March 5th, 2012
By: Elizabeth Landau
Food allergies are tricky business. They’re on the rise in the United States and no one knows why.
Some children are allergic to many foods, and it’s impossible to know based on preventive testing whether someone will have a mild or severe reaction. And so far there’s no cure.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Duke University are working on a treatment that may one day allow kids with allergies to safely eat the foods that cause them life-threatening reactions. It’s still in the early stages, but Dr. Robert Wood of Johns Hopkins, who has been on the forefront of food allergy research, estimates the treatment could be brought to the public within six to eight years.
In his new study, researchers explored a treatment for children with cow’s milk allergies. The strategy is to desensitize the child by giving small amounts of the allergen (milk). Oral immunotherapy, swallowing small amounts of the allergen, has shown to be more effective than sublingual therapy, which involves putting even tinier quantities of milk under the person’s tongue.
Wood and colleagues found promising results from this small experiment with 30 children ages 6 to 18. These kids were severely allergic to cow’s milk. Wood presented the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology this weekend.
The results suggested that children who went through a year of sublingual therapy followed by one to two years of oral immunotherapy were less likely to have significant allergic reactions when undergoing the oral immunotherapy. Still, it did not eliminate all symptoms.
This is particularly important, because about 20% of the kids that Wood and colleagues work with have significant reactions during the treatment that make the therapy unfeasible, Wood said.
Some participants have shown they can safely eat milk products up to a year after stopping the therapies, Wood said. But only one-third have longterm protection. Others need regular exposure to milk in order to maintain protection against allergic reactions.
“With milk that’s not too hard,” Wood says, because one could “eat pizza a couple of times a week.”
It’s not known yet whether children respond better to this kind of treatment than adults, since there have been so few participants in this research. The big barrier to broadening the scope of the research is funding, Wood said.
This is the first time the sublingual therapy has been studied in terms of its benefit as a precursor to the oral immunotherapy, Wood said.
Other research has shown that immunotherapy techniques may similarly work for children with peanut allergies. But tree nuts may be harder to treat, Wood said, because tree-nut allergic individuals often have multiple kinds of nuts they can’t eat.
Researchers are separately looking at a drug called omalizumab (Xolair), approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of severe asthma, to see if it could help people with food allergies, too.
Do not try the immunotherapy technique at home; these experiments are conducted under medical supervision.
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March 1st, 2011
By: Mike Stobbe
Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.
Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission. The meeting was triggered by the government’s apology last fall for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago.
U.S. officials also acknowledged there had been dozens of similar experiments in the United States – studies that often involved making healthy people sick.
An exhaustive review by The Associated Press of medical journal reports and decades-old press clippings found more than 40 such studies. At best, these were a search for lifesaving treatments; at worst, some amounted to curiosity-satisfying experiments that hurt people but provided no useful results.
Inevitably, they will be compared to the well-known Tuskegee syphilis study. In that episode, U.S. health officials tracked 600 black men in Alabama who already had syphilis but didn’t give them adequate treatment even after penicillin became available.
These studies were worse in at least one respect – they violated the concept of “first do no harm,” a fundamental medical principle that stretches back centuries.
“When you give somebody a disease – even by the standards of their time – you really cross the key ethical norm of the profession,” said Arthur Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics.
Some of these studies, mostly from the 1940s to the ’60s, apparently were never covered by news media. Others were reported at the time, but the focus was on the promise of enduring new cures, while glossing over how test subjects were treated.
Attitudes about medical research were different then. Infectious diseases killed many more people years ago, and doctors worked urgently to invent and test cures. Many prominent researchers felt it was legitimate to experiment on people who did not have full rights in society – people like prisoners, mental patients, poor blacks. It was an attitude in some ways similar to that of Nazi doctors experimenting on Jews.
“There was definitely a sense – that we don’t have today – that sacrifice for the nation was important,” said Laura Stark, a Wesleyan University assistant professor of science in society, who is writing a book about past federal medical experiments.
