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Laughter and humor as complementary and alternative medicines for dementia patients
Masatoshi Takeda, Ryota Hashimoto, Takashi Kudo, Masayasu Okochi, Shinji Tagami, Takashi Morihara, Golam Sadick, Toshihisa Tanaka
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-28
Abstract: As a result of advances in research, there several pharmacological therapies available for the treatment of dementia patients. However, current treatments do not suppress the disease process and cannot prevent dementia, and it will be some time before these goals are realized. In the meantime, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is an important aspect in the treatment of dementia patients to improve their quality of life throughout the long course of the disease. Considering the individuality of dementia patients, applicability of laughter and humor therapy is discussed. Even though there are many things that need to be elucidated regarding the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of laughter and humor, both may be good CAM for dementia patients if they are applied carefully and properly.In this debate article, the physiological basis and actual application of laughter and humor in the treatment of dementia patients are presented for discussion on the applicability to dementia patients.Because of the rapidly increasing elderly population, the need for psychogeriatric services will increase in coming years. In particular, a faster aging of the population has been observed in Asian countries compared with that in Western countries. The World Health Organization has proposed that for a society to be called 'aging', the proportion of elderly citizens (aged 65 years and older) must be 7%. Once this proportion reaches 14%, a society becomes an 'aged society' [1]. It took 24 years for Japan to move from an aging society (in 1970) to an aged society (in 1994); in comparison, in most Western countries this process takes 60-120 years [1]. Korea is expected to become an aged society by 2019, only 19 years after becoming an aging society (2000).Considerable progress has been made in psychogeriatric services as a result of increased knowledge of brain science, neuroscience, molecular genetics, brain imaging, and many other new technologies [2]. The mechanisms un
A Review of the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines by Children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease  [PDF]
Andrew S. Day
Frontiers in Pediatrics , 2013, DOI: 10.3389/fped.2013.00009
Abstract: The Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBDs) are diagnosed more commonly in children and adolescents. Following diagnosis, the key objectives are to achieve and then maintain remission. Although some therapies are able to effectively modify and modulate inflammatory events, none of the available interventions cure these conditions. Consequently, children and their parents face uncertainty and may look to alternative management options as ways to help their child, which may include various complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs). A number of studies have shown that many children with IBD receive or are given CAM agents. This article reviews the rates and patterns of CAM use in children with IBD, and emphasizes the increasing importance of these aspects of the management of children with IBD.
Using Complementary and Alternative Medicines to Target the Host Response during Severe Influenza  [PDF]
Lisa M. Alleva,Charles Cai,Ian A. Clark
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2010, DOI: 10.1093/ecam/nep152
Abstract: It is now accepted that an overwhelming inflammatory response is the cause of human deaths from avian H5N1 influenza infection. With this in mind we sought to examine the literature for examples of complementary and alternative medicines that reduce inflammation, and to place the results of this search in the context of our own work in a mouse model of influenza disease, using a pharmaceutical agent with anti-inflammatory properties. Two Chinese herbs, Angelica sinensis (Dang Gui) and Salvia miltiorrhiza (Danshen), have been recently shown to protect mice during lethal experimental sepsis via inhibition of the novel inflammatory cytokine High Mobility Group Box 1 protein (HMGB1). Biochanin A, a ligand of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPAR) alpha and gamma and the active isoflavone in Trifolium pratense (red clover), has anti-inflammatory properties, and thus could be used as an influenza treatment. This is of great interest since we have recently shown that gemfibrozil, a drug used to treat hyperlipidemia in humans and a synthetic ligand of PPAR alpha, significantly reduces the mortality associated with influenza infections in mice. The inflammation-modulating abilities of these natural agents should be considered in light of what is now known about the mechanisms of fatal influenza, and tested as potential candidates for influenza treatments in their own right, or as adjunct treatments to antivirals.
