Breakthrough: First Biologic Treatment for Eczema

E1An estimated 300,000 people suffer from Atopic Dermatitis, the most common form of Eczema.

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They are most in need of new treatment options.

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Eczema is a chronic inflammatory disease with symptoms often appearing as a rash on the skin.

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It’s characterized by rashes often covering much of the body.  

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It can include intense, persistent itching and skin dryness, cracking, redness, crusting, and oozing.

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Itch is one of the most burdensome symptoms for patients and can be debilitating.

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Now, the FDA has just approved the first targeted biologic therapy for adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis.

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It’s called Dupixent and it will be available later this week to U.S. patients suffering from this chronic and debilitating form of eczema.

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The Dupixent® (dupilumab) Injection is the first and only biologic medicine approved for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD) whose disease is not adequately controlled with topical prescription therapies, or when those therapies are not advisable.

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“People with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis cope with intense, sometimes unbearable symptoms that can impact them for most of their lives,” says Julie Block, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Eczema Association. 

“To date, there have been few options available to treat people with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis who have uncontrolled disease.  That’s why today’s approval of Dupixent is so important for our community. Now we have a treatment that is expected to help address patients suffering from this devastating disease.”

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Dupixent is a human monoclonal antibody that is designed to specifically inhibit overactive signaling of two key proteins, IL-4 and IL-13, which are believed to be major drivers of the persistent underlying inflammation in AD.

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It comes in a pre-filled syringe and can be self-administered as a subcutaneous injection every other week after an initial loading dose.

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And it can be used with or without topical corticosteroids.

WHO IS DUPIXENT BEST SUITED FOR?

Adult patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (eczema) that is not well controlled with prescription therapies used on the skin (topical), or who cannot use topical therapies.  It is not known if Dupixent is safe and effective in children.

 

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“Dupixent is the result of years of tireless research by our scientists into the underlying causes of allergic and atopic diseases.  In atopic dermatitis, Dupixent was shown to help clear the skin and manage the intense itch caused by the disease,” says George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Scientist, President, and Chief Scientific Officer, Regeneron.

“Today’s approval would not be possible without the dedication of the clinical investigators and the participation of the patients who took part in the global LIBERTY AD clinical program.”

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Dupixent was evaluated by the FDA with Priority Review, which is reserved for medicines that represent potentially significant improvements in safety or efficacy in treating serious conditions.

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“We strive to transform scientific innovation into therapeutic solutions that make a meaningful difference to people’s lives,”says Olivier Brandicourt, M.D., CEO, Sanofi.

“The approval of Dupixent offers new hope for adults with moderate-to-severe AD in the United States, and we look forward to working with regulatory authorities around the world to bring this important new medicine to patients globally.”

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This follows the FDA’s 2014 Breakthrough Therapy designation for Dupixent for inadequately controlled moderate-to-severe AD.

Breakthrough Therapy designation was created by the FDA to expedite the development and review of drugs developed for serious or life-threatening conditions.

Dupixent represents the first time this designation was granted for a dermatological disease, other than in dermatologic cancers.

Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi, and Regeneron will market Dupixent in the United States.

WHEN WILL IT BE AVAILABLE TO PATIENTS?

Dupixent is expected to be available to patients and providers in the U.S. later this week.

WHAT DOES IT COST?

The Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) of Dupixent in the United States is $37,000 annually.

Actual costs to patients, payers and health systems are anticipated to be lower as WAC pricing does not reflect discounts, rebates or patient assistance programs.

Analysts say the drug could become a blockbuster therapy that could one day bring in more than $3 billion in annual sales.

SHOULD ANYONE NOT USE DUPIXENT AT ALL?

It should not be used in patients allergic to dupilumab or any of the ingredients in Dupixent.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SIDE EFFECTS TO USING DUPIXENT?

The most common adverse events that were noted to be greater than or equal to one percent with Dupixent treatment included injection site reactions, eye and eye lid inflammation including redness, swelling, and itching, and cold sores in the mouth or on the lips.

In December 2016, the European Medicines Agency accepted for review Sanofi’s and Regeneron’s marketing authorization application (MAA) for Dupixent for adults with uncontrolled moderate-to-severe AD.

ANY SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS?

Dupixent can cause serious side effects, including:

  • Allergic reactions. Stop using Dupixent and go to the nearest hospital emergency room if you get any of the following symptoms: fever, general ill feeling, swollen lymph nodes, hives, itching, joint pain, or skin rash.
  • Eye problems. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new or worsening eye problems, including eye pain or changes in vision.

 

WHEN SHOULD PEOPLE CONTACT A DOCTOR IF THEY EXPERIENCE SIDE EFFECTS?

People should tell their healthcare provider if they have any side effect that bothers them or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Dupixent.  Doctors can provide medical advice about side effects.  They should also report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

ANYTHING ELSE PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW?

  • Use Dupixent exactly as prescribed.
  • If your healthcare provider decides that you or a caregiver can give Dupixent injections, you or your caregiver should receive training on the right way to prepare and inject Dupixent.
  • Do not try to inject Dupixent until you have been shown the right way by your healthcare provider.
  • Please click here for the full Prescribing Information.
  • Patient information is available here.

ARE ANY ADDITIONAL STUDIES TAKING PLACE?

Dupilumab Program Overview

Dupilumab is currently being evaluated in a comprehensive development program for Atopic Dermatitis (AD) that includes studies in children with severe AD (6 months to 11 years of age) and adolescents with moderate-to-severe AD (12 to 17 years of age).

In October 2016, the FDA granted dupilumab Breakthrough Therapy designation for both populations.  These potential uses are investigational and the safety and efficacy have not been evaluated nor confirmed by any regulatory authority.

Dupilumab is also being studied in other inflammatory diseases that are believed to be driven by IL-4 and IL-13 cytokines, including persistent uncontrolled asthma (Phase 3, results expected later this year), nasal polyposis (Phase 3) and eosinophilic esophagitis (Phase 2).

These potential uses are investigational and the safety and efficacy have not been evaluated by any regulatory authority.

WHERE CAN PEOPLE LEARN ABOUT CLINICAL TRIALS TAKING PLACE?

For more information on dupilumab clinical trials please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

IS THERE ANYONE THAT SHOULDN’T USE IT?
Do not use if you are allergic to dupilumab or to any of the ingredients in Dupixent®.

ANY OTHER SAFETY PRECAUTIONS PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?  

People should tell their healthcare provider about their medical conditions BEFORE using Dupixent, including if they:

  • have eye problems
  • have a parasitic (helminth) infection
  • have asthma
  • are scheduled to receive any vaccinations. You should not receive a “live vaccine” if you are treated with Dupixent.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Dupixent will harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known whether Dupixent passes into your breast milk.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

If you have asthma and are taking asthma medicines, do not change or stop your asthma medicine without talking to your healthcare provider.

ANYTHING ELSE PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW?

Sanofi and Regeneron recognize Dupixent can only help those uncontrolled moderate-to-severe AD patients prescribed the medicine if they can both access the medicine and use it properly.

Therefore, the companies have launched Dupixent MyWay, a comprehensive and specialized program that provides support and services to patients throughout every step of the treatment process.

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Dupixent MyWay will help eligible patients who are uninsured, lack coverage, or need assistance with their out-of-pocket costs.

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Additionally, Dupixent MyWay offers personalized support from registered nurses and other specialists who are available 24/7 to speak with patients and help them navigate the complex insurance process.

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For more information, please call 1-844-Dupixent (1-844-387-4936) or visit www.Dupixent.com

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e30About Sanofi
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi is organized into five global business units: Diabetes and Cardiovascular, General Medicines and Emerging Markets, Sanofi Genzyme, Sanofi Pasteur and Consumer Healthcare. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York(NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi Genzyme focuses on developing specialty treatments for debilitating diseases that are often difficult to diagnose and treat, providing hope to patients and their families.

About Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading science-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, invents, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions. Regeneron commercializes medicines for eye diseases, high LDL-cholesterol, atopic dermatitis and a rare inflammatory condition and has product candidates in development in other areas of high unmet medical need, including rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, pain, cancer and infectious diseases. For additional information about the company, please visit www.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.

SOURCES:

i Mount Sinai. Patient Care Atopic Dermatitis 2016. http://www.mountsinai.org/patient-care/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/atopic-dermatitis#risk. Accessed October 31, 2016.

ii Zuberbier T, Orlow SJ, Paller AS, et al. Patient perspectives on the management of atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006; 118:226-232.

iii Data on file.

iv Friends of Cancer Research. Breakthrough Therapies 2017. https://www.focr.org/breakthrough-therapies. Accessed February 22, 2017.

