PDSA E-News: February 28, 2015



The Audi Gerstein Platelet Disorder Scholarship for Undergraduate/Graduate Students with Platelet Disorders

The Audi Gerstein Platelet Disorder Scholarship for Undergraduate/Graduate Students with Platelet Disorders

When Audi Gerstein passed away, she left a large hole in the hearts of many. In order to commemorate Audi, PDSA awards scholarship in her honor to those suffering from platelet disorders. Scholarship applications will be accepted beginning March 9 through April 17.





Common Allergies Linked to ITP in Children

DandelionA population-based research study in Taiwan found a relationship between allergic diseases and primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in children. They investigated 1,203 children (under age 18) with ITP in the 10-year period 1998 – 2008, matched with 4,812 controls. Odds ratios of association between ITP and preexisting allergic diseases were calculated. Results showed children with every type of allergic disease examined in the study (except asthma) showed increased risk of developing ITP. The adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was lowest for allergic conjunctivitis (1.39), but highest (1.84) for allergic rhinitis (stuffy nose due to allergies). The aORs increased with the number of allergies, to 2.89 for children with three concurrent allergic diseases. They concluded children with allergies have greater risk for developing ITP. The findings will require further study to understand the reasons why.

Chiang MR, Wei CC, et al., “Association of primary immune thrombocytopenia and common allergic diseases among children.” Pediatr Res. 2015, Jan 12. [Epub ahead of print]


GSK Seeking EMA Approval for Indication to Use Eltrombopag in Treating ITP in Children

EltrombopagLigand Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced its partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in a submission to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), is seeking an additional indication for eltrombopag (Revolade®) (Promacta® in the US) for treatment of ITP in children (age 1 and above) who have chronic ITP and have not had a sufficient response to treatment with steroids or IVIg. At present eltrombopag is not approved or licensed anywhere in the world for treating chronic ITP in pediatric patients. The EMA submission was based on results from the Phase 3 PETIT2 study and the Phase 2 PETIT study of pediatric chronic ITP patients. The current submission includes registration of a new 25 mg powder for Oral Suspension formulation for eltrombopag, as well as a new 12.5 mg tablet.

“Ligand Partner GlaxoSmithKline Announces EU Regulatory Submission Seeking Additional Indication for Revolade®.” Ligand Press Release, Feb. 6, 2015.




Exciting Healthcare Improvements Coming Thanks to Smartphones

PhoneSmartphones have changed many aspects of our daily lives, from banking and shopping to entertainment and travel. Now medicalized smartphones are poised to change every aspect of health care. Smartphones now offer powerful attachments that can diagnose an ear infection, track heart rhythms, take your blood pressure, or do an EKG. These new applications can reduce use of doctors, cut medical costs, speed pace of care, and give more power to patients. There are many implications of this use for our smartphones in terms of hacking and personal privacy, as well as how it may change the doctor-patient relationship. Apps for EKGs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for consumers and validated in clinical studies. Some consulting firms have forecast that virtual physician visits will soon become the norm, with some patients now able to get a secure video consult with a doctor via their smartphone for the cost you’d spend on a typical office copay ($30-40).

More healthcare innovations are on the way, including wristwatch sensors that continuously, passively capture blood pressure and vital signs without even pushing a button. Additional phone apps are being developed for exams of eyes, throat, oral cavity, and other parts of the body. While these new tools provide useful medical information directly, quickly, and inexpensively they will never replace physical visits with doctors for important, serious matters.

Topol, E., “Your Smartphone Will See You Now.” Wall Street Journal, Jan. 10, 2015, Review, C1.




Mindfulness Meditation Shown to Relieve Stress

MeditationMindfulness meditation, used to achieve states of awareness of self which leads to calming of the mind and emotions for increased psychological and cognitive clarity, has been shown to have health benefits. However, most existing published research on mindfulness meditation focused on lengthy, weeks-long training programs. Now researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pennsylvania, report that as little as 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation practiced for three consecutive days was effective at reducing psychological stress. The team had 66 healthy individuals (ages 18-30) participate in a three-day experiment. They all received a brief meditation training session and were given breathing exercises to help monitor their breath and focus attention on their current moment experience. A second (control) group was given poetry to read and analyze in order to enhance problem-solving skills. Later all participants were asked to complete a complex task. Those who had received the brief mindfulness meditation training reported reduced stress perceptions to the tasks. The researchers concluded that mindfulness meditation training fostered greater active coping efforts, resulting in reduced psychological stress.

Creswell JD, Pacillo LE, Lindsay EK, Brown KW. “Brief mindfulness meditation training alters psychological and neuroendocrine responses to social evaluative stress.” Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2014 June; 44; 1-12.




lsg map 062113
March 12, 2015: Cleveland, OH
March 17, 2015: Sacramento, CA
March 21, 2015: Central/North, NJ
March 21, 2015: Metro Washington, D.C.
March 28, 2015: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX

April 1, 2015: ITP Parents Teleconference Group
April 14, 2015: Nashville, TN
April 26, 2015: Seattle, WA




Call to the Heart for ITP logoAn exciting gift campaign to benefit PDSA Programs and our Research Fund! PDSA will continue to encourage and support the development of research into the causes of ITP and of safe, effective treatments for all. We hope that we have touched your heart and you will join us in our mission!
More Information


Pump it Up for Platelets
April 12, 2015: Ashburn, VA
May 30, 2015: Ames, IA
September 19, 2015: Chicago, IL
September 27, 2015: Everett, WA
November 21, 2015: Pedal for Platelets El Tour de Tucson, AZ
TBD: Cleveland, OH




ITP Conference 2015 Teaser Video
Have you seen our latest teaser video for ITP Conference 2015?  All of the information about the conference, including conference registration and hotel room reservations, is now available on our website.
Take a Look


ITP Poke-R Club
The ITP Poke-R Club is for children and adolescents with ITP in the US who are paid members of PDSA. Parents can request a Poke-R Club kit for their child.
More Information


Health Insurance Assistance Programs for ITP Patients
The FREE booklet "Health Insurance and Assistance Programs for ITP Patients" was recently updated and is available for download.
Get Free Booklet



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