that long term magnesium deficiency is associated with many diseases, including cancer.

Magnesium is critically involved with over 300 cellular metabolic functions. Mark Sircus, OMD, in a Natural News article (source below) calls magnesium the "Lamp of Life", as it is the major constituent for producing chlorophyll in plant life. Without that, plants could not interact with the sun and survive.

Obviously, organic green vegetables should be heavily consumed for a substantial magnesium intake. It is claimed that organic vegetables have up to ten times more magnesium than non-organic. Super foods such as Chlorella that contain high amounts of chlorophyll will help overcome magnesium deficiencies. Fulvic (not folic) acid, black strap molasses, and unprocessed sea salt are high in magnesium too.

Commercial table salt and white processed sugar, as well as foods that contain white bleached flour should be avoided. These items actually leech magnesium out of your body. You may find it best to supplement with a magnesium powder, often mixed with calcium, in water with a splash of organic apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lime or lemon to help absorb the magnesium. A calcium to magnesium ratio of 2:1 is good, but unnecessary if your calcium intake is already high.

It's also possible to supplement magnesium transdermally by soaking in salts high in magnesium or applying magnesium oils. Unless one has serious kidney problems, it takes a lot to overdue magnesium supplementation. But it's easy to notice. Like Vitamin C, too much magnesium manifests as diarrhea, a threshold that varies with each individual.

Sources for more information include:

Mark Sircus, OMD - Magnesium: The Lamp of Life

Magnesium Boosts Brain Function by Byron Richards

Synaptic Plasticity by Byron Richards

Magnesium the Master Mineral by Dr.Otis Woodward, MD

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Knowing the Disease: Concept of Disease in Homoeopathy II

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:


Observational prospective study
Cephalalgia, Journal of Hellenic Headache Association
Volume 13, Number 3, July-September 2006
by S.Kivellos , J.Papatriantafyllou , K.Papilas , G.Vithoulkas , K.Karagerorgiou

BACKGROUND AND AIMS. Homeopathy trials of migraine prevention have yielded inconclusive results, partly due to different practice among various schools. We performed an observational prospective study of classical homeopathy in patients attending the Cephalalgia Clinic.

METHODS. Forty-two consecutive patients who attended the clinic while one of the authors was available were assigned to receive homeopathic treatment, according to the principles recommended by the I.A.C.H. and G.Vithoulkas. Additional evaluation by a neurologist was performed at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Primary and secondary measures of migraine severity and impact on quality of life were recorded and analyzed.

RESULTS. Thirty-six patients opted only for homeopathic treatment until the completion of the study, aged (mean±SD) 34±12 years, with a baseline HIT-6 score of 65±4. Significant improvement was recorded at 6 months (HIT-6 48±8, P<0.0009 vs baseline, Wilcoxon signed ranks test), which was further established at 12 months (HIT-6 41.2±7, P<0.0009 vs 6-months).
Eighteen patients had been previously administered TCAs or antiepileptics for sufficient time without remarkable improvement. A difference in HIT-6 score between those ‘resistant’ to previous therapy and ‘new’ patients was found at six months (51.5±7 vs 44.5±7, respectively, P<0.01, Mann-Whitney test), but not at baseline (66±3.8 vs 64±4, respectively) or after 12 months (41.6±8 vs 40.6±5.3, respectively).

Migraine severity (VAS) decreaed by 72% and frequency by 81 % at 12 months (P<0.0001 for both comparisons vs baseline). Mood was consistently higher at 12 months (Verbal Analogue Scale, P<0.001). Observed potential adverse effects on all 42 patients were an initial ‘aggravation’ of migraine symptoms in 69%, recurrence of past medical diseases (e.g. infections, eczema) in 33%, temporary emotional instability in 59% of the patients.

CONCLUSION. These results compare favorably with other modalities of migraine treatment. Therefore, homeopathy, as applied in this context, warrants further research with appropriately designed RCTs.

Drug Banned in China Used to Fatten Animals in U.S.

by Heidi Stevenson
8 February 2010

Pigs in gestational pens, where they don't even have room to turn around. Each poor miserable creature has only three bars supporting her throughout pregnancy. She can't even stand up.
A drug that China considers too dangerous for any use is routinely applied to pigs, cattle, and turkeys in their last days of life to bulk them up and increase profits for Agribusiness. It causes misery in the poor creatures—and is in the meat of slaughtered animals, though its use on humans is illegal in the United States. Ractopamine is sold under the brand name Paylean for use in pigs, Optiflexx in cattle, and Tomax in turkeys. They're given it right up to the time of slaughter—so it's in the meat people eat.

Ractopamine is a carcinogen and neurotoxin. It causes birth defects. It's an acute poison. It's so dangerous that workers are warned:

Not for use in humans. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure. Use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask.
Yet, it's in 45% of all pork raised in the United States.
We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace. —Albert Schweitzer Paylean is given to pigs for their last 28 days. Optiflexx is given to cattle for their last 28-42 days. Tomax is given to turkeys during their last 7-14 days.
Animals become miserable. Many die. Hyperactivity and stress symptoms are common. All that was known quickly after the FDA initially approved ractopamine's use in pigs. The agency supposedly followed up on the effects. The FDA's Director of the Division of Compliance, Gloria J. Dunnavan, wrote Elanco a letter stating:

Our representatives requested a complete and accurate list of all your GLP [Good Laboratory Practices] studies involving Paylean® (Ractopamine hydrochloride), including their current status as well as the names of the respective study monitors. In response, your firm supplied to our representatives multiple lists which differed in the names of the studies and their status. In addition, your firm could not locate or identify documents pertaining to some of the studies. This situation was somewhat confusing and created unneeded delays for our representatives.
So, naturally, in the face of such stonewalling, the FDA then approved the use of ractopamine in cattle and turkeys.

Ractopamine is a beta agonist that all countries consider too dangerous for human use. It acts by moving nutrients from the fat-production process into muscle production. The slaughtered animals then have less fat and weigh more, so it brings more money to the producer*. Claims are made that as much as 15.9% greater "efficiency" is gained in feeding.

