Emory University kicks off the 2012-2013 school year by fully implementing a tobacco-free policy on campus. Watch this video interview with Dr. Jeff Koplan, Director of Emory’s Global Health Institute and former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn more about why the campus should be proud of this recent policy change.
If you need smoking cessation support, please visit: http://www.tobaccofree.emory.edu/cessation/index.html. Additionally, you can anonymously report violations of the tobacco-free policy by going to: http://apps.hr.emory.edu/TobaccoFree.
Today when one thinks of the health conditions that they are most likely to encounter within their lifetime, diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer come to mind. These conditions are often described as modern ‘lifestyle diseases’ but there are a host of others that have risen to prominence over the course of human history and traditionally referred to as ‘diseases of civilization’ due to their development as lifestyle practices changed (e.g., settlement and farming styles) and populations became increasingly dense.
Many of these enduring diseases, such as gonorrhea, malaria, cholera, and tuberculosis, continue to impact a large proportion of the global population and represent a significant challenge to public health. For example, whooping cough (also known as pertussis) has risen in prominence in the United States in recent years, in part due to vaccination avoidance. For more information about these killers with ancient roots, visit: http://news.discovery.com/human/gonorrhea-plague-ebola-and-others-wont-quit-120810.html.
Dr. Cassandra Quave is prominent member of the teaching and research team at the Center for the Study of Human Health, provides information about all things ethonobotany on her personal website, co-creator of the bio-venture start up PhytoTEK, and most recently the recipient of a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine the potential for “Extract 134″, a compound from a European tree, to aid in the treatment of antibiotic-resistant staph.
Dr. Quave, a graduate from Emory College’s programs in biology and anthropology, represents a remarkable story of a young, female scientist who isn’t willing to let life’s obstacles prevent achievement. To learn more about her research and how she was inspired to pursue a career in ethnobotany, please see her recent profile in Emory’s eScience Commons: http://esciencecommons.blogspot.com/2012/08/her-patient-approach-to-health-tapping.html.
Dr. William Hu, assistant professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, in collaboration with researchers from Washington University at St. Louis, the University of Pennsylvania, and Bristol Myers Squibb have released the results of preliminary study aimed at developing a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease. The disease is currently diagnosed through techniques like spinal taps or PET imaging, which can be uncomfortable and expensive for patients. A blood test could not only reduce costs associated with diagnosis, but potentially offer earlier detection.
These results, based on a cohort of 600 individuals both with and without an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis or mild cognitive impairment, revealed four potential biomarkers of the disease that could be identified in blood samples: apolipoprotein E, C-reactive protein, B-type natriuretic peptide, and pancreatic polypeptide. For more information on the study results, please visit: http://news.emory.edu/stories/2012/08/alzheimers_blood_test/campus.html.
A new review article in Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine by Drs. Cassandra Quave, Manuel Pardo de Santayana, and Andrea Pieroni explores the relevance of field studies concerning traditional health practices as they relate to new and emerging trends in Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Europe. Click here to access the full open-access article.
Abstract from article: European folk medicine has a long and vibrant history, enriched with the various documented uses of local and imported plants and plant products that are often unique to specific cultures or environments. In this paper, we consider the medicoethnobotanical field studies conducted in Europe over the past two decades. We contend that these studies represent an important foundation for understanding local small-scale uses of CAM natural products and allow us to assess the potential for expansion of these into the global market. Moreover, we discuss how field studies of this nature can provide useful information to the allopathic medical community as they seek to reconcile existing and emerging CAM therapies with conventional biomedicine. This is of great importance not only for phytopharmacovigilance and managing risk of herb-drug interactions in mainstream patients that use CAM, but also for educating the medical community about ethnomedical systems and practices so that they can better serve growing migrant populations. Across Europe, the general status of this traditional medical knowledge is at risk due to acculturation trends and the urgency to document and conserve this knowledge is evident in the majority of the studies reviewed.
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