Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vitamin D: The Evidence Keeps Rolling In

I guess I shouldn't be surprised but Dr. Davis of Track Your Plaque continues to demonstrate he is the Nostradamus of heart disease prevention medicine. For the last year he has trumpeted the powerful effects of Vitamin D in regressing plaque and presented his findings in early April at the Experimental Biology Symposium in San Diego.

Now, researchers using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) study have presented their similar findings at the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Annual Conference. They found that persons with low Vitamin D levels have a higher incidence of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). PAD, also known as intermittent claudication, is a condition where blood vessels in the extremities become narrowed or occluded by plaque.

Once again, Dr. Davis proves to be ahead of the curve!



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More on the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation

Looks like we may be on to something here. We have already had interest from several blog readers about keeping this idea going (see previous blog entry). Here is what has transpired in the past day.

1. Track Your Plaque (TYP) has graciously offered to host the Lipoprotein(a) website. I am meeting with their head web programmer on April 18th to lay the ground work.

2. I am meeting with Mary Lou Ballweg one of the founders of the Endometriosis Association (EA) on April 23rd to pick her brain on how to start and run a successful medical Foundation. Endometriosis was a little known disease and, similar to Lp(a), had little or no research or funding. Mary Lou grew (EA) from a humble start of one person working from her living room to an international association with its own headquarters building. She will be a fantastic resource for us.

3. I have talked briefly with Dr. Davis of TYP and while he cannot become directly involved due to time constraints, he has agreed to help us in any way he is able. He can be our "in" in the medical community.

4. I am about to contact other Lp(a) researchers such as Drs. Marcovina and Scanu to get their input.

The rest is pretty much up to us to keep the "viral marketing" campaign going and build a list of potential members and contributors. I will also attempt to start scaring up a few bucks and will talk to the programmer on the 18th about setting up a PayPal online contributions page as well. The oft repeated bromide is true here, "If every Lp(a) sufferer kicked in just $1, we would have millions." Finally, anybody know any non-profit lawyers and accountants who suffer from Lp(a) and want to help save their own lives? Sooner or later we will have to form a board of directors if we get this thing off the ground. Say, you don't suppose Warren Buffet or Bill Gates has Lp(a) do you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Lipoprotein(a) Foundation: Time to Start One?

I just received some disheartening news from Dr. Sally McCormick one of the world's few Lipoprotein(a) researchers. I had asked her how her lead anti-Lp(a) compound was fairing in trials and the answer was not good, "some of the animals were quite sick after dosing with the peptide, we think due to the peptide being unstable and aggregating in the circulation."

On the bright side she also mentioned she is about to publish some preliminary research on DMPC (dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine which is not to be confused with PPC or phosphatidylcholine being studied in the Track Your Plaque Virtual Clinical Trial). Additionally, Dr. McCormick does have one other lead compound in the pipeline but it is not in trials yet.

Sally did make one other statement at the end of her letter that stuck with me, "Sorry I can't be of more help to you and other high Lp(a) sufferers as yet, we are trying to develop something but its just really slow when time and funding is limited." This reminded me of a woman I know (right here in my hometown) with another neglected medical condition called endometriosis. Like Lp(a), few people were doing any research and fewer companies were investing any money in finding a cure. She started the Endometriosis Association to provide support and create pressure to find remedies for persons with her condition and was immensely successful.

Perhaps all of us Lp(a) sufferers should do the same. I have started a 501(c)(3) educational charity in the past - it's not fast or easy thanks to the U.S. government. It takes lawyers (or really knowledgeable people) at least a little money (the filing fee alone is around $500) , and a lot of work to grow the organization. My vision would also include raising a boat load of money to fund independent medical research similar to what is being done by some of the pioneers like Dr. McCormick (I'll bet there are as many wealthy people as poor people slowly dying of Lp(a)).

So there you have it, the Lipoprotein(a) Foundation! I know Track Your Plaque will front us the web presence and let us use their new community/networking software they are developing. Dr. Davis as well as several other professionals associated with Track Your Plaque have expressed interest but they are too busy to start it or run it. Now, can the rest of us develop the critical mass to put something like this together and cure ourselves?!



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