Antibiotics Cause Birth Defects: Study Authors Spin It As Reassuring

by Heidi Stevenson

5 February 2010

An Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine study reports an association with antibiotics and severe birth defects, including anencephaly, a defect in which most of the brain is missing. Study authors spin the result as "reassuring".

Lead author Krista S. Crider, PhD, examined data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. 13,155 pregnancies that resulted in one of 30 birth defects were included. They were compared with 4,941 randomly-chosen pregnancies, in the same geographical areas, that resulted in no birth defects.

Telephone interviews determined which mothers had taken antibiotics during the month before conception through the third month of pregnancy. The overall increase in birth defects was about one percent: 14% in birth defect pregnancies and 13% in nondefect pregnancies.

Certain antibiotics were worse than others, but all were associated with some birth defects. The study's authors claim that it's critical to treat infections in pregnant women. Antibiotic use is greater in pregnant women. Antibiotic use in both the defect and nondefect pregnancies was over 29 percent.

Sulphonamides were associated with:

3.4 times more anencephaly (all or most of brain missing)
3.2 times more hypoplastic left heart syndrome (left side of heart severely undeveloped)
2.7 times more coarctation of the aorta (narrowing of the aorta)
2.5 times more transverse limb deficiency (truncated limbs)
8 times more choanal atresia (blockage at the back of the nasal passage)
2.4 times more diaphragmatic hernia (hole in the diaphragm)
Nitrofurantoins were associated with:
3.7 times more anophthalmos or microphthalmos (lack of eye tissue)
4.2 times more hypoplastic left heart syndrome (left side of heart severely undeveloped)
1.9 times more atrial septal defects (hole between the upper heart chambers)
2.1 times more cleft palates
Other antibiotics were associated with:
Erythromycins (2 defects)
Penicillins (1 defect)
Cephalosporins (1 defect)
Quinolones (1 defect)

The Spin

Regarding the rest of the antibiotic groups, the authors wrote:

Reassuringly, penicillins, erythromycins and cephalosporins, although used commonly by pregnant women, were not associated with many birth defects.
Reassuring? How many extra babies born with life-degrading and life-ending defects is acceptable?

Regarding the overall risks of severe birth defects with antibiotic use, the authors state:

This study could not determine the safety of drugs during pregnancy, but the lack of widespread increased risk associated with many classes of antibacterials used during pregnancy should be reassuring.
Just how many brainless and blind babies is too many? How many with breathing problems? How many with defective hearts? How many with missing arms and legs?

Where is the humanity in these researchers? All they call for is more studies. At the very least, they should be clamoring for immediate cessation of all antibiotic use in pregnant, or potentially pregnant, women unless it's a life-threatening situation. There's no concern for the fact that pregnant women are being given far more antibiotics than the general public.

What more is needed before Big Pharma's control over the very structure of medicine is questioned? How many more lives must be destroyed? Keep in mind that not a single one of these babies is counted in medical malpractice statistics.When will modern medicine start to question the idea that harm must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt before a drug or practice is curbed?

How many babies born without eyes are we willing to accept as collateral damage in the real drug war being waged by Big Pharma and modern medicine?

Leg and buttock pain can be signs of peripheral arterial disease, especially in patients with diabetes

FEBRUARY 4, 2010
by Michael Jaff, MD

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), a condition commonly correlated with diabetes, also known as a “silent killer,” affects at least one in every three diabetics over the age of 50 and approximately eight million Americans in total over the age of 40. Although PAD is prolific among diabetic and senior populations, current data show that public and physician knowledge of the disease is startlingly low, with only 25 percent of the affected population seeking treatment.

Diabetics are at the greatest risk for developing severe PAD and experiencing complications from the disease, as they have difficulty properly processing the sugar they ingest. As a result, plaque (fatty deposits) accumulates in the arteries, triggering a change in internal blood vessel size and elasticity, and subsequent circulation problems.

Plaque buildup causes an overall narrowing and hardening of the arteries and can eventually decrease the blood flow to the lower extremities. When blood flow to the legs becomes limited or restricted, the propensity for developing infections, chronic foot ulcers, gangrene and leg lesions dramatically increases. Not only that, but these foot wounds have difficulty healing, and in severe cases, the affected limb is so damaged that amputation is required if other available treatments fail. Fortunately, new medical devices and drugs are being developed, and in many cases amputation can be avoided or limited. Problems with the feet are one of the most common causes of diabetes-related hospitalizations. In fact, diabetics are up to fifteen times more likely to have to endure lower-limb amputation than those without diabetes.

Although a common indicator of PAD is extreme leg or buttock pain caused by walking or exercising, as many as 40 percent of people with PAD never complain of this symptom – and those who do commonly mistake the discomfort for aging pains and fail to seek treatment, allowing the condition to worsen. PAD is highly treatable in its early stages, but as the disease remains undiagnosed, the likelihood of facing complications greatly increases, as does the probability of suffering from heart attack or stroke.

Physicians can quickly and easily test for peripheral arterial disease, which can allow patients to undergo treatment for the condition and effectively arrest the progression of the disease. The most common test is the ankle-brachial index (ABI), a non-invasive process that compares blood pressure in the ankles with the blood pressure in the arms. An ABI can help determine if someone has PAD, but it cannot identify the location and degree of the obstruction in the artery. A Doppler test, which is non-invasive, that can check a specific artery for blockage is also available. The test uses ultrasound waves to measure blood flow in arteries within the lower extremities.

Once a clogged artery is identified, patients can consider several treatment options with their physician. Angioplasty is a non-surgical procedure that is used to widen arteries with constricted or blocked blood flow. During the procedure, a catheter with a balloon on its tip is inserted into the narrowed artery and inflated. Once the artery widens, the balloon is deflated and the catheter is withdrawn, often restoring blood flow.

Another option in certain arteries such as the iliac is a stenting procedure where a stent (a tubular wire-mesh tube) is inserted into the artery, where it is expanded to act as a “scaffold” to hold the artery open and allow blood flow to resume. The procedure is minimally invasive, as the stent is guided into the restricted artery with a catheter inserted through a small opening in the artery. Drug-eluting stents, which are coated with medicine that is slowly released into the artery, were created to prevent the plaque from growing around the stent due to inflammation and forming scar tissue, a process called restenosis. These devices have shown clinical effectiveness in treating coronary artery disease.

