Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Webonews button

UL-Lafayette research monkey found ‘in good health,’ university says

A monkey that escaped from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette New Iberia Research Center over the weekend has returned to the center, according to the university on social media.

The UL-Lafayette Facebook page Sunday afternoon (Sept. 16) confirmed the young Rhesus macaque monkey was found and is back at the New Iberia Research Center. The monkey went through a thorough veterinary exam to ensure he was in good health, the university stated.

“The NIRC will keep him under veterinary observation for a few days before returning him to his social group,” reads the university’s Facebook post.

The UL-Lafayette Facebook page stated Sunday that staff at the New Iberia Research Center became aware the monkey was missing due to a cage failure on Saturday. The monkey, which weighs approximately 12 pounds, is part of a breeding group and carries no transmissible disease, UL-Lafayette stated.

UL-Lafayette’s New Iberia Research Center “specializes in the breeding, management and importation of a diverse range of nonhuman primate species,” according to the center’s website

. . . . . . .

Wilborn P. Nobles III is an education reporter based in New Orleans. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @WilNobles.

Article source:

Healthy seniors taking baby aspirin may be doing more harm than good

In healthy elderly people who never had a heart attack, the widespread practice of taking a baby Aspirin every day may do more harm than good, according to a U.S.-Australian study of more than 19,000 volunteers.

The trial has “provided convincing evidence that Aspirin is ineffective in preserving good health in elderly people without a medical [reason] to be using it,” chief author Dr. John J. McNeil of Monash University in Melbourne told Reuters Health in an email.

The results – which show that risks of major bleeding in low-dose Aspirin users overwhelm any heart benefits – were reported online in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented Sunday at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Paris.

The findings may upend a common practice.

The study ‘could not identify any subgroup in whom aspirin was beneficial in preserving good health.’ (Gary Cameron/Reuters)

For people trying to prevent a second heart attack or stroke, evidence in support of baby Aspirin therapy remains strong. But the new study, known as ASPREE, looked at the long-standing question of whether a first heart attack, stroke, or case of heart failure could be prevented with small amounts of the blood thinner in Aspirin.

Until now, the balance between risks and benefits in older individuals was unclear, said McNeil.

Most volunteers had to be at least 70 years old. Patients who were black or Hispanic and living in the U.S. – two groups that face a higher risk of heart disease or dementia – could be age 65 or older. At the start of the study, all were expected to survive for at least five years.

‘Should set the record straight’

After about five years of treatment, the rate of heart disease was not significantly lower in the 9,525 volunteers taking 100 mg of Aspirin daily than in the 9,589 who took placebo tablets.

But the odds of a major bleeding episode were 38 per cent higher with aspirin. Problems like stroke and intestinal bleeding occurred in 8.6 per cent of Aspirin patients versus 6.2 per cent of placebo patients.

“This should set the record straight,” said Dr. Vincent Bufalino of the Advocate Heart Institute in Chicago, who was not involved in the study. “There’s a lot of folks on both sides of this but this study should end the question. There is no benefit for seniors who do not have vascular disease.”

“I’ve spent the last five, six years trying to get all my seniors to stop taking Aspirin” based on the clear risks and unproven benefit, he told Reuters Health by phone. “If you look at the new findings, at best it’s neutral and at worst it increases the bleeding risk.”

And what about people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol who might be taking other medicines to mitigate a higher risk of heart attack or stroke? In the new study, most volunteers fell into that category and Aspirin didn’t seem to help them.

“Essentially, we could not identify any subgroup in whom Aspirin was beneficial in preserving good health,” Dr. McNeil said.

The ASPREE study was stopped early as it became clear that the “wonder drug” wasn’t working wonders.

While there were 21.5 cases of death, dementia or disability per 1,000 patients each year in the Aspirin group, the rate was 21.2 with placebo. The difference wasn’t statistically significant, meaning it could have been due to chance.

But the rate of major bleeding with daily Aspirin use was 3.8 per cent, versus 2.8 per cent with placebo.

