Le Bonheur Professor Russell Chesney, M.D. believes he knows what was ailing Tiny Tim, the iconic character from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Based on detailed descriptions of both the symptoms and living conditions of 18th century London, Dr. Chesney hypothesizes that Tiny Tim suffered from a combination of rickets and tuberculosis (TB). His findings were published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Chesney noted during the time the novel was written, 60 percent of children in London had rickets and nearly 50 percent displayed signs of TB. He says this is due to crowded living conditions, poor diets, filth and low exposure to sunlight. The coal-burning city of London in addition to particles from a Indonesian volcanic eruption contributed to blackened skies for many years.
Brown University biologists have found a new molecule in fruit flies that is key to the information exchange needed to build wings properly. They have also uncovered evidence that an analogous protein may exist in people and may be associated with problems such as cleft lip, or premature ovarian failure. As they work together to form body parts, cells in developing organisms communicate like workers at a construction site. The discovery of a new signaling molecule in flies by Brown University biologists not only helps explain how cells send many long-haul messages, but also provides new clues for researchers who study how human development goes awry, for instance in cases of cleft lip and palate. For all the diversity of life, animal cells employ only a small set of proteins to send those jobsite signals that coordinate construction.
Although a recent study suggests that women with normal results on dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans at ages 67 and older may wait up to 15 years for a second test, a Viewpoint article published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (JBMR) cautions that such a lengthy interval is inappropriate for many adults. Viewpoints allow experts to provide a new perspective on research. In their article, osteoporosis experts Drs. E. Michael Lewiecki, Andrew Laster, Paul Miller and John Bilezikian write that monitoring bone mineral density by DXA should be done at intervals much shorter than 15 years for many individuals. These include younger postmenopausal women at high risk for fracture, patients whose DXA scans indicate bone mineral density values substantially below normal, those with prior fracture or clinical risk factors for fracture, and patients already receiving osteoporosis drug therapy.
Laser-based measurements are proving to be a promising method for the assessment of osteoporosis. The team led by Professor Jussi Timonen has developed an ultrasound technique that use laser beams for a rapid and accurate assessment of osteoporosis. The research is part of the Photonics and Modern Imaging Techniques Research Programme of the Academy of Finland and involves input by researchers from the Universities of JyvÃ skylÃ, Helsinki and Oulu. There is an evident need for new measuring methods, since fractures caused by osteoporosis signify a considerable public health problem, and the current X-ray methods measure bone density alone and, thus, cannot reliably predict future fractures. On an annual basis, osteoporosis causes approximately 40, 000 fractures in Finland, and the related treatment costs add up to hundreds of millions of euros.
Thromboembolic events - such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), blood clots developing in the extremities; or pulmonary embolism (PE), a complication that causes a blood clot to move to the lungs - can occur following musculoskeletal injury and related surgery, and are potentially life threatening. In "The Incidence of Thromboembolic Events in Surgically Treated Ankle Fracture, " a study appearing in Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), researchers sought to determine the frequency of, and potential risk factors for, thromboembolic events following surgical treatment of an ankle fracture. Investigators reviewed the records of 1, 540 patients who underwent ankle fracture surgery at one of three university hospitals between 1997 and 2005. The incidence of thromboembolic events was 2.