In situations where large sections of an artery are narrowed, arterial bypass is a surgical option. During leg bypass surgery, a vein from another part of the body or a fabricated blood vessel is sewn above and below the clogged area of the artery to detour blood flow around the blockage. Bypass surgery is a largely successful treatment option, but can be risky for patients who suffer from other disorders such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

People who have experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms or are at increased risk for PAD, especially those with diabetes, should speak to their healthcare professional immediately to schedule testing. Identification and diagnosis of peripheral arterial disease is critical, as early treatment can ultimately save a life.

Michael Jaff is medical director of the vascular diagnostic laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Child Obesity Risks Death at Early Age, Study Finds

Published: February 10, 2010
A rare study that tracked thousands of children through adulthood found the heaviest youngsters were more than twice as likely as the thinnest to die prematurely, before age 55, of illness or a self-inflicted injury.

Youngsters with a condition called pre-diabetes were at almost double the risk of dying before 55, and those with high blood pressure were at some increased risk. But obesity was the factor most closely associated with an early death, researchers said.

The study, published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed data gathered from Pima and Tohono O’odham Indians, whose rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes soared decades before weight problems became widespread among other Americans. It is one of the largest studies to have tracked children for several decades after detailed information on weight and risk factors like high cholesterol were gathered.

“This suggests,” said Helen C. Looker, senior author of the paper, “that obesity in children, even prepubescent children, may have very serious long-term health effects through midlife — that there is something serious being set in motion by obesity at early ages.” Dr. Looker added, “We all expect to get beyond 55 these days.”

Nearly one in three American children is now considered to be either overweight or obese, and this week, the first lady, Michelle Obama, kicked off a campaign intended to end childhood obesity.

The new study analyzed data gathered about 4,857 nondiabetic American Indian children born between 1945 and 1984, when the children were 11 years old on average, and assessed the extent to which body mass index, glucose tolerance, blood pressure and total cholesterol levels predicted premature death.

By 2003, 559 participants had died, including 166 who died of causes other than accidents and homicides, like cardiovascular disease, infections, cancer, diabetes, alcohol poisoning or drug overdose and a large number who died of alcoholic liver disease, which the study’s authors suggested might be exacerbated by diabetes.

Adults who had the highest body mass index scores as children were 2.3 times as likely to have died early as those with the lowest scores, and those with the highest glucose levels were 73 percent as likely to have died prematurely.

“This really points a finger at impaired glucose tolerance, or pre-diabetes, in ways we have not seen before,” said Edward W. Gregg, who is with the diabetes branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and wrote an editorial accompanying the article. “We’ve been aware that pre-diabetes in adults is related to a lot of adverse outcomes, but the relationship in youth has not been as clear. There are not as many long-term studies to document a risk factor like pre-diabetes in youth all the way to adult outcomes.”

The study found that high blood pressure in childhood was only a weak predictor of early death and high cholesterol was not associated with premature death, but experts suggested those factors were easier to control with medication.

And though the American Indian community is not representative of the nation’s population as a whole, Dr. Gregg said its experience was instructive because “they’ve tended to be just a decade or two ahead of the rest of the U.S. population” in obesity.

“The message here is that if you take your kid to the doctor and the doctor says, ‘Well, their blood pressure is O.K., their cholesterol is O.K. and their sugar’s O.K..,’ the kid who’s obese still warrants our attention,” said Dr. Peter F. Belamarich, chief of specialty medicine at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx.

MMR doctor proved right in week he was condemned as 'dishonest'

10 February 2010
In the week that the doctor at the centre of the controversy over the MMR vaccine and autism was called “dishonest, irresponsible and callous” by a medical disciplinary board, a new study has been published that suggests he could be right all along. Researchers in New York have discovered that children with autism spectrum disorder also had inflammation in the ileum, part of the small intestine – the exact same discovery made by Dr Andrew Wakefield, who may now lose his medical license following a 30-month hearing at the General Medical Council. Wakefield noted that the children he saw also had been given the triple MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, and he speculated that it might be the cause. After the publication of his paper in The Lancet in 1998, vaccination rates dropped dramatically as parents in the UK refused to have their children vaccinated.
The new study, from the New York University School of Medicine, discovered that 143 children with autism spectrum disorder also suffered from chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, and inflammation in the small intestine. As the vaccine is compulsory in the US, where the children live, it is reasonable to assume that most, if not all, were vaccinated – although the researchers do not suggest that it was the cause of the inflammation they detected. (Source: Autism Insights, 2010; 2: 1-11).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vaccine Injury Compensation – National Vaccine Information Center

Vaccine Safety Research Priorities: Engaging the Public

Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-founder & President

National Vaccine Information Center

National Vaccine Advisory Committee Vaccine Safety Working Group

Washington, D.C

April 11, 2008

The National Vaccine Information Center is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1982 to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education ( We represent the vaccine injured as well as families with healthy children and health care professionals united in support of the ethical principle of voluntary, informed consent to vaccination.

