Friday, October 30, 2009

Depression Increase Risk of Developing Skin Disease

A large Australian study regarding the relationship of mental health and skin disease published in the Archives of Dermatology (Arch Dermatol; 145:896-902) has confirmed that stress and depression can be factors in the development of dermatological conditions.

Using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, researchers tested their hypothesis that psychological factors can precipitate or exacerbate skin disease. Women between the ages of 22 and 27 at baseline in 1996 were surveyed about physical and mental health symptoms then and on three follow-up occasions. As part of these surveys, women were asked how often they had experienced skin problems in the previous year.

In the generalized estimating equation models, depression symptoms and stress (but not anxiety) were significantly associated with skin problems. The findings of this relationship of depression and stress to skin disease may have considerable clinical implications, including the possible benefits of psychological interventions in the management of patients with skin disease.

Previous studies have evaluated the emotional burden of chronic skin disorders, such as psoriasis.

People with chronic skin disorders should seek care from a dermatologist and openly share the emotional aspects of their lives that may be critically important for managing their condition.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Find a Neurologist Directory of Neurology Experts

Vivacare recently re-launched it's leading Find a Neurologist Directory of leading neurologists, medical specialists who specialize in the treatment of brain and nervous system disorders.

The Find a Neurologist directory now includes a list of neurology experts in various regions, including New York Neurologists, Chicago Neurologists, San Francisco Neurologists and other major metropolitan areas.

The Find a Neurologist directory is designed to help patients, families and caregivers find neurology specialists in their region that can help them to diagnose and manage neurologic conditions.

A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating, and managing disorders of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. Neurological conditions include epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis (MS), dementia (Alzheimer's Disease), and movement disorders (Parkinson's Disease), Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), stroke, and tremor. Neurologists may perform diagnostic tests such as CT scans, MRI, EEG and EMG.

Some neurologists listed appear with the professional suffix “F.A.A.N.” or “FAAN” with their name. This means that they area “Fellow” of the American Academy of Neurology. Being a Fellow means that the neurologist is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and has completed an evaluation designed to asses the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to provide high quality neurology care.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Latisse for Eyelash Growth

Latisse, the FDA-approved eyelash growing medication, is selling well according to statements made by the manufacturer, Allergan.

According to the Los Angeles Times article "Lash Enhancers Now a Growth Business," Latisse "grossed $25.4 million in sales in the first half of this year, and the company says it anticipates doing $60 million in total by year's end."

Latisse is available by prescription only, usually from a dermatologist, ophthalmologist, or plastic surgeon.

For instance, Dr. Gerald Goldberg, a dermatologist in private practice in Tucson Arizona makes Latisse available to his patients and provides educational content regarding its benefits and tips on how to apply Latisse.

The brand has become better known to many from its advertisements showing Brooke Shields and the before and after photographs of her eyelashes following her use of Latisse.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Psoriasis Experts Discuss New Psoriasis Treatments

The 2009 Fall Clinical Dermatology Conference convened October 15-18 in Las Vegas where psoriasis experts, such as Mark Lebwohl, M.D. and Alice Gottlieb, M.D. provided clinical updates on psoriasis management, including the use of topical medications (corticosteroids, Vectical) and biologics, such as the TNF Inhibitors (Amevive, Enbrel, Humira, Remicade) and a new biologic, Stelara, that blocks IL-12 and IL-23 that are associated with inflammation the the overgrowth of skin cells.

Some of the key points discussed included the importance for dermatologists to inquire about symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Given the risk that long-term disability that may be caused by psoriatic arthritis, it is critical that any psoriasis therapy for a patient with arthritic symptoms, also help to minimize joint damage.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Botox and Dysport Receive New Generic Names

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the language of new safety warnings and revised the generic names of a vareity of botulinum toxins used for the treatment of medical conditions.

The FDA also announced it was changing the generic names for different types of botulinum toxins used for medical treatments. (The brand names remain unaffected)

  • Botox (new generic name is "onabotulinumtoxinA")
  • Myobloc (new generic name is "rimabotulinumtoxinB")
  • Dysport (new generic name is "abobotulinumtoxinA")
Botox and Dysport have been FDA approved for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles. Both are safe and effective non-surgical alternatives to other anti-aging treatments. It is frequently used for the following:
  • Frown lines between the eyebrows
  • Horizontal forehead creases
  • Crow's feet around the eyes
  • Lines on the upper lip caused by pursing the lips
  • Downturned corners of the mouth
  • Neck wrinkles and bands
Your dermatologist will determine where to inject and how much medication to use. Following treatment, you will see start seeing results in a few days, with peak results after a week. Repeat treatments are usually needed after 3-5 months when the Botox slowly wears off.

Psoriasis Patients at Risk for Other Medical Conditions

"Psoriasis is a very serious condition that impacts the body well beyond the skin," said
Mark Lebwohl, M.D., dermatologist, chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and chair of the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board.

His comments were in response to a recent survey by the National Psoriasis Foundation of of 5,000 people with psoriasis that showed that people with psoriasis are at risk for developing other serious medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

According to the patient survey:
  • Nearly 70 percent of people with psoriasis are overweight or obese.
  • 33 percent have high blood pressure.
  • 28 percent have another chronic, inflammatory disease such as lupus, Crohn's disease or multiple sclerosis.
  • 24 percent have high cholesterol.
  • 11 percent have diabetes.

Additionally, up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain, swelling and stiffness around the joints.

Dr. Mark Lebwohl added "Like any patient with a chronic disease, people with psoriasis must see their doctor regularly and adopt a healthy lifestyle to lessen their risk of developing another serious disease."

Stelara, New Biologic for Psoriasis, Offers Efficacy and Convenience

Stelara (ustekinumab) is a new "biologic" medication that was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis in adults.

Stelara is given twice in the first month, followed by dosing just four times per year. The relatively long duration of relief between treatments (only 5 doses per year) is one of the benefits of Stelara that psoriasis patients will appreciate.

Stelara (ustekinumab) has a unique mechanism of action. It blocks IL-12 and IL-23, immune-system proteins linked to inflammation and rapid skin cell growth which are the precursors to psoriasis lesions. Other biologic medications, such as Humira and Remicade block different components of the immune system, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

Three clinical studies of 2,266 psoriasis patients showed Stelara to be safe and effective for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis.

Unlike some biologic medications that may be self-injected at home, Stelara should be administered by a medical professional.