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Insider Arthritis Tips June 2012
June 15, 2012

The Battle of Midway – June 4-7, 1942

They had no right to win. Yet they did, and in doing so they changed the course of a war... even against the greatest of odds, there is something in the human spirit – a magic blend of skill, faith, and valor – that lifts man from certain defeat to incredible victory.

– Walter Lord, Author

Yoga Helps RA

Laird Harrison writing in WebMD reported, "Young patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may feel better after practicing yoga for just six weeks, a new study shows. Researchers reported their findings at the American Pain Society's annual meeting." According to the article, by strengthening muscles, exercise prevents joints from moving in uncomfortable ways."
Comment: I’ve done “old-lady” yoga now for a year and it definitely helps with flexibility.

NSAIDs Associated With Lower Risk Of Skin Cancer

Charles Bankhead writing in Medpage Today reported "People who used common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs had a significantly lower risk of melanoma and squamous-cell skin cancer , and the benefit increased with duration and drug dose, according to" a study published in the journal Cancer. "Any NSAID use was associated with a 15% reduction in the relative risk of SCC and a 13% lower risk of melanoma," researchers reported. The researchers point out that the NSAIDs used in the study were prescriptions and not over-the-counter medicines.
Comment: A plus for this group of drugs that had many minuses associated with their use.

Arthritis Medicine Fights Amoebic Dysentery

James Gallagher reported on the BBC New that the inexpensive medication auranofin, " which is already prescribed for arthritis, could fight amoebic dysentery," according to research published in the journal Nature. Tests on mice and hamsters "showed that auranofin was 10 times more effective than the best drug currently available." The piece adds, "Further studies will be needed in humans, but researchers say it holds great promise."
Comment: Auranofin wasn’t that effective for rheumatoid arthritis but this study may give it a second chance.

Smoking May Be Harmful For Hip And Knee Replacement Patients

Alexandra Sifferlin writing in the Time reported, "People with arthritis - especially those with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis - are some of the most likely to need hip and knee replacements, making them especially vulnerable to the ill effects of smoking." The story adds, "Two recent studies presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in San Francisco report smoking – past or present - is harmful for hip and knee replacement patients."
Comment: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you’re a smoker, quit right now!

Managing Medicines Becoming More Complex

Christine Moyer writing in the American Medical News reported that as patients age into their sixties and "develop chronic diseases, they are prescribed an assortment of drugs to manage the conditions." According to physicians, "also complicating drug management is the movement to treat chronic pain with prescription opioids," which may lead to substance abuse. What's more, "the frequent drug safety messages from the Food and Drug Administration add additional stress on some physicians who already feel overwhelmed by the complexity of their patients' medication regiments, health professionals say." Therefore, "it is critical that physicians regularly evaluate patients' medication lists and determine which drugs can be stopped safely,"
Comment: I take a handful of meds in the morning and another handful in the evening so I can “get” the gist of this article.

Obese men lose weight with testosterone supplements The BBC News reported, "Older obese men could shift excess weight by taking testosterone supplements," according to research presented at the European Congress on Obesity. The study of 115 obese men with low testosterone levels revealed that those "given testosterone supplements in a similar way to HRT for older women" lost on average "16kg over five years when testosterone levels were increased back to normal." However, "experts warn that supplements may not be the answer due to possible risks of prostate cancer and heart disease."
Comment: Interesting… but it doesn’t replace the need for diet and exercise.

42% Of Americans Will Be Obese By 2030

A new report on US obesity projections emphasized the costs and health burden associated with an increasingly obese population. Bryan Williams on NBC News reported, "For everyone American who worries about their weight or the weight of their children, there is a stunning prediction. Health experts warn that by the year 2030, a staggering 42% of Americans will officially be obese."
Comment: Shocking and should be an alarm for all!

Obesity Increases RA Risk

Ellin Holohan writing in Healthday reported, "A new study suggests that severe weight gain might raise the risk for rheumatoid arthritis...especially among obese women." The research, published in Arthritis Care & Research, indicates that "about half of the increase in rheumatoid arthritis cases in one Minnesota county may be linked to rising obesity rates there over three decades." According to the article, of the 813 participants with rheumatoid arthritis and another 813 without, "68 percent were women and about 30 percent were obese."
Comment: Enough said.

New Antibody Drug Works For Ankylosing Spondylitis

Nancy Walsh writing in MedPage Today reported "A new monoclonal antibody that targets the interleukin (IL)-17 pathway appeared promising for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis in a proof-of-concept study" presented at the annual meeting of the British Society for Rheumatology. The study found that "among 23 patients who received two infusions of secukinumab, 61% (14) had experienced a 20% improvement by week six," while "only one of six patients given placebo achieved that degree of response."
Comment: Good news for AS sufferers!

Anxiety and depression common with arthritis

One-third of U.S residents 45 and older with arthritis have anxiety or depression, a study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention finds. According to findings that appear in Arthritis Care & Research, anxiety is nearly twice as common as depression among people with arthritis, despite more clinical focus on the latter mental health condition.
Comment: Not a surprise.

Female Skiers At Risk Of Knee Injury More Than Men

Kerry Grens writing in Reuters reported on a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, female skiers have a higher risk than men of injuring a knee while skiing. The study suggested that women skiers may also be twice as likely as men to injure their non-dominant leg, which is often the left leg. Reuters noted that the difference in risk between men and women could be caused by a number of factors, including anatomy, strength patterns and muscle patterns.
Comment: Women tend to be at increased risk For knee injury in many sports.

