‘Young blood’ company Ambrosia halts patient treatments after FDA warning

A company that charged patients thousands of dollars for infusions of blood plasma from younger donors said Tuesday that it had stopped treating patients after the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers against such treatments, purported to prevent aging and memory loss.

The company, Ambrosia, said on its website that it had “ceased patient treatments.” The announcement came hours after the FDA issued a statement saying there is no proof that plasma from young donors can be used as a treatment for dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or post-traumatic stress disorder, as some companies have claimed.

The plasma infusions can also be dangerous, the agency added, because they are associated with infectious, allergic, respiratory and cardiovascular risks.

Full story at NBC News

Screening women veterans with fibromyalgia for childhood abuse may improve treatment

A new study has shown that women Veterans being treated for fibromyalgia exhibit high rates of childhood abuse.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain with associated fatigue, sleep and mood issues that has been linked to exposure to interpersonal trauma, such as childhood abuse. With female Veterans representing a growing segment of the VA population, standardized screening for military sexual trauma (MST) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are helpful in providing complete care to patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. However, there is currently no standard screening practice for childhood abuse history in these patients.

Researchers from the VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) examined a subset of women from a larger study of women Veterans’ fibromyalgia care experiences at the VA to evaluate the relationship between child abuse history and MST in this patient population.

Full story at Science Daily

The Health Benefits of Documenting Your Life Story

ACCORDING TO DEBBIE Bitticks, there are 101 reasons to document your life story. These include: remembering the challenges and triumphs you faced on your life journey; an opportunity to analyze your past while gaining insight about who you are today; understanding how your experiences have influenced the path you chose in life; and becoming aware of ambitions or dreams that you have not yet realized. The list goes on from there, too.

Debbie should know. She’s the creator of “Cherished Memories”, a 96-page guide for documenting your life story or that of a loved one. Now, she can add a 102 reason for documenting your life story: It’s good for your health.

A recent article by Matthew Solan, executive editor of Harvard’s Men’s Health Watch, shed light on this. From the article: “The actual writing aspect also can be a therapeutic tool as you explore issues that may still trouble you. A study published in the March 2018 JAMA Psychiatry found that writing about a specific upsetting memory was just as effective as traditional cognitive processing therapy in treating adults with post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Full story at US News

Why does PTSD increase the risk of cardiovascular disease?

A growing number of patient studies show that people who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack. A new review article in American Journal of Physiology — Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology examines the recent scientific literature to explain how the two are linked.

The authors found evidence that PTSD leads to overactive nerve activity, dysfunctional immune response and activation of the hormone system that controls blood pressure (the renin-angiotensin system). “These changes ultimately contribute to the culmination of increased cardiovascular disease risk,” the authors wrote. Cardiovascular events, including stroke and heart attack, also can be stressful enough to cause PTSD symptoms, “putting these individuals at greater risk for future adverse cardiovascular events,” the authors noted.

Full story of PTSD in risk of cardiovascular disease at Science Daily

‘Mini-stroke’ may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder

A “mini-stroke” may increase your risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Transient ischemic attack (TIA), like stroke, is caused by restricted blood supply to the brain. A TIA is temporary and often lasts less than five minutes, without causing permanent brain damage.

“We found one in three TIA patients develop PTSD,” said Kathrin Utz, Ph.D., a study author and post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Neurology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany.

“PTSD, which is perhaps better known as a problem found in survivors of war zones and natural disasters, can develop when a person experiences a frightening event that poses a serious threat.”

Full story of mini-strokes and post-traumatic stress disorder at Science Daily