Recent retrovirus pandemics

Recent Retrovirus pandemics.

In the last half century we have  witnessed  several  pandemics caused by these retroviruses , viz, ,swine influenza ( during First world war), HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Sars and in 2020- Corona.  These RNA viruses “…insert a copy of their own  genome into the DNA of a host cell that it invades thus changing the genome of that host cell”  To do this inversion process, retroviruses use their own reverse transcriptase enzyme to produce DNA from its own RNA genome . This new retroviral DNA- called a provirus– is incorporated into the host cell DNA genome with a intergrade enzyme

However before a RNA virus can do this conversion it must  first gain entrance into the human cell cytoplasm- usually a T4 thymus (helper ) cell.  

Although retroviruses may be useful tools in adding new genes to your DNA genome they do run the risk of potentially creating new retrovirus pathogens.-. 

Are the contents of our dreams of prognostic value

For the past few years most of my dreams seem to follow the same theme or pattern. I find myself in rather unique predicaments. I may find myself at some convention or meeting other meeting place where I find myself in a predicament that I have to make a sudden decision- like give a talk at a convention, meet someone, or have to catch a train, or make a financial decision, I feel there always seems to be some urgency as there is usually some authority checking theme that I have left to make this decision. Although I usually am not in any panic mode most of these dreams come to an abrupt end as I usually awaken from them.

I try to analyze these dreams and often go back to my academic experience with the Winnipeg Clinic. For the viewers this was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. To review briefly after just 4 years of research with the Dept of Cancer Research at the university of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon I accepted a position with the Winnipeg Cliic to set up a private research Lab at their clinic and I would be the medical doctor. As the saying goes “I was given an offer I could not refuse.

Some new biomarkers of aging

I just browsed Ward Dean’s book entitled Biological aging measurement If the reader turns to Chapter 8 beginning on page 72  you can see  data from the University of South Wales on 6 parameters-  beginning with BUN (blood urea nitrogen), FEV1,(forced vital capacity ), SBP (systolic blood pressure), AP (alkaline phosphatase), ESR (Erythrocyte sedimentation rate ), and  Cholesterol in mg/100 ml. They compare the values from people of different biological ages.

Although it is somewhat difficult to compare the values, it appear that the values are different from differant age groups . It may be that when a doctor finds an elevated value he should be aware that they may just indicate that the  natural aging process of that individual  is more advanced than others for that chronological age group- just like you see some people who have more facial wrinkles than others off the same chronological age group.

Coenzyme Q 10 -Another biomarker of the aging process

For details of this finding the reader should consult the latest publication (Oct 2018) of there Life extension magazine where they discuss this natural product known scientifically as ubiquinone.   As with all of their products their disclaimer would also be read.Here it is :”These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and D Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease ”

Briefly as we age – like with the natural steroid hormone DHEA the level of this product in our blood falls markedly as we  age with levels dropping  to less than 20 % of that found during our adolescence period. They also recommend using only ubiquinol and not ubiquinone and that one should use the a natural derivative  product to increase absorption.For more  details on usage and dosage supplementation  read their instructions including of course their disclaimer.

Mitochondial vs Chromosomal DNA

Comparative DNA analysis is a very popular procedure to include or exclude individuals from consideration as suspects at a crime scene.

However, since every person’s mitochondrial DNA is of maternal origin, it is also easy with mitochondrial DNA to prove that all children borne of a certain mother, both the males and the females, are hers. That is because the mitochondria are only found in the cytoplasm and the sperm which fertilizes an oocyte (egg cell) does not have any cytoplasm. At least that is the theory.

It would be easy to prove this with cellular autoradiography using tritiated thymidine, providing such experiments met the medical code of ethics (probably not) and only if our cousins – the chimpanzes – wouldn’t mind.

Treating concussions in professional sports

For years I have been fascinated by the pharmacological properties of Hydergine and have prescribed it for mild forms of Alzheimer’s when I was in medical practice. In several of my previous blog posts, I describe the many functions of this drug and suggest it may be useful in protecting against possible concussions following head injuries of athletes in contact sports like hockey, football and soccer. (Readers may wish to review these previous blog posts.) Additional coaches are sometimes recruited by professional sports teams in an effort to win games. Teams should also be recruiting medical professionals to possibly help them prevent and/or reduce the incidence of encephalopathy and concussions, and provide the best diagnosis, treatment and care immediately following any injuries. In the case of cardiac arrests or drowning, we immediately perform CPR but in the case of head injuries we waste valuable time asking the victim if they know where they are, or what day it is, or the name of the current leader of the country. We should apply a more consistent, effective approach to evaluating athletes with head injuries and be more swift to administer hydergine or similar drugs in an effort to minimize or avoid the immediate and long-term adverse effects of brain injuries and optimize recovery.

