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You are here : 3-RX.com > Home > Arthritis


Two drugs better than one for RA

ArthritisDec 30 05

For adults with early, aggressive rheumatoid arthritis (RA), treatment with a combination of Humira (adalimumab) and methotrexate appears to be more effective than treatment with either agent alone, according to results of the PREMIER study.

Humira is a human antibody designed to block a protein known as tumor necrosis factor, which plays a key role in inflammation. So-called TNF-blockers such as Humira have brought relief to many people with inflammatory conditions such as RA or the intestinal disorder Crohn’s disease.

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Ukraine lifts bird flu state of emergency

Emergencies / First AidDec 30 05

President Viktor Yushchenko lifted the state of emergency in Ukraine’s Crimea as an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 bird flu in the region has been eliminated, a presidential decree said on Thursday.

Ukraine reported its first outbreak of the disease in a dozen villages on the peninsula, a major stopover point for migratory birds, in late November.

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One-Year Registry Data for Uterine Fibroid Embolization

Urine ProblemsDec 30 05

One-year data from the largest, multi-center, prospective voluntary registry on any procedure for benign uterine fibroids showed that over 85 percent of women had significant improvement in symptoms, with 82 percent satisfied with their level of improvement. The Registry, designed to follow the “real world” outcomes for uterine fibroid embolization as it became a mainstream treatment widely available across the country, collected data on symptom relief, quality of life, subsequent care, satisfaction with outcome, and menstrual status on 1,701 women who had non-surgical uterine fibroid embolization (UFE).

The Fibroid Registry for Outcomes Data (FIBROID) also showed women’s quality of life scores improved significantly, and only 2.9 percent of patients required a hysterectomy within a year of having UFE. UFE is a minimally invasive interventional radiology treatment that blocks the blood supply to the fibroid tumors, causing them to shrink and die, and symptoms to subside.

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Stroke risk increases when children with sickle cell disease cease transfusions

StrokeDec 30 05

Stopping regular blood transfusions in children with sickle cell disease who are at risk for a stroke means their stroke risk likely will return, researchers have found.

A study of children whose stroke risk was reduced by blood transfusions found that within a few months of halting transfusion, 14 of the 41 children resumed at-risk status and two children had strokes, says Dr. Robert J. Adams, neurologist and stroke specialist at the Medical College of Georgia who authored the article in the Dec. 29 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Romania confirms deadly bird flu in six villages

FluDec 30 05

Romania confirmed the presence of the deadly bird flu strain in six villages east of Bucharest on Thursday after test results from a British laboratory detected the H5N1 virus in suspect poultry.

Bird flu was detected in the villages earlier this month but Romania is not able to test for the highly pathogenic strain and had to send samples to Britain for confirmation.

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Age no bar to clot-busters for stroke

StrokeDec 30 05

Although elderly stroke patients have a greater risk of dying following treatment with the commonly used clot-buster called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), age is not an independent predictor of outcome, Swiss researchers report in Neurology.

Commenting on the findings, Dr. J. Claude Hemphill III, co-author of an editorial in the medical journal, told Reuters Health, tPA “should not be withheld from acute stroke patients just because they are very old.”

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National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Eye / Vision ProblemsDec 30 05

Glaucoma is an important public health problem in the United States, affecting at least 2 million people. It is the second leading cause of blindness and the leading cause of blindness among African-Americans. Yet it is estimated that half of those suffering from the disease in this country remain undiagnosed. The Department of Veterans Affairs urges everyone over 40 to seek screening for glaucoma during January which is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. People with a higher risk than others of getting the disease include:

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Vertebroplasty Improves Back Pain, Activity Level

BackacheDec 30 05

A Mayo Clinic study has found patients report less back pain at rest and while active following vertebroplasty, a procedure in which medical cement is injected into painful compression fractures in the spinal vertebrae due to osteoporosis. Patients also reported improved function in their daily activities, such as walking, housework and getting dressed. The findings are published in the November/December issue of American Journal of Neuroradiology, http://www.ajnr.org.

