Spider venom for osteoarthritic pain

Do you like spiders?  You may after this next post…

Spider venom for osteoarthritic pain

Rachel Worsley writing in Rheumatology Update reported painkillers based on spider venom may be a few years away from bringing relief to neuropathic and osteoarthritis pain sufferers, according to Queensland researchers.

Researchers led by Professor Glenn King from the University of Queensland have begun isolating unique peptides that could target voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7, a key player in the human pain signalling pathway.

Blocking that pathway could mean an end to all kinds of pain, including neuropathic and osteoarthritis pain.


Comment: Itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout…

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Feeling younger than chronological age may help preserve memory, cognitive function

Here’s how you can feel 20 years younger….

Feeling younger than chronological age may help preserve memory, cognitive function

Ann Lukits writing in the Wall Street Journal reported eeling younger than one’s real age could help to preserve memory and cognitive function as people get older, says a study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

The study comes as recent research suggests aging is both a subjective and biological experience. A younger self-image was more common in physically active people with a lower body-mass index, the latest study found.

The study, conducted by researchers in France, analyzed data from 1,352 men and women, age 50 to 75 years old, who were enrolled in a larger U.S. study in the mid-1990s. Participants were asked how old they felt most of the time and how often they participated in moderate or vigorous exercise. Other information, such as the presence of chronic diseases, was recorded.

After about 10 years, cognitive function was assessed with tests of memory and executive function, the capacity to plan and carry out complex tasks. The study found that, on average, the participants felt 19% younger than their chronological age. Of the subjects, 89% felt younger and 11% felt older than their actual age. Those who felt older than their age scored 25% lower on memory and cognitive tests than those who felt younger.

Comment: Not that hard to knock off the unwanted years is it?

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No Extra Risk With Zoster Vax in RA Patients on Biologics

Is shingles vaccine safe for arthritis patients on biologic therapy?

No Extra Risk With Zoster Vax in RA Patients on Biologics

Kate Johnson writing for MedPage Today reported herpes zoster vaccination appears to be safe in patients treated with biologic therapies for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS), despite widespread recommendations against this practice, a new study suggests.

Among 176 patients vaccinated against HZ while on biologic therapy, a protocol of withholding one dose of biologic therapy and replacing it with the vaccine has resulted in no complications of disseminated HZ disease and no increased incidence of HZ in the 6-week, post-vaccination window.

The practice “appears safe using this protocol,” said Stephen Lindsay, MD, Chief of Rheumatology at the Ochsner Clinic.

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Running Won’t Raise Risk of Knee Osteoarthritis, Study Says

Does running increase your chance of getting osteoarthritis of the knees?  The answer next…

Running Won’t Raise Risk of Knee Arthritis, Study Says


Robert Preidt writing in Healthday reported regular running doesn’t seem to increase your chances of developing knee osteoarthritis, and it may even help prevent the disease, researchers report.

The researchers analyzed data from more than 2,600 people who provided information about the three most common types of physical activity they did at different times in their lives. The average age of the study volunteers was 64. The time periods asked about were 12-18, 19-34, 35-49, and 50 and older. Among the participants, 29 percent said they were runners at some point in their lives.

Runners, no matter what the age when they were active runners, had knee pain less often than people who didn’t run, according to the study. They also had fewer symptoms and evidence of knee arthritis than non-runners did, the researchers found.

The findings indicate that regular running does not increase the risk of knee arthritis, and may even protect against it, concluded the authors of the study.

Comment : good news for runners

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Acoustic technique developed to detect knee osteoarthritis

Sound waves to detect osteoarthritis? Next…

Acoustic technique developed to detect knee osteoarthritis

A revolutionary medical technique using sound waves to identify osteoarthritis in the knee has been developed by researchers.

The UK is leading this new field of health research based on listening to the sounds emitted by the body.

Potentially, this could transform the ways in which knee osteoarthritis is assessed and treated

Microphones are attached to the knees of patients, and the high frequency sound waves emanating from their knees are measured as they stand up. These acoustic emissions are interpreted by computer software to give information about the health of the patient’s knee.

The portable device could eventually be used by GPs, hospital doctors and nurses to assess patients with knee osteoarthritis regularly to see whether the knee is changing or responding to treatment.

Comment: Sounds good.

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Drinking Lots Of Milk May Not Reduce Fracture Risk.

You might want to talk with your mother about this next one…

Drinking Lots Of Milk May Not Reduce Fracture Risk.

BBC News reported that according to a study published in the British Medical Journal, “drinking lots of milk may not lower the risk of fracturing bones.” After examining “the dietary habits” of some 106,700 Swedes and following them for up to two decades, researchers found that “women who drank more than three glasses a day were actually more likely to break bones than those who had less.” The women whose milk intake was high also had an increased risk of death, the study found.


Comment: Another sacred cow is shot down. Don’t worry though… next week another study will come out saying drinking milk is good for you.

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NSAIDS Increase Mortality

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs increase mortality rate

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Having Children Increases Risk of RA

Another risk factor for developing RA… and a surprising one

Researchers Link Childbearing, RA.

Reported in the Huffington Post,  research suggests having children can increase a woman’s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. The research, presented at a meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, suggests that “[Fetal] cells from an unborn baby may remain in a mother’s body for decades and trigger an immune reaction linked to the disease.”

Comment: Very interesting and somewhat disturbing.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that typically affects the small joints in your hands and feet. Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity. (http://www.mayoclinic.org)

Dr. Wei is a board-certified rheumatologist and regenerative medicine expert.  He is director of the Arthritis Treatment Center located in Frederick, Maryland.

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Scientists prove link between viral infection and autoimmune disease

What causes autoimmune disease?  Could it be a virus?

Scientists prove link between viral infection and autoimmune disease

Common viral infections can pave the way to autoimmune disease, Australian scientists have revealed in breakthrough research published internationally today.

David Stacey writing in medical Express reported Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti, from The University of Western Australia and the Lions Eye Institute, said the research proved a link between chronic viral infection and autoimmune disease.

“This is a very significant discovery because we now know more about the pathways that lead to disease,” Professor Degli-Esposti said.

Published in the leading journal Immunity, the Australian research found that chronic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection could lead to the development of Sjogren’s (SHOW-grins) syndrome.

Comment: We’ve long suspected it.  Now there may be proof.

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