When the McNeil team looked at death from any cause, Aspirin still made no difference statistically, with a rate of 12.7 per 1,000 patients each year with Aspirin and 11.1 with placebo.

Extra cases of cancer were the chief reason for the higher death rate, with 3.1 per cent of Aspirin users dying of cancer versus 2.3 per cent in the control group.

The higher pace of cancer deaths became apparent 3½ years after the study began, particularly death from stomach and intestinal tumours.

The cancer finding surprised researchers because in other studies, Aspirin protected against death from cancer.

Thus, the McNeil team said, the cancer results “should be interpreted with caution.”

The study was coordinated at 34 sites in the U.S. and 16 in Australia.

Article source:

ASPREE trial explores whether low dose aspirin can prolong good health in elderly people – News

Posted in: Medical Research News | Medical Condition News | Healthcare News | Pharmaceutical News

Tags: Ageing, Angina, Aspirin, Bleeding, Cancer, Cancer Prevention, Disability, Doctor, Drugs, Epidemiology, Health Care, Healthcare, Heart, Heart Attack, Nursing, Placebo, Research, Stroke

Article source:

Daily low-dose aspirin doesn’t reduce heart-attack risk in healthy people

Taking low-dose aspirin daily doesn’t preserve good health or delay the onset of disability or dementia in healthy older people. This was one finding from our seven-year study that included more than 19,000 older people from Australia and the US.

We also found daily low-dose aspirin does not prevent heart attack or stroke when taken by elderly people who hadn’t experienced either condition before. However it does increase the risk of major bleeding.

It has long been established that aspirin saves lives when taken by people after a cardiac event such as a heart attack. And it had been apparent since the 1990s there was a lack of adequate evidence to support the use of low-dose aspirin in healthy older people. Yet, many healthy older people continued being prescribed aspirin for this purpose.

Read more:
How Australians Die: cause #1 – heart diseases and stroke

With the growing proportion of elderly people in our community, a major focus of preventive medicine is to maintain the independence of this age-group for as long as possible. This has increased the need to resolve whether aspirin in the healthy elderly actually prolongs their good health.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine today, the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial was the largest and most comprehensive clinical trial conducted in Australia. It compared the effects of aspirin and a placebo in people over the age of 70 without a medical condition that required aspirin.

Our findings mean millions of healthy people over the age of 70, and their doctors, will now know daily aspirin is not the answer to prolonging good health.

Why aspirin for prevention?

Aspirin was first synthesised in 1898. Since the 1960s it has been known that aspirin lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke among those who have had heart disease or stroke before. This is referred to as secondary prevention.

Read more:
Weekly Dose: aspirin, the pain and fever reliever that prevents heart attacks, strokes and maybe cancer

This effect has been attributed to aspirin’s ability to prevent platelets from clumping together and obstructing blood vessels – sometimes referred to as “thinning the blood”.

It had been assumed this protective action could be extrapolated to people who were otherwise healthy to prevent a first heart attack or stroke (known as primary prevention). A number of early primary prevention trials in middle-aged people appeared to confirm this view.

However more recent trials, including the ASCEND trial in diabetes and the ARRIVE trial in younger high-risk individuals, have thrown doubt on this proposition.

Aspirin is known for its blood-thinning properties, which can also increase the risk of bleeding.

In older people, any effect of aspirin on reducing heart disease or stroke might be expected to be enhanced because of their higher underlying risk. But aspirin’s adverse effects (mainly bleeding) might also be increased as older people are at higher risk of bleeding.

The balance between risks and benefits in this age group was previously quite unclear. This was also recognised in various clinical guidelines for aspirin use, which specifically acknowledged the lack of evidence in people older than 70.

The ASPREE trial

A trial of aspirin in the elderly was first called for in the early 1990s. But since aspirin was off patent, there was little prospect of securing industry funding to support a large trial. But controversy arising around the use of aspirin for primary prevention in the mid 2000s led to Monash University receiving initial funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Funding in Australia was only a part of that required to establish a trial the size and complexity of ASPREE. A grant from the US National Institute on Ageing (and subsequently from the US National Cancer Institute) made the study become feasible.