“These findings give us as good evidence as there is—in a study without a group receiving another or no treatment for comparison—that patients are more functional for up to a year after vertebroplasty than before vertebroplasty,” says David Kallmes, M.D., the Mayo Clinic neuroradiologist who led the study.

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Lung disease patients breathe easier with rehab

Respiratory ProblemsDec 29 05

Pulmonary rehabilitation produces significant benefits for patients with advanced emphysema and plays an important role in the selection of patients for lung surgery, according to results of the National Emphysema Treatment Trial, or NETT.

“The NETT highlights the important benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation—as practiced in a large number of centers across the country—as a standard of care for patients with advanced chronic lung disease and an important adjunct to lung volume reduction surgery programs,” said Dr. Andrew L. Ries, from the University of California, San Diego.

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Letrozole tops tamoxifen for early breast cancer

Breast CancerDec 29 05

As add-on therapy for breast cancer, letrozole appears to be more effective than tamoxifen in reducing the risk of the disease recurring, new research suggests.

Dr. Beat Thurlimann, from the Senology Center of Eastern Switzerland in Kantonsspital, and colleagues compared the outcomes of 8010 women who were randomly assigned to one of four treatment regimens for 5 years: letrozole; letrozole followed by tamoxifen; tamoxifen; or tamoxifen followed by letrozole.

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Women often uninformed about breast reconstruction

Breast CancerDec 29 05

Though most women with breast cancer are aware they have the option for breast reconstruction soon after surgery, few may fully understand the details of the procedure, a new study suggests.

This was particularly the case, researchers found, for black women, who were more likely to say they did not know enough about breast reconstruction or to feel that the procedure was not recommended.

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Talks between Bulgaria, Libya delayed as emotions run high over HIV children fund

AIDS/HIVDec 29 05

Five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian doctor, who had been sentenced to death by firing squad, following a conviction of infecting 426 children with HIV in a hospital, have had that conviction quashed and a new trial has been ordered by Libya’s Supreme Court.

The six medics have been in jail since 1999 accused of deliberately infecting the youngsters in a hospital in the Mediterranean port of Benghazi.

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University of Michigan Medical School to study the science of obesity and metabolism

ObesityDec 29 05

As millions of Americans prepare their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, eat better or exercise more, the University of Michigan Medical School is launching a new center that may help explain why so many resolutions fail, while others succeed.

The new University of Michigan Metabolomics and Obesity Center will explore the science behind weight gain and loss, through molecular-level research on how the body breaks down and uses food, and how metabolism varies among individuals.

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Researchers discover how a gene linked to Parkinson’s disease can keep brain cells alive

BrainDec 29 05

Researchers at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center’s School of Medicine have uncovered how a gene linked to Parkinson’s disease can keep brain cells alive. The results suggest the possibility for new drugs that might regulate the gene and protect Parkinson’s patients from further cell damage. The findings will be published in the Dec. 30 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder that occurs when dopamine cells in the brain die or are damaged, making it increasingly difficult to relay movement messages from the brain to the body. CU School of Medicine scientists performed a detailed analysis of a gene known to be linked to Parkinson’s disease called DJ-1. The research showed that DJ-1, when functioning properly, can prevent dopamine cell death in the brain. If the DJ-1 gene is abnormal and doesn’t function properly, it can lead to the onset of neurodegeneration, particularly Parkinson’s disease.

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Obesity linked to poor colon cancer survival

ObesityDec 28 05

People who are obese around the middle and are physically inactive have poor odds of survival after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer, according to a new report.

“We have now shown that modifiable lifestyle factors that were known to reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer can also reduce the mortality in cases diagnosed with the disease,” Dr. Andrew M. M. Haydon told Reuters Health. “This strengthens the argument supporting the public health message of ‘healthy living.’”

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