CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Happiness in 2030 Through Mind-Body-Spirit Techniques

I predict global happiness by 2030, despite what the WHO says about top health concerns in that era.

Writes Roberta Lee, my colleague in integrative medicine, about stress-busting tips:

There is  also a chapter on the importance of social connection in which the author laments on how we have become a “nation of loners.” (The typical American adult spends 12 minutes talking to his/her spouse, yet nine hours a day involved in some form of media!) The section ends with a chapter on the importance of a spiritual life or finding meaning in your life.

Part III lays out a 4-week superstress solution plan which includes some nutrition, supplements, journaling, calming activities, and more. The final chapter defines 5 stress profiles and additional refined advice accordingly.  The following appendices appear at the end: menus for 14 days and a detox diet.

This is a great book for educating us on stress and proper, practical, doable solutions to it. No matter how much you may think you know about stress, you will nonetheless find some interesting tidbits, such as how cortisol peaks at 9 AM, causing most heart attacks to occur between 6 AM and noon; potato chips dehydrate the brain; kids given more attention are less stressful as adults; men produce 52% more serotonin than women; 38% of depressed adults are deficient in folate; and much more!

Roberta Lee, M.D., is vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine, director of Continuing Medical Education, and co-director of the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel's Continuum Center for Health and Healing at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Lee attended George Washington University Medical School and is one of the four graduates in the first class from the Program of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona conducted by Andrew Weil, M.D.

Research is ongoing into cures for non-H lymphoma:

New cancer target for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Upcoming clinical trial will test compound in patients

NEW YORK (Nov. 22 2009) -- Physician-scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College have discovered a molecular mechanism that may prove to be a powerful target for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects lymphocytes, or white blood cells. By exploiting this mechanism, researchers have been able to powerfully suppress tumor formation in lab testing and in animal models.

Promising results have led to the design of a clinical trial that will soon be under way to test a compound -- called PU-H71 -- in human patients. This compound is in a new class of drugs, called heat shock protein inhibitors.

Standard treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma includes radiation therapy, chemotherapy and monoclonal antibodies. Approximately 66,000 people are diagnosed in the United States each year and approximately 50 percent of patients will not be cured by current treatments.

The author's results are published online today in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine.

"We observed almost complete tumor regression after treating the animals with PU-H71," says Dr. Ari Melnick, associate professor of medicine from the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical and Physical Sciences at Weill Cornell Medical College. "I hope that clinical testing will have similar results for human participants."

The research team discovered that a molecule called heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is necessary for the functioning of a protein called BCL-6, which is known to drive the activity of lymphoma tumor cells.

BCL-6 is the most commonly involved protein in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, which is the most common form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Approximately 70 percent of these tumors test positive for BCL-6, making it a primary target for therapies.

Dr. Melnick and his team found that Hsp90 and BCL-6 joined together within cancer cells to form a complex. They also learned that Hsp90 binds directly to the gene responsible for producing the BCL-6 protein, which led them to believe that blocking Hsp90 would have a powerful effect on BCL-6 production within the cell and, therefore, tumor formation.

To prevent the two molecules from joining, the scientists tested the experimental drug, PU-H71, which was designed to block the activity of Hsp90. PU-H71 was developed by Dr. Gabriela Chiosis, a principal author of the study, from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in New York City. The scientific team discovered that exposing lymphoma cells to PU-H71 in laboratory experiments prevented the combination of the two molecules -- killing lymphoma cells and inhibiting new cell reproduction.

"The next step was to test the findings in an animal model to see what kind of effect PU-H71 had," explains Dr. Melnick. "We were excited to find that the treated animals' tumors decreased in both size and weight, and that the animals had a significantly prolonged survival compared with controls."

The researchers also found that PU-H71 had a very low toxicity in the animal models. Dr. Melnick believes that this may indicate that when tested in human patients, the drug will be well tolerated, with few side effects, such as damage to the bone marrow and immune system, which are common in cancer therapies.

