Man walks into clinic thinking he has kidney stones, walks out with cancer diagnosis

Keith Alexander(FORT COLLINS, Colo.) — Keith Alexander had been feeling sick for a few days before he finally decided to walk into an urgent care clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado. Little did he know he would walk out of that UCHealth facility a few hours later with a colon cancer diagnosis.

He half expected it to be kidneys stones again — he had suffered from the affliction some 15 years earlier and the discomfort was similar. Maybe it was a urinary tract infection.

“To be quite honest, I wasn’t really feeling pain,” Alexander told ABC News, recalling the September 2018 visit. “But you know when you get that feeling, where you don’t feel that well?”

Alexander, 55, was on his way to work when he texted his wife and said he was swinging by the clinic. His wife voiced her concern and insisted on coming with him.

“She knows that I normally don’t ask to go to a doctor. I sort of ‘cowboy-up,’ if you will,” explained Alexander, adding that he very rarely misses work.

After walking through the front doors of the Urgent Care Harmony Campus, they put their name on the wait list. It was a fairly busy day at that location, the waiting room filled with “regulars” — people suffering from the flu, nursing broken bones, breathing through their chest pains or clutching their stomachs with abdominal issues.

But that day, Alexander and his wife were invited back quickly and taken into another area of the clinic — a room that’s entrance is closed off with a curtain. Alexander, a father of four, had just taken a seat on the edge of the bed when Dr. Michele Clingenpeel walked in.

“He presented with a few days worth of fever and discomfort in his right lower quadrant, and said he lost his appetite,” Clingenpeel told ABC News.

Clingenpeel gave Alexander a once-over and ordered a CT scan and blood work, as well as a few other tests. She too, expected it to be kidney stones, based upon Alexander’s explanation of his symptoms. Or maybe even atypical appendicitis.

“There’s a science behind medicine, but also an art — a little nuance,” explained Clingenpeel, adding one of the perks of their specific clinic is that it has both a CT scanner and an ultrasound machine on campus.

“A lot of times we do these evaluations and it’s nothing, but we try to rule things out,” she said.

Minutes ticked by as the tests were sent off to be analyzed. Alexander and his wife waited patiently in their room, regularly checked on by the nursing staff. In another part of the clinic, Clingenpeel was picking up the phone to talk to the radiologist, calling with Alexander’s results.

After having not seen a soul for about 30 minutes, Alexander turned to his wife, seated on a chair beside the bed.

“This seems to be taking a little long,” he recalled telling her.

Right as that moment, Clingenpeel walked in and took a perch on the corner of his bed.

“Keith, I kind of have some bad news. I have to admit you to the hospital,” Alexander remembered her telling him.

“I can’t be admitted to the hospital. I have to go to work,” he told her.

The doctor paused.

“From everything I can tell and everything I can see, the diagnosis tells me you have colon cancer. And it’s spread,” she told him.

His wife’s jaw dropped.

“Are you sure? Are you sure?” his wife kept asking. She had lost her own mother to cancer and her mind immediately went to the worst-case scenario.

And despite hiding her emotions, Clingenpeel was shocked as well.

“I wasn’t expecting to find that. We sometimes get something that’s [going to be] the last thing you think about when you’re treating a patient,” said Clingenpeel. “But when you get that news for a patient, it kind of takes you back a little.”

In fact, Clingenpeel had only ever diagnosed three other incidents of cancer at that facility — lymphoma, thyroid and pelvic.

Alexander, for his part, tried to be strong for his wife.

“I didn’t think, ‘Oh, poor me.’ I took it as, ‘What do we have to do to fight this? What is the plan of action? Let’s go execute it,’” Alexander said.

Clingenpeel spent the next several minutes explaining the mass on his colon and how it looked like it had metastasized to his liver. She suggested he check himself into a hospital that day because of a possible infection in his colon and because blood results showed he was anemic.

After answering all their questions, Clingenpeel gave both Alexander and his wife a hug — a small gesture that Alexander never forgot, and intended to pay back one day. Before Alexander and his wife left the clinic room, one nurse even came in and got down one knee, taking Alexander’s hand.

“Do you mind if I say a prayer?” she asked him.

“Absolutely not. All prayers are welcome,” he told her with a smile.

After gathering their things, Alexander and his wife walked out to their car, where he immediately called his mom and stepfather to break the news.

