Orthomolecular Medicine – A Leading Light For Mental Health and Nutrition, Mental Diseases

Are we in The Dark Ages? When it comes to mental health diagnoses in the 21st century, it often seems that way. Yes, drugs can help extreme symptoms, but with a 10% ‘success’ rate, modern drugs seldom help anyone truly recover. Parents and other family members of those with serious mental diseases are often at their wits’ end.

Too many people are suffering-not getting well on present day “medication only” policies of mental wards of our leading hospitals. Seldom do patients’ physical health get investigated for deficiencies of healthy nutrients such as B12, other B vitamins, Vitamin D or Omega 3 fatty acids, bowel problems, food allergies or mineral deficiencies, such as zinc.

Thousands of accounts of deficiencies affecting mental health can be found in respected journals and daily newspapers: Vitamin D preventing depression, Omega 3 fatty acids helping to prevent suicides and post-partum depression, food allergies affecting mental health and children – triggering ADHD, hypoglycemia causing anxiety, bipolar or other symptoms of mental disorders.

What Early Research Supports Healthy Nutrients for Mental Health?

In the early ’50’s Abram Hoffer, MD, with a PhD in biochemistry conducted double-blind studies for the treatment of schizophrenia. Hoffer headed up a research team of 30 in four mental hospitals and three psychiatric wards in Saskatchewan, Canada. Eight double blind studies came out of this extensive research that showed that certain B vitamins, especially niacin, B3 could help schizophrenia. Forty years of research can be found on orthomed.org about orthomolecular medicine to treat mental disorders and physical illnesses.

Schizophrenia symptoms including paranoia and other serious symptoms were reversed in 80% of cases within two years if the patient was started on the treatment of B3 (niacin). Along the way, other protocols natural to the body were researched by medical scientists and added for even more benefit. These treatments are inexpensive and effective and can be added to medication with better outcomes.

Dosages of dietary supplements depend upon each individual’s tolerance and needs and can often change over time. (Niacin can cause a flush in the body, but is not dangerous. There are non-flush formulas.) Symptoms of bipolar, depression and anxiety can also be lessened.

Is Orthomolecular Medicine Used for Mental Health Disorders?

Orthomolecular medicine, a term coined by Linus Pauling, double Nobel Laureate involves treatment by optimizing health and treating disease by providing correct amounts of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, essential fatty acids and other substances which are natural and essential to the human body.

Your body is powered by your dietary intake – nutrients. There is no steel plate cutting off your brain from your body. The brain is 60% fat and it needs quality fats, vitamins and minerals to thrive. Those eating deep fried foods such as French fries need information on eating healthy. Rancid fats get lodged in our bodies in places where healthy fats should be to power the body – especially the brain.

Why Don’t You Know About Mental Health and Nutrition?

Vitamins, minerals or other natural substances can’t be patented. No vitamin sales people knock on physicians’ doors with free samples. Also, nutrition is low on the list of subjects in medical schools. However, orthomolecular psychiatrists or other health professionals check for many nutrient deficiencies as possible causes for mental disturbances. Abundant Information is available about nutrition health benefits.

What Physical Problems can Affect Mental Illnesses?

  • High or low blood sugar levels cause mental symptoms to peak.
  • B12 deficiency causes confusion, fatigue, weakness and severe mental symptoms.
  • Anemia (low iron levels) is sometimes confused with dementia.
  • Low thyroid has been shown to be common for those with schizophrenia.
  • Low levels of Vitamin D stores directly relate to depression.
  • Those with mental illness often have food allergies or digestive problems.

Some fear that vitamins in high dosages are “not safe”. View testimony before the Government of Canada, House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, regarding nutritional supplement product safety (Ottawa, May 12, 2005). Ignorance abounds on the subject of vitamins.

Our society needs to restore the lost minds of people who suffer episodes of mental health problems. The lucky ones who recover using orthomolecular treatments can become productive members of society. They can enjoy life and contribute.

Let’s end the dark age of treatment of those with mental diseases. Contact The International Schizophrenia Foundation and the Journal of OrthomolecularMedicine and help those desperate for recovery to step into the light.

Health Insurance – Medical Underwriting – How to Make the Process Easier

If there is one thing that people hate to do, it is to shop for health insurance. The truth is that when people think of looking for medical insurance, the first thing that comes to mind is hours and hours of sitting on the phone. They also think of having to deal with brokers or agents who are trying to sell them certain plans. On top of this all is the endless paperwork that people expect from their insurance plans. Yes, the truth is that health insurance can be incredibly difficult to deal with, especially if you are not insured through your employer. Most people dread going through the medical underwriting process, in which a specialist looks at your medical history and develops rates.