I am the mother of three children, including a son who suffered a brain inflammation within hours of his fourth DPT shot in 1980 and was left with multiple learning disabilities. I worked with parents and Congress on the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which created the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and vaccine safety provisions, including mandatory adverse event reporting and recording, as well as the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System and also mandated the Institute of Medicine’s 1991 and 1994 reviews of the scientific literature for evidence that vaccines can cause injury and death.1 2 3 4

During the past three decades that I have served on committees or forums at the FDA, Institute of Medicine, and CDC, including acting as chair of the subcommittee on vaccine adverse events for the National Vaccine Advisory Committee between 1988 and 1991, the greatest challenge has been to convince public health officials and pediatricians to take seriously the concerns parents have about the quality and quantity of scientific information available to them when making informed vaccination decisions for their children. From the parent’s perspective, as Mark Blaxill, of Safe Minds, and I pointed out in the White Paper5 we co-authored after the Blue Ribbon Panel on Vaccine Safety in 2004, a comprehensive and transparent scientific examination of vaccine risks is long overdue6 7 because, today, the Number One question for many parents raising young children is:

Why are so many of our highly vaccinated children so sick?
Vaccination rates with multiple vaccines in America are at an all-time high8 and, with 1 in 6 vaccinated child in America now learning disabled 9; 1 in 9 suffering with asthma10 11 12; 1 in 150 developing autism13 14, and 1 in 450 becoming diabetic15, this is a legitimate question. America spends more than 75 percent of the $2 trillion price tag for health care to treat the chronically ill and disabled16 and it is estimated that, by 2025, 1 in 2 Americans will be chronically ill or disabled.17

The scientific, economic, political and moral imperative for addressing the new epidemic of chronic disease and disability, which has developed in the last quarter century and is compromising more children than were ever harmed by any infectious disease epidemic, including polio, makes the vaccine safety research agenda you are developing the most important federal health research funding priority today. It is a funding priority that must not take money from the vaccine injury trust fund created in 1986 to compensate vaccine injured children18, but urgently requires independent appropriations by Congress to support a national research program created in collaboration with those most concerned about vaccine safety to generate evidence-based information the people will trust. With more than 2,000 clinical trials worldwide19 that will bring dozens of new vaccines to market soon, the first step in securing public trust is to add at least two more well informed consumer representatives critical of vaccine safety to this NVAC Working Group and the general National Vaccine Advisory Committee.

In 1995, the Institute of Medicine convened a Vaccine Safety Forum of stakeholders to examine and publish reports on vaccine safety issues. 20 21 22During that four year public engagement initiative, a time when autism was affecting 1 in 1,000 children,23 I provided statements on behalf of concerned parents outlining vaccine research priorities and methods for detecting and responding to vaccine adverse event reports24 25 - which I will make available to the Committee for your consideration - and yet again to the 2001 IOM Immunization Review Committee26 which generated the following statement in their 2002 report on Multiple Immunizations and Immune Dysfunction:

“The Committee was unable to address the concern that repeated exposure of a susceptible child to multiple immunizations over the developmental period may also produce atypical or non-specific immune or nervous system injury that could lead to severe disability or death (Fisher, 2001). There are no epidemiological studies that address this. Thus, the committee recognizes with some discomfort that this report addresses only part of the overall set of concerns of some of those most wary about the safety of childhood immunizations.” 27

Whether you believe vaccines rarely, if ever, cause injury or death and that government should force everyone to take vaccines without exception, or you believe that vaccines are pharmaceutical products that carry risks which are greater for some than others and that government should allow voluntary, informed consent to taking a vaccine risk that is not equal for all, most reasonable people do agree that individuals genetically or otherwise biologically at high risk should be identified so their lives can be spared.

Parents today are using mass communication and new technology to educate themselves about vaccines. When they evaluate the components of vaccines – from mercury, aluminum and formaldehyde28 – to animal and human cell substrates that can be contaminated with adventitious agents29 – they are finding no credible scientific studies proving safety; when they question pediatricians about the safety of giving their babies 8 vaccines on one day, they are being denied medical care instead of being given proof of safety; when they tell their doctor their child regressed after vaccination into autism, they are often told it is all a “coincidence” and so no report is ever made to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System; when their children suffer vaccine reactions and are re-vaccinated again and again, despite deterioration into chronic poor health, they are losing faith in a mass vaccination system that dismisses individual health as unimportant compared to public health when implementing a one-size-fits-all, no exceptions policy.

We have the technology today to investigate and define the pathology involved in vaccine induced brain and immune system dysfunction at the cellular and molecular level. A 20-year study that prospectively enrolls and compares the health outcomes of two groups of children, one group who will be vaccinated with the CDC recommended 48 doses of 14 vaccines by age six and 60 doses of 16 vaccines by age 12 versus another group, who will remain unvaccinated, will give us preliminary answers in six years about measured pathological changes in immune and brain function in both groups, including information about genetic variability and the development of learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, severe allergies, asthma, juvenile diabetes and other chronic disease and disability.

In considering the question posed to this panel “How Do We Effectively Engage the Public,” I am reminded of a statement drafted a half century ago by a young group of dissidents who founded a participatory democracy movement in America30, a progressive concept that I learned about first-hand during a participatory democracy experiment initiated by the CDC between 2002 and 2005 called the Vaccine Policy Analysis Collaborative. 31

In calling for a reform of government institutions to be more inclusive and transparent in their operation, the students referred to the great chasm that has developed between those who govern and those who are governed in America. They described the "felt powerlessness of ordinary people, the resignation before the enormity of events” saying,

“The subjective apathy is encouraged by the objective American situation – the actual structural separation of people from power, from relevant knowledge, from pinnacles of decision-making….the very isolation of the individual – from power and community and the ability to aspire – means the rise of democracy without publics.” 32

It is the duty of a government of, by and for the people to listen to the people and act when they are suffering, whether they are in a minority or the majority. Respect for the people and a willingness to share decision-making power with them is an approach that will foster trust in government officials and public policy. Threats and coercion will destroy it. 33

What doctors in positions of power in the Department of Health and Human Services need to know at this critical point in time is this:

Young parents today, who trusted doctors to give them good advice about how to keep their children well, do not understand why their children are never well when they have been given twice as many vaccines as children in previous generations received. They want a full-scale, transparent scientific investigation into all potential environmental causes of autism and other chronic immune and brain disorders conducted by extramural researchers who are not connected to vaccine makers and policymakers with a bias toward existing policy. They want a greater separation of the vaccine risk assessment and safety oversight responsibilities from the vaccine policymaking and promotion activities more in the model of the National Transportation Safety Board. Just as we did a quarter century ago, they are asking you to listen to what happened to their children after vaccination and take immediate steps to modify current vaccine policies to demonstrate a respect for preventing vaccine reactions, biodiversity and the right to informed consent.

