Dear readers,

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is becoming more apparent in women since the year 2000. New studies find that, of those diagnosed, 58% are women. This disease of the lungs makes breathing difficult. The two main conditions that fall under COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Coming down with a cold or being subjected to harmful air toxins can worsen COPD symptoms. There are resources, such as the American Lung Association and pulmonary rehabilitation clinics, which offer support. The Lung Association is continuing efforts to prevent onset of lung disease and support those currently diagnosed.

There is growing evidence that women are biologically more prone to lung disease caused by pollutants in the air and second hand smoke exposure. It is with great importance that policies are implemented that lower the risk of exposure to second hand smoke, and bring about services for people who smoke who have a desire to quit smoking.

The effect of living with COPD is tremendous. It is expensive for the individual due to healthcare costs and a reduced ability to earn an income. It is also expensive for the community due to lost productivity, disability and uninsured hospitalizations. Also, many patients with COPD have other comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease or depression. It can be tricky managing more than one condition at a time.

Disparities in diagnosis and disease management contribute to poor outcomes for women with COPD. It is important to talk to your doctor about treatment plans. Although there is no cure for COPD, there are ways to provide relief to make the symptoms manageable. Maintaining lung health is important, it is essential to get regular checkups with a provider to improve health outcomes.

It is imperative that health equity be reached among those with COPD, a disease that is mostly overlooked in the public health field. It is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. Advocating for COPD awareness will help make the disease a priority. To learn more, visit

Trying to find the right career path can be exceptionally difficult. It’s something that many people believe will work out on its own over time, but this is not the right approach to take. Proper (and early) planning is the best way to get yourself on a path towards a solid career, especially if you have somewhat of an idea of what you’d like to do for a living. It can’t hurt to look towards industries that are looking to have a bright future, either, and the medical industry is certainly near the top of the list in the UK. 

It may seem as if working towards a career in the medical industry would require a lot of hard work and schooling, but this isn’t always the case. There are certainly scenarios in which you’ll need to put a lot of effort into gaining employment, however, which is why it’s best to take a complete approach and start planting the seeds for a successful career. 

Here are just a few things that can help you to work towards a career in the healthcare industry, all of which are worth considering.

Apply to the Right University Programs

If you’re still in the midst of applying to schools, you’re actually in the perfect spot to start building a career in the healthcare industry. The best thing you can do for yourself when applying to schools is to take a very close look at each program you’re considering. Think about the school’s reputation, but also be sure to look into the details of the program. Does it sound like something you’d be interested in? Is the learning curve potentially too high to handle right off the bat? These questions and more will help to guide you when choosing a university program.

As degrees become more and more pertinent in the professional world, the importance of where you graduate from is only going to increase, and this is especially true in the world of healthcare. Some universities – Cambridge and Oxford, for example – have excellent reputations as being leaders in the medical field, and holding a degree from one of these programs will give you quite a boost when it comes to finally trying to land that first job out of university. Keep this in mind, as you should always strive to gain acceptance at your top school or schools if at all possible. 

Consider Your Options for Employment

Not everyone who wishes to gain employment in the field of healthcare wants to be a doctor or a surgeon. There are so many different types of jobs in this field that it can be head-spinning, and what’s important to remember is that there is truly something for everyone. Those who tend to excel at organisation, for example, would most likely find their niche in healthcare administration. Have a strong interest and working knowledge in technology? Medical billing and coding might be the right fit for you. The latter career not only offers flexible hours, but typically comes along with a high rate of pay (visit for more information). The UK is rife with opportunity and jobs in the medical sector at the moment, many of which offer a substantial rate of pay.  

You don’t need to make any final decisions when choosing a career path to work towards, but having at least a general idea of what you’d like to do will help you to streamline your approach. Take the time to shadow someone if at all possible, as this will help you to gain a better understanding of day-to-day operations in whatever type of job it is that you’re interested in.

Take Advantage of Whatever Opportunities Present Themselves

As you go through your time at university, you’ll no doubt come upon opportunities that can help you to better prepare for a carer in the healthcare industry. It could be a guest lecture, a chance to shadow someone in a professional setting or even a volunteer opportunity. Schooling can be a stressful and difficult time, but you should do whatever possible to incorporate these opportunities into your education. After all, there’s no better way to learn than in a real-world setting, no matter how many textbooks you might have sitting on your shelves. 

Sometimes sitting and waiting for these opportunities to pop up simply isn’t enough. You might find that you need to keep an open set of ears and eyes during your time at university, always looking for opportunities that can help push you towards securing employment upon graduating. Don’t hesitate to branch out and visit other leaders in the field, too. After all, there are 32 medical schools in the UK that have recognition from the General Medical Council – there’s a lot of knowledge to be had. 

Securing a good career in healthcare is certainly not something that happens overnight, but it can be made much easier if you take the time to go above and beyond. 

Release Date: 08/01/2013

A team of researchers says it has solved the longstanding puzzle of why a key protein linked to learning is also needed to become addicted to cocaine. Results of the study, published in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Cell, describe how the learning-related protein works with other proteins to forge new pathways in the brain in response to a drug-induced rush of the “pleasure” molecule dopamine. By adding important detail to the process of addiction, the researchers, led by a group at Johns Hopkins, say the work may point the way to new treatments.