“It was heart wrenching,” Alexander said, recalling his stepfather answering the phone. “I could hear my mom in the background asking ‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong?’”

After the call, Alexander and his wife went home, packed a bag full of clothes and other personal items, and threw in an iPad for good measure before returning to UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital to be admitted for monitoring.

For the next several days, surgeons and other medical staff sent him through an army of tests, from MRIs and CT scans to additional blood tests and more. Alexander was on a constant dose of antibiotics to get the inflammation and infection down, and hopefully, bring his blood count up.

In 2015, the most recent year statistics are available, 140,000 new cases of colon cancer were reported, while 52,000 died of the disease, according to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention. The Atlanta-based research facility said it’s the second deadliest cancer that affects both men and women.

The medical team at UCHealth ultimately decided to operate on Alexander to remove the mass in his colon, and while he was under the knife, also took out 42 possibly infected lymph nodes, 35 of 42 which were later identified as infected.

After a few days of recovery, Alexander returned home to Wellington but started to feel pain. Severe pain, in fact.

“I kept telling [my wife] I would get through this but a few days after the surgery, she had woken up to check on me at 5 in the morning and I was curled on the floor,” he explained.

His wife wouldn’t hear any more of it. She ordered him to get in the car because they were going back to the emergency room. As it turned out, Alexander’s gall bladder had reacted negatively to everything he had been through in recent weeks, and had become so swollen it had to be removed.

Another surgery later, and Alexander was finally ready to start chemotherapy, the latter of which worked well — it shrunk the lesions on his liver by half, allowing doctors to plan surgery to remove them on March 13. If all goes well, Alexander will technically be in remission, but will still need to be on “chemo maintenance,” meaning he will continue to take the cancer-fighting drug by pill form to ensure all microscopic cells are still being killed.

A year before all this started, Alexander’s doctor had recommended he schedule a colonoscopy, but he put it off. His blood work at the time was, according to his doctor, “outstanding,” so he figured it wouldn’t hurt to wait. It’s a lesson he learned too late, and wishes to impart upon others as March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

“A colonoscopy is a short period of time out of your life. It’s painless, it’s outpatient, it’s easy to go,” he said. “And it’s very possible that something could be caught in the early enough stages that it can save lives.”

It’s possible he even saved the lives of those in his circle. After his diagnosis and sharing his story with loved ones, he’s had an old boss, a few coworkers and two brothers-in-law get colonoscopies. From the test, his two brothers-in-law each found a cyst in the colon and a lump on a prostate, respectively.

According to the CDC, 67 percent of U.S. adults aged 50 to 75 were screened for colon cancer in 2016. That number is up from 66 percent two years prior.

Alexander is quick to applaud the staff at UCHealth, who he says contributed to his recovery via their care and kindness.

“The one thing I think is very important too is the care that you actually receive. It does wonders for your wellbeing and attitude. … It’s not just what they do, but how they do their jobs,” said Alexander.

And as for that hug Alexander intends to pay back? He stopped by the clinic one day last year but unfortunately Clingenpeel wasn’t working that day. When she later heard he came to see her, she admitted she actually cried.

Alexander say’s he’ll try again. And again. And again. Until he gives her that hug.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Low-carb diets like keto linked to potential heart risk in new study: What you should know

ThitareeSarmkasat/iStock(NEW YORK) —  The ketogenic, or keto, diet is one of the trendiest diets right now, but a new study is raising red flags about a potential heart risk tied to low-carbohydrate diets like keto.

The study, which will be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting, found that people on low-carb diets were 18 percent more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm disorder, than people on a moderate-carb diet.

Atrial fibrillation, known as AFib, is the most common heart arrhythmia, with as many as six million people suffering from it in the U.S. alone, according to the CDC.

In a person with AFib, the normal beating in the upper chambers of the heart is irregular, according to the CDC. The resulting irregular blood flow may cause a blood clot or a stroke.

The newly-released study tracked nearly 14,000 people for more than two decades. Participants filled out a food questionnaire about what they ate and researchers followed them to track how many developed AFib.

Participants who identified as eating low-carb in the study consumed less than 44 percent of their daily calorie intake from carbohydrates.

The study’s researchers were quick to point out that the study shows an association between low-carb diets and AFib, but it does not prove cause and effect.

What is the keto diet?

