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Long Life 1

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  • John de Rivaz
    Long Life: the Cryonics Institute newsletter January 2003 -- Volume 2, Number 1 Welcome back to Long Life -- the electronic newsletter of the Cryonics
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 12, 2003

      Long Life: the Cryonics Institute newsletter

      January 2003 -- Volume 2, Number 1

      Welcome back to Long Life -- the electronic newsletter of the Cryonics Institute. We're here to update you with brief cutting-edge news, updates, links, and information about the latest scientific, medical, health, anti-ageing, and social developments relevant to CI's goal of saving, preserving, and extending human life. Long Life may also include news about Cryonics Institute events and member activities and opinion. We welcome your feedback, and encourage readers to forward issues to friends and interested parties.

      Cryonics Institute News

      November and December 2002

      Hopefully more detail can be added here in the next issue.

      7 option 1 members joined and 2 members were cryopreserved, including one Toronto suspension: http://www.benbest.com/cryonics/toronto.html

      .

      The Immortalist Society received a $10,000 donation from the Marsh Trust for Cryobiological Research and Development.


      General News Items

      11 December 2002

      Alzheimer's data boosts Forest Labs

      By Ted Griffith, CBS.MarketWatch.com

      NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- Shares of Forest Laboratories climbed Tuesday after the drugmaker said its experimental treatment for Alzheimer's disease produced encouraging results in late-stage patient testing.

      Forest said patients who received its drug, memantine, combined with Pfizer's Aricept "performed significantly better" than patients who got Aricept and placebo. The Phase III trial involved more than 400 patients diagnosed with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease.

      Researchers reported that patients treated with memantine and Aricept for six months appeared to show a sustained improvement in cognitive function, Forest said.

      "This study clearly demonstrates that memantine offers a new form of treatment for patients with Alzheimer's disease," Pierre Tariot, a University of Rochester professor involved with the study, said in a statement.

      Forest Labs Reports Statistically Significant Alzheimer's Study Results

      Forest Laboratories (FRX) reported this evening results that were statistically significant from a U.S. clinical trial to evaluate a combination therapy for Alzheimer's disease.

      The six-month study, which involved more than 400 patients diagnosed with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease was designed to compare a treatment regimen of the investigational therapy memantine in combination with donepezil (Aricept), a widely used acetylcholinesterase inhibitor to a treatment regimen of donepezil and placebo.

      Results from the Phase III trial showed that patients receiving a combination of meantine and donepezil performed significantly better than patients receiving donepezil and placebo. Researchers reported that patients treated with memantine and donepezil for six months appeared to show a sustained improvement in cognitive function over baseline as measured by the Severe Impairment Battery (SIB).


      27 December 2002

      Uzbek inventor creates eyesight substitute

      United Press International

      A video signal received from an electronic eye and converted to sound and mechanical oscillations can be used as an eyesight substitute for the blind, its Uzbek inventor told United Press International.

      The hand-held device, a cylinder containing an electronic light sensor at its tip, is designed to be pointed at an object a sight-impaired person wishes to "see," explained Vladimir Matveev, a specialist in electronics.

      The device then emits sounds and vibrations according to the composition of the object. For example, the pitch of the sound becomes higher if the object is light in colour and lower if the object is dark. Users can become accustomed quickly to the signals from the device as it "sees" familiar objects.


      8 November 2002

      Garlic Appears to Thwart Prostate Cancer

      Garlic and other members of the allium group of vegetables appear to prevent prostate cancer, according to new research published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Cancer Institute.

      The other vegetables include scallions, onions, chives and leeks. Asian men, whose diet is much richer in allium than the typical Western diet, were much less likely to develop prostate cancer, compared to those who consumed much less or none of the substance, reports United Press International.

      Researcher Ann Hsing, a National Cancer Institute epidemiologist, studied 238 men with prostate cancer and 471 men without the condition. Among the study participants -- all residents of Shanghai, China -- those who consumed more than 10 grams (one-third of an ounce) of alliums daily were half as likely to develop prostate cancer as those who consumed 2 grams or less each day.

      Allium vegetables contain rich amounts of flavonols and organosulfur compounds, which have been shown to fight cancer in previous studies, UPI reports.


      14 December 2002

      Zebrafish can mend broken hearts

      United Press International

      Even if a zebrafish has nearly a quarter of its heart removed, it can fully regenerate the missing chunk within two months, a fact that someday could help to repair human hearts, scientists reported Thursday.

      "It's the first definitive demonstration that heart regeneration happens," researcher Mark Keating, a cardiologist and cell biologist at Harvard Medical School, told United Press International. "Although not proved, it is possible that human cardiac regeneration may be feasible."

      Human hearts do not regenerate following injury. Instead, they scar. Inadequate tissue regeneration is a major problem not only in heart disease, but in diabetes and dementia as well, Keating added.


