Mediterranean Diet May Reduce Incidence Of Certain Diseases, Study Suggests
Jacqueline Howard writing for CNN reported new research suggests that a Mediterranean diet rich in “healthy” fats may reduce the risk of incidence of “heart disease, breast cancer and type 2 diabetes.” For the meta-analysis, researchers reviewed 332 previous studies and analyzed around 56 of them, “taking a close look at the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet that included a lot of fat.” The findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, “showed that even though such a diet may not affect overall mortality, it may be effective at reducing incidences of certain diseases.”
Comment: Diet is often overlooked when it comes to disease treatment. It is extremely important… maybe more than we think.
Hope for young people with bad osteoarthritis of the hips… next
Stem Cells Could Replace Hip Replacements
Christopher Wanjek writing for Live science reported scientists have coaxed stem cells to grow new cartilage on a scaffold shaped like the ball of a hip joint. This is a major step toward being able one day to use a patient’s own cells to repair a damaged joint, thus avoiding the need for extensive joint-replacement surgery.
In addition, the scientists used gene therapy to grant this new cartilage the ability to release anti-inflammatory molecules when needed. If done in patients, this technique could help prevent a return of arthritis, if that was what damaged the joint in the first place.
The new technique may be ready to test in humans within three to five years and may ultimately work with other joints, such as knees, said Farshid Guilak, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who co-led the project.
Comment: We stopped doing stem cell procedures for hips at our center because we weren’t getting the results we wanted. While this approach looks like it might work I’m reserving judgement. The hip has a unique mechanical structure that makes any type of stem cell procedure problematic..
Fibromyalgia… it’s more than just minor aches and pains
Fibromyalgia Worsens Psoriatic Arthritis Outcomes
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick writing in MD reported on a recent study. Published in The Journal of Rheumatology, the researchers looked at 73 patients with psoriatic arthritis. Forty-two participants (57.5%) were females and the average age was nearly 52. Clinical disease activity was measured using multiple different scales. Also, using the American College of Rheumatism criteria, fibromyalgia was diagnosed in 13 patients (17.8%) – 12 of which were female.
Twenty-six patients (43.3%) with just psoriatic arthritis met the criteria for minimal disease activity, however, none of the participants who had fibromyalgia did.
The big takeaway here is that the presence of fibromyalgia worsened all psoriatic arthritis disease activity scores.
Comment: Not surprising. The association of fibromyalgia with all forms of inflammatory arthritis is not a good combination.
Wow… a new development that may help erase osteoarthritis… next
Unique Gel Combats Inflammation
Jessa Gamble writing for the Atlantic reported researchers have created a gel that can attach to inflammation sites and slowly deliver drugs to combat a wide variety of ailments—ulcerative colitis, arthritis and mucositis, to name a few. Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response, bringing extra blood to an injured area, but in cases of chronic inflammation, the heat, pain, and swelling become a problem. Developed at the Laboratory for Accelerated Medical Innovation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the hydrogel—a solid material with high water content—can carry a combination of drugs, and matches its drug release to the level of inflammation around it.
When the gel is injected into the joint of an arthritis patient, for example, it will only release its anti-inflammatory payload when the patient is experiencing a flare, a spike in pain and swelling. When it encounters healthy tissue, it stays intact and does not release its payload.
“There are lots of enzymes present in inflammation that can degrade the gel,” explains Jeff Karp, the principal investigator. That breakdown of the gel releases the drug it carries.
Comment: This looks promising… Stay tuned.
One very important determinant of response to methotrexate…
Anxiety Prior To Methotrexate Therapy May Result In Non-Response At 6 Months
Reported in Healio… patients with rheumatoid arthritis who experience anxiety prior to the start of methotrexate therapy may have non-response at 6 months due to poor adherence, according to results presented at the EULAR Annual Congress.
“From a long list of lifestyle, clinical and psychosocial predictors at baseline, BMI, smoking and DAS28 score were each shown to significantly predict non-response 6 months after patients had started treatment with methotrexate,” Suzan Verstappen, of the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, said in a press release. “Of particular interest, however, is the role of participant anxiety on starting treatment with methotrexate in predicting response, which is likely to be the result of its negative effect on adherence.”