Exploring the types of Hepatitis; A-E

With August being National Immunization month we are going to explore all the different types of Hepatitis and prevention and which types can be prevented through vaccines.  There are safe and effective vaccines that can prevent hepatitis A and B, which you get from a viral infection (but not for types C, D, or E). There is also a combination vaccine that guards against hep A and B.
Each of those viruses is different. But the diseases they cause are similar. Hepatitis brings liver inflammation, and it can be serious or even life-threatening.First, what is Hepatitis? Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver.  We will delve into the differences in all the types of hepatitis throughout August.

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People develop hepatitis A infection after contracting HAV. This virus is typically transmitted by ingesting food or liquid contaminated with fecal matter that contains the virus. Once transmitted, the virus spreads through the bloodstream to the liver, where it causes inflammation and swelling.

In addition to transmission from eating food or drinking water containing HAV, the virus can also be spread by close personal contact with an infected person. HAV is contagious, and a person who has hepatitis A can easily pass the disease to others living in the same household.

You can contract hepatitis A by:

  • eating food prepared by someone with the hepatitis A virus
  • eating food handled by preparers who don’t follow strict hand-washing routines before touching food that you eat
  • eating sewage-contaminated raw shellfish
  • not using condoms when having sex with someone who has the hepatitis A virus
  • drinking polluted water
  • coming in contact with hepatitis A-infected fecal matter

If you contract the virus, you will be contagious two weeks before symptoms even appear. The contagious period will end about one week after symptoms appear.


The No. 1 way to avoid getting hepatitis A is by getting the hepatitis A vaccine. This vaccine is given in a series of two injections, 6 to 12 months apart.

If you’re traveling to a country where hepatitis A transmission is more common, get your vaccination at least two weeks before traveling. It usually takes two weeks after the first injection for your body to start building immunity to hepatitis A. If you’re not traveling for at least a year, it’s best to get both injections before leaving.

Check your destination on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site to see if you should get a hepatitis A vaccination.

To limit your chance of contracting hepatitis A, you should also:

  • thoroughly wash your hands with soap and warm water before eating or drinking, and after using the restroom
  • drink bottled water rather than local water in developing countries, or in countries where there’s a high risk of contracting hepatitis A
  • dine at established, reputable restaurants, rather than from street vendors
  • avoid eating peeled or raw fruit and vegetables in an area with low sanitation or hygienic standards

Who Should Get the Hepatitis A Vaccine?

The CDC recommends that all children between ages 12 months and 23 months get this vaccine.

The following people are also at risk for the disease and should be vaccinated:

  • Children and teens through age 18 who live in states or communities that have made this vaccination routine because of a high rate of disease
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Anyone who uses illegal drugs
  • People with chronic (long-term) liver disease
  • Anyone treated with blood clotting drugs, such as people with hemophilia
  • People who work with HAV-infected primates or in HAV research laboratories. (HAV is like HIV in animals.)
  • Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common. A good source to check is the CDC’s travelers’ health website, which you can search by the country you’re going to.
  • People adopting or close to a child adopted from a country where hepatitis A is common

You should not get the vaccine if you’re allergic to any ingredients in it or if you had a severe allergic reaction to an earlier dose of it. Tell your doctor or pharmacist about any allergies you have.

If you’re pregnant, let your doctor know. The safety of this vaccine for pregnant women is unknown, although the risk is considered to be very low.

Resources: Graphics by Kyle Berard with Plasma Med Research, healthline.com, webmd.com

Toxoplasma’s Dark Side: The Link Between Parasite and Suicide

We human beings are very attached to our brains. We’re proud of them – of their size and their complexityWe think our brains set us apart, make us special. We scare our children with tales of monsters that eat them, and obsessively study how they work, even when these efforts are often fruitless. So, of course, we are downright offended that a simple, single-celled organism can manipulate our favorite organ, influencing the way we think and act.



What is Keystone virus? Zika’s Cousin has now infected the first human!!