Cilantro for RA?

A study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, compared the results of treatments using steroids and powdered extract of coriander seeds (cilantro) on rats that had been injected with a solution mimicking the effects of rheumatoid arthritis. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) researchers found that while both treatments were effective, the cilantro-based treatment led to a greater reduction of swelling and inflammation. Some theorized that cilantro's high concentration of antioxidants was responsible for the positive response.
Comment: A promising herbal supplement.

Botox To Treat Knee Pain From Arthritis

Karen Weintraub writing in USA Today reported that ten years ago this week, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Botox "for treating frown lines. Over the course of that decade it has profoundly changed the work of dermatologists and plastic surgeons, and broadly expanded the use of cosmetic procedures by the general public." The neurotoxin, which has proven itself self and effective, is not just for cosmetic procedures, however. Its manufacturer, Allergan Inc. of Irvine, CA, is now starting studies of the neurotoxin to treat pain resulting from arthritis in the knees.
Comment: Get a facelift at the same time you get your knee treated!

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A Perfect Day!

On May 17th, under a blue sky and perfect late spring temperatures, our non-profit, Arthritis Research Institute (ARI), hosted a full day symposium featuring 7 of the most well-respected rheumatologists in the country and more than 100 people in attendance.

Symposium topics included issues surrounding the many arthritis diseases. Speakers addressed new and upcoming treatments and presented a better under-standing of the diseases that “limit the activities of nearly 21 million adults,” according to the Center for Disease Control.

Here are a few comments from those who attended.

Paul Kostreski of Middletown, MD says, “I think that everyone is responsible for his own health, and programs like this allow us to know what’s available so that we can take better care of ourselves.”

Frederick resident, Flemming Paschal adds, “Knowledge is power! The more information we have will hopefully help us achieve a better quality of life.”

Ron Roos of Frederick, MD, mentions, “The program was executed with a good mix of information and entertainment. It was not the standard approach for presenting information, yet we received great information.”

Were You Lucky Enough To Attend?

Because of space limitations, many were unable to attend. But no need to miss out on the wealth of information that was shared.

This symposium was professionally recorded and edited by Stonewall Video. The DVDs will be available through a special offer during the month of June only.

A must have treasure for any library, you will receive this fabulous set of DVDs featuring all presentations for one great price. ARI is proud to continue to provide programs for those who have arthritis so they can learn arthritis management techniques, and better under-stand their disease.

A portion of your purchase is tax deductible. Not only will you receive a fabulous collection of information, you will know that your contribution will benefit ARI.

2012 Symposium                        $197.00
4 EZ Pay Installments                 $   49.25

Add the 2010 Symposium featuring Dr. James Louie’s presentation on Artists with Arthritis for only:

2010 & 2012 Symposium          $289.00
5 EZ Pay Installments                 $  57.80

Call us at 301-694-5800 to order your copy today!

Speaker, Dr. Roland Moskowitz says, “I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the outstanding program you and your colleagues put on yesterday. The meeting, the participants, and the faculty were superb. You and your colleagues are to be congratulated. I appreciated the opportunity to participate.”


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Wei’s World June 2012

A few months ago I visited Jefferson Medical College, the medical school I graduated from in Philadelphia. I attended a dinner where donors of scholarships to the medical school spend the evening with the scholarship recipients.

My mother was instrumental in my attending medical school… and in particular, Jefferson, which is considered the premier med school in Philadelphia, despite what the Penn people will tell you. As a student, I promised myself that someday I would set up a scholarship fund in her name at Jefferson… so this past year, the Pearl Wei Memorial Scholarship Fund was established.

My wife and I got to meet the fund recipient: a delightful woman who is very active in the community. In spite of her heavy first year course load, she volunteers at a free clinic near Jefferson, as well as in other community service programs.

It made me feel grateful. I’ve discovered that unless you participate in charitable works, your life is not complete. I only recently “got this.” I was so busy growing and running my practice. But then I realized… what had I done to recognize what my mother had done for me?

This past month we held our 6th Arthritis Spring Symposium. One branch of the practice is our charitable foundation, the Arthritis Research Institute (ARI). The purpose of ARI is fourfold: delivering public education seminars using speakers with a national and international reputation, helping fund scholarships for young people with arthritis or who have made a contribution to arthritis research, funding arthritis research where biotech and pharmaceutical funding is lacking, and finally, helping those in need defray the costs of their medications. ARI is helping to fund this year’s symposium as it always does, but these events are expensive. This year, our costs will total about $34,000. We’ve been able to attract some corporate sponsors, and the attendees support the program through ticket sales. But these do not, by any means, cover the full cost. We keep doing it anyway because the vision of ARI and its goals sustain us.

So far, we’ve been able to meet most of those goals. The problem is that ARI exists as a result of charitable donations. And with the competition for donations to charity, we find the ARI gets lost in the shuffle. It’s a shame because we’re in a somewhat rural area and the Arthritis Foundation has no presence in Frederick… so ARI serves to fill that need.

We’ve had the good fortune of attracting some benefactors in the past. In fact, one of our strongest supporters, Sally Walser, just recently passed away. I’d like to acknowledge her spirit as an individual who kept ARI alive during those bleak early days.

Today ARI is holding its own, but it certainly could use some help. So if you agree that the aims of ARI are worthy and would like to help, please consider making a tax deductible donation. Just earmark your donation to the Arthritis Research Institute c/o Ms. Michelle Grimm, 71 Thomas Johnson Drive, Frederick, Maryland, 21702
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