Sunday, 29 July 2012

Migraine prevention

Evidence-based guideline update: NSAIDs and other complementary treatments for episodic migraine prevention in adults: report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society.
Neurology. 2012 Apr 24;78(17):1346-53
Authors: Holland S, Silberstein SD, Freitag F, Dodick DW, Argoff C, Ashman E, Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society
OBJECTIVE: To provide updated evidence-based recommendations for the preventive treatment of migraine headache. The clinical question addressed was: Are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other complementary treatments effective for migraine prevention?
METHODS: The authors analyzed published studies from June 1999 to May 2009 using a structured review process to classify the evidence relative to the efficacy of various medications for migraine prevention.
RESULTS: The author panel reviewed 284 abstracts, which ultimately yielded 49 Class I or Class II articles on migraine prevention; of these 49, 15 were classified as involving nontraditional therapies, NSAIDs, and other complementary therapies that are reviewed herein.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Petasites (butterbur) is effective for migraine prevention and should be offered to patients with migraine to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks (Level A). Fenoprofen, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen, naproxen sodium, MIG-99 (feverfew), magnesium, riboflavin, and subcutaneous histamine are probably effective for migraine prevention (Level B). Treatments considered possibly effective are cyproheptadine, Co-Q10, estrogen, mefenamic acid, and flurbiprofen (Level C). Data are conflicting or inadequate to support or refute use of aspirin, indomethacin, omega-3, or hyperbaric oxygen for migraine prevention. Montelukast is established as probably ineffective for migraine prevention (Level B).

PMID: 22529203 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Efficacy and tolerability of a once daily formulation of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761® in Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia: results from a randomised controlled trial.
Pharmacopsychiatry. 2012 Mar;45(2):41-6
Authors: Ihl R, Tribanek M, Bachinskaya N, GOTADAY Study Group
INTRODUCTION: A 24-week randomised controlled trial was conducted to assess the efficacy of a 240 mg once-daily preparation of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761® in 404 outpatients ≥ 50 years diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia (SKT 9-23), Alzheimer's disease (AD) or vascular dementia (VaD), with neuropsychiatric features (NPI total score ≥ 5).

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Tree nut phytochemicals: composition, antioxidant capacity, bioactivity, impact factors. A systematic review of almonds, Brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.
Nutr Res Rev. 2011 Dec;24(2):244-75
Authors: Bolling BW, Chen CY, McKay DL, Blumberg JB
Tree nuts contain an array of phytochemicals including carotenoids, phenolic acids, phytosterols and polyphenolic compounds such as flavonoids, proanthocyanidins (PAC) and stilbenes, all of which are included in nutrient databases, as well as phytates, sphingolipids, alkylphenols and lignans, which are not. The phytochemical content of tree nuts can vary considerably by nut type, genotype, pre- and post-harvest conditions, as well as storage conditions. Genotype affects phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes and phytosterols, but data are lacking for many other phytochemical classes. During the roasting process, tree nut isoflavones, flavanols and flavonols were found to be more resistant to heat than the anthocyanins, PAC and trans-resveratrol. The choice of solvents used for extracting polyphenols and phytosterols significantly affects their quantification, and studies validating these methods for tree nut phytochemicals are lacking. The phytochemicals found in tree nuts have been associated with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, antiviral, chemopreventive and hypocholesterolaemic actions, all of which are known to affect the initiation and progression of several pathogenic processes. While tree nut phytochemicals are bioaccessible and bioavailable in humans, the number of intervention trials conducted to date is limited. The objectives of the present review are to summarise tree nut: (1) phytochemicals; (2) phytochemical content included in nutrient databases and current publications; (3) phytochemicals affected by pre- and post-harvest conditions and analytical methodology; and (4) bioactivity and health benefits in humans.

