Health:

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Olympic Athletes Life After Vision Loss Poison- Related Fatalities
Workers Ban Unsafe Towels Rare Genetic Disorder Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Protect Your Toothbrush

Advice On
Aging Well

Get Off To A Great Start

pic(NAPSI)—As U.S. athletes head to the 2012 London Olympic Games, here’s something to consider—while the journey to the podium is a long one, it’s not all about getting to the finish line. Every person has a start—the moment they realized their potential to aspire to great things. So as others are applauding the finish, Kellogg’s is celebrating the start by showcasing a series of moving “Start Story” videos that follow the beginnings of Team Kellogg’s—a team of U.S. Olympians, U.S. Olympic hopefuls and a Paralympian.

The eight athletes offer their own insights and tips for starting off right, because a great start can lead to great things:

Summer Sanders—Swimming Legend: Sanders is a big proponent of breakfast, never skipping the morning meal. She has instilled the importance of a proper morning meal in her two children.

Dwight Phillips—Track and Field: Phillips believes rest, recovery and nutrition are three important factors that all athletes should take seriously if they want to maximize their potential.

Rebecca Soni—Swimming: Soni eats a good breakfast every morning before practice to last through her workout. Throughout the day, she sticks to a healthy diet, making sure to incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into meals, which keep her energy levels up.

Casey Tibbs—Paralympic Track and Field: Nutrition is essential to Tibbs’ success. He believes breakfast is the most important meal and that as an athlete, you’ve got to have a good breakfast. He lives a very healthy lifestyle, drinks lots of water and watches his calories.

Michael Landers—Table Tennis: The long practice sessions and stamina needed in table tennis require Landers to eat as healthfully as possible. He eats fruit as well as protein before and after his workouts.

Jordyn Wieber—Gymnastics: Wieber never misses breakfast-since her workouts often start early in the morning, Wieber says it’s the most important meal of the day for her. It gives her the nutrition and energy she needs to have a successful workout every day.

Juan Agudelo—Men’s Soccer: Agudelo believes it is extremely important to eat healthfully in order to perform his best every day on and off the field. Destined to be a soccer player from a young age, Agudelo’s first word was “Goal.”

Kerri Walsh—Beach Volleyball: Walsh cites great nutrition as essential to her success on the court. Constantly on the go whether to practice, an international event or to the park with her kids, Walsh’s food habits reflect her lifestyle—she loves convenient, healthy foods she can pack in a bag and take on the road.

“Kellogg’s cereals have been at the start of my day since I was a kid, and now, breakfast is the most important meal of my day,” said the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist. “I am excited to be a part of the Kellogg’s ‘From Great Starts Come Great Things’ campaign and help others understand you can’t get to the glory of the finish line without a great start.”

To learn more about these athletes, receive nutrition tips and learn how to uncover your own potential, visit www.kelloggs.com/teamusa.

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Life After Vision Loss

pic(NAPSI)—There is new hope for people whose vision has been compromised by macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

Many patients with these diseases have heard that nothing more can be done for them, but pioneering changes in recent months may offer them new options.

Special types of highly sophisticated glasses prescribed by low vision physicians are quickly emerging as the answer to vision loss due to macular degeneration or other conditions that lead to limited vision.

For example, member doctors in the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) use telescopic, microscopic and prismatic glasses to help those with vision deficiencies to perform daily activities such as reading, writing, playing cards, watching TV and even driving.

New Lens Technology

Recently developed E-Scoop lenses from Holland now enable doctors to help patients with one of the chief complaints associated with macular degeneration—cloudy vision.

“Macular degeneration not only causes central blind spots but reduces clarity,” says Dr. Richard Shuldiner, low vision optometrist and IALVS founder. “Most of my patients ask me for clearer vision.”

Glasses that use the new E-Scoop technology bridge the gap between standard eyeglasses and spectacle head-borne telescopes. Whether your difficulty is night driving, bright light, sunlight or simply seeing clearly into the distance, the E-Scoop lens placed over a standard eyeglass prescription can help.

The lens has four distinct properties that make vision clearer and sharper, with reduced glare:

• The yellow tint improves contrast.

• The prism moves the image away from the damaged macular area.

• The thickness of the lens, combined with its special “base” curve, makes objects appear slightly larger.