 

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Collaborators on the study include Leandro C. Cerchietti, Shao Ning Yang, Katerina Hatzi, Karen Bunting, Lucas Tsikitas, Alka Malik, Rita Shaknovich, all from Weill Cornell; Eloisi C. Lopes and Gabriela Chiosis, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City; Ana I. Robles, Jennifer Walling and Lyuba Varticovski, from the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.; and Kapil Bhalla, from the Medical College of Georgia Cancer Center, Augusta, Ga.

This research is supported by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society grant S-7032-04, U.S. National Cancer Institute grant R01-CA10434, and the Chemotherapy Foundation and in part by the Intramural Research Program of the U.S. National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research. This work was also supported by the Translational and Integrative Medicine Research Fund and the Experimental Therapeutics Center of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical and Physical Sciences

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Center for Biomedical and Physical Sciences of Weill Cornell Medical College brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists for the purpose of catalyzing major advances in medicine. By harnessing the combined power of experimental approaches rooted in the physical and biological sciences, Sackler Center investigators can best accelerate the pace of discovery and translate these findings for the benefit of patients with various medical conditions including but not limited to cancer.

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University's medical school located in New York City, is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Weill Cornell, which is a principal academic affiliate of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the teaching of basic and clinical sciences, problem-based learning, office-based preceptorships, and primary care and doctoring courses. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research in areas such as stem cells, genetics and gene therapy, geriatrics, neuroscience, structural biology, cardiovascular medicine, transplantation medicine, infectious disease, obesity, cancer, psychiatry and public health -- and continue to delve ever deeper into the molecular basis of disease and social determinants of health in an effort to unlock the mysteries of the human body in health and sickness. In its commitment to global health and education, the Medical College has a strong presence in places such as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Through the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical College is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances -- including the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer, the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth, and most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. For more information, visit www.med.cornell.edu.

A reporter describes her first experience of acupuncture:

Have you ever pondered a spa procedure? Her Times will give you firsthand accounts of procedures you want to read about as columnist Pam Parker visits regional spas for aesthetic procedures. This time out, it's a dose of Chinese medicine with acupressure and acupuncture at Integrative MedSpa.

When I told people I was undergoing acupuncture, the most common reply was, "Why?" I've always wanted to try it. When we open ourselves up to the possibilities of alternative therapies, we find some surprises out there. Acupressure and acupuncture are based on the good energy in and bad energy out -- that Yin and Yang we hear about. Plus, it makes a lot of sense.

Lauren Mozdy, M.D., Integrative MedSpa, 3233 W. 26th St., practices integrative medicine -- a treatment style that combines the best of Western allopathic, or homeopathic, medicine with Eastern Chinese medicine.

We believe in a combination of therapies to treat the whole person," Mozdy says.

What does all of this have to do with beauty? Well, that healthy glow we get when we feel good is part of the holistic medicine picture.

A lot of CAM providers talk about "detoxification," although the IOM report in which I participated conveys a lot of skepticism about ways in which "toxins" are discussed by some providers, and there are legal issues of concern that need to be sensitively addressed.  At any rate, here is an announcement from a new center:

Online PR News – 20-November-2009 – Laguna Beach, California, November 20th, 2009 - Pür Detox a leading rapid detoxification center announced today that they have launched their new website at http://www.purdetox.com. Visitors of the website will find valuable information on topics like rapid detoxification for people who are interested in ridding their bodies of toxins and other harmful substances. Rapid detoxification helps individuals kick off their alcohol and drug dependence. According to a prominent client of this upscale detox center, the rapid detoxification program at Pür Detox is "the most complete, most comfortable detox program in the world right now."

This website is designed to provide Net visitors ample information about the rapid detoxification program that Pür Detox offers. This executive rapid detoxification program is designed to take out harmful substances in the body at the cellular level. Unlike other rapid detoxification programs, the one offered by Pür Detox cleanses not only the colon, but other internal organs as well. This is the reason why this rapid detoxification method has been touted as the most effective in getting rid of people’s dependence on alcohol, addict-forming prescription medications, and other illegal substances.

