Almost one million people in the United States live with multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a chronic neurological condition affecting the nerve fibers in the central nervous system.
Receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is difficult, and it can be even tougher to really understand what that prognosis means in terms of your quality of life. Read more about what a prognosis of MS means for your life expectancy and more.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis? Symptoms and Causes
MS is an autoimmune condition, which is a type of condition that leads your immune system to attack healthy cells by mistake. With MS, your immune system attacks the cells in myelin, which you can think of as protective covers over the nerves in your brain and spinal cord. The most common symptoms of MS are:
Changes in gait
Tingling or numbness in arms or legs
Loss of balance
Loss of coordination
Although the exact causes of multiple sclerosis are not fully understood, scientists believe that certain factors trigger the condition. One of these factors is the exposure to certain bacteria or viruses, including the Epstein-Barr virus.
Another factor that might trigger MS is your environment. Areas farther from the equator tend to have higher numbers of MS cases, which may mean that those who receive less sun are more at risk because having lower levels of vitamin D seems to be a risk factor.
Having a family member with MS also increases your chances of developing the condition. It’s not yet clear, however, what gene mutations are responsible for the condition.
Types of Multiple Sclerosis
Most people assume that there is only one type of MS, but there are four. The most common type is relapsing-remitting MS. With this version of MS, you experience flare-ups with new symptoms or existing symptoms that get worse. You then experience a period of remission.
Clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) is another type. People who have the first episode of MS symptoms usually get this diagnosis until they have another episode. Not everyone who has an episode of CIS goes on to develop MS.
Another version of MS is primary progressive MS. People with this type experience symptoms that gradually get worse without any periods of remission.
Secondary progressive MS is when you continue to accumulate nerve damage. Symptoms get worse, though you may also experience some flare-ups. Most people with this type of MS do not experience remission.
Stages of MS and Their Effect on Prognosis
Because MS is a condition that gradually gets worse, the stage in which you receive your diagnosis is an important factor in your prognosis. There are early, middle, and late stages.
MS, in its early stages, presents with a series of relapses and remissions. You may experience mild to moderate mobility issues, as well as sensory function and cognition problems. When caught at this stage, most people have a better prognosis.
The middle stage of MS is when the milder symptoms get worse, seriously impacting coordination, mobility, and cognitive function. This is when rehabilitation interventions are crucial.
The late MS stage is when there’s severe disability, including cognitive decline, mobility impairments, and other complications. To manage daily life, you’ll need substantial assistance at this stage.
By catching the diagnosis as early as possible, you may have a better prognosis because all manner of interventions is available to help you minimize the progression of the conditon.
Multiple Sclerosis and Life Expectancy
Although MS is a chronic condition, it doesn’t mean you will have a shorter life. Most people with MS have a life expectancy similar to those in the general population.
One of the concerns of MS is that it can increase your risk of developing other conditions, including:
Urinary tract infections
Some of the factors that can make your prognosis better, however, are if you are under 40 when diagnosed and female.
Your Prognosis: How Doctors Determine It
To give you as accurate a prognosis as possible, doctors consider a variety of clinical facts, including those they obtain from evaluations, image testing, and neurological examinations. To measure the progression of the condtion, most physicians turn to a number of scoring systems, including the Expanded Disability Status Scale.
This scale assesses the rate of disability throughout many categories. Using the scale to see the progression of the condition over time, your doctor is able to give you a more accurate prognosis.
Your lifestyle is another factor doctors consider when making your prognosis. If you smoke or drink a significant amount of alcohol, you may have a more negative prognosis.
This effect is because smoking can accelerate the progression of the illness while also affecting the efficacy of some treatments. By moderating alcohol and stopping the use of nicotine, you can help yourself.
To improve your prognosis, adding exercise to your daily life is also vital. Regular physical exercise helps improve muscle strength, coordination, balance, and more while also improving your overall mood.
Your dietary choices also play a role in your prognosis. It is essential to stick to a well-balanced diet that promotes immune function and overall health. This means you want to eat primarily vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains.
