January 2014

Heartland Research Newsletter

What To Do About the Flu?

what-to-do-about-the-flu
Cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, and always fever are just some of the common symptoms people experience when they have the flu. Influenza (also known as the flu) affects hundreds of thousands of people each year with more than 200,000 people hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications. Anyone can contract flu regardless of age, race, or gender but some are susceptible to more severe compli- cations related to the flu. Individuals 65 years of age or older, people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, pregnant women, and young children all run a greater risk of developing serious flu-related complications.

The flu can spread quickly and vastly mainly because of the ease of how it’s transmitted. When an infected person coughs, droplets from their mouth get into the air and another person can breathe them in becoming infected themself. Once infected, symptoms generally start to show between 1 to 4 days. This time between infection and symptoms is called the incubation period. During this period the virus can continue to be spread even though the infected person is not experiencing symptoms. Someone with the flu can be contagious up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.

Receiving a flu shot is still the best way to prevent contracting and spreading the flu. Unfortunately the flu shot is still not 100% effective.Depending on the strain contracted and the strain given in the vaccine, individuals may still contract the flu even though they have been vacci- nated. Antiviral medications can help to treat and shorten the length of the symptoms of the flu. These are usually prescription pills, liquids, or inhalers used to treat flu viruses. Antiviral medications work best when started within the first two days of getting sick. These medications can also help to prevent the flu if a family member or someone close becomes infected.

Aging or Alzheimer’s?

aging-or-alzheimers-photoMemory loss and aging seem to go hand in hand but when forgetting your keys turns into forgetting your car Alzheimer’s may be factor. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes a gradual decline in memory, problem solving, and reasoning skills.

These are 5 of the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s according to Alzheimer’s Association:
Memory loss that disrupts daily life

  • Forgetting recently learned information or important dates or events
  • Increasingly needing to rely on memory aids or family members for things they used to handle on their own.
  • What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.

New problems with words in speaking or writing

  • Trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves.
  • Struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name
  • What’s a typical age-related change? Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure

  • Trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget, or remembering the rules of your favorite game.
  • What’s a typical age-related change? Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

Confusion with time or place

  • Lose track of dates, seasons and passage of time. Forgetting where they are or how they got there.
  • What’s a typical age-related change? Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps

  • A person with Alzheimer’s may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again
  • Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing
  • What’s a typical age-related change? Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.

Click to read the complete list of the 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

Interested in Alzheimer’s studies? Click here to view the current studies we are offering.

Drug May Delay Onset of Dementia

By the year 2050, 135 million people are expected to be diagnosed with dementia worldwide. As of now there are drugs that can help mask the symptoms – which include impaired memory, communication and language, focus, reasoning, judgment and visual perception – but they do not deter or prevent dementia from occurring.

But researchers say that trials of a new drug, solanezumab, show promise of being able to delay the onset of the disease. Speaking before the start of a summit dedicated to dementia, Erin Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said the trials could indicate a break-through.

So far, the new drug has shown helpful in patients with mild dementia, and may be even more effective if given preventively to those at risk long before symptoms appear. Researchers say that brain scans can detect changes in brains of patients with dementia a decade before symptoms arrive.

If more trials result in success, people with a family history of dementia may be able to receive monthly injections of he drug a decade before any signs of disease show, similar the way that statins are prescribed for those at risk of heart attacks and strokes.

“That’s exactly the path that blood pressure-lowering agents have taken –people taking them before they have a stroke,” Karran said. “It’s the path that’s been taken with statins which first showed efficacy against the disease and then you go earlier. That has to be the pathway we take. There is very, very good human genetic data which shows that if you can affect this amyloid early on – and only modestly you have the potential to delay the onset of that disease very significantly indeed.”

Karran said the potential of the drug, as well as two other treatments now in trials, left him hopeful that a break- through could happen soon, despite years of frustration in the field of dementia research.
“I am full of hope that we are going to have a breakthrough in five years,” he said.
-Mother Nature Network

Effective Vaccines

Research facilities have been working diligently to develop more effective vaccines as well as treatments for influenza. To learn more about flu treatment studies, call your local research location.

Contact Us

Q&A

When I think about participating in research, I think about guinea pigs...

Volunteers involved with clinical trials are not human guinea pigs, but patients taking an active role in their healthcare, aiming to improve the quality of life for others with health conditions…
(NIHR, Clinical Research Network)

When asked about research some people immediately equate research to guinea pigs and think they may be involved in an unproven, untested, medication. Even though there is risk, any treatment offered must first go through at least 2 stages of testing showing promising results in laboratory and animal studies before it can even be approved to try on people.

Also, individuals who participate in clinical trials are not treated like guinea pigs. Each individual must read and sign an informed consent which outlines the risks and benefits of the study they are participating in. The informed consent is not a binding contract and at any time the participant may discontinue the study if they wish to. Also each participant is closely monitored by a research team and often receive extra attention during their care than others do who are not participating in a trial.

What are the benefits of participating in a clinical trial?

Volunteers involved with clinical trials are not human guinea pigs, but patients taking an active role in their healthcare, aiming to improve the quality of life for others with health conditions…
(NIHR, Clinical Research Network)

When asked about research some people immediately equate research to guinea pigs and think they may be involved in an unproven, untested, medication. Even though there is risk, any treatment offered must first go through at least 2 stages of testing showing promising results in laboratory and animal studies before it can even be approved to try on people.

Also, individuals who participate in clinical trials are not treated like guinea pigs. Each individual must read and sign an informed consent which outlines the risks and benefits of the study they are participating in. The informed consent is not a binding contract and at any time the participant may discontinue the study if they wish to. Also each participant is closely monitored by a research team and often receive extra attention during their care than others do who are not participating in a trial.

What are the benefits of participating in a clinical trial?

Depending on the specific study, clinical trials may be performed to:
• Determine if a new drug or device is safe and effective
• Study different ways to use existing treatments so they will be more effective, easier to use or have fewer side effects • Compare existing treatments to determine which is more effective
• Learn how to best use an existing treatment in a new population such as children or elderly.

Did You Know?

You can now update your contact information on-line! Ensure you stay up-to-date with studies, events, and newsletters.


Update Your Info