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What Is Neurofibromatosis? What Causes Neurofibromatosis?

Neurofibromatosis, also known as NF, is a genetically inherited disorder of the nervous system (brain and spinal cord) which mainly affects the development of nerve (neural) cell tissues, causing tumors (neurofibromas) to develop on nerves, and may cause other abnormalities. The tumors may be harmless, or may compress nerves and other tissues and cause serious damage. In some rarer cases the tumors may become cancerous. Neurofibromatosis affects all neural crest cells (Schwann cells, melanocytes, endoneurial fibroblasts). Elements from these cells proliferate in excess throughout the whole body, resulting in the formation of tumors, and abnormal function of melanocytes, causing disordered skin pigmentation.

New Tool Developed To Investigate Ion Channels

Neurotoxins from cone snails and spiders help neurobiologists Sebastian Auer, Annika S. Sturzebecher and Dr. Ines Ibanez-Tallon of the Max Delbrà ck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch, Germany, to investigate the function of ion channels in neurons. Ion channels in the cell membrane enable cells to communicate with their environment and are therefore of vital importance. The MDC researchers have developed a system which for the first time allows the targeted, long-lasting investigation of ion channel function in mammals and also the blockade of the ion channels with neurotoxins. In transgenic mice they succeeded in blocking chronic pain by introducing a toxin gene into the organism ( Nature Method, doi:10.

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New Clinical Research Study Focuses On New Treatment Option For Hard-to-Diagnose Painful Bladder Syndrome

A clinical research study is being conducted for patients with Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome (IC/PBS), a chronic bladder disorder characterized by intense pelvic pain, urinary frequency-urgency, and pain during sexual intimacy. It is estimated that as many as 1.3 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with this disease and many more remain undiagnosed. There can be various underlying reasons why many people are undiagnosed: First, public awareness about IC/PBS is very low. Second, IC/PBS can be hard to diagnose because its symptoms mimic those of other painful bladder conditions. In women, the symptoms of chronic pelvic pain, urgency, and frequency may be misdiagnosed as a recurring urinary tract infection, overactive bladder or endometriosis.

Young Patients With Chronic Illnesses Find Relief In Acupuncture

Doctors at Rush University Medical Center are offering pediatric patients diagnosed with chronic illnesses acupuncture therapy to help ease the pain and negative side effects like nausea, fatigue, and vomiting caused by chronic health conditions and intensive treatments. The confluence of Chinese and Western medicine at Rush Children's Hospital is part of a study to analyze and document how acupuncture might help in reducing pain in children and increase quality of life. "Treating children with acupuncture is a new frontier, " said Dr. Paul Kent, pediatric hematology and oncology expert, Rush Children's Hospital. "We are looking to see if there is an effective pain management therapy we can offer that does not have the serious side effects that can be caused by narcotics and other serious pain medications.

Study Examines Course And Treatment Of Unexplained Chest Pain

Fewer than half of individuals who have "non-specific" chest pain (not explained by a well-known condition) experience relief from symptoms following standard medical care, according to a report in the February 8 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In addition, one-tenth of those with persistent chest pain undergo potentially unnecessary diagnostic testing. More than half of patients with chest pain are classified as not having an underlying heart condition, according to background information in the article. Some have another well-established medical condition, such as upper respiratory tract infection, but for many no pathophysiologic cause can be found.

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Usual Care Often Not Consistent With Clinical Guidelines For Low Back Pain

Australian general practitioners often treat patients with low back pain in a manner that does not appear to match the care endorsed by international clinical guidelines, according to a report in the February 8 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Low back pain is estimated to be the seventh most common reason for a general practitioner visit in Australia and the fifth most common in the United States, according to background information in the article. An overwhelming body of literature on the management of low back pain-more than 1, 200 published trials and systematic reviews-makes practice guidelines an efficient way for clinicians to base their care on the best evidence.

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