MD News and Information

Harvard Researchers Explore Cellular Self-destruction as Scleroderma Treatment

Author: Magdalena Kegel
Date Published: January-2018
Source: Scleroderma News

Organ fibrosis in scleroderma patients might be reversed with treatments that allow fibrotic cells to self-destruct, Harvard scientists suggest. Their study, funded by the SRF, “Targeted apoptosis of myofibroblasts with the BH3 mimetic ABT-263 reverses established fibrosis,” appeared in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

It demonstrated that the survival–self-destruction balance of fibrosis-producing myofibroblast cells can be tipped by using a compound now being explored as a cancer treatment.

 

Raynaud’s Phenomenon : What You Should Know

Author: Johns Hopkins
Date Published: January-2018
Source: Johns Hopkins Rheumatology

Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a condition that results in decreased blood flow to your fingers and toes. There are two types of Raynaud’s: primary and secondary. SRF-funded investigator, Dr. Zsuzsanna McMahan from the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center dives into what this condition is, things to look out for, how to manage it, and when you should speak with a doctor.

 

Use of intravenous epoprostenol as a treatment for the digital vasculopathy associated with the scleroderma spectrum of diseases

Author: Law, S.,Farber, H., Simms, R. 
Date Published: August-2017
Source: Journal of Scleroderma and Related Disorders

Intravenous prostanoid therapy is recommended for severe systemic sclerosis-related digital vasculopathy. The evidence supporting this recommendation is limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of treating scleroderma spectrum digital vasculopathy with intravenous epoprostenol.

 

How to Fuel Engaged Patient Dialogue

Author: Carina Stanton
Date Published: July-2017
Source: The Rheumatologist

In the average 10–15 minutes a rheumatologist has to spend with a patient during a clinic visit, limited time exists for extensive dialogue. Yet, taking the time to delve a little deeper by asking a patient questions in order to understand and address concerns could make a big difference in a patient’s care.

“Too often, a patient may feel [too] intimidated to ask a question to clarify a term we use or may fear embarrassment [and avoid] bringing up a concern that can be related to their condition, such as intimacy issues,” notes Ara Dikranian, MD, a rheumatologist with the Cabrillo Center for Rheumatology in El Cajon, Calif.

 

Biomarkers Predict Digital Vascular Events in Scleroderma

Author: Gregory M. Weiss, MD
Date Published: July-2017
Source: Rheumatology Network

The likelihood of digital vascular pits, ulcers, or gangrene is increased in patients with scleroderma who are double-positive for anti-interferon-inducible protein 16 and anticentromere autoantibodies. Particularly high anti-interferon-inducible protein 16 levels were found in patients with scleroderma who had active ischemic ulcers or gangrene. Measuring anti-interferon-inducible protein 16 levels in patients with scleroderma and anticentromere antibody positivity may help stratify those at high risk for significant digital vascular events.

 

Systemic Sclerosis Linked With Altered Gut Microbiome

Author: Gregory M. Weiss, MD
Date Published: July-2017
Source: Rheumatology Network

The numbers of Bacteroidetes bacteria in the GI tracts of 2 separate cohorts of patients with systemic sclerosis were significantly reduced when compared with healthy controls. American patients with systemic sclerosis had more extensive alterations in their intestinal microbiota than those in a Norwegian cohort. An abundance of Prevotella species was associated with moderate-to-severe GI symptoms in patients with systemic sclerosis. Clostridium species abundance was associated with low GI symptom severity, and Lactobacillus with none-to-mild constipation.

 
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