Low carb diets like the keto diet call for eating foods high in fat and low in carbohydrates.

Keto dieters, for example, drastically cut carbohydrates to about 10 percent of their daily diet, which in some cases can be just 20 grams of carbohydrates per day.

While the keto diet was the most searched diet of 2018 on Google, it tied for last in 2018 on the Best Diet Overall list, which is released annually by U.S. News and World Report.

“One of our experts said, ‘Any diet that recommends snacking on bacon can’t be taken seriously as a health-promoting way to eat,'” Angela Haupt, assistant managing editor of health at U.S. News and World Report, told ABC News last year. “One of the concerns with keto is how high in saturated fat it is.”

Other critics of the keto diet argue that it is nearly impossible to follow for a long period of time and that it could lead to muscle loss or deprive the brain of its preferred fuel source: carbs.

Some also argue that the majority of the research on it has not yet looked at the long-term effects it has on non-epileptic people over the course of 15 to 20 years.

How could low-carb diets and AFib be linked?

The study’s lead author, Dr. Xiaodong Zhuang, a cardiologist in Guangzhou, China, pointed to three potential reasons low-carb diets might be associated with AFib in a news release distributed by the American College of Cardiology.

First, people on a low-carb diet may be eating fewer inflammation-fighting foods like fruits, vegetables and grains, and inflammation has been linked with AFib.

Second, having more protein and fat replacing carbs in a diet may lead to oxidative stress, which has been associated with AFib.

Third, the effects of the diet could be related to an “increased risk of other forms of cardiovascular disease.”

Proponents of the keto diet say it is the best way to lose weight without feeling hungry and that it increases energy levels. Each person should consult with their doctor to see if the benefits of a low-carb diet outweigh any potential risks.

If a low-carb diet like keto is effective in helping you lose weight — if that is your specific goal — then it may be worth continuing to follow, according to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News chief medical correspondent.

“If low-carb is effective in losing weight and therefore reducing risk of coronary heart disease, that might be worth it if you have to trade a little for the risk of AFib,” she said Thursday on Good Morning America.

Watch the video below for more information on the keto diet from Dr. Ashton.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Are you in a toxic friendship? Five tips on how to break up with toxic friends

Milkos/iStock(NEW YORK) — How to do you know when a friendship turns toxic?

For 26-year-old Danielle from Orange County, California, she realized in college that her dynamic with her childhood best friend was “very toxic.”

“We were very close, basically like sisters,” she told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “However, as I continued on in college, made new friends, and discovered more about myself, I came to the realization that our friendship was very toxic and I wanted to have a break and space in our friendship.”

Friendship can add years to your life, according to experts, while protecting against depression and anxiety. But as you grow, sometimes a friendship can start to feel unhealthy.

“Data show that our friends turn over every decade or so and that’s OK,” said Dr. Andrea Bonior, a psychologist and author of The Friendship Fix. “I think the friendships that last throughout life are particularly special and we should seek those when it’s a good fit. But, in general, I don’t think it’s anything to feel ashamed of when certain friends come and go in our lives.”

People shared stories with GMA about friendships ending for a number of reasons, from a misunderstanding over paying rent to feeling left out by a once best friend or passive-aggressive behavior which teeters into harmful terrain.

Nicole, 26, from Wisconsin, said she thinks her anxiety today stems from her relationship with her childhood best friend whom she hasn’t spoken with in seven years.

“In middle school, and especially in high school, she could be so mean to me … I lived in her shadow, and she knew that,” Nicole told GMA.

“Friendships are toxic generally when one person is for a long period of time just being brought down by it,” Bonior said. “They don’t feel like their best self within it. They feel taken advantage of or manipulated. They feel like they’re not really understood and appreciated for who they are.”

Things may also contribute, such as having an unhealthy level of competition, of if there is a lack of reciprocity where one person is giving so much more than the other person, Bonior said. Or one friend could have habits that bring the other person down.

Big signs to call it quits, according to Bonior, include when “you don’t look forward to spending time with a person. And it always feels like a chore or you’re not liking who you are with that person.”

When Danielle decided to reevaluate their dynamic, she said she was accused of “being a bad friend” and was excommunicated.

“I was about 23 or 24-years-old and felt very alone and confused since all my main group of friends were her friends first,” she told GMA. “They no longer talked to me.”