Use of complementary and alternative medicines for children with chronic health conditions in Lagos, Nigeria
Kazeem A Oshikoya, Idowu O Senbanjo, Olisamedua F Njokanma, Ayo Soipe
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-8-66
Abstract: Parents of children with epilepsy (122), asthma (78) or sickle cell anaemia (118) who presented consecutively to the paediatric neurology, respiratory and haematology clinics of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja were interviewed with a structured open- and close-ended questionnaire. The information obtained comprised the demography of both the patients and their parents; past and present treatments received by the patients; the type of CAM, if any, used by the patients; and the sources, cost, benefits and adverse effects of the CAM used.A total of 303 CAMs were used by the patients, either alone or in combination witother CAM. CAM was reportedly used by 99 (31%) patients (epilepsy -38%, sickle cell anaemia – 36% and asthma – 25%). The majority (84%) of these patients were currently using CAM. The use of CAM was stopped six months prior to the study by 16 patients (16%). Biological products were the most frequently used CAMs (58%), followed by alternative medical systems (27%) and mind-body interventions (14%). Relations, friends and neighbours had a marked influence on 76% of the parents who used CAM for their children. Eighty-five (86%) parents were willing to discuss the use of CAM with their doctors but were not asked. CAM use was associated with adverse reactions in 7.1% of the patients.Parental use of CAMs to treat their children with epilepsy, asthma and sickle cell anaemia is common in Nigeria. Efforts should be made by doctors taking care of these patients to identify those CAM therapies that are beneficial, harmless and cheap for possible integration with conventional therapy.The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is on the increase globally with a high prevalence in developed countries [1]. In developing countries, about 80% of the population are dependent on traditional healing methods, including herbal remedies, for health maintenance and therapeutic management of diseases [1]. In most developing countries, use
Australian women's use of complementary and alternative medicines to enhance fertility: exploring the experiences of women and practitioners
Jo-Anne Rayner, Helen L McLachlan, Della A Forster, Rhian Cramer
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2009, DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-9-52
Abstract: Three focus groups were conducted in Melbourne, Australia in 2007; two with women who used CAM to enhance their fertility and one with CAM practitioners. Participants were recruited from five metropolitan Melbourne CAM practices that specialise in women's health. Women were asked to discuss their views and experiences of both CAM and ART, and practitioners were asked about their perceptions of why women consult them for fertility enhancement. Groups were digitally recorded (audio) and transcribed verbatim. The data were analysed thematically.Focus groups included eight CAM practitioners and seven women. Practitioners reported increasing numbers of women consulting them for fertility enhancement whilst also using ART. Women combined CAM with ART to maintain wellbeing and assist with fertility enhancement. Global themes emerging from the women's focus groups were: women being willing to 'try anything' to achieve a pregnancy; women's negative experiences of ART and a reluctance to inform their medical specialist of their CAM use; and conversely, women's experiences with CAM being affirming and empowering.The women in our study used CAM to optimise their chances of achieving a pregnancy. Emerging themes suggest the positive relationships achieved with CAM practitioners are not always attained with orthodox medical providers. Women's views and experiences need to be considered in the provision of fertility services, and strategies developed to enhance communication between women, medical practitioners and CAM practitioners. Further research is needed to investigate the extent of CAM use for fertility enhancement in Australia, and to explore the efficacy and safety of CAM use to enhance fertility, in isolation or with ART.Studies exploring women's use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) to enhance fertility are limited despite increasing evidence of CAM use during pregnancy [1-8]. CAM is typically described as outside orthodox biomedicine and includes a broad
Use of complementary and alternative medicines by a sample of Turkish women for infertility enhancement: a descriptive study
Tamer Edirne, Secil Arica, Sebahat Gucuk, Recep Yildizhan, Ali Kolusari, Ertan Adali, Muhammet Can
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-11