Zika Virus Has a New Competitor

PMR-KeystoneZika-v1 (1)

Another mosquito-borne virus, the Keystone virus, might pose a risk to people, specifically those in Florida.

A confirmed human case of Keystone was recently reported in the medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Research author J. Glenn Morris suggested Keystone cases could be “fairly common in North Florida,” but he said this is the first confirmed case, possibly because patients are rarely tested for the virus.

Here’s what you should know about the Keystone virus:

When was it found?

The virus was first discovered in the Tampa Bay-area in 1964. Since then, animal cases (squirrels, raccoons and deer) have been found from Texas to the Chesapeake Bay.

How do you catch it?

The virus is transmitted by mosquito bites, usually bites from aedes atlanticus.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms might include a rash, mild fever and encephalitis, brain inflammation.

How many people have it?

University of Florida researchers recently said a 16-year-old boy was the first human case of the Keystone virus. The teen did not suffer from brain swelling, but did have a fever and rash. The case was identified because doctors thought the teen might be suffering from the Zika virus during a known outbreak. The laboratory tests they collected from him for Zika testing led them to the Keystone discovery. The Florida Department of Health told USA TODAY there was another recorded case of the virus in a young child from Sarasota in 1964.

Is it related to Zika?

The aedes atlanticus mosquito, a cousin to the Zika-spreading aedes aegypti mosquito, is most well-known for carrying the Keystone virus. Aedes infirmatus mosquitos as well as other aedes and culex species have also known to carry the virus, the Florida Department of Health said.

Is there a cure?

There’s no specific treatment plan for the virus in humans.

How can we prevent it?

The only known way to prevent the virus is to avoid mosquito bites. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants, staying inside air-conditioned areas and using screens on windows and doors to prevent bites. In addition to these tips, the Florida Department of Health also suggests draining standing water, such as rainwater collected in garbage cans or pool covers.

Back in April, before the height of mosquito season, Bill Gates devoted a whole week of his blog, appropriately named ‘Mosquito week’, warning and educating people on the dangers of mosquitos.  This a great read to educate yourself and to learn about how a tiny African kingdom named Swaziland has developed a well-coordinated malaria program—including a robust surveillance and control system—that has helped reduce the number of cases in the country by more than 90 percent since 2002. Now, Swaziland aims to eliminate malaria entirely within its borders by 2020. (please see the gates notes link below to learn more)

What will the case be for the U.S.A. in 2020 and what will it look like since new cases are being discovered each year, bringing the number of mosquito species to over 3,000 in the world, of which 176 of them can be found in the United States.



Kyle Berard of Plasma MedResearch located in Boca Raton, FL

USA TODAY NETWORK Ashley May, USA TODAY Published June 25, 2018












10 Signs Your Thyroid Isn’t Working

The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland located at front of our neck below the Adam’s apple, is a small but very important gland that releases hormones that have a huge impact on metabolism, among other processes. According to the American Thyroid Association, about 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid malfunction, yet 60 percent don’t realize that they even have a problem. This makes realizing that the thyroid is malfunctioning really important.

Bright Side brings to you 10 signs that indicate that your thyroid might be acting up and it’s time to pay the doctor a visit. Don’t miss our important bonus at the end.


Dry, scaly and thick skin


Hypothyroidism leads to the calcification of the skin, causing it to appear thick, very dry, and scaly in texture.

Hair loss/thinning hair

Hair growth depends on the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Changes in the level of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland can lead to changes in hair growth. Excessive production of the hormone can cause the hair to become thin all over the scalp while underproduction of the hormone can lead to hair loss

 Unusual bowel activity


Thyroid hormones play a role in regulating the bowel movement. An underactive thyroid can cause constipation, while an overactive thyroid can result in frequent bowel movements.

Depression/sudden anxiety

If you have been feeling anxious or unsettled lately, there’s a chance that your thyroid gland has been acting up. Overproduction of thyroid hormones results in more brain stimulation causing patients to feel jittery or anxious. Underproduction of the hormone has the opposite effect, it makes the patient feel depressed and tired.

