Are You Going to Use Finasteride for Hair Loss? Read This First

Sold in the market under the brand names Propecia and Proscar, finasteride is a medication that is intended to treat people who are suffering from hair loss.  In the early days, finasteride was just like other medications that were originally used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer. It turns out that patients who took finasteride for their prostate-related issues had experienced great results with it, along with a surprising bonus, and that is, the growth of hair.

Finasteride actually works by means of inhibiting or stopping type II 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting the hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  DHT, in turn, is the one responsible for losing one’s hair, resulting to baldness if not remedied.  Thus, simply put, the action of finasteride is to prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, and the end result would be the prevention of hair loss. This “favorable side effect” of preventing hair loss and promoting growth of new hair by finasteride is what made it famous in the pharmaceutical world, not by its primary use which is for treating benign prostatic hypertrophy and other prostate-related ailments. Read more…

MS and the powers that be


At least 55,000 Canadians have multiple sclerosis, 3,500 of whom live in Saskatchewan. No one’s sure why our country is home to so many MS sufferers. Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan, has taken a bold move in promising to help finance clinical trials on an unproven but promising new treatment – the “liberation procedure.” He’d like other premiers to follow suit. However, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty isn’t convinced the controversial treatment is ready for testing. So, afflicted Canadians are traveling to Bulgaria, Poland, Costa Rica, Italy and India, where the procedure is available, to benefit -- even if only minimally – from any relief it may offer, at an average of $30,000 a pop.

MS patients may have a range of symptoms that include balance problems, vision impairment, muscle spasms and weakness, diplopia, dysphagia, extreme fatigue, chronic or acute pain, and bladder and bowel difficulties, including incontinence. And the majority tends to live about as long as the healthy population.

It seems only natural that a minimally invasive procedure would be worth the risk to such individuals.

Dr. Paolo Zamboni, an Italian neurologist and director of vascular diseases, came up with the liberation therapy theory at the University of Ferrara, while trying to help his wife, who has the disease ). Examination of the venous system of MS patients showed that 90% had stenosis or restricted valves in the jugular and azygos veins, interfering with blood draining. He also found high levels of iron deposits in their brains, which he surmised might be the cause of the abnormal MS immune response, where the immune system attacks the myelin sheath of brain and spinal cord nerves, causing scarring and plaques.

Dr. Zamboni dubbed the phenomenon “chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency” and used a type of angioplasty to relieve the blockage in these veins. He found 73% of his patients improved. But after about nine months, “re-stenosis” made it necessary to repeat the procedure.

Despite this drawback, it seems clear, with so many positive anecdotal reports on the Internet, that Canadian governments should consider giving more attention to this possible break-through therapy. Either that, or launching a thorough investigation of Canadian Hutterites, a group known to have a much lower than average risk of contracting MS.