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The Burlington Free Press from Burlington, Vermont • Page 18

Burlington, Vermont
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The Burlington Free Press Monday, March 24, 2003 2C Health Yoga is more than Preeclampsia cause found stretching Pregnancy disorder linked to high level of a protein The discovery will allow rapid diagnosis of the problem and should lead to the first effective therapy for the disorder, experts said. oped symptoms of the disease, "demonstrating for the first time a clear cause-and-effect relationship between this protein and this disease," Karumanchi said. Both VEGF and P1GF stimulate the growth of blood vessels, a necessary requisite for the growth of the fetus. Both hormones are also necessary to maintain the health of small blood vessels that have already been formed. Lower than normal levels of VEGF adversely affects the health of the mother's blood vessels and causes organ damage throughout the body.

In another paper in the same journal, a team from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto reported that mice genetically engineered to produce below-normal levels of VEGF developed kidney problems characteristic of preeclampsia. Their findings are thus complementary to the first study. The two reports "shed unprecedented light on the pathogenesis of preeclampsia and offer novel therapeutic opportunities for this disease," researchers from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium concluded in an editorial in the same journal. The first obvious treatment would be to administer the growth factors to women with preeclampsia in an effort to "sop up" the excess sFltl, Karumanchi said. Both growth factors are already being produced and administered to humans for other purposes, so they are known to be safe.

"We simply have to test the correct doses in animal models, then we can go into clinical trials in women with severe illness," he said. In the longer term, it should be possible to identify drugs that would block production of excess sFltl. Interestingly, one drug that has been shown to do this in the test tube is nicotine. Epidemiological studies, furthermore, show that the rate of preeclampsia is lower among women who smoke. Karumanchi emphasized, however, that the researchers are not encouraging pregnant women to smoke because tobacco use produces a variety of adverse affects on the fetus.

By Thomas H. Maugh II Los Angeles Times Boston researchers have discovered the hitherto elusive cause of preeclampsia, the sometimes fatal complication of pregnancy that affects about 200,000 U.S. women each year. Studying pregnant women, a team from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center discovered that the disorder is associated with high levels of a protein that narrows blood vessels, impeding the flow of blood and oxygen. When they induced high levels of the protein in rats, the animals all developed the symptoms of preeclampsia, Dr.

S. Ananth Karumanchi and his colleagues reported in the March Journal of Clinical Investigation. The discovery will allow rapid diagnosis of the problem and should lead to the first effective therapy for the disorder, experts said. The finding could provide "an amazing breakthrough," said Dr. Marshall Lindheimer of the University of Chicago.

"Preeclampsia is a neglected disease that is finally having its day in court. That's important because the health burden is enormous." More than 6 million women around the world suffer preeclampsia during pregnancy each year, and the rate appears to be growing. The disorder, once known as toxemia, has been generally thought to affect about 5 percent of pregnancies, but the National Institutes of Health recently reported that the rate increased to about 8 percent during the 1990s. The disorder, usually diagnosed late in pregnancy, is characterized by sharp increases in blood pressure, swelling and proteins' in the urine. It can progress to eclampsia, which produces seizures and fatal complications of the liver, kidneys, lungs, blood and nervous system.

Eclampsia causes 15 percent of maternal deaths in pregnancies in the United States. In mild cases, the primary treatment is bed rest. In more severe cases, the infant is generally delivered by Caesarean section, whether the infant Health Calendar COMMUNITY MEDICAL SCHOOL SPRING LECTURES, 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays through April 22, Carpenter Auditorium, Given Medical Building, UVM. Tuesday, "The Skin You're In: What Does Your Largest Organ Do?" by Anita Licata, associate professor of medicine, UVM; March 29, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., "Menopause Health Conference." Free.

847-2886. AROMATHERAPY, p.m. Wednesday, Rowell 107, UVM. Presented by the Holistic Nurses Practitioners Network Group. 951-1790.

"IRIDOLOGY," p.m. Wednesday, Purple Shutter Herbs, Burlington. Learn hereditary strengths and weaknesses and how you can support your health. $25. 865-4372.

"PREPARING FOR THE UNEXPECTED," class, p.m. Wednesday and March 31, Ilsley Library, Middlebury; 6-8 p.m. April 1 and 2-4 p.m. April 6 land 6-8 p.m. April 22, Elks Club, Burlington; 6-8 p.m.

April 2 and April 9, Commodore's Inn, Stowe.Pre-sented by the American Red Cross. 660-9130. REIKI CLINIC, p.m. Wednesday, Touchstone School of Massage, Shel-burne. All degrees are welcome.

985-3164. CPR FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS INFANT AND CHILD CPR, 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Trinity campus, Burlington. $20. 847-2278.

INTRODUCTION TO TECHNIQUES FOR INNER FULFILLMENT, introductory meeting, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. Presented by Vermont Network. 1388-3357. HOME ACCESS PROGRAM I ABILITY EXPO, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

March 27, Sheraton Hotel, South Burlington. Vendor exhibits of accessibility equipment and products. I For people with disabilities, general contractors, medical personnel, professional staff and the public, to view 'specific equipment related to home modifications. (800)639-1522. "CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER" series, p.m.