Feeling unusually cold/unusual sweating


The thyroid gland is like a thermostat for our body in the sense that it regulates body temperature. If the hormone production gets beefed up it unusually increases the body’s metabolism causing people to feel overly warm and sweaty. If there is a deficiency of the thyroid hormone in the body the patient might be prone to having low body temperatures and cold intolerance.



Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. Lower than normal production of the hormone can significantly decrease metabolism and calorie burning abilities of the body causing you to gain weight, while over secretion of it will make you lose weight abruptly.

Irregular periods


If you are experiencing period problems, improper thyroid functioning might be the culprit. A lack of enough hormones will make the periods heavier, longer, or cause them to occur closer together while an abundant production of the hormone might make your periods lighter or cause them to occur further apart.

Brain fogging/difficulty concentrating

If your thyroid isn’t working properly, neither is your brain. An underactive thyroid can cause subtle memory loss while an overactive thyroid can make it difficult to concentrate.

Neck discomfort or enlargement


Both overproduction and underproduction of the thyroid hormone can lead to the enlargement of the thyroid gland causing the neck to appear swollen.

Changes in heart rate

Under secretion of the thyroid hormone can cause the heart to beat slowly, whereas hyperthyroidism causes a fast heartbeat.

Bonus: Who is at a greater risk?


  • Women more than men
  • Women over 60 years of age
  • People with a family history of thyroid related problems

Neck check for thyroid disorder:

Tip your head back and swallow. Examine your neck around the Adam’s apple and the area above your collarbones. If you feel lumps or bulges, see a doctor.


Sources: https://brightside.me/inspiration-health/10-signs-your-thyroid-isnt-working-515510/



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Can your next tattoo detect early forms of cancer?

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Scientists at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA have been developing a series of smart tattoos that can indicate levels of dehydration and sugar levels through minimally invasive implantation. Dermal Abyss located in Cambridge tattoo inks change color according to the chemistry of the body’s interstitial fluid, which can be used as a surrogate for constituents of the blood. One ink changes from green to brown as glucose concentration increases. The team has also developed a green ink, viewable under blue light, that grows more intense as sodium concentration rises, an indication of dehydration. Researchers tattooed the inks onto segments of pig skin and noted how they changed color or intensity in response to different biomarkers.

Recently, however, Swiss scientists have developed an experimental skin implant that triggers the appearance of a dark mole when there is a change to the body’s interstitial fluid. Detecting the subtle body changes, such as hypercalcemia, work to serve as an early warning of cancer.

The implant, or “biomedical tattoo,” as researchers call it, has been tested on lab animals, lasts for about a year and recognizes the four most common types of cancer: prostate, lung, colon and breast cancer. It works by reacting to the level of calcium in the blood, which rises when a tumor is developing. About 40 per cent of cancers could theoretically be detected this way, researchers say.

“The biomedical tattoo detects all hypercalcemic cancers at a very early, asymptomatic stage,” says lead author Martin Fussenegger, professor at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich.

They help to monitor health using biosensitive ink that changes color following the modifying composition of the body’s interstitial fluid.

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The researchers say that the biomedical tattoo could one day potentially be used to not only detect certain diseases and medical issues but could also be used to “noninvasively monitor response to treatment.” The researchers have developed a self-powering chip which sits under the surface of the skin. The chip contains a number of sensors which can monitor alcohol intake and blood levels in the host body, which could be useful in rehabilitation environments.

Earlier this month, engineers from the University of California San Diego revealed another skin-based research project which could impact our health. This time, by monitoring drug and alcohol intake.

Sources :
Plasma Med Research - Get Paid to Donate Plasma Clinical Studies tickborne_lyme_research_plasma

Yes, mushrooms are good for you. But do they hold medicinal properties too?

Mushrooms have been used in Eastern medicine for centuries to treat everything from asthma to gout.