“Just like a romantic relationship breakup, I basically told her I don’t want to be friends anymore — I don’t think our friendship was a healthy friendship and I then got [attacked] with hateful words over text messaging telling me I was an awful person for wanting [to] put myself first for a change,” she said. “Till this day I have not spoken to my old friend since our fall out, I told her goodbye and good luck, I haven’t seen her since, nor have any of our other friends ever reached out to me.”

If you have a friendship that you think is no longer contributing to your happiness or mental health, here are five things Bonior recommends evaluating to before a split:

1. Have respect for the other person

Show and behave with respect when confronting your friend.

“Treat your friend in a way that you’re going to be proud of,” Bonior said.

And in the case of a friendship that’s run its course and it’s not necessarily toxic but you think the person is not a good match for you, Bonior recommends “getting a little space gradually at first and seeing how that goes, if the other person sort of picks up on it.”

In those cases, Bonior said to be careful that you’re not ghosting someone because there’s a fine line between getting some space versus disappearing and making the other person wonder what went wrong.

Alternatively, sometimes friendships need to end with a clean cut.

“Some toxic relationships, it’s so toxic that even engaging in that manner is too much and you need to be able to take a clean break. Like if you’re looking to get sober and you need to sort of break up with the people who have been keeping you mired in your addiction,” Bonior said.

2. Get clarity on what you want

“Get clarity about exactly what you want to do, because you don’t want to do something rash that you’re going to end up regretting,” Bonior said.

3. Understand your feelings

Own your feelings, and understand this may be tough.

“A lot of people are embarrassed when a friendship going wrong has a really big effect on them,” Bonior said. “They feel silly, they feel you know like it shouldn’t matter so much. So let yourself feel.”

4. Take time for self-care

Make sure you take time for yourself, and work on your self-care.

Bonior recommends exercising, getting enough sleep, spending time on hobbies or with other friends and family members that are good for you.

5. Learn something from it

What did you take away from this experience?

“Be able to go forward in your life having taken some insight from this relationship,” Bonior said. “You don’t need to regret that it happened if you can be a stronger person for it and you can understand more about yourself now that it’s been done.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What to know about the latest beauty trend of blood cream, a moisturizer made from your own blood

ABC News(NEW YORK) —   Would you try the latest skincare trend celebrities are swearing by that uses your own blood as the key ingredient?

Blood Cream, a personalized moisturizer created by Dr. Barbara Sturm in Germany, literally uses plasma from an individual’s blood as the key ingredient to complete each unique formula.

Celebrities like Emma Roberts and Hailey Baldwin are on board, and other companies are starting to create their own versions of the blood cream, but with a $1,400 price tag, some dermatologists are wary.

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe explained some of the science behind the latest beauty fad, telling “Good Morning America” that the blood cream relies on Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), a concentrated mixture of platelets from your own blood.

The plasma is the key for the youthful, healthy skin because it’s thought to stimulate wound-healing and make the skin look and feel younger, according to Bowe.

The growth factors in PRP are thought to trick aging cells into behaving like young, healthy cells, Bowe added, though it can be hard to isolate these PRP’s without the red blood cells and white blood cells which can hinder tissue regeneration and cause inflammation.

To make an effective blood cream, you need to make sure the plasma you are using is not contaminated with the white blood cells and red blood cells — and Bowe says the key way of telling if your blood cream has been contaminated is to look at the color. If it’s clear, that’s a good sign, according to Bowe. If it’s got a subtle red or pink hue, you may want to reconsider.

The growth factors from the plasma also need to be able to penetrate the skin for the cream to be effective, Bowe said.

One question many consumers may want to know is how long of a shelf life these creams have. In short: We don’t know, Bowe said. GMA reached out to Dr. Sturm’s team to see if they had any data to show how long these growth factors are staying stable and active in their jars, but they declined, telling us they “have supplied all the information we are able to.”

ABC News’ Medical Unit also couldn’t find any studies performed on blood cream at this point.

Bowe’s verdict is if you have an extra $1,400 to spend, the blood cream probably can’t hurt. But if you’re in the market for a more established procedure with a longer track record of results, she says save your money for a trip to the dermatologist.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

High school student saves for over 2 years to buy his friend a new wheelchair

Caddo Hills School District/Facebook(NORMAN, Ark.) — One high school student’s generosity and kindness toward a fellow classmate is warming hearts across the nation.

