Platelet E-News – March 16, 2004

This e-newsletter is a monthly 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.

Contents:

  • Inflammation and Autoimmunity
  • The Problem with Multi-tasking
  • IVIg in the News
  • Using Homeopathy to Treat Toxic Exposure
  • The Expanded Role of Platelets
  • Clinical Trial Correction
  • Results from our Sunshine Poll
  • Immune Globulin Services Provided in Patients’ Homes (advertisement)
  • Herbal Treatment (advertisement)
  • Is Maintenance Therapy the Choice for You (advertisement)

 

INFLAMMATION AND AUTOIMMUNITY

Inflammation, your body’s response to infection, is increasingly linked to various diseases. It has been found to play a role in heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Remicide and Enbrel, drugs used to treat some autoimmune diseases, target specific inflammatory cytokines. In addition to taking drugs or supplements, you can reduce the amount of inflammation in your body by exercising, eating a diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables, and flossing your teeth.

“The Fires Within” by Christine Gorman and Alice Park, TIME, February 23, 2004

(An ITP clinical trial for Enbrel is in progress. See www.itppeople.com/clinical.htm)

THE PROBLEM WITH MULTI-TASKING

Multi-tasking, doing too many things in too little time, elevates your cortisol levels, a hormone produced in your adrenal gland. Continued elevation of cortisol can lead to a weakened immune system and deplete other hormones. Dan Beskind, MD, concludes, “Most of us harbor a nagging belief that a slower life is a luxury we can’t afford. Our bodies tell us otherwise. Slowing down is essential to our health.”

“Juggler’s Syndrome: Multitasking isn’t just stressing us out – it’s endangering our health by Dan Beskind, MD, Utne Reaer, March-April 2004

IVIG IN THE NEWS

Gamunex ® , a type of IVIg manufactured by Bayer HealthCare, has received approval from Germany’s regulatory authority for biological products. This follows its approval in the United States and Canada. Bayer HealthCare has also received FDA approval for an in-house nucleic acid test for the HIV virus in plasma donations.

News release from Bayer HealthCare. See www.bayerbiologicals.com

USING HOMEOPATHY TO TREAT TOXIC EXPOSURE

Mice treated with Arsenicum Album, a homeopathic remedy, reduced the liver toxicity induced by arsenic poisoning reported researchers in West Bengal, India. Arsenic tainted groundwater is a large problem in India and other countries. Homeopathy, a healing practice used for more than 200 years, treats illness with a minute dilution of the substance believed to cause the disease. In forty other studies that used homeopathic treatments to address toxic exposure, 27 showed positive results.

“Toxic Busters?” by Craig Cox, Utne Reader, March – April, 2004

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994305

(Environmental toxins have been shown to exacerbate or potentially trigger autoimmune diseases. Dr. Noel Rose will speak on the subject at our upcoming ITP Conference 2004 www.pdsa.org/conference.htm)

THE EXPANDED ROLE OF PLATELETS

“Platelets…regulate inflammation, tissue repair, and immune responses” report researchers Andrew Weyrich and Guy Zimmerman of the University of Utah. These comments in the March 15 issue of the journal Blood, were in response to two articles on platelets in that issue that dramatically expanded what is known about the proteins produced by platelets as they go about their work. Researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons identified more than 300 proteins that are released by platelets, only 37% of which were previously known. Understanding the proteins produced by platelets could lead to new diagnostic tools and therapies for thrombotic diseases.

“Propelling the Platelet Proteome” by Andrew Weyrich and Guy Zimmerman, Blood, 15 March 2004, Vol. 103, No. 6

“Characterization of the proteins released from activated platelets leads to localization of novel platelets proteins in human atherosclerotic lesions” Judith A. Coppinger, et al. Blood, 15 March 2004, Vol.103, No. 6

See://www.bloodjournal.org

(While this research is directed toward understanding atherosclerosis, it could be useful to those who have few platelets. People with ITP are not protected from getting heart disease, clotting problems, and strokes)

CLINICAL TRIAL CORRECTION

In our February e-news we mentioned a clinical trail using AMG531. The correct name for the trial is "A Dose finding Study Evaluating the Safety and Efficacy of Amgen Megakaryopoiesis Protein 2 [AMP2(AMG 531)] in Thrombocytopenic Subjects with Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)" We apologize for the error.

All of the sites for this clinical trial are now listed at www.centerwatch.com. Search on “ITP”.

RESULTS FROM OUR SUNSHINE POLL

In the last issue of our e-news we included an article linking the lack of vitamin D with multiple sclerosis. Since your body synthesizes vitamin D in the presence of sunlight we asked our readers to send an e-mail if they found that sunlight effected their health and platelets.

We received six responses. One person reported their bruising symptoms increased with exposure to the sun. The remaining five responses reported an overwhelmingly positive effect of sunlight on their health.

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