The first thing you have to understand about health insurance and the medical underwriting process is that the insurance business is a business, which means that there are certain steps that they must take to assure that they are making the best decisions for their company. You may not want to hear this, and you may not even feel that this is right, but this is the way the business is run. In other words, instead of getting angry or upset about it, your first step should be to make the process of getting insurance as easy as possible.

If you think about the medical insurance process, as well as pains such as medical underwriting, and decide that there is no way to make these processes easy, then you are giving up too soon. What you need to do is make sure first of all that you are using the internet for your research. There is no longer any reason to go to the broker or agent office and sit there and wait. You can do all of the research you need from the comfort of your home. The truth of the matter is that you will probably get better results to.

What you also need to know is that you can make the medical underwriting process easier for yourself by getting free quotes online. What you need to do is first gather the necessary information, such as your income, your expenses, and your medical history, and then you need to get your free quote. It’s important that you are prepared and that you have accurate information. Then you will be ready to get your free quote. As a matter of fact, you can start right now.

Global Health Economics and Outcomes Research Amgen (AMGN)

Biotechnology company Amgen Inc. (AMGN) saw the price of its shares fall from a high of $77 to around $55 as of October 2, 2007. The decline in Amgen stock followed news of reduced sales forecasts for its best-selling drug, Aranesp. With declining revenues from drug sales, Amgen is being forced to trim expenditures. The company announced it was laying off between 12 – 14% of its workforce and planned to cut capital expenditures by $1.9 billion. See the related news story is the resources box.

Surprisingly, Amgen plans no reduction in staff in its Global Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) unit. This unit comprises a hodgepodge of professionals with Ph.D.s in economics, pharmacists, medical doctors, and assorted analysts with data manipulation backgrounds. Their mission is to analyze pre-clinical trial design and post-clinical trial data to extract some causal relationship between an Amgen drug and a positive benefit to clinical trial patients. Normally, the competent medical doctors supervising a clinical trial at field locations can observe whether a drug is having any positive benefit for patients. These doctors are perfectly capable of assessing the efficacy of a drug being evaluated in the clinical trial.

The HEOR unit is called to action to verify statistically what the doctors claim they observe in the field and to try to find additional, unintended benefits from the drug so that Amgen can apply for a patent on the unintended consequence. Due to the large number of clinical trials that do not reveal efficacy of proposed drugs, the primary work of Amgen’s HEOR unit seems to be salvaging any possible value or use for an Amgen drug rejected by the medical community.

There is a fine line between manipulating data to illustrate a deeply hidden benefit for patients versus trying to find a benefit where none exists. Relying on various statistical methods, Amgen’s HEOR staff proposes causal relationships and desperately seeks data to confirm them. Only people with a certain mentality can be stimulated by the daily prospect of sifting through garbage in hopes of finding a diamond.

From what the HEOR staff told me, on and on the data manipulation goes trying to prove the drugs rejected by the medical professionals in clinical trials do in fact show some obscure, often trivial, benefit to patients. The Health Economics and Outcomes Research staff would like to believe it is smarter than the doctors in the field, because the HEOR staff claim they can find medical benefits that doctors treating patients failed to observe. In my opinion, the Amgen HEOR staff research models and their statistical results are often tenuous, at best, and ludicrous, at worst. I teach Health Care Economics at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Having seen how my undergraduate students critique health care policy initiatives and the pharmaceutical industry, I have no doubt they would easily tear apart the assumptions, analyses, and conclusions of the Amgen HEOR studies and reports. Investors have to wonder why Amgen spends an estimated $25 million in salaries for its HEOR professionals if their output is susceptible to rebuke by undergraduate students with no pharmaceutical training.

Another sign of the poor quality of Amgen’s Health Economics unit is its lack of publications. Amgen certainly takes pride when its staff can get research results published in peer-reviewed journals. Professional journal publications by Amgen staff aid the company’s marketing campaigns, add to the prestige of the company, and help enable them to recruit leading scientists. On October 2, 2007, I searched the Nexis “All Full-Text Medical Journals” database using the keyword “AMGEN” in the same sentence as “Health Economics” or “Outcomes Research.” A total of 0 articles were found. I then repeated this same search using the “All Medline Review Article References,” which contains journal publications pre-1975 to the present. A grand total of one article appeared entitled “Psychological outcomes associated with anemia-related fatigue in cancer patients,” which relates to Amgen’s now declining sales drug Aranesp. Desperate to find some evidence of tangible published research by Amgen’s HEOR unit, I then searched the database called “Healthcare Archive News,” which contains publicity announcements and press releases about even minor scientific and medical research findings. The database contained zero articles about any Amgen HEOR medical findings but did list a few press releases concerning the appointments of David Beier and Joshua Ofman to lead Amgen’s HEOR group.

