Tired of taking bunches of pills for arthritis? Here’s an alternative… next
Better than a pill: Team to develop new arthritis treatment via silk
Erika Ebsworth-Goold writing in Medical Xpress reported a team of researchers from Washington University in St. Louis will use silk micro-particles to deliver long-lasting therapeutic compounds, helping better alleviate the pain of inflammation and injury.
“We’re starting to see that many areas can’t be reached via oral drug delivery,” said Lori Setton, the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science.
Setton, said an intracellular compound called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) is a main culprit in cellular breakdown, inflammation and pain after an injury. She’s working in the lab on a new solution using silk to deliver two specific molecules that can inhibit NF-kB at the site of a fracture or injury in an effort to stave off long-term joint damage.
“Silk naturally doesn’t interact with water, and, when you mix it with these molecules that also don’t interact with water, they bind to each other very strongly,” Setton said. “We believe these selective compounds are therapeutically effective, but we’ve never been able to get them to their target site. By delivering them with the silk, we hope to get large doses to the target site with low toxicity and to have them remain in that compartment for longer periods of time.”
Silk is an attractive delivery vehicle because of its long history of safe clinical use
According to Setton, the enhanced drug-delivery system has the potential to prevent the onset and progression of joint damage in patients suffering from acute injuries, like minor joint fractures, ligament or meniscal tears.
“Patients with joint trauma tend to go on to develop osteoarthritis at a higher rate compared to someone who doesn’t have the injury,” Setton said. “It’s a whole different type of arthritis development that we don’t know a whole lot about, but we believe we can intervene early with new drug delivery and treatments, and prevent onset at a later stage.”
Forty Million Americans Have Some Hearing Loss Due To Noise, CDC Says
Lenny Bernstein writing in the Washington Post reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that “forty million American adults have lost some hearing because of noise, and half of them suffered the damage outside the workplace, from everyday exposure to leaf blowers, sirens, rock concerts and other loud sounds.” Researchers found that “24 percent of adults had ‘audiometric notches’ – a deterioration in the softest sound a person can hear – in one or both ears.” The data “came from 3,583 people who had undergone hearing tests and reported the results in the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).”
Study Shows How Stress And Heart Problems May Be Linked
Kate Kelland reporting for Reuters stated that research published in The Lancet suggests individuals “with heightened activity in the amygdala, an area of the brain linked to stress, may be at greater risk of heart disease and stroke.”
Jacqueline Howard writing for CNN reported that the study included nearly 300 “adults who underwent PET and CT scans…between 2005 and 2008.” These “scans recorded brain activity, bone marrow activity, spleen activity and inflammation in the heart arteries.” The investigators then “tracked the health of each patient for two to five years, during which 22 of the patients had a cardiovascular disease event.”
Comment: Stress reduction is essential to preventing cardiac events.
A recent study suggests that snow shoveling causes death in men more than women.
Maggie Fox, NBC News, shares a study in which Canadian researchers found a slight increase in both heart attacks and deaths from heart attack in Quebec after a storm. The likelihood went up with each extra day of snow, they reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Typically, men are potentially more likely than women to shovel, particularly after heavy snowfalls. Snow shoveling is a demanding cardiovascular exercise requiring more than 75 percent of the maximum heart rate, particularly with heavy loads.
The team studied 128,000 heart attack cases between 1981 and 2014, and more than 68,000 people who died.
A single day of snowfall raised a man’s risk of heart attack by just less than 1 percent, they wrote, and it raised his risk of dying from a heart attack by 12 percent.
Comment: Chill… Enjoy and Watch the Snow. Or, get the wife to shovel… (just kidding).
Hey… are you a weekend warrior? Here’s some good news for you…
Do Exercise ‘Weekend Warriors’ Lower Their Risk Of Death?
Dr. Jack cush writing in RheumNow reported a new article published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that compared with inactive adults, weekend warriors who performed the recommended amount of 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity in one or two sessions per week had lower risks for death from all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer.
