• Have you ever heard that portable oxygen is going to the dogs? Well, it literally is in Japan! Is that bad? No, it is actually quite good as this picture of Mr. Fooyama and his charming wife and Oxy-dog prove. Oxy-dog? That's right. Busy Mr. Fooyama came up with the idea. It is so successful that they have asked the government to give their Oxy-dogs the same status as that held by Seeing Eye dogs! And why not? We have a several other great pictures of a black Labrador happily pulling around a cylinder so this isn't the only Oxy-dog that is coming to the aide of oxygen patients. This isn't quite what we had in mind when we heard that the Japanese were working on a revolutionary portable oxygen system, but it sure is a lot more fun than another new piece of machinery!
  • Meanwhile, back to ATS. The importance of muscle dysfunction in lung disease continues to be an area of research, growing knowledge and growing importance. Can you believe that even a five or ten years ago very few of you, or your physicians, were aware that your muscles were affected by pulmonary disease? With many thanks to the pioneering work of Dr. Rich Casaburi and Dr. Andy Ries (both of whom will be speaking at the Rally), as well as other researchers, we have become aware of the importance of muscle training in helping you overcome the debilitating effects of lung disease. Studies continue in the area of high intensity exercise, pioneered by Dr. Casaburi, regarding the amount of exercise that results in the best result. The addition of testosterone , oxygen and various drugs to help attain the necessary levels of intensity are also ongoing in various studies. Keep reading this newsletter. In future months we will bring you the results of these studies, as soon as they are ready for publication, or when they start showing promise.
  • Strength training is also seen as being a very important addition torehab. Again, the types and amount are still being researched, but some important facts have come out of the studies already done. Some show sustained levels of strength one year after PR. There was also decreased hospitalization and increased survival in the groups that were followed. Patients in the supervised sessions did much better than those who elected for a home alone approach. Having a "drill sergeant" in charge of the exercise sessions also paid off in benefits for the participants.
  • Also under study are other approaches to exercise such as the intermittent high intensity-low intensity format. So what should you do while waiting to see which of these approaches is the best? Why, keep exercising, of course! What we probably will learn is that no one approach is best for everyone. What we already have learned is that in terms of decreased mortality and improved quality of life, it is not your FEV1 , it is not your age, it is your level of activity that is most important!
  • So, does that mean you need to train for the next triathlon? Absolutely not! We wouldn't think of discouraging you that way. Just being able to walk more than 300 feet in 6 minutes is associated with increased benefits and survival. So, all of you couch potatoes, paste that on your bathroom mirrors! Even a little bit helps, so start today by walking just a minute or so at a time, if that is all that you can do. Increase your time by only a minute a day at first. Now, you can do that, can't you? Get past that 300 feet mark and don't be a statistic. Good luck!!!
  • Lots of new medications are coming out, or are here already, for both COPD and asthma. Next month we hope to have room to cover some of them in detail.
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