Friday, November 15, 2013

Results of treatment of 741 Italian patients

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2013; 17 (21): 2847-2852
Treatment of 741 italian patients with chronic fatigue syndrome
U. Tirelli, A. Lleshi, M. Berretta, M. Spina, R. Talamini, A. Giacalone

Department of Medical Oncology, Division of Medical Oncology A,
National Cancer Institute of Aviano, Pordenone, Italy.

BACKGROUND: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a distinctive syndrome
characterized by specific symptoms cluster. CFS mostly affects women
and often results in severe functional limitation. Its prevalence
varies from 0.4 to 2.5% in the general population. In our prior
studies on the clinical features of 205 CFS patients we founded
immunological and brain abnormalities. In this paper we illustrate our
caseload on CFS treatment.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: From January 2000 to December 2005, we evaluated
all the patients admitted at the CFS Unit of the Aviano National
Cancer Institute, for staging procedures and treatments. Patients not
meeting the Fukuda diagnostic criteria were excluded.

RESULTS: 250 male and 491 female (median age 35.5 and 39.3 years,
respectively) were enrolled and treated for CFS. As expected, CFS
resulted from previous infectious disease in all patients.
patients showed to be more affected by symptoms than male patients.
The treatment schedules followed by the patients included nutritional supplements alone, corticosteroids, antidepressant/sedative drugs, and antiviral/immunoglobulin drugs. Antiviral/ immunoglobulin drugs achieved the best response (15.3% positive responses vs. 8.3% negative
responses; OR 0.44, CI 0.26-0.74, p = 0.002). The carrying out of 4 or
more treatments showed a protective effect (OR 0.46, CI 0.28-0.77, p =
0.003). This finding was confirmed in the multivariate analysis,
adjusted by type of drugs (OR 0.49, CI 0.28-0.84, p = 0.009) and
number of treatments carried out (OR 0.51, CI 0.30-0.86, p = 0.01);
these two variables were independent.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings show that the antiviral/immunoglobulin
approach has a longer positive disease free survival in comparison
with other approaches.
However, CSF still remains a difficult disease
to be effectively treated.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Poverty and iPhones

When I became disabled, the government did not automatically confiscate my house, my 401k, my nice clothes, my computer...
Nor (despite what some people think) did I run right down to apply for food stamps.  At the point that I was criticized by someone I know only online about the good quality food I was buying, I was getting no govt money of any sort.  My Unemployment had run out, I was too sick to spend a day at the welfare office applying for food stamps, had too many assets to qualify for other government programs. 
The money I was spending on groceries came from my own savings account, money that I'd saved while working.  So, even leaving aside the question of whether it's anyone else's business what type of food you buy with food stamps, it truly was no one else's business how I was spending my own hard-earned money.
It took me 11 years from the day I lost my job until the day I got approved for SSDI.  Since they only need to pay you 10 years of back benefits, I got screwed out of a year of payments.  And my SSDI is higher than the income limit for food stamps, so I can definitively say that if I haven't used them to this point in my life, I will never ever be able to qualify for them.
But it says something that my critics assumed (perhaps because it's what they themselves do) that every person who loses their job immediately runs down to apply for food stamps.  I didn't need them; I had money in the bank, I was able to cash in my life insurance (unneeded now that I have no dependents) for several thousand dollars that had built up in that policy, I wasn't destitute yet.