Sanofi

2017 News Releases

 

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Stay healthy!

contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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Reading To Your Baby Early Has Benefits

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Many parents spend countless hours reading bed-time stories to their babies. Does it help?

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Sure does, according to new research. Reading books to infants can boost vocabulary and reading skills for years to come.

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Kimberly Giuliano, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children’’s did not take part in the study, but encourages parents to start reading to their babies “as soon as possible.”

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“Dr. Giuliano says, “It’s never too early to start. If you want to read to your newborn – that’’s great. “They get in your arms, they’’re comforted, they hear your voice and it’’s a wonderful bonding experience for parents and babies alike.””

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Researchers monitored 250 pairs of mothers and babies for four years and found book-reading quality during infancy was a good predictor of early-reading skills.

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They also found a combination of book-reading quality and quantity during toddler years was a good predictor of literacy skills, such as name-writing, by age four.

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WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO START?

Dr. Giuliano says once babies begin opening their eyes more and become more reactive to the world around them, they’’re more than ready for books.

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She says even if they’’re only a few months old, they can still learn.

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“”Young babies, especially those under the age of one, love books that have a little bit more of a sensory feedback to them,” says Dr. Giuliano. “

She adds, “They learn by developing all different types of senses, so if they can hear, see, and touch, it really helps them to understand the concepts that are being presented to them in the book.” It’s important for kids of all ages to spend time relaxing and reading every day.”

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“”The more we engage our brains actively in reading, the better children do academically, the longer their attention spans are, and the more success they’’re likely to have in school,”” says Dr. Giuliano.

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‘Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Bookreading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes’ was originally presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academies Society Meeting on May 8, 2017.

 

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MEDIA:  See Cleveland Clinic Pathfire for b-roll and soundbites

 

Healthiest Time To Start Work

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Research shows 10 a.m. is the healthiest time for dayside workers to start work.

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This gives people time for health maintenance, which prevents illness.

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Time to meditate, stretch, exercise, have breakfast, read a bit, shower and go.

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Instead, society has the masses rushing in sleep-deprived to clock in at 7 a.m. or 9 a.m.

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Instead of promoting health –the typical American schedule,  activates cortisol levels.

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As mentioned, cortisol is bad, and it’s highest when you rise.

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Cortisol continues to rise as you rush to get to work on time fearing you’ll be late, fearing you didn’t have time to eat right or exercise, fearing all the bad news you hear or read from mass media on your way into work. It’s no wonder road rage is highest then.

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Cortisol causes inflammation in your body and keeps you in this chronic state of fear.

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It’s a breeding ground for cancer. Good news is you CAN reverse cortisol release in your body.  Anyone who boasts about “being up all night” is a walking time bomb for illness .

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If you stay up all night –you should not be boasting about it. You need to get to sleep to reduce levels of cortisol.

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The bad news is cortisol is addicting, which is why people in the rat race are perpetually on the go-go-go.

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But where are they going is the question, as cortisol has been called the death hormone.

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If you can’t count on your employer to care about your health, then you HAVE to take it upon yourself to schedule decompressing.

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Take breaks. Walk around office. Go to a park during lunch. Eat nutritious foods.

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One hour before bed, turn off all electronics, pour a hot bath with Epson salt, put on soothing music, close eyes, breathe deeply, think of nothing but all you are grateful for.

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Then, set your alarm to sleep for at least 9 hours.

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This may be easier said than done when you have kids needing your attention.

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But kids need healthy parents, so try to think of a way to make time for your own mental, physical and spiritual health, so everyone else is safe in your presence.  Don’t do it when the kids are in water. You need to keep an eye on them then.

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Remember, if you haven’t slept, you’re the equivalent of a drunk while driving. So, if one of your responsibilities is getting kids to practice or play dates, you need your sleep.ccf1

If your kids turn in at 8 p.m. then make 9 to 10 p.m. your decompressing time. Watching TV or scrolling through social media doesn’t count. You need to turn it all off. Again, take a warm shower, bubble bath, listen to music, go outside for a walk and breathe deeply.

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This will prime you to sleep like a baby.

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Of course, many people who commute don’t get home until 9 p.m. so they need to scarf down food and crash and that’s after sorting through mail, cleaning, and the list goes on.

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It can be a struggle to get to bed in time to get enough sleep to do it all again next day.

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Again, this process all activates cortisol levels in people. So any company that says they care about a healthy workforce and subscribes to this formula are clueless about health.

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Some companies think having a gym at work equates to good health. Most are empty.

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When you’re trying to do it all, nothing gets your full attention. It simply piles up.

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It leads to staying up late and not getting enough sleep to be productive and healthy the next day.  It’s a continual cortisol fest with no life balance.

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The solution for corporate America may be to start in times at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. for commuters — giving people enough time to rise and shine early, meditate, have a nutritious breakfast, get some exercise, spend time with family. Happy employees are loyal employees that have the energy to go the extra mile.

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People’s productivity will rise as a result, unlike their cortisol levels.

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Too many success articles focus on making money or achieving titles, status, fame or material possessions. It’s none of that.  It’s HEALTH.  Before.  During. After.

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When you are healthy in mind, body and spirit you make good life decisions and have balance, which means if things beyond your control change –you will be OK.

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Money, title, status, fame and material possessions can change in the blink of an eye. Don’t be defined by that. Be defined by who you are as a person.  Spend time with those that matter, help as many people as you can, and don’t take yourself to seriously.

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Disneyland. Healthy Families. Sis is missing.

 

Success includes character traits, such as kindness, honesty & thoughtfulness. And those traits are most likely to exhibit themselves when you are healthy and combat cortisol.

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Colleagues, family members, friends and your company benefits when you’re healthy.

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Making lots of money is wonderful, but  if you don’t make health a priority, by the time you reach your professional or financial goals, you will not be able to enjoy it.

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Time to make health a priority before you run out of time.

 

 

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Consultations, National PR and Media Training Available For a Fee

contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

Your Thoughts Impact How You Age

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Scott Bea, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic, says for years doctors have had notions that attitudes and thoughts may predispose us to early aging.

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More and more these notions are turning into scientific research.

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He says there are different types of negative thinking.  Each can be impactful.

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“One is just cynical hostility, where you know, we stew a lot,” says Dr. Bea. “When people are kind of suspicious and pretty certain the world or folks are against them it stays with them; and keeps stress chemicals like cortisol circulating in the body too long.”

Dr. Bea says some studies have looked at how certain types of behavior and thought patterns can impact our aging and DNA.

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He says we tend to lump all negative thinking into one place, but there are actually many little ways that can actually harm us by influencing our telomeres, which are – the tips at the end of our DNA that affect the aging process.

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Thoughts like pessimism – — always predicting doom and gloom, as well as ruminating, which is dredging up past events and mulling them over and over again, can keep stress chemicals active and alive.

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Dr. Bea also says thought suppression – where we actively try to avoid thoughts – takes a lot of activity and tension and tends to overload our brains.

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What to do?  When we’ engage in the outside world, and not in our own heads, Dr. Bea says we can better handle these negative thought patterns.

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The key is to be able to recognize that thoughts are just thoughts.

“Dr. Bea recommends you do the following to cut off negative self-talk:

Say to yourself, ‘I’’m allowed to think without trying to fix or solve anything.’ “

Use simple mindfulness exercises that can be done, even in five second bursts at various times throughout the day.  Focus on the sensation of your breath.

If something distracts you (sights, sounds) ease your attention back to your breath.

 

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MEDIA:  Video and Sound, See Pathfire July 19 or contact: ccnewsservice@ccf.org
MY two cents and what I recommend. My blog. My two cents: 
 
I subscribe to something called DAILY PRIME.  You know how a “Good Morning Beautiful” text from your significant other can make you wake up with a smile.
Well, relationships ebb and flow, so you can’t count on consistency. It can also border on creepy if it’s not from your SO.  DAILY PRIME is consistently in a positive, good mood.
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Here’s how it works. Each morning, I get an amazing, positive, motivational, inspirational text that kick starts the rest of my day. You pick a time preference.
It’s created by John Assaraf.

John and his wife Maria are two of my favorite people in the world. When I first met them we walked in San Diego for Rady’s Children Hospital.

They’ve wonderful energy and such an authentically calm, healing presence. It’s the kind of good, positive energy that radiates from within. I

When you get to that state, it benefits your well-being and everyone in your presence.

