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mzmolly

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Current location: Minnesota
Member since: Sun Oct 19, 2003, 11:29 PM
Number of posts: 49,572

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Journal Archives

Revised Recommendations for Vaccines Are Being Phased In, CDC Report Says

Can vaccines be more useful for some people than for others?

Until now, most physicians have recommended immunizations for all infants and children, as well as for adults at various ages who may have missed shots. But new guidelines that take into account the strength of scientific evidence and individual health to determine whether specific vaccines should be recommended or simply optional for patients are being used in medicine for the first time, a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The recommendations are based on a framework for evaluating science used by more than 60 major organizations, including the American College of Physicians and the World Health Organization, and will each fall in one of two categories, reflective of evidence that a vaccine is essential to good health. Category A recommendations will include vaccinations considered necessary for all people of a certain age or those who are at an increased risk for contracting a vaccine-preventable disease. Category B recommendations will provide guidance to physicians in the context of individual cases where patients with varying health conditions may or may not benefit from a vaccine.

“Over the years, the science of developing recommendations has changed,” said Faruque Ahmed, PhD, a senior scientist at the CDC and a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which is leading the effort, in a telephone interview.

The need for updating immunization guidelines stems from the fact that the current language does not always indicate the importance of some vaccines over others. For example, the meningococcal vaccine, which protects against a debilitating and potentially life-threatening disease and can be routinely administered at various stages in a patient’s life, may be recommended with the same urgency as the hepatitis B vaccine for older adults with diabetes, for whom that vaccine is not always beneficial.

...

Ahmed also noted that if recommendations are made more clear, physicians will find them easier to follow and patients will likely gain more confidence in vaccines. To this point, he said some opponents of routine vaccinations have attended his group’s meetings over the years and are now supportive of the new approach. SafeMinds, (which is labeled an anti-vaccine advocacy group) which promotes the idea that mercury in vaccines is associated with autism, attention deficit disorder, and other neurological impairments, is one of those supporters that have signaled their approval for using evidence-based guidelines.


More at FORBES

Finally, the CDC is inching toward a thoughtful, patient centered approach to vaccination.

Cat Litter Parasite May Raise Suicide Risk ~ WebMD Health News

July 2, 2012 -- Women infected with a parasite found in dirty kitty litter, undercooked meat, and unwashed vegetables may be at higher risk for self-injury and suicide, a new study shows.

In the study, published today in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers report that women infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii were more likely to attempt suicide than women who were not infected.

In the U.S., T. gondii infection is most commonly caused by eating undercooked meat. Infection can also be transmitted from handling infected cat feces, eating unwashed produce, and handling contaminated soil.

The study follows earlier work by the researchers suggesting that T. gondii infection increases the risk for schizophrenia.


More at: LINK

Gene healing in a lotion? Researchers say they're close ~ MSNBC

By Brian Alexander

Most people who buy cosmetic lotions and potions know that while the people working behind the department store makeup counters may wear white lab coats, the stuff they sell is more about packaging than science.

But a Northwestern University team is bucking that image, reporting today that they’ve created a way to regulate genes affecting the skin -- merely by applying moisturizer.

Not only could their technology pave the way for cosmetics that actually work, but it also might also prove to be a valuable weapon in fighting melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, or diseases like psoriasis, and wounds like the intractable sores that often plague diabetics.

“This is a blockbuster in the ways we will treat diseases of the skin,” said Chad Mirkin, director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology and the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern said. “We’re talking about ailments, scarring, wound healing, ways of regulating them or retarding them.”

In a research paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Mirkin and his colleagues describe not a drug, exactly, but a way of delivering small sections of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA are nucleic acids) called short interfering RNA, or siRNA, to cells. The cells take up the siRNA, which then alters the way a gene inside each cell can be read by the protein-making system.


More at MSNBC

GlaxoSmithKline Settles Largest Health Care Fraud Case In U.S. History

Huffington Post



WASHINGTON (AP) — GlaxoSmithKline LLC will pay $3 billion and plead guilty to promoting two popular drugs for unapproved uses and to failing to disclose important safety information on a third in the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history, the Justice Department said Monday.

The $3 billion fine also will be the largest penalty ever paid by a drug company, Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole said. The corporation also agreed to be monitored by government officials for five years to attempt to ensure the company's compliance, Cole said.

"Let me be clear, we will not tolerate health care fraud," Cole told a news conference at the Justice Department. He would not say whether any company executives were under investigation. The company's guilty plea and sentence have to be approved by a federal court in Massachusetts.

"For far too long, we have heard that the pharmaceutical industry views these settlements merely as the cost of doing business," Acting Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery, head of Justice's civil division, said at the news conference. "That is why this administration is committed to using every available tool to defeat health care fraud."


More at HUFFPO
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