Tanner Wilson, a senior at Caddo Hills High School in the rural town of Norman, Ark., bought an electric wheelchair for his classmate and friend, Brandon Qualls. It took Wilson more than two years to save up money from his part-time job to afford one.

“He’s just been a really good friend and I wanted to do him a favor,” Wilson told local television station KTHV in an interview last week. “I just felt like I needed to do it, and I wanted to do it.”

For years, Qualls had been using a self-propelled wheelchair to get around.

“My arms would get really tired, and I would have to stop and take rests,” Qualls told KTHV.

Wilson surprised Qualls with the new wheelchair during class on Feb. 26. A teacher helped decorate the chair with orange flames on the fenders and Qualls’ last name written in orange flames on the back of the headrest. Orange is Qualls’ favorite color.

“They came in and my face just blew up, crying everywhere,” Qualls told KTHV. “Just like, ‘Wow, can’t believe he did that for me!'”

Wilson said seeing the smile on his friend’s face made it “100 percent” worth it.

“There’s many people out here that have troubles and need a little bit of help,” he told KTHV.

Caddo Hills School District shared a photo of the two friends on Facebook that day. The post had garnered nearly 3,000 likes and almost 2,000 shares by Wednesday.

“We would like to share some love,” the school district wrote in the Feb. 26 post. “Today Tanner Wilson, Caddo Hill’s Senior, surprised his fellow classmate Brandon Qualls with a motorized wheelchair. We are so grateful for the heartfelt surprise from one Indian to another. Tanner has been saving for two years to show his appreciation and friendship for Brandon.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

FaceGym, the world’s first gym for your face, is expanding across the US

ABC Photo Illustration(NEW YORK) — You can walk into any gym and work out your body: tone your arms, strengthen your muscles, tighten your core. But what about your face?

Enter FaceGym, the world’s first gym dedicated to working out your face.

“We work on the muscles in your face to lift, tone and tighten,” FaceGym’s Community Manager Lauren Barnett tells ABC News’ Good Morning America.

Clients can come into a studio and let their face get worked over by a “trainer” all in the name of more sculpted cheekbones.

Supermodels Karlie Kloss and Irina Shayk, and designer Alexander Wang are among FaceGym’s clientele.

“People can’t believe the results,” Barnett says. “We’ve had customers say they’ve been doing Botox for years and stopped doing Botox because of the results from FaceGym.”

Just like any good gym session, each FaceGym workout has a regimen: warm-up, cardio, sculpting and cooldown.

There are a series of workouts you can choose from, depending on how much time you have, the areas you want to focus on and the amount of money you want to spend.

Trainers use tools for your workout to aid in the lifting and sculpting of your skin, such as an electrical muscle stimulator, which Barnett likens to “doing 200 sit-ups for your face,” a gold derma roller that stimulates collagen in your body and minimizes fine lines, and a “face ball” designed to support lymphatic draining.

You can also take your workout up a notch by adding treatments, such as the new “Skin IV,” which blasts your face with different vitamins and nutrients.

FaceGym has built up a loyal following in the U.K. and has expanded stateside in the past year. The company opened up its U.S. flagship store in NYC’s NoHo neighborhood and a Los Angeles output is expected in April.

FaceGym wants to show that you can achieve sculpted cheekbones and a lifted brow line without invasive surgery.

Beyond being just a skincare company, “We are in the confidence-building business,” Barnett says.

“Fillers and Botox, that may work for some people, but FaceGym gives you an alternative that you are just basically working on what you’ve got and being the best version of yourself,” she says.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

FDA finds asbestos in makeup at Claire’s

Roger Utting Photography/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday warned consumers not to use certain cosmetic products sold by Claire’s after they were found to contain asbestos, a known carcinogen.

Samples of Claire’s eye shadows batch no./lot no. 08/17, compact powder batch no./lot no. 07/15 and contour palette batch no./lot no. 04/17 all tested positive for tremolite asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral often found in the earth near talc, an ingredient in many makeup products. Talc can become contaminated with asbestos while being mined, according to the FDA.

“Consumers who have these batches/lots of Claire’s Eye Shadow, Compact Powder, and Contour in their home should stop using them,” the FDA said in an alert posted on its website Tuesday. “Claire’s has informed us that it does not believe that affected products are still available for sale.”