If we can agree that individual health and life is to be valued and that the most vulnerable among us should be protected; if we can agree that when one of us is sick or suffering, we are all diminished if we do nothing; if we can agree that the individual biological differences among us must be acknowledged when making vaccine policies because biodiversity is what strengthens the human race and distinguishes our humanity, then there is no reason we cannot find answers to outstanding questions about vaccine risks and develop public health policies that truly protect the biological integrity, the health and well being, of our individual children, our communities, our nation and the world.

1 Institute of Medicine. Adverse Effects of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1991.
2 Institute of Medicine. Adverse Effects Associated with Childhood Vaccines: Evidence Bearing on Causality. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1994.
3Institute of Medicine. DPT Vaccine and Chronic Nervous System Dysfunction: A New Analysis. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1994.
4Institute of Medicine. Research Stategies for Assessing Adverse Events Associated with Vaccines. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1994.
5Blaxill M, Fisher BL. From Safety Last to Children First: A White Paper on Vaccine Safety. Prepared for the Blue Ribbon Panel on Vaccine Safety, CDC. September 10, 2004. and
6Fisher BL. Statement for Institute of Medicine Committee on National Immunization Program Procedures and Data Sharing Program. August 23, 2004.
7 Institute of Medicine. Vaccine Safety Research, Data Access and Public Trust. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences. 2005.
8Centers for Disease Control. Press Release: Nation’s Childhood Immunization Rates Remain At or Above Record Levels. August 30, 2007.
9Centers for Disease Control. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report:Percentage of Children Aged 5-17 Years Ever Having Diagnoses of ADHD or Learning Disability by Sex and Diagnosis – U.S., 2003. November 4, 2005.
10Centers for Disease Control. Press Release: State of Childhood Asthma, U.S. 1980-2005. December 12, 2006. Full Report:
11Bloom B, Dey AN et al. Vital Health Statistics: Summary health statistics for U.S. children: National Health Interview Survey, 2005.December 2006.
12Centers for Disease Control. Press Release: Nine Million US Children Diagnosed with Asthma, New Report Finds. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2002. March 31, 2004.
13 Centers for Disease Control. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report: Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders --- Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 Sites, United States, 2002. February 9, 2007.
14Centers for Disease Control. Press Release: New Data on Autism Spectrum Disorders. February 9, 2007 .
15 Centers for Disease Control. National Diabetes Fact Sheet, U.S. 2003.
16 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. National Health Expenditure Data. Also, Chronic Disease Overview. and
17Johns Hopkins University. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Chronic Conditions:Making the Case for Ongoing Care. December 2002.
18National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (PL99-660)
19U.S. National Institutes of Health. Directory of World Clinical Trials.
20Institute of Medicine. Vaccine Safety Forum: Options for Poliomyelitis Vaccination in the United States. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 1996.
21Institute of Medicine. Vaccine Safety Forum: Summaries of Two Workshops: Detecting and Responding to Adverse Events Following Vaccination and Research to Identify Risks for Adverse Events Following Vaccination: Biological Mechanisms and Possible Means of Prevention. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 1997.
22Institute of Medicine. Vaccine Safety Forum: Risk Communication and Vaccination. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 1997.
23Bertrand J, Mars A et al. Prevalence of Autism in a United States Population: The Brick Township, New Jersey Investigation. Pediatrics 108: 1155-1161. November 5, 2001.
24 Fisher BL. Vaccine Research Needs: Perspective From Parents. Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Forum. April 1, 1996.
25Fisher BL. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting & Data Collection, Detection and Response Methodologies. Institute of Medicine Vaccine Safety Forum. November 6, 1995.
26Fisher BL. Presentation for Institute of Medicine Immunization Safety Review Committee. National Academy of Sciences. January 11, 2001.
27Institute of Medicine. Multiple Immunizations and Immune Dysfunction. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. 2002.
28Centers for Disease Control. Vaccine Excipient & Media Summary.
29Khan AS. FDA Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee: Adventitious Agent Testing of Novel Cell Substrates for Vaccine Manufacture. November 16, 2005.,1,Adventitious Agent Testing of Novel Cell Substrates for Vaccine Manufacture Arifa S. Khan, PhD. Division of Viral Products Office of Vaccines Research and Review CBER, FDA November 16, 2005
30 Miller R. Toward Participatory Democracy. Summer 2005.
31Bernier R. Presentation of Proposal for a Demonstration Project – The Vaccine Policy Analysis Collaborative (VPAC) on behalf of the Wingspread Public Engagement Planning Group. National Vaccine Advisory Committee. June 2003.,1,Proposal for a Demonstration Project-the Vaccine Policy Analysis Collaborative (VPAC)
32Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society, 1962.
33Fisher BL. Promoting Vaccination, Fear, Hate and Discrimination. March 25, 2008. and

PlusNews Global | BOTSWANA: People living with HIV turn to homeopathy | Southern Africa | Botswana | HIV/AIDS (PlusNews) | News Item

The nondescript town of Maun in northern Botswana is often no more than a way-station on the road to the luxury safari camps of the Okavango Delta, a haven for wildlife and one of Africa's most popular tourist destinations.

For Hilary Fairclough, a former nurse from England, a visit to Maun while accompanying her partner on a work trip in 2000, planted the seed of an idea that has brought her back twice a year since then.

She was stunned by the toll HIV/AIDS was taking on the Batswana, at a time when antiretroviral (ARV) drugs had yet to become available in the public health sector, and in 2002 she returned to find out if there was a demand among people living with HIV for her services as a trained homeopath.

Very few homeopaths practice in Botswana, and not many people in Maun had heard of this alternative form of medicine before her arrival, but the Maun Homeopathy Project, as it later became known, has since treated 1,500 HIV-positive people in the area.

The service, which is free thanks to donations from the project's supporters in the UK, is provided by two volunteer homeopaths she recruits from the UK to spend three months at a time in Maun.

Many of the project's patients are now taking ARV medication, but report that the homeopathic remedies help them deal with the sometimes unpleasant side effects as well as opportunistic infections and depression, and improve general wellness.

"It's been really welcomed," Fairclough told IRIN/PlusNews. "People have been very open. I think they feel supported by us because we listen, but I believe the medicines also really help people."

