Posts Categorized: News & Information

More Genetic Clues to Autoimmune Disorders Discovered

October 1, 2013 Researchers say  new findings could lead to targeted therapies for conditions like ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease. Many autoimmune disorders are believed to be passed down from parents to children, and researchers are closer than ever to unlocking the genetic secrets of their transmission. Researchers at the National Institute of Aging (NIA) have honed in on five of 89 independent variations in human genetics that are believed to be responsible for autoimmune conditions, from celiac disease to multiple sclerosis, in which the body’s defense system mistakenly attacks itself. Gene Variations and Risk Factors for Disease A new study, part of the SardiNIA Study of Aging, shows these gene variants are associated with how… Read more..

“Good Days” app forecasts flare ups in autoimmune conditions

September 17,2013   For people with autoimmune disease, the temperature, humidity or barometric pressure on any given day could mean more pain, or less pain, than the day before. Giving those people tools to prepare for what their symptoms might be has so far been a winning idea for mobile health company Predictably Well. While AccuWeather and Weather.com both have tools that highlight environment factors that might play into migraine and arthritis pain, Predictably Well co-founder Juliet Oberding wanted to create something more personalized, since each person’s disease takes a different course. Oberding herself was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis back in 2008 and joined up with software developer Terje Norderhaug in 2011 to see if sensors, mobile technology and predictive… Read more..

New treatment could help those with Crohn’s or Colitis

  Vedolizumab, an intravenous antibody medication, offers new hope for the approximately four million people who suffer from the auto-immune diseases says researchers. — AFP-Relaxnews pic   Vedolizumab, an intravenous antibody medication, offers new hope for the approximately four million people who suffer from the auto-immune diseases, say researchers who led two clinical trials, the results of which were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The treatment resulted in remission and allowed patients to stop taking prednisone, a drug with ample side effects used to treat both diseases. “The two trials showed highly encouraging results for patients suffering from moderate to severe Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis when conventional therapy such as steroids, immune suppressive drugs” and other drugs… Read more..

FDA defines “gluten-free” for food labeling

New rule provides standard definition to protect the health of Americans with celiac disease The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today published a new regulation defining the term “gluten-free” for voluntary food labeling.  This will provide a uniform standard definition to help the up to 3 million Americans who have celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive condition that can be effectively managed only by eating a gluten free diet. “Adherence to a gluten-free diet is the key to treating celiac disease, which can be very disruptive to everyday life,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The FDA’s new ‘gluten-free’ definition will help people with this condition make food choices with confidence and allow them to better manage their health.” This… Read more..

Parasitic Worms: Potential Tool for Treating Autoimmune Diseases

By Karin Hehenberger, M.D., Ph.D. The prevalence of autoimmune disorders—such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis and type-1 diabetes—is comparatively high throughout the developed world. According to the well-known “hygiene hypothesis,” there exists a direct link between these elevated rates and developed society’s obsession to establish sterile, germ-free environments. Is it at all possible that better hygiene, by eliminating parasitic worms (helminths) and helpful bacteria from our bodies, made the way for the newer problems of immune-mediated diseases? In a concept that was originated by Joel V. Weinstock, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology at Tufts New England Medical Center and David E. Elliott, Division Director of the Gastroenterology-Hepatology Faculty at the University of Iowa, and recently outlined by… Read more..

Autoimmune Diseases Up Risk of Mood Disorders

If patients were hospitalized for an infection, their risk of developing a mood disorder was increased 2.3 times, the study of over 3 million Danes found. Researchers from Aarhus University and The Psychiatric Centre in Copenhagen found that over a 33 year study period, more than 91,000 people had visited a hospital for a mood disorder, and around 5% of these patients had had a prior admission connected to their autoimmune disease. The Autoimmune disease patients who were hospitalized for an infection increased the risk of a mood disorder up to four-fold, the study authors found. Risk estimates were mostly driven by unipolar depression, with an increased risk of 46% after a hospital contact with an autoimmune disease, whereas the risk… Read more..

Canary seed bred for gluten-free diets

A new variety of canary seeds bred specifically for human consumption qualifies as a gluten-free cereal that would be ideal for people with celiac disease (CD), scientists have confirmed in a study published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Joyce Irene Boye and colleagues point out that at least 3 million people in the United States alone have CD. They develop gastrointestinal and other symptoms from eating wheat, barley, rye and other grains that contain gluten-related proteins. Boye’s team sought to expand dietary options for CD — which now include non-gluten-containing cereals like corn, rice, teff, quinoa, millet, buckwheat and sorghum. They describe research on a new variety of “hairless,” or glabrous, canary seed, which lacks the tiny… Read more..

Lupus can be Difficult to Diagnose

Our immune systems are meant to protect us from germs, bacteria, and viruses. But, those with the autoimmune diseases, like lupus, experience something totally different. “Your immune system turns on you, so it’s attacking every organ of your body or every tissue of your body, potentially: your heart, your lung, your brains, your kidneys, your skin, your joints,” said Margaret Dowd, SLE Lupus Foundation Executive Director. It took Nono Osuji six months of doctor visits, tests and worrying before doctors figured out what was happening in her body. “At that time I’m like covered in rashes, my hair is falling out, I’m burning, I’m not sleeping, I’m fatigued though,” said Nono Osuji, lupus patient. Since her diagnosis three years ago,… Read more..

Eating Disorders May Have Autoimmune Cause

According to a research study by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, an autoimmune disorder might be to blame for some cases of anorexia and bulimia, The finding could eventually lump some eating disorders into the same category as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases. Using blood serum from female patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or both, researchers from the Karolinska Institutet found that most of the patients produced antibodies that selectively attached to certain hypothalamus and pituitary cells in rat brain samples. Both the hypothalamus and the pituitary secrete chemicals called neuropeptides that regulate metabolism. The antibodies were attracted to cells that produce three specific neuropeptides, called alpha-MSH, ACTH, and LHRH. It is unclear if… Read more..

Autoimmune Disease Linked to Estrogen Deficiency

Estrogen may have a new purpose in treating or preventing certain types of autoimmune disease, according to a study. Autoimmune diseases, like Sjögren’s syndrome, are much more prevalent in women than men. This suggests that estrogen probably plays an important role in the disease; however, no definitive link has yet been found. Researchers from the Karolinska Institute and colleagues report that estrogen-deficient mice develop an autoimmune disease that resembles Sjögren’s syndrome. To investigate the possible role of estrogen in such diseases, the researchers examined genetically engineered mice that lacked aromatase, an enzyme that helps make estrogen. The ARKO mice showed increased production of certain immune cells, increased numbers of white blood cells in the salivary glands, renal damage, and had… Read more..