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Numerous drugs have entered the international pharmacopoeia via the study of ethnopharmacology and traditional medicine. For traditional medicines, newer guidelines of standardization, manufacture and quality control and scientifically rigorous research on the scientific basis for traditional treatments will be required. Traditional medical traditions can offer a more holistic approach to drug design and myriad possible targets for scientific analysis. Powerful new technologies such as automated separation techniques, high-throughput screening and combinatorial chemistry are revolutionizing drug discovery.

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Introduction: Cytokines are usually soluble proteins that function in cell-to-cell communication. Originally identified as products of immune cells, cytokines can be produced by parenchymal cells as well. Although many serve endocrine functions, intracellular cytokines may exist in membrane-bound forms and exert reverse or paracrine signaling. They serve diverse biological functions ranging from cell death to survival and proliferation. Chemokines are special cytokines that show chemoattractant functions to recruit subtypes of leukocytes.

The blood-brain barrier restricts the permeation of peptides and polypeptide proteins (a category including cytokines and chemokines) from the circulation to the central nervous system, or vice versa. Certain cytokines can penetrate the blood-brain barrier by specific transport systems in the basal state.

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Inorganic lead is undoubtedly one of the oldest occupational toxins and evidence of lead poisoning can be found dating back to Roman times. It is a contaminating metal that has received much attention as the causative agent of one of the significant silent types of poisoning in the modern world. Industrial lead production started at

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Mammals, that probably represent the most sophisticated metazoans, show an highly complex pattern of interactions between the immune and the neuroendocrine systems (Weigent and Blalock, 1987, 1995). However, in an evolutionary perspective, the roots of these interactions must be traced back to the defense mechanisms which are also present in simpler (and older) forms of

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As more and more people are writing about medicine, alternative medicine and other subjects in which a reference is required it is sometimes useful to have consistent approaches to building that all important reference list. There is an increasing willingness to use blogs as sources, or other web pages. This web page called Citing Medicine

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The most devastating loss of life from breast cancer impacts women between the ages of 30 and 50. For women between the ages of 40 and 44, breast cancer is the leading cause of death, according to the American Cancer Society. Yet the November 10, 2003 issue of the AMA journal, American Medical News, reports

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Folate (the naturally occurring form) and folic acid are forms of a water-soluble B vitamin (B9) that were first synthesized in 1945. Folate functions as an important cofactor in the transfer and use of 1-carbon moieties, primarily methyl groups. An important advance in understanding subclinical folate deficiency came in 1991 with the demonstration that folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy dramatically reduced the risk of neural-tube defects in newborns. Folate supplementation of women before and during the first trimester of pregnancy has a dose-response effect in preventing neural-tube defects, ranging from a 23% reduction with 200 μg to an 85% reduction with 5000 μg of folic acid per day. The strong evidence demonstrating reduced risks of neural-tube defects led to mandatory folic acid fortification of cereal grain products in the United States by January 1, 1998. Fortification of foods with folic acid in the United States costs about $1,000 per neural-tube defect prevented. Even with all the information on the benefits of folate, many studies show inadequate folate intake among young women. Adequate folate levels have also been associated with reduced risks of coronary artery disease, colorectal cancer, and dementia.

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Psychiatry’s leadership is scrambling and fumbling in its effort to explain why it’s collusion with industry for pay is okay. Ever wondered how toxic psychoactive drugs that have been shown to be clinically insignificant have been catapulted into multi-billion dollar blockbuster sellers despite the fact that these drugs pose serious safety risks? Read more

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“Vitamin D deficiency is common worldwide and could be a novel risk factor for the development of coronary artery atherosclerosis,” says Ramachandra B. Naik, MD, of the Barbara Davis Centre for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado, Denver. Dr. Naik presented study results indicating that although vitamin D (25-OHD) deficiency is not increased among type 1 diabetes patients, a deficiency in this patient population is associated with the initiation and acceleration of coronary artery calcification.

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A recently published evidence-based review of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) management and the release of online patient tools by the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) may help diagnose the disease with fewer costly tests and guide IBS therapy decisions. The online interactive patient tools consist of both a questionnaire to help patients determine whether their

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