Possible spinal stenosis: cervical or lumbar

I have a habit of sitting up in bed in the evening watching TV with a pillow propping up my neck before I fall asleep. At times I feel that my neck is very forwardly flexed. Before I decide to “call it a day ” I place my pillow in its natural position and then lie supine on my back, as I find lying in a lateral position on either side is somewhat discomforting to my hip.

When I get up during the night to go to the washroom, I sometimes get a numbness in both of my forearms, a feeling of “pins and needles”, and wonder whether this is the result of a sudden release of the nerve roots. Or maybe I also have symptoms of cervical spinal stenosis. As a footnote: X-rays of my spine at all levels show considerable wedging of the vertebrae, especially in the thoracic region.

For a while I have experienced pain in my left hip with numbness in the buttocks and anterior aspect of the left thigh; symptoms worsen when standing and are relieved by sitting, suggesting a possible diagnosis of possible lumbar spinal stenosis at the level of L3.

Since the innervation of the left hip comes from the L3 nerve root, it is also possible that the pain is referred pain from the L3 nerve root – not unlike pain in the right shoulder from referred pain coming from C3 nerve root – the same nerve which innervates the diaphragm.

[For this scenario, one needs inflammation of the diaphragm from an infected gall bladder; Damage of cardiac muscle T1-2 causing numbness of medial aspect of forearm; careful history of appendicitis will reveal the numbness began in the paraumbilical region (innervation of appendix). The subsequent tenderness and especially rebound tenderness in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen is due to local inflammation of abdominal muscles in that area of the abdomen.]

I greatly appreciate having taken several week-long courses in Orthopaedic Medicine by Stephanie Suders – the private physiotherapist of the famous Sir James Cyriax.

While working as a Medical advisor for the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba in the 1980’s I was so appalled at the quality of the medical reports we received from the attending physicians of the claimants that the board on my advice sponsored a 3-day weekend workshop outlining the fundamentals of Orthopaedic Medicine, specifically the examination and non-surgical treatment of musculoskeletal problems. Dr. Don Fraser and his physiotherapist presented this course. I used my photographic equipment to record their course material and made a copy for the WCB. I was surprised when a few months later the Board informed me that my services were no longer required {? Nov 1992)/ When I asked the CEO the reason for the firing -his reply was we don’t have to answer that question. I guess I should have taken legal action. in 1968 I experienced similar when I was the medical director of the Winnipeg Clinic Research Institute Laboratory. Again I did not take legal action.

Any victim would gave sought legal action

Crisis in Canadian health care

In Canada most people have to wait a year or even longer to have hip or knee surgery. The waiting time for this procedure seems to have reached epidemic proportions.

This reminds me of the polio pandemic of the 1940-50’s. The voluntary organization which was raising funds for this pandemic had 2 choices. A quote from the book Maximum Life Span by Dr. Roy Walford illustrates the path they chose:

“… It could have invested their resources into perfecting better iron lungs… Instead of iron lungs, the Foundation invested heavily in basic research on the conquest of polio. It was certainly the wiser decision.”

Maybe our governments should follow a similar approach to address surgery wait times? They may also wish to consider the same strategy for cataract surgery, which now has a waiting list of a year or longer.

Politics priority-pipeline assistance vs Churchill railroad

If recent negotiation with the BC government fails before end of May 2018,  our federal  government is willing to  help financially  the cost of  this interprovincial pipeline from Alberta to the Vancouver port, but not for the repair on the washout railway line to Churchhill- a problem  unresolved for over 2 years and which has resulted in the cost of living for residents of Churchill.  Where are our government  priorities?

Hayflick limit, telomere length and stem cell therapy

Stem cells therapy is becoming a common form of therapy in medicine especially for strokes, heart attacks degenerative diseases like arthritis and disc degeneration. In some cases the cells undergo many cell divisions as they become miniature organ structures  like beating hearts etc.  It is now generally accepted that as normal cells divide their telomeres become shorter and when reach a certain shortening length  the cells eventually stop division. This phenomenon of telomere shortening is believed to be the cause of Hayflick limit of  cell divisions.

I wonder is some of the failures in using stem cell therapy may be due to telomere shortening.