Assaraf has been preaching thoughts equals things way before before The Secret (which he appeared in) was on Oprah or studies confirm it.
One of my favorite books, The Power of Positive Thinking did too.
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Positive THOUGHTS lead you to make positive ACTIONS.
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Also, you can do things that release the opposite of cortisol in your body. There are naturally healthy healing chemicals and hormones inside your body, but it takes action to release them.
Actions like daily exercise, listening to music, mediating, spending time in nature or with positive family and friends, laughing, petting your dog, and hugging release endorphins.
Love is a biggie. It releases all the feel good hormones, including oxytocin. I read a great book about it in 2014 and interviewed author, Paul J. Zak for this blog. It’s called The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity.  I
I was recently interviewed on a radio program about mind-body connection –hot topic.
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Stay healthy!
Related:
I was delighted to meet Brian Tracy while in San Diego.  I attended one of his conferences and brought one of his books with me. Without my even asking he graciously says, “Let me sign that.” He wrote, “Maria, You can do it!” inside it.  That’s positivity for you. Whatever “it” is doesn’t matter when someone believes in you.

How To Be More Positive by Brian Tracy

Your mental diet largely determines your character and your personality and almost everything that happens to you in life.

What is a mental diet? Keep reading and I’ll explain…

When you feed your mind with positive affirmations, information, books, conversations, audio programs, and thoughts, you develop a more positive attitude and personality.

You become more influential and persuasive. You enjoy greater confidence and self-esteem.

Those who work with computers use the expression “G.I.G.O.” or “Garbage in, Garbage out.” But the reverse is also true, “Good in, Good out.”

When you make a clear, unequivocal decision that you are going to take complete control over your mind, eliminate the negative emotions and thoughts that may have held you back in the past, and become a completely positive person, you can actually bring about your own personal transformation.

Mental fitness is like physical fitness. You develop high levels of self-esteem and a positive attitude with training and practice. Here are the seven keys to becoming a completely positive person:

1) Positive Affirmations

Speak to yourself positively; control your inner dialog. Use positive affirmations phrased in the positive, present, and personal tense:

“I like myself!”

“I can do it!”

“I feel terrific!”

“I am responsible!”

We believe that fully 95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself as you go throughout your day. The sad fact is that if you do not deliberately and consciously talk to yourself in a positive and constructive way, you will, by default, think about things that will make you unhappy or cause you worry and anxiety.

As we said before, your mind is like a garden. If you do not deliberately plant flowers and tend carefully, weeds will grow without any encouragement at all.

Discover your level of self-confidence and build greater confidence in yourself.

2) Positive Visualization

Perhaps the most powerful ability that you have is the ability to visualize and see your goals as already accomplished. Create a clear, exciting picture of your goal and your ideal life, and replay this picture in your mind over and over.

All improvement in your life begins with an improvement in your mental pictures. As you “see” yourself on the inside, you will “be” on the outside.

3) Positive People

Your choice of the people with whom you live, work, and associate will have more of an impact on your emotions and your success that any other factor. Decide today to associate with winners, with positive people, with people who are happy and optimistic and who are going somewhere with their lives.

Avoid negative people at all costs. Negative people are the primary source of most of life’s unhappiness. Resolve that from today onward, you are not going to have stressful or negative people in your life.

4) Positive Mental Food

Just as your body is healthy to the degree to which you eat healthy, nutritious foods, your mind is healthy to the degree to which you feed it with “mental protein” rather than “mental candy.” Read books, magazines, and articles that are educational, inspirational, or motivational.

Feed your mind with information and ideas that are uplifting and that make you feel happy and more confident about yourself and your world.

Listen to positive, constructive CDs and audio programs in your car and on your MP3 player or iPod. Feed your mind continually with positive messages that help you think and act better and make you more capable and competent in your field. Watch positive and educational DVDs, educational television programs, online courses, and other uplifting material that increases your knowledge and makes you feel good about yourself and your life.

5) Positive Training And Development

Almost everyone in our society starts off with limited resources, sometimes with no money at all. Virtually all fortunes begin with the sale of personal services of some kind. All the people who are at the top today were once at the bottom, and sometimes they fell to the bottom several times.

The miracle of lifelong learning and personal improvement is what takes you from rags to riches, from poverty to affluence, and from underachievement to success and financial independence.

As Jim Rohn said, ”Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

When you dedicate yourself to learning and growing and becoming better and more effective in your thoughts and actions, you take complete control of your life and dramatically increase the speed at which you move upward to greater heights.

6) Positive Health Habits

Take excellent care of your physical health and wellness. Resolve today that you are going to live to be eighty, ninety, or one hundred years old and still be dancing in the evenings. Eat healthy foods, natural and nutritious, and eat them sparingly and in proper balance. A nutritional diet will have an immediate, positive effect on your thoughts and feelings.

Resolve to get regular exercise, at least two hundred minutes of motion per week, walking, running, swimming, bicycling, or working out on equipment in the gym. When you exercise on a regular basis, you feel happier and healthier and experience lower levels of stress and fatigue than a person who sits on the couch and watches television all evening.

Especially, get ample rest and relaxation. You need to recharge your batteries on a regular basis, especially when you are going through periods of stress or difficulty.

Vince Lombardi once said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

Some of the factors that predispose us to negative emotions of all kinds are poor health habits, sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and nonstop work. Seek balance in your life.

7) Positive Expectations

Practicing the Law of Attraction is one of the most powerful techniques you can use to become a positive person and to ensure positive outcomes and better results in your life. Your expectations become your own self-fulfilling prophesies.

Whatever you expect, with confidence, seems to come into your life. Since you can control your expectations, you should always expect the best.

Expect to be successful.

Expect to be popular when you meet new people. Expect to achieve great goals and create a wonderful life for yourself. When you constantly expect good things to happen, you will seldom be disappointed.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this post on developing a more positive attitude with positive affirmations.  Please leave a comment and share with your friends!

 

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Why You Need Positive People in Your Life

Happiness is a choice. But we continually need to be reminded by people to make that choice.

One big mistake people make is not realizing that happiness is an individual choice. But every choice is influenced by the people in our lives. If you change your life influencers for the better, you can dramatically increase your chances for happiness and success.

In my research, I’ve found that positive social connection is the greatest predictor of long-term happiness. Welcoming a positive new influencer into your world can be one of the most important choices for happiness you make. That person might be a professional life coach or a mentor or simply someone whom you respect and who has the positive outlook you want to emulate.

A positive influencer will have a few outstanding traits that rub off on you over time. This person will practice gratitude. He will seek joy daily and work at becoming his best self. He’ll enjoy being active and feel connected to others.

Think about the negative influences around you. These are people who focus on the bad things in their lives and cause you to do the same. You’ll be left searching for new problems to worry over. Negative influencers don’t smile or laugh easily. They have trouble maintaining relationships and see stress as a threat rather than a challenge to embrace. Steer clear!

We know that happiness is a choice. But we continually need to be reminded by people to make that choice, especially when life gets challenging. Think about the people you know who could be positive influencers and spend more time with someone who will improve your happiness and lead you to greater success.

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind.Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

(Photo credit: Positivity Amongst Negativity via Shutterstock)

 

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

healthnews

 

638 Primary Personality Traits from MIT

Positive Traits (234 = 37%)

