Walgreens Offers Medication Preparedness Advice As Hurricane Earl Approaches The East Coast

As East Coast residents and vacationers prepare to evacuate areas in the path of Hurricane Earl, Walgreens would like to provide the following tips for assuring prescription needs are met during the storm.

1. If you evacuate, get to a safe location first and refill your medication at a pharmacy there. This allows you to avoid potentially long lines at your local pharmacy, and you won’t needlessly delay your evacuation. Walgreens has more than 7,500 locations nationwide, and all locations can access your patient record, making any Walgreens your neighborhood Walgreens. Patients can find the nearest store by calling 1-800-WALGREENS or going to Walgreens.

2. Take a waterproof bag with your current medication – even if the bottle is empty. The information on the bottle label will help the pharmacist refill your medicine once you arrive at your destination. Heat, humidity and sunlight can degrade the effectiveness of medicine, so try to protect it from extreme weather conditions.

3. Keep a written record of your current prescriptions in your valuable papers file. If you’re taking several prescription drugs, it’s an especially good idea to keep a record of your current dosage and doctor’s contact information. Walgreens patients can register online at Walgreens and print out this information directly from their patient profile.

Users of web-enabled cell phones can also register for Walgreens mobile applications to conveniently order prescription refills while on the go and easily locate the nearest Walgreens pharmacy. For registration or more information on Walgreens mobile applications, go here.

Walgreens also is a member of ICERx (In Case of Emergency Prescriptions), a secure prescription information network available to pharmacists and doctors during a national emergency. As a member, Walgreens pharmacists can fill prescriptions and access information for hurricane-affected patients even if the patient normally uses another pharmacy.

Source:

Walgreens

New research targets treatment for dementia and brain injuries, Australia

Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) researchers have identified a process that could lead to development of repair mechanisms for people suffering from dementia and acquired brain injury.

The research reveals discoveries in the hippocampus – a part of the brain commonly associated with memory function – where the brain’s ability to regenerate nerve cells or neurons is known to degenerate with age.

The study by Dr Natalie Bull and Professor Perry Bartlett, from The University of Queensland-based institute, features on the front cover of the prestigious Washington-based Journal of Neuroscience.

Dr Bull’s and Professor Bartlett’s research demonstrated adult mice produce multi-purpose, or progenitor, cells in the hippocampus.

“The research suggests while progenitor cells in mice do not behave like stem cells, which have the ability to self-renew, the progenitor cells are nevertheless capable of generating nerve cells in the hippocampus,” Professor Bartlett said.

Professor Bartlett, who is also QBI director, said the latest discovery in the hippocampus was further evidence the human nervous system had the potential capacity to respond to its outside environment by generating new nerve cells.

Established in 2003, UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute is one of the world’s leading research institute’s studying the fundamental mechanisms that regulate brain function.

In 1999, a team led by Professor Bartlett was the first to identify stem cells in the brain and then the first to isolate those cells in 2001.

In September 2004, QBI discovered a molecule that blocks regrowth of damaged nerve cell processes – research considered important in developing potential therapies for people with head and spinal injuries.

Researchers at the QBI are also working on treatments for Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s and depression.

Professor Bartlett is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, UQ’s Foundation Chair in Molecular Neuroscience and was recently elected a Fellow of The Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Perry Bartlett
Research Australia
researchaustralia.au

Statement On The Fukushima Incident, UK

The Agency’s radiation protection experts are keeping the situation in Japan under close review and are advising UK government accordingly.

On the basis of current information, the public health protection measures taken by the authorities in Japan are appropriate and in accord with international protocols and procedures. People following advice from the Japanese authorities and UK citizens who have not been inside Fukushima exclusion zone should not have been exposed to potentially harmful levels of radiation.

HPA response to explosions at the Japanese nuclear power plant

Source:

Health Protection Agency

Myriad Genetics Completes Enrollment In U.S. Phase 3 Clinical Trial Of Flurizan For Alzheimer’s Disease

Myriad Genetics, Inc.
(Nasdaq: MYGN) announced today that it has completed enrollment in its U.S.
Phase 3 clinical trial of Flurizan(TM) for patients with Alzheimer’s
disease.

