Health and Fitness

Tai Chi Exercise Reduces Knee Osteoarthritis Pain In The Elderly

Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine have determined that patients over 65 years of age with knee osteoarthritis (OA) who engage in regular Tai Chi exercise improve physical function and experience less pain. Tai Chi (Chuan) is a traditional style of Chinese martial arts that features slow, rhythmic movements to induce mental relaxation and enhance balance, strength, flexibility, and self-efficacy. Full findings of the study are published in the November issue of Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology. The elderly population is at most risk for developing knee OA, which results in pain, functional limitations or disabilities and a reduced quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are 4.3 million U.S. adults over age 60 diagnosed with knee OA, a common form of arthritis that causes wearing of joint cartilage. A recent CDC report further explains that half of American adults may develop symptoms of OA in at least one knee by age 85.

Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor Treatment Does Not Increase Cancer Risk In RA Patients

A recent study by Swedish researchers found that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients did not experience an elevated cancer risk in the first 6 years after starting anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy. The research team, led by Johan Askling, M.D., Ph.D., from Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden assessed the short-term and medium-term cancer risk for RA patients using anti-TNF therapies: infliximab, adalimumab, and etanercept. Details of the study appear in the November issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology published by Wiley-Blackwell. TNF is a cytokine (substance secreted by immune system cells) that regulates the body's immune system and is involved in inflammation. TNF inhibitors (or TNF blockers) are a class of therapies used to reduce inflammation in chronic inflammation such as RA. The common immunosuppressant drugs and those included in the study are Remicade ® , HumiraTM, and Enbrel ® . As these therapies are used to treat chronic inflammatory illnesses, the long-term inhibition of TNF raises concerns for increased risk of infections and cancer.

Teriparatide Outperforms Alendronate In Treating Steroid-Induced Osteoporosis

A recent study determined glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (OP) is now treatable with Teriparatide, a synthetic form of the human parathyroid hormone. Researchers found patients with glucocorticoid-induced OP who were treated with teriparatide for 36 months had a greater increase in bone mineral density (BMD) and fewer new vertebral fractures than those treated with alendronate. The findings of this study are published in the November issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that are naturally produced in the body or synthetically created compounds (drugs) used to reduce inflammation. These steroid drugs are used to control inflammation in patients with such autoimmune diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Crohn's disease as well as inflammatory conditions such as asthma. Glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis occurs when patients taking steroid medications such as prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone, and cortisone exhibit reduced bone mass and bone strength.

New Tool To Accelerate Discovery Of Autoimmune Disease Mechanisms And Therapies

Currently, 5 - 8% of the U.S. population is afflicted with an autoimmune disease. Many of these are chronic and require life-long care. Moreover, different autoimmune diseases aggregate within a single family, suggesting they are caused by disruptions in common biological pathways. To help researchers investigate these common pathways, The Jackson Laboratory has published Pathways to Discovery: Autoimmune Diseases ( http://www.jax.org/jaxmice/pathways/autoimmune ), a unique, interactive, and publicly accessible online resource that illustrates the genetic networks involved in five common autoimmune diseases: inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis. The backbone of the new tool is five "spider-web" diagrams that depict the gene/proteins involved in two or more of the five diseases. The symbols in the diagrams represent cytokines, transmembrane receptors, enzymes, nuclear receptors, and transcriptional regulators. The resource also provides gene- and disease-specific references, links to JAX®

News From The Annals Of Internal Medicine, Nov. 3, 2009

Early Releases 1. Report Questions Whether Family Health History Disclosure Improves Clinical Decision Making Systematic collection of family history is a potentially important step in personalizing healthcare. Family health history can reveal important information about a patient, and may prompt specialist investigation or positive lifestyle changes. However, the accuracy of patient-provided information is limited by the individual's awareness, understanding, recollection, and willingness to disclose family health issues. For example, researchers found that patients were more accurate when reporting lack of disease in a family history than in reporting the presence of disease. Researchers reviewed all available studies published between 1995 and March 2009 to clarify the role of family history, its validity in the primary care setting, and its effect on individual and population health outcomes on common illnesses. They found insufficient evidence that family health history improves clinical decision making.

