Health Line

Dental hygiene affects heart health

Researchers have found a new cause of heart disease: bacterial infections. While heart disease has traditionally been linked to such factors as obesity, poor diet, and smoking, studies now show that bacteria can cause infections that decrease heart health.

Because the human mouth harbors over 700 different kinds of bacteria, it is the prime location for heart-hazardous bacteria to flourish. Poor dental hygiene can now be recognized as a contributing factor to heart disease.

Bacteria found in the human gums can make their way into the bloodstream, causing blood clots and other problems related to heart disease. In the bloodstream, these bacteria are sheltered by platelets, making them resistant to antibiotic treatments for infectious heart diseases.

Source: AFP

Herpes treatment controls AIDS

New studies show that taking herpes medication may help reduce the levels of HIV in a patient infected with both diseases.

Researches have determined that the herpes virus helps transform the medication into a form that can help fight HIV. The drug will not cure HIV, but it will help suppress it, leaving the HIV patient healthier.

In clinical trials, the drug was only shown to have an effect on HIV if the patient was also infected with the herpes virus, but researchers hope to work with this drug and create something that is able to fight HIV more effectively. The patient can be infected with any strain of the herpes virus, including the strains that cause common cold sores.

Further trials must be conducted to say for sure whether the herpes medication can be used as a viable treatment against AIDS.

Source: Reuters

Arthritis surgeries not necessary

Arthroscopic surgery, is a common treatment for arthritis in the knees, may not be necessary, new studies say.

Tears in the cartilage of the knee are often seen as a need for surgery, but often these tears do not even produce any noticeable symptoms. Most cases can be cured with just medication and physical therapy, something many patients might prefer.

The study, conducted by researchers in the University of Western Ontario in London, examined two groups of arthritis patients: those who received surgery and those who instead chose physical therapy and medication. After two years, the groups showed similar pain levels and quality of life, suggesting that the surgery is, in fact, unnecessary in most cases.

Source: AP

Form of drug may be abuse-resistant

Makers of prescription painkiller OxyContin have developed an abuse-resistant form of the drug, called Remoxy.

Studies have shown that while use of illegal drugs like cocaine has decreased, abuse of prescription painkillers has increased. Opium-based drugs like OxyContin, are often abused by patients for the brief high they may experience.
The formula for the abuse-resistant form of the drug has been completed, and the FDA has granted the company a priority review in order to speed up the process of approval.

Source: HealthDay