• The anti-reflection coating allows more light through the lens.

For More Information

For more information, call 888-778-2030 or visit www.IALVS.com.

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Poison-Related Fatalities On The Rise

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(NAPSI)—Poisoning is now the leading cause of injury death, surpassing even motor vehicle accident fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This increase is due mostly to a surge in drug-related poisonings, with drugs causing nine out of 10 poisonings.

Unintentional Poisonings Can Happen to Anyone

Poisonings can happen to anyone, from children to seniors and everyone in between. Many people think that the Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222, which connects callers to their local poison center, is only for emergencies involving kids, but that isn’t true. Poison centers not only provide treatment advice, they also answer questions about plants, mushrooms, bites and stings from insects, spiders, reptiles and marine life, herbal and dietary supplements, food poisoning and substances of abuse.

Dangers at Home

Take a look around your home. You may be surprised to learn that the leading substances involved in poisonings reported to poison centers are right in front of you. Potential poisons include over-the-counter medicines, cosmetics, household cleaning products and prescription medications. But don’t worry, there are simple ways to better poisonproof your home.

Simple Steps to Prevent Tragedy

There are steps you can take to protect you and your family:

• Follow child-resistant packaging instructions and lock medicines up, away and out of sight.

• Read medicine labels and follow their instructions.

• Talk to your doctor and pharmacist if you have any questions about safe medicine dosage and usage.

• Do not share prescriptions.

• Never mix household or chemical products together.

• When in doubt, call the Poison Help line, 1-800-222-1222, which connects you to your local poison center. You do not have to have an emergency to call. Post the number by your home phone and program it into your cell phone for easy access.

A Valuable Resource

When you call the Poison Help line, about 70 percent of poisonings can be taken care of over the phone, saving unnecessary trips to the hospital or doctor’s office. Poison centers are staffed by nurses, pharmacists, doctors and other specially trained poison experts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Calls are free and confidential. Help is available in over 160 languages. Services are also available for the hearing impaired. To learn more, visit www.PoisonHelp.hrsa.gov, which is available in English and Spanish.

 

Note to Editors: For use in all 50 states except California.

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Workers Want to Ban Unsafe Towels

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(NAPSI)—American workers don’t have to let contaminated, laundered shop towels harm their health once they understand the issue.

Results of a survey of U.S. manufacturing workers show nearly four in five want to ban laundered shop towels from the workplace if they’re not 100 percent free of hazardous materials such as lead and cadmium after washing.

Harris Interactive recently conducted an online survey for Kimberly-Clark Professional. The survey targeted production floor employees and represents millions of U.S. workers who use shop towels every day in industries like automotive, aviation, printing, food and beverage processing, and metals and equipment manufacturing.

The Problem

Shop towels are used in manufacturing to wipe machines, parts and equipment, and then washed by industrial launderers for re-use at multiple facilities. Metals retained on laundered shop towels can become a health risk to workers. Long-term exposure to heavy metals has been associated with cancer, reproductive issues, kidney disease, lung and skin disease, and nervous system damage.

A recent study of laundered shop towels conducted by Gradient, an environmental and risk science consulting firm, found 100 percent of the towels tested contained toxic heavy metals.

The Harris survey found nearly half of workers aren’t aware of the danger of laundered shop towels. More than one of every three admitted to bringing the towels home and 18 percent use them for personal hygiene and first aid.

“This survey demonstrates an urgent need to educate manufacturing workers about the danger and safety issues of laundered shop towels,” said Kim MacDougall, research scientist at Kimberly-Clark Professional.

What Workers Can Do

The survey found that if workers knew the risks, many would:

• Ask for a safer alternative. Nearly four in five said shop towels should be banned if they are not free of hazardous materials after laundering.

• Take greater safety precautions. Sixty-nine percent of workers do not clean their hands after every shop towel use.

• Raise the issue with a safety manager, employer or union. Seventy-one percent of workers say it’s the duty of employers to keep them informed.

What Companies Can Do

Companies can replace laundered shop towels with clean and safe disposable ones, such as Wypall from Kimberly-Clark Professional.

Learn More

For further facts on this issue, go to www.TheDirtOnShopTowels.com, call (888) 346-4652 or follow @KCProf_NA on Twitter.