Now they’re being marketed in the West as functional or medicinal mushrooms that can prevent cancer or stimulate higher brain function, but there are relatively few trials in humans to back up these claims.

There are more than 2,000 species of edible mushrooms on the planet, but many of us probably only know a few kinds. Sauteing or grilling up white button mushrooms and portobellos may sound familiar to Americans, but in other parts of the world, particularly Asia, soups and stews might contain shiitake, maitake, oyster or lion’s mane.

To find a really good variety of mushrooms, I went to my local Mitsuwa, a Japanese market chain, located at a busy intersection on the west side of Los Angeles. It’s pretty drab outside, but when you walk in the doors, there’s lots of color and sound: Japanese snacks in bright packages, an aisle of nothing but singing rice cookers, and a rainbow array of mochi ice cream, the Japanese answer to an ice cream sandwich.

Vendors hawk steaming bowls of ramen and freshly fried tempura on one side of the building. And on the other side, there’s the produce aisle, which includes rows and rows of mushrooms.

Manager Yumi Kuwata buys the mushrooms here and says her top sellers include shimeji (beech mushrooms,) enoki (tiny white mushrooms with small caps) and shiitake, but she always has at least 10 varieties.

Kuwata says her customers buy mushrooms because they’re healthy and low in calories. “Japanese food [is] very healthy cuisine. So that’s what they are expecting,” she says.

But mushrooms offer a lot more than low calories.

Viki Sabaratnam, the scientist in charge of the mushroom research center at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, says mushrooms are particularly good for us because of what they do before humans harvest them: “Their basic function in the environment is recycling of large molecules, and in the process they produce these fruit bodies, we call them, and they accumulate some of these components.”

The components include dozens of nutrients like selenium, vitamin D, potassium and compounds known as beta glucans, which can help fight inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can contribute to many diseases of aging, such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia. Think of mushrooms as the superheroes of the fungi kingdom.

In the lab, researchers have reported all kinds of promising mushroom benefits, from killing cancer in human cells to reducing insulin resistance in diabetic mice.

But research on actual humans hasn’t been as prolific.

There are a few outliers: Shiitake mushroom extracts seem to help prolong the lives of stomach cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and in fact doctors in Japan now prescribe them for that purpose.

Also, maitake (hen-of-the-woods) and scaly wood mushroom extracts seem to strengthen the immune system of some breast cancer patients.

It’s hard to draw big conclusions about how these extracts would impact a broad range of people, though, because the studies have been small and targeted to specific populations.

Sabaratnam is studying how mushrooms might someday help fight off dementia, which affects around 50 million people today, with 10 million more added every year. She and her team reviewed studies of 20 different medicinal mushrooms thought to improve brain function and about 80 different metabolites isolated from those mushrooms that were tested in cells in the lab and in mice. They found that these metabolites improved recovery and function in damaged neural cells and had antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

“We have shown in lab experiments, yes, some of these properties are there,” But as she admits, “it’s quite a long way to go” to say how these mushroom extracts will work in actual humans.

But that hasn’t stopped the dietary supplement industry from jumping on reports of mushroom health benefits. There are teas, coffees and pills containing extracts of mushrooms that promise to reduce stress or jump start your brain.

Megan Ware is a dietitian in private practice in Orlando. She sees the potential health benefits of mushrooms, and even drinks mushroom coffee when she wants to feel extra alert. But she warns: “If you’re eating cheeseburgers and fries for lunch every day and you eat a couple mushrooms along with it, that doesn’t mean it’s going to lower your risk for heart disease or diabetes or any of those lifestyle conditions.”

Maybe one day, science will be able to prove that mushrooms can help prevent and treat disease. And if not, well, mushrooms are really delicious, so why not add a few new ones to your diet?

Here’s a list of a few tasty mushrooms that also show promising health benefits:

Mushrooms And Their Potential Medicinal Benefits

Most edible mushrooms contain high levels of nutrients and antioxidants, are high in fiber and low in cholesterol, and can help us lose weight if we swap them out for less healthy foods. But some appear to contain properties that could potentially benefit human medicine. Here’s some selected mushrooms and what we know about them so far.

