Health and Fitness

What Is Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease CMT ? What Causes Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease?

Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT), also known as Chacot-Marie-Tooth hereditary neuropathy, peroneal muscular atrophy, and hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, is a genetic disease of nerves, typically with progressive muscle weakness, particularly the arms and legs. The hallmark feature of CMT is a clear wasting of the distal extremities, especially the peroneal muscle groups in the calves - the patient develops stork legs. In most cases, patients experience weakening of the legs before the arms. Two French neurologists, Jean Charcot (1825-1893), Pierre Marie (1853-1940), and the English physician Howard Henry Tooth (1856-1925) were the first to fully clinically describe the disease; hence the name. Jean Charcot was Sigmund Freud's mentor. According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, peroneal muscular atrophy is: "a generic title for at least three distinct hereditary neuromuscular disorders, all of which share the common features of pes cavis and marked wasting of the more distal portion of the limbs, particularly the peroneal muscle groups (resulting in the characteristic "stork legs").

What Is Cervical Spondylosis? What Causes Cervical Spondylosis?

Cervical spondylosis is a general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the joints in the neck. It is also known as cervical osteoarthritis and degenerative osteoarthritis. This condition usually appears in men and women older than 40 and progresses with age. Men usually develop it at an earlier age than women do. It can lead to episodes of stiffness and neck pain. With age, the bones and cartilage that make up the backbone and neck gradually deteriorate. Sometimes there is formation of irregular bony outgrowths called bone spurs. These changes are characteristic of cervical spondylosis. Even so, many people with signs of cervical spondylosis on X-rays manage to escape the associated symptoms, which include pain, stiffness and muscle spasms. In more serious cases of cervical spondylosis, changes in the structure of bones or joints in the neck can cause nerves to get pinched or compressed. They may also cause them to press against nearby blood vessels. This can temporarily block the flow of blood and lead to more serious symptoms, such as lack of feeling in the hands and legs, a loss of co-ordination and, less commonly, loss of bladder control.

HIV-Infected Postmenopausal Women At High Risk For Bone Fractures

According to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), postmenopausal HIV-infected women have a high prevalence of low bone mineral density and high bone turnover placing them at high risk for future bone fractures. "As HIV-infected individuals live longer with potent antiretroviral therapy (ART), metabolic complications such as low bone density and osteoporosis are increasingly recognized, " said Michael Yin, MD of Columbia University Medical Center in New York and lead author of the study. "Although numbers of HIV-infected postmenopausal women are increasing and postmenopausal women are at highest risk for osteoporotic fractures, few studies have evaluated skeletal status in this group. We hypothesized that postmenopausal women might be particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of HIV infection or ART on the skeleton and our results indicate that this may indeed be the case." To test their hypothesis, Yin and his colleagues initiated a longitudinal study to assess bone health in 92 HIV-positive and 95 HIV-negative postmenopausal women.

Bioactive Glass Nanofibers Produced

A team of researchers from the University of Vigo, Rutgers University in the United States and Imperial College London, in the United Kingdom, has developed "laser spinning", a novel method of producing glass nanofibres with materials. They have been able to manufacture bioglass nanofibres, the bioactive glass used in regenerating bone, for the first time. "Laser spinning makes it possible to produce glass nanofibres of compositions that would be impossible to obtain using other methods", FГ lix Quintero, co-author of the study and a researcher at the University of Vigo, tells SINC. The new technique, which was highlighted on the front cover of the journal Advanced Functional Material, involves using a high-energy laser that melts a small amount of precursor material. This creates a super-fine filament that is lengthened and cooled by a powerful gas current. The scientist highlights the simplicity of the system, that "can be used in environmental conditions", as well as its high rate of production and its ability to easily control the composition of the material.

Early Trial Shows Drug Can Curb Ewing's Sarcoma Growth

An early study of the drug figitumumab has found that in some patients it can curb the growth of Ewing's sarcoma - a cancer which affects mainly teenage boys. The study was led by Dr Johann de Bono, from The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Hospital, and funded by Pfizer, who developed the drug. The promising results, published online in The Lancet Oncology today, have led to the drug's progression to a Phase II trial in patients with Ewing's sarcoma, which has recently finished recruiting. Ewing's sarcoma is a rare disease in which cancer cells are found in the bone or soft tissue, most often the pelvis, femur, humerus and ribs. It is more common in males than females, and most often develops between the ages of 10 to 20. Previous studies have shown that a molecule called insulin-like growth-factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) is involved in the growth and spread of Ewing's sarcoma and other sarcoma subtypes. Figitumumab is an antibody that blocks IGF-1R and so scientists investigated whether this drug could be used to treat Ewing's sarcoma and other sarcomas.

