Monthly Archives: July 2011
Ganja Guru Jorge Cervantes demonstrates how to transform your crop’s excess trimmings into high quality hash.
When rheumatoid arthritis strikes decades earlier than usual.
By Carolyn Sayre
Last winter, after spending a few afternoons shoveling snow, Heather Miceli, 27, woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get out of bed. “My joints had swelled up so much that I couldn’t move without crying,” she says.
Two months later, the college professor at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I., who had always been healthy, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) — a debilitating autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and swelling in the joints and surrounding tissues, most commonly in the wrist, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles. Other organs such as the lungs, skin, and eyes can also be affected.
Recommended Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis
Most people think of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as a disease that causes joint pain. But if you have RA, you know that fatigue and weakness can exact their toll as well. “RA is actually much more than a joint disease,” says M. Elaine Husni, MD, MPH. Husni is vice chair of rheumatology and director of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center at the Cleveland Clinic. “RA is a systemic [body-wide] inflammatory disease,” she explains. “That’s why you get the other, what we call “constitutional,” symptoms…
“It came out of nowhere,” says Miceli, who started experiencing severe fatigue, joint pain, and stiffness. “My husband had to dress me. My hands were so swollen that I couldn’t wash dishes or grade papers. I was so scared. I didn’t know what was happening to me.”
RA in Young Adults: How Common?
Miceli’s plight is more common than you may think. RA, which affects 1.3 million people in the U.S., is typically diagnosed between ages 30 and 80, but also occurs in young people.
“The chance that a young adult will develop RA is more common than previously thought,” says Cynthia Crowson, MS, a Mayo Clinic biostatistician and RA researcher who recently published a paper in Arthritis and Rheumatism on the lifetime risk of developing several autoimmune rheumatic diseases. Crowson says that the odds of someone in their 20s developing RA is 1 in 714 for women and 1 in 2,778 for men.
Certain factors can increase that risk. According to Rebecca Manno, MD, MHS, a rheumatologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, smoking increases the chance of developing RA if a person is already genetically susceptible to the disease. Family history, she says, is another important risk factor, because autoimmune diseases tend to run in families.
Manno says young adulthood is a particularly difficult time to be diagnosed with RA, both physically and emotionally. For many patients, the pain and joint destruction the disease causes can be managed with medications such as disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, and steroids. Many can have side effects such as liver damage, weight gain, and increased susceptibility to infection.
“The diagnosis is overwhelming for young adults, who in most cases think they are invincible, and haven’t had any experience with the health care system,” Manno says. “Medically, you have to think aggressively – someone who is 20 has a lot of years to develop damage from the disease.”
Before she found the right mix of medications, Theresa White, 29, an office manager from Williamsport, Pa., couldn’t function normally. “Ironically, my 70-year-old mom had to take care of me,” she says. Even now, White is only able to work part-time and is unable to participate in activities she used to enjoy like Pilates. “It’s hard for me to do most things normal 20-somethings do,” she says.
SUNDAY, July 31 — A gene variant associated with asthma in black Americans has been pinpointed by a team of researchers working together in a new national collaboration called the EVE Consortium.
The PYHIN1 gene variant was not present in European Americans and may be the first asthma susceptibility gene variant to be identified in black Americans.
The researchers’ analysis of data from nine independent research groups also confirmed findings published last year that linked four other gene variants with increased asthma risk across all ethnicities.
The new study, published online July 31 in the journal Nature Genetics, offers a promising first step in efforts to determine the genetic causes of asthma, according to the researchers.
“We now have a really good handle on at least five genes that anyone would be comfortable saying are asthma risk loci,” senior author Carole Ober, co-chair of the EVE Consortium and a professor of human genetics and obstetrics/gynecology at the University of Chicago, said in a news release from the university’s medical center. “I think it’s an exciting time in asthma genetics.”
Asthma rates in the United States have been rising in recent years, with the greatest increase among black Americans, according to Dr. Susan B. Shurin, acting director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
“Understanding these genetic links is an important first step towards our goal of relieving the increased burden of asthma in this population,” she said in the news release.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about asthma.
Posted: July 2011
Now we’re getting a first look at a teaser trailer for the new fall season, and Mac’s weight gain is taking center stage. Actually, it’s taking up the entire stage.
In the trailer, Mac progresses from sobbing into an oversized bowl of cereal to laying in a hospital bed surrounded by the gang, clutching a plate of cookies for dear life.
Check out the trailer after the jump.
Season 7 of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ premieres Thurs, Sept. 15 at 10PM ET on FX.
by Lynn Hulsey, Staff Writer, (Source:Dayton Daily News)
30 Jul 2011
Kettering Woman Supports Constitutional Amendment.
DAYTON – A group supporting legalization of medical marijuana in Ohio has taken the first steps to place a Constitutional amendment on the November 2012 ballot.
Supporters turned in 2,143 signatures on petitions containing summary language of the proposed amendment to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who has sent the signatures out to local boards of election to verify.
The group needs 1,000 signatures before DeWine will determine if the summary is a fair and truthful statement. After that, it is forwarded for review by the Ohio Ballot Board and to Ohio secretary of State Jon Husted. The group would then need to gather at least 385,245 valid signatures on petitions to place the amendment on the ballot, said Matt McClellan, press secretary for Husted.
“I’m totally opposed to that amendment,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer. “I think it would make too much marijuana available to kids in the community.”
He said it would create traffic problems because people high on marijuana could be driving and causing accidents and it would be an issue for employers, including him, who want drug-free employees.
“I think we have enough prescription drugs out there to handle the ( medical ) problems. I’m worried about the use and availability of this marijuana,” Plummer said. “I think it would be just more problems for us so I’m opposed to it.”
At least a dozen states have legalized medical marijuana, but it remains illegal under federal law and opponents question both the medical value and the validity of the medical claims of those who receive prescriptions.? An April study released by the Pew Research Center found that 73 percent of Americans favor their state permitting the sale and use of medical marijuana prescribed by a doctor.
“We’re hoping the ballot will force our legislators to stand up and do what’s right,” said Kettering resident Tonya Davis, 48, who was one of four committee members in charge of petitions supporting medical marijuana.
Davis, who suffers from a variety of physical ailments, said marijuana brings her relief without the negative consequences of narcotic pain relievers. She said people like her should be able to legally grow, possess or obtain marijuana from a certified provider if a medical professional prescribes it.
According to the group’s summary of the amendment, qualifying conditions would include glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, sickle cell anemia, Parkinson’s disease or any condition that causes symptoms such as chronic pain, severe muscle spasms or wasting syndrome. Patients could possess up to 3.5 ounces of marijuana.
“I’ve got more things wrong ( with me ) than right,” said Davis, who said she suffers from scoliosis, thyroid disease, inflamed bowel disease and other problems.
“Medical marijuana would be a lifesaver for me because ( with ) the stronger pharmaceuticals I can’t function: the spasms, the nausea and all of that,” Davis said. “I do not buy, sell or grow. I pray my friends come through.”
The proposed amendment is similar to a bill legalizing medical marijuana proposed in April by state Reps. Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights, and Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown. The bill is being reviewed by the House health and aging committee.
MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.