The FDA said it’s not aware of any adverse reactions associated with exposure to the three products.

Claire’s, an American retailer with stores around the world that sell jewelry, accessories and cosmetics aimed at girls and young women, said it has removed the three items from shelves as well as any remaining talc-based products “out of an abundance of caution.” The company, which operates under the Claire’s and Icing brands, also said it will honor returns of any talc-based Claire’s brand cosmetics.

However, Claire’s disputed the FDA tests.

“There is no evidence that any products sold by Claire’s are unsafe,” the company said in a statement Tuesday. “The recent test results the FDA have shared with us show significant errors. Specifically, the FDA test reports have mischaracterized fibers in the products as asbestos, in direct contradiction to established EPA and USP criterion for classifying asbestos fibers. Despite our efforts to discuss these issues with the FDA, they insisted on moving forward with their release. We are disappointed that the FDA has taken this step, and we will continue to work with them to demonstrate the safety of our products.”

The retail chain emerged from bankruptcy in October after filing in March last year.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

FDA approves ketamine-derived nasal spray to treat depression

MJ_Prototype/iStock(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a ketamine-derivative nasal spray to treat depression.

The medication is called eskatamine and it’s developed by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. Esketamine can now be used for patients who have “treatment-resistant depression,” or patients who didn’t respond to at least two other medications. The FDA made the announcement on Tuesday.

Ketamine, which is commonly known as the street drug “Special-K,” has been used as an anesthetic for decades. It has also been used experimentally to treat depression since the late 90s and has previously been administered with an IV.

Kaiser Permanente offers the IV form of ketamine to treat depression, but representatives for the health care system did not answer repeated requests from ABC News for information about the program, its history and the number of providers and patients who have participated in the program.

Janssen’s new esketamine spray, which will be sold under the brand name Spravato, was developed to be three to four times more potent than regular ketamine, which would allow doctors to administer less and reduce side effects, according to Husseini K. Manji, a developer of the drug and global head of Janssen’s neuroscience therapeutic area.

“We could get away with a very low dose of the drug and fewer side effects,” he told ABC News.

The spray works within hours compared to the four to eight weeks most anti-depressants take to become effective, Manji said.

However, not everyone is enthusiastic about the prospect of a ketamine nasal spray.

“The whole concept is suspect,” Dr. Julie Zito, professor emerita of pharmacology and psychiatry at the University of Maryland, told ABC News.

Zito was one of the two doctors — out on an FDA panel of 16 — who voted against recommending that eskatamine go forward in the approval process, and said that she thinks it needs further review because the findings were “inconsistent.”

“The model of using a drug alone and expecting a magic bullet ignores 60 years of experience with antidepressants,” Zito said, explaining that to think anyone is going to “fix depression” is a mistake. “We can use a medication as a start, then psychotherapeutic treatment, like cognitive behavioral therapy, that’s evidence-based and shown to be effective, has to come into play and address the problems that are causing the suffering.”

With the new drug, patients will get esketamine doses twice a week for the first four weeks, according to Manji. Once they show signs of improvement, treatments can be spread out to once a week or once every two weeks.

“You can get people better rapidly with the nasal medication but depression is a chronic disease,” he added.

Leading up to its approval, researchers examined about 1,700 people over 29 studies, which were executed in various phases with the FDA, according to Manji.

The two major side effects are an increase in blood pressure and disassociation, or feeling disconnected from one’s thoughts, feelings or body. When experienced, both seem to begin about 30 minutes after the treatment and end about 90 minutes afterward.

“The side effects are manageable,” Manji said.

For about 90 percent of people who experience the blood pressure increase, Manji said it’s akin to “what you or I might have if we exercised.”

He added that with the dissociation, “colors might seem brighter, sounds might seem brighter, you might not seem real, the room might not seem real.” However, the severity of this feeling usually lessened after the first dose.

Because of the potential side effects,”you don’t go home with eskatamine,” Manji said. “You go to a clinic, it’s administered and you stay for 90 minutes and then go home.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

2nd ever HIV patient in remission after stem cell transplant: Doctors

Vasyl Dolmatov/iStock(SEATTLE) — A man who previously tested positive for HIV has shown no trace of the virus that causes AIDS since receiving a stem cell transplant more than a year ago, doctors say.

The patient, a resident of the United Kingdom who has chosen to remain anonymous, appears to be the second known person to be declared free of HIV since the pandemic began.