The AP review of past research found:
-A federally funded study begun in 1942 injected experimental flu vaccine in male patients at a state insane asylum in Ypsilanti, Mich., then exposed them to flu several months later. It was co-authored by Dr. Jonas Salk, who a decade later would become famous as inventor of the polio vaccine.
Some of the men weren’t able to describe their symptoms, raising serious questions about how well they understood what was being done to them. One newspaper account mentioned the test subjects were “senile and debilitated.” Then it quickly moved on to the promising results.
-In federally funded studies in the 1940s, noted researcher Dr. W. Paul Havens Jr. exposed men to hepatitis in a series of experiments, including one using patients from mental institutions in Middletown and Norwich, Conn. Havens, a World Health Organization expert on viral diseases, was one of the first scientists to differentiate types of hepatitis and their causes.
A search of various news archives found no mention of the mental patients study, which made eight healthy men ill but broke no new ground in understanding the disease.
-Researchers in the mid-1940s studied the transmission of a deadly stomach bug by having young men swallow unfiltered stool suspension. The study was conducted at the New York State Vocational Institution, a reformatory prison in West Coxsackie. The point was to see how well the disease spread that way as compared to spraying the germs and having test subjects breathe it. Swallowing it was a more effective way to spread the disease, the researchers concluded. The study doesn’t explain if the men were rewarded for this awful task.
October 1, 2010
In one, a sailor who had fallen overboard was apparently revived by filling his lungs with tobacco smoke, while another tried to deliberately infect subjects with sexually transmitted diseases.
A Royal Navy surgeon claimed James Calloway, unconscious seaman, who was thought to have drowned was brought back by fumes from a pipe.
Along with tobacco, medics on board naval vessels, emigrant ships and convict transport in the 19th century relied on a range of treatments including alcohol, blood-letting and various natural remedies in a bid to restore the health of their patients.
On January 19 1802 Calloway, a seaman aged 40, was treated on the HMS Princess Royal.
Surgeon Ben Lara wrote: ”Brought on board an appearance of a corpse – he had fallen over the bows of the launch, which passed over him with a smart breeze, another boat endeavouring to assist, also drove him under water.
”He emerged and was again sinking when dragged into the boat.
”He was about 12 minutes in the water and 20 minutes elapsed before he was brought aboard.”
The sailor was stripped and laid on a warm bed in the galley where he was ”rubbed dry” with cloths and sack.
”He proceeded in this mode for a quarter of an hour without effect,” Mr Lara reported in documents held at the National Archives in Kew.
”Being compelled to relinquish the advantage of the galley he was removed into the bay – here on a warm bed. Bottles with hot water, were put under his hands, armpits and to the feet.
”Pewter plates heated and defended with flannel were placed along the spine.
”Tobacco smoke was conveyed to the lungs through the tube of a common pipe.
”In three quarters of an hour from his removal to the bay I observed an obscure palpitation of the heart – the tobacco smoke was urged.
”In ten minutes from this he sighed faintly and closed his mouth.
”The smoke was continued. He coughed, pulse at the wrist was evident.”
An hour and 20 minutes after being pulled from the water, the patient managed to speak and swallow two spoonfuls of brandy and water, according to the surgeon.
Mr Lara added: ”In four hours from our first applications he was perfectly collected.”
The sailor recovered and was cleared to return to duty on February 7 1802 but the surgeon warns: ”From his general appearance, which I do not find it easy to describe, I think a favourable termination to be very problematical.”
Another ”experiment”, was conducted on a young woman with a venereal disease – a common problem at sea, according to a surgeon on HMS Gladiator. Both the woman’s ”keeper” and an officer had ”connexion” with her to see how gonorrhoea and syphilis were spread, the documents reveal.
December 18, 2009
By David Gutierrez
Research is emerging that casts serious doubt on the major hypothesis as to the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, raising questions as to whether scientists really understand the disease at all.