Although it may be easier to fit less frequent bouts of activity into a busy lifestyle, little has been known about the weekend warrior physical activity pattern.
Gary O’Donovan, Ph.D., of Loughborough University, England, and coauthors conducted a pooled analysis of 63,591 adults who responded to English and Scottish household-based surveys. Data were collected from 1994 to 2012. The authors looked at associations between the weekend warrior and other physical activity patterns and the risk for death from all causes, CVD and cancer.
The risk of death from all causes was about 30 percent lower among weekend warrior adults compared with inactive adults, while the risk of CVD death for weekend warriors was 40 percent lower and the risk of cancer death was 18 percent lower.
Which works better for osteoarthritis of the knee? Find out next…
Efficacy Of Platelet-Rich Plasma In The Treatment Of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Meta-Analysis Of Randomized Controlled Trials.
Dr. Jack Cush writing in Rheumnow reported on a large study evaluating the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) vs other therapies. The analysis showed that at 6 months postinjection, PRP and hyaluronic acid (HA) had similar effects with respect to pain relief. At 12 months postinjection, however, PRP was associated with significantly better pain relief than HA. The researchers also noted that PRP did not increase the risk of adverse events compared with HA and saline.
Current evidence indicates that, compared with HA, intra-articular PRP injection may have more benefit in pain relief and functional improvement in patients with symptomatic knee OA at 1 year postinjection.
Comment: PRP is definitely an effective treatment modality for OIA of the knee. It must be administered via US though for best results.
Dr. Jack Cush writing in Rheum Now reviewed the safety of proton pump inhibitors, drugs that have been used for peptic ulcer disease, as well as reflux.
Among the safety concerns are…
PPIs will decrease gastric acid and may affect drug blood levels where absorption is acid dependent, including several antiretroviral and cancer therapy drugs. Other drugs, such as digoxin, may be absorbed more extensively when gastric acid is reduced; thus, digoxin toxicity may occur with PPI use. Warfarin’s effect also is increased in patients taking PPIs. Decreased gastric acid can lower absorption of vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
An analysis of 9 studies found a 40% increased risk of low magnesium with PPI. If severe, hypomagnesemia may lead to muscle weakness, tetany, convulsions, arrhythmias.
Due to the lowering of gastric acidity, there is a higher risk of Clostridium difficile infection and community-acquired pneumonia among PPI users.
Recent large reviews show that there is a 50% increased risk of chronic kidney disease and an increased risk of acute kidney disease with chronic PPI use.
PPIs may decrease bone density and increase fracture risk by reducing intestinal calcium absorption.
Given these impactful risks, clinicians should try to use the lowest possible dose of PPI and to discontinue PPI therapy if it is not essential. The benefits of PPI therapy must be weighed against their potential contribution to harm in susceptible individuals. Some patients may benefit from intermittent or on-demand regimens may be sufficient to manage problems or control symptoms.
Elderly women are three times more likely to fracture hip than male peers, study suggests
Shereen Lehman writing for Reuters reported elderly women are three times more likely to fracture a hip than their male counterparts, according to a study conducted by Spanish researchers that was published in Maturitas. The researchers found that depression and illiteracy increased the risk of fracture for elderly women, while disability and smoking increased the risk of fracture for elderly men. The article mentions the “National Institutes of Health warns that being underweight is a risk factor for poor bone health.”
Comment: There are multiple risk factors for women to consider and know about.
Group Recommends Delaying Umbilical Cord Clamping After Healthy Deliveries
Lauren Neergard reporting for the AP wrote the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released new guidelines recommending that the umbilical cord not be cut for “at least 30 seconds to 60 seconds after birth” for all healthy infants. The AP points out that “it’s common in the U.S. for” physicians “to cut the cord almost immediately, within 15 to 20 seconds of birth, unless the baby is premature.”
Comment: There are quite a few Millennials out there who are still attached to their umbilical cords.