Circadian Cycles

Circadian Cycles

The New England Journal of Medicine recently had a review article on circadian mechanisms.  What was once thought to simply control sleep/wake periodicity and females’ monthly cycles is now known to control our complex physiology even down to a cellular level.  Also, they are not unique to humans but have been present in all life forms (plant and animal) for the past 3 billion years.  This universal presence indicates that circadian cycles are critical for both fitness and survival of…

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Topical Steroids & Bone Density

Topical Steroids & Bone Density

It has been known for a long time that systemic steroids can affect bone density.  This effect is both dose and durations of therapy related.  Until recently, there has not been a good scientific study of topical steroids and bones.  Danish scientists recently Finished (pun intended) a 15-year study of 723,000 adults using topical steroids.  They found that long term use of medium or high potency steroids did contribute to the development of osteoporosis and also increased risk for bone…

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CrossFit vs Crosswords

CrossFit vs Crosswords

By: Sasha Klemawesch, MD A few years ago, I wrote about a potential vaccine for Alzheimers. We are still a while away from having one on the market, especially since the initial trials had to be aborted due to brain swelling and other unwanted side effects. (Don’t lose hope though, a new formulation is in development and undergoing clinical validation studies.) But in the meantime, there are many non-pharmacologic things you can do to keep your brain healthy. When asked,…

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Antibodies after Covid-19

Antibodies after Covid-19

Two recently completed studies on people who sustained mild (non-hospitalized) infections with Covid revealed good immune response for the three months of the study.  The recovered patients had both lymphocyte and antibody immunity to Covid.  This is good news.  What isn’t known yet is how long this immunity will last.  Studies are ongoing in this regard. 

COVID Vaccine in Older Adults

COVID Vaccine in Older Adults

Development of safe and effective vaccines for Covid-19 have been a global priority for thousands of scientists.  Most of the participants in the varied trials are young and middle-aged adults.  This has led to a concern that the good results in younger adults might not apply to older adults.  Older age is a major risk factor for individuals having more severe disease and fatal outcome.  It is also known that in general older adults do not have as robust an…

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When Bitter is Sweet

When Bitter is Sweet

Asthma affects millions of people worldwide.  The pathophysiology is complex but involves exaggerated smooth muscle contraction in the airways along with inflammation that in a chronic state causes airway remodeling (narrowing).  The majority of current therapies for asthma address these two issues.  Bronchodilators relax the smooth muscles and anti-inflammatories treat the inflammation.  Despite the panoply of these medications there are still many asthmatics who either don’t respond as well as desired or have untoward side effects from the medications.  Recent…

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PPI’s and Mast Cells

PPI’s and Mast Cells

PPI’s aka protein pump inhibitors have been a true God-send for millions of patients with upper gastrointestinal problems: from reflux to gastritis to ulcers.  In large part they have supplanted the previously developed H-2 blockers:  Zantac, Axid, Pepcid and Tagamet.  Both groups of medicines work by reducing production of the stomach acid, hydrochloric acid.  The chemical formula for this acid is HCI because it is made up of a hydrogen ion (also known as a proton) and a chloride ion….

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Dear Dr. K; Can food allergy cause migraines?

Dear Dr. K; Can food allergy cause migraines?

Migraines are caused by genetic makeup but can be precipitated by many factors including food allergy.  The genetic science of migraine is very complex and still evolving.  Suffice it to say that it can be monogenetic or polygenetic.  Monogenetic means a single gene causes the individual to be prone to migraines whereas polygenetic means a whole variety of genes can play a role.  Migraine headache has a complex physiology that involves vascular (blood vessel) changes, electrical changes, and chemical changes…

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Dear Dr. K; Are you personally going to take the coronavirus vaccine?

Dear Dr. K; Are you personally going to take the coronavirus vaccine?

Yes. And let me tell you why.  In 1720 the average life expectancy in this country was 25.  A hundred years later in 1820 it was 41.  Then in 1920 it hit 54.  Currently it is in the mid-70’s.  Despite all the marvels of modern medicine from antibiotics, to trans-vascular heart surgery, to organ transplantation, the major reasons for this improvement in life expectancy boil down to the big three S’s:  sanitation, shoes, and shots. It is hard to believe…

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Covid-19 and Allergy

Covid-19 and Allergy

Harvard researchers recently published their findings regarding allergic disorders and susceptibility to Covid-19.  The study was conducted on 220,000 people between January and May of this year.  Previous to this study it has been known that people at greater risk for and from this virus include those: over 65, with pre-existing lung disease, with chronic kidney disease, with diabetes, with hypertension, with heart disease, obesity, with cancer, smokers, with immune compromising illnesses, with organ transplants and with HIV.  Now it…

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