Lentinula edodes (shiitake)

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Extracts of this widely consumed mushroom may help humans improve their immune system, prolong the lives of some cancer patients, and appear to kill certain viruses in the lab and improve gut microbes in mice.

Ganoderma lucidum (reishi)

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Extracts from this mushroom are credited with reducing obesity in mice by altering their gut bacteria.

Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom)

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In the lab, extracts of this mushroom appear to inhibit growth of breast and colon cancer cells.


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The Sjögren’s Syndrome Diet

Tired businesswoman massaging nose bridge

What is the Sjögren’s syndrome diet?

The Sjögren’s syndrome diet is a food-based approach to reducing inflammation and other symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome. While not a cure for this autoimmune condition, modifying your diet can help to treat symptoms, provide a higher quality of life, and improve your overall health.

What is Sjögren’s syndrome?

Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease most common in older women, though it can affect people of all ages. Autoimmune disorders cause your immune system to attack healthy parts of your body, mistaking them as threats.

The disease causes your immune system to attack glands that produce tears and saliva. This affects your body’s ability to produce moisture.

The most common symptoms from this disorder are dry mouth and dry eyes. However, you may also experience other symptoms including:

  • joint pain
  • swelling
  • dry skin
  • dry throat
  • dry nasal passages
  • vaginal dryness
  • difficulty swallowing

Sjögren’s syndrome is often linked to other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Blood capillary human eye

Sjögren’s Syndrome & Diet

Similar to many recommended diets, the Sjögren’s syndrome diet focuses on well-balanced meals rich with vegetables, lean proteins, and fruits. Other than increasing nutrients and healthy proteins in your diet, the Sjögren’s diet reduces or eliminates foods that can cause inflammation or trigger allergic reactions.

Ginger root with green leaves, watercolor illustration with clipping pathCombined with a prescribed treatment plan, a moderated diet can help to prevent or reduce dryness and inflammation from Sjögren’s syndrome.

Foods to avoid

Pursuing the Sjögren’s diet or a similar anti-inflammatory diet means eliminating common trigger foods and allergens.

Some foods to avoid include:

  • red meat
  • processed foods
  • fried foods
  • dairy
  • sugars and sweets
  • alcohol
  • soda
  • gluten
  • refined grains
  • safflower, corn, and canola oils

Some foods affect people differently. Though these foods can trigger inflammation and worsen Sjögren’s syndrome symptoms, some can be eaten in moderation. This specifically applies to some dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese.

If your symptoms begin to worsen after eating specific foods, consider eliminating them from your diet. Also, discuss your symptoms with your doctor to ensure you receive the best treatment.

Foods to eat

Collage from different pictures of tasty food

Maintaining a diet rich in foods with anti-inflammatory effects can reduce dryness symptoms and provide relief from other associated conditions. Some foods high in anti-inflammatory benefits include:

  • leafy green vegetables
  • nuts
  • fruits
  • turmeric
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • fatty fish
  • olives and olive oil
  • avocado
  • whole grains


How you cook your foods can also affect dry mouth symptoms. Here are some additional tips to make your meals more enjoyable:

  • If you choose to make a sandwich, consider adding vegetables that are high in moisture, such as cucumbers.
  • Adding sauces to your meals can ease swallowing, but use creamy sauces in moderation to limit fat content.
  • Try soups and smoothies as alternatives to dry foods.
  • Drink with your meals to ease swallowing.
  • Soften your foods with broth.
  • Tender-cook your meats to prevent them from drying out.

Always consult your physician before beginning any treatment program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate treatment plan.

Plasma Med Research is currently enrolling people that are diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome. If you, or someone you know may be intrested in participating in one of our many studies, please reach out to us at www.plasmamedpatients.com/contact or message us on Facebook.

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Article Source: Healthline