Thursdays, March 27-April 17, Visiting Nurse Association, Colchester. Presented by Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties and Champlain Valley Agency on Aging. 860-4414. NUTRITION FOR LIFE, free class, 7 p.m. March 27, Sports and Fitness Edge, Williston.

878-8330. INTRODUCTION TO TAI CHI, 7-8 p.m. March 31, Vermont Kung Fu Academy, Essex Junction. 847-2278. EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES CONFERENCE, April 2-6, Sheraton Hotel, South Burlington.

For ECAs, EMTs, trainers, squad officers, physicians, nurses and firefighters. 863-7260, (800) 244-0911. has reached term or not. A study earlier this year suggested that infusions of magnesium sulfate also could ease symptoms, but that approach is not widely Much research over the last decade has suggested that preeclampsia is caused by some factor released into the bloodstream by the placenta, but researchers had not been able to identify this mysterious agent. Karumanchi and his colleagues used a new technique called gene expression profiling to determine which genes in the placental cells of pregnant women both with preeclampsia and without it were actively ordering the production of proteins.

This technique "wasn't possible even two or three years ago," he said. The only difference they observed between the two groups of women was the production of a previously known protein called soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (sFltl) by women with preeclampsia. This protein binds to two growth factors, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and placental growth factor (P1GF). By binding to the two growth factors, the protein should remove them from circulation. When the team reexamined the blood samples from the pregnant women with preeclampsia, they found there were, indeed, reduced levels of both VEGF and P1GF.

The team then exposed both pregnant and nonpregnant rats to sFltl and observed that all of the animals devel just fancy I have to admit I've only gone to one yoga class in mv pntire life, and all I re member is I didn't feel wel come in my shorts and l-shirt and I was in pain for about two days. Not to sound naive, but it did cross my mind that maybe yoga is really just a fancy way of stretching with a few extra breaths and some meditation thrown in for good measure. Yoga is an age-old form of exercise that incorporates strengthening, breathing, stretching and balance it's a hybrid of physical, mental and spiritual traditions that began in India more than 5,000 years ago. Yoga which means "to yoke," or to forge a union between mind and body was created to experience spiritual enlightenment. In the last 10 years, yoga has been popularized and turned from a rigorous spiritual discipline into an "instant" fitness system.

It's unclear how many Americans are practicing yoga, but a 1998 survey by the Wall Street Journal and NBC pegged the number at more than 18 million. Although there are no recent figures, it appears this number has grown significantly within the last five years. Why has it become so fashionable? Well, it could be because of its professed healing qualities devotees are emphatic about the benefits on three levels: physiological, psychological and biochemical. The claims range from better strength, flexibility, posture, coordination, balance, stress reduction, stronger bones and cardiovascular conditioning, to prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis and more. The health benefits of yoga are just beginning to be investigated by the mainstream medical community.

How does yoga create a total body workout? There are four components to general fitness: aerobic capacity, muscle strength, muscle endurance, and lastly, yoga's most noted contribution flexibility. "In a way, it's kind of the ultimate stretching because you're holding your stretch for about two minutes, and this allows your body to reach its full potential in terms of range of motion," explains Stephen Rice, a spokeman for the American College of Sports Medicine. In addition to flexibility, one of yoga's key benefits is its ability to increase your awareness of your body. "Yes, yoga is the art of stretching but as you go deeper into practicing yoga, your perception or awareness of your body increases and changes you become more aware of the space your body occupies and develop a greater sense of the body's position. This is called proprioception," says Timothy B.

McCall, medical director of the Yoga Journal. It The UNIVERSITY "VERMONT 35 Charles Platkin Diet Detective "The idea is to remain undis-tracted and focus on your body and your breathing. You can do a yoga stretch, but if you're thinking about other things while you're doing it gassing up the car, doing laundry well, you're not doing yoga." Take a look at people who do yoga Rodney Yee, Madonna, Christy Turlington they're looking pretty strong with their lean muscle tone. That may be true, "but I would venture to say that those bodies didn't just happen from yoga and good genetics. It's the increased awareness of their bodies what they eat, how they eat, other fitness activities, and general lifestyle that's what creates those lean, fit looking 'yoga says Lewis Maharam, a physician specializing in sports medicine.

The problem is that people who practice yoga might be short-changing themselves into thinking they have all angles of fitness covered. "Although there are strength training benefits from practicing yoga, it's foolish to think that you can substitute yoga for strength training," Rice says. McCall tends to disagree, arguing that "you're not going to develop enormous muscles, but you can develop strength and build functional muscles and from my experience people tend to develop muscle strength more quickly than flexibility while practicing yoga." What about yoga as a cardio workout? Again, most experts agree it isn't a substitute for a brisk walk, jog or bike ride. To investigate, we sent a woman to a yoga class and a spinning class to compare how long she was in her target heart rate range during each activity. A person's target heart rate is the rate at which the heart should pump during exercise experts say it should be between 60 percent and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate for optimal cardiovascular fitness.

The results were a bit surprising. While it didn't compare to spinning, during which she was in the upper limits of her target heart range more than 50 percent of the time during yoga she remained in her target heart range about 30 percent of the time, albeit in the lower end of the range. So, maybe it is fancy stretching, combined with breathing and meditation but the bottom line is that it works like a charm. Charles Stuart Platkin is a syndicated health, nutrition and fitness columnist. Fletcher Allen NIAITH CARS In tllianct with University of Vermont POTTER: Academics explain Harry The Harry Potter phenomenon includes two successful films, starring Daniel Radcliffe as the young wizard.

Continued from Page 1C she says, adding that she initially didn't have time to read them. "I thought that the books would make good summer reading. Maybe I would have a chance to do something schol-1 arly with it. I'm always looking for ways to make the scholarly stuff more fun to do." Ultimately, she says, she was not surprised by the overwhelming interest in the books and subsequent movies because "They engage children in a positive way. "On the teacher side, I like them because the themes become more rich and complex as you go along I haven't heard of a teacher that had a problem with it at all." Jentsch, who focused her research on the French, German, Spanish and Czech versions of more than 30 translations worldwide, says, "It was interesting to watch the decisions the translators made." While Harry is universally popular, "The stage and state of Pottermania vary greatly by country," she writes.

The French, for example, opted to translate most proper names in the books, while other translators did not. Jentsch says she expects "Ivory Tower" to be used by college students as an educational reference. In addition to Borah and Jentsch, the book's contribu- to college crowd Associated Press file photo ated," she says. As for Borah, "I'm not terribly into the hype of it," but, as a youth, "I probably would have been a fan, if I had heard what it was about." Now, she is collecting hardcover Potter books for her son, Andrew, who was born in November, and painting a Hogwarts mural on his bedroom wall. Will he be a fan? "He just doesn't have a chance," she says.

S' 862-5050 A VIEW FROM THE TOP 3 7:20,9:25 AGENT CODY BANKS; 7:10,9:10 CHICAGO IG-13 MurtMiw KAU BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE pg-13 6:50,9:15 TEARS OF THE SUN 8:30 OLD SCHOOL) 6:40 MATtNdS ALL FILMS MAT IMF iicum Mourn 6:40, M0 HOWTOlWUWimOMrt KrlJ ABOUT SCHMIDT I 6:50, 9:20 THf MNIST 6:30 OWIIIM KN CMUMUM II IS IC4D Of IM UNCI 1PG-I3 15:40 INSitM 14(1 tors include authors from Great Britain, Canada and the United States. There are chapters that focus on Harry Potter commerce accessory books, motion pictures, action-figure toys and other consumer goods. Jentsch says she was a Harry Potter fan long before she decided to look into the books' translations. "I'm fascinated by the world J.K. (Rowling) has cre- DREAMCATCHER (R) 12:30 3 30 6 30 9:30 VIEW FROM THE TOP (PG-13) 12 35 2 40 4:55 7:20 V50 PIGLETS BIG MOVIE (G) txo passes accifteoi 12:45 2:45 4 50 UU THE HUNTED (R) 1 :25 4: 1 5 7.

1 5 9:55 BRINGING DOWN THE HOUSE (PG-13) imPASSisccerm I 00 3:50 6:50 9:20 THE HOURS (PG-1 3) 1 2:50 3:40 6:40 9:25 CHICAGO (PG-13) 1 05 4 05 6 55 9 40 AGENT CODY BANKS (PG) 1:15 AO) 6:459:15 WILLARD (PG-13) 9 45 OLD SCHOOL (R)l 20 710 Menopause lectures Free advice on menopause will be offered to the public by specialists at Fletcher Allen Health Care in two upcoming programs: From 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Carpenter Auditorium at the UVM Given Medical Building, a menopause health conference will offer sessions on various topics, including menopause symptoms and treatments; osteoporosis risk, treatment and prevention; cardiovascular disease risk; breast cancer risk, screening and prevention; and mood and memory. At 7:30 p.m. April 2, the second installment of the series "Vermont Vital Signs" will air on Vermont Public Television, focusing on menopause.

A panel of specialists will discuss all aspects of menopause, from cause to treatment. DO YOU HAVE TYPE 2 DIABETES AND TAKE INSULIN INJECTIONS? Would you like to try a new and different insulin delivery system for managing your diabetes? Are you between 35-75 yrs old? If you answered yes to all of the above questions, you may be eligible to receive investigational inhaled insulin in a clinical trial which compares the effects of inhaled insulin to subcutaneous insulin therapy in the management of diabetes. Qualified participants will receive confidential, study-related medical exams from diabetes experts, nutrtional counseling, blood work, study medication, and a blood sugar testing machine at no charge. If you currently smoke or have a severe medical condition, you will not be able to participate. Call (802) 847-0702 Please leave a message and Denise, our study coordinator, will return your call.

Dr. William Cefalu, Principal Investigator venioice 'MI-ii I AGENT CODY BANKS I2JS, 2SI. 5:11. 10:00 BHNGHG DOWN DC HOUSE 1:15. 4:15, WCMO 12:15,3:15, 8:15, 9:38 MREJEVIUi 1:20 MEMMTCHSIa 1215.33, HI.

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