The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 1, 1997 · Page 15
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 15

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 1, 1997
Page 15
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THE SALINA JOURNAL HEALTH WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 1997 C3 T COMMON COLD A cure... almost First treatment to attack cold virus reduces symptoms 50 percent By DANIEL Q.HANEY The Associated Press TORONTO — A cure for the common cold? Not quite. But perhaps the next best thing is on the way: A medicine that helps . you feel only half as rotten as you ordinarily would when the sniffles do strike. Researchers on Tuesday described-the successful human testing of the first medicine '. that eases cold symptoms by attacking the , cold virus itself. It's still several years away from the drug.'. store, cautioned Dr. Ronald B. Turner, who said he could not be more specific. "We've got a ways to go before we're willing to say .;, the word 'cure.'" '£ What Turner is willing to say, though, is ;- that a genetically engineered medicine v called ICAM-1 clearly seems to make colds less severe if sprayed into the nose around the time of infection., And that's nothing to sneeze at. Standard cold remedies try to tone down the body's reaction to the cold virus rather than thwart the germ itself. Antiviral approaches have been tried, but they typically do nothing at all or their side effects are worse than the cold. One obstacle to finding an effective medicine is that so many different bugs cause colds. The most common by far is the rhinovirus, which accounts for about 40 percent of them. But there are more than 100 different strains of rhinovirus. A few years ago, scientists learned how almost all the rhinoviruses get into the body. They attach themselves to a particular protein on the cells of the nasal lining. Scientists call this protein "intracellular adhesion molecule-1," or ICAM-1. The Associated Press Dr. Ronald Turner, head of pediatric Infectious disease division at the Medical University of South Carolina, holds a nasal spray that could make the common cold easier to deal with. Using gene splicing, scientists can produce ICAM-1 in volume. The idea behind the new treatment is to spray it into the nose, where it serves as a sort of decoy, luring cold viruses away from their real target. "Molecular bait," some call it. Two pharmaceutical companies — Bayer Corp. and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals — are developing this approach. Turner, an expert on colds at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, said Boehringer's medicine is the first to make it into human testing. He presented the results of that experiment, financed by Boehringer, at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. The researchers sprayed ICAM-] or dummy medicines into the noses of 177 volunteers either seven hours before or 12 hours after exposing them to rhinovirus. The spray did not keep them from getting infected. But it reduced the severity of their cold symptoms by about 50 percent. By comparison, antihistamines — the mainstay of over-the-counter remedies — reduce symptoms by about a third. The researchers asked people to rate their misery, going down a checklist of stuffiness, cough, headache and sore throat, among others. On every item, the people getting ICAM- 1 felt better. They also compared "nasal mucous weight," as they delicately put it, and found a 55 percent reduction. "It looks very promising, but whether it will prove to be cost-effective and feasible is •another matter," commented Dr. W. Michael Scheld of the University of Virginia. For now, it appears the treatment may help if given to ward off bad colds in people especially worried about getting them. These might include athletes preparing for a big game, students studying for a test or parents whose toddlers bring home colds from day care. It is likely to be most useful in the fall and late spring, when rhinovirus colds are unusually common. Midwinter colds are more likely to be caused by other kinds of viruses. Still unknown are how much the treatment might cost and whether it will help people if they begin treatment only after they start to feel a cold coming on. T PARKINSON'S DISEASE V DIET DRUGS Diet-drug users quitting cold turkey Former fen-phen users returning to exercise, less eating for loss By The Associated Press NEW YORK — After a year of popping fen-phen and downing Re- dux, Wendy Block is losing weight the old-fashioned way: eating less and exercising. "There is no magic pill," said Block; 58, of Wilmington, N.C., who went from 163 pounds to 143 since quitting the diet drugs and moving into the Structure House weight-loss clinic in nearby Durham last month. "The magic is getting away from the table and getting some exercise." Since the recall of the diet drugs Redux and fenfluramine — one- half of the drug cocktail known as fen-phen — many of the 6 million patients who used them for a quick weight-loss fix have quit cold turkey. The diet drug scare is also cutting into sales of another obesity pill, phentermine — the still-legal half of fen-phen. Total prescriptions of phenter- mine have plunged from a weekly peak in April of 258,983 to 123,868 the week Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, the maker of Redux and fen- fluramine, recalled the two drugs, according the research firm IMS America Ltd. Wyeth-Ayerst pulled the two drugs off the market at the Food and Drug Administration's request after a Mayo Clinic study linked them to potentially fatal heart valve damage; Some doctors say the scare could have a healthy side