The U.S. Phase 3 trial is the largest placebo-controlled study ever
undertaken of an investigational medicine in patients with Alzheimer’s
disease, with a total of approximately 1,600 patients enrolled. Patients
enrolled in the study take 800 mg twice daily of either Flurizan or placebo
and attend periodic physician visits for analysis of their performance on
memory, cognition and behavioral tests. The three clinical endpoints of the
study are identical to those of the completed Phase 2 trial, in which
patients experienced cognitive and behavioral benefit ranging from 34% to
48%. Two of the three endpoints were statistically significant in the Phase
2 study. The U.S. Phase 3 trial is designed with an 18-month study period,
however, an interim review of the data after 12 months has the potential to
halt the trial early if exceptional results are achieved. As was the case
with the Phase 2 study, all patients in the U.S. Phase 3 study are
permitted to take current standard of care medicines in addition to
Flurizan or placebo. Therefore, benefits seen in the trials are over and
above any benefit provided by the current standard of care drugs.

Encouraging data from the Phase 2 study, and a total of over 600
patient-years of data with Flurizan, led Myriad to continue accelerated
development of Flurizan and to recently initiate a European Phase 3 trial
that will study approximately 800 patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease.
The Flurizan Phase 2 study is the only controlled, blinded study of a drug
added to current treatments, either on the market or in clinical
development, to show continued statistically significant benefit in
Alzheimer’s disease patients over a period of more than 12 months. The
Company believes that this is due to the mechanism of action of Flurizan in
addressing the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Flurizan is the
first in a new class of investigative drugs known as Selective Amyloid
Lowering Agents (SALAs). This mechanism is different from the currently
marketed drugs for Alzheimer’s disease that provide only a limited,
temporary cognitive boost without affecting the course of the disease
itself. Flurizan is not an NSAID and does not inhibit COX1 or COX2 enzymes.
With a safety database consisting of over 600 patient-years of exposure
data, Myriad has not seen gastrointestinal toxicity attributable to
Flurizan.

“We believe that this trial is very well powered to demonstrate the
efficacy of Flurizan in treating Alzheimer’s disease,” said Adrian Hobden,
Ph.D., President of Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “We look forward to
confirming our belief that Flurizan can help patients with Alzheimer’s
disease retain memory and cognition longer and experience fewer psychiatric
events, through this large, well-controlled Phase 3 study.”

The Phase 2 study of Flurizan showed that patients taking 800 mg twice
daily continued to benefit over 24 months in tests of memory loss,
cognition and behavior. In addition, those on Flurizan had a fewer
psychiatric events such as aggression, depression, confusion and agitation.
Not only were there fewer psychiatric events among patients on Flurizan,
but also the average time before a patient experienced such an event was
significantly longer. This is an important finding for both patients and
caregivers because these types of events are often difficult for caregivers
and a frequent reason for transitioning the patient to a nursing care
facility. By delaying the time at which a patient must enter a care
facility, we believe there is potential for significant savings in the
overall cost of the disease.

Myriad Genetics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the
development of novel healthcare products. The Company develops and markets
molecular diagnostic products, and is developing and intends to market
therapeutic products. Myriad’s news and other information are available on
the Company’s Web site at myriad/.

Flurizan is a trademark of Myriad Genetics, Inc. in the United States
and other countries.

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the
meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including
statements relating to the efficacy and safety of Flurizan; our ability to
demonstrate the efficacy of Flurizan in the U.S. Phase 3 trial; our belief
that the Phase 3 trial is powered to demonstrate the efficacy of Flurizan
and that the trial will confirm our belief that Flurizan can help
Alzheimer’s patients retain memory and cognition longer and experience
fewer psychiatric events; and the potential for Flurizan to help reduce the
overall cost of Alzheimer’s disease. These forward looking statements are
based on management’s current expectation and are subject to certain risks
and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from
those set forth or implied by forward-looking statements. These include,
but are not limited to, uncertainties as to the extent of future government
regulation of Myriad Genetics’ business; uncertainties as to whether Myriad
Genetics and its collaborators will be successful in developing, and
obtaining regulatory approval for, and commercial acceptance of,
therapeutic compounds; the risk that markets will not exist for therapeutic
compounds that Myriad Genetics develops or if such markets exist, that
Myriad Genetics will not be able to sell compounds, which it develops, at
acceptable prices; and the risk that the Company will not able to sustain
revenue growth for its predictive medicine business and products. These and
other risks are identified in the Company’s filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, including the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K, as
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on October 28, 2005. All
information in this press release is as of August 22, 2006, and Myriad
undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.

