"No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves."
-- Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States
Grief can cause heart attacks
Cari Nierenberg writing in WebMD
Reported “Losing a loved one may
break your heart.
A person who is mourning the
death of someone close is at
greater risk of suffering a heart attack
in the days immediately
following the loss and for up
to a month afterward, a new study
in the journal Circulation showed.
Comment: Yes… you can die
from a broken heart!
Personality and hormones
influence weight gain
Melinda Beck writing for the
Wall Street Journal reported
on several studies suggesting
that personalities and habits
may influence weight gain
and loss. A National Institute
on Aging-led study in the
Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology in July 2010
showed that traits linked to
obesity were neuroticism,
impulsivity, and a lack of
a study in Pediatrics, funded
by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver
National Institute of Child Health
and Human Development, suggests
that toddlers who have poor
emotional relationships with their
mothers may have double the risk
of being obese at age 15.
Other factors include the
body's levels of hormones,
such as leptin and cortisol,
which can be influenced by
sleep deprivation and stress.
Comment: Mind over fat.
Graphite sabotages hip implants
Steven Ross Johnson writing in the
Chicago Tribune reported
"A surprise discovery in the field
of prosthetic implants is being hailed
by researchers as a significant first step
that could one day lead to the development
of more reliable, longer-lasting artificial hip
implants." Investigators "began closely
examining the effects of friction along the
surfaces of metal joints to try to understand
what causes" the "debris" leading to
reduced function. One of the researchers
"said" that physicians "had always assumed
it was protein...but 'to our surprise
we found that it was graphitic carbon.'"
Comment: Implants still have a way to go…
for neck pain
Serena Gordon writing
reported that researchers
studied 272 adults with
unexplained neck pain who received
either "spinal manipulations,"
"medications," or "two one-hour
sessions of home exercise" for
12 weeks, and found that after
"one year, 27 percent of those
receiving spinal manipulation
said they felt a 100 percent
reduction in pain versus
17 percent of those on
medications and 37
percent of those doing
Comment: Don’t be too quick
to reach for a pill or a procedure
Rosemary Frei writing in
Pain Medicine News reported
on a Canadian study. Investigators
in Quebec built the Quebec
Pregnancy Registry and
investigated data on 4,705
women between the ages of 15
and 45. They determined that
the risk for miscarriage was
2.43 times higher in women
exposed to NSAIDS than in
women not. Acetaminophen might
be a safer alternative.
Comment: Be careful with
Obese older adults
at increased risk
Amy Norton writing in Reuters
Reported that older obese adults
may be at greater risk of falling
compared to normal weight
people according to a study published
in the Journal of the American
Geriatrics Society. The study
surveyed 10,755 Americans
who were 65 and older between
1998 and 2006 and found that
9,621 people reported falling
and of those who fell, 23% were
obese. Although health factor
like arthritis, leg pain, diabetes
and stroke were taken into account,
obesity on its own was still
associated with a greater risk of falling.
Comment: Another danger of obesity!
FDA says steroid injections
cause injuries, death
David Armstrong writing in Bloomberg News
reported, "A surge in steroid injections to
alleviate back and neck pain in the US is
bringing with it an increase in severe and
unexpected complications, including
paralysis and death. Reports of the side effects
have prompted the US Food and Drug
Administration to review the safety
of steroid injections into the epidural space
near the spinal cord, in consultation with
an advisory group, the agency confirmed."
The story cites a 2007 study in the journal
Spine which "uncovered 78 cases where
patients who got shots in the neck
suffered serious injuries; there were 13 deaths."
Study says vaccine
may stop RA
Sadie Whitelocks in the
UK's Daily Mail reported
"A simple vaccine could
stop the onset of autoimmune
diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis,"
according to a study published
in the journal Nature Medicine.
Researchers "treated mice with
a rodent version of Crohn's"
and found "that untreated mice
suffered severe damage to their
colons while those injected
with the vaccine experienced
only 'limited' symptoms."
A "new vaccine, based on
nanotechnology, stops this
process without causing
severe side effects." Researchers
speculate RA could be the next disease
to be stopped.
