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[ Mechanism Discovered In Cells That Leads To Inflammatory Diseases ]

Mechanism Discovered In Cells That Leads To Inflammatory Diseases

Cedars-Sinai researchers have unlocked the mystery of how an inflammatory molecule is produced in the body, a discovery they say could lead to advances in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, Type 2 diabetes and numerous other chronic diseases that affect tens of millions of people. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is published online by the peer-reviewed journal Immunity and will appear in the March print edition. The researchers identified for the first time the mechanism that leads to the production of the molecule interleukin-1beta. It is a major contributor to inflammation, which lies at the root of many serious health conditions, including atherosclerotic heart disease and some types of strokes. Current drug therapies seek to block this molecule's action after it is secreted by cells.

Tomosynthesis Effective In Diagnosing Knee Osteoarthritis

A recent study done by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) shows that tomosynthesis may be more beneficial in diagnosing knee osteoarthritis than X-ray imaging. In the study, which is published online in the journal Radiology, tomosynthesis detected more osteophytes (abnormal bony spurs) and subchondral cysts (small collection of fluid within the bone) in the knee joint than conventional X-ray imaging. Daichi Hayashi, MD, PhD, research instructor at the Quantitative Imaging Center in the department of radiology at BUSM, is the lead author of the study. The research was led by Ali Guermazi, MD, PhD, professor of radiology at BUSM and chief of musculoskeletal radiology at Boston Medical Center. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is characterized by a degeneration of cartilage and the underlying bone and other soft tissues in the joints, leading to pain and stiffness.

Guidelines For Use Of DMARDs And Biologic Drugs In Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis Updated By American College Of Rheumatology

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released the 2012 recommendations for the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic agents in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The guidelines published in the ACR journal, Arthritis Care & Research, are an update to the 2008 recommendations and address the issues of initiating and switching drugs, screening for tuberculosis (TB) reactivation, immunization, and the use of biologics in high-risk RA patients. More than one million Americans suffer with RA - a chronic disease that causes pain, swelling and inflammation in the lining of the joints - and 75% of those affected are women according to the ACR. DMARDs such as methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine may be used individually or in combination with biological agents to treat RA.

Novel Methods Employed To Uncover Gene Mutations For Common Diseases

Human geneticists have long debated whether the genetic risk of the most common medical conditions derive from many rare mutations, each conferring a high degree of risk in different people, or common differences throughout the genome that modestly influence risk. A new study by Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) researchers has harnessed data and new analysis tools to address this question in four common diseases: rheumatoid arthritis; celiac disease; coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction ( heart attack ); and type 2 diabetes. The study is electronically published in Nature Genetics. The researchers developed a new statistical method built upon "polygenic risk score analysis" to estimate the heritable component of these diseases that is explained by common differences throughout the genome.

Potential Therapy For Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases, such as Type I diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, are caused by an immune system gone haywire, where the body's defense system assaults and destroys healthy tissues. A mutant form of a protein called LYP has been implicated in multiple autoimmune diseases, but the precise molecular pathway involved has been unknown. Now, in a paper published March 18 in Nature Chemical Biology, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) show how the errant form of LYP can disrupt the immune system. In doing so, they also found a potential new therapy for autoimmune diseases - a chemical compound that appears to inhibit this mutant protein. T cells and autoimmune disease In Caucasian populations, a mutated form of LYP (short for lymphoid tyrosine phosphatase) is the third most common single-gene cause of Type 1 diabetes.


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