 

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New Treatment Option For Patients With A Rare Genetic Disorder


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(NAPSI)—There’s encouraging news for patients who suffer from a rare disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are approximately 6,800 rare diseases that collectively affect nearly 30 million Americans. Patients with rare diseases and their loved ones struggle with the fact that there are very few treatments available for the vast majority of these diseases.

Fortunately, patients with Gaucher disease, a rare genetic disorder, now have a new treatment option available.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Elelyso (taliglucerase alfa) for injection, an enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) to treat Type 1 Gaucher disease in adults. People with Gaucher disease lack an enzyme called glucocerebrosidase, which causes a fatty substance called glucocerebroside to accumulate in certain cells in the body. The accumulation of these fats can cause symptoms such as enlargement and malfunctioning of the liver, spleen and bone marrow.

Elelyso replaces the missing enzyme and allows for normal functioning and breakdown of the lipid molecules within the cells, leading to normal metabolism within the cell. In a clinical trial of 31 patients, Elelyso reduced spleen and liver size and improved hemoglobin levels and platelet counts.

Kim Rozzi has been living with Gaucher disease for over 20 years. “As a Gaucher patient, I am excited about the FDA approval of Elelyso because there is a new option available,” said Kim.

With the approval of Elelyso, Pfizer has also developed the Supply Continuity Program. This program plans to maintain a continuously restocked 24 months of supply at various stages of production for U.S. patients.

In addition to the Supply Continuity Program, Pfizer will also provide a specialized patient support service entitled Gaucher Personal Support (GPS), which staffs a dedicated team of health care specialists who are available to help Gaucher disease patients and their families with services including reimbursement assistance and locating infusion services.

For more information about Elelyso, including product and prescribing information, please see www.ELELYSO.com or call (855) ELELYSO (1-855-353-5976) for a free patient information kit about Elelyso and the GPS program.

Important Safety Information

As with any intravenous protein medicine, like enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), severe allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis) have been observed in patients treated with Elelyso. If this occurs, your doctor may immediately discontinue Elelyso. Patients who have experienced anaphylaxis to Elelyso or another ERT should proceed with caution upon retreatment.

In addition, infusion reactions (including allergic reactions)—defined as a reaction occurring within 24 hours of the infusion—were the most commonly observed reactions to Elelyso. The most commonly observed infusion reactions were headache, chest pain or discomfort, weakness, fatigue, hives, abnormal redness of the skin, increased blood pressure, back or joint pain, and flushing. Most of these reactions were mild and did not require treatment.

Management of infusion reactions is based on the type and severity of the reaction. Your doctor may manage infusion reactions by temporarily stopping the infusion, slowing the infusion rate, or treating with medications such as an antihistamine and/or a fever reducer. Treatment with antihistamines and/or corticosteroids prior to infusion with Elelyso may prevent these reactions.

Other common adverse reactions observed were upper respiratory tract infections, throat infection, flu, urinary tract infection, and pain in extremities.

As with all therapeutic proteins, including ERTs, there is a possibility of developing antibodies to Elelyso. However, it is currently unclear whether this has an impact on the clinical response or adverse reactions. Patients with an immune response to other ERTs who are switching to Elelyso should continue to be monitored for antibodies. Comparison of the frequency of antibodies across ERTs may be misleading.

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, you should talk to your doctor about potential benefits and risks.

 

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Understanding Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, A Challenging Lifelong Condition

pic(NAPSI)—Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Awareness Month is a time to educate those unfamiliar with the rare genetic disorder, tuberous sclerosis complex. To promote understanding, Dr. Steven Roberds, the Chief Scientific Officer at the Tuberous Sclerosis (TS) Alliance, a patient advocacy group, provides answers to some common questions about this lifelong condition.

Q: What is Tuberous Sclerosis Complex?

A: Tuberous sclerosis complex—or TSC—is a multisystem disorder that causes tumors to form in vital organs, including the kidney, brain, lungs, heart, eyes and skin. Although non-cancerous, these tumors may lead to severe complications and even death.

TSC is a genetic disease affecting approximately 25,000 to 40,000 people in the U.S., and many individuals with TSC show evidence in the first year of life. However, since the severity of the manifestations, such as seizures, skin lesions, brain tumors and kidney tumors, can vary from person to person, and may take years to develop, some individuals are not diagnosed until later in life. Due to the multiple and sometimes unpredictable challenges that living with TSC can present for the people with this condition and their family, it can significantly impact the quality of life for all those touched by the disease.