Another challenge was recruiting the necessary thousands of older volunteers who were healthy and living and often working in their community. Unlike most studies, we required participants who weren’t in hospital or sick.

Read more:
Both statins and a Mediterranean-style diet can help ward off heart disease and stroke

This was addressed with the assistance of more than 2,000 GPs who collaborated with the research team supporting recruitment of their patients and overseeing their health. In Australia, 16 sites were established across south-eastern Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, the ACT and southern NSW, to localise study activity and host community events that kept our volunteers updated and involved.

ASPREE is the first major prevention trial to use disability-free survival as the primary health measure. Disability-free survival provides a single integrated measure of whether an intervention such as aspirin provides net benefit. The rationale is that there is little point for elderly people to be taking a preventive medication unless it preserves good health and unless benefits of the medication outweigh any adverse effects.

Large-scale preventive health studies like ASPREE will become increasingly important to help keep an ageing population fit, healthy, out of hospital and living independently. As new preventive opportunities arise they will typically require large clinical trials, and the structure of the Australian health system has proven an ideal setting for this type of study.

Other results from the ASPREE trial will continue to appear for some time. These will describe longer-term effects of daily low dose aspirin on issues such as dementia and cancer. It will also provide valuable information about other strategies to promote healthy ageing well into the future.

Article source:

Christian health: Daily breakfast for good health

Spending time with the Lord, reading our Bible and praying, first thing in the morning is the best way to start a new day. It is spiritual food for spiritual health. Mark 1:35 says “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.” We grow in our walk with the Lord when we spend time with Him. We also need food for physical health.

Breakfast is defined as the meal that “breaks the fast” from extended hours without food while sleeping. Energy levels are low by morning, and we need food.

Eating a healthy balanced breakfast is important for everyone and can have a positive impact on overall health. Children who eat breakfast are more able to pay attention, do their best work in school, perform problem solving tasks and have fewer behavior problems than those who don’t eat breakfast. They also have better school attendance, less tardiness and have fewer hunger-induced stomach aches and other symptoms mid-morning than those without breakfast.

Adults who eat breakfast tend to do better at work, snack less and get more nutrients than those who don’t eat breakfast. Some adults believe skipping breakfast is a good way to reduce calories to lose weight. The reality is eating a healthful breakfast can support weight management because it tends to minimize snacking on nutrient-poor, calorie-rich snack foods and beverages later in the morning and/or overeating at lunch.

In spite of many benefits of eating breakfast, it is likely the most often skipped and neglected meal of the day. Some reasons may include oversleeping, not liking traditional breakfast foods or not keeping breakfast foods available.

Tips to encourage eating a healthful breakfast:

• Plan breakfasts including a variety of foods to provide carbohydrate, protein and a fat source resulting in a sustained release of energy throughout the morning.

• Make breakfast part of your morning routine. Set out breakfast bowls or plates and eating utensils before going to bed.

• Breakfast does not need to be traditional to be healthful. Leftover heated cheese pizza or a chicken sandwich with reduced fat cheese and tomato slices on whole wheat bread and a glass of vegetable juice are good options.

• Stock the kitchen with easy-to-serve breakfast foods.

Healthful breakfast ideas:

• Whole wheat tortilla spread with scrambled eggs, cooked diced bell peppers, chopped tomatoes and sliced mushrooms, sprinkled with grated reduced fat cheese and rolled—serve with fresh orange segments

• Cold whole grain cereal with sliced peaches, chopped pecans and skim milk

• Toasted frozen whole wheat waffle, spread with almond butter, fresh pear or apple slices and a glass of skim milk

• Low fat cottage cheese with canned pineapple tidbits in its own juice and a whole wheat bagel half, topped with mashed avocado
• Oatmeal with walnuts and raisins, topped with vanilla yogurt

• Grilled breakfast sandwich with whole wheat bread, sliced lean ham and low fat cheese—serve with melon slices or grape clusters

