Platelet E-News – October 26, 2009

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:

ITP Research and Treatments

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

General Health and Medicine

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ITP Research and Treatments

BLOOD VESSEL COMPLICATIONS OCCUR AFTER SPLENECTOMY FOR HEMATOLOGIC DISORDERS

The spleen produces antibodies and removes bacteria in addition to removing antibody-coated, aged or damaged cells. In a recent article in the journal Blood, researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical center summarized research on the consequences of removing the spleen for hematologic disorders including ITP. The researchers reported that vascular complications (conditions that narrow or block blood vessels) were increased in splenectomized patients for all diseases studied. Splenectomy was also implicated in pulmonary hypertension, high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs.

PDSA will send you a .pdf of the complete article upon request if you e-mail pdsa@pdsa.org

Crary SE, “Vascular complications after splenectomy for hematologic disorders.” Blood. 2009 Oct 1;114 (14):2861-8

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19636061

NEW TPOs ARE JOINT WINNERS OF PRIX GALIEN AWARDS FOR BEST BIOTECH PRODUCT

Amgen and GlaxoSmithKline, the companies that developed the new thrombopoietin treatments for ITP, romiplostim (Nplate) and eltrombopag (Promacta) shared the 2009 Prix Galien award for the best biotechnology product at a ceremony held Sept. 30, 2009 in New York City. The Prix Galien awards, given to companies whose treatments can change the course of healthcare, are considered the pharmaceutical industry’s highest accolade.

http://www.prix-galien-usa.com/

ANA-POSITIVE THROMBOCYTOPENIA: ‘PRIMARY’ VS ‘SECONDARY’ ITP

The ANA (Antinuclear Antibody test) is used in the diagnosis of SLE (Lupus) and is often given to patients who have a low platelet count. Two letters to the editor of the journal Blood discuss the impact of a positive ANA test result on the diagnosis of secondary ITP. There is conflicting evidence concerning a lower rate of response to steroids in ITP patients with a positive ANA as well as whether a higher ANA predicts progression toward a Lupus diagnosis. About 5% of people with ITP go on to develop other autoimmune diseases including Lupus.

Marmont A, “Antinuclear antibody (ANA)-positive thrombocytopenia: primary, but with a difference,” Blood, 27 August 2009 vol 114, No. 9

Rodeghiero F and Ruggeri M, “Immune thrombocytopenic purpura:terminology and definitions,” Blood, 27 August 2009, vol 114, No. 9

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Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

ADVERSE DRUG EVENTS (ADEs) ARE A COMMON COMPLICATION OF OUTPATIENT CARE IN CHILDREN

More than half a million additional outpatient visits per year in children below the age of 18 are the result of adverse reactions to medications, report doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Boston in research that examined US medical records between 1995 and 2005. Reactions to antimicrobials (ex. Penicillin) accounted for 27.5 percent of all visits and about 40 percent for children under 4, followed by neurologic and hormone medications for older children. Seventy-five percent of drugs given to children have not been tested in that age group.

“Adverse Drug Events: A Large Burden in Pediatric Care” Sept. 28, 2009
http://news.aol.com/article/adverse-drug-events-a-large-burden-in/689573

Bourgeois FT, ”Pediatric adverse drug events in the outpatient setting: an 11-year national analysis.” Pediatrics. 2009 Oct; 124 (4):e744-50.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19786435

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General Health and Medicine

IS A VIRUS LINKED TO CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME?

The XMRV virus was found in 67 percent of 101 patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) versus 3.7 percent of healthy controls, leading scientists at the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno, Nevada, to speculate that this virus may be implicated in the disease. XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus), a retrovirus with some similarities to the virus that causes leukemia and AIDS, alters the immune system and is possibly related to a virus that causes cancer in mice. The CDC and other scientists feel that more research is required to verify a positive link between the XMRV virus and CSF.

Denise Grady, “Is a Virus the Cause of Fatigue Syndrome?” New York Times, October 12, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/health/13fatigue.html

Lombardi VC, “Detection of an Infectious Retrovirus, XMRV, in Blood Cells of Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Science. 2009, Oct 8

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19815723

VITAMIN D FOUND TO REDUCE CANCER RISK

Women taking three times the recommended amount of vitamin D3 showed up to a 77% reduction in cancer compared to participants who did not take the additional vitamins, report researchers who conducted a 4-year clinical trial of postmenopausal Caucasian women in rural eastern Nebraska. The authors suggest that the USP recommended amount of vitamin D be increased, although there is a debate on the optimum level. The skin can convert vitamin D from sunlight, but those living north of the 37th parallel and people with dark skin have more difficulty synthesizing the vitamin.

Lappe JM, “Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun; 85 (6):1586-91

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17556697

MEDITERRANEAN DIET ASSOCIATED WITH LOWER RISK FOR DEPRESSION

After reviewing the diet diaries of about 10,000 young adults in Spain, researchers concluded that those who followed the Mediterranean diet (high in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, cereal, and beans; low in meat and whole-fat dairy and saturated fatty acids) were less likely to be diagnosed with depression. Fish, fruits and nuts, and beans were separately associated with lower depression risk.

(note: the Mediterranean diet is consistent with PDSA’s diet recommendations. See http://www.pdsa.org/itp-products-publications/itp-diet-suggestions.html)

Sánchez-Villegas A, “Association of the Mediterranean dietary pattern with the incidence of depression: the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra/University of Navarra follow-up (SUN) cohort.” Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 Oct; 66(10):1090-8.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19805699

PLACEBO EFFECT ANSWER FOR PAIN IS FOUND IN THE SPINE

Believing a pain treatment is effective changes the spinal cord response to pain report researchers in Germany. In a clinical trial, researchers applied painful heat to the arms of 15 healthy male volunteers and told some of them that the cream that was placed on their arm would relieve their pain when, in fact, none of the cream contained pain-relief medication. Those who were told that the cream would be helpful had a measurable pain-mitigating spinal response when MRIs were done.

Ben Hirschler, “Placebo effect is in the spine as well as the mind” Reuters, Oct 15, 2009
http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE59E53320091015

Eippert F, “Direct evidence for spinal cord involvement in placebo analgesia.” Science. 2009 Oct 16; 326 (5951):404

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19833962

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