Stem Cells for Stroke



Stem cells… a breakthrough… I mean a huge one next.

Researchers use stem cells to restore motor function in stroke patients

Ariana Cha writing in the Washington Post reported that scientists “studying the effect of stem cells injected directly into the brains of stroke patients said…that they were ‘stunned’ by the extent to which the experimental treatment restored motor function in some of the patients.” Although the study “involved only 18 patients and was designed primarily to look at the safety of such a procedure and not its effectiveness, it is creating significant buzz in the neuroscience community because the results appear to contradict a core belief about brain damage – that it is permanent and irreversible.” The findings were published in Stroke.

Comment: Wow.  Double wow.


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Spironlactone for Knee Effusion



An old drug with a new use… next

Low-dose spironolactone seen as safe, effective treatment for patients with OA-related knee effusion

Reported in Healio… “Low dose spironolactone is a safe, effective and noninvasive treatment for osteoarthritis-related effusion. It is effective in mild and moderate cases and, to a lesser extent, in severe cases,” Sarah Ohrndorf, MD, specialist in internal medicine/rheumatology in the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at Charité University Hospital in Berlin.

Researchers categorized 200 patients with unilateral knee effusion related to osteoarthritis (OA) into four groups with 50 patients in group 1 receiving spironolactone for 2 weeks, 50 patients in group 2 receiving ibuprofen for 2 weeks, 50 patients in group 3 using cold compresses twice daily for 2 weeks and 50 patients in group 4 receiving placebo for 2 weeks.  Group 1 outperformed all other groups.

Comment: Who would have thunk it?


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Nanoparticles Rheumatoid Arthritis



A novel method for detection and treatment in rheumatoid arthritis… next

Rheumatoid Arthritis Effectively Diagnosed And Treated With Biodegradable Nanoparticles In Early Study

Dr. Patricia Inacio writing in Rheumatoid Arthritis News reported biodegradable polymer nanoparticles (BNPs), tiny particles made of a biodegradable polymer, appear to be quite useful for the early detection and for long-term, effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with minimal side effects, according to a study presented at the recent . These particles, once coated with a molecule that specifically targets inflamed joint tissues, ensure a high degree of efficacy in delivering both diagnostic probes and drugs to arthritic joints.

Dr. Paolo Macor, the study’s lead investigator from the Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Italy said “There is a need to develop a new tool to enable early diagnosis, and also to develop tissue-specific agents able to reduce systemic side effects. This would increase the potency of drugs with lower doses, and also potentially reduce the cost of treatment,” Dr. Macor said.

Comment: Exciting and I look forward to hearting more.


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Vagus Nerve Stimulation Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis



Here’s an interesting twist on rheumatoid arthritis treatment… next

Nerve Stimulation ‘Eases Symptoms’ Of Chronic Condition Rheumatoid Arthritis

Olivia Lerche writing in the Express reported scientists believe stimulating the vagus nerve, which controls electrical signals to the stomach, heart and lungs, can significantly reduce pain and swelling caused by chronic joint inflammation.

The nerve can be stimulated with an electrical device surgically implanted into the body to send pulses through the vagus at various intervals.

Clinical trial data published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) revealed stimulating the vagus nerve with a bioelectronic device significantly improved the level of disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Comment: Wow. This is unreal … I really am excited about this one.


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TV Watching Stunts Bone Growth



A common activity that may stunt your growth… next

TV Watching Stunts Bone Growth, Study Finds

Megan Daily writing in MD reported long periods of television watching could have the same negative effects on kids’ bone growth as total bed rest, an Australian study found.

Australian research presented in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research shows decreased bone mass in young adults who spent more of their childhood hours in front of a television set.

Of more than1,000 young men and women scanned at age 20 those who had watched 14 or more hours of TV each week as children and adolescents had less bone mineral content than their peers.

Comment: Wow… that’s pretty alarming.

 


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Fecal Transplants Effective Against C Difficile



Is there an effective treatment for c diff.?  Found out next.

Fecal Transplants Effective Against C. Difficile Infections, Study Finds

Carl Zimmer writing in the New York Times  reported that fecal transplants appear to be “remarkably effective” against “potentially fatal infections of bacteria known as Clostridium difficile.” In a study, investigators “isolated the spores of about 50 different species of bacteria found in stool samples donated by healthy people.” Next, researchers put “the spores” into capsules, “which they gave to 30 patients with C. difficile infections.” Notably, 29 of those 30 patients recovered. While no one knows for sure how fecal transplants work, experts theorize that bacteria from a healthy donor’s GI tract may “be able to gobble up nutrients that compete with invaders like C. difficile which are needed to survive.” The findings were published July 15 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Comment: C diff is an awful disease to have and is responsible for many deaths, particularly among older individuals.  This is welcome news.


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Fecal Transplants Effective Against C. Difficile Infections



Is there an effective treatment for c diff.? Found out next.

Fecal Transplants Effective Against C. Difficile Infections

Study finds Carl Zimmer writing in the New York Times reported that fecal transplants appear to be “remarkably effective” against “potentially fatal infections of bacteria known as Clostridium difficile.” In a study, investigators “isolated the spores of about 50 different species of bacteria found in stool samples donated by healthy people.” Next, researchers put “the spores” into capsules, “which they gave to 30 patients with C. difficile infections.” Notably, 29 of those 30 patients recovered. While no one knows for sure how fecal transplants work, experts theorize that bacteria from a healthy donor’s GI tract may “be able to gobble up nutrients that competing invaders like C. difficile need to survive.” The findings were published July 15 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Comment: C diff is an awful disease to have and is responsible for many deaths, particularly among older individuals. This is welcome news.

 


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Nose Cartilage Helps Knee Osteoarthritis



Did you know your nose could help your knees.  Find out how next…

Aching Knee? Surgeons Pioneer Groundbreaking New Operation Taking Tissue From The NOSE To Grow Cartilage That May Be Due To Osteoarthritis!

Roger Dobson writing for the Daily Mail reported surgeons are taking tissue from the nose to grow cartilage to fix knee-joint pain.
The operation sees cartilage harvested from the nose, which is then used to grow patches of tissue to be transplanted on to knee joints.

The procedure is regarded as particularly beneficial for osteoarthritis patients, or those at risk of the joint disease, and doctors carrying out the operation say it could help thousands of people.

The most widely used procedure to repair the injury involves trimming any remaining damaged tissue and drilling holes in the bone beneath the defect to trigger bleeding and scar tissue that, it is hoped, can work as a substitute tissue.

But according to the NHS, results are variable, with studies suggesting that it offers only short-term benefits and does not lead to the formation of new cartilage.

Comment: The procedure is a bit risky for only short term relief but maybe it will improve.

For more information on regrowing cartilage for knee osteoarthritis, click this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F59HYQhHjU

 


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Mediterranean Diet Prevents Disease



Could diet cure your ailments? Maybe… next

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.


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Stem Cells for Hip Osteoarthritis



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..


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