Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 5 Issue 257 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 14-Sep-2003 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 15-Sep-2003
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Chronic solvent abusers have more brain abnormalities and cognitive impairments than cocaine abusers
Chronic inhalant abuse has long been linked to widespread brain damage and cognitive abnormalities that can range from mild impairment to severe dementia. Now a NIDA-funded study that compared brain damage and intellectual functioning among long-term inhalers of volatile solvents and cocaine abusers has found substantial brain abnormalities and cognitive impairment among both groups.. more

Information for patients: Poison ivy and its cousins
Pamela Lillian Isley can manipulate plants in unexplained ways. They bend to her will, growing and threatening the environment and society--at least in Gotham City. In the world of Batman, the fictional Isley is better known as the beautiful criminal Poison Ivy. Her alias is fitting. Just as she is the bane of Batman's existence, in the real world the poison ivy plant--along with its cousins poison oak and poison sumac--is the bane of millions of campers, hikers, gardeners, and others who enjoy the great outdoors.  more


Epidemic/epizootic West Nile Virus in the United States: Guidelines for surveillance, prevention, and control
In late summer 1999, the first domestically acquired human cases of West Nile (WN) encephalitis were documented in the U.S. 1-6 The discovery of virus-infected, overwintering mosquitoes during the winter of 1999-2000 presaged renewed virus activity for the following spring and precipitated early season vector control and disease surveillance in New York City (NYC) and the surrounding areas. 7, 8 These surveillance efforts were focused on identifying and documenting WN virus (WNV) infections in birds, mosquitoes and equines as sentinel animals that could alert health officials to the occurrence of human disease. Surveillance tracked the spread of WNV throughout much of the U.S. between 2000 and 2002. By the end of 2002, WNV activity had been identified in 44 states and the District of Columbia. The 2002 WNV epidemic and epizootic resulted in reports of 4,156 reported human cases of WN disease (including 2,942 meningoencephalitis cases and 284 deaths), 16,741 dead birds, 6,604 infected mosquito pools, and 14,571 equine cases. The 2002 WNV epidemic was the largest recognized arboviral meningoencephalitis epidemic in the Western Hemisphere and the largest WN meningoencephalitis epidemic ever recorded.  more

Prostate cancer risk is increased nearly three-fold when a brother has the disease
It has been well-established that the risk of prostate cancer is increased among men who have a first-degree relative (father, son, brother) with the disease, but new research shows the risk is greatly increased for men who have a brother with prostate cancer. The meta-analysis research led by Deborah Watkins Bruner, Ph.D., at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pa., will be published online Friday, Sept. 12, 2003, in the International Journal of Cancer.  more

Information for patients, practitioners and the public: Inhalants
Inhalants are breathable chemical vapors that produce psychoactive (mind-altering) effects. A variety of products commonplace in the home and in the workplace contain substances that can be inhaled. Many people do not think of these products, such as spray paints, glues, and cleaning fluids, as drugs because they were never meant to be used to achieve an intoxicating effect. Yet, young children and adolescents can easily obtain them and are among those most likely to abuse these extremely toxic substances.  more

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