Arthritis Drug Prevents Memory Loss After Surgery

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Arthritis Drugs Could Help Prevent Memory Loss

After  Surgery, Study Suggests

From Science Daily comes this gem.  Anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis may also help prevent cognitive problems after surgery, according to a new study by researchers at Imperial College London and University of California, San Francisco

The research also reveals that a specific inflammatory response in the brain may explain why many patients experience memory loss or other forms of cognitive dysfunction after surgery or critical illness.  Their work was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. For years, doctors have been unable to explain why some patients, especially the elderly, experience confusion, learning disorders and memory loss after surgery – a condition clinicians call post-operative cognitive decline. New research suggests that it is caused by cell-to-cell signaling molecules called cytokines released by cells of the immune system. There are drugs already in use that target the activity of cytokines so it is possible that these drugs could be effective against cognitive decline.

Comment: This is another example of how a medicine used to treat one type of illness may have applications in others.

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CDC Report: Almost 30% Of US Adults Do Not Exercise

In case you missed it, a story reported by Diane Sawyer on ABC News “A red alert about a health crisis that is threatening lives but something that can be prevented, can be changed.

The CDC announced the results of a comprehensive survey which lays out what’s needed if Americans are going to cut doctor bills and the ever-increasing consumption of prescription drugs.” ABC correspondent David Muir added, “Beyond being overweight as nation,” a new “map reveals the correlation between weight and disease and now skyrocketing doctor’s bills because of it.” Muir said the CDC data indicate that “nearly 30% of adults get no exercise at all.”

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Stress Fractures Related To Overuse Common In  Teen Athletes

Alan Mozes writing in HealthDay reported, “Stress fractures linked to overuse may be more common than thought among high school athletes, especially among those who participate in running-related sports,” according to findings presented at the meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Between 2007 and 2010,” the researchers tracked the “frequency and nature of stress fractures among student athletes enrolled at 57 participating high schools.” Athletic trainers at each school were “asked to fill out information forms outlining each young athlete’s sport history, skill level, training intensity, dietary routine and fracture details.”

According to Kathleen Doheny in WebMD,  “230 stress fractures were  reported in 189 athletes, affecting 115 girls (61%) and 74 boys (39%).” The bones most often fractured were: “Tibia (shin bone): 48%; Long bones in the forefoot: 19%; Spine: 6%; Pelvis: 6%; Hindfoot: 4%” and Femur (thigh bone): 4%.” Males were most likely to “get fractures from track, football, and cross country” and females, from “track and cross country.”

Comment: I think we may be pushing our kids too much when it comes to athletics.  These injuries lead to arthritis later on in life.

 

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RA Patients With Poor Sleep At Greater Risk For Pain.

Bill Hendrick writing for WebMD reported, “People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who don’t sleep well face significant risks of greater functional disability due to pain and fatigue symptoms associated with poor sleep quality,” according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The researchers asked 162 patients, who had RA on average for 14 years, to provide “information concerning fatigue, depression, severity of pain, and functional disability.” The results showed that “61% of participants were poor sleepers” of whom 33% reported having “pain that disturbed their sleep at least three times per week.” Another study showing the correlation between poor sleep and pain.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients and Doctors Differ on Disease Severity Assessment

From ScienceDaily comes this article… A novel study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that nearly one-third of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients differed from their physicians in assessment of their disease severity. The disagreement between patient and doctor evaluation of RA activity was most prevalent in patients with depressive symptoms, and those who had poor overall function. The study was published in Arthritis Care & Research.  “We found clinically meaningful differences between patient and physician assessments of RA disease severity in 36% of cases,” confirmed Dr. Jennifer Barton. “In an overwhelming majority (85%) of these discordant pairs, the physicians’ assessments underscored the patients’ assessments.” Dr. Barton concluded, “Further investigation of the relationships between mood, disease activity, and discordance may help guide interventions that improve RA patient care.”

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