PMID: 22153059 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Melissa officinalis extract inhibits attachment of herpes simplex virus in vitro.
Chemotherapy. 2012;58(1):70-7
Authors: Astani A, Reichling J, Schnitzler P
BACKGROUND: Extracts and essential oils of medicinal plants are increasingly of interest as novel drugs for antiherpetic agents, since the herpes simplex virus (HSV) might develop resistance to commonly used antiviral drugs.
METHODS: An aqueous extract of Melissa officinalis as well as phenolic extract compounds, i.e. caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and rosmarinic acid were examined for their antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in vitro.
RESULTS: When drugs were added to HSV-1-infected cells, no antiviral effect was observed as determined by plaque reduction assay and analysis of expression of viral protein ICP0. However, the Melissa extract demonstrated a high virucidal activity against HSV-1, even at very low concentrations of 1.5 μg/ml, whereas similar results for phenolic compounds were only achieved at 100 times higher concentrations. Besides the virucidal activity, the Melissa extract and rosmarinic acid inhibited HSV-1 attachment to host cells in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicate that rosmarinic acid was the main contributor to the antiviral activity of Melissa extract. However, the selectivity index of Melissa extract of 875 against HSV is superior to the selectivity indices of single constituents.
CONCLUSION: Melissa extract exhibits low toxicity, is virucidal and affects HSV-1 attachment to host cells in vitro.

PMID: 22377592 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Monday, 2 July 2012

Yarrow / Achillea millefolium

 Therapeutic properties of yarrow (achillea millefolium) in different herbals.

 (see end of post for details of herbals).

The full article by Rosari Kingston may be read in Béascna 7 (2011): pp 142 -162.

Therapeutic properties
Ó Cuinn (1415)
‘[…] is hot and dry; it serves well against the urinary stone, and against the quotidian fever.4 Item, take three branchlets of Yarrow and give it for three days to the patient; then if he vomits he will not come through, and if he does not vomit he will survive. The same herb serves well against arthritis and podagra’5 [ch.192]  
Culpeper (1652)
‘…As a medicine it is drying and binding. A decoction of it boiled in white wine, is good to stop the running of the reins in men, and whites in women; restrains violent bleedings, and is excellent for piles. A strong tea in this case should be made of the leaves and drunk plentifully; and equal parts of it, and of toad flax should be made into a poultice with pomatum and applied outwardly. This induces sleep, eases the pain and lessens the bleeding. An ointment of the leaves cures wounds and is good for inflammations, ulcers, fistulas and all such running as abound with moisture’. [p.397].
Threkeld (1726)
‘It is cooling, drying and binding; extolled by some in benign Gonorrhoea’s’ [p.102]
Keogh (1735)
‘It has a very dry and astringent nature. Drinking a decoction stops dysentery, and excessive menstrual and other flows. If bruised and applied to wounds, it stops bleeding and prevents inflammation and swelling. A dram of it pulverised and taken in a glass of white wine is a perfect remedy for the colic. Nothing is more effective against the piles either taken inwardly or outwardly applied. If applied to the pit of the stomach in a plaster with grated nutmeg, it is beneficial for fevers’ (Scott 1980, 158).
Maloney (1919)
Was powdered and used as snuff in congestive headache, to draw blood from the nose. Was also recommended as a cure for toothache, the patient being advised to chew the leaves. Boyle is said to have worn a little muslin bag of it as a protective charm against ague. [p.29]
NFCS (1938)
Yarrow is considered a cure for rheumatism and both the leaves and roots are used (NFCS 594: 235-236)

Yarrow or turkey weed, as it is called locally, when boiled and mixed with lemon juice and other ingredients is a cure for rheumatism (NFCS 593: 69).

The NFCS entries describe yarrow as being a cure for rheumatism and do not mention its styptic nature. The anti-inflammatory aspect is also mentioned by Keogh but more as a preventative, whereas Maloney does emphasise the anodyne aspects of the herb in an active inflammation. This use and method may be a specifically Irish remedy and has not spread to other countries (Allen and Hatfield 2004, 302).