Immunosuppresives Do Not Increase Breast Cancer Recurrence

Do the immunosuppressive drugs used in rheumatoid arthritis treatment increase cancer risk?  The answer next…

Most immunosuppressive drugs do not significantly increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence

Dr. Lara Pullen writing in Arthritis and Rheumatology reported on a study involving 3 large populations of women with rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease who had undergone surgery for primary breast cancer. What the researchers found was that the risk of breast cancer recurrence in patients who received methotrexate or anti-TNF therapy did not have a significant risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Comment: I think this is reassuring news for clinicians who choose to start methotrexate or anti-TNF therapy in rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease patients with treated breast cancer.

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Arthroscopic Surgery for Degenerative Meniscus Tears Increases Risk of Total Knee Replacement

Your orthopedic surgeon wants to do arthroscopic surgery for your meniscus… better watch out!

Arthroscopic surgery for degenerative meniscus tears increases risk for eventual knee replacement

A recent study published in the journal Osteoarthritis Cartilage showed that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who undergo arthroscopic surgery for degenerative meniscus tears are at markedly increased risk for potentially having total joint replacement. In the study, 335 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee underwent arthroscopic surgery for degenerative meniscus tears. They were followed for two years.

The authors demonstrated that in patients with knee osteoarthritis, arthroscopic knee surgery with meniscectomy is associated with a 3 fold increase in the risk for future knee replacement surgery.

Comment: Don’t do it if you can avoid it. The meniscus serves of function. It helps to cushion the knee. Any meniscus tissue should be preserved.

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Glass of Red Wine Equals Hour at Gym

Want to hit the gym now. Wait… maybe there’s an alternative… next

A new study says a glass of red wine is the equivalent to an hour at the gym.

Research conducted by the University of Alberta, Canada has found that health benefits in resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, are similar to those we get from exercise.

Resveratrol was seen to improve physical performance, heart function and muscle strength in the same way as they’re improved after a gym session.

According to lead researcher, Jerry Behrens, these findings will particularly help those who are unable to exercise. Discussion over the health benefits of red wine have been well documented. Studies have revealed that those who drink a glass of red wine a day are less likely to develop dementia or cancer, that it’s good for your heart, anti-ageing and can regulate blood sugar.

Comment: And you sweat a lot less too.

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Anti-Cytokines For Depression

A novel treatment for depression… next

Anti-cytokines reduce depression symptoms in clinical trials

Honor Whiteman writing in MNT reported researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 20 clinical trials that assessed the effects of anti-cytokine monoclonal antibodies and cytokine inhibitors in more than 5,000 patients with autoimmune diseases. These are biologic drugs commonly used to treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

On investigating the additional benefits of the anti-cytokine medications in each trial – seven of which were randomized controlled trials involving a placebo – the team found that the drugs led to a significant reduction in symptoms of depression among participants, regardless of whether they were effective against autoimmune diseases.

While further studies are required, the researchers say their results suggest anti-cytokine medications may be a feasible treatment option for patients with depression – particularly for those who do not respond to current antidepressants.

“About a third of patients who are resistant to antidepressants show evidence of inflammation,” notes Dr. Golam Khandaker, of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. “So, anti-inflammatory treatments could be relevant for a large number of people who suffer from depression.”

Comment: Another set of drugs crosses over to a new discipline.


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C Diff Spread By Household Members Including Pets

An unlikely source of c diff next…

Blame the Dog: Tracking C. Difficile Infections

Megan Daily writing for MD reported a small Montreal study shows children and in some cases even the family dog play a part in recurrent hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infections continued spread in the community.

“Our research suggests that household transmission from patients with C. difficile infection could be responsible for a bacterial reservoir for community-associated cases,” said lead author Vivan Loo, McGill University professor, infectious disease specialist and medical microbiologist at the McGill University Health Centre and investigator at its Research Institute.

C Diff Spread By Household Members Including Pets

Published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology “Household Transmission of clostridium difficile to family members and domestic pets” followed 51 patients treated for C. difficile infection in hospital or outpatient settings.  Researchers made home visits on a monthly basis and took stool samples from the entire household, including any domestic animals.

The results revealed 13.4 percent of the 67 human household contacts had C. difficile isolated from their stool or rectal samples.  One adult household member had diarrhea and the remaining 8 were asymptomatically colonized. Sixty-six percent of those colonized were younger than five years old, including five in diapers.

More than a quarter (26.7 percent) of the 15 domestic pets were asymptomatic carriers of the bacterium, as well.
The study concluded that pets can be reservoirs for re-infection or transmission of C. difficile whose spores can persist in the environment for months and spread through the air with as little effort as it takes to shake out a blanket when changing a patients sheets.

Comment: Better quarantine Fido…

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Medical Marijuana Neuropathic Pain

Is weed good for pain?  Here’s a study to ponder…

Medical Marijuana:  Low THC Sufficient For Neuropathic Pain 

Caitlyn Fitzpatrick writing in MD reported study results on the analgesic effect of cannabis have been mixed over the years. However, many states allow prescriptions for medical marijuana for a variety of health conditions, including pain. A recent study published in The Journal of Pain looked at the effect of marijuana treatment on neuropathic pain.

A team of researchers based in California conducted eight-hour human analyses to determine pain level outcomes with the use of vaporized cannabis. The cohort included 42 patients with neuropathic pain related to an injury or disease of the spinal cord. Although most of the participants were also on a traditional treatment, they were still experiencing pain.

The patients were randomized to take four puffs of vaporized cannabis that contained either placebo, 2.9%, or 6.7% delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Three hours later, the participants took another four to eight puffs – the number of puffs was decided by the patient in order to reduce the placebo effect.

An 11-point numerical pain intensity rating scale showed that the vaporized cannabis produced a significant analgesic response.

Two of the highlighted findings included:

  • There was significantly more pain relief with active cannabis than placebo.
  • The two active doses did not have significantly different outcomes when it came to analgesic potency.

Comment:  Hmmm.  Pot appears to work, I guess.

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Increase in Youth Soccer Related Injuries

Got a kid or grandkid playing soccer, here’s some news…

Study Reveals Increase In Soccer-Related Injuries, Concussions

Lindsey Tanner writing for the AP reported research has found an increase in soccer-related injuries among kids in the US being sent to emergency departments. The trend is “driven in part by young players with concussions seeking urgent medical care.” The findings were based on 25 years of data and found that the overall rate of injuries has “more than doubled to 220 per 10,000 players in 2013, from 106 per 10,000 players in 1990.”

Comment: One of my sons when he was playing soccer had 2 concussions.  This is a serious issue.

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More American Adults Used Prescription Pain Medications Than Tobacco Products Last Year

A really frightening statistic… next

More American Adults Used Prescription Pain Medications Than Tobacco Products Last Year, Report Shows

Christopher Ingraham writing in the Washington Post reported more American adults used prescription pain medications than tobacco products last year, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The report found that 38 percent of US adults used prescription pain medications last year.

Comment:  Prescription pain killer drugs are the perilous road to opioid addiction.

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Inflammation Triggers

A look at what type of lifestyle habits can play a role in triggering inflammation.

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