The homeopathy debate

Despite being around for over 200 years, the efficacy of homeopathy is still being debated. Supporters of conventional medicines tend to view it as a placebo at best and quackery at worst. In an opinion published this week in The Star, a South African daily newspaper, Mark Colvin, a doctor and epidemiologist, described homeopathy as based on "an absurd premise" that has never been scientifically substantiated.

Homeopathy's supporters respond that homeopathic medicine operates so differently from conventional medicine - treating the whole person rather than just their illness - that the conventional means of measuring effectiveness are inadequate.

Fairclough, who practices homeopathy in the UK when she is not doing fund-raising and administration for the project in Maun, is dismayed to have been drawn into the controversy after the project was mentioned in several opinion pieces in the UK press during December 2007.

The media debate was sparked by a London symposium on the homeopathic response to HIV and AIDS, but the question of whether or not public health services such as the UK's National Health Service (NHS) should fund homeopathic treatment was also raised. NHS funding for two homeopathic hospitals has since been cut.

"I think it's a very small number of people who are anti-homeopathy in the UK, who have a powerful voice," Fairclough said. "Here [in Botswana], people feel there's room for different approaches."

She believes part of the appeal of homeopathy in Botswana is because it has elements of both traditional and western medicine. "It comes in a pill, but the approach - taking into account mind, body and spirit - is more Batswana. People are very comfortable with it," she said.

It depends on the individual

Kelebogile, a slight woman in her late forties, has been a patient of Fairclough's since 2002. She began taking ARVs in 2003, but still takes what she calls "the small pills" because they have helped her with "many problems".

Consultations are held at the the Lutheran Church in Maun, where the project runs a twice-weekly clinic. Kelebogile's consultation lasted about 30 minutes and did not include a physical examination.

Photo: Hilary Fairclough/MaunHomeopathyProject
Hilary Fairclough visits one of her patients at their home.
"You don't give the same medicine to everyone who has HIV," Fairclough said. "It depends on the individual - what stresses or traumas they might have, and how they react to their life situations."

She selected three different bottles of pills from her case of remedies and dispensed a few of each into plastic bags: one for Kelegobile's ailment, one for her emotional state and the other to help stimulate her immune system.

Overstretched health service

To understand why patients queue up outside the Lutheran Church, sometimes travelling from villages several hundred kilometres away, one has only to look to Botswana's overstretched public health service.

Like the homeopathic remedies, ARVs are free in Botswana, but with a national HIV infection rate of 24 percent, second only to Swaziland, the need is overwhelming. Just as the government has sought to expand access to ARV treatment, doctors and nurses have been leaving the country to take better-paying jobs in South Africa and other neighbouring countries, or even in Australia and the UK.

"At the moment, we have five doctors and we're supposed to have 13," said the chief medical officer at Maun Hospital, Dr Richard Kambinda. The hospital's HIV/AIDS clinic is supposed to be staffed by three doctors, but Kambinda said it was lucky if it had one at any given time. The machine used to establish the CD4 count, which determines when a patient should start taking ARVs, or how well they are doing on treatment, has been broken for several months.

"In the hospital they don't ask so many questions, they do everything quickly," Kelegobile commented. "They only give you painkillers, always painkillers."

Botswana's ARV treatment programme has often been cited as a model for other countries in the region, but some people, including the hospital's former chief medical officer, Dr Eric Beltz, believe it has sacrificed quality for quantity.

In the hospital they don't ask so many questions, they do everything quickly ... They only give you painkillers, always painkillers.
Beltz, who moved to Australia three years ago but was visiting Botswana when IRIN/PlusNews spoke to him, worries that the rapid scale-up of the HIV/AIDS treatment programme, combined with the shortage of staff to monitor drug adherence and treatment failure, will create significant problems with drug resistance in the not too distant future.

His concerns are shared by Israel Tjiharuka, who runs a counselling centre for people living with HIV in the village of Sehitwa, about 100km from Maun, where the homeopathy project runs an outreach clinic once a month.

"In our hospitals the doctors are busy - they'll just refill [ARV prescriptions], they won't ask any questions," he told IRIN/PlusNews. "People aren't educated about what side effects they might experience on certain drugs, so they don't complain."

Although Sehitwa will soon get a clinic that will dispense ARVs, at present villagers still have to travel to Maun to pick up their medicine. Adherence was a problem, said Tjiharuka. "Sometimes people don't have money to go to Maun, so they stay without."

During a recent visit to Sehitwa, Fairclough was asked to make a home visit to Nabebeng, 44, a woman who has been on ARVs for two years, but is now bedridden. She was hunched under a blanket outside her home, the several layers of clothing she wore despite the heat not enough to hide her too-thin frame. "I feel hunger, but my heart does not want to eat," she told Fairclough.

Nabebeng had begun experiencing pains in her side and in her legs when she started taking ARVs, but when she told staff at the hospital they only gave her painkillers. Fairclough prescribed a remedy for liver toxicity as well as a "grief remedy" to help her cope with her boyfriend's death the week before.

Although Fairclough regularly treats patients for side effects from ARVs, she is careful to describe homeopathy as "complementary" to ARV treatment. "I've had a couple of patients say they just want the homeopathy, but I say 'no, it's not enough, you need the ARVs'. It might be that homeopathy could keep people from needing ARVs for longer, but we can't afford to conduct that kind of research."

Future plans

Alex Sarefo and Wasanapi Kapii, two young men working with the project as volunteers, translate for the homeopaths but eventually hope to conduct their own consultations. With a view to future sustainability, the project is funding them to complete a three-year UK-based long-distance course to qualify as homeopaths.

"At first I was so sceptical, until I saw the changes happening in patients, and then I started reading up on it and understanding the science behind it," said Sarefo, who started helping at the project after taking a break from his medical studies in Zimbabwe

Kapii hopes to open his own homeopathy practice after he qualifies, while Sarefo talks of starting a homeopathy school and advocating for the wider use of alternative medicines like homeopathy. "There's no prejudice here towards alternative medicine and I feel it has to be kept that way."