Abstract: A face-to-face questionnaire inquiring demographic information and types of CAM used for fertility enhancement were completed by hundred infertility patients admitted to a primary care family planning centre in Van, Turkey between January and July 2009.The vast majority of infertile women had used CAM at least once for infertility. CAM use included religious interventions, herbal products and recommendations of traditional "hodja's" (faith healers). Of these women, 87.8% were abused in the last 12 months, 36.6% felt not being supported by her partner and 80.5% had never spoken with a physician about CAM.Infertile Turkish women use complementary medicine frequently for fertility enhancement and are in need of information about CAM. Religious and traditional therapies are used as an adjunct to, rather than a substitute for, conventional medical therapy. Physicians need to approach fertility patients with sensitivity and should be able to council their patients about CAM accordingly.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than three-quarters of the world's population rely upon complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for health care. The Cochrane Collaboration's definition of CAM is "a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health systems of a particular society or culture in a given historical period". There has been a rise in the use of CAM as a health care option in recent years globally [1-4]. In the United States consumers spend over $34 billion per year on CAM therapies and made 354 million visits to CAM practitioners [5]. Australians spend AUD$85 million on consultations with naturopaths and herbalists in the year 2004 [6]. We don't know how much is spent on CAM in Turkey but there are increasing data about CAM use nowadays. The factors influencing CAM use may differ from country to countr
Incommensurable Worldviews? Is Public Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines Incompatible with Support for Science and Conventional Medicine?  [PDF]
Paul Stoneman, Patrick Sturgis, Nick Allum, Elissa Sibley
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053174
Abstract: Proponents of controversial Complementary and Alternative Medicines, such as homeopathy, argue that these treatments can be used with great effect in addition to, and sometimes instead of, ‘conventional’ medicine. In doing so, they accept the idea that the scientific approach to the evaluation of treatment does not undermine use of and support for some of the more controversial CAM treatments. For those adhering to the scientific canon, however, such efficacy claims lack the requisite evidential basis from randomised controlled trials. It is not clear, however, whether such opposition characterises the views of the general public. In this paper we use data from the 2009 Wellcome Monitor survey to investigate public use of and beliefs about the efficacy of a prominent and controversial CAM within the United Kingdom, homeopathy. We proceed by using Latent Class Analysis to assess whether it is possible to identify a sub-group of the population who are at ease in combining support for science and conventional medicine with use of CAM treatments, and belief in the efficacy of homeopathy. Our results suggest that over 40% of the British public maintain positive evaluations of both homeopathy and conventional medicine simultaneously. Explanatory analyses reveal that simultaneous support for a controversial CAM treatment and conventional medicine is, in part, explained by a lack of scientific knowledge as well as concerns about the regulation of medical research.
The use of complementary and alternative medicines among patients with locally advanced breast cancer – a descriptive study
Lucy K Helyer, Stephen Chin, Betty K Chui, Barbara Fitzgerald, Sunil Verma, Eileen Rakovitch, George Dranitsaris, Mark Clemons
BMC Cancer , 2006, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-6-39
Abstract: Women with LABC attending a specialist clinic at a single Canadian cancer centre were identified and approached. Participants completed a self-administered survey regarding CAM usage, beliefs associated with CAM usage, views of their risks of developing recurrent cancer and of dying of breast cancer. Responses were scored and compared between CAM users and non-users.Thirty-six patients were approached, 32 completed the questionnaire (response rate 89%). Forty-seven percent of LABC patients were identified as CAM users. CAM users were more likely to be younger, married, in a higher socioeconomic class and of Asian ethnicity than non-users. CAM users were likely to use multiple modalities simultaneously (median 4) with vitamins being the most popular (60%). Motivation for CAM therapy was described as, "assisting their body to heal" (75%), to 'boost the immune system' (56%) and to "give a feeling of control with respect to their treatment" (56%). CAM therapy was used concurrently with conventional treatment in 88% of cases, however, 12% of patients felt that CAM could replace their conventional therapy. Psychological evaluation suggests CAM users perceived their risk of dying of breast cancer