New research suggests that thinning of a layer of the retina in the eyes may show how fast multiple sclerosis (MS) is progressing in people with the disease. The study was due to be published in the January 1, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“This study suggests that retinal thinning, measured by in-office eye scans, called OCT, may occur at higher rates in people with earlier and more active MS,” said Robert Bermel, MD, with the Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center for MS and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, who wrote an accompanying editorial.
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Women suffering from fibromyalgia experience chronic pain and stiffness in their tendons, joints, ligaments and muscles. The following exercise forms might help them in controlling the symptoms of fibromyalgia effectively.
The flexibility exercises: If you have fibromyalgia, your workout routine must include flexibility exercises. FibromyalgiaThe most common signs of fibromyalgia are tightness and inflexibility of the muscles. Performing exercises for increasing flexibility will help in increasing range of the motion of your joints and will also reduce muscle aches. The physical trainers recommend gentle exercises to fibromyalgia patients to make sure that their muscles and joints are not overstressed. Some form of exercises that are beneficial for women suffering from fibromyalgia are: tai chi, qigong and yoga.
Water exercises: The water exercises are rated among the most effective and safe exercise form for the fibromyalgia patients. All the US states have community centers that offer water aerobic classes to people suffering from arthritis. There are also public pools organizing similar exercising programs. Such workout programs are extremely beneficial for women with fibromyalgia. Warm water offer a feeling of buoyancy to the ailing muscles and joints and the pressure on the affected joints decreases. This increases the blood circulation in the muscles, ligaments, joints and tendons of the fibromyalgia patient. Exercising in the pool will allow these patients to perform certain activities, performing which on land would have been extremely painful for them.
Walks: Walking is a low-impact exercising form that yields significant benefits from women with fibromyalgia. Walking is an aerobic exercise; going for walks will increase the blood flow in the tensed muscles, which will ensure that the muscles receive enough oxygen. This in turn reduces the pain associated with fibromyalgia.
Women diagnosed to be suffering from fibromyalgia must avoid performing high impact workouts; they should strictly avoid activities like running, jumping etc.
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Gluten is a generic term for the storage proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley, but it is also found in all grains to some extent. Gliadin, the protein found in wheat, is responsible for the damage to the intestinal tract in celiac disease.
Science estimates that approximately 40 percent of the population reacts poorly to gluten, and the average onset of symptoms of gluten sensitivity is 35 to 45 years of age.
An allergy to gluten causes a direct immune system response. An intolerance has more to do with an inability to digest gluten. Undigested gluten will then contribute to abnormal growth of bacteria, the byproducts of which will cause an indirect reaction by the immune system.
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According to a study, African Americans who smoke cigarettes have a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis risk is more pronounced among individuals positive for the HLA-DRB1 shared epitope, a genetic risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joint lining (synovial membrane) and causes pain, swelling and redness in the joints. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) estimates that 1.3 million Americans are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and 75% of those are women. Prior studies suggest cigarette smoking may be associated with increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. A 2009 health report compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that in the African American population, 26% of men and 17% of women 18 years of age and older smoke.
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Fibromyalgia has long been tied to certain personality traits, both by the medical community and by some in the patient community. However, this observation has always been controversial, with many objecting that such stereotyping was erroneous and blamed non-physiological traits for a physiological illness.
Now, new research may resolve the controversy by tying both fibromyalgia AND a personality trait to a physiological root.
Researchers from Duke University Medical Center studied 3,176 neurology patients, looking at information from a genetic analysis, psychological work up, medical history and physical examinations. They found that a particular genetic expression, called alpha-1-antitrypsin (A1AT) polymorphism, was associated with a personality trait called “intense creative energy” (ICE) and also with fibromyalgia and multiple other illnesses.
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“…But increasingly I receive inquiries regarding research suggesting that raising blood levels of vitamin D may protect against chronic or life-threatening diseases. Many studies in recent years have linked low levels to health risks like heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, prompting many health-conscious men and women to think that supplements of vitamin D are protective….”
Read full article from NY Times.
A study linking red meat and mortality lit up the media in more ways than one. Hundreds of media outlets carried reports about the study. Headline writers had a field day, with entries like “Red meat death study,” “Will red meat kill you?” and “Singing the blues about red meat.”
The warning from the study, done by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, sounded ominous. Every extra daily serving of unprocessed red meat (steak, hamburger, pork, etc.) increased the risk of dying prematurely by 13%. Processed red meat (hot dogs, sausage, bacon, and the like) upped the risk by 20%. The results were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The study included more than 121,000 men and women followed for an average of 24 years. All submitted information about their diets every four years. Over the course of the study, almost 24,000 of the participants died. Death rates among those who ate the most red meat were higher than among those who ate the least.
Read full article on Harvard Health Blog
Join Renee Howell, Roy Melody and Terry Delaney as they join host Dr. Tasha Ebanks-Garcia in a talk about autoimmune diseases and disorders on Let’s Talk to the Experts.
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Taking statins may lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, particularly among people younger than 60, a new study suggests.
Overall, people who took cholesterol-lowering statins had a 26 percent decreased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease over a 12-year period. For those under 60, the risk was reduced by 69 percent.
The results held even after the researchers took into account other factors that may heighten the risk of Parkinson’s disease, such as smoking.
Read full article on Fox News.
A new class of drugs completing clinical trials soon for rheumatoid arthritis should be examined as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, according to the authors of a University of Alabama at Birmingham study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The UAB study focused on a protein called “suppressor of cytokine signaling 3,” found in low levels among MS patients in relapse. With less SOCS3 to restrain it, rising levels of the protein STAT3 cause immune cells to release chemicals that strip the myelin coating from the brain’s nerve cells, which makes them less able to pass messages and causes symptoms from numbness to paralysis.
In a mouse model genetically engineered with low SOCS3 and high STAT3, a condition called experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the mouse equivalent of MS, quickly developed. However, the research team reported that restored SOC3-signaling lowered STAT3 levels and reversed the disease.
Read full article on UAB News