Theme(s): (PLUSNEWS) HIV/AIDS (PlusNews)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Major Gastrointestinal Drug Causes Neurological Disorder and Other Side Effects

Thousands of patients treated with the prescription drug metoclopramide recently discovered that their gastrointestinal disorder medication is actually an anti-psychotic known to cause a rare neurological disorder. After determining that prolonged use increases the risk of developing tardive dyskinesia, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called for manufacturers of metoclopramide, commonly sold under the brand name Reglan, to incorporate black box warnings on all drug labels.

Although metoclopramide was originally used to treat psychosis patients, the drug showed more promise in controlling gastrointestinal disorders. The FDA`s Drug Evaluation and Research team have found that the appearance and persistence of tardive dyskinesia and other serious side effects is directly related to the length of exposure to metoclopramide. While Reglan is recommended for no more than 12 weeks, many patients have been prescribed the drug for as long as two years.

Side Effects of Reglan

Reglan is one of the leading medications prescribed to patients with gastroparesis and gastroesophageal reflux disease who do not respond to other treatments. The drug effectively stimulates the stomach muscles and inhibits dopamine receptors of the digestive system, aiding the stomach in emptying food into the gastrointestinal tract. While the exact cause of tardive dyskinesia remains uncertain, doctors have noted a proliferation of dopamine receptors in the brain in individuals with the disorder.

Tardive dyskinesia is a serious condition that causes repetitive, involuntary movements, of the face and limbs. "Lip smacking, grimacing, tongue protrusion, rapid eye movements or blinking, puckering and pursing of the lips, or impaired movement of the fingers" are all characteristic of tardive dyskinesia, according to the FDA.

Tardive dyskinesia is a particularly tricky condition for physicians to diagnose and treat, as the symptoms are often confused with Tourette`s syndrome, and may appear long after a patient has stopped taking the drug. An FDA study indicated that at least 20% of metoclopramide users were prescribed the drug for more than the recommended 3 months, while other studies have suggested that 1 in 3 long-term or high dosage users develop tardive dyskinesia.

Other side effects of Reglan have included dystonic reactions (neurological condition involving sudden muscle contractions and "abnormal postures"), symptoms of Parkinson`s disease, seizures, depression or suicidal thoughts, incontinence, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

Neuroleptic Drugs and Movement Disorders

Neuroleptic drugs, also known as antipsychotics, have been associated with movement disorders and other serious side effects since the 1990s. In 2000, cardiac complications led to the discontinuation of Cisapride, another antipsychotic drug released as gastrointestinal medication. That event likely delayed researchers of metoclopramide in reporting the high-risk dangers of the drug back in 2004.

Until early 2009, metoclopramide labels indicated that tardive dyskinesia was a rare side effect and did not stress the danger of long-term exposure to the drug. Many doctors prescribed Reglan freely without knowledge of the aforementioned hazards, and of course, patients were unaware of metoclopramide`s hazy history or the side effects of antipsychotics.

In 2008, the Wyeth drug company was brought to trial in two cases with patients who sought damages for misrepresentation of the severity of Reglan`s side effects. Both patients had been prescribed generic metoclopramide, rather than Reglan, and the judges offered opposite rulings.

While more than two million Americans are currently being treated with metoclopramide, the FDA has stated no intentions to remove the drug from the market. Manufacturers of metoclopramide have been ordered to implement a "risk evaluation and mitigation strategy," but what form this program will take is yet to be seen. For now, it remains the responsibility of physicians to assist patients in using the drug safely.

Sources for this story include:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Scorpion Poison Used in Cuba for Treatment of Cancer

Scorpion Poison Used in Cuba for Treatment of Cancer

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For the first time in Cuba, scientists are using a natural medicine derived from scorpion toxin for the treatment of cancer.

For the first time in Cuba, scientists are using a natural medicine derived from scorpion toxin for the treatment of cancer.

The initiative is part of a national project led by the Pharmaceutical Biological Labs (Labiofam) that seeks to demonstrate the effect of the red scorpion's poison against tumours. The study is the only one being made in the world and it has shown positive results so far, according to Fabio Linares, head of the Homeopathy Department in the province.

Linares told ACN that the permission to produce the medicine and to apply it on a small group of patients was requested last year, 2007. He said the effectiveness of the homeopathic technique lies in the minimum percentage of the active ingredient used in the preparation. More than 20,000 bottles can be prepared with only one drop, said the expert.

In the patients treated with the medicine, the inflammation and pain produced by the action of cancer cells was reduced which in turn improved the quality of life of those cases.

The results achieved so far are very similar to those obtained with the use of dissolved poison, which demands a greater amount of raw material for its production.

For more than three years, a team of doctors and health technicians from Cienfuegos, located more than 260 km east of Havana, have been working on anti-carcinogenic remedies based on studies by Cuban biologist Misael Bordier Chibas about scorpion toxins.

Homeopathy: Another Medical Treatment Against Infertility in Cuba

Homeopathy: Another Medical Treatment Against Infertility in Cuba

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The homeopathic treatment against infertility has contributed to the birth of 67 children in the Cuban province of Holguin.

Initiated in 1997 by Dr Esperanza Gilling, this alternative treatment to facilitate pregnancy has reported effectiveness in 90 percent of the patients treated and is one of the main achievements of the Provincial Center for Homeopathy, opened 14 years ago with its own pharmacy.

Dr Gilling explained that after rigorous clinical trials and in accordance with their results, infertile patients are administered a homeopathic preparation that facilitates pregnancy.

This institution, located in the city of Holguin, 735 kilometers east of Havana, gives consultations to about 500 patients from the provinces of Granma, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba and Havana, each month.

Homeopathy has also achieved good results in the treatment of asthma especially in children, hypertension and other diseases, and it is as rigorous as the scientific conventional medicine.