  1. Accessible
  2. Active
  3. Adaptable
  4. Admirable
  5. Adventurous
  6. Agreeable
  7. Alert
  8. Allocentric
  9. Amiable
  10. Anticipative
  11. Appreciative
  12. Articulate
  13. Aspiring
  14. Athletic
  15. Attractive
  16. Balanced
  17. Benevolent
  18. Brilliant
  19. Calm
  20. Capable
  21. Captivating
  22. Caring
  23. Challenging
  24. Charismatic
  25. Charming
  26. Cheerful
  27. Clean
  28. Clear-headed
  29. Clever
  30. Colorful
  31. Companionly
  32. Compassionate
  33. Conciliatory
  34. Confident
  35. Conscientious
  36. Considerate
  37. Constant
  38. Contemplative
  39. Cooperative
  40. Courageous
  41. Courteous
  42. Creative
  43. Cultured
  44. Curious
  45. Daring
  46. Debonair
  47. Decent
  48. Decisive
  49. Dedicated
  50. Deep
  51. Dignified
  52. Directed
  53. Disciplined
  54. Discreet
  55. Dramatic
  56. Dutiful
  57. Dynamic
  58. Earnest
  59. Ebullient
  60. Educated
  61. Efficient
  62. Elegant
  63. Eloquent
  64. Empathetic
  65. Energetic
  66. Enthusiastic
  67. Esthetic
  68. Exciting
  69. Extraordinary
  70. Fair
  71. Faithful
  72. Farsighted
  73. Felicific
  74. Firm
  75. Flexible
  76. Focused
  77. Forecful
  78. Forgiving
  79. Forthright
  80. Freethinking
  81. Friendly
  82. Fun-loving
  83. Gallant
  84. Generous
  85. Gentle
  86. Genuine
  87. Good-natured
  88. Gracious
  89. Hardworking
  90. Healthy
  91. Hearty
  92. Helpful
  93. Herioc
  94. High-minded
  95. Honest
  96. Honorable
  97. Humble
  98. Humorous
  99. Idealistic
  100. Imaginative
  101. Impressive
  102. Incisive
  103. Incorruptible
  104. Independent
  105. Individualistic
  106. Innovative
  107. Inoffensive
  108. Insightful
  109. Insouciant
  110. Intelligent
  111. Intuitive
  112. Invulnerable
  113. Kind
  114. Knowledge
  115. Leaderly
  116. Leisurely
  117. Liberal
  118. Logical
  119. Lovable
  120. Loyal
  121. Lyrical
  122. Magnanimous
  123. Many-sided
  124. Masculine  (Manly)
  125. Mature
  126. Methodical
  127. Maticulous
  128. Moderate
  129. Modest
  130. Multi-leveled
  131. Neat
  132. Nonauthoritarian
  133. Objective
  134. Observant
  135. Open
  136. Optimistic
  137. Orderly
  138. Organized
  139. Original
  140. Painstaking
  141. Passionate
  142. Patient
  143. Patriotic
  144. Peaceful
  145. Perceptive
  146. Perfectionist
  147. Personable
  148. Persuasive
  149. Planful
  150. Playful
  151. Polished
  152. Popular
  153. Practical
  154. Precise
  155. Principled
  156. Profound
  157. Protean
  158. Protective
  159. Providential
  160. Prudent
  161. Punctual
  162. Pruposeful
  163. Rational
  164. Realistic
  165. Reflective
  166. Relaxed
  167. Reliable
  168. Resourceful
  169. Respectful
  170. Responsible
  171. Responsive
  172. Reverential
  173. Romantic
  174. Rustic
  175. Sage
  176. Sane
  177. Scholarly
  178. Scrupulous
  179. Secure
  180. Selfless
  181. Self-critical
  182. Self-defacing
  183. Self-denying
  184. Self-reliant
  185. Self-sufficent
  186. Sensitive
  187. Sentimental
  188. Seraphic
  189. Serious
  190. Sexy
  191. Sharing
  192. Shrewd
  193. Simple
  194. Skillful
  195. Sober
  196. Sociable
  197. Solid
  198. Sophisticated
  199. Spontaneous
  200. Sporting
  201. Stable
  202. Steadfast
  203. Steady
  204. Stoic
  205. Strong
  206. Studious
  207. Suave
  208. Subtle
  209. Sweet
  210. Sympathetic
  211. Systematic
  212. Tasteful
  213. Teacherly
  214. Thorough
  215. Tidy
  216. Tolerant
  217. Tractable
  218. Trusting
  219. Uncomplaining
  220. Understanding
  221. Undogmatic
  222. Unfoolable
  223. Upright
  224. Urbane
  225. Venturesome
  226. Vivacious
  227. Warm
  228. Well-bred
  229. Well-read
  230. Well-rounded
  231. Winning
  232. Wise
  233. Witty
  234. Youthful

Neutral Traits (292 = 18%)

  1. Absentminded
  2. Aggressive
  3. Ambitious
  4. Amusing
  5. Artful
  6. Ascetic
  7. Authoritarian
  8. Big-thinking
  9. Boyish
  10. Breezy
  11. Businesslike
  12. Busy
  13. Casual
  14. Crebral
  15. Chummy
  16. Circumspect
  17. Competitive
  18. Complex
  19. Confidential
  20. Conservative
  21. Contradictory
  22. Crisp
  23. Cute
  24. Deceptive
  25. Determined
  26. Dominating
  27. Dreamy
  28. Driving
  29. Droll
  30. Dry
  31. Earthy
  32. Effeminate
  33. Emotional
  34. Enigmatic
  35. Experimental
  36. Familial
  37. Folksy
  38. Formal
  39. Freewheeling
  40. Frugal
  41. Glamorous
  42. Guileless
  43. High-spirited
  44. Huried
  45. Hypnotic
  46. Iconoclastic
  47. Idiosyncratic
  48. Impassive
  49. Impersonal
  50. Impressionable
  51. Intense
  52. Invisible
  53. Irreligious
  54. Irreverent
  55. Maternal
  56. Mellow
  57. Modern
  58. Moralistic
  59. Mystical
  60. Neutral
  61. Noncommittal
  62. Noncompetitive
  63. Obedient
  64. Old-fashined
  65. Ordinary
  66. Outspoken
  67. Paternalistic
  68. Physical
  69. Placid
  70. Political
  71. Predictable
  72. Preoccupied
  73. Private
  74. Progressive
  75. Proud
  76. Pure
  77. Questioning
  78. Quiet
  79. Religious
  80. Reserved
  81. Restrained
  82. Retiring
  83. Sarcastic
  84. Self-conscious
  85. Sensual
  86. Skeptical
  87. Smooth
  88. Soft
  89. Solemn
  90. Solitary
  91. Stern
  92. Stoiid
  93. Strict
  94. Stubborn
  95. Stylish
  96. Subjective
  97. Surprising
  98. Soft
  99. Tough
  100. Unaggressive
  101. Unambitious
  102. Unceremonious
  103. Unchanging
  104. Undemanding
  105. Unfathomable
  106. Unhurried
  107. Uninhibited
  108. Unpatriotic
  109. Unpredicatable
  110. Unreligious
  111. Unsentimental
  112. Whimsical

Negative Traits (292 = 46%)

