Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Body & mind

Taking care of your whole self


        MS help: A medication used to treat narcolepsy can alleviate the fatigue that often accompanies multiple sclerosis, researchers at Ohio State University say.

        Dr. Kottil Rammohan, a neurologist at OSU, and colleagues studied doses of modafinil versus a placebo in 72 patients with multiple sclerosis.

        The patients who received 200 milligrams of the drug daily showed significant improvement, researchers said. Side effects were no greater than those noted by patients receiving the placebo.

        Modafinil is the first drug to cause any significant relief for MS-related fatigue, Dr. Rammohan said.

        The study appeared in the Jan. 18 edition of The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.


        Heart help: University Hospital will hold a free educational program on heart failure for patients, families, providers and the public at 5 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Drake Center, 151 W. Galbraith Road. Speakers are Dr. Robert Spicer, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Dr. Lynne E. Wagoner, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and Norma Rashid. Registration: (888) 640-2273.

        Home health: Home inspector Gene Carroll and Communiversity present “Is Your House Making You Sick?” a three-hour workshop on mold, dust mites, mildew, radon gas, asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead paint and other household hazards, at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13 at the University of Cincinnati. Cost: $19. Registration: 556-6932.

Shelf help

        Food for thought: The Parent's Guide to Childhood Eating Disorders (Henry Holt and Co.; $16) by Dr. Marcia Herrin and Nancy Matsumoto offers a comprehensive guide focusing on early warning signs, normalizing eating and exercise, dealing with outside influences and finding professional help.


        From the heart: Heart disease kills more women than men every year, and it's the leading cause of death for American women. Dr. Bairey Merz, a cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, offers these heart-health tips for women:

        • If you're over 18, get your blood sugar checked annually. If you're over 45, get your blood sugar and blood cholesterol checked every year.

        • Know the symptoms: squeezing chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, sweating, pain in the shoulders, neck or arm, a feeling of indigestion or gas-like pain, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, unexplained weakness or fatigue, discomfort between the shoulder blades, recurring chest discomfort and feelings of anxiety.

        • Talk to your doctor about heart health and know your risk factors: family history, smoking, lipids, blood sugar level, blood pressure, weight, physical activity.

        • If you have one or more risk factors, ask your doctor if you need an electrocardiogram or exercise stress test.

        • Tell family and friends about risk factors and symptoms so they know when to call 911.

        • Don't smoke.

        • Watch your diet and increase your physical activity.

        • Call 911 at the first sign of symptoms.

        • Consider taking an aspirin at the first sign of a heart attack.

        Contact Peggy O'Farrell by phone: 768-8510; fax: 768-8330; e-mail:


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