World Congress On Osteoporosis 2010 -- IOF WCO-ECCEO10

IOF WCO-ECCEO10 will be the largest global scientific meeting devoted exclusively to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis in 2010. We look forward to welcoming you in Florence next spring! ATTENDEES More than 5000 researchers and clinicians from all continents are expected, this will be the premier global networking event in the field for 2010. Don't miss this opportunity - Register today! PLENARY SESSIONS Key opinion Leaders will present on the most recent topics in the field, see the scientific programme chaired by Professors Cyrus Cooper and Rene Rizzoli. MEET-THE-EXPERT SESSIONS Focused sessions chaired by leading specialists will offer the opportunity to learn about new clinical developments in smaller meeting rooms with restricted, pre-reserved attendance. ABSTRACTS Your abstract will be published in the field's leading journal, Osteoporosis International, with opportunity for oral or poster presentation. Deadline February 4, 2010. SPECIAL SESSIONS AND SATELLITE SYMPOSIA Ancillary sessions will provide in-depth coverage of specific clinical topics.

Separate Bone Formation From Bone Destruction To Build Bone

Treatments for osteoporosis (a disease characterized by reduced bone density, which leads to an increased risk of fracture ) need to increase the amount and/or quality of bone. As bone formation is tightly coupled to bone destruction, researchers looking to develop new approaches to build bone in individuals with osteoporosis need to identify ways to separate the two processes. Natalie Sims and colleagues, at St. Vincent's Institute, Melbourne, Australia, have now identified one way to do this in mice. In the study, the molecule oncostatin M (OSM) was found to induce distinct functions in mice upon binding to two different cell surface proteins. When OSM bound OSMR it stimulated the production of cells that destroy bone. Consistent with this, mice lacking OSMR were found to have increased bone density. However, when OSM bound LIFR it blocked production of a protein that inhibits bone formation. Importantly, OSM acting via LIFR did not stimulate the production of cells that destroy bone.

New Study Finds Low Mortality Risk Following Knee And Hip Replacement

Total hip and total knee replacement surgeries are highly successful and very common procedures for people experiencing pain associated with degenerative joints. With a new hip or knee, and postoperative care prescribed by their doctors, most patients are able to regain a more active lifestyle with considerably less pain. According to a new study published in the January 2010 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), the risk of early postoperative mortality or death following surgery -- was slightly increased for the first 26 days after the elective surgery. The risk of mortality was estimated to be 0.1 percent. The size of the study and the precise statistical tools used show the increase in early postoperative mortality was highest immediately after the operation. Then, 26 days after the surgery, the increased risk of death was negligible. "Previous studies suggesting that increased mortality exists for as long as 60 or 90 days post hip or knee replacement surgery may be wrong, " said lead author of the study, Stein Atle Lie, PhD, MSc and professor in the Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Bergen, Norway who led the study with colleagues from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and the Norwegian Arthroplasty Register at the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, Norway.

Extremity War Injuries: More Research Is Needed

The fourth annual Extremity War Injuries Symposium was held in Washington, D.C., last January to bring together military and civilian orthopaedic surgeons, researchers, experts from governmental agencies, and others to discuss challenges faced by U.S. medical personnel working in Iraq and Afghanistan and to discuss ways to synergize resources and improve care for wounded warriors. A paper summarizing the findings from the symposium is published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS). Majority of Trauma Is Orthopaedic-Related The majority of trauma that currently occurs among both military and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan involves the upper and lower extremities, and happens as a result of the detonation of explosive devices. According to paper co-author Andrew N. Pollak, MD, Associate Professor and Head, Division of Orthopaedic Trauma, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, this year's symposium focused on three topics: - Challenges in research - Host nation care - Domestic disaster preparedness "Our military medical personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan are facing serious challenges on every level, " noted Dr.

Changes Needed To Ensure Quality Of New Orthopedic Surgeons

Changes are needed in the programs that train orthopedic surgeons to ensure these doctors are adequately trained, according to a study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City. The study, which analyzed feedback from heads of orthopedic programs around the country, appears in the January issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. "Before this study, we at Special Surgery thought that we were the only hospital dealing with these complicated challenges, " said Laura Robbins, DSW, vice president of education and academic affairs at HSS. "As a result of this study, we have come to realize that as a nation, the prominent training programs around the country are grappling with these same issues." Because the field of training surgeons in general, and particularly orthopedic surgeons, has changed dramatically, investigators at HSS set out to identify the challenges faced by programs. They invited input from heads of well-established orthopedic residency programs across the country including New York University School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center, Duke University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Case Western Reserve University.

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