The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point

Archive for April, 2008

Acupuncture in women after breast cancer surgery

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

“Acupuncture reduced by half the hot flushes caused by tamoxifen in 59 breast cancer patients after surgery,” according to this study presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC) in Berlin. (more…)

The value of massage in patients with dementia

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

The British Association for Psychopharmacology does not rank massage among CAM options for dementia. Apparently, there are too few studies available for them to evaluate.

Based on what is available, here’s what we know.


Status of curcumin for Alzheimer’s disease

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Two doctors from the VA Medical Center in Sepulveda, California have written a review of curcumin (turmeric) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Anyone looking for evidence of the effectiveness of curcumin when taken by people with AD will be disappointed. (more…)

Chocolate slows your ability to clot blood, a little

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Volunteers in a study reported on Medscape were told not to do things known to slow the clotting of blood by inhibiting platelet function.

But some just couldn’t stop eating chocolate. (more…)

Internet monitoring and education in asthmatic children

Friday, April 25th, 2008

According to researchers from Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, the children had “excellent asthma treatment and disease control.”

Here are the details.


The value of physiotherapy following stroke

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Physiotherapy (or physical therapy) is defined as the treatment of disease by physical exercise, massage, or other manipulative body-based methods — not drugs. Wikipedia has a good overview.

Cochrane has judged the evidence. (more…)

Rantings from a burned out resident

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Panda Bear is a blog maintained by an emergency department resident physician. His views on CAM make Dr. Wallace Sampson seem like a believer.

Caution: You are about to enter a stomach-wrenching zone. (more…)

Benefits of yoga in patients with heart disease

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Stress is one of the most commonly reported risk factors for cardiovascular disease among the general public and among patients who have had a heart attack.

Now, a study of 33 adults concludes that 1.5 hours of yoga and meditation three times weekly for 6 weeks, with additional sessions at home, has benefits for people with heart disease.

Diet and cancer prevention: What we know

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) is designed to investigate the relationship between diet and cancer. It’s a multicenter study of more than 500,000 adults in 23 centers from 10 European countries.

Here’s what we now know. (more…)

Chasteberry to treat breast discomfort and premenstrual syndrome

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus), or monk’s pepper is an herbal medicine that may be effective in treatment of cyclical breast discomfort and premenstrual syndrome. This is the conclusion reached in a review published in American Family Physician.

On the other hand?


Meeting highlights

Monday, April 21st, 2008

ttmed reports on the 2nd International Conference on Hypertension, Lipids, Diabetes and Stroke Prevention in Prague.

Here are the CAM highlights. (more…)

Wolfsbane: Uses, risks, and admonitions

Monday, April 21st, 2008

“The wolfsbane I should dread;
Nor will I dreary rosemarye,
That always mourns the dead;
But I will woo the dainty rose,
With her cheeks of tender red.”
…Thomas Hood

Wolfsbane (Aconitum napellus, aconite, monkshood) is sometimes included in herbal remedies to treat inflammation, pain, musculoskeletal problems (eg arthritis), and heart problems. (more…)

More US hospitals offering CAM

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

A survey of more than 6000 US hospitals by the American Hospital Association reveals that among 1400 responders, the percentage of hospitals offering at least one CAM service increased from 8% in 1998 to 27% in 2005. (more…)

Cannabis drug fails in neuropathic pain due to MS

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

GW Pharmaceuticals has announced that its major study of Sativex in 339 patients with central neuropathic pain due to multiple sclerosis (MS) failed to provide adequate pain relieve in patients who had failed conventional therapy previously. (more…)

Chiropractic Awareness Week

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

It runs from April 14th to 20th in the UK.

The British Chiropractic Association is offering a controlled 3-minute exercise routine. (more…)

Going to court over the lead content in Ayurvedic meds

Friday, April 18th, 2008

A woman from Iowa has filed a lawsuit claiming she contracted lead poisoning from a Maharishi herbal product.

She apparently got it from a physician at a clinic in India.

A reader treated by the same doctor at the same clinic had a different experience and shares it in his comment.

Closing homeopathic hospitals in the UK

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Here’s the latest on the controversy over homeopathy in the UK. (more…)

CAM: Is it good or bad for ya?

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Professor Edzard Ernst (photo) from the Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter & Plymouth UK has published an editorial in the British Medical Journal.

He sums up the state of the debate and makes a few surprising comments. (more…)

Blood-sucking leeches treat osteoarthritis

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Two reports from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany support the role of leeches (Hirudo medicinalis) to treat osteoarthritis of the knee. The first included 16 patients who, in addition to other treatments, received four medicinal leeches on the inflamed knee for 80 minutes. The response was compared to 6 patients given conventional pain treatment. The second study was of similar design in 51 patients.


The risk of infection following acupuncture

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

A few years ago I reviewed the safety of acupuncture and concluded that side effects due to acupuncture are uncommon events. This is still the general consensus. However, poor technique and negligence can place patients at risk of side effects that they had not counted on. (more…)