  1. Abrasive
  2. Abrupt
  3. Agonizing
  4. Aimless
  5. Airy
  6. Aloof
  7. Amoral
  8. Angry
  9. Anxious
  10. Apathetic
  11. Arbitrary
  12. Argumentative
  13. Arrogantt
  14. Artificial
  15. Asocial
  16. Assertive
  17. Astigmatic
  18. Barbaric
  19. Bewildered
  20. Bizarre
  21. Bland
  22. Blunt
  23. Biosterous
  24. Brittle
  25. Brutal
  26. Calculating
  27. Callous
  28. Cantakerous
  29. Careless
  30. Cautious
  31. Charmless
  32. Childish
  33. Clumsy
  34. Coarse
  35. Cold
  36. Colorless
  37. Complacent
  38. Complaintive
  39. Compulsive
  40. Conceited
  41. Condemnatory
  42. Conformist
  43. Confused
  44. Contemptible
  45. Conventional
  46. Cowardly
  47. Crafty
  48. Crass
  49. Crazy
  50. Criminal
  51. Critical
  52. Crude
  53. Cruel
  54. Cynical
  55. Decadent
  56. Deceitful
  57. Delicate
  58. Demanding
  59. Dependent
  60. Desperate
  61. Destructive
  62. Devious
  63. Difficult
  64. Dirty
  65. Disconcerting
  66. Discontented
  67. Discouraging
  68. Discourteous
  69. Dishonest
  70. Disloyal
  71. Disobedient
  72. Disorderly
  73. Disorganized
  74. Disputatious
  75. Disrespectful
  76. Disruptive
  77. Dissolute
  78. Dissonant
  79. Distractible
  80. Disturbing
  81. Dogmatic
  82. Domineering
  83. Dull
  84. Easily Discouraged
  85. Egocentric
  86. Enervated
  87. Envious
  88. Erratic
  89. Escapist
  90. Excitable
  91. Expedient
  92. Extravagant
  93. Extreme
  94. Faithless
  95. False
  96. Fanatical
  97. Fanciful
  98. Fatalistic
  99. Fawning
  100. Fearful
  101. Fickle
  102. Fiery
  103. Fixed
  104. Flamboyant
  105. Foolish
  106. Forgetful
  107. Fraudulent
  108. Frightening
  109. Frivolous
  110. Gloomy
  111. Graceless
  112. Grand
  113. Greedy
  114. Grim
  115. Gullible
  116. Hateful
  117. Haughty
  118. Hedonistic
  119. Hesitant
  120. Hidebound
  121. High-handed
  122. Hostile
  123. Ignorant
  124. Imitative
  125. Impatient
  126. Impractical
  127. Imprudent
  128. Impulsive
  129. Inconsiderate
  130. Incurious
  131. Indecisive
  132. Indulgent
  133. Inert
  134. Inhibited
  135. Insecure
  136. Insensitive
  137. Insincere
  138. Insulting
  139. Intolerant
  140. Irascible
  141. Irrational
  142. Irresponsible
  143. Irritable
  144. Lazy
  145. Libidinous
  146. Loquacious
  147. Malicious
  148. Mannered
  149. Mannerless
  150. Mawkish
  151. Mealymouthed
  152. Mechanical
  153. Meddlesome
  154. Melancholic
  155. Meretricious
  156. Messy
  157. Miserable
  158. Miserly
  159. Misguided
  160. Mistaken
  161. Money-minded
  162. Monstrous
  163. Moody
  164. Morbid
  165. Muddle-headed
  166. Naive
  167. Narcissistic
  168. Narrow
  169. Narrow-minded
  170. Natty
  171. Negativistic
  172. Neglectful
  173. Neurotic
  174. Nihilistic
  175. Obnoxious
  176. Obsessive
  177. Obvious
  178. Odd
  179. Offhand
  180. One-dimensional
  181. One-sided
  182. Opinionated
  183. Opportunistic
  184. Oppressed
  185. Outrageous
  186. Overimaginative
  187. Paranoid
  188. Passive
  189. Pedantic
  190. Perverse
  191. Petty
  192. Pharissical
  193. Phlegmatic
  194. Plodding
  195. Pompous
  196. Possessive
  197. Power-hungry
  198. Predatory
  199. Prejudiced
  200. Presumptuous
  201. Pretentious
  202. Prim
  203. Procrastinating
  204. Profligate
  205. Provocative
  206. Pugnacious
  207. Puritanical
  208. Quirky
  209. Reactionary
  210. Reactive
  211. Regimental
  212. Regretful
  213. Repentant
  214. Repressed
  215. Resentful
  216. Ridiculous
  217. Rigid
  218. Ritualistic
  219. Rowdy
  220. Ruined
  221. Sadistic
  222. Sanctimonious
  223. Scheming
  224. Scornful
  225. Secretive
  226. Sedentary
  227. Selfish
  228. Self-indulgent
  229. Shallow
  230. Shortsighted
  231. Shy
  232. Silly
  233. Single-minded
  234. Sloppy
  235. Slow
  236. Sly
  237. Small-thinking
  238. Softheaded
  239. Sordid
  240. Steely
  241. Stiff
  242. Strong-willed
  243. Stupid
  244. Submissive
  245. Superficial
  246. Superstitious
  247. Suspicious
  248. Tactless
  249. Tasteless
  250. Tense
  251. Thievish
  252. Thoughtless
  253. Timid
  254. Transparent
  255. Treacherous
  256. Trendy
  257. Troublesome
  258. Unappreciative
  259. Uncaring
  260. Uncharitable
  261. Unconvincing
  262. Uncooperative
  263. Uncreative
  264. Uncritical
  265. Unctuous
  266. Undisciplined
  267. Unfriendly
  268. Ungrateful
  269. Unhealthy
  270. Unimaginative
  271. Unimpressive
  272. Unlovable
  273. Unpolished
  274. Unprincipled
  275. Unrealistic
  276. Unreflective
  277. Unreliable
  278. Unrestrained
  279. Unself-critical
  280. Unstable
  281. Vacuous
  282. Vague
  283. Venal
  284. Venomous
  285. Vindictive
  286. Vulnerable
  287. Weak
  288. Weak-willed
  289. Well-meaning
  290. Willful
  291. Wishful
  292. Zany

 

Some things on this list crack me up.

 Stay healthy! Stay positive!

Learn To Swim: Save Lives AND Stay Fit

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Swimming is one of the best cardiovascular exercises and great for your mind, body and spirit. Simply floating in water is meditation. You need to be still. Being still leads to deeper breathing and clearing your mind of clutter.

Browsing the web, watching television, checking emails and your phone are all things that can keep you up at night. Swimming removes the anxiety that comes with too much information and technology usage. You sleep soundly.  And your spirit will thank you.

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During summer, it’s important to be reminded about water safety.

I recall an incident at my home in NJ. There was an inground pool. Property was gated, but a neighbor strolled in with her 4-year-old child through an opening on the side.

As she was chatting with me, she took her eyes off her child for all of two seconds, and he fell in the pool.  His cries were the only reason we turned around. Immediately, it was apparent he couldn’t swim. His mom screamed even louder. I instinctually jumped in and got him out quickly. It forever changed my view about unattended children around pools.  Drowning can happen in the blink of an eye.

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Hold your child’s hand if they can’t swim and you’re near water.

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Even if they CAN swim, never ever take your eyes off of them, not even for a second.

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I also think swimming lessons should be mandatory in schools. To this day, I meet adults who can’t swim and say they’re “afraid.”

Remember, it’s never too late to learn, even if it’s only as a survival skill.

Check with your local YMCA about lessons. It’s well worth it.  I’m a certified aerobics instructor with CPR certification, and taking a water aerobics class is a great way to get comfortable in the water before taking swim lessons.

 

A Few Alarming Swimming Factoids:

70% of African American children cannot swim
60% of Latino children cannot swim
40% of Caucasian children cannot swim
Ten people drown each day in the U.S.

37% of people can not swim the length of a pool
Drowning is 2nd leading cause of childhood unintentional death for children under 14

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Formal swim lessons could reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%.

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Water safety education can save a life, including that of a loved one, a child or your own.

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Here are a few more swim factoids.  I’m still working on #2:

1. Drowning is silent. In every fatal or near fatal case of drowning, the victim goes under water without thrashing about and yelling for help.

2. NEVER swim alone. Even the strongest swimmers can drown. 

3. WATCH your child/children. Do not take your eyes off of them. It doesn’t matter how well they can swim (see #2.) Watch them vigilantly if they are anywhere NEAR a body of water- you never know when they’ll end up IN the water.

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Read more water safety rules HERE.

Besides keeping you safe, there are SO many health benefits to swimming.

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Stay healthy!

Maria Dorfner

contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

New Study Links Insomnia to Alzheimer’s

sleepingNew research now links sleep problems with Alzheimer’s disease.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans live with Alzheimer’s.
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Cleveland Clinic’s Stephen Rao (pronounced Ray-Oh) did not participate in the new study but says results suggest people who have trouble sleeping may be at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life.
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CG: Stephen Rao, PhD /Cleveland Clinic:  “The basic finding is that the more disturbance of sleep that people reported, the more likely that they were going to have pathology in their spinal fluid that related to Alzheimer’s disease.” [:15]
 sleepingbeauty2
RESEARCHERS SURVEYED JUST OVER ONE-HUNDRED PEOPLE AT HIGH RISK OF DEVELOPING ALZHEIMER’S WHO HAD NORMAL THINKING AND MEMORY ABILITIES.
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PARTICIPANTS WERE ASKED ABOUT THEIR SLEEP QUALITY AND ALSO PROVIDED A
SPINAL FLUID SAMPLE.
insomnia
RESULTS SHOW THAT PEOPLE WHO REPORTED HAVING SLEEP PROBLEMS HAD MORE
BIOLOGICAL MARKERS FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IN THEIR SPINAL FLUID THAN FOLKS WHO DID NOT REPORT SLEEP PROBLEMS.
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DOCTOR RAO NOTES THAT WHILE THE STUDY SHOWS A LINK BETWEEN SLEEP
AND ALZHEIMER’S IT’S A BIT OF A CHICKEN AND EGG SCENARIO, IN THAT DOCTORS AREN’T SURE WHAT COMES FIRST.  THE ALZHEIMER’S OR THE SLEEP PROBLEMS.
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HE SAYS MORE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE TO BE SURE.
CG: Stephen Rao, PhD/Cleveland Clinic:  “We don’t know what the chicken or egg cause is here, it may very well be that sleeping longer will help us to prevent us from developing or slow down the process of Alzheimer’s disease but we certainly  don’t have the definitive answer as yet.”
Complete results of this study can be found online in the Journal NEUROLOGY. [:10]
 newsmd1 Maria Dorfner

MY OPINION:  

“A multitude of factors may cause insomnia, but I bet the primary cause is your choice of food or beverage before turning in. Technology is a biggie, but if you’re sleepy you won’t want to look at your phone or computer.

