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Insider Arthritis Tips Newsletter May 2011
May 15, 2011
"In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these." -- Paul Harvey, broadcaster
Reporting Arthritis News For May 2011Injectable gel helps arthritis?
Tiny Defensor in Science Daily reports a gel that can be injected directly into the source of arthritic pain and deliver metered doses of medicine as needed has been developed by researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital of Harvard Medical School. Drugs encased in a gel that is then broken down by enzymes in a joint appear to hold a viable answer to many arthritis problems. These enzymes proliferate during pain episodes and thus cause the drugs to be released when they are needed. Jeffrey Karp, leader of the research and co-director of the Center for Regenerative Therapeutics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital said that "the Holy Grail of drug delivery is a system that [meters] the amount of drug released in response to a biological stimulus, ensuring that the drug is released only when needed at a therapeutically relevant concentration."
Comment: I think what he said was slow release of medicine can help arthritis. It’s important to understand that this is not the same stuff as Hyalgan or Synvisc or those other lubricants Interesting concept… stay tuned.
About 20 % of
patients prefer physicians
gives researchers insight into
causes of shoulder injuries
Researchers See No Increased
Risk of oral cleft birth defects
in babies born to moms on
Comment: In all sincerity, this is reassuring information since those of us who prescribe steorids are always concerned about potential side effects. If we can cross this one off the list, that’s great.
Green tea supplements, Tai
Chi may improve bone &
muscle strength in
Laura Dean writing in Medwire
reported, "Green tea polyphenol (GTP)
supplementation combined with Tai
Chi (TC) exercise improves bone
remodeling and muscle strength in
postmenopausal women with
osteopenia," according to research
presented at the Experimental Biology
meeting. For the study, researchers
"evaluated the effect of dietary
supplementation with green tea supplements
and a TC exercise program (3 times per week)
on the bone health of 171 postmenopausal
women (mean age 57 years) with osteopenia.
" The researchers found "that women
who received GTP-only had higher
levels of" bone-specific alkaline
phosphatase "versus placebo after 4
weeks, while women who took part in
TC had higher BAP levels versus
placebo after 12 weeks."
Comment: More interesting info on complementary therapies. More than 50% of Americans now take nutritional supplements. Conventional medicine needs to understand this.
More physicians recommending
physical activity to
Laura Landro writing in the Wall Street
Journal reports that physicians are
increasingly are recommending physical
activity to help patients with osteoarthritis.
Kate Lorig, director of the Patient
Education Research Center at
Stanford University, said, "The most
dangerous exercise you can do when
you have arthritis is none." According
to Harvard Medical School experts,
strengthening the muscles around the
hip or knees can help support the joints
and take over some of the shock-absorbing
role played by cartilage.
Comment: The take-away message… if you have arthritis you must exercise! It’s better to wear out than to rust out!
Physicians may choose riskier
treatment for themselves than
they'd recommend for patients
The Associated Press reports,
"Physicians may choose riskier
treatment for themselves than they'd
recommend for their patients," according
to a study published in the Archives
of Internal Medicine. "The findings
are important because patients faced
with difficult medical decisions
often ask their doctors, 'What would
you do?' The answer reflects the
doctors' values -- not necessarily
those of the patient."
Comment: I’m often asked that question by
my patients… Very interesting article.
Bear hormones can deter
The Associated Press reports, "A
Michigan Technological University researcher
is using a $1 million grant from National Institutes
of Health to see if a bear hormone holds promise
for treating osteoporosis in humans." Associate
professor Seth Donahue has "been studying
bears to help learn what protects their bones
against calcium loss during hibernation."
Donahue is "now undertaking two related
studies, one involving human bone-making
cells and the other involving mice with
Mind tricks may
help arthritis pain
Anthony Bartram BBC News
Correspondent writes a chance discovery
by academics in Nottingham has found
that a simple optical illusion could unlock
a drug-free treatment for arthritis.
The computer-generated mind trick has
been tested on a small sample of sufferers
and found that in 85 per cent of cases
it cut their pain in half.
Research is still in the early stages,
but initial results suggest the technology,
called Mirage, could help patients
improve mobility in their hands by
reducing the amount of pain they experience.
Comment: Another reason to limit video.
Some parents want genetic
testing for diseases for
Jennifer LaRue Huget writing in the
Washington Post reports a study in the
journal Pediatrics examines whether
parents should "submit your child to
a genetic screening test that might
predict his or her likelihood of
developing lung, skin or colon cancer,
type 2 diabetes or another chronic
illness as an adult." Parents in this
study "were asked whether they'd be
willing to subject their children to a
genetic screening tool that would
assess their risk for the diseases
listed above plus osteoporosis,
high blood pressure, high cholesterol
and heart disease." Among the "219
parents participating, mothers were
more inclined to be willing than fathers,
as were parents who believed their
children to be at increased risk of disease."
Comment: Brave New World? Not sure if I would want to know.
Meditation for Arthritis
Listen to the music, open your mind and visualize your body, mind and spirit relaxing. You'll find that you achieve the same kind of relaxation response, but experience it in a different environment. You will achieve a meditative state with only the sounds around you.
Research shows that listening to the right kind of music can help you:
Tips for using music for meditation
Wei's World May 2011
Wei’s World May 2011 It’s no secret that my practice has an active social media presence. The internet has given patients greater access to information that was not available to them ten years ago. And it’s made it easier for our practice to dispense useful information while at the same time showcasing our expertise.
But something very unusual and unexpected happened this past month that I’d like to tell you about.
I was doing some grocery shopping at our local supermarket. Because I’m always on the lookout for interesting tidbits that I can use on my website blog or for our newsletters, I tote a messenger bag around with my day planner and other equipment like a digital camera, a video camera, and a voice recorder.
Well… after doing my shopping, I headed out to my car while talking on my cell phone. I loaded my purchases into the car, left my bag in the cart. .. and drove off. By the time I realized my bag was missing, I was all the way at home… so I flew back to the supermarket and the bag was GONE! The supermarket people said no one had turned in the bag. It was GONE!!
Talk about feeling low. I drove back home. My wife and I made a list of all the credit cards and called the companies… the usual drill.
I was so angry at myself for being so careless and also started worrying that this was an early sign of dementia.
The next morning when I turned on the computer, my Facebook lit up with messages from Cristina Lezama. She and her children had found the bag and tried to contact my office but since it was a Sunday they decided to contact me on me on Facebook.
To make a long story short, not only did I get my bag back with everything intact but I also met the most wonderful people. Mrs Lezama and her kids were delightful.
This episode not only renewed my faith in the goodness of people, but I also discovered a new power of social media.
Plus… what a great story for the newsletter!
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