Harvard Scientist Says Improved Treatment Coming for COPD

Harvard Scientist Says Improved Treatment Coming for COPD


Harvard Scientist Says Improved Treatment Coming for COPDChronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) takes an enormous toll in human suffering and medical costs. More than 30 million Americans battle with frequent coughing, increased breathlessness, wheezing, and the other symptoms of the progressive lung disease.
Most COPD patients have to take medications every day. As a result, inhaled drugs for COPD, such as Spiriva, have become blockbusters, bringing in billions of dollars a year in revenue.
These particular drugs work by opening up airways in the lungs to make breathing easier. Unfortunately, the so-called bronchodilator drugs currently on the market have limitations, says Dr. David A. Edwards, Professor of the Practice of Idea Translation at Harvard University. “The main problem is that they are not very efficient at delivering drugs to the lungs,” he explains. Much of the drug sticks in the mouth or throat rather than getting to the lungs where it is needed. In addition, says Dr. Edwards, “the fact that the drugs remain in the mouth and throat can lead to serious side effects.”
Which is why a number of companies have been working on innovative new approaches to increase the efficiency of drug delivery. “One particularly promising idea, being developed by Pulmatrix, Inc. [NASDAQ: PULM], is to attach drugs to small particles that can ‘fly’ far more easily into the lungs,” says Dr. Edwards. Such advanced “dry powder” technology can deliver three to 50 times more drug to the lungs compared to current inhalers, while dramatically reducing the amount stuck in the mouth or throat. “It’s like a pill for the lungs,” he says.
Pulmatrix is now developing an inhaled bronchodilator product for COPD that combines the active ingredient found in Spiriva with its proprietary dry particles. Clinical trials show that the product is five times more efficient at delivering the drug to the lungs than the currently marketed alternatives.
“That should bring both good efficiency and fewer side effects — offering important benefits to COPD patients,” says Dr. Edwards.

A Yogi’s Guide to Finding Joy in 2017

A Yogi’s Guide to Finding Joy in 2017Many people claim to be searching for peace and joy in their lives, especially as a new year begins after the intense and often stressful holiday season. However, many joy seekers may be looking in the wrong places, according to yogi and spiritual teacher Sadhguru. The founder of the Isha Foundation and social activist has published a new book on finding joy within oneself rather than expecting to find it in the outside world. His book, Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy (Spiegel & Grau Hardcover/Random House, September 20, 2016), emphasizes that self-awareness is one of the keys to unlocking a life of joy from the inside.
In a recent interview with Yoga Journal, Sadhguru said that joy comes from creating an “inner chemistry of blissfulness where being joyful is not being subject to something outside of you.”
“[If] someone or something can make you happy or unhappy, [that] means what happens within you is determined by an aspect outside of you. This is the worst form of slavery,” he emphasizes.
The book features sadhanas, daily guidelines designed to help individuals lead a life of joy by looking inward, and other insights on joyful living. To begin, Sadhguru asks readers to consider what constitutes a state of well-being. He defines it as a sense of pleasantness. “When pleasantness is within, it is termed peace, joy, happiness,” he writes.
He encourages individuals to focus on happiness within to help them create pleasantness, and therefore joy, in the world at large. “When you are in a pleasant inner state, you are naturally pleasant to everyone and everything around you,” he notes. “Inner pleasantness is a surefire insurance for the making of a peaceful society and a joyful world.”
The editors at Yoga Journal suggest the following meditation for finding inner joy by invoking a state of well-being:
*Breathe deeply, relax, and think of a time of great joy and well-being.
*Try to remember all the details of that joyful experience, including sights, sounds, and smells, and try to recall how your mind and body felt in that moment.
*Practice recalling your joyful moment each day for a week, and ultimately you may be able to tune in to the general feeling of joy without recalling the specific occasion.
For more information about Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy, visit the book site at http://isha.sadhguru.org/us-en/ie-book.

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