How does Tai chi compare with physical therapy for treating knee osteoarthritis? Next
Tai chi equivalent to Physical therapy for knee oa.
Sara Freeman writing for Rheumatology News reported that a study performed at Tufts University showed that tai chi is as effective as standard physical therapy in reducing pain and improving physical function according to a double blind controlled analysis. This benefit did not vary among the four tai chi instructors.
Can pinning joints work for knee osteoarthritis? Next
Joint distraction may prevent need for knee replacement in patients with knee OA
Sara Freeman writing for rheumatology news reported that joint distraction which involves temporarily pinning the knee to relieve mechanical stress may help patients void the need for knee replacement. The study, conducted at the University Medical Center Utrecht and Sint Maartenskliniek in Woerden in the Netherlands showed this procedure may be extremely valuable, particularly in younger individuals.
My comment: Unloading the joint is crucial to slowing down the progression of osteoarthritis of the knee.
Could your diabetes medicine be causing your arthritis? Next
DPP-4 Inhibitors for Diabetes Can Cause Severe Joint Pain, FDA Says
Robert Lowes writing for Medscape reported dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors for type 2 diabetes may cause joint pain so intense it is disabling, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned today.
Fortunately, the pain goes away, usually in less than a month, once patients stop taking the medicine.
The agency said it identified 33 cases of severe joint pains associated with DPP-4 inhibitors from October 16, 2006, through December 31, 2013, in its FDA Adverse Event Reporting System database. Twenty-eight of the cases involved sitagliptin (Januvia, Merck & Co, Inc). Sitagliptin accounts for more than 80% of all DPP-4 prescriptions in the country, according to a spokesperson for Merck.
Saxagliptin (Onglyza, AstraZeneca), linagliptin (Tradjenta, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals), alogliptin (Nesina, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company), and vildagliptin, which is not marketed in the United States, accounted for the rest of the 33 cases.
Reported in Medical Xpress, a research team at York has adapted the astonishing capacity of animals such as newts to regenerate lost tissues and organs caused when they have a limb severed.
The scientists, led by Dr Paul Genever in the Arthritis Research UK Tissue Engineering Centre in the University’s Department of Biology, have developed a technique to rejuvenate cells from older people with osteoarthritis to repair worn or damaged cartilage thus reducing pain.
A patient’s own bone marrow stem cells are, however, a valuable source of potential treatment as they can generate joint tissue the body will not reject when re-implanted. Nevertheless, as people grow older the number of stem cells decreases and those that remain are less able to grow and repair tissue.
Cells in newts can change in response to injury—a process known as dedifferentiation. The cells aggregate and return to a stem cell-like state to allow them to increase in numbers and generate the specialized cells needed for new tissue formation
But this form of tissue regeneration does not occur in humans, so the researchers recreated similar conditions in the laboratory by growing human cells as 3D aggregates.
The research was published in Nature Scientific Reports.
Comment: Interesting stuff.
Depression Linked to CVD Risk in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dr. Laurie Barclay writing in Medscape Rheumatology reported that depressive symptoms, stress, anger/anxiety, and level of social support may affect cardiovascular risk in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a longitudinal cohort study published in Arthritis Care and Research. Appropriate screening and intervention in these patients may reduce their burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Comment: The increased risk of cardiovascular risk has been reported multiple times. This study appears to add a new wrinkle.
Bill Schu writing in HCP Live reported that patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) might find balneotherapy (mineral baths) combined with physical therapy may be more effective than physical therapy alone.
A new Turkish study, published in Archives of Rheumato indicates that bathing in thermal and mineral waters can improve the range of joint muscles, relieve muscle spasms, and maintain or improve functional mobility for knee OA patients.
In the study, 46 patients with knee OA were given either physical therapy alone (hot pack, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, and ultrasonography for the knee region, 45 minutes per day, five days a week for three weeks), or the same physical therapy protocol combined with daily 20-minute balneotherapy sessions five times per week for three weeks.
In both groups, significant improvements were observed for all of the measured variables. The group receiving the combination therapy had significantly superior improvements in all of the parameters compared to the patients who received physical therapy only. Importantly, socio-economic factors were similar across both groups, and both groups were under similar social and environmental conditions. According to the study authors, the effectiveness of balneotherapy can be explained by the thermal, mechanical, and chemical effects, which increase blood flow and vasodilatation, resulting in fresh blood supply and the removal of nociceptive elements and free oxygen radicals.
“In addition,” the authors noted, “hot bath causes elevation of betaendorphin and stress hormone levels, exerting a direct analgesic effect. Heat induces sedation and muscle relaxation and increases mobility.”
Comment: In Europe, balneotherapy is used a lot. Not so in the U.S.
Cartilage regeneration by stem cells could lead to ultimate knee and hip replacements
Pradeep Chakraborty reporting in Control Engineering wrote that a study released in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine shows the promise of stem cells for growing new cartilage to replace the tissue damaged by osteoarthritis or injury.
The team, which included researchers at Ajou University (Seoul) and Jeju University (Jeju), conducted their study on pigs, due to how similar these animals are physiologically to humans.
Stem cells were first collected from human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) obtained from a cord blood bank and mixed with hyaluronic acid and were implanted into an area of cartilage damaged because of osteoarthritis.
“After 12 weeks, there was no evidence of abnormal findings suggesting rejection or infection in any of six treated pigs. The surface of the defect site in the transplanted knees was relatively smooth and had similar coloration and microscopic findings as the surrounding normal cartilage, compared to the knees of a control group of animals that received no cells.
The researchers concluded that these consistent results in animals may be a stepping stone to a human clinical trial in the future.
“These cells are easy to obtain, can be stored in advance and the number of potential donors is high,” said Anthony Atala, M.D., Editor of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “The positive results in multiple species, including the first study of this treatment in large animals, are certainly promising for the many patients requiring treatments for worn and damaged cartilage.”
Which antibiotic should you try to avoid taking, if possible…next
Side effects of fluoroquinolones far more disabling than other antibiotics, experts say
Idelle Davidson writing in the Washington Post reported on the side effects of fluoroquinolones, noting that levofloxacin ranked third “in the number of serious adverse event reports submitted directly to the Food and Drug Administration in 2013,” while ciprofloxacin, another fluoroquinolone, ranked fifth, according to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Experts say that fluoroquinolones “can be far more disabling than other antibiotics” because of the life-altering nature of their side effects, which include tendon rupture, disabling peripheral neuropathy or permanent nerve damage to the arms and legs, eye disorders, psychiatric and nervous system disorders, seizures, ringing in the ears, and burning and tingling sensations.
Comment: I have seen a number of tendon issues associated with these fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
Now here’s a real problem if you’re a man with gout… next
Men With Gout May Face Higher Risk Erectile Dysfunction.
Judy Charnow writing in Renal and Urology News reported that research suggests that “men with gout are at increased risk erectile dysfunction (ED).” The findings were published online in The Journal of Rheumatology.
Comment: Hmmm. Seems like the little blue pill may not work here.