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Your brain requires healthy food and beverages to stay sharp and sleep well.

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Numerous foods and beverages are already proven to disrupt sleep including high-fat foods, soda, chocolate, caffeine, heavy spicy foods, alcohol 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, meat and high protein intake. Even prescription and over-the-counter cold medications may contain caffeine.  Let’s also not rule out tobacco usage.

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Healthy foods that promote sleep include nuts, seeds, eggs, bananas and a few crackers & cheese.  Water no later than 8 p.m. is a healthy go-to beverage.

Daily exercise also helps you sleep well.

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I’d love to see “further studies” include two groups of people “at risk” for developing Alzheimer’s: 1. sedentary people who eat and drink disruptive foods and beverages, use tobacco and take prescription medications 2) compared to people that exercise daily, eat and drink healthy foods and beverages and do not take OTC or prescription medications or use tobacco.

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Then, compare how well these two different groups sleep, along with their biological markers for Alzheimer’s disease.

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Bottom line:  Missing piece to this puzzle may be finding out what causes sleep problems.  I posit people more at risk have unhealthy habits leading to sleeplessness.

Remember, you have the power to change your daily habits and choices.

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It’s time to research and study causes, so people can practice prevention instead of seeking treatment for symptoms, or worse believing the symptom is a cause. ”

-Maria Dorfner

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NATIONAL MEDIA:   See Pathfire #: 10826 dated July 5, 2017 for soundbites/voiceover
contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Health Hero: Meet 16-Year-Old Mai Griffith

IMG_1046[1]-2Mai (pronounced M-A-Y) Griffith, a 16-year-old student in California started her own 501c3 called Hearts for Hearts to bring medical supplies and volunteer in third world countries that are in need.

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Mai is a sophomore at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. She volunteers at Saddleback Memorial Hospital in her free time and has a passion for serving others.

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Mai hopes to study medicine in college and use her practice to continue to help those in need of medical assistance.

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Each weekend, we’ll feature someone beautiful like Mai, doing something cool to make the world a better place.  I spoke with Mai and and her Mom today before they depart to NYC next week.  From there, she takes off for her journey to Ghana.

Mai, what first prompted you to start the foundation?

MAI:  “I first started volunteering at a hospital near my house. I met a lot
of people who were going through a lot of difficulty and that was what made
the first impression on me. Then, hearing about all of the violence and war
in the news like the war in Syria in the past year, and all of the refugees
who direly needed help, I couldn’t think about anything but helping these
people. It is very hard not to see all of the people calling out for help
in all of these places, especially with everything going on in the world
today.”

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Where do the medical supplies come from?

MAI:  “The medical supplies come from personal donations from people,
solicited donations from hospitals, and other non-profits whose goal is to
provide supplies to foundations like ours to deliver to the countries.”

 

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How did you even know to create a 501c3? Who helped you?

MAI: “People tend to donate more when they know that it is a legitimate
non-profit. Making it a 501c3 gave credibility to the cause and gives us
the platform to get corporate sponsorship in the future. My mom helped me
set it up, from being on a non-profit board before, she knows how important
that status is.”

Where do you get funding to go to third world countries?

MAI:  “We get funding from fundraising, selling pins with our logo on them,
and sugar scrubs that we make with our logo on them as well. Spreading the
word about our foundation also helps to bring in donations in many forms.”

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What do your parents think about what you’re doing?

ANN MARIE (GRIFFITH) DRYDEN, MAI’S MOM: 

“Mai is a very independent young woman and has compassion that is
truly lacking in our society these days. She is interested in medicine and
has been volunteering at a hospital for a year now and has been frustrated
that she can’t actually HELP anyone because of HIPPA rules and her age.
The whole reason she wanted to volunteer was to “give back” to others and
she kept being told NO.

Mai has volunteered on trips outside of the US so she started looking at
ways to volunteer in underdeveloped countries that need the help the most.
From that it kind of evolved into bringing medical supplies to starting a
501c3 in order to have companies be willing to donate the supplies.

As far as her going all the way to Ghana, I am admittedly nervous about it.
I have been in contact with the US Consulate in Ghana as well as reached
out to reporters in the area to see what they have to say about safety and
everyone says the Cape Coast in Ghana is really safe.

So I am feeling about as good about it as I can. When Mai watches YouTube videos
of helping people in these underdeveloped areas she is literally brought to
tears. So….how can I possibly say no. I love Mai for who she is and the
fact that she wants to do this.”

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We do too.  It can’t hurt that you’re a marketing and finance wiz yourself. I also noticed you have a TV background.  How did your background help Mai?

ANN MARIE:  “I was the Chief Operating Officer for a company called PowerDirect, which does a lot of demographic data for Fortune 500 companies, and we deliver jumbo door hangers for people’s doors. As odd as that sounds, our clients are big companies, such as Google, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Comcast, Best Buy, Verizon, Team Mobile and others.  I managed all aspects of operations and finance. It also includes marketing, advertising, television production, manufacturing, strategic planning and operations.

I’ve been in executive leadership roles for multiple companies for more than 15 years including HBO, True Designs/True Innovations and Sentinel Offender Monitoring. Clearly, my experience has had a tremendous influence on my daughter  as I always talk to her about my work.

As a female executive, I think that’s real important.  So, the first time Mai expressed an interest in doing something to help people my reaction was that it was typical for her because she’s always had a huge heart.  

She has a tremendous amount of compassion.  At the age of 7, she had a lemonade stand and she’s always been into helping others. She volunteered at the hospital, but was frustrated about not really feeling that she was helping enough. She felt she could do more abroad.

The more we talked about it, we brainstormed on what was the best way that she could go about making it a reality.  Then, she did a fundraiser on the beach in Orange County to get people to donate.”

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Will you be going to Ghana with your daughter?

ANN MARIE:  “No, she’s joining another volunteer international group called Project Abroad, and they have chaperones, so she’ll be going with them. Originally, I thought the medical supplies would be shipped separately, but yesterday we learned it’s better to pack them in suit cases.  

We’re getting as many suit cases as we can donated. We’ve even been asking on Facebook.  It costs a lot, but we’re trying to get other kids to take a suitcase with them as each is limited to two bags.

The supplies end up going to 3 different locations:  The Cape Coast Orphanage, The Ankafu Leprosy Camp, and The Cape Coast Teaching Hospital. I reached out to Johnson & Johnson in Dubai trying to get them to give us test strips, so they can use the blood sugar testing machines that will arrive.”

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What safety precautions has she taken?

ANN MARIE (MAI’S MOM): “She’s done vaccines and anti-malaria because she’ll be dealing with kids with malaria. I contacted the U.S. Consulate in Ghana and reached out to different people who have already done things there, so we can get feedback before she goes there and everyone has said that she’s going to an area that is the original area in Africa that slave trading started, so it’s an area that is definitely not very developed.

It’s not a tourist area, but it means it’s less likely to have terrorist activity.  She has a straw that filters water. She’ll be in a place that she can get bottled water brought in from ACCRA, the capital of Ghana.

I made sure Mai really understood what she was doing because most kids her age are at the beach during the summer and here she is wanting to place bandages on sick children.”

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What will you and Mai being doing while in New York City?

ANN MARIE:  “We’ll be in NYC looking at Columbia University, where she’d like to do Pre-Med, and then she flies out on Friday, July 7.”

That’s wonderful.  Let’s talk to Mai again. Mai, we love what you’re doing. Good luck at Columbia and on your trip to Ghana. Tell me about your future aspirations.

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MAI: I’m interested in medicine and have a compassion to help, and I
aspire to be able to reach those across the globe who are in true need of
medical attention. I want to continue with my foundation and to grow it
globally so that I can reach more countries and areas that would benefit
from our help.”

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How can other people help support what you’re doing?

MAI:   “Other people can help by sending us medical supplies and products
they no longer need like band aids and other items alike. A lot of times
expiration dates on the boxes do not matter to the places accepting our
donations, so anything helps. Along with supplies, monetary donations
through the link on our site help to pay for shipping, costs and delivery
of the supplies.”

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If people want more information, where should they go?

MAI  “Our website http://www.hforhfoundation.org and our Instagram is @hforhfoundation

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Your trip is coming up soon. How do you feel about going to Ghana?