“The broad question was why and how cocaine strengthened certain circuits in the brain long term, effectively re-wiring the brain for addiction,” says Paul Worley, M.D., a professor in the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “What we found in this study was how two very different types of systems in the brain work together to make that happen.” Cocaine addiction, experts say, is among the strongest of addictions.

Worley did not come to the problem as an addiction researcher, but as an expert in a group of genes known as immediate early genes, which rapidly ramp up production in neurons when the brain is exposed to new information. In 2001, he said, a European group led by François Conquet of GlaxoSmithKline reported that deleting mGluR5, a protein complex that responds to the common brain-signaling molecule glutamate, made mice unresponsive to cocaine. “That finding came out of the blue,” says Worley, who knew mGluR proteins for their interactions with immediate early genes. “I never would have thought this type of protein was linked to dopamine and addiction, because the functions for it that we knew about up to that point were completely unrelated. That’s what scientists love: when you’re pretty sure something is right, but you don’t have a clue why.”

The finding set Worley’s research group on a long search for an explanation. Eventually, in addition to studying the effects of altering genes for the relevant proteins in mice, they partnered with experts in measuring the brain’s electrical signals and in a biophysical technique that detects when chemical bonds are rotated within protein molecules. Using different types of experiments, they pieced together a complex story of how dopamine released in response to cocaine works together with mGluR5 and immediate early genes to switch cells into synapse-strengthening mode.

“The process we identified explains how cocaine exposure can co-opt normal mechanisms of learning to induce addiction,” Worley says. Knowing the details of the mechanism may help researchers identify targets for potential drugs to treat addiction, he adds.

The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (grant numbers DA011742 and DA010309), the National Institute of Mental Health (grant numbers (MH084020 and MH51106), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (grant number NS050274), the National Cancer Institute (grant number CA110940), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Office of Basic Energy Sciences’ Catalysis Science Program at the U.S. Department of Energy (grant number DE-FG02-05ER15699).

Other authors on the report are Joo Min Park, Jia-Hua Hu, Ping-Wu Zhang, Chester G. Moore, Sungjin Park, Bo Xiao and David J. Linden of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Dorothee Kern and Aleksandr Milshteyn of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University; Karen K. Szumlinski, Michael C. Datko, Racquel D. Domingo and Cindy M. Reyes of the University of California, Santa Barbara; and Xiaodong J. Wang and Felicia A. Etzkorn of Virginia Tech.

Media Contacts:
Shawna Williams; 410-955-8236;
Vanessa McMains; 410-502-9410;
Catherine Kolf; 443-287-2251;

As common as this problem is, it isn’t any less serious. Snoring is something that might seem irritating to those who sleep next to the snorer, but there’s a large probability that there might be more behind the noise. Sometimes, snoring is overlooked, or misdiagnosed. There are plenty of ways it might be affecting your body as well as your life, and it’s time that you learn about them, now! You can also visit for more info about snoring and its solutions.

Relationships Affected

Not only is the person sleeping next to you disturbed from the noise, he/she tends to be cranky too. People who snore become short-tempered and are seen to be on-edge more than often. There’s no questioning on how that can get in the way of relations, and how that’s bad for your mental health!

Disrupted Sleep

People who snore tend to wake up more often, even though they might not know it themselves. Also, the oxygen supply to your body is cut for many seconds at a stretch, which can be damaging to the overall development of the body. You’re more likely to feel tired, worked-up and might feel crankier. It might even cause frequent headaches or the constant feeling of sleep deprivation.

Prolonged Discomfort

Some people might face adverse effects of snoring. They might be seen sleeping during their working hours, being extremely irritable, losing their concentration or even becoming depressed. It’s important to go to a doctor if you see these conditions happening to you or a loved one.

Sleep Apnea

This is a dangerous medical condition which causes the airway to collapse. If left untreated, it may lead to high blood pressure, strokes and even heart attacks. If not so severe, it is also a factor behind poor memory, fatigue, the excessive need to nap during the day, and even impotency. A person suffering from this condition might wake up as many as 100 times a night, and sometimes wake up gasping.


Stats show that the lack of sleep causes 20% of the road accidents that occur. Other charts show that excessive sleepiness might lead to mishaps while using machinery, cranes, trucks and other utilities that require handling with extreme care. So, if you’re losing a grip on the pedal, it’s time to you head to the doctor, before you lose your grip on life.

Fight-And-Flight Response

As experts say, snoring blocks your airway, which makes your brain think that you’re being choked. In this short duration and in response to the situation, chemicals and hormones are released by the brain, such as insulin and adrenalin. Though the release is stopped with your next breathe, it’s enough to cause problems like weight gain and increased sugar levels on a long-term, doing you no good.

Strained Heart

Some causes of snoring are linked with heart diseases, while in every other case, there is still a constant pressure being built on your heart as your oxygen supply is cut for those 10 seconds. Eventually, it obviously will affect your body systems, and deteriorate the quality of your life.