Aside from the physical impact of MS in your life, your doctors also consider how the condition affects your psyche. Having a support system is one of the most important things you can do. This support can help you see that you are not alone and boost your mood and hope.
Living With Multiple Sclerosis
Because multiple sclerosis affects your daily activities, finding ways to live with the condition can be essential. Maintaining an active life and having support are both crucial but so is knowing what treatment options are out there.
Parkinson’s disease is a complex neurological disorder. It can affect many aspects of your life and wear down your mental health. Fortunately, there are now modern treatment options that help you manage your Parkinson’s symptoms.
If you’ve just received a Parkinson’s diagnosis, don’t give up hope. Learn more about your treatment options so you can live your life to the fullest, regardless of your diagnosis.
How Parkinson’s Symptoms Affect Daily Living
You’ve probably heard of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s. They can make daily tasks feel more challenging and inaccessible. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, if there is no medical intervention, symptoms tend to worsen.
Motor Symptoms: Trouble with Normal Movements
Parkinson’s disease is related to the amount of dopamine in your brain. When your brain cells stop producing the correct amount of dopamine, your movements change. You no longer have smooth, controlled movements. You may experience shaking, tremors, and slowed motor skills.
Someone with Parkinson’s may have trouble lifting, bending, twisting, or even walking. In the later stages of this disease, Parkinson’s can cause complete immobility, necessitating wheelchair assistance.
If you can’t move around properly, you can’t carry out many normal daily tasks. Cooking, cleaning, and self-care have become nearly impossible.
Digestive Health and Gastrointestinal Problems
Changes in your brain from Parkinson’s disease can lead to problems with digestion. You may experience constipation, bloating and indigestion, and urinary incontinence. Gastrointestinal changes can make eating a less positive experience for Parkinson’s patients.
Mood and Personality Changes
As with any neurodegenerative disorder, Parkinson’s disease can cause mood changes. You may not recognize what’s happening to your mental state. Unfortunately, this is an expected symptom of this neurodegenerative disease.
Parkinson’s patients may experience increased irritability, suspicion, confusion, and depression. These mood changes make it harder to get along with other people. You may start to feel like a different person altogether.
Personality changes can impact your social relationships, which are essential for human health and connection. With the rise in stem cell therapy treatments for Parkinson’s, however, there is hope for getting back to your former self.
Why Early Treatment Is So Important
Getting Parkinson’s disease treated early is essential to slowing the progression of this disorder. The earlier you catch Parkinson’s, the better your outcome will be. Since this is a neurodegenerative disorder, time spent untreated can worsen your symptoms.
If you have just received a diagnosis, now is the time to start looking into your treatment options. What’s out there for you? Is there hope? The answer is yes.
What Are Your Treatment Options?
Modern science and research have allowed medical providers to help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Treatment options include various therapies to help you regain your speech and motor skills. Other innovative treatments, like regenerative medicine, help manage the condition by repairing tissues to improve your health.
Changing Your Lifestyle
Lifestyle changes can have surprising effects on your overall health. Certain parts of your lifestyle may be contributing to worsening health. These can include smoking, under exercising, and overeating.
When you receive a Parkinson’s diagnosis, it’s important to take your health seriously. Getting plenty of sleep and nutrition will help you feel your best each day. You should also quit smoking and give up other harmful habits, like excessive snacking on junk food.
You can protect your health by including healthier habits in your daily routine. Lifestyle changes alone may not cure Parkinson’s, but they can improve your quality of life.
Occupational, Speech, and Motor Therapy
You can opt for speech, motor, or occupational therapy to improve your skills in daily life. These therapies are designed to restore daily functioning in ways that promote independence. If you struggle with your current tasks, this may be a good option for you.
Certified therapists will help you gain new skills that assist with movement, speech, and performing tasks. A Parkinson’s diagnosis doesn’t mean you’re doomed. With the right types of therapy in your life, you can achieve a higher level of function.
Regenerative Medicine with Regenerative Properties
Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, utilizes mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). MSCs are multipotent stem cells that can be isolated from various tissues, such as bone marrow, adipose tissue, and umbilical cord, and they possess several beneficial properties.
