In the latest study that exonerates menopause as a cause of impairing the ability to recall, Taiwanese researchers compared the memory of hundreds of women before they had any menopausal symptoms to their memory as they entered menopause.
"When women go into perimenopause, they don't need to worry about cognitive decline," said Dr. Jong-Ling Fuh, an attending physician at Taipei Veterans General Hospital and an associate professor of Yang-Ming University School of Medicine.
To try to answer the question of whether menopause did have any effect on memory, Fuh and her colleagues studied nearly 700 premenopausal women living on a group of rural islands between Taiwan and China. The Taiwanese government restricted access to these islands until the 1990s, so the authors report that the study's population was nearly homogeneous, which would help rule out other potentially causative factors of memory loss.
The women were between the ages of 40 and 54. None of them had had a hysterectomy, and none took hormone replacement therapy during the study.
All took five cognitive tests designed to assess their memory and cognitive skills at the start of the study, and then again 18 months later.
During the study period, 23 percent of the women began to have symptoms of menopause.
The researchers then compared the memory of the women who had entered menopause to those who had not, and found very little difference. In four of the five tests, there were no statistically significant differences in the two groups of women.
Only on one test was the difference statistically significant, and that difference, said Fuh, was very slight. This test was designed to assess verbal memory and involved showing the women 70 nonsensical figures. Some of the figures were repeated during the test, while most were not. The women were asked whether they had seen the figure earlier.
"For women, menopause does not mean you'll develop memory loss," said Dr. Raina Ernstoff, an attending neurologist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. As you're going through perimenopause and experiencing symptoms like hot flashes, she said, you may feel lousy and have trouble sleeping, which might temporarily affect your cognitive skills.
"I don't think declining estrogen levels are what causes memory loss," said Dr. Steven Goldstein, an obstetrician/gynecologist at New York University Medical Center in New York City. "It's not like your memory is bopping along, doing fine and then takes this big dive during menopause, like bone density can."
Both Ernstoff and Goldstein said they weren't aware of many women who believed that menopause might cause significant memory loss. They also both felt that results from this group of women who were so homogeneous might not apply to different groups of women, such as those living in more industrialized society. And they both said that other factors that weren't studied could play a role in memory loss, such as hypertension, which can contribute to vascular dementia.
Ernstoff also pointed out that the education backgrounds can play a large role in memory loss. Fuh acknowledged the researchers did attempt to control the data for educational differences.
SOURCES: Jong-Ling Fuh, M.D., attending physician, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, and associate professor, Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan; Steven Goldstein, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist, New York University Medical Center, and professor, obstetrics/gynecology, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; Raina Ernstoff, M.D., attending neurologist, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich., and member, Alzheimer's Board of Detroit; Oct. 4, 2004, presentation, American Neurological Association, Toronto.
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Medical professionals recommend that men have annual rectal exams as part of a health checkup from ages 40 to 70, and those with high risk and all men 50 and over should add a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test every year as well. When prostate cancer is detected early and treated it has a high cure rate. Men are encouraged to discuss the options with their doctor. Based on past screenings doctors have observed that in men ages 50 to 59, the prostate cancer detection rate was basically the same whether men were screened every year or every two years. Therefore normal-risk men in their 50s can to be safely screened every other year. Since there is no cure for advanced prostate cancer, early diagnosis and treatment are essential. Since early prostate cancer normally doesn’t have any symptoms, it is extremely difficult to detect without testing. Screenings using both PSA and DRE tests have proven to be the best and only reliable method of identifying the disease when it can be still be cured easily. Almost fifty-eight percent of all cases are discovered while the cancer is still isolated and at its most treatable stage. A doctor can detect prostate cancer by digital rectal examination and by a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test.
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During normal breathing, air passes through the throat on its way to the lungs. The air travels past the soft palate, uvula, tonsils, and tongue. When a person is awake, the muscles in the back of the throat tighten to hold these structures in place preventing them from collapsing and/or vibrating in the airway. During sleep, the uvula and soft palate frequently vibrate causing the distinctive sounds of snoring.
The LAUP procedure is a laser surgical procedure designed to sequentially trim and shorten these structures, thus preventing or reducing snoring.
Risks and ComplicationsYou have the right to be informed that the surgery may involve risks of unsuccessful results, complications, or injury from both known and unforeseen causes. Because individuals vary in their tissue circulation and healing processes, as well as anesthetic reactions, ultimately there can be no guarantee made as to the results or potential complications. The following complications have been reported in the medical literature. This list is not meant to be inclusive of every possible complication. They are listed here for your information only, not to frighten you, but to make you aware and more knowledgeable concerning this surgical procedure.
1. Failure to resolve the snoring. Most surgeons feel that about 85% of patients who undergo a LAUP will have a significant or complete resolution in their snoring; and an additional percentage of patients will notice reduced levels of snoring such that their sleep partners will report that it's level is no longer offensive.