Visitors of the website will find new insights on topics like rapid detoxification program that makes use of the latest breakthroughs in integrative medicine, which makes use of alternative techniques to help people get rid of their alcohol and chemical dependence safely and rapidly. Aside from the use of sauna therapy for rapid detoxification, patients of this executive detox center will also be given vitamins IV drip and customized sleep aids.

At Pür Detox, patients are also offered short-term opiates to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Acupuncture sessions are also integrated to the rapid detoxification program to reinvigorate wellness and health of patients. It is important to note that this upscale rapid detoxification center does not have group therapy because it upholds the privacy of its clients

The website will be updated frequently and Pür Detox will post exciting new content on rapid detoxification and other related articles. For more information about the center, visit http://www.purdetox.com.

About Pür Detox: Pür Detox is a rapid detoxification center that aims to help customers get rid of their dependence on chemical substances and alcohol the natural way. This executive detox center provides luxurious accommodations and facilities for people who have elegant taste.

Contact:
Christopher Smith, Owner
2949 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach, CA. 92651
1(888)80-DETOX (1-888-803-38691-888-803-3869)
PurDetoxS@gmail.com

NCCAM celebrates its 10th anniversary:

Ten years ago, the National Institutes of Health established the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine(NCCAM) "to examine the CAM approaches through the scope of rigorous scientific research."  NCCAM has supported more than 2,200 projects at scientific institutions worldwide, according to a press release.

 

"People have used some complementary and alternative medicine therapies since ancient times and often with little scientific evidence," said the press release.

To celebrate NCCAM's tenth anniversary, the NCCAM announced the "NCCAM 10th Anniversary Research Symposium: Exploring the Science of Complementary and Alternative Medicine".

The symposium, which will feature discussions on mind-body medicine, natural products and integrative medicine, according to the press release.

The symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Estern time on Dec. 8 in the NIH's Building 10's Masur Auditorium.  It will be videocast at http://videocast.nih.gov/

 

The symposium is open to the public and registration is not required.

You don't have be down, says Andrew Weil, MD, as there are plenty of natural health approaches to improving mood:

The World Health Organization has predicted that by 2030, more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem. Yet of all the dysfunctions of modern medicine, the way we treat depression may be the worst.

As I outlined in "Are You Depressed, Or Just Human?" normal changes in mood are often labeled as depression, leading to an overdiagnosis of the condition. But even if the patient is truly depressed, the prescribed treatment is almost always limited to a potent pharmaceutical. In other words, a complex, multifaceted problem is frequently treated with an oversimplified, expensive therapy that, sadly, is often ineffective.

The reason? Money. Our profit-driven medical system makes it difficult for doctors to spend enough time with patients to make a correct diagnosis and to craft truly individualized treatments. Also, patients themselves often demand the drugs they have seen advertised, and overworked, harried doctors frequently go along.

There is another reason for this regrettable situation. Many physicians are not trained in other treatment options for depression, though these can be safe, inexpensive and highly effective. So even if both physician and patient favor an alternative to drugs, they often lack the knowledge to employ it.

Whenever I write about mental health and integrative therapies, I am accused of being prejudiced against pharmaceuticals. So let me be clear - integrative medicine is the judicious application of both conventional and evidence-based natural therapies. For some mental health conditions, pharmaceuticals can literally be lifesavers, and they can be all or part of an integrative solution to mental health conditions. The point of integrative mental health is not to exclude pharmaceuticals but to make them one option out of many, so that each patient receives an individualized treatment plan that maximizes reward and minimizes risk. I believe that this commonsense approach will make integrative mental health treatment the preferred modality in the years to come.

At the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, the program I founded in 1994 at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson, we're working hard to promote this. Here are a few of the therapeutic options for depression that we teach.