      21 December 2002

      Eli Lilly says has received positive opinion for EU approval of Teriparatide

      AFX News Limited

      Eli Lilly and Co announced that the European Committee for Proprietary Medicinal Products (CPMP) has recommended to the European Commission that approval be granted for its Teriparatide injection, a bone formation agent for the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

      The product, whose proposed European brand name is Forsteo, received approval from the US FDA last month and Lilly is expecting a decision from the European Commission in Spring 2003.

      The CPMP, comprised of regulators from the European Union countries, based the positive opinion on a review of comprehensive data involving more than 2,800 women and men.


       

      4 December 2002

      Prostate Tests Shouldn't be Routine

      United Press International

      Physicians should not test male patients routinely for prostate cancer because the public health benefit of such testing cannot be established, a new study released Monday concludes.

      The study, from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent group established by the Department of Health and Human Services, found though the extent of harms is clear -- such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence from surgical and radiation procedures often recommended after positive test results -- the benefits are not.

      Testing for prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, and the use of the digital rectal exam, or DRE, should be done only in men with prostate disease symptoms or who meet high-risk criteria, and then only after a thorough discussion with the patient about potential harms and benefits, the report said.


      23 November 2002

      Genital Cream May Fight Skin Cancer

      World Entertainment News Network--A cream originally used as a treatment for genital warts could become an effective treatment for the most common form of skin cancer. Cancer Research UK is funding a five-year clinical trial into the effectiveness of imiquimod cream on basal cell carcinoma (BCC). BCCs account for about 75 per cent of the slow-growing non-melanoma skin cancers and develop mainly in areas exposed to the sun. Small scale imiquimod trials in America and Australia have shown between 73 per cent and 100 per cent clear-up rates for the cream, if applied at least once daily.


      8 November 2002

      British Docs Call For Public Smoking Ban

      Warning that 1,000 people a year are dying in Britain from second-hand smoke, the British Medical Association is calling for a ban on smoking in all public places. Exposure to other people's smoke leads to life-threatening conditions, including lung cancer, heart disease, and asthma, the BMA said in a press release. It's calling for a new tax on tobacco company profits to fund public-awareness campaigns on the dangers of second-hand smoke. A recent poll found that although 86 percent of Britons favoured smoking restrictions at the workplace, an estimated 3 million British workers were still being exposed to tobacco smoke on the job, the BMA says.


      19 December 2002

      Stroke Victims Need Quicker Care

      The clot-busting drug TPA is vital for the treatment of stroke, yet only two out of every hundred ischemic (blocked arteries) stroke victims in the United States receive it.

      The reasons are varied: TPA must be given within three hours of the first symptoms, only a quarter of patients get to the hospital on time, and many emergency department workers don't know how or when to give TPA nor are they well-versed in stroke symptoms, the Associated Press reports.

      In an effort to provide faster and more efficient care, the National Institute of Health (NIH) has sought advice from group of doctors whose mission is to get TPA to more stroke victims. The physicians, who call themselves commandos, race to emergency rooms whenever stroke victims arrive. And in the few cities where they work, patients are 10 times more likely to receive the drug.

      They advised the NIH that, within the next year, all hospitals should designated whether they have state-of-the-art facilities for stroke care. Ambulances should then take possible stroke victims directly to those institutions, even by-passing closer but ill-equipped emergency rooms.

      Over 700,000 Americans will suffer strokes this year. Symptoms include: weakness or numbness on one side of the body, slurred speech, and loss of balance.


       

      16 November 2002

      New Device Helps Stutterers

      A gadget that sits in the ear canal and fools a stutterer's brain into think that more than one person is speaking to him is 85 percent successful in helping people with the condition, its inventors tell ABC News.

      The "Speech Easy Device" resembles a hearing aid and is only needed in one ear. Invented by three speech therapists at East Carolina University, it functions like a small PA system, including a microphone, amplifier and speaker. The device delivers delayed and altered voice feedback to the user.

      Experts aren't sure why, but a person's stuttering is usually inhibited when more than one person is speaking to him. Scientists don't know the exact causes of the condition, though studies tend to point to a combination of genetic, brain development, and social factors. The Stuttering Foundation of America says more than 50 percent of people who stutter have a family member with the condition.


      26 November 2002

      Weight Watchers Advised To Drink White Wine

      World Entertainment News Network

      Weight watchers are being advised to skip diet drinks and turn to wine after new research revealed white wine was the perfect way to shed fat.

      Experts from the Forum of Wine and Health in Germany and the German Wine Academy researched the effect of wine on 40 obese patients.

      Half of the patients tested were given 200 millilitres of fruit juice a day as part of a controlled diet, the other half were given the same amount of wine instead. Study leader Dr Herwig Herbert Ditschuneit says the results show that as part of a controlled diet the wine aided weight loss.