Myriad Genetics, Inc.
myriad/

Fatigue Reduced In Auto-Immune Conditions By Low Impact Aerobic Exercise Says Multi-study Review

Low impact aerobic exercise, such as walking and cycling, can effectively reduce fatigue in adults with chronic auto-immune conditions, according to a research review in the latest issue of the UK-based Journal of Advanced Nursing.

A team led by nurse researcher Dr Jane Neill from Flinders University in Adelaide, examined 162 research studies published between 1987 and 2006, analysing 36 in detail.

They discovered that there was evidence that people with conditions like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus could benefit from exercise that gradually increased in intensity, duration and frequency.

“Fatigue is a major symptom in all three conditions and can cause a range of physical, psychological and social problems” says Dr Neill.

“Our review showed that aerobic exercise can significantly reduce fatigue and that some behavioural, nutritional and physiological interventions are also very effective.”

Studies reviewed by the team tested 38 interventions on more than 1,700 patients. 24 resulted in statistically reduced fatigue or increased vitality levels.

The effective aerobic exercise programmes lasted an average of 12 weeks, with participants exercising for 30 to 60 minutes, three times a week.

Group interventions involved supervised exercise classes, including warm up, low impact aerobic activity and strengthening or stretching exercises before cool down.

Home-based programmes made use of exercise bicycles, walking, cycling, jogging or swimming.

“There is good evidence that people experiencing fatigue from chronic auto-immune conditions can benefit from a range of non-medicinal interventions” concludes Dr Neill.

“Other effective strategies, apart from aerobic exercise, include health education and cognitive behavioural therapy.”

“Cooling techniques and nutritional supplements such as acetyl-L-carnitine and fish oil showed a number of benefits, but need to be looked at in more detail.”

The authors suggest electro-magnetic field devices also warrant further investigation, due to promising results.

But they add that low-cost, low technology interventions that promote self-management of fatigue are probably more appropriate and feasible than those requiring specialised equipment or professional expertise.

They stress that any exercise programmes must be suitable for each individual and take account of issues that affect how people manage their conditions, like reduced mobility, pain, nausea and stress.

“Healthcare professionals should ask people about their fatigue and assess each person’s symptoms” adds Dr Neill. “People with fatigue should be encouraged to design their own exercise routines based on awareness of their individual fatigue patterns and daily priorities, while group activities must take account of the changing nature of fatigue over time.”

Previous research suggests that 70 per cent of people with multiple sclerosis suffer daily fatigue, 57 per cent of people with rheumatoid arthritis experience fatigue and 81 per cent of those with system lupus erythematosus find fatigue moderately to severely disabling.

“Any measures that can reduce people’s fatigue and improve their quality of life are to be welcomed. Our review shows that some interventions have great potential, particularly in the short term, but that more research is needed to measure their long-term effectiveness” says Dr Neill.

* Effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions for fatigue in adults with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review. Neill J, Belan I and Ried K. Journal of Advanced Nursing. Volume 56.6, pages 617-635.

* Journal of Advanced Nursing, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2006, is read by experienced nurses, midwives, health visitors and advanced nursing students in over 80 countries. It informs, educates, explores, debates and challenges the foundations of nursing health care knowledge and practice worldwide. Edited by Professor Alison Tierney, it is published 24 times a year by Blackwell Publishing Ltd, part of the international Blackwell Publishing group. journalofadvancednursing/

Contact: Annette Whibley

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

UN Has Over $40 Billion To Save The Lives Of Over 16 Million Women And Children

Over $40 billion have been committed so far to improve health services globally, as a huge drive to save the lives of more than 16 million women and children starts today, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health was launched today at United Nation’s headquarters during the summit on the Millennium Development Goals.