"The only difference between these procedures is the type of natural cures being used", said Dr Gilling, who has 17 years of practice in this medical treatment developed by the German doctor Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann in 1792.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Anxiety Disorders and Homoeopathy

Mental health is a growing area of concern in our society and times. It needs to be understood and treated on an individual level. Every person is unique and has his life story full of joys, disappointments, and vicissitudes of life in some shape or form.
Homoeopathy is defined as a system of drug-therapeutics based on the law of similars. This law states that ‘a drug, acts as a curative agent when it is capable of producing in a healthy person a diseased-state exactly similar to that observed in a diseased person.’ As drug provings show that the actions of a drug manifest themselves on the body and the mind. So that, in every fully proved drug picture, there are corporeal symptoms along with alterations of thoughts, feelings, affections and intellect, memory etc.
The successful application of law of similars depends upon the concept of individualization and susceptible constitutions. The concept of individualization takes into consideration the total response of the organism to the unfavorable environment.
This unfavorable response is seen through signs and symptoms on three planes: Emotional, Intellectual and Physical, where the life force manifests itself.
On this emotional level arise anxiety, anger, anguish, irritability, fears, phobias, depression and many emotions.
Emotionally disturbed states tend to revolve around the issues of personal comfort, personal survival and personal expression.
Emotions as maintaining causes
When a patient has some harmful emotions, these emotions may act as maintaining causes for illness. The homoeopathic medicines boost the energy of a person to adapt with the energy of his own emotions and as a result to cope with varying types of environments.
The physician is the best person for this because the patient can talk freely with the physician. Also the physician can better understand the emotional problems and co-relate them better with the physical problems. The physician also has to evaluate that whether the anxiety is reasonable to circumstances or the patient is over-anxious.
General treatment of mental diseases
During Hahnemann`s time, mental asylums were usually run in connection with prisons. The mentally ill were crowded in close quarters with insufficient food, were chained, flogged and teased for the amusement of visitors. The physicians also abandoned them believing that insanity was contagious.
Hahnemann founded an asylum in Georgenthal where Duke Ernst of Gotha put one of the wings of his castle at Hahnemann`s disposal in 1792. He had only one patient Klockenbring from the beginning to the end. Klockenbring was cured of his illness. Hahnemann evolved a humane approach to mentally sick patients. He advocated unchaining of the mental patients. His principles for treatment of insane were new to the psychiatry of that time, but are today universally acknowledged as the chief factor in the treatment of insane. He introduced treatment to the mentally sick patient with kindness.
While describing his experience on the treatment of insane, he writes – “I never allow any insane person to be punished by blows or other painful corporeal inflictions, since there can be no punishment where there is no sense of responsibility, and since such patients only deserve our pity and cannot be improved, but must be rendered worse by such rough treatment.”
He further instructs the physicians attending the mental patients as – “The physician of such unfortunate creatures ought to behave so as to inspire them with respect and at the same time with confidence; he should never feel offended at what they do, for an irrational person can give no offence. The exhibition of their unreasonable anger should only excite his sympathy and stimulate his philanthropy to relieve their sad condition.”

Ahead of times, as Hahnemann was, he has coded some ethical approach to mental patients, which he describes in § 228 of the Organon.
Herein, in addition to Antipsoric treatment, he stresses upon psychotherapy with regulated mode of life and instructions for a good behaviour towards the patients by physician and attendants as:

▪ Raving madness should be met by calm fearlessness & firm resolution.
▪ Painfully disconsolate melancholy should be assuaged by silent compassion expressed
through gestures and looks.
▪ Loquacity should be listened to in silence.
▪ Indecent behaviour and obscene languages are to be totally ignored.
▪ In destructive mental tendencies, things should be kept out of reach
of the patient to prevent mischief.
▪ Absolute avoidance of torture and other corporeal punishments.
▪ All exciting factors, which may influence the mind of the patient,should be removed.
▪ Contradiction, arguments, rude correction etc. are to be avoided.
▪ The physician and the attendant should pretend to believe the patient in everything.
In the footnote to § 229, Hahnemann also recommends that the treatment of violent insane maniac and melancholic patients can take place only in an institution specially arranged for their treatment, but not within the family circle of the patient. He believed that the patient must be left alone and must not be excited or distracted by other people; as this hindered his recovery.

Hahnemann on mental diseases
Hahnemann describes mental diseases under One-sided diseases.
In §172 he writes, “A similar difficulty in the way of cure occurs from the symptoms of the disease being too few – a circumstance that deserves our careful attention, for by its removal almost all the difficulties that can lie in the way of this most perfect of all possible modes of treatment (except that its apparatus of known homoeopathic medicines is still incomplete) are removed.”
Mental diseases are one-sided diseases affecting the whole psychosomatic entity where the symptoms of derangement of mind and disposition are increased while the physical symptoms decline.
§ 210- 230
The § 210 to 230 of the Organon describe in detail different types of mental diseases and their treatment.
In §210, he attributes Psora as the cause of one-sided diseases and mental diseases are also a part of it. He stresses for psychic condition of the patient to be noted along with the totality of symptoms in order to treat these successfully with homoeopathic medicines.
In § 211, he stresses the importance of the psychic condition of the patient in selection of a remedy, putting them as characteristic symptoms and these cannot remain hidden from a careful physician.
In § 212, he highlights the fact that medicinal substances alter the mind and disposition of the provers during its proving and every medicine does so in a different manner.
In § 213, he advises to pay attention to mental symptoms even in acute cases and that unless the mental and emotional picture does not match with the remedy, positive results are not possible.
He explains this in the footnote of § 213 as “Thus Aconite will seldom or never effect either a rapid or permanent cure in a patient of a quiet, calm, equable disposition; and just as little will Nux vomica be serviceable where the disposition is mild and phlegmatic, Pulsatilla where it is happy, gay and obstinate, or Ignatia where it is imperturbable and disposed neither to be frightened nor vexed.”
In § 214, he starts to tell us that a patient with a mental-emotional disease must be perceived the same way as other patients i.e. with a remedy, a disease agent capable of producing in body and psyche of healthy people symptoms as similar as possible as those of the case.
In § 215, he specifies that most mental and emotional diseases are extensions of physical disease. So in the mental disease it starts on the physical level, and then slowly it progresses into the mental level until you have almost no more symptoms of the physical level and finally the disease transfers itself (almost like a local malady) to the invisibly subtle mental and emotional organs.