Celebrity illnesses:

Catherine Zeta-Jones is treated for
bipolar II disorder.
A representative for Catherine Zeta-
Jones confirmed  that the actress
recently underwent inpatient treatment
for bipolar II disorder at a Connecticut
mental health facility.

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as
manic-depression, is typically lifelong
and recurrent.  Some people have
their first episode in childhood, others
later in life; the majority, during the
teen years.  Some people experience
episodes every few years; others are
in and out of episodes constantly.  

Bipolar I is characterized by severe
manias, during which people either
"feel on top of the world" or irritable
and angry.  They sometimes feel like
they have superpowers or heightened
perception; their thoughts race and
they're loaded with energy.  Usually
people with bipolar I swing between
this manic state and a "flip side" of
extreme depression during which they
slow down, feel sad and lose interest in
activities they usually enjoy (including
sex). They can suffer from fatigue and
insomnia, and can become suicidal.

People with bipolar II swing from
severe depression to a milder and
briefer manic state called hypomania.
They aren't impaired to the extent that
folks with bipolar I can be.  

Usual treatments for bipolar II include
medications and psychotherapy.  In
general, a patient with bipolar II might
be hospitalized because outpatient
interventions didn't work and time away
from stressors is needed to tweak
medications or treatment plans.

Better medication options and targeted
psychotherapy techniques have
improved the prognosis for many
people with bipolar disease.  Instead of
focusing on general support,
therapists today teach patients and
their families how to recognize and
understand the triggers for mood
changes and how to make changes to
prevent severe episodes.  Such efforts
might include getting more sleep or
adjusting medication.

CytRx Corporation,  a small
biopharmaceutical company
specializing in oncology,  announced
that an advanced form of acute
promyelocytic leukemia, or APL, has
been eradicated in former NBA player
Ray Johnston following treatment with
CytRx's experimental cancer drug
Mr. Johnston was afflicted with a
particularly aggressive type of APL
called chloromas and had previously
failed other approved therapies. More
than 30 tumors were detected
throughout his body prior to treatment
with tamibarotene, which was
administered in tablet form on a
compassionate use protocol.

"Following four months of treatment
with tamibarotene, the disease was
totally eliminated," said Mr. Johnston.
"In January, my PET scan showed a
significant decrease in the disease,
and in April it confirmed that the
leukemia was completely gone. Last
week marked my six-month
anniversary of being cancer-free." Mr.
Johnston will continue taking orally
administered tamibarotene every other
month as an added measure given his
history of relapses.
Dr Collins, his doctor says:
"We wanted to give tamibarotene a try
for Ray given the fact that his APL has
relapsed several times following
treatment with all trans-retinoic acid
(ATRA), anthracycline chemotherapy
and arsenic trioxide (ATO), the current
first- and second-line therapies. There
currently is no approved third-line
therapy for APL," said Dr. Collins.
CytRx is conducting the Phase 2 STAR-
1 registration trial under a Special
Protocol Assessment to evaluate the
efficacy and safety of tamibarotene in
patients with third-line APL. In Japan,
tamibarotene was approved in 2005
and is marketed for the treatment of
second-line APL.

Tamibarotene is an orally available,
rationally designed, synthetic retinoid
compound that was developed to
potentially avoid toxic side effects of
ATRA by binding to its molecular target
more selectively than ATRA. CytRx
holds the North American and
European rights to tamibarotene as a
treatment for APL.
Trial no:NCT00520208

Former Vice President Dick Cheney,
who has a long history of heart
problems, has been fitted with a left
ventricular assist device (LVAD), which
is a battery-operated, mechanical
pump-type device that's surgically
implanted to help a weakened heart
sustain life.

Cheney, 69, underwent the procedure
recently at Inova Fairfax Heart and
Vascular Institute in Falls Church, Va.

In a statement, Cheney said he
decided to get the LVAD implanted
after it “became clear that he was
entering a new phase of the disease”
when he began experiencing
congestive heart failure.
A common type of LVAD has a tube
that pulls blood from the left ventricle
into a pump, the AHA said on its
website. The pump then sends blood
into the aorta (the large blood vessel
leaving the left ventricle), which helps
the weakened ventricle.

“The interesting thing about the LVAD
is that people are really mobile,”
Goldberg said. “It’s small enough so
people can walk around with it.”

The pump is located in the upper part
of the abdomen. Another tube
attached to the pump is brought out of
the abdominal wall to the outside of the
body and attached to the pump's
battery and control system, according
to the AHA.

Patients with LVADs, like Cheney, can
be discharged from the hospital and
have an acceptable quality of life while
they wait for a donor to become

Short of a heart transplant, the LVAD
is seen as the next best option. But as
the American Heart Association noted
in its article, "Transplantation is a
standard treatment for patients with
advanced heart failure, but an
estimated 150,000 U.S. patients have
advanced heart failure while the
number of heart donors each year is
about 2,100."

During the procedure, a left ventricular
assist device (LVAD) was implanted in
his chest. The technology of the
implanted LVAD—now marketed
through Thoratec Corporation and
named the HeartMate II, was
developed through a collaborative
effort that included engineers and
clinical scientists of the McGowan
Institute for Regenerative Medicine .

The device is a miniature rotary pump
with axial flow bearings and is intended
for patients with end-stage heart
failure. Typically the device is used
mainly for short periods, to buy
potential heart transplant candidates
time as they await a donor organ.
However, since the FDA’s approval of
the device in January 2010, they are
also used as a permanent therapy—
destination therapy—for people with
severe heart failure who aren't
transplant candidates.

A key feature of the design is a
sophisticated control system  that
senses when to increase or decrease
the rate of blood flow. Other approved
and experimental devices require
manual adjustments. The controller
was the brainchild of McGowan
Institute affiliated faculty member
James Antaki, PhD.  The control
system involves a patented algorithm
that permits the LVAD to respond to
the needs of the patient based on the
level of activity, generating up to10
liters of blood flow per minute, a rate
that would be required to climb stairs,
for example.

GLOBAL supergroup U2 were forced
to pull out of the Glastonbury Festival
after lead singer Bono crocked his
back during rehearsals.
The 50-year-old frontman has been
told to rest for at least eight weeks
after slipping a disc.
But this common injury may be a sign
that the years are catching up with the
rock star.
Slipped discs affect around 1.5million
Brits and, according to experts, are as
likely to be caused by watching the TV
as leaping on stage.
Slipped discs are the result of wear
and tear over many years. They
usually affect those aged between 40
and 50, but they aren't normally
triggered by one accident.

Elvis Presley's personal physician Dr
Nick George Nichopoulos revealed the
singer did not die from a heart attack,
as was once believed, but of chronic

Bret Michaels'  life-threatening brain

Lisa Ray, Canadian_Indian actress
was cured of multiple myeloma with
stem cell treatment at Toronto's
Princess Margaret Hospital.

Placido Domingo performs after cancer

Steve Jobs liver transplant;

Edward Kennedy glioblastoma;

Farrah Fawcett’s anal cancer;

Robin Williams heart surgery;

Senator Dodd’s prostate cancer;

Patrick Swayze’s pancreatic cancer;

Bob Novak’s brain cancer;

Lance Amstrong’s cancer;

Canadian Newfoundland and Labrador
Premier Danny Williams  heart valve
surgery in Miami