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Medical News

This will become a list of research snippets and other articles of interest from wherever I find them. If someone sends me something good and I have a minute, I will repost the information. They will be posted at random based on what I see in the news, what I happen to be researching at the time, and when I remember to post them. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. It would be a full time job to manage all the health related news. This is simply one resource among many out there.

For a listing of some of the health and medicine new sources, check out the Health News Feeds page on this site.

Diabetes Research shows promise for better control of autoimmune B-cell disease triggers

posted Apr 29, 2009, 4:57 PM by Joseph Carpenter

Potential preventative therapy for Type 1 diabetes
"Public release date: 29-Apr-2009
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Contact: Alison Heather
a.heather@garvan.org.au
61-043-407-1326
Research Australia
Potential preventative therapy for Type 1 diabetes

Scientists believe they may have found a preventative therapy for Type 1 diabetes, by making the body's killer immune cells tolerate the insulin-producing cells they would normally attack and destroy, prior to disease onset.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, where the body attacks its own insulin producing cells. It is very serious, with a sudden and dramatic onset, usually in youth. People with Type 1 diabetes must maintain an insulin-monitoring and insulin-injecting regimen for the rest of their lives.

PhD student Eliana Mariño and Dr Shane Grey, from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, have demonstrated how a particular molecule may be used in future as a preventative therapy. Their findings are published online in the international journal Diabetes.

The body's immune cells, or white blood cells, include B cells and T cells. B cells make antibodies and present 'antigens' to T cells, allowing them to recognise, and kill, invaders.

In previously published studies about Type 1 diabetes, Mariño and Grey showed that groups of B cells migrate to the pancreas and pancreatic lymph nodes, presenting specific insulin antigen to T cells. In other words, B cells go to the disease site and tell T cells to kill the cells that produce insulin.

"Taking that work further, our current study looks at different ways of subduing B cells, and how that affects development of the disease," said Grey.

Working with mice that spontaneously develop Type 1 diabetes, Eliana Mariño found that if she blocked BAFF (a hormone that controls survival of B cells) prior to onset, none of the mice developed diabetes.

"This is a remarkable finding, as other B cell depletion methods tested elsewhere have just delayed or reduced disease incidence," said Eliana.

When B cells were depleted, the regulators of the immune system (a subclass of T cells known as T regulatory cells) rose in numbers.

By removing B cells from the picture for a while, it appears you allow T regulatory cells to function as they should, subduing killer T cells and somehow making them tolerant of the insulin producing cells.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation supported this research. Garvan's Diabetes Vaccine Development Centre (DVDC), the mandate of which is to develop a vaccine for Type 1 Diabetes, is funding further research with the compound.

The molecule used by Grey and colleagues to inhibit BAFF is known as BCMA, and is already being used in clinical trials for other autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren's Syndrome and Lupus.

###

ABOUT GARVAN

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research was founded in 1963. Initially a research department of St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, it is now one of Australia's largest medical research institutions with nearly 500 scientists, students and support staff. Garvan's main research programs are: Cancer, Diabetes & Obesity, Immunology and Inflammation, Osteoporosis and Bone Biology, and Neuroscience. The Garvan's mission is to make significant contributions to medical science that will change the directions of science and medicine and have major impacts on human health. The outcome of Garvan's discoveries is the development of better methods of diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately, prevention of disease.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is the world's largest not-for-profit supporter of diabetes research, investing more than $130 million in the search to find a cure for type 1 diabetes each year. Type 1 diabetes is a disease which strikes people suddenly, makes them dependent on multiple daily injections of insulin to survive and at risk of devastating health complications like blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and amputation. The mission of JDRF is constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 (or juvenile) diabetes affects 140,000 Australians and incidence is increasing every year. Typically striking young people, it results in the destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leaving the sufferer on a daily regime of painful injections and finger-prick tests. Unlike type 2 diabetes, Type 1 cannot be prevented and is not associated in any way with obesity or lifestyle. While insulin keeps people alive, it is not a cure and does not prevent the onset of the serious disease complications that dramatically shorten life expectancy. Research programs such as the ITP offer the best hope for curing this debilitating condition and minimize the estimated ongoing health burden to the community.

DVDC

The DVDC is a major joint initiative of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). It was established in Melbourne in 2003 as a translational research organisation focused on the development of a small number of promising immunotherapies to prevent, delay the progress or ameliorate the effects of type 1 diabetes. It has been positioned to bridge the gap that exists between fundamental research and full-scale clinical product development.

