The good news about sleep aids involves the popular
Ambien. It is now available in a low-cost generic form.
Ramelteon, Rozerem, is a melatonin agonist and related to the natural hormone melatonin. It attempts to duplicate the body's natural mechanisms that stimulate sleep. It works in 30 minutes and is not habit-forming, but it's not as strong as other sleep aids An older class of prescription sleep aids is called benzodiazepines. They carry more risks, especially for the elderly, and they may interact with other medications. They are not recommended by the Mayo Clinic. This class includes such names as Restoril and its generics, Klonopin and generics and Halcion and its generics.
Over-the counter sleep
aids such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl and others) or doxylamine (Unisom
and others) are designed for occasional use. They offer little help for
actual insomnia and may have side effects, say Mayo doctors.
Big breakthrough for kidney transplant patients
After decades of searching, doctors at Massachusetts
General Hospital in Boston have found a way to eliminate the need for
anti-rejection drugs in kidney transplant patients.
The key to the new treatment includes weakening the immune system's
rejection response by injecting the patient with bone marrow from the
The treatment is successful for those who
receive a kidney from parents or siblings who have slightly different
tissue types. Many kidney transplants are similarly mismatched.
Presently, kidney recipients must take anti-rejection drugs for the rest
of their lives. Side effects include excessive hair growth, bloating and
tremors. The drugs also raise the risk of cancer.
Minimally invasive surgery gets more minimal
Using laparoscopy eliminated the need for large
incisions for operations such as appendectomies. The small incisions
healed faster, speeding recovery.
Now, laparoscopy can
be done with just one small cut. TransEnterix of Durham, N.C., has
consolidated the cameras, lights, and blades previously used into a
single instrument. When inserted through a port, the device fans out.
Surgeons at York-Presbyterian Hospital say the new instrument eliminates
scars, but it doesn't shorten recovery time.
A link to gout and to high BP
Scientists quoted in Hypertension say there is a link
between sugary drinks and high levels of uric acid, which causes gout.
They also found a link between sugary drinks and high blood pressure,
but only in men.
They studied 4,073 men and women over
age 18 and found men with the highest levels of uric acid were most
likely to have high blood pressure.
think estrogen protects women from high levels of uric acid.
Solitude yes, loneliness no
People often enjoy solitude. Being by yourself can be
restful and enjoyable.
Loneliness is different. It comes from being socially
isolated, alone too much of the time without social contacts. According
to Current Directions in Psychological Science, the stress of loneliness
can accelerate the aging process.
Don't settle for loneliness. Having contact with
others at work can be a plus for those who may become lonely. The key to
having meaningful contact with others, however, comes from taking an
interest in them and their work.
For those who are new in the community or have lost
someone they were close to, joining a church, a club, or taking part in
sports activities can help to fill the gap in their lives at least