Platelet E-News – January 28, 2010

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

 

POTENTIAL NEW ITP TREATMENT APPROACH: BLOCKING B-CELL ACTIVATING FACTOR

 

People with active ITP have more B-Cell activating factor (BAFF), a substance that stimulates B-cell (a type of white blood cells) replication, than ITP patients in remission or those without the disease, according to researchers in China. When researchers added BAFF to platelets in a test tube the number of platelets decreased. When they inhibited BAFF, platelets increased. They conclude that blocking BAFF could be a promising approach to treating ITP.

Semple, JW. “ITP has elevated BAFF expression” Blood 2009, Dec 17; 114 (26): 5248-9

Zhu, XJ, et al. “The effects of BAFF and BAFF-R-Fc fusion protein in immune thrombocytopenia” Blood. 2009 Dec 17; 114 (26):5362-7

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19794139

 

 

NEW DATA TO HELP PREVENT INTRACRANIAL HEMORRHAGE IN CHILDREN

 

Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in children diagnosed with ITP is rare, occurring in less than one percent of patients, however, it can be fatal and important to prevent. Researchers examined 40 cases of ICH in children and found that almost half happened within the first week of diagnosis. Blood in the urine, head trauma, and a very low platelet count were also factors in predicting ICH.

Lambert, MP. “Childhood ITP: knowing when to worry?” Blood, 2009 Nov 26; 114 (23): 4758-9

Psaila, B, et al. “Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in children with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP): study of 40 cases” Blood. 2009 Nov 26; 114 (23):4777-83

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19767509

 

 

EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY GIVES POSITIVE OPINION FOR REVOLADE® (ELTROMBOPAG) FOR TREATING ITP IN ADULTS

 

The European Medicines Agency’s (EMEA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) issued a positive opinion for Revolade ® (eltrombopag) to treat ITP in adults. CHMP recommends its use in treating thrombocytopenia in chronic ITP adult patients who do not respond to corticosteroids or immunoglobulins, have had a splenectomy, or for whom a splenectomy is not a good treatment choice. Eltromobopag is a pill that stimulates platelet production and goes by the trade name Promacta ® in the US.

www.pipelinereview.com (search on Revolade)

 

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Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

 

HIGHER DEATH RISK FOUND FOR UNINSURED ADULTS

 

Adults lacking health insurance have a much higher risk of dying than those with private insurance, reported researchers from Harvard Medical School after examining the records of patients (ages 17 to 64) in a large patient database. This conclusion is consistent with the results in older studies although medical technology and patient demographics have changed.

Wilper et al, “Health insurance and mortality in US adults” Am J Public Health. 2009 Dec; 99 (12):2289-95.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19762659

 

 

NIH OFFERS WEB SITE TAILORED TO HEALTH NEEDS OF SENIORS

 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a new Web site that provides information about diseases and conditions that are often associated with seniors as well as suggestions to promote healthy aging. The new site also includes information on complementary and alternative treatments, used by two-thirds of people over 50 according to NIH statistics.

http://nihseniorhealth.gov/

 

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General Health and Medicine

 

PESTICIDE EXPOSURE RAISES RISK FOR ABNORMAL BLOOD CONDITION MGUS

 

A study of 678 people who apply pesticides found adults over 50 were twice as likely to develop MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance) as those in the general population. MGUS is a pre-cancerous disease resulting in an abnormal level of M protein in the blood. MGUS can also lead to low platelets and has been associated with some cases of ITP.

Landgren O, “Pesticide exposure and risk of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance in the Agricultural Health Study.” Blood. 2009 Jun 18; 113 (25):6386-91.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19387005

Rossi D, et al. “Prevalence and clinical characteristics of immune thrombocytopenic purpura in a cohort of monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance.” Br J Haematol. 2007 Jul; 138 (2):249-52

 

 

NEW HEALTH WARNINGS FOR COUCH POTATOES

 

Adults who watched TV more than four hours per day had an 80 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a 46 percent higher risk of death from all causes than their counterparts who watched television less than two hours per day. To reach these conclusions, researchers in Australia examined the records of 8,800 adults over 24 and adjusted the data for age, sex, waist circumference, and exercise. While the study focused on watching TV, the findings suggest that sitting for extended periods of time may pose a health risk.

Dunstan, et al. “Television Viewing Time and Mortality. The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab)” Circulation, January 11, 1010

http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.894824v1

 

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