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Archive for  December 2009

Thursday 31, Dec 2009

People with mild, persistent asthma now can expect great relief

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People with mild, persistent asthma now can expect great reliefAccording to a new research, asthmatics with mild asthma can effectively manage their ailment with a twice-daily use of inhaled steroids or switching to a daily pill.

Stephen P. Peters, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and a professor of pediatrics, internal medicine-pulmonary and associate director of the Center for Human Genomics, remarked that this is good news for asthma patients with a mild and persistent form of the disease as it offers them more choices when it comes to disease management.

The results were reported in the May 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Peters said that the study suggests that patients administered with twice-daily fluticasone and managing their ailment effectively may be switched to once-daily flucitasone/salmeterol without increased rates of treatment failure. He also said that montelukast, which fairs poorly when compared to inhaled medications, may still be considered as an option as a majority of patients also did well on this treatment.

Thursday 31, Dec 2009

Prazosin inhibits brain damage caused from post-traumatic stress disorder

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Prazosin inhibits brain damage caused from post-traumatic stress disorderPrazosin, which is prescribed as an antipsychotic medication, can also be used for treating prostate enlargement and high blood pressure caused by post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and schizophrenia.

The medication tends to block the increase of glucocorticoids (steroid hormones), according to researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University and Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center.


S. Paul Berger, M.D., study’s co-author and assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine and the PVAMC, said corticosteroids may not be termed as good in cognitive terms.

Thursday 31, Dec 2009

New approaches identified to prevent transplant rejection

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New approaches identified to prevent transplant rejectionPatients must make use of medicines that weaken their entire immune systems for preventing the rejection of newly transplanted organs and cells. These potentially life-saving treatments may, paradoxically, leave those administered with them susceptible to life-endangering complications.

However, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have now discovered the basic behind triggering of the immune system in context to an attack transplanted cells in the very first place.

Research on that TH17 branch has already sparked interest of many pharmaceutical companies. It was predicted by Serody that there would be a number of drugs coming out in the coming few years for treating immune-based skin diseases.

Thursday 31, Dec 2009

Pneumonia effectively treatable with steroids

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Pneumonia effectively treatable with steroidsScientists from the UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that adding corticosteroids to the traditional antimicrobial therapy may help pneumonia patients more than with antibiotics alone. Corticosteroids are generally used for treating inflammation in concern with infectious diseases while anabolic steroids are used for bulking up muscle.

Dr. Robert Hardy, associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics and the study’s senior author, was of the view that there is no truth in the long held belief that steroids counteract the effect of the antibiotic.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study besides Dr. Hardy were Dr. Christine Salvatore, infectious-disease fellow in pediatrics; Dr. Chonnamet Techasaensiri, postdoctoral trainee in pediatrics; Dr. Asunción Mejías, assistant professor of pediatrics; Dr. Juan Torres, visiting senior researcher in pediatrics; Kathy Katz, senior research associate in pediatrics; and Dr. Ana Maria Gomez, assistant professor of pathology, some researchers from the University of Milan also contributed to the study.

Wednesday 30, Dec 2009

Minimizing eosinophilic airway inflammation in severe asthma

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Minimizing eosinophilic airway inflammation in severe asthmaA high dosage of extra intramuscular corticosteroids can result in almost-complete disappearance of eosinophilic cells leading to reduced use of “rescue” medications apart from facilitating improvements in lung function tests of patients. This finding was revealed by investigators during a study of patients with severe asthma having eosinophils in their sputum despite extensive antiasthma medication.

Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that constitute around 1-3 percent of the total white cell count in the body. When infectious cells or foreign substances enter the body, lymphocytes and neutrophils attract eosinophils that release toxic substances to destroy abnormal cells.

The authors note that injected corticosteroids can reach the region of bone marrow besides minimizing eosinophils being produced by processes involving inflamed tissue.

Wednesday 30, Dec 2009

New approach for treating severe asthma identified

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New approach for treating severe asthma identifiedAccording to a small study, a potential new treatment approach for treating severe asthma has been identified. This approach is aimed at blockage of a powerful immune system chemical that is present in large quantities in patients with severe form of asthma.

It is considered that one in every ten asthmatics suffers from the severe form of the disease that occasionally requires progressively higher doses of steroids in an attempt to control symptoms.

The authors caution that further research is required before this approach can be recommended at any stage but that does not mean, in any way, that this approach is not a potentially new avenue of treatment for severe asthma.

Wednesday 30, Dec 2009

Telithromycin can effectively treat acute asthma attacks

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Telithromycin can effectively treat acute asthma attacksTelithromycin, an antibiotic, has been found to be an effective option for treating acute asthma attacks. This finding was highlighted in a research published in the New England Journal of Medicine that demonstrated that the antibiotic can be used to provide relief to patients suffering from asthma.

The team of involved researchers was 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.

It is worth noting here that treatment for some serious asthma attacks may involve the use of steroids to control lung inflammation and bronchodilators to open airways.

Wednesday 30, Dec 2009

Gene activity affected by steroid hormones

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Gene activity affected by steroid hormonesAs per a research by scientists at the University of Bristol and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), USA, gene activity can be affected via intermittent signaling by steroid hormones.

These findings were published online and appeared in the September 2009 issue of Nature Cell Biology.

It is believed that this finding would have major implications to ascertain how steroids work besides opening novel avenues to new therapies.

It is considered by members of the medical fraternity that such studies would help in defining the potential role of ultradian application of glucocorticoid receptor therapy to a significant extent.

Tuesday 29, Dec 2009

Short, frequent lower intensity exercise bouts can enhance body image

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Short, frequent lower intensity exercise bouts can enhance body imageAccording to a new University of Florida study, the simple acts of exercise and not fitness itself can convince you about your “smart” appearance.

It was remarked by Heather Hausenblas, a UF exercise psychologist, that individuals who do not attain workout milestones like gaining strength, boosting cardiovascular fitness, and losing fat feel as good as their more athletic peers.

This study was published in the September issue of the Journal of Health Psychology.

Kathleen Martin Ginis, a kinesiology professor at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and exercise expert remarked while praising this research by saying that this study shows that any exercise on a regular basis can help individuals feel better about their bodies and frequent bouts of lower intensity exercise can easily enhance body image.

Tuesday 29, Dec 2009

Possible link between diabetes, atherosclerosis, and psoriasis

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Possible link between diabetes, atherosclerosis, and psoriasisDermatologist Michael David, MD, Dermatology Department at Rabin Medical Center, Tel Aviv, Israel, and his colleagues, have found an increased occurrence of diabetes and atherosclerosis in psoriasis patients compared to patients without psoriasis. This finding was published in an issue of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that is characterized by thick, red, scaly plaques that itch and featured by bleeding at times to result in discomfort and emotional stress for patients.

This finding is believed to give relief to 2-4 percent of the worldwide population affected by psoriasis, including approximately 5.8 to 7.5 million Americans affected by the condition.

Dr. David remarked that though the study suggested an association between psoriasis, diabetes and atherosclerosis, the cause of this association is not known by now besides why there is an increased risk of both conditions in women and certain age groups.

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