MAI:  I am extremely excited to go to Ghana, as I really want to be able to
help where I am needed and make a real difference. I am also a little
nervous as well, because it is hallway across the globe, and it is so
different from how I live at home. Overall, I really cannot wait because I
know this will be an amazing experience to contribute to the world we all
live in and to make it a better, safer place for generations to come.”

When do you get back from Ghana?

“I get back July 23. There’s a few hour layover in NYC and then back to Orange County.”

Thank you to Mai and her Mom for all they’re doing to help others, and for taking the time to speak with me. Wishing her a safe and wonderful trip and experience.

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http://www.hforhfoundation.org

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ABC News LA did a story on our Health Hero this week, which you can view here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzxYf7TwDSINNWVzWU9sWmtyMDA www.hforhfoundation.org

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Mai and her Mom can also be reached on Twitter at:  @hforhfoundation

 

If you know someone beautiful doing something cool to help others, let us know.

abc2   Contact:  Maria.Dorfner@yahoo.com. Subject: Health Hero

 

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Happy, Healthy Fourth of July, everyone!

 

Write for us

Share your health story with the Healthy Within Network community.  Email topic to: Maria.Dorfner@yahoo.com

 

Johns Hopkins Makes Cancer Discovery

A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins discover the biochemical mechanism that tells cancer cells to break off from the primary tumor and spread throughout the body.

A process known as metastasiS.

That word scares the bejeebers out of patients diagnosed with cancer.  90% of cancer deaths are caused when cancer metastasizes.

Anything that helps prevent that from happening is a tremendous breakthrough in medicine.

                      [Photo Credit:  Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun]

Hasini Jayatilaka, left, a post-doctoral fellow and Denis Wirtz, professor of chemical and biomedical engineering, who work together at the Institute of NanoBioTechnology at Johns Hopkins University, discuss their discovery.

 

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BALTIMOREHasini Jayatilaka was a sophomore at the Johns Hopkins University working in a lab studying cancer cells when she noticed that when the cells become too densely packed, some would break off and start spreading.

She wasn’t sure what to make of it, until she attended an academic conference and heard a speaker talking about bacterial cells behaving the same way. Yet when she went through the academic literature to see if anyone had written about similar behavior in cancer cells, she found nothing.

Seven years later, the theory Jayatilaka developed early in college is now a bona fide discovery that offers significant promise for cancer treatment.

Jayatilaka and a team at Johns Hopkins discovered the biochemical mechanism that tells cancer cells to break off from the primary tumor and spread throughout the body, a process called metastasis. Some 90 percent of cancer deaths are caused when cancer metastasizes.

The team also found that two existing, FDA-approved drugs can slow metastasis significantly.

“A female patient with breast cancer doesn’t succumb to the disease just because she has a mass on her breast; she succumbs to the disease because (when) it spreads either to the lungs, the liver, the brain, it becomes untreatable,” said Jayatilaka, who earned her doctorate in chemical and biomolecular engineering this spring in addition to her earlier undergraduate degree at Hopkins.

“There are really no therapeutics out there right now that directly target the spread of cancer. So what we came up with through our studies was this drug cocktail that could potentially inhibit the spread of cancer.”

The study was published online May 26 in the journal Nature Communications. The next step for the team is to test the effectiveness of the drugs in human subjects.

Typically, cancer research and treatment has focused on shrinking the primary tumor through chemotherapy or other methods. But, the team said, by attacking the deadly process of metastasis, more patients could survive.

“It’s not this primary tumor that’s going to kill you typically,” said Denis Wirtz, Johns Hopkins’ vice provost for research and director of its Physical Sciences-Oncology Center, who was a senior author on the paper.

Jayatilaka began by studying how cancer cells behave and communicate with each other, using a three-dimensional model that mimics human tissue rather than looking at them in a petri dish.

Many researchers believe metastasis happens after the primary tumor reaches a certain size, but Jayatilaka found it was the tumor’s density that determined when it would metastasize.

“If you look at the human population, once we become too dense in an area, we move out to the suburbs or wherever, and we decide to set up shop there,” Jayatilaka said. “I think the cancer cells are doing the same thing.”

When the tumor reaches a certain density, the study found, it releases two proteins called Interleukin 6 and Interleukin 8, signaling to cancer cells that things had grown too crowded and it was time to break off and head into other parts of the body.

Previously, Wirtz said, the act of a tumor growing and the act of cancer cells spreading were thought to be very separate activities, because that’s how it appeared by studying cancer cells in a petri dish, rather than the 3-D model the Hopkins team used.

Many researchers study only cancer cell growth or its spread, and don’t communicate with each other often, he said.

Once the cancer cells start to sense the presence of too many other cancer cells around them, they start secreting the Interleukin proteins, Wirtz said. If those proteins are added to a tumor that hasn’t yet metastasized, that process would begin, he said.

The team then tested two drugs known to work on the Interleukin receptors to see if they would block or slow metastasis in mice.

They found that using the two drugs together would block the signals from the Interleukin proteins that told the cancer cells to break off and spread, slowing – though not completely stopping – metastasis.

The drugs the team used were Tocilizumab, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment, and Reparixin, which is being evaluated for cancer treatment.

The drugs bind to the Interleukin receptors and block their signals, slowing metastasis.

Though metastasis was not completely stopped, Jayatilaka said, the mice given the drug cocktail fared well and survived through the experiment.

She said adding another, yet-to-be-determined drug or tweaking the dose might stop metastasis entirely.

Contrary to the hair loss, nausea and other negative side effects patients undergoing chemotherapy suffer, Wirtz said the side effects from the drugs used in the study would be minimal.

Anirban Maitra, co-director of a pancreatic cancer research center at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, cautioned that clinical trials in humans are needed to prove the theory.

“There’s a risk that something that looks so great in an animal model won’t pan out in a human,” he said.

But Maitra said the study looked promising, in particular because the researchers had used drugs already on the market. It can take a decade to identify a drug that would perform similarly and get it approved, and many similar observations don’t advance because of the time and expense it can take to get drug approval, he said.

Muhammad Zaman, a professor and cancer expert at Boston University, called the Hopkins discovery “exciting.”

“This paper gives you a very specific target to design drugs against,” he said. “That’s really quite spectacular from the point of view of drug design and creating therapies.”

Zaman said it was important for cancer researchers to use engineering to better understand cancer, as the Hopkins team did.

“This really brings cancer and engineering together in a very unique way, and it really takes an approach that is quantitative and rigorous,” he said. “We have to think of cancer as a complex system, not just a disease.”

Wirtz predicted a future where cancer would be fought with a mix of chemotherapy to shrink the primary tumor and drug cocktails like the one the Hopkins team developed to ensure it would not metastasize. He compared such a treatment to how HIV/AIDS is treated today.

“We’re not going to cure cancer with one therapy or even two therapies; it’s going to be drug cocktails,” Wirtz said. “That’s what saved the day with HIV/AIDS.”

Immunotherapy, which uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer, also could play a role in a combined method, Wirtz added.

“We’re, in research, sometimes incentivized to look at one pathway at a time, one type of cancer at a time,” Wirtz said. “I think oncology has started realizing we’re going to need more than one approach.”

MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/jun/20/researchers-say-theyve-unlocked-key-to-cancer-meta/

VIDEO LINK:  

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/93637026-132.html

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Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD Communications and Healthy Within Network. This is her blog.  Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com


Maria Shriver Creates 1st Coloring Book for Alzheimer’s Patients

Maria has created the first coloring book for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.  And we’re excited about it.  I’ve known Maria Shriver since the ’80s and even had an opportunity to fill-in for her during technical rehearsals on an NBC show called Main Street. She and Bryant Gumbel hosted it.  She’s an incredibly intelligent, affable and warm person. So, I’m delighted to share this news with you.

 

Maria with her dad, Sargent Shriver, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003
[Photo Credit:  Laurence L. Levin]

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The project was inspired by Shriver’s quest to find ways to be close to her father, Sargent Shriver, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2003.  He passed away in 2011.

“When I would go to visit my dad as his disease progressed, I had fewer and fewer things that I could do with him,” Shriver told NBC’s TODAY.

I could take a walk with him, but a lot of times he didn’t want to walk. I played puzzles with him and sometimes drew on a piece of paper.”

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Images in Maria Shriver’s book were developed through visits to the nursing home.  They include upbeat, positive, fun, hopeful images for stress-relief.

It also includes tips for caregivers culled from conversations with doctors and families.

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Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital says the coloring book can help start a conversation and help families do an activity together.

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Isaacson tells TODAY, “The person with Alzheimer’s may not be able to communicate his or her thoughts as well as they used to or may not remember what happened to the conversation 10 minutes ago, but they’re able to express themselves through art — through drawing.”