The most effective drug currently in use for the treatment of Alzheimer’s is not any of the complex drugs developed or used in the United States or in Western Europe, which slow cognitive decline for only about six to nine months. That honor goes to a Russian antihistamine named dimebolin, which reverses the symptoms of Alzheimer’s for a full year. Although not currently approved for U.S. use by the FDA, dimebolin is shaking up the Alzheimer’s research world.
In a study conducted by researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease in Vienna, dimebolin was found to drastically improve symptoms at the same time that it led to a drastic increase in the levels of the beta amyloid protein in brain cells, both in cell-based experiments and in the brains of mice. Yet beta amyloids are the very molecules that most Western researchers have, until recently, believed to be the cause of the disease, by forming sticky plaques in the brain that interfere with neural functioning.
“I would say that conventional wisdom in the field … is that an amyloid benefit would mean amyloid-lowering,” researcher Sam Gandy said. “Certainly, up until now, no one has been looking (intentionally) to treat Alzheimer’s by raising amyloid levels. [So] it was startling to observe that a compound with an apparently beneficial clinical effect on cognition caused acute elevation of amyloid beta levels in three out of three systems, in two labs.”
The pharmaceutical industry has been pouring massive amounts of time and money into drugs capable of lowering amyloid levels directly – efforts that it now seems may do more harm than good. In light of recent findings, some researchers are now suggesting that amyloid plaques might actually function as a toxic waste dump of sorts, sequestering dangerous compounds to defend the brain from further damage. If so, eliminating them might drastically accelerate the progress of dementia.
November 11, 2009
By Maria Cheng
British scientists begin a new study on Tuesday to consider how human DNA is used in animal experiments and to determine what the boundaries of such controversial science might be.
Though experts have been swapping human and animal DNA for years — like replacing animal genes with human genes or growing human organs in animals — scientists at the Academy of Medical Sciences want to make sure the public is aware of what is happening in laboratories before proceeding further.
“It sounds yucky, but it may be well worth doing if it’s going to lead to a cure for something horrible,” said Robin Lovell-Badge, a stem cell expert at Britain’s National Institute for Medical Research, and a member of the group conducting the study.
At a media briefing in London, Lovell-Badge said there were two main types of experiments: altering an animal’s genes by adding human DNA or replacing a specific animal sequence with its human counterpart. Several years ago, human genes were added to a mouse to create a model of Down’s syndrome for scientists to study how the disease evolves, which could lead to potential treatments.
Scientists also have tried to grow human organs in animals that could one day be transplanted back into humans — like a mouse onto whose back scientists grew a human ear. “There are good reasons for doing this, but it may upset some people,” Lovell-Badge said.
Two years ago, controversy erupted in Britain after scientists announced plans to create human embryos using empty cow and rabbit eggs. Critics condemned the mixing of human and animal genetic material, though scientists said the embryos would be destroyed after 14 days and would only be used to help them learn how to create human stem cells.
FDA Approval of Antipsychotics for Children Mirrors Bayer, AMA Approvals of Heroin as Cough Medicine for Children
June 11, 2009
by Mike Adams
(NaturalNews) Today an FDA advisory panel approved the prescribing of powerful mind-altering chemicals for children. Seroquel, Zyprexa and Goedon have now been approved by the advisory panel to be prescribed to children as young as 10 years old to treat a fictitious disease invented by psychiatrists and given the name “bipolar disorder.” (There is no such thing as a bipolar disorder disease. It is merely a name assigned to children demonstrating the predictable side effects of correctable dietary imbalances.)
In light of this disturbing decision, it is instructive to remember the history of pharmaceutical medicine and children. One hundred and ten years ago, Bayer marketed heroin to children as a non-addictive alternative to morphine. Did I say “non-addictive?” Yes, it’s right from the company’s own marketing materials. It just goes to show you that drug companies have been lying to the public (and poisoning the children) for well over one hundred years.
Much like the FDA’s present-day endorsement of antipsychotic drugs for children, the American Medical Association endorsed Bayer Heroin for kids, touting its ability to ease coughs. Heroin definitely eases coughs. And so does smoking meth! In offering this endorsement, the AMA apparently borrowed some of the FDA’s screwy logic, which claims “The benefits outweigh the risks.”
