December 3, 2001

Platelet e-news – December 3, 2001


This e-newsletter is a publication of The Platelet Disorder Support Association. The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. For advice on your unique medical condition, please consult a health care professional.


  • PDSA Happenings
  • Serotonin Drugs and Platelets
  • Beating the Blues
  • Anthrax and TTP
  • ITP Herbal Treatment




We took our newsletter to the post office and it’s on its way to our members. It’s not too late to receive your copy. We will send the Fall 01 newsletter to our members who join or renew before the end of the year.

Our newsletter is sent to everyone who contributes at least $25 per year to PDSA. For more information and to join PDSA go to You can join on-line or send a check or credit card number to PDSA, P.O. Box 61533, Potomac, MD 20859


We will close the survey at the end of December so we can add the latest answers and analyze the data. Every answer counts. We would like to get as many responses as possible so each category has sufficient data to give us meaningful results. Be sure to complete our survey at:

Thank you.

ASH Conference:

Several of us will be attending the American Society of Hematology conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference is from Dec. 7 – 10. PDSA will have a booth there (1183). 

We will attend as many of the sessions and read as many of the posters as possible. We will also meet the ITP researchers, pharmaceutical representatives and physicians interested in ITP. Then we will share what we learn with you via our next e-newsletter and our printed news. Stay tuned.


The headline in the November 2001 issue of Hem/Onc today reads, “Serotonin drugs may help after heart attack; they inhibit platelet activity” 

Researchers at Johns Hopkins studied a group of patients who underwent elective coronary artery stenting. They noticed that those who were treated for depression with SSRI’s had less platelet activity than those who did not. 

SSRI’s are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They ease depression by keeping more of the body’s serotonin circulating in the blood stream. SSRI’s include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, and Celexa along with sister drug, Serafem. The mechanisms for the SSRI and platelet connection are still unidentified although they don’t appear to inhibit platelet activity in the same way as some other known compounds.

For more information on the seratonin/depression/platelet connection see our Summer, 1999 newsletter at


Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD is a type of depression that may set in as the days become shorter and our relationship with the sun becomes more transient. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, lack of sunlight may also decrease levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that influences mood. 

In Dr. Weil’s newsletter, SAD expert George Brainard of Thomas Jefferson University suggests the following lifestyle changes to help beat the SAD blues. 

  • Seek out natural light – sit near a window, spend time outdoors, take a vacation in the sun (When I was ill I replaced all the light bulbs in my home with the full spectrum variety. They added a wonderful glow. Ed.)
  • Get moving – exercise, preferably outdoors
  • Relax – breathe deeply, meditate, do yoga
  • Don’t overeat – recognize cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, then breathe deeply to distract them.



The New York Times reported today that Leroy Richmond, a postal worker treated for Anthrax also developed what they suspected was TTP. TTP, like ITP is a low platelet disorder, however, it is much more likely to be fatal if not treated. Although the doctors felt that his low platelet condition was linked to anthrax they couldn’t be sure. The hospital treated Mr. Richmond with a combination of steroids and plasmapheresis and he is doing well.

For the New York Times article go to: and search on anthrax and TTP.

For information on TTP go to


Want an unusual gift for the holidays? Shop the Platelet Store. We have T-shirts, tote bags, zip duffels, vegetable knives, personalized note cards, platelet buddies, and more. Just go to 

Do you shop at Amazon? If you do, just click to Amazon through our site,, or and PDSA will receive 5-15% of your purchase price. You pay no more and PDSA gets a welcome donation. Here’s our direct link:

Shop IGIVE. If you shop the GAP on-line or LLBean, or any one of more than 200 affiliated stores, go to IGIVE first and PDSA will receive 5 – 15% of your purchase price. Links are on the same pages as above or go direct to:



Get Well International is a company with over 40 years of research in its products by medical doctors and master herbalists. Dr. Ba Hoang’s medical thesis was on ITP. His supplements Blood-Well and Restor-Immune for ITP have been used successfully for many years. A healthy balanced body produces normal platelet counts. Many users of this program report less bruising, more energy, and platelet increase within 2-3 weeks. It is very cost effective and has had almost no side effects like the normal drug therapies. Information and testimonials can be found at or leave a message at 1-888-522-4372.

For information on advertising in our e-news letter contact us at

This e-newsletter is published by the Platelet Disorder Support Association, P.O. Box 61533, Potomac, MD, 20859, phone/fax: 1-87-Platelet or (301) 294-5967, web:, e-mail:

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