      Among those testing the wine, the results showed the average weight lost was a little over 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms), compared to an average of 8.3 pounds (3.7 kilograms) for the juice drinkers. Dr Ditschuneit says moderate wine consumption has no detrimental effects on the liver or a person's health.


      8 January 2003

      Hormone Replacement Can Curb Diabetes

      United Press International--Hormone replacement therapy reduces the onset of type 2 diabetes in postmenopausal women with coronary disease, new research released Monday suggests. The research was part of the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study, a four-year effort involving 2,763 postmenopausal coronary disease patients who were tested at 20 facilities across the United States. As reported in the Jan. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, of the women in the study, 160 developed diabetes over the four years, 98 who received placebo but only 62 who had received hormone therapy -- a 35-percent difference.

      Extra weight shaves years off lives

      USA TODAY

      People weighing 30 or more pounds too much could lose up to seven years from their lives. And carrying even 10 to 30 extra pounds could shorten a person's life span by about three years, a study reports today.

      Although scientists have known for years that being overweight increases the risk of dying early and causes serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and some types of cancer, this study is one of the first to estimate how much extra weight reduces life expectancy in a large group followed for decades.

      Weighing too much is a serious health problem in the USA, where more than 120 million people are either overweight or obese, government statistics show. That's the highest level ever recorded.


      9 January 2003

      Flu kills thousands more in USA than thought


      USA TODAY--About 47,000 Americans, thousands more than previously thought, die each year from flu and another common respiratory virus called RSV, a study shows. As the elderly population increases, the death toll from these two illnesses could soar, experts fear. Statistical analyses by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that during the 1990s, the flu killed an average of 36,000 people each year, up from previous estimates of 20,000.


      8 January 2003

      Hormone Replacement Can Curb Diabetes

      United Press International--Hormone replacement therapy reduces the onset of type 2 diabetes in postmenopausal women with coronary disease, new research released Monday suggests. The research was part of the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study, a four-year effort involving 2,763 postmenopausal coronary disease patients who were tested at 20 facilities across the United States. As reported in the Jan. 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, of the women in the study, 160 developed diabetes over the four years, 98 who received placebo but only 62 who had received hormone therapy -- a 35-percent difference.

      Extra weight shaves years off lives


      USA TODAY

      People weighing 30 or more pounds too much could lose up to seven years from their lives. And carrying even 10 to 30 extra pounds could shorten a person's life span by about three years, a study reports today.

      Although scientists have known for years that being overweight increases the risk of dying early and causes serious health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and some types of cancer, this study is one of the first to estimate how much extra weight reduces life expectancy in a large group followed for decades.

      Weighing too much is a serious health problem in the USA, where more than 120 million people are either overweight or obese, government statistics show. That's the highest level ever recorded.


       

      11 January

      Vampire saliva could help treat stroke

      United Press International

      The saliva from vampire bats might be effective in improving the treatment for stroke, a new study released Thursday concludes.

      The bats -- bloodsuckers by nature but reviled in pop culture -- have saliva that contains a blood clot-busting substance called Desmodus rotundus salivary plasminogen activator, or DSPA or desmoteplase, which can be administered to stroke patients three times longer than current drugs used to treat the condition.

      Researchers led by Robert Medcalf, senior research fellow at Monash University Department of Medicine at Box Hill Hospital in Victoria, compared the effects of DSPA to the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for ischemic stroke.


       

      A drink a day lowers heart attack risk

      United Press International

      Daily consumption of beer, wine or liquor lowers the risk of a heart attack in men, suggesting frequent intake of alcohol, rather than a particular type of beverage, is key to providing heart benefits, a study released Wednesday reveals.

      The study found men who had an alcohol-containing drink five to seven days a week had a 35 percent lower risk of a heart attack than men who did not drink, Kenneth Mukamal, lead author and an associate physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told United Press International.

      Alcohol previously had been associated with reduced risk of heart problems, but it was not clear whether the amount or type of alcohol consumed had much of an impact. The new study, which appears in the Jan. 9 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, suggests daily consumption is more important than the amount or type of beverage, Mukamal said.

      "It looked like it didn't really matter how much they drank each day, so long as they drank frequently enough," he said, adding there appeared to be little difference whether the men consumed beer, liquor or wine. "The type of alcohol and the amount of alcohol consumed on a given day doesn't have a large role to play," he said.


      Small Print:

      For more information about cryonics or Cryonics Institute and how to become a member, visit our web site at http://www.cryonics.org.

      We encourage readers to forward issues to friends and interested parties. Please send any suggestions or comments to Long Life by emailing John@...

      Long Life would like to thank Longevity Report, Wired News, Infobeat, The New York Times, The New Scientist, Nanodot, Slashdot, contributors to the Extropian and CryoNet mailing lists, members of the Cryonics Institute, and others, for helping provide some of the free public information used in Long Life.

      (Disclaimer: CI does not necessarily encourage or advocate the use of any products or practices mentioned in its newsletter.)

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