Comment: Still too early to be
Epidemic of lawsuits
because of failing
Barry Meier writing for the New
York Times reported
"The most widespread medical
implant failure in decades – involving
thousands of all-metal artificial hips that
need to be replaced prematurely –
has entered the money phase. Medical
and legal experts estimate the hip failures
may cost taxpayers, insurers, employers
and others billions of dollars."
The Times explains, "Metal-on-metal
hips...are failing at high rates within
a few years instead of lasting 15 years
or more, as artificial joints normally do."
As a result, "lawsuits and complaints
against makers of all-metal replacement hips
passed the 5,000 mark. Insurers are
alerting patients that they plan to
recover their expenses from any
settlement money that patients receive.
Medicare is also expected to try to
recover its costs."
Comment: Another reason to avoid
joint replacement if there wasn’t enough
New type of glove helps arthritis
A new arthritis glove that measures
hand movement could lead to
more effective treatment, reported the Press
Association on a study from
the University of Ulster.
“The Tyndall data glove will have
rotation sensors on the thumb, finger
tips and joints, and monitor motion
of the hands to allow detailed observations.
Dr Kevin Curran said.
PhD researcher James Connolly said:
"Data gloves have been used before
to measure joint movements but they
were not fitted with sufficient sensors on
each finger and deformities and swollen
joints caused the sensors to record
"The glove will give more precise
and detailed readings."
“New blood treatment” for
George Stephanopoulos reporting
For ABC News said
"There is a revolutionary new
treatment for the wear and tear on
joints that can come with exercise after
50." The treatment is "a cutting edge
procedure known as platelet rich
plasma injection therapy, or PRP,
being used to treat conditions like
tennis elbow, tendinitis, even arthritis."
In this procedure, doctors
draw a patient's blood, then
centrifuge it to "separate out the healing
agents from the blood. Doctors then
take that part of the blood and inject it
into the patient's achy joint or muscle,
hoping to grow healthy tissue." While
PRP "doesn't work for" every patient,
"most patients are back to their activity
within one to two weeks of the treatment."
Comment: PRP works for some but not all patients.
Women Boomers getting knee
replacements at early age
Lara Salahi and Brinda Adhikari
Reporting for ABC News said
"In 2009, nearly 63 percent of women
underwent total knee replacement surgery,
most of whom were between ages of 40
and 80, according to Nationwide Inpatient
Sample, a database sponsored by the
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality."
However, even though "more than 90 percent of
people who undergo total knee replacement
experience a dramatic reduction in pain,"
returning to "strenuous physical activities"
is difficult, and "most surgeons advise
against high-impact activities, such as
running, jogging, jumping, and high-impact
sports for the rest of one's life after surgery."
Comment: Boomers want to stay in the game
no matter what!
Weight loss prevents
cartilage loss in knee OA
Nancy Walsh writing in Medpage
Today reported on a study
in the Annals of the Rheumatic
Diseases, which said "weight loss
among obese individuals can help
prevent the loss in thickness and
quality of cartilage associated with
knee osteoarthritis (knee OA). ...
In a multiple regression analysis
adjusting for age, sex, baseline body
mass index (BMI), and the presence
of clinically apparent osteoarthritis,
greater weight loss was associated
with less cartilage thinning in the
medial femoral compartment as
seen on MRI." In addition,
researchers "found that weight
loss as low as 7% of body weight was
associated with preservation of cartilage
quality, and that better quality of the
cartilage also improved the
knee range of motion.
Comment: Another reason to lose weight.
"Shingles vaccine safe
for adults on biologics
Heidi Splete writing in Rheumatology
News reported on a study from the
University of Alabama which showed the
incidence rate for shingles was no
higher in people treated with biologic
drugs than those that weren’t. Medicare
data from 7,781 adults aged 60 and older
who received shingles vaccine were examined.
The incidence rate was 8 cases per 1000
person years in patients receiving biologic
therapy versus 12 cases per 1000 patient
years in unvaccinated adults on biologics.
Comment: Another fear laid to rest.
Mindfulness intervention for RA?
Nancy Walsh writing in Medpage Today
Reported on a Norwegian study in Annals of the
Rheumatic Diseases indicating that "mindfulness
intervention, aimed at helping patients
accept the pain and disability associated with
rheumatoid arthritis, while at the same time blocking
negative thoughts and anxiety about their condition,
reduced patients' depression and improved coping
skills." However, "significant effects for the
mindfulness program were not seen for pain
or patient global assessment of disease activity."