MSCs hold promise as a potential therapeutic approach for Parkinson’s disease. This condition is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. MSCs have been studied for their ability to modulate inflammation, promote neuroprotection, and stimulate endogenous repair mechanisms in the brain.
MSCs have shown the potential to improve motor function, reduce neuroinflammation, and promote the survival and differentiation of existing neurons. Additionally, MSCs can secrete neurotrophic factors and anti-inflammatory molecules, which may contribute to their therapeutic effects.
When it comes to Parkinson’s disease treatment options, stem cell therapy may be one to explore as a potential therapy in conjunction to others. Some patients experience improvements in their speech, cognition, and motor skills after stem cell treatments.
What to Expect from Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson’s
Scientists have not yet found a cure for Parkinson’s disease. However, with appropriate stem cell therapy, we may be able to slow the progression of this disorder. Here are some results you can expect from consistent stem cell treatments for Parkinson’s.
Stem cell treatments have given our patients more energy and less fatigue. You want to enjoy your life to the fullest. Why not enjoy an extra energy boost from the regenerative powers of stem cell therapy?
Reduced Tremors and Shaking
Tremors are an inconvenient symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Certain stem cell treatments may reduce the frequency of your tremors and shaking. Arm and leg movements would then be easier and less stressful. You may find that your coordination also improves.
Better Cognition and Memory
Parkinson’s unfortunately affects the way you think and how much you can remember. Some patients have seen marked cognitive improvement after stem cell treatments. This is likely because stem cells have the power to regenerate damaged brain cells and improve overall mental functioning.
More Fluid Movements
Stiffness and inflexibility come with Parkinson’s disease. Through stem cell therapy, you may be able to achieve more fluid movements.
Managing Your Parkinson’s Diagnosis with Hope
With a Parkinson’s diagnosis, you do have options to explore. Through traditional and innovative treatments like stem cell therapy, science may be able to help you reverse or slow the progression of this disease. Patients can have the potential to manage their condition and possibly help improve their daily life and activities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than 795,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke every year. A stroke happens when something blocks the supply of blood to a part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.
If you’ve had a stroke, knowing what to expect from the recovery process is vital. Learn about the potential recovery timeline.
Day 1: Beginning Your Recovery
The first step is always to confirm that you did have a stroke. This should happen as soon as possible because the treatment process is most effective when it begins right after the stroke.
When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll be taken to an imaging room for a CT scan, which will help identify the stroke. The type of stroke you had will determine the treatment you receive. Your team will go through the entire process with you and your loved ones to ensure you understand what it involves.
Week 1: The Next Steps
Most stroke patients can go home after about four to seven days. This will vary depending on your overall health, the severity of the stroke, and how the recovery is progressing.
Physical therapy involves mobility training, motor-skill exercises, range-of-motion activities, and anything else that helps you regain motor skills.
Speech therapy focuses on helping you regain any lost speaking abilities, as well as helping you with swallowing.
Another type of therapy is occupational therapy, where an occupational therapist will help you with any issues with vision and cognitive skills.
Because stroke rehabilitation needs to focus on treating the whole patient and not just the symptoms, the treatment plan has to include cognitive and emotional activities with a mental health specialist. This type of therapy helps you express what you’ve been feeling after the stroke.
The Three Months After the Stroke
You will continue your rehabilitation either as home-based care, which involves the therapists coming to you at your home, or as outpatient therapy at a stroke rehabilitation center.
Some people can also benefit from specialized short-term or long-term care. One of these options is skilled nursing care. Many nursing facilities have experience helping people who have had strokes and need more intensive care. The average stay at these nursing facilities is about a month.
Inpatient stroke rehabilitation is another option. It usually involves spending two or three weeks at an inpatient facility for people who’ve had strokes. You will likely have therapy five days a week for at least three hours a day. This can be a good option if you need 24/7 medical care but can still handle intensive therapies.
Nursing home care is a long-term option. It is a good choice if you need non-medical care and help with things like bathing, eating, and mobility. You can still receive certain therapies, but for the most part, nursing home care focuses on helping you manage everyday life.
You can also combine these options, with some people moving from one option to the next as they start improving.