In the fall of 2005, I was invited to visit Amgen’s headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California, and delivered a talk on the latest treatments for osteoporosis. The upshot of my talk was that Novartis’s bisphosphonate drug, Zometa (known generically as Zoledronic Acid) represented the best and strongest possible treatment to prevent bone fractures in post-menopausal women suffering from osteoporosis. Zometa is a drug used by oncologists to strengthen the bone structure caused by calcium leaching from patients subjected to certain forms of chemotherapy. In my talk to compare the efficacy of Zometa to other bisphosphonates, I indicated that the oral bisphosphonates (pills), such as Fosamax and Actonel, were like hand guns, while Zometa (given intravenously) was like a howitzer. I noted that in November 2005, the FDA only approved Zometa as a treatment for the consequences of chemotherapy; however, my contacts within Novartis advised me the company would soon launch a clinical trial to expand the use of this drug for treatment of osteoporosis and low bone mineral density.

I personally observed an elderly patient in her 80s trip and and sustain a traumatic fall face down on a concrete driveway, yet she sustained no fracture anywhere on her body thanks to prior treatments with Zometa. The patient struck the concrete with such force that her glasses were knocked off her head and landed 6 feet away at the base of some bushes. This same patient had sustained a compound hip fracture a few years earlier while taking weekly Fosamax pills. In another episode, an octogenarian frail patient fell backwards and struck her head so hard as to cause her to be dazed, yet she suffered no fracture of her skeletal structure anywhere — all thanks to the efficacy of Zometa to strengthen the fragile bones of osteoporotic patients.

Before I could even finish my talk, the illuminaries from Amgen’s Outcomes Research unit began carping at my conclusions. First, a 50-year old Senior Analyst, with gray, curly, shoulder-length hair, who dressed for work each day in blue jeans as a rebel against the suit-and-tie culture, said none of my conclusions were supported by clinical trials. I responded that treatment of osteoporosis with Zometa was then state-of-the-art medicine still years ahead of clinical trials, and that anecdotal case studies such as this were often the source of ideas to be tested with clinical trials.

The Amgen Senior Analyst said he would not accept any of my conclusions, nor allegedly would any competent professional, without a double-blind placebo clinical trial. This same analyst told me after my talk that he had been invited to head the Health Economics and Outcomes Research units at two other pharmaceutical companies, although based on his myopic comments, I seriously doubted it. Again, I responded to the Senior Analyst by asking if his own elderly mother or aunt or uncle had previously suffered a bone fracture and was in danger of having a significantly reduced quality of life with any further fracture, would he rely on the weak FDA-approved oral bisphosphonates or try to get Zometa therapy for his own relatives? He answered he would stick with the FDA-approved drugs, even if it meant his elderly parent would be debilitated with another hip fracture from which he or she might not recover and would quickly deteriorate in bed and die.

Next, a 6’3″ board certified radiologist, who for some unexplained reason gave up an annual salary of $350,000+ as a radiologist in private practice to become an industry hack working for Amgen, carped that bisphosphonates, such as Zometa, do not actually inhibit the leaching of calcium from bones but instead strengthen the lattice structure of the bone. Furthermore, my talk included no head-to-head comparisons of Zometa with Fosamax or Actonel or any other oral bisphosphonate, so he would not accept the conclusion. I responded by asking the radiologist how many patients he had treated for osteoporosis while in private practice. He responded “none.”

I asked the radiologist if he knew the state-of-the-art treatments for osteoporosis as of 2005, and he responded that the oral bisphosphonates were the state-of-the-art. I then pointed out that no board certified oncologist would consider the oral bisphonates for treating cancer victims with weakened bone structures from chemotherapy. Oncologists need the medical equivalent of a “howitzer” not a pop gun to strengthen their cancer patients’ bones, and oncologists’ preferred drug for this treatment was Zometa. Osteoporosis has many of the same characteristics of weakened bone structure and low bone mineral density as occurs with cancer patients who have undergone certain types of chemotherapy. Despite his objections, I stood by my conclusions that Zometa was the best available treatment for osteoporosis, and I would recommend it as a life-saving treatment for elderly patients (male or female) susceptible to immobilizing fractures.

I expected Amgen’s Health Economics staff to be cautious in describing non-FDA approved use of drugs, but I did not anticipate finding an entire department filled with narrow-minded, rigid, demagogues incapable of thinking outside the box. To them, it was either the Amgen way (methodology) or no way at all. The Amgen HEOR junior analysts had caustic expressions on their faces during my talk, and when I asked them if they would let their own parents or grandparents die from the debilitating consequences of a hip fracture or get them Zometa therapy if needed, they took their cue from the 6’3″ oncologist and said uniformly they would “let granny die.” Do we really want heartless people like this involved in testing the nation’s drug pipeline?