2. Failure to cure sleep apnea or other pathological sleep disorders. Pathological sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, are medical problems which may have associated serious complications. At this time, the LAUP procedure has not been proven to cure these disorders.
3. Bleeding. In very rare situations, a need for blood products or a blood transfusion. You have the right, should you choose, to have autologous or designated donor directed blood pre-arranged. You are encouraged to consult with your doctor if you are interested.
4. Nasal regurgitation, a change in voice, or velopharyngeal insufficiency when liquids may flow into the nasal cavity during swallowing (rare).
5. Failure to resolve coexisting sinus, tonsil, or nasal problems.
6. Need for revision, or further and more aggressive surgery.
7. Prolonged pain, impaired healing, and the need for hospitalization
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MEG MEEKER, M.D., has spent the past twenty years practicing pediatric and adolescent medicine and counseling teens and parents. Dr. Meeker is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a fellow of the National Advisory Board of The Medical Institute. Dr. Meeker is a popular speaker on teen issues and is frequently heard on nationally syndicated radio and television programs. She lives and works in Traverse City, Michigan, where she shares a medical practice with her husband, Walter. They have four children.
How common cleaning products could be a ticking time bomb in your home or office!
If your home or office is typical, it already has dozens of cleaning and personal care products that contain harmful chemicals. Recent studies have revealed that most households/offices contain over 63 hazardous products that together contain hundreds of chemicals. These chemicals have the potential to greatly harm or even kill your children, your pets and you, should they accidentally not be used with the utmost caution.
Could these tragedies happen in your home or office?
When little Jennifer Smith of Salt Lake City, UT was but a year old she crawled over to the dishwasher while her mother was unloading the dishes. She put her small finger in the detergent dispensing cup and ate a finger full of wet but un-dissolved commercial dish detergent. In minutes her face was red and blistered, the inside of her mouth and tongue were burned white. Luckily she was rushed to a nearby hospital emergency room for quick medical attention. She recovered in a few days.
Another documented case was a 20 month old boy who had to be fed through tubes for five months and suffered through many operations. Again, the culprit was dishwasher detergent.
This is only two of thousands of cases reflecting children ingesting and being exposed to, what most consider common household products, terrible life threatening consequences.
It is estimated that the U.S. Poison Control Center has nearly 1.5 million reported cases of accidental ingestion of poisons every year. Sadly most of these cases were under 12 years of age.
Have you ever wondered what the strong odor in the cleaners isle of your supermarket is?
Ingestion is only one of three major ways that these products enter the body. Inhalation is even for more dangerous because when breathed in these harmful chemicals go directly into the blood stream and can quickly affect the lungs, heart, brain liver and kidneys.
By the way, that strong smell in your supermarket cleaner isle is caused by what industry experts describe as "out gassing". Out gassing is the vapors escaping from the "sealed" containers on the supermarkets shelves. Which obviously are extremely harmful to your health.
Have you ever been literally driven out of your bathroom shower while using one of the most popular tile cleaners? These types of cleaners must contain strong chemicals in order to do the job. The job may get done but you are at risk from the strong vapors that are generated. By the time you have exited the bathroom the chemical vapors have entered your blood stream and are wrecking havoc with your health.
Where are your rubber gloves?
Do you know that one square centimeter of skin (the size of a dime) contains 3 million cells and 4 yards of nerves? How do you think nicotine and hormone replacement patches work? Do the chemicals somehow enter the body from the patch through the skin to do their work? Of course they do.
This same absorption occurs every time a cleaning product touches your skin. By the way, if your baby happens to crawl across your nicely scrubbed kitchen floor, even several days after, the skin will pick up and absorb whatever harmful chemicals happen to be in the cleaner.
Why isn't the consumer informed and protected from the potentially dangerous chemicals contained in cleaning and personal care products?
- The government has very limited power to regulate and require proper testing.
- Products that kill 50% of lab animals can still get designated as "non-toxic".
- Of 17,000 household chemicals only about 5,100, or approximately 30%, have been adequately tested and less than 10% have been tested on the nervous system.
- No law requires manufactures to list the exact ingredients on the package label.
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The Veriuni formula is used exclusively by the over 30 National Parks, a few which include Yellowstone, Grant Teton and Yosemite. The formula was also chosen by the City of Santa Monica after conducting tests for the most effective and environmentally safe cleansers for the city's cleaning needs. Warner Brothers and Fox Studios, the University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ and world-famous resorts have also chosen these products to clean their facilities. And most recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is testing these same products for use on its fleet of air and water quality testing ships.
Now, Veriuni makes these safe products available to you, for use in both your home and your office. A powerful, effective and non-toxic alternative to traditional cleaners.
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