Archive | May, 2008

Pheochromocytoma

I am not sure how many of you who have headache problems have heard of pheochromocytoma, it is a tumor of the adrenal gland. This can cause the following symptoms: Headaches (severe) Excess sweating (generalized) Racing heart (tachycardia and palpitations) Anxiety / nervousness (feelings of impending death) Nervous shaking (tremors) Pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen Nausea (with or without nausea) Weight loss Heat intolerance It is rare and typically is not even found until an autopsy after death. If you believe you may have a pheochromocytoma than I would strongly recommend a 24 hour urine test to test for catacholamines. This test measures different types of adrenaline to see if they are out of normal levels. I personally had this test done but all of my catacholamines were within normal ranges. You could also get an MRI scan done to look at your kidneys. To find out more information I suggest the following site. http://www.endocrineweb.com/pheo.html

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Epilepsy Drug – No Migraine Benefit

Contrary to some reports, the epilepsy drug oxcarbazepine does not appear to prevent migraine, according to recent research.A study involved 170 men and women at clinics across the United States with half of the group receiving a daily dose of oxcarbazepine; the other half took placebo. Both groups included people who had three to nine migraine attacks within a month. Researchers found no difference between the oxcarbazepine and placebo groups in the change in the number of migraine attacks from the beginning to the end of the study. “The results of this trial do not support preliminary data which had suggested oxcarbazepine was effective in preventing migraine,” said study author Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “While several epilepsy drugs have been used for decades to prevent migraine, oxcarbazepine did not prevent migraine in this study despite it being shown to be safe and well-tolerated.” Oxcarbazepine has no apparent activity on GABA which other drugs effective do. Silberstein says it’s possible that epilepsy drugs must be able to regulate this neurotransmitter in order to prevent migraine. Adapted from materials provided by American Academy of Neurology.

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Distributed Computing

For a class I am currently taking, I am working on a project with a team of other students on distributed computing. For those who do not know what it is I feel that it is a worthwhile endeavor to consider getting involved with. It is a way of connecting thousands of computers and making them work together on a research project. You can volunteer your computer to work for medical projects like cure diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other types of scientific research. It requires basically no effort on your part and does not even affect the performance of your computer. All you do is download a software program, install it, and the application runs in the background. How this works is that usually you only use about 10% of your computer processor cycles at any given time. Therefore the other 90% is not being used. This is where the application comes in. You can chose which project your idle computer processor cycles are going towards. I would recommend Folding @ Home which is working on understanding the way proteins fold. This is beneficial in eventually finding a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. You can even […]

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Narcotics

What is a Narcotic? A narcotic is an addictive drug that reduces pain, induces sleep and may alter mood or behaviour. In US legal context, narcotic refers to opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic or fully synthetic substitutes as well as cocaine and coca leaves, which although classified as “narcotics” in the U.S. Drug effects depend heavily on the dose, route of administration, previous exposure to the drug, and the expectation of the user. Aside from their clinical use in the treatment of pain, coughing and acute diarrhea, narcotics produce a general sense of well-being known as euphoria by reducing tension, anxiety, and aggression. Narcotic use is associated with a variety of effects including drowsiness, itching, sleeplessness, inability to concentrate, apathy, lessened physical activity, constriction of the pupils, dilation of the subcutaneous blood vessels causing flushing of the face and neck, constipation, nausea, vomiting and, most significantly, respiratory depression. Among the hazards of careless or excessive drug use are the increasing risk of infection, disease and overdose. For more information about Narcotics, read the full article at Wikipedia.org

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Google Analytics – New “Opted In” Acceptance

So today I logged in to Google analytics to check some of the ways that people are find my site and was surprised to be greeted by a pop up asking me to accept some new terms. So what exactly was I accepting? I decided to did a little deeper. On the Google Analytics blog it states “You can … elect to share your data with other Google services. This setting will allow us to provide you with additional advanced new features. For example, many of you have asked us to integrate Conversion Optimizer (which is currently only available to AdWords Conversion Tracking users) into Google Analytics. By opting to share your data with Google, you’ll be able to take advantage of these related new features as they become available.” In addition there is also a new benchmarking service. In order to use these new services you are going to have to opt in and accept the terms. I see this being pretty useful for some companies. Benchmarking allows customers to see how their site data compares to sites in any available industry vertical. This will allow you to look at your competitors and try to change your marketing techniques […]

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