Q: Does everyone with TSC experience the same symptoms? When do the symptoms typically occur?

A: Individuals with TSC usually develop different manifestations at certain ages, and not everyone with TSC experiences the same set of symptoms. For example, skin lesions, which affect more than 90 percent of individuals with TSC, may develop during infancy and become more prevalent with age. Children may also develop non-cancerous brain tumors called subependymal giant cell astrocytomas, or SEGAs, which occur in up to 20 percent of people with TSC. Often times, children with TSC may experience seizures, and some are diagnosed with neurological disorders such as autism. Non-cancerous kidney tumors, also known as renal angiomyolipomas, occur in up to 80 percent of individuals with TSC, and are typically first identified in teenagers or during adulthood.

Q: How can people with TSC manage their condition?

A: Due to advances in research, doctors now have a deeper understanding of TSC and more resources are available to help people with TSC better manage the disease. Individuals with TSC need to be regularly monitored by a physician, preferably one who is experienced with the disorder and who can coordinate comprehensive care with other specialists, to receive proper treatment. As TSC can affect many different parts of the body, several doctors with different medical specialties may take part in caring for someone with TSC over the course of their life. Long-term follow-up care, including the monitoring of tumor growth, is important.

Q: Are there resources available for people living with TSC? How can I provide support to the TSC community?

A: Having access to support services is vital to families affected by TSC, as living with TSC can take an emotional toll on both individuals with TSC and their caregivers. For some, the disease may even lead to depression and anxiety. The TS Alliance provides a full-time advocate available by telephone and e-mail and a comprehensive website with free publications, videos and recordings designed to educate and offer support. The TS Alliance also supports 32 volunteer-run branches across the country called Community Alliances to help those who are faced with the challenges of TSC by offering experience, knowledge and support. Online social networks dedicated to TSC are sponsored by the TS Alliance to connect those affected by TSC regardless of where they live.

.Like the TS Alliance, Novartis is dedicated to raising awareness of TSC. Novartis is committed to understanding and improving the lives of people with tuberous sclerosis complex through clinical research, education and collaboration with the TSC community. In 2011, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation was first recognized by the National Organization for Rare Disorders for the company’s research in the area of tuberous sclerosis. Learn more about tuberous sclerosis from the TS Alliance at www.tsalliance.org and from Novartis at www.FacingTSC.com. The TS Alliance and its website are independently operated and not managed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, which assumes no responsibility for any information they may provide.

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A Shield To Protect Your Toothbrush And You

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(NAPSI)—Shields aren’t just for superheroes and knights in armor. Now there’s one designed to protect your toothbrush from harmful bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongy advises against storing toothbrushes in enclosed spaces that are conducive to bacterial growth. This includes plastic toothbrush caps for travel, medicine cabinets at home and desk drawers at work.

The Toothbrush Shield is a disposable, breathable and fast-drying shield that acts like a surgical mask for your toothbrush. It was created to replace plastic snap-on caps and holders.

Made of an antimicrobial non-woven material that wicks away moisture, it’s designed to provide a cleaner, healthier environment for your toothbrush—and your mouth. Laboratory tests show it to be an effective barrier against bacterial and viral transfer from both airborne and surface microbial contact. Made by IntelliDent, it’s available at major pharmacy chains nationwide.

To learn more, visit www.ToothbrushShield.com.

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Advice On Aging Well

pic(NAPSI)—Every day for the next eight years, 10,000 people in the U.S. will be turning 65. These baby boomers are expected to face new health challenges and concerns, such as managing chronic health conditions.

Fortunately, there’s a resource they can turn to for such help—the pharmacist. By forming a close relationship with a pharmacist and having a single “pharmacy home” for all prescriptions, people are twice as likely to take their medications as prescribed and more likely to stay on their medications, which can reduce their health care costs by thousands of dollars annually.

For example, the pharmacists in CVS stores can help you understand your medication and other health information so you not only feel better, you may even save money.

To find a nearby CVS/pharmacy, visit www.cvs.com or call (888) 607-4287.

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