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Esteban Delisio





    With the first day of school just around the corner, the American Academy of Pediatrics has some last-minute tips for parents and students. Make sure you fill out all the health forms and emergency contact forms you've received from the school, and give your child all the necessary immunizations if you haven't done so already. Children who ride their bikes to school should know the school rules for bicycles and have the route mapped out in advance. Also, review bike safety precautions. If your child has developed any health problems over the summer, or will have to take any medication while at school, remember to inform the school nurse and to obtain any necessary instructions from your pediatrician. And always keep in mind that kids can't learn on an empty stomach: see to it that your youngster starts the day with a good breakfast, either at home or at school, and that he or she has a healthy lunch and snacks. For more pointers, visit the AAP's web site ! at
    Isotretinoin or Accutane, a drug derived from vitamin A, has been a boon to people with severe acne but should never be taken by pregnant women because it can harm the developing fetus. Yet researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that despite warning efforts, more than 2000 women became pregnant while on this drug between 1982 and 2000, leading to babies born with defects of the brain, heart, and face. The CDC also reported that a symbol intended to remind women that they must not get pregnant while on Accutane is commonly misinterpreted. The CDC advises women not to begin taking the drug until they test negative for pregnancy-twice. Once on the medication, women should use two forms of birth control and have a new pregnancy test each month. They should also register with the survey that monitors women on Accutane.
    ESTROGEN HELPS WOMEN WITH Alzheimer's disease
    Doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, have found that higher doses of estrogen may enhance memory and attention for postmenopausal women with Alzheimer's disease. The findings appear in the current issue of the journal Neurology. In this study, 20 women received either estrogen or a placebo through a skin patch. Short-term administration of a higher dose of estrogen produced a significant improvement in verbal memory, visual memory, and attention in postmenopausal women with AD. Earlier studies have suggested that estrogen may somehow protect nerve cells in the brain and prevent their death, although it is unknown exactly how. It also appears to slow the progression of AD and perhaps even prevent it in women who do not already have the disease. Now a larger study over a longer treatment duration is needed to confirm the therapeutic potential of estrogen replacement.
    Recent findings by researchers at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and Vanderbilt University indicate that the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C for young women should be 90 milligrams rather than the current level of 75 milligrams. Using criteria set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Mark Levine of the NIDDK and his associates studied long-term vitamin C uptake in 15 healthy women aged 19 to 27. They evaluated the women for periods ranging from 158 to 214 days, while keeping them on diets that provided daily doses of vitamin C from 30 to as high as 2,500 milligrams. The researchers found that the volunteers' cells and blood plasma approached their saturation points for vitamin C at doses of 100 to 200 milligrams per day. Levine says eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day would provide a healthy woman with approximately 200 milligrams of vitamin C and afford other health ben! efits such as a decreased cancer risk.
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