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  • January 06, 2010
    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are partially protected by the influenza vaccine 6-10 months after treatment with rituximab. Researchers determined that while the flu vaccine is safe, it is ineffective for RA patients in the first 6 months following rituximab treatment. Previous influenza vaccination in rituximab-treated patients does increase pre- and post-vaccination titers, providing some defense to influenza strains. RA activity was not influenced by administration of the flu vaccine....
  • January 06, 2010
    Researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School discovered that light from an ultraviolet diode (UV LED) reduced “seizure-like” activity in a rat epilepsy model. During the study, UV light released gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) from the “caged” compound carbonyl amino butanoic acid (BC204). GABA then decreased the abnormal electrical activity in the CA1 area of the brain. Results of this study have considerable potential in treating focal epilepsy in humans. Details of this study...
  • 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...
  • December 18, 2009
    Keeping pets healthy can reduce infection risks for people who have received solid organ transplants and veterinarians should be seen as an integral part of the healthcare team. That’s just one of the key pieces of advice from a safe living article published in an infectious diseases supplement in the American Journal of Transplantation. The supplement - the second issue of guidelines authored by members of the American Society of Transplantation’s Infectious Diseases Community of...
  • December 03, 2009
    Surgeons and other healthcare professionals specialising in solid organ transplants have been issued with expert advice to guide them through the complex clinical issues posed by the global H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic.The paper, published online by the American Journal of Transplantation, also urges them to stay alert to the significant concerns that swine flu could combine with seasonal flu, and possibly even bird flu (H5N1), to develop into a strain with unpredictable virulence....
  • 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,...