In 2007, DVDC transferred its operational headquarters to Garvan, an institute with a strong commitment to leading edge research in both diabetes and autoimmunity and with a focus on identifying opportunities to translate research findings into clinical treatments and/or therapeutic products. DVDC has recently become a public company limited by guarantee with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research as its sole member.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES
Alison Heather
Science Communications Manager
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
0434 071 326

OR

Lyndal Howison
Media and PR Executive
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
0411 110 717"
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-04/ra-ppt042909.php

Health Care Forum Discusses Role Of Chronic Disease Management In Health Reform

posted Apr 10, 2009, 10:11 AM by Joseph Carpenter   [ updated Apr 10, 2009, 10:13 AM ]

Article Date: 09 Apr 2009 - 0:00 PDT

A bipartisan group of panelists on Tuesday at a health care forum agreed that managing and preventing chronic disease is essential to controlling health care costs and is necessary to achieve comprehensive health care reform, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The forum, sponsored by the advocacy group America's Agenda, featured former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.).
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145655.php

Wristbands Ease Nausea With Cancer Treatment

posted Apr 10, 2009, 9:36 AM by Joseph Carpenter   [ updated Apr 10, 2009, 9:39 AM ]

ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2009) — Cancer patients who wore acupressure wristbands had much less nausea while receiving radiation treatment, making the bands a safe, low-cost addition to anti-nausea medication, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers."
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090408145348.htm

[Note: Since most vasculitis patients are taking some form of chemotherapy to suppress the immune system, and since they are also sensitive to other medications, this non-medicinal remedy for nausea seems especially appropriate. -JWC]

Treatment for Acid Reflux Does Not Improve Asthma

posted Apr 10, 2009, 9:17 AM by Joseph Carpenter   [ updated Apr 10, 2009, 9:17 AM ]

Newswise Medical News | Treatment for Acid Reflux Does Not Improve Asthma
"Newswise — New research suggests that a widely used treatment for persistent acid reflux among asthmatics doesn’t actually improve their quality of life. The finding that as many as one-third of those studied showed no improvement makes a strong case arguing that physicians should change how they currently treat these patients."
http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/550832/?sc=rsmn

Research Could Lead to New Non-Antibiotic Drugs to Counter Hospital Infections

posted Apr 10, 2009, 9:16 AM by Joseph Carpenter   [ updated Apr 10, 2009, 9:16 AM ]

Newswise Medical News | Research Could Lead to New Non-Antibiotic Drugs to Counter Hospital Infections
"Newswise — Lack of an adequate amount of the mineral phosphate can turn a common bacterium into a killer, according to research to be published in the April 14, 2009, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings could lead to new drugs that would disarm the increasingly antibiotic-resistant pathogen rather than attempting to kill it.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most serious hospital-acquired pathogens. A common cause of lung infections, it is also found in the intestinal tract of 20 percent of all Americans and 50 percent of hospitalized patients in the United States.

It is one of the hundreds of bacteria that colonize the human intestinal tract, usually causing no apparent harm. It might even be beneficial to its host. Once the host is weakened by an illness, surgical procedure or immunosuppressive drugs, however, P. aeruginosa can cause infection, inflammation, sepsis and death.

Why P. aeruginosa can suddenly turn on its host has eluded researchers—until now. Scientists have long known that after an operation or organ surgery, levels of inorganic phosphate fall. The authors of the PNAS paper, led by scientists at the University of Chicago, hypothesized that phosphate depletion in the stressed intestinal tract signals P. aeruginosa to become lethal. "
http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/550976/

Test Predicts Who Will Develop End-Stage Renal Disease

posted Apr 10, 2009, 9:15 AM by Joseph Carpenter   [ updated Apr 10, 2009, 9:16 AM ]

Newswise Medical News | Test Predicts Who Will Develop End-Stage Renal Disease
"Newswise — Measuring kidney function by assessing two different factors—glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and urinary albumin levels—helps determine which patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) will develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD), according to a study appearing in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). This combination test could help physicians identify patients at high risk of serious kidney trouble and allow them to intervene at an early stage."
http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/550927/

Genentech Announces Voluntary Withdrawal of Raptiva from the U.S. Market

posted Apr 10, 2009, 9:13 AM by Joseph Carpenter   [ updated Apr 10, 2009, 9:14 AM ]

Genentech Announces Voluntary Withdrawal of Raptiva from the U.S. Market
http://www.gene.com/gene/products/information/immunological/raptiva/


Reposted from Vasculitis-Awareness
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Vasculitis-Awareness

Treatment for Acid Reflux Does Not Improve Asthma

posted Apr 10, 2009, 9:11 AM by Joseph Carpenter   [ updated Apr 10, 2009, 9:11 AM ]

Newswise Medical News | Treatment for Acid Reflux Does Not Improve Asthma
"Newswise — New research suggests that a widely used treatment for persistent acid reflux among asthmatics doesn’t actually improve their quality of life. The finding that as many as one-third of those studied showed no improvement makes a strong case arguing that physicians should change how they currently treat these patients."
http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/550832/?sc=rsmn

WebMDHealth Newletter : FDA Panel Urges Restrictions on 2 Asthma Drugs

posted Mar 11, 2009, 5:11 PM by Joseph Carpenter   [ updated Mar 11, 2009, 5:15 PM ]

"Serevent, Foradil Inhalers Should Not Be Used Alone, Experts Urge"
http://www.webmd.com/asthma/news/20081211/fda-panel-urges-restrictions-on-2-asthma-drugs

Program Brief: Child Health Research Findings

posted Mar 11, 2009, 2:05 PM by Joseph Carpenter   [ updated Mar 11, 2009, 2:06 PM ]

"This document summarizes recent findings from AHRQ research related to child and adolescent health."
http://www.ahrq.gov/research/childfind/

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