• Whole wheat toast with melted reduced fat cheese—served with tomato and avocado slices

• Whole grain toasted English muffin, spread with peanut butter, topped with sliced apple or raisins and a glass of skim milk

•Bran muffin—serve with cut up fresh fruit, topped with vanilla yogurt and sprinkled with chopped nuts

• Egg salad stuffed in a whole wheat pita pocket-serve with a banana and cup of yogurt

Article source:

To Your Good Health: Parkinson’s disease meds not likely related to cirrhosis

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to or request an order form of available health newsletters at 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. Health newsletters may be ordered from

Article source:

Could It Be as Easy as Prescribing Good Health?

In order to use Medscape, your browser must be set to accept cookies delivered by the Medscape site.

Medscape uses cookies to customize the site based on the information we collect at registration. The cookies contain no personally identifiable information and have no effect once you leave the Medscape site.

Article source:

Paw Prints: Determine the source of your pet’s allergy for good health

Many of us suffer from allergy symptoms during spring and summer. Anyone who has experienced watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing is aware of the discomforts of allergies. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that about one out of every five dogs in the U.S. also suffers from allergies. 

Just what is an allergy? It is a disease that develops from a reaction of the immune system to a substance. Cats and dogs will react by licking and scratching, which ultimately causes a skin infection or irritation, hair loss and/or ear infection. Allergies are not life-threatening, but the symptoms can be uncomfortable for your pet.

According to Dr. Jeanne Budgin, ASPCA veterinary dermatologist at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital, “It’s extremely important for the comfort and health of your pet to determine the source of the allergy and treat it appropriately.” 

A dog or cat can have a reaction to an allergen from inhaling, ingesting or physical contact. An allergy to fleas is the most common allergy in cats and dogs. One flea bite can cause itching for up to three weeks.

Allergies and skin disorders also can be caused from poor nutrition or foods. Although symptoms are usually related to the skin, some may include intestinal disorders with vomiting and diarrhea. Allergies related to food may be in combination to other allergies. Molds, pollens, house dust mites and other allergens can cause airborne allergies which can cause itchy rashes that may affect your pet. 

Some allergy symptoms are caused by tree pollens, with grass allergies emerging as tree pollens diminish. Currently, oak and grass are the main pollens in the environment that have the potential to travel several miles.

Dr. Autumn Drouin, a veternarian, recommends to first rule out skin parasites such as mites, fleas, ringworm (fungus) and any general diseases. Look at your pet’s environment when considering allergens and irritants (pollens, plastics, nylon, wool, pesticides, chemicals, etc.).  Drouin also stresses the importance of a good diet in order to support the immune system. 

Article source:

Your Good Health: Zika turns dream honeymoon into a nightmare

Dear Dr. Roach: My son and his new wife went on a dream honeymoon that has since turned into a nightmare. They went to Costa Rica and of course were bitten by mosquitoes. Upon returning home, they were told about the Zika virus. One person told them to wait six months before trying to have a baby; another source said to wait two years. They are in their mid-30s and want to have a baby. What do you know about this scary virus?


Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitos and is present in many areas of the Americas, Caribbean and Pacific. There has been an ongoing outbreak over the past few years. Zika is related to yellow fever, dengue and West Nile virus. One major concern about Zika is that it can cause neurological complications, sometimes severe, in babies born to women who were infected during pregnancy. Also, Zika may temporarily affect fertility in infected men. Zika can be transmitted sexually.

Couples who are planning pregnancy should avoid areas where Zika transmission occurs (see For couples who have been exposed or who might have been infected, the most conservative recommendation I have read is six months. This is based on a finding of Zika RNA in men up to 188 days after having symptoms of Zika, even though no sexually transmitted cases have been reported more than six weeks after the man had symptoms of Zika (men and women may also transmit Zika after an illness without recognized symptoms). Given how severe the infection can be to the developing fetus, I think six months is the right amount of time, but two years is unnecessary.

