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  • January 06, 2010
    Researchers from Johns Hopkins University determined that immune responses to the tetanus vaccine were not changed when rituximab in combination with methotrexate (MTX) was compared with MTX alone in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Responses to a pneumococcal vaccination (Pneumovax® pneumonia vaccine), however, were reduced in RA patients with rituximab. Complete findings of this study are published in the January 2010 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American...
  • January 05, 2010
    Researchers participating in the Multidimensional Intervention for Early Osteoarthritis of the Knee (Knee Study) determined that physically inactive, middle-aged people with symptomatic osteoarthritis benefitted equally from strength training regimens, self-management programs, or a combination of the two. Details of this study are available in the January 2010 issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology....
  • January 05, 2010
    A recent study by doctors from the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, Spain determined that repeated liver stiffness measurements (LSM) in the first year following liver transplant (LT) could discriminate between slow and rapid “fibrosers” (patients with fibrosis stage of F2-F4 one year post LT). LSM were extremely accurate, particularly at the 6-month post LT point, in detecting severity of fibrosis. Determining those at risk for a recurrence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) allows for early-stage...
  • January 05, 2010
    Researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) determined that patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) who consumed more than 308 mg of caffeine daily had milder liver fibrosis. The daily amount of caffeine intake found to be beneficial is equivalent to 2.25 cups of regular coffee. Other sources of caffeine beyond coffee did not have the same therapeutic effect. Details of this study are available in the January 2010 issue of Hepatology, a...
  • October 07, 2009
    Exercise programs designed to improve strength and stamina are safe and effective treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review. The researchers reviewed dynamic exercise program trials in RA patients and found moderate benefits associated with this type of treatment.“Based on the evidence in this study, we would recommend aerobic capacity training combined with muscle strength training as routine practice for RA patients,” said lead researcher Emalie...
  • October 07, 2009
    Drugs widely prescribed to treat facial paralysis in Bell’s palsy are ineffective and are based on false notions of the cause of the condition, according to Cochrane Researchers. They say research must now focus on discovering other potential causes and treatments.Between 11 and 40 people in every 100,000 are affected by the condition, which causes paralysis on one side of the face. Paralysis is usually temporary, but a third of people suffer ongoing problems including facial disfigurement,...
  • October 07, 2009
    Abatacept, a member of a new class of drug that targets immune cells to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), is effective against RA, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review. The review examines recent trials to assess safety and efficacy of the drug.RA is an autoimmune disease affecting up to 1 in 100 people in Western countries. RA patients experience chronic pain and inflammation as a result of the body’s own immune system attacking the lining of the joints. Abatacept is a new “biologic”...
  • October 07, 2009
    More studies that directly compare the effectiveness of different biologic drugs for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are needed, say Cochrane Researchers. The researchers reviewed all previous Cochrane Systematic Reviews assessing the effectiveness of biologic disease-modifying drugs for treatment of RA and found that although all were very effective, there was little data on direct comparisons between the drugs that could help doctors decide which to prescribe.RA is an autoimmune disease that...
  • October 07, 2009
    B-vitamin supplements should not be recommended for prevention of heart disease, say scientists. A Cochrane Systematic Review has shown these supplements do not reduce the risk of developing or dying from the disease.“There is no evidence to support the use of B-vitamins as supplements for reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke or death associated with cardiovascular disease,” says lead researcher, Arturo Martí-Carvajal of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Network in Valencia, Venezuela. “And it...
  • October 07, 2009
    More research is required to establish whether Chinese herbal medicines can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes, according to Cochrane Researchers. Although herbal medicines are widely used in Asian countries to treat pre-diabetes (impaired glucose tolerance or IGT), the precursor of the disease, researchers say there is still not enough hard scientific evidence to confidently recommend their use.“People with impaired glucose tolerance are more likely to develop full blown diabetes...