Aspirin, a statin-type cholesterol medication and careful control of blood pressure and blood sugar, if appropriate, remain the best treatment for a blockage of the carotid artery. People with severe blockages or symptoms of a blockage, such as a TIA, a temporary loss of speech or weakness, should be evaluated for possible surgery.
Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer. The booklet on clogged heart arteries explains why they happen and what can be done to prevent clogging. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Roach — No. 101, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.
DEAR DR. ROACH: Please discuss “transfer factor” as it regards treatment for shingles pain. A 73-year-old female recently underwent a recently developed treatment at the University of Mexico after the onset of shingles in her optic nerve. From day one of the 10-day treatment, she was pain-free, and has remained so for more than eight weeks. I should think many people would be grateful for such relief. — J.M.
ANSWER: A “transfer factor” is named for its ability to transfer immunity from one person to another. Transfer factors may be derived from blood or from colostrum, a form of milk produced just before milk.
Although I am intrigued by the case you mention, I am afraid the literature on transfer factor is mostly three decades old and insufficient for me to recommend it for use in patients, although I would be delighted to read more scientific studies, since it seems promising. I did answer a letter recently from a woman who had ongoing shingles for years, and clearly we need better therapies for such cases.