Mr Ban said:

The 21st century must be and will be different for every woman and every child.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a series of economic and social objectives for 2015, which also include some health aims:

Goal 4 aims to bring down the mortality rate for children up to the age of 5 by two-thirds.
Goal 5 aims to reduce maternal mortality rates by 75% compared to 1990.

In a press release the UN announced that the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health’s launch, which included foundations, international organizations, civil society groups, research groups and the private sector is a huge step towards filling the gap between what is needed and currently provided to protect women’s and children’s health worldwide. Over $40 billion has been committed over the next five years.

The Secretary-General noted:

We know what works to save women’s and children’s lives, and we know that women and children are critical to all of the MDGs. Today we are witnessing the kind of leadership we have long needed.

The Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health is expected to prevent the deaths of over 15 million children up to the age of five, as well as 33 million unwanted pregnancies, and the deaths of 740,000 women from pregnancy and childbirth complications between 2011 and 2015.

A team of organizations, including UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS, WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), and the World Bank have got together to try to make sure the project is successful. They will identify and connect resources to the most needy people, based on the priorities set by countries and their national health plans.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, said:

“The Global Strategy asks us to be smart, strategic and resourceful as never before. By integrating their actions, the eight international health-related agencies will strengthen capacities across the board, in ways that meet the comprehensive needs of women and children.

Source: United Nations

Children’s Best Friend: New Universit?© De Montr?©al Study Shows That Dogs Help Autistic Children Adapt

Dogs may not only be man’s best friend, they may also have a special role in the lives of children with special needs. According to a new Universit?© de Montreal study, specifically trained service dogs can help reduce the anxiety and enhance the socialization skills of children with Autism Syndrome Disorders (ASDs). The findings published this year in Psychoneuroendocrinology may be a relatively simple solution to help affected children and their families cope with these challenging disorders.

“Our findings showed that the dogs had a clear impact on the children’s stress hormone levels,” says Sonia Lupien, senior researcher and a professor at the Universit?© de Montr?©al Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress at Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital, “I have have not seen such a dramatic effect before.”

Cortisol the telltale indicator of stress

To detect stress-levels, Lupien and colleagues measured the amount of cortisol present in the saliva of autistic children. Cortisol is a hormone that is produced by the body in response to stress. It peaks half-hour after waking up, known as the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and decreases throughout the day. Moreover, it is detectable in the saliva, which makes sampling its levels easy.

The researchers measured the CAR of 42 children with ASD. “CAR is a very useful marker of stress,” say Lupien. “We used it to determine the effect of service dogs on the children’s stress levels by measuring it in three experimental conditions; prior to and during the introduction of a service dog to the family, and after the dog was removed.”

Cortisol and behaviour linked

Throughout the experiment, parents were asked to complete a questionnaire addressing the behaviours of their children before, during and after the introduction of the dog. On average, parents counted 33 problematic behaviours prior to living with the dog, and only 25 while living with the animal.

“Introducing service dogs to children with ASD has received growing attention in recent decades,” says Lupien. “Until now, no study has measured the physiological impact. Our results lend support to the potential behavioural benefits of service dogs for autistic children.”

Partners in research

This study was founded by MIRA Foundation, Quebec, Canada.

Source:

Universit?© de Montreal

UNICEF Responds To Immediate Needs Of Children Affected By The Floods In Tabasco And Chiapas

UNICEF has deployed two missions to assess the needs of children in the aftermath of the floods that have hit the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas.

The move is part of the United Nations efforts to support Mexico’s response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the recent flooding.

The two UNICEF teams are identifying the most urgent needs of children, and will start immediate action to provide children with essential services like psychosocial support and protection.

They are also evaluating the current situation of schools to ensure that classes resume as promptly as possible.

In Tabasco , the floods have affected some 220,000 persons a state of emergency was declared across the 17 municipalities of the Mexican southeastern state. Nearly 2,500 schools were affected. Classes are ongoing in 16 out of the 17 municipalities, but the situation remains critical in the “Centro” municipality, where 816 schools are severely damaged, and 103 are being used as shelters.

In 74 schools used as temporary shelters, teachers have resumed classes, allowing more than 7,600 children to continue with school activities.

Infrastructure damage can not yet be evaluated with precision because the majority of the schools affected are under water.

