Browsing Tag: Arthritis Medications

Sleep Deprivation Heart Stress


Not sleeping?  That’s not healthy!

Too little sleep takes a toll on your heart, according to a new study presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), Nov. 27-Dec. 1 in Chicago.

Alexandra Sifferlin reports, about twenty healthy radiologists had their hearts imaged before and after a 24-hour shift where they got an average of three hours of sleep. The also had their blood pressure and heart rate measured, and they provided blood and urine samples. Comparing the two images showed increases in heart strain, which can be a precursor for heart problems. The doctors also showed increases in blood pressure, heart rate and thyroid hormones, which are released in response to stress.

Comment:  Make sure you get your sleep… you life might depend on it!

Drowsy Driving As Bad As Drunk Driving


Drowsy driving almost as bad as being drunk… maybe

AAA Study: Drowsy Driving As Risky As Drunk Driving

Scot Pelley reporting for CBS News stated a new AAA study  suggested “that getting behind the wheel on four or five hours’ sleep is just as dangerous as driving drunk.” According to the broadcast, a little over one in three drivers in the US does not get “the recommended seven hours of sleep daily,” and those who do get “just five or six hours” are “almost twice as likely to be involved in an accident.” As a driver’s hours of sleep decreased, the risk of an accident increased exponentially, with “teenagers, older adults, and people who have a sleep debt” at “the highest risk.”

Comment: Not surprising at all.

Tociluzumab Giant Cell Arteritis


A breakthrough therapy… next

Tocilizumab Receives Breakthrough Designation for GCA

The FDA granted the designation of breakthrough therapy to tocilizumab (Actemra) for treating GCA (Giant Cell Arteritis). This autoimmune disease causes inflammation of arteries both medium and large in size, predominantly in the head, but also in the aorta and branches of the aorta.1

To date, GCA treatment has been limited to high-dose steroids, which are used as an emergency treatment to prevent vision loss and other damage. Long-term, flare-free remission cannot always be maintained with steroids. Because of the variety of symptoms, GCA patients are usually seen by myriad specialists, including rheumatologists.

The FDA gives a breakthrough designation to expedite the development and review of treatments that show early evidence of potential clinical benefit in serious diseases to ensure patients receive access to medication as quickly as possible. Positive results of tocilizumab use in patients with GCA were seen in the Phase 3 GiACTA study. Patients treated with tocilizumab, initially as combination therapy for six months with glucocorticoids, had sustained remission though one year of treatment compared with patients who received only glucocorticoids for six to 12 months.

Comment: GCA is a serious condition and this is great news.

Opioids are Like Guns in the Hands of Children


How bad is the opioid epidemic in the US… worse than you think… particularly for kids…next

Opioids are Like Guns in the Hands of Children

Dr. Jack Cush writing in Rheumnow reported the opioid abuse epidemic is well known and the focus of many regulators and health care personnel.  The problem also affects the youngest Americans, according to a recent Washington Post article.

JAMA Pediatrics reports an analysis of pediatric hospital discharges nationwide between 1997 -2012 and found that 13,052 children were hospitalized for opioid overdoses with Oxycodone, Percocet, codeine and the like narcotics.

There were 176 pediatric deaths attributed to narcotic use. And, the data shows a doubling of opioid poisonings in children during those years. Most of the victims (73.5%) are white, and slightly more than half (53 percent) are female.

The authors draw a parallel between guns and narcotics and the need for parents and grandparents to store these safely and out of reach or access to children and adolescents.

Cush adds, mitigating these risks will require comprehensive strategies that target opioid storage, packaging, and misuse.

Comment: A terrible public health issue that requires our attention.

Mud Bath Therapy Knee Osteoarthritis


Mud… it’s not just for wrestling in anymore

Reported by the Academy of Integrative Pain Management this item…

Mud-Bath Therapy in Addition to Usual Care in Bilateral Knee Osteoarthritis: Economic Evaluation

An economic evaluation of mud-bath therapy was conducted alongside a randomized controlled trial. Patients (103) were randomly assigned to receive either a 2 weeks cycle of MBT in addition to their usual treatment or to continue routine care alone. The European Quality-of-Life Questionnaire-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire was administered at baseline, 2 weeks, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Direct healthcare resource consumption data up until 12 months were derived from a daily diary given to patients and returned at prescheduled follow-up visits. The results of this cost-effectiveness analysis support the use of the mud bath therapy as mid-term complementary therapy in the management of knee OA.

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