Comment: Anything that helps is worthwhile in my opinion.
Majority of women past
50 report knee pain
Robert Preidt writing in Healthday
Reported on a study in
Arthritis & Rheumatism in
which "Researchers analyzed
12 years of data collected from
nearly 500 women, ages 44 to 57,
in Britain and found that 63 percent
of those 50 and older reported
persistent, incident or intermittent
knee pain. Forty-four percent
of the women said they had
experienced 'any pain' and 23 percent
said they had knee pain on most days
of the previous month. ...
Higher body mass index,
previous knee injury and x-ray
evidence of osteoarthritis
were predictors for persistent
pain, the researchers found.
Comment: Boomers report more knee
pain than previous generations.
Are we wimps?
Dr. Wei has just put the finishing touches on four
new DVDs to help you manage arthritis!
These DVDs are an educational resource for those
interested in learning more about new options for treating your arthritis.
- Which one of these 7 arthritis risk factors do you have?
- The one critical reason why you should never take this powerful drug for
- Relieve back pain without medicines. Six natural remedies will spare you
a trip to the doctor.
- Who’s the best candidate for stem cells… and who’s the worst… find out
The answers and more valuable information can be found in these amazing DVDs!
Stem Cells: The New Frontier In Treating Osteoarthritis
PRP: Nature’s Healers
My Knee Really Hurts!
Doctor… I Have Arthritis. What can be done about it?
For the month of February, you can take advantage of our special introductory
offer… purchase any one of these DVDs for just $29.99 each and receive an
autographed copy of Dr. Wei’s book, “The Book On Arthritis Treatment!”
- An intense type of knee pain that can disappear on its own... with no
- All-natural treatment for tendon problems... works like a charm
- Why poking holes in a tendon is absolutely important to getting results
with PRP. Sounds crazy but it’s true!
- How many platelets do you really need to get the result you want? The
failsafe, flawless method for delivering PRP… If your doctor isn’t using
this, run the other way!
Wei's World February 2012
My wife, Judy, and I have been married for almost 28 years. For that she deserves a medal because I am extremely hard to live with. Probably in this day and age I would be diagnosed with having ADHD. Not only that, I have the patience of a hummingbird.
So in this February newsletter, I’ll reveal the circumstances under which we met.
I was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health. One of my colleagues knew I was going up to Boston to give a talk at a meeting and he gave me a girl’s phone number. He said, “She’s nice…. You’ll like her. Make sure you call”
So I said, ” Thanks,“ and went up to Boston and instead of calling that girl decided to go out with a girl my sister set me up with instead. (At the time one of sisters was living in Boston).
Well…. that relationship lasted all of three weeks. So I went back up to Boston to salvage what I could… and reached into my pocket for a Kleenex and pulled out a scrap of paper with a phone number. And I remembered I was supposed to call her. Despite the fact I was three weeks late, I went ahead and dialed it.
When the girl at the other end answered, I introduced myself and we made plans to have brunch the next morning. (It so happens, she told me later, that she was out the door and down the stairs from her apartment and went running up to answer the phone. What would have happened if she had ignored the ringing and hadn’t gone back up? Hmmm…
So the next morning I took the T (the subway) to her apartment. I rang the buzzer on the intercom and she buzzed me up.
And I remember seeing her for the first time -a very cute girl with a pony tail and the bluest eyes I had ever seen- was my thought. So we started chatting and she introduced me to her cat. I’m allergic to cats, my eyes were watering, and so I thought, “Maybe this isn’t going to go anywhere.”
She then said, “Why don’t we go to brunch? I know this really nice place… and she drove the two of us to what she said was a great brunch place.
The problem was that that breakfast was over and all the place had was a single tired looking Danish. And again I thought, “Maybe this isn’t going anywhere.”
But we continued to talk and made plans to get together that evening for dinner.
And I guess you could say the rest was history. Twenty eight years, four children, and too many disagreements and agreements to count, we’re still here. Marriage isn’t a sprint…it’s a marathon and it’s not like “Leave It To Beaver.” It’s hard work. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So in Wei’s World this month, I’ll say, “I love you Judy and thanks for putting up with me all these years.”