 The latest case study was published online Tuesday by the scientific journal Nature and will be presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle this month.

Both HIV-positive patients were diagnosed with cancer and received bone-marrow transplants from donors carrying two copies of a rare genetic mutation, known as CCR5-delta 32, that made them resistant to HIV-1, the most widespread and pathogenic strain of the human immunodeficiency viruses.

The first patient, later identified as American Timothy Ray Brown, underwent two such transplants in Berlin in 2007 and 2008 to treat acute myeloid leukemia after chemotherapy and radiation failed, according to the case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009.

Brown has been cancer-free and in sustained remission from HIV ever since, as far as doctors can tell.

The second patient received the transplant in London in 2016 after being diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma and going through less intensive chemotherapy.

Regular testing confirmed the so-called “London patient” also has been in long-term remission for the past 18 months since discontinuing antiretroviral therapy, according to the case report, which was carried out by researchers at University College London and Imperial College London with teams at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford.

“By achieving remission in a second patient using a similar approach, we have shown that the Berlin patient was not an anomaly, and that it really was the treatment approaches that eliminated HIV in these two people,” said Dr. Ravindra Gupta, lead author of the new study and University College London’s Division of Infection and Immunity professor, in a statement.

The researchers cautioned that a stem cell transplant is not appropriate as a standard treatment for HIV due to the toxicity of chemotherapy given before the transplant.

“While it is too early to say with certainty that our patient is now cured of HIV, and doctors will continue to monitor his condition, the apparent success of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation offers hope in the search for a long-awaited cure for HIV/AIDS,” said Dr. Eduardo Olavarria, medical director of London’s Hammersmith Hospital blood and marrow transplantation unit and Imperial College London haematology professor, in a statement.

 Some 36.9 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS in 2017, and just 59 percent were receiving antiretroviral therapy, which is the use of HIV medicines to suppress the virus.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, is the third and most advanced stage of HIV infection. Almost one million people died from AIDS-related illnesses around the world in 2017, according to data from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment of HIV can help prevent progression.

“At the moment, the only way to treat HIV is with medications that suppress the virus, which people need to take for their entire lives, posing a particular challenge in developing countries,” Gupta said. “Finding a way to eliminate the virus entirely is an urgent global priority, but is particularly difficult because the virus integrates into the white blood cells of its host.”

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Senators hear from Ohio teenager who rebelled against parents by getting vaccinated

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Ethan Lindenberger, an Ohio teenager who has spoken out about growing up in an anti-vaccine household, told a Senate committee Tuesday that misinformation and fear put children at risk.

Lindenberger said growing up he never received standard vaccines that protect against diseases like chickenpox, hepatitis, measles, mumps, polio, or rubella. In his prepared testimony, he described debates he’d had with his mother, who he has described as an “anti-vaccine advocate.” But by the time he became a legal adult, he said, he had educated himself on the topic and decided to seek inoculations on his own.

“Anti-vaccine parents and individuals are in no way evil. With that said, I will state that certain individuals and organizations which spread misinformation and instill fear into the public for their own gain selfishly put countless people at risk,” Lindenberger said.

John Boyle, president and CEO of the Immune Deficiency Foundation, spoke about parents who fear that their communities aren’t being sufficiently vaccinated.

“They are afraid to send their child to school — even when their child is not sick and should be able to participate. They’re afraid because they understand the science, the math, and the history. They know the stakes: if people stop vaccinating and the safety net of “community immunity” fails, their children will be among the first casualties,” Boyle said in prepared testimony.

The term “herd immunity” refers to the percentage of a community that needs to be vaccinated against a particular disease to prevent the spread of the disease in the population.

For measles, herd immunity is reached when about 93 to 95 percent of the population is vaccinated.

“The rate of protection against measles is hovering dangerously close to the ‘herd immunity threshold,’” said Saad Omer, a professor of epidemiology and pediatrics at Emory University, in prepared testimony.

The committee also heard from a public health official from Washington state, where an ongoing measles outbreak has drawn national attention to the issue of vaccinations.

As of Monday afternoon, the state Department of Health had confirmed 70 cases of measles in Washington’s Clark County.

Washington has had three measles outbreaks over the last 10 years, according to testimony from John Wiesman, secretary of health at the Washington State Department of Health.

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