Some people experience a spontaneous recovery during the first three months after a stroke. This is when a skill or ability that you thought you had lost returns completely. Spontaneous recovery occurs because the brain finds new ways of performing a particular task.
Six Months After the Stroke
Within six months, most people who have had strokes have completed at least one rehabilitation program and may be continuing care at home.
Just because you’ve returned home doesn’t mean you don’t still need therapy, however. It’s crucial to focus on preventing another stroke as well, so you should establish relationships with specialty and primary doctors who will be there to provide ongoing care.
You should have a mental health professional helping you through this stage of recovery. Having a stroke is a major event in your life, and you may not have yet processed it emotionally. A mental health professional helps you find ways of dealing with depression, anxiety, or any other mental health concerns you’re struggling with.
Another important member of your team is the vascular neurologist. They specialize in strokes as well as other brain diseases. They’re the ones who can identify a stroke when you go to the hospital, and they also provide post-stroke care.
Your primary care doctor is another crucial team member. They help monitor your health and are even able to gauge your risks of having another stroke.
One Year After a Stroke
After a year, you will likely have completed one or more rehabilitation programs. You may still be struggling with limitations or may have experienced a full recovery. However, it’s important to know that stroke recovery is an ongoing process.
You also want to continue dealing with the emotional toll a stroke can take, so reaching out to support groups for people who’ve had strokes is a good option. This will allow you to speak with others who have gone through a similar process.
Setbacks can happen in the months after a stroke. Setbacks can include a second stroke, pneumonia, and other health issues. Although these events take a significant toll on your body, they often take a heavier one on your mental state. That’s why having a mental health professional helping you is vital.
Your care team will have to adjust your recovery timeline if these setbacks occur and prepare new therapies that can address any issues that may have arisen.
Outlook After a Stroke
A full recovery after a stroke is often possible. It’s also possible to experience lasting issues that affect your daily life and require long-term adjustments. Perhaps the most important thing, however, is to prevent another stroke.
By working closely with your recovery team and having medical professionals you trust helping you, you can pursue the various therapy options available.
One such option is regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, which uses your body’s natural healing abilities to work where you need them most. Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment to help people manage their condition and help the healing process after a stroke. Speak with your doctor about these options.
Arthritis can take away some of your favorite activities and make daily living very uncomfortable or even painful. When it comes to managing this condition, there are certain triggers that you should be aware of.
Find out what parts of your diet might be contributing to your osteoarthritis symptoms. You can take control of your pain and minimize it once you have this important knowledge.
The Science Behind Arthritis
There are two main types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease and is different from osteoarthritis. On the other hand, osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown of joint cartilage.
Your bones are surrounded by a fleshy material called cartilage, which provides them with cushion and flexibility. This is what allows you to move around, bend down, and absorb impact when you’re walking or running.
Many people call osteoarthritis a “wear and tear” disease because it often results from overuse and strain on your joints. Aging is a leading cause of osteoarthritis — your body can only maintain healthy joints for so long.
After many long years of movement, your joint cartilage can start to disintegrate. Some people develop bone spurs that harden and cause lots of discomfort.
Once your bones lose the support and cushion of cartilage, you may experience joint stiffness and pain. Your mobility may suffer, making it hard to complete normal daily activities. Osteoarthritis can be debilitating if left untreated.
Food, Inflammation, and Osteoarthritis: What’s the Link?
You might be wondering how your diet can affect your joint pain. The things you eat (or don’t eat) can have a strong impact on your overall comfort levels, especially if you struggle with arthritis symptoms regularly.
Certain foods contain inflammatory compounds that promote swelling and discomfort in your body. If you already suffer from osteoarthritis, this extra inflammation will cause more pain and discomfort, which can worsen existing mobility issues.
On the other hand, some foods contain anti-inflammatory compounds that help fight inflammation and discomfort. These are the foods you want to regularly incorporate into your diet.
Learn which foods to avoid if you suffer from osteoarthritis so you can remain comfortable and active around the clock.