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a postmenopausal woman with osteoporosis (my T-score is -3.2) in my spine. I used alendronate, but stopped because it caused bone pain. I haven’t been on any medication for a few months now, but I have started walking 40 minutes every day and I use weights. Also, I monitor my calcium and vitamin D carefully. My last bloodwork all came back good. My doctor would like me to try Tymlos. I can’t find much information about it except that it hasn’t been out long and may cause osteosarcoma. Do you know what the chance of this might be? A similar drug, Forteo, is not covered by my insurance, even though it has been around longer.


Abaloparatide (Tymlos) is an analog of parathyroid hormone. It works against osteoporosis by stimulating bone growth. This is different from the mechanism of alendronate (Fosamax) and related drugs; those work by preventing bone reabsorption.

Teriparatide (Forteo) indeed works the same way as Tymlos. During drug testing, teriparatide was found to increase the risk of a type of bone cancer, osteogenic sarcoma, in rats. Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration required a black-box warning, the agency’s highest degree of caution. However, a study on women who have taken Forteo showed no cases of osteogenic sarcoma in the first seven years of the study, and only a handful of cases have ever been reported in people taking Forteo. In fact, the number of cases reported is less than would have been expected if there were no association between the drug and the cancer. It appears so far that Forteo does not increase risk for bone cancer, and there’s no reason to expect that Tymlos will do so.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to


Article source:

Your Good Health: Herpes drug can lower risk of shingles

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 60-year-old woman who has been taking a 200-mg tablet of acyclovir (Zovirax) every day for HSV-2 suppression. I may have an outbreak every few years, and they are pretty mild. When I do have an outbreak, I increase my dosage to 1,000 mg per day. What is the procedure when I want to get the shingles vaccine (Shingrix)? Would I need to stop taking the acyclovir for two weeks before getting the vaccine and then be able to continue after? Does taking acyclovir help to suppress shingles in any way?


Acyclovir, as well as the related valacyclovir (Valtrex) and famciclovir (Famvir), is an antiviral drug that is used for treatment and sometimes suppression of herpes viruses.

Shingrix is a new, two-dose vaccine for shingles. It is a subunit vaccine, meaning it is made from a viral protein, not from the live virus. You do not need to stop taking the acyclovir before getting the two doses of the vaccine. With the live vaccine (Zostavax), you did need to stop acyclovir, in just the way you suggested.

That’s another advantage of the new vaccine, but the most important advantage is that the new vaccine is much more effective. Disadvantages include its high cost, the need for two doses and a higher incidence of mostly local side-effects, such as sore arm, but also fever and just feeling poorly. There is, unfortunately, a shortage in most of the U.S.

Regular doses of acyclovir to chronically suppress herpes outbreaks does reduce the risk of shingles, at least in a high-risk group of people with HIV infection. However, the Shingrix vaccine provides much more potent and, so far, long-lasting protection.

Many physicians would recommend that you try going off the acyclovir to see whether you get recurrences of the HSV-2 (one of the eight strains of human herpes viruses, most commonly causing genital herpes) so often. That part is up to you.

Dear Dr. Roach: I took a sleep study and slept on my back all night because I was wired up and couldn’t sleep on my side. After a couple of hours, I was told that I have moderate sleep apnea. I snore when I’m on my back, but not when I’m on my side. Do you think I really have sleep apnea?


Obstructive sleep apnea very often goes unrecognized. It is caused by the soft tissue in the neck obstructing the airway; the muscles relax while you are asleep, closing the airway. This is indeed much more likely to happen when lying on the back (we use the anatomical term “supine”), and generations of spouses have learned that turning a snorer on the side is a good way to get him or her to quit snoring. Snoring is caused by the very same process that leads to sleep apnea; in fact, snoring is a significant risk factor, with up to a third of snorers having the condition.

I believe the sleep study. While I am sure you would have demonstrated less obstruction if you could sleep on your side, you still are likely to have some obstruction during the night, especially since we frequently change position while sleeping without knowing it. However, there are many different treatments for sleep apnea, and you should talk with your doctor about which is right for you. You need not jump to the most aggressive treatments.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to

Article source: