The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 11, 1996 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

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Salina, Kansas
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Friday, October 11, 1996
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Page 5
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THE SALINA JOURNAL HEALTH FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 1996 A5 T GULF WAR SYNDROME Panel: Pentagon lacks credibility' with Gulf vets Vets haven't received 'serious' education of ill health, panel says By PHILIP SHENON New York Times News Service TAMPA, Fla. — The staff of a special White House panel Wednesday accused the Defense Department of providing information to ailing veterans of the Persian Gulf War that was "patronizing or dismissive" of their concerns that they may have been exposed to Iraqi chemical ,or biological weapons during . the war. The staff of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses also charged that the department had a "growing lack of credibility" with Gulf War veterans, and that the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs "have not seriously attempted to educate veterans about the ..health effects of service in the Gulf War, or to establish a dia- 1 , logue." , The staff findings were the lat, est attack on the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs by the White House panel, which was created by President Clinton'in May 1995 to study the ailments reported by thousands The Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affairs "have not seriously attempted to educate veterans about the health effects of service in the Gulf War, or to establish a dialogue." Presidential Advisory Committee staff report of U.S. veterans of the 1991 Gulf War. Last month the panel's staff accused the Defense Department of making a "superficial" investigation of whether chemical or biological agents were released in the war, and suggested that the investigation should be taken away from the department and handed over to an outside agency or panel. The Pentagon conceded only this year that large numbers of American troops might have been exposed to sarin, a nerve gas, when a battalion of combat engineers blew up an Iraqi ammunition bunker that was later found to have contained chemical weapons. The committee is expected to adopt most of the staff recommendations in the panel's final report, which is due before January. Committee members raised no serious objections to the staff findings, which were announced Wednesday at a public hearing. One panel member, Arthur Caplan, a bioethics specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, said in an interview that the Pentagon's effort "to collect, present and disseminate crucial information has been, at best, wanting." Among Gulf War veterans, he said, "there's been an explosion of doubt and second- guessing and distrust" of the Pentagon. As a result, he added, some veterans may now be reluctant to share information with the military that could be valuable in determining whether chemical or biological weapons, were released in the war. "If the perception is that they're being indifferent or, worse, dismissive," he said, "then you're going to lose the first-hand anecdotal accounts you need." PARKINSON'S DISEASE Gene defect leads to Parkinson's Study eventually may result in an action to reverse the disease By Scrlpps Howard News Service Researchers have traced the origins and workings of a genetic defect that contributes to the onset of Parkinson's disease, according to a report published today. The study eventually may result in a way to reverse the disease, which causes tremors, rigidity, slowed reaction and loss of balance in more than a million, mostly older Americans. There is currently no cure, although a number of drugs and other therapy can help slow the onset of symptoms. Writing in the October issue of the Annals and Neurology, researchers from the University of Virginia and MitoKor, a San Diego biopharmaceutical firm, said they found that the defect arises from mitochondrial DNA and interferes with the thread-like bodies found in each cell that contain enzymes for the production of energy. Specifically, the genetic defect affects a mitochonrial enzyme called Complex I, the first stage in a chemical chain that converts nutrients to energy. Disruption of this metabolism ultimately degenerates the parts of the brain that control and coordinate movement. Scientists had known for several years that Complex I was abnormal in Parkinson's patients, but they didn't know why. The Vir- ginia-MitoKor team suspected that mitochondrial DNA was to blame. While each cell has only two copies of nuclear DNA, some energy-dependent cells like neurons can contain thousands of copies of mitochondrial (mtDNA). Nuclear DNA is inherited from both parents; mitochondrial only from the mother. "This is a piece of DNA that doesn't play by the rules," said Dr. Davis Parker, a professor of neurology at the University of Virginia and the team leader. "This is a new principle of human genetics that may explain why some diseases currently thought of as sporadic, like Parkinson's, may in fact be inherited in an unorthodox way." Testing on specially cultured cells found that Complex I activity was 20 percent lower in samples from Parkinson's patients than among normal cells. The researchers also found the defect spurs generation of oxygen radicals, which are widely believed to play a role in diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gerhig's disease. ^*4M4**4tofcfcfctoktototofcfcfckl*4ki4 ! Thanks! 1 » \ T PROTEINS Proteins protect intestines : Study: Trefoil peptides : are vital to help heal L intestinal tract injuries By Scripps Howard News Service Researchers have confirmed the : :healing-protectiye role of a group of proteins found in the intestines ''.;• of humans and other animals, suggesting a possible new therapy for a wide range of gastric illnesses. Researchers writing in today's issue of the journal Science report 'that studies using genetically altered mice show the substances, known as trefoil peptides, are vi- o tal to healing injuries to the in° testinal tract and one may also act as a tumor suppressor. The group of proteins — three have been identified since they were first found in 1982 — are secreted in different parts of the stomach and appear to help maintain a barrier of mucus that protects the intestine from digestive acids, bacteria and toxins. They're called trefoils because their molecules arrange themselves in three loops. Naturally produced and extremely stable, able to bear up against the acids and enzymes that inhabit the gut, "they offer a practical therapeutic method that can be taken orally and have shown no abnormal side effects," said Dr. Rebecca Chinery, a researcher on the peptides at Vanderbilt University. She took no part in either of the two studies published, but co-authored a per- spective essay on the findings. Chinery speculated that the substances might be used not only to help cure inflammatory bowel diseases and peptic ulcers, but also might be given as a preventive therapy to people at high risk of developing the diseases based on previous infections or even genetic testing. Moreover, the proteins might be added to others known to promote healing elsewhere on the body, such as the skin. The lead author of one of the reports, Dr. Daniel Podolsky of Massachusetts General Hospital, already has patented one of the proteins and is working with a drug manufacturer to produce sufficient amounts to move ahead with trials on human subjects to treat intestinal disorders, Chinery noted. 9 t I / / I t t To all our sponsors for making NIE a big success: Grandma Max's Hassman Termite & Pest Control Ryan Mortuary Mr. Goodcents Holiday Inn Sam's Club Kansas Cellular Anchor Room Lenore's LaCasita Kobler Jeep-Eagle-Hays Salina Steel Supply, Inc. Long-McArthur, Inc. Beijing Restaurant James J. Brown Merry Maids of Salina Galerie House Mr. G's of Kansas Bayard's Cafe Barks-N-Bow Blue Ribbon Car Wash T SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME CDC: Suspicious deaths may not be SIDS I "* Salina Journal By The Associated Press ATLANTA — Doctors shouldn't write off the cause of baby deaths as sudden infant death syndrome without an investigation and an ;; autopsy to prove it, the federal • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. -,', The CDC defines SIDS as the V CHOLESTEROL sudden death of an infant that remains unexplained after a review of the baby's health history, an autopsy and a look at where the child died. "If there is no autopsy, a death should not be labeled SIDS. If the death is caused by criminal activity or child abuse, that needs to be investigated," said Juliet Van Eenwyk, a Washington state epidemiologist. Her report was published by the CDC. Unlike 25 other states, Washington lacks a central office that oversees the reporting of suspicious deaths. Each county has its own system headed by a medical examiner, coroner or prosecuting attorney serving as a coroner. X Newspaper In Education ' zLzLzLzLz? -' -' ^ ^ ^ Study: Cholesterol plays role in embryos Jatty substance has to be present when cells ^are forming a new life " ! by'The Associated Press ,. WASHINGTON — Cholesterol 'may be a heart disease villain in adults, but researchers say the fatty substance has to be present when cells are just starting to form a new life. A study to be published today in the journal Science shows that cholesterol is an important part of ,7.;the process of that forms organs, • tissues and body structures in an embryo, the very earliest stage of •-life development. "Cholesterol has an absolutely ', ,,,,'essential role," said Dr. Philip A. Beachy, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. "It is required for nor- 0 ,mal embryo formation." '•" The finding doesn't mean that women who are pregnant, or hope fffd'be, should go on a high fat diet, Sjsaid Beachy. The use of choles- jit, & terol in the formation of an embryo occurs very early, usually weeks before a women would know she was pregnant, he said. Also, the body makes its own cholesterol and needs no dietary help for embryo formation, he said. But the research does shed light on the workings of a protein called hedgehog, which acts as a sort of supervisor in the construction of a new body. The hedgehog group of proteins turn on genes that cause cells to specialize in the formation of arms, legs, backbone and other body structures in an embryo. Beachy said the finding has no direct medical application, but does offer an explanation for Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, a disorder that blocks the body's ability to make cholesterol and can include serious birth defects. This syndrome affects about one in every 9,000 babies. In adults, high concentrations of cholesterol have been linked to a type of heart disease caused by the formation of plaques that block or restrict blood flow in arteries. Seniors get flu-shot message •Py The Associated Press i i • ', '<-' ^ATLANTA— Senior citizens are 'getting the message about flu •Shots. The government said Thursday that half of all people 65 and older were vaccinated in 1993 — the highest percentage yet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention credited Medi- care, which has covered flu shots since 1993, and an increase in the availability of the vaccine. The CDC recommends vaccinations for people in nursing homes, children who have asthma and anyone with a chronic illness. Citing a 1993 survey of 19,761 senior citizens, the CDC reported that 50.4 percent of the respondents said they had received flu shots. Visit our Bedroom Gallery! At JILKA FURNITURE During Our Trade in Sale... we'll give you $5O to turn in your old mattress. Go ahead. Do it. Get rid of the rolling bumps and dumpy dips of the mattress you've been sleeping on, We'll make it worth your while to trade it in for a brand new one! Choose from twin to king sizes, firm to extra support. All $50 off when you give your old mattress to us! if you buy a new one by October 19th! RESTONirCRANDVILLE RESTONIC® ARIEL MARVELOUS MIDDLE" RESTONir KASHMIR MARVELOUS MIDDLE 9 it RESTONIC .Compare at Sale Final wfTrade Compare at Sale Final wfftato Compare at Sale Final wfftvlo Twin Set $299 $218 $168 Twin Set $449 $298 $248 Twin Set $699 $428 $978 $248 Full Set $599 $428 $378 Full Set $849 $498 $448 $298 Queen Set $749 $498 $446 Queen Set $949 $598 $548 King Set $999 $698 $648 King Set $1299 $848 $798 Full Set $399 $298 Queen Set $499 $348 FREE DELIVERY! CREDIT TERMS AVAILABLE OR 90 DAYS SAME AS CASH "Home furnishings With Style ana Price appeal' JILKA • Furniture • Carpet • Drapery 131 S. SANTA FE - DOWNTOWN SALINA - 132 S. FIFTH

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