Avoid High-Sugar Foods and Drinks
Foods and beverages with high sugar content are known for their pro-inflammatory effects. Refined sugars cause your body to release compounds called cytokines, which have inflammatory effects on your cells and tissues. This can worsen your joint pain from osteoarthritis.
Additionally, inflammation may contribute to further breakdown of the cartilage between your joints. If you want to protect your health while living with this condition, avoid packaged and processed snacks and drinks that have high sugar content.
Some examples of high-sugar foods and drinks include:
Sweetened coffee drinks
Avoid these foods to increase your comfort and decrease your osteoarthritis symptoms.
Simple Carbs: White Bread, Rice, and Other Refined Foods
Along with added sugar, simple carbohydrates are found in many “white” foods. This means that foods like white bread, white rice, and potato chips are loaded with simple carbs that could contribute to worsening symptoms.
Simple carbohydrates affect your body differently than complex carbs, which are good for your health. Similar to refined sugars, simple carbs have pro-inflammatory effects and can lead to rapid weight gain. The more you weigh, the more pressure your joints have to deal with every day.
Avoid simple carbs and opt for whole-grain foods like brown rice instead.
Saturated Fat Causes Weight Gain and Joint Strain
Foods that are high in saturated fats are bad for your health. Many researchers and medical bodies believe that eating a diet high in saturated fats exponentially increases your risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
When you eat too much saturated fats, you’re likely consuming more calories than you burn. This can cause you to pack on extra pounds that are detrimental to your health. Excess weight puts strain on your joints and cartilage, which makes osteoarthritis symptoms far worse.
Opt for healthier fats instead from sources like:
Nuts and seeds
These sources of fat will benefit your health and help you avoid debilitating osteoarthritis symptoms. Look into an anti-inflammatory diet to potentially help.
Don’t Overdo the Fast Food and Fried Treats
Eating fried foods is never good for your heart health, joints, and waistline. While these foods can be enjoyed in moderation, it’s important to prioritize home-cooked meals over fried and fast foods.
Fast food is often high in simple carbs, saturated fat, and sodium. These compounds contribute to inflammation and weight gain, which, in turn, causes more joint pain and discomfort. Many people with osteoarthritis experience more joint pain and stiffness the day after eating fried and fast foods.
Instead of eating foods fried in oil, try baking foods like vegetables and fish with a light coating of olive oil spray. This will reduce the amount of calories in your meal and help you avoid fried treats — a win-win situation for your joint health.
Limit Your Dairy Intake
Dairy has been a part of the standard American diet for many years. However, eating too much dairy in one sitting can spell bad news for your health. Osteoarthritis can flare up if you eat excessive amounts of dairy from low-quality sources.
When dairy is mass-produced, it goes through a process called pasteurization. This process removes many harmful bacteria that can get into raw cow’s milk, but it doesn’t eliminate the inflammatory compounds.
Human digestive tracts were not originally designed to break down lactose, a key compound in cow’s milk. Other compounds in cow’s milk can worsen your health as well. This means that when you have a condition like osteoarthritis, it’s best to limit your dairy intake.
Managing Your Life with Osteoarthritis
Making dietary changes can significantly improve your quality of life if you’re living with osteoarthritis. While you can’t always avoid developing this condition, you can live a satisfying life and manage your symptoms.
If you want to protect your health and reduce the amount of strain on your joints, consider avoiding these common osteoarthritis triggers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that as many as 795,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke each year. A stroke is a serious condition that can range in severity but that requires some patience throughout the recovery process. Learn more about what a stroke is and the recovery tips that can help you improve faster.
What Is a Stroke?
You can think of a stroke as the brain’s equivalent of a heart attack. It occurs when a part of your brain doesn’t receive enough blood flow, either because you have a blocked artery or because you were bleeding into your brain. If something blocks blood flow to your brain, the organ doesn’t receive the oxygen it needs.
Anyone can have a stroke, including children. That said, you may have a higher risk than others if you are older than 65 or if you have high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or irregular heart rhythms.
The warning signs of a stroke are:
Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes
Loss of balance
Muscle weakness on one side of the body
Most strokes are ischemic, which means that blood clots have blocked the blood vessels to the brain. Plaque can also cause such a blockage. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when an artery in the brain breaks open or leaks blood into the brain. This blood puts a lot of pressure on brain cells.