was similar to that of the non-Cam group (33% vs. 35%), however the CAM group had less severe anxiety and depression.The motivation, objectives and benefits of CAM therapy in a selected population of women with LABC are similar to those reported for women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. CAM users display less anxiety and depression and are less likely to believe they will die of their breast cancer. However the actual benefit to overall and disease free survival has yet to be demonstrated, as well as the possible interactions with conventional therapy. Consequently more research is needed in this ever-growing field.Cancer patients take a wide range of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM). These include ingested therapies such as herbs, and vitamins, homeopathic
Internet-based randomised controlled trials for the evaluation of complementary and alternative medicines: probiotics in spondyloarthropathy
Sinead Brophy, Claire L Burrows, Caroline Brooks, Michael B Gravenor, Stefan Siebert, Stephen J Allen
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2474-9-4
Abstract: People aged ≥18 years with confirmed spondyloarthropathy living in the United Kingdom with internet access were invited to participate in an internet-based RCT of probiotic compared to placebo for improving well-being and bowel symptoms. The intervention was a probiotic containing 4 strains of live bacteria or identical placebo taken by mouth daily for 3 months. The primary outcome measure was the performance of the trial according to the revised CONSORT statement.147 people were randomised into the trial. The internet-based trial of the CAM fulfilled the revised CONSORT statement such as efficient blinding, allocation concealment, intention to treat analysis and flow of participants through the trial. Recruitment of the required number of participants was completed in 19 months. Sixty-five percent (96/147) completed the entire 3 months of the trial. The trial was low cost and demonstrated that in an intention to treat analysis, probiotics did not improve well-being or bowel symptoms.The internet-based RCT proved to be a successful and economical method for examining this CAM intervention. Recruitment, adherence and completion rate were all similar to those reported with conventional RCTs but at a fraction of the cost. Internet-based RCTs can fulfil all the criteria of the revised CONSORT statement and are an appropriate method for studying low-risk interventions.ISRCTN36133252The use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) has increased considerably in the Western industrialised countries in the past decade. CAMs are often used for maintaining wellness and in addition conventional care for chronic and acute health conditions [1]. However, there is real debate around their use [2-4] because of the lack of high quality scientific evidence for their effectiveness. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are considered the highest form of scientific evidence for any primary research study. However, few RCTs have been performed on CAMs as there is little incentive
Construct Validity of the Holistic Complementary and Alternative Medicines Questionnaire (HCAMQ)—An Investigation Using Modern Psychometric Approaches
Paula Kersten,P. J. White,A. Tennant
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine , 2011, DOI: 10.1093/ecam/nep141
Abstract: The scientific basis of efficacy studies of complementary medicine requires the availability of validated measures. The Holistic Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire (HCAMQ) is one such measure. This article aimed to examine its construct validity, using a modern psychometric approach. The HCAMQ was completed by 221 patients (mean age 66.8, SD 8.29, 58% females) with chronic stable pain predominantly from a single joint (hip or knee) of mechanical origin, waiting for a hip (40%) or knee (60%) joint replacement, on enrolment in a study investigating the effects of acupuncture and placebo controls. The HCAMQ contains a Holistic Health (HH) Subscale (five items) and a CAM subscale (six items). Validity of the subscales was tested using Cronbach alpha's, factor analysis, Mokken scaling and Rasch analysis, which did not support the original two-factor structure of the scale. A five-item HH subscale and a four-item CAM subscale (worded in a negative direction) fitted the Rasch model and were unidimensional (2=8.44, =0.39, PSI=0.69 versus 2=17.33, =0.03, PSI=0.77). Two CAM items (worded in the positive direction) had significant misfit. In conclusion, we have shown that the original two-factor structure of the HCAMQ could not be supported but that two valid shortened subscales can be used, one for HH Beliefs (four-item HH), and the other for CAM Beliefs (four-item CAM). It is recommended that consideration is given to rewording the two discarded positively worded CAM questions to enhance construct validity.
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