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Archive for  April 2010

Friday 30, Apr 2010

Use of stem cells for modeling infant birth defect

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Use of stem cells for modeling infant birth defectHemangiomas, which are strawberry like birthmarks commonly seen during early infancy, are usually harmless but can lead to distortion of tissue and vision obstruction in nearly 10 percent cases.

Problematic hemangiomas have been treated with corticosteroids like dexamethasone and prednisone since the 1960s but steroids can fail at times and their action mechanism against hemangioma has remained a mystery.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Translational Research Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, a Harvard Skin Diseases Pilot Study Grant, Sheba Medical Center (Israel), and the John Butler Mulliken Foundation.

Friday 30, Apr 2010

Psoriasis associated with severe cardiovascular condition and diabetes

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Psoriasis associated with severe cardiovascular condition and diabetesPatients suffering from psoriasis may find it difficult to the daily chores of dealing with the physical symptoms of this condition after a recent study disclosed that there is an association between psoriasis and two potentially serious medical conditions, atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that is characterized by thick, scaly, and red plaques and resulting in itching and bleeding & leading to considerable discomfort and emotional stress for patients.

A higher occurrence of diabetes and atherosclerosis in psoriasis patients compared to patients without psoriasis was noticed by dermatologist Michael David, MD, Dermatology Department at Rabin Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel, and his colleagues.

Friday 30, Apr 2010

B-cell depletion therapy can help refractory patients in remaining stable

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b-cell-depletion-therapy-can-help-refractory-patients-in-remaining-stableThirty six percent of patients suffering from refractory systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) remain well after undergoing B-cell depletion therapy (BCDT) without feeling or requiring the need of further standard immunosuppressive agents. This finding was disclosed by a study presented at EULAR 2007, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Barcelona, Spain.

It is important to note here that minimizing the number of B-cells in the system by BCDT has been suggested as a potential therapy to SLE patients unresponsive to other treatments.

Co-author of the paper, Professor David Isenberg, from University College London in the United Kingdom, said that results are encouraging and suggest that B-cell depletion therapy is a promising therapeutic option for lupus patients besides reducing the need for continuous immunosuppressive therapy.

Friday 30, Apr 2010

Onset of Type 1 diabetes may be delayed by Green Tea

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Onset of Type 1 diabetes may be delayed by Green TeaAccording to researchers from the Medical College of Georgia, a powerful antioxidant in green tea can delay or prevent the onset of type 1 diabetes.

EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate), the predominant antioxidant in green tea, was tested by researchers on a laboratory mouse with type 1 diabetes and primary Sjogren’s syndrome that damages moisture-producing glands leading to dry mouth and eyes.

The study, published in an issue of Life Sciences, supports earlier research displaying impact of EGCG on helping prevent autoimmune diseases.

Thursday 29, Apr 2010

Effective treatment for rare devastating condition inspired by oxidative stress research

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effective-treatment-for-rare-devastating-condition-inspired-by-oxidative-stress-researchA potential breakthrough has been announced by researchers at Queen Mary University London and the University of Leicester for treating a rare but devastating medical condition that can affect children and young people.

One patient has already been treated and experienced promising results by the clinicians and scientists from the two universities. The preliminary data was published as a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Jonathan Grigg, Professor of Paediatric Respiratory and Environmental Medicine at Queen Mary University London, said idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis is a rare disease with an unknown cause.

Thursday 29, Apr 2010

Molecule causing destructive lung inflammation identified

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molecule-causing-destructive-lung-inflammation-identifiedA protein critical to the development of inflammation during lung infection in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) has been identified by scientists at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

The protein, interleukin-23 (IL-23), is an important finding offering a specific target to the researchers for developing new therapies.

This research by Dr. Kolls and Children’s pulmonologist Patricia Dubin, MD, highlights that IL-23 is an important mediator to an inflammatory response.

Thursday 29, Apr 2010

Abnormal brain function could find a link with distorted body image

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Abnormal brain function could find a link with distorted body imageNearly three million Americans suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) or dysmorphophobia, which is a hidden disease in the sense that patients try altering their appearance through plastic surgeries perceiving themselves to have a physical flaw or ugly.

Sanjaya Saxena, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, is leading a study for identifying brain structure abnormalities that are associated with this complication besides determining how these abnormalities can be altered with treatment.

Saxena hopes to find out if venlafaxine (Effexor), a drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety disorders can be used to treat BDD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Compulsive Hoarding.

Wednesday 28, Apr 2010

Potential regenerative effect seen by hormone replacement in joint fluid

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Potential regenerative effect seen by hormone replacement in joint fluidConcentrations of the sex hormones, testosterone in men and estrogen in women can have a positive effect on the regenerative potential of cartilage tissue as per German researchers.

It was suggested by the study that hormone replacement in the joint fluid of men and women can be advantageous for treating late stages of human osteoarthritis (OA) by regenerating damaged tissue.

Details of this evidence-based study appeared in an issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology.

Wednesday 28, Apr 2010

Coping strategies offered for relief from summer allergens

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Coping strategies offered for relief from summer allergens  Allergy sufferers can finally have some respite as springtime mountain cedars and tree pollens have generally subsided but summertime is here.

Dr. David Khan, associate professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, said limiting outdoor exposure during peak times, closing the windows, air conditioning, and mask wearing can help people avoid allergies to a significant extent.

Even though heat does not influence pollen amount in the air, it does stimulates the formation of ground-level ozone that can exacerbate symptoms of allergy.

Wednesday 28, Apr 2010

Acute asthma symptoms can be tackled by antibiotic

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acute-asthma-symptoms-can-be-tackled-by-antibioticTelithromycin, an antibiotic made by sanofi-aventis and not currently used for treating asthma, can prove useful in treating acute asthma attacks and was recently termed as a potentially new method to help asthma patients by researchers.

The antibiotic can hasten the recovery time of patients who have had attacks of asthma by three days besides reducing the associated symptoms and improving lung function. Presently, steroids are used to control inflammation of the lungs.

The study investigated 278 patients at 70 centers around the world, including St Mary’s Hospital, London and the team included researchers from Imperial College London, the University of Milan, the University of Auckland, the National Jewish Medical Centre, USA, G.R. Micro Ltd, London, and sanofi-aventis, USA.

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