effect. "What I'm hoping happens is people say, 'Hey, I'm going to have to do this myself,'" said Structure House director Gerard J. Musante, a psychologist. "If that point can come out of all this, then perhaps some of the concerns coming out of this would be worth it." After giving up on an herbal diet aid—"It made me sick"—Teresa Smallwood signed up at a Chicago-area Jenny Craig diet center. The chain replaced its offering of diet pills with a traditional weight-loss regimen shortly before the drugs were recalled. Putting testicle cells in ; brain could treat disease By The Associated Press NEW YORK — Doctors might be able to treat Parkinson's disease someday by transplanting cells from pig testicles into a patient's brain. In a study reported in the October issue of the journal Nature Medicine, rats with a Parkinson's-like condition showed a marked easing of symptoms after they got transplants of testicular cells from other rats. Pigs would be the leading candidate to supply cells for people, said one of the researchers, Paul R. Sandberg of the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa. Parkinson's affects some 500,000 to 1 million Americans, causing such difficulties as slowed movement, rigidity and tremors. It is caused by lack of a chemical messenger called dopamine in part of the brain;. It can be treated with drugs, but scientists are looking-for something better. Some are studying transplants of fetal cells into the brain to produce dopamine, but that raises questions of ethics and limited supply. KITCHENS! Authentic Chinese Food Prepared From Scratch By Our Skilled Oriental Chefs Plate HI Plate #2-Bejfj Save $1.00 Available Only at our Chinese Kitchens at the following locations In Salina: • 9th and Magnolia Prices Good Oct. 1 -7,1997. Rumble at Randy's II Technical Knock-Out, Inc. T INFERTILITY Engineered fertility drugs OK'd By Ttw Associated Press WASHINGTON — Infertile women trying to become pregnant got new help Tuesday, as the Food and Drug Administration approved two brands of the first genetically engineered fertility hormone. Serono Laboratories' Gonal-F and Organon Inc.'s Follistim are bioengineered versions of "follicle-stimulating hormone" or FSH, a hormone that stimulates the ovaries to produce an egg every month. Until now, FSH has been made from the urine of postmenopausal women. Serono alone processes over 300 million liters of urine annually, to meet the demand for infertility treatment, said company spokeswoman Gina Cella, But as the amount of donated urine fluctuated year to year, the supply of the infertility drug couldn't always keep up with demand, said Dr. Paul Gindoff, director of George Washington University's reproductive endocrinology clinic. The new recombinant, or genetically engineered, version ends that problem while also ensuring better purity and that every dose will be equally potent, Gindoff said. "That's why I'm excited about it," he said. $1O FLU SHOTS S2b Pnuumonm Shots Medicare B - No Co-Pay 1201 Witt Crawford Salina 10.3.97 1*4.97 Clinic hour*: Mon.-Sat. • 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 1-800-899-9525 T BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORING Portable monitors reduce drug need By The Associated Press CHICAGO — Millions of people taking medication for high blood pressure have the problem in only one place — the doctor's office. Apparently, just going to the doctor can cause anxiety. Now, a study has come up with a way to distinguish between so-called "white-£oat hypertension" and true high blood pressure. It involves wearing a Walkman-sized portable blood pressure monitor that takes readings outside the doctor's office. That simple step allowed a quarter of patients who took drugs for hypertension to realize they can do just fine without medication, Belgian researchers said in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association. However, the study's authors acknowledged that, for now, out-of-office monitoring is too expensive for wide-. spread use where it is needed most -r among family doctors, the first line of defense in treating high blood pressure. Blood-pressure readings in a doctor's office are higher than in people's normal surroundings for about 20 percent of patients. While that phenomenon has been known for 50 years, this study used routine monitoring of blood pressure outside doctors' office to determine how many of these people can do without medication. October Featured Accessory Piece Cream & Sugar Set Available with $50 in mall purchases for only $7. Details at the Customer Service Center. Supplies are limited. 2259 S. Ninth Street, Salina • Customer Service Center (786) 625-4305 Breast Cancer Awareness Month Knockout Specialist TKO ive the Pink Bouquet libbon 10% of each Local Sale in October will be donated to the National Women's Cancer Research Alliance. ('tune in for your pink Itipel bow. 248 B S. Santa Fe 827-0351 HEAVYWEIGHT SEAN "Killer Gorilla" JEGEN Kansas City, MO. Randy's Dance Club 1604 W. State Salina, KS Saturday, October 4,1997 Live Professional Boxing PLUS: Undefeated Heavyweight JESSE "James" CORONA Wichita, KS Russian Light Heavyweight Champion TIM KORSAKOFF U.S.S.R. Flashy Welterweight "Bad" BRAD ESKEN (4-0) Tickets: $15.00 in advance, $20.00 at door - All General Admission First Bout - 8:00 p.m. Call 913-826-5624 Doors Open: 6:00 p.m. *Card Subject to Change Auto UNI [ojfflfcl Obtain pre-approval before you shop for 48 : months or: 60 months! GREAT PLAINS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION 605 S. Ohio, Salina 2061 S. Ohio, SaUna (785) 823-9226 (785) 8254621 with sufficient down payment

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