Nutritional approaches:
 

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may be helpful in relieving mild to moderate depression. Fish oil is an excellent source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential fatty acid found in nerve and brain tissue. I recommend doses of fish oil supplements in the range of 2,000- 3,000 mg per day of EPA+DHA.

  • Vitamin D: Deficiency has been associated with depression, as well as a host of other diseases. I now routinely recommend 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily, taken with the largest meal.

  • St. John's wort: This herbal remedy that has long been used in Europe as a treatment for mood disorders. Standardized extracts have shown an effectiveness greater than that of a placebo in the treatment of mild to moderate forms of depression. It should not be taken with anti-retroviral medications, birth control pills, or antidepressant medications, especially SSRIs such as Prozac or Celexa. Try 300 mg of an extract standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin, three times a day. Its full effect will be felt in about eight weeks.

  • SAMe: A synthetic version of a derivative of the amino acid L-methionine, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) was judged "superior to placebo and is as effective as tricyclic antidepressants in alleviating depression" in a November, 2002, article by Harvard researchers published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It has the advantage of working more quickly than St John's wort. Use only the butanedisulfonate form in enteric-coated tablets, or in capsules. Try 400 - 1,600 mg a day on an empty stomach.

  • B vitamins: The B vitamins, especially folic acid and vitamin B6, may be helpful in mild depression, and B vitamins can increase the efficacy of prescription antidepressants.

  • In addition, follow an anti-inflammatory diet and include an antioxidant multi-vitamin/mineral supplement to ensure you are meeting your nutritional needs for all the essential nutrients.

 


Somatic approaches:
 

  • Aerobic exercise: For more immediate, symptomatic depression treatment, there is no better method than regular aerobic exercise. Several studies have demonstrated the efficacy of a daily workout for improving emotional health and boosting self confidence. I recommend 30 minutes of continuous activity, at least five days a week for best results.

  • Phototherapy: Shorter daylight hours can affect sleep, productivity and state of mind. Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, may help. It uses light boxes emitting full-spectrum light to simulate sunlight. Phototherapy has been shown to have positive results for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), women with severe premenstrual syndrome, bulimics, and as a non-drug treatment for pregnant women and others suffering from depression. A meta-analysis has supported modest benefit when compared to placebo for non-seasonal depression.

  • Acupuncture: The World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture as effective in treating mild to moderate depression.

  • Massage: Massage therapy has been shown to relieve depression, especially in people who have chronic fatigue syndrome; other studies also suggest benefit for other populations.

 


Mind-body approaches:
 

  • Psychotherapy: Find a psychotherapist, mental health professional or grief counselor who can help you explore the factors that may be contributing to your depression, and who can suggest methods of understanding and changing habitual thought patterns to facilitate recovery. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be especially helpful.

  • Other mind-body therapies: Yoga, hypnosis, meditation, mindfulness training, "news fasts" and conscious efforts to socialize and bond with people and companion animals may all be of value, and are low-risk.

Andrew Weil, M.D., is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and the editorial director of www.DrWeil.com

Andy, thanks for getting me to think past 2012.  I suspect people will be very happy by 2030, WHO predictions aside.

 


Michael H CohenMichael H Cohen
Founder
The Los Angeles / San Francisco / Bay Area-based Michael H Cohen Law Group provides healthcare legal and FDA legal & regulatory counsel to health & wellness practices and ventures, including health technology companies (medical devices to wearable health and nanotech), healthcare facilities (from medical centers to medical spas), and healthcare service providers (from physicians to psychologists).Our legal team offers expertise in corporate & transactional, healthcare regulatory & compliance, and healthcare litigation and dispute resolution, in cutting-edge areas such as anti-aging and functional medicine, telemedicine and m-health, and concierge medicine.Our Founder, attorney Michael H. Cohen, is an author, speaker on healthcare law and FDA law, and internationally-recognized thought leader in the trillion-dollar health & wellness industry.
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