This means, of course, that the benefits to the drug companies outweigh the risks to the children!
During all this, of course, the AMA utterly failed to inform parents that heroin was a highly addictive narcotic drug. So parents were dosing their babies with heroin — all with the full approval of the American Medical Association!
Today, the FDA spearheads the promotion of drugs to children, doing its best to promote toxic synthetic chemicals that artificially alter brain chemistry while outlawing any mention of natural remedies that work much better (like omega-3 oils, which are natural brain chemistry stabilizers). The FDA also utterly fails to ban toxic chemical food ingredients known to destroy healthy brain chemistry (like MSG and artificial food coloring).
Thus, in one hundred and ten years, western medicine has learned nothing! It still poisons the children with the full approval of “health authorities” all while enriching the powerful drug companies.
Big Pharma’s ties to Nazi Germany
In remembering the endorsement by the AMA of heroin treatments for children, it’s helpful to consider a bit more of the history of Big Pharma:
The name Heroin comes from the German word heroisch, which means “heroic.” Take enough heroin, and you might feel heroic, too. (At least until the high is gone.)
Bayer, of course, is a German pharmaceutical company with all sorts of interesting ties to Nazi Germany and the medical experiments conducted on Jewish prisoners during World War II. In 1956, for example, Fritz ter Meer became the chairman of Bayer. What’s so interesting about that? This was after he served seven years in prison for carrying out experiments on Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz.
One minute you’re committing crimes against humanity, and the next minute you’re the Chairman of Bayer. Amazing, isn’t it? (Amazing how deep the criminal backgrounds go for these Big Pharma people, it seems…)
More recently, Bayer has been found contaminating the U.S. rice crop with genetically engineered rice seeds.
There’s a lot more you probably didn’t know about the true history of Big Pharma’s dangerous experiments on humans.
Pushing narcotics for children – the Big Pharma way!
Bayer eventually pulled its heroin from the market in 1910, by the way. In 1914, the U.S. Congress passed the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, which allowed heroin to continue to be prescribed as a medicine. In wasn’t until 1924 that the U.S. Congress banned heroin sales outright.
Interestingly, 85 years later, narcotics are routinely prescribed to U.S. schoolchildren as “ADHD medications” (they are actually amphetamine drugs). And now, with the help of the FDA, drugs like Seroquel and Zyprexa can be legally prescribed to children by doctors.
And yet even that is just a hodge-podge of FDA theater, because in reality, doctors have been illegally prescribing these drugs to children for well over a decade, and not one doctor has ever been arrested or fined for engaging in this “off-label prescribing” of dangerous, mind-altering chemicals. In fact, the FDA’s decision today isn’t really about medical science at all: It’s about sweeping under the rug the routine crimes of America‘s psychiatrists who have been poisoning children’s minds with dangerous drugs for years on end.
And rather than enforcing existing medical laws that forbid off-label prescribing of drugs, the FDA apparently finds it more convenient to simply legalize the criminal behavior of psychiatrists via a politically-motivated vote.
A hundred and ten years from now, this decision will be viewed with the same disbelief that we now evoke when looking back at the AMA’s endorsement of heroin cough syrup for children. Future citizens of our world will look back and ask themselves, “Were these people on drugs?”
And the answer, of course, is yes, the decision makers are all on drugs. They’re taking drugs, pushing drugs and profiting from drugs. And now they’re going after the children with those same drugs because there’s more profit to be found by expanding the age range of victims who can be targeted for financial exploitation by the pharmaceutical industry. Children are simply the next target on the corporate profits priority list.
Let’s be honest here: These are crimes against our children. And those FDA advisory panel members who voted to whitewash these crimes are, themselves, guilty of crimes against humanity (and should be arrested and tried accordingly).
The Nazis gassed Jewish children with Zyklon B. America now openly drugs its own children with Zyprexa.
Both chemicals, not coincidentally, were invented and manufactured by the same industry: The pharmaceutical industry.