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 C Cholesterol in mg/100 ml. They compare tlevalues 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 activate than others for that chronological age group- just like you see some people who have more facial wrinkles than others off the same 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 paid coming from C3 nerve root – the same nerve which innervated 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.

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.

Importance of knowledge of tumor biology

In previous blog posts, I discuss the importance of formal courses in tumor biology and nutrition for medical students, as well as for practicing physicians, especially oncologists.

We all know that pathogenic bacteria can develop resistance to specific antibiotics. I wonder whether the poor response to specific anti-tumor drugs in some cancer patients, and/or the development of remissions, are related to the ability of cancer cells to undergo heteroploid transformation and the specific selection of a karyotype.

I recall from my research as a cell biologist with the Department of Cancer Research at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon (from 1961 to 1965) where I demonstrated that if a single cancer cell from a cell line was isolated and then allowed to undergo numerous cell divisions in cell culture – I used the tumor cell line called HeLa – that chromosomal analysis of many cells from this population showed cells with varying number of chromosomes. This phenomenon is called heteroploid transformation. Chromosomal values in my experiment ranged from the low 50’s to the 70’s, with a stem cell line in the early 60’s. (Hrushovetz, S.B. Importance of heteroploid transformation in the etiology of neoplasia. Proceedings of the 17th Western Regional Group MRC/NCI. 1963).

For my Master’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta, I had earlier shown that the addition of specific amino acids to the culture medium on which the cereal plant pathogen – called Helminthosporium sativum – was sub-cultivated could alter the virulence of this pathogen in producing root rot disease. (see publication Phytopathology 47:261-264. 1957).

Alternatively, these experiments could be interpreted as demonstrating that for a pathogen to retain its virulence, it requires the presence of specific nutrients in its environment.

Time to study the possible role of hydergine in concussions.

Neurologists, other medical professionals especially sport doctors and therapists, and sports announcers among others, regularily gather for seminars and/or conventions to discuss concussions. Recently (on 06th Dec 2016) on a national evening TV program I viewed a seminar chaired by our Governor General a victim himself of concussions with 2 speakers Ken Dryden and Eric Lindros,- also victims of concussions. Although this presentation seem to provide valuable information on the incidence and long term effect of concussions they seemed to do little for finding a cause and/or a cure judging from the finding that both the incidence and costs for concussions continue to rise. The management of concussions still remain basically symptomatic with the affected individuals often making the final decision themselves as to when they are considered fit to return to their professional sport.
In an earlier post I outlined there are 4 levels of scientific proof categories for doing medical research. These are testimonial, argumentative, correlational and scientific -the latter being the accepted gold standard or double blind random study. In my opinion meetings and/or programs outlined above seem to only provide testimonial evidence. What is needed is more scientific based research- the 4th category or the gold standard. In 1998 The Life Extension Foundation published a pocket book entitled “The Physician’s Guide to Life Extension Drugs”. In this 268 pocket book, 14 pages were devoted to hydergine- In this section the authors mention that in many European countries (at least in the 1980 period) hydergine was used for emergencies with claims of reviving accident victims who were thought dead from heart attacks, drowning, and drug overdose! Many Hospitals in Europe routinely give hydergine to many patients before operations( Pearson and Shaw entitled Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach).Other effects of hydergine include increasing blood supply and amount of oxygen delivered to the brain resulting in enhancing metabolism of brain cells. Three other major effects of hydergine on the brain include protecting the brain from periods of insufficient oxygen supply (The Cat experiment), the prevention of free radical damage, and also the ability to increase memory, intelligence, learning and recall- the latter being the rationale for its use for treating senile dementia which is why hydergine is often labeled the smart drug. Incidentally hydergine was once the 5th most prescribed drug in Europe. What I have just described are the rationale for treatment of concussions with hydergine based on these argumentative and/or correlational observations and/or associations. We all know that in medicine before a drug can be prescribed as a treatment it must pass the gold standard test ,i.e. the 4th category of scientific proof- the highest level.. But here is the dilemma. Since we cannot predict who is likely to suffer a concussion following a head injury, and furthermore since the symptoms themselves are slow to appear whereas the damage to the brain may actually occur within minutes after the injury like in strokes and/or heart attacks, would it not be prudent to give the athlete prophylactically a drug like hydergine before they go on the playing field or an intravenous injection immediately following their head injury? Some time ago I posted such a post in my blog (docsamBlog). I have also sent emails to several professional hockey and football clubs suggesting that since they cannot predict who is likely to sustain a head injury and concussions, why not give them hydergine just like the surgeons in Europe were doing,i.e.before the scheduled games begin? I have also discussed this potential protocol with many of my medical colleagues. It seems this medical idea and others like the many paradigm shifts suggested for medical practice that I have presented at several meetings, reversing the aging process and many other ideas , have fallen on deaf ears.
Just a footnote for the reader to consider: Remember that Dr.Jenner and others who developed a vaccine for smallpox introduced this ” vaccination ” form of protection before they knew that smallpox was caused by a virus, Dr. Lind prescribed limes for those “adventurous & pirate sailors ” on their long sea journeys before we knew the role of vitamins (vitamin C) in nutrition- treatment of scurvy.
Posted 7th December 2016 by Dr. Semeon B. Hrushovetz
Labels: cat experiment concussions docSamBlog Eric Lindros Govenor General hydergine jenner and smallpox vaccination Ken Dryden life extension foundation categories of scientific proof neurologists