Stroke Recovery Tips
If you’ve suffered a stroke, take the time to make the necessary changes to your lifestyle so that you can recover faster and perhaps even prevent future strokes.
Rest When Your Body Asks for It
The stroke and the recovery process both put a lot of stress on your body, and you need to listen to what it tells you. If fatigue becomes overwhelming, allow yourself to rest. As you recover, your brain needs sleep. Sleep helps improve movement recovery after a stroke, making it as vital as your rehabilitation exercises.
Good Nutrition Is Key
Your body needs all the right nutrients to heal more efficiently. This means sticking to a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Some vitamins are also essential for stroke recovery, including vitamin D, which you get from the sun but also from egg yolks, fatty fish, and cheese.
Vitamin B3, present in turkey, salmon, and chicken, is also crucial because it helps with neuroplasticity. Another excellent option is vitamin B12 because it can boost the function of nerve and brain cells. Eggs, poultry, and milk are also great sources. And If cholesterol is a concern, fish is a better option.
An additional vitamin to consider adding to your diet is vitamin C. You can find it in citrus fruits, as well as broccoli and bell peppers.
If you have dietary restrictions, consult your doctor about whether taking vitamin supplements is a good option for you. As you recover from a stroke, avoid alcohol and an excess amount of sugary foods and drinks, as well as foods rich in saturated fat.
Use the Affected Side of Your Body
Your brain focuses on efficiency. If you don’t use an affected limb or entire side of your body, your brain forgets how. For instance, if you spend days not using your right hand, it will assume it’s not an important part of the body and de-prioritize it.
As you recover, all movement is important. Even if you don’t fully control the limb or if you experience paralysis after the stroke, you can help by moving that part of your body with your hands.
Schedule Regular Visits to Your Doctor
Your doctor is one of your most powerful allies as you start healing from a stroke. They will be able to guide you through all of the stages of your recovery, offering advice and reassurance. They have experience treating strokes and can give you the right perspective on how your recovery is going. Speaking often and honestly with them is key.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Progress after a stroke tends to be slow, which can be discouraging. You may not see the kinds of huge improvements you may have expected, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t improving at all.
One of the toughest moments in the stroke recovery process is the “plateau” that occurs after about three months. You may notice that recovery is slowing down. It doesn’t have to stop, however, if you continue with your rehabilitation programs.
To rewire itself, your brain needs constant stimulation. Speak with your doctor about finding the right therapies to perform at home so that you can continue making progress even after months after experiencing the stroke.
Communicate What You Feel
Another important aspect of recovering from a stroke is healing emotionally. Going through a serious issue like a stroke leaves you feeling vulnerable or like you’re alone with your worries.
Communicate with your loved ones and let them know what you’re feeling. If that’s not an option, reach out to support groups. Support groups allow you to meet others who have gone through similar situations and who have a good understanding of the challenges you face. For some people, turning to a therapist can be helpful, too.
Physical activity, even simply walking around a room, helps minimize high blood pressure. This means it can also assist in preventing future strokes. Exercise additionally boosts your mood by releasing endorphins.
Ask your doctor what exercise options are suitable for your needs. Never begin a regimen without the recommendation of your doctor.
Managing Life After a Stroke
Lingering stroke symptoms can be frustrating. They may leave you thinking that there’s nothing you can really do about them. That’s not necessarily true. Lately, the field of regenerative medicine has been turning to stem cell therapy options to help people manage better after a stroke.
Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, has the potential to replace damaged brain cells and restore some lost functions for post-stroke patients. MSCs (Mesenchymal Stem Cells) can potentially help post-stroke by reducing inflammation, promoting neuroprotection, and stimulating tissue repair in the damaged brain.
As with every treatment you’re considering, speak with your doctor to find out whether it might be a good choice for your needs.
This website and its contents are not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease. Stemedix, Inc. shall not be held liable for the medical claims made by patient testimonials or videos. They are not to be viewed as a guarantee for each individual. The efficacy for some products presented have not been confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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