Posts Categorized: News & Information

New understanding could improve fight against Crohn’s disease

A new breakthrough in studying Crohn’s disease may be able to provide the starting point for better treatments for the autoimmune disorder. Prior to the current research, the origin of Crohn’s disease was fairly mysterious, but now that an understanding has been gained, new treatments may be developed. The new research, done by the University of Cambridge and Harvard University and published in the journal Nature, may have tracked down the source of Crohn’s disease. New evidence suggests that the disease is closely related to Paneth cells, which may be causing much of the inflammation. While the new evidence may not be able to prompt a cure, the researchers were hopeful that it might be able to provide better treatments…. Read more..

Understanding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

  [Oct 28, 2013] What do you need to know about the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, the health-reform law or the “federal health-care overhaul”? It’s big, it’s far-reaching and, despite what you may have heard, it’s happening and it will change many things about the way  you get health care. Basically, the ACA’s aim is to begin to pull, push and persuade everyone to pile into the big “pool” — the insured. In short, that’s because some of those who study health-care systems have come to believe it’s crazy to have health “insurance” that evaporates if you become too sick to work. And of course if you don’t work ­— and even if you can, for many low-paying jobs —… Read more..

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..