Link Between Childhood Physical Abuse And Arthritis

Adults who had experienced physical abuse as children have 56 per cent higher odds of osteoarthritis compared to those who have not been abused, according to a new study by University of Toronto researchers. University of Toronto researchers investigated the relationship between self-reported childhood physical abuse and a diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA). After analyzing representative data from the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, the researchers determined a significant association between childhood physical abuse and osteoarthritis in adulthood. The study is published in the November issue of the journal Arthritis Care & Research. Osteoarthritis is an often debilitating chronic condition that affects millions of adults. "We found that 10.2 per cent of those with osteoarthritis reported they had been physically abused as children in comparison to 6.5 per cent of those without osteoarthritis, " says lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson of U of T's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and Department of Family and Community Medicine.

MorphoSys Receives Regulatory Approval To Start Phase 1b 2a Clinical Trial For MOR103 Program

Germany's Paul-Ehrlich-Institute Approves Clinical Trial in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients MorphoSys AG (FSE: MOR; Prime Standard Segment, TecDAX) announced today that it has received clearance from Germany's Paul-Ehrlich-Institute as well as a positive opinion from the ethics committees in Germany to commence a Phase 1b/2a human clinical trial in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) of its lead drug MOR103, a fully human monoclonal antibody directed against Granulocyte Macrophage-Colony Stimulating Factor (GM-CSF). In total, the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, dose-escalation trial is expected to enroll 135 patients and will be conducted in multiple centers in several European countries. Patients with active RA despite previous therapy with NSAIDs, corticosteroids, DMARDs and/or anti-TNF-alpha will each receive four infusions of either the HuCAL-derived antibody MOR103 or placebo in three ascending dose cohorts. Enrollment is expected to be completed in the first half of 2011.

Judgement In Favour Of NICE On Judicial Review Of Abatacept For Rheumatoid Arthritis Guidance

The High Court has ruled in favour of NICE by dismissing the application from Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), the manufacturer of abatacept, for a judicial review of the NICE guidance on the use of abatacept for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. In April 2008, NICE published final guidance which did not recommend abatacept as a treatment option for people with rheumatoid arthritis. The judgement rejected the claims that the consultation process during the appraisal was unfair and that the criteria used in the decision making process breached the EU transparency directive. Professor Peter Littlejohns, NICE Clinical and Public Health Director, said: "We are pleased to have won this case - the judgment is a welcome endorsement of the rigorous methods we use to produce our guidance. We have argued that our decision making processes are open, transparent and fair and that the diversion of NHS resources into funding treatments that are not cost-effective would be likely to cause real injustice to people suffering from other serious conditions.

Adeona Announces Publication Of Results Of 160 Patient Phase 2 Clinical Trial Of Oral DnaJP1 For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Adeona Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMEX: AEN) announced the publication in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism of results of a 160-patient, six-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial using the company's oral dnaJP1 for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The results of the study were originally presented at the 2008 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting. The study was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Oral dnaJP1 is an orally active epitope-specific immunotherapeutic molecule derived from a family of heat shock proteins that contribute to autoimmune inflammation in RA patients. The publication entitled, "Epitope-specific immunotherapy of rheumatoid arthritis: Clinical responsiveness occurs with immune deviation and relies on the expression of a cluster of molecules associated with T cell tolerance in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot phase II trial, " can be found in the current issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, Vol.

Special Sessions Announced For World Congress On Osteoporosis 2010 - IOF WCO - ECCEO10

Online abstract submission opens Researchers are invited to contribute their abstracts to the World Congress on Osteoporosis 2010 (IOF WCO - ECCEO10), the largest global meeting devoted to all aspects of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis research and patient care. The Congress will be held in Florence, Italy from May 5-8, 2010. Abstracts can now be submitted online at http://www.iofwco-ecceo10.org The submission deadline is February 4, 2010. IOF and ESCEO are pleased to announce that seven special sessions and mini-symposia will enhance the extensive scientific programme that includes 12 Plenary and 20 Meet-the-Expert sessions: VPHOP Symposium: Assessing Fracture Risk: The Future for Designing New Therapies Chairs: R. Rizzoli, M. Viceconti The Role of Technology in the Fight Against Osteoporosis - R. Rizzoli (CH) Clinical Prospectives on Osteoporosis: Bone and Muscle - D. Felsenberg (DE) New Technologies to Predict the Risk of Fracture - F. Taddei (IT) Cell and Tissue Based Simulation of Osteoporosis and Pharmacological Treatment - R.

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