In Chiapas , 25,700 persons have been affected by the floods. Almost 40 per cent of the municipalities have been affected, and 94 schools have suffered damage, depriving at least 5,000 students from education.

In both regions, UNICEF will be providing the following services:

- School supplies including school kits and teaching materials

- Domestic supplies for children and women, including basic personal hygiene items, water containers, and cooking and household items

- Support for rehabilitation of schools

- Psychosocial support, through recreational kits, technical assistance and logistical support for activities related to psychosocial recovery especially for children in temporary shelters.

In addition to Mexico, several countries in Central America and the Caribbean have also been affected by heavy flooding which has submerged entire villages and left many destitute. The Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua have witnessed significant damage.

According to initial estimates, UNICEF will need US $3,260,000 to contribute to meeting the urgent needs of women and children throughout the affected countries.

About UNICEF

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

unicef

Food Aid Shortages Aggravate The Suffering Of Displaced Chechens

Moscow – Already obliged for lack of funds to cut the number of displaced
Chechens it supports and drastically reduce rations, the United Nations
World Food Programme today warned that it would have to halt its Chechnya
operation entirely in three months unless fresh pledges are made soon.

“From October, we will have absolutely nothing left to distribute,” said
Koryun Alaverdyan, WFP’s Deputy Country Director in the Russian Federation.
“The people we seek to assist are the poorest survivors of the Chechen
conflict.”

The UN agency has mobilised just 28 per cent of the US$22 million it needs
to feed 250,000 Chechens during 2006. They include 130,000 primary school
children in Chechnya and 27,000 Chechens displaced by the conflict, living
in the neighbouring Republic of Ingushetia.

Since the beginning of the year WFP has been able to provide only wheat
flour, rather than the standard ration which also includes vegetable oil,
sugar and salt. This has deprived beneficiaries of vital calories and
nutrients. In May, insufficient donations forced the agency to cut the
number of displaced Chechens being assisted in Ingushetia from 27,000 to
16,000.

“Without outside help, these people will have to fend for themselves, which
means resorting to measures such as selling what meagre assets they have
left,” said Alaverdyan. “That would make it even more difficult for them to
start rebuilding their lives.”

The conflict in Chechnya, which began in September 1999, forced many people
to flee into neighbouring regions, and a still precarious security
situation has prevented most from returning home. Of the 39,000 who have
returned since 2004, many live in dire conditions, struggling to survive
amidst the devastation, high unemployment and escalating poverty.

“Food aid is the number one priority for people who have lost everything,”
said Alaverdyan. “It keeps them alive and provides a basis for starting
anew.”

WFP provides food aid through soup kitchens for orphans, the disabled and
the elderly in Grozny; the Chechen capital. It also supports food-for-work
projects, whereby participants are paid in food to rehabilitate
agricultural and other infrastructure. Other activities include
food-for-training schemes to teach marketable skills to displaced Chechens,
and food-for-education programmes for primary school children.

Donors to WFP’s current operation include: Canada (US$877,000), Finland
(US$100,000), Japan (US$95,000), Netherlands (US$400,000) the United
Kingdom (US$348,000) and multilateral funds (US$2.7 million); carryover
from the previous operation (US$1.9 million – mainly contributions by
ECHO).

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency: each year, we give food to
an average of 90 million poor people to meet their nutritional needs,
including 58 million hungry children, in at least 80 of the world’s poorest
countries. WFP — We Feed People.

WFP Global School Feeding Campaign – For just 19 US cents a day, you can
help WFP give children in poor countries a healthy meal at school – a gift
of hope for a brighter future.

wfp

Chitin Induces Accumulation In Tissue Of Innate Immune Cells Associated With Allergy – Comment By Asthma UK

Comment for BBC Online and the Press Association re research paper in Nature.

Chitin induces accumulation in tissue of innate immune cells associated with allergy, Richard Locksley, Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology at University College San Francisco.

Leanne Male, Asthma UK’s Assistant Director of Research comments:

“This study reveals a mechanism by which chitin can trigger allergic inflammation in animals. 5.2million people in the UK have asthma and are continuously exposed to chitin present in the environment, therefore, Asthma UK believes it is important that these results are confirmed in human studies and the exact role of chitin as an asthma trigger is established.”

asthma