Common Cold

Publication Title: 
BMJ (Clinical research ed.)

Reviewing the literature is a scientific inquiry that needs a clear design to preclude bias. It is a real enterprise if one aims at completeness of the literature on a certain subject. Going through refereed English language journals is not enough. On line databases are helpful, but mainly as a starting point. This article gives examples of systematic reviews on vitamin C and the common cold, pyridoxine against the premenstrual syndrome, homeopathy, and physiotherapy.

Author(s): 
Knipschild, P.
Publication Title: 
JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association

IMPORTANCE: Although leukocyte telomere length is associated with mortality and many chronic diseases thought to be manifestations of age-related functional decline, it is not known whether it relates to acute disease in younger healthy populations. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether shorter telomeres in leukocytes, especially CD8CD28- T cells, are associated with decreased resistance to upper respiratory infection and clinical illness in young to midlife adults.

Author(s): 
Cohen, Sheldon
Janicki-Deverts, Denise
Turner, Ronald B.
Casselbrant, Margaretha L.
Li-Korotky, Ha-Sheng
Epel, Elissa S.
Doyle, William J.
Publication Title: 
Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

Low socioeconomic status (SES) during childhood and adolescence has been found to predict greater susceptibility to common cold viruses in adults. Here, we test whether low childhood SES is associated with shorter leukocyte telomere length in adulthood, and whether telomere length mediates the association between childhood SES and susceptibility to acute upper respiratory disease in adulthood. At baseline, 196 healthy volunteers reported whether they currently owned their home and, for each year of their childhood, whether their parents owned the family home.

Author(s): 
Cohen, Sheldon
Janicki-Deverts, Denise
Turner, Ronald B.
Marsland, Anna L.
Casselbrant, Margaretha L.
Li-Korotky, Ha-Sheng
Epel, Elissa S.
Doyle, William J.
Publication Title: 
Social Science & Medicine (1982)

In Sri Lanka, as in India, two formally structured systems of medicine exist side by side. While Western-style biomedicine is believed to be useful, Ayurvedic medicine is well established and commonly used. Underlying one explanation for the persistence of such plural medical systems is a functional theory, suggesting that each system is used for different treatments, diseases, or for the ideological, linguistic or social characteristics of the physician. In part, Ayurvedic and Western medicine may persist because their practitioners provide distinctly different services.

Author(s): 
Waxler-Morrison, N. E.
Publication Title: 
Social Science & Medicine (1982)

Although cosmopolitan medicine plays an increasingly important role in developing countries, people still use indigenous medicines. A 1983 survey in two Sinhalese communities in Sri Lanka investigated the patients' use of cosmopolitan or traditional treatments for various illnesses. It appears that for acute complaints, or when a child seems seriously ill, people use cosmopolitan medicine. For common ailments which are known to be self-limiting, people use traditional home remedies and consult Ayurvedic practitioners.

Author(s): 
Wolffers, I.
Publication Title: 
Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY: To clinically validate the efficacy and safety of herbal cough formula CORSHE-E of ayurvedic origin. PROCEDURE: An open label, uncontrolled clinical study was done on thirty patients with history of cough. The patients were given the cough syrup after they were enrolled in the study and were followed up for a period of seven days. The cough severity, frequency (as recorded on Visual Analogue Scale from 0 to 10 cm), chest discomfort, quantity and type of sputum were recorded at screening, on the fourth day and on the seventh day of treatment.

Author(s): 
Nesari, Tanuja
Bhagwat, B. K.
Johnson, Jasmin
Bhatt, Narendra S.
Chitre, Deepa
Publication Title: 
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.)

In the current issue of the Cochrane Library (Issue 3, 2004), there are more than 25 systematic reviews addressing the use of vitamins in the prevention or treatment of disease. Vitamins have been a mainstay of health since their discovery in the early 1900s, so a question arises as to when using vitamins is considered complementary as opposed to conventional medical practice. Complementary or alternative vitamin use encompasses those uses that are outside of accepted medical practice. The use of vitamin C to prevent scurvy is accepted medical practice.

Author(s): 
Ezzo, Jeanette
Publication Title: 
The New England Journal of Medicine

BACKGROUND: Echinacea has been widely used as an herbal remedy for the common cold, but efficacy studies have produced conflicting results, and there are a variety of echinacea products on the market with different phytochemical compositions. We evaluated the effect of chemically defined extracts from Echinacea angustifolia roots on rhinovirus infection. METHODS: Three preparations of echinacea, with distinct phytochemical profiles, were produced by extraction from E. angustifolia roots with supercritical carbon dioxide, 60 percent ethanol, or 20 percent ethanol.

Author(s): 
Turner, Ronald B.
Bauer, Rudolf
Woelkart, Karin
Hulsey, Thomas C.
Gangemi, J. David
Publication Title: 
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.)

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine whether Echinacea purpurea given to children for the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infection (URI) was effective in reducing the risk of subsequent URI. DESIGN: This was a secondary analysis of data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Echinacea for the treatment of URI in children. SETTING: The study was conducted as a joint project between the Puget Sound Pediatric Research Network (Seattle, WA) and Bastyr University (Kenmore, WA).

Author(s): 
Weber, Wendy
Taylor, James A.
Stoep, Ann Vander
Weiss, Noel S.
Standish, Leanna J.
Calabrese, Carlo
Publication Title: 
The European Respiratory Journal

Due to high incidence and quality-of-life impact, upper respiratory infection substantially impacts on population health. To test or compare treatment effectiveness, a well-designed and validated illness-specific quality-of-life instrument is needed. Data reported in the current study were obtained from a trial testing echinacea for induced rhinovirus infection. Laboratory-assessed biomarkers included interleukin (IL)-8, nasal neutrophil count (polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN)), mucus weight, viral titre and seroconversion.

Author(s): 
Barrett, B.
Brown, R.
Voland, R.
Maberry, R.
Turner, R.

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