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Dr. Isaacson continues, “Some patients with Alzheimer’s like to move and can’t sit still… coloring is a great way to refocus negative energy and do something more calm.”

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June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. More than 5M Americans live with it–one in 8 people age 65 and older, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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Maria Shriver says this coloring book is a labor of love, “I’m really hopeful this is filling a void and a need and will change people’s lives,” she says, noting she would have liked to have shared it with her dad.

“I think it would have brought laughter. It would have enabled us to do something together.”

We think so too.  Thank you, Maria Shriver.
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Visit NBC TODAY for more on Maria Shriver’s story:
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Links to Purchase Maria’s book at end of article.
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Consequently, a year ago, I was interviewed by Cable Neuhaus in the Saturday Evening Post about the health benefits of adults coloring. He saw my positive FB posts about it.

I told Neuhaus I never stopped coloring, but thought it was an oddball habit of mine.

Years ago, while working at The Crayola Experience in Easton, PA I observed parents enjoy coloring as much as kids and posted about it on FB. They looked so relaxed.

I thought they’re in the moment –essentially what meditation is all about. Makes sense.

Shortly thereafter, adult coloring books began to appear.

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See out Norman Rockwell content!

Coloring Books for Grown-ups

In Issue:

If, as some say, you can judge an entire society by the way it treats its most vulnerable, then I’d argue it is equally fair to measure a nation by the way its citizens fritter away their spare time.

Lately, Americans are frittering like mad in a couple of surprising ways: on outdoor courts playing a game called pickleball, and in coloring books.

Let’s begin with the coloring books, which are meant for adults. The craze began more than a year ago. Color me skeptical, even now, but the wild enthusiasm for this hobby shows no signs of fading. Several of the books sit atop our national best-seller lists. (Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden was the first of the blockbusters, but dozens have followed.) Who, exactly, is buying these — and why?

An admission: When I heard about this fad, my initial thought was unashamedly elitist. What kind of latte-fueled exurbanite would exchange nightly yoga classes for the joylessness of coloring? Maybe someone with no life to speak of? Okay, big mistake. Huge. Turns out that adult coloring books are a raging success across nearly every shade and stratum of the American landscape, from pastures to plains to the towers of Manhattan.

Take, as an example, Maria Dorfner, a native New Yorker who freelance produces at networks. “It calms and centers my mind,” Dorfner, an avid colorer, told me. “Adults need to learn to be more in the moment, like kids with crayons.”

Asked about a Psychology Today story that contended coloring cannot possibly constitute a spiritual experience, despite claims to the contrary by the hobby’s millions of evangelists, Dorfner says, “They’re just wrong about that.” Backing her up is a widely shared perception that coloring does indeed both soothe and heal the mind. (And let’s please agree that the illustrators of these exquisitely drawn books are artists; the color-inners are not.)

“Adults need to learn to be more in the moment, like kids with crayons,” one avid colorer says.

So, what we have here in our go-go digital age is an analog diversion for stressed-out grown-ups. One sits and colors and dreams, and the day’s tiny troubles appear to vanish.

At the other end of the spectrum is a (slightly) more physically demanding pastime, the game of pickleball. Imagine tennis played with wiffle balls and paddles on a diminutive court — Ping-Pong on a grander scale. The sport has rapidly attracted participants coast to coast, mainly among oldsters: The thrill of victory never flags, but the viability of older knees often does, alas.

This helps explain why pickleball, which has been around for a while, exploded in popularity only recently, as our aging population surged. The USA Pickleball Association reports it witnessed an 84 percent membership increase in the last two years alone and now boasts more than 400,000 active players. An Oregon documentarian is developing a movie about its rise.

Steve Brodsky, a 61-year-old Floridian, captured the excitement perfectly: “Pickleball is for older folks who’ve got the fire in the belly,” he told me. “Guys like me can feel, ‘Wow, I’ve still got it!’”

Hot on pickleball’s heels is a variation on that game called POP Tennis, a rebranded version of what we once knew as paddle tennis. Backed by a fresh infusion of cash from Hollywood agent Ken Lindner (Matt Lauer and Lester Holt are among his clients), the U.S. POP Tennis Association is currently rolling out a national tour. It’s aimed at picking up where pickleball leaves off. The appeal of POP Tennis, Lindner told me, is that “anyone can play, young or old. If you can walk, you can hit the ball immediately.”

What conclusions can be drawn from these trends? Well, whether we choose a pencil or a paddle, and whatever our age, Americans seldom let time go to waste. It’s in our character to be restless; it’s a trait that’s long served us well.

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Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Maria Shriver’s book. Links to purchasing it here:

Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/color-your-mind-maria-shriver/1126249685

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Color-Your-Mind-Coloring-Alzheimers/dp/1944515488

If you’re an Alzheimer’s caregiver and you pick up the book, please let me know if and how it’s helped. I’d love to hear and share your story.  Email: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com
Subject line:  Caregiver Story: Color Your Mind book

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Thank you Maria Shriver for helping Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers!

mariadorfnerheadshot2   Maria Dorfner is the founder NewsMD Communications and Healthy Within Network.  This is her blog.   Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Breakthrough: Mi-Eye2 Diagnoses Joint Injuries With Tiny Camera

TRICE MEDICAL closes $19.3M in Series C financing for their tiny needle-based camera to analyze joint injuries and expedite orthopedic diagnosis without the need for an MRI.

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Mi-Eye2 is a hand-held imaging scope which received FDA-clearance.  It enables doctors to diagnose a sports-related injury in the office, without an MRI.

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It consists of a hypodermic needle with a small camera tethered to a Microsoft surface tablet that shows high-definition pictures.

 

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Jeffrey O’Donnell, Sr. who is President and CEO of Trice Medical says this latest round of financing is a “significant milestone” and will help expand the company’s U.S. market.

Check out CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez report:

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CBS 2’s DR. MAX GOMEZ: If you’ve ever injured your knee it can be hard to tell exactly what’s causing the pain, so the doctor usually sends you for an expensive MRI and maybe an arthroscopy in the O.R. to take a look inside. But what if you could do a scope in the doctor’s office cheaper and safer.

Lemouchi Soufinae injured his knee in a car accident two years ago. Since then he hasn’t been able to play his beloved soccer, because of the pain in his knee.

“I can’t walk more than three blocks, have to lay down, have trouble sleeping at night, lot of strong pain,” he said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ: Two MRIs later, it still wasn’t completely clear what was causing his knee pain.

Lemouchi, Liz Meris has been having severe knee pain. “I couldn’t kneel or straighten without pain, can’t get out of car, swelling in back of knee, hurts to walk, feels unstable,” she said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ: Worse yet, Liz is claustrophobic in an MRI.

“I hate em, I’m claustrophobic. I’m out, I’m in, I’m out again,” she said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ:  The next is usually a trip into the operation room to look around by sticking a scope in the knee. It’s expensive and requires anesthesia. Why not do that in the office, under a local anesthesia?

Thanks to a tiny scope with a hi-def camera on the tip, doctors can do in the office what once took a trip to the O.R.

“It’s a huge game changer, been trying to do for 10 to 15 years, clarity and resolution are now tremendous,” Dr. James Gladstone, Mt. Sinai Health System said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ:  Using only a local anesthesia, Dr. Gladstone inserts the MI-Eye-2™ into Liz’s knee. She was actually watching the same thing Dr. Gladstone was seeing.

It allows him to check and see what and where there’s damage inside the knee.

“Almost as good as O.R. scope, and in many ways better than MRI because it can give you direct visualization,” Dr. Gladstone said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ:  Better yet, if the damage is minimal it saves the patient a trip to the O.R. for a conventional scope, and here’s the best part; it costs under $500 to do this in the doctor’s office as opposed to the $1,500 or $2,000 for an MRI and thousands more for an O.R. scope.

Almost any joint that you can scope can be done with the MI-Eye™: shoulder, wrist, ankle, elbow.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION on THE INNOVATIVE MI-EYE2 VISIT:

http://www.tricemedical.com

 

Also, check out Dr. Max Gomez’s new book available for preorder on Amazon:

“Cells Are the New Cure”

by Robin Smith, MD + Max Gomez, Ph,D; Foreword by Sanjay Gupta, MD of CNN

https://www.amazon.com/Cells-Are-New-Drugs-Bre…/…/1944648801

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Maria Dorfner, a 33 year veteran of broadcast news is the founder of this blog.

Contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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