After my talk, I met additional staff in the Amgen HEOR unit, and each one turned out to be less impressive than the last one. One of the last people I met was a pharmacist with health economics responsibility for cardiology drugs being developed by Amgen. He told me he had little background in economics and consequently could not write any articles suitable for publication in economics journals. Yet, he claimed he knew how to develop the initial price that any pharmaceutical firm should charge for any new drug being brought to the market. In economics, the price for a normal good is determined as an equilibrium point by the intersection of demand and supply. But this pharmacist had no use for demand and supply concepts and seemed to construct prices for drugs with his own ad hoc methods.

Amgen’s HEOR unit is filled with people who are out of touch with the health care system in America. The gray, shoulder-length haired Senior Analyst at Amgen, for example, suggested the primary reason people choose to go without health insurance is that they believe they are invincible and are willing to gamble on their health. Given the overwhelming evidence on lack of affordable health insurance for the working poor, if a student in either my undergraduate or graduate Health Care Economics turned in an assignment with an asinine comment like that, I would make the student repeat that assignment.

Approximately two years after my talk at Amgen, the Associated Press circulated a nationwide story on Sept. 18, 2007, with the lead paragraph, “For the first time, an osteoporosis drug has reduced deaths and prevented new fractures in elderly patients with broken hips . . . .No other osteoporosis drug study published in the last 15 years has shown such a pronounced reduction in deaths.” What is the drug mentioned in this study? ZOMETA (marketed by Novartis for osteoporosis patients under the brand name Reclast). Two years before the Associated Press article, I predicted this drug would become the most potent treatment for osteoporotic patients in danger of hip and other bone fractures. Amgen’s brilliant HEOR staff rejected that forecast.

In my opinion, the Amgen HEOR staff needs to be terminated or reassigned to other areas where it can contribute to the company’s bottom line. Its pharmaceutical economics modeling and data manipulations seem dubious, and it appears ethically questionable to analyze data with the intended goal of proving an Amgen drug rejected in clinical trials has some medical benefit that doctors in the field overlooked. If Amgen’s CEO and top management are serious about cutting costs and eliminating unnecessary expenses, then they need to start by eliminating the Global Health Economics and Outcomes Research unit. Until the HEOR unit is eliminated, I will continue to view Amgen as a poorly managed company with a bloated, unproductive staff.

QUESTIONS FOR MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS STUDENTS

1. Describe the dimensions of job design in creating the positions within Amgen’s HEOR unit.

2. Do you believe the job design is appropriate for this firm? How would you measure the productive output of staff in Amgen’s HEOR unit?

3. What suggestions do you have for improving the job design of Amgen’s HEOR staff? Should pharmaceutical companies employ staff in this area?

4. Assume you are a manager of Amgen tasked with eliminating the HEOR unit. What is the best way to implement your task?

Heart Attack and Medication

A heart attack is a life-threatening event. It is a need to know about the basic things so that it can help you at the sudden causes. The information should be there so that it may enable us to take sudden and correct decisions for curing it when it appears. If we have prior information of it will be a valuable asset to our loved ones and us.

This heart attack occurs when the supply of the blood and oxygen are blocked in to the area of heart muscle, especially the clot in a coronary artery. Due to this blockage of blood and oxygen it leads to the irregular heartbeat which causes severe decrease in the pumping of the heart and may bring about sudden death. This is the initial stage and it should be treated within few hours so that the heart muscles are not affected and are not replaced by the scar tissue. It is a require for us to know the caution signs of this disease and to get the emergency help at the time of need. Some people die because as they do not get the immediate help due to the permanent damage in the heart.

If the primary aid is given soon enough the permanent damage of the heart that is the blocked artery can be restored in time to avoid it. Yet, many of them do not get this medical care within the hours of the symptoms begin and they die. But a prompt treatment can prevent or cure their sudden death.

This is the disease which is caused in both men and women. If the person is already suffering form the coronary heart diseases, or underwent a bypass surgery is at the risk of having this disease. The men who are above 45 and women who are above 55 are exposed to this. If he has a hereditary background that is any of his family member was having this disease.

So it is very essential that these factors should be controlled before they appear. So they should have a control over smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity, diabetes and we can also visit our health care provider to ask about the reduce of risk of having the heart attack.

This heart attack includes the warning signs and symptoms varies from person the person Some of them symptoms like the chest discomfort, discomfort in other areas if the upper body, shortness of breath, cold sweat, having nausea and vomiting, feeling light headed or dizzy.

As this heart attack is a medical emergency, it should be prevented if we know the warning signs of the attack and can be treated as fast as possible. This should be not delayed as it may cause to the sudden death in the person. The sooner the treatment is given the chances of recovery are more. It is a must and should need that there should be a physical examination periodically after the first treatment as it does not give a way for the second one.

So this heart attack is a chronic disease which once attacks cannot be completely treated but it can be prevented by the regular medications but yet you are in a depression thinking about it and you feel difficult in getting adjusted to this life. So at this time you need the affection of your loved ones which makes you to cure it as early possible.